Sunday, January 31, 2010
The sun was pouring in through the kitchen window and Slugger was soaking it up. Of course, he was also keeping an eye on his empty dish. I liked the shadows cast by the window mullions on him... they almost make him look like a bandit.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Last January 19th, I posted this photo of Angus on my blog. In that post I talked about his gentle spirit and how he had the eyes of an old soul. Sadly, he passed away suddenly and before his time. I will always remember his sweet disposition, his sturdy, chunky body, how well he got along with Slugger and how devoted he was to my cousin.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
I remember it like it was yesterday. Forty three years ago today, my Dad who was a ship's officer died at the age of forty seven in a faraway land. My Mom was left with a mortgage, two kids and the need to find a job in a hurry. By September, Mom was teaching elementary school in the community I grew up in. At night, after correcting papers and making lesson plans I remember her sewing, knitting or needlepointing. Mom is artistic and creative. I like to think I got that gene from her. For years she knitted watch caps and donated them to an organization that distributed them to sailors. Of course she did this to remember my father. I recall the day, some twenty years ago that she decided to participate in a church project--needlepointing kneelers. She wanted to do this in my father's memory and was determined that it depict a ship and the sea. It took her months. Because her breathing is so compromised she hasn't been inside the church in years and for me it has been even longer. Today, I went there to see if her labor of love was still there. It is.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
I love the newspaper business. I feel privileged to have spent the past thirty one years at the same newspaper doing what I have wanted to do since I was fifteen years old and took my first photography class in high school. Tomorrow the members of that newspaper's union will be voting on a proposed contract agreement. Sadly,this is how I will be voting.
Friday, January 22, 2010
The shelf in the kitchen is beginning to look a lot like a medicine chest. For an eight year old cat, Slugger has a lot of health problems. Just a few months ago he was diagnosed with asthma and another pill was added to the cocktail. The minute I reach for the pill vials Slugger's ears get flat and like Houdini he disappears. He doesn't get too far before I scoop him up and return to the kitchen. Once I have him he takes his pills like a champion and then the reward... a few treats.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
I looked out the kitchen window this afternoon and saw a blob on the lawn. Immediately I thought that a bird had met some awful fate. I went out to inspect and was relieved to see a tired looking pine cone. In the far corner of my backyard I have a pine tree that has probably been on the property since the house was first built in the late 1940s. The red bellied woodpecker loves it as do the squirrels. Every fall it drops a boatload of pine cones in the yard. I hate picking them up because they are sticky, but by Spring they seem to be gone. I was amazed that this one had survived not only the twenty inches of snow that had buried it, but the cats who seem to love batting the pine cones around.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Today was a very troubling and difficult day. Sitting in the passenger seat of a friend's car reflecting on the day's challenges, I saw the "objects in the mirror are closer than they appear" warning. Sometimes they are larger than they appear too. As Yul Brenner said in The King and I, "Is a puzzlement".
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Mom has really gotten the hang of her Christmas Kindle, so much so that she seems to be overcoming her Internet/computer trepidation. Tonight she came over for dinner and a game of Scrabble. True to form, she arrived with her completed New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle. She informed me that before we ate, she wanted to look at a crossword blog that discusses the puzzle's theme and also shows the answers. She wanted to make certain that she had it all done right. I think Mom's Christmas Kindle may have created a monster! She sure is warming up to using a Mac. Oh boy, her birthday is less than a month away.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
I am learning that my photo opportunities are quite limited now that my Achilles tendon is immobilized and I have to wear a "boot" from my knee down to the very tip of my toes. Slugger is becoming my subject of choice. After my knee surgery he seemed to be hanging very close to me, but after I was "booted" he seemed a little frightened. Gradually he he has been checking it out. Although I still am fascinated by some of the things he does, positions he gets in and his knack for following every spot of sun around the house, he is bored with my being home all the time and my camera. He makes it very clear just whose house it is.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
When the sun is out, I love the way the late afternoon light spills in through the French doors in my living room. The Benjamin Moore Philadelphia cream walls start to look like very rich butter and the shadows start to grow long, like the day. Today I noticed the long shadows cast by one of the lamps and I liked the geometry of it all.
Monday, January 11, 2010
I was so happy to see the sun shining through my kitchen window. As I stared out the window looking at the play of shadows in the late afternoon light, I heard the rhythmic sound of Slugger grooming himself. I turned to see that I wasn't the only one happy to see the sun. Slugger had positioned himself perfectly in a spot of warm sunlight and was grooming himself, as he always does before he takes a nap. What a life!
