Summer Travels with My Dog #RoadTrip

After Zeke’s diagnosis of severe congestive heart failure, I decided this was going to be the year to embark on as many adventures as we could. Thankfully, Zeke is responding well to the medications the cardiologist veterinarian prescribed. Let the travels begin, I exclaimed!MnZ ferry

Travelling with a pet has its advantages. You can talk out loud and another being is listening. You can stop more often and take in the scenery, because after all, your travel companion needs a pit stop as well. Right? You can share a crummy hamburger that is just OK for your consumption but a delicacy to any dog.

The most helpful tool was having a Thule cargo box. Packing as much as I could in the Thule gave Zeke more room in the back of my Ford Escape, which he is accustomed to in our everyday outings. My goal is to make sure he will be comfortable on our road trips, to be able to stretch his lanky body and do what dogs do best: snooze.

The medications Zeke is taking has made me more keenly aware that he does require more water. So, we simply scheduled stops every 1.5 hours. Thank goodness I can get him to “go” when I suggest it. I also made sure we had more than enough water for the entire trip. I honestly feel that it helped me to be hydrated as well.

I learned a few things about this road trip that I want to share, and one very significant item is simply walking your dog during your stops. A rest stop for us humans is not fulfilling enough for our dogs. When we take the time to walk and exercise our dogs, they are happier, more at ease and that leads to less anxiety.

Dog walking etiquette is always essential, but on the road requires a special set of guidelines so that you show consideration for the areas you happen to choose. Use smart phone apps such as Road Trippers or Around Me to find locations that will work for your dog.

Most rest areas have pet zones, but stops for snacks or meals are different. Find a place to park that is not near a business and make sure you are prepared to pick up. Be discreet and be aware of others. It’s a bonus to find a park for your pet break, and I was able to do this with a road trip app for my smart phone.

Of course, the leash is the most valuable tool we have for dog walking! When Zeke was a puppy he chewed leashes on a regular basis. I posted a photo on Twitter of another leash destroyed and Fozzy Dog replied to my tweet. They are a local Boise, Idaho company and if they paid attention to my Twitter feed, then I was going to pay attention to their product. This was 3 years ago and my leash is still intact!

The best part of this particular leash is that there is a pocket to stash bags. Honestly, being prepared when walking your dog for a break during a long drive makes life easier. Dog etiquette in these circumstances is upon the owner. Be respectful of your surroundings and the others will respect you.

Zeke and I had a great time driving to the Washington coast, spending a week in Friday Harbor and then extending our stay with five days in Gig Harbor. Sunshine, water, friends, other dogs, community meals, laughter, barking, relaxing. A number of Zeke bucket list items were checked. Yes, our first long road trip was a fantastic success!collage-2016-07-17

#roadtrip #roadtripwithadog #fozzydog #dogetiquette

We All Want the Same Thing, Don’t We? #BeTheChange

I wonder if this is true, do you think that we all want the same thing?

Love

Peace

Freedom

Tolerance

Compassion

Understanding

BeTheChange

I could cite so many examples of what is troubling America, but instead, I prefer to take a different route, to focus on the positive. Positive action can be the catalyst to real change.

I have learned that when I let go of the worrying, I open myself to better circumstances. It’s a positive-negative magnetic occurrence. Be positive, good things come our way. Be negative and your world be as dark as your mood.

The best news story I watched this week was from Boise Police Department. Boise police chief visits with people on the greenbelt demonstrated how important it is to reach out to citizens. Boise Police Chief Bill Bones and Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway rode their bikes on the Boise Greenbelt Friday to meet and visit with people. I had no idea that Chief Bones is a regular on the greenbelt. Impressive. Right?

Another story was of a group of inmates that helped their guard get medical attention after a heart attack. This one gave me a chuckle and yet warmed my heart. They went out on a limb, and they were in jail. See, people do care!

Pictures tell a thousand words and the photograph of two Dallas police officers posing with a demonstrator clearly shows everyone present were eager for peace. See it here on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DallasPD/status/751222360867418112

Last but not least, this eloquent father said what this nation needed to hear Kudos to Kellon Nixon, kudos to you.

Don’t let the bad guys win.

#BeTheChange

#lifelesson #bepositive #healingnation

Be the Change We All Want #BeTheChange

I am home Friday night, darn near emotionally frozen over the grief and anguish from the news I can’t seem to get away from in America this week. Wait, this year. No, wait again, since 2001.

change your world

Discrimination turned in to fear. Fear drove racism. Racism turned in to intolerance. Intolerance turned in to paranoia. Paranoia turned in to conflicts. Conflicts began wars.

