Politics of CO District 3

Looking forward to the upcoming election, and looking at the two candidates, I have to shudder. I have to vote for the Democrat candidate — Adam Frisch — and while I think he’s a good guy, has said stuff I agree with, and I will vote for him, I’m not sure he gets who the voters in this immense district really are. He has shown me exactly why Democrats don’t win in rural areas like mine. I’ve tried to tell him — and others have, as well. I have written to him, and I’ve posted on FB just trying to get the ball rolling on the kind of campaign he needs to run in towns like mine — and most of his immense district is towns like mine.

Frisch is a former currency trader (yeah, people down here do a lot of that) from Aspen, a very wealthy ski resort town (as the whole world knows). He might have grown up on a farm in Montana, but that’s not who he is.

His entire platform (with a few serious things vaguely thrown in) is “Beat Boebert.” He shows what idiocy Boebert does — like speaking over her time limit in Congress. OK, that’s obnoxious, but he has totally ignored her insisting that there’s nothing in the Constitution about the separation of church and state which, IMO, is really important.

Beating Boebert is A point, but not the point. People don’t mind Boebert. She gives off a vibe of understanding “us.” What Boebert or her handlers get is that people in communities like mine (everywhere?) are looking for someone to represent THEM and they are frustrated by government which they see as working in the interests of everyone but them. Of course, that’s not true of the government, but… If Frisch could demonstrate HOW he could represent them BETTER than Boebert does (not too difficult) they’d vote democrat. He doesn’t even seem to try.

How to win in a far-flung district like mine, filled with small farming towns? A candidate has to show up, walk the streets of the towns meeting and talking to people. I know. Radically old school, but it works. He should have been here for our county fair. He should have made it a point to attend every single small town celebration in the district. Other people from small towns have told him the same thing.

People down here — and in other similar towns — are like that; they are human oriented, and oriented toward individuals because there’s no one here, and we are all individuals. It’s one reason my perspective on where I live is shifting back to what it was before Covid and Jan 6. I live among amazing, kind people who vote for Lauren Boebert and Donald Trump. I’m starting to understand why. 45 and Boebert –miserable human beings both of them — or their campaigns have done marketing analysis to understand rural Americans and they act on it. I’m not fooled by DJT in a trucker hat, but others have been — if not fooled at least felt “seen.” It seems to me that Frisch is so busy railing against what she does wrong (yeah, there’s a lot), he doesn’t see how she reaches people. She’s evil, but whoever runs her is smart.

I’ve read several articles on how rural America feels that Democrats are elitist and not interested in rural America. I’m beginning to see that. I really think this guy — who has always (according to him) voted unaffiliated — seems to be coming across that way, too. He does to me. I will vote for him, but I have no idea what he will do if he is elected. All I’ve heard is vague stuff like “work across the aisle” and not be totally and completely obnoxious. That’s a LOT, but??? Where is he?

It seems to me to win an election, a candidate needs to intentionally relate to the people whose votes he wants. Maybe he’s done that, but I think he needs to do better. He challenged Boebert to five debates; she agreed to one. I’ll watch that with interest, but… I guess I really, really, really want that nightmare to end.

If you’re interested here’s a pretty good article. Another article is here, maybe a better one.

Beautiful, Unexpected Adventure

Looking at the news for the last few days, specifically the FBI executing a search warrant on Old 45’s basement, a phrase — some idiom from my childhood — waved and flapped through my mind, “It’ll all come out in the wash.” Maybe it’s about to.

In more personal news yesterday I took Bear for her rabies shot. “My” vets have both, apparently, retired. That’s OK. They were around my age but I really liked them. The practice was bought a couple years ago by some young women vets and they immediately set about girly-fying the place appropriate to a vet clinic but also to young women of their generation. I miss the old vibe but change is the nature of things.

The first time I went to the vet was with Mindy 8 years ago. I was still staying in a cabin up in South Fork. The vet examined Mindy (a guy who is now about to be the new County Commissioner) and explained that her legs were not the same length and it caused pressure on her hips. Well, I know THAT story. I was instantly impressed. Anyway, to get to the present moment, Bear and I walked in and there were kitties on leashes. A young German shepherd, leashed, and a puppy. A black and white short-haired puppy with it’s very large person. Bear was very happy to meet the puppy — Bambi. In fact, she was more chill with the other dogs in there than I’ve ever seen her.

