Mississippi Moments

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Double duty...
We walked in the hail/snow today as February goes out with a whoosh! White speckles and sparkles on these special ones.
Both Lydia and Jean came by today for walks and training and time outside. And then two walks with me.
It was a tiring day. Good dancing.
I have a bit of a leash on the kids at school, particularly the 4th grade boys. Let's just say a kind of "edge" showed up for the first time. I acknowledged it and then let them know that it didn't change anything. If they want to argue, make an appointment. I argue at 12:15 and 3:15. Mostly, I listen to them argue and then come back with devil's advocate and the dialogue is on. I had two yesterday over late cursive assignments. I listened. restated the standards and expectations. showed them the documentation. waited for more arguing and blustering....and then there was silence. oh. bummer.
looking forward to the family ceilidh on Friday night at the Ballard Curves 7;15-8:15pm-for the Ballard Food Bank.
I'm perpetually in a state of gratitude or delight lately, except when I want a nap. I like knowing Hard Work+Done Well+Feels Good. That's how my life feels lately. I am also in a place of listening and quiet lately. I am loving these early morning walks. And I love working out at Curves. It just works for me. I started out with a goal of 1 pull up. Now I am up to 3 and have set a goal for 4. I am looking forward to the Dash with freewaydiva. I have munched my way through a week's worth of tofu hash that I cooked up the weekend Cedar came home. I enjoyed nearly every bite and it made the house smell good--cooked in.
laundry this weekend. Spalding class on Saturday-class #3. We are sure learning some valuable tools for teaching MSL to students of all ages and abilities and needs..spelling, writing, reading, comprehension, speaking, and grammar. Old-fashioned but works like a charm...I better get my homework done tomorrow night. Off to bed...after I set up the scene for tomorrow. It moves fast in the morning.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

So I want you to picture something with me...and it is real because I was there and am there, still.
Tonight, me walking with the Thing-Things. Bindi on one side--she doesn't need her face thing/gentle leader anymore and Cedar without the choke collar. No pulling, no stress, no nightmare. A calm, purposeful walk. I look forward to all the rest being just like that. It has taken 6 days of intense, constant training and practice--but there it is. I want you to picture the following--because it is all real, too:
*Bindi and Cedar waiting in their crates with the doors open until given the ok to come out and then sitting or standing quietly while they are leashed for outside or walk.
*Bindi playing"ball" (Catch in the air and return to me or Lydia) and "Free ball" _ you go get it and bring it back for another throw.
*Bindi leashed and tied to the fence and watching quietly while Cedar and I parade by--no jump, no bark, no nothing.
*Cedar-on his way to the same thing but it takes him about 10 "reminders" with the lime spray.
*Both dogs sitting and not having a reaction to me getting out of my car on either side of Lydia--that one took awhile and I thought I was going to pee my pants because it was the Sheltie with the pea brain and huge will (is Cedar channeling Fiona and Sadie?)that had an opinion about everything and said it and got blasted and continued to have something to say (he joined the right pack, didn't he?)
* Bindi watching quietly while Cedar played ball alone.
*Cedar sort of watching quietly while Bindi got to play Free Ball with Auntie Lydia.
*Love(stroking, playing, talking, touching all parts) sessions on Cedar with no bite or opinion.
*Love sessions on Bindi(same as above) with no bite or opinion ( takes longer with more reminders for her but we get there).
*Both dogs peeing and pooping on command at all times in under 3 minutes, usually 2.
*Lydia--who does agility/obedience/confirmation and other mega-dog training stuff-said that Bindi has HUGE potential to be an agility champion--she is that smart, willing, quick, perceptive, trainable, and talented. She knows just the woman to teach her and has already contacted her about Bindi...and also about LIttle Mouth coming to puppy manners class up in Shoreline.
+By tomorrow, Bindi will have learned not to jump on other dogs' heads. They hate that. It's bad manners. It might get her head bitten off one day if she does it to the wrong dog.
*Erin learning how not to be tense when another dog jumps on my dog and how both of us can learn to handle it without stress, fear, or reaction. I'm growing toward that standard.
*Walking in my neighborhood again in the early, early mornings, the afternoons and in the evenings, rediscovering my neighbors, the new homes and townhomes, the gardening projects (all this I am really enjoying) and also, (learning where live the pitbulls and Rottweilers),
*I am like Bindi--I need a job...mine needs to be caring for other beings in my home. This has been hard, challenging, and the best. I have a purpose beyond school and dance...and beyond me. I have to plan, practice, and ration my energy. I set lunches, kongs, treats, puppy blaster, clean socks, hat with miner lamp, coat, sweater, and coffee stuff ready for the next day. I have figured out my idea to make a million dollars. When you have two puppies that need proper training and you are committed to doing it, you walk ALOT. You forget to eat (yes, this is true!!) You have to sleep more ( more beauty rest). You have to keep your sense of humor and be present to the thousands of ways the puppies make you laugh! (laughter keeps you young)You get healing touch--a ton!(not quite a massage but right up there)- so it's a natural anti-depressant. You drink lots of water just like the puppies so you learn solid hydration habits. And you have to do it everyday so it requires careful planning and attention to where you put stuff in your home so (maybe) things will stay a little neater (better than a clutter coach).
*They are sleeping in their crates and I am going to correct Lit. Circles work. It has been a good day.
It would be nice to learn how to do something just a little half-assed or more appropriately, "good enough". Where these puppies are concerned, that wasn't the issue--but where my kid will be --this will be a valuable skill.

