January 29, 2006

Carol and me

I still haven't figured out how to use my scanner, but Yoko very kindly did it for me. I love these photos.

Carol used to wear her dark brown hair in braids across her head. Years later, in my forties, I did the same. When my hair had turned brown. In these photos, I'm the blond with curls.

In the photo in the sandbox, I'm wearing a Puritan dress my mother made for our dress-up box. Usually one of us would be wearing a dress and the other overalls. We both have many of the same memories now. It's been a great pleasure to reconnect so many years later.




This picture is of all (or almost all) the kids in our neighborhood. Reading from the left, is (I think) Barbara Bradley, my sister Diane, holding my cousin Missy, Carol's brother Jimmy, Carol, myself, Donny Haller, and my cousin Billy (Missy's brother). I remember my dad posing us on the fence. I had to pee in the previous picture (as you can see!) but my dad took the picture anyway.


Posted by leya at 12:38 PM

January 27, 2006

How to have my pet and enjoy it too

I love Lila. She’s one of the best decisions I have made. She is work but she is delightful and learning fast. It’s exciting to help her learn how to be in a people world. She’s healthy, high-spirited, very intelligent and it seems, very willing to learn. She reminds me of my last dog, Katie. Only this time, I want to do a better job of training and socializing her, allow her to be a welcome addition to my world.

But I lost a friend, a long-time friend, a friend of almost thirty years, because I got Lila from a breeder. I find this very upsetting. But I don’t regret my decision. This friend believes that breeding dogs should be outlawed, that people who “order” (her word) pets from breeders are selfish and insensitive because there are so many pets in shelters needing homes. And there is an enormous amount of purebred pets in shelters. So why would I “betray” her passionate need to save all the dogs in the world by choosing to have my dog come from a breeder.

From what I have been reading, there are so many dogs in shelters, so many discarded dogs, because so many people do not train their animals. Only about 3% of dog owners carry through with the much needed training. This leads to frustrations and aggressions that would probably not happen if the dog was taught how to coexist in a human society.

Dogs come from a different social structure than we do. They need to learn what is expected of them. Probably 75% of my friends have rescue pets. It just didn’t feel right for me at this time. Maybe next time. But I intend to give Lila the best life I possibly can. I can see that if someone didn’t work with her, help her to learn people ways, she could have ended up in a shelter. She has so much puppy energy. It’s a thrill to see her learning. She’s very sweet and wants to please (as well as challenge me along the way!). And I’m enjoying what she is teaching me.

And on the thought of outlawing breeding, perhaps it would be a good idea as well, if people had to apply for licenses to have children. Just a thought, a good one, from my friend Rowena. But a good amount of thoughtfulness in any kind of caring situation, be it dog or human, is so valuable.

Posted by leya at 03:56 PM | Comments (1)

January 26, 2006


It’s been very hard to call Rhode Island to find out how Robert is doing. I kept planning to call but the right time always seemed to slip by. Then finally Tuesday morning, with Lila quietly in her kennel, and me in my studio, I took a deep breath and called Cynthia, his main caregiver for the past five years. She was, as always, very forthright, direct, told me exactly how he is. And it was such a relief to be able to talk so openly with her.

Robert is still alive, fading rapidly. The infection is probably still spreading in him. But what is blossoming is not what I had expected. His emotions are walking in quicksand right now: totally unstable. He is treating Cynthia with hostility and aggression (as aggressive as someone who is paralyzed from the neck down can be: verbal abuse, his forte). She said she only goes to the nursing home once a week. It is too painful. She pays his bills, takes care of his affairs, and listens to his attacks. She can be very direct and I am sure lets him know how unpleasant and unfair he is being.

But he is not changing in a positive way. I had hoped that he would soften as death approaches. But, as Cynthia said, “People don’t change and shoes don’t stretch. You have to buy the right size.” And “he’s lost that lov’n feelin’.”