Debbie, the practice manager said, “You and Bear are all checked in, Martha.”

I’m not the new kid any more.

Lots of new people at my vets. A kid from UNC interning as a tech. A new vet who’s 12 years old. She examined Bear and asked, “What do you use her for?”

Yeah, dogs like Bear are usually employed. I told her Bear’s story and she looked very sad at the thought of a puppy being tied up at a gas station and rescued by the sheriff, but such is life. “So, she never had a job. I’m her job.”

“Well, she’s lucky to have you.”

12 year olds at their first real job are often pretty nervous and many people go into the vet field because they’re not people people. My heart went out to that young woman. She’ll get it. Some young people think we “boomers” are “against” them. I’m not. While I feel more comfortable around the two old guy vets, I’m happy that this girl has entered the field. I want her to do well. Yesterday I learned of a kid who just got hired to teach high school math; I almost wept. “Yay, guy,” I thought, “young teacher the brave and good.”

I met a very lovely old old kitty on her last few days of life and her wonderful person. The kitty was skin and bones. Her skin so fragile it was splitting. “She has liver cancer,” said the woman. “She’s 14. I think I should put her down — I know I should — I just can’t stand to say good-bye yet.” The lady was a remarkable older woman wearing shorts, a leopard print top, gold earrings and embellished sandals. When we were in the vet’s office, standing behind the woman and her kitty, Bear had pulled the leash, trying to reach the kitty to take care of it. She’d startled the woman by touching the lady’s bare leg with her cold nose. “Oooh! OH! Hello,” she said turning to see Bear. Bear nudged the kitty’s tail. I took Bear to the car.

I met a German shepherd puppy belonging to another intern. I talked to the puppy while Debbie — the practice manager — took my credit card. The puppy, as usual with dogs, gave me its undivided attention. “He’s amazing,” I said to its owner. “Very smart puppy. Oh well,” I said. “I just love dogs.”

“That’s obvious,” said Debbie handing me my receipt.

The manager of the Vet clinic is one of the first people I knew here. We had hip surgery and did PT at the same time. We were very happy to see each other. It feels like there’s a kind of awakening (in me? in everyone?) “Oh, you’re still here. I’m so glad to see you again.” Fuck their politics. I’ll vote my vote. And I’ve had Covid and all my shots, so???

After all that I decided to reward Bear if I could. My hip hurt like hell yesterday (I overdid it Weds and Thurs) but I wanted to take a walk if we could find a good trail. Because they’re close to the vet, I turned toward the lake and the wildlife area where we used to walk all the time. I headed down the road and saw that all the parking areas were empty. Waaaaaa-HOOOO! I pulled into the spot that leads to a walk by the river. The trail was open but overgrown. The sign makes a point — in red — that without the proper permits the area was closed. Well, I have the proper permits. I was so happy to see that sign. I quit going out there because people were abusing the trails and the area, turning loose their dogs, spending the night out there were there were no facilities, etc. Yay Colorado Parks and Wildlife! Plus, the permits help support the wildlife areas.

Bear immediately noticed scents and was more driven to explore them than I’d seen her in a while, but I figured it was a place we hadn’t visited in 2 1/2 years. Bear sniffed, left scent, sniffed, left scent. I walked up and down hills in no pain trying to figure out “What’s up with that?” meaning my leg. We finally got to the river and I was so happy to see it again. Then, I looked at something that had caught Bear’s eye (meaning nose).

Mountain lion scat. Pretty fresh. Thrilling.

I looked at my partner and thought, “Well, this is as good as it gets without seeing the lion.” I looked around for tracks, but it is a mostly grassy trail and what isn’t grassy is packed pretty solid. Even though I’m alone out there, I’m not alone. Bear was bred to defend her “herd” against animals like mountain lions. Lions are shy animals, generally don’t like dogs and can smell them. I talk to my dogs when I’m in a place like that and never hike in a wild place in silence. I have hiked for decades in mountain lion country and I’m glad they are there. The greatest day of my life was August 4, 2004, about 6 pm, when I finally saw a cougar. If you’re interested in the story, you can read it here.

