What Should I Have Done

30 08 2009

Foreword: This poem was written in 2002 when my husband believed that Max was too wild to fit into our household.

When I came to you,
Thought you were sad,
I stood to hug you, to kiss you, to cheer you.
What should I have done?

When I threw my toys through the air,
I made you laugh so I asked you to join in.
You hid my toys from me or yelled at me.
What should I have done?

I saw you sit on the couch.
Your smell, your essence, became part of it.
Wanting to understand and be close to you, I climbed up.
What should I have done?

Running those crazy-eights while I was outside,
Gave me release of some energies.
Yet, you called at me, “Hurry up, Max!”
What should I have done?

You were all I had.
You were my entire life.
I loved you.
What should I have done?

Afterword: The photo depicts before and after the poem. Needless to say, Max (now eight) is still with us. It takes a great deal of love to stay together.

Max Beore and After

Max Beore and After

Photos and articles © 2009 Kathleen Bjoran


Et Tu, Mr. Dumas?

25 08 2009

As I sit and sip my absinthe—and pass my duck confit from one side of my plate to the other—from the all too familiar outdoor café, I see the tall dancing Turkey Oak trees in the distance. Many areas of the majestic Pyrénées Mountains are dappled with brilliant yellow patches. As Mr. Alexandre Dumas peers at me from his stony perch, I am aware that he realizes he has finally found what he was seeking. In those cold eyes I can see a tender and warm soul. The dark stone of the statue resembles his mixed heritage—not in mockery but in profound respect for the man. His rotund stature pulls all light toward him. He has been perched for far too long. The statue that has held him in memoriam has grown smaller for now the man has stepped down. I see him crossing the Garonne with arms open reaching to me as the oaks reach to the sun. His stony arms embrace me as he greets me with a cool kiss on my raised hand. He warms as his stony skin absorbs the sun. I can feel the warmth even though the embrace has loosened. Has he found inspiration to write yet another romantic novel…as the others have? Will I be mentioned by name or will I be a dutiful simile…as others have done? Would I remember tomorrow the images I see today?

Alexandre Dumas

Alexandre Dumas

Story © 2009 Kathleen Bjoran. Photo public domain


22 08 2009

Okay, I’m an individual who tries to make eco-friendly choices. I’m not sure about my readers, but where I live, I go to the grocery store to buy fish and I am always sold on the “Farm Raised” fishies. Where are these ‘Farms” and how do they ‘grow’ fish? I’m not a tree-hugger but I do try to avoid mercury and all the other nasty stuff out there. I came across this article. Hmmm, my salmon was farmed but how, It’s a great article and something I didn’t know.

The King

21 08 2009

There are dogs and then there are Dogs. Max (as in Maximus) is definitely my Dog. He’s one gorgeous Dalmatian and he knows it. He’s a great source for creative photography and loving loyalty.

Just a quick look into his eyes, you can tell he is a master of communication. He has the eyes of a philosopher. His vocal communication is also quite effective. He loves every human he meets but is not quite so welcoming when other dogs come in. Max is my diplomat and negotiator. When a rescue comes into our home, Max and Charlie are the first to meet the newcomer. After both of these guys have assessed the new guy and are comfortable (usually 10 minutes or less) Marlowe, the Boxer, gets to meet the newbie. Once Marlowe knows that Max and Charlie are okay with the new pup then Marlowe automatically accepts the addition. Ah, doggie dynamics.

Max rarely plays with Charlie because Max is a big dog fan. He will keep Marlowe occupied (playing) for hours.

One word of warning about Dalmatians: You MUST love dogs in order to make it through the first 3.5 to 4 years. Hitting a Dal will ensure a nasty adult dog. Those mean Dals you’ve met, just look into the eyes of the original owner for they are the reason the Dal is mean. You can teach a Dal every trick in the book but before that 3.5 year mark, they are called Dumbmatians. They are NOT dumb! At 4 years old, they will perform every trick ever taught them and a few they made up on their own. They are a true reward for patience!



Photos and articles © 2009 Kathleen Bjoran

The Love Sponge

19 08 2009

To any who own or who have even just met a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (CKCS), you already know the love sponge of which I speak. This tribute is to Charlie…my little love sponge.

This little guy has a Boxer and a Dalmatian to contend with in our house. The Boxer (the thief of toys) is Charlie’s big brother. Marlowe will play with Charlie at the drop of a hat. Max (the Dal) has an attitude with Charlie but it’s just because he doesn’t need little dog love. If Charlie was a Great Dane, Max would love him.

