Tag Archives: right here right now

Throwback Thursday: Me at Doug’s house about this time of year

dougshouseIt’s Throwback Thursday and I’m in an impossibly good mood.  Things are going well in my life and that’s such a change from recent years.  I’ve mentioned before that the Raising Sand album my Alison Krauss and Robert Plant has been one of my mourning staples.  I’m far enough in the grief process that I no longer cry when I hear these songs — they just provoke wonderful memories of Doug.

I’m in my office at work — lunch at my desk — and rocking out to the album.  I’m happy, but I do miss him.

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Filed under November 2014

Happy Day of the Dead

The Beautiful Babette and Doug

The Beautiful Babette and Doug

Today I’ve been reflective about all the changes that have occurred in the past few years – chief of these the loss of Doug, my partner, and The Beautiful Babette, the sweetest Shih Tzu of all time.

5834854826_53e1ba9362_z (2)The Mexican Day of the Dead celebrations are joyous affairs. While reflective, I was also happy in my memories of Doug and Babette today. It’s been long enough that it doesn’t hurt to think about them. I like the idea that they might be walking among us today and tomorrow. I hope they’re together and I hope they think of me as fondly as I think of them.

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Filed under November 2014

Emmylou

EmnyLou 012I am just as pleased as I can be. I have a Dachshund puppy.  Yeah, yeah, I know I said I wanted to wait until spring, but we all knew that wasn’t going to happen.

I searched Craigslist, the entire eastern seaboard and much of the Midwest , for a puppy to no avail. It wasn’t until my early morning, not enough coffee, attempt in which I misspelled Dachshund and found a female puppy about 40 miles down the road in Kentucky at a price I was willing to pay.

She’s a beauty. I had thought I wanted a red, smooth hair Dachshund.  What I have is a coal black, smooth hair Dachshund.  She’s black velvet and midnight giggles.  She’s just perfect.

I am so happy.

EmnyLou 040And so is Phoebe. So far Emmylou (she’s a blue, Kentucky girl) has played with Phoebe’s toys, eaten Phoebe’s food, monopolized Phoebe’s mom and pretty much made herself at home.  Phoebe is all smiles.  I suspected she needed a playmate and I was right.

Dachshunds are special creatures. Nothing snuggles like a Dachshund.  And they make these cute little sounds and they’re just so damn cute.  I very much have a case of puppy love.

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Filed under October 2014

Morning Sounds

2400 sq. ft. and here we all are

It’s a dreary Saturday morning.

The sound of the gentle rain on the roof and that of a snoring, old dog are comforting.

dolleighI’m on the sofa. Next to me is the old, snoring dog that I’m taking care of while my parents are out of town.  Dolleigh is snuggled underneath the sofa throw and seemingly content.  Behind me, on the back of the sofa, is Izzy, my black and white cat.  She, too, is sleeping but without the snoring – she’s far too young for such indignities.  Maggie, the old champagne-colored cat, is sprawled on the coffee table in front of me.  While old enough, she is quiet in her sleep.  Perhaps her cat nap isn’t deep enough. Phoebe, my somewhat Shih Tzu puppy, is nestled against me.  She is not sleeping.

Phoebe is jealous – the first sign I’ve seen that she is even a little bit territorial about my affection. She loves Dolleigh and this whole dog-sitting thing is a great adventure for her, but nonetheless, she does what she can to distract me from loving on Dolleigh, an impossibly fat and affectionate dachshund.

Dolleigh, in her old age and rotundness, invites affection. When I pet her, she lifts her muzzle to give me kisses.   She stays close to me, unlike Phoebe who is usually too busy with a toy or a cat to snuggle with me.  But with Dolleigh here, Phoebe is bestowing great gifts of affection and staying very close to me.

2400 sq. ft. and here we all sit.

IzzyIt is a gray, gloomy day, but, still, it is beautiful. The damp causes the changing leaves to glow in the mist.  I’ve sat here, loving on pets, and drinking coffee for several hours while staring out the atrium door to the backyard.  It’s just that kind of day – one that provokes a lazy stillness.  Later, perhaps, I will curl up with a book and read between my own cat naps.

This is a three-day weekend for me. I feel quite comfortable at the idea of spending this day doing nothing of any import.  It won’t surprise me, however, if I turn into a whirlwind of activity and tackle some household projects.

It’s that kind of day too– one pregnant with possibilities, but no agenda. I may wallow in the comfort of this sofa or I may tackle the disorganized mess of this house.  Either way, I’ll be steeped in contentment.  It’s just that kind of day.

2400 sq. ft. and here we all sit. I know if I get up, so will the animals.  All of them will follow me to whichever room I go.    If I do turn into a whirling dervish of activity, all of them will make their way back to the family room where they will continue to nap and snuggle with each other.

