To my Best Friend’s Best Friend…on her, uh, 40th BIRTHDAY!?

It can be hard to get bumped out of the Best Friend position…that is until you realize what you have inherited…

A new BEST FRIEND of your OWN!!

Happy Birthday Sweet Patty! I dearly love you and am so glad he found you!! (But, let’s ditch him for a bit on your next visit and have some serious Girl time!!)

This post is all for you. Been gathering PINK for you since early Spring!

 

Love you And Happy Birthday!!!

 

(Try clicking on any photo. It should enlarge!)

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge–4/2/19 Farewells

Ola, the Wonder Dog, left us this week. She hadn’t been herself , activity-wise for a while, but her essence never changed.

“Ola” (the African definition, not “hello” in Spanish), was rescued as a precious puppy, by my sister and her husband more than 10 years ago. Soon after they brought her home, they left on an amazing trip abroad for several weeks. So James and I got to be Ola’s Foster Parents while they were gone.

We seriously bonded with her during that time. I mean, look at this face! Who wouldn’t??

San Juan's 9-09 042
Ola, about 10 weeks old…see the Angel on her chest?

John and Lenore had wanted a young dog while their elderly one, Lily, the Three Legged Miracle, was still able to teach a new dog the lay of the land.

230
My Grandson fell in love with Lily

Lily

This family lives on a glorious piece of land on San Juan Island. The property includes lots of acreage, a large pond with a variety of water fowl, a Bamboo Farm, and arguably some of the most beautiful and prolific vegetable and flower gardens in the Northwest.

And they live in what James and I  lovingly call the Hobbit House. Built by John, using lots of found and custom designed materials, it is so fairy tale-like, you are transported to another world.

20180620_141542
Ola, surveying her kingdom…

I write about this place, our second home, often. Here’s one example:

https://chosenperspectives.com/2017/03/28/it-is-easy-being-green-32817/

When they chose Ola as a puppy, they wanted another smallish dog that would not overwhelm Lily, and they predicted Ola was another small, lab mix’ just like Lily. 

Being very familiar with Rottweilers and Pit bulls, I took one look at Ola’s sweet face, and said “Uh oh.”

Not many months later, Ola had grown into a HUGE, beautiful, regal dog, over 100 pounds. But she still seemed guided by that angel on her chest.

IMG_7073

 

Lily immediate adopted young Ola, and trained her to be a “stick right close to your Humans” dog.

No fences in the Hippie Valley part of San Juan Island. Dogs (and deer) are free to roam and except for the occasional “play date” with a neighbor Dog, both Lily and Ola were right there, watching over the homestead, 24/7.

Lily left us not long after Ola joined the family but the two of them had some really good times together before she died. She taught Ola how to play Tug O War with ropes and sticks when Ola was still very young.

San Juan's 9-09 021

 

And she trained Ola to leave the cats alone (probably for her own safety!)

San Juan's 9-09 045

 

Ola became such a big part of our house-sitting experience all these years. For several weeks at a time, she became “our” dog again. No matter how much time passed between our babysitting jobs, she would greet us with 100 pounds of enthusiasm!

San Juan's 6-10 084
Ola having a “play Date” with Brenna

 

She hung out with us where ever we went,

San Juan's 6-10 042

and stayed close to us at home.

Friday Harbor 3-10 020

Zorro and Ola test20180619_191406

Yep, she was our dog…..But only until her real parents came home!

 

 

Ola was always within feet (or calling distance) of John and Lenore during their daily routines.

 

 

20181003_100340
Following Lenore to the Garden
IMG_6570
Waiting patiently

 

Ola was one of the sweetest, most gentle dogs I’ve ever met. I will miss her so much. I can only imagine how long it will take her family to get used to the huge empty space she leaves behind.

IMG_9653

Good Dog, Ola. Good Dog…

IMG_9629IMG_9710IMG_1305IMG_6610IMG_962120150727_181634

Farewell.

 

 

 

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #42: farewell

heart break….

FIRST, here is a music video to play, softly, in the background as you scroll down to read this. ALL the words are not quite right but the sentiment of the chorus is perfect.

 

I walk up and down my long, dead end street (the equivalent of about three city blocks) 2 or 3 times, every day, all year round. Not very far for an athlete but a good number of steps for me.

