Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Nasty Job

My house in the throes of massive repairs and painting.

There is always one nasty ugly job in my life that I keep putting off and putting off.

Almost like sticking my head into a bush with my bum sticking out thinking no one could see me. Don't laugh. I had a dog that did that. I'd be calling her: "Tara, Tara!" and she'd head for a bush and hide and I'd have to laugh, watching how she'd let her bum hang out and tuck her tail around it and lie perfectly still. She was always amazed when I'd stick my head in the other side of the bush and go "na-na-na I'm smarter than you!"

But I digress. Today I was in my office up the road all morning. I want to put a park in our town. With a BBQ pit and nice benches and maybe a stretch of boardwalk on the shore.

But that put-off nasty job in my house? it kept jumping into my brain.

It's like this: I get infested in my utility room with ants every July and put down bait and spray and powder and eco-friendly solutions (baking powder and icing sugar mixed 50/50), etc. And all this takes place behind a freezer and all over a window where they get in and down from the ceiling where there are gaps (old wood ceilings and I do like them, the ceilings, not the ants). And the mess this year, people?

Do you know that ants cart off their dead for they have their very own graveyards near wherever the hell their nests are? Yeah, they do. But this year I killed so many I imagine I must have been lucky and killed the graveyard attendants plus the funeral corteges and the mourners too. So the massacre sites on windows, in poison buckets and behind freezer? Beyond imagining

This avoidance had to come to an end. I am leaving for Ireland this Friday and I thought the job is too awful for Emma, my twice/month cleaning treasure to deal with. There are limits to demands I can make on her or on anyone else for that matter.

So I had to bribe myself. I talk myself into doing deferred nasty jobs. I have been doing it since I was, like, 4.

"I will make you the best BLT in the world after you finish this. Homegrown Swiss chard, lashings of crisp bacon, home grown perfectly sliced tomatoes AND some smoked salmon, and yeah, okay, cream cheese on - wait-for-it - 12 grain artisan bread from the best bakery in the world. Toasted to gold."

And rubber gloves, bleach, buckets and vacuum to hand I did it. And I only came close to gagging once.

And I was so proud.

And the sandwich? Heaven on a plate.

Bribery sure works on this wuss.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, August 18, 2014


I'm applying for an arts grant. A few pennies to throw food on the table as I write WW1 scenes for this novel and edit it and wind it up. Yeah it's work, it's a struggle, but when it goes right, I'm in my bliss. And no, there's no daddywarbucks in my life. Just me on a fixed paltry income.

I've already assembled my team of First Readers, except for maybe one more. If you'd like to be on it, drop me a line, see email addie on the left side of the blog. October 15th is my deadline to release to the team.

There I've said it. October 15th.

Anyways. I'm here today, with pictures and details of the Battle of the Somme, careful graphs of dates and ages. Ritz Hotel in Paris in 1970. Etc. It's intense. I saw the inside of the Ritz once. 1965. Close enough, right? unless they made changes without telling me.

And then, sweet Dog, the work starts on my house. Not simple work understand. Complicated banging, scraping and unfolding rotting foundations work. So much so that the dog crawls under my desk and whimpers, "Sorry I can't defend you against these ravening hordes. Sometimes it's just all too much for me. I'm old, see."

A simple scrape and slap on the paint job is just not happening. Rot. Old doors. Damp buildup. 11 window panes need replacing. Fresh new lumber trucked over from the lumberyard across the bay for part of the foundations. Banging, did I talk banging? And how do I afford this add-on horror to the original barely manageable financially job?

And I think as I write: this is nothing. Imagine those WW1 trenches.

And no, I can't go to my Tigeen. There's a 3 foot drop outside my back door. Into mud. I am moated with extreme sound effects while I summarize my 75% completed book begging for a measley arts grant.

And you think you've got problems.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, August 17, 2014


I see a meme being tossed around on FB of three things to be grateful for for 5 days and then roping in 3 more friends to do the same.

It's interesting reading these lists and I become mindful of all I have to be grateful for.

I'm making lists at the moment. A few lists.

