Saturday, September 30, 2006

falling in

Fall is in the crisp, clean air, the rising colors, the shorter days, the cooler nights, the urge to stock up and squirrel away. I've been very busy filling the pantry. My garden and friends have been generous. The firewood has been delivered; it waits to be stacked. It's a delightful, secure feeling to approach winter with food and wood aplenty. My mind whirls with plans of winter projects while my hands work on auto-pilot. I'm experiencing a renewel of artistic vision. My drawings are consistently good lately. I've begun a new series of painted silk garments. I'm inspired and happy to be working in art after a hiatus filled with puppy care. I've been polishing up Grace's training, I've neglected her but she's responding well to my attentions. The last puppy goes home this week, one less to care for. I've been walking the dogs on leashes since seeing coyotes. Haven't heard from them lately but the walking is good for me and so delightful in this fall landscape. Sunrise and sunsets spextacular, a perfect excuse to go outside to see all the sky.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

wiley coyote, engarde

I saw it this morning, at dawn, in my front yard. I watched from the second floor as the coyote ran from the yard, across the field, and disappeared in the morning fog. Rosie, the big adult poodle, has been on the lookout every morning for a week. We've been hearing them at night, a whole lot of sharp, high-pitched barks. This morning Rosie sounded her rarely-used, guard bark, deep, loud, menacing. The two younger poodles cowered and whined. They would have liked to back up Rosie but were truly terrified. I'm never seen Rosie be scared of anything, she's fearless. She's come out the victor in every fight she's been goaded into but I really hope she doesn't have occasion to test herself with a coyote. The cats, usually far-ranging have been dedicated lap cats lately, barely going out at all. One morning about a week ago, one of the cats came roaring into the house in a panic, at top speed and insisted on sitting on me till he had calmed down.

I have fond memories of hearing and seeing coyotes when I lived in the forests of eastern Washington state, 1970. I thought them beautiful, exotic, wild. I had dogs and cats there, and now that I think of it, they stayed very close to our cabin. The local paper carried a report of a small dog carried off by a coyote recently, in broad daylight with the owners nearby. I'm sorry for their loss. I still find the coyotes charming, I believe they have a place in our ecosystem and I'm glad they survive. I truly hope they do not become more of a menace. I will keep a close eye on my pets, after all there are many rabbits and deer for the coyotes.

Later this morning, Rosie sounded her usual, less serious, alarm that meant, "Let me out, so I can chase those deer." Ah, that smaller threat now controlled by deer fence. But that's another story.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

dog gone, moving on

The puppies have all found good homes. Life returns to "normal". This tending pups is much like tending children, only faster. It's, for the most part, charming, reminding me of the essentials of daily maintenance. The poodles are so sweet-tempered. They are zen-like, urging me to live in each moment. The picture is of the last little boy to go home at three months. Now to find the stud for the next litter. Brown boys only need apply, we're looking to produce some brown pups.

I've retuned to drawing sessions after a two year hiatus. It feels wonderful. Out of three sessions, I've pulled off one drawing I like very much. I've found that some skills don't deteriorate with letting them lay for a while. It's like my brain was seeing and absorbing and remembering until I was able to use those places again. I've found this true with playing music, gardening, working shows, many aspects of my life. I think this may be one aspect of maturity. Oh my gosh, am I growing up?

Slowly, I'm finding the pieces of my altered livelihood. I'm getting by financially and am feeling very content with my choices. I have no more or less "security" than I ever have had. I've realized that I truly enjoy the personal exchange of my art work for money. I like to meet my customers. Hence, I will be doing shows again with a new, lighter set-up. I plan to work on silk and other light-weight fabrics only, no more schlepping around massive amount of heavy cotton. I've cleaned out my studio and collected some projects I hope to finish soon. Lately, putting up the garden and acquiring my winter's wood have been my focus. These projects are as an important part of preparing for winter.

So the season, the pups and I move on.