Taking Pause on a Thursday Evening

It’s evening and I’m grabbing a moment to write a few things before heading to the studio for some painting.  I went back to work on Tuesday and managed to survive the ‘I’ve left my baby alone at home with a cone on his head freak-out sessions’.  I’m happy that I got Max accustomed to spending time alone and that he seems assured that I am coming back.  I’ve managed to return home each lunch hour to give him some experience of the outdoors, release his head from his plastic funnel and spend time with him while I wolf down my sandwich. I also realize how attached I’ve become to this little boy…he is precious to me.

The trip out to Kootenay Lake was magical in every way and I managed to borrow a camera for the event, given that my daughter (and she will hate me for exposing this on the web), quite by accident, broke mine on her trip to the west coast.  No worries!  It is presently in a shop enjoying a repair…a pricey repair mind-you, and I hope to be publishing photographs again soon.  I definitely want to archive photos of the paintings before they travel north to the West End Gallery.

As I was saying, I fell in love with Kaslo and have even gone so far as to look at properties in the area.  I love the openness that the lake creates in an otherwise fanciful forested area…dramatic cliffs and slide areas…but most amazing, a community of people who support one another, grow their food and gather to share in laughter, stories and hard work on a regular basis.  It was wonderful to be reacquainted with several people and to know that they are well and happy.  Pauline McGeorge was remembered in a beautiful circle of love and friendship and her home was just as it had been ten years ago, when I last visited her there. This trip was an awesome way to end my summer vacation and Max proved to be, as with everything else, a special addition.

It’s been 14 days since Max had his dewclaws removed and he will have his stitches removed tomorrow.  It’s been a slow process keeping him away from these so that the wounds might heal well and I will be grateful when we are out in the fields doing our big time exercise again as he loves the activity and so do I.  For the past two weeks we have been running at six each morning together and the distance and intensity will increase gradually over time. I feel that my energy level is sustained as a result and that Max can easily settle into a rest on his Bambi blanket as I say the words, “I’ll be right back, Max!!”

As you may be able to tell by the Youtube film I have posted of Blue and his trainer, I am going to pursue agility training with this boy of mine.  He’s as smart as a whip (and a wee bit manipulative) so it makes sense at this time of my life to do something to motivate us both and keep us healthy.

Oh yes…it was a bit of a gong show yesterday after school when I had come to the realization that YES!  Max DOES have fleas!! I beetled over to Marty’s where he met me outdoors to treat Max…then off I ran for home…returning just a few minutes later with an annoyed Peanutmeister and he too was treated for the dirty little buggers.  I think Max has been host to these guys for a bit although it is very unusual for Alberta and our climate.  It took a bit of research and catching two of the slime bags off of Max’s pink belly before it was definitive.  Sooo….all of the laundry has gone through…and will likely go through again for the long weekend.

Well…this is a rather newsy little piece of writing…nothing sentimental or ‘romantic’ about any of it, but I do feel as though I’ve become disconnected from my blog as a result of many walks and my painting.  I’ve got a lovely bottle of wine given me by a lady-friend who visited the studio a week ago…so I’m looking forward to a quiet weekend, with a painting focus.  Max is becoming less and less a distraction every day and more a part of who I am.  It is a good feeling.

I’m wishing my readers a peaceful weekend…be safe and be good to yourselves. If I could attach a recent photo tonight, it would be of the white lilies that are in full bloom in my back gardens…mixed in with the blue green ground cover and pink lilies.  It seems late for them, but they are just spectacular.

…again…peace….and beautiful sleeps!

Family, I will phone you this weekend!  :0)

In Celebration of the Recent Full Moon and the Early Morning Sky


I am grateful for everything I have learned this summer…about patience, peacefulness and life.  I was given the gift of a puppy to care for and to love.  Now it is easier to look on the past 14 years that I shared with my old Laurie-dog, with tremendous gratitude because those years taught me about loyalty and acceptance.

YouTube – Katie Melua – Thank you Stars Live

Dress Rehearsal

I am trying to establish, with Max, a schedule that lets him know that, in fact, I WILL return home to him and that he can trust in my words, "I’ll be right back, Max!"My work schedule begins next week and after an entire summer being dedicated to training and loving this pup, he may be in real shock!

This morning we got up at 6, after an earlier bed time (that’s not to say that I was able to go to sleep right away, but we DID go to bed earlier).  He did his poop thing, his peep thing and ate his breakfast and then off we went for a more energetic walk than the past few days (given that he’s been working the anesthetic out of his system and has stitches remaining in his back legs).  When the receptionist at Marty’s told me…"No serious exercise for ten days!" I thought…huh? this border collie?  A quiet ten days?  It IS NOT going to happen!  We’ve cut out his ball throwing in morning and evening, but he still requires some goofy running around and inspiring activity!

