Thursday, December 31, 2009

This Year's Animal

It started year before last when I gave my sister and myself sterling silver dragonfly charms.  Dragonflies symbolize transformation and I thought 2008 needed to be a transformative year for both of us.  My sister hasn't changed her animal since; she loves the idea of constantly transforming herself.

I, on the other hand, chose the bumblebee as my 2009 animal.  Bumblebees symbolize persistence, steadiness, diligence and winning against all odds.  After all, aerodynamically bumblebees shouldn't be able to fly at all.  All of which I need to work on as I have a bad habit of "flitting" and never "landing".  I think I've done better this year.  Not great, but better.  I wore my bumblebee often throughout this year to give me a boost when I needed it.

For 2010, I have chosen the turtle as my totem.  I love turtles and tortoises.  They just look wise to me.  So, for Christmas I asked for a very pretty little bracelet I had seen with turtles and turquoise beads.  It really helps me to have a reminder that I can wear.  Turtles signify "groundedness" and they are the oldest symbol for planet Earth.  The turtle is a reminder to create and hold your ideas and plans till they are fully ready to share; and, that being bigger, stronger or faster aren't always the best ways to get to your goal.  Remember "slow and steady wins the race"?

This year I'll try to give myself the time I need to do the things I need or want to do.  And I'll have these sweet little turtles to help me along.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Monday Musing

Christmas is over.  I'm sure there are people out there very sad about this.  I am, however, not one of them.  The relief that I felt on the 26th getting that Christmas tree down was huge.  I'm not a total Grinch:  I do still have the wreath on the front door.  But it will soon be coming down, too.

That being said, I had a wonderful Christmas.  The company was sterling; the food was wonderful (and fattening); the presents surprising and satisfying.  My sweet Significant Husband gifted me with a Barnes & Noble Nook e-reader, which I ordered yesterday.  It will actually be a Valentine's present, too, since it isn't shipping till February 1st.  But hey -- something to look forward to in the dreary grip of winter.

I am ready to move on to a new year.  Well, I'm ALMOST ready to move on.  I need to get my office and craft areas cleared out and rearranged to meet 2010 with conviction.  Betcha can't guess what I'm going to be doing for the next several days.

Friday, December 25, 2009

You Can Quote Me

O, Come All Ye Faithful to the Little Town of Bethlehem in the Silent Night to celebrate Joy to the World.

                                               ~~~ Donna Noland


Monday, December 21, 2009

Monday Musing

Christmas traditions really can be fun even when you've done them for years on end and you may think they are getting rather stale.

Yesterday, the women of the family(along with one lone boyfriend) trekked downtown to the grand old Alabama Theater to watch "White Christmas" on the big screen.  We can't remember precisely, but it seems that this must be at least the 7th year for this.  And every year -- even though we can quote whole scenes worth of the script -- it's just as much fun.  The mighty Wurlitzer organ is played superbly for a half hour before show time.  Then comes the audience Christmas carol singalong.  The organ disappears under the stage, the lights go down, the velvet curtains open and the event begins; always with a classic Disney cartoon.  This year it was Donald Duck's turn at bat.

Throughout the movie, you can hear people (usually me, but others, too) softly singing under their breath.  The laughter comes easily.  We love Bing.  We love Rosemary.  We are in awe of Vera Ellen and her teeny, tiny waist.  But oh, how we ADORE Danny Kaye.  I really think it's the only reason my mother continues to attend.  Well, that and she loves all the 50s ambiance.  She says it reminds her of "how much fun we used to have......y'all just don't know how to have a good time now."  The Sisters's song is probably my and my sister's highlight.  Both the versions. 

And at the last when Bing, Danny, Rosemary & Vera Ellen stand before the glorious Christmas tree and encourage their film audience to join them in the last chorus of "White Christmas", the Alabama crowd is THERE and we oblige.  The theater rings as we sing out and enjoy the White Christmas experience for another year.

Friday, December 18, 2009

You Can Quote Me

May the spirit of Christmas bring you peace, the gladness of Christmas give you hope, the warmth of Christmas grant you love.

                                              ~~~ Author Unknown

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Icicle Crunchies

I thought I was going to get away with no Christmas tree-dog mishaps this year.  Yes.......I was wrong.  Over the weekend, Vivi determined that the nice, sparkly plastic icicles I put on the tree must be new doggie treats sent from Santa just for her.

The first crunch that I heard, I couldn't really place what it was.  I kept on with what I was doing, but then I heard it again.  I got up to check and there she was, the evidence strewn around her in several small pieces.  As I bent down to look, I quickly realized that there weren't enough small pieces to make a whole icicle.  Uh oh.  I resumed what I had been doing and an hour later, I heard the telltale crunch again.  I ran this time to the scene of the crime.  Now, I picked up the top and two-thirds of the bottom.  When I picked her up, Miss Viv gagged up the other half-inch.  This time I went to find the baby gate (used in emergency cases like this); removed all the remaining icicles from the lower third of the tree; and, closed the pocket door in to the dining room effectively sealing off the temptation.
I spent the next two days watching for signs of intestinal blockage, which thankfully, never materialized.  I would have hated to spend all of Vivi's Christmas present money on a big, fat vet bill.  As far as I can tell, the tree ornaments have now lost most of their glowing appeal.  We have 10 days.  Keep your fingers crossed.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday Musing

That soft little breeze whispering by your cheek just now was a sigh.  From me.  I think I'm finally to the point in the holiday season where I can begin to unknot the kinks in my shoulders.  I think.

There are two more presents to wrap.  There are 3 bottles of wine to pick up sometime this week.  I have two gifts left to mail today. The Little Black Dogs get taken to the groomers tomorrow for Christmas Cleanup (just hope that lasts a little longer than 36 hours).  I know which food items I will be attempting this year for our Christmas get-together.....all easy recipes, thank God.  So right about now, I'm feeling pretty good.  Tomorrow could be another story, but I'm not looking ahead.

Well, actually that's a lie.  While doing all those housewifely chores this morning, I was contemplating what I'd like for 2010 to be like.  Maybe by New Year's Eve, I'll have some kind of list.  Not that much ever gets checked off each year, but it makes me feel positive about turning over that new leaf.

Right now though, I think I'll just enjoy some holiday breathing space.

Friday, December 11, 2009

You Can Quote Me

"One kind word can warm three winter months."
                             ~~~ Japanese Proverb

Thursday, December 10, 2009

We Interrupt Christmas........

