Viral rhinitis

Today I’m holding a memorial for my health which went away a couple of days ago leaving me a shell of the woman I once was, oh, say a week ago. I haven’t (except for Covid last summer) been sick in a long time (yay social distancing and isolation). Coughing is strenuous exercise, too, and a chest cold with asthma at 7000 feet? Good grief. Don’t even. Yeah, I’m whining. Sorry.

It’s funny how our bodies work. Thursday? Friday? Whatever day it snowed — the result of a sudden temperature drop from 60 F to 15 F — I took Bear to the golf course. Anyway, it was miserable and wet, unusual for this place. I’d already shoveled a few inches of very wet, cementlike snow. As Bear and I wandered around, my down jacket got soaked. Bear got soaked. It was more raincoat weather than down jacket weather. The next day, out with Teddy, was differently miserable, the road was slushy and muddy but the light subtle and lovely. SO MANY PEOPLE!! It felt like a bad dream and I even yelled at Teddy which I never do!

But it’s a known fact that weather doesn’t make people sick; viruses and bacteria make people sick. But it feels like the weather did it.

So yesterday I broke into my rather large stash of expired Covid tests and found four that were not expired. The directions for this one were as inscrutable as a medieval book on alchemy, but I did it and learned, “Nope, not this time, sweet cheeks.” Good, I guess, but not having Covid doesn’t mean a person’s not sick.

Anyhoo, as lots of strange thoughts swirl around in my brain, I have to remind myself, “Martha, you’re sick. Martha, you’re probably a little oxygen deprived.”


I’m NOT Telling

Long ago, before I was a little old lady living in the Bark of Beyond with dogs, I was a girl, and that girl sometimes behaved in ways that were risqué. Yes folks, this person. OH well, that was then and this is now and risqué for this moment in time seems to be telling a younger friend that I like punk rock music. “YOU????Yes, boys and girls, imagine that. YOU weren’t even around yet and I was, ni ner ni ner… Think of each old person as an iceberg. There’s only a TINY tiny bit visible on the top of the sea of time. Mua-ha-ha.

I guess I’m having some problems with this 71 year old thing, and all it implies.

At one point going through my mother’s souvenirs I found a tiny photo of her standing in front of a blue-eyed cowboy. It was a black and white photo, but it was obvious the c’boy had blue eyes. She was standing in a manner that was, I dunno how to describe it, but her hand was over a very interesting point on the skirt of her dress, and she definitely had a “Good god, man, take me now!” look on her face. And this little tiny picture had been cut into an oval and may have been ensconced (never never never had a chance to use THAT word before) in a locket. In a very subtle way, it’s a risqué photo.

I know my grandparents had very strict ideas about what their daughters were allowed and not allowed to do. But what was up with that c’boy and my mom? Nice horse, too, BTW.

My mom’s attitude toward sex reached a new and higher level of Puritanical. But, in real life, the Puritans didn’t deserve that stereotype because a randier race of humans might not have existed on this planet. Anyway, I wish I could share the photo, but I gave it to her granddaughter along with the little music box in which my mother kept it. I wanted my niece to know that the crabby, angry old woman who was her grandma was also a human being, had been a young woman, had been in lust, had smiled about it.

You know, the iceberg.

My mom is one of the women in the photo above. Extra points if you are able to guess correctly.

Diurnal Crapshoot

“What are you talking about, Martha?”

“Life, Teddy. Life. What a bizarre crapshoot it is after all. I feel a little disoriented.”

“Huh? Uh-oh. I’m sensing another reflective philosophical blog post coming on. I think I’ll go out with Bear and bark at the neighbor dogs.”

“OK, Teddy. Are you done with my coffee cup? It’s your turn for a w-a-l-k today.”


“Never mind. See you later, little guy.”

I was thinking that life is like conglomerate — a big wad of events held together by a more recent geological interval. I choose the local product — Crestone Conglomerate. You have random amazing moments interspersed with all kinds of other stuff, and the random, amazing moments don’t happen twice. I was thinking of that last night when I looked at my FB memories and saw that nine years ago yesterday I woke up, opened my front door, and found a horse essentially in my front yard, and I got to keep it. How often does that happen? Once. It can only happen once.

I look at that rock as a life.

The big mass of it, holding it all together, is time, a life time. And the pretty bits (and maybe ugly bits) all the random stuff that happened to be there in time. I was thinking of attempting to list all of the really incredible moments that make up the rock that is me, but I don’t even know what they all are — just like in the featured photo, we see only one face of the boulder.