List #1.
Packing: For my trip to the Oul Sod. Keeping it lighter, keeping it useful. I'm good at packing. I never, like some of my friends, pack anything I don't wear or use. Everything's interchangeable with another item. I gave up dresses and skirts a while back so clothes are simple. Dress pants, cargo pants, jeans. A few tops. A cardie. A rain jacket. A few pairs of socks. Undies. Scarves. I've always loved scarves, they can dress up sombre (blacks, neutrals) like nothing else. I struggled with the EReader again. For the last time. No. Back to paper. Pack 2 books, buy another or two when I'm there. Knitting? Maybe.
List #2.
The Dog List: For when I'm away: Ansa's foods, the way it's fixed in the morning, her baby aspirin for her arthritis, her carry-kit for the car (leash, water, flask, doggie bags), her commands (example: she only comes down the stairs with verbal permission, the poor baby could be stuck up there all day if not given permission to come down), etc.
List #3.
Gratitude. (1)So many well-wishers pouring forth lovely thoughts for my birthday yesterday. I was quite overwhelmed.
(2)A day with Daughter who arrived early with baked goodies and crops from her garden (she has this strange farming gene)with the gift of a day with her, wandering where the wind took us with brunch and a seafood dinner thrown into the mix. And a walk by the ocean afterwards.
(3)Lady Day (August 15th)in Newfoundland arrived two days ago. On the Newfoundland calendar this is the start of fall. Summer here is a quick blast of heat, incredible growth spurts in vegetation in a matter of weeks, and the longest autumn - often running 4 months. I just love it. My favourite season. For many reasons.
And Bonus:
(4) Each day I wake up to in reasonable and joyful good health.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Taking Offence

Dear Diary:

Some of the gang went off to have lunch at a theatre event yesterday and then visited an older friend now in a swishy home for the aged followed by dinner at one of my favourite Chinese restaurants. A jam-packed-with-activity day.

I didn't even get a token invitation: you know, along the lines of: you must be up to your neck but hey, would you like to....

I admit it. I was hurt. That lasted about 4 minutes.

And then I started to laugh and laugh and laugh.

At myself.

Because seriously, Diary, it totally sounds like a day from hell for me: 12 hours of constant company and being "on", a horrific dinner/lunch theatre thing that every year involves at least one male actor in drag playing a simplistic, overly sexual (huge balloon breasts),short-skirted, simpering, grotesque, stupid woman that would have me gnashing my teeth in rage as all about me fall down in thigh-slapping, helpless laughter.

Thank you for small mercies.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Another One

I don't personally know these famous people who choose to die by their own hands. Alone. No goodbyes. Unable to go on. Unable to suffer another hour in addiction or depression or hopelessness or all three or even more.

Feeling their lives are worthless, placing no value on themselves or their gifts. Feeling their pain is unheard, their connection to others severed, strained, vanished.

Seeing no other way out. None.

Thinking everyone and everything shallow and hopeless, their lives one big sham. One never-ending pretence of laughing on the outside and dying inside. Wanting it over. Finished.

Nothing does the "trick": Expensive clinics or the love of a spouse or lover or child. Or grandchild. Or a parent, a sibling, a best friend.

This death. This death. I understand. I know how he felt.

And the extraordinary thing, the most extraordinary thing today, when the news was released: Two of my dearest family members in far flung countries reached out in a tight little circle to me to write communally about this. It was a group hug of the finest love. The awareness of each other and our common familial struggle with those demons of Robin Williams. And Philip Seymour Hoffman and so many others.

We three have been there. Their pain is our intimate.

And we can never, ever be complacent in our recovery.

RIP Sweet Robin.

Thanks for the laughs and the genius of your mind.

Labels: , , , , ,

Sunday, August 10, 2014


View from the Tigeen

I'm up over the trees and the birds and the ocean in my Tigeen. Where good stuff happens. Like writing. Like musing.

And then, a half an hour ago, I hear the sounds of the cemetery mass floating on the air towards me. Crystal clear. Something I'd never hear in my house below.

This is a combination of the placement of the Tigeen, the prevailing breeze and acoustics.

The sermon arrives at me intact. The bits of singing, the readings. The sounds of my childhood and some adult years. The pray-for-usses, the pleadings, the begging of Himself, the Invisible Cosmic Housekeeper, to do what he is requested but only if it is his will - a wonderful form of circular thinking. And a win-win for those requested to intercede to end the suffering, or grant the wishes. I used to wonder - even when practising these rituals - about that. As in why bother praying (and paying) if he's going to do what he damn well pleases anyway?