Back to the topic of rehearsal! By eight in the morning, I had put his cone over his head and was turning the key in the lock. As I drove off in the van, I saw his little cone head as he sat on the window bench and I heard his desperate voice, "Mommy!  Please don’t leave me!"  I drove the van around to the back and went  for a painting session in the studio, without him being aware.  The thing is…I could see in through the lower level and was aware of his desperate howling while sitting looking out onto the front street…something I hadn’t heard from Max before.  I stood in front of my painting and cried….waiting…and finally, just a few minutes later the crying stopped.

I got lots of painting accomplished and noticed him, a few times more, taking a seat in the front window to see if his Mom had come home…but no more crying and that was important to me.  I’m just in the house  for a break and will leave again so that he gets the experience of the ‘double-whammy’.  I figure that for the first while I will come home for lunch and when he grows in confidence and control, I will be able to leave him for the day.  I laugh to myself here as I think of the way that all of this puppy-rearing has taken over my life…but I’m grateful that I have a place to put my love and care.  I know that Max loves me dearly.  That is evident every day.  Now, off to the studio I go.  Hi ho  Hi ho!

Max the Man Goes to Dr. Marty

It’s a difficult morning.  I can’t believe how ‘in love’ I am with my little man.  This morning he is in  shock that our morning rituals have been changed and his food dish has been hidden.  There’s one thing my little guy loves…and that his cereal in the morning!  For me, it’s heart breaking!  He has learned to sit about four feet from where his dish is placed.  He follows the command to stay, as I place it down….he watches my hand command intensely, until finally I give one wave of my hand in the  direction of the bowl  and say "come and get it Max".

So, at this very moment, my pooch is sitting four feet from where his bowl sits…staring at the spot, as though I somehow have forgotten what is supposed to happen next.  AHHHH!

As you have likely guessed, today Max is being neutered and he is also having his two back dewclaws  removed. There is as much debate about their removal as there is about whether a young boy should be circumcised.  These dewclaws are not attached at all to Max’s back legs and he has already  begun a degree of licking and nibbling on them.  In the end, these may rip, tear or poke him in the eye over time.  I just think that to wait any longer for this procedure will likely be more uncomfortable for him.  I can only hope that I’m making the right decision.

The next few days will require me to be vigilant regarding steering him away from his stitches.  I’m guessing, because of the exposure, the stitches on his legs will be more of an issue.

It is going to be very hard for me to leave him this morning…but Dr. Marty is full of love for animals and I know that things will be ok.  Max and I have shared every day since the day I brought him home in June and I know that he will have a sense of abandonment when I leave him there  during the next hour.  At this moment, he is frantically waving the kitchen  dish rag around…a flag of surrender? 

Meditations on a Quiet Evening

It is evening and my son has scooted out again.  As a Mom, I am trying to come to some tremendous peace about the fact that all three of my children are now independent and busy expanding, building and nurturing relationships on their own.  It still surprises mothers how terribly they miss their children, when for years, I’m certain that we craved for time on our own. I speak in plural pronouns here because I do not think that this is something specific to me, my temperament or my needs.  I think it is a very general experience of all mothers…perhaps all parents, I wouldn’t know.

So…it looks like it is time for me to join a ‘singles’ group…or to start some of the volunteer work, away from home, that I see myself doing in retirement.  Frankly, right now Max keeps me hopping from sunrise to sunset…I think this evening I just miss conversation.  I made a phone call and spoke with my parents tonight…that felt really lovely…talked to Dad about raised vegetable beds…and Mom, about her family.  I felt that they were both in good spirits and that really DID warm my heart.

I completed another painting of heaven today…that also made me feel as though I accomplished something very special and from here tonight, I will go to the studio with Max and get to work on the next piece. 

For now, I am going to write down some words…a favourite quote…I’m not one to store in my brain, favourite quotes…but, I did have this one come to mind.  I am sending it out to people who take the time to read my blog now and then…because if they actually spend the time reading, then these words, most certainly belong to them.  These people are my family…or they are my friends.  (and for those of you readers who do not even know me….these words are also for you…so claim them!)

They were intended for the Phillipians and delivered by Paul…they were so powerful when I first read them that I have never forgotten them.  I hope that you will see them as my heartfelt blessing for each of you.