I did think, though, that many of the MAJOR MOMENTS we prepare for in our lives turn out to be minor blips or pieces that end up breaking off. I thought of that when I went out to get my mail and saw my neighbor’s Christmas wreath still hanging on their gate. “Wow! Christmas!” fades pretty quickly into a green bit of plastic foliage with a red plastic ribbon. Christmas was no major moment, however much they (newly married) prepared for their “first Christmas together.” What are the major moments? I think they’re often completely unexpected a lot of the time.

I used to tell my students who would insist that their birth was one of the big moments of their lives that it wasn’t; it was big in their PARENT’S lives. They rejected that because, because, because why? Because all their lives someone had celebrated their birthdays. The birthday parties might have been events, but their birth was not. In a way, they weren’t even there for it.

So, my moments, a few. Some are naturally bigger than others — like going to China to teach. That might be the biggest moment. But smaller moments are the main glue in this conglomerate. My 25th birthday, riding in the backseat of my own car with a glass of champagne heading to a disco that turned out to be a lot more (and weirder) than a disco. Getting my MA and having, as I crossed the stage to get the folder, friends who served on the university senate step forward to hug me, then hearing my Aunt Jo and Uncle Hank way in the back yell, “yeee-HAW!” in good Montana style. My grandmother telling me she’s glad I’m not snooty like my cousin who also has a masters degree.My mom in her hospital bed mistaking me for my Aunt Martha and, in the liminal world she inhabited, talking to “me” as if my grandma were still alive, and she and my aunt were young “Are you going down to Mother’s?” she asked me. My brother and me on top of a mountain outside Manitou Springs, eating oranges and singing. Walking in the Swiss forest with Pietro and Daisy (golden retriever) communicating in our own bizarre language on a December morning. Langlauf at Devils Thumb Ranch with a friend, and falling forward in deep snow, arms buried up to my shoulders, poles parallel to my arms; friend skis past, sees me, laughs, loses focus, falls across the trail. My Aunt Dickie writing me, “I’m so proud of your writing.” Running with my friend Kris on a short, narrow bit of the Pacific Crest Trail in the old snow, trying to get back to the car before the trail iced over and then seeing the brilliant red sunset over the Pacific Ocean, 50 miles away. Seeing La Ultima Cena and realizing I really had never seen it before however thousands of times reproductions of it had passed before my eyes, seeing that it’s a force of nature — or something. Reading Italian Journey. Walking into my classroom and seeing my students stand up on their chairs and say, “O Captain! My Captain!” Running on a slick-rock trail in Arches with a friend as dusk turned to dark. Watching hawks hover in the wind as they hunt. And last week, a birthday party with cheesecake and socks. Some of it’s just weird, like my recent experience interviewing a friend for an article and then having him die only a month or so later. I still shudder thinking of that. That’s the crapshoot aspect, I guess.

These things don’t “change” your life. They make it.

Happy the man, and happy he alone
He who can call today his own:
He who, secure within, can say,
Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today. John Dryden

More Quotedium Musing…

After a night of pretty much no sleep (why?) here I am again with the coffee, the dogs, the rawhide pencils and the word for today is recharge. Boy, that hit a chord, but I have no idea how to effect that — though I could definitely use it. (Another gulp of coffee.)

A few days ago I woke up and realized that the long covid had finally gone. It was a very strange feeling. Little by little over the past six months — that monster has finally completely wandered off.

But now what? I feel a little disoriented, awakening in a different world.

I started cleaning out/up the studio. Not with anything particular in mind. I have no inspiration and the paints are very very very cold, sort of like cold butter or margarine. My studio isn’t heated and it really is as cold as a refrigerator in there. I have a glimmer of a painting in the back of my mind and I think it will probably happen. It will be a landscape, of course. I sense it will have a backstory, though. It won’t be “just” a landscape. I think it’s going to be a picture of my life from last July to, well, more or less, now.

I keep wondering why I paint at all since everything just ends up packed carefully in boxes in the garage, but whatever. I like to paint. I could either work harder to find a gallery or accept that I’m painting things to box up and put in the garage. To be fair, though, a couple are wrapped carefully and kept in the spare bedroom.:-) My house is small; the walls are old-school lath and plaster. Hanging something is complicated AND the walls a pretty full anyway. One of the paintings needs a frame. That will happen when I’m paid for reading the books sometime this spring.

