Friday, February 27, 2009


I dreamt it was summer, and pouring rain. I was wearing a T-shirt and shorts. I grabbed a bar of Pear's soap and ran outside into the rain and lathered up my face and arms and legs. I saw a parked police car and wondered if I'd get arrested.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Shuffling Lady

I pass her every day no matter where I walk. She has straight ink-black hair down to her collar bone. She wears layers of patterned clothing poking out of a long dark wool coat. Does she have a place to live? When I got home today, I heard slap, slap. I went to the window and it was the shuffling lady walking down our street.

Rusty Nails

Yesterday Ray joined Lily and me on our walk until he saw a bunch of rusted nails in the street in front of the Li'l General. He squatted down and picked up each one. I said goodbye and Lily and I continued our walk. I wonder what Ray would have thought of seeing 26 turkey vultures!

Clean Lily

I washed Lily today in the yellow bathtub using the hose extension. She is very tolerant. Now that she's clean we can't stop snuggling her! We took her to our vet last night for her first visit and checkup. She put on a real show of out-of-control exuberance! She is fit and trim, healthy and happy.


I am struggling with my strange paintings.

Feels Like

Today feels like a Thursday or a Friday, not a Wednesday. So did Monday and Tuesday. The whole week has felt like the end of the week.


Today there were only three turkey vultures on Winter Street.

I discovered that Lily runs at a perfect pace. Her legs are long and she is graceful. She is learning to heel! I am thrilled. I am trying to replace her jumping-up with sitting.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Today on my walk with Lily as I was heading down Winter Street almost reaching Harris Ave, I saw a postman leaning on his little postal delivery truck. Then I saw what he was looking at. There were a whole bunch of turkey vultures on the roof of a small house. The postman said he counted; there were 26 birds in all. They were big black and shiny with a wide wingspan and creepy wrinkly red heads. He said jokingly that he hesitated to deliver the mail fearing they might swoop down and carry him away. I offered to walk up the path with him and Lily. As we stood there talking the Rottweiler inside the house barked at Lily from the picture window and the vultures started to fly away. Their wings were so wide they looked like the flying monkeys from The Wizard Of Oz.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Lily and I had a big walk into Blackstone today. This is the noisy thoughts-in-my-head season but walking Lily helps to bring me back into the present moment.

Today it is sunny and cold and very windy. I saw rolling trash cans and blue and brown recycle bins scooting across the roads from the gale force winds. Cars were weaving around trying to navigate. I pulled a few barrels and bins out of the road but there were so many that after a while I stopped.

Lily is big and strong and sometimes wants to walk at a much faster pace. We are still figuring this out. Her thigh muscles have become so sculpted!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


I took Lily out and it wasn't raining until three blocks into the walk but I was committed to keep on. I needed the walk and so did she! We walked through some of the streets between Providence Street and South Main Street. Two hours later we returned home soaked but we both loved it. She's my personal trainer!


Last week I read The Day the World Came to Town by Jim DeFede. It's a poignant portrait of people in Gander Newfoundland coming together during a time of need.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Memoir

I just finished a fabulous memoir called Sleeping Arrangements by Laura Cunningham.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Morning Air

I am outside in my plaid pajamas breathing fresh air, trying to get Lily to chase the tennis ball. I throw it and it sinks into the snow. She paws at the ball and then is distracted by the cats who were in our yard overnight. I am grateful that the sunshine is back today. What would we do without dogs to remind us of fresh air and love.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Cartoon Town

Today I walked Lily through downtown crossing the Court Street Bridge, going down Hamlet ave. We saw the construction of the new junior high schools. Right now the buildings are covered in lemon-yellow four by eight panels of insulation. The seams are taped down with cobalt blue duct tape. From a distance the schools look like a cartoon town!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Good Book

I just read Marley and Me and thoroughly enjoyed it!

Dog Park

We took Lily to the dog park in Sharon Massachusetts yesterday and she had such a great time. There were about thirty five dogs of all kinds and their proud owners were standing in the sun watching. Lily ran with the Great Danes and the poodles and everything in between. She runs, darts, and dodges beautifully, a joy to watch. I can't wait to go back!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Dawn Sky

This morning the dawn sky is electric pink and orange like sherbet. The moon is getting full and the light is coming back! February is one of my favorite months of the year because I always feel the excitement of the returning daylight. Poor man's travel is waking up at four am ready for the day.

Lily, Rosemary And The Jack Of Hearts -Bob Dylan

The festival was over and the boys were all planning for a fall
The cabaret was quiet except for the drilling in the wall
The curfew had been lifted and the gambling wheel shut down
Anyone with any sense had already left town
He was standing in the doorway looking like the Jack of Hearts.

He moved across the mirrored room "Set it up for everyone" he said
Then everyone commenced to do what they were doin' before he turned their heads
Then he walked up to a stranger and he asked him with a grin
"Could you kindly tell me friend what time the show begins ?"
Then he moved into the corner face down like the Jack of Hearts.

Backstage the girls were playing five card stud by the stairs
Lily had two queens she was hoping for a third to match her pair
Outside the streets were filling up, the window was open wide
A gentle breeze was blowing, you could feel it from inside
Lily called another bet and drew up the Jack of Hearts.

Big Jim was no one's fool, he owned the town's only diamond mine
He made his usual entrance looking so dandy and so fine
With his bodyguards and silver cane and every hair in place
He took whatever he wanted to and he laid it all to waste
But his bodyguards and silver cane were no match for the Jack of Hearts.

Rosemary combed her hair and took a carriage into town
She slipped in through the side door looking like a queen without a crown
She fluttered her false eyelashes and whispered in his ear
"Sorry darling, that I'm late", but he didn't seem to hear
He was starring into space over at the Jack of Hearts.

