Note: I read all comments and respond to most. --- New posts every 10 to 15 days...except when life decides to get in my way by dropping a log into my pond.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Why Not A Book?

TIME is my culprit. Taking the TIME to just do it. It seems like a "forever" thing to accomplish...and I always have so much catching up to do just in everyday life. Yes. TIME. That is my culprit. :)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Ramblings of a Future Memoirist

ram·bling [ram-bling]

1. aimlessly wandering
2. taking an irregular course, straggling
3. spread out irregularly in various directions
4. straying from one subject to another, desultory

des·ul·to·ry [des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee]

1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful
2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject, random

Thinking through the above definitions, I would have to say my title is very apropos, but not to the extent of being desultory. If I were to pond-er anything that's desultory, I would write of my mother. And if I were to now write about her...well, THAT would indeed be desultory on my part.

I have not seen it feasible to write an autobiography that would be of any interest to anyone, since I am an unknown; meaning, I am not a familiar public figure that would warrant interest. But more and more over the past year or two, the genre of memoir has teased my muse. Perhaps it is time I take it to heart.

I would first write of my intriguing 3-month hitchhiking trip from Minnesota through the Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec provinces of Canada to Bangor Maine and then westward home through the States.

Next would be going back in time a few more years to my spur of the moment decision to travel with a new friend to Chicago, ending up stranded in Madison Wisconsin, living in a near-penthouse apartment, and becoming part of a major drug ring including behind the scenes of the largest rock festival following Woodstock.

Naturally, I could not resist telling of my notable childhood memories and sibling stories, of my beloved daughter and 2 divorces (before I finally got it right), and how this laid the groundwork for who I've become.

But one more story must be told...the one I call Another Perspective. It's the one where I delve into my changing relationship, knowledge and understanding of God throughout these various events. Yes, another perspective indeed!

Many many people have told me again and again that I simply must get my stories in writing -- that they're all very interesting to listen to and there's so much to be learned. I don't know about all that.

What I do know is this: I've pushed to have an adventurous life without regrets, and I love to write. I've also met a lot of people who always seem surprised at all I've done and everywhere I've been. And somehow, that just seems like the right combination to write...
   a memoir...
               or two...or three...or even four!   
(You know, just to have...Another Perspective.)  :~)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Control the Dog -- or Me?

Can you believe it!? Awake at 2 a.m. and I'm thinking about yesterday's trip to the dog park with our two dogs. At two in the morning!!???

The youngest canine is Brandy Bojangles, a year and a half old Cocker Spaniel -- recently spayed -- which is why she could finally go to the park. Brandy usually barks fearfully and incessantly at the mere sight of another dog or human. Yet, once in the park, she took it all in without a sound.  

But this writing is not about Brandy.

The second dog is my husband's three year old, female, Dalmatian/Aussie mix named Zephyr. That afternoon Zephyr did something I had never seen her do before. She jumped up on someone, resting her paws on their chest, then quickly got down as I verbally directed her. But she did it again...and again...and again! more than one person.

Zephyr had caught me so off guard that I never even had the thought to physically restrain her from doing it again. Why hadn't I simply taken her by the collar, apologized, and walked away?

Everyone involved appeared both surprised and almost entertained by her behavior. It was obvious, that for some very uncomfortable moments in time, I did not have control of my dog. 

But this is actually not about Zephyr either.

Laying there awake in the wee hours of the morning, I became immensely disconcerted about Zephyr. That's when I realized the urgency of how much I truly need to regain control of a lot more than a dog

This is really about me, I thought.

Just like that warm engulfing sensation you feel when you step into a hot tub and slowly immerse yourself, I felt strangely comforted and even inspired by yesterday's episode. My mental muscles rejuvenated as I lay there pondering the benefits of a more controlled, more disciplined life.  

It was time to get up and lay out a plan.

To have reasonable control of things around me (including a dog), I must first take control of myself. And, control over the physical body begins with mental discipline, because the body won't quit until the mind gives in.

What a person thinks about -- considers, ponders and focuses on -- is what they become. That is a law. So I will tend to my moment by moment ponderings by giving greater heed to the kind of nutrition I'm feeding my mind with. That's fair and simple.

Diligently disciplining the mind will enable my physical body to attain the desired results I seek, for I cannot function well without significant physical endurance and vitality. This will also mean a balanced diet and exercise. 

