Monday, February 28, 2011

Inspiration - Creation

As we ponder and reflect on our writing, art and photography,
 we can make connections that are life-enhancing, healing,
 even capable of powerful revelation.
 Our posts become a kind of offering, a prayer so to speak,
 four ourselves, our loved ones, our audience, perhaps
 even for the world. Through the art of blogging,
 our life experiences can be elevated to that of art. 
 This powerful transformation naturally feeds back
 into our life, in a circular motion, drawing more
 and more artful experiences to us.
      - Susan Tuttle, Somerset Studio, Jan/Feb, 2010

When I was little, I had a pink diary complete with a golden key. The clean white pages waited for me to record the exciting events of my life. After several days of faithful recording, I noticed that every day sounded the same. I saw friends, went to school, wrote about what we had for dinner, and the days blended together. I got bored and stopped writing.

In high school I had a white diary, stamped with gold. Surely life would be much more interesting. I had a boyfriend and it was a five-year diary, so I only had to fill up five lines. I kept that diary for four years! I still wrote about what I ate and it became a diet diary, an assignment diary, and a weather report, of all things!

I am finally beginning to figure out that a diary should be more about feelings and dreams and less about events. More inspiration and less dieting. So, we shall see where it goes. . .

Have an interesting day!

Love, Linda

Thursday, February 24, 2011

My Golden Retriever Fix

I have two golden retrievers, but I could certainly use more. I can't afford more, so I volunteer once or twice a month at the Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue (DVGRR). I am a Certified Canine Massage Therapist, and I go there to massage dogs.

For those who say "Oh I could never volunteer at one of those places, too depressing," let me say that DVGRR is a cheerful, upbeat place, where the doggies are treated like royalty. Sling beds, cheese at 1 p.m., before nap-time, and peanut butter stuffed kong to take to bed are a few of the amenities. Playgroups are formed for those who like to play together, and thunder-phobic dogs are housed in the offices where a word or pet is always available. I can only add that the kennels are usually cleaner than my house, and you can begin to get the picture. All "residents" are fed premium food, and treats abound.

Many dogs are surrendered because of health issues that the owner can't afford, these dogs go immediately to the vet and if possible the health issues are corrected, often at great expense. Hip surgery, broken bones are fixed, mass removal and diagnosis, even stem cell therapy is done. Recently, as people are losing jobs and homes, many wonderful companion dogs are turned in.

Since DVGRR is in "puppy mill country," there are many "breeder dogs," both male and female that come into the rescue. These dogs have physical, as well as emotional problems and are able to take part in Project Home Life, a program just for them. Breeder dogs have spent 6 or seven years having puppies and never seen the inside of a house, felt grass under their feet or been socialized to people. When I first started going to DVGRR, these dogs were terrified and withdrawn for weeks and months, sometimes flattening out or losing bladder control.  Since Project Home Life, which is a room set up like a living room with "distractions" such as TV, furniture and ceiling fan, these dogs are feeling more "at home" in days to weeks. Special training on interacting with these dogs is given to the volunteers who work with them and progress records are kept. There is also a support group for adopters of the breeder dogs.

When I meet a breeder dog for the first time, I evaluate things such as posture and eye contact. Sometimes I just sit in the kennel for 5 or ten minutes, then leave without touching the dog. It is very rewarding when they make eye contact for the first time. These dogs have never been touched with love by a human, much less had a belly rub.

I haven't figured out how to add links to my blog yet, but anyone who lives in southeast, or eastern PA, or in New Jersey, and who needs a golden retriever, may put DVGRR into their search engine and look at the adorable pictures of adoptable dogs.

My Sunny and Cassie were both breeder mamas and they are wonderful dogs.

Have a fun day, Love, Linda

Monday, February 21, 2011


Gloom we have always with us,
A rank and sturdy weed,
But joy requires tending.
                   -Barbara Holland

We had more snow today, and after a few days of sun and temperatures in the 40s and 50s, tonight it's 11 degrees. Everyone is tired of scraping ice from their cars and skating to and from work.

It's time for a break, to cultivate some joy in the best way you can.

Block off time on your calendar to stay home. Put off as many errands, chores and meetings as you can, or reassign them to other members of your family. Go rapidly through the house and pick up clutter - (pretend that company is coming in 15 minutes) Set a timer and do only what is driving you crazy.

Now . . . what do you want to eat?? Something warm and comforting, like macaroni and cheese? Loaded baked potatoes? Poll the family for the best ideas. If you like cooking, make something fulfilling as a group. If not, get special take-out from a good restaurant. The idea is to treat yourself,

Light a fire if you have a place for one. What should you do? A game? A special movie? A brand new mystery to read? No phone calls please. No Monday evening sitcoms. Something special, something to bring you joy. How about spending the day in bed, piled with good books, all your pets, and a fruit and cheese sampler to enjoy? A walk in the snow, followed by hot buttered popcorn and crisp apples?

Joy requires careful and comprehensive planning. Enjoy your joytime and plan for the next one.

Before you know it, spring will be here!

Have a wonderful day, Love, Linda

Friday, February 18, 2011

simple gifts

'Tis a gift to be simple,
'Tis a gift to be free
'Tis a gift to come down
Where we ought to be
And when we find ourselves
In the place that's right
'Twill be in the valley
Of love and delight
     -   nineteenth century Shaker hymn

 Today the sun is shining and it feels like spring. The dogs won't come in and their noses are twitching with all the glorious smells under the melting snow.

Deer tracks in the driveway . . .

              A banana plant in the greenhouse getting a BIG new leaf.

                                      Still snowy outside.

Leaving you with one more simple thing - a tiny promise of spring:

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Welcome to my blog

Hi, glad you stopped in. Please bear with me because the first post is apt to be pretty lame. One wants everything to be perfect, but of course it isn't, and I can hear the voices in my head (as well as the advice in Tara Frey's book Blogging for Bliss) urging me to jump right in, so here goes . . .

I plan to talk about life in the woods, life in my house and (warning) there will be lots of pictures and blather about my three dogs. There will be how-to sewing and craft stuff, tea party menus and "Adventures in Gardening in the Woods." As if I have not overloaded my computer-challenged brain enough, I am opening an Etsy shop in a couple of weeks called Sew Sweet and offering handmade mohair teddy bears, little girls dresses and baby things. So there will be an occasional plug for my store, assuming that I manage to get it online. 
And now for dog photos:
Cassandra Jean and Sunny Joy

Marley (Davidson)
Thanks again for viewing my blog!