An illuminating realization

Yesterday I attended a volunteer training class for homeless pets.  My expectation was simple, thinking I’d hear the organization’s  mission statement along with the necessary rules to follow for safety in handling animals, courtesy to the public,  and anything relating to working as a team.  For me, personally, it turned out to be an illuminating realization that this endeavor is much more than standing at a desk accepting abandoned, unwanted, and abused animals.  After listening to the lecturers,  I learned we take in animals other than dogs, cats, and the occasional rabbit.  Many people will hand in ferrets, rodents of various types, pet pigs, snakes, (yes, snakes), chickens, …the list goes on. Of course, a few of these are referred to the respective expert group.  The fact that not-so-traditional pets will be relinquished to a caring shelter is not what gave me my “illuminating realization”.   There’s a plethora given up voluntarily or involuntarily, and this endeavor of taking in the animals must include non-judgmental and emotional strength on my part as a volunteer, more strength than originally thought.  That is my illuminating realization.

Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things,  man will not himself find peace. Albert Schweitzer


No, I didn’t hear anything through the grapevine.  I’m referring to a move executed in aerobic exercise, which took me a considerable amount of time to understand the steps.  It was always done so fast by the instructor, while she screamed, “GRAPEVINE!!” over the loud boombox.  Of course, the week or two in past years, when I dragged myself to a class, was never a long enough period to develop ease of habit.  I was having to learn steps all over again, whenever I joined one.   However, it just occurred to me the other day I will no longer have to suffer the frustration of being dance challenged,  thanks to an invention called the DVD. 🙂   The advantage of utilizing an exercise DVD is that it can be paused for the step by step action. This is great for exercise class truants like me, who would rather high step in the privacy of my home.  With health care so pricey, I’ve decided I better do something for my health.  Therefore, I have chosen Bollywood dancing.  I was inspired to order the DVD after viewing short programs on FITTV.  The 15 minute segments on the satellite station seemed doable. After all the commercials gave a nice break.   Now I have the DVD, and let me tell ya, I have a new found respect for India’s culture.  It’s going to take more than a pretty costume and ankle bracelets to master the Bollywood dancing.  I need the long hair.

Better to hunt in fields for health unbought than fee the doctor for a nauseous draught. The wise for cure on exercise depend. John Dryden, a 17th century British poet

Living history


Horses are handy props for living history,  because they were beasts of burden for everyday life.  One or two of them are especially handy to have around,  when one is a Civil War history buff like my husband.  For a couple of years, he participated in a reenacting group that donned gray uniforms for the Confederate side, then on another weekend don the Federal cavalry’s blue.   The equipment would stay the same, just the colors would change.  Let’s face it… one thing everyone has in common throughout history is the cost of amassing gear.  I have to admit it’s fascinating to see the weapons, tools, food, and clothing that were necessary for survival.  What is even more fascinating to watch is a horse, like Myles in the photo above, executing the drills that were required every day by the regiments.  Myles, you see, had his schedule of things, barn time, grazing time, carrot time, and snooze time.  His lifestyle isn’t one of a workhorse, and he didn’t realize he was play acting.  But, Myles did take it in stride; it’s probably tougher on the reenacting soldier.  The years following the war the western cowboy became really popular, and there are groups that reenact them.  Fortunately, one can use the same weaponry, for the most part, and even the horse tack can remain the same.

“A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint.  What I began by reading, I must finish it by acting.” Henry David Thoreau



Trixy, a Rottie-cross,  exhibits many characteristics of a Rottweiler purebred.  However, her one floppy ear gives her a unique appearance, a bit of a whimsical look. She has a powerful, confident glide across the yard and field;  indoors,  this movement reflects the proverbial bull in the china shop.  Her natural instinct to guard shows, when she rears on her hind legs to give the impression that she is six feet tall to a four-legged trespasser.  Indoors, she guards quietly; she’ll even sit on our feet while we’re in the WC (water closet)  🙂   She shows compassion for small animals like the barn bunny,who’s at the bottom of the food chain and just trying to stay alive.  Trix is a vaudeville entertainer, hoping she’ll receive a small chunk of cheese for her efforts.  She is a ninety pound hunk, a hunk of burning love.  We rescued her from the pound, and, in return, she has paid us back ten-fold with heartfelt devotion.

He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog.  You are his life, his love, his leader.  He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart.  You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion. ~Unknown



I’m sitting in clutter, hence the new blog theme with piled papers.  It suits me better than images of bright, colorful manicured gardens.  The dentist office just called to remind me of my appointment on Monday morning.   It amazes me how the young assistant can maintain a cheerful if not downright perky attitude, when the dentist is known for his acidic demeanor. Back to flower images, it’s not that I don’t like pretty blooms, it’s just that I don’t have lavish foliage. My garden area is…..rustic.  So, what’s the point of showing a suburban-type garden, when I don’t have one?!  Anyway, when I sat down at my desk, my intent was to talk about my cluttered room, to where I always head, when I need to think.  😉  My old reference books, old photos, old papers (some of which look very important), old guitar (that hasn’t been  strummed in twenty-odd years), old music CDs (that have been replaced by itunes), old piano music stacked on floor (piano needs tuning),  all this and more give me solitude, warm memories, happy and sad.  This clutter represents years of events past and ongoing.  The stacks, at times rearranged and quickly dusted, are, in a sense, ingrained in this tiny room off the main living area.   Take away the clutter,  and the room would lose its ambient air.

I came across the following quote.

If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, what is the significance of a clean desk? Dr. Laurence J. Peter

I’ll tell you.  The significance of a clean desk is a BLANK mind.   🙂