Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Geocaching and other delights
If you've never heard of, or never experienced geocaching, I highly recommend it. Get yourself an inexpensive GPS unit - I saw one the other day for about $100, and get in on this treasure hunt. It gets you out into the great outdoors, lets you search for hidden treasure, log your visit to the cache, and trade trinkets and/or travel bugs.
Eric and I are planning a trip to Baltimore for an EMS conference in early March, and we're going to spend a few extra days exploring the area including Washington DC. We'll be doing some geocaching there.
In the first cache we found last weekend, I traded for a rock that someone had painted a dog's face on and signed the back. I'm going to gather up some smooth polished round rocks from the seashore, paint ocean scenes on them, sign and date the back and place them in the caches we find. My own version of a traveling gnome, I guess. I like that idea.
I have been asked to provide photographic coverage for the Yaquina Lights fundraising event this weekend. I'm looking forward to that... watch for pics from that event posted here next week.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Friday, January 05, 2007
My Feline Friends
I currently have 4 feline friends. I have a long-haired tabby at home, and she is my sole house-pet now. She is about 8½ years old, and I’ve had her since she was about a month old. She came into my life on the third of July, 1998. I was working at a car dealership in Newport at the time, and a customer came onto the lot, in a small pickup truck, drunk, and threw this poor, tiny little kitten out onto the pavement because she had pooped in his truck. So that was the last time he ever saw her. Because of the date, I named her “Independence” and call her Indy.
She played second fiddle to Toby for about 6 years, and when he died, she really started to come out of her shell. She is now ruler of the house, and is playful, affectionate and gorgeous. And she seems very happy. Whenever I am sitting, she is on my lap, and she sleeps on the bed with us, too.
Sissy is extremely affectionate, and loves to get up on the desk, in my face, while I’m trying to work. She’ll lie on my hands while I’m trying to type. She rubs her face on my face and hands. She drools heavily when she’s happy, and it drips all over my desk, my clothing, and her fur. Small price to pay, I think, for the unconditional adoration she gives me. The drooling wouldn’t be nearly as tolerable without her wonderful sweet nature and absolute rapture at being close to me.
Stripe is another ‘community cat’ that hangs around the studio. I think she’s a neutered female, but I’m not sure. I also think she was dropped off here. She is here everyday looking for food, and eats ravenously when I put it down for her. She looks well-fed and healthy. She is getting more and more friendly, and wants to come into the studio in the worst way, but Sissy will not allow it. I let Stripe come in one day, and Sissy went after her, again and again, attacking her mercilessly, until I was able to get Stripe back out the door. I feel bad for Stripe, but I don’t know what to do about it. Sissy obviously will not accept her in the studio, at least not at this point. Maybe eventually. Sissy accepts Simon because he was here first. I’ve thought about taking Stripe home to be a housecat, but I don’t think Indy would appreciate that much at all. She loves being the only cat.
Overall, I am one of those people who prefer the company of animals to most of the people I’ve met. They work their way into my heart and take a firm hold on it. Sometimes I think I must have the word “sucker” stamped on my forehead. I adore them as much as they adore me. I foresee my future as the old crazy lady with a dozen cats. I just hope I don’t become that person for another 30 years or so… but there I’ll be, wearing purple and tending my cats.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
I, of course, am no exception. There have been LOTS of changes in my life in the past year, and I foresee a lot more of them ahead in 2007.
I have decided to take one more day a week off. The studio will be closed on Sundays and Mondays, starting next week. I’ve been neglecting myself and my household for the last year or more, and need to have two days off a week. Period.
I’ve decided to make this blog more about me, and not just about my job and my business. So you’ll see more posts of a personal note here.
Like this one.
I had to put my dog down yesterday. She was over 17 years old, and had spent 16½ of them by my side. She was a wonderful, smart, energetic and enthusiastic little girl, and I loved her dearly. But, at 17 human years, she was at an equivalent of 140 – if you count the first year as 21 human years, like I do. A hundred and forty. I said MANY times as I watched her toddle around, man I don’t want to live to be that old. She had cataracts, so she had limited vision. Her hearing was failing. Her poor old body was just worn out and it was time to let her go in the most gentle, loving way I could. The vet charged me $85 to euthanize my poor little dog, who probably weighed all of about 3 pounds. I guess veterinary compassion only goes so far. Oh well. What’s done is done.
Of course, when we humans lose someone we love, the first thing we do is go through our pictures of them. As Eric pointed out last night, our photographs are our windows into the past. Moments frozen in time. I came up with over two dozen images of my sweet little dog, when she was young and beautiful and vibrant. That’s the little doggie I want to remember.
After she got to be about 15 years old, she didn’t want me to brush her beautiful coat anymore. It hurt her and she let me know by screaming and fighting with me. So I stopped because it felt like I was torturing her. She stopped enjoying her baths, too. She used to love to be bathed and groomed when she was younger. When she got to be an old dog, she also stopped caring where she urinated, and often did it on the carpet in the house. So I set her up with a doghouse outside and got her a heating unit specially made for doghouses to keep her warm at night. We fenced the yard so she wouldn’t wander off anymore like she used to when she was younger. She used to love to go check out the neighborhood, and no amount of calling her would bring her back home before she was good and ready to come back.
I found her in the summer of 1990 when she was about 6 months old. I was working at a grocery store in Waldport, and this pretty little pointy-eared black dog had been circling the store for a couple of days, looking for whoever lost her. When I finally coaxed her close enough to catch her, I took her home and did the normal stuff you do when you find a lost dog. No one claimed her, so I named her Gypsy and took her in to the vet to be spayed. He said she was probably a purebred Pomeranian, and was 6 to 9 months old. She was such a beautiful little girl. She became my constant companion, always going with me wherever I went. She loved to ride in the car, and really loved to go for walks with me. She would just prance; she was so happy and so proud of herself.
She stayed with me through my divorce in 1994, and my move to Depoe Bay. That was my in-between place, I’d left my husband’s home (trailer house) in Waldport, and was looking for a home to purchase. So I spent 15 months in a small house in Depoe Bay. It was the first time I’d ever lived alone, and I had my Gypsy dog by my side, along with my Toby cat, who also stuck by my side for 18 years. That little house had a cast-iron circular staircase to the upper level, and Gypsy never would go up them. I had to carry her upstairs every night so she could sleep on the bed with me and then downstairs again in the mornings to go outside.
Then in 1995, the three of us moved to Toledo and have been here ever since. Now my two furry black-and-white friends are buried side-by-side in the back yard.
It’s so hard to say goodbye to our furry little friends. In her old age, my little Gypsy reminded me very much of my late grandmother. The last time I saw my grandma was at the celebration of her 100th birthday. The posture, the movements and gestures, the failing eyes and ears… when I looked at my sweet old dog, I saw my sweet old grandmother. And I said, ‘man I don’t want to ever get that old.’
Godspeed, my beautiful little friend. I loved you so much.