Sunday, January 10, 2010
The Christmas tree came down today. There is a method to the madness, almost each ornament has a home in a certain box. As I carefully wrapped each ornament in tissue paper and tucked it away for another year I thought about the person who gave it to me and the history behind it. Besides the ornament my great-great grandmother brought over from Europe more than 150 years ago, one hand made decoration that has a special place in my heart is the one my very dear friend Pam made for me. Pam and I have been friends since we met riding the bus to junior high school. Pam was there when I first fell in love with photography as a sophomore in high school and recalls how each Christmas I always wanted another piece of camera gear. My freshman year of college I started working on my school newspaper. There were lots of portraits to be shot and I wanted a Nikon 105mm lens in the worst way. Despite the hefty price tag, My Mom came through and it was under the tree. The lens is long gone, but the Christmas ornament Pam fashioned out of a toilet paper roll, plastic wrap, tape and glue has been on my tree every year since 1973. Pam even added a gift tag with the price of the lens and my Mom's comment on the cost, "Aw Gaawd"! It really is priceless.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
The older I get the less tolerance I seem to have for snow. This winter we have already had one major snowstorm and several dustings. Whenever I hear snow forecast I worry about the outside cats. After the twenty inches that fell in December, I didn't see them for almost a day and feared the worst. I called my Mom and told her how worried I was and she assured me they were fine and reminded me of the book The Incredible Journey which tells of the adventure shared by two dogs and a cat as they travel 300 miles through the Canadian wilderness searching for their beloved masters. In this book it is the cat who really saves the day, hunting to provide food for itself and the dogs as well as being the cheerleader of the group. The cat is really the best equipped to survive in the wild. Now even when we have a dusting of snow, I am relieved when I spot pawprints in the snow. I'm also thinking a lot about warmer climates.
Friday, January 8, 2010
My life has been pretty sedentary lately as I recover from knee surgery and try to manage acute achilles tendonitis. I had another MRI yesterday and am waiting to learn what the next step (so to speak) will be in my recovery/rehab. Since late November I have spent most of my time on the couch in my living room. Directly in front of me on the coffee table is a poinsettia that arrived around Thanksgiving. I have spent a lot of time looking at the different pigments and designs in the flower. It is so different from the standard poinsettia fare. I am happy to report that it is still thriving for which I am grateful. It has been good company and in a quiet way has cheered me on. Hopefully, I will be up and around soon too.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
I've seen a lot of stray cats pass through my back yard, looking for a morsel or two. Pistachio and Hazel are permanent residents, but a banged up stray who has been coming through for about two years has also taken up residency. He has managed to worm his way into my heart. At first I was put off by his ragged looking coat, scratched up nose and ears that looked like serrated knives. I thought he was nothing but a trouble maker and kept my distance. He started rubbing up against my leg and he let me pet him. I knew then that he had belonged to someone and was "ditched". So, Ringtail joined the dynamic duo, Pistachio and Hazel. In fact, he even earned his own house out back. Now, I often walk into the kitchen to see Pistachio sitting on one window ledge and Ringtail on the other. He has a lot of battle scars, but I love seeing his chewed up ears through my window. He has settled in and I think he knows he has a home now too.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
A friend grilled this spectacular looking red snapper for dinner. I had to take a picture with my iphone and then wondered how it would look with an infrared filter. I have never done anything with infrared before, but I like the way this almost looks like a pen and ink drawing. By the way, the red snapper was as good as it looks!
Monday, January 4, 2010
Late this afternoon, as I sipped a cup of coffee in my kitchen my eye was drawn to the way the light was hitting my Christmas cactus. I've had this cactus for more than twenty years and despite some real neglect over the years, like a good alarm clock it announces the arrival of the holiday season by bursting into bloom. Like a peacock it transforms itself from a solid green leaved plant into stems laden with bright blossoms. It is easy to overlook it during the year. It isn't showy and certainly doesn't draw attention to itself. But today sitting all alone near the window on my kitchen counter, I noticed how interesting it is even without the flowers.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
I can hear the wind blowing and whipping around outside the house. The gusts are so strong they are knocking over the garbage cans. It is a perfect day to stay in bed, but I forced myself to get out. First thing I did was make coffee to warm up. Next step, feed Slugger (which is usually the first step because he meows up a storm wanting to be fed in the morning). All of a sudden I realized it was very quiet and Slugger was nowhere to be found. Somebody decided not to get up this morning!
Friday, January 1, 2010
There are some habits that even a new decade won't change. Every night Pistachio one of my outside cats jumps up on the window ledge and peers into the kitchen. It is almost impossible to see him because he is a black cat, but I hear the bell. It's our ritual and regardless of the weather I head out and give him a few treats and tell him to be safe. Usually, I come back in and treat myself to one last cup of coffee and a cookie. Coffee tonight, no cookie....that habit is going to change.