dogkisses for Roscoe

I’ve been trying to publish a post in this blog for several months or more, but after such a long time away from writing, the endeavor is challenging. 

An honorable mention of Ruthie Mae, a wonderful dog, who crossed the Rainbow Bridge in 2014 and now lives in my memories, feels like a good place to start.

Ruthie named this blog, “dogkisses,” with slight little kisses on my arm each time I reached for her bag of food.  She was forever a tender heart.  So sensitive.  So sweet.  Ruthie’s kisses felt like snowflakes melting on my skin.

Not long after Ruthie passed, my late friend, Laurie, a former fellow blogger who lived with chronic illness, also passed away. 

I was sad.  I also had to move.  Again.  Life has been hard. 

My writer’s voice seemed to have vanished for a while, but after settling into a new apartment, which meant that I could finally sleep, I gradually found myself making notes on random sheets of paper.

Also during my online absence, the bond I’ve always had with my blog and the blogging community as well, never abandoned my mind or heart, which I think is pretty cool. 

Aside from the logistics of moving and an extreme backlash of severe pain from fibromyalgia, during and after my son and I moved two apartments, twice, I became exhausted. Utterly exhausted.  

There is a lot I could say about the past two years and what led to my long absence, but that would take a while and more energy than I have today.

For now, I’d like to introduce you to my new and most special friend, Roscoe!  He’s a beautiful dog.  I don’t have many photos uploaded to this computer yet, but soon I’ll show you his beautiful hound-dog spots and multi-color coat. 

img_8452

No Words for this Face!

I’m pretty sure Roscoe is a mix of German Shorthaired Pointer and Bluetick Coonhound.  His face reminds me of a Husky.  His eyes are an unusual green.  He has wonderful long legs, enabling him to run fast and climb high too!  He’s a thin guy, but some of us just can’t catch a pound or two for long. 

As I write, Roscoe reminds me only of a hound dog.  Whining all the time😉

Roscoe and I have had a truly amazing journey together since we met at a rural shelter in April, 2016.  I hope to soon tell you about our adventures and for various reasons, a few several misadventures as well.

With luck and determination, I shall return soon.  Fingers crossed.  Thanks for visiting dogkisses!

Cheers!

Rembering Laurie ~ Your Spirit Walks With Me

spirit sisters sunset

Three Sisters in Spirit

I imagined us three, “Spirit Sisters,” as we had once and forever declared ourselves, and our beloved young Rhia too, gathering together on top of Ash’s blue mountain and also, in Georgetown, drinking decadent hot beverages by the river.

I thought about our time together and what we would do.  I wasn’t sure.  We can never be sure of much when fibromyalgia is part of the equation.

A new pair of shoes seemed right for such a special occasion.  I was going to meet Ash and Laurie!

I thought perhaps Ash might not be well enough for traveling away from home, which influenced the shoes I bought.

I chose the shoes with both my spirit sisters in mind.

Strong and sturdy, with a hint of flair.

“I’m a city girl,” Laurie had written to us about where we should have our gathering.

Thinking of our city-loving sister in the midst of wooded and wild nature made me smile.  I suspected the same was true for our mountain-dwelling sister, Ash.

The shoes stayed in the box for at least a year.

Every time I wore the shoes, I thought of the day I would get to meet Ash and Laurie.  I took good care of my new shoes.

I can barely stand the truth, which is that our slumber party will never happen.

Laurie will never visit my blog again, although, there will always be a place here where her spirit lives.  She will never call me again, tenderly reaching out to me.

“Michelle,” she said, in the softest voice.

“This is your sister, Laurie.  I’m here for you sweetie.”

The sound of her voice now whispers in my mind.

A few months back, I started thinking more often of calling Laurie.  I was planning to tell her how much she meant to me, but I was too late.  Laurie became ill and didn’t recover.

Interacting with Nature, in my shiny black shoes!

Slumber Party Shoes 

 

Laurie was dear to me, and she loved me.  I loved her too.

I didn’t get to say goodbye.  I wanted to call her when she was in the hospital, but I couldn’t because she was sedated.  I wanted so much to communicate with her.

I admired Laurie.  She was smart, a good mother and a great writer.  I was proud to have her visit my blog and give me compliments.

