Friday, February 25, 2011

I'm on my way back!

It's hard to believe that it's been just over 3 years since I last posted. Perhaps, this time I will be more consistent. I know that you who have visited before are probably thinking, 'we'll see, we'll see.'

So much has happened in those 3 years -- good and not so good. The not-so-good is that my 2 kitties I had featured in the last post, Tabitha and Samantha, departed this world. Tabitha had just turned 21 and Samantha was 1 month from turning 16. Another era of my life at a close. Not that these 2 new kitties could replace them, my new 'girls' are Esther B and Lily - mother and daughter -- are very sweet. I've had them nearly a year. Someone had dropped off a pregnant kitty at my vet's doorstep. Two days later, 5 kittens were born. This was around Easter so momma kitty was named Esther Bunny and the 5 kittens received Easter-related names. I like the names so I kept them. Esther and Lily are both tabbies. I had forgotten about the energy needed and the mischievousness of kittens.

When I first met Esther and picked her, she and I locked gazes and I swear it was like looking into the souls of Tabitha and Samantha -- as if they were both reincarnated into Esther's spirit. It was instant bonding. During the following 7 weeks after meeting Esther B and her children and waiting to take at least Esther B home, I struggled with the decision on whether to take home just momma or momma and 1 of her children (girl preferably). I had been a 2 cat family for so many years because they provide each other company. So I took home Esther B and one of her daughters. I don't know if Esther really preferred to be an empty nester or if the office manager wanted to rhyme with Esther in her pitch to find a home. I hope Esther is ok with my decision. So in honor of the new girls, I have written a brief poem.

Sweet, sweet Esther
Is not an empty nester
Her daughter Lily
Can be quite silly
But so much love they have to give
For many years I hope they both live!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Loves from the Past

With my recent losses as well as recent or upcoming anniversaries of those who departed long ago, I am reminded of the Beatles' song, "In My Life" -- particularly the lines:
Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life
. . . .
On this day of Cat Blogging, I am also reminded of pets who were part of my life -- a variety of dog breeds throughout childhood, one beagle-dachshund (Heidi) in my adult-life, and then mostly kitties. Before Tabitha and Samantha -- who have been a part of my life for the past 19 and 13 years, respectively -- I had another pair of kitties who were with me for a significant time. They were Reggae (tabby) and Abbott (mixed tabby and abyssinian). Reggae had a different mate named Jazz, but he died as a kitten, then I adopted Abbott. I was sketching way back then as well. I sketched this pose of Reggae and Abbott in 1984. When they passed away, an era of my life came to an end.

My deep sympathies go to blogger NTodd of 'Dohiyi Mir' blog whose dog Rin Tin left this earth yesterday, as well as for one of my brothers and sister-in-law who also faced the decision of ending the suffering of their dog Max of 14 years on Wednesday. My brother wrote a sweet farewell commenting on how Max loved the snow and then on his last day it snowed for him.

To Max, Rin Tin, Abbott, Reggae, Jazz, Heidi and all other beloved pets who went before, we often stop and think about you . . . in our lives.

Friday, January 11, 2008

First kitty sketch & poem in 2008

To My "Girls" (aka Cats) in 2008

Tabitha on my lap
Samantha on the chair
Surfaces covered with their hair
Settling in for year's first catnap

Dreams of catnip
Still savoring their treats
Wanting more fish & meats
They sleep & lick their kitty lips

Written 1/1/08

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Celebrate 2008!

New year. New blogger website. New posts.... along with old ones.
"Auld lang syne" and all that. It's hard to believe that I started the original blog almost 4 years ago. My posts also ended almost 4 years ago. The frequency of my posts will be stepped up this time around. Once a week in the beginning.

Beginnings. Endings. Transitions.
My post for the end of 2007 is a photograph I took when Steve, another friend and I went to Moody Gardens 12/30/07. Many of you know Steve from his blog. I encourage you to visit his slide show from that visit on his website

Back to my photo post.
After downloading the photos from that trip and viewing them, I was drawn to the one that I selected for my website return engagement. The photo is actually rotated on its side. But I like it like this. The angled pyramids are pointed to the right -- as if giving direction forward into 2008. Some of the blurred lights to the left of the pyramids signify the speed at which time has flown (yes, at the speed of light -- sorry, couldn't resist). The resulting less than precise focus yields a softer, colorful flexibility on perspective (no black and white!). As with any art, the viewer enjoys it more when she or he adds personal meaning to the experience.

Experience. Direction. Focus.
I gave a lot of thought to the transition into 2008 and how I want to experience life in this new year. I love the arts. I want to experience art more and create art. I took up learning the alto sax about six months ago. I want to give more time to learning, playing and enjoying it! I also have blues harps (aka, harmonica) I want to return to learning, playing and enjoying. And hand percussion I want to return to learning, playing.... And my tsimbali I want to return to ...... And my recorder..... (which is how I first met Steve). I also want to hear more live music! I also want to spend more time listening to all the recordings I have collected. I'm also a visual artist. I sketch. My cats (Tabitha and Samantha) sometimes stay still long enough to capture a pose. My drawings of them may show up for Friday Cat Blogging. But I'll leave the photos of my cats for Steve to continue taking and posting. Steve and a few other friends have allowed me to sketch their portraits. And they have remained friends after seeing the results. If I want to keep them as friends, I won't post those drawings. I'm also interested in creating collages, improving on creating altered art in Photoshop and learning to create pop-up books. I have quite a collection of those as well to inspire me. Another art form I enjoy creating is the written word. I've written poems and short-short stories. Steve was the recipient of a short poem just after midnight of this new year. I also wrote a poem to my "girls," Tabitha and Samantha. I will post that poem along with a drawing (or 2) for a near-future Friday Cat Blogging. So I hope to share some of the creative writing on my posts from time-to-time.