I am so detached from all of that mumbo-jumbo now, a bemused ear is thrown over to the graveyard. A reflection on all the money collected for these lamentations and laundry lists.

"Oh Lamb of God" I hear as I type this, "Fear not I will come for thee". Yelled very loudly by he who officiates, white biscuit held high above his head I would imagine.

And then I imagine ICH convulsed on a cloud, snorting uncontrollably, finally collapsing in helpless laughter.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, August 09, 2014


I realize I think in extremes. I'm not late to this realization but it tends to darken perception.

I'm writing in the midst of a power outage. We had a bad thunderstorm an hour or so ago. And as is the way of it, I do not have water stockpiled or a back up generator for the house utilities. Oil lamps, yes. A propane mini-stove, yes. Normally I keep water on hand but in summer, who needs backup?

Maybe being brought up with the possibility of nuclear disaster/and the Fatima end of the world scenario - a distinct possibility reinforced by the Catholic school system on a regular basis - had something to do with this bleakness of outlook.

So I think: what happens if the power never comes back again? OMG freezer and contents?

Meanwhile I have this battery back up in the office - thus enabling internet and laptop, good for an hour or so.

I remind myself this is not the end of days. Even though, seriously, it feels like it.

I remind myself how fragile we humans are, how dependent on the niceties of the power grid, the internet, water, fuel.

And the antidote: Right now, I am safe, housed and coffeed.


Thursday, August 07, 2014

Natural Selection

Today (for Dog knows I wasn't up for it yesterday)I wonder about life's manifestations and nuances.

And birth order.

And how some in the same gene pool escape the afflictions of the others.

And nature vs nurture.

And hereditary vs environment.

Is everything in life a balancing act - i.e. a vs?

Like some eat and never gain weight.

While others can't even look at an ice cream without some kind of osmosis taking place.

Are there trade-offs - like you get so many talents but you also get all the angst, whereas you, you over there, get none but you're oh-so-happy-all-the-time. Because money/beauty/wit/Harvard.

And addiction? Is that genetic roulette?

Is adult life all about unmet needs from childhood?

Existential moments.

From me.

Who doesn't feel quite all there, right now.

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Holding Your End Up

I was commenting on John Gray's blog this morning when I was reminded, as we are, of this old phrase of my mother's.

The life lessons of an Irish mammy.

Along with never marching off to visit anyone with "your arms the same length", "holding your end up" was another essential one.

"Holding your end up" involved:

Writing thank you notes for everything and anything tossed your way no matter how awful or badly knitted or even wrapped in newspaper.

Never letting the family secrets out of the cupboard.

Not wearing raggedy underwear in case there was an accident and then the whole hospital would be talking about you and yours. Forever amen.

As soon as you landed on Irish soil, no matter how long away, you were put on the phone to every aunt, uncle, cousin and grandparent to tell them you'd arrived and to give them all the news. Hours I'm telling you. Hours.

Table manners: The right and the wrong way to hold the fork. And always decline seconds of everything. Never be the first one into the chocolate box.

QED: Make sure everyone knows how well you were raised.

Labels: ,

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Blending Reality and Fiction.

I read. I read a lot. I always have. I gain so much from reading. Insight into the lives of others. Insight into the minds of writers. Massive escapism. Understanding. Being understood.

Some have it that to be a good writer one needs to be a voracious reader. My jury is out on that one. I would like to hear the other side of that argument. As a voracious reader and voracious writer I link the two processes. But how I would I know? I've always read. Since I was four, thank you Daddy.

In mid-July I finished a large tome: "The Novel" by James Michener.

And he put into words something I'd been mulling about for a while.


As so often happens with writers, my imaginary terrain had become more real to me than the physical one that surrounded me.

I have exactly that feeling with one of my unpublished (but complete) books. When I am back in the town in Ireland I write about (but disguise)I see my own imaginary characters on the roads and in the houses and churches.

I know these people.

They walk with me.

Labels: ,

Friday, August 01, 2014


Mike of Genial Misanthrope commented on my last post on his (and all of ours) wish not to outlive our children.