So for me, it was sad to hear that he is being so difficult but helped me let go of any fantasy I might have of his being different, learning, softening. He just cannot let anyone love him. He has to push them away. Even now. When time is so short for him. It is very sad.

Yet talking to Cynthia about Robert was, for my own life, like opening a window, letting in some fresh air. I can let go of wanting more from him. I’m glad to have known him, glad I’m not with him now. The wind closed the pages of that chapter.

Cynthia and I ended our conversation talking about Lila and wheat-free breads (I had sent Robert some Irish Soda Bread from Tamar’s and she had tasted it even though she avoids wheat, as I should as well). She asked Lila’s size and plans to make a winter coat for her. That will be fun in the snow! And she will send me some recipes. So something warm and friendly, along with the sadness, came in the window.

Posted by leya at 10:53 AM | Comments (2)

January 25, 2006

A snowball named Lila

We had a beautiful light snowfall Monday night:


And Lila enjoyed playing in it Tuesday morning:




Posted by leya at 07:45 PM | Comments (2)

January 22, 2006

Past, present and future

On my birthday just passed, I received a wonderful present: an email from my next door neighbor, my first friend, the one I played with from birth until our paths separated. We had both been trying to find each other for a few years. I found her name on Classmates.com but when I decided to join in order to contact her, she had taken her name off the site. Then my high school had a 50th year reunion in November. I thought of going, wanted to, but the logistics were too complicated. So reconnecting has been exciting, catching up on so many years.

I think perhaps the last time I saw Carol was at the Memorial service for my mother, forty years ago. Tamar was four and Aaron wasn’t yet. Carol was visibly upset by my mother’s premature death. That was very moving to me. (It took me ten years to make peace with it myself as my mother and I didn’t have an easy relationship.) Carol and I had experienced death as teenagers. Her brother Jimmy, two years older than us, died when he was eighteen. In the same month her grandmother died and my uncle Harold, the one I felt so close to, died. It was a hard January. After that I think I closed down. I broke off with my very good boyfriend and turned inward. Where I tend to go often under stress.

Carol and I used to play with our dolls, one named Sheila, the other Phoebe. I think Carol’s was Phoebe, but I am not sure. We played in her sandbox in our dress-up clothes, played on the monkey-bars and swings in my yard, made up fantastic games together enjoyed many sleep-overs. As we got older, the games turned to baseball, basketball, volleyball, badminton (in her yard) and then poker and dances. All the neighborhood kids would gather at her house for games. She was a cheerleader at school, always friendly. My mother really liked her, wanted me to be more like her, which didn’t help me as we grew up. But that is all in the past and the present feels good.

Carol sent me the reunion book. As I read it, the images of high school become vivid. The past is walking in front of me, saying hello again. And again. It’s fascinating to see where people have gone, where they are, who they are with, how their lives have expanded, contracted, changed. High school (school in general) was never a happy place for me. It was a mixed bag. I found classes boring, the social stuff strange. I never felt completely comfortable. (And now I’m teaching; very ironic.)

At the dance class last weekend, I was again reminded of high school. It had been that long since I had danced that close. In itself, dancing close led to much more friendliness between dancers, even if we weren’t “in love.” It was very nice. It’s funny (strange) how the past keeps coming up in my life lately. Making itself present in ways that remind me of where I have been and how I have been traveling.

(I’ve have been trying to scan in some wonderful photos my dad took of Carol and me when we were children, but having upgraded my system, I can’t seem to make the scanner function. Yet. Will keep working on it. It will probably take a phone call to Aaron! So stay posted. . . )

Posted by leya at 09:45 AM | Comments (4)

January 20, 2006

More on puppy care

Puppy care is definitely getting easier by the day. My conversation with the trainer Susan helped immensely. I finally feel there is something I can do to stop her pulling at my pant leg, etc. So now I can really enjoy her. And she is very sweet as well as playful.

