Saturday, July 31

From Doggedly to Dogless part I

In the true spirit of being Red Necks, our family frequently checks the "free" section of our local classifieds, looking for what random things are one man's junk, being another man's treasure (ours). As we peruse the ever growing, ever changing list, we come across, on every page, something which bothers us. Family members being pawned, no thrown, away to the first taker who has a "good home". Ariel in particular is bothered by this, as the number of family members he has fed and cleaned up after and trained who could potentially have ended up on this list far outnumbers my own. All of them lived with the family from whenever they came into the family, be it wandering and found on the street or from sucking pup, until the time they died.
I remember being asked as a child, along with all of my siblings, what we'd like to do for a fun family activity. Whenever I could remember it I always suggested the same thing. Why don't we go down to the Humane Society and look at the dogs! What a novel idea! Ok. so I had a pretty warped idea of what fun was even as a child. I thought of all those potential slobbery friends just waiting for me to take them out and play with them. I just knew that if my parents saw the right pair of those huge brown eyes, they would definitely give in to their more puppy loving sides and let me bring one of them home. Obviously my parents knew this truth about themselves as well, because we never actually went to the Humane Society. Now I realize that I probably only knew what it was because of the occasional lost pet.


 We had plenty of pets. All of them, if I could help it, had some sort of fantastical name. There were the cats, Princess, my confidant; Lancelot, my blue eyed prince, and Titania, Queen of Faeries. There were the dachsund; Romeo, Gretal and not to be forgotten, Bentley Titus Thorndike the 3rd (I always imagined it was a good name for a prince, definitely not a good prince though, and on a random note he particularly disliked thin men with dark hair wearing navy blue ie. mail carriers) Of my own animals, two of them had more claim to my heart than others. The first was a Great Pyrenees, one of two inseparable Pyrenees in our families memory, though they never met. The first was Yeti, we had him only three days because his former owners missed him and asked for him back. The second was Caesar, he was my protector. My rebellious headstrong thirteen year old self would take him walking with me at three in the morning on a summer night. I always knew that he would protect me from whatever foe. He was my stalwart stallion, always awaiting to aid me in my escape from being grounded by taking him on a walk, convenient when you are thirteen and your friends live just a few blocks away. But then there was Hatchu. ok, so he is the definite exception to the fantastical names, but to give us credit, we didn't name him. He was as energetic as a Border Collie can be. A year old when we first brought him home, my sister and I spent many an afternoon at puppy training classes and at the park trying to form him into a calm and obedient dog. But he was always as border collies are. One of my favorite things to do was take him running to one of my sacred places, now overrun by development. He was a flash of black and white on a distant horizon, disappearing over one hill, reappearing at the top of the next; his long narrow head moving up and down, from front to back with the smooth movements of his run. But every few minutes he would stop where he was and wait for me with his tail wagging excitedly (as if I could possibly catch up to him) just long enough for me to see where he was and yell some variety of "good dog" and then he was off again like lightning. A random kind stranger once said to me "you really need a whole valley to have enough space for a border collie to run.". I concur. I did not have a whole valley at my disposal all of the time. I went off to college and didn't take him with me and when I came back , whatever training he may have had at one point was ruined. He lived chained up in the middle of our unfenced yard. What grass grew in that circle was immediately worn off where Hatchu's chain rain over the ground. One sad day his happy tail got caught in the chain afterward it never stood up wagging excitedly again. To me, it was a miserable existence.

A few years later my parents moved to Helena, Montana and Hatchu escaped from their small but fenced yard, probably chasing after a dear or a rabbit. We never went looking for him. We only hoped that he had been picked up by the humane society and one of the many ranchers in the area had taken him in. However, months later, we were at an outdoor market in Helena and saw a small family with a beautiful well trained border collie who looked just like Hatchu. Accept for this border Collie had a fluffy, happy, wagging tail. When we asked the family where they got their dog, they said they had gotten it from the Humane Society just a few months earlier. Happy Endings come to Dogs as well. And this brings me to the end of this portion of my doggy tails. Happy tails to all and to all a good dog.

