"We Three"

"We Three"

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Poor Pickle...

For the first week of the Punk, he was too little to climb up on the big doggie doughnut under the computer desk. Now, that's all changed. He can get up the back steps. He can jump off the couch, just launch himself into space. What a guy! There is only one refuge for his sister, on the bed. And that is only a matter of time, too. Gosh, they grow up so fast. Meanwhile, lots going on in the cowwoman's life. Today is the memorial mass for my father, big FOO (family of origin) and ROO (religion of origin) reunion. I am over most of the regret stuff, anger stuff, and the sense of loss that comes from big change too fast. Puppy helps a lot. Nevertheless, another loss this week, a dear friend who lost his battle with depression and took his own life. Though I know he suffered, and from his point of view took the only avenue to relief, I will miss him. When I was in that place, I felt that I was a burden to everyone I loved. I am sure he felt that, too. This life can get very heavy. For him, it did not change despite all his best efforts. Peace, dear spiritual warrior. I wish he could have hugged the puppy first.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Work in progress...

This is how much I can get done while the Punk is napping. Of course, I don't have any large pieces of black paper. That would make this so much easier. On payday, this Friday, I am ordering a bunch from Dick Blick. None of the art stores here in town carry Fabriano Tiziano, my fave. I don't think pastels are a particularly popular medium, so I feel blessed I can get really good sticks, but the paper, ah, there's the rub. Anyway, this is shaping up nicely. Somehow, I think if I don't paint for a while, I will forget how to do it. Actually, if I painted 24/7, I would still feel that way. I don't know how to do it, really. I just keep working at it, and it happens. There is such a lovely passivity about it all. It's all part of my bizarre little life as an artist. I hope someday I will feel like I have really arrived. Maybe it is enough to just be on the journey. Yes, that's the ticket. Trucking along here.

It's not easy being me, redux...

We are rising early in the little yellow house. Like, at freaking DAWN. Okay, I knew this would happen. This is, after all, the fourth puppy I have raised in my sobriety, 22 years of it. Puppies listen only to their own internal clock. At least, for the first couple of weeks. We are easing the Punk into our lives. Oh, hell, the Punk is running the whole show. So, not much time to do anything I like, like make art. Instead, I pick away at pieces that are laying limp on the drawing board. Like I warmed up this sweet owl (which, I found out yesterday as I perused the owl lexicon online, is the only blue-eyed version of this incredible raptor). Also did some explaining, like where is he hanging on, anyway? Meanwhile, finally got the Punk to settle into his midmorning nap so I can get dressed and ready for MY day. Pickle is draped across the bed, little sniffy morning for my Pickle, who needs more time to get with the program than Punkin wants to give her, and told her off first thing. Though, wonder of wonders, he can now negotiate the steps up into the house, so I can leave the two of them in the yard and go make coffee, knowing he will follow his big sister into the house once he has finished his business. And yes, he always does his business. Wonderful little guy, actually, and a wonderful idea. My grief has subsided for the most part. I was comparing Punkin to dear Boo, thinking he is so very mellow and may be channeling my Boo's sweet spirit, except he didn't like to be on his back, when Punkin rolled over and slept that way, just like his darling departed brother used to do. Oh, Punkin was a great idea, for sure.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Oh, so nice to be doing something else...

It seems all I have done for this whole week is watch the puppy, feed the puppy, walk the puppy, puppy, puppy, puppy. Okay, that is the way it is with a new one, constant supervision. The Pickle is not happy, and likely to snap at Punkin and even do something really harmful. So, we have puppy-to-go a lot, Punkin in a bag, Punkin in a zip-up container. So far we have been to meetings, to Trader Joe's, to the Dollar Tree, the library. It's all good, actually, and easy to do. For a while. And now we are on a loosey-goosey schedule that allows me some ME time in the afternoon, so I got to do some quick paintings today. Not into big details and really, I don't think it is necessary, do you? This took about half an hour, and I like it just the way it is. Of course, it is all about the black paper, which I think is just magical in the way everything gets all dramatic without even trying. I need easy right now. Still recovering from a few nights of not sleeping. Hell, I'm going to need to recover from getting up at 7 AM every day. Not my style or inclination. Whatever, I had so much fun getting all fierce with the tiger. Just hope it is not like those black velvet paintings that were so big in the 70s. Too cutesy?