I hate to interject anything truly "serious" at this jolly time of the year, but the Soapbox calls.

This morning on the Today Show, there was a segment about the BBC's video from last year -- the one that prevented Crufts from being aired...the "expose on pedigreed dogs".  (See it at  BBC America is showing that documentary tonight at 7 o'clock CST.  I think it would behoove all of us to watch, make notes and then be prepared to ask questions, make noise, etc.

I also believe that NBC needs to hear from the breeders and supporters of responsibly bred purebred dogs.  For example, I plan to send an email requesting that they actually do on-air interviews (in the interest of FAIR AND OBJECTIVE reporting) with reputable breeders who have years of HANDS ON experience breeding and raising dogs instead of interviewing Ivory Tower professors who probably wouldn't know which end the damn puppy comes out of.  It burns me slap DOWN that no network, no group, no anybody ever wants to hear from the people who actually are involved in the activity being vilified.  Yes, there are crappy breeders......and have been for hundreds of years.  But there are plenty who try very, very hard to breed sound, healthy dogs.  And without good breeders, just where are our liberal, hand-wringing friends going to get their next Lab or Golden or Cocker Spaniel....or whatever breed they have happened to fall head over heels in love with?

And by the way, has it never dawned on any of these yo-yos that one of the reasons it APPEARS that purebred dogs have more health problems is because the purebred community is terribly aware of their breeds and actively watch and test for problems so that they can do whatever they can to eliminate them?  Mixed breed dogs have plenty of health problems, too, only nobody recognizes them for what they are because nobody's looking or keeping track.

And AKC:  oh boy!  They issued a "statement".  Great.  Those boys up there need to get their heads out of their asses and formulate a PLAN that involves going on the offensive instead of constantly playing catchup.  Don't y'all think that Wayne and his minions over at HSUS are going to have a damn FIELD DAY with this?  They'll tie it right in to their "war on puppy mills" that they are ramping up for 2010.  (The latest is their national toll-free hotline to report suspected puppymills.  Somehow they've managed to delude folks into thinking that HSUS has law enforcement powers!)  And of course, to HSUS, anybody that has more than 2 or 3 dogs and breeds more than once a year is a puppymill. 

So, in the battle to keep purebred animals in our lives, if y'all thought 2009 was tough, get ready.  And take your heads out of the sand..........

Sorry.....back to our regularly scheduled festivities.........

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

O Christmas Tree......

O Christmas tree.......... 

Well, I have finally managed to get the tree up and decorated.  So many things have happened to prevent this, that I am beginning to think I wasn't supposed to have one.  For one thing, my beautifully STRAIGHT tree at the lot somehow began severely listing to one side within minutes of being put in the tree stand.  Repeated attempts to fix this were all for naught.  It's still listing to one side.  Of course, now that I think of it, this could have been from the tree falling over several times while I had it in the garage "drinking" out of a 2-gallon bucket.  I kept trying to prop it up; it kept falling.  Hey, at least it's still nice and green and fragrant.

This is also the first live Christmas tree we've had in almost 30 years.  As I got the lights out that we used several years ago (the others are on the artificial tree in the attic -- the one we've had up for the past, oh, 15 years), I suddenly remembered why I've stored my tree with the lights on it.  I forgot that these old-fashioned lights have to be screwed in the string and THEN you get to string them on the tree.  And those little LIVE branches aren't nearly as strong and supportive as the artifical ones, so you must attach the lights, not merely lay them up in the tree.  Sigh.

Today is the last of Decoration Days.  I'm done.  All in.  Whatever is left undone will have to wait till next year.  There's only one thing left to do:  wrap the presents and get them under the tree.  I do so hope that can be accomplished before December 24th.


Monday, December 7, 2009

Monday Musing

This is what my poor little Knockout rose bush looked like on Saturday morning.  Yep, we got about an inch of the white stuff in Alabama.  It's probably as close as we'll ever get to a White Christmas.  It was very pretty early in the morning and then by noon, it was all gone.
We Southerners are a strange bunch when it comes to snow.  We see it so seldom in any appreciable quantity, that we all become 6 year-olds at the mention of the word, much less the actual product.  And then, after the initial "oh boy....SNOW", we get all panicky and go in to "milk/bread/eggs" survival mode.  I bet Friday at the grocery stores was crazy.  It's really amusing.  Tomorrow it's supposed to be 60 degrees.

Friday, December 4, 2009

You Can Quote Me

"A snowflake is one of God's most fragile creations, but look what they can do when they stick together!"
                                                   ~~~~Author Unknown

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Deck the Halls, Y'all!

So, I've put on my Elf Hat (if not my Elf Attitude) and begun the process of turning a country farmhouse into Santa's Village.  Ummmmm....maybe not.  But at least it might look a little bit Christmasy.  Here's what's happened so far:

I made this wreath several years ago out of a 20' lead, miniature chew sticks and dog ornaments.  I hope it's going to hold up forever because I don't want to have to do it again.  The Christmas sign came from good old Michael's about 3 years ago -- one of my "newer" Christmas decorations.

And of course, I have to have the Christmas flags outside on the walk.  And you can't play favorites.  They KNOW.

And here we have this year's "crafty thing".  Seems like I just can't make it through a holiday season without trying to make something.  There have been a few times that whatever it was got immediately thrown in the trash, it was so horrible.  I got lucky this year.  This attempt at creating actually turned out to work!  (Thanks a heap, Martha.)

And here we have the BIG EXPENDITURE for the holidays.  (This is what was in the boxes a few days ago.)  Now I know why people spring for the prelighted ones even though they're double the cost.  I think we need more lights, but by the time I got to this, all I wanted was THROUGH!  Obviously needs a little refining.

And, finally, I got to move to the inside of the house.  And scatter a couple of things around as you can see below.  Guess once I get the tree in a few days, I can complete the process.  By that time I should be pretty sick of the whole mess.  More later!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

For the Love of a Dog

Today I had the privilege of helping an Airedale rescue boy and his new owner start to build a foundation of trust.  Seems that George is a 3-year old with quite a lot of baggage.  This is his third home in as many years.  A sweet, sweet boy, but with oh so many anxieties and fears.  Fortunately for him, his new owner is committed to working with him and loving him and keeping him.  George's main problem is his fence jumping.  His second main problem is his lack of connection with humans.  For whatever reasons (which we will never really know), he hasn't learned that humans can be fun, trustworthy, caring and hanging out with them can be just as good --sometimes better -- than hanging with canine buds.

