My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Monday, February 14, 2011

I ♡ U

IU, Willow and Tessa, looking so lovely in your fetching Valentine bandanas...

Does Willow have an expressive face, or what?

And I the fun additions my friend Jahara made to this photo after I sent it to her...

(And of course IU too, Josie, even though you refused to, in your words, "suffer the indignity" of wearing a pink heart-festooned bandana for a Valentine's Day photo!) ;-)

I also collecting pretty and unusual rocks on my hikes, and particularly enjoyed finding some while beach-combing in Maine last summer. I don't recall on which beach I found the blue-grey rock with its intriguing, embossed, copper-colored veins. But I distinctly remember finding the white quartz heart stone on our last day in Penobscot Bay. We'd just finished strolling along Lincolnville Beach and were just steps from leaving the sand when I saw it....

Our B&B hostess Janet, who also collects unusual stones (especially heart stones) and had inspired me with the copy of the fascinating book Beach Stones she kept in our room, was thrilled to see my found treasure. She told me it was Maine's farewell love letter to me. :-)

Janet had been so generous to us during our stay that we gave her this sweet little book (featuring photos by wonderful Beach Stones photographer Josie Iselin) as we were leaving...

When I pulled up the Amazon pages for the Beach and Heart Stones books so I could link to them, this beautiful book caught my eye...

The book is a moving love story of beautiful images, inspired by the hand-crafted hearts Page made for Madalene, the love of her life, and left on her doorstep every Monday morning. Madalene was diagnosed with ovarian cancer seven months after they met and died four months later at the age of 46. Page had promised Madalene that she would continue to make her hearts for her every Monday for the rest of her own life, as her way to continue to express her infinite love, maintain their connection, and show her she would never forget her. Visit Page's web site, Monday Hearts for Madalene, to read more about their story and of how these photos and the book came to be, and to see the 281 (and counting!) exquisite hearts Page has made and photographed so far.

What a beautiful way to say I U.


  1. Awwww what a sweet Valentine's Day post. And I love (heart) you my friend. Josie ain't wearing the bandana-I think she's my kind of girl. I found a heart stone yesterday when Tula and I were the only brave souls on the chilly beach...'magine that.
    Have a wonderful day.

  2. I must first say that Willow should be a model or a movie star. She has the most enchanting (enigmatic?) expressions. She has a secret life, I'm sure.

    What a wonderful valentine's post with beautiful hearts and sentiment. Of course, being rock-obsessed, I LOVE the heart rock. I'm going to go look at the books and Web page now. Happy Heart Day to you.

  3. Here I go again being completely random about where I end up in your blog! But it's nice to hit one on the day you post, especially when it's a holiday.

    I heart you too! I culd see all the hearts on my computer and they were really fun. I really enjoyed the story about madelane and I saw move of her pretty hearts on the web link you provided.

    Willow and Tess are so pretty. Josie must be a teenager - that's when Missy refused to "dress up" for me anymore!!

    I loved the beautiful space heart - like love from God!

    A big hug to you and BW on this very special day!

  4. Happy valentines - I heart all the hearts!

  5. I heart you also! What a lovely Valentine's post! And Willow and Tess are gorgeous. Thanks for the heartfelt post and have a great day!

  6. Happy Valentine's Day Laurie!

    Willow and Tessa look great in their bandanas...Willow has that look on her she's not exactly sure where you're going with this...she is very expressive and pretty. All your girls are pretty!

    Your rocks are wonderful. I like to collect stones too, but don't think I've ever found ones quite that special...maybe the heart-shaped one was a sign: Maine is where your heart is...just a thought.

    Thanks for sharing the links and story about Page and Madalene, very moving and beautiful.

    Oh, and I can see the hearts and I'm on Windows using Firefox. :)

  7. Sue ~ Thank you, Sue... and I ♥ love ♥ you too! (I'm having way too much fun with these little symbols. LOL)

    Josie will dress up sometimes, but it's always on her terms and her terms can be strict. We think she's a feline trapped in a canine body. :-)

    Good for you for braving the cold beach and being rewarded with a heart stone of your own - what a perfect day to find one! Major mojo. I must go check it out shortly. Happy Valentine's Day!