When I talked to Susan yesterday, she pinpointed the origin of the problem. Lila’s mom was quite young, and although she was a very calm, sweet dog and a caring, warm, clean mother when the pups were born, once they were out and about, she played with them very rough, with true puppiness. So Lila comes to me thinking I want to play with her in the same way. And I don’t! I don’t have the protective hair on my hands and my clothes are not fair game for puppy teeth! And I’m not a tall (to her) two-legged dog. It's a big adjustment for both of us!

Yesterday when we were visiting Cassie and Susan, Lila was doing her puppy-play and Cassie growled at her, told her to back off. It was good for her to see that even other dogs have limits!

Here’s a couple of pix from Lila’s first playdate. First, Lila in friend Susan’s arms.


And Lila and Cassie getting to know each other:


Posted by leya at 10:59 AM | Comments (5)

January 19, 2006

Revisions on puppy care

After a few days of trying the trainer Bonnie’s ideas of how to work with Lila, I realized it wasn’t working for me. It just wasn’t how I want to train my dog. Allowing her to pull at my pant leg (and having it ultimately ending in biting), just wasn’t acceptable to me. I don’t see how the puppy will be able to discriminate that it is okay to pull and chew on my leg but not on the table leg and then magically stop pestering me in a month (if we both live that long!).

Today I took Lila for a playdate with Cassie, a two year old Brittany Spanial. Cassie is a lady now, has outgrown all that puppiness. But I remember her lively antics just two summers ago. I like the the way she has matured. Her mom, Susan, had recommended the woman she worked with for training (also a Susan). I called her, asked her how she would work with the jumping, chewing, biting that has been so frustrating for me. Her answers were more in alignment with how I feel. It’s a “three strikes your out” approach: on the third (firm but quiet) reprimand then she goes into her crate for time out. I tried it. It works. And I don’t get upset. I asked my friend Susan how often it’s okay to put the pup in the crate in one day. Enough to keep my sanity, she said.

I asked the trainer Susan about collars and “halties.” I don’t want to use a choke collar nor “halties.” When she said she uses buckle collars and no “halties” I said “You’re hired!” So she is coming here on Tuesday.

Posted by leya at 07:56 PM

January 16, 2006

Dancing close

This past weekend I put Her Puppiness in her crate and went to a Tango weekend workshop taught by Margaret Spore. This one was on Close Embrace & Milonga. Close embrace is a style of dance where the couple looks like they are madly in love, regardless. It provoked a lot of lively conversation. A warm fuzzy atmosphere. And I found it easier to tell where my partner was leading me.

I’m short and the first man I danced with is tall. I told him I was glad I liked the color of his shirt. During the class, I discovered the variety of smells of many armpits. Rather enlightening! And fun. One person; four legs.

Milonga is a dance style, based on African Tribal rhythms. It’s done stepping on each beat. A heavier step. Very different from classical tango, but with many of the same moves. It can go very fast (the music, the dancing) and I was very pleasantly tired after the classes. Too bad Lila can’t dance yet.

Posted by leya at 08:08 PM

January 15, 2006

Welcome help: new puppy tricks

I had the trainer, Bonnie, here Friday afternoon. She is absolutely wonderful. And she rescues dogs. She also has two from a breeder for the same reason I got Lila. She wanted something warm, soft, loving and easy in her life. Meanwhile she has eight dogs, six of them rescues. She works with dogs from shelters that are aggressive, rehabilitates them, if possible, and finds homes for them (also, if possible, which is the reason she has eight dogs now—six were not adoptable).

The main area she helped me with was the biting, chewing, nipping. Basically she said to freeze, not look at the pup, wait until she stops (which she will out of boredom, not getting the attention she is looking for), say “thank you” and move on. Of course, if she bites, a simple “ouch” stops her. Amazing, her vocabulary at nine weeks!

In the meantime, Lila’s beginning to get a bit cheeky: not coming when called. Just looks at me with a “ya gotta be kidding” look. So I’m going to get a long line tomorrow and other training paraphernalia (a cheap lead to put on her to drag around the house, get her used to the idea of it). Bonnie is coming back next Friday. It is such a relief to have someone help me.