ChatGPT would say (of itself) that it’s designed to do what it does, so it does it. I guess I can look at painting the same way. It’s what I do; maybe I was designed to paint. 😀

Yesterday my neighbors and I met at E’s house for a tea party that turned out to be a birthday party for me. E made cheesecake for the event and gave me a pair of beautiful handmade wool socks. I haven’t really hung out with anyone for the past several weeks other than interviewing people. I’ve been reading books and writing an article oh yeah and getting sucked into ChatGPT. For various other reasons, the three of us haven’t been able to get together since before Christmas.

So… here’s hoping we all get the recharge we need so we can…

Happiness Might Actually BE a Warm Puppy

Yesterday one of my friends posted this on Facebook.

My friend is a great person, talented and brave. She faces the obstacles of her life with grace. She has a sense of humor and passion for right over wrong. She continually attempts new and difficult things. I like her a LOT. One of the things she’s best at is friendship. I noticed that early on because I’m NOT good at it. And, as Vonnegut has written, she’s interesting.

I’ve thought a lot in the past few years (because I’m older) about what my life has actually amounted to. I think that might be a thing we humans do. I have no idea if that’s a cultural thing or not, but whatever. It doesn’t matter. I’m in this culture and I have done it.

There are limits to us. Time limits. Financial limits. Aptitude limits. And the limit of having “no idea what’s going on” which, in my case, is persistent. (ha ha). But I think, at this point the biggest limit is something I didn’t even used to believe in — luck. Luck started to emerge in my frame of reference when I was in grad school, working on my thesis with my thesis advisor, and talking about Horatio Alger’s heroes. “The thing is, Martha,” said Dr. Richardson, “you’ve got it all going for you. You just need some luck.”

Huh? Wait a minute, isn’t this America where we can realize our dreams if we work hard enough? He went on as if I’d actually SAID that. “Those Alger heroes ALWAYS meet someone who can help them materially. That’s luck. The other thing is those Alger heroes don’t aim very high. They just want to improve their lives.”

I thought about happiness over the years, too. It’s not something OUT there. It’s what I do with what I have where I am. I guess I figured THAT out several times over the years and forgot it, but it seems, finally to have sunk in (maybe). I made peace with that “goal” by assessing my life and thinking of the things that make me happy — walking with my dogs makes me happy. Painting and writing make me happy. The profession I held for a long time made me (mostly) happy. I came around to the idea that it is in the things I DO that I find happiness. Because of the nature of those things that make me happy, I’m not great at friendship. Every time I read an article that says friendships and social connections are good for us I think, “We’re not all the same.” That’s not to say I don’t value my friendships and social connections — I do, very much, but…

Nothing is free. One of the happiest times of my life was when I was writing Martin of Gfenn. The evening I finished my first complete draft, I found myself in a dark, empty house I got THAT. “Where is everybody?” I’d been living with all those interesting people for a few months, and suddenly I was in a lonely, dark, and rather chilly house. I’d done something I couldn’t even talk to anyone about, really, without sounding like — at best — an obsessed freak at worst an arrogant asshole. Writing is NOT social. In the process I’d gone places the people around me were not going. It was a great experience and, at the same time, profoundly alienating.

The other aspect of luck — Goethe. Goethe wrote a lot of stuff before he became famous, stuff that interested NO ONE. He was crap as a law student. He fell in one hopeless love situation after another. The guy was going NO WHERE. Then, as he was involved in and attempting to recover from yet another hopeless love, one of his schoolmates killed himself. This led Goethe — as catharsis? to write Sorrows of Young Werther. Nothing like it had ever been written before. I’m not sure he even imagined publishing it. BUT it hit the world at exactly the right time and changed Goethe’s life. Suddenly, he was famous and that fame trailed him everywhere he went. The book caused a rash of suicides by lovesick young men in imitation of Werther. Terrible. Goethe had to live with this all his life. So — he got the fame he wanted as a writer and with it?

What if all we ever did was aspire to do the best we can with the hand we’ve been dealt by fate? I don’t consider fate to be the same as destiny. Destiny is out there somewhere; fate is closer to home. It’s the family into which we’re born, the gender we’re born with, the era into which we’re born, the culture — all the so-called external realities of our lives. Add to that whatever mental and emotional equipment we happen to have. I truly believe I was BORN wanting a dog. Similarly, I started writing stories before I knew how to read. I always drew pictures.

