Thursday, January 31

Taking our sweet time, and Crusade No. 16

You may have noticed that Kiran's widget over there -------> is gaining in numbers. I was sort of hoping there would be fireworks on his due date and then a countdown of the days LATE he is.

No fireworks and no countdown, unless you count the numbers on the widget that keep getting larger.

Still, we really thought he was about to make his appearance last night. Kim went into labor around 1:30 a.m. this morning and spent four hours at the hospital before her contractions eased and they sent her home. I have awakened Jordan twice today checking on her status, and I refuse to call again. (I've lost circulation in my fingers from sitting on them.)So, I put my numb, idle hands to work and created a journal page for Michelle Ward's Crusade No. 16. We're working on a "not late, just taking our sweet time" philosophy here.I first posted this picture in December 2007. I set up this little scenario on my Christmas tree. The egg in the nest was symbolic of Kiran, and the waiting fairies . . . well, the rest of us.Today's journal entry looks like this. I would have scanned it, but my scanner is not speaking to my new operating system -- Leopard -- and it seems like they may never come to terms.

My next post will undoubtedly include ten little fingers and ten little toes.

xo

Wednesday, January 30

A Place to Bark

Well, what was I thinking . . .I should have included a link to Bernie Berlin's web site A Place to Bark in my last post. Bernie's A Place to Bark and Meow needs a physical shelter built.

A Place to Bark is participating in a challenge being offered Six Degrees, partnered with the Case Foundation and Parade on America's Giving Challenge. The four USA charity badges that have the most unique donors through the America's Giving Challenge will receive $50,000 for their cause.The Challenge ends on January 31, 2008 at 3:00 pm EST, and they are soooo close! Swing by and help them out if you can.

If you've seen the badge on Bernie's site, you probably noticed that she has already raised the first $25,000 . . . The first $25,000 donated has become ...

FIFTY. THOUSAND. DOLLARS.

And three days ago The Zoline Foundation made a second offer.

If Bernie can get the donations to $35,000 ... (Ten thousand more in less than a week)

...THEY WILL MEET IT DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR on top of the first twenty-five!

That's right. The offer is at $70,000!!!
All she needs is to get to $35,000 on the donation badge by 3 p.m. EST January 31. Plus don't forget, the top four badges will get $50,000 on top of this!As Bernie says: It's Win-Win!

* Photos are from Bernie's blog

Friday, January 25

Scout

I really didn't intend to get a second dog. I just started reading the posts on GermanShepherds.com because of Atticus' hip dysplasia. Heed this warning: don't ever, ever go to the Urgent Rescue section in the GS forums if you don't want a dog.

One Sunday night I found Scout there. She had just ONE MORE DAY before she was to be euthanized. Look at this face, covered with Georgia ticks. Who could turn their back on this sweet mug? They claimed she was a "white German shepherd." Ummm, not so much.Scout came to us through transport. This is the most amazing network. On any given Sunday at a rest area in Newark, Delaware (and many, many other places along I95), you will find rows of cars and trucks lined up to transfer and transport dogs and cats to new homes and shelters -- leg by leg. All of these people are volunteers. For a while, Jack and I participated in these transfers.

Scout weighed just 45 pounds when she arrived, and she was afraid of everything.Today Scooter Pie weighs in at a hefty 85 pounds. She and Atticus are best friends, and she's a wonderful dog.I read someplace that female dogs protect their property, while male dogs protect their owner, and that is so true here. Scout alerts us to the UPS man who is putting strange objects on the front porch. She alerts us to the garbage men who are stealing our stuff from the curb, and she loves nothing more than walking the fence every morning and every evening.

When she first came to live here, Scout could jump the fence like an angel, and she could squeeze through the smallest hole to escape. I had the fence made higher, and the wire fencing buried, so she couldn't get out easily.Still, one day she escaped through an open door and ran down the street. My son went after her while I grabbed a leash. At some point she turned around and beat us both back to the house. It was as if it just occurred to her that she liked it here. She was at the door when we got home.

And yes Elizabeth. I do love dogs.

Winter Whites Friday

Today's Winter Whites submission is The Elements of Style Illustrated by Strunk and White, and illustrated by Maira Kalman. The illustrator pulls lines from the text and uses them as captions to her wonderfully whimsical paintings. This updated manual actually makes grammar fun!

* Photos from Barnes & Noble.com.

Thursday, January 24

Winter Whites Thursday

"White ... is not a mere absence of colour; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black.... God paints in many colours; but He never paints so gorgeously -- I had almost said so gaudily -- as when He paints in white."
--Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Check it out: Winter Whites

Wednesday, January 23

Winter Whites Wednesday

Scout
is today's Winter White subject.

If you had witnessed what it took to get this photo of Scout, you'd probably laugh. Something happened to her sometime in her life before she came to live here -- or maybe she's just a freak -- but regardless, she doesn't like the camera. And anytime I point it toward her, you'd think I had a gun.

You may be able to make out Atticus' legs in the background of this picture. That's because he ran her down, tackled her, and kept her pinned for this photo, which I shot from across the yard with a telephoto lens. The adorable, wide-eyed look on her face is actually terror. But around here, we kind of think that's cute.

