Frisbee Wednesday almost snuck completely past me. Where did the week go? We have been in a family crisis whose focus keeps shifting from humans to dogs and back again.

My family, his family, both families … all interwoven with dogs, old, sick, well, young. Without going into details, it has been very difficult for both of us, but especially rough for Garry who shows the pain less, but feels it more.

nan almost christmas

Meanwhile, the Daily Prompt came up with a suggestion we talk about tattoos. And why not? I’ve got one. It’s even relevant, packed with subtext and meaning. Amidst all the emotional and actual mayhem of life …


I got my tattoo when I was 55. Definitely a late starter. It took me years to figure out what I wanted, then years to find someone I trusted to do it.

A tattoo isn’t a casual thing. Once you’ve got it, it’s got you, too. Unless you go to heroic lengths to rid yourself of it, it’s as much a part of you as … well … your skin.

phoenix tattoo me

I’d been vibrating to the phoenix for a long time. Having had my world collapse a few times and arise from its ashes, I figured it fit. I have phoenix earrings, pendants, and pins. What I didn’t have, was a phoenix as part of me. The younger generation were seriously into “body art” and dragooned me. It wasn’t hard to get me to join since I’d been thinking about it anyway.

My husband was amused, but not buying into the event. His skin would remain pristine. No tattoos, no piercings. He got through the Marine Corps unscathed. He wasn’t giving in now. Garry has a will — more accurately — a won’t — of iron.

I knew what I wanted in general, but needed a design. The tattoo guy and I created a design based on a variety of Phoenix patterns he and I found online and in books. Which make it a one-of-a-kind design. When he sketched it on my left calf, I was surprised it was so big. It covers my entire calf. I had something more petite in mind.

My Tattoo phoenix

Well, in for a penny, in for a pound so. I did it.

When this prompt showed up in this morning’s email, I was delighted. Here is something I could relate to. Then I thought about it.

Taking photographs of the back of one’s left calf is not easy. Not only is the angle difficult, involving significant twisting of your torso into interesting configurations, but unless one is a lot taller than I am, it’s hard to get it in focus — I didn’t, but came close. Software did the rest.

Finally, it came together. My tattoo, in honor of surviving life crises and a brave hope for times to come. A phoenix engulfed in flame.

Phoenix doesn’t have quite enough flames. I always wanted to add more fire. Life got in the way, and now, I never will. My phoenix is happy. Long may he reign.

Categories: dogs, Family, Humor, Personal, Photography

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

54 replies

  1. It was worth to come back to see such nice portraits of your dogs. The tattoo is so vibrant and meaningful. I have to look for the photos which I can add to my reply.


  2. I love that tattoo! The colors and the meaning behind it are so beautiful.


  3. Oh, that figures. I spent an hour the other day looking through hundreds of posts on your blog to screen capture all your doggy’s best portraits and now you put together a post that has a collection of them all. LOL


    • Bob, I have 100,000 pictures and I’m lucky if I can find a couple of dozen. I have no structure, no keywords, nothing but lots of folders with dates on them and occasionally, some other bit of information. I look at the mess, and I just want to go take a nap.


      • Because I used to shoot weddings and family portraits professionally I had to develop a system to organize everything 20 years ago. It carried over to the digital age as well.


        • I never thought about organizing. I just put the folders on one hard drive after another basically by date or sometimes, location or event. Mostly date. I never imagined I wouldn’t remember what happened in 2009. Or worse, 2005.


  4. Love your photos but sorry to hear about things not going well for those you love. A phoenix does seem like a good choice- and a colorful one at that!


  5. Like Garry I am tattoo-less, could be a commitment thing in my case! But that is one fine Phoenix.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My daughter wants to give me a tattoo for Christmas – a semi-colon which is in support of Mental Illnesses. I have decided though, to dye my hair purple – just because I can. I love your tattoo. At least the colour is still strong. My ex had tattoos on both arms and after 20 years the colours had faded to the point of being just black outlines. So he went and got the colours redone when we got married.
    I hope your babies are improving. It is always hard when they are sick.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Long may he reign indeed. 🙂 Love the pictures of your furbabies too!


  8. Love these photos of your furry family with Garry. Love the tattoo also. I have a Phoenix collection, mostly jewelry. After my 3rd divorce I legally changed my last name to Phoenix, for similar reasons for your tattoo choice. I’m sorry about your recent challenges and am sending warm hugs your way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As mom always said, “This too shall pass.” And it will. I wouldn’t mind sleeping through to the other side, but I guess that’s not an option.

      Yes, the phoenix is a very good symbol for those of us who have had to come back — again and again. Haven’t heard from you in a while. i do hope all is well with you. It sounded like you were in a good place last we chatted.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. That is a fine looking phoenix. It’s definitely a lot better than most of the tattoos I see on the hipster crowd these days… many of which I’m sure were decided on with not much thought and probably a lot of alcohol. And their tats will never look as good as yours when they reach your age… your patience paid off.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I would have sworn you would have an Native American tattoo, but I think the Phoenix is a great idea. I love it, I wish I wouldn’t be such a chicken-shit. I am kinda with Garry on the tattoo thing.


  11. You have a beautiful Phoenix Marilyn 😀


  12. And from Evil Squirrel — a little (very) soft porn for a Wednesday afternoon.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. OOh, nice tattoo Marilyn. I’m not sure that I would do that myself. My ears are pierced for earrings but that’s it.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Yes, well, it is a very nice tattoo and I think you have placed it well. I like the colours. You have a lovely collection of dogs and I hope your problems eventually sort themselves out.



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