We go into Halifax this afternoon. School tomorrow. Two classes, actually. My adult painting class is meeting again Monday afternoon. It will be a long day for both of us. Lila seems to have adapted easily to my peripatetic lifestyle. And crating her gives me enough freedom to appreciate the time I have with her.

Tomorrow I will talk about something other than my puppy!

Posted by leya at 07:50 AM | Comments (1)

January 13, 2006

Dog play

Lila loves her dolls. Does this make her a real girl? Or am I stereotyping? I heard on the radio (CBC of course) some scientists did an experiment with monkeys (I don’t remember what kind of monkey) in which they put out dolls and trucks for a group of mixed sex baby monkeys. With no social pressures, all the female monkeys chose to play with the dolls and the male monkeys took the cars and trucks. Interesting, eh!

So . . . here’s to Lila and her dolls!



Posted by leya at 08:01 PM | Comments (1)

January 12, 2006

Days seven and eight: nine weeks old today

Lila and I spent Tuesday night at Inge’s again. Lots of people were there (I’m not the only one who stays there; I share it with a couple of other people). Lila enjoyed showing off her puppiness, entertaining everyone with her sweet high energy. We were both worn out by the end of the evening and she slept nine hours through the night. What a surprise! And delight!

Wednesday morning was school again. She really likes the doggie bagels I got at the House of Dogs, so leaving her in the crate is much easier. Now when I come back a few hours later she is quiet even if awake. I need to find some recipes for puppy treats. She could go through the bagels too quickly for me to keep them in stock!

This morning I put her in the crate for her nap and actually had time to exercise and work in my studio. It was a productive morning except that the hectic schedule (and trying to figure out how to travel through it) of the past week has worn me down a bit and I couldn’t paint as long as I would have liked. My mind just stopped working! I’m beginning to try to get her onto some kind of schedule so that I can either teach or paint in the mornings. I know consistency would be the best for both of us.



(Because she is so black and moves so much, it's hard to get a good, focused picture of her. But it's fun trying!)

Posted by leya at 02:19 PM

January 10, 2006

Days five and six

Day four ended with what became a series of mishaps: my car alarm would not turn off by the gadget. I didn’t want to set off the alarm in the small Halifax community I was staying in so I kept fiddling with it. Finally it worked and I was able to get Lila’s things out of the car. We had gone visiting in the afternoon. She was a little nervous at first, but warmed up quickly and enjoyed meeting people.

Monday morning, with an early start to school (thankfully) my car wouldn’t start. I walked quickly to school in a light snow falling and was glad that I was in Halifax, not home. When the CAA man came to start my car in the afternoon, he had no trouble. It started right away. Perhaps (probably) in my anxiety about getting Lila fed, exercised and settled into her crate before leaving, I hadn’t pushed the clutch pedal in (which is necessary in this car). Who knows. After all these years, I would think I’d know how to start the car! Since it might have been the battery (which is only a couple of years old), I took Lila and went to The House of Dogs, got some supplies and excellent advice. Then I had the car gadget battery fixed. Finally, we came home and I think both of us are happy to be here.

Today I called a trainer recommended by my vet. With all my reading and all the variety of opinions on the subject, it was such a relief to talk to a humane human being about how to work with my puppy. (It’s a lot like parenting: so many opinions, almost one for every person and it’s only one little puppy!) Lila and I have a date on Friday with her. She’ll come here. I’m looking forward to it.

As of this morning, I am working on come and then sit. Discipline seems to calm her down. She is definitely a puppy with excessive energy that I need to direct down appealng paths. I want a very well behaved dog that can go visiting easily. It's work for both of us and so far, we are both benefiting.

Posted by leya at 11:19 AM

January 08, 2006

Day four

It’s been a whirlwind few days. I’m exhausted! A friend came over for about an hour yesterday, early afternoon. It seemed to get Lila over-stimulated, and her chewing and biting needs increased. She almost seemed frantic. I didn’t want to create negativity by scolding her (after all, puppies do chew and she wouldn’t understand), so I finally started pulling her away sharply by the scruff of the neck or squealing like a hurt puppy. One book said at this age to use “Ep, ep!” and it seems to work. All of it. Today, so far, she is much better.