Fashionistas…

Back in the day I wore heels with pointy toes — that is when pointy toes were in style. There was a brief moment around 2003/4 when flats with pointy toes were in style. I wore those, too. Lavender ones. Other fashion of that moment? Lucky Brand Jeans, bell bottoms, hip-huggers — during that historical moment I saw more butt-cracks than I ever needed to see. Most girls wore thongs for underwear. Are you shocked that I know this? Well, I didn’t really WANT to know it. All my girl students wore those jeans and some of them probably should have thought twice about it but OH well. The fashion drive is powerful.

Lucky for me, most of my actual WALKING was in hiking boots, trail-running shoes and Birkenstocks… Still, I accrued a little damage. Not much, but yeah those things aren’t good for anyone’s feet and the mystery remains; why do we like them? Why did I like them?

Lately, seeing my Congressional “representative” in yet another photo of herself with a military weapon cradled in her arms, I looked at the feet of that little weirdo and saw yep, pointy-toed shoes. She trades on being a “fire brand,” sex-appeal and guns. There’s nothing else to her, that and high high high heels with pointy toes. I guess she needs that gun. In that foot wear she couldn’t get away from anything. For a minute I thought, “You’re gonna’ pay, Sweet Cheeks.” I suppose I laughed inside, a Machiavellian laugh, mua-ha-ha.

The weird thing is that historically humans seem always to have liked them. Not long ago I read an article in Smithsonian Magazine about a “medieval plague of bunions” created by the pointy toed shoes of the 14th century (I guess the worst onslaught of plague and the 100 years war weren’t enough pain?). Those people took it to another level, with pointy toes that were so LONG and pointy that some had chains to connect them to the wearer’s belt so he/she didn’t trip over them.

During the 14th century, a quirky fashion craze swept Europe’s wealthiest off their feet. Rejecting the functional, round-toed footwear of the past, lords and ladies donned crakows, or poulaines—shoes with extraordinarily long toes that tapered to an elegant point.

A new study from scholars in England and Scotland suggests that high society’s statement footwear toed the line between fashion and injury. Writing in the International Journal of Paleopathologythe team reports that the rise of elongated shoes in late medieval Cambridge led to a sharp increase in hallux valgus of the big toe, or bunions.

Source

The coolest thing (to me) in the article was that paleoarcheologists found this bunion thing only in rich people’s graves. Poor people stuck with their usual leather, cloth, wood, and grass-filled foot wear. Well, yeah, they had to move around and who knows? Back then it was illegal for the poor to wear some particular colors. Maybe pointy-toes were illegal footwear for them, too.

In a similar vein (a) more recent study found that the prevalence of bunions broke down along socioeconomic lines—but in the opposite direction. Just 3 percent of the people interred in the poorer, rural graveyard bore signs of bunions; comparatively, a staggering 43 percent of the wealthy individuals buried in an Augustinian friary were hobbled by the deformity.

Source

In the late 50s, spike heels with pointy toes were fashionable. I remember my Aunt Jo getting ready for Eastern Star (Masonic family). The last part was make up. From that ritual, the linoleum (not as good in the 50s as it is now or made from the same material) in the bathroom had little divots from the heels of her shoes. Her feet hurt.

X-Rays Update

A lot is said about the lousy medical care in rural communities and that’s based on access to stuff like surgical centers and fancy equipment. I’ve had a lot of experience with rural health care, not only because of where I have lived for the past 8 years, but I had my first hip surgery (2004) in a small hospital in Mt. Shasta, CA. What you get in rural health care — or I’ve gotten — is a lot of individual attention. All my years in California didn’t prepare me for this and it continues to surprise me. For example, there’s no scheduling labs for a month in the future, you go get them right now now. I saw my PA, my doc, and got X-rays all in an hour.

My BP when I arrived was nine-million over several parsecs and the PA was worried. I wasn’t. I knew how I felt and how scared I was. When you face something like this, you wish you had a family. I have awesome friends, but nobody wants to be a relentless burden on their friends. I explained to Michelle so she said, “OK we’ll chat and see what happens.” I showed her photos of Bear and paintings and pretty soon it was down to a much less astronomical level. We finished our interview and the doc came in. I love her. She’s amazing. She’s a really excellent doctor who grew up in rural Minnesota and, after attaining a wide range of experience and excellent education she decided she wanted to live and raise her kids in a rural community.

