Thursday, December 30, 2010


e in the sun

so, that's what this photo says to me: the essence of joy without limit. she makes everyday so special, just by being here. we are so grateful for the happiness that is innate to who she is as a person, and how freely she shares that with us. today she and Baba came to see me at work and it was the reason i left smiling tonight. apparently she was so happy to be on her way to the hospital she kissed the car because it was the vehicle that would carry her to me. when i at last arrived home? there was g- greeting me with a smile and a kiss, while she and the dog were at my feet, one wiggling his back end, the other hugging my leg. sometimes there is nothing better than feeling like you are the glue, the "it"... you know, the mom. i have never felt more loved in my life as i do now. and i never dreamed being a mom could be this fulfilling. and it isn't about all that i receive, but about how much more i'm capable of giving for all that i have. my soul is content. life is good. the small stuff isn't worthy of my sweat :) so, i'm not sweating it.

here's to the new year. hope yours is filled with bliss.

(holga 120N, film kodak ektar 100)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

our christmas

country road
a country road on our way home from seeing family, christmas eve day.

christmas eve
the magic of Santa, who came in the night to hang
magic ribbon for E.

the joy of new toys and stickers and books.

santa left surprises
unwrapped :)

breakfast leftovers
our dishwasher after breakfast.

some bowling
a little bowling with the family gift.

some napping
a little nap time.

making music
and making music with friends christmas night.

making music with friends

with jim
J her godfather helping with the trombone.

time with the greyhounds
A (E's godmother) and Iris, their newest greyhound.

a glass of red wine.

with sabrina
love between A and Sabrina...


christmas tree lights
all in the glow of christmas light.

this year was filled with magic.
hope yours was too.

Thursday, December 23, 2010




(e with her friend and "china sister" h!)

since these next days will be filled with celebrating and seeing friends and family and tearing open gifts and laughing and singing and being thankful for an incredible year, here's wishing everyone a happy christmas!

from E, G, The Boob and Me :)

e and ransom

Monday, December 20, 2010

e wishes everyone a happy monday!

e on boardwalk, pentax

e on boardwalk, pentax

e on boardwalk, pentax

the prairie

sunset palm and cloud smoke

sunset palms

here's to last minute everything! and only one more day left to work and then a nice 5 day break through christmas :)

(first photos-pentax K1000 fuji pro 200, last 3 with Holga, kokak ektar 100 and the much loved Holga double exposure).

Friday, December 17, 2010

love at first sight. for the dog.



with santa

let's just say E was having nada to do with the 'huge' (her words) man in red with a long white beard. the photos of her were snapped after we left P.T. where santa came to visit- the crowd of people was overwhelming enough. once he showed up? well, lets just say she hasn't clung to me and melted down in tears in many, many long months. we thanked santa and headed on our way. and she cheered up as soon as we were to the car (you can see she's trying really hard not to smile in that second photo!).

Boob, on the other hand, was happy to sit by him at psmart this past weekend- i haven't seen him smile that big before :) i think it was all the back scratching... he didn't want to leave. and E was content to look on saying, "aww look at ransom so cute".

Monday, December 13, 2010

known by heart


every skin fold. every hungry grunt. every "i need you to pet me grunt" and the distinctive "come on guys i wanna be on the couch too" grunt. every chewbacca whine. every snore and sigh. the meaning in your ears laid back against your head as you swagger to greet me at the door. the "look back". the carrot induced head tilt. your various panting- some born of anxiety, some brought on by warmly snuggling close and needing a move from the couch to the cool tile of the kitchen floor. some just big smiles and happiness, tongue hanging out, hamming it up for your audience. all your names and from where they came: Poopy Puppy, Boober Doozer, Boob, Stinker Do, Buddy, Lean To, Licky Larry, Mr. Fat Pants. your sense of humor. your hot breath in my face. your yeasty paws too red from licking. your scars. the velvet soft of your ears, your under belly. the patches of lost hair. one spotted ear, the other not. your teary eyes. your sneezes. that tiny umbilical hernia you've had since day one. how you'll choose a foot to sit on any day of the week over the floor. the dry patches on the top of your nose where your tongue can't reach. that one paw you'd rather no one touch- ever- the others, you don't seem to mind so much. the weight of you in my lap. the way you kick your back leg in half-sleep to make more room for yourself. how much you adore G and how intently you listen when either of us talk to you. the way you dream. your shifty eyes and sleepy blinks. your passion for chew toys. how totally good you are about taking medicine without any fuss. the way you shake when first out of bed, and just after we get outside. your opposition to bath time, thinking that running and jumping in your chair will save you from it, every.single.time. your love of the towel dry and tolerance of the blow dryer and just plain giving in to the nail clippers. how you trot around all full of yourself after that bath, waiting for the reward you know is coming. the way you huff as you climb the stairs. the manner in which you eat scarf down your meals. and almost take off a finger when we say "easy" as we hand you a table scrap. how you subtly let us know it's time for bed. the way you wait for me at the top of the stairs. your wiggling and shifting. how any halloween costume completely immobilizes you like a full body cast so that you must be reminded that yes, you can still walk. your love of the back scratch. the way your lips fall when you are laying on your back, upside down. the wind in your face. the way your nose twitches as you face that wind, taking it in. those 360's at lightning speed in the yard in your younger years. your loathing of "walks". your fear of objects- like: suitcases, boxes, packages you've never seen. but especially the suitcase. how you bark to keep those objects at bay. your compassion. the way you long to be near me. how you will climb over the person sitting next to me to get there. how you shoulder my tears. sometimes licking them away. sometimes hugging them hard. sometimes with your head on my chest, looking into me. but always, carrying them. your bravery. your joy. the firm and soft parts of your tumors. your silly expressions. the way that one tooth gets stuck on your upper lip. your wet kisses on my calves, my arms, my face and neck. how deeply you love. how you believe everyone is here to see you because probably they are :0) how you loved E from day one. how you waited patiently for that love to be returned. your desire to be involved with all that we are doing, especially if it involves food (from preparation to meal time to clean up, which you are thrilled to help with). your love of sleep. your ravenous appetite. for a new treat. for a new day.

