Rashmi Kashyap of Soul and Spirit has not been heard from since last December. I know her husband (who is in the army in India) was being transferred (again) and that the terrible flooding in the region affected many people, although her family had come through it intact as of last contact.


Her email was rashmik22@gmail.com, but it does not seem to be working. It’s possible that wherever they, they don’t have connections available.

I have been worried about her and her family for a while, but they are on the other side of the world and I have no way to even try to find them. If anyone has local contacts in India, could you try to track her down and make sure she’s okay? Three months is a long time for silence to continue.

If you know anything, hear anything … please let me know? I’m not the only one who is concerned.




I have a few interesting pictures for this week’s entry. It rained most of the week and The Cold That Never Ends left me with very little energy to venture out.


Pretty yet dead tulips

Afternoon sunlight on canvas camera bag

Afternoon sunlight on canvas camera bag


There are always pictures to take.

As the season advances, the light is changing, bringing the first direct light to the front of the house since last summer.




I was 11 years old when I got my first dog, a dachshund named Schnitzel. He was my only sibling, human or canine. We grew up together and he was totally my dog.

ellin curley dachshund

My parents weren’t really “dog people” so they didn’t love him the way I did. Schnitzel and I were a team. He always knew when I was upset and was there for me. He lived to be 15, so I was 26 when he died. I left home at 22 to go to law school and then got married.

I never came back. I abandoned my buddy in his old age and to this day I feel guilty about it. At least I was with him at the end.


I didn’t get another dog until my kids were 5 and 10 years old. We got a Golden retriever mix rescue dog who was one of the most beautiful dogs I’ve ever known, inside and out. He was one of those once-in-a-lifetime dogs –- incredibly smart, uncannily sensitive, and intuitive. He was mellow, but bright and alert. And fun to be with.

Ellin Curley Sam dogs-2

Everyone loved him. The year I lived in New York City, I had to leave extra time when I walked him because people always came up to me to ask about him and pet him. But Sam belonged to the whole family. We each had a special, close relationship with him. That was his super power.

I still think about him all the time and miss him terribly, but he wasn’t my dog.

Ellin Curley Sam dog

Just 6 years ago I got another dog who connected to me in that special, intimate way. Her name is Lexie. Part Rhodesian Ridgeback, part Pomeranian, entirely gorgeous. She has a beautiful caramel face with hazel eyes and what looks like a permanent smile.

But she’s a rescue — incredibly anxious, skittish, and neurotic. She is on anxiety medication. Calmer now, but she is still frequently and easily spooked. Because of her anxiety, Lexie is not great at first meeting with new people. Not everyone “gets” her the way I do, which makes me feel more protective of her. Maybe that’s part of why I relate to her so well. I also have anxiety issues, but we are both cuddlers and we seem to calm each other.


Lexie follows me around and wants to do whatever I’m doing, even when that’s just sitting and reading or watching TV. She is wonderful with my husband and he adores her too, but our other dog, Lucky follows him around and is more HIS dog.

72-Ellin_02 lucky and lexie

My kids left home years ago, so it’s just me and Tom – and our two “shadows”. We each have our own special companion in addition to each other. Which is how it should be.

On “Grey’s Anatomy”, Meredith Grey refers to her BFF/soul mate as “My person”. Lexie is my canine “person” in my empty nest middle age years just as Schnitzel was while I was growing up.