Laurie wrote beautifully at Hibernationnow’s Blog.

Her last post was a Haiku titled, “Play.”  Below is taken from that post.

“Play life’s chances, free
ask questions, be bold, stunning
Roar, grin, like tiger.”

Laurie left us too soon.

Sweet Laurie ~ May You Rest in Peace

In Memory of the Sweetest Dog in the World

In Loving Memory of Ruthie Mae

I knew every day for almost ten years that I was lucky to have Ruthie Mae as my friend, and to be loved dearly and tenderly by the sweetest dog in the world.  We were the very best of friends.

Ruthie Mae passed on the first day of Spring 2015.

A Dog Smile

I’m Ruthie! A Beautiful Dog! I’m Nine Years Old!

Farewell my beautiful friend!  I shall forever be the incredibly lucky person who was loved by you!

Ruthie’s Human Mom,

Michelle.

 

Post Script:

Ruthie had a type of vascular cancer that commonly doesn’t present symptoms until the disease has progressed.  She became severely weak and shortly afterward, at the veterinary hospital, she passed peacefully.

Thank you for visiting this blog, dogkisses, named after Ms. Ruthie Mae.

 

Essence of a Holiday

Less than two days after my most recent post, I got a Christmas wish!cropped-santa-up-close.jpg

My son and I had a great day together!

We had a late start, but when we did make it out, the traffic was gone for the evening and we made it to the electronics store where we purchased him his first Tablet.  He’s so excited!

We stopped for lunch at one of my favorite local restaurants in the center of Chapel Hill.

Strangely, when we approached the street-corner, a hawk that looked the same as the Red-shouldered one that lives in my little corner of the world, flew through the intersection in the sidewalk’s path!

I couldn’t believe my eyes!  That hawk was flying about five or six feet above the ground in plain sight.  People were walking by, but nobody seemed to notice the hawk but me, which I thought was odd.

There is no way I can prove things that feel more than random or meaningful in a mystical way, but I admit to thinking that perhaps the hawk is helping me.

Life has been mostly difficult for me over the past couple of years.  A good day with my son came as a true blessing and desperately, what I needed.

I feel like my body is falling apart and perhaps, the way I had my life organized already has, but my spirit is strong and awareness is intact.

Nature helps me survive the hardest of times.

I’ve watched the Red-shouldered hawk since early Autumn.  The majestic bird perches close to my door on nearby electric lines.  I can get closer than I ever imagined I would to a hawk!  Honestly, I feel that if I got closer, I would disturb the animal’s hunting endeavors, but wow!  What a great bird to hang out with!

Since I haven’t been able to blog regularly or read other blogs, then sharing with you the beauty and interesting parts of my natural world is a way I can communicate.

Thanks for visiting my blog and I hope you have a peaceful holiday.

A Holiday Season for the Birds

“We missed you at the dinner,” my mother said.

“I missed being there,” I replied, sincerely.

We let the sadness sit in silence for a moment.

I’ve missed so many important occasions over the past decade.

Family reunions, weddings, birthdays, baby showers and this year, our Christmas gathering, have all happened without me.

Mother always tells me who showed up and gives me bits of updates on my loved ones.  Loved ones I’ve lost contact with, except through photos or indirect stories.

I’m trying not to let things get me down this holiday season, but so far, it is a huge challenge.

Not only am I in more pain from fibromyalgia and a few new ailments too, my son and I are not getting along.  It’s a double dose of holiday grief!

While talking with Mother about the Christmas gathering that I wasn’t able to attend, I immediately felt my heart-strings pull.  My efforts to be positive seemed to pay off because right away I decided to try and take joy in her account of the gathering.  I was surprised when soon I was smiling, as I imagined one of my great nieces bringing one of her cousins five wrapped presents.

“I don’t know if she got the other ones anything, but she sure had five,” Mother said, with that pure joy a Great-Grandmother has.  “She had every one of them wrapped too,” she added with a little laugh.

After a few minutes into the conversation, I walked to the window where I could see a flock of Robins in the yard. They love the grassy lawn where I live and they are spectacular to see!  They always seem to come when the light shows their silhouettes under the Sycamore tree.  Many of them move toward my door, and I get to see them up close and personal as they lean in towards the ground, turning their heads slightly, listening for earthworms.

