Archive for February, 2011

February 25, 2011

these are the things I miss…

Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak whispers the o’er-fraught heart and bids it break.  ~William Shakespeare

In one week’s time I am utterly amazed at the level of loss I am feeling. The number of little, itty bitty things that I miss is mind-numbing and heart breaking.

I miss finding you at my feet while I am in the kitchen. I miss the guarantee of a pug hug every. single. morning. I miss the little black hairs coating my clothing. protecting your food from the other dogs. listening to you bark in delight after your ear cleanings with the knowledge that a treat is on its way. cleaning your wrinkles. keeping an eye on you in the backyard. the sound of your big clunky feet dragging across the floor. reaching down to pet you while eating breakfast. reaching up to pet you as you sleep above my head on your pillow. slowly waking you up at ungodly hours before work. watching your ears flap in the wind on your car rides. wrestling you to stay in place while I brush you. threatening to eat you up like a cupcake. our daily rituals of ear cleanings and eye salves. the weight of you next to me on the couch. the silly sound of your deaf dog bark. the silhouette of you waiting in the window when I get home from work. your snuffling puggy sounds and drunken sailor snoring. the way I constantly said your name(s) to you, knowing you would never hear any of my loving nicknames. cleaning apple bits off your face. singing Booger Face to you, Lady Gaga-style. watching you wiggle your smooshy face back and forth until your chin settled onto the top of your paws just so. getting frustrated that you kiss everyone in the world- except me. rubbing your perfect little ears. you waiting ever so patiently for me to swoop you up from off the couch. giving you sneak attack kisses on your little nose.

I miss the simple comfort of your presence.

I miss holding you and protecting you and caring for you and, more than anything, I miss you always being by my side.

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The photo above is courtesy of Emilee Fuss Photography. After realizing I had no portraits with my girl, I frantically contacted photographer friend Emilee and two days before I had to say goodbye to my precious pugcake we met up on Boca Grande where she captured my love for a very special pug. There were two shots that I had in my mind, that I desperately wanted. She got them both. The pug hug, and the doodle-bug by my feet, which you see above.  I cherish the images she captured ♥ They remind me of a wonderful day. I took the day off from work. I spent the day lounging around with Doodle. She got to take a wonderful car ride to the island in the evening. And then she stunned us both. She BROUGHT IT. When I contacted Emilee, I warned her to not expect too much from Punky. She is completely deaf. Can barely see. Does terrible in unfamiliar places. I knew she would be limited. And then I set her down to walk the sidewalk. And she walked with more confidence than I have seen in a looooong time. I unleashed her in the little park, and off she went, exploring the smells. She gave perky ears and alert eyes and in turn gave me a wonderful memory of that evening. She did so well that on our slow walk back to the car I decided to take her around the block, head to the beach and sit down with her on my lap where we watched the last bits of sun go into the water. The photos, the memories, ending everything with my pug being in good spirits and big in confidence~ it was the best decision I made, having these photos taken.

You can see all of the photos HERE.

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February 19, 2011

goodbye, sweet girl…

♥ 01-01-01  –  02-18-11 ♥

My heart breaks in a thousand different ways as I write this. Though I knew this day was coming, though I have had time to prepare, my heart continues to break in a thousand different ways. To say goodbye to my girl was by far the hardest decision I have ever had to make. We made the decision last Friday. And we also made the decision to wait one week. To spoil her for one week. And so, for one week she was able to indulge her puggy instincts. She ate lots of bacon. And had pancakes for breakfast. French fries for lunch. She had lamb sausage topping her dinner every night. She ate apples and tried pb&j and was surprised with lots of extra treats and car rides. And on Thursday, she thanked me in the most incredible way…after just under five years of sharing our lives with each other she finally gave me 100% of her trust. For the first time, she gave me her belly. She has come so close on many occasions, only ever partially rolling over. On Thursday morning she made me smile through the tears.

I debated on how to write this post. I wrote it a thousand different ways in my head. It was long. It was short. I share the details of our decision. I tell you how badly I want her back. I don’t write it at all. In the end, I decided to leave you with something I wrote years ago, as part of an entry in a contest, something that pretty much sums it all up;

“…She has brought so much joy into my life, I feel ridiculous sometimes with the amount of love I have for her, but she has me under her spell. She has made me believe that just as we have soul mates, we can have soul-doggies too.”

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February 11, 2011

where I go

When I go biking, I repeat a mantra of the day’s sensations:  bright sun, blue sky, warm breeze, blue jay’s call, ice melting and so on.  This helps me transcend the traffic, ignore the clamorings of work, leave all the mind theaters behind and focus on nature instead.  I still must abide by the rules of the road, of biking, of gravity.  But I am mentally far away from civilization.  The world is breaking someone else’s heart.  ~Diane Ackerman

I absolutely love swimming. I love how weightless I feel. How free it makes me of my clumsiness. I love how, when I float on my back and the water envelops my face, all I hear is white noise and all I see is blue sky. I don’t swim nearly as often as I would like. And so my next most favorite thing to do is to go for a bike ride. Riding a bike affords me a freedom very close to swimming. I feel free and oblivious to the world around me. I feel weightless and relieved of the burden I allow time to press on me. This is where I go.

