From the time I was a toddler my mom would periodically take my sister and I to have “our pictures taken”.  Formal pictures taken at a professional studio with lighting, back drops, and those “umbrella-thingies”.  Looking back it’s interesting to me, and it shows how much my mom valued capturing a moment in time of her kid’s lives, that she would spend money on professional portrait sittings when there was not a lot of extra money.  As an example when out for dinner at a restaurant my sister and I would have to share a Shirley Temple drink (7-Up and Grenadine) because my parents couldn’t afford for both of us to have one.   When ordering a hamburger we couldn’t have cheese because it was ten cents extra.  In retrospect maybe that’s why my parents could afford these expensive portraits?….

My mom passed away recently and I’ve spent many days in her home cleaning and clearing.  Although many of those portraits of my sister and I hung on the walls of her home over the years they took on more meaning and presented a stark contrast to contemporary times when the camera on our smart phones are a hundred times better than the box cameras of the day.   Our phones are probably as good or better than the large and cumbersome equipment that was in those studios that used something called film.

I have hundreds of pictures of Kali and Kloe with me at all times because they’re on my phone.  A digital version of that accordion-like deck of pictures dad’s in previous generations would pull out of their wallets to proudly show off their kids and wives in blurry and faded pictures taken with his box camera.

With this in mind I thought I should take a lesson from my mom and lose the selfies and candids and have some portraits of the girls taken.   Formal sittings (“sit, stay”) with lighting and back drops and “umbrella-thingies”.  And so I did and I proudly display them here in this post.

OK… full disclosure.  These were taken with my iPhone using portrait mode.  But the sentiment remains the same.  I think mom would be proud.  Don’t you?






Mommy Time

This busy at work thing is really cutting into my Kali time and blogging about Kali time!

I usually work most days in my home office but recently new clients have taken me out of my “Kali Zone” and off to far away places.  In other words past my front yard!  There have been missed walks and late arrivals home well past Kali’s dinner time.  Kali’s been forced – the poor soul – to stay by herself for (gasp!) over an hour at a time.  The fact that she has survived the past several weeks is a testament to her perseverance and Goldeness.

Actually, and as you can surmise, Kali has been just fine.  It’s me that misses the Kali time weaving throughout my day as the thread that connects all things good.  The routine, the banter, and the nudges from Kali’s nose to get me out of my office chair and outside for some playtime or her walk are examples of the rituals I came so fond of and miss during this busy period.  Lucky for Kali, and for me, (and for Holly too), that Holly – now on summer break from teaching – is there for Kali and eager and willing to pick up some of the slack.

Over the past year since Kali joined our pack Holly has joined us  plenty of times on our walks but she has also respected and appreciated that this was Kali/Dad bonding time and gave us our space.  In other words, during Fall and Spring Holly was way too warm, cozy, and cuddled up with her cup of coffee and a book in the morning to join us.

But lately, with Dad working at those far away lands that stretch out well beyond the front yard, Holly has been taking Kali on walks.  When I walk with Kali I have training treats tucked in one pocket and poop bags in the other.  So when I saw this small purse-like bag in the refrigerator packed with training treats and poop bags in a pocket it brought a smile to my face.  Holly is highly organized and it should have not been a surprise – a pleasant one – that I came across her Kali-walking bag fully equipped and ready to go on a moments notice.  It made me feel good for both Kali and Holly.

I’ve teased both Holly and Kali that over the last several weeks Kali has gone from “Daddy’s girl” to “Mommy’s girl”.  Mommy walks her, Mommy feeds her, and Mommy has been seen giving her precious cuddle time.  Holly counters with, “She’s still your girl.  She hears your car from three blocks away and goes to the door to wait for you to come in”.  This of course makes me feel good.

But what makes me feel even better is that Kali is “OUR” girl and after a year and two weeks WE are stronger than we were before the night she landed at SFO with 23 other fur babies from Taiwan.

Holly’s “Kali Walking Bag”

Cuddle Time with Mom

Cuddle Time with Mom