Monday, September 30, 2013


Yesterday on Facebook an artist that I Follow, Tascha Parkinson, posted that everyone was welcome to post a photo of their cute pet and she would pick one and do a sketch of them.
She said that she would then send the sketch to the pets owner.
I thought about posting Blue but "cute" isn't the proper word to describe him.
Then I thought about Jimmy, but the words funny, zany or goofy came to mind instead.
Cute? OK, it had to be Poppy.
So I posted Poppy's photo.

I signed on to FB this morning and there was a message that she had picked her!
and the sketch:

I was SO Happy!
What a great surprise.
Later in the day at work I was checking my email and noticed that I got one from work.
Actually it was a "Reminder".
I have all my pets register so that I get notices (reminders) when they are due for any vaccines, medical procedures and/or whatever.
So I opened the email and...
It's Poppy's birthday today!
She's 5!
and her photo gets picked on her birthday!
What a coinkydink!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

This might be Surprising News but...

I went on a road trip the weekend before last with my sister, my middle niece Maggie and her boyfriend!
Yep, the hermit left her house.
I boarded Blue, Jimmy and Nora and Lily came to my house and took care of the little ones and my cats.
It was a day trip to Racine WI.
My sister and her husband lived up there when they were young and had no kids.
She LOVES the place and talks of moving back someday.
I visited just once way back then, so that was like 30? years ago.
So we left early on Saturday and drove up.
On the way up we stopped at a fresh fruit/vegetable/flower outdoor place
and they loaded up on organic goodies, while I talked to the goat they had.
When we got to Racine, we went to a few shops and then headed to the beach.
It was beautiful although a bit chilly and windy.

We collected some rocks from the beach and I laughed and said we could buy a bag of them for $2.50 at Lowes.
My sister said it wasn't the same and I know what she meant. Kinda.
Then we spread out blankets and everyone laid down for a nap.
I laid down too.
I tried to meditate.

I focused on the sand beneath me and thought how it might be good for my back.
I laid there and focused on pushing my back into the sand.
I sat up and looked at everyone, napping.
I got my book out and read for a bit.
I turned over and tried reading with the book held above me but the wind tugged at the pages.
I rolled over and read on my belly again.
My niece's boyfriend opened one eye and asked if it was a good book 
and I said, Yeah, kinda.
I read a page or two and sat up.
I picked up the little rocks and placed them one by one on my sisters back and head.
She didn't move.
I picked up my camera and looked around.
It was very pretty there.
I took random photos and walked around.

I walked into the lake. It was freezing.
Maybe it's more fun when the weather is hot and the water is warmer.
I walked back to the blankets.
Everyone was still snoozing.
I sat down and read some more.
I thought about people who want to take vacations and lay on the beach.
I wondered what was wrong with me.
Even when I was younger, I could never stand to just lay there and sunbathe.
I was the one jumping up and down and trying to catch a wave.

Maybe if they had horseback riding on the beach...
(I still haven't taken any riding lessons.)

Finally the others started sitting up.
All sleepy and slow.
I resisted the urge to run up to them and pull up the blankets.
Instead I said, "I'm hungry".
My sister asked if I was an old person who eats at 4.
I said it was already after four and by the time we got things packed up and found a place, it would be dinner time.
So we left and drove around and looked at houses.
I did enjoy that.
Many were in the Frank Lloyd Wright style. 
Very cool and facing the lake.
Yeah, that would be major dollars.
My sister pointed out a few that she liked and thought maybe they could afford.
That made me wonder if she's won the Lottery and not told me.
We did drive by a house that I liked for myself.

Odd that I'm tearing out the plants in my front yard and then I pick out another filled with flowers.

So, we went to dinner and then hit the road.
On the drive back my niece drove and I was in the front passenger seat.
The other two napped some more in the back.
Maggie and I had a nice talk.
I told her that I wished that there had been horses, although I don't know how to ride yet.
She said she had ridden a few times in the past and she would love to take lessons with me.
That made me very happy.
So, it was a good day.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

NO more SAD stories!

photography by Lily Ng Dung
Several posts back I wrote about being bummed about heartless people.
I told you about my first little dog, Vivian and about Hattie's previous owner and.....
Anyway I just wanted to say thank you for all the kind and caring comments. I truly appreciate them.
But I also feel kinda weird about it. It's not my intent to come off sounding like some saint or do-gooder. I worry that I'm not translating my thoughts and emotions into the proper words.
I just wanted to explain my exhausted mental state. I'm sure that any other animal lover would act the same as I have. I'm really not at all that special.

Also, my OTHER concern is that if this "stuff" sucks the Joy out of me, it can not be make for fun happy upbeat blog reading.
So, I will try to keep the sad stuff to a minimum.
That being said, I have several new stories from the last week that are just as bad...
but don't worry, I won't share them.
Instead I will talk about my niece Lily.
I've talked about her often and although I do have 2 other nieces whom I adore,
Lily is the one that shares my great love of animals and who also works with me.

