Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Christmas Miracle...

The wee one (on the left) with her
new cousin playing around the pool.
She's already probably
60-70 lbs. and only about 6 months old.
She's going to be a very big dog!!!

There are days you almost can't believe. Her scent still lingers on my fleece jacket as we speak. How did I deserve this day? How? I look to the sky but only see my popcorn ceiling. Life is so beautiful. Honestly, it is. I'm listening to MC's 10,000 Miles as I write this, so please listen if you can to get the full effect.

I was so late to the park. Over 2 hours late. The morning was so insane and as I drove to the park kept saying "I'm sorry, I'm coming." I pulled up and Nash came running to the car. I didn't hesitate. I pulled everything out and fed him at the right rear tire. I felt so guilty. And then I saw a guy on a cell phone walking down the bike path with a dog off leash. I love dogs, so don't worry too much, but for some reason just felt panic for Nash. Nash was completely unaware of danger, so I walked toward the guy and dog. I got to them and the guy said "He's not my dog, he's just tagging along." I asked "What do you mean?" He replied "I'm from Seattle and walking while my father-in-law rides his bike and this dog just tagged along, can you help me?" I said "You're not going to help him?" He replied "I'm not from here. Can you help?" I swear to God my heart just sunk to the pavement. My first thought was how can I possibly do this too? I said "I'll figure something out." I called the dog and he came. Nash ran and the dog ate all his food. I put out dog food I had in the car (returning to PetSmart), but he wouldn't eat it. He only wanted cat food. Good Lord! I just left everything where it was and put the dog in the car. I knew where the fire station was and drove directly there. No one answered the door. I got back in the car and drove to the market to get directions to the police department, and found the fire department truck parked in the lot while they shopped. A lovely officer was at the truck. I ran. I didn't walk. She said "Oh my God he's so beautiful. If I wasn't on a 48 hour shift I'd take him." We called everyone. Vet's, ASPCA, etc., nothing. No luck. I left with a huge hug to comfort me and words of good luck. Also direction to the police department just down the freeway . I thought the police would help because every day at the park I see K9's being trained. I had a gorgeous german shepard puppy and knew they'd love him. That was my hope.

I left the dog in the car and went to feed the ferals. I returned to find that little sweetie just happy as a clam. I remember telling him "we'll figure this out, just help me sweetie." When I opened the door he bolted out. He ran after Nash. I knew at that moment he couldn't come home with me. That broke my heart. I was trying desperately to get him back in the car when a jogger went by. He loved and followed her. She turned, stopped and looked at me. I ran up to greet her and told her "he isn't mine, I'm trying to rescue him." Without hesitation she ran to my car and he followed her. She picked him up and put him in. Yes, there are angels on earth. Off we went to the police department. We didn't make it because I met a police officer and waved her over. The line of cars behind started backing up, but I honestly don't think any minded. It's as if they all knew. So many gave me the thumbs up when it was all over. My beautiful officer said "Oh My GOD, she's so beautiful. I'd take her in a second. I said "Can you?" She said "No, I have two dogs and they'd never agree." I asked "What do I do?" She said "Don't do anything, just take her home, you'll find the answer." I said "I don't think so." She said "Trust me, I know people, you have great Karma, you'll find the answer." I said "Honey, my Karma sucks!!! Just go to my blog, you'll see!!!" She laughed so hard and said I believe in you." And so we parted with a whole hell of a lot of cars trying to get past. But I honestly think everyone knew I was in agony and searching. My last hope was dashed. But I had one hope. It was my first though when I met the wee one. My neighbor. She's a remarkable woman and loves dogs. I knew I couldn't bring the wee one to the house because of the cats, so she was my only hope.

