Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Currently: Go Take a Sunday Drive

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW ... Clear blue skies here in Eastern Washington. Temp numbers this week are impressive: 95, 98, 94, 93, and 99. Not sure we've hit 100° yet this summer and quite possibly won't.
PONDERING ... I learned a valuable lesson at dog class Monday night. There is such a thing called "extinction burst", which my dog exhibits on a regular basis. The short of it is that if she doesn't get what she wants with her bad behavior, she amps up the behavior until it works for her. Kind of like children do when they are not getting their way. I always give in to it because a) she is very annoying, b) it is extremely embarrassing behavior, c) I didn't know better. I am very excited to put to the test the things I learned at class. If you have small children with behavior problems, you might be interested in doing a little research on extinction burst. I'm no expert but I can see where it is a match of wits and who is going to win. Give me a challenge any day of the week!
WATCHING ... While dog sitting last weekend, I started watching Orange is the New Black. I know I am late to the game watching this series but I have a personal rule that I will only watch one series at a time. I am into the second season now. I like the characters and how the series goes back to where these prison women came from, how they got there. It has heart.
PODCASTS ... My favorite story this week has been on Alec Baldwin's Here's the Thing and his interview with reporter Julie Brown regarding the Jeffrey Epstein scandal. It will make you shake your head and wonder how such atrocities toward young girls was allowed to go on so long. If I haven't said it before, I'll say it now ... I love Alec Baldwin's interview skills. He's got a great voice and if he is opinionated about something, he doesn't force it in your ears. I also really like this episode on Oprah's SuperSoul Conversations When You Know Better, You Do Better. It was a good one.
EATING ... So, I am starting a challenge beginning tomorrow for the entire month of August to eat oatmeal for breakfast every single day. You may think this is extreme but it really isn't. Oatmeal is almost a perfect food, in my opinion and research. One of my doctors practically begged me years ago to start eating oatmeal to help lower my cholesterol. I'm there now. Wanna join me in this challenge?
THIS WEEK ... This is the first day I've really been home since last Wednesday. I have zero on my calendar for the rest of this week but plenty of things to do. It's only 10:30am as I write this and I already have my 10K steps on my Fitbit. The plumber came yesterday and fixed a problem in our kitchen and now I am able to use my dishwasher for the first time in about 7 years. We're attending a celebration of life on Saturday for a mutual friend of many. I typically don't go to such events but after talking with my travel buddy extensively about attending funerals and celebrations of life, I will go with a different mindset. I like the idea of laughing and hugging with our many mutual friends. I want to go on record right here, right now that I don't want a service or celebration of life when I die, okay? Go take a Sunday in my honor. That's what I'd want. Just sayin'.
FAVORITE THINGS ... I've been wearing my Doghouse sweatshirt a lot lately. When you live in a place where there is a/c on in every building you go into, you really need to carry a long sleeved shirt or in my case, a sweatshirt. I not only love this one because my friend T gave it to me, it is good quality and it goes with everything. T and I know a lot of people in common and every time I wear it, they want one. I think she ought to sell them! This is one piece of clothing I would grab if my house caught on fire.
EMBRACING ... One of my tribe asked me why I walk so fast (in dog training). I quipped that I am 60 years old and I got stuff to do before I die. She thinks I should slow down a titch, especially when my dog is at the end of my lead. This is not easy for me but I'm going to try to embrace that feedback and see if it serves me to take it down a notch. I'll get back to you on that.

“When someone shows you who they are,
believe them the first time.”
Maya Angelou
love, susan

Monday, July 22, 2019

Currently: Summer is Half Over

Newest intake to rescue. He is paralyzed in his back
two legs. Sweet, sweet disposition!
Currently is a weekly update of what's happening on the home front. A little of this and a little of that.  

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW...  This morning we had thunder, lightening, and rain. This should make for a very hot and humid afternoon with the numbers this week looking like this:  99, 99, 88, 94, and 98. Hot dog! 