I love my neighborhood. And I love to take pictures of the things I see.

I have a favorite tree…

20181029_174540
Looking East at sunset
20181030_120505
Looking West
20181210_132511
When she undresses in the Fall, she blankets the entire neighborhood with her clothes.

This tree is huge, old, lush and glorious. I love to stand under her when it’s pouring down rain. You can stay completely dry and the sound of those heavy drops smacking her leaves and then bouncing off is amazing!

20161031_121400

 

 

My neighborhood is changing so much these days. One by one, the older homes are being flattened, in order to be replaced with huge and mostly beautiful new houses.

20190128_103606

My son grew up (part time) in the “yellow house”, two doors away. They had a pool, and a kid exactly his age. For a time, when the neighborhood was full of young, single Mom’s, we would babysit each other’s kids and on Friday nights, we Mom’s would have a “progressive” relaxation evening. We’d go from one house to the next, to the next, for snacks, and wine. Among us, we had an outdoor Sauna, a hot tub, a pool and we’d finish at my house on my deck. I had the best view of the sunset.

Other great families have lived in the yellow house too over the years, but…..it has been the next one to bite the dust.

What a back ho and dozer can do to a home on purpose, in just 2 days, is exactly the same thing we see on the news, someone living in Tornado Alley, whose home gets flattened in minutes.

20190129_08175520190128_14144020190128_141431

Yellow House…….. gone…

20190202_114617
Looks just like what’s left after a tornado

 

I get this, intellectually, but I have so much judgment about it…the waste, the destruction of usable space, and the loss of history. At least, this builder is big into recycling, re-purposing, and replanting. He (and the owners) saved as many bushes and plants as possible and offered them to the neighbors.

But to me, personally, what is way more painful, is murder of the trees. I know that’s a dramatic (and controversial) way to say it, but what else can you call killing a huge living thing that’s been here since before you were born??

I’ve written about this before…kind of like eulogies, but I think each one of these ancient stately beings deserves at least that much when they are taken down.

https://chosenperspectives.com/2016/10/05/tree-daily-prompt-from-chosenperspectives-10-5-16/

 

There is a young, mystery ecologist on the street and I’m just sure she wrote this sign the day the heavy equipment showed up at the yellow house…and she pinned it to my favorite tree.

20190128_141859

but they didn’t….

20190201_12473520190201_170934

 

So disrespectful of her remains…

20190202_11482220190207_161641

 

I will miss her so much, and I am committed to working on understanding the perceived necessity of her demise.

This may be all that’s left of her…

20190202_114852

But THIS is how I will remember her!

20171027_101933
my beautiful favorite tree…THIS is how I will remember her…

After the Queen interlude, see if you can put yourself all the way in the following short video…so you can meet my friend. Volume UP! (You may have to scroll up and down while viewing to see the whole thing.)

 

 

 

Lens-Artist Photo Challenge #22 Happiness is…

…napping with my cat…for 18 years…

9-10 0229-10 024

 

PS I am in the process of writing out my sweet Zorro’s life story. I’d love to hear from you if you are interested in reading it….

 

https://lagottocattleya.wordpress.com/2018/12/01/lens-artists-photo-challenge-22-happiness-is/

ChosenPerspectives on Twisted for WPC 5/23/18

Twisted

IMG_1240

My life is full of Art, but it is also full of artists who define “art” very differently from me.

My best friend is an expert, having studied and collected art for most of his life. He is also a very talented artist in his own right. We’ve had an ongoing debate for more than 40 years about what actually qualifies as art and who gets to define it. I know we are not alone in this disagreement.

I found the following online at:

https://www.performingarts.vt.edu/blog/view/defining-art-in-one-sentence-or-less

“The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines art as “something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings.” My own definition of art is the sharing of one’s inner thoughts, feelings, emotions, visions, and struggles through multiple mediums.” 

Wondering what all this has to do with “twisted”?

I think his choice of art is twisted…and I’m sure he thinks mine is invalidly defined as art in the first place.

The photo at the top of this post is a gift my best friend gave me many years ago. I’m sure it was expensive and to many, would be defined as art.

I just think it’s twisted.

He actually spent money on that piece for me, where as I bought myself these pieces.

 

 

Here are some more examples of “art” in his home and “art” in mine.