And so far, she still goes to the door when she needs to eliminate. I had read the night before last that somehow puppies think concrete floors (I have polished concrete on the main floor) are a great place to pee, so I had started playing with her more on the rug. Maybe that’s what did it. I thought I might be in for the long haul, but it doesn’t seem so (fingers crossed!).

I had an errand this morning and had to leave her for the first time. She was asleep in her crate when I left and awake but quiet when I returned a couple of hours later. I give thanks to crates, to crates and treats! This afternoon I’m going to take her visiting. That will, no doubt, be interesting. Then tonight I sleep at Inge’s in Halifax because I have to teach in the early morning. I am hoping it all goes smoothly. But this is my life. The treadmill starts again tomorrow.

Posted by leya at 01:34 PM | Comments (1)

January 07, 2006

Day three

All my reading and vigilance seems to be paying off. I still have my fingers crossed that it is really true, but it seems that Lila knows she is supposed to go out to “do her business.” Three times this morning she ran to the door and so far, no accidents today. I am overwhelmed, honestly. Sebastian, my third dog (the one who died at three), was housebroken in four days, and he was a week younger. It was in the middle of winter (he was also a November puppy). But we had snow that winter. And I had sprained my ankle just after I brought him home. So I could only put him onto the deck. After that, every winter, that was his favorite toileting spot.

When I take Lila out, she loves to romp around, still bouncing like a kangaroo. The only big problem at the moment is the chewing. She does like to chew! I need to get some Bitter Apple spray to protect the furniture (and my clothes!). If I squeal like a hurt puppy, she stops attacking my hands. But still, her little teeth are sharp.

She woke up twice again last night: at 1 and 4 am. The second time she didn’t want to settle down after I took her out to pee, but I was gently firm, and finally she did. She does go into the crate easily at night, but not too fond of it during the day, unless she is totally wiped. So I am learning to calm her when she goes in. I need the time to do other things than watch (and play with) her! I was even able to work in my studio for an hour this morning. Life will get back to “normal” soon, but it will definitely be a different “normal.”


Posted by leya at 02:56 PM | Comments (4)

January 06, 2006

Day two

The first night with Lila went easily. She slept in her crate in my room. I took her outside to pee a couple of times, so I’m a little tired today. She’s a handful, for sure. She loves all her toys and often takes them all under a chair or the table. But she also loves to chew chair legs and my sweater and pant legs. She even tried to chew on the images in the carpet! So we have some work to do here! Her statistics: she’s eight weeks old, weighs 8.6 pounds, a Portuguese Water Dog.

Meanwhile, I need to sing praise to Jane Bond, the woman who made it possible for me to have Lila. She (Goldwater Kennels) boards, grooms and breeds both Portuguese Water Dogs (nicknamed Porties) and Golden Retrievers. And her puppies are the best! She makes sure that every puppy is handled and played with every day, knows the personality of each pup, and is very careful in her breeding. These puppies come well socialized and very healthy. She uses my vet (who practices wholistic medicine) and he told me everyone loves Jane’s puppies. After visiting her five times in the process of getting my pup, I can well understand why.

She has a new litter born just before Christmas. They are adorable, as all puppies are. If you are interested in one of her (wonderful!) puppies, she can be reached through her website: www3.ns.sympatico.ca/bond.



Posted by leya at 12:43 PM | Comments (7)

January 05, 2006

She's here!

Lila is home. And I am over the moon! My wonderful friend Merle drove me so that I could hold Lila on the way home. At the breeder’s my puppy was playing fiercely with her housemates, bounding around the room like a kangaroo, telling everyone that “under the chair” was her territory. From there we took a brief visit to my vet who also is in Chester. I hadn’t seen him in five years, since Katie died. He had helped me so much with her; it was wonderful to see him again with my new puppy.

