This Dog Captured My Heart

th6G37H1G0E. E. Cummings must have been a dog lover. I think of the line, “I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart) I am never without it (anywhere I go you go),”. It’s from his poem “I Carry Your Heart.” This morning my two-year-old Weimaraner had his second seizure in five months. He’s fine and will now take medication for the seizures.
Thankfully, his condition is treatable. Scary, but not life threatening. His name is Travis, and he’s my best friend. Weimaraner’s have several nicknames: the gray ghost because of the color of their coats. My favorite – Velcro dog. They’re attached to their owners. If I get up to leave any room, he is right there with me. They love to snuggle and usually take the biggest piece of the bed they can commandeer.
He’s a big boy and weights north of 82 pounds. He sleeps in his crate, but I let him up when I read in bed. He curls up near my shoulder and places his head on my arm. I’ve told him and reminded him that if he isn’t reading or turning the pages he needs to scoot down. He begrudgingly complies with a few nudges from me.
His crazy antics and wildly flapping ears keep me laughing. His stalking of lizards keeps me on my toes. Just when I settle in for a relaxing walk he pounces, yanking me into the brush with him. Thankfully, he hasn’t caught any, but not for a lack of trying. Thank you, God, for keeping my boy safe. What dog owns your heart?

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Become an Astute Observer of Life

thGYDZOVE3I read a quote by Wayne W. Dyer and it resonated with me. “Become an astute observer… judge less and listen more.” Could there be a more relevant sentiment for our country to hear? I don’t care what the incident no immediate rush to judgement is required. Facts become lost in the rush.
Stephen Covey advised, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Gut reactions have their place, but they ought not replace a thorough understanding of the facts. It has become commonplace in America to infer, demean and attack anyone with a differing point of view This behavior does not increase understanding. Just the opposite occurs, closed minds and hearts.
Dyer’s advice is needed now more than ever. Watch, study and look for the truth behind the words. There’s no need to judge and defame. Decide for yourself what works and doesn’t. Then act accordingly.
Namaste

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Respectful Dialogue Needed

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Shangri-La sounds like heaven to me. A fictional place from the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by James Hilton. A fictional place, secluded and surrounded by mountains. A valley of unparalleled beauty and tranquility. Guided by lamas where people age slowly and gain great wisdom.
Flash to our modern world and it’s no mystery why I’d opt to find a similar retreat. The lack of civility, mean spirited rhetoric, and inaccurate facts leave me reeling. How have we gone so far off track? It is not okay to demean opposing views or out drowned them out and slander those with whom we disagree. We need respectful discourse. Listen, ask questions and seek solutions–together.
The best way forward is together. This is next to impossible in the current climate. A world which works for everyone will not happen until we commit to respectful dialogue. Until then I’m off to my own Shangri-La. How About You?

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A Time to Reflect

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One of the best things about retirement is the time to reflect. No need to rush and rush. Today I’m reflecting on a quote from H. G. Wells. He states, “We must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind us to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle and a mystery.” A powerful statement. How many of us live lives dictated by the clock and calendar?
When I worked I was one among many, now not so much. I’m blessed to do what I want when I want. My challenge remembering to daily view my life as both a miracle and a mystery. When I stop and ponder all my blessings, I’m humbled. Life’s little annoyances melt away.
The miracle part is easy, my grandmother managed to make all seven of us feel special. A pioneer in her own right. She was a Daughter of the American Revolution and a college graduate. She began life with a horse and buggy, drove a Model T and watched us put a man on the moon. Her kindness, a keen sense of humor and love for us made all the difference.

The mystery took longer to unfold. Moving eleven times between first and fifth grade made me a poor reader. Thanks to my grandmother I overcame the slow start. Eventually, obtaining my doctorate at fifty-two. I enjoyed a successful career as a college coach and educator. Published three books and am traveling to places I never thought I’d see. What no one saw coming was me adopting my daughter when I was forty. She changed me and taught me more than I ever dreamed possible. She still remains a mystery to me and that’s okay.

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Come Together to Solve the Problem

th0YEY4S5XI don’t like the path our country walks. Truths and partial truths spun to make whoever throws the mud look better. Enough, stop the lies. The citizens of this country deserve the unvarnished truth. Children separated from their parents when a felony is committed.
For the record, I don’t like it. Children are separated from their parents when: the people accompanying them aren’t their parents; their parents committed a felony, and or they arrive unaccompanied by an adult. The first time a person crosses the border illegally becomes a misdemeanor. The family returns to their country usually within hours.
The individuals are processed and deported. The exception being if they’ve re-entered illegally. This triggers a felony conviction and the reason for separating families. Their parents knowingly broke the law. If I rob a bank, get caught and sentenced, my family is separated from me. This is happening at our borders.
We are a country of laws and when they are broken, there are consequences. We need to discuss how to fix this. How to allow people to enter the country legally. Streamline the process. Catch and release isn’t the answer because the reasons they cross illegally aren’t addressed. We need to come together in Washington for a bi-partisan solution. Now.