"I know I've seen that face somewhere" Big Jim was thinking to himself
"Maybe down in Mexico or a picture up on somebodys shelf"
But then the crowd began to stamp their feet and the house lights did dim
And in the darkness of the room there was only Jim and him
Starring at the butterfly who just drew the Jack of Hearts.

Lily was a princess she was fair-skinned and precious as a child
She did whatever she had to do she had that certain flash every time she smiled
She'd come away from a broken home had lots of strange affairs
With men in every walk of life which took her everywhere
But she's never met anyone quite like the Jack of Hearts.
The hanging judge came in unnoticed and was being wined and dined
The drilling in the wall kept up but no one seemed to pay it any mind
It was known all around that Lily had Jim's ring
And nothing would ever come between Lily and the king
No nothing ever would except maybe the Jack of Hearts.

Rosemary started drinking hard and seeing her reflection in the knife
She was tired of the attention tired of playing the role of Big Jim's wife
She had done a lot of bad things even once tried suicide
Was looking to do just one good deed before she died
She was gazing to the future riding on the Jack of Hearts.

Lily took her dress off and buried it away
"Has your luck turn out" she laughed at him'.
"Well I guess you must have known it would someday
Be careful not to touch the wall there's a brand new coat of paint
I'm glad to see you're still alive you're looking like a saint"
Down the hallway footsteps were coming for the Jack of Hearts.

The backstage manager was pacing all around by his chair
"There's something funny going on" he said " I can just feel it in the air"
He went to get the hanging judge but the hanging judge was drunk
As the leading actor hurried by in the costume of a monk
There was no actor anywhere better than the Jack of Hearts.

No one knew the circumstance, but they say it happened pretty quick
The door to the dressing room burst open a cold revolver clicked
And big Jim was standing there ya couldn't say surprised
Rosemary right beside him steady in her eyes
She was with big Jim but she was leaning to the Jack of Hearts.

Two doors down the boys finally made it through the wall
And cleaned out the bank safe it's said that they got off with quite a haul
In the darkness by the riverbed they waited on the ground
For one more member who had business back in town
But they couldn't go no further without the Jack of Hearts.

The next day was hanging day the sky was overcast and black
Big Jim lay covered up killed by a penknife in the back
And Rosemary on the gallows she didn't even blink
The hanging judge was sober he hadn't had a drink
The only person on the scene missing was the Jack of Hearts.
The cabaret was empty now a sign said. "Closed for repair"
Lily had already taken all of the dye out of her hair
She was thinking about her father who she was rarely saw
Thinking about Rosemary and thinking about the law
But most of all she was thinking about the Jack of Hearts.

Fellow Martians

It is amazing what band leaders have to juggle with aside from the music. I watch my musical friends and I am amazed. It's equal to what restaurant owners have to deal with. The part of me that paints and writes appreciates this simplicity. It's not easy but it is less complicated by comparison. Bill and I feel extremely lucky to participate in Lauren + Matthew's group because everyone is a loving Martian! We learn and grow together and we love each other, quirks and all.


Last night I visited the cows around six thirty. It was their supper time. It was dark out but there was enough electric light for me to see their big heads bobbing while munching green hay. I love the hollow sound the cows make while chewing. I saw a cow that was mostly black but had black and white speckled areas instead of spots. The pattern resembled the black and white markings of a Border Collie. I had never seen that kind of design on a cow before so I stepped closer and noticed that the speckled area on its face was the shape of Texas!


I am rarely accepted by women my age. It saddens me deeply. Women feel either compelled to scold me or they want to run for the hills when they meet me. But I have been lucky to find a few other Martian sisters who recognize me as a fellow traveler and for this I am grateful.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Fresh Air

Today I had a walk with Lily in the freezing four-degree wind and sun. We walked through downtown and on our way home I let her loose inside the fenced-in tennis court in the park. She loved it and ran at top speed in a big circle plowing through the deep snow. When we came home I fed her and she crashed out on her bed. Now her fur smells like fresh air!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

A Foot Away

I am happiest being close to my dog. She is my anchor. She is a foot away from me all day at work, and at play and during the night. I am having so much fun training her because she is fast to learn. It's very rewarding. Today I am thinking about behavioralism. I am also thinking about Carl Rogers and A.S. Neill. How do we teach ourselves new tricks using positive reinforcement rather than fear tactics?

Lily Joy!

I had three big walks with Lily yesterday! I am teaching Lily simple commands; heel, sit, stay, down, give. We have been playing fetch in the house with the purple squeaky ball and the furry ball!

We've been making the rounds stopping in and saying hello to all the dog-loving folks around town at the bank, the YMCA, the post office and Joe's Moldy Oldies.

I've been sniffing her face while kissing her. After walking around town Lily's forehead smells like other people's perfume and cologne! When I kissed her today my red lipstick showed up on her pale fur.

After our walk yesterday her legs were muddy so I coaxed her into our empty yellow bathtub and hosed her down. She was okay with that.

I don't know who is more excited, Lily or me!

The previous owners gave her up because her hunting instincts got her in trouble. Her second family thought she had too much energy. She's not a problem here, we love her big energy. We make a good team!

Lily's bark is rare but when she does bark she's a baritone, like a Great Dane!

Three times yesterday she came to me with a toothbrush in her mouth. Maybe she's trying to tell me something!

This morning on our walk, Jamie Sullivan invited her inside his butcher shop on North Main Street. Lily sat smiling while I introduced her.

On the way home the ladies at Moonlight Wieners came running out with bright orange hot dogs for her.

The snow has just begun! We're looking forward to a few more walks today!!