Tuesday, December 20, 2011

....about how life changes day to day.

The Christmas season is here bringing much hope for positive changes to occur in the world. Our wishes are always for peace, good health, and equality for all people everywhere.  May we always have this desire within our hearts...the desire for goodness, tolerance, and understanding.

Sometimes though, unexpected changes happen in our own lives that change our treasured holiday plans.  This year there is some illness my extended family, and my own anxiety is still not under control.  I have had to cancel some special things I was really looking forward to experiencing. I feel so thankful that my dear friends and family understand, but a little sad that everything didn't come together without bumps in the road.

At these times, how we decide to process these changes shows us what we are made of.  I find it so hard to adapt to change but when given no opportunity to do otherwise, will work hard to embrace the positive, play down the negative, and eke out the best experiences I can within the present limitations.  Our son is home for a long visit, all our dogs are healthy, my husband is healthy, and except for my anxiety issues, I am doing well also.  Our tree is beautiful, the fire in the fireplace is delightfully warming, our home is clean, food is plentiful, I am being faithful to my diet, and Christmas joy abounds in our little home.  We say prayers for family and friends who are suffering and make ourselves available if needed.  Next week, we will have our grand niece with us to help out our extended family.  In helping them, it will bring more joy into our own lives.

For myself, when I am feeling calm, I take in every moment of happiness around me.  When struggling with stress and anxiety, I listen to my body's signals, and treat myself with gentleness and respect. It took me years to understand the importance of being as respectful to myself as I am to others.  May we all embrace the wisdom of giving ourselves a break when we need it and to be kind and forgiving to ourselves when we cannot always live up to our own expectations.

The New Year will soon be here with new adventures awaiting.

Take care

Friday, December 09, 2011

...Sam's Christmas letter to everyone.

Sam, our little old sheltie boy, has written the following for our Christmas cards and letters:

Hello Everyone!

Another year has nearly gone by and I decided it was time to write my outstanding celebratory
missive to let you know how we in the Vose household are doing. It's been unusually warm here in Maine this fall. My mom and dad have been enjoying the warmth, but for someone with my heavy coat, warm weather is highly overrated. I like to lie in the white, fluffy snow and cool down my belly. I don't understand why but snow doesn't stick around when it's 50-60 degrees every day.  Go figure!

Mom has been spending a lot of time doing stained glass projects. I guess it's her latest hobby or something! She says she likes to "paint with glass". I'm not sure what that means, since she
doesn't use a paint brush at all, but I definitely approve of the work that she does.

Dad retired in July and has been working half time since then. He really seems to enjoy having the extra time at home. I enjoy having Dad here more, but he gives us a treat when he leaves for work in the morning and less times going to work means less treats. Oh well, life is full of tradeoffs,  I guess.

My human brother Marc visited in July with his friend Cheryl. We had a good time with them and Cheryl cooked some unusual foods that we had never eaten before. The cuisine was really yummy (I should know, since I am an expert in food). Marc moved from China to Malaysia this summer. I'm not sure where those places are, but I'm quite sure they are way beyond our play spot at Wells Beach. Marc is coming home for Christmas this year, too. We're all truly looking forward to that.

A little while ago, mom found an email address for my dadʼs Uncle George. George lives in Texas and Dad had lost contact with him. Now Dad is writing to both Uncle George and Aunt Irene, George's sister who lives in Florida. Dad has been having fun learning about the Voses of Washington County, Maine. I don't know where Texas, Florida or Washington County are, but Mom has assured me those aren't at Well's Beach either. I'll have to trust her on that.

My dog pack is doing quite well under my wise guidance. We added two new members to our
family. My mom decided that we should adopt a small border collie named Lucy, and then found out that Kati's mother Sadie became available for adoption. As soon as we adopted Sadie, another border collie named Zena suddenly needed a home. Zena stayed here for a few days before we found a great home for her with our friend Gina in Lebanon. It took a while for everything to settle down but now we are all meshing together beautifully. Of course, most of this was accomplished under my firm paw.

Most of us dogs still do agility, but three of us (including me) are getting up there in years so Dad takes it easy on us. Zac and Kati have been competing in events and bringing home lots of ribbons. Dad says he's going to try Lucy and Sadie in competition as soon as they are ready, probably next spring. I have retired from my job with Dad as the agility demo dog and have passed my duties and my students on to Kati. Dad says Kati does very well, but he also says he misses having me do it since I was so great at it.

We all hope you have had a wonderful year and that you have a happy holiday season. If you are lucky, your festivities will include an abundance of sloppy kisses and crunchy treats. That's my goal!

Sam, Ace Reporter for the Sanford Voses, Demo Dog, Ret.