For the good.

Our great nation has been having its fair share of troubles lately. In addition to all the distress, it seems as though the people in this country are splitting down the middle… further and further apart. We have a tendency to point out the ways in which we are different.

But regardless of all of that, I am still very thankful, and feel extremely fortunate, to be living in a country that affords me so many rights and privileges.

In light of all that…

I think that if we could start seeing how we are alike…If we could understand our sameness with others… if we could work on our ability to discover what is good in one another… perhaps….

We could make things change.  For the good.


….And, in recognition of this disconsolate and historic date… a moment of silence for all of the victims of September 11th, 2001.

Without explanation… it just goes awry.

Oh, it happens to the best of us. Just when you want it the very least… or have something really big on your plate that day.   A date.   An appointment.   A dinner invitation at The Buckingham Palace.   You know the drill.

There is no avoiding them really. You recognize them immediately. Yes… you can run.  But you can’t hide.   They are as plain as the nose on your face.  Or the hat on your head… if you are so lucky to have a cap. And once it comes to you, it sticks on you like white on rice.

No amount of work, or wishing, or teasing… will make them go away. You could start over… if you had the time. But that is never the case, is it?

Nope. There they are.  Cruel, yet at the same time… perplexing.   One of life’s certainties.

Even nature can’t escape their ugly grasp.

So you see.  On the right…. an excellent quaff.  And of course, on the left…. yet another example of… the agonizing Bad Hair Day.


“A bad hair cut is two people’s shame.”
-Danish Proverb

Walk into my parlor…

“Will you walk into my parlor said the spider to the fly?” A line from a poem by Mary Howitt, which was published for the first time in 1829. My Dad used to say this line… at random…. when we were growing up.

I probably thought it was “at random” , because I didn’t understand the underlying meaning back then. Now I know. I wish I could “zap” myself back in time and see the relevance of that phrase in various situations in our household.

But now, every time I see a web, I think of that verse. Although that is the only line I know…

Sometimes, I wonder about spiders and their webs in an entirely different manner.  I hold this theory that they could be some kind of Alien implants.

Yeah, we’ve all seen the movies. Men In Black. Battlestar Gallactica. Starman. And on. The Aliens strategically place certain “beings” among the unwitting humans… so they can keep an eye on us. Or… for the purpose of an impending hostile take-over of the earth. That’s how it plays out on the silver screen.

I am beginning to wonder if this is not closer to the truth than we’d like to believe. I mean, hard as we try, with all our science and know-how, we humans can not replicate the strength and structure of a spider web. My theory, again. That web is proudly made by Aliens…..for Aliens.

Of course, I cannot let this discussion pass without the mention of their “Human Implants”…. the “fake people” they put around… in hopes of somehow tricking us. But I can tell… these imposters are always dead giveaways. They just don’t look like real humans. Somehow, their skin color is slightly off… or their eyes are kind of buggy. Maybe their hair is artificial in appearance…

Here’s the thing. I watched the Presidential address to Congress tonight. John Boehner was sitting right in camera view the entire time. I won’t say whether I like this guy or not. That is irrelevant. But I truly think he is some kind of an Alien Forgery. Too tan. Slicky hair. Buggy eyes….

But back to tangled webs we weave…..

“Will you walk into my parlor, said the spider to the fly?”

Sidebar: I saw this web tonight, and was awe-struck.

Tea Parties… and Tooth Fairies.

Today as I waited at a traffic light, I heard shrieking, screaming, cheering and laughter. I looked to my right, and there was a playground filled with children. They were fledglings, maybe kindergarten or younger.

There….. they united in a predetermined gambit. They ran about, all in chase of one another.   But to the outsider, there did not appear to be a rabbit on this particular dog track. No. They ran in a perfect eddy pool of delight. A definite swirling pattern had been established… somehow. Each one of them confirmed their place in this dance with a shrill and piercing display of their vocal cords’ potential.

The light turned green and I pulled away… reluctantly.

It made me think about the magic.

When we were young, we all believed in the magic. It was easy to believe in…. because it was really there. We had dolls who threw tea parties, and brigades of soldiers that engaged in harmless battles. We had stealthy and silent friends who shared our day…. never mind that no one else could see them. Our toys and figurines lined up in rows, had names, and went on adventures.

We wore capes.

We believed in people who would go around the world and give gifts for no apparent reason. The same went for rabbits that left us eggs and candy. Oz was a place that we wanted to visit. A fairy came and shoved coins beneath our pillows….in exchange for teeth of all things.

We drew beautiful pictures with crayons and sang songs out loud while we were doing it. Beautiful pictures and songs.

Yet, somewhere along the line, the older people told us to grow up. “You are too old for that.” (“Too old?…….Holy crap… I’m only eight. I’m not even in to double digits yet, for crying out loud!”) Big girls don’t cry. (“What the heck again?… I’m not THAT big…..”)

