Wednesday, January 16, 2013

....About Our Future Choices.

There becomes a time as we age when we have to pause and contemplate the end part of our lives.  We have no control over it, but choices we make today do affect the direction we take in the future.  With both of us heading towards our mid-sixties, we asked each other the question: "Is the life we are living together at present the life we wish to continue living through our retirement years?"

In our present "together" life, we have tied ourselves down with rescuing, fostering, and adopting dogs.  We stay within a number of dogs that we can just manage to afford but little is left for travel, luxuries, nice furniture, quiet time together, and all the other joys retirement will make time to enjoy.  So what do we do to be sure we have the most enjoyable life together as possible for as long as we can?

Ralph asked me, "Are you happy as things are right now?  You know that with all our dogs, we will never be doing a lot of traveling, going out to eat, having nice furniture, and even getting to socialize in enjoyable clubs and groups as many older folks do.  Is this enough for you?"

Of course, instead of answering, I asked the same question of him to which he quickly replied, "I am very happy doing exactly what we are doing and I hope to do it for just as long as we are able."  That was my answer also, but I wanted him to say it first to be very sure I was not pushing my ideas on him since I am the bossy  So I let him know that his words held the same beliefs as mine.

Within a few days of this discussion, we got a call about a sheltie who may need a home.  Nothing is set in stone at this point but the coolest part of this is that we are both on the same page in our lives and it was very easy to say that "yes, we will accept your sheltie if all works out and he fits into our household".  In two weeks we might have a new member to our family...or maybe not, but one thing I know is that Ralph and I are joyously committed to doing just what we are already doing.  There is something very comforting about that.

Take care,


Wednesday, January 09, 2013

....about the quiet blessings of winter.

The holidays are over and now we are in the long winter months minus all the bells and whistles.  This is a cherished time to catch up on all those indoor tasks and hobbies that bring me joy.  There are plenty of choices waiting for me but none of them need be done in haste but rather once the mood strikes me.  That is one of the things I like about winter.  Things tend to slow down in New England, more time is available to turn inward, and the result is the chance to get to know oneself much better.

Some of my cherished choices are reading, writing music, creating stained glass pieces, painting scratched woodwork, brushing dogs, finding new music to enjoy, meditating, enjoying comfort food, doing many crafts, enjoying time on my computer, sharing meals with friends and family, and taking time to be thankful I am well enough to appreciate each of these adventures.  The list is long and plentiful.

Of course, much time is spent being with our dogs, sharing time with my husband, and chatting with my son by phone.  Yes, the winter months are special.

Take care,

Thursday, September 13, 2012

...about staying peaceful.

Staying peaceful is a difficult feat to accomplish during election years.  With all the foolishness going on between the crazy extremists on both sides, it is difficult to stay grounded somewhere in the middle. Yet, that is what I am trying with determination to do.  So what does one do to stay grounded?

For me, it is remembering to embrace nature, and remain as self sufficient as I presently can.  It also means being thankful and grateful for what is in my life and to be satisfied.  Seldom do we allow ourselves to feel we have enough, can take a rest, and just enjoy the feeling of not needing more at the moment.  That does not mean we give up our dreams and goals, but rather that we take some quiet time to just reflect on what we have attained.  I am taking the time to experience this to the fullest.

How many of us can quiet ourselves down, reach out and hug someone or something, and give our minds (and hearts) enough time to capture the whole feeling, the dear experience that sometimes enough good can be enough good for a while.  We don't have to be throwing these moments aside as quickly as we do in the quest for even a "better" good.  Enough can be rewarding enough if we give it a chance.

Study these photos and try to think of the last time you have been satisfied by what you already have within your grasp.  Are you taking enough time to fully and deeply experience thankfulness? It can bring a peace that is so overwhelmingly precious.

Take Care, Gardeningartist.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

...about how life is humorous.

Life can really be humorous when it is not trying to be.  Or perhaps I just see "funny" where it isn't?  I don't know.  My husband and I often see things that strike us funny and start a silly banter between us that is ridiculous and pointless.  We are like little kids who laugh over knock-knock jokes that have long ago lost their intrigue.  But we cannot seem to stop ourselves.

Just today we noticed the "Welcome Back" sign over the door of Applebee's.  How quaint and sweet, except....drum roll.....Ralph and I have never been to Applebee's....cymbal crash.  So our banter begins.  How do you enter a place that has a "Welcome Back" sign if we have never been there in the first place?  Would we be proceeding in a dishonest way if we entered in under the sign and went in.  Are we always doomed never to go in so we can keep our integrity?  Should we go around to the back of the building and enter through the back the first time so we can enter legitimately?  If we walk in the front door backwards, then they WOULD be welcoming our backs first.  It amazes me that my husband and I can chatter about this for quite a while.