I have never made it a secret that I don’t love the state that I live in. Technically, I hate it. A lot. I plot my escape on a regular basis. There is little about the state of Florida that I find particularly attractive. But I must admit, while it may not be my first choice for scenery, I am incredibly lucky to live so close to Myakka State Park. It offers 14 miles of paved road to bike on, and countless off road trails. While it is popular with the tourists, it is somehow easier to deal with them, ignore them, while there. When biking through this park I am hardly aware of the people around me. I am hardly aware of myself. I love to just go. and ride. and just be.

February 10, 2011

gritty pugs

one of the things I hated most about my old camera was it’s creation of noise at very low iso’s.  with the new camera, I love actually having the option to have noise if I want it. Here, I wanted it.

my puggy girls:

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February 7, 2011

macro photography ~ behind the scenes

It’s no secret. Macro photography is where my heart lies. If I could figure out a way to make a living making photographs of itty bitty things I would be a seriously happy girl. One of my most favorite things to shoot is insects. Which will forever strike me as strange, considering insects technically, well, scare the living bejesus out of me. I find them beautiful, and fascinating and sometimes secretly wish I could turn back the clock and go to school for entemology. But they scare the living bejesus out of me just the same. I am not sure where my fascination came from. Sometimes I get annoyed with the urge to want to photograph insects. Because I do not actually enjoy getting heebie-jeebied.

Currently, I shoot with a 60mm macro lens. Up until about a year ago, I did all of my macro work with a 35mm macro lens. What a lot of people don’t realize is just how close that puts you to your subjects. When I was shooting with the 35mm, I would sometimes bump my macro subjects. oops! Shooting with the new 60mm I am afforded a bit more space, but honestly, I miss the in-your-face quality of shooting with the 35mm.

Over the weekend we took a hike in Myakka State Park. While I was singing woe is me that I couldn’t find anything fun to shoot, I spotted an itty bitty subject. And the frustration began. Here’s a macro math equation for you:  macro + teeny tiny + wind = a grumpy photographer! Because I shoot at a larger f/stop, and I am so close to my subjects, my focus has to be precise to get the shot. If I, or the subject, moves even a fraction of an inch, my shot can be ruined. Adding wind to that equation can make things tricky. Also add in a lens that will continuously search to focus if the subject is too small, forcing me to use manual focusing. All these things made this one of my hardest shoots to date.

sometimes, if I just stare at my subjects long enough, something is bound to happen. Here I was thinking…if I stare long enough, maybe the wind will just go away.

last effort before quitting

and the final result….

On our way back we stumbled upon one more subject. This one proved even more difficult because not only was it still windy, this little guy was hanging out on his web, which is easily moved with even the thought of a breeze, as well as poor light, miniscule size (both of these spiders were no bigger than my pinky nail) AND he was intent on terrifying me with fast FAST movements in my direction. Spiders….why must you scare me so very much?!

and a few of the final shots…

February 4, 2011

well, THAT was uplifting…

ok, so that last post? uplifting right?! I can’t just leave a post like that dangling in the air, all lonely and vulnerable. But how do I fix it? In true form, I don’t actually want to talk about what is bothering me, at least not yet, but I feel it is necesasary to take steps to counteract the boo factor of that last post. What better way than to just go a little random, and give you a quick glimpse into the mind of me….

Random Facts About Me.

1. I have a contest going on in my head. I have been trying to decide who I would like as a replacement grandfather. It’s a three-way tie between Anthony Hopkins, Morgan Freeman, and Walter on Fringe. It’s really a tough decision to make.

2. I love eating Starburst.  However, the fruity goodness sometimes can push my OCD into overdrive. I always eat my Starburst in somewhat of the same order….ALWAYS start with the red, ALWAYS end with the pink….and what happens in between is anyone’s guess.

3. I keep my car running while I gas up my car. This stresses a certain someone out. Sometimes…I like to text her while my car is running, being gassed up, just to inform her that I am risking my life at that very moment.

4. Sometimes I catch myself watching Jersey Shore. And then I get realllly embarassed and hope that no one knows that I am watching Jersey Shore. And then I tell the whole world that I sometimes watch it.

5. I love my iPod. But I don’t trust it’s decision making skills. I set it on shuffle, and hit next, next, next, next, next ,next…..I listen to one out of every 10 songs the iPod picked for me. Which is dumb, considering I picked all the songs that are on there.

There. That’s about all I’ve got at the moment. A little better though, right? Right?!

February 3, 2011

wordless

not much to say lately…feeling trapped by a decision I have to make. a decision I don’ t want to make. not much to say lately…