Category Archives: dog love

Hello! It’s cold

Temps plummeting here so I made Finn a coat. It’s already been modified since its debut.

There’s a polar fleece underlayer and a top layer of gorgeous Irish wool. I know, I know. High quality imported wool for the dog?

Well, yes and why not? It’s been sitting in a bin for twenty-plus years. I think my mother gave it to me. Or it was hers and ended up with me. Since this picture was taken, I revamped the neck edge and moved the straps forward. Not ideal but it will work for the next walk in 7 degrees. Going to -10 overnight. Whew!

We went to Colorado last week. Saw the boys. We enjoyed it, our first gathering in EIGHTEEN MONTHS. One evening at the XGames in Aspen was a bit of a scene and memorable, other nights in front of a fire more relaxed (with YouTube offering much better viewing of the boarding events). C had a GoPro camera strapped to his chest on their days on the slopes, so even though I wasn’t skiing, I was treated to video of their descents.

I’m proud to say that we shopped the first day for what seemed like a huge amount of food, but we very nearly consumed it all. Except for the acorn squash. For some reason, on no night did I feel like stuffed acorn squash. I brought them home in my suitcase!

Our flights out of Aspen were cancelled because of a localized storm, so we ended up driving to Denver. Everyone made it home safe and sound. And no, the passes through Loveland and Breckenridge were not the white-knuckling, guard-rail-free nightmares I was anticipating.

I will never not be amazed by flying. That’s one of the Great Lakes above. K and I got four upgrades to first class. Sigh. The end of an era, since his Global Services status is due to expire. He may try to squeeze a couple of trips to China in before he retires, but given the ferocity of their Covid outbreak, it’s a problematic idea.

You used to have to quarantine upon arrival in China for seven to fourteen days, depending. Even if you quarantined in one city, say Beijing, you’d have to quarantine all over again if you traveled elsewhere, say Shanghai. They’ve dropped those requirements.

It is so odd how China went from imposing the most draconian disease management protocols to having none at all. In our country, we seem to be suffering from a similar lack of will — or is it delusion? Covid is no longer an emergency? Oh really? Is that why 2,000 to 4,000 Americans are dying EVERY WEEK, not to mention the drastic effects of Long Covid beginning to be documented to a horrifying degree?

Two men behind me on the flight home coughed the entire trip.

Dog, collage, and cream biscuits

Someone looking guilty
Someone looking on with avid interest
Someone ready to go outside after licking the cutting board
PCC collage made when I couldn’t sleep last night
The prompt this week is the woman’s face

Hope my American friends had a tasty and relaxing day! We were four and it was really nice. I learned you can always make something else (oh? Bourbon-laced sweet potatoes? Why not! Cream biscuits? Sure!), thereby turning a meal for four into something more like dinner for nine.

I had a chance to test the Hockey Puck Biscuit Theory.

Previously, I have been embarrassed and annoyed that any time I tried to make cream biscuits for a holiday meal, they were epic fails. Hockey puck biscuits. While my more private baking adventures are not uniformly good, I often manage to produce tasty and flaky biscuits.

Until yesterday, I figured the tension and pressure of putting out a dinner for a crowd foiled my efforts. But yesterday, we were four. There goes my theory.

So what, then? A post-turkey oven is not hospitable? Sitting on a cookie tray for three hours jinxes the dough? Anyone? Maybe the cut dough needs to be refrigerated until oven-time.

I mean look at that thing! It’s practically two-dimensional.

Everything else was good, I’m happy to report including the cookies (talk about going overboard. I’d already made a pumpkin cheesecake).

It’s cold. It may or may not be raining. If not, it will be raining soon.

Lastly, I came upon two share-worthy creators this morning. The poem by Bernadette Mayer (below) offers a master class in the use of repetition and captures my mood of late. The collage artist, a 75-year-old woman living on one of the barrier islands along the South Carolina coast, takes my breath away. Some of her pieces are huge. Aldwyth.

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/49736/failures-in-infinitives

A Saturday dog walk

It’s the kind of day when you take your thin cardigan off halfway through your walk. Beautiful, in other words.

I swear dogs are so much smarter than we think. Case in point: passed a beagle who howled in just the right register and with just enough volume to penetrate Beyoncé on ear phones. Oh, hello over there!

I never wear earbuds the whole way because they create a barrier to the world. Before Beyoncé, I briefly sampled a recent Sisters-in-law podcast and whew, switched that off fast. I wouldn’t mind a day of not thinking about Judge Cannon and classified documents.

