It is Good to Be a Dog

img_2968  While my mind and emotions are still in turmoil following this week’s presidential election, I find comfort in my canine companion. How great it would be to be my dog for a day! Relaxed and content without a care in the world…

No concerns about when he will get his next nutritious meal. No doubts that he will always be able to snuggle on his bed, warmed by a cozy fire. No consideration that he will not be able to get his medications or see the vet when he needs to. No fears that the beautiful parks and nature preserves where he loves to roam will no longer exist. img_9310

Taking for granted that his day will always be filled with kind, caring people who will continue to shower him with abundant treats. Falling asleep each night to chase dreams about squirrels and waking up in the morning being able to fulfill them.

img_2941

Having the expectation that everything will always be the same and there is no reason to assume that anything bad could happen.

It sounds nice, but I suppose it would get a little too routine and boring for us humans after a while. So, instead I will try to tap into some of my dog’s calm and steady reassurance that life goes on, the sun will always come up and a new day is ahead- which will hopefully put me in a better state of mind.

So now, please excuse me, my dog is letting me know that it is time for our daily walk. Who knows what exciting things we will find today!

IMG_3202

(I would like to post this in tribute to all the dogs we have known and loved who bring peace, happiness and a bright outlook to their humans.)

Advertisements

The Magic of a Snow Day

For those of you who live in parts of the globe that have been overwhelmed with snow and ice this season, I hope this post will bring you back to my perspective.
We are already into the month of February and, for those of us in upstate NY who love winter sports, it has been a very disappointing winter. Freezing temperatures without snow cover is the worst possible combination ( right up there with 40 degrees and that damp, raw feeling in the air that we get in the spring). Out of all the snow storms the Weather Channel has now decided deserve names, there has been very limited snow here. We seem to get hyped up, overestimated results followed by warming trends where it all melts away.
My family enjoys cross country skiing which, unlike downhill, is totally dependent on Mother Nature’s whims. Our weather pattern has gone from snow to grass with bitterly cold weather in between. When this latest storm, Nika, was predicted to dump up to a foot in my area, I just shrugged and went about my business. Sure, I took the necessary precautions like getting groceries and filling my gas tank and my husband brought in several loads of firewood; however,  I did not cancel or change any plans assuming it would be a normal, busy day.
Nevertheless,  I asked my kids for I instructions on what to tell them if I learned there would be a cancellation the next day. Thanks to modern technology,  I did not need to set an alarm and wake up to check the tv or computer for that information. Instead, at 5:30 am my cellphone beeped me awake witha text message that the district would be closed all day.
I went into my daughter’s room and whispered “snow day”. She happily repeated my words and snuggled back under her covers for a longer sleep. I didn’t even disturb my son, so when he awoke several hours later and realized the time, I heard “SNOW DAY!” echo out of his room. My husband even decided to work from home today.Thus, instead of all heading in opposite directions, we sat down for a “big breakfast”, another family ritual consisting of bacon, home fries and pancakes.
The appointments on our calendar have been cancelled and there is a fire burning in our fireplace, as well as a roast slow-cooking in the oven. So far, only the dogs have ventured outside. From the comfort of my home, I have observed my neighbors digging themselves out and heading off down the poorly plowed road . The mail has been delivered regardless of the 8+ inches of snow but we are all still in our lounge wear with no urge to dig out and return to the rush of the real world.
There is something serene and magical about being trapped in the house on a snow day. Not a care in the world (because thankfully we have not lost power) and all obligations put aside. The bustle of the world feels hushed by the fluffy blanket of fresh snow. Those bears have it right- winter is the season for hibernation. We humans only get snow days…

Before

image

Before

After

image

An Adventurous Start to the New Year

Did anyone else get up in the middle of the night to watch the Quadrantid meteor shower?

A crop and enhacement of a Perseid Meteor I ca...

Image via Wikipedia

It is definitely something that I would not have done under normal circumstances, given that we have just returned to school/work and are back on our early morning rising time.  Would I have gotten a better night’s sleep and woken up more refreshed? Probably; but was it worth it? Yes, and I’ll tell you why…

First of all (and probably the deciding factor) I was able to observe from the steamy warmth of our strategically placed hot tub. I had laid out my robe and water bottle before going to bed, so all I had to do was grab them and step into the tub. Secondly, we waited until the moon had set, so the sky was reasonably dark and the neighborhood was very peaceful. We had a wide open view of the sky, unobstructed by clouds and the wind had died down so that we didn’t feel the chill on our faces.

My husband and I reclined against the headrest, eyes wandering to locate the shooting stars, exclaiming and pointing when we chanced on a sighting. At one point we were spotting one per minute, but that was after 5-10 minutes of letting our eyes adjust enough to notice the streaks of light passing overhead. Stargazing takes a certain amount of patience, something I tend to be short on in the middle of the night. But last night the only reason we decided to end our observations was that we were starting to shrivel from the hot water.

Before we got out, we exchanged a new year’s kiss, thanking each other for pushing us to do something outside of our routine. What a great way to kick off the year – enjoying and appreciating nature and spending a special moment with the one we love. It’s amazing that something as simple as stepping off our normal path can prove to be so rewarding. It is a good reminder that life is what we make of it. Even though this may not truly qualify as an adventure, it should be an inspiration for other opportunities this year. I will be keeping my eyes open.

Routine

Little stones create ripples that disturb the calm waters of the pond. The once smooth waters become clouded and, as more stones are thrown in, turn choppy. It takes a long time for the waves to pass and the stillness to return.

That is how I feel my last week has been. With the pre-Thanksgiving preparations to the post-Thanksgiving recovery, it has been a week since my last post. I had been pretty disciplined about setting aside time to write on most days, but once the little stones started falling in my path, the obstacles to writing built up and I could not make my way back to the path until they had been cleared.

I like my routines. I am very organized and, while I can be flexible and adapt to changing situations, I much prefer to know what lies ahead. You would think as a mom of two kids and two dogs, I would know better. Nothing is ever predictable, whether it is a last-minute school assignment for which supplies are needed, or a sudden illness that requires attention. Even the dogs get  into situations that throw stones in my path…like yesterday when they both required bathing after what I intended to be a relaxing walk.

The holiday season is especially loaded with distractions, school events, parties, writing cards, mailing packages and shopping for presents.  All I can do is stay calm and try to chart the smoothest path through the waves of demand that vie for my attention. At least I had a few minutes today to post my thoughts- one of which is this…

While many of us have enjoyed the unseasonably warm weather of this November, it has dreadfully confused the plants in my garden.

I have never before seen either of these flowering at this time of year.          They have come out of dormancy because they think it is Spring.

I couldn’t resist this shot of my Holly and Sedum alongside a sprig of Forsythia.

    It is a beautiful three season bouquet, but I would prefer something more routine for this time of year. Dried grasses and evergreens anyone?