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Totem Animals

th3MS6XS1GDo you have totem animals? I do and years ago, a counselor recommend I explore mine. I easily identified one for each chakra. I can’t remember all seven. Yet, the ones I remember are significant in my life. Showing up in pivotal moments.
The most prominent is the hawk. Every time I’ve asked God for a sign or an answer a hawk appears. The message isn’t always clear. Still the hawk signals a positive outcome, even when I’m not sure what it means. After, I got my doctorate I asked God for a sign on what my next step might be. The next morning on my daily run two hawks landed directly in front of me. They perched momentarily looking me right in the eye. Then they took flight.
Their visit told me I’d be fine whatever direction I placed my foot on the path. The hawks were correct. Tonight, I was catching up with my sister and she shared that one of her daughters was being challenged. I looked out my window as she spoke and a young hawk landed on my back fence. I’ve never seen one in my yard
Thank you, God, for letting me know and by extension my sister. Her daughter will be fine. We are all on the path-twists and turns along the way. This too shall pass and she will find her footing. Namaste.

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What Brought You Happiness Today?

thWhat brought me happiness today and made me laugh? The short answer-my two dogs. We enjoyed a beautiful morning walk. Clear sunny skies, a breeze off the ocean, heaven on earth. The sound of the birds singing louder than the traffic. Refreshing and invigorating.
Then I went to church with friends. The music inspired, and the minster told good jokes. Who could ask for anything more? A thought provoking message delivered succinctly. I was on a roll with the promise of a delicious brunch. Brunch delivered a tasty delight and my friends provided amusing conversation.
I find these simple activities give me great joy. Retirement has provided beautiful weather, new friends and the time to enjoy life. I don’t just do; I do what I want. Only what I want. Traveling opens new doors and shows me new civilizations. Then when it’s time to come home, I have my boys. Travis is an eighty-pound Weimaraner and Narley is my sixty-pound Goldor.
Their unbridled enthusiasm for life and their silly antics make me laugh. I’m blessed and among my many gifts is the privilege to share my life with Travis and Narley. Dog instinctively know how to keep it simple. I’m learning. How About You?

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Civil Discourse Needed

thMy Mom used to tell us not to say anything if we couldn’t say anything nice. She was right. What have we come to as a nation with these vulgar pronouncements by comedians/actresses and talk show hosts? These women do not speak for me. Never. Agree to disagree with respectful dialogue.
No one needs to listen to you spew your deplorable diatribes. Think whatever you want. It is your right, but do not inflict your crude commentary on the rest of us. Discussing issues respectfully promotes open discourse. A path for possible healing or increased understanding. Attacking people closes minds and ears.
Covey recommends, “seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Sage insight. Crude comments don’t add any illumination or understanding. I may not silence these tacky voices, but I can tune them out. How about you, will you join me and silence their rude banter?

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Freedom Isn’t Free

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Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer and triggers another round of sales. What seems to be missing is the reason we celebrate Memorial Day. The holiday honors all those who have given their lives in service to our country. Men and women who died to protect our freedom.

 

We must never forget their sacrifice and the pain of all those they left behind. Children lost parents and parents lost their children. Nothing can heal this hurt. I pray time makes it survivable. Their selfless acts safeguard our freedom. A debt we can never repay.

 

As we honor the brave men and women who gave their lives in service to this nation, I pray for a future free war and strife. A time when peace reigns, an end to war. Until, I give thanks to all the men and women who protect our freedom. Thank you and God bless.

 

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What are you grateful for today?

thEvery morning before rising I thank God for my health, my home, my boys (dogs), family, friends both old/new and I pray for people facing challenges. No matter what my day looks like I know I’m blessed. Over the years I’ve learned things at the moment may seem dire. Given time and perspective they often blossom into a blessing.
A lost job or a big move is scary. Still, I know things aren’t as they seem. Moving to California nearly twenty-six years ago I found a home. My entire family lives on the east coast. Work brought me to the west coast, but the weather keeps me here. The earth may shake from time to time. Wild fires and debris flows keep things interesting.
Nothing in comparison to hurricanes, tornados and snowy subzero temperatures. I’ll take the sunshine and ocean breeze every time. There are few native Californians. We are a hodgepodge of races, ages-vagabonds looking for a new home. I know I found mine and I am grateful. What are you grateful for today?

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