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Gone Fishing . . .

I hope that your spring is going well! The pools are open and school just let out for the summer! We have been doing a lot of swimming; and Alex has been doing horse riding lessons, which she loves. Victory is doing well, too. I feel like the days are going by way too quickly! How is the year already half over?

I am taking a break from the blog for several weeks to visit family; soak up our days together; rejuvenate; and just be. (I plan to be back here to the blog sometime next month.) I want to thank you, as always, for being here. Whether you are a recent reader or have been following the blog for awhile, I am honored you take time to read the blog.  I am truly grateful. 

Meanwhile, if you are in a blog-reading mood, you are warmly invited to visit the archives — the links are shown below.

Dog Related posts

Dog Rescue posts

‘Dog-Centric’ Artists Interviews

For Artists posts

Photography posts

Personal posts

Victory Related posts

Alex Related posts

Happy almost summer!

Where is Art Derived?

This is such an interesting idea, this poem by Ha Jin, shown above. Do you agree that poetry (and all art, music, etc.) stems from grief? For sure, I believe that we can take whatever grief we cannot eliminate, and make it into a creative offering.

But if grief were no more — would we stop creating? Perhaps, in addition to grief, wonder and the numinous are other sources for creative inspiration.

I believe art and nature shows us the essence of why we are alive and (if you are spiritually inclined) the divine.

Loving: Spring 2023

Below are a few things I am loving during this spring.

1. Stokke Chair — We love the adjustable Stokke chair! Alex loves it, too, along with the comfy seat cushion!

2. Minnow Swim Suit — I love these fun swim suits from Minnow Swim — Alex has been wearing these swim suits, along with the Hanna Andersson swim suits, since she first started swimming in 2019.

3. Summersalt Swim Suits — I absolutely love these swim suits, they are very comfortable, well-made, and flattering!

4. Ranger Rick Jr. — In addition to Highlights High Five magazineAlex really enjoys her monthly Ranger Rick Jr. magazine, especially with all of the different animals featured!

5. Kindfull Dog Treats  — We recently found these new dog treats, and Victory loves them!

6. The Creative Act: A Way of Being by Rick Rubin  — I recently started reading this book, and it is fascinating! The Creative Act is essentially a book designed to guide an artist through the creative journey. The book is 400 pages but its welcoming tone makes it an easy read. The sentences are short, as are the chapters. 

“I set out to write a book about what to do to make a great work of art. Instead, it revealed itself to be a book on how to be,” writes Rubin.

The situations he describes will resonate with anyone who has done any kind of creative work for an extensive period. The highs and lows, the roadblocks and self-doubt, and the antenna you have to keep attuned to the universe’s signals.

He encourages experimentation and holding on to childlike wonder. He is against competition and comparison, assuring artists that their competition is only themselves while they are on the path of evolution. “Putting your best effort in at each moment, in each chapter, is all we can ever hope to accomplish,” writes Rubin.  

He advises us to continuously work towards a goal, be okay without everything being perfect, and not letting the voices in our heads dissuade us from making it to the finish line. People often think they need some grand idea before they can start working when in fact, you need to sit down, start working, and while you’re working a grand idea will come to you.

You can view other things I love here!


How lovely is that?

So, recently, I took a walk around the neighborhood with Alex and Victory, and, let me tell you, glimmers abound. Here is a short list:

*Pushing Victory in her Hound About, while seeing her fur glistening in the sun.

*Seeing Alex balancing well on her scooter.

*Alex telling me all about the artwork she plans to make.

*Seeing beautiful flowers blooming.

*Feeling the cool, spring breeze.

*Seeing the sun start to set.

What glimmers have you seen lately?

Really Exciting News…

I have some really exciting news — my debut book will be released by the publisher during the fall of 2024, which focuses on a long-term photography project I completed employing dogs as my subject, further studying the relationship between dogs and humans. There has never been a project like mine published; and I worked tirelessly for over a decade, and I am extremely elated to have finished everything to turn into the publisher this month! It was a huge feat, to say the least! There is still much to get done, but I am so grateful to have reached this point in the journey. Importantly, this project would not exist if it were not for our sweet dear Biscuit.

Most of all, I am very excited to have the opportunity to share this work with a wider audience to raise awareness about dog rescue and to hopefully help as many dogs in need as possible. (I had previously mentioned, here on the blog, from time to time, over the years, about working on my project.) There are so many people to thank that have helped me along this journey and made this book a reality; and I have two wonderful people writing the foreword and afterword for the book. Additionally, I hope that this book can serve as inspiration to others to really go for their dream, even if it feels impossible.