So what’s a successful life? It’s difficult in our society which remains absurdly competitive. No one would feel like a failure if — having done the best they could with what they have — there weren’t some kind of external conditioning about success. I hate that competitiveness. It makes it impossible for us to take others as they come or not to be resentful of someone who’s achieved something we think we should have achieved. We judge others and believe they’re judging us. What if we weren’t judging others? What if we’re NOT? I don’t know.

I once knew a Turkish guy — a junkie, as it happened, who was a very famous (in Turkey) photo-journalist. He’d gotten into heroin while he was photographing the Turk’s war against the Kurds. He told me a lot about the horrible things he’d seen, and I saw some of his photos. Good god, and was the world interested? I don’t remember that it was. He wasn’t a “good person,” by any means. In fact, as much as I liked him, I’d say he was a bad guy — conscienceless and driven by his addiction, but he was very very interesting and the moment we met we felt kind of an electric connection. During our conversation he said, “No one knows another’s pain.” Obviously that has stuck with me. I only saw Oktay once though we had many later phone conversations. Encounters like that are, I think, sometimes thrown in front of us to give us information we sorely need. Since no one DOES know another’s pain, who the fuck are we to judge anyone, even ourselves?

At this point I believe that the purpose of our individual lives is to enjoy the life we have. “Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?” Ecclesiates 3:22



Bear, Teddy and I were out yesterday for a while. No snow to speak of except on the mountains which are sitting around the edges of the San Luis Valley like a come-on from a tourist brochure. Starlings in one red willow bush. Tracks the dogs could “see” but I could not. I gave Teddy my birthday because he was six months old when I got him one June day 4 years ago, so we were celebrating.

As they walked, sniffed and pulled their leashes to get to the next scent, I had the thought that if we didn’t “measure” time we wouldn’t “know” things like that. Funny how we make up stuff and then “know” it as if it were a discovery — that said, the movement of the earth around the sun is regular enough to say “clock” to any human. It’s a system that pre-exists any human “knowledge” and we are obliged to follow it if only because it’s really dark at night.

I’ve sat in on a lot of arguments/disputes/discussions about whether time exists. They tend to get extremely abstract and most of them end in “Oh my god, it’s late. I have to get home.” Some of these disputes started with the idea of a “time line.” “It’s not a line,” was often the opening…So there’s that. I don’t think I’ve ever taken a side in these discussions because 1) I don’t know, 2) I wear a watch. Right there is a conundrum. There’s the argument that there is no “time,” there is only duration. There’s the argument that since all time exists in the universe simultaneously (we can see the beginning of the universe if we look far enough into space) there is no time. I tend to think the problem is the word, “time,” there being a difference between the “space time continuum” and “what time is it?”

At this point in my life, even when I look at the solid form of Mt. Blanca I KNOW it was once a much bigger mountain in located near the equator. Interesting paper on the history of the Sangre de Cristo mountains here.

The Ancestral Rockies

The first Rocky Mountains, called the “Ancestral Rockies,” began to rise about 320 million years ago during Penn- sylvanian time. Like the present Rocky Mountains, deep fault-bounded basins separated individual ranges of the Ancestral Rockies but, unlike the present Rockies, these basins were filled with shallow seas. Geologists continue to speculate about how the Ancestral Rockies formed, whether by compression and thrusting of the crust or by strike-slip faulting, or some combination of these, perhaps when two large ancient continents, Laurentia (North America and Europe combined) and Gondwana (South America and Africa combined) collided. However they formed, the Ancestral Rockies were largely worn down by erosion by the end of Permian time, about 250 million years ago. 

Think about that…a whole mountain range gone. Not exactly “poof!” but still gone… And before that? A whole lot of stuff no one really knows much about. The paper says, “The first 30 billion years are largely unknown…”

Yesterday my cousin, Tom, called me. Tom and I were good friends in our childhood and teenage years. We’re the same age, well, he’s one month younger. But time (ha ha) marches on and people grow up, get married, move on and on and on and on and things happen to them. Last time I talked to Tom was in 2008. The first thing he said was, “Are you really 71 years old?” I cracked up.

“You’re not far behind, sonny.”

