Life With Dogs – November 2021

Grey is the colour of my November.

For, this is the month when the inevitable happens… winter comes. This year it arrived with a bang, a three-day rain/snow event that left us with wet, heavy snowdrifts along with a new reality.

The dogs didn’t seem to mind although Odin did initially seem a little puzzled.

What’s happening!
But surprise soon turned to winter fun

November is also the month that marks the anniversary of Roland’s passing. It’s been two years now and, for the most part, I feel I am doing better.

But… November has me falling backwards.

The November days, and even more so the nights, are a struggle. I find myself back in that place where Grey lives inside me. I am learning to accept this but am humbled and a little shaken by the loneliness and sadness that still live here.

Roland loved his dogs. I miss him and the life we shared every day.

“Little by little, we let go of loss, but never of love.”

November is not without its splash of colour… and I have my grandkids to thank for this. From October 22 to November 30, five of them have birthdays.

These kids help me remember the good.

And then there are the W.A.S. dogs! They own my heart.

These are but some of the November adoptables. So many great dogs needing good homes…

That leaves my two, Odin and Lacie… where would I be without them! They get me up and out and, more often than not, have me smile.

So yes, November is a tough month and I suspect, for me, that’s just the way it is and will be.

But writing this, and seeing the photos pop up on screen does help.

I guess I have to hold my gratitudes a little closer…

and try to remember to just breathe.

my brain and
heart divorced

two years ago

over who was
to blame about
how big of a mess
I have become

they couldn't be
in the same room
with each other

now my head and heart
share custody of me

I stay with my brain
during the week

and my heart
gets me on weekends

they never speak to one another
- instead, they give me
- the same note to pass
- to each other every week
and their notes they
send to one another always
says the same thing:

"This is all your fault"

on Sundays
my heart complains
about how my
head has let me down
in the past

and on Wednesday
my head lists all
of the times my
heart has screwed
things up for me
in the future

they blame each
other for the
state of my life

there's been a lot
of yelling - and crying


lately, I've been
spending a lot of
time with my gut
who serves as my
unofficial therapist

most nights, I sneak out of the
window in my ribcage

and slide down my spine
and collapse on my
gut's plush leather chair
that's always open for me

~ and I just sit sit sit sit
until the sun comes up

last evening,
my gut asked me
if I was having a hard
time being caught
between my heart
and my head

I nodded

I said I didn't know
if I could live with
either of them anymore

"my heart is always sad about
something that happened yesterday
while my head is always worried
about something that may happen tomorrow,"
I lamented

my gut squeezed my hand

"I just can't live with
my mistakes of the past
or my anxiety about the future,"
I sighed

my gut smiled and said:

"in that case,
you should
go stay with your
lungs for a while,"

I was confused
- the look on my face gave it away
"if you are exhausted about
your heart's obsession with
the fixed past and your mind's focus
on the uncertain future

your lungs are the perfect place for you

there is no yesterday in your lungs
there is no tomorrow there either

there is only now
there is only inhale
there is only exhale
there is only this moment

there is only breath

and in that breath
you can rest while your
heart and head work
their relationship out."

this morning,
while my brain
was busy reading
tea leaves

and while my
heart was staring
at old photographs

I packed a little
bag and walked
to the door of
my lungs

before I could even knock
she opened the door
with a smile and as
a gust of air embraced me
she said

"what took you so long?"

~ John Roedel ( 

**** This post is part of the 2021 Life With Dogs photography project. ****

September So Soon

How can it be that the leaves are already falling from the trees. Every year it is the same, with the summer passing in a flurry of warmth and activity.

Although this year was comparable… in many ways it was completely different.

For you see, this was my first summer without Roland.

For myself, much of the summer felt as if a dream, the reality ever-present but not yet fully accepted.

The challenges were many, the main one being our seasonal campsite at Debonair . Could I keep doing this by myself… just me and the dogs? Did I even want to?

Feeling uncertain, but knowing Roland would want this for me, I decided to give it a go. With the help of my kids, we opened the trailer and cleaned the campsite. It felt so good to be back but the feeling that something was missing was heavy and I was inundated with sadness.

The turkeys and bunnies were many

The first weekend there, just me and the dogs, I felt and saw Roland everywhere. The sense of his presence was both comforting and daunting. The memories and tears were many.

But even with that, the stillness and the stars provided much comfort and occasionally, especially at dusk while sitting outside, I could sense that maybe we would be okay.

The summer days lived up to their promise bringing sun-filled warmth and star-filled nights. Family and friends came often to share my days and lift my spirits. Their company and their presence helped me better accept the quiet times where grief reigned and memories ruled.

And the dogs, both Lacie and Odin… they not only kept me busy but more often than not, entertained.

Now September is coming to an end and, once more with the help of my kids, the campsite is closed and winterized.

I can’t say that my summer experience was a complete success but it leaves me hopeful for the summers to come and I am already looking forward to and making plans for next year’s go around.

Miss you Roland, everyday!

Wish you were here.

Happy New Year from Simply Col Photography

I am so very grateful for the year that was.

To all the pound pups and rescue dogs that I have met… I wish you all the best in your new forever homes.

You own my heart!

Pound Pups


Just a few of my favourite photos from 2016

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A doggies New Year’s Resolution: “I will recognize the difference between furniture and fire hydrants.”

Happy New Year Everyone! Here’s to making and capturing memories!