It’s been a week. Two shockingly unexpected deaths in the family, one human, one canine. Jim and I are fine, but I’m taking a break this week and just focusing on photographs.
First, and best, Skip is completely recovered from his surgery and able to work. As is often the case, I used Maggie to bring the sheep up a steep hill full of downed wood and brush, and into the high pasture that we call “The Moors.” It’s extra tricky work, and I didn’t want to ask Skip to do it on his first time out. Here she is moving them into position for Skip. It was nice light, I thought, and was glad I had the iPhone in my pocket to capture it.
Skip watched Maggie bringing the sheep from the woods into the pasture. He is remarkably patient, and will even run to the spot on the fence where the leash is attached and stay there by himself, unleashed, while Maggie works. I didn’t risk it this time though, and leashed him up. No point in pushing the envelope first time out in two weeks.
I didn’t take any shots of Skip working because I needed to give him my full attention. He did well, only one moment of his major fault (over flanking on one side). We got that taken care of easily and he was one happy camper to be able to do what he was born to do again.
The sheep no doubt enjoyed their two-week long vacation. The flock continues to look like they’re out of a Gary Larson cartoon, unsure of where to go or what to do. But, thanks to you dear readers, meet newly-named Janet Ewellin, on the left in the photo below. (LisaW came up with Janet, due to their older age and attention to numbers. Kat added “Ewellin,” which made it pretty much perfect. Thanks also to Amy for suggesting Charity; I love that name, but couldn’t resist a good pun.) That’s Beyonce at the very back; I’m not sure who is in the middle, hard to tell.
Close by were Pink, in the back in the photo below, and Spot in the front. You can pretty much figure out who Spot is, although she’s rarely in a position to see her one black spot. But she’s readily identifiable by her extra tight, curly wool. Some of the other all-white ones are harder to identify but I’m working on it. I love studying their faces to learn who is who. (By the way, Pink is Pink because she came as a cull from friend Donna, who had marked her with bright pink dye on her butt. Pink she was, and Pink she stays. She’s easy to identify because she has speckled lips, a large yellow tag in her ear, a saggy belly, and an especially wooly coat.
The flowers in the house continue to bring me joy, including, surprisingly, the flowers after they’ve bloomed and are beginning to decay. Apparently I’m not alone, the Dutch painters especially loved “momentos mori,” or mementos of mortality, as a reminder of the ephemeral nature of life. If it’s good enough for Van Gogh and a raft of other painters, it’s good enough for me. And highly relevant to us all right now.
You never know when you’re going to find joy and beauty. Here are some photos of frost on the garage windows. Our dirty, messy garage still had something to treasure when I looked for it.
I promised last week I’d say more about a cross-stitch pillow I’m working on. Here it is, massively larger than I expected and swamping the chair it’s designed to sit in. (Note to self: Check on the dimensions before falling in love with a pattern.) You can see all I’ve done is about half of the turquoise background. I’m loving doing it and my arthritic thumb is furious about it so I only do a little at a time.
I did needlework every day in my twenties. Here’s my favorite piece, a sampler that hangs in our guest room (aka “the storage room” now), on wall paper that came with the house, that I would never buy and absolutely adore.
Last, but of course, never least, here’s Skip the first time he was allowed to play with Maggie, about to break out into a full-on hip slam/leap/bow, all done simultaneously with joy and power radiating from every pore.
Actually, the last word should go to the cats, who are miffed that they have been left out. The snow is deep enough that they’d rather not go out of the garage much, thank you, and they’d like you to know that it’s not their fault for heaven’s sake that the lighting is so bad in the garage. They hereby demand lots of photos next week, and ask you to hold Trisha to it. And Maggie would like you to know that she’s doing great with the quiet dremel on her back paws. She is very proud of herself. Please do not ask her about her front paws. That’s different.)
What’s up in your life? Tell us something silly, or quirky, or joyful, and we’ll all appreciate it.