I have now gotten her some more work hours at the vet clinic helping out the vet technicians.
She's assisting them and the vets, wherever she is needed.
My hope is that she will eventually decide to go into the Vet Tech Program and get certification.
She is very kind and caring and so attentive to the animals needs. I think she would perfect.
On her first day in this new position, she had to help with a little poodle that came in from the Humane Society. It had been running loose and then out into the street where it was hit by a car.
(That's one of the stories I won't be sharing.) Yes, the week was just full of not so happy stuff.

Instead I will share photos that Lily took when she and her family drove to Racine, WI a few weeks ago.
photography by Lily Ng Dung
I have always thought that she has a great eye for photography.
But she just dismisses my encouragements.
I have even bought her some books for Christmas a couple of years back about dog photography when she seemed to be a bit interested and while she flipped through the pages, she never actually read them.
I told her that we should take a class together on Photography but that's hard to do since we work opposite hours most of the time.
Then I told her to just take the class and then teach me what she's learned and she just laughed.
OK, back to the the Racine pictures. So, the family goes to Racine all the time.
Her mom (my sister) and dad lived up there when they were young and had first met. (Sometimes they even talk about moving back up to the area).
Apparently Lily had told her old dog Hank, that after she graduated high school, that she would take him up to see the lake.

She realizes this could be his last summer.
photography by Lily Ng Dung
Hank is one of those wonderful dogs. The kind that has been perfect from day one.
Hank is now an old boy but he still gets around by himself although he's a bit wobbly and slow.

Lily is very close to him since they have grown up together. 
I remember how she was just a tiny kid and fell and cut her lip open and they had to rush her to the emergency room to get it stitched up and she was crying and saying something and my sister had the Doctor stop for a moment to try figure out what Lily was crying for. 
Finally the semi-coherent words came from her bloodied swollen lip.
"I need Hank. I need Hank." she was pleading.
My sister calmed her with the promise that they would soon be back home with Hank.
Hank has always been there for her. 

So when Lily announced to the family of her planned trip, they loaded up both of the cars and headed to Racine.
Lily took these photos with her Point and Shoot camera.
No editing or cropping.
She knows nothing about photography and I love these photos.
I tell her that if she had a GOOD camera and a little bit of knowledge that she could be a professional.
She just replied, "Nah, too much competition, everyone wants to be a photographer".
I will try not to push her.
It's hard for me not to do that, especially since my own father frowned on anything creative and wanted me to be a secretary.

OK, this post is probably bordering along the lines of "Sad".
photography by Lily Ng Dung
I'll try to do better next time.

Monday, September 2, 2013


I don't know why really, but this weekend I have done a lot of reflecting back on my life and in turn, looking forward.
Maybe it's because I've been watching a marathon of the TV show "Six Feet Under".
Maybe this show about funeral home directors has me analyzing my life.
I'm not thinking about dying. I'm thinking about just the past few years and the ones to come.
So I went back to the beginning of my blog and read my first post:
I wanted a place to connect with people who love art, cats, dogs, flowers and all things that make me happy! I wanted to be able to show photos of my work and get input and constructive comments. I wanted to be able to ramble on about things that make me happy: the smell of just cut grass, birds splashing in the birdbath, "lightning" bugs (fireflies), my dogs racing around after each other playing and my cat sleeping in the same dog bed with my old dog. So I hope to make some great new friends who share my interests!

OK, surprisingly I have done that. I've found kindred spirits.
People who I connect with that share some invisible thread of thought,
although we have never met.
And that makes me happy.

My second post was about Ghost.
How very ironic.
Just this morning as I stood at my back door, feeling the cool air and gazed at the Morning Glories and being so thankful that the temperature has finally dropped.
I thought to myself , too bad that the cats can't go out and experience all this breathtaking nature.
It's a very quiet morning and yet I can hear several cars swooshing by the front of the house.
Suddenly I realize that they are headed for the Labor Day Parade that travels just a few blocks from my home.
Then I remembered. It was Labor Day weekend that Ghost became lost.
That Friday evening when he timidly ventured out with Harry and Fagan and didn't return for a month and 3 days.
Wow, that happened 6 years ago.

Some things have changed since then but so much has remained the same.
I feel like I'm on a merry go round, happily riding up and down, safe and content.

But what if my carousel horse magically broke free and we flew into the unknown?

Would it be a grand adventure? or regretful journey that would put everything at risk.
and...haven't I been THERE before?
Haven't I learned anything. 
Jeez, what is with me today?
Maybe it's just because it's the end of summer
and the beginning of Fall is just around the corner
and that has me thinking like this.
I do love Fall.
I think I will go to Menards (home Improvement Store) and buy some edgers for my front yard.