    Andrea ~ Willow's expressions can be very enigmatic, but she also often wears her heart on her sleeve (no pun intended). :-) I've always thought she should be in movies, TV or commercials - she's got it all. Beauty, brains, easygoing personality that's eager to please (she'd be the Sandra Bullock of dog actresses!), and star quality. And I'm not just saying that because I'm her mom! ;-) I think I'll write her resumé, starting with: "Versatile actress/model, specializing in wearing bandanas, sidelong glances and looking askance in enigmatic ways." LOL

    Ah yes, my fellow rock hound!! I hope you had fun checking out those books. As much as I love heart-shaped stones, my favorite book of the two is Beach Stones with its variety of stones from beaches all over the world and really interesting information about their geology.

    Happy Heart Day to you too, Andrea!

    Jo ~ Yes, today was the day to abandon randomness and pay a timely visit to the holiday post! :-)

    I ♡ U 2 Jo! :-) I'm glad you could see them! :-)

    I haven't looked at all the hearts on Page's site yet, but my favorite so far is the green spiral one in the 4th row. And there are now 281 hearts on that page, so I need to update my post! I wish we could click on them and see larger versions, but I suppose that's why she's done the book! :-)

    Josie IS a teenager, I'm convinced of it. I think she was possibly BORN a teenager, and will remain a teenager till the end of her days. :-) She's a funny kid.

    Big hugs, love and Valentine wishes to you too, Jo!

  8. Jamie ~ Thanks, I do too. I'm glad you love them - and glad you could see them! :-)

    Daphne ~ Thank you, Daphne! I ♡ your new avatar, too! :-) Willow and Tess both thank you for the compliment, and we all hope you're enjoying a wonderful Valentine's Day! xoxo

    Rose ~ Willow often has that, "I'm not so sure about this" expression. She makes me think of Boo-Boo the bear... "Uh, the ranger won't like this, Yogi!" LOL

    Thank you for saying all our girls are pretty. We sure think so too. :-)

    So yet another collector of rocks! We could form a club! :-) It felt like finding that ♡ stone at the last minute on the last beach on our last day in Maine had significance, and Janet shared your theory. I love Maine, but feel like my heart's in a lot of places and I look forward to seeing what sorts of rocks I find in Oregon. If I find a heart stone there too, I'll be flummoxed. LOL

    You're very welcome for the Page & Madalene story and links. I'd only planned to post the Willow, Tess and stones photos, but when I saw that book and then found the web site and read the story, I knew I had to include it, too. I never know where my blog will take me!

    Thanks for letting me know you can see the hearts with Windows and Firefox. It seems everyone can see them, so I think I'll take down my caveat shortly. (Watch, soon as I do someone will leave a "what does 'I - U' mean?!" comment. LOL)

    Happy Valentine's Day, Rose! Doing anything special?

  9. What a lovely post, Laurie! The girls are adorable in their bandanas and I agree with you about how expressive Willow is. Cuteness!

    That's something else that you found a heart shaped stone. So cool!

    I'm going to go check out Hearts For Madalene right now. What a beautiful, but sad, story! <3

  10. What does I-U mean?

    LOL, totally, that would be typical. :)

  11. Molly ~ Thank you! Your girls were looking mighty spiffy and adorable today as well! (Just as they do every other day!) :-)

    I noticed when I visited the Hearts for Madalene site a while ago that she's updated it since this morning, so you had good timing! Did you see her "The Making of a Heart" page? I'll bet that spice heart smells really good! It's pretty, too.

    Rose ~ Exactly. Typical. LOL

    Hey, BW and I just watched the first episode of the IT Crowd and thought it was funny - I love Morris (Maurice?)! LOL We'll watch more of those!

  12. Laloofah -- Willow and Tessa have personality plus. Now I am a little confused about Josie -- I don't remember her. Is she the cat?

    Like the story about finding the small white heart on the beach. I too am a rock collector. I have collected from many different states and trips. Can't remember which rock came from where any more but I still am fond of them all.

    Hope there are signs of spring in your territory. -- barbara

  13. Barbara ~ They do indeed. :-) Josie acts like a cat, but she's our third dog. If you click on her name in this post, you'll see some cute photos of her.

    I'm the same way, I don't always remember where I found some of the rocks I've lugged home from places, but I treasure them all nonetheless!

    It's a lot warmer here now (supposed to be around 50º till Thursday when some snow and colder temps return), and I saw some green grass outside Mocha's corral this evening. Don't want too many signs of spring around here just yet though, we know our worst blizzards are probably still a month or two ahead of us!

