Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Practice Makes Perfect

If I keep drawing I'll get better? That's what they say.

Prompt #2: Divide

Witches divide their potions up, right?

Monday, October 2, 2017

What The Fuck, October?

So, October is my favourite of all the months. It's the best time of year with indisputably the best holiday that isn't even a holiday, Halloween. I wait all year for October because I know, deep my bones, just the fact that it is October will make me feel better. About myself. About life. About the world. But let's just put the brakes on because it's the second today and things are pretty shit. Let me ignore the lower back pain I'm hobbling through and the fact my sweet demon toddler was up until five in the morning absolutely irrationally inconsolable.

A mass shooting in Vegas?

Tom Petty dying?

The shit show that is American politics which has become a norm to the point that people just aren't talking about it.

Seriously. No ... seriously?

We are supposed to be frolicking through leaves and hand-making costumes for parties where we will gorge on candy and watch horror movies.

Instead the horror movie is the world we live. I don't know. Maybe it's because my DivaCup is over-flowering or the fact I haven't had sugar or caffeine for four days, but fuck.

Yeah, I said it. Fuck.

Am I really contemplating sitting October out?

In other news, I am trying to do Inktober, even though I don't know how to draw.

Day 1
Prompt: Swift

Friday, June 16, 2017


Tonight, I am lonely.
There is this colossal emptiness in my heart and in my home. The shadow that followed me through my day is gone. One minute he was here, and now ... he's not. 
I thought I had longer. I thought we had longer. But we didn't.  He didn't.  

It's clich├ęd, but he was my best friend. I spent more time with him than most everyone. He loved me with a love that was greater than any I've known. Maybe any that I ever will know. He was loyal and kind and silly and such a dummy. But he was good ... even when he was bad. 

All he wanted was love. 

I hope he knew how truely cherished he was. 

My days were built around him. His walks. His food. His health. His happiness. And his days were built around me. Where I was. When I'd be home. How long I'd be gone for. When I was with him, I was never alone because his eyes watched me. He followed me from room to room. And when I stepped outside he waited for me ... and often not very patiently. 

Now there is no one watching me. No one hoping to steal a pat. A kiss. A hug. No one at my feet. No one by my bath. And I'm lonely without my shadow. 

Dixon was part of me. A part of my identity. A massive part of my heart. A sizable chunk of my life. And now he's gone. Everything is a miss. 

I am trying to think of all the good times. All the funny times. The frustratingly ridiculous times but my mind keeps turning to what's missing. What is no more. 

No more puppy dreams. Water slurping. Droplets on the floor. Dew claw scratches. Cold nose kisses. Bath breath panting. Terrible flatulance. Paws dragging on the floor. Whipping tail. Soft ears. Big sighs. Leash pulling. Sporadic barking. Barrel chested hugs. Oversized lap dog. Couch rearranging. Garbage diving. Food stealing. Groaning. Visitor leg humping. Spooning. Banana sharing. Zoomies. Nail biting. Velveteen neck flaps. Wobbly lips. White tipped hairs on his tail. Excessive allergy scratching. Nobel air sniffs. Side-saddle sitting. Coffee table standing. Passenger seat navigation. Playtime dress up. 

No more adventures. 

He really was the best worst dog. And six years wasn't enough. Not for him. Not for me. 

I'm lost and I don't know how to find my way without my trusty companion by my side. 

Last night, I took him for his last walk. As we came dowm the train tracks, the sun broke the clouds and a rainbow appeared. Maybe it didn't mean anything but it seemed so fitting.

Goodbye, Dixon. My dummy. My doofus. My gentle nugget of love. My tank. My clumsy oaf. My trouble.

Goodbye, my shadow. Sleep peacefully and take my love wherever you go. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Dummy

I fell in love with Dixon first.

From the moment I saw him. It was love at first sight. I like to think on both our parts.

July 1st, 2012. It was swelteringly hot.

It was the first time the Sidekick and I met. He was driving up to Kelowna to pick up his newly adopted dog and I decided to go along for the ride because ... well, I love a good adventure and apparently had disregarded all those 'stranger danger' lessons I sat through in elementary school.

The road trip was awkward. Uncomfortable. The conversation oddly one-sided. At least on the ride back I had someone to talk to, Dixon. The dog. By the time I was dropped off at my house, I was sure I'd never hear from the Sidekick again, which was really sad, because I loved his dog. I even covertly snapped a blurry picture when our driver stopped for gas.