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Punkin arrived last night. He didn't come into the same terminal that Pickle did, which shows you how carefully I read the email from the airline. After we parked, took the AirTrain to the Continental terminal, found our way to arrivals, asked three different counter persons, we were directed to the cargo building, five minutes down the street. So we backtracked, found our car (major victory there), found our way out of the garage, and took the wrong exit. So we made a big loop and came back, my sidekick reading addresses till we found our destination. Okay, lots of confusion, but we had allowed ourselves plenty of time. He had been on the ground only about 10 minutes when we arrived, and the nice clerk snipped those heavy duty plastic ties so we could extricate him from his crate. Now, I read that the shipping weight was 3 lbs. I thought that was 3 lbs of puppy. It was actually 3 lbs total, crate, puppy, and bag of food! This is one tiny pooch. Also one delightful little personality. He was so good riding home for the 1 1/2 hours in my friend's lap. I put him down on the front lawn once we arrived and he piddled. An hour later, we were all asleep, the pack of three, on the bed. He woke up on Texas time, really early, I put my hand under his head, he fell back to sleep. I didn't, but, hey, Punkin is the boss for a while. Today, I took him out, he piddled, I fed him, took him out, he pooed. He loves the backyard, romps around like a little rabbit. Pickle was overtly jealous last night, though she got her usual amount of attention, too. Today, they played together! And Punkin went for his first foray in the tote bag, to Western Farm Supply for a smaller collar and some chew sticks. He did just fine. He likes his enclosure in the kitchen, his big, big dog bed. and especially the black and white cow toy that is big enough to be his brother. He's a prince, my Punkin.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Painful admissions...

Okay, I have been horridly naive about my mouse problem. Foolish me, I kept thinking there was only one mouse, and every time I caught one, another moved in. I caught two today. I drove the first one over to the same field where I let his brother go. The second one is in a deep plastic pitcher, and he is a feisty one, almost managed to jump out before I put the lid on. Needed to bait the trap again right away. I couldn't find the peanut butter, it got behind the milk somehow, so I used raspberry jam. My mice seem to prefer that. Will it ever end? Let us hope so. I plan on putting a lamp by the dog door if I leave it open at night. I notice my mice do not like the light very much.

Didn't get to pick up Punkin today. He missed his plane. So he is arriving on a late flight tomorrow instead. This is probably a good thing, what with all the mouse excitement, and the half day teaching sixth graders a lesson in fine art. Now, I thought these kids would be mature. Boy, was I wrong. I remember being 5'8" tall in 6th grade. I read Gone with the Wind that year (and Lolita, though my mother still doesn't know that). It was interesting to note that almost no one did the lesson as I taught it. And since my whole thrust was individual, personal creations in whatever colors they wanted, that was okay. My worst fear was that there would not be enough time to finish the project. In my first class, everyone was pretty much done 25 minutes early. I got them to work a little more, here and there, gave them more information, then had them come up, 3 or 4 at a time, to show their art, and everyone got a hand. My friend to roped me into this was thrilled with the outcome. I kind of felt that they could have done better. $80 worth of pastels got thoroughly beat up, but they now belong to the school anyway. I got paid, yay. And I stretched myself. Comfort zone is now larger than ever. And I am really tired. Have all kinds of new respect for teachers, let me tell you. Some of those boys would be hard to handle one on one. Everyone said they had fun. Hey, I did, too. A couple of kids did amazing work. I was properly amazed by each child's rendering, how different they all were, how intense they were about the process. Would be nice to think an artist or two was born today.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Me -1, Mouse -0