Whatever it is I end up doing, I think I will do it without music or television. I am loving the sounds of this rainy, dreary Saturday.

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Filed under October 2014

Happy, but not content.

053It’s Saturday morning and I’m in the study. Lord, this room is a mess.  All the flotsam and jetsam of the past couple of years that I don’t know what to do with has landed in this room. Couple that with the fact that it needs a good cleaning and you have one big mess.  Yet, it’s a comfortable room — dead bugs, cobwebs and heaps of junk, aside.

I haven’t been able to write and to some extent, I still can’t. But I want to and that’s a huge step forward.

I’m oddly happy these days. And bored.  I’m not sure if those two things are related.  There’s more than enough to do which is to say I have no good reason for being bored.  Perhaps, I’m just in a time out.

As usual, I have an ambitious to-do list. With the change of weather has come some ambition after the long lethargy of the spring and summer.  Perhaps, it’s time for me to be done with this time-out.

I think I deserved a season or two of inertia, but I’ve reached the point where I’m tired of being bored. Tired of unfinished projects.  Tired of having my life on hold while I wait for something – a something undefined.  I think I’ve been waiting for now – this time when I’m unaccountably happy.  A time when I could be content if the to-do list wasn’t about to topple over and kill me.

Contentment – what a sweet word and lovely idea. To be content must be the greatest blessing.  The trick, I think, is to be content in the midst of chaos and I’ve yet to learn that skill.  I’ll put it on the to-do list.

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Filed under October 2014

In the Still of the Night


I hear the clock ticking and the puppy sighing. It’s late by my reckoning, yet I’m not ready for sleep.

I love the house quiet like this. I can hear myself think and my heart beat. In the still of the night. . . Hold me darlin’ hold me tight.

Life is so good these days.

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Filed under September 2014

Christmas Guests, Memories and Memorials

doug's tree guest room 016I’ve spent the day finishing HMO’Keefe’s Christmas tree.  I’ve been working on this for more than a week now.  It’s a pre-lit tree, but whole sections refused to light.  I checked bulbs, cords, fuses, the alignment of stars and planets, and everything else and nothing, nada, zip, could persuade the lights to work.

I decided to put up HMOK’s tree in the guest room primarily so his daughter could enjoy it when he comes to visit, but also because it is a slim tree and fit into the room like it should always have been there.  He was mildly annoyed when he got it home after buying it to discover it had colored lights.  He and I both prefer trees with either white lights or a solid color.  This one has red, blue, pink, white, green and gold.  It’s grown on me over the years and the multi-colors are great in the guest room.  I’m right fond of it.

But I was not fond of its refusal to work.  So, I trundled off to the Lowe’s and found an exact match for the lights.  Now, really, what are the odds?  So, I added more lights to the sections that aren’t working.  (Maybe next year I’ll take off the non-working lights, but I didn’t feel like wrestling with cable ties this year.)

doug's tree guest room 038I was so afraid that celebrating the holidays this year would be hard that I resolved to begin early so that if I did end up in the pit of sadness, my obligations to the family and friends would be taken care of.  Funny thing.  The more ahead of the game I got, the more I have enjoyed the season.  I’m still mourning HMO’Keefe, but I think I’ve moved to the acceptance stage of things and spend a lot of time reminiscing about our years together — particularly our Christmases.  We had a long-distance relationship for years, but regular as rain, I went to Boston or he came here.

He particularly loved the spectacle that is my house at Christmas time when I put everything out.  I felt I owed it to him and to me to make sure the house is at its Christmas best this year.  I’ve had a ball doing it.

doug's tree guest room 023Today, I fixed the lights and got out the boxes of his ornaments.  He was fond of Santas, kayaks, chili peppers, cowboys, and his daughter.  His tree reflects those things.  It’s a beautiful, funny, eclectic memorial to the man I loved.  I’m so pleased that his daughter is going to be able to sleep in this room with that tree when she comes to visit.

I’m also excited that Chef Boy ‘R Mine will be here for 5 days this year.  I can’t remember the last time I had him for 5 days.  So, I’m in a frenzy to have the house clean and orderly, to make cookies, to celebrate all the time-honored traditions of an American Christmas.

doug's tree guest room 042The guest room is almost ready, and boy-howdy I’m glad my two guests don’t have problems with cat hair.  I’m pleased with how the room turned out.  I bought the furniture this past summer upon realizing it drove me crazy that my son and step-daughter didn’t have a proper bed to sleep in when they’re here.  The suite of furniture is gorgeous and suits the room perfectly.

Upon excavating and decorating the closet, I got the hidden writing closet up and running again.  I can’t wait to spend some serious time in there writing secrets and memories.

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Filed under December 2013