This blog community is the first place where I have publicly announced this news. When I am able to share more details, I will! I will also let you know when the book is available for pre-order. Along with sharing here, I also hope to create a newsletter to bring you along on this part of the journey.

Thank you for reading!

Alex’s Fourth Birthday Celebration!

This post is very late, as Alex is going to be five in a few months, but I wanted to document her fourth birthday on the blog! For Alex’s forth birthday celebration, she had her little friends over for face painting and a rainbow-themed science show, where they watched a live rainbow-themed science show and made bouncy balls together! The face painting was also a hit, the artist did a wonderful job making her artistic creations. This was Alex’s first party since she turned one, due to COVID.

During this time, my parents came to visit for Alex’s birthday, and we took a trip to Dutch Wonderland, which was a hit, and we had really nice weather, thankfully! Alex loved the amusement park, especially the Frog Hopper, her favorite ride!

Alex and my Mom have the same birthday, so on their actual birthday, a few days later, we took photos, had another special cake made, and went to dinner and opened gifts! Then, Alex did some horse riding! And her orange Pello bike, finally came in August, which she loves, as it was on back order for several months, and it is her favorite color!

Coincidentally, Alex is having an early fifth birthday celebration at school today, with her class, and she is bringing her favorite cupcakes today, since school is not in session during the summer to celebrate! A photo is below.

Alex’s fourth birthday celebration is shown below.

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Belated Earth Day! Alex created some art for Earth Day at school, shown below, along with some of her other art! Alex is very proud of her artwork, and she told me that she is never going to stop creating her art, which is music to our ears!

Happy Monday!

Nationals: Pups in the Park!

This past weekend we took Alex and Victory to Pups in the Park at the Nationals in their matching red outfits!  This was our seventh time and sixth year, attending Pups in the Park at the Nationals with Victory, and our second time attending with both Alex and Victory!  (You can view our previous trips to Pups in the Park: hereherehereherehere, and here.)  

We had really nice weather for the game. This is the first Pups in the Park that Alex will remember, as she only remembers going in 2019, prior to COVID, via photos, as she had just turned one. Alex was especially in love with the food (and souvenirs), and she had cotton candy for the very first time! Victory was a little trooper and had fun as well. Of course, very little baseball was watched by us, but we have fun memories together! (Unfortunately, with the new rules, I could not bring my camera into the stadium this year.)

Below are several photos from our visit!  We look forward to going back again this fall with our girls!

Happy Thursday!

Spring Break 2023

Happy Spring! I hope you are enjoying the nice spring weather, and I hope you had a nice Easter! It is quite warm here! Alex had her spring break recently, and we went to see the wild horses at Assateague on the Maryland side, where furry family members are permitted! The horses were so beautiful. We also went to Dewey Beach, where furry family members are welcome, and we lucked out with nice weather for April! Alex had a great time, along with Victory, who absolutely loves the beach, and she never wants to leave!

Additionally, my parents visited during this time, and Alex enjoyed having special time with Grandma and Grandpa, which included: time at the beach; sleep overs with my Mom; playing and doing crafts with my Mom; a trip to see the dinos; a trip to the zoo; a trip to the book store; and dying eggs with my Mom for Easter. Alex especially loves spending time with her Grandma, and they both share the same birthday, interestingly! Alex also enjoyed a fun Easter Egg hunt on Easter morning, and the Easter Bunny was kind enough to include dog treats in the plastic eggs for our sweet fur girl, Victory!

We hope you had a Happy Easter! A few photos from spring break and our Easter are shown below.

Why Beauty Matters

Why does beauty matter, despite the really difficult things going on in our world? I love quotes, and I love this quote by C.S. Lewis, below.

“Human life has always been lived on the edge of a precipice. Human culture has always had to exist under the shadow of something infinitely more important than itself. If men had postponed the search for knowledge and beauty until they were secure, the search would have never begun. We are mistaken when we compare war with ‘normal life.’ Life has never been normal.” ―C.S. Lewis

As Lewis suggests: life has never been perfect, the precipice has always been near. And yet―these moments of unbearable beauty mean more than anything else that might ever happen to us. In fact, the precipice is the reason why they mean so much. They point us in the direction of the beautiful world, the one we feel so improvably sure is out there somewhere.