PONDERING... my loss of sleep over a sciatica nerve. I'm fine during the day while I am upright and moving but just after I relax and fall asleep, I have an ache so bad starting on my backside buttock all the way down my leg that it wakes me up. I have had to start sleeping in an "L" shape to get it to subside enough to sleep. Even then. This is a self diagnosis. I'll complain to my doctor the next time I go but I don't see any point in going before my regular yearly physical. And, oh, SUMMER IS HALF WAY OVER. There's that. 

WATCHING... I have been dog sitting all weekend through late today. I have watched the first 2 seasons of The Ranch. Can I just tell you how much I love Sam Elliott and Debra Winger in this series? Some of it reminds me of my upbringing. I wasn't raised on a ranch but the small town references are not lost on me. You can catch this series on Netflix.  

READING... I am listening to Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers on Audible. It is a medically technical book but not so technical that I don't understand it. Basically, I am learning how different hormones affect our health.  

PODCASTS... I added a new-to-me show to my playlist: Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend.  Last week I listened to him interview Dax Shepard (who I obviously has a star crush on right now) and Howard Stern. I think I'm going to love this podcast because in just these two interviews I've learned a lot about Conan O'Brien! Did you know he is a Harvard graduate, Magna Cum Laude? I have been hearing Howard Stern a lot on various podcasts and dying to read his book. You may think Mr. Stern is a jerk from his past radio spots but he has many hours of therapy under his belt now and has a lot to say. I believe in second chances, do you?
THIS WEEK... I am finishing up a dog sitting job today and start another one on Wednesday. That gives me tomorrow to be home and taking care of things. I do come home every day for a short visit with the hubs and my dogs when I'm dog sitting for other people. I also need to edit the wedding photos I shot Saturday afternoon and get those to the bride.
FAVORITE THINGS... This fan. I have to sleep with a fan on for both white noise and comfort. When my friend and I did our road trip last month, I threw this and another fan in the rented SUV and we decided we will never travel again without fans. This particular fan throws great air and has the right amount of sound to lull me to sleep. This is on my Top 10 list of things that I'd never live without.

EMBRACING... I am embracing the fact that summer is half over. We typically have a very nice September and I always look forward to that month but I am really enjoying the here and now of today.

I wonder what it would be like to live in a world
where it is always June. 
L.M. Montgomery "Anne of the Island"

Monday, July 15, 2019

Currently: I Am Not Bored


OUTSIDE MY WINDOW... as you can see from this image, we're experiencing some non-blue sky weather. The numbers this week are 86, 89, 89, 89, 85. Still have yet to reach 100°.

PONDERING... I intended to get a birthday card in the mail last week to my friend in Alaska but it never happened. When I finish this post, I'm going to write a long email, hopefully to make up for the fact I failed at sending a card. I used to be so diligent about sending cards.

WATCHING... Over the weekend, I dog sat for friends and watched Netflix. I watched a couple movies but I'll be darned if I can remember the titles. I also watched several episodes of The Ranch. Loved it. I need to watch it again though because I discovered I started the middle but didn't realize it until I watched the last episode in the 6th season. Not sure what happened there. It is really good but if you are offended by the F word, this series is not for you. 

READING... I did zero reading last week. I spent a lot of time outdoors hoeing up weeds and listening to podcasts.

PODCASTS... I listen to about 10 hours of podcasts every week while I'm walking my dogs. I'll leave you my favorite episode that maybe you'll want to check out. This morning I was "wowed" by a 25 minute talk on Oprah's SuperSoul Conversations. The episode is called Pastor John Gray: The Bridge. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not a religious person by any means at all but I am a very open-minded, loving human being who loves love and I love the language of love. This talk is soooooo good, I highly recommend it if you just need a warm fuzzy today. Here is the link to  SuperSoul Conversations. I use the Stitcher app on my phone but if you have an iPod, I believe there is a podcast app that comes with your phone that will get you there. P.S. I may have liked this particular episode because Oprah didn't speak a word in it.  