  14. Thank you so much for the wonderful photos of Willow and Tessa (and the link to pics of Josie). You have some beautiful dog people living with you. Willow's facial expression is more eloquent than human words could ever be. Superlative...and the rocks "rocked" me. :-)

  15. Vegan Elder ~ Thank you so much for your kind words! We sure think our girls are beautiful dog people, inside and out. I wish everyone could meet them - you'd love them and they'd love the attention and affection from all my animal-people loving friends! :-)

    What is it about rocks that rocks our world? I have no idea, but I've loved them for as long as I can remember and have collected them since I was little (I even still have a few of those early childhood treasures!) It's a wonder I didn't become a geologist, except that I'm absolute rubbish when it comes to most science. :-)

  16. Your dogs are SO gorgeous. My first dog was a Great Dane who was brought up with 11 cats (I took in a lot of strays!) and he thought he was a cat. He certainly behaved like one!

    I love hearts, too. And that story is so sad. I'm off to check the blog now.

  17. What sweet looking pups you have! Willow looks a little camera shy in this one ;)

    Great finds! Sounds like it was a wonderful stay :)

  18. Penny ~ Thank you very much! They are such loves, it's impossible to imagine anyone abusing and/or abandoning them... yet in all three cases, people did. We're so grateful to have them in our lives.

    LOL - I'd love to have seen your Great Dane acting like a cat! Too funny! But then, how he could have helped it, with 11 feline siblings?! :-)

    I agree, Page and Madalene's story is very sad, but Page has been very courageous to share it and to have turned it into something so beautiful and inspiring. I hope you enjoyed your visit to her web site - I subscribed to her Monday hearts. Because we all need a little extra love and beauty on Mondays, I think! :-)

    Cassie ~ Thank you, they really are sweeties! Willow wears some funny expressions. She loves to mug for the camera, but it't not always easy to figure out what she's thinking!

    Our trip to Maine was indeed wonderful! We're planning one to Oregon this summer. No vacation for nine years and now two in a row! That's more like it. :-)

  19. I'm convinced Willow was an actress in her former life. Ya just don't get those expressions naturally ;-).
    Sorry for the belated Valentine's wishes...PC problems, etc., still not fixed completely. Can't even get on Care2.
    Was checking an earlier post and just saw your reply regarding Alison & Mairead. No, neither of them knows about the other, so let's keep it that! xoxoxo

  20. Your dogs are so gorgeous, love the bandanas, Pod might be persuaded to wear one, Charlie - never! And beautiful hearts, such a moving story too.

  21. Spud ~ You may be right about Willow! She was probably a silent film star - maybe Lillian Gish or Clara Bow, since she does so much of her communicating through facial expressions (and gestures, too!) Though she can also be quite vocal! She does this cute little trilling thing when she's excited or happy. :-)

    Sorry to hear about your PC problems and hope you get them fixed soon! I'm behind on emailing you, and on everything else online. No computer problems, just lots of distractions and I needed a break. Haven't felt like being online. I'll try to get caught up a bit this weekend.

    Your secret re: the musical maidens in your life is safe with me. ;-)

    Barbara ~ Thank you!

    You know, I'm trying to think if I've ever seen a cat wearing a bandana, and I don't believe I have! Mrs. Pod sounds like a good sport. Charlie... sounds like Charlie. :-)

    I hope to get by your blog soon, I've fallen behind and know I'm missing out!

  22. aww look at those pups! Super cute! :) Awesome find on the rocks too - so cool! I get pretty excited finding fossils and rocks!

  23. Johnny Nutcase ~ Your nom d'blog amuses me greatly. :-) Thank you so much for stopping by... I think your blog is fantastic and your photos are breathtaking. I'm honored you paid my dingy little corner of the blogosphere a visit! LOL

    Thanks for your compliment on my cutie pie pups, as well as on my rock finds. I'll bet you find some amazing rocks and fossils to get excited about on your adventures!

  24. I love the zen-like look Tessa has in the first picture, like nothing could disturb her. And their bandanas are adorable!

  25. VW ~ LOL, she gets that look a lot (though she can also look wild-eyed, especially when she knows she's going to go for a hike or a car ride, which she loves). And since she's part Chow, whenever she's experiencing a Zen-like moment of equanimity we call it The Tao of Chow. :-)

    I love their bandanas too. Their grandma made those for them. ;-)

  26. Sonia ~ Thank you! I'll tell Tess and Willow you said so, they love being told how beautiful they are! :-)


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

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