Thursday, June 11, 2009

Miss D last night around 6pm

Every one of us is called upon,
probably many times, to start a new life.
A frightening diagnosis, a marriage,
a move, a loss of a job or loved one....
And onward full tilt we go,
pitched and wrecked and absurdly resolute,
driven in spite of everything
to make good on a new shore.
To be hopeful, to embrace
one possibility after another–that is surely
the basic instinct .... Crying out: High tide!
Time to move out into the glorious debris.
Time to take this life for what it is.

Barbara Kingsolver from High Tide in Tuscon

Each morning I wake at 5:00 am without an alarm - my alarm is the gentle gurgling, sputtering of the coffee maker, set the night before. I wake to the smell of freshly brewed coffee and the sounds of birds outside my open windows, all just up as well and beginning their day. My ritual every morning, each and every morning for as long as I can remember, is to trundle down into the kitchen, take a minute to feed the Lil' Man who is flailing his sleek ocelot body dramatically around and rubbing crashingly into chair legs because sometime through the night he has reached near starvation and wouldn't someone, any one ... please give him a bite to eat. So I do - faithfully each morning. I pour a big cup of coffee into the same favourite mug each morning, add lots of milk and a tiny bit of sugar and I retreat back upstairs, snug into the nest and I enjoy my first cup of coffee, in bed, in semi darkness these days, the sky just beginning to brighten. I stretch, I yawn, I feel grateful, I ponder the day ahead of me and I just lay there a spell drinking my coffee ... and I stay just long enough until it feels like it's time to get up.

Do you have a morning ritual ? Tell us about it.

This little photo is not of Miss D but of Mr. Duncan. Vicki H from Dallas emailed me this amazing likeness of herself. Duncan's a North Texas rescue dog who just underwent hip surgery and is recuperating while waiting for his forever home at straydog.org Amazing isn't it ? - the exact same Missy D smile, perhaps Duncan is a Southern cousin. If you live near North Texas ... and you'd like to adopt that sweet face ... this boy needs a home. Brenda perhaps ??? or I wonder how far Missouri is from North Texas or the Blue Ridge Mountains. Wink.


  1. What a lovely morning routine. Lately, I get up around 6, make coffee, feed Miss Junie, turn on the chants and the computer lie on the couch read blogs until the dogs outside demand my attention. Out I go, to feed, pet, hook up the hose to pour lots of water to this wild bunch. I like living on a large fenced in property in the mountains because the wild ones have space and a feeling of freedom but I miss being able to go for a morning walk. I imagine that part of you routine involves a time when you go out with Miss D to the harbor and take in the salt air and sea breeze. (Does the air smell like salt?)
    I also enjoy Barbara Kingsolver...Poisonwood Bible, Prodigal Summer and recently, Animal Vegetable, Miracle (which I read in bits and pieces at Borders and Castle Books).

    Sometimes I think people of our generation want to test the limits of their beliefs and make the effort to live life according to their highest ideals and/or vision. I think that's what you are doing at 29 Black Street...and it's what I'm doing out here in the Caribbean tropics.

    It does make for a stressful life sometimes...but then most people have that stress of starting over anyway because no matter where you live and what life you choose, there are challenges, disappointments and feelings to cope with...as Kingsolver wrote, "Everyone of us is called upon, probably many times, to start a new life." <3

  2. I love the image of calling out "High tide!" and then moving across the debris to find the new campground in life. :) Your morning routine is lovely. Mine is far more chaotic, but there are a few minutes before the 'real' routine kicks in where I talk to my dogs about their night, and feed three 'starving' kitties, too. Oh, and hug the husband. haha!

  3. Susan....your routine actually sounds wonderful! I'm sure there are millions who would envy this!
    Mine is somewhat similar, I don't take my coffee back to bed, I head to the screen porch to drink it.
    I can't tell you how many new starts I've had in the past 40 years, but I 'm hoping this last one is the last one! :)
    I plan on making fruit/chili sauce when the tomatoes ripen!
    Love to you and les gang!

  4. I love early morning, too. It's cool and quiet and anything seems possible. My three kitties gather around, waiting patiently for their breakfast.

    I faced a new life when we moved here from Philadelphia. There, I rushed in the morning to catch the train to town, carrying my coffee with me in a commuter cup. Here, I have no place to rush to. It's a different world.

    The photo of Miss D at the top is a wonder.

  5. I love morning rituals now that they don't involve going to work. Mine starts with a surge of little animals down the stairs ahead of me - always a sight to delight the heart. They are always pleased to see me awake, and perhaps not only because of breakfast being the next move. Then Radio 4 goes on, along with the kettle which boils for tea while I let the dog out for the most urgent pre-walk business of the morning, and we all settle down to a slow, easy start to our day.

  6. Susan, thank you for the lovely post on ALL fronts! Your morning ritual sounds glorious! That first cuppa joe in the morning is a must!

    That was a sweet shout out to us in Big D, with the picture of Duncan and the plug for Straydogs, Inc. They are such a deserving group! I hope Duncan finds a home as wonderful as Miss Winnie D 's.

    Much love!


  7. Good morning, sweet sweet Susan. I really like the first (italicized) paragraph you posted today. Especially:

    "To be hopeful, to embrace
    one possibility after another..."

