Monday, December 8, 2008

Cactus Monday:Prickly Pear and Palm

This is a huge palm tree in my friend's yard. The prickly pear cactus is also huge, so one day I squatted down and took an upshot of them together. The day was foggy grey. Would've been so much better if the sky was blue! I have no idea how to use Photoshop to change reality.

Happy Cactus Monday!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tribute to Little Ava

I know the work I do is important which is one of the reasons I get up every morning. I get to help animals by providing prescribed medical care with love, compassion and confidence. I help the owners by listening to their concerns. . They know that I understand the importance of their companions and in no way do I think it's silly to consider them family members. In fact, I think it's silly not to.
And they all know I will give my honest, intuitive feelings when asked if it's time to let them go. And so it was with little Ava these past few days. She seemed to be getting more fragile and frail. There have been two falls that we know of, signs that her legs were getting weaker and probably her heart as well. But with little Ava it was hard to tell because she was so stoic. Never a complainer. Whenever she'd have a tough day, she'd rally. Iva, her Mom calls her The Comeback Kid!
Yesterday when I went over to see her I got a feeling in my gut that her time was coming. We finger-fed her some baby food and her mom started to cry because she was reminded of doing that for her last dog just before letting her go. When we talked on the phone later last night I told her mom that she might want to sleep with her, and she did.
Today it became clear to her that this was the day to let her go before any suffering began. And so it was.
Whatever your beliefs are, you know that little spirit is going to be hanging around the family for a long time to come. And she'll probably visit Iva in a dream tonight to let her know she's okay. Ava and Iva, inseparable souls.
Bless you little girl. You were a perfect patient and a sweet friend. I'll miss you.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Synchronized Sunsets

A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate to have met fellow blogger Sketched Out and her husband, Tom. They drove five hours from Southern California to meet me and to enjoy a weekend on the central coast. I happen to be one of her biggest fans in the blogsphere, and here I was about to meet her! I'm a very shy person in real life even though I may come across quite differently on the blog. Like many, I have self-esteem issues mainly based on my appearance.(Yes, I know what a waste of time that is.) On top of that, my friend came to meet me when I had major life issues going on, including the closing of Studio Lolo. In otherwords, I was not at my best!

We met at a Mexican restaurant and fell into easy conversation and laughter. It was as if we had been friends for years and we were just catching up! She and her wonderful husband were charming and engaging and made the meeting such a breeze. We went to my studio after dinner and they chose an Illustration Friday painting to take home with them, which I insisted they take as a gift. SuperHero now lives with them and I know she has a good home!

We met for breakfast the following morning before they went on their way to Point Lobos and Carmel Valley. We talked about the wonderful photo ops Tom would have as a photographer, and what places I suggested to stop for lunch and wine tasting.

When we met on our final morning together at another breakfast stop, they talked about the sunset and we each described the photos we took.( I watched the sunset that same evening down at Asilomar Beach with my dog, Emma.) So now when I look at this photo, it warms my heart to know they were sharing the same moment a little bit further up the coast.

I'll get down to their neck of the woods one day before I head back east. And I won't be preoccupied with "stuff." This time I'll be at my best.

So, thank you my friend for taking time out of your life to meet me and to bring light into a time of gloom. We'll always have this sunset!

(you can see their sunset by clicking on Tom above!)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Animal Wednesday: Life's A Beach

Fewer things make me happier than animals loving life! Here's my girl Emma at her favorite running place, Asilomar Beach. It's her job (don't ya know) to rid the beach of all pesky seabirds. You go Emmie!!
Just look at the doggy footprints that came before her. Maybe he cleared the birdies!

Happy Animal Wednesday to all you critter lovers out there. What would we do without them?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Cactus Monday again?

Here's a pic I took Saturday of my friend's prickly pear cactus. I love zooming in on the new growth! I hope to do a paiting of this and other shots I took when I find the time. Meanwhile, Happy Cactus Monday Cacuteers!

Friday, July 25, 2008

New Show, Last Show at Studio Lolo

Hello everyone! Thanks for being so patient regarding photos of the "3 Squares" show at studio lolo. These aren't the best shots, but I think you can get an idea. I think if you enlarge the pics, you'll get a pretty good view of most of them. The opening was well attended and fun, but lots of work! But alas, I believe this will be my swan song at the studio as I can't afford to keep it any longer. Also, I have applied for a veterinary job in Rhode Island and I have an interview by phone on Monday. I'll keep you posted!