As the Rolling Stones sang, "Time, time, time is on my side. Yes, it is!" It's on my side because I'm making it on my side. In order to create time to create, time wasters or just lower-on-priority time users have been identified and will be zapped.... or unplugged in the case of the TV. I have a bumper sticker (which never go on my bumpers) that reads "Fight Primetime. Read a book tonight!" I believe I'll tape it back on my TV and modify it to "Read or write a book..." Fortunately, I'm not a TV addict so the habit will be easy to break. I'll still save my TV for movies I've purchased or rented.

Support Group.
One of the art works by Barry Kite that I have is titled "Group." It's a group therapy session of objects d' art (e.g., headless body from Magritte). Barry Kite of Aberrant Art. Check out his website. It's important to have groups or individuals who are supportive of your endeavors -- whether it's to create your own or having time to enjoy the creations of others. Steve is one of those, as well as another long-time friend. A couple weeks ago I had a holiday visit with this dear, creative friend. She's given me quite a few of her works as gifts. Gifts indeed. Her friendship is also a wonderful gift I've enjoyed for about 13 years. You've heard of exercise buddies. Well, I came up with the idea of art buddies. When my friend and I visited over a cup of flavored java / hot choc blend, we each wrote out ideas for creative pursuits in separate small ringed notebooks. I have hers and she has mine. If she thinks of an addition, she'll call me and I'll write it in. And these ideas in our notebooks may be indirectly related. I've read hers and she's read mine. We don't check in to see if the other one is "progressing" or whatever. We just use it as a means of not losing our ideas and if one of us thinks of something that might be helpful, we share it. For example, my friend expressed that she wanted to research attaining better sleep quality in support of creating art. So I suggested a book on the topic by Deepak Chopra. For me, the whole point is to keep those desires and activities alive.

The Beginning of Time and Transitions!
Years ago, I had a chance encounter. Reminds me of Thoreau's quote "We are a part of all we've met." And it was true of this encounter as well. This fellow shared that when the clock strikes the new year, he wants to be in an environment and/or doing something which will set the tone for the new year. For me as 2008 rang in, it was being in my home (where I want to spend more time), with my friend Steve (with whom I always enjoy spending time), with my cats (always warm my home and heart), writing short poems (1 for Steve and 1 for my cats), and sketching (1 of Steve and 1 each of my cats). Steve and I also toasted the new year with a glass of wine -- enjoying a tasty life! Celebrate 2008!!!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

The Taxman Cometh

The taxman cometh, The taxman cometh!
On the eve of the eve of tax day,
Many calculating without delay --
Dare I say?!
Hey, hey....

Stella's doneth, Stella's doneth!
Her tax forms on their way.
She's out to play --
That I may.
Give pay?

The taxman cometh, the taxman cometh!
No hitting head on bricks of clay
Your hair won't turn gray --
Don't fret or fray!
Just pray --

Good luck!

Sunday, April 11, 2004

First and Lasting Impressions

Eighteen months ago. I went to the car dealer to pick up my new vehicle. My officially-unofficial name for my new wheels is "blurple," based on the combination of colors. Before setting out to take ownership of blurple, I perused my CD collection to choose just the right one to initiate the CD player and to create that special bond that comes with the memory of your first drive in your brand new spanking (who spanked it?...I didn't) "home" on the road. I love the blues. So blues it was! B.B. King and Eric Clapton together in "Riding with the King." Ahhh. Just writing this brings back the rapture of that moment. Special moments. I had another one this morning. I unwrapped my newly purchased "Concert for George" CD. I slipped disc one into the drive and hit play. I settled in on my very comfy hunter green corduroy couch -- one kitty quickly claimed her space on my legs that were outstretched on what I have named the feline 'ottoman' empire. My other kitty, who knows not to compete with kitty #1, jumped to the arm of the couch and assumed her sphinx pose. I pulled the booklet out of the CD case and began to read the intro written by Paul Theroux. He writes about how this concert came to be, and described how George Harrison's presence at this concert was unmistakable -- in part due to the honor paid George by the transcendence of songs performed by his friends. Paul Theroux's words are so beautifully written, in such a way that the heart of the concert is palpable. He describes the radiance in the eyes of the performers, "a kind of rapture," that he says George gave them through his music. He adds that it was not bereavement at all. Paul Theroux shared one of George's beliefs -- one that comes from the Bhagavad-Gita, in which Krishna says to Arjuna, "There was never a time when I did not exist, nor you. Nor will there be any future in which we shall cease to be." The music of this CD and the first-time experience of listening with soulful-ears was one of those exquisite first and lasting impressions. While I was in elementary school (a very loooooong time ago), we had a fundraiser. Something new, right? Yeah, right! Instead of catalogs for choosing an array of gift options, we had just one item to market. It was a boxed collection of famous quotes to live by -- framed by the cut-away interior of the box itself. One quote left its first and lasting impression with me....all these years! The quote was from Thoreau. It read (to my best recollection): "We are a part of all we meet." So simply stated - so truly experienced. So for all of you readers in the blogosphere, you are a part of who I am and become. I sincerely hope that this first first real post to my newly created blog (thanks to Steve of YDD--my SO) ...becomes a part of you and leaves a lasting impression. First sip from Stella's cup