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Posts Tagged ‘dogs’

            “No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.” – Regina Brett

One of the best things about taking Pepper for an early morning walk is getting to see the sun come up over the desert. -- Photo by Pat Bean

One of the best things about taking Pepper for an early morning walk is getting to see the sun come up over the desert — while the moon is still in the sky. — Photo by Pat Bean

That’s My Life

What Regina said is what I have to do, despite the fact I’ve been fighting a sinus infection. I’ve gotten up, dressed up (OK, so it was just a sweater over my pajamas at 6 a.m.) and walked my dog, Pepper, four times a day.  And I live in a third-floor walk-up.

But don’t get me wrong.  I’m actually thankful, because the task of doing this over the past year has gotten me in better shape than I was a year ago. That’s great news for someone who is pushing 75.

Every old-broad should have a dog to walk.

Bean’s Pat: Interesting Literature:  http://tinyurl.com/oqw3gsj More quotes. I like No. 9 best.

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What is Home?

            “You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it’s all right.” — Maya Angelou

This view from my balcony is now part of what means home to me. -- Photo by Pat Bean

This view from my bedroom balcony is now part of what means home to me. — Photo by Pat Bean

Whatever You Want It To Be

            I spent nine wonderful years living and traveling this country full-time in Gypsy Lee, my 22-foot motor home. Recently I realized that was more years than I had ever lived in one specific dwelling in my life.         

Desert sunsets from my front balcony now seem like part of my home. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Desert sunsets from my living room balcony now mean home to me.  — Photo by Pat Bean

All that time I was traveling, the road felt more like home than any of my former rooted dwellings. This wondering wanderer pondered why?

            The road, I finally decided, with its wondrous sights and beauty, was what I had longed for almost all my life. I dreamed about exploring this country, from coast to coast and border to border, ever since I can remember.

            The hundreds of travel books I read over the years — “Blue Highways” by William Least Heat Moon, “On the Road,” by Charles Kuralt, “Travels with Charley,” by John Steinbeck, “A Walk in the Woods,” by Bill Bryson, “Desert Solitaire” by Edward Abbey, and many, many more – fueled those dreams.

            Then finally, at 65 years of age, I made the dream come true. I figured I had about five years before age would catch up with me, and I would have to stop living atop wheels, but I almost doubled that expectation.  

And Pepper is part of my home now. I'm a very blessed and a very thankful person. -- Photo by Pat Bean

And Pepper is part of my home now. I’m a very blessed and a very thankful person. — Photo by Pat Bean

          This year I exchanged the road for a Tucson, Arizona, third-floor apartment in the Catalina Mountain foothills. Although I find it hard to believe, it now feels like home. Of course this wondering wanderer pondered why?

            In doing so, I listed what home meant to this old-broad wandering wonderer these days. My answers included: A place with a large bathtub so that I could soak in a hot tub whenever I wanted. This, I should tell you, is the only think I missed after paring down for my RV lifestyle and the road..

            Home also means a place where I can spend a whole day in my pajamas – if I wanted and did not have my dog, Pepper, to walk, but then Pepper, herself, is home.

             Home is a place with lots of books, even if one has a Kindle. Home is my desk and computer, where I can write to my heart’s content.  Home is a place where I can keep in touch with loved ones, and occasionally travel to visit them. Home is a balcony with a view of nature and birds and mountains. Home is a place to bring friends.

            What I now also know is that home is more inside of one than outside of one, and that it can be whatever you want it to be, and make it to be.       

The Wondering-Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering-Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

     Bean’s Pat: The Road Not Taken http://tinyurl.com/l37f994 Something to think about.

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         “Adventure is not outside man; it is within.” — George Eliot

Think all doves do are coo. This white-winged species has a nest in a tree that I walk beneath and screeches loudly at me every time I walk past. -- Photo y Pat Bean

Think all doves do are coo? This white-winged species has a nest in a tree that I walk beneath and screeches loudly at me every time I walk past. — Photo y Pat Bean

Letting my Mind Wonder as My Legs Wander

            I’m recovering nicely from my broken ankle, but still not up to the adventure of a trail hike. Instead I have to get my kicks from walking on level ground. Mostly, on the four daily 15-20 minute walks I take with Pepper around the apartment complex, she and I retrace the same territory over and over.