I was really surprised when George's owner asked me how much I charged for coming to "consult" with her.  She was even more surprised than me when I laughed and said, "Nothing."  Little could she know that this is for an Airedale debt that I can never repay.  I have been loved by 3 wonderful Airedales so far in my life.  If I can keep one in a home that will love him and protect him until the day he dies, it just goes toward the love loan that was given to me.  On the way home, I looked at the picture of the one closest to my heart that rides in my car stuck on the visor so I can see it if I glance up.  Today was that girl's tribute.  And only a drop in the bucket to what she gave me in her short life.

It will take time for George to see that someone is going to love him no matter what.  But he will see it.  His new owner wants that.  And I told her if she wants that enough, then it can happen.  With a rescue you can't make promises, but I think I'm right.  I hope I am.  For George's sake.  For his owner's.  For mine.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday (Movie) Musing

Yesterday afternoon I treated myself to a movie.  The one I chose was "The Blind Side" with Sandra Bullock.  What a GREAT movie!  Yes, the storyline is predictable, but so what?  It's still good.  Y'all need to go see it if you haven't already.

Sandra Bullock has dead-on nailed her character, Leigh Ann Tuohy.  The supporting actors are excellent, too.  As a matter of fact, I was very pleasantly surprised at Tim McGraw as the husband.  Now I can see what Faith Hill sees :)  But back to Miss Sandy.  It was so nice to see her portrayl of The Southern Sorority Girl all grown up.  She could have gone WAY over the top with that, but didn't.  She managed to show that yes indeed, Southern girls-now-women have more layers than just "Daddy's little rich girl" or "spoiled bitch" or "flighty twit".  Those elements are certainly there sometimes, but there are also qualities of caring about others and wanting to do the right thing.  Even if that means going it alone.  "Steel magnolias" isn't just the title of a play/movie.  Bossy?  Yes.  Flirty?  A little, but with a modicum of taste.  Mannerly?  Absolutely.  Iron will....temper......courageous?  Yes, yes and yes.

Maybe one of the reasons I liked this movie so much is because I know more than just a few of these very same women.  Grew up with them; had them for friends and relatives and role models.  Loved them to pieces.  As a matter of fact, I suppose there are people out there who would peg me for one my own self.  That's okay by me.  I was born and raised in the South.  Lived here my whole life (with a couple of years here and there away).  An alumnus of both the University of Tennessee and the University of Alabama.  Instructed in the football culture from junior high school on.  AND, an initiate of the Kappa Delta Sorority......just like Leigh Anne.  So, was fun to see "myself" up on the big screen.  Just wish I looked a little more like Sandra Bullock!  But then I'd have to be younger and on a perpetual diet.  So, maybe I'll just be content to stay one of the unknown Southern Sisterhood. 

Friday, November 27, 2009

You Can Quote Me

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It's not.

                    The Once-Ler, from Dr. Seuss's eco-children's classic, The Lorax

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Vivi's Thanksgiving Dinner

Apparently, Wellness Duck & Potato and/or Solid Gold Millennium just isn't good enough for Miss Prissy Britches.  She would much rather choose her own menu.  And not only choose it, but hunt it down as well.

Lots of little birds like to hang out in our very big Bradford pear tree in the backyard.  It's the only one we have, so if they want to be back there, they have little other choice -- gutters on the house or the roof maybe.  After the last couple of weeks, I think they better put their little bird brains in to overdrive and determine another place to congregrate.  Unless they want to die young.  This is the second bird Vivi has brought down in as many weeks.  I feel bad for the birds, but geez......they need stay OFF THE GROUND.  Viv is fast.  Very, very fast.  And obviously, "birdy".  I guess I really should get her entered in some earthdog events.  But I shudder to think what might be lying on the patio every day if she was encouraged to hunt.

(Graphic picture warning........don't eat breakfast and read this.)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Let the Decorating Begin

Why, what is this?  Boxes.  They don't look very Christmas-y.  Oh, but wait.  What they contain is the kickoff to the new look of Christmas at Dosido Farm.

They arrived on Saturday afternoon.  I have refrained from diving in until I can devote a whole day to beginning Operation Tinsel.  Last year I didn't do too much in the way of Christmas; the tree was about it.  I think I may be feeling a little more like Tiny Tim than Scrooge this year.  Stay tuned as the transformation unfolds!

Right now I have to consider Thanksgiving Day food........

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday Musing

I just took a few minutes to watch Susan Boyle on the Today Show on NBC.  What a great talent and seemingly such a nice person.  I will be buying her CD.  Especially since I got a 40% off coupon from Barnes & Noble for it.....teehee.  But I probably would have bought it anyway.  I admire people who are able to push through their obstacles and/or fears to accomplish something important to them.

Now, I've heard that the critics aren't so enamored of Ms. Boyle.  They opine that she is (to use one of my favorite words from one of my favorite Christmas movies) "schmaltzy".  I say that a little schmaltz may be EXACTLY what the world needs about now.  We are full of cynics, critics and curmudgeons.  A shot of innocence sounds pretty damn refreshing to me.

So sing on, Susan........I'll be listening with an open heart.

Friday, November 20, 2009

You Can Quote Me

"Many small people, who in many small places do many small things, can alter the face of the world."

(Piece of graffiti from the Berlin Wall, which fell 20 years ago.)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Literary Dogs

Just received an email from the AKC about a cute little contest they've devised in conjunction with  They're asking people to vote for their favorite dog character in literature.  As several people pointed out, they left out two icons:  Lassie and Lad.  But included Clifford The Big Red Dog.  Huh?  And CUJO!  At least they managed to include my second fav, Skip of My Dog Skip fame.

I've read lots of dog stories in my life, but probably the one that I would have to vote for is one I never read.  I was too young to know how at the time.  But my father read it to me -- a chapter every night before bed.  You'll recognize him:  Old Yeller.  I remember very well being taken to see the movie when it came out.  I think it was the first time (but definitely not the last) I ever cried at the movies. 

I guess I can thank that "old yeller dog" for being engulfed in dog hair and drool since then.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Martha Made Me Do It

See this?  It's all because of Martha Stewart and her magazine. 
Granted....I most likely would have gotten the fake poinsettas anyway.  I use them on my front porch for the holidays and half of them got thrown out after last year.  They were just way too faded and sad looking.  But if I hadn't been flipping through Martha's December issue, I wouldn't have gotten the bright idea to try some window dressing this year.  My porch is a trial.  It's VERY long and therefore, it takes quite a lot of stuff to make it look "decorated".  Not to mention that there is usually, for some unknown reason, a small gale-force wind blowing across it.  So anything over 2 feet tall sitting out there is repeatedly -- and I mean REPEATEDLY -- knocked down or over.