All Charlie ever wants is to be near me and/or my husband. He looks into your eyes at every opportunity and tries to draw out a smile, a hug, a kiss, a laugh, or a cuddle. When my laptop isn’t in my lap, Charlie is. He is probably one of the most effective cuddlers I’ve ever met.

I have learned that, if he truly wants a toy to be his, he will protect it with raw, unadulterated aggressiveness against anyone (unless human) who tries to take it. This is one reason why the Boxer ends up with most of the toys I bring into the house…they’re not Charlie toys. Charlie LOVES the AKC toys (yeah, he’s an elitist) because they’re stuffed animals with squeakers. He protects them with great vigor.

The CKCS is a dog for people who want a gorgeous dog and a dog that appreciates human companionship at a whole new level. They are not watch dogs and they most likely would not attack invaders. But, if you want a love sponge, oh…this is your breed!

For all my loyal readers: I may go several days at a time without posting only because I own my own business and am often caught up in the demands from my paying clients. I may end up working this blog into the demands a photographer/graphic designer faces but I’m not quite ready for that.



Photos and articles © 2009 Kathleen Bjoran

Tribute to My Boxer

13 08 2009

When our daughter was little, my husband and I loved to participate in her excitement over new toys. Christmases were spent playing with every toy she got. When I would go out Christmas shopping, I would spend so much time thinking about the fun her dad and I would have on Christmas Day. She’s grown now but, I admit, when I buy her a game for her Wii, I long for the days when we would play that game all day long.

Now we have a Boxer. Though he’s five years old, his exuberance over a new toy is so reminiscent of our four-year-old little girl. If it squeaks, that makes it the perfect toy. As I sit here and write this, he is pouncing on his new toy that I gave him (well, not really him) two-and-a-half hours ago. He puts it in the lounge chair and jumps on it consistently to make it squeak. He brings it over to me occasionally, lays it on the couch, and nudges it against my leg with his nose to insist that I throw it for him. I throw it, which grants me another twenty minutes of uninterrupted writing. I can guarantee that he will be sleeping with that toy tonight.

Anyone who has a Boxer should recognize their dog in this blog. Boxers are dogs for people who want constant playtime. They tend to keep you young and VERY happy. They get this weird look in their eyes and faces sometimes that warns you that they are going into overdrive play mode. Oh…watch out because your uncontrollable laughter is merely fuel for that barrage of play!

Tomorrow I’m writing a tribute to the pup I actually bought the toy for. So, if you’re a fan of the ‘Love Sponge’ breed, be sure to check here tomorrow.



Story and photo © 2009 Kathleen Bjoran

Making Cents

12 08 2009

The Outstanding Public Debt as of 12 Aug 2009 at 03:13:34 AM GMT is: $11,666,686,956,363.42 (or over 11 trillion!)

The population of the United States is 306,717,967.

So we all need to pitch in $38,037.18 per citizen. There are three citizens in our household so that means we would need to pay an extra $114,111.54 as just a gift to the US Treasury. Here, let me write you a check.

Oh wait! The deficit just went up to $11,666,711,145,770.44 (The Outstanding Public Debt as of 12 Aug 2009 at 03:22:31 AM GMT is). Let me check. Nope I didn’t earn 8 cents in the past 9 minutes. And to think, if I were to earn a penny a minute I would be earning $525,600. a year. I am not so why does the government get to spend like I do earn over two million a year (based on our current tax bracket…this includes our current tax rate + the gift)?

When Clinton (a democrat) took office (remember he ran on the platform of reducing the National deficit) the national deficit was just under $400,000,000,000.00 (or $400 billion). Oh, the shame. We would all have to pay $120 to get that puppy under control! When Clinton left office the National Deficit was about $5 trillion. GREAT JOB!

When inaugurated, the inherited Obama deficit was $10.626 trillion (yep, some of this was because of Pres. Clinton’s plan…this is where China comes in). The National Deficit has NEVER risen so quickly. During the last administration it took over 2.5 years for the deficit to rise by one trillion dollars. George W. ran up the National Deficit by 4.9 trillion over an eight year period of time.

Come on people…let’s start bean counting and crunching those numbers. Our outstanding debts are now being funded by China. The statement that China will take good care of us is JUST A BIT alarming! Stand up and let Obama know that you can’t afford that kind of obligation! I really am a liberal at heart but I also believe that we should all pay our way. Obama has NOW made that impossible!

The final number you will see in this blog is the current (as of this posting) National Deficit. Please…Don’t hate the messenger!

$11,668,624,901,742.25 (an additional $1,937,945,379.03 in 12 hours)
National Deficit Clock

Making Cents

Making Cents

Photo and article © 2009 Kathleen Bjoran