Kamis, 26 Februari 2009

Happy Belated B-Day to Glady the Beagle

Glady turned 10 years old on Saturday. She still looks great!

What can we do?

It's a rainy day plus my racquetball games have been re-scheduled so I'll post. Today's revelation is that I am working very diligently at being a conspicuous contrarian.

Let's face it: the entire world is in a mess. It didn't get this way overnight and it won't be fixed overnight.

It will be fixed. That does not mean it will go back to the way it was as that was not a fix and would not be for the better. We, collectively, had it easy. So easy we cannot imagine what other countries' citizens live in or with nor can we appreciate what has been done before we plopped onto this space we each temporarily occupy.

Reading ROADS TO QUOZ has opened my eyes to some examples and I'll dispense one for your consideration, just to make my point. This is quoted from page 371. The location is in Ohio and the story reflects upon constructing part of Rt 40, in 1918.

"...Each brick weighed ten pounds and a square foot required exactly four and a quarter of them, and that meant every mile, minimally, held more than four-hundred-thousand bricks. If you've ever laid a walkway or patio using ordinary perforated, wall brick half the thickness of these heavy pavers, your hands, knees, arms, and back may give perspective on what it took to get an American flivver out of the mire and across the countryside."

This, along with much of the book's content, got me thinking about how easy we have it and how often easy is associated with faster which suggests, oft-times incorrectly, better.

It's not that we should build roads one brick at a time, although I cannot formulate an argument against that. It is that we must take what is occurring in our country and in our world and make something meaningful out of it. That may be taking some of what we were accustomed to knowing as "easy, fast, better" and replacing it with "challenging, educating, and rewarding".

A couple of decades ago the bizz-buzz was "paperless". Didn't happen. Ain't likely to happen. But we have all this technology. And, we THINK we have less time, especially free time. And, now we're being called upon to really work, not watch machines work but to dig in and get to work.

The last thing we should do is complain. The first thing we should do is get excited about being able to work and finding out just how amazing it is to know how things are done, not just that they are done...more than push a button and it happens.

Our societal focus on administrative and governmental details in the public schools has diluted the educational stew. We have diminished any concentration on teaching children to think. The cost is now apparent. We are so caught up in "easy, fast, and (not really) better" we have nearly eliminated teaching the processes. If we don't get an answer quickly enough we give it out and go on rather than allow students to play with it and mull a problem over till they come up with answers - yes, often more than one, often an improvement. Instead we place priority on the devil being in the details of answering to the powers at large.

With tough times come tough solutions. Tough solutions are wrought from solid thinkers - analyzers, creative minds - all those between the two extremes. And there is huge satisfaction in coming up with the work-arounds, the solutions.

But even more importantly is the effects gained from accepting that life remains "the journey, not the destination".

Put your thinking caps on!

Sabtu, 21 Februari 2009

Happy To Be Home

Thanks Lesley for taking care of Abba. Bob and Brew are glad to have her home. And thanks Libby and Herbie for taking care of Bob and Brew.
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Sabtu, 14 Februari 2009


THIS COMES TO ME FROM A RENOWNED DOG TRAINER, LINDA TELLINGTON-JONES. She lives in Hawaii, thus the reference to it. It's an interesting read for a variety of reasons but most of all it proves that Hippies still rule!

On February 14th at 7:25 am Greenwich Time which is 9:25pm Hawaii Time we will celebrate the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius. You can celebrate it then or on Universal Time which means 7:25am wherever you are around the planet.

A rare astrological concentration brings together a number of planets together with the North Node - denoting higher purpose – in Aquarius that energizes and inspires the possibility for Transcendental breakthrough in some perhaps seemingly intransigent situations.

We measure our global sense of both space (latitude and longitude) and time (universal time - UT or GMT) from the prime meridian located at Greenwich, England. So we can perceive the collective influence of this momentous astrological event by looking at the alignment from this globally 'centered' perspective.