I am going to make this simple: set aside “what matters” for a bit while you read my rant. Tonight I am praying, really praying. I pray for the blame game to stop. I pray we as a nation can start a conversation. I pray for solutions. I pray for ideas. Most of all, I pray for the violence to stop.

The veil of hatred and bitterness has crept in to our lives, in our minds, in our actions. Why are we allowing this? We can block people on Facebook and Twitter, but we seem to allow poor behavior in comment threads. Often times, I don’t even share an article because the comment thread is so negative and abusive.

What the heck!

I say, start the conversation. Share what others are doing in their own communities to make a difference. Offer solutions in meaningful conversations. Work with your community leaders. Find out what you can personally do. Stop whining and start doing. Stop complaining and start volunteering. Stop pointing the finger and start helping others. Do something, damn it!

Let’s see the positive train influence us as a nation for the better. Here are a few items to get you going!

Boise police chief visits with people on the greenbelt

Inmates break out of cell to save guard suffering heart attack

 

 

 

Road Trip Summer 2016 Destination: San Juan Islands & Friends

This is my year to travel with my dog, Zeke, visit friends, see familiar sights as well as take in newly discovered spaces. In April, we went to Salt Lake City and Park City in Utah. Right now we are in the San Juan Islands, north of Seattle, Washington. Being here is just as if we were in the mountains but surrounded by the ocean. The best of both worlds!

IMG_2829
Me, Cheryl, Jenny

The past few days have been spent with sister friends that were a part of my new life after moving to Idaho in 1984. I was in my late 20’s, and moved to the Ketchum-Sun Valley area which turned out to be just where I was supposed to land. I met and continue to keep in touch with close friends despite the fact we have all moved back to towns that gave us opportunities in our lives and careers.  Our reunion this weekend has been full of laughter, smiles, jokes, stories, reminiscing about the crazy, silly things we did “back then”.

Pond day-PS
Jenny’s Pond, Pencil Sketch app

What we often forget is how we got to the place we are now. For us, we were meant to live in a picturesque mountain town in Idaho. Some of us have other special places that made the mark in our lives. Our destiny make take us on many paths; each one of us has a choice to follow one road or another. Hopefully, that route we choose will also helped us grow personally, professionally and spiritually. There is a special sort of bond to have lifelong friendships of picking up where we left off. We all have those. Or we should.

Pond sunset-PS
Sunset, Pencil Sketch app

An integral part of my travels this year will be with reconnecting with friends that have always extended the invitation to visit. I am going places. I will see new sights. I will be in the company of good friends and take in the love. I want to see the world outside my boundaries.

I do believe that I am in a discovery mode at this point in my life.

I am going to travel the road before me and see where it leads.

#lifelesson #travelwithmydog #friendships #happiness

 

What the Heck! Or #INeedABreak

Well, I have to tell you, this title says it all. I need a break from the daily news, I need a break from the election cycle, I need a break from the hot weather coming this way to Idaho and I need a break.

outta dodge

Come to find out, a person can’t even hide these days. Dang social media and algorithms finds us at every turn or juncture. Where in the heck is that cloaking device when we need it? Or better yet, the invisible cape? What the Heck!!??

Ok, rant over. I do have to admit that I am officially overwhelmed. News. Business. Me Time. New relationship that is making me uneasy (is it right or not??) Perhaps it is time for a much needed time away by myself – well, with my boy, Zeke – and get out of Dodge (is that supposed to be capitalized?) All of the sudden, my real estate business has come to the point of maybe just maybe needing help. {help!!}

Don’t laugh, you have felt the same way more than one time in your life, admit it!

So, this is my plan of action:

  1. Breathe in deeply and exhale slowly
  2. Remind myself that I can take my time
  3. Drive slower
  4. Take my life pace down a notch. In other words, say no sometimes
  5. Continue cooking healthier meals
  6. Drink more water – no problem in this heat!
  7. Love my dog more on the couch
  8. Spend time in my patio in the mornings for coffee
  9. Spend time in my patio in the evenings for quiet time
  10. Go to bed earlier
  11. Keep my exercise schedule
  12. Road trip to the San Juan Islands
  13. Give my tiny house as a place of solace for a true blue friend while I am away
  14. Consider a Stay Cation when I get back

Yes, that about sums it up. It’s going to be about me for the rest of the summer!

#lifelesson #metime #staycation #vacation

 

Disagreement Should Not Involve Guns #Love&Tolerance

Often I write my blog piece over the weekend and upload on Monday mornings. So, I am writing this on Sunday morning, trying to finish my coffee and digest the shooting in Orlando in my weary brain. God is sad alongside me this morning.

more love, less hate

I just do not understand hatred so deep that it moves someone to kill. I must be naïve.

