Sunday, April 13, 2014

Stop and Start

I'm trying to GET this.  Occupied, these days, with understanding light, depth of field, composition and all the little bottoney doodads that make up my digital camera. It used to be easy with my old Pentax 35mm: light meter, focus, shoot.  There were no millions of buttons, no LCD screen, no WTF; just a girl and a camera.  But, above and beyond TRYING to get this, I WANT to get this.

I've been obsessively scouring flickr, reading tips and tricks of all the most successful dog photographers.  Devouring words and images, calculating shots.

On occasion, the critic in me guffaws at my determined interest .  "You won't get this!" "You will never be this."  I study with admiration...I start to agree. "Stick with what you know."  "Stay still."

Two months ago I decided to get a better camera.  A 'real' camera.  I have browsed sites and stopped to touch numerous times at Costco. "Should I?"  I hesitate, overthink, underestimate myself.  It has taken that long.

I should.

This is my process.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Last day of Mama.

Today was my last day of Mama.  She's going back to the Humane Society tomorrow, and we three (minus the Daddy) are roadtripping down to Texas for my sister's wedding.  I may take her back in a week, I may not.

She has been my shadow this last while, growing more and more attached.  And me to her.  It is both good and bad.  Good to feel such deep dog love, bad to let it go.  If we were 2 years down the road, if we were back home, if she loved my husband a little more (and he her), I would keep her.  I would deal with her glitches and teach her to sit.  I would buy her stuffies from the thrift store so that she doesn't chew the ears off of those loved by my kids.  I would find a runner to save the wood floor from getting all scratched up, and I would find a way to go to yoga class during the day without worrying about her overheating in the car or destroying my house.

I worry that she won't find a good home.  That she will but they won't get her and they'll send her back.  I worry that she will be alone in a kennel, bored and lonely, waiting for me to come and pick her up.  And I worry that I never will.

She is number 9.  She is my favourite of them all.  

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


People ask me all the time if she's had puppies.  "Yes." I say. "But, now she's fixed."  Then, "She's a rescue." Just to be clear that I'm not the one responsible for pet over-population and abandonment and death. No, it wasn't me.  I didn't do this to her or any of them.

These dogs, and this one in particular, have opened my eyes and touched my heart.  There are so many good and loyal pups out there, misunderstood, with no hope and no chance.  My 9 that I've housed have been the lucky few, and I've seen them bloom from scared and confused to full of personality and love.

My Mama here, laying next to me on the couch, was tail between her legs, looking around frantic, unsure of everything except for the love and concern she had for her 4 babies.  That she knew and that she showed.  The pups are gone and it is just her and us now.  She is there to greet me, tail wagging, when I come down the stairs in the morning.  She is there at my feet, waiting hopefully, when I'm working in the kitchen.  She is finding her trust and feeling safe. I can pat her head without her cowering away, and throw things that she fetches rather than hides from.  She moves her toys from room to room and rolls onto her back smiling as she twists and turns on the carpet.  I know there is more to her than her sagging nipples and her puppies.  

She just never got the chance to shine.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I stumble but I do not fall.

Hi.  It's me.  It's been awhile.

I've been avoiding this space, for good (and not so good) reason.  Afraid of criticism, of opening up, of being a target.  That's why.

But, the thing is, this is mine.  My words and photos, my ramble, my whatever the heck I want.  Like it or not.  (I tell myself.)  Whatever words I use are mine, written from the moment and from my heart.  They are me and I am good.

I want to document this.  This revelation and exploration, these ideas and epiphanies.  Something has come up and I want it to be here...

Dog Photography!  Evolved from a foster, to a friend, to a website, to an idea, to the whole world. (Although I could go back further to high school and to my many years of Molly...actually I will because they are links too.) This is something, another piece of my puzzle.  And it feels good to have finally found it, again.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Day 21: I have a dream.

The rest of them went to the zoo and left me to wash the floor. As I scrubbed, the lovely and nostalgic scent of Murphy's Oil Soap in the air all around, I thought:

When I grow up I want to own a farm...but not any farm, a farm where farmers and artists and entrepreneurs of all sorts can collide together and change the world.  A big huge piece of permacultured land where kids (when I say kids I'm thinking university age) will grow food and work on ideas, where people will come together and learn about ways to live more sustainably right here, in the now.

Why?  I just always have.  That is where my mind wanders when I blank out.  That meditative state of idea generating when one cleans or gardens or does any sort of mindless activity. I don't have a garden here, so I don't garden, but in that 30 minutes of floor cleaning, music blasting, I remembered my dream.  It was just as vivid as the last time I dug my hands into my dirt back home.  A very strong reminder of the essence of me.

This is what I love, this is where I feel ME come alive.  Gardens and gardening, and everything in between.  Learning about soil and plants and animals, even worms and microorganisms.  Anything that has to do with being with the earth, providing from the earth, playing with the earth.  That is me.  Then there is community, and that is me on another level.

I have 3 1/2 years more here, at this post.  Then we will go home for me to live out MY dream. (Thank you husband!)  I have that much time to form a plan to read and learn and network.  I forgot about all of this for a sec; sucked into my day to day, distracted, bored and bothered.

I refocus, remembering the whole point of everything.