By the time we arrived home, Lila was definitely my dog. She now follows me around, almost glued to my legs. I’m not used to it yet and have found myself bumping into her unexpectedly. She loves the land here—so much to explore, trees to eat, branches to munch on. New smells, new sights. She went into her crate easily, took a nap while Merle and I had lunch.

It still surprises me that she is actually here. I really never thought I would do this again. And I am very glad I am. So far, the first day has been good: she seems to have very good name recognition, comes (most of the time) when I call her, settles into her crate to nap; she loves to romp around outside and has a good appetite for life and food. She’s a very good dog.





Posted by leya at 08:16 PM | Comments (3)

With and without boundaries

Recently I have felt like I have been digging up my life by the shovelfuls, turning it over and seeing the creatures crawling out. Discovering the healthy and unhealthy soil, feeding it, re-evaluating it, seeing what I can plant next, what will grow well.

I would have liked to visit my ex-husband but I know it would have interfered with my children’s visit with him, made them uncomfortable, concerned about how their parents might interact after so many years of estrangement. It was more important for them to have this time with him. I don’t need it. If he is still alive when I visit NYC again, I will try to see him. It was more important to me to see Robert. But that also made me look carefully at my life, see the events and feelings that created them, think about where to go from here, what the focus of my life is.

On the plane coming home, as I was reading (the second book Tamar gave me) Katz on Dogs, tears were streaming down my face. (I was glad no one was sitting next to me!) Katz was relating how he had been contacted by a woman who needed help training her Golden Retriever. Either the dog had to be better behaved by the next Thanksgiving or he would need to be removed from their household. Apparently her husband had not wanted a dog but when he relented and allowed her to get one, he also undermined any positive training, thinking crates were cruel and rewards wussy. As a result, the dog’s boundless energy was turned into destroying the house and people in it, jumping on visitors, chewing up the furniture and generally uncontrollable. With Katz’ help, the woman, who realized she had been very passive all her life, learned to take her role as leader with the dog, trust her instincts on how to train him, and in the process, developed a stronger sense of herself and changed her role in the family, with her husband and children, and at work. I suppose this story affected me so much because I am going through a similar process, and it’s a process that is, in part, or rather symbolized by the puppy that is coming into my life (today!).

One of the stories in The New Work of Dogs is about Betty Jean, a woman in Montclair who devotes her life to rescuing dogs from shelters. She has a day job that supports her obsession. Her need to rescue dogs has overwhelmed her life to the extent that even her children and grandchildren didn’t see her. She didn’t have the time or energy for them. So they moved into her life, spent a day or two a week helping her out, cleaning the dog cages, walking dogs. There seems to be no compromising when the need to save dogs is that intense. Her family learned to live with her, not against her.

I recently had the opposite experience with an old friend. She is dedicated to rescuing dogs and is devastated that I am getting a dog from a breeder. In her mind, there is no justification. As far as she is concerned, any one who gets a “designer dog” is a “bimbo.” I knew this would be her reaction and had thought of not telling her I was doing this, but it didn’t seem appropriate for my own life. And I plan to give this dog a good home. To me, that is the most important part. Maybe another time I will get a rescue dog. But right now, that doesn’t feel right for me. I am looking forward to something, this dog, coming easily into my life. This morning!

Posted by leya at 08:44 AM | Comments (1)

January 04, 2006

A few more pix from my trip

Years ago I woke from a dream and heard a voice saying: "Give her a string of pearls, for they sparkle the same as she." I knew "she" was Tamar. This year, for her birthday, I gave her that string of pearls, and she was very happy (as was I):


After Tamar's birthday dim sum, we took a stroll through Chinatown.





