Thursday, May 24, 2012


I'm headed to University of Tennessee Vet School with my precious heart, Bayley, in a couple of hours.  He is scheduled for more extensive allergy testing---and it has been just within the last two weeks that I've noticed that his little head and face on the left side is lopsided.  Having already had one wienie darling with a brain tumor, my heart clutches when I look at Bayley ---that's not to say that this is the problem with him, but I can't help being alarmed.  Hopefully, the vets at UT will be able to figure out if it is anything serious.  And maybe, just maybe, they will be able to help him with his severe itching.  Calling on all Pet Angels and Fairies to surround us today.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Dog's Purpose...

A Dog’s Purpose? (from a 6-year-old)

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife Lisa , and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn’t do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker ‘s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ”I know why.”

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try and live.

He said,”People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” The Six-year-old continued,

”Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

✤ Live simply
✤ Love generously
✤ Care deeply
✤ Speak kindly

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

❊ When loved ones come home, always run to greet them
❊ Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride
❊ Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy
❊ Take naps
❊ Stretch before rising
❊ Run, romp, and play daily
❊ Thrive on attention and let people touch you
❊ Avoid biting when a simple growl will do
❊ On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass
❊ On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree
❊ When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body
❊ Delight in the simple joy of a long walk
❊ Be loyal
❊ Never pretend to be something you’re not
❊ If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it
❊ When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently

By: Karen McNeill


UNFOLDING: Decided to share an excerpt from my book "The Dance." It's a piece that takes me back to what I need to remember again and again:

“When we believe that we are by our very nature deeply flawed- self-indulgent, selfish, judgmental. . . sinful- our efforts to fulfill our soul’s longing to live fully become efforts to control, chastise, reshape, improve and change ourselves. Believing we are by nature lazy and unworthy we believe we will not change, will not become the people we want to be unless we are pushed or forced by suffering to do so. Given this belief the methods we use do not cultivate mercy and compassion for ourselves but rather foster a hardness towards our own suffering and the suffering of others who are failing to curb, or rise above their basic nature. And in the face of these methods we do not learn to . . . dance, or dream or be all we are. We do not really learn to love fully or allow ourselves to receive love freely. We’re too busy surviving.

In the poem “It Felt Love” translated by Daniel Ladinsky in The Gift: Poems by Hafiz the Great Sufi Master, the 14th century poet Hafiz talks about another way of learning, a way based on the assumption that to grow is to reveal the innate beauty we hold within, a beauty best brought forward by tender encouragement.


Did the rose

Ever open its heart

And give to this world

All its


It felt the encouragement of light

Against its



We all remain

Too frightened.

If we believed that we were in our essential nature compassionate, gentle and capable of being fully present our task- living our soul’s longing for deep intimacy- would be a matter of finding and placing ourselves within the warmth of the internal and external “encouragement of light” in our lives so we would open and open and open to all we are. I am not suggesting that this is easy- especially for those of us who have spent a lifetime surviving the sink-or-swim school of self-improvement. Often we don't even know where these lights of encouragement are in our lives.”

May we each discover and receive fully the lights of encouragement- inner and outer- in our lives. For surely allowing ourselves to be who and what we we- unfolding- is why we are here and how we offer our beauty to the world.

Oriah (c) 2012

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Harvesting Lavender

The mornings have been soooo beautiful.  I find myself getting up a little earlier every day so I can have these delicious morning hours with nature. 
We're headed into Summer and my Lavender is gorgeous.  The bees have found the blossoms and are feasting, becoming inebriated on the essence of Lavender.  Baby birds are hatching right and left, and the air is abuzz with chirps and buzzes and croaks of new 'life'.  It makes my head spin with all of the activity, never knowing which direction to be looking and listening, swiveling like one of those toy animals whose little heads bobbled all about that used to ride in the back window of cars in days gone by.  :)  I am intent on soaking it all up like a sponge.

Michele's sister-in-law needs our help.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Belated Happy Beltane

Our resident Red-Tailed Hawk

Either a Cliff Swallow or a Rough-sided Swallow

Is this not the most precious thing---he delights me with his songs

We've had company and I missed posting yesterday on May Day. (Thanks for your help Sherry ;)--(our guest headed back to Texas today) The mornings have been delightful; by mid-day the temperatures are already in to the 80s.  It is only the beginning of May, right?  Doth high temps so early in the Spring portend even hotter, more humid Summer days in the offing?  :/

I nestled some petunias and marigolds in one of the flower beds yesterday morning.  I ventured out this morning intending to extend a flower bed so I could give a few more 'tunias and marigolds a spot for the Summer.  I made progress, not as much as I wanted, but hey, I have to take LOTS of little breaks along the way :), especially with it heating up so quickly.  Add the humidity and I have to retreat into the house.  :/

Bed changing, bathroom cleaning, and laundry are screaming for attention.  Happy Beltane!