Monday, February 26, 2007

3 walks a day,
keep us in fun,
Add tennis balls to this
and we jump and we run.

Oh, the crash and smash
made us trip up amok,
and then it turned out to be
the recycling truck!

The schedule is working
and the training is, too,
and the smiles from the Inside
warm the Calapazoo.

So Bindi and Cedar
might one day be friends
but this poem of the Thing-Things
is now at an end...

Except the Calapazoo
can't seem to quite quit
the phrases keep coming
everytime she says, "Sit".

So Thing 1 and Thing 2 are
snuggly in bed
with blankies and frozen carrots
right near their heads...

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Auntie Lydia's Rule:
Pups together don't have to play,
but they must be good citizens

The Calapalooz's getting
so fit you see,
she's walking her buns off--
quite literally.

We walk in the front,
we train in the back,
The Thing-Things forget it,
but the 'Palooz is the Queen
of the Pack!

Auntie Lydia gave
more tips that sure work,
we try them and use them
the 'Palooz she won't shirk.

LImes aren't just for margaritas
you know,
they help stop the Thing-Things
when after something they go.

Auntie L really said lemons
in water that sprays,
but the Palooz had only limes
in the fridger that day.

And a light sheet
that covers the crate like a bird,
toss the can with the pennies,
and the screams won't be heard.

And Thing 2 with his
"I'm top dog" attitude,
He's learned some nice manners
and his breath's not so rude.

For Binaca
is useful in so many ways,
it helps with the Thing-Things
by night and by day.

So, please don't think
it's all work and all rules,
there's plenty of playtime,
and running and drools.

We're lovin' and playin'
and enjoyin' our hours,
with treats and sweet strokings,
it's quite the opposite of dour.

The Calapalooz doesn't mind it,
the whining, kisses, and poop,
but she would like a little
less fuzz in her soup!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Thing 1 and Thing 2!

Help! I'm living with Thing 1 and Thing 2,
It used to be Fair Isle Cottage,
Now it's Fair Isle Zoo!

They rumble and tumble,
whine and cavort,
Thing 1 is a sweetie,
Thing 2 is a snort!

We potty at 4
take loooongg walks in the dark,
Thing 1 plays like the wild thing,
Thing 2 snarls and barks.

We take walks together,
we take walks alone,
then after our playtime,
we're tired to the bone.

So this is the Now,
it used to be Zen,
it seems that the inmates are running the pen!