But I write of this again. I've written of my own personal circle of good friends and relatives who've not been so lucky. I link to them all here. And I say "all" because there are quite a few. An aunt's child, a school friend of my daughter's - herself a mother of a teenager. And on. At my high school reunion a few years back, one of my schoolmates appeared with a shaven head from cancer treatments. Six months prior her only daughter, birthing a third child, had died in the birthing process from a stroke. Not uncommon.

And many more death posts. Too many. Or maybe not enough. I've outlived my mother by 14 years now. Death looms more clearly at the age one's parent dies. And yes, they've done studies. It bubbles underneath the surface. Stolen time, I feel. So death is more present to us.

I was with someone on Tuesday who lost an adult son. I talked of missing daughter who's left a gaping wound in my own small family. A pain that never leaves. A pain often completely ignored and unacknowledged by some family members. And in some cases added to by deliberate shunning and non-inclusion which makes it all the more unimaginable. I'm not alone in that either.

I am staggered and amazed by how most of us get through the often unbearable pain of living with such enormous losses trailing behind us. Focussing on what we have, I expect.

My friend felt a missing child was worse than a dead child. I have no idea. How do you weigh one pain against another unless you've experienced both?

I don't label any behaviour "brave". In fact I despise the word. As if failure to be brave makes a person less than, inferior. We need less of this bravery thing and more of feeling and grieving and roaring out at the injustice. And shaking our fists in exhaustion.

I'd rather you and I had the permission to scream our losses to the skies in each others' presence.

The loss of those living, the loss of those dead. And all those losses in between.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

One More Gone

Yeah, I know I'm at that age.

Standing slightly tilted and looking behind myself. Not too much. Not too often. Not staring or anything. But with tears.

For he is gone.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

And his dust was particularly rich.

He was incredibly kind to me.

And gifted. Gifted in humanity and compassion.

He championed me and mine. He stood up and his voice was heard when my voice wasn't.

And I, for one, am a better person because of him.

I wrote about him here. My story disguised him well. But his essence is there, his thirst for knowledge and incredibly long, involved conversations.

He listened.

He respected.

And yes, I loved him. Passionately.

And our time was lovely and memorable.

And far too brief because of my alcoholism which was in full throttle then.

I will never forget him.

Darling man.

Labels: ,

Monday, July 28, 2014


That's the only word I can think of for the way I'm feeling at the moment.

Present. Excruciatingly so. And I use the word "excruciating" in a good way.

A deeper way of feeling. Sharper.

I've had these episodes before. And I welcome them.

Even though I can cry a lot.

Like the beauty of the world overwhelms me. And of people. And their joy and casual kindnesses.

It was a brutal Tely 10 yesterday. At the best of times I don't "do" heat. Never have and possibly never will. And it was one of the hottest races I've ever been in. And I wanted to quit so many times as the sweat poured off me and everything started to hurt. One good soul, among many, high-fived me at an off-kilter angle along the route and my poor arm felt like it was going to fall off with the unexpected lingering pain.

And then I started to laugh. To myself. As this new pain was distracting me from the sweat and the sore feet (note to self: break in new shoes a month before any race).

And Mile 8 was the roughest. I wanted to lie down and cry on the road and let the paramedics take me off to a sanitarium (do they have such places anymore?) for at least a month. And pamper and spa me and treat my feet, hell my entire body, to peppermint oil and my mind to attar of roses in bowls on my side table.

So that kept me going for a while: thoughts of 1000 thread cotton sheets, white, and attendants massaging the throbbing and aching all-over that I had become.

Mile 9, I was kinda sorta limping when Daughter appeared to help me in on the final 1/4 mile, which was very blurry as my mind had gone on vacation and my recognition software had crashed.

There had been many friends along the route with ice, with words, with water, with lemon. I still cry when I think about them all.

How astonishing it is to me to have picked up my life and moved so very far away to the edge of the Atlantic not so many years ago and feel so part of the fabric here now, to have accumulated so many friends, so much sustenance and support and love.

And to realize, with such renewed clarity, that my only struggles ever are with myself.

To be in the now and in the present for it is all I have.

To be the best me, not in beating anyone else, but in the journey, with its trials and pain. To look outward and accept those shouts of support, the water, the "you can do its", the distracting high-fives, the companionship.

And the destination?

Well, that morphs and changes, for is there any such thing really?

All I can say is that for me yesterday and carrying on in to today:

The destination is to remain open to love.

Self-inflicted and all the variants in between.

