Friday, May 31, 2013

Traces: A Tribute to Murphy

It's your birthday today.

It's interesting to me that the origin of the word, traces, has two diametrically opposed meanings.  One is to make one's way, the other is to draw one's course.  Or stated differently, a path that one follows or one leaves.  

I often wonder which way I've been heading since we lost you.  It was clearer with you by our side on the road and without you we would have never made the final mile.  But because of you and my faith we will always find our way.  

You've left your traces in so many places in our lives.  Thank you.  

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

THE ROCK: Chapter 8



‘I left this place
And head asea
Into the swells
Ne’er alee.

No land I seek
No shore no more.

For me the end of revelry.’


It would be much later on when I learned that immediately following the death of a loved one, a sense of relief is very common.  That comes from not only the end of suffering but the release from the incredible mental and spiritual strain from making constant medical decisions on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves, whether a child, debilitated relative, or a companion animal.

Your sense of confidence is under continuous and often daily assault from measuring treatment against quality of life and your own self doubt.  And to complicate matters, decisions are routinely made with a paucity of data and a preponderance of speculation so basically your best guess is no worse than that of the opinion of the most trained specialist. 

That weight can at times be unbearable so after the passing of a loved one an unshouldering occurs.  But the feeling is fleeting and often followed by emptiness.  A week after Malcolm was cremated I held a small, private wake then quietly sank down into the dark side of sadness. The tailspin was swift and absolute.  

You have to understand up and until then I had never lost anyone close to me.  Both my parents and all of my siblings were alive and I’d never experienced a traumatic loss.    

Hell, before Malcolm I never knew such a thing possible with an animal and that a human could have parental instincts and emotions with non-humans.  And now it was gone.  He was gone.  That sun which had shone new light into my life had set and with it, my will to live. 

Abraham Maslow constructed a theory of motivation in the mid-twentieth century called ‘Maslow’s Hierarchy ofNeeds’.  Often portrayed in triangular form the highest level is self actualization – the penultimate goal of humans he argued.  The bottom represents the most basic human functions like breathing and eating without which none of the higher levels can be attained. 

And I was barely even there.  I was on the ocean floor where you would find strange and grotesque looking creatures like blob fish, fang tooths, ghost sharks, and vampire squid.  In the absolute absence of sunlight and air, their existence consists entirely of the basest of survival and when Malcolm died I drowned myself to live amongst them.

I never knew humans could suffer so deeply and for so long and for most of 2006, I remained at the deepest depths of despair desperately holding onto Maslow’s bottom rung. I slept for days then couldn’t sleep at all. It was a living hell, the haunting nightmare we all have of being a coma patient but conscious and awake.

For months after he was euthanized, I kept replaying Malcolm’s final moments, exhaling his last breath, and his limp lifeless body falling into my arms. My mind became caught in an endless video loop that played every night and I couldn’t make it stop.  

I didn’t know it at the time I was going through what I now know as post-traumatic stress disorder. I was incapable of recalling the memory of Malcolm’s death without experiencing the extreme emotional trauma that came with it. 

Even now years later, it's still painful for me to reflect upon because I blamed myself for it.  The way I was raised, depression is a symptom of a weak mind and lack of will and character but I honestly couldn’t will myself to move on. 

Isolated, wrought with grief, and devoid of all hope, I don’t know why I didn’t die that year. I felt like a big part of me had and I drank enough to do the job.  But the absence of a will to live is not the same thing as a desire to die.  I had made three promises to Malcolm before he was given rest and that kept me holding on to that bottom rung. 

And slowly over the ensuing six months since Malcolm’s passing, I pulled myself up.  One motherfucking rung at a time. 

But I did get a little help.  And by little, I mean an 8 week old Pyrenees named Hudson. 


YBD’s Notes 1:  Next week is the eve of our launch of Chef Big Dog so instead of starting Chapter 9, I’ll compile all chapters to date in a single blog for all of you kind and discerning readers.  The following week, I should be in full stride and ready to publish the next chapter:  Hudson & Murphy, the Fabulous Fuzzybutts

YBD’s Notes 2:  The title of this vignette was loosely based on a duet between Lyle Lovett and, unsurprisingly the beautiful Emmy Lou Harris, a constant source of inspiration through most of my life.  Here’s the link to a youtube performance of it with Lyle’s large band and even larger hair.   If you do have the courage to walk through the bottomland, like they say in the song, there’s only one way to do it: without no shoes. 