I propose that we all do something this very day…. that we did when we were kids. One thing. I bet the world would not be the pressure cooker that it has become… if we hadn’t forgotten how to play.  I sure do wish we could get the magic back.

…. but it is probably not a good idea to suck your thumb in front of your boss…. we really might to have to ease in to this thing…..

Opposition, without reason.

Some things, we should never forget….

On September 6, 1941, Jews over the age of 6 in German-Occupied areas were ordered to wear yellow Stars of David, by decree of the Nazi Party. Homosexuals were forced to wear pink triangles.

Millions of Jews, Gypsies, Russians, and Prisoners of War, died in Hitler’s death camps as part of his Final Solution Plan.  Below is a list of the death toll.
Between five and six million Jews.
More than three million Soviet Prisoners of War.
More than two million Soviet civilians.
More than one million Polish civilians.
More than one million Yugoslav civilians.
About 70,000 men, women and children with mental and physical handicaps.
More than 200,000 Gypsies.
Unknown numbers of Political Prisoners, Resistance Fighters, Homosexuals and Deportees.

“Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence.”
-Albert Einstein

“Many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.”
-William James

Out on a limb.

I hope your Labor Day weekend was…. free of labor… including childbirth.   I had a great few days… filled with family, friends, food, and folly. Fabulous.

One of the best things that occurred was the rain. Yes, here in this little corner of Ohio, we got some much needed rain. I think I helped with this.  Here, I kid you not.

I did my Rain Dance on Friday, and Saturday. For a long time. On both days. I think I threw my back out as a result.  But that is another story. I’m just not as young as I used to be, and the part of the Rain Dance…. where I have to do the eight back flips in a row…seems to be getting increasingly more difficult for me. So, at any rate….yes, the Rain Dance may have helped bring the rain.   I nailed the back flips after all.

But wait. There’s more.

I also left my car windows down on Saturday night. All four. All night long. Now while this caused the interior of my car to get quite saturated, I felt it was a necessary step in helping bring the clouds this way.

The carpet is still pretty wet. But I took advantage of this situation. I shampooed the interior since it was already quite soaked. It looks almost brand new…. but soggy.  I think I will leave the car windows down again, later on in the week.  We could use some more rain.  And, I need to rinse all the soap out of the carpet.

Then, of course, the other big nudge from Mother Nature over the weekend…. was the drop in the temperature.  Coolish. Crispy. Chiller.  I kind of think this means that Fall is right around the corner.

Autumn doesn’t officially begin until September 23rd this year. But it felt like it was here today.

Do you think they called “Autumn”….. “Fall”….. because the temperature falls, or because the leaves fall… or because people will soon be falling on the ice?

Whatever the case, the colors begin to get crazy now. The trees all get together and put on a show for free. I like this.

Nonetheless,  if I were a tree, I would keep my leaves.  Standing out there in the snow and bitterly cold temperatures, in just your bare limbs…. whew. I bet some or them freeze their nuts and berries off.

You know……most birds don’t like the cold weather.  They migrate south to warmer digs.   If that is how they think…. I am a definite bird brain.


… and one more thing…….


…..only 111 days left until Christmas.  Ho. Ho. Ho.

Twist and shout… with meatballs.

Kids can teach us a lot about life.

1. Eat your spaghetti like no one is watching.

2. Laugh for no explicable reason.  Bounce up and down about it too.

3. When you wobble and fall on your butt, jump right back up again.

4. Find the simple & wondrous bliss of playing with an empty box.

5. When you are upset, cry.

6. Run through the room, at any given moment, with your arms above your head…. yelling “ahhhhh ya mubbby wooooooo maaaaaaaaaa!”

7. Do it again, in the other direction.

8. Take a nap with your blanket.

9. Turn your head sideways when you look at something. Anything.

10. Hold that person, who is nearest and dearest to you….with every ounce of innocent joy and love in your heart.

I toad you so….

Today I was working outside and I spotted this little guy, just peeking out from the middle of this rock path.   I nearly stepped on the little fella’… which could have been highly traumatic.  Not only for the toad, but for me as well.  I named him Ted.

They are cool little animals. The toad is an amphibian, which means it is capable of living on land as well as in the water.  Me too.

There a few distinctions between toads and frogs.  Frogs jump high…  toads will run or walk or take little hops.     The skin of a toad is rougher and drier than that of a frog.  I don’t know if they use body lotion, or not.  But I am going to buy some for Ted.

Neither toads, nor frogs, will give you warts.

They don’t have teeth, so they can’t chew.   This also rules out bobbing for apples…. and salt water taffy.

A toad swallows its live meals whole.