    THAT is what I am clinging to in this (what feels like) dark time in my life...HOPE - HOPE - HOPE - HOPE!

    Love you much! If I had the means and $$, I would adopt the doggy! BJ sure could use a pal!

    Much love to you and the furry gang! xo

  8. Those images are spot on!!! Beautiful photos.....

  9. well Duncan would have to be a chicken loving K9. grherhaha. i have to say, every day you post beautiful photos but todays top photo is national geographic good. better, actually. you astonish!

    er...did you do you dog wine label? im posting mine in a few minutes. of course, i took it as an opportunity to immortalize trout.

  10. i so want your morning, ritual, susan!! it sounds absolutely heavenly. mine is more hit the shower quickly as i've slept in a bit too long, blow my hair in 2 minutes, put on clothes that do not need to be ironed, take presley out for a bit of a romp in the back yard, feed presley, pour a cup of coffee that my hubbie made and climb into the car for the commute to south dayton. all of that in 40 minutes or so. and, i feel pressure the whole time. big sigh!! i do love my weekends though when i can laze around in my pajamas!!

  11. Just what sort of breed would the lovely Winnie and Duncan be? By the way, I went seaching for Duncan but I did not find his listing on their Dogs for Adoption site.

  12. Oh, I wish I had room for one more dog! I wish I had an acre or more and could have animal lovies all over the place and they'd never again be homeless! Makes me so sad to think about the homeless pups! Yes, I have a morning routine. I get up and do my twice per day stretching exercises, so my back gets stretched out. (Also less chance to injure myself outside in the yard.) I take my morning shower, clean the cat box, feed the saltwater fish. Give meds to pet babies. Feed pet babies. Start my coffee. And settle down in front of the computer with a bowl of Kashi cereal with sliced strawberries and blueberries while I read email. Then Abi the female Yorkie has to go out to pee for about 2 hours, as she's just had her Lasix pill. (Lots of urine, I'm telling you, to clean up. Often on me!) And so it goes. Love reading about your day.

  13. I am lucky in that my morning ritual, at least when the Songwriter is home, involved been nudged awake with the words..."breakfast is ready". Is there anything more sublime than that. Then I pull back the curtains that surround our bedroom window seat so that Edward and Apple....who are bouncing around at my feet...can get a good view of the back garden to check for squirrels. I go into the kitchen, turn on NPR classical music, select two carrot cake bones for the doggie breakfast, and we all join the Songwriter at the table. Sourdough toast, fruit and the best coffee anywhere. I then read the NY Times and do the crossword with Edward dozing under my chair, and Apple under the Songwriter's. It really doesn't get much better than that.

    By the way, I thought of you today when I saw this....


  14. Hey Julie - the secret to this ritual of mine is much (compulsive & ritualistic - read kind of anal) planning on my part. Even when I was living the rat race life and worked away from home 9-5 I had the same ritual - I'm a girl who "hates" rushing and will do anything possible to avoid it. If I rushed around in the morning my day would feel completely ruined. I know many people live that high speed life "all" the time and I don't understand how they do it.

  15. Oh my goodness - Pamela you've got the early morning ritual down pat. That sounds perfect and lovely and totally civilized. Sigh.

    And thank you for the great link and sweet golden Casey.

    Love to Edward & Miss A from Missy D and oh so handsome Dixon twin Duncan

  16. Hey B. Shamu I looked for him too and didn't see him perhaps Duncan's found a home already.

    I've always thought Missy D to be a rare cross (and yet unrecognized by the Canadian Kennel Club) between a Scottish Muskrat Hound (distant cousin to the Irish Wolfhound) and a Nova Scotia Crab Tolling Retriever with a tad of terrier thrown in for scraggaliciousness. You should see my girl work a culvert - or de-leg some poor un-suspecting crab just lollin' about in a tide pool. She's settled down some in her more senior years which pleases Mama immensely -'cause Mama's not a fan of all that killin' - she'd fix your squirrels for ya.

  17. Whoa--this has elicited some Jammie like long comments! Way to go!

    There is nothing more I like to READ on your blog than your cozy rituals, particularly your mornings. They are so wonderful adn teh prefct way to begin a a day....well, err, excpet for waking up at such an ungodly hour! But, hey, each to their own.

    The smells of fresh coffee and birds chirping then snuggling back into some warm bed under some soft duvet sounds just about right---and totally opposite to what I do I'm afraid. Sorry to say, most mornings, I just propel myself to get dressed adn out the door in about 15 minutes or less, grabbing a yoghurt as I rush out. I don't take time to smell the air, the lilacs or much--I just go. Not good. I do so love it when I get to enjoy lovely breakfasts though but that so rarely ever happens. My ritual is more a nice cup of tea after a long day working. I just sit there and cup the warm mug with both hands adn imbibe the aroma and elixir into my very soul....ahhhh...

  18. Lovely prose btw. Good to read this day for me.

  19. Wait! Are you telling me there's a breed of dog that hunts crabs???? (goingimmediatelytogoogle....)

  20. Susan so much beauty in your world. Sometimes I take in a deep breath when I open your blog.


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