Bubye 2018

 

Bubye 2018

 

Most people I know are ready to toss 2018 into the wood chipper. Here in the States, among people with a modicum of integrity, the past year is viewed for the poo-show it was. Good riddance.

 

But there were glimmers of vitality and joy. Just the other night I danced my ass off and that was definitely a highlight. Not only that, but when I sat and watched other party-goers tear up the dance floor, I felt a joy bubble burst in my brain hole and just about smiled myself to death.

 

Rodin at the Norton Simon Museum

 

I saw amazing art, locally…

 

4th Day_Hyde Park_Christo and a Queens Swan

 

and abroad.

 

Sunset in December

 

The Los Angeles sunsets brought ridiculous awe and wonder to my front door. Thank you smog!

 

Bentley My Lover Dog

 

I got to visit with a dog I adore. Only this time he decided to show his love for me by going to town on my leg. As this is very uncommon for this well-behaved soul, I think his affection may be due to a past-life experience. Maybe Bentley and I were lovers in another time. I do hail from white trash, so maybe there’s some dog in my lineage. Whatever the reason, it was unexpected and not cool, dog.

 

Desert Respite

 

Mister and I had a desert respite. It was fun and restful and beautiful and we got to see dear friends. Win-win, y’all.

 

Blindfold Puzzle

 

While in the desert, I witnessed my friend SJ assemble a puzzle while blindfolded. Yep. She discerned which side of each piece was up while blindfolded. She separated side and interior pieces while blindfolded. Then she put the mutha together and it didn’t take very long. I love this gal for a lot of reasons. And now I love her even more.

 

Beer Advent Finished

 

Mister and I finished our Beer Advent Calendar, and we had a blast doing it. All those German beers were a treat. And the cans look so amazing on the mantel. As we don’t live in a frat house, they’ll be coming down today, however. That’s alright. We enjoyed them while they lasted.

 

I got through the first draft of part two of the book I’m writing, and as my goal was to get it out of my head before the year’s end, I’m feeling pretty good about that. Miles to go, of course, but still. Sometimes baby steps are incredibly fulfilling.

 

Mikki and Lorinda 2003

 

I also reconnected with someone I love more than butter. If you know a soul who seems to be part of the fiber of your being, then you can appreciate how I feel about this chick. She’s woven into me. It’s as simple and as complicated as that. Gratitude abounds.

 

2018 was a janky year, I won’t deny. But there were moments that stood out, moments that made a difference. And I want to do all I can to make even more stand-out moments come to life this year. It won’t be easy, y’all. My country is still being slowly destroyed by the worst president in history. Jackasses around the globe are discriminating against human souls in more ways than I can comprehend. Our environment seems to be dying. And don’t get me started on gender issues. Honestly – it’s enough to break a person. I know a few folks who have fallen so deeply into depression that they may not make it back. I’m not kidding. That’s heartbreaking.

 

But! I’m not ready to give up. In fact, I’m just getting started. You want a piece of me, 2019? Bring it on. I’m your worst nightmare – a Club 50, optimistic, brave, excited creator. And I’m about to make this year my bitch. Here we go…

 

Happy New Year!

 

Friday Pick-Me-Up

 

 

I’m writing this post for me, as I sorely need it.

 

The petite gal shown in the photo above is Margene. She lives with my friend Betro. Margene and her sister (Roxy) are hilarious. And kind. And loving. And about a jillion other things pets are known for. When I visit Margene, she gets all excited and playful and her enthusiasm really perks me up. It would be easy to take her joy as something personal, but she doesn’t remember me from visit to visit. I know this. But Margene still manages to make me feel welcome and, I daresay, loved.

 

I’m sometimes jealous of my friends with pets. They receive unconditional love and devotion each and every day, no matter what’s going on in their lives or in the world. Pets don’t care about our screw-ups. They just care about us. When I think about that, I often wish I had it in my own home.

 

And then there are the other times. The times when I don’t have to arrange a pet-sitter, or when I don’t have to spend several thousand dollars to preserve a beloved pet’s health. Those times leave me feeling pretty free and easy. And I like that. A lot.

 

Six of one, half a dozen of another, I guess. When our yard gets fenced in (I’m praying to the garden gods), we may very well get a dog. We may very well not. I’m not sure. Either way, I get to visit Margene once in a while. I’ll take it.

Best Friends

 

 

I haven’t had a dog since I was a kid. And though Mister and I occasionally talk about getting one, it simply isn’t practical right now. For one thing, the only yard we have is in the front of the house and it isn’t fenced-in. For another thing – and perhaps most importantly – Mister has allergies. And no matter how much I want a dog (and I do), I simply cannot put him through the misery of labored breathing. So we are dog-free. For now.

 

But a lot of our friends have dogs and it’s pretty fun to visit those pets. The sweetie pie shown above is Molly. When we arrived for that night’s festivities, she was pretty high-strung. But then she calmed down. By my feet. And she stayed there for a long time. And not once did I mind.

 

If and when Mister and I do get a dog, it’s nice to think I’ll have that pup as a best friend. So will Mister. I wonder if I can figure out how to install a fence…

Sweet, Sweet Girkin

 

 

Last week I got some bad news. My friend’s dog, Girkin, passed away.

 

Girkin was one of my favorite dogs – period. He was one of those rare animals who belongs to no one. Instead, a whole lot of us humans belonged to him. Fortunately for me, I was one of those souls.

 

The Gurr was friendly and laid back. He was small in stature, but man was he the Top Dog! I remember a time when I was sitting on my friend’s front porch, waiting for her to come home. Girkin had found me there and was sitting, watching me. After a few minutes some large, strange dog came running up toward me, barking and growling. Without hesitation, Girkin jumped up in my lap and turned to face the scary dog. The Gurr barked so fiercely and assertively, the strange dog actually ran away. Girkin had protected me. I sat there a while longer. I remember I was dealing with something sad that day. Do you know that Girkin sat on my lap with his paw resting on my heart the entire time? It was one of the sweetest, most caring gestures I’ve ever known. And it was given to me by a dog.