for life.

(the decision to withdraw chemo was made today, in confidence, and with hope for his best days ahead until his days with us are done).

Saturday, December 11, 2010

monkey hat! monkey hat!



hat number 2

ever so completely grateful to my friend Krista who sent along this christmas gift for E that was made by her famously talented mom (click on that line and you will see more of her work in her Etsy shop!). what an unexpected and thoughtful gift. from the first time i saw these hats on her blog i coveted one, especially THIS one... and she had no idea. you read my mind Krista. thank you so very much. your mom has amazing talent!! and i have to say it looks especially adorable on E... and baba... and, of COURSE ransom!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

we've had our first scare. last night i came home to my boy having a horrible bout of GI issues, including diarrhea and some (short lived) nausea. the diarrhea went on for some time and eventually we saw blood. not being able to reach his vet, i spoke to the ex who basically said, "k, it might be time". to say i was absolutely beside myself would be a huuuuge and ridiculous understatement. i lost it. i was a blubbering mess.

looking at him, in spite of feeling sick yesterday and pooped (no pun intended) today, it just doesn't seem possible that he's really sick. you fool yourself daily into thinking he'll live to a normal bulldog old age. at any rate, the vet has determined he has a stress induced colitis or a minor bowel infection, and to be on the safe side, he's on s short round of antibiotics. he is pretty much himself today and the diarrhea is slowing down, and I've seen no more blood, thank goodness.

a few things occurred to me as i faced possibly putting him down today if things worsened or they found the cancer had indeed spread. 1. i will never be ready- there is no such thing as being ready. i should have remembered that lesson when i lost mom. but what a gift cancer is, in some ways, allowing us the time to truly cherish what we have left of it, knowing what the ultimate outcome will be. 2. this will be much, much harder than i ever could have imagined. and 3. he is still my rock. as i blubbered and whispered to garth: "i can't do it, i just can't do it- how am i going to do it?"... my boy sat at my feet, licking my leg- over and over again. as if to say- don't worry about these details. they are insignificant. my death isn't the end. later, he was pulled onto my lap and he washed my face clean of all those salty tears. how unfair it seems that he is strong for me. it isn't that i'm not for him, or haven't been, or won't be, but it amazes me how he reminds me of being present to one another, in the moment. he truly, truly is... the best dog ever. ever.

i've hesitated to update about him, trying to just focus on the days and weeks we have together. we have our next appointment monday. we were to begin his 4th round of chemo. unfortunately, the tumors in his neck are growing again, and most likely chemo will be stopped as it is now ineffective. there may be some other options (a certain injection) but i refuse to put my dog through anything that will diminish his quality of life or risk him losing it sooner (from allergic reactions, etc). so, we'll talk about those things come monday. i fight looking at the calendar and just move into each day so grateful for his snoring body next to mine.

this weekend we celebrate my birthday. the plan was to take him to the beach, make the weekend all about him- as i can't think of any greater gift to give myself or our small family. since the doctor believes the colitis was ultimately brought on by stress, we might opt out of the beach and find something more suited to his style, like psmart again :)

this is a tough road we wander down unexpectedly. but on the way, there have been just as many unexpected gifts.

Monday, December 6, 2010


eat fresh.
or as e likes to say:
"tastes great" while we reply "less filling".

photos by dad :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

ransom then and now

Deepa and Kris 027
1 year old

Deepa and Kris 102
my boy, 1 year

7 years old

i found some old photos hidden in the hard drive from his first year (the second was taken this week after i said, "carrot?"). i have others taken with an old film camera from when he first came home at 4 months, but our scanner is all pesky these days and i can't get them onto the computer. looking at that first photo though? wow. the years since then that have passed and all that we have been through together.

i emailed his vet tonight, to let her know that it seems his tumors have enlarged. maybe it's an illusion. maybe emotionally i can't feel what is real any longer. impossible to be objective. i try to tell myself that, anyway. kitchu, it's your emotional fingers getting in the way! the tumors- they haven't changed! don't be silly! they are the same! but a second and triple checking grope around his neck, seeing how the right side is bulging again, i know the clinical mind that rests under my anxiety isn't fooled.

i am selfish, as i whisper into his velvet ear: i'm not ready buddy. i'm not ready.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

for all that i lost


i only needed this one shot to be reminded of what i have.
an entire roll of film ruined? seems a small matter
when i look at this one photo that was salvaged.

here's to december and blankets and hot chocolate and curling up
to a favorite book and playing and making ends meet
and decorating the perfect tree.
friends then
and friends now.
and family.