Robin listening for worms

The Robin Listens

“Hey Mother!  The Robins are here!”

I’ve told her about the Robins before.

Amidst the flock were other birds about the same size as Robins, but with black with golden stripes.  One or two had iridescent blue heads, so perhaps they were young Common Grackles.

Sometimes, when I mention the birds in my yard over the phone to people, they’re silent for a moment afterward.  I always wonder if they think I’m making up these tales of many birds!

Mother was quiet for a moment, but then she remarked that I should, “send a photo to that wildlife magazine.”

I wish I could.  I wish I could, if for no other reason than to make her proud.  She would be happy to see one of my photos in a magazine.

I’m in pain and can’t sit long enough to complete even the most simplest of photo projects.

“Now,” I started telling my bird tales again, “there are Black-capped Chickadees, two or three bluejay, some Orioles, and the Hawk has landed on the ground!”

As if that wasn’t enough, a flock of Cardinals were perched on the bushes by the treeline!

“It’s a winged-oasis out there!” I told Mother.  “It’s so beautiful!”

I didn’t have the energy to go outside to take a photo.  At least, not yet.

I was happy to see the pretty winged visitors, as always, but when I’m feeling unusually blue, I am especially grateful because the beauty and life they bring lifts a part of my spirit every time.

I sensed my mother knew, or somehow, she could feel what I saw.

Mother and I have always had a connection on a level other than this physical one that we can see and understand.

Our talk ended when my son called.  “I hope he’ll stay and have the chocolate croissants with me,” I remarked to Mother.

He’s in the habit of taking food that I cooked to his apartment to eat.  He won’t visit me at home or talk to me much lately.

The hawk was still on the ground when my son arrived.  A neighbor walked by and we each watched the bird for a few minutes.

He was excited over the beautiful pastries and gave me a hug, thanking me for baking them, but he took his croissants and headed back home.  I was disappointed, but at least I knew he would enjoy them and that gave me comfort.

Practicing gratitude helps me get through hard times, even if the feeling only last for a little while.  I need to remember the better times and keep hope alive.

I’m glad for the ability to enjoy the natural world around me.  The wild ones keep coming back, so I have plenty of chances to take in nature’s beauty!

The hawk was still in the yard when my son left, but was perched on the electric wires.

I reached for my Canon!

The Red-shouldered hawk and that streak of beautiful Carolina sky!

Getting closer to the red-shouldered hawk

“How close are you going to get?”

Red-shouldered hawk perched on wire in backyard

“That’s Close Enough.”

Thank you for visiting my blog, dogkisses.

Peace and Happy Holidays!

Your blogger, Michelle.

Coloring my World

It’s hard to live your life in color, and tell the truth in black and white. (Gregg Allman)

The Eastern Bluebird!

Backyard Birding in CarolinaI don’t think nature gets better than in the beauty of the Eastern Bluebird!

The little one in the above photo showed up in my yard with four or five more of the pretty blue beauties.  I reached for my Canon right away!

Differentiating between the male and female is somewhat challenging to me.

“Marvelous birds to capture in your binoculars, male Eastern Bluebirds are a brilliant royal blue on the back and head, and warm red-brown on the breast. Blue tinges in the wings and tail give the grayer females an elegant look.”  (Eastern Bluebird, Identification, All About Birds – Cornell lab of Ornithology).

Once in a while, when I have the energy, I practice photographing my winged friends in flight, which is a fun challenge, but not one I’ve mastered.

Eastern Bluebird landing on feeder

Winged in Blue, at the favorite feeder.

Fatigue has been a consistent companion since I moved to town in the beginning of 2014.  Taking photographs and uploading them to my computer meet my current energy limitations, but I enjoy browsing through the pictures.

I also enjoy recalling how I felt while taking a particular photograph.  The Eastern Bluebird’s backyard visit was exciting.   Watching them is a special time when nature is coloring my world.

A pair of Eastern Bluebirds foraging in grass and leaves.

Blue-Winged, Backyard Beauties!

I hope you’ve enjoyed a look at the Eastern Bluebird from my wild corner of town.

Thank you for visiting my blog, dogkisses!

Hello Butterfly!

The Butterfly Gently Whispers DreamsWELCOME!