Another victory for the cowwoman. Let me tell you, these little guys are formidable opponents. This is mouse #3. I caught the first one by sheer luck, when Pickle scared it as it noshed away on my oatmeal bath stuff and it leaped into a plastic pitcher and could not get out. Next one I caught in this self-same trap, the second humane trap I tried, after much trial and error, and a lot of peanut butter. The day after I released the second little bugger, another moved in. (Pretty sure there has not been more than one, judging by the miniscule leavings. ) I wondered if the same mouse traveled down the street from the field I released him in, and just waltzed back into the stove. Now that I see him, I realize this is a much smaller guy. And the smaller they are, the harder they are to catch. It takes a little weight to trip the trigger in the trap. But I am smarter than the average mouse. I not only wrapped the bread with thread before spreading peanut butter on it, I anchored the tidbit around a heavy pair of scissors, so the mouse could not flit in, drag out the morsel, and disappear down one of the burners of the stove. I am cleaning the stove zealously this afternoon, and praying that this is the last of the little guys for a while. That would be nice.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What did I do wrong?

You know how it is. You plan, God laughs. Monday, email in hand, I sojourned to the bank to empty my account and pay $5 for a cashier's check, then to our Central branch of the Post Office, that denizen of unhappy, homicidal folks, to pay $21.35 for express mail, return receipt requested, so I can get my puppy shipped to me on this Friday. To be honest, they told me it would not be overnight, but Wednesday, at the latest. So, of course, email this morning from the breeder - she did not get the check. Since it was after 3 PM her time at the moment I opened the email, I tried to track it online. No go. So, I jumped on my horse and went back to the post office, where they told me, after having me cool my heels for an interminable length of time, the, yes, it was scanned delivered, at 12:15 PM Texas time. Back to the house, where, of course, there was a second email -never mind, it came. Meanwhile, I was in bargaining mode with HP. WTF, I've been good all week! Not a single solitary mean word to anyone, not even the Pickle! I DESERVE this puppy! Well, to be fair I had just returned from my monthly trip to a treatment center, where, usually, I am with a team of folks who present a video, follow a format, and have the proper blue cards to distribute to those leaving the facility who would like help getting to their first few AA meetings out in the cruel world, and my team didn't show, leaving me out there on that limb. I improvised, got a list of those who wanted to avail themselves of our help. Hell, I've been sober 22 years. Not very much surprises me. Except when things go wrong when they shouldn't go wrong. And I guess they really didn't, did they. Oh, just let me get the Punkin home safely. Little package of love flying in Friday. How sweet it is.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Puppy Pick-Up Tradition.

Here's how that goes. We set off with great big coffee drinks, something with whipped cream and sprinkles and a gazillion calories. Our journey down the 101 corridor is fast and easy and we get to the airport just fine. Then things get dicey. We park in the wrong lot and get on the wrong skytrain and wind up in long term parking. Then we get off in the international terminal and walk a mile or so before we get where we need to be. The plane will be late. The breeder will call all anxious because she never sent one that far before. When he does arrive, this time we will have heavy-duty scissors to get the blankety-blank plastic ties off so we can get him out of his grate (unlike last time, when we had to disassemble it.) Then we will head home in godawful commute traffic, miss our off ramp and wind up roller-coasting over the San Francisco hills to Lombard and on to the Golden Gate Bridge. We stop in Marin at the In and Out, for hamburgers, fries, milkshakes, and a puppy airing. Then we crawl home through the Novato narrows and the Santa Rosa trudge. What can I say, it's an adventure! Actually, Punkin is coming in on the same flight Pickle arrived on. Experience should let us be more productive and less scattered. Of course, there are even more things that could go wrong. Just praying my new little guy gets here without any traumatic experiences. He's only 8 weeks old, you know.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

It's a boy!

