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America Family Food Photography Shirley Buxton Photography Travel

Trip to Pennsylvania–Part 4

The setting of Duquesne University on the Ohio River near downtown Pittsburg makes for a stunning campus. Moriah, who is my brother’s granddaughter, obtained her BS in their nursing program. Yesterday we drove about the area, taking in the beauty of the river, and the rolling hills on which are set the fine buildings.imageimage

imageA joy of traveling are those moments when a chance encounter involves us for a brief moment in a significant part of a stranger’s life. Such was so yesterday as a wedding party stepped down the sidewalk beside our moving car. As I pushed my camera lens through the open window, the bride’s photographers looked at me and grinned.

imageThe culmination of our city prowl took us to South Side Works, a small square with shops, restaurants, and music by street performers. We traipsed through a fine kitchen store, then I sat on a bench and indulged in a bit of street photography.

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. . .then the evening food.

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Just before midnight I tumbled into bed . . .a wide smile on my face.

 

 

 

 

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Animals dogs family celebrations Food Home Humor Shih Tzus Shirley Buxton Photography

A Party for Winston

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Yesterday was my birthday, and I am now two years old. Mistress is conflicted between wondering if I have edged into my terrible twos, or if I’ve entered my teen years and am now a fourteen-year-old.

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Before they came home from church yesterday, my people stopped at a 99 cent store to buy things for my party. No suitable hats, so Mistress decided a birthday cup would work, and so it did. From the gift ribbon and paper area upstairs, she brought down this beautiful blue ribbon, punched holes in the cup, and tied a bow under my chin.

Purple pom-poms was the background for my party and my plate was beautiful as you can see.

.imageRefreshments consisted of a small scoop of ice cream, and a cookie nibble. I wasn’t allowed much of the cookie for it had chocolate in it, and they tell me I should not eat chocolate. I did try to snatch up the glittery purple stuff, but Mistress pulled the slim strands from my mouth, laughing, saying they would not be good for me.

As I dipped into my refreshment plate, my hat slipped. Mistress removed it, so I could lap up my birthday treat without unnecessary hindrances.image

I thought you’d like to know about my birthday . . .and in case you didn’t know and didn’t send me good wishes yesterday, you may do so now. And, uhm . .presents. Well, I’m told it is not nice to ask for any. . .so just listen to your heart, I guess.

Good-bye from Winston–Sir Winston of Crestline, that is.

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Children Christianity/Religion Church Holidays Love of Family Mom's love My Family Shirley Buxton Photography

Reflections on Mother’s Day 2015

The days leading up to Mother’s Day had found me the recipient of flower deliveries, cards, phone calls, and gifts. On Saturday Jerry said he needed to go somewhere, and when he returned he had in his hands a small azalea plant of the most pleasant pink hue, along with a very touching card. No doubt one of the reasons my children are so good to honor me is because their dad set the bar high throughout their growing-up years. Thoughtful. Never misses an anniversary, and sometimes for no reason, he may pop out into the yard and bring in a rose he has snipped from one of our plants.

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None of the children were able to actually visit in our home for the special day, but we had made plans with Rebecca. Sunday morning we drove by her house, dropped off Winston, then drove on to Inland Lighthouse Center in Rialto where with her we worshipped. Before we entered the sanctuary, though, Jerry snapped a few pictures of the two mommies!

20150510-untitled (7 of 43)The greeting of many friends always makes it such a pleasure to visit the church that Jerry formerly pastored. Multitudes of glorious memories. A great church.

After the service as we continued to visit, Rebecca hurried home to finish preparing our meal.

20150510-untitled (20 of 43)She had set a beautiful table with her fine platinum rimmed china. A pasta/sausage dish was the entree, the salad was fresh and delicious, and. . .and. . .these scrumptious cheese biscuits. I watched her scoop out the dough and stick them in the oven. I probably shouldn’t confess, but I ate two of them, and they weren’t small!

20150510-untitled (24 of 43)More gifts, sweet talk, lingering.

20150510-untitled (38 of 43)Rebecca let us read the hilarious card Nathaniel had given her. We watched on his phone a video of his preaching a few nights before at Bakersfield. So very exciting.

20150510-untitled (14 of 43)Treats drawn from his pockets sent the dogs running to Master.

20150511-untitled (4 of 4)Back home. Early evening. I gathered my gifts and cards, pulled out a dining chair, sat down, looked at them, and reread them. I thought of each of my three sons, and of my one daughter. I recalled their births, their childhoods, their escapades, their accomplishments, their disappointments, their strengths, their challenges. I wept for love.