After visiting friends in Soho, we went to dinner with my nephew, Rob, at a cool new restaurant in Noho. The view through the windows to the sign (Everyone is a Superstar) across the street:


When I first lived in lofts in Manhattan, we had to sneak the garbage out to the bins because we weren't supposed to be there at all. Now it is all much more civilized. But still, there is, by necessity, garbage:


But New York is much cleaner than it used to be and despite the ocassional transit strike, much easier to get around in. Somehow, it seems to be a city that invites walking. When I lived there, I usually walked several miles a day and I do always when visiting. Probably because the streets offer so many interesting visual treats.

And tomorrow I pick up my puppy and begin completely different kind of walking in my life. Seeing the world from puppy-eyes.

Posted by leya at 07:05 PM

January 03, 2006

Happy birthday, Aaron!

Today is Aaron’s birthday. He’s thirty-eight today. I was with him on my last birthday; we were with Tamar on hers recently. It would be right to be with him today. But our lives, although physically closer than last year at this time, are still miles apart. Apart in geography, but my thoughts are there in Montreal. I read once that if you think of your children as your best friends, there is a problem you need to face. But it is hard not to like these people. A LOT! Here’s to YOU, Aaron. Happy Birthday!


Posted by leya at 08:00 AM

January 02, 2006

A few pix from the trip

It’s been a day of sorting, putting away pieces of my trip to Montclair, and settling in to the life I am fashioning for myself here. Tamar told me Damian said last tonight as they sat down to dinner that it felt like someone was missing. He also said earlier that he missed me. Me too. I miss being with Tamar, Dan, Damian, Aaron and Jessica. I miss all of them. It’s a good thing it is so beautiful here and that I have a nice bed to sleep in.

Meanwhile, here are a few snapshots of where I was and what I was doing.

From the window of the train going to Rhode Island (on the 19th), the scenery reflects my somber mood:


Montclair through the carriage house window. The first day I was there was misty, just like a brisk Nova Scotia day:


Then there was a mouse stirring by the presents. Cocoa did actually catch a mouse [this one is one of Jessie's (many) toy mice]. From then on, he sat by the spot where he first found the mouse, patiently waiting for another. But his vigilance hasn't paid off, yet.


When Aaron & Jessica arrived (on the 26th), we went for a walk in Mills Reservation, where all the dog walkers go:





Posted by leya at 03:53 PM | Comments (2)

January 01, 2006

Back in Nova Scotia

This is the first winter holiday I can remember where on my return home I didn’t have to shovel my car out at the airport or drive home (in 4-wheel drive and third gear) in a blizzard. It is mild here, around freezing, and apparently the weather has been quiet for the two weeks I was away. The maritime winters are not always as severe as the last couple of years. But it does feel strange to be home and not cold at this time of year.

Last night, New Year’s Eve in Montclair, was magical. At around 10 p.m., Tamar, Damian and I walked from their house to the center of Montclair for First Night Celebrations. There had been an intense but not deep snowfall earlier in the day. Listening to the crunching of our footsteps in the snow at night as we walked in the dark, the houses sparkling with lights, a light blanket of snow everywhere, we felt we were in a picture postcard. Dan had preceded us, gone to some earlier performances, and joined us at a jazz concert. Then we gathered with other celebrants for a spectacular fireworks display at midnight: 2006 came in not with a whimper but with a bang!

Posted by leya at 07:12 PM

Another day, another year, another thought

I don’t seem to have any resolutions this new year. Just want it to be good—for me and for everyone. When I have (rarely) made resolutions in the past, it has been too painful to see what has and hasn’t come to pass. But if I just have a general feeling of what I want to accomplish, it works better for me. Most of the good things in my life have "just happened." I didn't "plan" on moving to Nova Scotia. Things just fell into place. The times that I received grants have been when I almost (and at times actually) forgot that I had applied. When I put all that “positive” thinking into receiving the grant, then it seems to pass me by. I need to find a middle point. My aspiration for this (and every) year is—letting go of hope and fear. So I prefer to “live and let live,” so to speak. AND put a lot of energy into doing what I do.

So, to the world, to people, to my friends and family, may 2006 be a year of peace and prosperity and productive, outrageous playfulness.

Posted by leya at 02:10 AM | Comments (2)