Monday, July 19

What I Love About Summer...

I am going to try this again, for the second time in the same week. Thus, we're doing well with this whole "believing a word we say may have any relevance" thing. But really I just Love a lot of things about Life right now, as it is summer, and I have two very creative and refreshing personalities for children. It also helps that I finally figured out how to post photos. Warning, if you don't feel comfortable with nudity, refrain from moving forward with the post. You may be alarmed at the amount of 100% breastfed flesh on this baby.

What I'm Growing: 


In the summer heat our chacha can't deny her thirst for...
pool water. Oh, and the tutu I'm a sucker for a anyone in a tutu.

Nano demonstrates the dangers of growing faster than Mama can calculate the effects of crawling. 
Movement + Gravity = Nasty Bruise. 
Am I the only person who has a love/hate relationship with those serendipidous accidents? Luckily this one didn't leave a scar.

This just makes me feel LOVED.
is a really good KISSER.

And a really good CLIMBER too.

And Vegetables

This is our heirloom zapallito. I can't believe how this has produced! Thanks to Liz for the seedlings from last years fruit. Product of Uruguay.

Summer is not summer without
fresh Basil

And this is just the beginning! Happy Growing!

Saturday, July 17

A Toast to Mediocrity

I am seeing a pattern. It's one that I've learned and have been living off and on for a long time. I see most of the people I call family doing it. And here is a cup of ice cold water on this warm July eve, in a toast, to stopping it.
It's like guilt. It begins like a small seed, in theory it's harmless...because, well, it doesn't touch us, not me at least. But it grows malignant and keeps us from seeing inside of ourselves. Worse, it keeps us from doing anything that is insecure, anything that is imaginative or exploratory or experimental in the name of preserving greatness, or worse, preserving ourselves for greatness; whenever it decides to show up and ring the bell. We will never find what might be worth dragging out of our insides. We see even less of what is out in that great blue/grey something that is Life.
To be a little less ambiguous, I'm talking about the reason I haven't been blogging. Other than the template designer that I just can't get figured out and the fact that I am constantly following around what seems like a heard of wild elephants to make sure they don't trample each other or fall down the stairs or get bitten by a dog. OK, so really the only things my kids keep me from is answering the phone and having any personal private time with my big hunk of a hot latin lover husband. But, the template, that keeps me from actually writing. Oh, and I can't figure out how to post photos. I am slightly technologically defunct, but I will be resurrected, hear ye me. I am not going to give any more excuses to myself for not blogging. I want to. Isn't that enough? But...what if I write something and it isn't really brilliant and what if I make a joke that somebody most people don't really get. And what if I spend a whole evening writing, baking, sewing, loving something that is, here it comes, here's the big dirty word, are you ready?...Mediocre. What if? Well, I guess I'll just have to find out, and a little more often. I have a list written on my calandar of 5 truly inspired things that I just feel aching to share with the world. So let's everybody get a big glass of ice water, though you'll never have one as perfect as mine, because I have the little popcorn ice, like you get in the hospital... But hey, you get your glass of water, and I'll get mine and we'll have a toast; a toast to writing, singing, gardening, painting things that are simply and beautifully, mediocre. And afterward we'll pull out our journals and tell each other all of the things we once dreamed up but never did and never told anyone because we got too old to do them or think we ruined our chances or any other stupid reason we have for not doing, not dreaming up another thing and not sharing it because we were afraid that one day we might just not do that thing or we do it and it doesn't work out or someone else already did something kind of the same, sort of; and then we people will find out that we are not truly great/cool/unique. Yes, I propose a toast for throwing caution to the wind, to creating a blog post without having the image I conjured up in my mind to go with it. And yes, being sometimes mediocre in order to find out what it is we want out of blogging, school, Life. Cheers.