Thursday, April 30, 2009

Fishing in the rivers of life

I ran across an old favorite while blog surfing this morning - not having slept due to the shooting pain in my ankle that I trashed yesterday (apparently, worse than I knew). Yow.

So - what brings a smile to my sleep-deprived face this morning?

A trip back to 1992 - and to MuMuLand! Enjoy.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Morning views

This morning was a clear and beautiful Spring morning - after two days of Summer temperatures and gorgeous sunshine. So - I took my camera and my coffee and I ventured out.

First, the aftermath. Much fun, fellowship and levity took place on our front porch last evening.

The heat made all the tulips pop into full being.

Sophie checks out the kids on their way to school.

The quince is in full flower.

The trees - bare two days ago - are leafing out rapidly.

The last of the grape hyacinths prepare for the sun and heat.

Brian's new fountain and patio herb garden is taking shape nicely.

The white birches we planted last year show every sign of growing like mad this year.

To honor the passing of our dear friend and companion, Dutch, we planted an "Elizabeth" magnolia tree. In the past few days, it has flowered so grandly and dramatically with its pale butter colored blooms, it almost brings tears to our eyes as we think of our little guy.

His tags and an inscribed copper plate hang from the tree.

Friday, April 24, 2009

OMG. Love it

We finally got to see the HBO film "Grey Gardens" last night.

What an incredible film.

It goes well beyond what we know about the Beales and tells the "before" story about how they ended up where we saw them in the 1970s documentary.

As impressed as I was with Drew Barrymore's formidable performance, I was absolutely floored by Jessica Lange's portayal of Big Edie.

Both were eminently believable and gave such a personal and intimate look at their lives that you simply couldn't help but be transported.

If you get a chance - check it out. It's an incredible film.

Monday, April 20, 2009

They just keep getting better and better

The latest parody of the National Organization for Marriage's anti-same sex marriage video (hell no, I'm not linking to it).

The best yet - and some classic one-liners

Friday, April 17, 2009

Let's end the week on a happy note

Let's be grateful and cheerful after a basically awful week (well, for us). Let's celebrate:

The arrival of Spring!

Pretty spring flowers scenting the air...

Puppies to snuggle with...

And the fact that Brian's annoying experiment with growing his hair out
will benefit a child going through chemotherapy.

Thanks, babe. I got really tired of the yak hairs in the sink.

Have a fantastic weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


When you lose a loved one, the day it happens you feel like there may never be an end to the pain or the sorrow. You've cried yourself out - your head aches, you can't breathe properly and you feel as though you've been pummeled from head to toe.

And surprisingly, when you wake the next morning - you are surprised to find that you might make it through the day.


We had to make the decision to let go of our dear friend and companion. He left us yesterday morning at the ministrations of our veterinarian. And we were with him when he slipped away.

The frail, nearly skeletal dog we rescued more than three years ago and nursed back to health and trust was gone.

Dutch is my husband's dog - almost from day one. When we brought him home, he was a shell of an animal. Shar Peis bind almost fatally with their owners - if they are separated, they can actually die from grief.

Dutch was not far away - he was curled like an embryo, his ribs protruding, his head and tail tucked low. The photo at the right was taken at the shelter - Pets Alive - on the day we adopted him.

When he came to our home - that week between Christmas and New Years - our first rescue and first Shar Pei, Boris, having died the week before, preceding Christmas. We felt a little ghoulish, but it also felt like we were honoring Boris' memory by finding another rescue, like him, and offering our home and our hearts to another poor soul.

He was nine when he arrived here - or so the vet guesses, since we have no definitive evidence. Dutch is missing an eye - the result of a traffic accident in New York City (where he's from, by the way) as evidenced by his scarred and badly healed front leg and shoulder on the same side. Oh - the eye was still there - it just stopped working and shriveled from the trauma.