 Toads use their eyeballs to help swallow their prey.  I’ve never seen this.  But… yuk.

Some toads excrete toxins which taste very bad to their predators, thus keeping them safe.

  Some toads are poisonous, the excrete poison through their skin.  Our youngest dog knows about this.

Most toads are small, but in Australia, a toad has been found that weighs two pounds and is the size of a football.  Now… I may be a city girl.  But one thing I am sure of… you don’t mess with a football-size-toad.  Ever.


Toads like beer.  No, that’s not right.  Just hops.  Now that I think of it… they  only drink Croak-a-Cola.

And… I once met a toad at a Computer Repair Class.  The little guy didn’t do so well.  He just sat there… saying over, and over again….

“Re-boot.  Re-boot.  Re-boot.”

He toadally failed the class.

Gray and fuzzy life.

I met this cat tonight. I liked him a lot. His name is Fuzzy. And he is gray.

Which got me to thinking.

Both of those things can be said about life as we know it. Sometimes… life can be pretty fuzzy. And most of the time… there are a LOT of areas that are gray. (Yep…. it is not all black, and not all white.)

A good friend recently observed…

“You know. We all think we are right.” Hmmmm. There is a lot of truth in that. Our opinions. Our beliefs. Each one of us believes those thoughts to be true….. to be right.

Yet…. what is right for you, may not be right for me. And vice versa. So how do we find balance in that? I’m not sure.

More came of this discussion tonight… with yet more of this group of dear friends.

“We can not change what other people think.” (This is a hard one for me. Because… holy smokes… would I EVER love to change how some people think.)

And another in this group said, (basically), that she lives each day to the very best of her ability. (She is, by my estimation: honest, loving, caring, forthright, just, compassionate, and more… ) And then she goes to bed each night with the satisfaction of knowing that she lived that day with a kind and gentle heart. She cannot be worried by what others may think of her, if she lived that particular day in a true and honorable manner.

I was deeply affected by that sensibility.

I sometimes strive for the impossible. I get it in my head that I can somehow “change” the world. Change the thinking. I am now beginning to understand that it is far more beneficial to make good changes in myself. And far more achievable, on many levels, if I can be at peace with who I am and live my life on a noble path.


“Peace is not something you wish for; It’s something you make, Something you do, Something you are, And something you give away.”
-Robert Fulghum

“For what you do to others, you do to yourself.”
-Eckhart Tolle

Whisper sweet nothings? Not to a dog.

I am going against popular culture tonight.

I’ll just go ahead and come out with it.

I’ve never liked that “Dog Whisperer” Guy.

I have watched the show quite a few times… to try and see what all the commotion is about. He mostly says dogs are too spoiled…. are not our friends.. and they are not our children.

Whoopsy. Strike one, two and three, for me!

Now, I know the guy is HUGELY successful. He makes like a kazillion dollars with his dog whispering philosophies, shows, products, endorsements, doggy day cares, psychology sessions, and the likes.  Kazillions.  Maybe even Kaboodles of Kazillions.

But I have a theory about this success. He plays to people who don’t really care to spend real time with their dogs. Maybe not all of them… but a bunch. These are the people that have a big problem on their hands in a four-legged package, and want a quick fix.  It looked really, really cute at the Pet Store.  So this guy comes in and makes a “Tssssk” sound… and viola’. All is well in Canine Camp.

I think he does a fabulous job of training Cattle Ranch Dogs. That is how he started. On a ranch, with dogs, in South America, somewhere. But here is the deal for me: I don’t have a ranch… or cattle. Even if I did… I wouldn’t expect my dog to do the work.

My theory is that dogs are a lot like people. If you want to get along with someone, and be friends, you have to put a great deal of time and commitment in to that relationship. You have to give just as much, or more, than you would ever expect to get. Hang out together. Cry together. Laugh together.  Pals.

Frances and I play a game. She comes to me in the mornings and barks, and sort of leaps into the air a bit. He front paws come off the ground, just a smidge, as she tells me her big old story. And then I say (all excited.. and panicky) …. “Lassie! What is it? What is it girl? Lassie? Where is Timmy?”

And then we both laugh and laugh.

Max looks at us like we are both dullards . So then I chase her around the house like the Wicked Witch of the West and yell… “I’ll get you my little pretty…. and your little dog too!”

Now Ollie and I don’t have a game just yet. Unless you count “Follow the Leader” which she does quite well. Maybe too well, in fact.

I’ll never make a million dollars training dogs. Not likely. But the gifts that my dogs give me are priceless. No money can match it. And for that… I am forever grateful.

Same goes for my friends.

“My goal in life is to become as wonderful as my dogs think I am.”

(P.S.  It has been my experience, that rescued dogs, and dogs adopted from shelters… make the best ones EVER.)