I pulled up to the house and rang the doorbell. Hubby answered. I said "Hi, I know your wife, I need her to help with someone I have in the car." He said "Who." I stepped aside and said "Him." His face just lit up and he yelled for his wife and for Dan. Everyone came running. Literally. No joke. It was as if I had delivered the most precious gift in the world. I opened the car door and he stepped out. He turned out to be a she and hearts melted all over the front lawn. Introductions were made to the other dogs and although not perfect, as one would expect. Dan (the son-in-law) had just lost his beloved German Shepard two weeks prior. I saw his face when he saw her and knew. He said "Please don't take her, I need her, she'll have a beautiful life." I didn't hesitate. She'll have a beautiful life. I believe that with all my heart. She has beautiful big paws and he said, "look at her paws Dad, she's going to be so big and gorgeous". I felt my heart sing. Sometimes life is too perfect. A match made in Heaven, and one I will always be a part of. I love that most. Karma. I think mines looking up! My darling neighbor and I couldn't stop hugging. Sometimes life is just so beautiful. They called this their Christmas Miracle.

I wrote this listening to our dear friend Mary Chapin's song 10,000 Miles and think it should be read listening to that song. I do.

With much love,


P.S. Mary C and Mark. You both have Google comment pages. I'm unable to access. I don't know why. I've tried everything. Trust me, I've tried. I love you both, just so you know. We'll chat here, okay?


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays...And Happy Birthday Mommy...

My mom turned 70 today. This is my mom at 22 (which means I was about 1 year old!!!). She was gorgeous then and still is to this day. I just got off the phone with her and told her I was posting her photo again (I thought she was 17 in a previous post. Some of you will remember this photo from last year, around the same time!) and she laughed. I said "Mommy, you're so sexy!!!" She laughed harder. My mother is gorgeous. I don't know why, but she doesn't seem to age. She's simply stunning. We laughed so hard about life, about 9 kids, about aging, about the 50's, about divorce, about pain, about everything in general. My mom is a great lady. Oh, trust me, we battled in my teens, but we've come to terms and I've apoligized for everything. She recently said "Thanks baby." And you know what? That means the world to

Mommy, I love you. Happy Birthday.
I'll be home soon. I love you so much.
(Update: Yes, I edited. Mom's going to read this and I'm not so sure she'd like her private life revealed. I realized I might not be allowed in the house when I go home!!! Hi Mom! Of course I'm laughing because you know I'd write a whole hell of a lot more if I knew you weren't looking! LOVE YOU HONEY!!! Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas Mom ~ sorry about the card(s), just remember 2009's lookin' up baby! Keep eating your veggies and stick with me sista! And Mom, thanks for making our conversation so beautiful and for making me laugh really, really hard. I needed that as well as the swift kick in the ass. You're a damn good mother!!! I know you hear that A LOT, now go out there with your Jack In The Box inflated ego head and do some damage!)
Trying to take birdies off the tree!

I'll tell you a funny story...

I arrived home from feeding the ferals and running errands within the past hour today. The kitties and T-Bone always wake up and want a snacky! Yes, it's true, I'm a pushover. No really, I am! I keep lots of white bar towels in a pile on the kitchen counter because I like that they're all cotton and absorbant. Unfortunately I go through about 20 a day (sad, but true) and I don't even own a bar! I got a bit of cat food on my hand and had to wash it off, so reached for a clean bar towel while still talking to the kitties about life, the park, and which photo I was going to select for my holiday greetings blog. I'm a multi-tasker, so it's not unusual for me to reach for something while still talking and never look at what I'm doing because I know where everything is. I never looked at the towel, kept talking and tried to unfold the thing to dry my hands. It wouldn't unfold no matter how hard I tried, and trust me, I tried! Around the same time I got really frustrated and said through clenched teeth, "WHY. WON'T. THIS. THING. OPEN?" I looked down. I discovered I was trying to open my sock. Yes, Professional Laundry Folder (aka Robert) put an all cotton sock in the towel pile. I think on purpose.
I wish all who follow my blog and who care, the warmest holiday season. You mean the world me. You know that. We've shared so much this year and no, not every moment has been perfect. There have been difficult times for many and we've always come together to love and supported one another. If I stopped blogging tomorrow, that's the memory I'd hold most dear and cherish FOREVER. You know I mean that. Thanks for never giving up hope I'd find my way and while we're at it, let's all thank ME for never giving up hope you'd find yours!!! (Looks like someone's already dipping into the holiday eggnog and it ain't Santa honey!!!) What? You know, this was supposed to be really, really serious, but my life is so wacky and funny this is what came out. I apologize if I've offended any of my really serious friends. I'll be better in 2009. If not, there's still hope for 2010.
2008 has been a challenge for me, but with your help, less so. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Please have a beautiful and safe holiday season. I adore each and everyone of you.
With much love,
Suzy XO ;)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Everything but the kitchen sink...

