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Archive for the ‘Dogs’ Category

Alone or Lonely

      “We are all sentenced to solitary confinement inside our own skins, for life.” Tennessee Williams

That's my canine companion Pepper on the right playing tug of war with her best forever girlfriend Dusty. -- Photo by Pat Bean

That’s my canine companion Pepper on the right playing tug of war with her best forever girlfriend Dusty. — Photo by Pat Bean

Shared Touch and Thoughts

I’m a single woman who lives alone, and sleeps with her canine companion. I’m not the least bit lonely, but the shared warmth of another creature curled up against my back gives me great comfort, I thought about this as I awoke this morning, and felt Pepper’s small body snug against mine.

And here they are sharing a spot of sun. I think I would be lonely without my Pepper, and perhaps she would be lonely too if she didn't see Dusty almost every day. -- Photo by Pat Bean

And here they are sharing a spot of sun. I think I would be lonely without my Pepper, and perhaps she would be lonely too,  if she didn’t see Dusty almost every day. — Photo by Pat Bean

As usual, the second I stirred, my canine companion Pepper became animated, insisting that we go for a walk right this minute! I obliged, taking only as long as it took me to slip on some clothes and smooth down my nest of night hair. Back in my apartment, I put the coffee on, gave Pepper her morning treat, and straightened the kitchen as I waited for the caffeine to brew.

Once settled with a cup of cream-laced java, I wrote in my journal for a bit then picked up a book to read for a bit before getting to one of the things on my always-too-long daily to-do list. The book was Lots of Candles Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen, whose essays remind me a lot of Ellen Goodman, who is 11 years younger than Anna and of my generation.

I recently came across a column about turning 40 written by Ellen that I had saved in my journal. Anna’s essay, which I was reading this morning, was also about aging, but written from the prospective of a woman in her 50s; so I guess it’s really true. Fifty is the new 40.

As one who was a journalist for 37 years, I’m drawn to the writing of these two women, who are both Pulitzer-Prize winning columnists. Reading their thoughts, which in many instances mirror my own, gives me as much companionship as does my Pepper.

I’m thankful I have family and friends who are there for me, both for companionship and for when I need them, but I’m also thankful for all the time I have to be alone. I’ve considered myself an extrovert for most of my life, and that is indeed a part of who I am, but as I look back on my busy, chaotic life, I realized I was always looking for a spare minute just to be with myself.

These days I have that time — but I don’t think it would be nearly as enjoyable as it is without a canine companion, good books, and friends and family out there when you need them. But then perhaps that’s not being alone at all.

Blog pick of the Day. Check it out.

Blog pick of the Day. Check it out.

Bean Pat: In the Paw Prints of Lions http://tinyurl.com/z7zhjrh Watching lions in Africa was one of the highlights of my African safari to Kenya and Tanzania – and I liked this blog because of the good memories it leaked into my head. But our guide always made us stay in the Land Rover.

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“The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to it original dimension.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

The first week of January, 2013,  at my brand new apartment. I didn't know how unusual the now was in Tucson. I haven't seen it in the city since. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The first week of January, 2013, at my brand new apartment. I didn’t know how unusual that was in Tucson. I haven’t seen snow in the city since. — Photo by Pat Bean

2016 is Almost Here

I hope all my readers have good times, good laughs and lots of hugs this holiday season. I’ll see you again in 2016 when my goal is to do five blogs a week.

Pepper -- Photo by Pat Bean

Pepper — Photo by Pat Bean

Pepper says hi, too.

 

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Falling Down

A blast from the past: Me and Maggie hiking Mount Ogden's foothills.  -- Photo by Pat Bean.

A blast from the past: Me and Maggie hiking Mount Ogden’s foothills. — Photo by Pat Bean.

It is necessary for a man to go away by himself, to sit on a rock and ask, ‘Who am I, where have I been, and where am I going?” Carl Sandburg

We Should All Do It More

            When I was learning to ski, I would sit down the second I felt out of control. But eventually I learned to stay in control and then I seldom ever fell down.

So what does my skiing instructor tell me? “You’re not falling down enough,” he said.

It was a strange comment, but I immediately understood what he meant. He was telling me that I was playing it too safe, and that this was keeping me from getting better.

The fear of falling, call it failure, is still a fault of mine. Looking back now, I realize that this fear held me back from moving forward many times over the years. I don’t know about you, but getting up seems to be the easy part for me. .

Bean Pat: Remembering http://tinyurl.com/p7byop4 I’ve had writer’s block the past couple of weeks, which is almost a first for me. This blog gave me a helpful push in the right direction.

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Belly-laughing

There’s nothing I like better than a good belly laugh, one that shakes my body from head to toe and almost makes me pee.

I was stopped at a red light and despite a fit of laughter, I managed to snap a photo of this bumper sticker through my front windshield. -- Photo by Pat Bean

I was stopped at a red light and despite a fit of laughter, I managed to snap a photo of this bumper sticker through my front windshield. — Photo by Pat Bean

Evidently I’m not alone.

  “At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities.”  Jean Houston

            “The most wasted of all days is that in which we have not laughed”  — Sébastien-Roch Nicolas

            “Laughter is an instant vacation.” – Milton Berle

            “What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.” — Yiddish Proverb

            “A good time to laugh is any time you can.” — Linda Ellerbee

            “Laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects.” — Arnold Glasow

            “When people are laughing, they’re generally not killing each other.” — Alan Alda

            “The most wasted day of all is one without laughter.” – e.e. cummings

            “There is little success where there is little laughter.” – Andrew Carnegie

Bean Pat: dogdaz http://tinyurl.com/ncdcw2o As an animal lover, these photos made me almost pee.