Pepper off on one of her scent trails. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Pepper off on one of her scent trails. — Photo by Pat Bean

But each walk is different because of the people we meet along the way, a suddenly blooming plant, an old sight seen in a new way, the variety and activity of birds at the time, and always the varying thoughts in my head.

My best and brightest or most absurd and ridiculous ideas bounce through my brain like a ball in a pinball machine when I’m walking.

Pepper, who sniffs every twig, every new flower and urine bulletin board messages left behind by her doggie colleagues, always adds a layer of fun to the walks.

This one little flower in a big pot seems awfully lonely/ == Photo by Pat Bean

This one little flower in a big pot seems awfully lonely/ == Photo by Pat Bean

So far she’s never met another canine or human whom she didn’t like, although thankfully she’s come to know which four-footed and two-footed beings don’t want anything to do with her, and has learned to sit quietly by my side while they pass.

Dogs, I’ve come to believe, have much better instincts than we humans

But a smile or a tail wag from any of our apartment neighbors is enough to make her deliriously happy and playful. She is forever bringing smiles to my face.

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Like a moment from Midsomer Murders: http://tinyurl.com/d2rrved  A First of May sunrise. I suspect the reference to Midsomer Murders is because there is always one village celebration or another taking place in the English TV mystery series, which is one of my favorite shows. The blog’s title is what caught my attention, but the photo is awesome.

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“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.” — Kurt Vonnegut.

Writing Advice

My writing companion, Pepper. She lays on my bare feet when I'm sitting at my computer. -- Photo by Pat Bean

My writing companion, Pepper. She lays on my bare feet when I’m sitting at my computer. — Photo by Pat Bean

I just read an article that said it is better to write tired than not write, especially when working on a major project.  The author, I would give credit except I deleted the article and couldn’t find it again, said, if you don’t, then you often have to start at the beginning again.

That’s exactly where I am with my book, Travels with Maggie. I’ve left it untouched way too long, and I’ve got to at least read it again from the beginning.

I also know that writing tired sometimes even turns into really good writing because the brain lets go some of its control. But even if I have to rewrite the next day, the continuity hasn’t been lost.

Now all I need to do is take this advice.

Recent doodling by me. I make a connection between it and Vonnegut's quote.

Recent doodling by me. I make a connection between it and Vonnegut’s quote.

The truth is I’ve been doing plenty of writing, the past couple of months. Just not on Travels with Maggie. And I’m at the point that I need to finish it, because I can’t move on to all the other ideas bouncing around in my head until I do.

So what’s stopping me?

I keep trying, so far unsuccessfully, to figure it all out.

Bean’s Pat: I’m giving it to myself today.  One of the writing projects I have been working on faithfully is the blog I do for American Profile magazine called Discovering America. I’d love it if you would check it out at: http://blogs.americanprofile.com/author/patbean/

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“Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible.” Maya Angelou

Mind Triggers

The sight that greeted me when I looked up from the computer. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The sight that greeted me when I looked up from the computer. — Photo by Pat Bean

            I was just completing yesterday’s blog about Willie Nelson, when I looked up from the computer and saw my canine companion, Pepper, grinning from ear-to-ear as she sat in the middle of a devastated stuffed cat.

The dead cat. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The dead cat. — Photo by Pat Bean

I couldn’t do anything but smile. The toy had been on sale at PetSmart, and I had bought it for her, knowing full-well I would pay the clean-up consequences.            And then Willie’s quote about bigoted people not being his friend popped into my wondering-wandering mind, and I laughed, and continued laughing as I picked up the stuffing from every room in my small apartment.

Pepper is not prejudiced against cats. She’s also destroyed a big stuffed dog, a bear, a raccoon, and several ducks. She even took a bite out of my daughter’s Great Dane’s indestructible dinosaur.

Indestructible was the word my daughter used, even after I warned her that Pepper didn’t know the meaning of the word.

They look so innocent when they're asleep. -- Photo by Pat Bean

They look so innocent when they’re asleep. — Photo by Pat Bean

During Pepper and my first month together, she destroyed three pillows and their pillow cases, two pens (the stain of one which can still be seen on the rug in my RV) a computer cord, half a dozen pairs of socks, two of my daughter-in-law’s flip-flops and just about anything else she could get her teeth into.            Fortunately, she finally learned the difference between things that were hers and things that were mine, well except for socks and these days I blame myself for leaving any within her reach.