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Animals Life Our home Photography Shih Tzus Shirley Buxton Photography

Words From Winston

Occasionally Winston and I discuss his part in my blog writing, and with sad brown eyes he emphasizes that a great period of time has passed since he has been allowed access to my computer, and he feels quite sure that many of you are wishing to hear from him. Sometimes as I sit on the couch in my living room and type on my computer, he sits beside me, and when he lifts a fuzzy white paw toward the keyboard, I know he is feeling creative, and is wishing I would let him have a turn.

Because of his very black face into which his dark eyes are plunged, Winston is hard to photograph. Yesterday, though, I snapped a few good shots of him, and when I loaded them today I decided this would be a fine moment to let Winston tell you about them.

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Winston here! Sir Winston of Crestline, I’m sure you recall.

My people have a thing about the trash. Well, I suppose I have a thing about it too, but they have quite a difference in opinion about the trash from mine: They even go to the extent of placing the trash baskets on top of the toilet fixtures in the bathrooms, so I can’t share them. The kitchen one is a compactor which I haven’t learned to manipulate, but the study! Oh, the trash can in the study is wonderful, and even though Mistress pushes it under the desk I easily get under there and knock it over. It’s a glorious place, mostly filled with paper, envelopes, used up pens, and cellophane pieces, along with an occasional Kleenex or paper towel. 

Early yesterday I visited the study, and when I left I looked behind me, and there scattered about was quite a trail of wonder; papers gathered all about the black plastic wastebasket I had tipped over. I knew Mistress would not like it, but I just couldn’t help myself, and maybe if I could figure out how I could scoop all the litter back into the can, but I just don’t know how to do that. Later, as I sat atop the stretched-out legs of Master who was reclining in his favorite chair, I had some moments of reflection. Mistress had taken me to the vet on Monday for boosters, and I was thinking about beautiful Dr.Nicole Stanclift, and all those stunning nurses . . . just remembering how sweet they all are, and how I didn’t bark, or yelp too loud when I got the shots . . .when I noticed Mistress heading toward the study.

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Now Mistress is not mean to me, never has been, but sometimes she gets really upset when I do a couple of things I shouldn’t, and she makes a loud voice. Same mouth as her regular one, but the sound that comes out scares me a little bit, and I know then I have done something wrong. Same thing with the trash can as when I nip at her to play: She says, “No Winston. You don’t bite.” and I try to tell her I’m not really biting, but I’m just wanting to play. I think she understands that for I hear her explaining to people about my nipping. The thing is I love Mistress and I don’t want her to be mad at me, and about the trash . . .I just don’t know what comes over me . . .

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One thing I’ve thought about is that I am so beautiful, and my people love me so much that sometimes when I’ve been a little naughty, I remind them of how lovely I am . . .like wagging my gorgeous fluff of a tail really fast, and looking at them in a very sweet way with my deep doggy eyes.

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Shirley Buxton Photography

The Glory and The Gore

Could there be one among us who after delving into his truest heart can say, Ï regret not a word, not a sentence, nor a narrative I have ever uttered? Surely no such persons exist, and if they do, they must be fashioned of angel down or of gold dust kicked up from heavenly streets.

Recently, a news item and an article from a librarian/advocate prompted my thinking about words, about conversations, and about the impact our words have on those about us, our families, friends, co-workers, and even those on the periphery who hear the tones, the volume, the intensity of our words, and often, accordingly, judge our character and our mood.

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When he was 12-years old, for reasons not exactly known, Martin Pistorius fell into a vegetative state. He lost his ability to speak, make eye contact, or even to move his body. The doctors in South Africa where the Pistorius family lived gave no hope for his recovery; rather said he would die. But he did not die. He lived in this condition for 12 years, with his parents attending lovingly to him in every way.

Every day his father would arise at 5 a.m., dress Martin and take him to a care center. In the evening he gave his son a bath, fed him, and put him to bed. An alarm was set to go off every two hours through the night, when one of his parents would rise and  turn Martin’s body to avoid pressure lesions.