Now, for anyone who knows me, they might say I love all dogs. This is true. I do. I am a dog lover. But the affection I had for Dixon ran deeper than blanket dog-love. He reminded me of my first pup Patches - his big meaty head and stinky farts - and it was a miserable thought thinking I'd never see him again. Thankfully, that wasn't the case. And, as the story goes, I ended up falling in love with his Dad too. But this isn't about the Sidekick. It's about the big dummy.


So, yesterday was a terrible day. Dixon's diagnosis was confirmed. Cancer. Lymphoma. It's not a curable cancer. He's dying. And that sucks. Big time. Because Dixon is not only a big dummy. He's not just our family dog. He's my best buddy. He's my friend. My shadow. He fills every room he is in. And he isn't just a big presence because he's doofy and clumsy and snores like a fright train coming down the tracks. He's a big presence because he takes up every inch of my heart.

We spend a lot of time together, Dixon and I.

Over the years, we have adventured and explored a vast majority of the island together. If you see me out walking, it's a guarantee it's probably with Dixon in tow. I can't say for certain how many miles we've gone but suffice to say it's far. And the things we've seen and done - you wouldn't even believe it if I told you. He's rolled in rotting fish and deer, he's stood on a dead sea lion, and he's fetched a dildo out of a creek bed. He's been afraid of bridges, benches, and birds. We've found many buried treasures and witnessed breathtaking sunsets. We've climbed mountains, waded through rivers, swam in the ocean, slept on the ground, rolled in the grass, been drenched in the rain, clomped through snow, slipped on ice, and been spooked by random noises in the woods.

As much fun as Dixon has been, he's also been a world of heartache. From allergies to hematomas and everything in between, this guy has had me worrying from the word go. There was the inexplicable head tremors he experienced a couple years ago that had me laying awake at night just holding him tight. And let's not forget the ruptured ligament from six months ago that had him limping for half a year. There was the swollen mouth from a bee sting, a bug bite on his tail that made it swell up like a balloon, the chewing of the paws so the pads came off, and the constant scratching from allergies. Every time I turned around he was wounded somehow. It was almost as if he didn't know how to be healthy. When he was doing good, something inevitably would go wrong. He honestly is like an accident waiting to happen.

Even worse, he's destroyed so much. He literally chewed his way out of his crate! A metal crate! He's chewed Ray Bans, hats, doorknobs, shoes, Tupperware, and anything else he can get his mouth on. He chewed through doors people. Two of them. Right through two doors! Let's also factor in all the things he's eaten, like a tub of margarine, which he promptly puked up ... not in one go, of course, but in seventeen uniquely greasy piles. He's devoured loaves of bread and cookies and a bowl full of chocolate one Christmas. Just tonight he tried to sneak one of the Sidekick's cookies off the coffee table. He is a vacuum. A very sweet and lovely vacuum.

The memories are aplenty. I find myself reminiscing these days and my heart is so very heavy because I just can't even imagine what life will be like without his paws dragging on the floor, without his puppy dreams, without his whining at the door, without his zooming around after a poop, without his cold wet nose, without his tongue lapping up my bath, without his mooching, without his pulling on the leash, without his stepping on my feet, without him laying behind me while I cook, without his cleaning food off the floor, without his nose prints on the glass. Without his everything.

It's hard to focus on now and not dread what's to come. But I am determined and dedicated to making the rest of his life absolutely wonderful. I want him to have fun. Each and every day, I want to do something nice for him.More than anything, I want him to know he's loved. To feel loved.

Today is National Puppy Day. I never knew Dixon as a puppy. Sure, he's my puppers, but I never knew him as a little wee one because he was over a year old when we rescued him. Still, I celebrate him today. I celebrate the life we've lived and the life we are going to continue to lead. Above all, I celebrate the fact that we have time. Time to snuggle and kiss and walk and play. Time for me to bury my face in the meaty folds of his neck and weep. I don't know how much time, but if it's a day, I am thankful. If it's a week, I am grateful. And maybe we will get lucky and it will be months. Or even a year.

So, I have wrote out Dixon's To-Do List and each day we will tackle a couple things he loves to do. If you'd like to follow along and get to know this amazing guy a little better, you can do so on Dixon's Super Awesome Instagram Account. And if you don't have a dog and you are thinking about getting one. Don't. They are just heartbreak covered in fur. 

