Rabu, 29 Oktober 2008

EVERYBODY here has a story.

Sunday I wore long underwear. Winter is coming. The election is coming. As I write this the Obama 30 minute message runs on our TV, before the continuation of the World Series. How amazing - a boy who became a man in a most unusual way, probably soon to be the leader of the free world, presenting a pre-paid message to us before our national sport's final championship.

Now showing is him giving his announcement to run for President, on a cold February day, over 17 months ago. We're there, on national television. How about that!

And, yet, we worry. We need to realize worry gets us nowhere. We need to know that times are tough but we are survivors and we will rise above this because we will push up our sleeves and dig in and get better.

We have been soft. Every single one of us, from the extremely wealthy to the very poor. It's commonly known that our homeless are better off than many of the ordinary citizens in third world countries.

For a long time we rode the gravy train and turned away from what we didn't want to see. Now too many of us are not just seeing it but a part of it. We see friends and acquaintances changing their lives. We see strangers struggling. We do what we have to but more than that we do what we want to do - we reach out, we touch, we show compassion, we praise and encourage, we pray. We think about how much we can do and still take care of ourselves yet we know that God wants us to love Him and love other people. We do. And, we hope.

We hope that America will become stronger. We know it will take time and LOTS of effort and that we need to link arms to strengthen the chain we form around our economy, our existence.

Flush as we have been, hard times are not foreign to a majority of us. Reality now is harsh. It's our moment to peel back the layers and show our inner toughness and strength. And, while we are at it, ask for God's blessing on our country.

Rabu, 22 Oktober 2008

NBC Photo Contest - I'm a Winner!

1st Place

"Just Beagles" & Beagles at Work-Conformation"

What Happens in the Nursing Home

...does not stay in the nursing home. This is not to be disrespectful to anyone there, especially my mother. But, the fact is if you have had or do have a dear relative in one you know the experience can, well, drain you. If you don't have someone in a nursing home, get ready. It's bound to happen.

So, we visit my mother, separately, over the weekend. Each of us reports to the other, me to Ed and Ed to me, that we can barely hear her and what she says sounds jumbled and non-English. She is expressive and her intonation is great. She looks at us as if she understands we don't get the joke. We don't understand her.

Then today, she's clear as a bell; we can hear her. She is speaking real words. But she's talking about having spent the day yesterday with a deceased brother and now awaits the arrival of another.

It's not funny. But, it is. We learned from a nurse that the best thing to do is to go along with these folks because we're not going to change their minds or change where they are at in their world. So we do.

Who knows what triggers the thoughts. Sometimes I can figure it out. My mom hears the staff talking in the hall and the comments work their way into her mind. Like the day she thought she and the others took a bus trip to a nearby town. Sometimes her ideas come from me mentioning a past event or a name or someone visits her. She can spin a yarn in her mind. It keeps her occupied.

I wish there was a way to get inside her head and hear what she hears, know what she knows. I wish there was a way to keep all the residents engaged and active. There just isn't. That's unfortunate. Walking down the hall to her, in the hall, sitting in her borrowed wheelchair, always leaves me wondering why we do this.

"This" I will leave to you for definition.

Rabu, 15 Oktober 2008

Beagle Rules

1. The Beagle is not allowed in the house.
2. Okay, the Beagle is allowed in the house, but only in certain rooms.
3. The Beagle is allowed in all rooms, but has to stay off the furniture.
4. The Beagle is only allowed on the old furniture.
5. Fine, the Beagle is allowed to sleep with the humans on the bed.
6. All right, the Beagle is allowed on the bed, but only by invitation
7. The Beagle can sleep on the bed whenever he wants, but not under the covers.
8. The Beagle can sleep under the covers every night.
9. Humans must ask permission to sleep under the covers with the Beagle!
10. In all cases of dispute ...
the Beagle rules!

Minggu, 12 Oktober 2008

Weather or Not

We have friends in Erie, CO and the Mr. of the two hails from New Jersey, where apparently they don't have weather. At least, whenever we talk to him, he is amazed that we say we something along the lines of "The weather is..." or "We are having SOME weather today..."

Funny how people come together. And, the things we remember about each other that make each person special are exaggerated by the miles between us.

