Wednesday 30 December 2009

Dying Was NOT an Option

March 1, 1995 - December 30, 2008 I thought that it would be easy to let this day pass without any words. I thought that maybe I had said everything that I needed to say and to say more would just be belabouring the point. But, then I thought that love, in any shape or form, for any being, is something to be proud of. I am glad that I can, and do, feel with such intensity. It borders on obsession at times and that is a part of me that I finally realize, is a part of me and needs no apologies. Diving into love puts my world into place. It makes things right. It clears the fog. It makes me. Dog Bless you.

Thursday 17 December 2009

Planet of the Apes?

This is indeed a strange land. It is hard to understand how this place on the very populated west coast of the US of A, and the next-door neighbor to California, and just a few hours from Seattle, for God's sake, does not have the internet. I confess, it has been a bit of an adjustment for me and yes, I have whined and complained some about it but in reality I have come to appreciate its absence. It has freed up so much time for other things. Trite, I know and I am embarrassed and pleased with this realization. I get to play a lot more and not feel rushed. The evenings are long and luxurious. Life seems a bit more 'hands-on' and far less 'virtual'. I won't lie and say that having a connection tonight hasn't made me giddy, but I will say that I am not feeling so 'obligated' to this machine as perhaps I was just a few weeks ago. Funny, how quickly you adjust to whatever your situation makes out to be normal. This wet, coastal forest was just covered with all kinds of mushrooms these last few weeks. As you can tell if you have read my blog, I adore mushrooms and just couldn't resist showing off the biggest one I have ever, and probably will ever, find. Before we got that baby sauteed, one of our resident deer had it for lunch, right off the table. Apparently, someone got distracted by a beach.

Thursday 3 December 2009

Comfort Dog

Some pictures do indeed say it all. See Spot Sleep. See Spot Wake Up !

Friday 27 November 2009

Pokey Puppy Attacked Again !

Some things are just not to be understood. For instance, what is is about this particular stuffed animal that seems to drive dogs insane? This adorable, little thing has had its face ripped apart and sewn back together THREE times. Cowgirl could almost not be in the same room with this thing. If she caught a glimpse of it she became obsessed with getting it and killing it. Let me say here that normally, a stuffed animal person, I am not, but I really like this one and maybe that is its attraction, plain & simple. I like it and therefore it must be destroyed? Well, the other day little Miss PonyGirl spied it for the first time. I watched as it happened. The gears in her head started spinning, her eyes widened in disbelief (?) or was it desire, and in no time flat, she was on it. If I hadn't been there to wrestle it away from her and we are talking 'WWF' here, this pup not only would have killed 'pokey' but I am fairly certain, she would have eaten it. The legacy lives on.

Tuesday 10 November 2009

Keeping the BadThings at Bay

Maybe its the names of places around here...Devil's Punchbowl, Boiler Bay, Road's End and my current favorite Cape Foulweather, or its the wind and the rain, in combination, the whole night through that spin me into bad dreams. But lately, the big bad wolf has been at my door. I don't really put much stock in dreams foretelling the future or any such thing but it is always interesting where the mind does go in the dark of night. It is almost as scary as some of my secret fantasies (yes, those kind, and no, I am not going there). A thought just did occur to me. Maybe, just maybe, it is the wild mushrooms we have been eating that are the culprits. Those delectable specimens that all the local mushroom hunters have assured us are quite edible and grow all over the place. They are good, let me tell you. Sauteed in olive oil, butter, with garlic, shallot and some hot red chiles, a little fresh parlsey and a squeeze of lemon, then served with a nice crusty baguette. Oh, and don't forget the wine -- either a dry, chilled chardonnay or a heavier, deeper red. Not too picky as both are good choices. The 'King Boletes' are the ones we are gorging on, and the orange ones with the white spots are the 'Fly Agarics' that we just look at and admire. Oh, and just so you know, none of my bad dreams has so far come to pass, so mushrooms are still on the menu.

Wednesday 4 November 2009


The reason there are no photos here of the beautiful and spectacular beach that we are currently living by is because of that tiny little word...DEW. It appears on my camera whenever I attempt to take an outdoor shot. It then shuts the camera down. I guess Oregon is a little wet and my old camera is way too sensitive. I have figured out a way to trick it though, so next post I hope to share some shots of life outside the door. In the meantime let me say that it is wicked nice here. A perfect place to be at this time of the year. Very few people anywhere and miles and miles of wide, open, wild coastline to trek. The new girl is really enjoying seafood. She finds lots of crab legs and clams to eat on our morning hikes. I hope the shells are a good source of calcium or something, because she eats those too. She also became crazy-happy yesterday when she found a pelican wing and started to devour it while running away from me. I think that explains the hacking that is going on today. Other than that PonyGirl is having the time of her life so far.

