Posts Tagged ‘dogs


2 roberts and a door ajar

you don’t often pay much attention to your own front door, except for when you do (cleaning it, hanging a wreath [never], catching yourself reflected in the frosted glass panels.)


what struck me was that the head looks so old while the body doesn’t and that little bit of distortion in the right panel doesn’t improve anything either (just a hint of francis bacon’s melting faces). and before you ask, yes that is a buggy reflected in the left panel. it’s for billy who loves a longer walk as long as he doesn’t have to, you know, actually walk. (the life and times of an elderly dog walker–that ‘elderly’ is modifying both the dogs and their human companion.)


roses (in the meantime)

found these photos hiding out in a “draft” post from a couple of years ago that have never seen the light of day and have decided to rectify that.

like a good dog, every bloom has its day.

today is that day for these fine fellows. (yes, masculine, just to stir the pot a bit.)


currently (sunday chores–of a sort)

the cymbidium season is beginning early this year  (see below.)

yesterday when i watered the orchid garden (the outdoor one–today we did the interior orchids), i was surprised by how many bloom shoots were beginning to appear as their ‘season’ usually begins in late december and early january and lasts into june.

in other news, keeping house (is housewifery too misogynistic?) this week while m. recuperates from knee surgery has been daunting. my hands are dry and cracked from all of the time they’ve spent in dishwater (i loathe the dishwasher–and it loathes me.) my back hurts from lifting dogs and lovers (“dogs and lovers” — a discarded title from d.h. lawrence…) from the bed to the floor, from the couch to a standing position, from the chair to the floor and back up again — the dogs are too old to jump any longer, but have refused to give up their favorite lookout posts, high ground always the preferred location for their morning, afternoon, and evening naps; it’s not as if they’re actually watch dogs. although their ability to tell time is uncanny. 6 a.m. first walk, followed by breakfast (theirs, not mine, but m. does have his cereal after they’ve eaten, which i’ve been tray serving with bib everyday this past week as he lounges in bed with his knee elevated and ice-packed), then nap; at 11 a.m. they begin their anticipatory water-drinking in advance of their next walk which must occur no later than 11:30 a.m., after which the humans have lunch, the dogs nap again, m. lays down (this week) again and by 3 p.m. joey — the terrier — is up again and asking to be lifted down from wherever he had been napping (yes, he does ask, nicely at first, but if you ignore him, he becomes a bit more insistent)–and we’re out the door for his longer walk (billy, too old and cantankerous for anything longer than a tw0-block perambulation these days eschews the longer walk, unless of course we utilize the doggy buggy in which case he then rides along like queen victoria reviewing the royal scots, if he could wave he would.) and we’re back and ready for their late afternoon repast (rinse and repeat.)

but you know, it’s good to be needed and i’ll take whatever need comes my way.


two plants have a conversation* wherein they discuss the relative gayness of a minor reality t.v. celebrity and the fact that there are dogs in india who do not have ‘treats’

“he is so-o-o gay,” claimed the verbena.

“there was never a moment where you would have been able to discern that,” riposted the nameless juniper-like plant to the verbena’s right.

“oh, puh-lease! he was one dropped curler from having helium legs and you’ll never convince me otherwise,” noted the verbena, crossing its arms across its chest and turning its back to the nameless juniper-like plant to its right.

*mea culpa. for this post i have borrowed a ‘device’ from this blog’s author: matthewgallaway. i encourage my readers to sign up for his posts; you won’t be sorry that you did.


a week of first paragraphs–wednesday

“We’re going for a midnight boat ride. It’s a cold, clear summer night and four of us–the two boys, my dad and I–are descending the stairs that zigzag down the hill from the house to the dock. Old Boy, my dad’s dog, knows where we’re headed; he rushes down the slope beside us, looks back, snorts and tears up a bit of grass as he twirls in a circle. “What is it, Old Boy, what is it?” my father says, smiling faintly, delighted to be providing excitement for the dog, whom he always called his best friend.”  –Edmund White, “A Boy’s Own Story”


your thursday morning wake-up call

have you ever woken up a few minutes before the alarm goes off and decided to get up anyway?

when that happens to me, it always makes me feel more alive, even more awake as i swing my legs off the bed and plant my feet on the floor.

is it because you’ve finished your sleep cycle without being prompted?

this morning, because i woke up before the alarm clanged and startled me out of my early morning dreams, i had the time to get out with the dogs before sunrise and wait patiently for the sun to light up the eastern sky.  was it worth the 15 lost minutes of sleep?


rituals (& holidays & friends & blog posts)

it started off innocently enough.  a blog about culture & art & things i like.  over the years it’s evolved & now interspersed with all that art-y stuff are memories & obsessions & things i like (oops, i’ve said that twice now, but i do like writing about things i like — 3 times, but who’s counting?  seems it’s me.)  i’m not like some people i know who blog as regularly as a swiss watch keeps time (let’s say daily & i admit to some jealousy of their habits,) but i’m me & i write & post photos as it suits me.

