So, I could be running errands today, and may still, but I won’t be out and about alone, if I go.
My son’s dog, Daisy Mae, is frightened by storms. This knowledge was somewhere in the back of my brain, but it wasn’t exactly first hand knowledge as to how badly storms scared her, not until some time between 2 and 3 a.m.

There was a very loud, BOOM! The thunderclap sounded like it was outside the window. It could have been over the house, around the house, next door, doesn’t matter where it came from, it came. It woke me up, or rather it woke Daisy, who in turn woke me.

Before we went to bed my feet were cold, this was mentioned aloud by me to Daisy. As in, “If you’d like to sleep on my feet, I’d like that, my feet are cold, Daisy.” A few minutes after closing my eyes, my feet felt something heavy on them. Raising my head up to look down at a furry white and black blob half on and mostly next to my feet; I petted her and told her thanks before laying back down.

Then that loud noise woke either one or both of us up. Daisy Mae moved close to my face, her hot breath on my cheek wouldn’t have allowed me to sleep through the storm, and she just sat there on the bed, breathing on me. The next boom wasn’t quite so intense, but she moved closer still, nearly sitting on my chest.

I patted her head and coo’d to her like you would a child. In a few minutes she snuggled down right up against me. We eventually both feel back asleep and woke late in the morning.

Now with coffee, contemplating the day and what needs to be done, it is very apparent just how frightened Daisy Mae is. She hasn’t let me leave her in a room alone. She wouldn’t go outside by herself either. Only when she saw me pick up the laptop to write did she decided that my position was permanent enough she could curl up on the couch and try to catchup on the sleep she lost last night, staying within arms reach.

So whatever I do today, she will be with me. If any errands are run, she is running them with me. We have a forecast of scattered storms today, and since there isn’t anything pressing to be done that precludes an unwelcome dog, it just doesn’t seem right to make her stay home alone in stormy weather.


Practice Makes Perfect

Looking back over some sketches I did while waiting at various places. Some are not bad at all. Deciding how to incorporate those images and finding the best ones for the story at hand is above my skill level at present. This is proving to take more time than I realized.

Children faces aren’t easy. Found some that were done while practicing new techniques during a picture book course. Very pleased then, and now with some of them. Whether or not I can produce better will be determined in the coming weeks, so it maybe a mishmash of old and new sketches that are pulled together to complete the story.

Taking pictures of the sketches I like before I begin painting or should I say attempting to paint incase they don’t turn out well. That way the decent sketches can be used as a back up plan or even maybe try computer generation coloring. It really boils down to what appeals to me.

This is hard and sometimes I want to quit or postpone my project. I have accomplished far more than I thought was possible. In a couple of weeks coloring the illustrations will start. Practicing with paint mixing and using the brushes is my secondary task each day now.

My respect for artists who can create the images in their minds for us all to view on canvas and paper has grown tremendously. They are amazing. Now, looking at real art, my response is, “WOW!”

Daisy Mae and Me

Daisy Mae and I have coexisted for several years now. Daisy is much more easy going than I am, but even she has her limits. Every so often I discover the location of those limits.

Lately, Daisy and I have been morning the loss of our companion, Robin, my dog that crossed the bridge last month. She seems to sense when I am missing my lab mix and gets as close to me as she can and kisses me.

Daisy’s kisses aren’t the typical dog slobbering lick that many dogs do. Not that she doesn’t lick, but that’s licking. Her kisses are daintier and intentional; they are a delicate touch of her mouth to my mouth or face. If either is out of reach she will paw me to bend closer.

When it seems to me she is missing her big sister, she gets as close as possible to me. Meaning that close could be the same thing as standing on top of me, whether I am sitting, laying, or even standing. Standing with an English Bull Dog’s paw on your foot means something, not always sure I understand what it means. All this being on top of me started after Robin’s passing.

Could be wrong. But right now she is laying next to me on the loveseat, snoring away. She’s moved from room to room with me today. This is a new thing, she did’t always follow me. That was Robin’s responsibility. If Daisy Mae was comfortable and my activities took me to another room, she might acknowledge my leave taking or return by raising her head, but she didn’t get up and follow me around.

In the last few weeks, without Robin here, she has begun to take on the role of my companion. Each passing day, she makes her location the same room as mine, if not within arms reach. The later is slowing becoming more common than not.


So, many times closet cleaning has involved trying different methods, the latest craze was tried out of frustration. I don’t like cleaning. The less there is to clean the easier and faster it is. This new cleaning fad, that has been around for a while, finally caught up to me. Joy.

Previously my most successful method of thinning the household was giving three good reasons to keep it and one of them could NOT be – I got it as a gift. The dent it made was the greatest, until now.

It started with going through my clothes. Yes, before I heard the audio book. I read briefly what I found on my internet search of the method. It really cleaned out my closet and dresser. Pleased with the results, I went through the kitchen. Still delighted, I then got the audio download of the book, Joy of Tidying .

My hubs and I listened to the book together at bedtime. Heck of a bedtime story, it took a few nights longer than necessary because to be honest, we did fall asleep. But we have been going through our things.

This joy thing? OH, MY! I threw out bags . . . No wait, I don’t mean little bathroom trash bags. No, I mean the big bags. Bigger than the tall kitchen bags, the really big yard bags. The most I got in one day so far was four. Most days clearing out there is one to two of those big bags. Even some furniture items have gone looking for new homes.

Thats how well this joy thing works. I will admit that I had to retrieve the broom from the trash because the direct link to joy was not immediately identified. It does indeed bring me joy, in the form of a clean house. So, fair warning here, cautiously thin your cleaning supplies and housekeeping accouterments.

This process does prove to take longer time frame than the other methods. It isn’t a method that one can sustain interest and emotional connection for hours on end. A couple hours at a time is max, depending on how emotional the area or type of items. (It helps to pull all the like items of one category from various places through out the home into a pile.) That adds time required to gather those items. However, this does make the tossing out a lot easier when you see how much of one thing/category/type of stuff that has amassed a presence in the home.

I have put aside the process and give myself a break here and there. So the time frame Marie Kondo speaks of is probably far more accurate than I originally thought. She suggested six months, if my memory is correct. I believe it.

This joy thing is complicated and emotional but also a productive way to thin the amount of stuff in my home. I like it.

There is room to draw now, keeping up with ideas and writing has time and place in my home.  It isn’t just time you have to make for your passion, you have to make space for it as well.