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Posts from the ‘Personal’ Category

2018 Word of the Year: Peace


 

Happy New Year!  We are back from taking a break over the Holidays and we are getting caught up and back into the swing of things!  Many people write new year resolutions.  I concurrently write down my goals for the year, which I recently finished, while also reflecting upon last year, but I have found it more helpful to have a word, an intention, to focus on throughout the year.

This year, after reflection, I decided the word peace would be my word for 2017.  Last year I chose the word relax; in 2016 I chose present; in 2015 I chose flow; in 2014 I chose trust; and in 2013 I chose the word create.  Also, My Intent offers custom bracelets and necklaces containing one’s word as a reminder of one’s intent, while spreading positive energy.

Peace defined: /pēs/ noun 1. freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility.

I decided that I want to have more of a sense of peace than last year, which was quite intense, in many ways.  So Doug and I are making a concerted effort to enjoy each day and incorporate as much tranquility and peace as possible this year, and we are hopeful and excited to see how this year unfolds.

Are you considering selecting a word for yourself (or letting one find you)?  There is no right or wrong.  The main thing to remember is that this is your word.

And what do you do with this one little word?  You live with it.  You invite it into your life.  You let it speak to you.  You might even follow where it leads.  There are so many possibilities.

Happy New Year!

Happy Pawlidays!

“Dogs truly are able to see into our souls and remind us of the true meaning of Christmas.” — Unknown

Happy Pawlidays!  Thank you so much for a wonderful year!  I am very grateful to you readers!  Thank you so very much for reading the blog — it means so much to me.

Below is the front and back of our Pawliday card along with our matching envelopes using custom stamps and little seals of our beautiful little Victory!  (You can view our previous Pawliday cards hereherehere, here, and here).  Sending our Pawliday card is one of my favorite parts of the Holiday season!  This is my way of sharing our Pawliday card with all of our blog friends!  Thank you for reading this blog for however long or short you have been visiting!  I truly enjoy creating content for the blog to share with all of you.  We hope that you have a wonderful Holiday!

 



We are traveling over the Holidays and will be taking a brief break from the blog to enjoy some down time.  I will return to the blog in January 2018.  Meanwhile, if you are in a blog-reading mood, you are warmly invited to visit the archives — the links are shown below.

Dog Related posts

Dog Rescue posts

‘Dog-Centric’ Artists Interviews

For Artists posts

Photography posts

Personal posts

Victory Related posts

Happy Pawlidays!

2017: Wrap Up

We cannot believe this year, 2017, is coming to an end already.  This year has been punctuated with important milestones: Doug turned forty this summer and reached the career midpoint of fifteen years.  And, after nearly five years of work, I finished the final edits on my long-term photography project examining the relationship between dogs and people; and I continue to work on the forthcoming steps on my project.  Other highlights from 2017 include celebrating Doug’s birthday; enjoying long weekend trips to Dewey Beach and the Shenandoah Valley; celebrating Victory’s sixth birthday; and enjoying several visits to Maryland’s Eastern Shore for crabs with our fur girl, Victory!  Additionally, we vacationed in Charleston, South Carolina this summer and truly enjoyed lazy days by the ocean!  Below is a snapshot of images representing our 2017!

We look forward to seeing how 2018 unfolds; however, most of all, we are grateful for the many blessings in our lives and we do our best to appreciate everything while remaining present.

“May you live every day of your life.” —Jonathan Swift

 

Around Here: December

Happy December!  We cannot believe that it is almost the end of the year and the December Holidays are here!  Below are some items that have occurred around here in December!

-continuing to work on the next steps concerning my long-term photography project.

-enjoying date nights together!  However this month we did not try any new restaurants!  We’ll try again next month.

-making more dinners at home together, and here is an old favorite that we made this month!

-took Victory to see Santa for the fourth time!

-had our first snow this winter this month and the temperatures are cold — winter is here and it is here to stay!