So, in the next few days I will don my Santa's elf hat and attempt again to fashion something I can attach to the windows that will get me in the Christmas spirit.  Lord knows I don't have it yet.  Of course, first I have to get all the summer plants off the porch and put somewhere to survive the winter.  Another trial......but let's not go there right now.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

From Purgatory to Paradise

Sometimes it's tough to be a dog.  Especially one of my dogs.  First, I get a little glint in the eye.  Then I put on a grooming smock.  Then dogs start disappearing.  I guess I could take the easy way out and just get them clipped down by a groomer every few weeks.  But I love the look of a stripped coat.  Plus the fact I keep trying to get better at grooming.  Hard to do if you don't have a dog or two to practice on. 

So, today was the day.  First it was toenails.  Everybody hates having nails done.  I tell them it's part of the price to live here.  The smock went on and a black dog was grabbed and taken.  It happened to be Blue, who, after 5 years of this, stoically submits with a certain amount of grace.  A couple of hours later (after fortifying myself with some lunch), it was Vivi's turn.  Being still relatively new to the ins and outs of grooming, she does the circle game:  every time I grab one end, she turns to present the opposite one to me.  It's an exhausting dance for her and for me.  Not to say it doesn't have it's own little rhythm after a few minutes.  But still.  It sure would be easier -- and faster -- if I didn't have to keep turning her around and/or circling the table myself.

She's learning though that there are certain compensations for beauty work.  If you wait long enough, patiently enough, something wonderful happens.  You get to get DOWN.  And not only DOWN, but OUTSIDE.  Where all kinds of surprises can be awaiting................



Saturday, November 14, 2009


Sometimes when you're feeling as bedraggled, dry and sad as last summer's dahlias, you just need to rethink your flower.......become this winter's pansies and stick your little face in to the sun.

From this .........

                    To this................

I'm ready to start blooming now.  Isn't it wonderful how digging in the dirt can be so refreshing and mind clearing?

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Attack of the Antibiotics

Since October 21st, which is the last time I sat down to write, a few notable things have happened.

Yes, Mama got moved.  That was 3 weeks ago and now when you go over to her house, it's like she's been there for months, if not years.  That Mama.  She's a worker-bee alright.  Of course, if you go DOWNSTAIRS, that's a whole different story.  Let's just say that it may take all of 2010 to get that conglomeration of "things" straightened out.  However, she does know where the Christmas decorations are.  Important stuff.

We loaded everyone up last weekend to go to the Fala Day event at the Little White House in Warm Springs, GA sponsored by the Atlanta Scottie club.  Always a fun little trip.  I came home with two more unnecessary Scottie collectibles, but cute nonetheless.  However, the weekend just wasn't as fun as it could have been.

Nobody felt good.  DH's knee/leg was hurting.  And I was on some rather potent antibiotics for some unknown infection running around my system.  I hate medicine.  Almost all of those antibiotic things make me feel worse than whatever it is I have.  And this was no exception.  We soldiered on though, but were thrilled to be in our own beds on Sunday night.

No relief for me though, as I have had to continue with the drugs all week.  I have been draggy and useless which has made me feel worse.  Tomorrow is the last day I have to take the stupid things and I am planning on feeling MUCH better by Sunday.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Moving Mama

This is a big week.  Mama is moving.  She's been my next door neighbor for the last 10 years.  Now, she's going to be my sister's next door neighbor for -- I hope -- the next 20.

Some people might not enjoy living next door to Mama.  Obviously, they just don't have the right kind of mama.  My mama and I have done all kinds of fun things together.  We've adventured to places we've never been (and still have quite a list to go, both near and far).  We've commiserated with each other over various and sundry things.  We've SHOPPED......oh boy, we LOVE to shop!  And gardened and raised dogs.  It's been great.  But this particular stage of her life is coming to an end.  She's moving on and leaving me behind.

I shouldn't sound too sad.  After all, she's only moving across town.  But when you've been with someone almost daily for years, that's quite an adjustment.  But it's time.  Her big old house and her even bigger property has just gotten too much to handle.  Heck, so has mine and I'm more than several years her junior.  So, I've got some rather mixed feelings about all this.  But tomorrow the movers come and we'll spend the weekend getting her house in some kind of working order.  And then we'll talk about what trouble we're planning on getting into next.  Can't wait!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

C'mon, Get Happy!

There's a book out right now titled Bright-Sided:  How Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America by Barbara Ehrenreich.  It's all about how positive psychology and positive thinking are vastly overrated.  Ms. Ehrenreich says it is, instead, "blind optimism" that prevents people from seeing things as they really are and making choices based on the realities of their situation.

There's a part of me that agrees with the premise of her book.  I don't want to be so focused on happiness and getting happy and being happy that I forget there is always going to be "less happy" episodes of life.  And that getting through those graciously and with some common sense is just as important.... maybe more so..... to living completely.

But being happy is something everyone wants as much of as they can get.  Me, too.  It's how you define happiness, I think, that helps you get it.  One woman's "happiness" could be another's "oh, shit".  Personally, I'd like to have the contentment and peace of mind kind rather than the delirious type.  And to also remember in the words of Eleanor Roosevelt:  "is not a goal, it's a byproduct".  So, finding an interest or a cause might be a big first step in the happiness equation.  Time to get out and explore some new stuff and jumpstart the old happiness engine.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Network? What Network TV?

Even though I'm a HUGE fan of Dancing with the Stars (I hear the snickers....quiet!), I'm abandoning all network TV this week.  Ken Burns' new series on the National Parks system started last night on PBS.  If you didn't see it, start tonight.  It's FABULOUS, informative and fun.  It will be on every night this week.

Last night set the stage with the first parks being created:  Yosemite, Sequoia, one other I don't recall the name of, and the great Yellowstone.  John Muir, a Scotsman by heritage but raised here, was a moving force in the birth of the parks system.  He sounds so terribly fascinating himself that I might have to go to the library and delve a little more in to his history.