Tuesday, January 22

Winter Whites Tuesday

This pair of vintage baby shoes seems the perfect subject for today's Winter Whites submission. I found them for Judy at Red Velvet who is looking for old and worn baby shoes for a project.

And of course, baby shoes are high on my list of wonderful white things this winter!

Monday, January 21

Winter Whites

Count me in! I'm playing along with Shari et. al. at The Glass Doorknob. This isn't a new photo -- it was taken in Shelbourne, Vermont, the beginning of December out the window of our bed and breakfast. While it's pretty cold here right now, there isn't so much white laying around.

Young Yogini

I had the opportunity to shoot more photographs of Jack's lovely daughter Katherine yesterday. I took more than 100 pictures trying to bend light for my portrait class, and at one point, Katherine -- PR and marketing manager for a New Jersey bank by day and yoga instructor whenever she can be -- blossomed into her young yogini self. Even though it's overexposed, this is one of my favorite shots of the day. She's smiling at her dad.

Thursday, January 17

Say it with letters

I found these adorable letters at Damboise Designs, and decorated them for Kiran's room. Deb was so nice to work with, and she's expecting her own little bundle of joy!

Wednesday, January 16

Cracker Jacks

Do you remember how cool it was to open a box of Cracker Jacks and find the prize that wasn't flat? That and a lot of peanuts . . . at the top of the box?For me, blogging has been like getting the plastic toy every time I dig in . . . and today I found a whistle!I met the delightful Karen Cole for lunch. What a sweetheart! I'm so glad that she suggested we meet. Lime and cilantro chicken salad was the dish of the day, but there was so much more on the table.For one thing, Karen brought me these little goodies from her recent trip to NYC with Susanna. The card was scanned from an assemblage Karen made during a class she took with Michael deMeng. We spent a couple of hours filling in all the blank places we missed while scanning each other's blog.

I look forward to our paths crossing again soon.I bet next time she'll bring me the rare painted penguin prize.

Monday, January 14

Favorite . . . .

This photo of Molly is my favorite and also the favorite of the class instructor from my BetterPhoto.com class.

Sunday, January 13

Mail art and a pretty girl . . .

The past week has delivered such wonderful gifts to my door! First from my daughter Nicole. A package full of vintage goodies. Just look at all these yummy things! Do you see the adorable little aspirin tin? It's no larger than a postage stamp.And the cigar box was full of goodies too, including a little charm for my bracelet.Then yesterday, a decorated cigar box from my buddy e.b. over at Be . . . Dream . . . Play . . .Full of wrapped goodies . . .A journal made up of pictures from her blog and blank papers of all varieties."Don't make it precious," she said,"Write your grocery lists in it."Well, we'll see.It is pretty precious.She also included this little experiMINT packed in a York tin. Look at this adorable stripy stone from Lake Champlain tied in string and sealed with a B. "The strings that bind," I believe she wrote. I love those stripy stones . . .And e.b. has a thing for them too. Look what else came in that box! A stripy stone necklace! This piece was commissioned by Jack before Christmas, and it was a delight to find it among the treasures in my mailbox yesterday.Also yesterday, I had the pleasure of Miss Molly's company for some available-light portrait practice. Good golly Miss Molly! This girl simply cannot take a bad picture. Look at those eyes!

Wednesday, January 9

Patiently waiting . . .

I guess that's easy for me to say.
Nineteen days . . . give or take a few . . . and we will be holding little Kiran in our arms. (We already hold him in our hearts.)The nursery is ready . . .And he may have enough to wear . . .

(Thanks to everyone who commented on my last post. Your words mean so much. More to come on this subject, and perhaps a separate blog.)

Thursday, January 3

Reaching into the New Year . . .


Well, here we go, reaching into the New Year . . .

day after day into the unknown.

It gets less scary as we move forward.

Less like the beginning of the "Bad Year"

as the days collect behind us.


I didn't always feel this way.

I felt hopeful and fresh. Renewed even,

but then I learned what could be . . .


First, there was that friend of C's I was just vaguely aware of.

"JuJu" was the name he went by.

He died alone in his parents' house.

Friends left him there --

after he overdosed.

Scared I think.


That same summer it was the younger brother

of C's good friend and comrade.

He too died alone,

in an abandoned house,

down the street from his grandparents' home.

Green from rehab, he fled.

Took their car.

Drove into the city to buy drugs.

Another heroin overdose.

Tragically not found for a week.

His mother melted.


And then,

in September, when C himself was fresh from treatment,

he came home early to attend the funeral.

The son of a friend.

C's former roommate.

An entrepreneur.

A rock climber.

An athlete.

An addict.

On his way west,

back to a half-way house.

To a good life.

A healthy life.

He died alone in a hotel room

in Pittsburgh.

Of an overdose.


And so I count the days.

The days when nothing bad happens.

The days when all is calm.

All is bright.


And when the good days (like today) have passed

and they stack up higher

than the days ahead,

I will find hope that it may be

a Good Year after all.

Wednesday, January 2

New Year


"The merry year is born
Like the bright berry from the naked thorn."
~Hartley Coleridge