Monthly Archives: January 2014

Gratitude Friday

image by eric

image by eric

1. Ringo. His first vet visit went well — our vet, whose been one for almost 50 years, said “the way he’s letting me handle him, I can tell he’s going to be a super dog” — he’s sleeping so good (slept in until 6 am this morning, with one potty break at 3:30 am), will entertain himself in his crate long enough for me to finish this blog post, and is in general less bitey and crazed.

with that spot of black on his left cheek, he looks like he's always smiling

with that spot of black on his left cheek, he looks like he’s always smiling

2. More snow. Our backyard was getting pretty soupy yesterday with the last snow melting, and with the ground covered again, there’s less stuff for Ringo to get into, try to eat.

3. Yoga practice teaching. We’ll pair up tonight and practice, and I noticed yesterday that the full group warmup session I signed up for will be when we are on retreat at the Shoshoni Ashram — so cool.

4. Feeling better, more confident and at ease, settled. I don’t know if I told you, but I was in a bad way, feeling pretty awful — oh wait, that’s kind of all I’ve been talking about. 🙂

5. Eric. I know I’ve said this before, but I just couldn’t do it without him.

Bonus Joy: Sam. I still worry about him, feel sad about his jaw and the irritation it causes, the restriction it requires, but I love him so much. He’s such a good dog.

ericsamfrozenriver

image by eric

#smallstone: Pile

Things are piling up around here. There’s one particular pile on my desk that includes:

  • Yoga pose cards, homework for yoga teacher training
  • Property tax bill
  • New 16 GB SD card that will hold almost 6000 images
  • Camera battery charger
  • My favorite pair of scissors
  • Chocolate and sheets of origami paper from Germany
  • Puppy shot records
  • Tags from Ringo’s new harness
  • Tags, receipt and harness that didn’t work for Ringo and needs to be returned
  • Paperwork for puppy kindergarten class
  • Microchip info flyer
  • Hearing test results (sometimes Cattle Dogs can be deaf, but Ringo’s whole litter has great hearing)
  • Beaver’s Market receipt
  • Meat processing receipt (we got 1/2 a beef from a friend who raises organic, small herds, of which our dogs get to eat almost 1/2 — spoiled)
  • 2013 Tax documents
  • Feed and grocery store receipts
  • Receipt from Sam’s last visit to the neurologist
  • Corral West Australian Cattle Dogs Contract of Sales and Deposit, in which I promise not to sell, give away, or euthanize Ringo without telling Sherry, and if we can’t care for him any longer, she has the right to have him back, to keep or find him a new home, and I agree that “the dog will reside at their home and will be an integral part of the family.”

#smallstone: Path

Not all paths are the same. This morning on our walk, Sam and I traveled one section of trail that was covered in snow and ice. There were slick patches and in other spots it shifted under our feet like we were walking on sand. It took more effort and time to walk this.

It reminded me of something I told Eric last night, about how when this intense puppy phase passes our “normal” lives will seem so easy in comparison. I told him about how I’d sat on the couch eating a big salad for lunch and actually watched some tv, and even though I didn’t get to watch a whole show before Ringo woke up and needed to go out, it seemed like such a luxury. Eric suggested that while that might be true, after you feel normal for awhile you forget to notice that it’s anything special.

It was like that on our walk this morning. After walking the side trail, we landed on a section of cleared paved path, smooth and solid. It felt so easy to walk on it, almost like we were floating, but it didn’t take long before I forgot and it was just walking, the awareness of ease replaced by noticing how cold I felt, how far we still had to go before returning home, how much work I needed to get done today, the worries and concerns and busyness creeping back in, distorting and confusing the previous sense of ease and joy.

I watched myself do this, aware of the suffering I generated. As an antidote, I felt my breath, saw the deep blue flutter of a single Blue Jay, noticed the turning colors of the sky, and felt such deep gratitude for the heart-shaped patch of snow and tiny splash of white fur inbetween Sam’s toes.

#smallstone: Parenting Fail

coplayPart of yesterday was hard. I had to crate Sam twice to keep him and Ringo apart because they want to play together so bad, but they get too rowdy, wanting to tug which Sam just can’t do anymore with his jaw and Ringo wanting to bite him in the face. I feel bad about crating Sam, until I remember that before Ringo, Sam would be in his crate for six hours until someone came home from work and now he gets to stay out when we aren’t home, and before Ringo we weren’t playing tug with him anyway, the only real play was when we would play fetch for a few minutes in the backyard. This is what is necessary to protect him, to care for him, and this need for constant play won’t last forever. Ringo will grow up so fast and be able to go for long walks, hikes with Sam, to hang out together in ways that don’t hurt Sam.

When you are a caretaker, there are days when you need a nap, a shower, and something to eat, but only two are possible and you have to chose, can’t fully care for yourself. This can lead to feeling overwhelmed, like it’s too much, like “I can’t do this, I want to give up.” Giving up yesterday was a moment in the kitchen, Ringo being a bit of a monster but not quite ready for a nap. I was worn down by his constant need. I sat on the floor with him in my lap, him trying to eat the face off a stuffed bear, doing somersaults and biting at his own tail, and five minutes felt like an hour when I knew in just half an hour he’d be ready for another nap, I could put him back in his crate and get back to work. I hate how I wish him away like that.