YBD’s Notes 3:  One of the most invaluable things I’ve learned from the thousands of people we’ve met and the stories they have shared is that everyone grieves differently.  That being said, I chose to suffer alone and I strongly discourage anyone from doing the same.  There are support groups at many of the veterinarian hospitals throughout the country and there are online communities as well.  And I am available to anyone at all hours of the day to anyone who needs an understanding ear. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

THE ROCK: Chapter 7 Continued

Til the Last Ember

September 2009

We were on the Rails-to-Trails from Pittsburgh to DC on the second stretch known as the C & O canal.  The Canine Cancer Caucus event was upcoming and Hudson and Murphy and I had some blazing to do.  Earlier in the day, a storm descended down on us, it was light and non-electrical, and I decided to press ahead though much to the consternation of the fuzzybutts.  

The rain abated and we made it to the next campsite on the towpath.  There is so much truth in the old saying that fire warms the traveler's soul but it did much more for us that night.  Temperatures had dropped precipitously  throughout the day and by the time we made camp, the three of us were shivering wet.  

With the sun still unset and the boys snuggled up inside the tent, I gathered what dry wood and kindling I could.  Over a thousand miles into the walk I was an old salt at starting fires in all sorts of conditions and it didn't take long before the flames flickered and my body warmed.  

But with the rainstorm, it was slim pickings and I couldn't find enough dry tree branches and twigs for the fire to reach the maximum combustion point, the point at which all wood burns.  So the warmth was brief and it seemed to die out as quickly as it started.  But I was so cold that I couldn't leave its side.  


January 2006

The week after Malcolm was given rest was an unexpected surprise. I felt very little sadness and loss inside me and  I remember saying to myself, "Luke, you're doing so good, man."   I was preoccupied with planning his wake with some of the friends and neighbors that helped out in the last months of his life.  And I spared no expense in forethought and detail as it was to be a grand celebration. 

But unlike a traditional Irish wake, there was no keening at all.  Just joy and laughter and story after story of a great soul.  The 'Jumping Armadillo' was one of them.  As the hypertrophic osteopathy worsened, it was harder and harder for Malcolm to move about but I would take him out in the evenings to sit in the grass and savor the outdoors that he had all of his life.  

One evening, he and I heard some rustling in my father's juniper bushes.  He couldn't get up and investigate so I did.  As I pulled apart the blue-berried shrub a freaking armadillo leaped up at me, like four feet high, almost kissing my nose and I squealed like a school girl.  That in turn, got Malcolm up and on his three legs and over to me.  To defend me or eat the armadillo I'll never know.

As the wake wound down, we laughed and drank and toasted until dawn and then a darkness descended upon me, swiftly and mercilessly.  


You see, I had loved Malcolm as a father loves his son and when he was gone, the great fire I felt for him, for life, was extinguished.  

I didn't... I didn't know that people could suffer so deeply and for so long.  


YBD's Notes 1:  Next week begins Chapter 8:  The Bottomland.  

YBD's Notes 2: Thank you to all of our friends that were so kind and generous with their love and support in this chapter of our story.  

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Bluebonnet Spring

The fabulous fuzzybutts and I are in the Nutmeg State now prepping for our taste testing Saturday and this morning we took our constitutional through the neighborhood we're staying at down to Clinton Town Beach.  

The purple or tulip, as they refer to them up here, magnolias are all abloom as are the weeping cherry trees, dogwoods, lilacs, flowering crabapples, and flora I have yet to discover. I have to stop and catch my breath from the beauty of it all at times and I often wonder if the people up here truly get the gift from god they've been given.  

When you walk south to north, as we did on our cross country trek, you're chasing spring and everything opens up all around you for weeks and weeks.  It's magical really and one of our most memorable experiences was walking on the old Boston Post road or route 1 along the coastline of New England.  And though I love fall just as equally to follow it, you'd have to walk from north to south.  

Sometimes I wish I could take a projector to my brain and broadcast it for you.  I try to write that way but words often fail to capture the glory and grace of life.  