Friday 23 October 2009

'there' as in 'not here'

Leaving this cold, rainy, dreary weather and heading south of the border into...well...into... more cold, rainy, dreary weather. But the difference being a stretch of wide- open, wild Pacific Ocean beach just outside our door. Yes, it seems that being 'settled in' is nice for a while, until thoughts about somewhere else and wondering what it would be like to spend some time in... fill in the blank...start to meander around in the mind. Well, that is how it, innocently, starts. Then it snowballs (curious choice of word, eh?) and builds on itself and suddenly things are falling into place. Lists are being made and checked off, friends are being told, and farewell dinners are being eaten. Essential stuff is packed. The notion of endless possibilities and the anticipation of what is out there just down the road start to become the topics of discussion. It's not that I don't appreciate this very moment. I do, as much as anyone else. It's just that the concept of 'there' as in 'not here' is so alluring. I'm thinking it is just a slight disorder, or maybe a disability or perhaps just a syndrome that a few of us suffer from. And suffer, we do. More postings from the edge as internet is available.

Wednesday 21 October 2009

Cloudy with Chance of Depression

So much has happened this past year. I never thought that October would be my month of anniversaries, but it is, or so it has become. Briefly to recap... one life was condemned, one was almost taken and one friendship was ended. Not to be melodramatic, but this month last year was the start of a particularly bumpy 'road trip' or rather, what I like to fondly call, the spiral down 'Depression Lane'. Of course, like most of everybody's lives, the year started out with all the normal ups & downs. The ones that are usually handled quite easily. But like a tornado picking up fuel, the situation quickly went from bad to very bad. By October it was at its strongest and most dangerous. Unfortunately, I couldn't get out of the way and went from a storm-watcher to a storm victim. By the end of that month I could have had VICTIM tattooed on my forehead. Yes, I really wrapped my head around it. It's funny, weirdly funny, that once we cave to our circumstances, we are defined so differently. Everything that was 'us' before, changes. For me, even the way I held myself changed. I temporarily lost my braveness and became a sort of timid creature. Life felt beyond control in any way. I was always reminding myself that there really wasn't any point so way bother? I began to be consumed by sadness. Sadness with a capital 'S'. SADNESS in all caps. Like a lot of situations in life, things were about to get even worse. I should have heeded the evacuation order but who the hell was thinking straight when it was just so damn pathetic all around? Certainly, not me. I'm sure I was a real pain in the 'arse for the next few months and only got through by the grace of my beloveds. They were the ones that stitched my heart back together. Prognosis: the patient will live. I started this post to talk about the upcoming road trip to the coast of Oregon, USA and ended up here. Guess I took a wrong turn somewhere. Sorry, that will have to wait until another day.

Saturday 17 October 2009

My Little Pony

A friend sent me this picture of the PonyGirl posing at Kokanee Provincial Park just recently. She looks far more distinguished than she actually is. She also looks less 'starving poster puppy' than she actually is. This dog seems to be able to eat as much as she wants and doesn't gain any weight. Perhaps we should make her the subject of a study. She obviously has some mutant gene that devours all excess calories and any fat that is consumed. We are calling her 'boney-maroney' and 'skinny-bilink' . Yes, she is being fed lots of good, homemade foods. Lots of protein, calcium-rich foods, fruits & vegetables. The fruits are of her own choosing whenever we are out walking as there are lots of apples, pears and plums still around. A recent discovery of hers has been learning to crack open walnuts and hazelnuts. This town has become an all-you-can-eat buffet. She seems healthy and happy. Big smile.

Wednesday 14 October 2009

Compassionate Communication

There it is, her name painted on a rock...placed at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah, USA. Madir and Jeffrey, who are the most thoughtful of people, took the time to do this while they were there helping at the sanctuary. My heart skipped a beat when I saw it. It always does when I see or hear 'cowgirl'. What a sweet gesture and such a nice honour for my 'girl', my 'baddog', my 'sweet thing, ' my 'tao dog', my 'bestdog', to be included in that spectacular place. This lump in my throat is making it difficult for me to properly say "thank you" . (That's little GiGi at Best Friends Sanctuary -- a friend indeed.