 

 

His is on the left, mine on the right

20180524_201752

His choice on top

20180525_065500IMG_7585

My choice is “twisted” artwork from my grandson, at 9 and then 11 years old.

Please don’t get me wrong. I am not saying my best friend is twisted. As a matter of fact, here is my newest absolute favorite piece of art, ironically, a gift from him. Not my chosen “style” by any means but he knew how moved I would be by this piece!

20180529_082009.jpg

I, on the other hand, by the definition of many, am quite happily Twisted.

Here’s proof:

IMG_0212
I mean, who runs for their camera before rescuing the cat stuck in the speaker cabinet???

20180526_070740

20180526_070725
And who focuses on the body of the dragonfly, rather than on the beautiful flowers?
20180523_064202
And who becomes obsessed with their new phone camera’s macro feature when accidentally shooting her sweat-pant leg?
20180502_120151
And who screeches her car to a halt to snap a photo of the shadow of windshield water on her dashboard?
IMG_0221
Who thinks the frosting stain on the cake box is the equivalent of a Jesus face on burnt toast?
20180514_183942
And who in the world photographs fungus??

I do, that’s who. So I will now officially, and gladly accept the adjective of TWISTED!

I am in great company, as you know if you have ever read The Shameful Sheep or Jennifer Day at The Iconophile, two of my favorite bloggers.

I really felt it while I was going through all kinds of contortions trying to photograph my friend’s art, including, taking his series called “the 7 deadly sins” into a dark closet to eliminate some of the reflection. Didn’t work, and besides, too creepy! This is as good as I could get.

20180529_084452

20180529_084416
This is a seriously twisted series and the photos are lousy!

It’s not just about art though.

Just the other day, a newish friend, while I was introducing him to my Bugs, asked me if I realized just how twisted it was for me to be this enthusiastic about them.

He has no idea. Even I know it is completely torqued to set up the photo shoots I have with my bugs.

Witness these, as examples…

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

I won’t even get started on the debate we have about Photography as ART!!

Anyway, I know this is a long post, with a lot of photos, but the topic and the recent Daily Post announcement inspired me to do less censoring than I usually apply to my weekly photo challenge entry.

I’ll end on this note.

Initially, I was of like mind with many other contributors this week. I immediately thought of these things:

IMG_1242

 

 

 

 

 

But then I allowed the word to take me on this unexpected journey.

For that, I wish to express deep gratitude to The Daily Press for your regular inspiration for so many posts!! I will really miss you.

Sincerely,

ChosenPerspectives

 

PS I have received many Twisted gifts over the years from other twisted folks. Here are a couple involving antlers…yikes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Veteran’s Day 11/11/17

I guess every generation has its war. For mine, it was Vietnam.

I was so angry about that war and I could not have told you why………other than my well-intentioned, but naive Flower Child commitment to nonviolence.

Even though I could not have justified it with any political understanding, I marched and protested and wrote passionate letters and participated in every way I could think of…believing with my whole being that we could actually stop the war.

Though I lost my innocence back then, as well as many friends, I never lost my belief in pacifism.

It took going to the Vietnam Memorial Wall in DC some time in the early 1980’s for me to finally be able to make room in my black and white thinking about the Vietnam war. I had never even considered how many of those names on the Wall represented men and women who chose, out of honor and deep-held passions of their own, to fight for our country.

I was still biased, and so angry on that trip. I made pencil etchings of 17 names, “brothers” from my childhood, that had served in Vietnam…but did not make it back home. Each one of them had been drafted.

Now, this print of Lee Teter’s Vietnam Reflections War Memorial Poster sits in the most prominent position in my office/Group Room. Everyone who comes to me for therapy is greeted by this powerful image. Such a small homage to all those we lost, in that war, as well as because of that war.

Vietnam Wall Painting

We didn’t know back then what we know now. So many of us would do it all differently…

especially the welcoming home part….

This is one of my favorite videos ever.

 

I ask for forgiveness for not knowing this back then.

And I dedicate this post, with deep gratitude for their service, to the following people I am blessed to have had in my life. Most, but not all, served during the Vietnam War.