But I couldn't help this morning, amidst all this splendor, missing the bluebonnet fields of my native state.  They stretch for miles and miles and it's as if time stops in Texas when they bloom.  Whenever I'm longing for my family and the place I grew up, I listen to Gulf Coast Highway, a duet between Emmy Lou Harris and Willie Nelson.   It's a simple song about love and life and one that I sang to Malcolm the day he was given rest.  


YBD's Notes:  I'd love to share the song with you but the insidious industrial music studio oligopoly in this country doesn't believe in beauty without a steep price and youtube removed it from my second memorial to Malcolm.  The more tragic aspect of it was it was removed after we walked through the Nashville area and spent an afternoon with Emmy Lou at her dog rescue, Bonaparte's Retreat.  She does great work there and her rescue is named after her roadie dog she lost to cancer.  Please don't contact her in protest - she had nothing to do with it.  Studios screw everyone, even artists.  My apologies for including this in today's blog but I must.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

THE ROCK: Chapter 7

Painted Pink

Once Malcolm's cancer had spread to his lungs and been given a death sentence, I packed up my belongings in Boston and moved back to Texas to be with family.  


I remember driving the boys back home.  It was on the BQE, crossing the East River, that I considered it for the first time.  Malcolm was coughing incessantly and I was inconsolable.  A flick of the wrist, the steering wheel turns, and it would all be over.  

I had never considered suicide as an option for life's travails before, it seemed so counter productive, but I couldn't imagine a life without Malcolm either.  


But I could no more give up on him as he never did me.  


I came up with a saying to get us through the hard days when Malcolm could barely make it out the door for our daily constitutional. "We don't give up.  We don't give in.  Until the end, my friend."  

Every day I uttered those words to Malcolm, in part for him, in part for me.  


When you bear witness to a loved one dying before your eyes, it crystallizes your constitution.  Malcolm went down hard and I went down hard with him.  


January 11, 2006

It wasn't the bone cancer that took him down.  Not directly anyway.  It was hypertrophic osteopathy.  Malcolm was in congestive heart failure because his lung tumor had grown so large that it forced fluid in his hind legs rendering them useless.   

I had made the conscious decision the day before to take Malcolm off his pain meds to better assess his condition.  In poker, it's called forcing a hand. 

When Malcolm could barely even walk, my hand was forced, the decision predetermined.  No one should have to make the call to kill our kids.  Even in an act of kindness.  It's not the correct order of things.  

But on this day, I took Malcolm to Dr. Gosney's clinic and held him as he died in my arms.  

After his lifeless body slumped, I couldn't help but wonder why the substance in the syringe that took his life was colored pink.  And who was the person that chose that color?  

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Chef Big Dog

I come from a family of great cooks... on my mom's side anyway.  Her sister, Betty, and brother, Jamie, both have exceptional culinary skills and in their own right, could've been successful restaurateurs.   It makes me proud to announce, on Mother's Day, the launching of my culinary venture, Tex-Mex Tatties by Chef Big Dog.  

The evolution of this is in of itself an interesting and quite unexpected journey.  

I was early into the walk, in Texarkana to be precise, staying with a very warm and gracious family, the Lawrences.  They were hosting a meet and greet for some friends and neighbors and I offered to help out by making tapas.  As I walked by the living area, I overheard two guests talking one of which made the observation, "You know for a homeless guy, that guy can cook".  

And thus the idea for the homeless chef was born.  I loved cooking for the families I stayed with on the walk.    Entering a kitchen for the first time, looking in the pantry and fridge and then coming up with a meal concept on the fly.  It was my way of thanking them for putting us up and putting up with us plus it served a dual purpose of eating great Tex-Mex because once you leave my native state, the chances of finding authentic cuisine diminishes every mile.  

The problem was no one liked the homeless chef moniker even though it was kinda true and, I thought, ironical.  In the finale of Chapter 6 of the Rock I wrote about cooking for Malcolm and that's when I learned a love for it.  And discovered I had some native skills, too, albeit thoroughly unrefined.  

It was throughout the walk that I honed my recipes and techniques although I had no idea for what purpose at the time other than cooking up some fine food for the great people I met on the road.  After the final mile in Boston, we kicked around the idea of publishing a cookbook on recipes from the road but Murphy's care was my priority and I was already working on the book about the walk.    