These are friends we haven't seen for awhile. Even though Ed is actually in CO this week he won't see them. I almost said "won't have time" or "won't have a chance". That's not true. We didn't plan his trip to allow it. How unfortunate.

You know, it's not as tough as we might think to hold on to valuables these days. We made the mistake of not doing that in this go-around. Already we regret it. Money may slip through our hands. Numbers and percentages change. Darned if we can do anything spectacular or instant about it. But, shame on us for not staying in better contact with these two.

Someone could be sick.
Someone could be hurting.
Someone could be wondering.
Someone could be hoping.
Someone could be needy.
Someone could be joyful.
Someone could be anxious.
Someone could be excited.
Someone could be challenged.
Someone could be happy.
Someone could be saved.

Don't you want to know?

Sunny days, stormy weather...I want to be there.

There Comes A Time...

Herrrreee's Tater Tot(again). She's just a joy.
We've been asked if we are keeping her - one of the benefits of fostering is the "right to adopt" before anyone else has a chance. But, we've talked, long before Tater, or Brighton before her, or, well, a multitude of others.
Seems we have realized a few things:
1. 9:00 or 9:30 is a very respectable time to go to bed.
2. We won't live long enough to own all the dogs we want.
3. The joy of fostering is that when someone is adopted to a good home we can do it again.
Sure the list is short, but, heck, it's a blog entry, for gosh sakes. Your attention span isn't any better than mine, is it?
But before you leave, take another look at the little darlin'.

Selasa, 07 Oktober 2008

I Quit My Job. Take That Corporate America : )

Hello friends!!!!!

I am still a little shocked that I actually did this, but I put in my "two weeks" today (I'm actually working until the 29th). No, I'm not unemployed. I'm an artist now :D I actually have big plans. Big big plans. I think too big to be confined between the walls of a cubicle. I'm surprised I lasted this long. Firstly, I'll be spending a lot of time with my kids. I miss them from all the time I've wasted at work, and we're going to have so much fun together. We're going to have play time with Carly and Natalie, we're going to get a pass to the Children's Museum, we're going to read and play music and dance and go on walks!!!! I'm so excited.

I have been gifted an amazing DSLR camera (read- super awesome and professional like), and I'm going to start practicing and getting better at taking photos. I plan to eventually do maternity photos and possibly newborn photos for my clients!!

I'm going to keep growing my doula business and will soon start teaching childbirth education. Hopefully I'll have enough space in my new house to do it out of there.

I am FINALLY going to teach myself to learn to play my guitar. I love to sing (not something I share a lot) and I'm going to have time now to practice. I want to play quiet acoustic singer songwriter type music.

I am going to continue doing tarot readings. I hope to soon set up a website to filter clients through. I seem to keep busy doing this and now I wont feel rushed. I have a top secret plan for creating a tarot deck that I'll reveal soon. Stay posted!

I have a sewing machine that my sister gave me about two years ago that hasn't even come out of the box because I haven't had time for it. I'm going to figure it out and start making slings and whatever the hell I want to sell and to keep for myself or gift to my friends. Etsy here I come!!!

I'm going to cook for my husband and my family. We're going to eat well. Cooking has become such a big deal to me, and it makes me feel wrong when we have to eat processed foods or convenience foods. All of our food will be cooked with love and intention and we will all thrive and be happy because of it.

And I'm going to have time to market Jake's tree business. He's awesome at what he does and just needs clients! I have done that very thing for big business and I can make it happen for our business!!!

I feel like my life is starting. I have to say I'm really inspired by a lot of people in my life who follow their bliss. Carly being one- I thought she was insane when she quit this large company. I thought making good money at a corporation was the holy grail. Now I know why she didn't stay. People of our calibur can't be contained this way. It's like having a wild animal in a cage ;) I don't know my auntie to have ever done anything she didn't want to do. My dad is working towards his dreams of owning lots of property to build a commune :D My mother in law works for herself and doesn't have to answer to anyone (and she's a rockstar on top of that!). My awesome sister has all the drive and determination in the world (and while she's still working for the dark side, I know that fantastic things will happen to her in the future as well). I'm surrounded by people to be proud of and to look up to. I love you all!!! I appreciate every single one of you for helping through this hard time for my family. We've got nothing but fun and excitement coming our way now though!!!!