Do you see the chipmunk?
I love all the directions here
Another arrow in the form of a shadow

A friend who is also an intellectual property lawyer gave me a free and informative rundown on copyright law yesterday. It was excellent timing because of that notice I got on Instagram last week.

I had no idea, for instance, that posting too many words from a book could be problematic (and here I thought I was promoting the author!) I will be more judicious in future, maybe limiting quotes to a short paragraph.

Also “fair use” (a defense against a copyright violation allegation) is broader than I thought. For instance, an image doesn’t necessarily have to be transformed if the artist is using it to make a commentary that differs from the original.

Not making money is a factor, BTW, but not an exemption. I thought it was.

There are also privacy interests apart from copyright issues. Public figures have no privacy interests to protect. So that means, for example, that the recurring Jeremy Irons face in one of my collage series would not run afoul of the actor’s right to privacy. Only the photographer in that case might have a grievance.

Home. Garden having a final flourish
Paper only — border is a photo of a quilt I made. Buildings from a magazine. Barn eave from PCC

The upshot of all this is I want to use more exclusively my own images. The interior magazine image above was originally whole. Yesterday while thinking about all of this, I ripped it in half and oriented one half upside down.

Paper collage discussed above is here doubled exposed and filtered with another quilt I made (below).

Or is it the one below? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. I don’t mind that.

Oh stop now! You’d never know I meant to be very brief here. I have an AWA workshop in a few.

But no discussion of copyright is complete without noting the value of proper attributions: please find some of Deb Lacativa’s extraordinary fabric in quilt above (if you hurry, she has a new batch of vintage, hand-dyed fabrics available). Also, both the nine-patch and woven cloth strips arise out of a long association and class-taking with Jude over at spiritcloth. A real mensch and a maven, she is.

Best yard, collage, and blood

It’s one of my neighborhood’s most beautiful yards. I love walking past it.

This is a handful of the oak tree growth I mentioned recently. Definitely not gall, but what is it?

Also, one of the PCC collage artists posted another vantage of the leaning-back man which makes more clear that he is, indeed, a man.

Prepping for this week’s Paris Collage Club collages

I’m going to keep an eye out for images that are of my own making.

Lastly, Finn had a twerked nail that he was worrying. I tried to clip it so that it would stop annoying him and it was an utter mistake. He bled everywhere. I ended up putting his bed outside and giving him treats to distract him, while K ran out for that powder that stops bleeding (which we used to have and for some reason didn’t anymore). Naturally, the very act of departing to get the powder made the bleeding stop like magic.

Dog walk, Siri, and Worms

LANGLEY ROAD

Dogs passed: four. Finn reaction: zero. Numbers of times we crossed the street: twice.

Unidentified growth spotted: one. I found it on an oak sapling. It’s perhaps not good. Something parasitic?

CENTER STREET

We walked in front of two boys for a long block. One looked to be about twelve and wore a wrist cast (skateboarding injury, perhaps?) He told Siri to set a timer for 44 minutes. What? You can do that? Even though I knew about voice commands, it blew my mind. As soon as they split away, I told Siri to set a timer for 44 minutes. It worked. Mind blown again.

[Remedial, I know, but it just goes to show how beneficial it is to be around tweens when it comes to upping your technology skills].

CYPRESS STREET

The first pings of rain fell and we spied another growth we didn’t recognize (below).

K used plant ID app to determine that it’s Jimsonweed or Datura

Oh! I said. The enslaved used Jimsonweed to treat worms. I know this but can’t resist asking Siri to do more tricks and confirm.

Siri: Search Jimsonweed and worms.

It started to rain.

Siri: Search slave medicine worms Jimsonweed.

I didn’t get the confirmation I wanted but learned all kinds of cool stuff; how Jimsonweed has hallucinogenic properties; how there’s a history behind the name, as there is to most things.

http://www.herbalgram.org

JACKSON STREET

The sidewalk was dotted with raindrops as we rounded the block to home.

Once inside, I googled the weed without Siri’s help and found what I was looking for.

https://trace.tennessee.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=6256&context=utk_graddiss

The chart above is from an article about medicine employed by the enslaved. Vermifuge is an agent that treats parasites.

Also, found this article, excerpt above.

Time for that second cup of coffee. Hope you are enjoying this Monday wherever you are.