Dog love and loss

Dog love and loss

Domesticated animals are a gift to humans and should be treated with the upmost respect. My favorite domesticated animal, the dog, above all else, requires love, attention and fun. Then food, preferably from the table, but they really should stick to kibbles. And finally, an outlet for voiding bladder and bowels. Their needs are simple really. In my opinion dogs provide an unconditional love like no other. I like cats. A lot actually . But tell me a dog who goes and pees on your couch after you’ve returned from a 10- day trip just to get back at you. Your dog is just so happy that you came back.

Dogs are keen observers, have 3-5x the auditory capacity of humans and up to 220 million olfactory cells compared to the human’s 5 million. They wait to hear you rustle in the morning. They come nuzzle their wet nose up under your warm hand, again with a hello, I’m happy it’s another day to spend with you. And another day to play and eat. They watch intently waiting to accept the next stroke, belly caress and listen for the rattle of the leash. They have an eye on your hand or the treat bag in all waking moments.

They sit by your side, follow you from room to room, wait for you outside the bathroom, sit it the middle of the kitchen while you make dinner, make gurgling, light growling sounds when you’ve waited too long to take them for a walk. They get bored when you sit in front of the computer too long and beg you to play or just snuggle up with them instead. They don’t mind if you bring a book.

In the evening they sit next to you on the couch, head or tail in your lap, just wanting to make some sort of contact. They could sit there for hours. Before bed, one last acknowledgement as to the lovely day they had with you. Then they sleep at the end of the bed till they are hot and choose to sleep on the cool tile instead.

One day, inevitably it comes too soon, it’s time for them to say goodbye. They look up at you one last time, breath out one last I love you, then lay still and peaceful. This is the moment we must make every effort to let them go in peace and be thankful for the unconditional love, grace, and presence they bestowed in our lives.

Thank you Henry. What a great 12 years!

Sir Henry... Oct 15th, 1999 - Jan 18th, 2012

Choir concert

Our choir sang today at Santa Fu prison in Hamburg. We all met with smiles at the S-bahn (train) in Blankenese and made our way north about 45min. We stepped off the train in Ohlsdorf into a light slushy rain, randomly cursing the weather amongst ourselves. We walked 15 maybe 20 minutes in one large group to the facility. We stepped inside the first entrance, handed over our passports and placed all our possessions in lockers. We sang a few warm up notes while waiting to be led in small groups through the scanner to another room. Each time, the door closed and locked behind us. All but one of the choir were chatty and a little nervous, unaccustomed to visits to correctional facilities. The exception was Stephen, a defense attorney who works with some of these inmates. He set up the gig for us. I would say the majority of our conceptions of prisons had been provided by the media and movies. About 30 minutes later, after each of us had been separately taken behind a curtain to be searched, we walked back outside across an inner courtyard, up another set of stairs and locked doors to the hall and dining room. We were debriefed with a little history about the prison and inmates and the fact that these men were only allowed to see their children in an open setting once a year at Christmas. This is what struck my heart. Continue reading

Nanowrimo

Nanowrimo

Where did November go anyway? I made a good start the first 2 weeks and hit about 20K words and then seriously petered out when I let myself make excuses about the rest of my life taking the front seat. My writing was trailing behind the car at a slow jog. But it’s okay. It’s 20K words more than I’ve ever written on one piece.

I’m taking some time now to evaluate the direction of my story, add and subtract a little and then hit it again. I think it’s important to get this first story out on paper just to 1) know I can , and 2) have something to refer to when I’m reading the how to’s so I can see what I’ve learned so far, and 3) have something to put under the false bottom of my desk drawer.

New paths at 40+ aka Late bloomers

I have been reading about ‘late bloomers’ for a little confidence booster. Here’s a few examples of what a few well-known people were doing at 30.

  1. Sylvester Stallone, deli counter attendant.
  2. Andrea Bocelli, lawyer.
  3. Martha Stewart, stockbroker.
  4. Julia Child, government spy.
  5. James Joyce, singing.
  6. Colonel Sanders, tons of blue-collar jobs.
  7. Michael Jordan, baseball player
  8. Rodney Dangerfield, aluminum siding salesman.
  9. Harrison Ford, carpenter

You can read more about these 30 yr olds in the wrong career here.   

And even more inspiring…Late Bloomers After 50

  1. Colonel Harland Sanders – started the first Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise at age 65.
  2. Grandma Moses – began painting at 76, after arthritis forced her to give up embroidery. She continued painting until 101.
  3. Julia Child – became a chef after many years as a secret intelligence officer. She was 49 when her first book was published, 51 when her TV program “The French Chef” first aired.
  4. Ray Kroc – went from being a salesman to opening the first McDonalds at age 52.
  5. Raymond Chandler – became a bookkeeper after an unsuccessful career in journalism. Published his first book, The Big Sleep, at the age of 51.
  6. Sister Marion Irvine – started running at age 47, when she was overweight and smoking 2 packs of cigarettes a day. Went on to qualify for the Olympic marathon trials at age 54.
  7. Marjorie Stoneman Douglas – began her environmental work when in her 60s. Started her long fight to protect the Everglades at age 78, which she continued until she was 100.
  8. Laura Ingalls Wilder – published the first book in the “Little House on the Prairie” series at 65.
  9. Wallace Stevens – changed his career from insurance salesman to poet in his 50s.
  10. Maya Angelou – was in her 60s when her poetry and books became popular.
  11. Alfred Hitchcock – directed his best films between the ages of 54 and 61.
  12. Susan Boyle – achieved worldwide recognition for her singing talent at age 48 (almost 50). **

Continue reading

Fitness with Nordic Walking …. Me and my poles

Fitness with Nordic Walking …. Me and my poles

Here’s me and my best friend out for a walk….

I’m the blonde

Not really……. But here I am.

Tight eh?

Ok… Lying again. I will probably never have a photo of myself doing nordic walking.

Do I care what people think? Of course. Would you catch me walking around Greenlake, one of Seattle’s gorgeous, yuppified lakes who’s paths are circled by pretty faces and tight butts, 2 poles strapped to my hands with velcro? Hell to the no.  I’d have to be good and liquored up or high.

I’d like to say I could give a rat’s ass because I think this Nordic Walking is fantastic. Especially when I realized there were little buttons you could use to release the poles without undoing the velcro straps when you need to tie your shoe lace, change the song on your iPod or pick up dog poo. Although, I’m tending to go more without music because I think of  great blog posts or scenes for my book. And because people don’t seem to listen to ipods so much when they are exercising outdoors here.

Here are some facts on nordic walking:

Nordic walking originated in Finland in the early 1930’s when cross country skiers started using poles. But it was in the 1980’s when clinical studies correlated the use of trekking poles with fitness levels. Further studies in the 1990’s showed increased cardio, enhanced muscular and aerobic fitness and overall vitality. Nordic walking was not officially launched until 1997.

Continue reading

Going for it!

Welcome to Wendy’s World. Despite feeling the blogging community is virtually saturated, I’m going for it. I love to cook and I love to write. I’ve surfed through many food and writing blogs, that are more often than not, combined with photography. I’ll stick to the writing and cooking and keep the photos simple. I also love the humor of everyday life. Anybody who’s started a blog after about 2009 has asked them selves, “What do I have to offer that’s unique?” If it’s not something concrete having to do with one’s profession. It certainly becomes very personal. With that in mind, we offer ourselves. Continue reading

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