Sunday 11 October 2009

I Hear You

Just a word or two about PonyGirl. This long-legged, skinny thing, is unlike any puppy I have been around before. She is for most of the time, a very well-behaved and mature girl. But, every now and again, there is a 'puppy moment' of sheer craziness when all hell breaks loose. It is hard not to get caught up in that moment with her. I have to laugh when I think about how much Cowgirl would have been annoyed with her. In fact, Cowgirl would not have stood for this arrangement at all. She was indeed the boss and enjoyed her status as 'only dog'. PonyGirl on the other hand is a totally accepting soul and loves and welcomes all other dogs. Except for getting their names mixed up once in awhile, its quite obvious this is going to be a whole different story.

Friday 9 October 2009

I Spam Therefore I am

Forgive me for having some fun with 'effects'. My old camera (oh my, almost 7 years old!) is still working just fine and its hard for me to give it up and get a newer, smaller, slimmer model. This photo taken on the last road trip through Montana just brings me back to the moment -- it was hot, it was desolate, it was actually kind of boring. There are some parts of Montana (wheat) that just seem to go on forever. Therefore the perfect time for self-portraiture (is that even a word?). We've all done it, mostly because we can, I guess. Of course I am left asking the existential question 'does this background make me look fat?'.
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Sunday 4 October 2009

Nothing Big

There is just too much to write about. Well, I will try to pick a direction here. Okay, lately, I have been very, very busy which is not unusual as it is my preferred state of being. Of course, PonyGirl is taking up much of my time what with walks, runs, lake swims, training etc. She is so much fun! I had forgotten how everything is so new to a puppy and their reactions to the most mundane things are so entertaining. Like when she discovered the cow skull on the first she was astonished and then she took a sniff and thought 'hallalujeh...a great big bone!'. It took some convincing to get her distracted from that, let me tell you. Then there is the bounty of fall. Tomatoes and hazelnuts to name just two. Spent an afternoon canning the delectable San Marzano tomatoes grown by my dear friends Carmela and Luigi. They live just down the hill and actually brought these seeds with them to Canada, 54years ago from Napoli, Italia. WOW....what did I do to get this lucky? If you know anything about tomatoes, you should know that the San Marzano is the coveted tomato for making sauce. Which brings me to the hazelnuts. This year was a bounty crop and for no special reason that I know of. The tree in the yard is lovely and we all enjoy it. The blue jays and the squirrels and us. We share the nuts as it is only fair. They need to get through the winter and I need to make pesto. So for now, that is the long and short of it. Oh... one more thing. Today at the Anglican Church was the Blessing of the Animals (St. Francis of Assisi Day). I brought PonyGirl and she was a little angel -- so well-behaved and patient. She has been blessed. How incredible is that?

Wednesday 30 September 2009

"Venga Aqui"

I have been asked quite a bit lately...why a Mexican dog? I will try to explain. I read quite a few dog-related blogs and there is quite obviously, a bias that most dog-bloggers have. Ingrid just loves pit bulls, Michelle loves golden retrievers, etc., etc., and the list goes on. The Mexican street or beach dog is just another 'breed' that some of us have a real soft spot for... Joey, my dear friend is one of them. Any one who has traveled south of the US border must have at one point in their tropical paradise holiday, looked around and seen a heart-breaking pup in some state of neglect, illness or injury. Mexico is sadly, full of them. I know, I know, it is for the majority of the population there, a poor country with barely enough food to go around for the people, let alone the dogs. But we all help where we can and how we can. My girl Cowgirl as many of you already know was a Mexican beach dog. I had been thinking for a couple of years before meeting her that I wanted to have a Mexican dog, that I wanted to help just one of them. So, on a camping trip on the Sea of Cortez, Baja, Mexico many years ago, she wandered into my heart. One look into her face and she and I were hitched. There was no question that I had found my dog. I often thought throughout the years that we spent together that there was no way she would have ever survived in Mexico for very long on her own. She was just too sensitive and couldn't have taken all the abuse and neglect that she would have undoubtedly received. Most of the female dogs there have a real rough time of it. Their lives tend to be short and terrible. I was more than happy to have saved her. Just her, just one little dog but it made a difference...a big difference. Hence, my love affair with the Mexican mutt. I love their goofy looks. I love their street smarts. I love the look in their eyes. Even when you meet them briefly, maybe just as you pass one on a city street corner, or glance around and spy one just hanging in the shadows, my guess is that dog will look you in the eyes. So that is somewhat our story. PonyGirl came to us from "Pawsitive Match Rescue Alberta" and we are so happy that she is here.