Not so, not so
said the High Calapazoo,
we have certain rules here
that we follow and do.

We have special Helpers,
Auntie Lydia and Star Sister J-,
who train Calapazoo by night,
and train Thing-Things by day.

So Fun we are having,
and time by ourselves, too,
late night in the bath,
you'll find the Calapazoo.

And Fiona and Sadie
watch from Dog Heaven above,
and see this wee home
fill with dog hair and love.

Energy, energy--
it puts Red Bull to shame!
Thing 1 learns quite quickly.
Thing 2 knows his name.

So schedule and sanity
we keep says Calapazoo
for Bindi Sue is Thing 1.
Cedar Mac is Thing 2!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

We're waiting on Bindi.
She's a comin' and we;ve already had two long walks-well, one of us had three-and it's time for a glass of wine, some veggie chili and to see what will happen.
I just love Dubliner cheddar cheese.
I love a quiet red wine.
I love my dog.
I love my house.
I love my work.
I love being able to sleep.
I love learning not to worry.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A quiet day.......for mardi gras.
Enjoyed prayer time with Mary J. today, even though it was a bit distracting with the LIttle Man deciding he was going to get cute and curious all at the same time.
Did Curves.
Ran some errands.
Cooked up purple potatoes, tofu with green onions. eggs...made hash for the week to come.
Mom and Dad came by for tea and to meet Cedar. Good visit. He peed right in the living room because I was so busy visiting that I ignored our schedule and it was time for "last out"...I'm learning...
I'm still not rested.
Dance tomorrow.
Got all my lunch stuff together for the next weeks.
Thinking about the "Forty for Forty"--for Lent, 40 minutes a day of things you choose to do to bring you closer in your relationship to God...be it prayer, walking, reading, Bible study, meditation, journaling--whatever spiritual practice(s) that are Life-giving to you and this relationship...as oppposed to the traditional-give up something, sacrifice something, fast--all of which are fine but overdone. Time to think about this Lenten journey a different way.

