Wednesday, December 18, 2013

We Three Kings - and a Hat-Stealing Ho-Ho-Hound

We Three Kings
Oil on canvas, 36x48

I've not been feeling very Christmasy. 

I've been painting hard, and am excited about my new pieces, "We Three Kings" top among them. (I love the black canvas!) I've been thinking about what I need to do, what I need to paint and what I need to buy for the California Calling Painting Extravaganza, coming up soon!!! (Click here to find out how to sponsor me - and please consider it!

I have been, and am always, moved by the real celebration of Christmas, the birth of Jesus, but that is a personal thing for me, and not one generally marked by what I think of as "the Christmas spirit."

I've been thinking about the troubles our now-oldest dog is having, and how tough it's going to be for Peter when I'm on the road. I've been thinking about one family member's recovery from hip-replacement surgery, and the sad and sudden dissolution of another family member's marriage. 

My birth family, the Coopers, had our holiday gathering weeks ago, and it was great, but it was weeks ago. In my own little family here, the season has difficult emotionally for a few years, and Peter and I have not done much for each other for Christmas. 

I told a friend about all this, and she shared with me that she really begins feeling the spirit when she focuses on giving. So that's what I did. I put on my Santa hat (thanks, Ronet Noe!) made some donations, got a couple others ready to go (stuff for the animal shelter and for a church second-hand store). 

Then I put up our Christmas tree, and I went out and went shopping and bought a couple small presents. And it was fun! 

Since I left my regularly paying job, I haven't "gone shopping," except at local thrift stores. You know, I haven't cruised around, looked at everything, tried stuff on, imagined how this or that would look on me, or on him, or on that friend; how this person would delight in using that; how we don't really need this, but wouldn't it be nice... I haven't been a consumer in spirit or in deed. 

But on Tuesday, I was, and it was fun. 

Between the giving and the buying, the Santa hat and the silly dog that stole it (see below), I managed to crack open the Christmas spirit. 


(Thieving) Dog of the Day

I met this dog on the street in Onancock, a cute little town just north of here. Rambunctious, exuberant and thrilled with the smells of our dogs, he jumped up on me, stole my Santa hat, and set about trying to kill it. He managed to put one little tooth-hole in it, and more than anything, he made me laugh. 

Want your pet to be Dog of the Day? Send a jpg to me at

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