So please enjoy the show...and many thanks to all who participated. I hope I sell your work before I close at the end of the month!



Thursday, July 17, 2008

Love Your Blog Award

I was given this loving award from a very inspiring lady, Marianne from Mandalas & More. Please visit her wonderful site. She'll draw you into her life with her beautiful mandalas, her adorable furry family and her charm!

Thank you, my friend!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Hens and Chicks

I love doing extra weekly challenges that make me stop and look around. I wonder if I would have seen these Hens and Chicks blossoming if I hadn't stopped to participate in Cactus Monday? I'm sure I would have because I love being in the garden, but at least this made me slow down today so I could appreciate the simple things we sometimes take for granted.

Happy Cactus Monday Cacuteers! And remember to take a moment to stop and smell the succulents :)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Baskets of Succulents

This is a photo for my Cactus Monday pals. I didn't have a moment to paint anything this weekend because I'm working on my July studio show. I snapped this photo of my hanging succulent garden that's on my fence next to my gate that leads to our duplex. It has 2 tiers, but the bottom one is really scraggly and sad looking, so here are the top two. It really makes me smile when I come up the walkway. Happy Cactus Monday Cacuteers!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Animal Wednesday : Garden Critters

As I was watering the garden last night I was smiling at a few of my garden critters. It dawned on me that I could use them for Animal Wednesday! So here we have a sweet pig in the afternoon light, nestled in the nasturtiums. There's the Princess Camelia in the French blue lobelia, and then there's the cat with attitude! This cat was made by a sculptor in Connecticut (whose name escapes me). I love his human eyes, his stuck-out tongue and the fact that he's not neutered! I should have shown a back view, it's hilarious! (Please DO neuter your real cats though!)

I like having my whimsical friends nearby. They keep me in good company.

Happy Animal Wednesday!!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Old Roses and Zuby

I have wonderful clients who spoil me because they're so grateful for the care I give to their beloved animals. This one lady has a twenty year old cat her son brought home from Paris. Her name is Zuby and I adore her. I see her every other day to give her fluid therapy for her failing kidneys. She's really doing quite well and has even gained weight! Each day after treatment I carry her out to the garden so she can smell the roses and get some fresh air. She points her face towards the sun and closes her eyes in sheer bliss. It really lifts her spirits as well as mine. The local paper just did an article on me and my pet nursing services and Zuby and I were on the front page. The reporter got misty-eyed when I leaned Zuby forward to smell the roses.

Yesterday, Zuby's mom insisted I cut some roses to bring to the studio, so I did. The fragrance is filling up my space, and when I look at them I think of my time in the garden with Zuby, and that fills up my heart.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Zen Garden

I finally got the Buddha statue out of the back of the car after 3 weeks. Yikes, he's a heavy one! I situated him where I thought he looked best and then I planted the grasses around him. I'm disappointed in the choice of white stones. It looks a little too "snowy" and pretentious, but I'll scatter some larger smooth black stones on top and hope it takes away from the starkness. You can't really see the bamboo behind him because it's so short still. Hopefully the summer will be kind and cause a growth spurt. The grasses will fill out nicely, I'm sure, and the nasturtiums will bloom behind him as will the yellow lilies. It will be a pretty space that will bring me pleasure. I'll take more pictures as the garden changes, but for now all I have is this humble beginning and the gratitude for the little piece of land to place it on.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Ming-Wah's Progress

For everyone who wants to know how little Ming-Wah is doing, I thought I'd post some photos of his big first day at hydrotherapy and being put on a regular treadmill. It was hard for me to let other people step in, but we all have an important role in his healing. So, today I'll be the photographer! First of all, here's his beautiful face. He posed for me after our morning exercises today. The adorable dog with the ball in her mouth is his best friend and roommate, Poppy. She looks forward to my visits as much as he does because it means treats for everyone! The other photos are Ming on the regular treadmill, trying really hard to find his rhythm; Ming standing in the hydrotherapy treadmill while the water is filling with his mom on the left giving him instructions to walk. Another photo of him, mom and Auntie Rox cheering him on, and one of his little feet working really, really hard to find placement and balance underwater. What a champ!!!! Now do you understand why I do what I do? They just melt my heart, and I'm grateful to be called to help.

I'll post new pictures as little Mings progresses. Thanks for all of your thoughts and prayers for Ming and his mom, Lisa.

Friday, February 22, 2008

It's a boy!!! (Gorilla!)