every morning for the past 10 years, i’ve gotten up at 5:15 a.m. (almost always, even without the alarm.)  i pour a cup of coffee & check on m., who recently has taken to falling asleep on the couch in the den when he can’t sleep, with the t.v. on quietly in the background & joey curled up at his feet on guard duty.  soft snoring (yeah, right!) an accompaniment to the weather report on channel _.

after a few sips of coffee & quick check-ins with all of my social media outlets, i gather up billy & joey & take them for their morning walk.  the morning walk habit is one of the great pleasures of my life.  sometimes the sun is coming up & other times it is still dark outside (as i’ve noted in this blog on occasion); today the sun was up & there was the blue pacific ocean with its layer of cotton candy sunrise sky laying on top of it, a gift of beauty if ever there were one.

the dogs show great patience with me at this time of day–if i have the camera with all i have to say is ‘wait’ & they do & i snap a photo of ocean or the sun or the palm trees that dot our hilltop aerie, brushes painting the sky.

this morning, not unlike any other morning (except its freaking cold, low 40s! i know, i know, but it’s cold for us,) there was a brilliant sun greeting the dogs & i as we made our way up the driveway to the street.   & as you can see the sun sparkled & shimmered as it got caught in the fronds of the mexican palm trees; the sky, an indescribable blue (but i’ll try: cerulean, teal, delft, aquamarine, seafoam — that’s usually used to describe the color green, but i’ll make an exception in this case — the blue of a vein laying just under the skin of the back of your hand.)

growing up there were rituals (& holidays) as well, but none that so clearly defined the day as the walks i have taken with the dogs these past 10 years.  we (my mother & i) usually ended up at my uncle’s house (her half-brother) or we drove all the way to gillette to have thanksgiving with my grand-parents (her mother & step-father); rarely did the event take place in our home.    sometimes my mother would revolt & insist that we stay home & if family wanted to join us they could, but that happened maybe once & it’s not because my mother couldn’t cook (she could & well, i might add,) but because we didn’t have much (except each other) & if the expense of hosting could be shouldered by those more fortunate than we (except we had more love in our house, you could tell even if you were my cousin.)

day must end (that rotating earth thing always gets in the way) & another dog walk inevitably occurs after the sun has departed our world & is busy illuminating points west (but east, you know.)  these evening walks take a more circuitous route than the morning one, in that we traverse the full circle of our neighborhood.  my feeling, actually my understanding (from what i hear) is that the dogs look forward to & prefer this longer meander around & around, there are new palm trees (see above) that gather at night as if there were a regularly scheduled meeting (p.a., palms anonymous…) to hash out their feelings & work through their issues.

& on this walk, this more leisurely stroll, i too have the opportunity to reflect on the day, the past, the future & consider my options, or the roadblocks (my own & those of others) & talk with the dogs (they are such decent listeners, truly, deeply listening, listening that i only hope to achieve in my own life) & somehow their acquiescence to my voice, my problems, & my joy make this walk the one that (well, i’d like to say has the most meaning for me, but then i think of the morning walk in much the same way, instead, let’s declare it a draw, shall we?)

& if i think of one thing (any thing, really,) then i may think of you as well.  for that is how the mind works, all those synapses connecting disparate parts of our lives & thoughts & deeds & at night, at night there is the chance that a connection with you (each of you, friends now or future friends,) will strengthen & grow & light my way.


pinwheels (time passes by)

time passed me by today.  it went on & i didn’t.  a jogger ran toward me, but no time elapsed from when i first saw him & when his running shoes whooshed (their sound) past me.    a man walking his dog across the street (a little pomeranian, his nails click click click on the sidewalk) went down & came back, but it could have been at the same time, meeting himself coming & going (without realizing it).  today, time passed me by.

time passed me by today.  colors shot at me like arrows (st. sebastian) hitting their mark (my pupils, my brain) without pain, without sorrow. every color was saturated with meaning (sirens, loreleis, harpies, all called out to me),  today i listened, but time passed me by.

time passed me by today.  i walked down one side of the street, crossed over midway down the block, & went back to where i had started.  i stopped along the way (the dogs snuffling in the grass–each blade requiring their undivided attention), but time passed me by.  it was refreshing to have not missed it.


the fifth of july

i have a fireworks hangover.  last night, just after 9 p.m.  i packed the dogs into the car & hightailed it up the street to a spot where i could see the fireworks displays from at least three communities.

it seemed that they had coordinated their displays so that you when you turned to watch one send a chrysanthemum of red sizzle up into the air, the neighboring community would have a little break, but shortly follow with a burst of green or white or blue or purple & red/white/blue.  cue sousa.

meanwhile, the dogs patiently waited in the car, completely uninterested in the fireworks with the occasional wet nose against the window & whimper of “when are we going to get to pee?”


it’s a pretty special morning



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© Robert Patrick, and Cultivar, 2008-2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photographs and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Robert Patrick and Cultivar with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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