I guess there will probably be a I will have to buy.  And then, I'm sure PBS will use the video to raise money.  But right now, it's all free and I'm watching!  Hope you are, too.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Southern Delicacy

Yesterday as I was driving home from the grocery store, I happened to glance up at the Hardee's sign as I went by.  And there it was:  advertising for a fried bologna sandwich.  WHAT????? 

Now, I don't know if Hardees all over the nation are on this bandwagon or not.  Maybe it's just us this particular campaign is aimed for.  But I haven't seen or heard of any restaurant or deli or sandwich shop around here touting bologna before now.  (And by the way, when I was growing up -- and still --- that word is pronounced "bolo-nee", long o's with the emphasis on the "nee" if you want to get the inflection just right.)  Just one more little artery-clogging menu item to entice us with.

I can well remember as a little girl going to the store with my grandmother to grocery shop.  She always stopped at the butcher counter (remember those?) and had the man there slice up at least a pound of the stuff.  Thick slices.....really thick slices.  Back then, it didn't come all prepackaged for you.  He'd slice it up and wrap it in that nice thick, white butcher's paper.  And when we'd get home, I couldn't wait for her to unwrap it and slap it down in that skillet.  She'd fry it up until it was nice and hot and crispy brown around the edges.  Take it out, put it between two heavily mayonnaised pieces of fresh "light bread" and dig in.  Oh, and "light bread", if you don't already know, was white, presliced, store-bought bread versus the homemade kind.  Yummy!  No wonder Southerners seem to have a problem with calorie counting.

I bet Hardee's version doesn't hold a candle..........

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wet/Mold/Mildew/OH MY!

For two years, we couldn't PRAY for rain.  This year, it's monsoon season.  Flooding everywhere in the South.  There's one thing I know for certain:  I can never live in Seattle, London or anywhere else that has gray, cloudy, rainy, CRAPPY weather day after day after day.  Depression City!

This past weekend as I visited with friends in Atlanta and attended a couple of dog shows, it absolutely poured.  The only thing I could think of was how totally relieved I was NOT to have my dogs with me.  All those poor souls slogging around in the rain (some sans umbrellas or raincoats) imploring FiFi to "PLLLEEEAASSE  PEEEEEEEE".  And trying to keep all those hours of dedicated grooming intact long enough for their two minutes under the judge's eye.  Oh me, oh my.  Yep.  It was glad I was that the Little Black Dogs were safe at home.

I was even gladder that I made it home myself.  Especially after I just heard yesterday about the mud slides and tragic deaths happening in the Atlanta area.  This is just one more case of that famous saying "Be careful what you wish for; you just might get it."  And in spades, too.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

No More Bookcases?

Just a couple of days ago I read with great interest about all the E-readers (such as Amazon's Kindle) now on the market and the ones soon to be out.  Ever since the Kindle first came out, I've been cogitating on buying one.  It just seems so expensive compared to a trade paperback or even a nice hardcover.  However, the more I think about it, the more the price is looking reasonable.

First of all, if you're a pretty avid reader like me, the amount I spend on books in a year would more than pay for the cost.  Honestly, I try to go to the library more..... and I have.  But often I end up halfway through the library's book thinking, "Oh man...I've GOT to have this book."  This is probably due to the fact that I read with a yellow Bible highlighter in my hand with my own books.  This propensity to want to "remember" passages would be the main drawback to me of an electronic reader.  Unless, of course, they've REALLY perfected their way of annotating.

Secondly, I look around at the number of bookcases in my house, both built-in and freestanding.  You just wouldn't believe the shelf space I've dedicated to books.  There is at least one in every room of my the built-ins in the kitchen, the living room, one bedroom and my craft area.  There're even two in my attic!  Could an electronic reader really help prevent buying more???  Very possibly.  Could I stop having to give away books to friends and the libraries because I've run out of room in my house to keep them?  Maybe.

And there's always the issue of travel.  Although I don't do much flying or train riding, I am adamant about taking a book along with me wherever I go, even if it's just an overnight.  I can't imagine sitting for more than 10 minutes with nothing to read.  I swear, it's a sickness.

Could this be my Christmas present this year?  Maybe.  Stay tuned.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Another Week Ended

A good friend of mine is about to become a grandmother at the end of the year.  I really can't believe that I'm old enough to have friends who are grandparents, but there you are:  I am.  As I still find it hard to take care of myself and my dogs (and occasionally my husband), there's a big part of me that's glad it's her and not me.  The other little teensy part of me that heaves a big sigh at the thought of grandmotherness filled the need by knitting this little lap blanket for the new arrival.

I love to knit anything flat because
I'm really not much more than a
novice knitter.  So, baby blankets are
my go-to gift.  Plus, I love the yarns
that are designated for such projects.
As a matter of fact, I found a little
jacket for a toddler that I'd really LOVE to make for myself.... just need to find someone who can rewrite the pattern for me.

I didn't find out until I had finished what gender we had coming out of the oven (a boy).  Thank goodness I chose a yarn to do the heart that could go either way.

I hope that this gets used till it falls apart.  And it keeps that wee one warm and cuddly.  Babies truly are a magic gift.  Beside this new little person, my blanket is just a very wee token.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

It's Coming!

I could feel it in the air this morning.  Instead of doing my usual routine of popping in an exercise video to force myself to move, I decided to go outside for a REAL walk.  It's kind of cool this morning; sun is shining for a change.

It didn't take too many minutes for me to realize it was downright comfortable and pleasant out there.  Immediately my mind sprang forward to a few weeks in the future and started fantasizing about all the fall walks I could take The Little Black Dogs on.

I'd like for those not to be just fantasies this year.  So, I'm aiming for a couple of dog walks a week for the fall.  I know two little critters who would LOVE that.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The End of Summer

Labor Day is always supposed to be the official end of summer.  It makes no difference that temperatures here in the South will still hit the high 80s or low 90s until somewhere along about Thanksgiving.  That may be a slight exaggeration, but not by much.  I've known plenty of Thanksgiving Days that were in the low 70s.

Enough about the weather.  It must be a mental thing, but when I woke up this morning (at, I don't know why....I just did), I felt curiously energized and ready to DO something.  Which is a far cry from the way I felt over the weekend.  Can you say "lethargic"?  It's almost as if my brain flipped a switch in to Autumn Mode:  crispy, clear days equal crispy, clear behavior.  Go get 'em, girlie!  Make use of that little surge of adrenalin!