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Looking Forward

My father had this philosophy going. Always looking forward. Not to the point of destroying the day he was in but lightening his heart when the weather got bad, or someone died, or he felt lonesome.

I'm glad he shared it with me.

This year, in August, my family and I are exploring the Beara Peninsula, the land of my mother's people, the O'Sullivan Clan.

And we're staying here:

This is the music that will accompany us, The O'Sullivan March with the Chieftains:

Looking forward?

What do you think?

Labels: , ,

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Stay Where Your Hands Are

I said this to a friend this morning. She was panicked. About everything. I know how that is. You pull the thread from a small hole and a vast new terrifying landscape appears through the bigger hole you're creating.

I needed to say it for myself too. I caught myself fretting about the Tely 10 race coming up on this Sunday, about my appearance on a post by the venue hosts of my recent performance. Self criticism is one of my old reliable default standbys. I'm an expert on beat-myself-up behaviour. Instead of feeling thrilled about the reception my performance gave I focussed on my poor posture, my stomach roll, you name it: I'll inflict self-shame on it.

Her call pushed me upright. In more ways than one.

And I look at my hands for they will:

Cut up my healthy lunch for today,
Get me suited and booted and socked and...
Lead me out the door for a training walk,
Write this post,
Reach out to someone else today,
Pick up a bit of knitting to bore the inner monster,
Lift up and read a beautiful West Cork history book given to me by my sister
Type up a few daily emails to distant friends and loved ones.

I am sickened by so much - Gaza, Ukraine, the dying bees, you name it, the list is endless. And it was and is and will be ever thus. There is nothing, apart from outrage and outcry that I can do about it all. All of it noise: Internal. External.

There be dragons out there where my hands are not.

I can't feed them too.

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Lessons from Mabel

Mabel the Maple - picture taken just now.

Sometimes I worry. Don't we all?

And I fret.

Mainly about money.

Lack of.


Of the metaphorical poorhouse.

And then I remember Mabel the maple. Who lives with me. A few of you might remember Mabel who technically "died" completely bowled over by a storm, her branches all lopped off for firewood. And then as her trunk was denuded of branches she rose again, she righted herself. And sprouted like a mad thing.

Much like me lately after my fretstorm.

In rapid succession (seriously, in a week!):

One of my stories is being published in an anthology coming out in the fall.

My tigeen is renting out quite nicely.

I was booked for more elder abuse sessions around the island.

Last night I gave a seanachie performance for one of the bigger Canadian magazines. Fingers crossed: a feature.

I sold a great whack of my cards to an inn.

And I was asked to conduct a (paying) writers' workshop in the fall featuring memoir writing.

Lots of little branches.

Just like Mabel.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, July 19, 2014


More beach blossoms

I was never one to be totally star-struck. Or project feelings, mine or their imagined, on to those that are famous. I remember a wise old shaman saying to me a long time ago:

Allow those famous people their humanity, their foibles, their twists, they are just like you and me under the skin: insecure, unsure and emotionally immature.

And they are. A few have crossed my path recently. The so-called beautifuls with their strong bank accounts, their youth, their life styles, their talent, their fame, their incessant media coverage.

I thought when I met one: does she truly know how beautiful she is? How talented? That her skin is flawless, that her smile lights up a room?

And of course she doesn't. None of us do. Because that would make us a notch above, would make us vain and unapproachable.

And she was imminently approachable. And lovely. And as we chatted, I shared with her a story from long ago when I was hopelessly in love with someone who treated me poorly and I was laughing about it, telling her I had had a card from this man after we had broken up and he had signed "Love, John" in his neat scholarly hand and I (to the horror of any poor sucker in my sphere of orbit)incessantly analyzed and over-analyzed it: what did he mean, does he now realize he loves me and can't live without me, is he afraid to speak up and pour out his heart, has he changed, surely he must miss me?

And we laughed and laughed and laughed. And then she said: I have texted and texted this latest flame of mine who's away for a couple of weeks and he hasn't responded and I had myself convinced his cell-phone is broken.

And we laughed again.

Twins underneath in our common humanity.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Write? Right, She Said!

Yes, I'm up at the Tigeen where the writing flows non-stop in waves of literate and compelling paragraphs.


See above.

See below.