A work in progress. Yes. I'm decorating. And you know what? It took over 4 hours to get this far and initially I was a bit grumpy. You know, having to clean the front entrance and all and then work more!!! But after about 2 hours I started singing Christmas carols and knew I was okay. Happy as a clam. Cece called just as I was ending this task for the evening, vowing to finish tomorrow. I said "Cece, for our mental health, I think we should all decorate every single day of the year!!!" We laughed really hard.

The garland around the door still has to be "poofed up and straightened (yes, I just threw it up there!)," the Azalea topiary still has to be lighted (can't find the lights and as Cece knows, I'm so organized, so where are the freakin lights?!), I have to find a fourth baby duck because I realized tonight someone took my 4th baby duck! What's up with that? Who would take a baby duck? I have to hide the cords, put down the holiday entrance know, just make it look all pretty!
I have a funny story. As I was decorating today a neighbor walked by and said "Oh, I'm so glad to see you're decorating." "Thanks, why?" "Because my wife and I were walking by a few nights ago and she said "I don't think they're going to decorate this's getting late." But I told her you would. I replied "Well, after years of marriage you can finally go home and tell your wife she's wrong and you're right." The man roared. High five! And you know what's so funny, my neighbor's motivated me to decorate. I didn't want to decorate this year. Too tired and depressed about stuff at the park, but the complements I get are insane. Everyone seems to love this house at Christmas and all I decorate is the front entrance, so they made this happen. I honestly think they willed it. As you can see almost everything is natural and collected from the garden. I think that's what captures people's imagination as they walk by (and yes, lemons are always part of the theme. I turn the lights on at around 4 am for early joggers and dog walkers and I can't tell you how many beautiful comments I've recieved over the years. I really do it for all of them.

One of many Christmas flags, but this is my favorite because he's me.

A little birdhouse tucked in Nandina berries.
Nash. Still causing trouble at the park. He didn't learn anything after tripping me. Always walks between my feet.
A very cold, foggy day at the park. The day I rescued the last feral kitten. She was shivering and cold and knew her mom, Emma, was never coming back and she was alone. I walked back to the car, got the carrier and took her to the Vet's. The best decision I've ever made. She's home from the Vet's and sleeping next to me as I type this. She's perfection and so very, very happy. I honestly believe Emma is so proud of her and know she's watching from Heaven.
The bike path. I go into the woods second big tree on the left, just past the raspberry patch.
Entering the park the morning I rescued the last remaining wee one. I was alone. Not a person or car in sight. Cold. I remember it was so cold and damp. You would think I'd be scared being all alone in this big old park. There are days I am, but as I came down the hill to the entrance gate this day, I felt peace. The park was all mine and I know it so well. It's like a dear, dear friend. Writing this I remember the morning as if it were yesterday. The morning of Friday, December 12th, rushing around as usual to feed everyone, prepare to leave for the park, feed the birds and squirrels, do the first load of laundry, try to find time for a shower, etc., and then realized the view from my kitchen window was lovely. White Birch in the background, Camillias in the dessert dish.

Rusty's favorite thing in the whole world is warm laundry just out of the dryer! Another lucky day!!!
T-Bone and I went for a walk around the neighborhood and saw some wonderful decorations. This is just two houses up and the place is decorated to the hilt. T-Bone is fine with all the stuff at night, but when I took him past the house this afternoon, I was telling Cece he went all nutty on me!! Tail uncurled, tail down, ears down. It was hilarious. He was afraid of Santa and afraid of all the 7 foot nutcrackers lining the fence. I'm laughing just remembering. I said "Come on honey, buck up." I was unceremoneously dragged to the other side of the street. Hey! I was not amused.
Wow!!! We just stood and looked a long, long time.

Then some more!
T-Bone thought it was a toy. He started running. "DUDE, STOP." He didn't hear me because he proceeded to yank my arm clear out of it's socket.
Hydrangea for Leah. Yes, we still have blue ones at Christmas!