In the meantime I, or since I moved to Tucson, also my daughter, keep her supplied with plenty of chew bones, chew toys and occasionally a stuffed animal which can give her days of fun, and me days of picking up stuffing.

But as I said, she’s not prejudiced. She’ll chew up any stuffed animal.

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Alastair’s Blog http://tinyurl.com/b4ggr4t How to Wash a Cat. I got great belly laughs from this one. I hope you laugh at it as much as I did. Laughter’s good for the soul. And I’m not prejudiced against cats, just for the record.

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    “Ever wonder where you’d end up if you took your dog for a walk and never once pulled back on the leash?” – Robert Brault

Pepper, who is sitting in the new arm chair I bought for my new apartment and asking me just why it is that I can't take her for a walk. Thankfully the dog walker I hired until my foot is better arrived a few minutes later.

Pepper, who is sitting in the new arm-chair I bought for my new apartment and asking me just why it is that I can’t take her for a walk. Thankfully the dog walker I hired until my foot is better arrived a few minutes later. — Photo by Pat Bean

My Dog, Pepper

Pepper turned one-year-old December 26, 2012. She adopted me when she was 4 ½ months old and weighed 11 pounds. She weighs in at about 20 pounds these days.

I say she adopted me because I wasn’t looking for a puppy, and I had never known a terrier I wanted to own. Too high-strung and energetic was how I looked at them.

My armchair travels today took me to Ushuaia, where I took a hike on the Martial Glacier. -- Wikipedia photo

My armchair travels today took me to Ushuaia, where I took a hike on the Martial Glacier. — Wikipedia photo

But Pepper, a Scottie-mix or so the SPCA shelter where I got her said, took one look at me, stopped running around with all the other dogs in the enclosure, and made a mad dash toward me.  I was sitting on a bench at the time, observing the animals and looking for a cocker spaniel-mix about two years old. But she hopped into my lap, connected her creamy chocolate eyes onto my blue ones, and in no uncertain terms told me she was coming home with me.            “That’s Kenzie,” the shelter worker said.

I now know what love at first sight means. Of course she came home with me. And on that drive, as I sat in the back seat of my daughter’s car, I decided she wasn’t a Kenzie.”

“So what shall we call you,” I asked her out loud. I went through half a dozen names, and when I said Pepper, she yelped “Yow!” in agreement.

She’s turned out to be the best companion in the whole world. I’m one lucky dog owner.

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Climbing in Patagonia: http://tinyurl.com/a9x55qk While stuck in my third-floor apartment with a broken foot, I have to do my traveling via an armchair, the one Pepper’s sitting in above. I found this to be a great hike, and especially loved passing through the haunted and twisted forest.

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A Word from the Cat in the Hat

inspiration-quote-quote-of-the-day

I’m in the middle of  a lifestyle transition, have four books to read by January for a contest I’m judging, blogging three times a week for American Profile magazine,  getting ready for Christmas, enjoying my youngest daughter and her family, preparing to move into an apartment for which I need furniture, and am trying to cope with a dog that has decided a grandson’s room is a nice place to poop.

Pepper’s done the dirty deed twice, but  I think it’s been because I haven’t been up to our normal long walks. The physical therapist I visited Monday said it was a hip impingement.

I’m getting physical therapy and doing exercises for the leg so hopefully things will be back to normal soon. In the meantime, Pepper and I have been taking a lot of short walks to solve the problem.  I sure hope so because my new apartment is a third-story walk-up.

So, for the remainder of the year, I’m going to rely on some of my favorite people to help me out. Today it’s Dr. Seuss, whose advice I’ve enjoyed for a long, long time. Here are three of my favorite Seuss quotes.

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose.”

“So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the readers who reads.”

“Today you are you, that’s truer than true.  There’s no one alive who is youer than you.”

Book Report: We’re not going to say any more about this until Jan. 1, 2013.

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Transplanted Tatar http://tinyurl.com/ayyyn4r A Glimpse of Paradise, or more specifically, the landscape that has claimed a piece of my soul.

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            “The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.” — Samuel Butler, Notebooks, 1912

Pepper investigating that purple cow back in Waynesboro, Virginia. — Photo by Pat Bean

Adventures with Pepper: Days 38-45

As my regular readers know, I lost Maggie, the dog who was my traveling companion during my first eight years of living on the road.

