Friday, June 24, 2016

Miss Mitzi

To the many dear people who've left such sweet thoughts about Miss Mitzi - my heartfelt thanks. Homer hasn't gotten to that place where he needs a boost to the Other Side just yet.

In surprising news, the animal I didn't think would notice Mitzi is gone...

Cheetah keeps jumping out from behind the door every time I pass because it's what he did with her. I can't exactly react like she did: she'd just roll over and lick his head until he was insensate, but hey. I've got catnip and treats.

And to those of you who've written asking if I'm up to doing readings: Nothing makes me feel better. But your solicitousness is a gift all its own.

Thanks, Facebook strangers for being the opposite of that especially during a week that's - I'll just say thanks again.



Tuesday, June 21, 2016


This literally fell from I don't know where as I'm getting ready to take little Mitzi to say the big goodbye.

Rainbow Bridge awaits... but I know this much: I've never put stamps in the linen closet and never owned this particular one. (Think it's vintage and, as modern vintage stamps go, valuable.)

Thanks, Universe.

And kind folks who simply extend condolences. They mean more than you know.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Summer Homes, Misfit Toys & Thug Rodents

Let's get the embarrassing part out of the way first: This here is a ball made of sticks. It's hanging right outside the patio door.

It's been there for over a year, too, and not on a bet. It was a giant, albeit broken, ornament on a mall Christmas tree. We took it home, removed its shiny ribbons and hung it there because...

Je suis garbage blanc.

Really, what else is there to say.

Anyway, last week we thought we talked a couple of cute little birds out of nesting in it. They acted like we made it for them. "But it's perfect!" (They were really insistent.) We explained we'd love their company, but the location was problematic:

That door is used at all hours, the afternoon sun bakes that particular spot, etc. We thought we made our point because we didn't see them again... until sunrise today...

Maybe they decided that no matter what else, it's probably safer by the door that three dogs use than it is beyond the fence where nature, cruel nature, is relentless. Our dogs don't need to know that they're not as scary as teenage squirrels, but still. It's kind of cute.

We're checking out California bird books to narrow down what our feisty little avian roommates are exactly: They're pretty small, mostly light brown and one of them - presumedly the male - sports a festive snip of orange.

But, man, they're so quick and chatty that most of the time, we're just stammering 'hello' and 'sorry!' at them, as they huff and flutter, so pissed that we ain't got no respect for sleeping babies. And what are eggs if not that?

This photo is from standing on our tiptoes trying to peek at the tiny nest inside the ball: The little blue you see? The eggs. And we're sure hoping these little guys make it after all this.

We've gotta hand it to them: The bird family might be mad as hell, but they are perfectly safe. And they seem to know it.

They might be irritated, but it's nothing compared to the squirrels who are cursing a blue streak, as little punk ass, egg sucking rodents are wont to be. They've upended every single porch nest since we've lived here. This is the first one they can't reach.

There is a bull squirrel actually straddling the fence and hollering at us. Seriously. We'll post that photo next.

(Please. No squirrel outrage. A living cartoon is happening on our porch on a 105 degree day: We're just calling it like we see it.)

The peace that passes all understanding... most of it, anyway.

Homer seems to have it. (He's my sixteen year old cat dying of kidney failure, for those playing along with the home game.)

It's an animal thing, really - this capacity for inhabiting the sacred right this very second. In fits and starts, my awareness of it is mostly cued by external factors.

I think it's human to ponder choices that aren't ours to make like whether we leave this life likethatfastwhoosh or in a more lingering way, with a heads up, as it were.

(A few days ago, I overheard several teenagers discussing the massive heart attack vs long drawn out disease scenario. Good points on either side. I refrained from suggesting statistics that stayed clear of these rather limiting death causes. Might as well let the kids have their dreams.)

If proximity to him in these last of his days can teach me any of it, I'm willing to learn. It's not time for dipping down into the big sadness. Besides, the big gulp of grief isn't anything you can spread out to reach the edges of the bread like butter that's too cold. It'll come in heaves, with jagged edges and then softly, too, because it's the nature of grief: unfixed and never triumphant because the bigger the grief, the greater the love has been.

I know people who think that loving animals is an affectation borne of weakness, a tendency to instill fantasy where mere animal interaction exists. They're right in this regard: It's their truth. And in a way, because I have spent two-thirds of this life, thus far, on the other side of that place where animals crack you open and light you up.

So here's to unfixed spaces, to not knowing exactly when those things will hit. We know enough to watch for signs and enough not to stray far from here until it happens.

And because it's a photo pretty enough to be a painting, indeed, almost an impression of one, we will leave you with a shot of one of our favorite animals we've never met: This is Chico, who belongs to Wesley and vice versa.

Because, in the end, it's all about the wagging.

Sunday, June 19, 2016


It's mighty hot. Everybody, please drink your water and go slow where you need to. It's only summer's beginning. Sending spinning fan blades of angel wings on overtime where needed.



Great big shout out to the got to be feeling really pop your dimples kind of good tonight City of Cleveland...


Which is to say congratulations on your championship...

We know a bunch of it had to do with how outrageously great LJ plays, but - get over here - this is a great big whole town hug...

You guys have had a lot happen in the news in the last few years, things that were hard going so, to quote Khalil Gibran, who I'm pretty sure was a huge Cavs fan, "However deep sorrow carves into your being leaves that room for joy to be contained."

Now how could he NOT be talkin' 'bout y'all!?

Links Contact