A few days ago, when my husband was waiting for some ice cream in Shain's, a little boy who had been playing games in the arcade room came up to the cashier and asked if he could have his tips back that he had put in the tip jar earlier.  The waitresses were taken aback, of course, and really didn't know what to say.  It was doubtful that the child even understood what the tip jar was all about.  When the boy looked up at my husband (who shrugged and said softly "I don't think we are allowed to take money back out of the tip jar") the boy just shrugged back, copying my husband's body language and went back into the arcade area.  It was so funny and cute.  We love situations that happen naturally like that.

In the dollar store today, my husband came upon a "3-fer" product in the shampoo aisle.  No it was not a three for a dollar product.  It was a product that does 3 things.  My husband seldom gets excited about shopping but this was the find of the century, as far as he was concerned.  It is called "White Rain for Men 3 in 1 Cool Ocean Wave Shampoo Conditioner Body Wash".  He exclaimed happily, "Look!  With this I can just squirt it all over me in the shower and it will take care of everything at once."  Well, as most of you know, the shampoo section usually has a few women hanging around deciding what shampoo they want, so there was plenty of laughter suddenly coming out of that section in the store.  Any of you that know my husband are aware he does have a shy side, but also has an unusually humorous side and he made a few older ladies very happy for a few moments today in the dollar store.

So these are brief, happy moments out of our lives.  Life is a happy event if we take the time to pay attention.  Hope you smiled....if just a little.

Take care,


Thursday, June 28, 2012

...about how life doesn't stand still.

My dear Lexi.  RIP
It has been a while since I have written here.  The circle of life has continued although I really hoped I could make it stop for a while.  Lexi, my dear sheltie who spent her whole life taking care of me every minute of every day, finally succumbed to old age and illness.  I pampered her and care for her to the very best of my ability but it was her time to leave me.  This happened on Memorial Day, a very appropriate day since she served as a soldier, defending me at every turn.  Bless her dearly for being such a true, dear friend for 12 of her 14 years...from the very day she came into rescue.  On her last day, she was out planting in the garden with me, enjoying life right up until the very end.  She taught me that no matter what must be faced through one's life, it can be done with bravery and joy.  I still miss her dearly but must accept that life keeps moving on, and I have to keep moving forward, too.

I have so much for which to be thankful.  Our seven dogs are all doing well.  With the two older ones, it is a day to day blessing that they are still with us.  The other five still have not been slowed down by the ravages of old age and spend their days keeping all the rest of us motivated to stay moving in a joyous manner.  It might take a little longer for us to get going, but once in action, both my husband and  I still have a lot of life left in us.  Of course, like our two old dogs, we do a lot more sleeping and napping than we used to.

So life moves forward and my husband and I spend our days being so grateful and thankful of all the positives in our lives.  One of the wonderful aspects of being older is that it takes so little to bring a smile to our faces, and we don't need a bunch of bells and whistles in our lives to feel extremely satiated.  Just being is enough.

“To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter … to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring—these are some of the rewards of the simple life.”  ~~John Burroughs

Take care,

Thursday, May 24, 2012

...that life is a very curvy road.

Had a wonderful visit from our son.  Now that he is on his way back to the other side of the globe, we now have several things to deal with, some quite serious and others quite fun.  Happy Birthday, Marc.

Our three older dogs, Lexi (14), Jazz (12), and Sam (12) are needing a lot of extra attention, and I am the lady ready to give it.  Lexi's tumors are growing back very quickly, she is finding it very hard to get around and walk, so I am keeping her close 24/7 and helping her in every way possible.  She is too old to bear another surgery and the probable results is that the tumors would just come back like they did after the last surgery,  She will not be with us much longer so I want her to be feel comforted and loved in these days we have left with her. We have done everything humanly possible for her and now it is time for a higher power to decide how many more days we get to hug her and appreciate her. Bless her dear heart. She has spent her lifetime watching over me and is my very best doggie friend.

Jazz is still getting around pretty well, but sleeps most of the day, and is sometimes quite hard to wake up.  Both Lexi and Jazz still get their monthly acupuncture.  It keeps Jazz moving around and was doing so for Lexi, too.  Thankfully, Jazz still gets around fairly well once he has been up for a while, and still loves to amble around and bark at the younger dogs during their playtime.  Since he is mostly deaf, we have to use sign language with him, and go wake him up when it is time for a meal or to go pee.  He cannot hear us call him.