But the question of 'What comes next?' is never an easy answer for a person like me.  I was blessed with a hyper-creative mind and on most days I'm inundated with an almost intolerable amount of ideas and I'm notorious for calling and texting my close confidantes at all hours when I'm climbing walls.  

It was outta nowhere that the concept for Tex-Mex Tatties came to me.  From many months now, I've been focused on walking across Japan as part of a longer-term plan and I'd been thinking about a way to finance it.  Get a table at a farmer's market, I thought, and make tapas to keep it simple since I have a ton of other projects on my plate.  

I'm a dunderhead and a tad self-deluded to think I can keep anything I do small and easy because if I'm going to devote my time to something I always start out with the intent to do something special.  I'm just bent that way. 

Valerie Kodman, my partner in this venture, and I have been working tirelessly on launching this concept since all of this happened so suddenly and we're almost ready to take it live to a farmer's market here in the Newport RI area.  I've been refining the menu and this Saturday, we're having a final Beta taste testing at her place in Madison CT.  

If you're in the area, you're welcome to join us for this historic occasion.  Just email Valerie at  

For more info, we have a page on Tumblr. But I'll also be posting here until we're fully up and running.  

If you read the finale of Chapter 6, Chef Biatch became The Homeless Chef who became Chef Big Dog.  Life is a funny thing isn't it?  

Saturday, May 11, 2013

To Mom

You'll never read this because Alzheimer's took you away.  You'll never know that I became who I am in big part because of you. You'll never be proud of me for the righteous man I've become because you don't even know my name anymore.


But I do the things I do for you, mom.  You'll always be god's grace and glory to me. Dad never understood why I walked cross country for canine cancer not for your affliction.  But like a dutiful father, he supported us.  You made dad a great man. You made all of your sons great men.  As Lincoln said, you're the better angels of ourselves.  I miss you mom.


Happy Mother's Day

Friday, May 10, 2013

THE ROCK: Chapter 6 Finale



Pas de deux – noun.  Fr.  An intricate relationship between two things.  A dance.


It didn't take long for Malcolm and I to figure out how to make it down the slippery, wooden winding steps of our new home in Somerville and learn how to navigate the virgin seas together.   

Years earlier when I had an office at the Tech Center in San Antonio at nights and weekends I'd bring him and Murphy up to my second story suite.  There was a red-railed concrete balcony all of 10 square feet or so off the west side our office overlooking Fredericksburg road that became his realm.  

Malcolm would sit outside upright for hours, with a quiet and content stoicism that fascinated me.  Had his soul been incarnate, he would have been a philosopher king.  Some people say we anthropomorphize our dogs too much.  I say not enough.  


Malcolm's spirit was unconquerable and indomitable.  With crystal clarity I recall a crisp Autumn New England morning.  I was sitting on our porch drinking coffee and reading the Wall Street Journal.  Murphy was tethered to a baluster but Malcolm wasn't.  Where the hell would a three legged dog go I thought to myself.  

I had just nestled myself into the rocking chair and hadn't even gotten to section B before Malcolm jumped up, cleared the stairs, crossed the street to a neighbor's Sycamore, and treed a squirrel.  Coffee spewed all over me and the journal strewn all over the porch, down and outright amazed, half-crazed and scared, I couldn't stop laughing.  I couldn't help myself.  

It was the first time I laughed in a complete and innocent way since April 2004 and it would be the last that year.  Despite amputation and chemo, cancer ultimately spread to Malcolm's lungs.  One morning, he just couldn't get up.  An emergency trip to Angell-Memorial revealed that he had a grapefruit sized mass in his lungs.  

Bone cancer is just an awfully damn aggressive form and by the time dogs become symptomatic, it's most likely already spread, the lungs the most likely place.


The thing I had the hardest time with, I mean other than the fact that we'd just been given a big stop clock, four to six weeks they said, was that Malcolm stopped eating.  And he was a passionate eater, too. 

I added dog gravy on his kibble, cheese sprinkles, and all of the other tricks and incentives I read about but they just didn't work.  So I put my apron on, got in the kitchen and started making food for Malcolm.  At first it was ground beef and brown rice but I quickly expanded his menu to include chicken and steak.  Hell, he ate better than I did.  