Thursday 24 September 2009

Who's Your Daddy?

Here we are at the starting line. The beginning of what I hope will be a long and winding road. Yeah, I am feeling corny and trying to capture every single moment and really, really appreciate how fleeting the whole deal is. There is this sweet, sweet unfolding and the hints of what is to come...I can taste it. I intend to not miss a moment. I never thought about losing Cowgirl when I had her. It just wasn't an option, so I feel like a lot of the time, I took her (us) for granted. You do that, when you think you have forever. This time, though, there is an urgency in the air to pay attention. A puppy will do that for you...make you pay attention, that is. It's fun. It's engaging. It's a bridge that connects you to other people you would have possibly not even noticed before. Once again, I am out and about and chatting it up with all kinds of kindred souls. I highly recommend it. This photo is PonyGirl at the shelter in La Paz with her mum. Who knew?

Tuesday 22 September 2009

GREY... is the New Black

Here's what we know about her. She hails from La Paz, Mexico. She was born in the shelter there, but her other litter-mates all died shortly after birth. Her mother was a pure white pit bull and her father was a scoundrel of some sort. She has very long legs (and will make me a good running partner) and her eyes are a very odd color of grey-gold. She is skinny. She is very smart. She is four and half months old. She is not Cowgirl, which is a good thing. She adores us. She loves her homemade food but she lets me take it away from her without complaint. She makes direct eye contact and waits. So far the only thing she chews on is the old bone she found in the back yard. She is worming her way in and it feels good. We have named her...(ta,da)... 'PonyGirl'. I know, I know, fairly pathetic, but I have always wanted a pony. In fact, I still ask for one every Christmas and am just a teeny bit disappointed when I look outside and there isn't one there with a big bow on it. Anyway, let the games begin.

Monday 21 September 2009

Well, let me start by saying that
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Tuesday 15 September 2009

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I have these two lovelies hanging in my dining room. I remember buying the posters outside the Uffizi Museum several years ago. It was my first time in Italy and I had fallen under the spell of Italian 'imperfection' as beauty. It was the most comfortable of feelings to be surrounded by people that celebrated diversity. What I mean is that I had lived so long in a superficial, north american culture that I had forgotten myself just what constituted true beauty. For so many years I had tried to fit the mold of what I thought was beautiful and I never could quite pull it off. It took an exhausting amount of energy and it just wasn't going to happen. There, I noticed attitude & confidence, good posture & bearing, kindness & appreciation of the most common things. I remember being in awe of the 'life as art' phenomenon. I was suddenly seeing, really seeing, and from then on, I stood straighter. Finally, I had met beauty.

Friday 11 September 2009

I'll be Your Lullaby

Yesterday was a monumental day for me. I did something I haven't done for 8 months and 2 weeks. I went on my first solo street run since Cowgirl died. I have to say it was wonderful. I thought of her the entire time but I didn't cry at all. Of course, the stellar beauty of the day helped -- picture perfect sky, cool fall temp, lovely scenery. When I got to the lakeside beach where she normally would have gone in swimming, I just lay on the dock basking in the sun and feeling happy, truly happy that we had had our exceptional life together. When I think back, I am pleased to report that we did it with so much love and joy and we were so, so 'sympatico'. We had the luxury of lives joined at the hip and full to bursting. It was a good run, in more ways than one.

Sunday 6 September 2009

Miss Manners Rants and Raves

Manners and etiquette. Don't you sometimes wonder what has happened to them? Where they have gone? When did it become okay to expose all your natural inclinations and bodily functions to everyone, sometimes right off the bat? Well, I have been giving this some thought...obviously. Ladies and gentlemen, how lovely and attractive good manners are, and how sweet it is having illusions of perfection about someone. Nothing wrong with believing the object of our affection is a star. I believe in mystery and always retaining some (never, ever reveal all of yourself). There are just some things that are off limits and should remain un-shared. Come on, we are all adults here, you know its true. Sometimes, we girls can be slayed by a gentleman opening the door for us.

Friday 28 August 2009

Nice to See You, Again

This is of course the obligatory, beautiful, sunset that just cannot be resisted. While traveling, I often get hit with how little we really do need to feel good. I am not doing without anything, but in reality, I possess very little. Real food, good bread, high-thread-count sheets, music, a lake, some wine, nice underwear, a body that works, solid people....well, you get the idea. This fading light is finding the very corner of my heart that needs it the most. are there.