Then when I was making my lunch, he stole a tupperware lid out of the drawer, and I gave in and let him have it, was happy to have something entertain him for a few minutes. By the time I took it back, there was a tiny chip missing. I couldn’t find it anywhere on the floor, don’t know if it was already missing or now somewhere in Ringo’s belly but it felt like failure.

parentingfailBut other moments, when he’s playing nice, being so cute, sitting for a treat, going on a walk, asking to go outside and go potty, curled up asleep — I can’t even stand how big my love for him is going to get, know that this part that’s hard is so brief in the context of what will hopefully be a long life together.

#smallstone: Snow Walk

picture by Chloe'

picture by Chloe’

It snowed again. It snowed all day long, was more than they predicted. We tried to take a single walk around the block, but you got too cold. In the places where people hadn’t shoveled, the drifts were almost as tall as you. When I picked you up, you leaned against me and shivered, even as you whined and wanted to be let down. We all need someone to walk with, someone who can pick us up and carry us the rest of the way home when we just can’t make it.

#smallstone: A Writer’s Dog

I’m teaching Ringo to be a writer’s dog, to sleep peacefully with the background noise of my fingers tapping on the keys and to wait patiently until I’m finished. It’s not like I haven’t compromised — he fusses if I listen to music, so I write in silence, which is not my preference.

“There was a writer who had a dog, and Ringo was his name-o…”

Something Good

an amazing image by eric

an amazing image by eric

1. Intuition is data from Jonathan Fields.

2. 50 Things to Let Go of Before Your Next Birthday from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

3. You will be called on to expand. And this is why we practice. from Danielle LaPorte.

4. Learning to exist at the edge of the unknown from Christina Rosalie.

5. Daily Rocks from Patti Digh: your daily rock : revel in not knowing, and your daily rock : take a new path, and your daily rock : show up for others today, and your daily rock : be open to change.

6. Ultra-realistic Fantasy Dolls. It’s Scary How Real They Look.

7. Good stuff from Huffington Post: The Questions That Will Save Your Relationships, and Can Success and Sex Sell Mindfulness? (by Susan Piver), and 14 Signs You’re Really Happy (And How To Stay That Way).

8. A beautiful something from Sas Petherick: a squee-filled announcement: Let it Go is open!, and the Let it Go Community page.

9. Father photographs his 5-year old daughter in the clothing and settings of Renaissance Dutch, Flemish, and Italian masters.

10. Here Are The 28 Cutest Things That Have Ever Happened on Viral Nova.

11. Elementary School. It’s not all limos and Happy Meals. from Brittany Herself, in which she says, “Being in charge of humans is sometimes impossibly hard, especially when you think you’re failing.”

12. The End of Should from Susannah Conway.

13. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club,

The hardest decisions in life are the decisions that start with two good answers. Choosing between two or more good things is one of the hardest things we will ever have to do.

This is what sacrifice is. This is where the richest rewards are, because we are not REALLY choosing between what is good and what is good. We are choosing between what is good and what is BEST for our lives.

Stay where the BEST things area, even if you have to walk away from some really good things once in a while. And never forget that the simple, small things in life are very often the best — better than the shiny, fancy, and ‘popular’ things; and that it’s completely okay to walk away from everything that the world tells you will bring you happiness, and towards small, simple, and good things that others usually just walk on by. That’s where the magic is, friends.

Choose the best for YOU.

14. When to Get Your Eyes Off the Screen from Be More With Less.

15. On Living Out Loud from Dani Shapiro.

16. 11 Life Lessons That Are True At Any Age from MindBodyGreen.

17. The Daring Interview Series: Meet Jennifer Louden from Brene’ Brown.

18. How to politely say “no” to a ridiculous, unreasonable request. (And keep it classy.) from Alexandra Franzen.

19. Karaoke Therapy from Jason Good.

20. Two Brothers Hilariously Re-Create Their Childhood Photos As A Gift For Their Mother on Bored Panda.

21. Restored vintage COMET Camper is a cost-effective, mobile eco-home on Tree Hugger.

22. letting go from Doorways Traveler.

23. Truthbomb from Danielle LaPorte, “Suspending the need to be certain is an act of enlightenment.”

24. Note from the Universe, “Comparisons, Jill, are odious, because they presume all other things are equal – which is never the case.”

25. Find Momo (Book Trailer). I love this project, link shared by Tammy on her Happy Links list.

26. Sh*t CSU Students Say.

27. Sleeping In Snowbanks by Jeff Oaks, with a characteristic zinger at the end, “How not to let oneself drown? Find what will float until you can stop panicking. Even a small thing can work.”

28. A Conference Call in Real Life.

29. A really cool syllabus, shared by Austin Kleon.