Monday, February 19, 2007

All in a day...
In the past 24+ hours, Cedar was introduced to the following:
1. Will and Little Feather, Rosa and her dog
2. The Field
3. 5 cats
4. 11 deer up close
5. 6 female elk
6. ravens
7. a marsh hawk
8. sheltie ball in the lower garden-great fun!
9. Grandmother Cedar
10. Miss Jenny, Abbie, Mr. Ritchie, and Emme-that was a trip! (It's Miss Jenny's birthday:)
11. logging trucks
12. milk trucks
13. garbage trucks
14. rolling garbage cans
15. how to ride in the car for 3+ hours (with hourly breaks) without whning and by curling up in a ball at the back of the crate and wait until it's over
16. Scott and Lisa McLean
17. Fletcher and Val, two new-to-me chairs and a bookcase
It's been a busy day.
Me, the crazy dreams are over. I've enjoyed some wonderful homemade wine from Lopez Island. There's a fire in woodstove. The rain and wind are beating against the house. It is cozy in here and quiet. Better not get too used to this!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Okay, so we had a little accident...my fault entirely, not his.
We had a great play session in the kitchen and then I forgot to take him outside afterwards...I was a little shaken up today when I turned on the radio for the first time and heard Neil! I shouldn't have been surprised. I knew he was here in the Northwest and would probably be working the garden show, something he loves to do, and he is always on the radio with Sam and Ciscoe. I just forgot for the moment...and in that moment, tones of feelings came flooding back-like how much part of my Core Heart still loves him. How I have missed our chats after his long days of working the garden shows and all the interesting people he has met...or the angels walking around. (There have been many.) It was good to hear him laugh. But it discombooberated me for the rest of the day--and into this evening. I totally ruined my dinner because most of it didn't make it into the pan and slid down into the area under the element. I was planning to make bread but decided not to because I couldn't concentrate to measure properly and I made a promise to myself never to bake bread when the energy wasn't one of peaceful, love-filled intent. So I am honoring that promise. Little Man and I had some fun and then I crated him for his own good. and mine. My nap this afternoon produced a set of crazy dreams, the likes of which I haven't had in a while--I was beating the crap out of Neil again for leaving and lying...while Jack Nicholson and Diane (the one who always wears men's suits to the Oscars-can't temember her last name) were drunker than skunks in Sturgess at the Harley convention and they were singing karoake...all the while I am whaling on Neil and trying not to laugh too hard at those other two stumbling around and screwing up the songs. Whew. Not sure I want to go to bed tonight but I really need to sleep well.
Things are better now on the outside. The kitchen in somewhat cleaned up. I wrapped a package for mailing. I called my mother and she helped me put some perspective on the whole thing. I put on some Heart-quieting music. I am beginning to Breathe again. 2x4 moments--I think I have done the work, humbly and honestly looked at myself, the relationship, and stepped into forgiveness not once, but many times and it was finished...and then, minor boom! Boy, am I glad this puppy is here.
The Little Man Within (as opposed to the traditional dance tune "Is the Big Man WIthin?")is currently working toward or meeting standard in the following areas:
1.crate training through the night
2. crate training in the day
3. housebreaking-no accidents since day 1
4. walking in the dark
5. walking in the day-a little tougher -more noise, traffic, people, stuff
6. Sheltie ball with no barking
7. up the stairs
8. down the stairs
9. not eating ALL the grass
10. sit
11. mealtimes on my schedule
12. being cute
13. tail wagging
Almost nap time for both of us. I went to the Healing Mass at OLF today. It was beautiful and peaceful.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Also known as "Will Work for Crumbs"...
It was a day of walks, training, no accidents in the house, prayer and reflection, and quiet.
A lovely day.
I'm doing adoption paperwork for the new agency. There is a flow around this that wasn't there before.
Time for early to bed early to rise...getting the new one used to the regular schedule around here.
He likes to play Sheltie ball.
The books that Star-Sister loaned were the same that Auntie Lydia recommended, too. Already through a big part of the Kilcommons one...makes sense.
Tomorrow we work on getting more accustomed to the car and car rides.
The learning curve is pretty steep here... for all of us!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Auntie Lydia has just been by and life will never be the same for either of us! She is a professional dog trainer, handler, and whisperer---except she doesn't need to say a word except "Goood Boy" and she had Cedar doing things that I thought would take 4 weeks and for her, 5 minutes. It took me quite a bit longer and she looked like she wanted to fry my little notebook...she was very patient...and BLUNT. I appreciate that.
I just had the first installment of How Not To Turn Your Dog Into a Freak and How To Train Them to Groove with Kids, Schedules, And Life 101. This will be on-going and I have homework. Enough to keep me busy for say, two years plus.
I can't tell you how good this feels and how NORMAL life feels to have this little guy around here.
Meet Cedar McLean. He is goofy. shy. sweet, playful, and boy does he reek.
He is about to get his first bath and get de-stunk here in a minute.
We survived our first night. He is quick to unlearn the bad habits of where he has been. His reaction to things like the bird call clock is funny. He notices things that F- and S- never noticed.
The Subaru has officially been "christened" with DOG. It only awaits...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