As I explained what was going on, she listened. I told her I was afraid that my right hip prosthesis might be wearing out. I explained it was resurfacing, it was 16 years old, and that when it was put in no one really knew how long they would last but guessed 15 years. She said, “We need X-rays to put your mind at ease. Nothing else will.”

“No” I said. “I agree. It’s just a lot of orthopedic surgeons don’t know anything about hip resurfacing and reject it out of hand. That worries me. My doc who did the replacement did understand it.”

“I get it,” she said. “You know a lot of people who’ve come in with Covid report random, intense, joint pain. Let’s hope that’s what it is.”

“Yep,” I said and thanked her and headed over to the hospital. An administrator did my paper work and I went to Radiology which shares a waiting room with the Lab.

When I was waiting for my hip X-rays a couple of women were in the waiting area chatting about horses and how women get a lot of work done in a short time. A young woman — clearly related to the others who appeared to be mother and daughter so grandmother and mother and granddaughter — came out of the lab. 

“Did you cry?

The young girl — about 16 — shook her head. The two older women stood up and hugged her. Then they looked at me. We’re all masked, so everything is in our eyes. 

“Are you OK?” they asked me.

“I hope so.” 

“Do you want us to stay and wait for you?”

They meant it. 

Then I looked up at the sign for the area. The sign was in two language. “Waiting Room” it said in English, “Salon de Espera” it said in Spanish which means “waiting room” but also means Room of Hope. What a beautiful, beautiful thing is the Spanish language. 

I was soon called by Radiology and given two hospital gowns so I wouldn’t have to be naked. “You should’ve worn sweats or something,” said the guy helping me.

“You’re right. I didn’t think.” He took me into the X-ray room and introduced me to the other radiologist. It was awesome that I got to lie down — normally I’ve had to stand to do this. I practiced the posture this morning, and it hurt. I explained the prosthesis and said, “You might not have seen it before.”

They very kindly did their work, and when they finished they let me see the pictures. Everything looks exactly as it should. I must have looked as terrified then as relieved as I felt when I saw the X-rays. I said, “Thank you so much.” The radiologist hugged me. I am not an expert, but they are. Maybe Heidi will send them to an Ortho, I don’t know, but I communicated my concern, and I’ve seen them for myself.

I left the hospital and looked for a while at the herd of bison that live in a huge pasture in front of the hospital. I thought to myself that the politics down here might be a little weird for me, but the people are exactly as people should be. I hope I am, too.

Human Beauty

A couple of days ago Elizabeth and I went to Del Norte for lunch and to see the San Luis Valley Quilt Guild Charity Show. It had been Elizabeth’s birthday the day before and I worked out a way to treat her to the show. She’s pretty fierce about paying her own way, but she and her husband do so many things for me that I can never repay — liking hanging a door on my studio. Besides, she’s awesome.

We had lunch which was great as was the conversation. Then she wanted to cross the street and go to Kathy’s Fabric Trunk to see if they had white crochet thread. I’ve been in this store frequently with her. There’s nothing in there for me to buy, but the owner is a lovely, sweet person and there are dogs. Last time I was there was during Covid and I just went to the front door and knocked. Kathy brought out some seam tape I was picking up for Elizabeth. It was — as were most stores that year — a ghost store.

Tuesday was a different scene completely, leading to a beautiful human scenario.

The store had more stock than I’ve ever seen — quilting season (winter) is approaching — but even then there was MORE. In the “back” (not really, it’s another full sized room beside the main store) were tables around which sat maybe six women. OK, I’m going to say they were all larger women, most in dresses?! It doesn’t matter but I’m painting a scene here. Elizabeth was looking at a crochet thread. There was no white, only ecru which led to a big deliberation about that. Her goal was crocheting angel tree toppers for the upcoming craft boutique. She stood there with the thread deliberating and talking with the women who were all involved in sewing projects.

At the end of the table in a very helpful wheelchair sat Kathy’s very disabled daughter and, beside her on the floor, was the black lab who never leaves her side.

On a high shelf was a cage with a parrot who talked to me. “Hi! How ya’ doin’?”

To my right, in another space, marked off by shelves, a woman measured fabric. As the parrot and I chatted, a yellow lab came to check on the ladies to see if they were dropping any of their lunch and get pets from me. I was mesmerized by this sight. All the women were so happily engaged with each other and their project. They were interested in Elizabeth’s project and her deliberation. It was so beautiful, enchanting. I wanted to pull out my phone and take a photo, but I thought it might be rude.