 

My friend told me on the day of Girkin’s passing, she walked by a window and saw The Gurr lying on an outdoor sofa, asleep in the sun. She checked on him and realized he was gone. She said he looked content there in his usual spot. That he seemed to be at peace. I like the idea of that. And I like the idea of Girkin being young, happy and healthy. I hope he finds his human souls, wherever he may be. I know that here on earth, his people are nursing broken hearts over his passing. I certainly am.

Milo

 

 

Milo was the resident dog at the house concert I attended the other night. And he ruled the roost.

 

Even when the joint was packed, Milo was cool. He just found his spot and chilled.

 

There’s a lot to be learned from a dog like that.

Dead or Alive – A Fun Friday Guessing Game!

 

 

Two dogs. One Floor.

 

Only one of these pooches is alive, as in breathing. With a heartbeat. The other is quite dead, as in stuffed. No nothing.

 

I confess, I’ve been fooled by the dead one more than once. In fact, that dog has gotten me so many times, I now just greet the lifeless form each time I see it. For some reason, that seems to make it easier for me to be around it. Him. For it was once a he.

 

Any guesses as to which is dead and which is alive? Absolutely no prizes offered!

Tell Me A Story

 

 

I just finished a book. It was given to me years ago, and only recently found while unpacking a box. I admit, I never thought it would be my kind of book. There’s a dog on the cover, for cry-eye! I love dogs and all, but I just don’t see myself as the kind of gal who gravitates to books with dogs on their covers. Does that make sense?

 

Anyhoo, I decided to give this book a chance and cracked its spine.

 

Why do we like books? What is it about a story that draws us in, causing us to lean forward in our seats and to hold our breaths? A good book can stop the ticking hands of a clock, and before we know it we’ve engrossed ourselves in a book for hours on end. I suppose a good movie is just the same. But what is it that digs into our attention in the first place?

 

I’ve read that in many cultures, women are the keepers of stories. They are charged with holding on to the tales and fables that make up a people’s history. (In other cultures, men protect the same.) As this responsibility of story-keeping has lasted through millennia, it is clearly important and worthy of safe-guarding. This says to me that our regard for and attraction to stories have always been a part of us. And for the life of me, I can’t figure out why. Our desires and hopes for more in life? Our longing? Our sense of thrill at being frightened? The joy of laughter? The catharsis of crying?

 

I swear, I should probably not wonder at all why I love a good story. I should just keep seeking them out. Reading when I can. Watching good movies. Telling others about a good story when I cross its path and asking them to do the same. Have to try to remember that.

 

For now, I have to admit – I ended up falling for a book with a dog on the cover. I ended up respecting and admiring the dog. In fact, the dog ended up inspiring me to be a better person. I could cry right now, just thinking about the final pages. Instead, I think I’ll dry my tears and drop this book off in my neighborhood little free library box. Maybe someone else is ready to conquer her aversion to books with dogs on their covers. Lucky, lucky them.

Goodbye, Bender

 

 

He wasn’t supposed to make it.

 

He was abandoned as a pup, in the cruel, dry desolation of the desert. The fact that he was found by a living soul was a miracle. The fact that he was found by a loving soul was a gift.

 

He was taken home to a comfortable house and given love, attention and care. He didn’t want for anything, and his gratitude showed. He not only loved his home and his people, he also respected them. It was as if he knew he had been rescued from certain death and therefore took nothing for granted.

 

I first met him when he was “Best Dog” in a wedding. And I have to admit, he was pretty darned impressive. I rarely saw him after that event, but when I did, he was sublime company.

 

 

I remember visiting his Salt Lake City home and being quite nervous about a radio interview I was to do the next morning. He seemed to sense my jitters. He appeared at the door of my room, waiting for an invitation. I said hello and he sauntered on in. He slept on the bed with me half the night, and on the floor – beside the bed – the rest of the night. And so I managed to sleep. For I knew he was there, protecting me. Calming me. (For the record, I thanked him profusely.)

 

I took a walk with him once, down through his neighborhood and to a local shop. His people told me I didn’t need a leash, that he wouldn’t stray from my side. “What about at the store?” I asked. They told me he’d wait for me, outside, until I returned for the walk home. And he did. When we passed other dogs along the way, he simply looked up at me. He never left my side and he never gave me reason to worry. In fact, I remember being addressed by human residents of his neighborhood. They wanted to know just who I was and why was I out with Bender. When I told his people about that, they laughed and said Bender was well-known in the neighborhood. More-so than them. He kind of looked up at me then, as if to say, “Yeah, it’s true. But I don’t know what to tell ya.”

 

He was so inspirational, I painted his portrait. And now, I’m so glad I did.

 

Bender passed away this week. He was somewhere around 14 years old or so. 14 years he wasn’t supposed to have. 14 years of “fribee.” 14 years of happily destroying phone books. 14 years of  chasing squirrels and hunting down tree limbs.

 

For his people, and for those of us who knew him, it was 14 years of one of the best damned dogs ever to come out of the desert. Or from anywhere, for that matter.

 

Goodbye, Bender.

 

Dog With a Log in a Bog

 

 

This is a painting I did a few years ago, as a gift. The subject is a well-loved dog named Bender and he’s a total love-bug. It’s based on a photo taken after Bender found a log – bigger than him – and proceeded to drag it around. I was there and the whole scene was a hoot.

 

I haven’t attempted another pet portrait, and may not. They just don’t make ‘em like Bender…