Sunday, December 18, 2011

T turns 15

Dear God:

Today, I am so thankful for T as we celebrate his 15th birthday.

 Yes, T is still with us.

After T's leg surgery in June, S and I weren't optimistic that he would make it to age 15. But he did.

At age 15, T can't hear very well and has lost his once very keen sense of smell. An arthritic right hip keeps him from exploring the neighborhood along favorite dirt trails, yet he is perfectly content to walk around the park twice a day with S. He still eats well, poops regularly and, to our delight, occasionally acts like "young" T.

Happy birthday to our most precious fellow. Despite what others may claim, you are the indisputable best doggie in the whole Universe, the best dog that ever lived. We love you so much.

T - still as handsome as ever at 15

No longer able to join us on hikes or our climbing adventures, T is quite content to be an indoor dog.
This lovely winter afternoon, despite sunny skies and warm temperatures,  he prefers to do what he does best.

A final walk along the mountain road with S - Thanksgiving 2011.

For this most extraordinary blessing, I am very grateful.


Saturday, August 06, 2011

Summer colors

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for summer colors.

The summer blooming season is in full swing. Like a color-happy artist, my garden paints my miniscule corner of the Earth with hues that reflect many moods: cool and warm, muted and intense.

Please don't ask me to name my favorite.

For this blessing, I am thankful.


Morning light

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for morning light.

On workdays, T usually rouses me around 4:30 AM when he gets up to reposition himself on his sleeping blanket. My clock is set for a 5:05 AM wake-up call, so for the next half-hour, I lie in bed anticipating the alarm's "ding-ding-ding". In other words, T goes back to sleep while I hover in a half-asleep/half-awake state.

Occasionally, I give in and just get up. An early start never hurts even though I've slept for less than 6 hours.

Last Thursday morning was such an occasion. I arose earlier than normal and happily spent some of the extra time in my backyard garden.

The sun's rays barely cleared the fence top. The soft light fell gently across different plants, creating interesting flower portraits. Fortunately, I had my camera with me. Here are three of my favorite photos from that morning's shoot.

This sunflower faces east, catching a few rays of early morning sunlight.

The early morning light illuminates this Cleome. Blodgett Peak towers in the background

Cleome stand tall in front of the old cedar fence. The string bean-like structures are seed pods

 For this blessing, I am grateful.


Sunday, July 31, 2011

T's Healed Leg

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for T's healed leg.

S and I removed the bandage from T's right foreleg. Except for a few small red spots along the incision scar, the site is healed.

T, sans bandage, does what he does best - taking a long, quiet nap on a hot summer afternoon in Colorado.
For this blessing, I am very grateful.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My dad and my gardens

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for my dad and my gardens.

If he had lived, Dad would be celebrating his 86th birthday today. Instead, over year after his death, I am honoring him in my own, very private way, in my garden.

I spent the weekend tidying my backyard garden - just in case Dad was curious and checked in to see what's blooming. Despite the 90 degree-plus temperatures, I spent several hours weeding, pruning, thinning, deadheading, mulching and watering.

Just in case, of course.

I hope Dad was happy that at least one of his five daughters (me) inherited his gardening genes and became a rather accomplished gardener. He never said a thing to me about my endeavors. Still, I'm sure he was proud of me, especially since I garden in a very challenging environment - the arid, high plains of the Colorado Front Range.

So, in celebration of Dad's 86th birthday, I'm inviting you to take a short walk in my gardens. Warning: the plants are not as green and lush as the ones he grew in Southern California.

Most of mine are xeric: drought-resistant or drought-tolerant. Many are Colorado natives. Lots are deer- and rabbit-resistant. Some are edible. All are lovely.

Backyard garden - looking west

Backyard garden - along the north fence

Backyard garden - another view looking west

Backyard garden - looking towards the northeast corner

Backyard garden - another view looking towards the northeast corner
Backyard garden - north fence

Backyard garden - north fence, close-in view

Backyard garden - shadier section along the house
Front Yard
A daisy for your thoughts, Dad ... Happy Birthday ... we miss you.
For these blessings, I am very grateful.


Sunday, July 03, 2011

A sleeping dog

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for a sleeping dog.

T's recovery from surgery has been an ordeal for all of us. S and I, however, can rationalize the experience and manage our emotions, reactions and responsibilities.

Not so for T. He just doesn't understand. The worst part is the every-two-day visit to the "veg" for the bandage change. T's worst nightmare = any visit to the veg.

When T returns home, he is quite agitated and won't lie down to rest. Naturally, his behavior makes S and I nervous, testing the limits of our patience. Fortunately, the incision is healing and T has full use of the foreleg.

After this morning's visit to the veg, T finally settles down.

A sleeping dog = a few hours of peace and quiet for his human parents.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Saturday, July 02, 2011

Le Tour de France

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for Le Tour de France.

While not as imposing as a glorious field of French sunflowers, this single first-of-the-summer Gaillardia (blanket flower) shows off its favorite Tour colors. It bloomed this morning, just in time for the Tour's opening stage. Its bright yellow petals honor the coveted yellow jersey.

For this blessing, I am grateful.

A touch of orange

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for a touch of orange.

Orange is one color I do not wear - the warm, sun-kissed citrus hue just doesn't flatter my classic winter coloring (or rather, I do not do justice to orange). Occasionally, I'll wear a top with deep coral or peach, but never, ever pure orange.

My garden, however, doesn't care about my preferences. It can wear any color regardless of the season. So this morning, orange it is.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A "from the top" perspective

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for a "from the top" perspective.

A "from the top" view helps me capture unusual images of my garden.

I'm looking straight down on these perennials and love what I see.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Single blooms

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for single blooms.

Large floral bouquets usually catch my eye when I survey my garden. This afternoon, however, single blooms are the celebrities du jour.

Here are portraits of some of the loveliest "stars."

For these blessings, I am grateful.