-this weekend I took Victory on her last Hound About walk/ride for the year!

-gave Victory her last bath for the year!

-finished and sent out our Pawliday card!

-finished our Christmas shopping!

-continuing to work on getting fine art prints made, framed, and hung in our home, an ongoing endeavor!

-finished the third season of Broadchurch, a good series.

-finished Alias Grace, a really good series.

-started the second season of The Crown, an excellent series.

-began reading Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield.  I hope to get some reading done over the Holidays!

-listening to a myriad of podcasts, especially, at the gym and on walks!

-continuing to make incremental progress on our ever-growing to do list!

Happy Monday!

 

Weekend Outing!

This past weekend we took Victory to the historic downtown of Mt. Airy, Maryland and Winchester, Virginia.  We all had a nice time together and the weather was very nice, especially for December!  We even stopped at Zaxby’s and Victory got a kid’s meal!  A few images from this weekend are shown below!

Happy Monday!

 


Around Here: November

Happy November!  We hope that you had a nice Thanksgiving!  We cannot believe this year is coming to a close so quickly and the December Holidays are quickly upon us.  Below are some items that have occurred around here in November!

-still working on finishing final edits, which are very tedious, while continuing to work on the next steps concerning my long-term photography project.  So very close to finishing!

-continuing yoga class this month, which has been great!

-started acupuncture earlier this fall, which has been really beneficial!  I highly recommend it.  (I was skeptical at first; however, I have found many benefits.)

-enjoying date nights together!  Doug and I are aiming to try at least one new restaurant a month to expand our horizons!  This month we tried Facci and Kloby’s both of which were really good!

-we are soaking up what little warm enough whether there is to take Victory out on walks in her Hound About!

-we subscribed to Texture, which provides many magazines at one’s fingertips via the iPad!  We love it!

-we celebrated Thanksgiving!

-finished our Pawliday card and photo calendar for 2018.

-started our Christmas shopping, and we’re almost finished — thank goodness for online shopping!

-continuing to work on getting fine art prints made, framed, and hung in our home, an ongoing endeavor!

-finished the first season of Mindhunder, a really good series.

-finished the second season of Stranger Things, also really good series.

-began reading Slow Motion by Dani Shapiro.

-listening to a myriad of podcasts, especially, at the gym and on walks!  (Here is an interesting podcast on dogs and how their great sense of smell impacts dogs’ world view).

-continuing to make incremental progress on our ever-growing to do list!

Happy Monday!

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Happy Thanksgiving, my sweet readers!  Have a wonderful break.  Victory is ready for some yummy turkey and fixings!  We are feeling really grateful!  Have a delicious holiday!  xoxoxo

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” —William Arthur Ward

(Photo by Vanessa Rees for Saveur).

Helping a Grieving Friend


 

Patrick O’Malley, a grief therapist, who lost his infant son, wrote a beautiful  Modern Love essay a few years ago.  Also, somewhat recently, he came out with the book Getting Grief Right about how each person’s grief experience is different — and everyone’s story is worth telling.  Below is his insightful advice…

What NOT to say

O’Malley points out that these sayings imply that there is timetable for grief:
“Time heals all wounds”
“You have to move on”
“Grief happens in stages”
“I hope you find closure”

These next phrases, he points out, are by-products of a culture that rewards positivity:
“He wouldn’t want you to be sad”
“It’s important to stay busy and productive”
“This will make you stronger”
“You have your whole life ahead of you”
“At least you’re young enough to have another child/remarry”

What to do and say

Here are some of O’Malley’s wonderful ideas of ways to help a grieving friend:
–Simply say, “I’m very sorry.”
–Bring a meal on the two-month anniversary of a death.
–Send an email to say you were thinking about the grieving person or the one they lost.
–When you are with the bereaved person, say the name of the one they lost.
–Do not assume there is a timeline to grief.  An email a year after a loss could be more meaningful than one a week later.
–Remember the bereaved on holidays, birthdays, anniversaries or any day that you know has special meaning.
–Offer to visit, but always let the choice be that of the bereaved person.  Offer, “I completely understand if the timing is not good.”
–Be curious about the grieving person’s relationship to the one they lost.
–Bring up your own memories.
–Offer to listen to a grieving person’s story.  A bereaved person might be looking for a safe set of ears, a place for the story to land.
–Above all, make sure he/she knows that the one they lost has not been forgotten.