Anyway, I'm ready.  Summer makes me tired and cranky and hot.  I'm ready for an attitude adjustment and a change of season is just what the doctor ordered.  Falling leaves, anyone?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday's Finish

Did you think I was eaten by a scrapbook or something?  Not hardly.  Haven't even been back to that side of the room this whole entire week.  Not that I haven't THOUGHT about it.....WANTED to.....just never happened.  And why not you ask?

Why not indeed.  Monday was throw-the-house-back-to-order-from-the- weekend.  Tuesday & Wednesday were taken with a flying trip to Atlanta to get The Little Black Dogs groomed.  Yes, I know I groom them.  But I do not groom them CORRECTLY.  God knows I try.  I think I'll probably have that put on my tombstone.  Something to the effect of "I did the best I could."  That would just about cover everything I think.

Thursday was Hunting & Gathering Day (food for the household hungry).  And today was Little Black Sambo Day, otherwise known as "mowing the hayfields we call yards" around here.

So, I have tomorrow and Sunday to finish out this wonderful week.  Could I maybe make it to one of the stools around the craft table?  Maybe.  If it rains.  Seems like I do a lot better with my creative stuff on soggy days.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Damn.  How does this keep happening?  I write on Monday.  I'm supposed to be writing on another couple of days of the week.  Then, all of a sudden, it's Friday again.  Sometimes I think Somebody is subtracting days out of my weeks just to gaslight me.  Or, is this just a "senior moment" type thing?

However, there is one good thing that's happened in these lost (to me) days.  I have begun the Great Excavation over in my craft area.  Say a little prayer for me please.  I managed to clear a space, oh.....about 3 feet square in the floor.  I guess it is a start.  But what a puny one!

Never fear:  I am determined.  Somehow, some way, this horrible pile of odds and ends is going to evolve in to a place where I can actually get work done without being surrounded by stacks and piles and heaps.

But for now, let's just enjoy the weekend, okay?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday Morning Musings

To be absolutely correct, I guess I should call this Monday Musing "Monday FUMING". I got on the scales this morning for the first time in about a week. Need I say more? I had(again) passed the magic number.....and NO, I won't tell you what it is......that tells me I am headed to Fat City on the express train.

It's not fair that as you age, your body wants to hold on to all those calories instead of release them. It's not fair that no matter how much you move, your metabolism rachets down in to creep mode. Not fair, not fair, not fair. But, as they say, it is what it is.

I don't mind the less eating part really. It's the less drinking part that gets me. Those cocktails in the late afternoon before dinner are such a pleasant way to unwind and end the day. Unfortunately, they also carry mucho calories with them. And even though I'm told dozens of times that those calories are empty, I can't believe that anything that tastes that good could be termed "empty". Ah well. Prohibition Wagon, here I come!

Friday, August 21, 2009


It was Monday. POOF!........ It's now Friday. How did that happen? Time has a sneaky way of disappearing lately. What have I done this week? Where did my energies go? I'm sure I must have done something worthwhile besides grocery shop, groom dogs, clean house, plan meals, wash clothes, run nauseum.

Perhaps that's the problem: time is disappearing because my LIFE is disappearing in little dribs and drabs of endless monotony. Why am I doing that? Yes, there are things that "need" doing. But geez, EVERY day??? Maybe it's because all those things help keep the wolf of anxiety away from the door in these very disturbing, turbulent times. Could I be using all that as insulation from the stresses and strains? Probably. But boy, I need to break out of that habit and fast. Anxiety in manageable amounts won't kill me....might jumpstart all those creative juices I just know are way down there somewhere.

So, where to start? Hmmm. Guess that better be the topic of thought (with ACTION) next week.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday Morning Musing

In a rare fit of determination, I went to the movies yesterday afternoon. This is significant because I probably attend 2-3 movies at a theatre in a year's time. The movie I had made this extra effort for is "Julie & Julia"..... the one about Julia Child and Julie I-Forget-Her-Last-Name cooking all the recipes in "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" in one year.

It was a really good movie and I'm glad I got to see Meryl Streep work her characterization magic. It was funny and heartwarming and all that. But I'm just going to tell you: if I thought I had to take a cookbook and fix every recipe in it in a year just to get a handle on my life, I'd probably be in the looney bin before the second week. I can't imagine coming home 365 NIGHTS to fix some long drawn-out French recipe. Hell, it's all I can do to make myself go to the grocery store every week. And half the time, I don't come back with anything really edible.

So, while I -- like Julia -- LOVE to eat, I'm still not going to stay in the kitchen. If I want really good food, I'll save up the "egg money" and go to a nice restaurant.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Meditations on Yard Work

Well, after I "freshened" yesterday, I did mow grass. And I mowed some more this morning. When there are ACRES of lawn, it takes the efforts and time of more than one. I do a little; my mother does a little; my husband does a little. It's torturous. Especially if you're not a yard person like me. I have told everyone who would ever listen that the only reason I have a yard in the first place is for my dogs. A few pots of flowers would do me just fine, thank you very much. If I needed more nature than that..........well, isn't that what they have parks for?

Only rich people should have large (or in our case, EXTRA LARGE) yards -- and the yard men or service to go along with them. Seeing as how I'm not rich, nor am I ever likely to be, I have two options. Move or do it myself. I think maybe I should be working on that move aspect. I'll put that on the overlong, overdue list.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

To Nap or Not

Many years ago, I used to take a nap every day after lunch. Then, life got crazy, crowded and chaotic and I quit. Just got out of the habit. I'm thinking of reinstituting the nap hour though. It's all a part of staying "fresh" I think. If my mind gets all fuzzy after lunch and my brain slows down, I figure that must be a sure sign of "staleness".

After my foraging of the morning (also known as grocery shopping), I had thought I might bite the bullet and mow some grass. God knows, there's plenty of it to mow. But no. Now that I've eaten, I've determined the grass can wait. I need to freshen up my mind instead.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Another Thought

I read this yesterday: "Don't fear starting fresh. Sometimes a fresh start is the only answer."

So, today, I want to be FRESH. I don't want to feel all stale and fried like McDonald's french fry grease from last month. I'm starting by writing this. And while I'm out doing those 2 dozen errands today, I'm going to mediate on "freshness"..... what road will take me there and how I'll know when I've arrived.

I also will have the A/C turned up full blast............

Monday, August 10, 2009

I Hate Summer!

Really. No kidding. It sounds crazy because most people love summer: the swimming, the boating, the golfing, the hiking, the......whatever. Those lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer. Sorry, I'm not buying it. Here in the South, it's nothing but heat, humidity and sweat. I don't like any of those.

