Mother’s Day Passing

Yesterday was Mother’s Day. It was also the day that our beloved family cat, Dante, passed away. He had been sick a while and I’m glad we could be with him when it happened. He was near 13 years old and was born in the back of our yard. We picked him out of the litter because he came right to us, unafraid and eager. He just wanted to be around us. He was like our dog — always greeting us and just content to sit right by us. He loved people and was a happy cat.

I was going to post this picture of the Rhododendrons in our garden yesterday but it seems more fitting to post them today as purple is the symbolic color of spirituality, suffering and rebirth.

Rhodos in Bloom photo by C. Ashley Spencer

Dante loved going outside in the last few days. Even though he was an indoor cat, we indulged him during his last days. He had lost half of his body weight and looked almost kitten-like in how fragile he appeared.

Dante, our family cat, towards the end

Here’s a pillow that I designed in his likeness and needlepointed a long time ago. I purposely left the eyes just painted because I wanted a bit more depth, as in reality, “windows are the eyes into the soul.” I got a funny email yesterday that said women could read cats’ facial expressions. Well, with this cat, because he was so expressive and seemed to communicate so well, our whole family could understand him. He’ll be so sadly missed but much loved and fondly remembered.

Dante Pillow by C. Ashley Spencer

Reflection on the Arboretum

The weather was absolutely gorgeous for spending a Sunday afternoon at the National Arboretum. The azaleas and rhodos were in full bloom and everyone and their neighbor seemed to be there enjoying their beauty. This is that annual time of year to make the journey to witness Spring in its full splendor. The only unfortunate thing was that we decided too late in the day to do this and didn’t have enough time to explore. At least for now, we can always go back.

Here are a few pictures I took:

Herb Garden @ The National Arboretum by C. Ashley Spencer

Peony @ The National Arboretum Asian Garden by C. Ashley Spencer

Ellen @ Peonies at National Arboretum by C. Ashley SpencerEllen and Koi @ National Arboretum by C. Ashley SpencerKoi @ National Arboretum by C. Ashley Spencer

I came across this YouTube video of Japanese style sumi-e painting of a koi and I thought it was pretty fascinating to watch the process; although, it does take about 10 minutes because it’s done in real time.

Upon further reflection on our visit to the Arboretum. I found this interesting flower attached to this leaf and several petals on the ground and I was able to do a quick sketch later before they all dried up the next day.

Interpretive Flower Sketch by C. Ashley Spencer

I can’t think of anything more perfect than pretty flowers to share for this 100th year of celebrating Mother’s Day this Sunday. Happy Mothers’ Day to all the mothers out there. This day should be celebrated daily.