Peace and Love!!!!

Senin, 06 Oktober 2008

New Birth Articles

I have been taking new articles from some fabulous women I've met and I'd like to share them with you. They can be seen here:

Birth Articles

They are at my site www.holistic-doula.com

If you have articles you'd like to submit for the site, please email me at Dani@holistic-doula.com

Peace and Love!

Unbroken Circle

We know Scout is running free, bursting through clouds and chasing bunnies. She'd approve of us taking in this little girl. The shelter calls her Stardust but to us she is Tater Tot because she's a Spuds Mackenzie (or General Patton) dog. At about 5 weeks she's already had her near-death experience and is making a remarkable recovery. She loves her medication which is a good thing as she takes it twice a day. Playing with the other critters is rare and supervised. There's lots of sleeping to do. She's loving the outdoors, follows me around till she needs a break, and now has her first collar on, with a leash being added later today when we visit the vet. She is hard to resist and even harder to put down. But we have to so she gets her strength developed!

Minggu, 05 Oktober 2008



At times, admittedly not for long, I wonder why there is so much dog hair on the floors, every day. Even though I sweep 2 x a day. Then I wonder why it is time to go shopping for all types of food again, so soon. Done with that, I find there is laundry to do. Endless chores. About fifteen minutes a month everything is caught up.

Part of why it isn't for a longer period of time or more often is because when a friend posts or sends a link that is memorable, fun, and great - I go. I take the little trip and get away. This one is a goody. So is the dancing dog one on YouTube - look it up!

Why are they goodies?

Well,....they make a person smile.

In case you are struggling meeting your daily smile quota, this helps. It's free, it's easy, it can be repeated as often as needed, it's a gift from another blogger to me and me on to you. Get going!

Sabtu, 04 Oktober 2008

Scout O'Rama Hein, 1993-2008

It began as an ordinary Saturday, fall, 1995, for DINKs like us - errands and chores. But then it wasn't. We walked into a local store and looked around. Not for anything special, but then, there she was,special. Sitting huddled and frightened. That day we said hello.

We asked about her. This was her last day before being put down at the dog pound. She was only two.

It was early and we had places to go. We said we'd come back at the end of the day and if she wasn't adopted we'd take her. Don't put her aside. Let others look at her.

People of our word, we went back. She was waiting for us. Home we went. And, with the exception of vet visits and a few, out-of-yard running episodes, including the infamous one two years ago that put Ed in a near-death hospital situation, home is where she stayed. Our vet and family cared for her. Our pet sitter fancied her. We loved her and learned about her.

Turns out she wasn't so frightened. She was an investigator and a commentator. Her feet came off the ground when she barked. She was unbending, just plain awkward, when she ran - more like a rocking horse than a Beagle. She was always a happy clown. She made everyone play and smile. She snored freely, as if it was the greatest pleasure that came with laying down. In recent years she was Precious' eyes and encouragement, a role someone else will take up undoubtedly.

It began as an ordinary Saturday, fall, 2008, for retired folks like us - up early for coffee and chores. But then it wasn;t. Today we said goodbye.

Scout is at peace. God has her in His lap.


Today, I am told, is the feast day of St. Francis, the saint who acknowledged kinship with all creation, particularly animals and nature. Around the world there are "Blessings of Animals" ceremonies. Here is John Galsworthy's prayer for gentleness to all creatures:

To all the humble beasts there be,
To all the birds on land and sea,
Great Spirit! sweet protection give,
That free and happy they may live!

And to our hearts the rapture bring
Of love for every living thing;
Make of us all one kin, and bless
Our ways with Christ's own gentleness.

Jumat, 03 Oktober 2008

Outside one of our dogs has parked in the mid-afternoon sunshine. Nose high and working hard at capturing all the scents swirling in the country air, she is concentrating only on sounds and smells and the warmth of the sun. Her eyes blink slowly and she squints a bit.

Do I have it in me to be so relaxed, so appreciative, so absorbed, so at peace?
I wish.
I hope.
I try.

Before fall settles in completely get out and unwrap the world you have been given. Soak in what is around you. Breathe. Stretch. Know.

You will be surprised at what you find is valuable and what you can tune out.