RDP Sunday: follow

Very Strange Experience…

Without going into details, I have a VCR in my house at the moment. I took advantage of the opportunity to get one of the tapes of the much loved and never finished film, “Boys on Bikes.” When one of the boys killed himself, I lost heart and gave most of the tapes to the various boys’ mothers who had never seen the amazing things their kids were doing — amazing and dangerous. The kid who died shot himself. It wasn’t the bike. Still, that was my greatest fear; that one of them would break his neck. These were vulnerable kids and that boy was especially so…

I shoved the old VHS tape into the VCR and there I was and there was an old boyfriend — a really GREAT boyfriend, as it happened with whom I had a lot of fun during and after our relationship. We remained good friends and had fun riding mountain bikes and hanging around together after the thrill was gone. Our friendship and fun is obvious in the film. What struck me, however, was me.

In the film I’m in my late 30s. I’m wearing black jeans, a pair of VERY heavy hiking boots that I was glad to get rid of at some point, and a white T-shirt; not a woman’s t-shirt, a man’s t-shirt. I was also sporting a straw c’boy hat. I had glasses that had wires you could wrap around your ears so they wouldn’t fall off. I liked them. I wasn’t skinny, but not exactly fat but leaning somewhat in that direction. The boy friend was easily 15 inches taller than I which made his film of me a little strange.

The conceit was that Mike was out there looking for birds and found me lying in the dirt holding up a video camera. The first shot of me is lying in the dirt working on the movie, “Boys on Bikes.”

The woman in that video is a very strange person. And she is me. I am still her. It was a total Robbie Burns moment to see myself as others see me. There it was. Watching “me” answered so many questions in a way. I was then — and am still, usually — totally wrapped up in something, consumed by it. The woman in the film wasn’t ugly or anything, but completely sexless. Her whole focus was on something else completely. I thought about it later (obviously) and about the man in the video. He was 12 years younger. Our relationship had some complexities — age for one and I was married for another though Mike knew — and I didn’t — that my husband was involved with someone else. Mike would ultimately make the move that would reveal that to me and my marriage would end. Why the Good X would be involved with someone else was totally clear to me watching that film.

We have a lot of noise in our world today about genders, but what about someone like me who is female and heterosexual but who, a lot of the time, would really rather make a movie and lie around in the dirt with a video camera? Mike “got” me; he was in his 20s and still a kid himself. My friends at the time were teen age boys. Yeah, that IS weird, but I didn’t feel it was. We were all interested in the same thing — going outside and doing cool stuff. For Mike and I, “foreplay” was taking our bikes up to the mountains and riding on a new trail. I’m not machismo or anything. I don’t compete at all. It wasn’t that, it was just that that was fun.

I don’t know. I stand by my earlier idea that “gender” or “sex” or whatever it’s called is possibly unique to each individual. The Good X left me for a woman who is more overtly “female” in a conventional sense. I get it. Masculine identity might depend on that for a sense of security in itself. I understand, now, how scary I can be to men without ever wanting to be. I’ve been TOLD more than once, once in an 11 page letter. How do we get to that point? How did people get this way? Is it social convention or something else? “I know you’re a woman because you…” I don’t know. But I saw something today that I never fully understood before. My mom used to lecture me about this and I didn’t understand her, but now I think I do.

It’s not like I ever had a problem attracting boyfriends, but something else. There always seemed to have been an unbearable compromise with those I did attract. Oh well, it’s water under the bridge at this point. I still have the VCR. I might watch the rest of the tape tomorrow. Maybe not.

Featured photo: some of the “Boys on Bikes” that the movie was going to be about.

“What turns a person gay?”

That got your attention…

My friend is disturbed because her daughter-in-law refers to her son (my friend’s grandson) as “beautiful.” My friend is clearly worried that somehow an adjective like that will confuse the kid about his sexuality, maybe turn him gay. As I listened, I chose not to answer. She didn’t say that straight out, but it was what she was thinking. I steered the conversation elsewhere because…

I don’t enter the discussion about the pronouns, either, or the discussion about the difference between sex and gender. Not interested in those things. They’re — to me — as superficial as the “person” vs. “woman” thing from the 70s and 80s. This is really about the private natures of individual people, in my opinion. 