The loving, generous "Forever Young" was moved by a recent post of mine so she spent her time and money to make me an adoptee of a baby gorilla sponsored by The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International. I'm so moved by her unselfish, huge heart, and I'm grateful for having her as a friend. Thank you Joss, from the bottom of my heart, and for making a difference in this little fellow's world.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Windowsill Joy

I like washing dishes, at least most of the time. The hot, soapy water feels good on my hands. I like the squeaking sounds as the dishes are being cleaned. It's also a good time to be grateful for the meal that was on those plates. But what I also enjoy is the quiet time as I wash the dishes. The sun often streams in that window and it warms my spirit as well as my body. Add a simple bouquet of flowers in a pretty cup and before you know it you'll catch yourself smiling. Yes, while washing the dishes!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Signs of Spring

I'm lucky to live in a place where something is always in bloom, but winters here can be bleak and gray just as in colder climates. In February, the flowering trees start to bloom. My favorites are these little cherry trees. I snapped a few pics on our way home from our morning walk, just after it started pouring and hailing. Ten minutes later, sun and blue skies! Today I'm grateful to see the sun and all of these beautiful trees.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Letters from far away

I have this dear 3rd cousin in St. Stephen , New Brunswick whom I've never met. Her birth mom was my mother's second cousin, or so my mother said. Anyway, her birth mom, Gladys, was so good to me as a child, so one day I was thinking of her and wondered if she had passed away, but most importantly, if she did, was anyone with her. After making many phonecalls I did find out that Gladys passed away and her daughter had made arrangements for someone to be with her. I asked for the daughter's name and phone number and gave her a call. We've been great friends ever since that day nearly 12 years ago! We've never met in person but we always exchange cards and gifts, and we share a love of cats and wild birds. This is a card I received from her recently thanking me for the Christmas gifts I sent, one of them being a framed piece from Illustration Friday. I just love the toothpick knitting-needles on the clever!

I'm grateful for serendipitous meetings and the chance to be in an elderly person's life who has no blood relations. She has a heart as big as life and she has enriched my life enormously in return.

Friday, February 1, 2008

A Good Blanket...and a nap!

Blanket is the word for the week over at Illustration Friday. While I decide what it is I want to paint, and until I can find the time, I thought I'd post this picture of Emma and her favorite blanket. She doesn't do mornings! (And she's very grateful for her naps.)

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Golden Moments

When I saw this Golden Retriever on Carmel Beach, I was lost in his world for a while. He just indulged in his carefree, water-loving , ain't got a care today typical and perfect! I'm sure he didn't bring worries or fears to the beach. No baggage for this guy. His only thoughts are food, tennis ball and beach. Does it get any better than that?

Today I'm grateful for wading dogs and tail wags, especially the one that's waiting at home for me.

(Click to enlarge)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A New Day

I'm such a sucker for clouds! I always go home for my camera if I'm on a walk with Emma and I see fantastic, dramatic cloud formations. Often times our skies are cloudless, pure blue for miles. As beautiful as that is, I prefer clouds. I love when the skies are clearing after a night of rain and the morning is full of promise. The blue slides in between the greys, kind of like a sky sandwich that nourishes the soul. Yup. Love those cloudy, magical moments.

C,mon Mum!!

When Emma and I get back from a walk she's always anxious to go in the house and tell Dad all about it! She's such a crack-up. He's out this morning though, so she ran from room to room looking for him. I'm so grateful for her exuberance and spirited nature, always reminding me to have fun and not to sweat the small stuff. Thanks, Em!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Mugu Memorial Hospice Fund

Most of you know that I'm a retired veterinary technician who now does home care as a visiting nurse for pets. Most of the animals I'm called to care for are in end of life stages, so my role is to help them through their remaining days with dignity and comfort, as well as to be there as a comfort to their human companions and guide them through the end of life process with grace and compassion.

We lost a beauty of a cat last Friday. Her name was Mugu, an eighteen year old veteran who stole my heart with her will to live. She taught me a lot in the two months I nursed her, and my life is richer for having known her this short time.

Her "Mom" wanted to show her gratitude to me for the care I had given them both, so she started The Mugu Memorial Fund so that people with financial hardship could benefit from my care for their pets. I'm so completely touched by this gesture.

We're in the process of setting this up and trying to keep it simple. If any of you would like to donate, please contact me by email by clicking on the Magu Memorial link above.

I know Mugu is purring her approval. She was a classy cat.