Monthly Archives: December 2014

And she said, “Dare to hope!”

At lonely during the holiday times like these I cling to the words I heard spoken in an affirmation at my church, “Dare to hope”!

I attended the Christmas Eve evening service there, at the UCS, and enjoyed singing all of the carols, listening to the readings, and holding the lit candles. It’s nice to be taken back to a simpler time of faith when such things were absolutes and comforting. I let them do that for me this time. I felt I needed that. I don’t want to think too hard about things these days, but just let the waves of life roll over me as best they can to comfort me.   I find life too painful to contemplate now and I want to steer clear of such thoughts called contradictions. Living without the joy my borzoi would bring is also hard, but it a wonderful goal to see at the end of a difficult time.

For now, the most I can dare to hope for is my new borzoi, “Jelly”.  I hope I can live up to her expectations of me.

A Christmas Wish at Blyss, still without a Borzoi

Another day, no week, no month…..year….. and still I wait…. Wait for I don’t know, that special email message in my in-box, or a message in my voice-mail, or a person even, yes, ringing at my door.  That’s it that special person. I always find the ones for whom I am their special one and they get the benefit not me. But for me, my very own special one to trust guiding the rudder of my life.   Moreover,  I am his because we are one and the same.  We are best of friends from the start, without any fake “tests”, or “games” or “pretenses”, or evaluations as hard to score over 800 as on the GREs or LSATS.   For those kinds of men, I never get the job! But truth be told, I have never met this person nor has he met me.

” And if I did, I wouldn’t tell them your name!”  (Goo Goo Dolls, Name).

“Scars are souvenirs you never lose, the past is never far.”  (Goo Goo Dolls, Name).

And because my life is so banal that there is a place in it called Blyss Kennels.  In cyberspace, there is also Blyss Blog Encore, to read about the kennel and my life in it.   There is soon to be a new borzoi  named “Jelly”, a four year old bitch, a finished champion whose owner said she can come to Blyss.  She is of the Majenkir style, and very much to my taste in every way, outward appearance and temperament.   Addressing a current health problem is keeping me from having her here now because I want to wait until I am available to spend time freely with her at home.  I am looking forward to doing many things with her.  I also look forward very much to having her to write about instead of the stale topic of myself and my dull world, a lifeless, friendless world, especially without a borzoi.  Slowly, I am making some friends, but they usually center on my sister and a new woman who recently entered our lives whom we met through our late mother.  That’s it, no one else is trustworthy, I’m afraid.  It’s a small and tight circle.  Jelly will have her designated space in it marked with a star.

Taken Away from Blyss Projects and the New Borzoi

I  have met with a new challenge, as if there could be such a new thing for me to encounter –  yes – even I am shocked.  I shall give it voice and veritas because I know I am not alone.   I have no reason for shame, only sadness and grief because the prognosis is often terminal.  I am the creator of an eating disorder, in my own form of it, and am in a program along with others, each one of us with our own version.    Together we are trying to get well by sharing, supporting one another and finding ways of putting this behind us and it is not easy.

What I learn and do not learn at Blyss.

I have never learned the ABCs of life, nor the XYZs it seems nor anything useful in between.  I may as well have the label challenged affixed to me.  Where others are able to get through their lives with facile, one marriage, one long lived dog, a few cats and a parakeet, I have had multiple husbands and even dogs.  I have tried not only  different breeds but varying groups and even many, many parakeets from the old, big Woolworths store I remember in downtown Westfield a long time ago.  I suppose if there is a lesson to be learned in the day I miss it.  I have to go back to the very beginning and try again.  But the outcome is always the same, and the day and those that follow seemingly so perfect descend in a negative trajectory and I must learn something new all over again.  Like the Miss Havisham before me, “I know nothing of days of the week, of weeks of the year…..” they all blend together into one congealed mass of time, and that comprises my life, a life lived within the confines of Satis House.

If it is not relevant to the borzoi I do not like to include it in my blog.  However this problem impacts my availability to  write for now in the Blyss Blog Encore, compile the Blogs in Blyss Blog into a book format, and delays the arrival of my new borzoi, “Jelly”.  Instead, I have entered the confines of a rigorous program for people who share an emotional problem I have had for some time, an eating disorder.  It seems that I was not doing food very well either.  Doctors have informed me that I don’t know how to eat,  something so basic but yes, it is true.

It is a tenacious problem.   I know for me it has been, ever lurking in the background, always seductive and irresistible, promising perfect, eternal beauty, youth, and even love.  But since the eating disorder behaviors are always about something else, one has to be willing to  rally the courage to face the darkest demons intent on destroying what your lethal past failed to accomplish.

Please don’t do as I do.  Plan a different, smarter course for your life.   However, to stumble and fall is human and if so call upon your strengths before you journey too far astray from the true path to your bliss.

How long must I wait at Blyss?

There are many reason why I believe I should have another borzoi but perhaps none more compelling than when I see friends I have not seen in several months, or perhaps do not read the Blyss Blog, and they ask how my dogs are.  When I tell them the Blyss Borzoi are all gone now, they express so much shock and sorrow and then ask me if I am getting another borzoi.  Of course I am, I tell them, and my goal is to have one by the end of this year.  It is then that I introduce “Jelly”, of the Bibikov Kennel in Cross River, NY, a four year old finished champion.  Then, I see their faces light up with happiness for me, and I smile back and even laugh a bit.  That is how I know I have made the right decision.

