Just for laughs!

I received a great email from  Aunt Anne yesterday.  I am humbled once again…a dog surfs, snowboards and skateboards better than most people!  He must be a reincarnated  Beach Boy to show them skills!   Have fun with this, Happy Tuesday:)


photo journal: dog days of fall

Start of the walk, Cally is looking forward— (to it!)

Today has been driving rain, sunshine, wind, calm and breezy….typical fall weather

Our neighbours have finished cutting hay.  Next up…combining of beans and corn.

Milkweed:Milkweed is the host plant for the monarch butterfly. As the monarch larva consumes the milkweed leaves, it also retains the cardiac glycosides making the monarch toxic to predators. butterflyencounters.com  Cool!

The apples I pick along the way are always a highlight of our walk for me…

and Cally!

Baby looks the same;)

My mother sent me this photograph a little while ago and it struck me that I haven’t changed much:  I love to wear hats, fur coats(o’k this is a fake fur, but I won’t hold that against my mom!), and rubber boots.  I love dogs and still have an odd way of standing/or sitting with my right leg crinkled up behind me.  What do your childhood photos say about you;)

Dogs and babies do that to you

Dogs and babies…once your friend gets one, you want one too!  We have always admired golden retrievers for their beauty, brains and temperament, but the amount of hair and grooming led us to buy a yellow lab about 7 years ago.

This is Callaghan, Cally for short.  He is a beautiful dog and has made the transition from town dog to country dog very nicely!  He is waiting to go for a ride in Pats John Deere Gator…it’s a guy thing, believe me:)  Cally and Pat do trails together, fish and as you can see, ride together on the property.  Personally, I think that Pat just likes the fact that Cally doesn’t tell him how to drive, unlike me….oops!

I came upon this pretty female golden earlier today, and was completely taken.  She was so gentle, quiet and elegant as she walked…the opposite of my man Cally.  He can hit a coffee cup or wine glass 3 feet away from the table, track mud and debris proudly into the house all the while leaving a trail of drool cascading from his sizable Louis Armstrong jowls.  Unapologetic he is as he trots into my presence full of burrs and wet fur.  Katie quietly and patiently waits for you to notice her…and her cuddly.

I know, I know!!!  It is not fair to Cally for me to compare him to any other dog, anymore than it would be for me to compare our daughter Emily to any other child.  I have never done that to her, so why was I pining for a lovely girly dog?…Was I in a Freudian way making a sad and mis-guided attempt at replacing some femininity in our home, since we are empty nesters now?

No.  I just think that I like dogs.  Having your child move on and out, is what they are suppose to do…if we have done our job well.  It could just be this simple: “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” Roger Caras, American Wildlife Photographer.


walking meditation among the chaos

Grass thick with dew.  The moon grudgingly holding the sky  in the west as the sun rises lazily in the east. I walk our dog Cally on our trails.  Crickets, birds and even squirrels calling.  I use my morning walk to set the tone for the day.  Gratitude extended to our Creator.  I stop periodically to stretch or to enter into a yoga pose.  Nothing beats yoga off the mat.  Feeling light.

Reverie interrupted as Cally lurched  forwards to what had previously been an unseen ground-hog.  Cally had a bad run in with one last year, where upon his face was clawed, just missing his eyes…resulting in a vet visit, rabies shot and meds…We were perilously close to another go-around, I instinctively yelled “Aaaahhhh!!!” then “Cally, NO!”..maybe more like a battle cry or demonic wail than a clear command! It worked though because  both Cally and the ground-hog stopped in their tracks…I laughed inwardly at the absurdity of the situation….where is my camera?!  Both animals staring at me now, apparently waiting for the next instruction…to which I accommodated with”Cally, Come!“.  He did come, was treated, and the ground-hog waddled off looking periodically behind him (and I believe he would have scratched his head if his arms were long enough)  Perhaps thinking…“what the?”!

My heart returned quickly to its pre-surprise state.  As did my state of calm.  This is what walking meditation does for you.  You may enter into a situation of stress in your day, but are able to respond clearly and quickly.  The event  resolved as soon as it began.

Thich Nhat Hanh is a Buddhist monk and scholar.  I have read many of his books and apply many of his lessons to my life, daily, easily.  From his book Happiness, he says:”Our mind tends to dart from one thing to another, like a monkey swinging from branch to branch without stopping to rest.  Thoughts have millions of pathways, and they forever pull us along into the world of forgetfulness.  If we can transform our walking path into a field for meditation, our feet will take every step in full awareness.  Our breathing will be in harmony with our steps, and our mind will naturally be at ease.  Every step we take will reinforce our peace and joy and cause a stream of calm energy to flow through us.”

If I can do this, so can you…walking to the car, in the grocery store or mowing the lawn.

doing the superiority dance opens way for a knock upside the head

Yes, yesterday I was feeling so superior that I found my special friend Marcus Aurelius again.  Philosopher extraordinaire!  I went to bed all “zen and peace”, only to be wakened by our dog Cally whose stomach was pitching and heaving, with the tell tale “I -am- about-to-puke” burping.  I leapt out of bed, ran to the hall, stepped in his puke, then he blew his contents….ahhh yes, … where did my zen go?  Tracking sticky bile, I led him to the front door, mainly so that  he could be outside while I cleaned up the mess.   On my hands and knees, paper towels for initial clean, rags,bucket and soapy water for the big clean.  Nothing like cleaning bile and bits of dead forest stuff from the hardwood at 3:00 in the morning.

I did “kind of” chuckle to myself as I realized that if I had actually possessed the zen-like calm that Aurelius spoke of, and we all try to practice, then the barfing incident would not have bothered me so much.  So if I want to be all zen and peace, then it takes practice right?  And practice only comes in the form of life and its little curve-balls, challenges and jokes.  Well last night, I was the butt-end of that joke the universe threw out…until the next time;)