Summer saps my energy, makes me lethargic and dull. All my vim, vigor, zest and creativity are enveloped in the steamy outdoors, never to return till October. It makes me cranky and wears on my nerves. And I've been this way since June.

I've had enough. It's almost mid-August and we still have weeks and weeks of summer weather. I'm fighting back. No, I don't know how. But I'm tired of being just a puddle on the floor. I WANT SOME COOL FUN. And I'm going out and find some!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

LOVE the Races!!

If I ever get filthy rich, I'll be dangerous. I'll be wearing big, showy hats at the Derby; eating lots of fresh crab at the Preakness; and singing "New York, New York" at the Belmont. But don't hold your breath. I'm not. My lottery tickets have all been duds so far. I don't see that changing any time soon.

I'm sad. I really had wanted Calvin Burell to get his personal triple crown today. It didn't happen, although he gave a good ride. Mine That Bird's brother, Summer Bird, beat him, but not by much. Calvin just has that joie de vivre that makes me smile. Perhaps he'll be another Willie Shoemaker and ride for a long, long time. I hope so.

One thing I am happy about though: Rachel Alexandra's owners had the good sense not to run her. I feared for her safety at a mile and a half. Apparently, they thought that might be a little much as well. I love to watch horse racing. But I love to watch healthy horses more. So, I hope that the racing community will continue to birddog their trainers, jockeys, owners, etc., forcing them to put the welfare of their horses first, not purses. Yep, those purses are big. But the question of ethics is bigger.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Baker's Dozen....

Actually, dozen and a half....cupcakes. Good cupcakes; strawberry ones. Made with very fresh "from the farm" strawberries. Recipe called for yummy sounding cream cheese frosting. With 3 sticks of butter and 8 oz of cream cheese and almost a whole box of powdered sugar. Plus, more fresh strawberries and a little strawberry jam.

Alas and alack, I don't think the frosting is quite right. Somehow, I did something to it. I'm guessing I didn't beat the butter and cream cheese and sugar together long enough. But how do I know? I'm not the best cook around and obviously FAR from the best baker. If I was, first of all, I'd know how to avoid this problem and secondly, I would know how to fix it if I didn't avoid it. I don't know either of those things. You'd think that by this age I would have learned SOMETHING.

Consequently, my wonderful strawberry cupcakes that I worked all morning to make the old-fashioned way FROM SCRATCH will now taste sort of like SCRATCH. No frosting unless we want to just slather the top with this butter-based concoction that's passing for frosting sitting in my refrigerator right now.

This is really when I wish my grandmother was still around. (Not my mother; she's not all that terrific at baking either.) I need a note from heaven about the finer points of frosting making. For next time. And yes, I guess there will be a next time....sigh.......

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I am in love. Another man has stolen my heart and I’m hopeful I’ll be the better for it. James P. Owen is probably not someone you’ve ever heard of before unless you are a cowboy. I certainly hadn’t till just a few weeks ago. Mr. Owen is the originator of “cowboy ethics” and “The Code of the West”. I know. This doesn’t seem to have anything to do with dogs or politics or “fighting City Hall”. Bear with me. Because I see a definite link.

As Mr. Owen outlines it, this is the code that all cowboys followed then and still follow today:

Live each day with courage.
Take pride in your work.
Always finish what you start.
Do what has to be done.
Be tough, but fair.
When you make a promise, keep it.
Ride for the brand.
Talk less and say more.
Remember that some things aren’t for sale.
Know where to draw the line.

Even though there are very few of us who are driving cattle to Kansas City anymore, or putting up miles of fencing or laying brands or breaking horses, all ten of these principles still apply to life today if we let them. Some may think they are old-fashioned, simple or just plain hokey but following them could make a major impact on our world if we only would. Why? Because they’re based on ethics and doing what’s right, not what’s expedient. They offer stability, not chaos, to a society urgently in need.

How does this apply to dog owners and breeders and fanciers? The Code is based on personal responsibility; something that pretty much all of us profess to believe in when it comes to the owning, breeding and treatment of dogs and other pets. Most of us expect people to do “what’s right and fair” when it comes to the owning of dogs……right and fair for the owner and right and fair for the dog.

We also believe in freedom – freedom to have our dogs, to participate in our dog activities without interference, to live our doggie lifestyle. The cowboy ethics principle that particularly applies here and now is “do what has to be done”. For the past several years, and for the immediate future, dog owners have been in a fight for their existence and way of life. Forces gather to take all this away from us, either all at once, or piece by piece over time. It’s time to do “what has to be done”. I offer this quote from Mr. Owen’s book, Cowboy Ethics: What Wall Street Can Learn from the Code of the West:

“In Kevin Costner’s Open Range, the cowboy heroes are Boss Spearman, a tough old cattle drover who has endeavored to steer clear of bloodshed, and his hand Charley Waite, who has clearly done some killing in his time. While resting their herd, they run up against Baxter, a despotic rancher who rules the nearby town and hates “free grazers” like Boss and Charley. Baxter’s men rough up their friend, Mose, and the bullying rancher lets them know he means to kill them all and scatter their herd if they do not quit his domain.

‘You reckon them cows are worth getting killed over?’ Charley asks Boss when he vows to protect the herd. ‘The cows is one thing,’ says Boss. ‘But one man telling another where he can go in this country is something else.’”

I think all dog lovers need to “Cowboy Up”. NOW.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring Has Sprung

Today is the first official day of spring and it certainly looks like it outside my window. The sun is bright; the sky is deep blue; a strong March breeze is blowing. A textbook spring day is all around me. My sinuses have recognized this. They aren't particularly happy. I try to soothe them with a little Tylenol. They cooperate for a couple of hours and then begin complaining again. Tyrants at this time of year.

I should be out trimming more bushes, clearing more brush and generally doing all those spring cleanup chores that demand to be done this time of year. Actually, "scream" would probably be a better word. And what's more, they all scream at the same time. It's not like they could be polite and ....... get in line. No, no. It's like 10 puppies pulling at your shoe laces as you try to walk 5 feet across the floor.

I suppose I will get to most of it. Eventually. It may be Memorial Day or later though. I'm not making any promises. For this afternoon, I think I'll just enjoy Spring in all her blowsy beauty. To hell with chores. They'll be there tomorrow. The Good Lord willing and the creek don't rise, so will I.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I'm Not Doing So Good

Well, another 6 weeks has gone by and I haven't been blogging a bit.