Blyss Human Condition

Basically, I am happy here.  I could be “happier”, I suppose, but that is the human condition.   We can all always be happier.  But I know I am lucky to be as well off as I am, given that I am not a particularly beautiful or wealthy or married older woman, just sort of out there somewhere between this and that.  Please know that I appreciate life’s gifts so much.  And this opportunity to have a normal relationship with my mother even if at the end of her life means so much to me in bringing me comfort and joy.  It is somewhat akin to the memory of the love I have felt for the Blyss borzoi in my life, now gone.  And soon my mother will be gone, too, after this all too  brief passing by in the hallways of our lives where we briefly intersected after a long absence.  It was sad to have been and although not by my choosing I nevertheless had to accept it with grace.  And no sooner had we met, we had to say good-bye again.

Relationships and I am still here at Blyss

There is much death, death impending, death far away.  But death is ubiquitous because one never knows when it will touch down.   But until it does, there are many ways to avoid it, although one of the best methods may be running in circles.

Within two years, I lost all of the original Blyss Borzoi and my husband, too.  Although I struggle hard to accept these events  I cannot do so without performing behaviors that I have been informed by physicians are harmful to myself.  It’s because my heart aches for these losses, and for all of the things for which they compensated.  But in our own ways, “we all walk the long road.”  Something got away and we keep chasing it.

In Hounds of the Steppes I write:

Eternal Hound, please, to be wherever you are!

My heart belongs to one lost long ago

Lost to the Hounds’ most open space

With blinding sun by day and dazzling stars by night…

‘Tis light, after all, a sight-hound’s true friend,

‘Twas light drove us apart…. and left me behind.

I could but stand by and watch her fly to the chase

And pray, a vision eternity cannot erase,

Having lost so much and so far the way.


That is just one of the ways I look at all this death around me and try to understand it.  But that was then and this is now.  Now is the time to bring new things together and be future oriented.





Blyss Kennels Stripped Bare

Some days you are keenly made aware  of what you have and what you have not.  For me, each day is a sorry reminder of my most profound loss, a Blyss borzoi.  It can be either any of the ones I have had, or a borzoi yet to come.   I am consumed with grief and loneliness for those I have lost to death.  That emotion was previously  saved for Opal but today it is for all of them, collectively.

I look at their portraits on the wall for comfort, and their collars, leashes and show leads on the coat rack for the recollection of happy times spent together on walks or entries in conformation shows.  There are other objects, too, that I can never put away or discard.  It would be like a form of suicide, as if to deny I had ever lived or felt joy.

The Blyss borzoi were the best of me, and I gave them my best.  I could not be more lonely or grief stricken, knowing no person could touch me this way.  They only brought me joy and love unconditionally, and they knew they had my heart as none other had it.   Today I walk alone, as I will forever, for they are gone.

A tiny drop of Blyss Borzoi joy! & Poem for Paris

Today, I am celebrating the joy that for me can only happen in July, the month of my birth.  Yes, I am put squarely in Cancer and it has put its stamp on me perhaps more than genetics, rank of birth, education, or other parameters one uses to measure a character.  Foremost for Cancerians, I need an intact home and loving family to be satisfied, and I am willing to kill myself working hard to have them.  That’s pretty much what I have done with my life, although looking back on it now, I realize I did not know it then but see it very clearly now.  For most of my life, I thought I came from a rather normal family of origin where the parents loved their children and the children reciprocated in kind.  However, when I was in my fifties, a course of events transpired, precipitated by the death of my father in 1997, shattering that myth, indicating my beliefs  were terribly wrong.  The shock and horror made me become terribly ill for a long time.

As traumatic as it was, this insight helps me because it sheds light on my patterns of behavior throughout my life, including those that  may not have been good for me.  Although I had far more weights on the “accomplishment” side of the scale, the negative characteristics carried more weight in my mind and oppressed me until I felt crushed under the weight of a large, black shield.

At that time, I found myself well into middle-age and happily married to my husband Robert.  In 2003, amidst this turmoil, we decided to establish Blyss Kennels as the solution to our emotional pains.  And it worked on many levels for a long time.

By 2008  I was able to retire early and totally immersed myself in kennel life.  In Decemeber of that year, Mikhailya whelped her only litter, one that proved higher in quality than any of us imagined at the time, although they were all excellent borzoi puppies.  I remember being dizzy with joy during this period of my life.  Robert still worked, and I was busy all day with the borzoi and maintaining our beautiful home on the first Watchung Mountain ridge.

There is more to the story though, there always is.  And this is not the venue for it.  It is the story however of the importance of knowing oneself and what form your demons take.  You may find them to be strange bedfellows.  But through the resilience of the human spirit, if called upon to help, you can stare down your demons until they die.  A demon can never look you in the eye, it is too ashamed.



On that note, I am missing my Blyss Paris very much.


I have left his bed in the corner of the room where he lied,

his grooming tools are still on view, his leash and collar hang nearby,

and I am always listening for him to make a sound,

even a little squeak he makes.

How cruel Fate can be

to strike him down and his nobility!

to take my Paris away from me.