In the memoir Lament for a Son, a professor writes about the loss of his 25-year-old son, who died in a mountain climbing accident, which gave a true description of grief: “Rather often I am asked whether the grief remains as intense as when I wrote.  The answer is, No.  The wound is no longer raw.  But it has not disappeared.  That is as it should be.  If he was worth loving, he is worth grieving over.  Grief is existential testimony to the world of the one loved.  That worth abides.  So I own my grief.  I do not try to put it behind me, to get over it, to forget it…Every lament is a love song.”

Also, from Anne Lamott: “Death; wow.  So f-ing hard to bear, when the few people you cannot live without die.  You will never get over these losses, and are not supposed to.  We Christians like to think death is a major change of address, but in any case, the person will live fully again in your heart, at some point, and make you smile at the MOST inappropriate times.  But their absence will also be a lifelong nightmare of homesickness for you.  All truth is a paradox.  Grief, friends, time and tears will heal you.  Tears will bathe and baptize and hydrate you and the ground on which you walk.”

This video, Moving On, from Ainslie Henderson is so heartbreakingly beautiful and worth watching…

 

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!  I cannot believe how quickly the time is flying by that it is already time for Halloween!  Victory was a fifties girl last year; a lioness two years ago; a butterfly three years ago; a ladybug for her first Halloween, four years ago; and, this year, she is Wonder Woman, shown below!  You can see over the past four years how much Victory has changed!  Victory will help us hand out candy tonight in her costume, along with her pumpkin masterpieces carved by Doug, also shown below.  Doug spent a few hours carefully and diligently working on his Halloween friendly ghost-themed pumpkin!  Additionally, here are links to pumpkins carved by Doug last yeartwo years agothree years agofour years ago; and five years ago — mostly all dog-themed pumpkins!

We hope that you all have a wonderful Halloween!

 

 

 

Around Here: October

Happy October!  October is one of our favorite months of the year, and we cannot believe it is almost coming to an end!  This month literally flew by.  Below are some items that have occurred around here in October!

-still working on finishing final edits, which are very tedious, and continuing to work on the next steps concerning my long-term photography project.

-Doug and I celebrated 9 years of marriage!

-to celebrate our anniversary, we took a trip, with Victory, to the Shenandoah Valley!  We had a wonderful time together!

-we celebrated Victory’s sixth birthday, commemorating her four years with us since her adoption from the Michigan Sheltie Rescue!  We had a gold, white/ivory, with a splash of champagne themed birthday this year!

-we are excited to celebrate Halloween next week!  Doug has his plan for carving our annual pumpkin; and Victory, shown below, is going to be Wonder Woman for Halloween this year — we truly believe she is our wonder girl!

-started back at yoga class this month, which has been great!

-enjoying date nights together!  Doug and I are aiming to try at least one new restaurant a month to expand our horizons!  This month we tried Sweet Nolas in Winchester, Virginia.

-enjoying time together outside.  We have been taking more walks outside during the evenings, when it is cooler, and Victory still loves the walks while she rides in her Hound About!

-continuing to work on getting fine art prints made, framed, and hung in our home, an ongoing endeavor!

-began the second season of Fortitude, a good series.

-finished reading Cultivate by Lara Casey.

-listening to a myriad of podcasts, especially, at the gym and on walks!

-continuing to make incremental progress on our ever-growing to do list!

Happy Friday!  Have a great weekend!