When we do, something extraordinary and exquisite emerges.

At dawn on 14th February the day dedicated to St Valentine, the patron saint of Love, the Moon in Libra enters the seventh house of relationships. And Jupiter and Mars are aligned in Aquarius in the twelfth house of spiritual transformation. Forty years ago, the intuitive words of a song called Aquarius, brought the dawning of the new age into our collective awareness:

When the Moon is in the seventh house
and Jupiter aligns with Mars.
Then love will rule the planets
and peace will steer the stars.


At dawn on 14th February the Cosmos actually embodies this perfect alignment to support our collective manifestation of love and peace and dawning of the Age of Aquarius. The Aquarian chart of 14th February reveals an incredible concentration of cosmic influences blending with the energies of Aquarius in the twelfth house.

Expansive Jupiter and energetic Mars are aligned with the higher purpose of the North Node. The presence of Chiron the wounded healer offers us the opportunity to heal the schisms that have separated us for so long. Neptune emphasizes collective humanitarian movements and the co-creation of social justice. And the presence of the radiant Sun enlightens the entire alignment.

Mercury also in the twelfth house but just beyond the cusp in Capricorn, allies with transformational Pluto to communicate and anchor the Shift throughout our global structures and institutions.

The Moon in Libra in the seventh house emphasizes harmonious real-ationships. Venus in Aries in the first house energizes and empowers Dynamic co-creativity.

And whilst Saturn the great task master in opposition to Uranus the unexpected awakener is suggesting an ongoing confrontation as the dregs of the unsustainable old paradigm reluctantly give way to the untested hope of the new, their placements in Virgo and Pisces brings practical altruism and visionary inspiration to the transition.

At 7:25am on 14th February - and for the 18 minutes of the alignment, I invite you, in the universal heart, to add your own intention for love and peace and to co-create the dawning of the Age of Aquarius to that of the Cosmos. In whatever way feels appropriate for you, you may choose to align with7:25am (UT) or 7:25am local time energizing a wave of intention that will surge around the Earth.

Senin, 09 Februari 2009

What's in a name? or a word?

While reading another's blog I thought: Thorough or Thoreau? It's a matter of where you put the emphasis. Where does one go from there, thoroughly Thoreau? Probably a fairly PC option at this point. And, I find myself to be comfortable with that.
Here's the pawstolove point on that issue: I walk a dog and I pick up the empty cans along the roadside, rinse them, take them to the shelter for re-cycling. ta-DAH!

There's a label for that kind of effort - being able to take a bizarre point and in a matter of a few words connect it to another, unrelated bizarre point. I can't recall what it is.

Today though, disconnected to all the above, I finished reading a book which was a work of fiction...supposedly. All fiction is, face it, based on what the author knows. Or knows about. This was about a pit bull YES as a lab animal. We have two pit mixes and they are DREAM DOGS. Admittedly, they should be adopted out carefully and only to experienced handlers. That's because they are complex and smart and loyal.

But, look at the lab dog issue. Research it. There are ways to do research without torturing animals. Any time we say we could not take the place of the animal being tested we should question the entire process. Research can be done without harming and killing animals.

Fanatic? Maybe. Caring? Definitely. I can't help where my heart goes.

Jumat, 06 Februari 2009

MinneSOta Anne

My dear friend made a suggestion to me, asking for tips and tricks in life to be posted. These are practical applications - not personal life tips. I'm still figuring personal stuff out!

But, here are a couple of ideas:

Inside some drawers and storage containers I tape a list of what is inside. With trunks this is particularly useful (taped to the underside of the lid) as the list can be checked and the contents remain undisturbed if the item is not stored there. I have found that once a large trunk/container is packed, then unpacked to search for an item, the stuff doesn't go back in as neatly as when the task was packing not searching. The application with drawers is helpful for putting things away and for items that aren't used often. I don't worry about cupboards - no sense in getting carried away and being given an unattractive personality label.