I learned later that Kathy now holds classes — conducted by experts in particular sewing and quilting techniques — at her store. I’m sure one of the reasons those women were so buoyantly happy (besides being together) is that they were learning something. From there we went to the Rio Grande County Museum.

As we walked to the museum door, I saw that Elizabeth had her money ready. Lyndsie, the director, waved away the money, “You two are good. You don’t have to pay.” I’d arranged to take income from notecards to pay our donation, but it ended up that Lyndsie paid for us. She gave me the $10 someone paid for a pack of notecards. ❤️ A few minutes later, I gave the $10 “back” by buying a Christmas present that benefited the Quilt Guild. High finance among little ladies…

The quilted sign telling people where their donations go. Tu Casa is an organization that helps adult and child victims of domestic violence. Probably the other two categories are clear. The featured photo — the quail quilt — was done by one of the guild members and hangs in the show.

The quilt show was great, and we got to vote for “best quilt” in a few categories which we like doing. Then, draped over an old sofa (I mean OLD), we saw an amazing quilt, an antique “fancy” quilt a crazy quilt of luxurious fabrics. The legend going with it explained that the quilt maker had been born in 1815. Elizabeth and I kind of agreed that we’d lost something over the years.

There are dozens of 10 inch squares joined together and each square is an elaborately pieced and embroidered work of art. You can see some of it in this photo.

Good news from the museum? Looks like the Holiday Art Show will happen. They were finalizing the document — contract — artists will have to sign releasing the museum for liability. Dates are already being considered. I was happy to hear that and grateful to Lyndsie for advocating for me (us).

I don’t know where I fit in this amazing valley. I think, like a lot of things in life — singing in public for example — my primary role is that of “appreciator.” I wouldn’t be the first “alien” to commit to a life here, as this immigrant’s trunk from Sweden reminded me.

UPDATE: I just got home from the doc. I’m not an expert but I saw my X-rays and everything looks good. The doc explained that joint inflammation seems to be a fairly common post-Covid problem. It’s possible that someone will read my X-rays differently, but I sincerely doubt it. I was so relieved when I saw them, I almost cried and the radiologist hugged me. I needed that hug.

Uh…good thoughts appreciated — I’m off to the doc for hip X-rays. I don’t want to endure surgery again. The extreme inconvenience, pain and complications of it? Just not in the mood. No, it’s nothing like being a refugee from the Russian army or the innumerable worse things that can happen to us humans, but it’s still not fun.

Rad

There are a couple of “life lists” I keep thinking of compiling for my own curiosity, and one is the concerts I’ve been to. I’ve never been a big concert goer. First, I’m not very big (ha ha) no wait, I mean I haven’t been to a lot of concerts, I’d say especially for a person of my generation. But sometimes I’ve been lucky and got tickets, or was invited, or had to go because I just HAD to go. Some husband or other (mine, I think) said “Why spend all that money when you could buy a couple of albums?” there’s logic there especially when you aren’t rolling in dough.

So you are all going to be privy to this list as this morning’s prompt is the perfect opportunity… Here goes, in no particular order. Some come with stories.

Viktor Borge, 1970
Sugarloaf, 1970, played at the Woman’s College
Rod Stewart, 1974. Fleetwood Mac opened for him. Yep.
Bill Monroe, 1974
Merle Haggard. He was just an Okie from Muskogee… 1975

Yawn. This is boring. Now I know why I never finished this list. I mean, who cares and no wonder I forget.

OK, you need to know that I lived my misspent youth in my 40s… During my chronological youth, there was no way I could have misspent it. Life was too serious. I was so much older then, I was younger than that later…. It was an important rite of passage and I’m glad I did it at that point when I was old enough to enjoy it. 😀 The golden age of my concert going was the early 90’s through the early 2000s…

By far my favorite concert was the most recent — Iggy Pop at 4th and B in San Diego in 2001. It’s a smaller venue. I went with a friend who was about 20 years younger than me (probably still is) and who physically resembled me. She was up in front, right against the bar that kept people from rushing the stage. People kept smashing up against her. I found my motherly instincts kicking in and I put my body between the would-be body crushers and Amanda. A tall man was standing beside me. He was a character from San Diego reality, a maitre d’ at the Crest Cafe in Hillcrest. At the time — and possibly still — Hillcrest was San Diego’s gay neighborhood or as my former boyfriend would have characterized it, the Gay Ghetto. He was a man I’d seen thousands of times. For a while the good X and I lived in Hillcrest and that cafe was great so I went back often, even after moving away. I’m sure he thought I looked like someone he knew. He stood beside me, his elbow on my shoulder like an arm rest.