Pepper and me taken at the SPCA shelter in Plano, Texas, on the day she hopped into my lab, looked up at me and with her eyes clearly said: I’m going home with you. I hadn’t been looking for either a puppy or a terrier. — Photo by Pat Bean

After a horrendous period of grieving, I acquired Pepper, who has been my travel companion since April 20th.  She was a four-month-old rag mop of a  Scotty-mix, the Plano, Texas, SPCA Shelter staff said, when I rescued her.

Since then, she’s doubled in size to about 20 or so pounds, and has become a piece of my heart.   Where Maggie was the Grand Diva of dogs, Pepper is a rowdy tomboy whose greatest joy in life is giving me chin kisses and rough-housing with bigger dogs.

At Yogi’s in the Smokies campground, where I spent a week, the dog she played with was a young black lab that belonged to a large family group that were my neighbors. One afternoon, after we had laughingly watched the two of them play, I got a knock on my RV door.

Pepper keeping an eye on me from her high perch on our over-the-cab bed. — Photo by Pat Bean

“Would Pepper’s mom like to come have steak around the campfire with us,” two young girls asked.

Pepper’s mom said, “Yes.”

Book Report: Travels with Maggie is now up to 61,868 words.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Hunting Trolls in Norway http://tinyurl.com/b9bovh6 Travel is all about learning something new, and not getting eaten by trolls.  

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             “Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it.” – Henry David Thoreau.

Pepper pulled me down the trail, and I was hard pressed to keep up and not stumble. But when she pulled me back up the trail, I thought: “Oh what a good dog you are.” — Photo by Pat Bean

Adventures with Pepper: Day 32

Oh goodie! I’ll be able to get a good picture of the Roanoke River. — Photo by Pat Bean

I’m suffering a distorted kind of writer’s block as I try to blog about my 466-mile journey down the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s not that I don’t have things I want to tell you about this amazing adventure, but that I have too much to tell you and too many pictures to choose from that I took along the way.

My thoughts seem quite jumbled. I think I need to stop thinking so much about trying to put things in order and just get on with the writing, tackling it piece by piece for the next few days, or as Anne LaMott said so well, “Bird by Bird.”

I got a great shop of the bridge that crossed the Roanoke River, but the view of the river itself from the viewpoint was blocked by foliage. — Photo by Pat Bean

This day Pepper and I crossed the Roanoke River, and had a fantastic view of it from the bridge high above it. Of course there was no place to stop and take a picture, which was why I was happy to see a trail head leading down to a viewpoint right after we exited the bridge.

It was a great little hike, in which I was pulled both up and down the trail by Pepper, but no decent view of the river. I’d have to make sure I filed the bridge-crossing view somewhere in my little gray cells, I thought.

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            “Into each life some rain must fall.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow  

Adventures with Pepper: Day 28

Earlier in the season, the playground and pool at Front Royal RV Park would have been cheery and bright. In the rainy day I was there, it just looked empty and forlorn. — Photo by Pat Bean

            After yesterday’s long, hard drive, I knew I was going to sit this day out at the Front Royal RV Park.

It was a big campground, and it was getting ready to close for the season. Unlike southern RV parks, which stay open all year, more northern ones start closing down as early as mid-September. Except for half a dozen RVs with a permanent look about them, and a couple of late evening drop-ins, I had the park to myself.

It would have been a great opportunity for a couple of long walks to stretch my legs and give my 10-month-old canine traveling companion, Pepper, an opportunity to use up some of her excess of energy.

Pepper watching the rain an oh so wanting to go outside and play. — Photo by Pat Bean

But it had started raining shortly after I had pulled into the campground, and it didn’t let up the entire day.The short walks Pepper and I took during slack times were with an umbrella for me, and a towel waiting inside of the door of Gypsy Lee to dry off my four-footed friend.

The rest of the time, she and I watched the world behind rain-drop spotted windows.

Book Report: Still stuck. I needed and took a day of rejuvenation yesterday, and wrote not a single word on any of my writing projects, including this blog.

Bean’s Pat:   No recommendation from the Wondering Wanderer today either. My list of ones I wanted to give a Bean’s Pat vanished. I think it had something to do with my trying to clean up my computer.

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