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April 7th, 2011 (01:20 pm)

Earlier today while I was preparing my breakfast, I suddenly remembered that in every house of my childhood--and there were many, thank you United States Army--we always chose the inside of one cabinet door to put all our Chiquita Banana stickers. I don't know who started that, although it was as likely to be my mother as my brother, even though she was the one who'd eventually have to scrape all of them off when it was time to move again.

Do other people do that?

Photo Friday, No. 240

April 1st, 2011 (12:18 am)

Current Photo Friday theme: Elaborate

Lila turns three with a princess cake made by her grandmother.

(Click here to view larger version on black background.)

Another view:

For my sister

March 24th, 2011 (05:47 pm)

First bloom from the impatiens you saved:

Rescue me

March 22nd, 2011 (09:30 pm)

Taking a circuitous route, a scrapbook designed for dogs found its way to me. We haven't been doing very many crafty things on Craft Night recently, but I have managed to get this project up to date. I decided the scrapbook could best be used to keep a photographic record of the dogs that Tim has helped through Scout's Honor's rescue program. This does not include the dogs he's helped transport to and from veterinarians or boarding locations. Most of the dogs pictured have been his fosters, even if only for a few days to relieve other fosters or on their way to forever homes. All have stayed at The Compound for at least a couple of nights--most much longer.

Of course, first up is the miracle dog who began it all: EZ, who still comes to visit and stay with Tim from time to time. After so many challenges and almost an entire year at The Compound, EZ was adopted into the perfect forever home, where she is loved unconditionally. Though I won't share as much information under the rest of these photos, trust me that these Scout's Honor dogs have all been placed with equal care in homes where they could thrive.

Please click here to see the other dogs.Collapse )

If you're unable to adopt a dog, almost every city has rescue organizations who need foster help or even occasional relief for their foster families, or transportation for dogs. Fosters can be challenging; I won't lie. A dog who's been abused or who's been in a pound or on the streets for a long time needs socialization, attention, and training. They can do destructive things. They don't always mesh with the other members of a household and need to move to a different foster environment. Fostering isn't for everyone. But even going to your local shelters or to adoption days and enabling dogs to get out of their crates for little walks and bio breaks, or some hugs and ear rubs, can help. Depending on the type of rescue organization, you may be able to best help with donations of food, bedding, or money for crates and vet care. And if you're not a dog lover, trust me, there are plenty of opportunities to help foster or assist programs with cats, ferrets, and other surrendered or rescued animals. For example, many years ago, my sister was part of a rescue effort that took Snowball from a situation of terrible neglect to a chance at a new and better life.

If you're looking to add a permanent new member to your household, animals who have been fostered usually come to you fully vetted, at least partially trained, and with valuable information that only someone who's lived with the animal can provide. It's a great way to find an older companion animal, a younger animal, or an animal who was deemed unworthy of saving before a rescue organization stepped in, as is often true of disabled dogs. You will be repaid a million times over with the love and companionship of a forever friend.

What can make a Monday better?

March 21st, 2011 (06:47 pm)

Knowing that it's World Poetry Day! Fortunately, my daily Magnetic Poems are NOT the standard by which poetry is judged. There are so many brilliant poets, living and dead, whose words give us insight into emotion, beauty, language, history--every facet of the human condition--not to mention the non-human condition.

Poetry can enlighten us, entertain us, inform us. It can make us laugh and cry. It can make us say, Yes! Someone understands. And sometimes, I never thought of it that way. With the greatest economy of language, it offers the entire universe from the smallest speck of matter to the grandest concept we can imagine. Poetry is precise and concrete and magical and evocative all at once. It is music to our ears, images for our eyes, and gives us smells and tastes and touches we remember or only imagined.

I'd like to name my favorite poem, but as soon as I think of one, a half dozen more come to mind. For as long as I was able to read, poetry was there. This is one of the earliest books I was ever given--just for me, all mine:

I still remember, to the word, the lines of poetry Mrs. Bryan had us memorize in high school. Poetry was the first of my writing I was brave enough to share with anyone. It bonded me to one of my mentors, my uncle, and became a dialogue between my dear friend Riley and me, and later Timothy F and me.

Poetry can be, for me, as good as meditation. If I can open a book of poems while sitting outside somewhere, that's a slice of paradise. Currently, it's going to be this one:

Framed in Silence by Lynn Domina

Sometimes, as in this case, I'm fortunate enough to know the poet. That makes discovering and savoring each poem even better. But really, when I read Yeats and Keats and Dickinson and Sexton and Coleridge and Auden and Millay and Frost and Plath and Browning and Bishop and Lowell and Shakespeare and Larkin and Thomas and Doty and Monette and Hopkins and Donne and--okay, okay, I'll stop--I feel that I know them a little, too.

Their poems are old and beloved friends.

Photo Friday, No. 238

March 18th, 2011 (12:29 am)

Current Photo Friday theme: Polished

(Click here to view larger version on black background.)

Photo Friday, No. 237

March 11th, 2011 (01:18 am)

Current Photo Friday theme: Ethereal

(Click here to view larger version including dolphin fin.)

Magnetic Poetry 365:67

March 8th, 2011 (08:40 pm)

Other ingredients: cornmeal, bacon grease, iron skillet

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

March 8th, 2011 (05:16 pm)

Thought I'd share a few of the couple hundred shots I took in Galveston during the port city's early Mardi Gras celebrations. I'm saving many of my favorites for potential Photo Friday submissions. But would you like to see some of the others to get you in the spirit of Fat Tuesday?

Then please click here.Collapse )

The good, the bad, and the ugly

March 6th, 2011 (02:43 pm)

Starbucks rises "bold and stark/kids are huddled on the beach in a mist..." *

Aaron, first lured into a life of crime by Lynne, gets a leg up to score some pearl beads for his Aunt Debby.
I promised Aaron not to publicize his more lawless acts. For now.

Palm trees in the dust
No one has confessed to this message rudely scrawled on Jellybean, member of The Compound Limo Fleet.

*Lyrics lifted from Bruce Springsteen.

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