I might be small but I’m feisty, well, not very feisty but sometimes. “Dude,” I said, “I’m not your armrest.”

“Sorry, I wasn’t thinking. I love Iggy.”

“Me too.”

Concert conversations are among the most profound conducted between humans.

When the show was over, Amanda and I stood there waiting to get through the crowd and out the door. The man looked at us and said, “Are you mother and daughter? You look like mother and daughter! Oh, I love that. Two generations sharing a concert.”

Amanda, who was equally small and feisty, but funnier, put her arm around me and said, “Yes we are and we’re so proud of her!” and she kissed my cheek like the good child I am. If you wanted to hear what Iggy Played that night, it’s all right here. Iggy’s setlist, April 27, 2001 Amanda and I both bought t-shirts.

Which makes me think about concerts. Is it the PERFORMANCE or the EXPERIENCE? I think it’s the experience. As the X said, you can buy an album.

Another concert was Depeche Mode at the Sports Arena in San Diego. It was great, but the most memorable moment (except for sharing red vines with my friend/date) was at a certain moment the opening of a popular song started. Everyone stood and cheered. Through the crowd I looked down at the stage and saw that there were no people on it. Only the synths. Everyone was cheering machines. I was all like, “Whoa…” and stuff.

Another memorable (and painful) experience was going down to Tijuana with my friend Greg and a couple of friends of his. We went to the wonderful punk club, Iguanas, to hear Front 242 a Belgian industrial punk band. Among the bands who played at Iguanas are Nirvana and Rage Against the Machine — I didn’t hear them but there it is.

I stood between two tall guys, Greg and his friend. There was a reason for this. It was back in the days of moshing and stage diving and they didn’t want me to get hurt. We stood some distance away and everything was fine until a guy dived off the stage and hit the smallest person in the audience, me, knocking me down. I was pretty lucky, though. All that happened was a badly bruised elbow. The tall guys and I went to sit at the tables for the rest of the concert. It was a wonderful experience, though, crossing the border, walking down a dark street to the club which, at the time, was kind of off by itself. And except for getting hurt it was a lot of fun. If you’re interested in very arcane history of alternative music clubs in Tijuana, you can read about Iguanas here or watch the history of this club here, en Español, pues….

RIP Lamont. Dude Surfs

The sun had barely broken the horizon, but Dude was already out there, waiting, ready. Since Lamont’s death he’d done a LOT more surfing. The museum at the Tar Pits had also opened since Covid had shut things down. Dude was getting out at dawn for a few rides before he had to drive to LA to sort bones and don his Smilodon costume for the kids.

Why Lamont had wanted to go down to Puerto Peñasco when they could have gone anywhere — and, for that matter, they lived on the beach! — was still a mystery to Dude. In a MOTORHOME for the love of God? A rented motorhome, “See America.”

“We’ve SEEN America, wouldn’t you say, Dude?” laughed Lamont as they took the keys from the rental agent. “In four dimensions.”

The next morning, as he was walking on Playa Bonita, pondering life, the universe and everything, Lamont was flattened by a dune buggy. The driver never stopped. Lamont’s last words? “Watch out, Dude. The Reaper’s driving a dune buggy. Well, see you later.” That was it. His life left his body, the vapor of the soul sped toward its next life.

Dude missed Lamont. After all, they’d been through a lot of lifetimes together, a fact that was a consolation but also, in its way, a curse. Who knew if Lamont would be back or when or, worse, as WHAT? Dude thought about that almost every day as he sorted bones. As he was all too aware, it was kill-or-be-killed out there in reality and one day’s dinner was the next day’s diner.

He looked to the west and saw a perfect swell heading his way.


Lamont (RIP) and Dude are characters I came up with a few years ago. They have (had) the uncanny ability to remember many of their previous incarnations which gives them an unusual perspective on life, the universe and everything.