"I give thanks to my God for all my  remembrance  of you, happy at all times in all the prayers I offer for you; so full a part have you taken in the work of Christ’s gospel, from the day when it first reached you till now. Nor am I less confident, that He who has inspired this great work in you will bring it to perfection, ready for the day when Jesus Christ comes. It is only fitting that I should realize  such hope for you; you are close to my heart, and I know that you share my happiness, being able to defend and assert the truth of the gospel. God knows how I long for you all, with the tenderness of Jesus Christ Himself. And this is my prayer for you; may your love grow richer and richer yet, in the fullness of its knowledge and the depth of its perception, so that you may learn to prize what is of value; may nothing cloud your conscience or hinder your progress till the day when Christ comes; may you reap, through Jesus Christ, the full harvest of your justification to God’s glory and praise."

Heaven is Love

Quite some time ago, my sister forwarded me the Heartfelt Blessings  daily inspirations and since receiving these quotes and inspirations, I have truly been uplifted.  Sometimes I DO feel lonely, although my life is filled with wonderful friends.  Sometimes I DO feel afraid and unlovable, although I know that I AM a special person and open to being loved.  These brief reminders are a good thing and I look forward to them!  The words today speak loud and clear and so I include them here.

 Let us keep this truth before us. You say you have no faith? Love — and faith will come. You say you are sad? Love — and joy will come. You say you are alone? Love — and you will break out of your solitude. You say you are in hell? Love — and you will find yourself in heaven. Heaven is love.”

— Carlo Corretto,
from In Search of the Beyond

Quiet Night

Hmmm…no camera…no children.  The pup sleeps on my feet under the computer desk.  The cat curls up in the circle of my arms.  He makes me more hot than I am already, but I can not persuade him to leave because his purring lets me know just how happy he is right now.  I’ve made a big bowl of popcorn and have enjoyed some of the Olympic Events…it’s been a magical day!
The large painting was resolved today in the studio, as planned and I will begin the next piece tomorrow.  Max is getting more and more content when we paint three times each day.  The music is turned up and his favourite toys are set out on his Bambi blanket.  Typically, he spreads out on the cool studio floor and sleeps the time away, apart from the occasional request to pee.  I am so blessed that we’ve sorted all of this out as I was really beginning to wonder if I was ever going to have time for myself again.
Photographs of the summer paintings will appear at the end of August when I have a camera again.  Hoping to borrow someone’s digital for the trip to Argenta later this month.  There is no other place quite like it and I plan on sleeping a night in the Kaslo Hostel with Sarah, who told me, ‘of course it will be fine to bring your puppy,’ and then two nights sleeping under the driftwood on the shore of Kootenay Lake.  I will need to bring home images…it is bound to be a very special time.


I’m hoping that my daughter caught her stand-by flight into Comox, my brother’s place on the coast…especially after taking almost an hour going north on Deerfoot Trail…a snail’s pace and somewhat frustrating apart from the fact that we got to settle into one another’s company, I mean, really settle in.  Frankly, we ended up enjoying the ride.
I’ve passed my camera onto her for a log of her photographs on her first-ever-alone holiday…finding her own way with both relatives and friends, sorting out accomodations and deciding what it is she actually wants to do, moment to moment.  I know she loves her cousins dearly and given our family, with miles and miles separating us all of the time, I think that it is for each of us to build and nurture relationships as we can. She is going to have a marvelous time with her relations on this trip west!
In a nut shell, I won’t be taking any photographs for a couple of weeks.  This will be an interesting thing, given that I’m somewhat of a bug about archiving…but we aren’t the sort of family that has a ton of technology at our finger tips…we sort of ‘get by’ and that’s ok.  Sometimes our friends think that we’re pretty special as a family because we make great things out of almost nothing some days and we certainly do love one another…deeply.
The trip to Rae Glacier was an amazing thing.  My son has such stamina that I really wish he would pursue this activity…he has no fear and reminds me more of myself when I was his age and I had fallen in love with the wilderness.  While I’m tentative out in the wild at this age, when I do get ‘out’ there, I reconnect with all that it was about me that loved the mountains and the views so many years ago.  I forget that I am 53 years old and that I should likely take precautions.  Instead, I want to go deeper and discover more.
My daughter, who announced to me before the trip, "I hope you know that this isn’t my cup of tea!" ended up being such a trooper and such a delight!  As always, she contributed spirit and delight to every moment we shared.  I thought that it was an incredible snapshot of our lives together.  We are quite the family!
Anyway, the blog updates will be of the scripted variety over the next couple of weeks.  The pace is speeding up in the studio as I have done all of those distracting things that I love to do…and I’m feeling that apart from sipping on a nice cold Corona in the heat of the afternoon, I am ready to create some fine work for the galleries…a real special painting awaits me at my easel right now…to be finished by end of day tomorrow.