Handcream I need handcream, I have to go back down to the house.
Those early notes I made in that notebook need to be up here, I have to go back down to the house again.
Chilly – a bit? - I need to light a fire.
Oh, not enough wood.
Oh, not enough kindling.
I need to go down to the barn and bring some up.
Where's the dog?
I should bring up her dog dish and fill it.
Did I bring up enough food for lunch?
Coffee. Not enough coffee.
Oh, let me write a few notes for the blog.
I think I should test-drive the loft bed, just for a few minutes.

Labels: ,

Friday, July 11, 2014

My Life Model - Part 2

Ansa calculating the years in her life and the life in her years.

You couldn't make this stuff up. Here was I writing yesterday about my dog Ansa and the beginning of her life with me and......

I was out and about with Ansa later on yesterday when a truck pulled up beside me with a couple in it.

"OMG!!" the couple shrieked in unison. They pulled over to the side of the road and clambered out of the truck.

Yes, it was the couple from way back - 9 years ago now - who had been ordered to surrender all their dogs due to neglect and a form of benign indifference to the needs of their 12 animals.

"She should be dead by now!" was the next enlightening comment as they surrounded Ansa who clung to my ankle bones and winced when S, the male of the couple, put out his hand to touch her.

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"Well," said K, the female of the couple, "We got her when we met, she was 6 weeks hold back in March of 1999."

Back in the day, S hadn't a clue as to how old Ansa was when he dropped her off on that dark and stormy night of May 2004. My vet had estimated she was two or three years old at the time. S is not, by even the wildest stretch of the imagination, a guy with the elevator running all the way up to the top of the building. K, on the other hand (he is her fourth husband) is fairly alert and together.

So that makes my lovely girl 15 which is not very likely for a mainly border collie mix, the average life span being 12. The rare ones have lived to be 15.

We left the KS couple rather quickly, Ansa and I. In unseemly haste you might say.

"She's a bloody miracle!" they shouted after me. Well, yes.

But when I look at her now, my heart flutters a bit.

How many more days, will I have her?

I don't even think in years anymore.

And maybe that's another life lesson from my girl.

A day at a time.

That's all any of us have.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

My Life Model

My dog Ansa is getting old. Silver threads among the black-gold of her lovely complexion. I give her half an aspirin a day for her arthritis. Her back paws shake uncontrollably at times.

I am fortunate in that we found each other. She's a rescue. Before she came to me she had been the victim of benign neglect. Her previous owner was more to be pitied than blamed. He had far too many dogs to take care of. Then he was ordered to get rid of them all as they were deemed abuse victims. She arrived in my life on a dark and stormy night, her owner thought to let her escape her euthanasia and dump her on me. I was between dogs, my previous one had been with me sixteen years and it had been a year.

Along with the eleven others then under the axe, Ansa was fed a meagre diet of bread and gravy and never walked. They were chained outside or hidden indoors. Her fur had fallen out in clumps. But her disposition? In spite of all that, her personality was one of joy and delight. And she was definitely an omega rather than an alpha.

Ansa stayed on my couch for 24 hours without moving. I let her be. The next night she came upstairs and after about an hour jumped up on the end of my bed with her back towards me. I let her be. Every chance she got, once outdoors and off leash, she would run away. Many was the time I would go out in my car and chase her down. It often took hours. Freedom was a brand new concept for her. I got that. Slipping her leash or outside tethering was a testament to her agility and intelligence. I never blamed or shamed her when I found her. Once she was 10K away. When I saw her in the distance her head was hung low, exhausted. I greeted her with joy, opened the back door of the car and she leaped in and promptly passed out.

It took her two years to bond with me. I remember the moment well. We were walking along the road by the ocean, she on her leash in front of me towing me along, when she promptly sat down and turned and looked me in the eye. I just knew. I slipped her leash off and every single command I've given her since, she has obeyed. I only leash her when on a very busy road or in a park where it's the law.

She fills my days with her joie de vivre.

Her trust in me is implicit: She will be fed, she will be walked, she will run on the shore, she can paddle in the ocean, she can sleep on my bed disregarding her own two beds, she will let me know if there's a visitor, she will take care of me if I'm threatened in any way and she knows she will be taken care of in turn. Always.

I have a lot to learn from her. I always did. There are second chances in life. And the universe does provide.

We should all be so present in our days.

And so worry free.