Sun shining and big-ass pile of compost mocking
After three thousand trips to Home Depot to get bags of mulch, garden soil and compost, I finally broke down and had a yard of compost delivered to my driveway. The next day, a little ahead of schedule, monsoon season kicked in and now it's a big smelly mountain of mud. And now the sun is shining and if I listen carefully, I can hear that mound crooning to me softly to get off my expanding ass and get it distributed. The problem is, around this time, I completely lose my gardening boner, so I'll just have to shame myself into it at some point. This morning I've been busy making orange-cinnamon-nut rolls and that's pretty much the extent of my accomplishments. The quilt I started is muttering in the next room and a big painting of Beulah I started is whispering taunts, but I might just crack open Jonathan Franzen's new tome and go outside and read with the chickens.
Getting back in the saddle again

This has proven to be a difficult saddle to climb back into. In some ways it mirrors my real-life attempts at getting on to that thing on a horse's back. Pretty unsuccessful. I was always better at bare backing.....

It's been an odd couple of months. My last day of employment was June 30th and then six foggy weeks of waiting for Lulu's condition to deteriorate. Her final days were filled with her favorite (pricey) chew bones and on my part, guilt, dread and tenderness. When she did begin to fail, it was quick and awful. The house was quiet and strange for a few days. The cats slept in places they'd never before favored. Then they started playing and now every morning there is much kitty galloping that never happened with Lulu around to police activities. And it was about two weeks after she was gone that I came home from running errands and had a stark feeling of peace and relief that I wasn't to be greeted with slobber and hair and unremitting need.

I love dogs, but Lulu was the lesson that I need to love them from afar. I've never connected with dogs the way I have with cats (and chickens). You have this idea of yourself as how you want to be, and then, often, there is the disparate picture of what you actually are. I have wanted and gotten many things in my life and so many of them have been things I only thought I wanted. Through all this, though, I did right by Lulu and gave her the best life I knew how. I do miss her and her gentle ghost occasionally wafts into the room and she is part and parcel of my life and what I am. She was a good dog, but then, they all are.

It turns out that losing my job abruptly took all wind out of my sails. Additionally, it was summer, which is never a creatively productive time. But I have to tell you, I have done fucking diddly squat in two months. Now that the rains have begun, I hope to be able to focus and it's not like I've done nothing (for instance, I've read like a motherfucker). I have finished a painting and am working on two more and I've begun a quilt. And I gardened - a lot. Big projects that involved digging and schlepping and ultimately got me to shed some pounds and get some muscle tone back.

Now that I put it all on paper, as it were, I can see I've not been that idle. But it has been odd. As much as I do NOT want to join the work force again, I know I have to and would rather do so before my little cushion runs out. I realize that my day job is part of my creative process - it gives me something to push up against and apparently that's necessary. Hm. Who knew.