The cowwoman is adopting a new baby. He is scheduled to arrive Friday, flying in from Texas. I found him on the same website where I found my Pickle, a secure breeder's site approved by the AKC. Unlike Pickle, I do not have a designated name for him, but I am thinking maybe Dilly, or Dandy, or PoohBear, or Bingley, or Frodo, or ... Maybe I will have a contest. Maybe I will know when I see him in person. I went with a mixed breed, because Boo was a mixed breed and such a great dog. New kid is Shih Tzu and Poodle, and his folks are both under 10 lbs, so he may be smaller, too. That's nice, because I like to put my constapanion in a tote bag and go a lot. Boo sat under tables in restaurants (just feed him a taco chip or morsel of French bread once in a while), went Christmas shopping with me, rode in the baby seat of my shopping cart. It was a real temptation to find one that looked like Boo, same markings, and, wow, there were several out there. New kid is similar in his face (and this picture with his tongue hanging out was a big selling point for me, so like Boo), and he is black and white, but not all black like Boo, and he has more nose, I think. I may have to learn about grooming. Both of his breeds have beaucoup coat. Oh, just so happy here. I need a warm puppy at this time. It's good to have a purpose. Getting the house puppy-proofed should keep me out of the stinkin' doldrums.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Wisdom from bumper stickers...

I saw a dandy at Trader Joe's the other day. It said "I support the separation of church and hate." Oh, yeah. I agree with Jesus's philosophy, and know that every one of us embodies the divine. We are meant to love one another, even when we are not very lovable. If that is true of an individual, I love them from a distance, and I frequently pray for them, that they receive their highest good, whatever God decides that is. A good whack up the side of the head always sounds good to me, but hey, what do I know! Frankly, I don't know a lot of Christian sects that accept the fringe elements, like gays, into their fold. Nor do I know of ANY who treat women the same as men. Really, folks. The Bible was written 3,000 years ago. Isn't it time to kill the myth that Eve was created as a handmaiden? Haven't we stood up and been real human beings in that time? Okay, I still see women objectified, especially in advertising. It helps that men are now also becoming more and more objectified, I suppose. Let's go back to the real truth. Human DNA is less dissimilar than penguin DNA. What we look like and what gender we are, that is all the frosting on the cake. The real stuff is what goes on inside, very complicated systems that all need to work together so we can breathe at all. In the end, we are all just individual expressions of the divine. I want to embrace the diversity. I go to a New Age church, where the message is all about the great Oneness that is our Universe, and the Mind that directs it all. Pretty sweet message. All kinds of folks show up. All are seeking spiritually. It has grown a lot in the last 20 years. So, down with the hateful thinking that is so prevalent in our society. Let's leave all that to the Republicans.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Hello, now goodbye!

Big shock this morning. I caught the mouse! Not the best picture, but I wasn't about to take him out for his closeup. Believe me, I was surprised. Finally found a method that worked: bread wound with thread spread with peanut butter. Catches his teeth, so he has to struggle enough to trip the trigger and close the trap. I had a moment when I wanted to go down to the Farm Supply and get him a little cage, keep him. And then I remembered he only came out when it was dark, and that would not render him a happy pet. So I released him, several houses down the street. Actually, in the yard of the woman who recently yelled at me when I cornered an errant Pickle in her sideyard. Okay, probably not my best moment. But hell, two birds with one stone, and all that. Let us hope mouseypoo doesn't find his way home to my stove. And if he does, well I've got his number. Grateful to find I really am smarter than the rodent.

Monday, March 05, 2012

It's the end of the world as we know it...

Well, holy validation, Batman! I am actually right where I am supposed to be. A friend (not a real close one, just one of those I found when I was trawling for friends on Facebook, back when I thought there was a contest about how many friends one can have) posted the Hospice Grief Wheel. After Shock and Protest (which were actually the fun stages) comes Disorganization, where I am stuck at the moment. It includes apathy, loss of interest, disorientation, anxiety, confusion, impatience, and a feeling of unreality. Yep, that's me at the moment. Total lumpsucker mode. Remember the lumpsuckers, these poor little fat fish that kind of bounce along the bottom because they can't swim very well? That's moi. It is 11:30 AM, I am sitting here staring at the computer screen, in my PJs still. No plan for the day. Nada. Zipididoodah. I suppose that is just fine, actually. Oh, mother is giving us kids (67, 64 and 62 year old kids, that is) some $$$, yay. My plan, get a new puppy. I know I am not well because the whole thing has me bound up in fear. But that is the plan, anyway. Fluffy little boy. Bingley. More later.