Before Meet the Press was interrupted, Tom Brokaw stated it is time for this country to have the dialogue about these mass shootings and that these days, people have the attitude, “you got a problem, get a gun”. What kind of rationale is that?

It’s the kind of twisted logic that has emerged and is now in our daily lives. We live in the fear that no matter where we go, whether it is church, workplace, school, concerts, movies, restaurants, night clubs, airports, any public place; we have to look over our shoulders. Panic rules, and now we are asked to observe and report suspicious behavior. How did this creep in to our lives in America?

Let’s face it, this did not happen overnight. Shooting after mass shooting, nothing changes in Washington, D.C. This recent tragedy did not stem from an overseas terrorist, it came from a disgruntled citizen that just didn’t like “something”. His thinking was filled with disagreement over another person – strangers, mind you – and their lifestyle. All the other issues were secondary.

I read a Twitter post that stated what America needs is love and tolerance. I agree. This hatred and violence can no longer be the new normal.

I encourage comments. I encourage conversation on what you will personally do to make a difference. For me, that means speaking out. And, for me, this also means being more tolerant in my daily life.

It’s just not worth the tears.

#Orlando #love #tolerance #lifelesson #gunsense #PulseShooting

 

If You Really Believe #DoNotGiveUp

I sort of had a writer’s block for this week’s post, really I did.  But then happenstance came to my rescue. I was at my Chase bank branch Friday, and lo and behold my friend Steve Stuebner was in the line ahead of me. He told me great news. Let me fill you in on the story.

Steve and I worked together ten years ago as a group of dedicated individuals on a pathways initiative to expand the walk-bike (and more) system in Valley County. Steve founded this committee and I was honored to volunteer in the early days. This diligent group of locals joined Steve’s efforts to create the Valley County Pathways Committee, an organization with the goal of creating a pathways system possible throughout the Long Valley region.

pathways logo

We had lofty goals, but we also knew they were attainable with patience and time.  For many years, people from different areas in Long Valley had thought about the potential of developing a valley-wide pathway system that could be used for walking, biking, running, roller-blading, horseback riding, commuting, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. Our goal and purpose was to find a way to make this happen.

After listening to Steve give me an excited update of what has transpired since I was involved, I realized a very important life lesson. Now, I will get to the point.

If you have a goal, a purpose, a sight set on an objective, DO NOT give up. Ten years ago we hit a bit of a slowdown in our efforts. Steve did not give up on his passion for our goal, nor did the others that followed the original group. They remained committed, they stayed focused, they did not give up. Catch up on the terrific news: http://www.valleycountypathways.org/

So why should you? Why should you give up if you know deep down you will make a difference? I’m talking about goals that you have researched and know will work out in your community or in your workplace.

Then there are the personal goals. I don’t get this, but these seem to be the most difficult in life, aren’t they? Quitting smoking or cutting sugar in your diet or just working out at a gym. You know these kind of goals are good for you but darn it, the first step is as big as a brick wall.

Today I am going to the downtown Y in Boise. I am joining because they have great yoga classes and the workout room upstairs is roomy with great light from all the windows. I need to change up my routine since my dog Zeke is now unable to go the distance on trails with me.

I did not climb that wall that was in my way but I instead I opened the door.

#lifelesson #dontgiveup #changeisgood #justdoit

 

 

 

 

Cauliflower Tabbouleh #Raw #Vegan #Delicious

This Memorial holiday weekend was spent catching up on me time! I finished a project sanding and staining a couch & chair for my covered patio. I read a chapter in a book I am determined to finish. I added a few blogs to my Reader preferences in Word Press. Lastly, I watered my neighbor’s flowers praying they will recover from my forgetfulness.

cauliflower tabbouleh

Every now and then I am lured to Pinterest and I found some time to indulge “pinning”.  A quiet Sunday afternoon between projects fit the bill this weekend, and I proceeded to experiment a bit. First was research for anything cauliflower since I had this in my fridge. For some reason, tabbouleh popped in my mind. Hey, I’ve riced cauliflower with great results in other dishes, why not tabbouleh? So, how could I mix up a few recipes to adjust to my palate?

Riced cauliflower was the start of this incredible dish that will now be my summer salad keeper. I substituted mint for arugula since I had it on hand in my garden. End result? Amazing! This will feed 6-8. If you happen to have leftovers, I recommend livening the salad with fresh lemon juice before serving.