Today Martin is fully aware, has recovered to a great extent and has written a book about his experience. In his book, “Ghost Boy: My Escape From A Life Locked Inside My Own Body“, Martin tells what he remembers from those 12 years. He says he thinks he began to wake up about two years into his coma. He tells of being aware of those around him, what they were saying, even as no one had any idea he could hear them. Sadly, Martin also heard his mother tell him, “I hope you die.” Joan Pistorious feels guilty about this and even though Martin now says he understands it came from her own desperation and sadness for his bleak existence, at the moment he heard those words he felt alone, and completely abandoned. (Credit to MartinPistorius.com)

20150112-untitled (14 of 25)On the last page of the January/February 2015 issue of Poets and Writers Amy J. Cheney who is a librarian at the Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center in San Leandro, CA. tells that her job includes arranging for writers to go to her facility and speak to the youth who are there. Recently Rod Glodoski “led the young people in a life-changing experimental workshop that explored verbal abuse. He asked them to remember names they were called by family, teachers, and so-called friends. The list the kids generated included lazy, worthless, a mistake, slow, lowlife, good for nothing, fat, ignorant, ugly, conceited, crazy, crack baby, and retarded–not to mention the standard curse words and the mean racial and sexual put-downs.”

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Literature tells us that while a person may receive scores of compliments and positive words, it is the negative one that he will remember. There lies glory in words; a sentence that soars as a majestic eagle or that floats as a pristine swan on warm blue water. Yet also is found gore; the bloody, painful, and deadly word that may shatter into pieces a tender heart.

As I considered the writing of this piece, I recalled a poem I learned when I was in grade school. I quoted it to Jerry (missing a few words), then researched it to find the name of the author, whose name I had forgotten. It is an important piece, reminding us of the value and the endurance of our words. May they be tender ones, tinged with glory.

The Arrow and the Song

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.
I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?
Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.
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San Bernardino Mountains Shirley Buxton Photography

Mountain Prowling with Winston

On Thursday I went to the dentist twice! Broken tooth, crown problem! Bad news. $$$

Friday we had a couple of workmen scheduled to be at our home; one who could clean carpets, the other who would caulk around our large windows off the front deck.

“I think Winston and I will be gone,” I told Jerry. “We’ll prowl around the mountains, do a little leaf-chasing, shops . . . such as that.”

We did, and though I never forget, the day’s sights caused me to remember again how blessed I am to live in this stunning part of the world.

20141024-untitled (4 of 19)Lake Arrowhead seen from North Shore Road.

20141024-untitled (3 of 19)Over the blue water and the marina below the magnificent tree beside which I stood extended a slender limb laced with orange and yellow leaves.

20141024-untitled (5 of 19)20141024-untitled (7 of 19)Winston wore his red tie to celebrate as we made our rounds.

20141024-untitled (14 of 19)20141024-untitled (19 of 19)20141024-untitled (18 of 19)Ah. A couple of hours such as these make it easier to endure the painful, mundane, unwelcome parts of life. Clears our thinking, focuses our vision, eases the tremble of our hand and of our soul.

God made it. Spoke the word. There it stands.

Categories
Animals Family affection Family time Mom's love Shirley Buxton Photography

A Family Visit

Steve had talked to his dad the day before, checking to see if this would be a good time for him and Dearrah to visit us. We were excited, and said of course we’d love to have them. They both are quite busy people, and don’t often visit in our home . . .well at least not often enough to suit this mom. But maybe you know how moms are, and recognize that we never get enough of our babies although they’ve long outgrown diapers and romper outfits, have children of their own, and have even welcomed grand babies into their world.

20141016-untitled (29 of 34)Jazzy and Sheba came with them.

20141016-untitled (12 of 34)Jazzy is the most beautiful one, friendly and placid.

20141016-untitled (8 of 34)Sheba is the smaller one, but definitely the boss. Even when she visits in homes with large dogs, she demands top spot . . .and gets it.

20141016-untitled (22 of 34)Winston had met these cousins before and was excited to have them about.

20141016-untitled (18 of 34)20141016-untitled (25 of 34)Winston, of course, is accustomed to being the star in our home, and it was a little adjustment for him, but I could tell he really enjoyed having them here. For awhile he tried to guard his toys, his bones, and his master from the cousins, he and Sheba got into it a bit, but then they worked everything out, playing and romping through the hours. For the most part Jazzy ignored the little family skirmishes.

Although it doesn’t sound too much like it, we humans did figure in the scenario, and food was involved independent of doggie treats and of watering pans. Conversation sans dog evolved, and as is our way, we took on some of the world’s great issues, but in a light and gentle way. The visit was a great one. Slow. Easy. Sweet.

20141016-untitled (32 of 34)I love this picture. It was three or four in the afternoon as Steve and Dearrah prepared to leave. Winston was worn out from all the excitement, and as Steve rubbed that glorious place found around most dog’s ears, Winston’s eyes began drooping, until finally they were closed, and he was practically asleep in Jerry’s arms.