Best Friends

Our driver’s funeral service was today. Afterward, I spent time away from everything RPM because sometimes I need to breathe and focus on a bigger picture.

But I can never really escape the dogs. Debby and I went to one of my favorite shops, Body Mind and Soul, where I found bracelets made by Chavez for Charity. The two bracelets I picked out benefited Best Friends Animal Society. It seemed a nice way to honor Charles Roberts’s commitment to the rescue of animals.


In an earlier post I talked about trying to complete some of the tasks I featured on Photo Friday last September. This one is ongoing, but it’s gratifying that friends have had some quiet Craft Nights to exercise the chance to color.

Lynne and I have been coloring together since we were kids. Even then, just getting to our teens, we were “too old” to color, but we never believed that. There’s no such thing as “too old” to color. We like to think we were MANY years ahead of the adult coloring craze that’s now possibly in its waning days–though not for us. Coloring is a chance for companionship and conversation; an escape from stress; and at times, an opportunity to process sadness.

Here are some examples of what we’ve been doing.

Lindsey’s lovely ombre effect. What happens when artists color.

Tom’s first from a dragon coloring book he received Christmas 2015!

He received this coloring book this past Christmas. Apparently the movie was not so good, but the illustrations in the coloring book are excellent. It should be fun.

Lynne did these two:

Her biggest crowd-pleaser was this one:

This one was totally created for Rhonda to color!

I think this is one I did that same night:

I did this one over a couple of Craft Nights:

Lynne has one still in progress:

Some bright colors from Lindsey on this one:

Here’s one of the books I’m looking forward to:

I finished this one last summer. I think I Instagrammed it but never put it here.

I should send this one to Marika to do in honor of Teddy:

I forgot to put my Christmas angels out this past holiday! Some of you may remember that a few years ago, Marika sent some of these angels out to friends to color as a surprise for me. The offer still stands. I have plenty of angel books and will happily mail an angel to you to color if you send your mailing address to me at Then you’ll be part of the next Houndstooth Hall holidays!

It took four months, but…

Back in September, one of the Photo Friday challenges was to post seven days of photos. I used those seven days to post undone projects. I’m happy to report that two of those were ACCOMPLISHED and one is ongoing.

Ongoing: We have actually used some Craft Nights to sit around the table and color together from my vast collection of adult coloring books. I’ll share photos of some of those in a later post.

Done: I actually mailed all the Christmas cards I’d intended and included not only 2016’s Houndstooth Hall photo, but 2015’s for those people who I never sent cards to. I feel so much better now that I’ve touched base with a lot of people I would never want to lose contact with! I’m not sure I ever shared the 2016 photo on here, so this is what went out. Thanks, Lindsey and Rhonda, for making the photo happen.

I’m holding our former foster dog Chaya and Jack; Tom’s holding Delta and Anime; Tim has the three Ps Penny, Pixie, and Pollock; and Debby has her two, Stewie and Harley.

Done: Thanks to Lynne’s skills and Tom’s assistance, the fabric on our kitchen island went from this:

to this:

I like getting the houndstooth theme firmly established in at least one room of the Hall.

There are still things left undone, of course, but I’m making progress!

Photo Friday, No. 532

Current Photo Friday theme: Silence

This one is a hard one, and though it’s dated February 13, I’m writing it after more than a week of silence.

In the early morning hours of Friday, January 13, on a desolate stretch of Colorado highway, one of RPM’s vans was involved in an accident. This particular van had a father and son driving team. The driver, Charles, lost his life. His son Jared survived the crash with injuries, but those will heal with time. Miraculously, no dogs lost their lives, and only four ran from the scene of the accident. Over the ensuing week, thanks to a groundswell of Colorado volunteers involving some of our rescue partners, a nearby shelter, and dog behaviorists, three of those dogs were recovered and are now safe and sound in homes. We’re sure with a little time, we’ll get our fourth girl safely back, as well. (ETA: The fourth dog was also recovered and is safe and sound.)

I say it all the time–we love our drivers. It’s a terrible loss to our RPM family and to Charles’s family. The only comfort I can find is that Charles loved what he was doing. He was a helper. He was a good man. He was a hero in Houston’s rescue community. We will miss him.

I created this little shrine of many little dog totems that have come to me over the years to honor him and all the dogs he safely transported to their new homes each week. If there is a Rainbow Bridge–and I believe there is, or something like it–then Charles was greeted with love by all the animals who recognized him as a new friend.

There can be a lot of pain in rescue. Most of our dogs and cats come to us from the streets, many are ill, some are fragile, and whenever we lose one, I make a final note on that dog or cat’s record to “run free.” Now I will imagine every sweet animal running, strong and healthy again, into Charles’s arms, and he will help them across the Rainbow Bridge with the same compassion and care with which he loaded so many onto his van.

Run free, sweet Charles.

birthdays and other thoughts…

I love this card that came from a friend in England. Right now I’m reading an old biography of Keith Richards–have owned it for many years, but never had a chance to read it–so all things British are making me happy. This card in particular touches me, because I know this year the holidays are bittersweet for the sender, so his thoughtfulness is even more appreciated. The 19th is his birthday–the same birthday as Aaron’s–and both of them are very much on my mind.

Button Sunday

Yes, the season is upon us, and this is about the silliest button I could find.

We’ve started decorating at Houndstooth Hall. Here are photos of the more nostalgic ornaments on our new, larger tree so far.

The ornament that celebrates the year we moved into The Compound. We had almost almost twenty great years there and infinite happy memories. I don’t miss it the way I thought I would because Houndstooth Hall has been so good to us.

I do miss these two very much, however.

Sweet Guinness and wonderful Margot. I don’t think a day passes that Tom and I don’t talk about them. Strangely, Anime has taken on some of Margot’s qualities, and that can be fun to observe.

There are people I miss, too. Lynne has this same ornament, and this one belonged to her sister Liz. When Liz died, Lynne gave it to me.

This is the tree as it looks currently–it’s a work in progress.

Wondering about that picket fence? It’s there because of another work in progress, Jack. Have you officially met Jack yet?

Jack, or Just Jack, as he is more often called, is a BARC dog we adopted. Jack has some issues. He’s brave around us, but has some fear-based behavior, which most often manifests itself in his being mean to Pollock, Tim’s largest and goodnatured (thank goodness) dog, as well as to Tim. I think maybe Jack had a bad experience with someone who Tim reminds him of. Jack is also young enough to still get into trouble, and I was sure the Christmas tree would provide him plenty of opportunity. Lynne suggested putting some kind of fence around it, Tom found the picket fence and modified it to work, and I hung those small stockings I’d bought after some Christmas past when they were on sale.

Is it working? Well, here’s some of Jack’s work we’ve found throughout the house. Hopefully features have since been added to stop Jack from expressing himself so destructively.

Visitors Minute and Paco are not impressed with Jack’s shenanigans.

And neither is that two-headed dog at the other end of the couch.

Oh, wait. That’s Delta and Anime. Sorry, girls.

Even though my blog readership has plummeted since I killed Facebook, just in case ‘Nathan ever drops in, I’ve kept up his tradition by decorating while wearing holiday socks.

And what the heck. If you DO read this dusty ol’ blog still, here’s your daily cow. You’re welcome.