And he snarfed it all up.  And that gave me pleasure.  I found that the kitchen became my only sanctuary, where I was free of stress, anxiety, and sadness.  I was feeding my boy and filling him full with my love.  But it wasn't long before I became his chef biatch.  He'd look at me with those eyes that said, 'Go make me a sammich'.  


And I would.  You see, love is a dance where one leads and the other follows.  It's an intricate mystery that defies logic and understanding. And yet it is.  


YBD's Notes 1:  I'm forever indebted to the folks at NEVOG, Angell-Memorial, and Dr. John Berg and Shelly Rodman at Tuft's Vet School who gave me counsel, consolation, and hope during a very hard time.  

YBD's Notes 2:  I've been working on a big project and this Sunday, I'll post about it here.  

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

THE ROCK: Chapter 6 Continued

It was the summer of 2004 when I really learned how to love and hate.

After Malcolm's leg was dissected and Anna left us, I had to find a new place to live.  I didn't have any friends or family in Boston at the time as we were only there less than six months when I got the diagnosis.   It's not easy to find a place to live in the Boston area with two big dogs.  

I was all alone.


Ultimately, I met a kind fellow, Ron, who had a spare room in Somerville Ma, in a beautiful and historic area but it was on the second floor, atop a spiral winding staircase.  I was in a bit of pinch and we moved in but on our first day there, Malcolm, three legged now, down and outright refused to walk down the stairs.  They were too steep and too winding.  

I remember our first day there I couldn't get him to walk down the stairs to go outside.  He wouldn't budge.  


I cried for the first time.  I failed him.  I failed myself.  Things didn't work out in Boston like I planned and Malcolm was suffering as a result.  


My tears lasted only for a moment and then I figured out a solution.  Malcolm was afraid of falling so I put myself in front of him, kneeling down before him.  Chest against chest, we made it down the staircase.  We did that every day for the year we lived in Somerville.  


Too often we think of love and hate as finite points but in reality, they're just degrees of beauty.  

Sunday, May 5, 2013

THE ROCK: YBD Unplugged

1. Ed didn't like the last installment of Chapter Six.  I didn't unpack it enough I suppose and I guess I wasn't entirely satisfied with it either but birds fly, fish swim, dogs walk, and writers write.  

I don't think I like anything I do.  It's never good enough but she's right in that I left out a few critical aspects of Malcolm's limb amputation.  First of all, nothing prepared me for the surgery.  I thought leg must go not leg plus shoulder.  

It was a total ablation of one-fourth of Malcolm.  The extent of his surgical lesion went almost from stem to stern.  

2. Recently, I was sent a quote from CS Lewis that I've paraphrased and seems particularly relevant.  "I hope no one who reads this book has been quite as miserable; but if you have been - if you've been up all night and cried till you have no more tears left in you - you will know that there comes in the end a sort of quietness. You feel as if nothing is ever going to happen again.”

3. Telling this story was part of the deal I made with God to get Hudson and Murphy cross country safely.  You don't bargain with God but I don't bargain with the safety of my boys either.  I'm trying to do a good job of telling it and I'll continue to try to do so every week.  For those who are reading, thank you.  

Recipe White Peach Sangria

As promised here's my most excellent recipe.  I start with a bottle of white wine rather than red.  Some prefer sweeter like Moscato but I use Sauvignon Blanc instead.  I'm no where near the master mixologist as our good friend Larry in the White mountains and rather than pour to precision, I use taste as my guide.  But basically, to the pitcher full of wine, I add a shot of Brandy, a shot of Triple Sec, a cup of pineapple juice and orange juice and a shot or two of Blue Agave. Finally, I add two shots of peach puree which you can typically find on the juice aisle.  Also, V8 makes a peach drink that works just fine.  And to top it off, a shot or two of Peach Schnapps to taste.  

Salud & Happy Cinco de Mayo! 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

THE ROCK: Chapter 6 Continued


December 2008

We were making our way through Kentucky during the first winter of our walk when Ginger Morgan's dog, Buddy, was diagnosed with bone cancer in his jaw.  We had only met Ginger a few months earlier when we walked through Memphis but I had knew the Bud Man and bonded with him instantaneously.  Three and a half legged, Katrina survivor, squirrel hunter and coon ass lab mix there was nothing that anyone couldn't love about him.  