I’m an Idiot but My Work Isn’t — News on the “Famous” Artist Front

Last evening I was meandering through my Facebook page and noticed a posting from the Creede Arts Council — Creede being a mountain town about 50 miles away — about an artist who’s on this year’s studio tour. I checked out her page and saw she has a gallery. I’m looking for someone else to store my paintings (ha ha). I immediately looked at the webpage but in my particular way I didn’t read for the information. I wanted to see the stuff they had already, to see if my stuff would fit or was as good. After I did that I sent a query email which some photos of paintings, all the while assuming they were in the nearby town of Creede. Later I read the webpage with less excitement and saw they are in the town of Pagosa Springs which is over the mountain. That’s OK, but I felt like an idiot because I’d mentioned I had been in Creede many times and hadn’t seen their gallery. OOOPS…😜 That explains a lot…

“OH well,” I said to Bear, the only “person” around. “Maybe my work will speak for itself.”

This morning I got this.

Good morning Martha,  my name is  Vickie, and I am the manager of TWO OLD CROWS. we are located in PAGOSA SPRINGS Co. not Creede. I would be happy to make an appointment to view your work your next visit to Pagosa. We have very limited wall space at this time and I would have to put you on a waiting list. If this is still of interest, please call to make an appointment after October 15, 2022.   Thank you for your interest, and we look forward to hearing from you. Vickie. 

I think that’s good news. Anyway, I’ll follow through. Who knows?

Another Doggone Post

Bear is amazingly eloquent in her gestural language. Yesterday she came in wanting a walk. How do I know? She made eye contact then nodded toward the back door and made eye contact again. “Can’t do it, Bear. I just rode the bike to nowhere and as I rehab or whatever this thing, I’m not doing everything at once.” I think I’m “rehabbing” my hip but I don’t actually know what I’m doing. I just need a lot more exercise than I’ve been able to get since this showed up. It really affects my perspective on life the universe and everything when I can’t exercise. Bear “shrugged” and laid down on the floor by my feet.

Part of understanding Bear is related to the limited number of things she has to “tell” me. Part of it is having known her all her life. Part of it is that I probably taught her some of this — but not all. That said, she’s articulate, especially for a dog who isn’t all that verbally attuned. She has learned a LOT from Teddy who is.

Somewhere along the way, Teddy learned “Go to bed,” and it had to have been one of the other people he’s lived with, because I didn’t teach him that. Still, his verbal acuity is related to wanting physical contact. You can teach a dog a bunch of words but what they want is a closer bond with you. Words are just a way to get there. The only “trick” my dogs are rewarded for with food is coming in the house when I call them.

Dogs are usually easy for me to understand. People are more complicated (who knew???) and difficult to understand. Kids are OK, but grownups? Some how two dogs can meet and know immediately what’s going on with the other one. Two people meet? Confusion reigns instantly. If we had tails to drop when we’re unsure of a new contact or wag when we’re hopeful, if we were as open about our curiosity as our butt sniffing canine companion, or had giant teeth to rend and tear the enemy — and the other guy knows it — “Be nice or!!!” Maybe that was the whole philosophy behind the nuclear stockpile? The thing is, humans can devise bigger and bigger and “better” canine teeth. I don’t know.

Dogs aren’t perfect (who knew?) they even *lie. If Teddy wants another cookie he will ask to go out FOR NO REASON than to come in again (and get a cookie). Sometimes Bear follows him then turns around and looks at me with a face that clearly says, “Huh? Why?” and she comes right back. Cracks me up. She is the soul of integrity. Teddy ends up with a cookie and big hugs for coming back in and Bear for her sweet and honest soul.

*Teddy just told me he’s not lying. He really thought going out the back door and coming back was what I wanted him to do. He was just trying to make me happy and get a cookie. I accept that, even if he might be lying. He says manipulation isn’t the same as lying. I’m not going to argue with him.

Bear and Teddy telling me the mailman has come. It’s OK with Bear, but Teddy has some doubts.

Oh, some readers have asked about Lamont and Dude — the two fictional characters who remember many of their past incarnations — who haven’t been around in a while. Dude wrote and told me that last year, Lamont was run over by a Dune Buggy on the beach at Puerto Peñasco. Dude wanted me to remind Lamont’s many fans that they shouldn’t worry; Lamont will be back.

In the featured photo my friend Lois’ dog Shoe explaining how things work to puppy Bear.