Recipe

1 small to medium head cauliflower, trimmed to flowerets

5 large Roma tomatoes, deseeded and diced

2 cups flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

1 cup arugula, finely chopped

1 bunch green onions, white & green part sliced

1 English cucumber, peeled, cut in half. Scoop out seeds, chop fine

1/3 cup quality olive oil

Fresh lemon juice from 1 large lemon

Zest from lemon – use a micro planer

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Place cauliflower in batches in food processor with S blade. Process until you have the consistency of couscous. Transfer cauliflower rice to large bowl and combine well with rest of ingredients. Serve at room temperature.

Bon Appétit!

 

Grief Wears Many Hats in Life #ItComesInWaves

They saw grief comes in waves, and for me it appears to be a tidal wave. However, I have a sturdy life jacket called joy that helps me face the challenges before me.

My dear, sweet companion and best friend ever, my dog Zeke, has been diagnosed with severe congestive heart failure. It seems just when I had all sorts of plans I have to adjust life again. Such is life.IMG_5960

Zeke has been by my side during the most difficult time in my adult life, namely when Paul died one and a half years ago. He watched me with those big brown eyes when I cried and each time came to my side to snuggle with me. Zeke knew what it would take to help pull me out of the grief and back to the present moment. Well, the present moment may also have been time for a hike. Or a meal. Or a treat. No matter what, he taught me to pick myself up when I found myself in a state of deepest grief.

At times, it was not easy and I honestly could not come up with a reason why I had to pick myself up. It did take time to muster the energy to even move at times. It seems so long ago and yet it may just come back again given this recent news. Knowing what is to come is a blessing and a curse, that’s for sure. This will be difficult but it’s not about me, this is going to be about giving Zeke the best summer of his life.

Even with medications, the prognosis calls for a summer bucket list. And, what better season do accomplish this! I have made the decision to pave the path for Zeke and I with happiness and fun.  I’m going to need help with this, so please ring me if you can help:

dog-paw-print (Custom)Chase a cat to the fence and touch it. Bear in mind Zeke only likes the chase. This was accomplished last week.

dog-paw-print (Custom)Canoe Silver Creek Preserve in Bellevue, Idaho

dog-paw-print (Custom)Go for a boat ride. Since altitude will be a factor in summer travels, Lucky Peak will do. Zeke has his own life jacket.

dog-paw-print (Custom)Ride in a convertible. Dog sunglasses optional.

dog-paw-print (Custom)Road trip to the San Juan Islands to hang with Jenny P.

dog-paw-print (Custom)Get paws wet in ocean water and get so sandy a bath will be in order.

dog-paw-print (Custom)Road trip to the Oregon Coast to see girlfriend, Olive. Zeke likes to tease her by nipping at her tail.

dog-paw-print (Custom)Altitude will prevent going to the mountains, but perhaps a ride to Idaho City will do and find a great trail.

dog-paw-print (Custom)Get in lake kayak and cruise flat water. Perhaps Sandy Point at Lucky Peak State Park!

Stay tuned for more!!

#grief #dogismybestfriend #doglove #bucketlist #lifelesson

 

 

Make Your Life Better by Being Kinder #SpeakWithIntention

Last week I witnessed, on a number of occasions, criticism that went too far. Complaining that went on and on. Opinions that were one sided. And as a result, feelings deeply hurt. This left me pondering, when did it become ‘okay’ to be so negative? Why can’t we wake up and smell the coffee and be grateful? Are we going to let the mood of our country affect who we really are?

ChooseHappiness

I’m going to cut to the chase. This 2016 election cycle is frightening. America is a great country, period. We enjoy a way of life that other people on this planet dream about. I always felt every American should go to a third world country for 30 days in order to appreciate what they have here.

It appears that we have become a nation of complainers. Often times, I won’t even share a story I find online because of the cruel posts in the comment thread. There are trolls on every form of social media, just appearing out of nowhere to ruin the day. Others post or share what they find online, never bothering to fact check a fabrication.

And, innocently or not, we have also begun to treat others poorly. We speak before we think. I am reading a book titled, Infinite Possibilities by Mike Dooley, and so far what I am receiving is that thoughts become things.

If I choose to be positive, which I am anyway, then that positivity is a gift to those I come in contact with daily. I will admit I need to remind myself of this, every day. If we choose to be naysayers, then our universe will be negative. Why on earth can’t we be grateful for the good things in life? Can you imagine how much better your own life would be if you changed your outlook?

Look at the news when they report pieces on those who have found a way to change their outlook over a life tragedy. These people found a way to overcome their disability or their situation and now are a source of inspiration to their communities. We can do that, too!

I choose to be positive. I choose happiness. I choose to be kinder. If I slip up, call me on it, would you? I no longer want to let the negative tone get any of me. It does not deserve it!

Think first, be mindful. After all, life is what we make of it.

#bekind #bemindful #thinkfirst #lifelesson