All getting a taste of ice cream
Sam is doing the best of the three at present but his quirk is that he has decided not to use the dog door.  I just have to remember to let him in and out often, and that works well.  He still gets around fine, his saliva gland is staying healthy with remedies from his homeopathic vet.  He gets two doses a day and that does the trick.  No more swollen faces, thanks to his vet.

The two middle aged dogs...Zac and Sadie are doing quite well.  Zac has tested positive for Lyme again this year (his vet called this morning with the results of his blood test) so we will have to go pick up some antibiotics for him to take.  Sadie is doing fine and acts like a much younger dog.

The young ones, Kati, Toby, and Lucy are full of energy, all healthy, and did I mention, full of energy? They do everything with great gusto and eagerness, from agility to just going for a walk.  They request several lengthy ball playing sessions a day so Ralph and I get exercised daily, too.

My great grandmother and her
twin sons.
Have been doing a lot of work on my ancestry tree and find it so interesting.  I have put up quite a few photos on and plan to add more.  Tracing down my son's ancestors so he will have both my husband's and my family trees to go visit whenever he finds an interest to do so.

Have my stained glass piece close to finished so will be starting some new things very soon.  So glad to have found such a creative hobby that keeps my imaginative mind engaged.

Some of the plants I have been bringing over from the other house are beginning to get used to this new property.  My white clematis is in full bloom today down by the pond.  The spearmint and chocolate mint are growing strongly by the agility fence and will be used for tea this summer and through the next winter.  I always dry a bunch.  Also it is time to put in tomato, pepper, and cucumber plants since they always taste so much better than the supermarket rubber veggies.  Thankfully, we also have local farmers' markets with tasty Maine grown products.  A lot to be thankful for.

Life is a mixture of so many varied emotions and I plan to experience many of them in the coming weeks.  May you all embrace the many twists and turns that life brings you!
Take care,

Friday, May 11, 2012

...about making lemonade when life gives lemons.

The huge moon!
This has been an unpredictable week, not that any future moment is 100% predictable, but this week has been extraordinarily odd.  For several weeks, my husband and I have been excitedly looking forward to a rare visit from our son.  We cherish these moments with him so dearly and they seem to pass much too quickly.

Our Son

When our son arrived this past Sunday evening, it was clear he was not feeling well. He had arrived with a bad cold and just not feeling up to par.  Ralph and I tried to coax him into going out and capturing some photos of the huge moon but he was just too ill and tired.

At Emergency Vet
We all turned in around 11 PM, and that was when we discovered that one of our old shelties had a large bleeding sore on her leg.  Not knowing what to do, my husband and I took her to the emergency vet in Portsmouth, NH.  It ended up being a sort of bed sore caused by sleeping on the hard floor.  Lexi has many soft beds to sleep on, but being a cold weather dog, she always chooses the cold wooden floor.  Anyway, her leg was a mess so it took a while to get it all bandaged using a doughnut sort of shape so she could not put pressure on the wound.  By 3 AM we were back home and finally got to rest.

Monday and Tuesday went very well.  Marc rested a lot, we had supper with friends on Tuesday, Lexi went to a couple of vet visits, I had some acupuncture.  All seemed to be going along quite well.  Then Tuesday night, I got my son's cold, so now two people and one dog were ill.  By Thursday night, Ralph was added to the list.  Today, (Friday), our son is beginning to see the end of the worst part of his cold, I am in the middle of mine, and Ralph is at the beginning of his.  Lexi needs lots of care, but her leg is slowly healing.

When one thinks of our son visiting and all the ways we could have spent it, this is definitely a time when we have to settle just making lemonade when life gives us lemons.  We have all stayed in fairly good moods, taken good care of one another, and taken good care of all our dear dogs, too.  We have gone nowhere, and done nothing, but sometimes, just making lemonade is the best we can do.

We are warm, we are all safe, we have a roof over our heads, we share a lot of love and humor, and are just waiting for our colds to take a hike.  They will eventually.  My husband's birthday, Mother's Day, and our son's birthday will all be honored in the next days, no matter if we party or just quietly support one another quietly through these special days.  It really doesn't matter.  What matters is that we are all together and share a bond of caring.  It can't get any better than that.  We are a family and that is what truly counts.

Take care,