Pyracathus just beginning to turn red. I use the berries for holiday decorations, but this year the birds have beaten me to them. I've been left with very little, but don't mind. I'd rather a bird's tummy be full and happy.
Looking at the ivy Rob was supposed to trim before it grew into the tree. Noticed my arrow. I made it for a sculpture project at UCLA in the early 90's. My professor gave me so much crap for this thing. I cut it with an acetylene torch and welded all the parts together. The day of the critique he said, in front of the whole class, "Well what's it going to do (he was really into performance art)? I said "Nothing." He replied, "Why don't you go to the roof and throw it off (big cheers from my peers!!!). I said "NO!" He said "Why, your welds won't hold up?" I replied, "Trust me, my welds will hold up, but I'm worried the steel will bend." I got an A. Still funny to this day. Richard. That man was on my ass from the moment I entered the studio. Why? I don't know? I did more than any man or woman in that class, yet he was relentless. He was constantly challenging me to do more, to think harder. I was already thinking so hard I thought my brain would burst. It didn't. Thank God. Oh, and I still have the undamaged arrow to boot!
This is for Hunter. Yup, turkeys in the back yard a few years ago. Just six with Hopper as chaperone. There were 13 or 14 in total. It was amazing to have them grace this yard.
Rob's mom's dear friend died close to Christmas 3 years ago. Mom didn't want to celebrate Christmas, so I went to Michael's, bought a fake tree with lights and decorated with everything natural, and lots of fake birds because she loves birds (God fake birds are expensive!!!). She loved it. I said "Mom, when the holidays are over, just give it back and I'll save it for next year, hoping she'd forget the following year and I'd have it for the sofa table. That woman wouldn't give up the tree!!! Yup, loved it that much. Three years later...yup, guess I'll just have to make one for myself.

Mom's Christmas tree on the kitchen table.The table you see is no longer in the kitchen, but it has a funny story attached. Richard, my sculpture professor at UCLA came in one day and said "What is this, a fucking furniture factory?" I'd made a kitchen table, a coffee table and a sofa table!!! All steel with wood tops!!! Seriously, the man was relentless! I used to walk around with a face mask I'd flip up to talk and leather everything. Leather chaps, leather jacket, leather gloves. One day I said to Richard "I'm a vegetarian and I'm sick of wearing this much leather." He said, "Well, the alternative is death. Make a choice." Hey, you little bastard. I swear to God he is one of the fondest, most annoying memories of my whole life!!! And if you've never welded, all that leather is heavy. It's not nice light leather, it's heavy. I guess so you don't burn up or something. I don't know?
Finally...the end!
;) Love you all and thanks for stickin' around.
P.S. If you've read this far, I know you're a true friend. Cece said everyone is concerned I'm overextended. I am overextended and trying to figure out what to give up. I'll figure it out. Seriously. I'll figure it out.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I'm closing the door.

(Edit: Okay, I'm not closing it. I just need some time to find my way. And I will.)

The End...
Edit: Okay, so not the "real" end, just the pretend one. What? You've never had a really crappy day?

Roses In December...

It's almost Christmas, but we still have roses in the garden and leaves on the trees. I think rain tickles the leaves off the trees and we haven't had much, so they remain. It's overcast today and drizzling. It's a beautiful day, but I worry about my ferals being cold or wet (you know me). And yes, my favorite pink rose is still in bloom. She's a beauty.

XO Suze

My Life...

"We who choose to surround ourselves with lives
even more temporary than our own,
live within a fragile circle; easily and often breached.
Unable to accept its awful gaps, we would still live no other way.
We cherish memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the neccesary plan.... "

~Irving Townsend

I read this quote on a dear friends blog who lost a kitty recently. Thanks Deb. It's beautiful. I've been struggling you know. Every day is hard. I go to the park and I loath it. How did I lose 10 cats in less than a month? And not just 10 cats. 10 cats I loved. Where do I put that? Where do I tuck this pain? I think I'm okay, but writing this makes me realized I'm not.
You don't have to respond or comment, I'm just trying to work my way through something that hurts so much.
XO Suze