BAD DOG....sit....stay.....WRITE.

Actually, I have been writing, just not in this particular forum. I do a lot of writing and researching (among other things) for a nonprofit I volunteer for: The Alabama Canine Coalition, Inc. ( And lately, I've been pretty busy with it. Protecting my rights and other people's rights to own and breed and maintain dogs and other animals is getting to be a full-time occupation these days, paid or not. Animal rights vs. animal welfare. They're just not the same thing at all and most people don't know that.

Anyway, I'd like to get back to my "fun" blog writing. And I will. It just may not be anytime real soon.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My New Reality

A couple of days ago as I was trying to drift back to sleep after being awakened by a scratching, moaning dog, I had an epiphany. Not a good one. As I struggled to regain mind quietness, all of a sudden from out of nowhere came this thought: in 13 years, I will be 70.

You can imagine how my effort to return to blissful sleep was shattered. 13 years used to sound like, oh, 30. Now, it sounds more like 5. And this is all the dogs' faults. All of them....the ones here now and the past ones who have gone on to the great Rainbow Bridge in the sky. 13 years is just about the length of my dogs' lives. I am one dog away from 70. OH.....MY.....GOD!

50 I embraced. 55 could be dealt with. I was just getting my head wrapped around the possibility of an upcoming 60 in a couple of years. But 70! This whole idea has rocked my world. Did I never expect to get to 70? I don't know what I've been thinking........"not thinking" would actually be more accurate I guess. There are a whole lot more things I'd like to do, see and be before this body starts a more rapid decline. (My knee is leading the march towards decrepitude.) Guess I better get my ass in gear.

Thank you, puppies. I think.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Snips & Snails & Puppy Dog Toenails

The weekly/bi-weekly War of the Toes was waged this afternoon once again. And once again, I emerged victorious, although with great effort. Trying to shorten dog toenails is one of the few things about dog ownership that I really don't like. I don't know of a dog that truly likes to his nails clipped. I have heard of a few that don't seem to mind. Mine are not those.

Blue used to be very stoic about the whole thing. He didn't like it. But he liked me better. As soon as Vivi came on the scene with her drama queen antics about every little thing, he decided that maybe if it was working for her, it would work for him. He's not nearly as colorful about it as she is, but he's not the sweet martyr he used to be. Viv is a regular Camille. Today she decided that maybe a small attempt at BITING my hand would stop the torture. NOT. Instead, she got the Crocodile Dundee stare down and a very guttural, sharp "NO". I bet she tries again.

While I'm on the subject of dogs, please take a look at a really good blog on how to keep your rights to own, breed and maintain your pet: There are those whose sole aim in life is make sure that owing pets comes to an end and to do that they are attempting to pass anti-dog laws across the country. If you love your furry companions, you better take heed. Join with other responsible owner groups to safeguard your rights to your pets.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A New Era in US Politics?

I have had the TV on all day long. I'm about to be in Inauguration Overload. Although I have to say, it's been pretty invigorating to see the excitement and hope in thousands of peoples' eyes.

I didn't vote for Obama. I wanted to, sort of. There were a couple of things holding me back. I didn't vote for John-Boy McCain either. There were couple of things disturbing over there, too. I did vote though. If you don't pay, you can't complaining. And I like to bitch and whine sometimes.

But Obama is our president. And I am ALL FOR the United States presidency. I'm also ALL FOR our Constitutional rights, our freedoms, our privileges, our way of life. So, I will find the things that I can agree with Mr. President on and I will voice my opposition to the things I can't. I hope that all the promise that Barak Obama represents blossoms in the coming four years. And that the mistakes and missteps will be few. I'm ready to give the guy a fair shot.

Rock on, America...........

Friday, January 9, 2009

Sidetracked AGAIN

I'd like to say that I've finished with that attic thing. But you know the answer to that already. Isn't it amazing how you can lose focus so quickly and so completely when it comes to "cleaning out"?

In my defense, I have made a marvelous start. And it IS just the 9th of January. But somehow the days of this week have just slipped by without me even opening the door to The Black Hole.....well, maybe I could just say The Dark Gray Hole; some progress has been made after all.

Tomorrow is already committed to something else (a knitting class; thank God it's not grooming dogs or cleaning up anything!). Sunday, I know at least one little black dog that requires a "re-bath". So, it looks like the week of the 11th will have to be designated as Resume Organization Week. Sigh. Keep your fingers crossed that I can say "all done" at the end of the week.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Let the Clean Sweep Begin

There are still a few odds and ends of Christmas decorations laying about. Those need to find their hibernation niche today. I hesitate to return to The Black Hole at the top of the house however. (This is better known to most as "the attic".)

Once I step inside the door, I feel a swirling vortex sucking me in; boxes, debris, litter of days gone by calling my name insistently. Yes, it's time to tackle the JUNK that has lived above my head for the past several years. I'm ready for new beginnings, fresh perspectives. The best way to get that is to cart off all the old I'm thinkin'.

Wishful thinking has me thinking maybe a week ought to do it. Who am I kidding? It took years to accumulate it. I doubt a week will make it magically disappear. What's that old saying: a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. So let me just step over the threshold and see what happens.

Friday, January 2, 2009

HELLO 2009! End of the year wrap-up....

My, my how time does fly. Last time I was here it was mid-October. I could make all kinds of excuses. For example, I did have surgery in October and that took a few weeks to recoup from. And the computer took MONTHS to actually "get right". And there's always those gay, wrapping, decorating, eating, drinking. (For the record, I'd just like to say right now that I'm glad all that's DONE.)

Usually people want to get right to the resolution part of each new year. I think I've learned my lesson on this. Basically, don't. Every time I make them, they last a month or two and then gradually slide off in to oblivion. What's the point? But, it's hard to resist the clean slate, blank page feeling of January. So, at the risk of once again heaping guilt upon my very own head for not following through, here are the things I'd like to see happen in 2009 (just for me, mind you -- not the world at large):

* more training time with my dogs
* more exercising out of me
* less eating
* more creativity and writing (like keeping up with this blog better)
* less anger at the uncontrollable forces of the universe
* more peace
* less TV
* LOTS more laughter
* TONS more forgiveness

There're probably dozens more things I could put on the list, but these will do nicely to keep me feeling overwhelmed for a few months. And in the process, if only one or two really make it to the finish line in December, I'll consider the year a wonderful success. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!