Dutch also had the WORST overbite in mammalian history - we're talking nearly a 1 inch difference between his lower and upper teeth, making him a snaggle-toothed mess.

And he had a heart murmur - making him ineligible for any correction to any of his myriad of issues - not even a teeth cleaning.

When we brought him home, all he wanted to was to be left alone. We didn't push him - we fed him and walked him, but demanded nothing else of him. And on New Year's eve, with Brian lying next to him on the floor, he bestowed a brief but grateful kiss on Brian's cheek (or nose, I forget which). It was the one and only time in his remaining years that he'd ever do that.

And now he's left us. Cushing's disease, contracted over the last year, made him cough, almost non-stop, every waking hour. The initial therapy nearly killed him - but the shock of it made him more alert and aware, and somehow he suddenly grew closer to us.

The coughing got worse and we tried everything from cough syrups to prescription narcotics to keep him comfortable. He wasn't in pain. He ate well enough - even muscled out the puppies for their food bowls or their rawhide chews.

And he was still Dutch - loving, affectionate and alert.

But then something changed. He began to lose weight dramatically, and he would become confused and distant - sometimes falling asleep standing up, in the middle of the room. His toe nails shattered, exposing the quicks. And his coughing turned to gagging. Choking for breath.

We knew it had to be done, But we so did not want to.

But that's the other side - the responsibilities that are not always top of mind when you see that hopeful face in the shelter cage, those desperate eyes looking at you and craving your love and approval and company.

You don't think about the fact that you need to take responsibility that goes well beyond care and feeding and exercise.

You may have to decide when it is time for your beloved companion and friend to go. And it fucking sucks. No way around it.

But you are responsible for that trusting friend - you have to prevent and minimize any pain or anguish in their lives and you are solely responsible for their quality of life.

So you suck it up. You hug and cry. You caress and kiss the warm but lifeless form goodbye.

And you go on. But you never forget.

We love you, buddy.

Here's the Broadway cast of Mary Poppins - responding in kind to the National Organization for Marriage's "A Storm is Coming " fear-mongering, anti-gay marriage video.

Hat tip to Joe.My.God.

Hello, new people!

Imagine my surprise.

I'm pleasantly stunned to discover that there are other people actually reading - and COMMENTING - on my blog. (besides my adored and valued friends and family who faithfully follow our life adventures because we're too damned lazy to pick up a phone)

Yay - go me, or something...

Welcome, welcome and thanks for taking the time to explore my inane and sometimes pointless ramblings and rantings.

I promise I'll reciprocate!

Monday, April 13, 2009

This makes me happy...

Okay - you are the unfortunate LAST child in the egg roll on the White House lawn at Easter. Do you collapse in a pile and lose your sh*t?


Because, President Obama is there helping you along, baby!

What a great dad. (especially since I think he told his daughter to hang back and let the other kids win in the very beginning)

And Mrs. Obama is stylin' in some Jackie O-era Capri pants.

Meanwhile, Oscar de la Renta (read: yesterday!) is losing his sh*t because Mrs. Obama is keeping it real.

Hat tip to Pam's House Blend for the perspective!

Because she is wonderful - nothing else.

I ran across this YouTube clip of a contestant auditioning for Britain's Got Talent - and I was blown away.

I've always wanted to sing - but I never took the steps necessary to cultivate my voice. And even now, I wonder what might have been. My father, mother, brother and grandfather have exquisite voices - but when my voice changed from tenor to bass during puberty, I never recaptured the magic talent that is within me.

But all is right with the universe this day. Susan Boyle - a 47-year-old woman from Scotland, braved everything and pursued her dream. And no matter what may come, no matter what people say, I am in awe of her and I pray for her success.

Watching her audition is like watching the classic film "Now, Voyager" or "Little Voice" in the space of seven minutes.

I am cheering for you, Susan, Come what may, you are truly remarkable and eternally in my heart.

Sing on, sister. You are beautiful.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Random Cuteness

Comfort is where you find it...