Monday, March 29, 2010

Beauty Queen

Fresh from appointment at vet, including nail trim and bath.  Seasonal bandana included in service fee.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

This is it

I drive the familiar roads, less than one hundred miles away from home, and with the so many turns I'm taken away.  Away from the city, the stress, the boxed houses and grid neighborhoods.  With every turn, I drive away from congestion and towards my open heaven, I drive alongside pastures of cows feeding in a meadow bursting with new green life.  Daisies and weeds bloom bright yellow wide and across the fields, Indian Paint Brushes burst orange and red, the Blue Bonnetts lagging, just on the edge of explosion.  The view makes me wealthy. This is Texas, my Texas. This is the scene of my heart. I smile and drive on, towards the cabin and the familiar Live Oak and Sycamore trees and the Colorado River running fast and low, wide. 

I'm in bed, with the all the windows open, the sounds of early morning birds and breeze riding across my life, my ears, my skin.

And then the velvet hour. An Owl's long and staggered question tells the world the night is leaving, the dawn is coming. The Wrens and Swallows, Blue Jays, and Starlings, Cardinals and Finches, all sing out loud, direct and celebrate the rising, the warming sun.

I take a walk through the morning light, observe the rays through one phase after another, coloring and shading the field and the woods. Clouds move like long stretches of silky hair spread out from the sun.  Everything bursts with that first bit of color, that first bit of Spring life, the bright green, yellow, the sun's fire on the distant view.  The hope. 

I'm in the greatest place, the greatest moment, nature's decorated beginning.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A mother's heart

Have you ever heard the grief of someone you love?  I mean, have you ever heard it?  Has someone's sorrow been so loud, so pure, so shocking and rolling and sad, so much so that in your hearing it, witnessing it, their pain soaked into and through you so much so that you became it? 

Today I took my friend to her son's grave. Today was his birthday, she wanted to bring roses. We took the wrong exit, got lost. We drove this way, then that. We got so turned around, I had to rely on a directional sense that was fading with every wrong turn. We recognized at last, the street, the long row of trees bordering the property, then the rows of headstones. We recognized, at last, where her son rests.  We could see the dirt atop his grave, raw still, piled, heaped, uneven and without sod.  We walked toward the stone.  She collapsed and sobbed over her walker as we neared.  And then she opened her heart to her grief.  She howled, wailed, shrunk.  She became a tiny object in my hands, a fragile weight I held and cradled and wrapped my arms around. And there the two of us stayed for a time unbroken, two friends, two women under the bright sunshine, a mother beside her son's grave, and her companion with an overflowing heart.

I realized today, the only comfort we can give is that which begins with the heart.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Raise your hand if you already knew the answer

Last weekend in Austin, my friend and I went out to dinner at a restaurant neither of us had been to before but it happened to be located on the convenient side of the very busy street we were traveling. One of the specials that night was Chilean Sea Bass.  I thought it amusing when I learned that the Chilean Sea Bass is neither Chilean nor a Bass.  Besides, Patagonian Toothfish doesn't sound too tasty, does it?  No, no it doesn't.  No doubt in part due to its convenient renaming, apparently done so to market to Americans, it's a very popular fish in restaurants. With high demand, this fish is being overfished and on its way to being endangered.  Because of the regulatory pressure on fishermen to decrease their catches, poaching has become popular.  Now we the consumers are being encouraged to order alternative fish, thereby decreasing the demand.  Several weeks ago, I read an article on the plight of this fish.  The author suggested that when dining out, ask the restaurant where the fish was caught. Certain populations in certain deep waters are not overfished and not poached.

I considered the dish and asked our waitress where the fish was caught.  She did not know and said she needed to ask her manager.

When she returned, she informed me the Chilean Sea Bass was from... wait for it... Dallas. Who knew that the Chilean Sea Bass was not only not Chilean and not a Bass, but also not a fish of the sea at all?  I ordered the avacado and artichoke enchiladas.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Opening night

Senior Photography Exhibit, St. Edward's University, March 5, 2010. 


I couldn't possibly be more proud of her.


Thursday, March 04, 2010


I'm a big dog girl.  I grew up under the influence of a father who believed that if a dog wasn't over 50 pounds, well, it wasn't a dog.  The dogs in my childhood were sporting dogs, Pointers and Labradors. Through that exposure, I've been a bit biased to big breeds, sporting breeds, the sort of dogs that don't do anything small. They jump on your lap and your entire lungs empty and your knees buckle from the sudden weight.  They lick your hand and you have to grab a paper towel to dry off.  They snore and drool and flop themselves so hard on your livingroom floor that you could swear the house shook.

I have held that sort of partiality for large dogs most of my life.  But then, years ago, I met some Yorkies.  Some yap yap yap Yorkies.  I resisted, oh I resisted.  But if you've had any exposure at all to Yorkies, well then you know that my resistance was futile.  I have in my life three little friends (one who will never ever sit still long enough for me to take her picture) and I love them.  Oh, I love them.  They have their own personalities and voices and quirks and even smiles that I recognize.  They scurry and circle and love to be held on your lap.  Zoe is all about having her tiny belly rubbed.  It's no wonder they are second in popularity only to Labradors in Houston. 

Meet my friends:

This is Preston. He is large and cuddly. He's a little circus bear.  He dances for treats and he steals treats from his older brother, given the chance. He also barks, I love you.


This is Zachary. He's tiny and sweet and at night, he sleeps on my friend's head. His bark is dusty, short and loud, his appetite peculiar. His kisses are constant and stinky, but devoted and perfect.


This is Zach and Preston.  As this photo was taken, their sister, the ever camera-shy Zoe, was inside the house on her bed gnawing on the stash of treats she horded throughout the day.  But these two, her brothers, they are on my friend's lap and happily loving the sunshine and attention. 


Whenever I'm around these dogs, they make my heart go all soft and happy.  They make my voice giggle and my face smile.  Please don't tell Cheyenne, but I am experiencing a serious case of Yorkie love.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Better than therapy

Some of us carry baggage.  I carry a camera.  If you're looking for me in my happiest moments, you'll find me on a morning or evening walk, across a field, beneath the trees, Cheyenne by my side and camera in my hand.