Colonel Louis Ford (Tad)-United States Air Force

Thomas Alvin Bessey-National Guard Mounted Cavalry

Jean McMaster Bessey- US Navy WAVES

Captain Brian Lee Ford-US Air Force

James Fletcher-US Army

Jimmy Schack

Mary Paananen

David Taylor

Joe LaFayette

Eddie Leachman

Ari Cowan

Bret Burkholder

Vince Horan

Saralee Blum

Jim Sorensen

Ron Holst

Michael Adams

Dale Beuning

Colonel James Kowalski

Kirk Boettcher

Mriana Williams

Richard Hartman

James Malone

Shawn Dennis

Colonel James Sampson

Steve Dryden

Don Ulmer

Lou Chirillo

Dave Bartholomew

Jason Bogar

Colonel Bill Head

Captain Roy Gurd

Jerry and Jennifer Niehaus

Carol’s first husband

Lenore’s first husband

(I know I am leaving out some names…so sorry)

PS Sorry I could not get WordPress to work yesterday so this post is a day late…

 

 

 

An Interruption in your regularly scheduled program….

I will get back to savoring and sharing our Epic Roots Trip this summer soon…

But THIS just came across my desk and I have to share it with you!

It’s a newsletter from Karen Drucker, a long-time acquaintance (talented musician, presenter and comedienne) containing a link to her new album, but also a new music video.

I included the whole thing so you can read about Karen but it is the music video (down toward the bottom under “News Flash”) that really got to me. I hope you are also moved to share it. Here’s the link, and yes, I got her permission to post this YouTube.

Thanks.

 

 

A NEW BIRTH!!
Dear World,
I am officially here! I am Karen Drucker’s new “baby,” a romping little CD named“One Heart At A Time,” and I was brought forth fully birthed today, November 1, 2017 at 8:00 am. Even though Karen has created many other CD’s, she is very excited about me because I am a little different than the others. Like my siblings, I still have the 12 songs/chants that she normally does on all her CDs, but I am unique because I have what Karen is calling “musical meditations.” This is a chant where you think of something you want to let go of, or forgive, or be grateful for, and you sing along with Karen and her amazing back-up singers over and over until you feel a shift in your heart. I overheard her saying that she hopes people will get into the trance-y state she got into while singing these songs, and that it might help people heal some of the pain that is going on in the world. The process of my creation was very organic with some songs being written right there in the studio, while others were created with some of her amazing songwriter friends. She is so grateful to work with some of the best musicians in the Bay Area, and she was moved to tears a few times watching them put their creativity into this project resulting in me being born today.
So world – here I am! I hope that you will take a listen and share with your friends if you enjoy me. I am very happy to be born, and happy to share myself with all of you!
Here is a sample of one of my new musical meditation songs,
Let It Go” – hope you enjoy it!!
To order One Heart At A Time
Or any of Karen’s CDs or downloads: www.karendrucker.com
(Sheet music and “tracks” available January, 2018)
November Events
November 2-5 ~ Circle of Love Atlanta, Georgia
Keynote talk, concert, and workshop along with other inspiring presenters.
November 12 ~ Center for Spiritual Living Santa Rosa, California
Talk and music at the 8:30, 10:00, 11:30 am services & afternoon workshop.
November 15 ~ Unity in Marin Novato, California
Debuting my new CD at the 7:15 pm service.
November 19 ~ Unity of Walnut Creek, California
Talk and music at the 9:00 and 11:30 am services & afternoon concert.
November 25 ~ Concert with Kate Munger Berkeley, California
“Going to the Dogs” fundraising concert for Humane Society.
 
Newsflash!
The song I wrote with JD Martin and David Roth, “Home of the Brave,” has been nominated for a “Posi Award” in the video category. This is a very special song about the current immigration situation and a beautifully done video by Sherry Hursey and Rick Cowling of ToTL Entertainment. This is the one category that is based solely on fan voting. As much as it feels awkward to ask for you to vote for this video, I would love to honor the work of Sherry and Rick and get this video seen by more people to do good in the world.
Here is the link to the video:
And a link to the voting: *
Thanks for lending your support!
* If you are not already a member of empower music you will need to enter your email address and create a password in order to vote. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Check out my website for more details and other events that are coming up!
Happy Thanksgiving!
I hope to see you at one of my events this year!!
Karen’s Photo: In Her Image Photography
STAY CONNECTED