Pet Prose: Harper

Author photo.

“The summer between her second and third grade years, she decided she’d rather be a tree. Every day she’d take a bucket of water to the woods behind the house, pour the water on the ground, and carefully place her bare feet into the muddy soil. She’d stand still for what felt like the entire afternoon, and when she could no longer endure standing still, would examine her feet for any sign of roots.

Disappointed after a couple of weeks, she was struck by a conversation between her uncle and aunt when they talked about growing roses and what they called ‘grafting.’ She stopped taking water to the woods. Instead, she took books from her uncle and aunt’s library to read while she pressed her back, or an arm, or her feet, against a tree trunk. The grafting process never worked and she remained fully human, but she did read a lot of good books that summer.”

I take photos. I write. Mostly I only take photos of Rescued Pets Movement’s rescued dogs and cats. Since working and volunteering don’t leave me a lot of time to write, I’m spending 2017 borrowing from what these dogs and cats are writing. They said it’s okay.

will not leave my pencils alone

The Bad Dog keeps getting on my desk anytime I forget to pull my desk chair far away from it. He steals my pencils. First he eats the polymer eraser covers, then he eats whatever is left of the old erasers, then he destroys the pencils. Sometimes he enlists the Middle Dog to join him in this destruction. My Two Thugs.


These two were recovered post-eraser/pre-wood damage.

World AIDS Day

This photo was the runner up to my Photo Friday “Twilight” theme. The red ribbon on the jacket of Eclipse has always reminded me of the years and years I made and handed out red ribbon pins to coworkers, friends, and strangers. This year, the red ribbon is packed away in storage. The newsletters I used to write, and the blog posts I used to publish, about HIV and AIDS are no longer necessary because if you are already using the Internet, you can find all the local resources and global information you want or need at your fingertips.

But for those of us with longer and more personal memories, this never stops being a day to reflect on those lost, hope for the best for those who still struggle, and feel gratitude for those who stay well thanks to the efforts and sometimes downright fury of the ones who went before them.

The theme of World AIDS Day this year is “Increasing Impact through Transparency, Accountability, and Partnerships.” One of many things AIDS/HIV has taught us is that we are stronger together, and that we must never be silent in the face of catastrophe. AIDS/HIV transcends borders, politics, race, religious belief, gender, sexuality, age, and national origin, and so must we in eradicating it.

And for the ones I love still–Steve R, Jeff C, John M, and Tim R–I continue to wear my red ribbon pin each year on December 1 in honor of them.

Early birthday

Lynne’s birthday is not until Monday, but since we were all together on Friday, we decided to go out to dinner. The restaurant allowed me to bring the cake I baked and even held it in the cooler until we were ready to surprise her with it. Or we tried to surprise her, but it was an adult who shall remain nameless, not the nine-year-old, who blurted out the surprise. Said nine-year-old was too busy making me laugh.

Fortunately even without the surprise factor, the cake was a success.

Happy Thanksgiving!

As you may remember, this is my favorite holiday and the meal I most love to cook. This year we couldn’t really entertain since our house is still in post-flood stage. And even though Lynne has sold her house and most of it is packed away, she still hosted Tom, Debby, Tim, and me along with Jess, Laura, and her grandchildren Lila and Isaac.

I provided a hen and dressing along with cranberry sauce and gravy.

Debby cooked field peas, green beans, and a pan of brownies.

Lynne set out a feast: two kinds of sweet potato casseroles, a Cajun fried turkey, corn, potatoes au gratin, mashed potatoes, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes. She also had pumpkin pie, apple pie, and chocolate chip cookies.

Wishing a happy Thanksgiving to all those in or from the US, and just a day of thanks for all my friends in other countries. I’m certainly grateful for my friends, family, and the many good things in my life. No silly flood can take that away.

November 22, 1963

I got on the school bus. Another girl was holding a transistor radio to her ear and crying. When I asked someone what was wrong, he said, “Somebody shot the president.”

I was so young that I couldn’t possibly know the impact. But I remember the TV being on for days and watching the funeral. I remember going into the bathroom and crying into my towel where it hung on the rack and wondering, “What’s going to happen to us?”

Each time I see a child grapple with horrific news and watch innocence die in their eyes, I remember again.

It was a subdued Christmas that year.

What is a life worth to you?

Yes, I’m at it again. I’ve created a team to help with Rescued Pets Movement’s current fundraising campaign as part of the Newman’s Own challenge. You can help by clicking the link below and contributing any amount you desire. PLEASE don’t worry about the fees. That will be covered. We want you to know that every dollar you donate will go toward rehabilitating and relocating Houston’s homeless dogs and cats to families in other areas of the country where adoptable pets are in short supply. We’ll get them healthy and get them there thanks to you. NO AMOUNT IS TOO SMALL. Thank you!

Please click through to my fundraising page.

Beverly says, “You’re aces!” (Strange, since Beverly does not have a poker face.)