He-Who-Has-Yet-To-Be-Named...this calls for a song...from "Annie"..."I think he's gonna like it here!....
I'm having fun puppy proofing this place. I'm also kid-proofing at the same time...one drawer and cupboard and cord at a time. ( This time there isn't any berber rug to pull up or curtains to chew on. With Fiona, I hadn't discovered gated enclosures yet. With Sadie, I didn't care. She was an act of defiance. Not a good reason to get a puppy but admittedly, one of my Heart's Desires.)
Felt stupid at the Petco when I tried to find just a PLAIN BLUE COLLAR. Stood there for 15 minutes and there was all this fancy junk with clips and glow in the dark wahboos and some came with their own cell phones...
I'm having an Erma Bombeck moment--"WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?!" HE'S A DOG!!
It was also fun to run into a parent and child from the other school on the other hill from eons ago and she looked at me long and hard and said, "Oh my God! You look great." (That was an upper.) We chatted. It was alright.
This little guy is already signed up for puppy play group and I am signed up for socialization classes so I can learn how to let my dog be a DOG. Fiona and Sadie were not normal. I'm sure you knew that, but I didn't. Everything I learned about dogs came from Lassie books and the Hollywood Dog Training Video I ordered when I first moved to Pensacola, FL. Down there, I had way too much time on my hands when Joe was away on training flights. We had cable and something called QVC. Which is what I watched when we weren't kayaking on gator-infested bayous...
Tomorrow I get to teach him that I am his One...and what grass feels like.
The offers for baby gates are needed and appreciated. 5 will be perfect. Thanks Maude, Kathleen and Jean. Please put your names on them so I can return them when we are finished. I hope I can sleep tonight.
Still planning to do the Dash. The sign-up is at the Old Peculiar on the 23rd. Wonder where I put my green tights? If not, I'm sure Barb has some in the basement...

Monday, February 12, 2007

Puppy's coming to my house! To live here. To be part of this family, this pack.
My Life has restarted and spring is looking a whole lot better.
I gave notice at French class that tomorrow night is my last one for awhile.
I have all of midwinter break to bond and begin life with this little guy.
He is a 4 month old sheltie male from Bonney Lake.
His dad is a copper sable and his mom is a tri-sable. He is big for the breed and very goofy.
I hope he and Bindi will get along. He will be crate trained by the time she comes to play and stay at Fair Isle.
I am going to need to log serious kid time with this guy and I need help to do it. We will come to you with chilluns. sooner than later, better.
Pictures soon.
I am also in need of baby gates-two of them. Any one want to share?

"When you learn what you can live without, you are able to ask life for the very best because you possess the gift of discernment. You develop the patience that enables you to wait gracefully and gratefully until teh best arrives because you know it will. You are able to create an authentic life for yourself and those you love because you are making conscious choices." Sarah ban Abundance, Feb. 10th entry

This is it, emr! Make the family, create the life, find the joy that is right here, right now!
None of this was spur of the moment or reaction....oh, the walks and talks and shit that are coming...time to put the big harp back in the other room.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Nearly two year old Taurus female and I--we bonded this weekend. She taught me sign language and I taught her how to hang clean socks on an old-fashioned drying rack. She thought that was the bomb. and so did I. It was enjoyable to be doing household chores with a little helper. I probably won't feel the same several years from now, but I enjoyed it this weekend just the same.
I learned a few other things:
1. I hate the smell of dirty diapers.
2. In a huge way.
3. Love and Logic works on the under three crowd if you leave out the Logic part and replace it with "I'm bigger and this is how we do it at Auntie Erin's house" part...very easy. Works pretty well if you don't mind your ears splitting...no, I'm only kidding. She never really sounded off. She was not happy with the bath part, but we made it quick and painless with warm towels. She really got into the brushing teeth part.
4. My house is SO not child-proof.
5. I am embarrassed to admit but there was one panicky moment there when I thought her diapers were on too tight and I had to call dad (mom was busy feising) to find out. Here was the response: Are her eyes bugging out? (No)Then they're not on too tight. Are the diapers hanging around her ankles? (No) Then they aren't too loose. Good, Dad. It's been awhile. I just did the same thing you do to check if the dog's collar is just right--the two finger check and if there's a little room, you are golden. Taurus child made all sorts of gutteral body noises and I guess it was just part of her earthy lexicon. I wasn't used to it.
I went with my friend, Jean, today to meet a puppy. He is sweet. I am thinking on it and need to talk with Lydia.
The knees are not holding up well under the initial running tests in anticipation of the Dash. thinking about that, too.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

