Thursday, February 23, 2017

My new web page

A dog and his boy
Change is good for the soul, and I thought after a year plus, it was time to change and maybe update my Facebook header. I contacted my webmaster, the fabulous Lisa Auslander (I love her email address that begins with tabbycat), told her what I was thinking, and turned her loose. Lisa has recently updated my web page, and she designed the Facebook head so that the two coordinate.

An explanation if probably in order: I have long wanted people to know that writing is not the sole focus of my life, in fact probably not the primary focus. I have always said I am first and foremost a mother—that’s my most important role in life and, someday, how I hope the world remembers me. My kids are in their forties now but that doesn’t change a thing.

The grandchildren are growing older, with diverse lives of their own. Regrettably, the days of cuddly babies who think Juju is wonderful are past. But I still follow their activities—from soccer to martial arts and beyond—avidly. Wish I had more time for each of them, and wish I saw all of them more often.

And Sophie snuck in next to them—I blog about her often enough, but I don’t think I’ve talked about how important dogs have been in my life. There’s been a dog since I was five or six, sometimes three or four, and I’ve thought of writing a book around the theme of dogs I have known and loved. Because I’ve loved every one of them. Asking for a favorite is like asking which is my favorite child, but I think the last book I published is always my favorite and the dog of the moment is likewise my favorite. Sophie, my Bordoodle (poodle/border collie cross) has been with me for five years. I got her when she was eight weeks old and spent a year training her, not that she’s well trained even today. She knows the basics but sometimes her exuberance gets the best of her. She’s great company, and I miss her when she’s gone even for an hour—she often goes in the main house to play with her “cousins” and I end up calling and saying, “Please bring my dog back to me.”

Writing is of course one of my passions, and I miss it when I’m not actively writing. It’s been a long hiatus while I suffered through a destroyed hip, surgery, and recovery, and I haven’t written anything but blogs in months. I’m delighted to have written 2000 words in the last week. I have grand plans—but not enough time. I’m grateful for the body of work I published and for the kind reception most but not all of it has gotten. Writing is fun—to me, it’s akin to math, only I work out problems in words and when I get it just right I feel the joy that a successful mathematician does. Move over, Dr. Einstain.

And cooking—yes, you know the blog often is filled with food recipes, and the like. In another life I might be a chef—by the time I decided that in this life my feet and back were too old to take those long hours of standing. But I still love to cook…and don’t get to do much of it. My limited kitchen facilities in the cottage plus my temporary confinement to a wheelchair make it difficult. But I hope to get back to cooking, and I still collect recipes like a madwoman.

And the cottage—ah, the cottage. It’s my refuge, my safe haven, the place where I can work in peace and feel that I’m master (mistress?) of my world. I’ve lived here six months now and cannot imagine a different life, though I was happy in the main house for 25 years. Building this cottage was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life…and I’ve made a few good ones plus a lot of not-so-good ones. The cottage was an outstanding one.

All in all, my new illustration for my Facebook page illustrates my good life, the happy life I am so fortunate to live. The sketches in the heading have another purpose: several years ago a friend, who is an ardent liberal activist, told me that she posts political things on Facebook but she also posts pictures of her grandsons, her dogs and cats, and her spacious and lovely gardens so that people will now that there’s another dimension to her than political activism, so that they’ll realize she’s really a nice person. I wanted my new heading to show that while writing is important, there’s more to me.
We're used to tulips as closed flowers, but look how striking
they are when fullyopened.

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