THIS WEEK… There are a couple of days with nothing on the calendar but it likely won't stay that way. Today, I am going to photograph a new dog socialization class that is doing a trial run. Tonight, Remi and I have dog class. Later this week, I am dog sitting for a friend. In between, I'll be doing more clean up on an area that has been neglected. I have not been bored even one minute since I retired.

FAVORITE THINGS... I stopped at my favorite thrift store downtown as they had a 50% off sign and I physically could not drive past it without going in. I almost squealed when I found these hardly-worn Eddie Bauer skorts on the rack in my size for $2! I have the exact same pair already that I live in all summer. These skorts are $65 brand new. You'd squeal too, right? And, don't tell my other dogs, but Remi (pictured here) is my favorite.

EMBRACING... I don't know what I am embracing right at this moment.

A QUOTE TO SHARE... “The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog.” – M.K. Clinton

love, susan

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Dog Language

Remi and I are back in dog class again. I'm a self proclaimed dog training groupie. I love everything about going to dog school. Being outside with my canine tops the list. This class is being held at a really nice, shaded park. There is space for us to spread out and not be bothered by other people. We're in a small, beginners "puppy" class. Although Remi is far from being a puppy, we're there to support a friend who is completing studies in dog behavior, and is being trained to be a trainer. Plus, if the truth be known, training your dog is never done. My dogs have all attended training and we use what we've learned every day. The other great thing about going to dog class is the exposure to other dogs. Remi needs that.
This week, we learned about dogs reading other dogs' body language. While I was in my back yard taking photos this week, I shot a perfect example of Remi's ear language when she is feeling fearful. You'll note that prior to Abbie walking into her space, her ears were perky and she was just minding her own business, enjoying the sunshine. THEN, Abbie decided to sniff the Remeister. In the 2nd photo, you'll notice Remi's ears are back and almost plastered to her head, indicating she may lose her mind. Oddly enough, Remi just blew it off. Weird. Perhaps she is becoming more tolerant. Typically their fights are over either food or the Kong. We are vigilant about not feeding them together, and the Kong is kept up unless we go outside to throw it. Remi is considered a "reactive" dog.
We also learned about "wait" in class this week. Remi and I have been to many classes together and although she knows how to wait, we can use this training for getting in and out of the car. The only time she gets to ride in the car is to dog class or the dog park. I'm going to try to record a video of us walking to the car next week so I can show you how excited she gets.
Training is never done.
Do you know how to read dog language?
Remi, enjoying a moment in the sun.

Abbie taking a sniff. See Remi's ears? Abbie should know better by
now but she seems to be a slow learner. 
(No dogs were harmed in this exchange. LOL!)

Here is what followed:

And, then there is Missy:

Missy actually gave me the time of day for once. I may or may not
have mentioned a treat to get this look.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Currently: A Life List