maude, how does Bindi get along with other puppies? boy puppies her size?
97. coli
Another cup of tea. Do some laundry in that spiffy new washer. I French braided my hair today for the first time in over 3 years. Spiffy. Lots of comments. I just like knowing it will help keep lice off me. Yes, we are having another bout of that at school. sigh. too much nose spelunking and beaver people who chew the METAL EDGES off of pencils! Think there might be a little stress in the lives of the darlings with whom I am privileged to work? Clay. lots of clay work. Drawing. painting. baking. moving outside. breathing work. mindscapes. little to no homework. more powerpoint which they love (added screentime is not my favorite)...they want me to start "banishing" them again. apparently that was a big hit and they loved it. ok, then.
I hate being reminded that I didn't always live alone.
Kentucky Fried Chicken is sounding pretty good about now.
And I don't want to talk about it.
Might start something else, too. Will let you know.
I'm in a very funny (not ha-ha) space.
Gonna start making that other bedroom into our playroom. Now.
I switched agencies today.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

"Was love like a bag of assorted sweets passed around from which one might choose more than once? some might sting the tongue, some invoke night perfume. Some had centers as bitter as gall, some blended honey and poison, some were quickly swallowed. and among the common bull's -eyes and peppermints a few rare ones, one or two with deadly needles at the heart, another that brought calm and gentle pleasure. Were his fingers closing on that one?"---Quoyle, The SHipping News p. 315 (For ALL of us!)

90something. I HAVE A DASH BUDDY! Let's do some movin', Gerl. Yay.
91. I get to spend quality time with a Taurus female born on my birthday near two years ago. Then her mom is going to come and have tea with me. I have a house rule though--no dog shit bags under the sink and same goes for baby diapers.
92. Prayer, share, and mac and cheese with Mary J.last night (I hope CHristmas Kitty is feeling more like herself soon)
93. Last day of our NWWriting class
94. Less than two weeks till puppy energy comes to MY house!
95. Folger's decaf

Monday, February 05, 2007

77. walking in the mist on the edge of the bluff at Lincoln Park in West Seattle with Little Feather
78. big yellow dogs with polka-dotted furry bones and zebra striped fuzzy octopus thingies
79. tea with my Family of Choice all together in one room...at the same time...with each other
80. Dad's latest story--it is knocking my socks and my Heart off. I'm on my third reading and I am blown away.
81. Healing, tremendous healing
82. the release and power that come from this healing
83. bookgroup
84. actually preparing and practicing writing lessons and following through...and they happened as planned adn tomorrow will, too
85. working out at Curves, then a walk, then another walk
86. deciding to run the St. Patrick's Day Dash
87. trying to find someone(s) to run with me--anyone? anyone? sistahs? Sisters?
88. finding a note on my back work table at school today at the end of the day ( it is the little tradition of one of the students to leave me a little note at the end of the day..) Here's what today's said: We can't wait for s/he to get here. You can't wait either! It's gonna be so good!
89. Little Feather coming up and spending four days with me here at Fair Isle for Imbolc
90. one of Duvall musicians said YES to the Ballard ceilidh I am calling at Curves on Mar. 2nd to raise food for the Ballard Food Bank-YAY! Should be fun. must remember to tell kathleen so she can put it out there
91. hearing from Kathleen, Julie and Mike, Scott and Lisa, Fran
92. only one more NW Writing class to go!!! Hip, hip----oh, let's go have a glass of vouvray.
93. Life

Thursday, February 01, 2007

so tired...a bit bored...kind of unmotivated for the rest of the work week...sleep doesn't seem to be helping...and I just want to eat comfort foods in between spurts of some energy. I am still laughing. I am still working. Sort of working out (4 days this week instead of 6) and that...winter blahs--that's what it is.
71. red wine with orange juice
72. one of the dancers hornpipe timing--she has been working her kabootie off
73. it's Imbolc now--time time of the Maiden. rebirth of essence. rebirth of seeds of manifestation. rebirth or renewal of dreams and truths. What do you want in your life in the days and months to come? What seeds do you want to identify and put in the fire and then plant?
74. my students noticed the moon today
time for bed. I am loving Shipping News.
75. Thank you, Jesus, for this amazing day.
76. I am getting ready to burn something....