Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Best Cat, Update

There's no cuter kitty than Leah.  Obviously I had to give up on the bird -cat problem.  Eventually the birds got used to her looming presence and she spends a lot of time sleeping on top of the cage. I have learned that it's impossible to keep her out of anything.  She is incredibly athletic and can climb like a monkey.  She makes herself comfortable everywhere.

I don't know how I got so lucky.  I love her.

Visit from Nancy

This is my friend Nancy, visiting from Indiana, walking with the dogs down on the beach.  She and I were office mates in the social service department of the psychiatric hospital in Bangor in the late 60's and early 70's.  We both stopped working and had children at roughly the same time.  Hers came first, just in time for me to borrow her maternity clothes.  Then Carrie inherited Leslie's baby clothes.  She had her second baby, a boy, just before I got pregnant with Jesse.  Our lives continued more or less in tandem for a number of years, full of the stress of little children, unhappy marriages, depression.  We had each other, though, and there were wonderfully intense times of mutual support as well as fun and laughter.  She and her family moved to Indiana when the kids were still little.  We have talked a few times over the years by phone, and somehow remained close despite the lack of contact.  I was delighted to have her actually come to visit.

Our lives have taken strikingly different paths.  We have both divorced (she twice), but otherwise we have little in common besides the past.  She is retired now, but has spent her life building her own business.  She has acquired more money than I will see in my lifetime, travels the world, loves socializing and dating.  Nevertheless our connection was still there and we visited as if we had seen each other yesterday.  She bought two of my paintings to take home with her.  We parted with promises to see each other again in the near future.  That probably won't happen, but I'm so glad we had this time to reconnect.

Monday, August 15, 2016

New Paintings

IIt has been some time since I've written, and I'll not bother to explain.  Obviously, though, I have been painting.  These are all done from photos I took around my house, most of them on a single day.  They are of various sizes and done in different mediums.  I intended to label them, but I don't have the computer skills to do it.  In any case the last one is the biggest, around 24 x 30, and was meant to be the signature piece of the series.  I kept going on, though, so I don't know if it will be or not.

The summer has almost past, mostly without my noticing.  I've spent a lot of time working around the house in anticipation of guests.  It's been tiring, a fact I can't quite get my head around.  Until the past year or so, I didn't really know what it was like to have to pace myself.  My energy seemed boundless.  I regret to say that this is no longer the case.  There's no doubt that I am getting old.  I have had to learn to stop before the end of a project and pick it up again later.  I must say it is a more sensible and comfortable way of doing things than my former obsession to finish almost any task without stopping, no matter how long it took.  Well, that's me at 71.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016


There has been a lot of turmoil over the last couple of weeks.  I started to describe the various events but found it too tedious.  After a lot of permutations of cars and chickens, I have ended up with one new car and two new chickens. Losing my van was hard, but it couldn't be repaired after some fatal engine event.  Luckily another car fell into my hands.  Then a complicated story involving chicken coop doors mistakenly left open over night, a raccoon, and an insecure fence.  I found one dead chicken in the morning and three missing.  To make a long story shorter, I acquired three new chickens, one of which was fatally wounded the next day by presumably the same raccoon.  I rushed the chicken to the emergency vet, but she had to be euthanized.  She is the farthest to the right in the picture.  Three of my old chickens returned mysteriously on their own, so I have the same number as before, but two new faces.  The next several  days have been spent trying to put up a new fence.  In the end, my neighbor who just returned for the summer (he lives in Arizona), saw me struggling and came over to help.  He ended up doing most of the work for me, and I am very thankful.  I probably would have got it up myself, but it would have been a shoddy job.

So that is an unemotional account of all that happened, but needless to say I was devastated.  I am recovering now, as we all do, but my animals mean so much to me that every time I lose one I am absolutely devastated.  These violent deaths are especially traumatic, and the fact that it was all my fault makes them all the more awful.

On a more positive note, the new parakeets are doing well, and Leah has pretty much won the battle about jumping up on the cage.  That cat is an acrobat, and you have to love her for her persistence and ingenuity. In the end I put a piece of plexiglass on top of the cage so she can't reach into it, so the only trauma for the birds is when she lands.  I have to hope they will get used to her.