I may have the good food and great cooking part of it under control, but there remains a very pressing need for me to concentrate on the exercise side of that equation. I am encouraged by knowing I am fully equipped for success.

Next, I can begin to branch out into my environment, to have better control of my surroundings. This will include my/our dogs, my home and yard, the care of my mother, and...even taxes. 

All these things have one essential aspect when it comes to control  -- the element of time

Time~~ (as defined by Juilius O'Hara -- Peter Lorre in Beat the Devil, 1953)
Time. Time. What is time?
Swiss manufacture it.
French hoard it.
Italians squander it.
Americans say it is money.
Hindus say it does not exist.
You know what I say?
I say, time is a crook!
Well, you know what I say? I say, I will need to be more assertive in how I utilize my time, because time is an irreplaceable commodity that requires stewardship.

There it is...all laid out. I cannot -- I will not -- fail. I can only succeed. I will regain the control I desire and need in my life. 


       I will have the presence of mind to simply take Zephyr by the collar, apologize, and walk away.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Hearsay? Or Heartfelt?

How is it possible that one vet would refuse to take a look at my declining dog to see whether or not there was something that could be done to ease her pain; while another vet wanted to see her right away, do a blood panel, and even offered to keep her in the hospital overnight to give her one last chance of recovery? 

The first vet is spoken highly of by her clientele and is probably ranked among the top 5 out of over 100 local veterinarians. The second vet is perhaps not as highly favored in the community, and runs a walk-in clinic along with a not-for-profit service that caters to the tight budgets of many elderly pet owners. 

The first was our top choice after trying four other vets in the area over the past 5 years. After talking to her office staff and many of her customers, we were convinced we had found the best of "the best" for our 3 dogs -- not only quite capable, but a very compassionate vet also. 

At least that's what we thought up until our eldest -- a 9+ year old Cocker Spaniel [click here to read my 2011 post "G" is for Ginger] -- took a sudden turn for the worst.

Ginger had a Protein Losing Enteropathy we had managed to keep in remission for nearly 2 years through a carefully monitored holistic diet. But, the symptoms were back with even more vengeance than before.

It was the day before the winter solstice -- that time of year when the noon sun is at its lowest level above the horizon. About mid-morning, Ginger let me know it took all she had within her to simply lift her head up a few inches above my lap.

I put a call into our new vet.

We were all set to just drive to the clinic, when vet#1 returned my call. I told her how I knew my little girl was on her last leg, but I just wanted to make sure she wasn't in too much pain -- that she was comfortable. 

To my surprise and dismay, this person had the nerve to scold me. Something about a typical case of IBD (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and me needing to get serious about treatment.

Is she for real?? I thought. She admittedly had never seen Ginger, and was looking at 2 year old blood work -- not a biopsy. You've got to be kidding me! Serious about treatment?! 

I phoned the other vet.

Vet#2 saw us right away and wanted to do fresh blood work. Our dear little fighter was severely anemic, so we all decided it best to leave her in the hospital overnight. 

When the phone rang that morning, I knew who it was before I answered. Yes, it had been in the wee hours of that winter solstice, December 21st, that Ginger quietly and comfortably finished her epicurean escapade with life. 

Heading out the door, we grabbed her favorite dusty orange afgan -- the one she always dragged to the front door to tell us "take me with you" when we were leaving in the car.

The vet only charged us for the blood work. No office visit. No exam fee. No hospital charges. Only for the blood work that confirmed we had done everything possible for our little Ginger Girl. Unbelievable!

There was one place in the backyard Ginger was always forbidden to go. We called it "the pit." Relentlessly, she'd head to that spot to eat grass or sniff out some unknown critter. Then we would clap our hands loudly for her to get away and she would jump and run like it was some sort of game. 

Talking things through, it only made sense to us for the "forbidden spot" to be her final resting place.

Wrapped in her favorite afgan, together with her most favorite toy, we placed her in her most desirable spot in the yard, topped off with a headstone! If there was ever such a thing as doggie heaven, this would be it!

As far as vets go...I guess there's hearsay compassion, and then there's heartfelt compassion. As you can about guess, the only similarity between those two is they both begin with the word "hear." Quite seriously, when it involves our other two dogs, the choice is obvious. 

We are so thankful to God to have had those 4 and a half years of healing with our beautiful rescued Ginger Girl (who actually rescued us). And thankful too, for the years ahead with our Zephyr and Brandy Bojangles, who have helped us to move forward...

...just second nature for a dog. :~)