Obviously, you shouldn't listen to me and you should go adopt and rescue a puppers ASAP. 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Dear 2017

Dear 2017,

I know you're only just arriving and have barely had time to unpack your bags, but I want to head you off at the pass just in case you don't receive the hospitality you may be expecting. The truth is, you might need a little extra time to accustom yourself to the state of the world. Honestly, 2017, I fear you don't know what you're in store for, so I'm here to debrief you.

Right about now you may be noticing that 2016 hasn't been a great year for everyone. In fact, this is the most negative New Year's Eve I've ever been a witness to. Yes, there are a few unique individuals who had amazing years but the vast majority feel as though they've been thrown in a burlap sack and tied to the back of a bumper of a truck that happens to be off-roading on the most brutal terrain known to man.

It's been a rollercoaster ride. And not a new shiny rollercoaster but one of those rickety old wooden ones, the kind you truly think may fly off the rails at any given moment. So, 2017, I sincerely hope your not too discouraged and that you understand why so many people are eager to see 2016 laid to rest. The pressure is great and there is a lot resting on your shoulders.

For myself, it has been an incredible year of highs and lows. While I have watched in stunned silence as Britain voted to leave the European Union and America voted in Donald Trump, I have also been heartbroken over the Syrian war, the pipeline protests, horrific mass casualty attacks, and the water crisis in Michigan. More than anything, I am devastated by the fear and helplessness so many of my friends are experiencing and those emotions are truly reflected all over the globe.

On the other hand, I have my son. My beautiful, warm, charming, utterly hilarious son. This year has seen his first birthday, his first steps, his first solid foods, and first real words. He has brought me immeasurable love and joy which made this year better than so many of my previous ones. He is wickedly smart and so damn sweet. But he is also the reason why I am afraid.

You see, 2017, I am frightened of you. While people want to be rid of 2016 I'm scared that I will miss it by the end of next year. Of course, I want to be an optimist but the very real truth is we don't know what's coming down the pipe and what's to come might just be worse than what has been. And I look at my son and I worry about the world I've brought him into. I want him to know love and kindness. I want him to know understanding and compassion. I long for him to grow up in a world where he can be who he wants and love who he wants. I desperately want to believe we are good and that the good will stand up and defeat the bad but 2016 left me feeling that the bad guys won. That is unacceptable.

It's unacceptable not just for my son but for all of us. Don't we all want to live in a world where good wins?

Here's the thing. I can't change the world. I can't stop wars.  I can't eradicate racism and homophobia. I can't wipe out poverty. Not on my own at least. Together we might be able to. It starts with our own backyard. And it starts with kindness.

Under normal circumstances, I don't do New Year's resolutions. But nothing about this last year has been normal. In the wake of 2016 and having witnessed so much unhappiness for others this year, maybe it's time. Here it goes...

My resolution is simple and not very unique.

I resolve to be kind.

First, I will be kind to myself. Because people who are kind to themselves are more likely to be kind to others. I will treat myself better and stop tearing myself down. Not only for myself but for my son. I don't want him growing up witnessing his mother being mean to herself. I want to show him how to love and respect himself and that can't be done when I'm appalled at my gargantuan thighs or calling my writing gutter trash.

Next, I will be kind to my friends and family. To the people who love me and never ask me to change or be someone I'm not. I will work to engage with them and give my love, understanding, compassion, and humor. I will not judge them or criticize because I know they have already judged and criticized themselves enough.

I will be kind to the Earth and all the creatures on it. I will be kind to the trees and the animals and the bees and the spiders.

And lastly, I will be kind to the people I encounter throughout my day. I will hold doors and smile. I will offer kind words. I will strive to connect and have genuine moments with strangers and acquaintances alike. I will offer friendship to people from all walks of life in hopes of teaching my son the value of each person. My kindness will not be subjective and it will not be complacent. It will be strong and determined. It will be formidable. In kindness, I will stand up for what's right and strive to provide a safe place for anyone who needs it.

So, 2017, I may not be able to change the world or the outcome you have in store but I can change my backyard. I can change every interaction I have. And I can change how I move through life. From today and onwards, even in the face of grief and anger and frustration, I will work to be kind. For myself. For my son. For the earth. For everyone.