Snowzilla: the day after

January 25, 2016 at 12:26 am (Animals, Art, books, Dogs, Horses, Local interest (Baltimore-Washington))

It was certainly comforting to see the sun.



I love the way the bare limbs of the trees in the distance seem to have become entangled in the light.



I went outside, took a few tentative whacks at the situation and, utterly overwhelmed, withdrew. Here’s how it looked in the driveway, after my (feeble) efforts:


That snow bank is about thirty inches high. I could barely shift it.

Someone is supposed to come tomorrow and clear the driveway for us. (I’ll pay you anything!!) Meanwhile, it’s back inside, where after all, things are pretty good: an easygoing, affectionate husband, an occasionally affectionate if mostly somnolent cat, my beloved desktop Sony Vaio, music flowing endlessly from various sources – most recently the Echo, a delightful Christmas gift from my son and daughter-in-law  51XeN2UYoyL._SL1000_ – and my books, always my books, about which more, shortly.

While confined indoors, I’ve gotten some things done. I’ve discovered some wonderful new art:


Luxury Boat by Drago Jurak

Luxury Boat by Drago Jurak


Harvest, by Mirko Virius


Primeval Forest, by Ivan Rabuzin

The above three and more can be found at The Croatian Museum of Naive Art.

Insightof HomeEdwardHenry

In Sight of Home, by Edward Henry


Walkers with the Dawn, by Benny Andrews.

From the Johnson collection website: “The two colorfully clad figures—leaning backwards and physically open to possibility—appear to have abandoned themselves to a joyful moment.”

Untitled, Carl Brenner

Untitled, Carl Brenner

The above three and more can be found at the Johnson Collection site.

Listened to some gorgeous music:


Visited the animal kingdom online, with gratifying (and occasionally entertaining) results:


Akhal-teke, of Turkmenistan

Akhal-teke, of Turkmenistan


Bergamasco Shepherd


Spanish waterdogs

And last, but of course not least, I read:

8736390 25328989

BK_THEROUX_46204897 0817307222_b




Permalink Leave a Comment

On Easter Sunday, a walk and a dream

April 20, 2014 at 8:56 pm (Dogs, Easter, Local interest (Baltimore-Washington), Music)

I knew that it might be crowded at Centennial Park, on this Easter Sunday. But I did not anticipate the sheer numbers celebrating the return of Spring! Finally we can be outdoors. It was still a bit chilly -mid 50s – but still walkable. And walk I did, all the way around the lake. And as I walked, I encountered a huge variety of people, of different ages and ethnic origins. I heard numerous different languages spoken, of which I could I could identify with certainty only one.  The large group of Spanish speakers seemed to be having an exceptionally good time. Actually, everyone seemed quite happy.

Although most were on foot, many were on wheels. There were bicyclers, kids on scooters, two young women on roller skates, another child on a skateboard, babies in strollers. Dogs were much in evidence. One man was walking two large, gorgeous fluffy white canines. (For me, there’s just something about white dogs. I like white cars, too, for that matter.) I always have fun trying to identify the breeds. I’ve been helped greatly in this by watching the yearly Westminster Kennel Club competition. I’m reasonably certain that I saw a bichon frise and a Norwegian Elk Hound. There were several dachshunds. One was being wheeled in a stroller. (Oops – I guess he should have been mentioned in the individuals-on-wheels category.) One was wearing a little pink leotard with a fetching ruffle toward the hind end. I exclaimed in pleasure at the sight, and the owner (do we say ‘guardian’ now?) explained that since she only had boy children, she allowed herself to play dress-up with the dog, who just happened to be a female of the species. The Spanish speakers had with them a chihuahua, attired in a red turtleneck sweater.

Alas, I did not have a camera with me, so here are some shots of the  breeds, gleaned from Google Image Search.

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise


Norwegian Elkhound

Norwegian Elkhound







On the park’s broad lawns, groups were picnicking and barbecuing. (Oh, that aroma!) Frisbees were being thrown. There was a photo shoot of some  sort taking place. It was festive and life affirming. I’m glad I went.


On Easter Sunday, I always listening to The Good Friday Spell from Wagner’s Parsifal. This music always makes me feel  dreamy and sends me into a sort of fugue state. Once there, I come close to believing in miracles. Anything good seems within reach.

Happy Easter to all.

Permalink 2 Comments

Falling in love again…

February 18, 2011 at 8:59 pm (Animals, Dogs)

I didn’t think it could happen – not at my stage of life – but it has! Her name is Hickory. She’s the Scottish deerhound who just won Best in Show at Westminster.

I like what Dan Zak of the Washington Post had to say about Hickory:

After winning “best in show” from the Westminster Kennel Club, a dog has every right to get cranky, to go diva, to not sit, to not stay. But over the past 24 hours, as paparazzi have trailed her around New York, Grand Champion Foxcliffe Hickory Wind has borne her title with quiet dignity and grace.

She’s got that elusive quality, all right: ‘quiet dignity and grace.’ Also known as class.

Here’s a sample of the winners of that coveted title in recent years:


2008: Uno. a 15-inch Beagle


2010: Sadie, a Scottish terrier

2009: Stump, a Sussex Spaniel

2001: Special Times Just Right, a Bichon Frise

You’ll notice that all four of the above are…well, they’re just as cute as they can be!

Hickory is different. She’s quite a bit bigger, for one thing. And the fact is that at first glance, she might seem less than gorgeous. But she has that certain je ne sais quoi, composed of the above mentioned qualities; in addition, she is possessed of a supremely dignified demeanor. And to me, she seemed to radiate a quality I can only describe as kindliness.

Her handler Angela Lloyd deserves plenty of credit. There is obviously a very special bond between her and Hickory. Click here for video.

For more pictures, video, and information about the show, go to the Westminster Kennel Club site. For additional information about the breed, go to the Scottish Deerhound Club of America.



Permalink 4 Comments

Puppy love

June 27, 2009 at 11:44 am (Animals, Cats, Dogs, Magazines and newspapers)

No, it’s not my puppy – though I rather wish it were. On Wednesday June 24, in a column in the Washington Post, Michael Gerson declared himself to be in love – with this little guy:

Latte, the Havanese puppy

Latte, the Havanese puppy

Gerson confesses himself amazed at this turn of events, since, as he states in his opening sentence, he has never liked dogs. Admittedly, for some of us reading this piece, the thought arose at once: What took you so long?

Never mind – better late than never.

“A Latte To Warm the Heart” goes from sentimental to discursive, then back to sentimental at the end. No matter; Gerson could have interpolated a discussion of particle physics for all I care, so completely delighted am I by his conversion to animal lover.

The article concludes with these words from A Christmas Carol by Dickens:

“Many laughed to see this alteration in him, but he let them laugh and little heeded them. . . . His own heart laughed and that was quite enough for him.

So…how long must we wait before introducing Michael Gerson to the likes of:

Miss (Audrey) Jane Marple

Miss (Audrey) Jane Marple

Permalink Leave a Comment