Ginger sought treatment for his cancer at the University of Missouri and his care came under the capable hands of Dr. Selting.  During their first visit there, she and Buddy checked into one of the cheap pet friendly motels most proximate to the vet school and the concierge there, upon seeing, I assume, a three legged dog for the first time, asked the question to end all questions.  When was Bud Man's leg going to grow back.


Ginger and I reflect and laugh about it from time to time and while I did know dogs don't regrow limbs like reptiles, I was probably just as uniformed and confused as that concierge back when Malcolm was first diagnosed with bone cancer.  


May 2004

Down south where I grew up, if you have an animal that becomes lame you put them down.  That's less true today than it was 10 years ago but it's still commonplace.  But there was never a moment's hesitation in my decision for Malcolm to undergo limb amputation.  It was like an answer that always existed before a question was ever asked.  

The surgery was successful and I couldn't wait to get him home.  The clinic wanted to keep him for an extra day to which my answer was, "Hell, no".  Healing happens much faster at home.  But I was concerned about the transport back so I rented a flatbed dolly upon which I put his dog bed and built a plywood ramp to get Malcolm from door to door with as little turbulence as possible.  


When I said last time in my YBD's notes that I had intended to entitle chapter six, 'People Are Pussies', I meant it in that it's amazing to me how better equipped animals are to survive and adapt than we are.  I'm not smart enough to know if that's a sociological flaw or an evolutionary one though I suspect it's the former not the latter.  

But the resiliency with which Malcolm rebounded post-op was nothing less than awe inspiring.  As the Fentanyl wore off within a week, he didn't want any assistance walking down the steps outside to attend to business.  He was damn well ready to piss on his own.  And the week following, it was almost as if Malcolm was born three legged.  It was as if everything was back to normal.  But it wasn't.  


Or I wasn't anyway.  Once a loved one is given the diagnosis, there is no normalcy.  Not ever again.  


YBD's Notes 1:  I'm not sure if you're liking the non-linear telling of this story but it's the only way I've found to reconcile the story's past and keep it moving forward.  But I appreciate any thoughts and ideas to make it better.

YBD's Notes 2:  If you have or know a dog that has bone cancer or lost a limb, check out Tripawds.  They're great motto is 'God gave dogs 3 legs and a spare' and they work tirelessly to help educate people limb amputation.  Jim and Rene are just about the best damn people in the world and it's trail magic that this week that I'm talking about Malcolm's amputation is the publication of their first newsletter.  We'll catch up with them further down the line as they play a bigger part in this our story.  

Untitled Opus

After the walk was well under way and perhaps even the months leading up to it, I was asked by more than a handful of people whether Hudson and Murphy were up for the journey or was I subjecting them to a self indulgent albeit well intended form of cruelty.  

"Well, birds fly.  Fish swim.  And dogs walk", was my cheeky reply back then.  

  lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk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kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff


As Edna Saint Vincent Millay wrote, I've been burning my candle at both ends the last couple of days and I didn't have an opportunity to sit and write until 2:30 AM this morning and this was the result.  I fell asleep, computer in lap and when I awoke a little while ago splayed out all over it I thought, hey, I'll just publish it as is since it's a real reflection of YBD's life.  

Have no idea what I was dreaming last night but it doesn't seem good.  Or it least it was for a little while but didn't end well.  I'll try and finish the next installment of Chapter Six of the Rock tonight but... well, you'll understand soon enough...  

This is going to be an awesome weekend and I'm all about celebrating Cinco de Mayo.  In honor of that, I will post my White Peach Sangria recipe and a salsa recipe, too.  Until then, Vaya Con Dios...  

Thursday, May 2, 2013

I Break the Dawn With You

Newport Rhode Island is one of the most magical places I've ever been and one of the oldest. Founded in 1639 and known for pirates and rum runners, they say that at one point the law dictated that every citizen was entitled to casks of rum regularly.  Ah, the good ole days and a perfect place for a rapscallion like me.  

But I'm coming to know it for something much greater still. There's a confluence of wind and seas here that captured me.  It's neither the beginning of my journey nor the end but I'm caught here by Newport's inescapable beauty where the sunrise and sunset both break your breath and they trace the arcs of tears.