CURRENTLY is a great idea I snagged from a fellow blogger I follow, Paula over at  Smidgens, Bits, and Snippets. Hope you'll read something here that inspires you to do something, try something, or be something different.
The sun is up and there are some humid clouds hanging out. We are below the average temp for this time of year in Eastern Washington. We have not hit 100° yet.
This morning I got a video chat from a friend who works out of town. Yesterday she experienced racism up close and personal and she shared the experience with me. If you don't believe that racism is alive and well, you must be living under a rock. My heart hurts for her. Ignorance and fear is a powerful force.
Over the weekend, I watched several episodes of My Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman on Netflix. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. There are only 2 seasons and the episodes are about 40 minutes each. David Letterman is an excellent interviewer and you'll see a side of him that is far more human than what we saw on his late night show. I especially loved the episode with Ellen DeGeneres. Keep Kleenex handy.
Oh dear. I have a couple of books going right now. Ugh. I am committing right here, right now to finish reading The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen this week. I rarely read fiction but this book was my book club's pick and although they already read it and discussed it on Saturday, that discussion has prompted me to finish it. I've been into podcasts lately so I am adding that as a topic next.
My favorite thing to do now that I am not working is to take long walks with my dogs and listen to podcasts. I have several queued up in my Stitcher app and could write a whole post about podcasts. My favorite last week was a series on Oprah's SuperSoul Conversations with Eckhart Tolle using his book The New Earth as the topic. They talked about several chapters in a 10-part series. I'm not always a fan of Oprah ... something about her voice really bugs me but I loved this series and if you are looking for a spiritual shift in thinking, I recommend this free series. I also listened to a couple of interviews on Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard. Dax is always a little naughty in his podcasts (warning for anyone who might be offended easily) and he doesn't keep it a secret that he was sexually abused as a child. He has been sober for a lot of years and talks a lot about that with his guests. I love, love, LOVE listening to him.
I've been trying to eat better but it is a struggle right now. Never give up, that's my motto.
I'm taking a friend to a doctor's appointment today. I have dog training class tonight with Remi but other than that, my calendar is free. I am doing a dog sitting job Saturday/Sunday. Beyond that, I am working in my back yard pulling weeds every day and trying to make it look better. I have been tackling little projects inside the house when it gets too hot to work outdoors. The podcasts help me with things I don't love doing.
So, I have a ceramic Starbucks cup I use for my coffee every morning. I always heat it up with boiling water before I pour my coffee and warmed-up creamer in.
I am embracing the here and now.
You never get what you don't ask for.
love, susan
What's on your current life list?

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Embracing Life Changers

My dog laying next to me while I read.
She has my heart, this one.
I've been walking a lot since my last day of work. People told me I'd be busy and wonder how I got anything done before, and that has proven to be true. The days fly by and they've been all good days. Love that. My word for 2019 is embrace. I've been embracing every waking moment lately.
On dog poo bags ... While I was walking this morning, I was thinking about dog poop bags. Silly thought, I know. Here's why. My friend from Alaska was talking about her dog poop bags and how much she hates the smell of them. Apparently, they are scented. She must have a lot of them because I'd think she would just buy different ones and throw out those smelly ones. She is sensible that way. So I gave her a roll of my dog poo bags and told her it was my gift to her. She is always bringing me something from Alaska when she visits. I'm embarrassed that I rarely have something for her in return. This trip though, I did give her a painting that a local artist did from a photo I had provided of my friend's dog and cat. She really loved it but I'm also hoping she loves those poo bags just as much, ya know?
Speaking of practical things ... while we were on the road trip last month, my friend secretly ordered me a lighted magnifying mirror that attaches to my big bathroom mirror. We had more than one serious conversation about the rogue hairs us old ladies grow on our chins. Before this magical mirror, I had to use a chemical hair remover on my face and it was so harsh. Not now. Can I just tell you how much I love this new mirror? Holy shit! It is a life changer. Along with it, she gave me a little hand held mini shaver that is just for that peach fuzz we get on our face. How did I live without it?
A new travel bag ... had to be ordered while I was in Denver. The zipper on my old bag decided to not work and I had to use a fork to get it open. My son suggested I order a new bag on Amazon that could be delivered before we had to leave. I would have never though tto do that on my own. That old bag had seen some miles, let me tell you. I was not sorry to leave it behind. It never was something I loved but I think this bag may go in the love column.

I haven't been writing much and honestly, I've lost my creative spark. Tomorrow I think I'll go back to a weekly post called Currently that I snagged from a blogger I read regularly. 
So, I'm curious, what one or two items do you own that you think are life changers? Tell me!
love, susan

You Made My Day, Dude!

A couple weeks ago while I was driving back to Portland after spending the night on the Oregon coast, we came up on some road construction ...