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“Then I beheld the river … journeying out of the grey past into the green future.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Then I beheld the river … journeying out of the grey past into the green future.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson — Photo by Pat Bean

“Come, let us not be an appendage to Alexander, Charles V., or any of history’s heroes. Dead men all! For me, the earth is new today, and the sun is raining light.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Thoughts from the Past

            I have 50 years of journals stashed away in bins, most of which, once finished, have never been opened again. The early years of my journaling were a haphazard kind of thing, cheap steno pads, sometimes with only a few pages filled and more dates missing than captured.

Sometime in the 1980s, I switched to fancy journals, and filled them more faithfully. By the 1990s, journaling had become almost a daily routine. Recently I decided I should try reading my past thoughts, and so I randomly chose a journal in which to begin.

Me and Peaches on one of many hikes. She loved hiking as much as she loved tennis balls. -- Photo by Kim Perrin

Me and Peaches on one of many hikes. She loved hiking as much as she loved tennis balls. — Photo by Kim Perrin

The journal I picked chronicled the end of 1998 and the beginning of 1999. It was a time when my canine companion was a golden cocker spaniel named Peaches, who was addicted to tennis balls.

Dec. 19, 1998. It’s snowing outside, steady, tiny flakes that stuck to Peaches fur.… I feel as if I would like to sit here all day, curled up in the comfy, warm quilt Cindi (my daughter-in-law) gave me, and simply watch the snow fall. No such luck. Instead, I’ll read a few pages of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Journal, throw a few tennis balls for Peaches, then go to work.”

In various forms, the above was pretty much the gist of what I wrote again and again for the next few days, always mentioning the tennis ball routine with Peaches, and the snowy weather in Northern Utah.

I also recorded numerous RWE quotes into my journal from his journal. Here are a few:

If Milton, if Burns, if Bryant, is in the world, we have more tolerance, and more love for the changing sky, the mist, the rain, the bleak, overcast day, the indescribable sunrise and the immortal stars. If we believed no poet survived on the planet, nature would be tedious.”

            “There is creative reading as well as creative writing.”

            “My life is a May game. I will live as I like. I defy your strait-laced, weary, social ways and modes. Blue is the sky, green the fields and groves, fresh the springs, glad the rivers, hospitable the splendor of sun and star. I will play my game out.”

            “Some books leave us free and some books make us free.”

            “The gates of thought – how slow and late they discover themselves. Yet when they appear, we see that they were always there, always open.”

I was amazed, reading Emerson, how alike were so many of my own thoughts, especially the one that would find its way onto my resolution list for 1999: “Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. What if they are a little coarse and you may get your coat soiled or torn? What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice? Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble.”

And through all this journaling, Peaches was there with me, sometimes sharing my chair, but mostly standing before me with a tennis ball in her mouth that she wanted me to throw for her to fetch. I am so blessed to have had her in my life, and for Ralph Waldo Emerson, too.

Bean Pat: Express yourself http://tinyurl.com/q93e2pn I like this blog because it encourages me to express myself more with my words. I hope it encourages you to be more expressive in your own way, too.

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Pampering Myself

“If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love anyone else?” RuPaul

Pancakes with sour cream and strawberries for a cool morning breakfast, topped off of course with a cup of dark, cream-laced coffee. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Pancakes with sour cream and strawberries for a cool morning breakfast, topped off of course with a cup of dark, cream-laced coffee. — Photo by Pat Bean

Hot Bath and Pancakes

It was cool, sweater weather this morning. So after I took Pepper for her morning walk, welcomed Dusty for her day’s stay while her mom worked, and fed and tidied up after the four cats I’m looking after twice a day while their mom’s gone for the week, I decided it was Me Time..

Still a little chilled, I soaked in a hot bath with a book until the water cooled, and then fixed myself pancakes topped with sour cream and strawberries. I used to fix this for dinner sometimes when my kids were young.

Life is good. I think that’s what the two dogs thought, too. After they had their morning romp through my apartment they curled up and became couch potatoes.

Two couch potatoes. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Two couch potatoes. They had their eyes closed until they heard the click of the camera.  — Photo by Pat Bean

Bean Pat: Nature Has No Boss http://tinyurl.com/kgtn33s An oystercatcher’s breakfast.

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If only she smelled as good as she looked. -- Photo by Pat Bean

If only she smelled as good as she looked. — Photo by Pat Bean

“Anybody who doesn’t know what soap tastes like never washed a dog.” ~Franklin P. Jones

Equals Two Smelly Dogs

            Early this morning, from outside my balcony, I heard a familiar whistle. My friend, Jean, was walking her dog, Dusty. Her crisp whistle said: “Come out and play.”

And Dusty didn't smell any better. -- Photo by Pat Bean

And Dusty didn’t smell any better. — Photo by Pat Bean

Pepper had started dancing around even before I heard the whistle. Her keen sense of smell had already alerted her to the fact that her best friend was outside. She was excited and begged for us to go out and join in the fun.

What Pepper wants, Pepper usually gets.

And so it was that Jean and I sat talking at a picnic table, while our two dogs romped around in the grass. Then suddenly a tantalizing scent caught the dogs’ attention. . Before we two humans could react, the two canines were rolling their bodies around and around and around on a specific spot in the grass. .

When we hollered at them to stop, they both came running, jumped up on the table, and with grinning faces tried to give us kisses.

Jean and I quickly recoiled. Yuck! Both dogs smelled like poop

Our next order of business, regardless of other plans for the day, was doggie baths.

Blog pick of the day.

Blog pick of the day.

Bean Pat: Fall Hike http://tinyurl.com/mw2pjly Take a short Colorado hike with Andy.

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