I went to an all woman’s college. What’s sometimes said about all women colleges was true; a lot of my schoolmates were lesbians. I’m not. Why not? I’m not just not and THAT folks is the bottom line of this whole discussion. Calling a boy “beautiful” won’t change him. Sleeping on the breast of the most beautiful girl (a ballerina!) in my college on the long drive back to Denver from Omaha after an art trip didn’t turn me lesbian — if anything would, it would be that, Marbie Ingles was wow, a Botticelli Venus, intelligent, talented — and a lesbian. When I woke up somewhere around McCook, Nebraska, she was gently stroking my hair. I just felt complimented. Then there was another attempt on the part of talented pianist at my school, but no. Then there was the time I was caught sleeping in the same bed as another girl, but that was because her roommate locked her out of their room not because we were lesbians. We were friends, so she came to my room. Still rumors abounded. Do I have a problem with this? None. Love isn’t easy to find and finding it? Luck? Maybe, but definitely a tremendous gift. 

My mostly gay but somewhat bisexual boyfriend, Peter, said it best. “I’m gay, but I hope that’s not ALL I am.” I was a huge confusion in his life — and he in mine. But I cherish every memory of our time together. It was great, intense, inscrutable, interesting — an adventure; he was brilliant, well-traveled, had graduated with highest honors from Harvard after winning a scholarship that had once been awarded to Thoreau. He was beautiful (yes) to look at, fascinating to talk to, irreverently witty, and we were eminently compatible.

From Peter I understood even more deeply that no one “turns” anyone anything. “Would I choose this?” he said one evening, tears streaming down his face during the time he was trying to figure out if he COULD marry me, “and be shut out of every normal human thing? The most basic human thing? A family and a home?” The first serious writing I did was about our time together. He read it and liked it. His words — in a letter — are in a frame in my studio along with other words that are precious to me. Among his words are, “I like it. It has energy. Keep writing!” He was one of my life’s great loves.

As for whether a gay guy can be attracted to a woman? Yes. Some yes, others no. There is no “one size fits all.” I believe that, fundamentally, we love a PERSON.

From these and other experiences I realized that human sexuality may be indefinable. I doubt that the range of possible human desires can even be charted. 

And… I didn’t even mention to my friend that many other languages don’t have two words for male and female beauty. In Italian a handsome man is a “bell’uomo” a beautiful man. Sometimes silence is the better part of valor. 

So, the president signed legislation that, if we were better, kinder, more imaginative and compassionate people, would never need to be codified. 

I posted this, and deleted it. A reader sent it to me because he gets my posts in his email. I’m grateful to him and resolve to be braver.

Stream of Tedium — and Language

Yesterday was strange. I went out to lunch with the ladies, but because I’m not being very adventurous with food yet, from the food standpoint it was pretty boring. It’s been a long time since we hung out together, and I saw clearly how important maintaining consistent connection is between people. I also got to remember what an unrelatable freak I am. OH well.

On the way home Elizabeth expressed some opinions that I would have been better off not hearing — the “he, she, they” fracas and objecting to using feminine adjectives such as “beautiful” to describe boys, but I like her very much so I just said, “Well, you know, Elizabeth, we’re old. This isn’t our world now except to enjoy it as well as we can. It’s THEIR world now, and if they want to do something grammatically incorrect with pronouns, who cares?”

I know perfectly well that I’m not on the public pulse, and I’m OK with it, but sometimes, like now, when my resources are low, it’s tiring.

There are a lot of things about the current use of language I don’t like — phrases using the passive voice like, “You are loved” basically just says, “Someone, somewhere, who knows who, possibly me but maybe not, loves you.” “Gift” as a verb? Makes my teeth itch. “Reach out” — hate it, and I have frequent contact with someone who uses every egregious term of the modern era. I like her, so I don’t pay attention — but I notice.

Once home, I got Bear alone and we headed out to the Refuge for refuge. Not much snow left, but Bear found one decent sized chunk within reach. And, reluctant to criticize the ONLY opportunity, she mentioned that it was pretty hard. There were so many good smells and she had all the leisure in the world (until dark) to savor them. The light was beautiful, the Sangres shimmered in the distance under a dusting of new snow. It’s getting cold now in the Bark of Beyond and it will get colder. It’s the time of year when I get up, look at the thermometer for outside and say, “Yay! Two digits!”

The dogs are both VERY furry at this point. 😀

The word today is “terete” and while I respect the Rag Tag Daily prompt, I got nothing, even after looking up the word to learn what it means. It’s not that it’s not a cool word, it’s just that in the frozen tundra of my current life, anything botanical is a subject for imagination and mine is pretty dormant right now. I’ll do better next time. 💚