Button Sunday

Last year when Rescued Pets Movement participated in Best Friends Animal Society’s Strut Your Mutt fundraiser, RPM raised $108,000, the most money ever raised by a single group in a strut event since its inception. This year RPM’s goal is to raise $125,000. Every cent of the money that Team RPM raises during this competition will be used to save dogs and cats who are unwanted in Houston and to transport them to forever homes in areas of the country who want to adopt them.

RPM consumes my time and my passion, and I’m so proud to be affiliated with the group. Some of you wanted me to let you know when we had another fundraiser so you could donate, and this is one of my favorites of the year. I love Best Friends Animal Society (I first became familiar with them because of the Vicktory Dogs). Strut Your Mutt is an event that engages animal rescue groups all over the country to help save the animals in their own communities. I’ve decided instead of doing my own fundraising page, I’d like to give my support to RPM co-founder and board member Timothy J. Lambert (I’ll provide the link to donate at the end of this post).

Some of my friends and family have already pledged to donate if I’ll fulfill certain bizarre requests of theirs. This will be torment for me (that’s what friends are for, right?), but I’ll do what I can for Houston’s dogs and cats. Maybe you have a request of your own that I can indulge–within reason. My willingness to humiliate myself has limits!

You’ll be seeing more about the campaign on my blog through October. And as promised, here’s the link for you to donate to Tim’s fundraising page:

Timothy J. Lambert’s Strut Your Mutt Fundraising Page

Recently our friend and TJB writing partner Jim was in town and helped RPM on transport day. Here he is with Ashley, RPM Foster Coordinator Extraordinaire, Timothy, and sweet beautiful Farah, whose picture I just saw with her new forever mom!

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Snoopy Saturday!


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Photo Friday, No. 457

Current Photo Friday theme: Summer

In the shade…

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Button Sunday

First, the button. The other day I was almost at my doctor’s office when I realized I had failed to bring something to read. There’s a Barnes & Noble one block away from the medical campus, so I detoured in with a very certain book in mind I wanted to buy. Unfortunately, they didn’t have the hardcover edition of that book, so I picked up the book that has everyone analyzing Southerners and the South again. (Note: How I would appreciate it if people stopped trying to explain us to ourselves. We know who we are, we accept our limitations, we laugh at our contradictions, and we are not all the same except in one thing: Whether or not we possess self-awareness and humor, we get tired of being told that our flaws can’t be found in the rest of you. They can. Welcome to the human race.)

So I bought Go Set A Watchman because as anyone who’s read this blog knows, I list To Kill a Mockingbird as probably my favorite of all books written. I also bought a couple of other items, one of which I had to return because I’d forgotten I already have it. When I went back to the store the following day, the person who helped me–I don’t know if she was a manager or a sales associate–was wearing this button. “I must have a button like that,” I said, and then we commenced to discussing the novel because she could see on my receipt that I’d purchased it. Then, as I was about to leave, she removed the button and said, “Here, you can have mine.” I hope I never stop being touched by such gestures. Thank you to her for proof that booksellers are among the best people, both in conversation and generosity.

Now: the novel, which I have read in its entirety. I do not think any of us can know the full truth about how this novel came to be found and published or if someone or multiple someones are abusing Harper Lee’s trust. But I do know a few things about writing and editing. I hope there are still literary writers who have editors like the one who helped Miss Lee develop To Kill a Mockingbird out of this alleged first draft. Legend has it that at one point she was so frustrated with her editor that she hurled the manuscript through a window. But if that is the novel that she drew from this one, her editor did her a wonderful turn, because she crafted a hauntingly beautiful story that still resonates with truths and gives us reason to believe that no matter how small and mean the world around us can be, and no matter how flawed we are, we can always rise up to the best in ourselves.

And this book–whether a sequel or a first draft–is a wonderful gift, as well, because it gives me a chance to ponder one of my favorite things–the reliability and complexity of narrator–and makes me remember that those things that make us uncomfortable in art tell us much more about ourselves than about the artist. For anyone creative, the joy should rightly be in creation. Whether that creation comforts the rest of us, challenges us, disturbs us, incites us, changes us, or leaves us indifferent–over these things, the artist lacks control.

I would need to read the novel again–probably multiple times–to explore its many layers examining classism, sexism, racism. It will be up to time to judge its literary merit, but I know that the woman who is reading this novel now is quite different from the girl who read To Kill a Mockingbird, and in that way, I must consider my own perspective as a reader just as I consider Scout at six, Scout at twenty-six, and Scout as the older woman who’s telling both their stories.

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Snoopy Saturday!

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Photo Friday, No. 456

Current Photo Friday theme: Landscape 2015

This year I’ve used my camera almost exclusively for work, except for some photos of changes at Houndstooth Hall and the actual hounds in residence. I can only dream of time to see and shoot anything worthy of being called a landscape.

These are dolls that have found their way to me this year, almost all gifts. So we’ll call this Toyland-scape.

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Button Sunday

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Snoopy Saturday!

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Photo Friday, No. 455

Current Photo Friday theme: Patterns

Eduardo Portillo, Untitled, 2013, hypoallergenic polyester and fabric.

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Button Sunday

I am stunned these never appeared in my post office box or a Christmas stocking. Opportunity: MISSED.*

*You know who you are.

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