If your pet is microchipped - and it should be - do NOT put the tag on the collar. The transfer call to put the chip in your name is a quick trick which pet thieves can do easily. Keep the tag on hand with shot records, etc. Be sure your vet knows the chip number.

Pray but don't expect God to do all the work. Praying is just the beginning and is as much a call to action on your part, for having recognized a need you now can do something further to help, as it is a plea to God for change. You may be the change. You may need to change. You may be the inspiration for change elsewhere. Oh, wait, that was a personal tip, wasn't it?

Apply the rule of "...haven't worn it, get rid of it..." to STUFF. I use 3 years for STUFF. The big tip-off is when I drag something out and am asked "What's that?". Right away the item is moved closer to the giveaway pile. And, don't fret over what it cost you. If you don't use it, haven't used it, then someone else benefits when you give it up. What's the sense of paying $$$ for something and storing it in hopes you'll use it again someday. Chances are you didn't need it the first time around. Let someone else enjoy it and you enjoy the reclaimed space!

Along those lines, put items in donation piles. Know when annual charity sales are and start boxing items up early. If by some remote chance you have stuck in something you need you still have time to yank it out, re-think it, and put it back! And, you won't begrudge the fundraiser items the next year because you felt rushed to give them something and gave up what you "needed". Make the donation contribution list for tax purposes as you go and immediately put it in your current year tax file. Get the donation form from the event and staple the two.

Use your local library more. As a stockholder of Barnes and Noble that's a strange comment to make. But I'm a bigger stockholder in the value of the library. But the books you want to keep (although books were meant to be read not stacked on shelves so loan them out) but get to the library and borrow books. They get returned to the library which means you are responsible for re-shelving and dusting them. It's also stimulating for minds of all ages - libraries offer a lot of variety.

When putting numbers into your cell phone use listings that are item-specific. For example, CAR - Isringhausen, VET - Sturdy. Believe it or not, sometimes we get in a panic during a situation and can't remember the name of a person we see regularly. But if it is car-related we can probably remember car. DUH.

Kamis, 05 Februari 2009

February is a short month but I'm CATCHING UP!

In light of my "theme" for the year I'm doing odd things and dragging Ed along, lucky guy that he is. Fortunately we have public tv around here and there is a series titled "Illinois Stories" - right up my alley. Yesterday was field trip day and we took off for towns/villages just west of Springfield.
It was cold enough yesterday that these horses appeared to be smokin'. They were very curious as to who I was and why I was taking their picture. It only made them "huff" more which made more steam, looking more like smoke. Ya hadta be there.

I don't know what they are doing today but I'm staying inside because the wind is so strong I can see my email blowing across the neighbors' back field.

Further on down the road we entered Jim Edgar State Park. The park name is longer than that but the important fact is we did at one time have a positive noteworthy governor in Illinois. There was a chapel and old cemetery within the park's boundaries. Both date back to 1839. The chapel has been kept up too well and looks brand new so I took this photo of the one thing inside that was remarkable. The cemetery has wonderful old stones and we plan a motorcycle trip in the spring to explore the writings on those and on another couple of cemeteries we found while roaming through the countryside.

Our true destination was this small town, corner grocery store. Many of you probably don't remember them and the rest of you can't believe these even ever existed. Well they do and they're better than WalMart in terms of making the best of things. The owner is friendly. The sausage is made in the back. The shelf items are what the townspeople need and the owners know that and how much to have on hand, etc. If you But above all, this demonstrates that Americans will pull through. There are neighborhood nooks and crannies across this country which are pulling together to do just that. We are turning to optimism, to each other, to values, to God, to gumption, to the basics. We are catching the spirit to catch UP!

Making cookies is a weakness of mine. Fortunately I have lots of high-energy children I know who can have one or two of them and will burn the calories off quickly. These all went to my Sit, Stay, Read class members - 4th graders! Just when I think I'm caught up I remember we are getting two guest dogs today and they'll stay 8 days. Time to get organized!