Tag Archives: Daily life

Are You Happy? You Can Be!

Heirloom Cherry Blossoms

Did you know you can take actions to make yourself happier? Apparently, you can.

I am currently taking an on-line college course that was offered for free by Coursera. (Not all Coursera courses have a free option.) I had never heard of them, but now that I am aware, I will be taking more of their free classes on my computer. The class I signed up for is through Yale University. Other classes may be provided by other institutions. If you want a certificate at the end, you have to pay, but I don’t care about that. I am auditing the course.

This class is about happiness. It is taught to Yale students, and during this time of Covid, they wanted to offer it to others who might benefit as well. I first became aware of the opportunity when it was mentioned in the newspaper. The name of this particular class is The Science of Well-Being. It lasts for eight weeks and requires about two hours per week of effort. Lectures are pre-recorded video clips and there are quizzes and a bit of home work. I’m having fun!

Double Daffodils

The lectures first tell you some of the science behind happiness and various theories, studies, and experiments. Then it moves on to how this pertains to us. I am learning a lot through the course and having a good time doing it. Some of the ways to be happier are not news. The one that everyone has heard about is gratitude.

Narcissus

Gratitude is an easy outlook to apply. Just look around you. What do you see that you are grateful for? I see flowers, plants, trees, and gardens that I am grateful for. If I look at my more immediate surroundings, I see dogs, books and magazines, and coffee in a gifted mug that I am grateful for. One of the dogs is currently gazing at me adoringly and that is a true blessing. And there are so many more. We have but to open our eyes and hearts and see.

What are you grateful for? Yes, I really want to know. There may be things that I am overlooking, and I care what others see as blessings.

Namaste. Peace be with you.

This Is My Bag Check!

Bag Check
Hiking Bag and Contents

Have you seen those photo ops called “this is my bag check”? Since I rarely go away these days, there is little point in doing my purse. Maybe it will be more exciting post-Covid.

But I do use this belt bag or fanny pack every day. I strap it on for hiking, to carry all my essentials. I used to keep these items in the many pockets of my parka, but with the changing seasons I kept changing coats and forgetting something.

So what do I take with me?

  • Poop bags-important on every outing!
  • House and car keys.
  • Face mask-a Covid essential.
  • Pepper spray-I never go on a hike without it since our scary run in with loose dogs. Encounter With Loose Dogs, Gone Bad
  • Tissues-I spared you those in the photo. Good to have when applying pressure to a wound, as well as the usual uses.
  • Cell phone-not pictured because I was using it to take the photo. Also useful for accessing maps, tracking distance, and as a compass.

Is there something unusual you never leave home without? Inquiring minds want to know.

Brighter Days

Shetland Sheepdog

Claire this evening.

Claire is the only dog who’s still awake at our house this evening. This is typical of most evenings. Our other dogs are passed out in various places around the house.

Claire is our youngest dog, but still, she’s six years old. She is not a young dog. We wonder if she spent a lot of time in her crate in her previous life. Everything seems new and exciting to her. She acts like she’s afraid she will miss something if she falls asleep.

When bedtime comes, she is eager to go in her crate. This is partially due to the fact that she receives a treat before bed. Once she finishes the treat, she quickly lays down and curls up in a ball with her tail over her nose. That is the last we hear out of her until morning light. We are thankful for this because in general, the girl likes to bark.

Sheltie

Claire’s happy face.

This is Claire’s typical look throughout the day. The first photo is her slowed down evening face. She still spends time jumping on and off the couches and chewing bones.

She is so full of life. She brightens our days and makes us smile frequently.

Snapshot into a Life with Multiple Dogs

Kitchen Doors
The doors that safeguard our kitchen.

Living with multiple dogs requires a certain way of life that many are not suited for. I appear to thrive on it. I certainly find the sacrifices that are necessary to be well worth it.

For instance, we have doors on our kitchen. My husband made these doors for us so our lives would be a little bit easier. And I am grateful every day.

We cannot leave food out on the countertop or on the stove without it being in danger of being taken by a few of our dogs. The cats are not totally innocent in this either. They have been known to knock loaves of bread on the floor for the dogs to eat. And the cats like to lick some of the things they find there. Butter is a favorite. And I don’t know about you but I don’t care to eat butter that has been licked by a cat. Or by a human either for that matter, but we don’t have that problem.

So, whenever there is a cake or pie, or any food, cooling in the kitchen, or the remains of dinner is still on the stove while we are eating, the doors are closed. You may have noticed the elastic bungee cord on the left hand door panel. This is because our animals will nudge the doors open if they are not bungeed shut. Our animals have us well trained.

If there is food out and you leave the kitchen even for a few seconds, you must close these doors. I walked from the kitchen to the hall pantry and back, which took me less than 30 seconds one day. Zekie, my no mistake dog, made me pay. The Day of the Bread Thief. Where once there were three baguettes rising, there were suddenly only two. The link above tells the excitement of that day.

You may also notice the bare board covering the baseboard to the left of the doors. That covers the remnants of the day/s Zekie had separation anxiety episodes before we had the super tough Impact Dog Crate for him. Story told here Salvation. In those days he eventually escaped every crate we put him in.

On one of the shelves you can see our apothecary jar full of dog biscuits. These are a necessity. Any of our dogs will immediately incarcerate themselves in a crate for half a Milk Bone! Don’t feel sorry for them. Several of our dogs will go in their crates by choice to have some time to themselves. The crate door is open, but no one can sneak up on them without their knowledge.

The calendar on the wall holds not only family birthdays and appointments, but the dates the dogs were given their heartworm prevention medicine and any flea or tick treatments. It also serves as a record of wormings, antibiotics, and other noteworthy things.

This simple picture provides such a snapshot into our daily lives. Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words.

A No Mistake Dog

People think smart dogs are easier. Sometimes this may be the case. Not always.

Zekie is wicked smart. He understands most things he hears. After I correct him several times for misbehavior and he doesn’t listen, I can ask “Do you want to go in your crate?” Only once in a blue moon do I have to follow through. He understands and capitulates.

He can figure out ways to do most things he wants. Opening bins, trash cans, and more. He knows to do these things when I am outside so I don’t catch him in the act.

Talk about brains. Yesterday, we drove past the parking lot where we often stop to go walking. We didn’t stop. We were going someplace else. Zekie whined as we drove by because we didn’t stop.

It is a challenge staying one step ahead of this boy. He is a no mistake dog. If you make a mistake, you pay. He is my kind of dog. I love him.

A Day in My Life

Today was one of those days where I got a lot of necessary things done. Those things that you don’t like to do, but it feels good to have them done.

Our township provides a dumpster that is at the township garage for one weekend each year for spring cleanup. Anyone in the township can use it to dispose of large items, until it is full. And you need to get there quick, before it gets full. Today was the start of that weekend. I hauled two loads up to the dumpster for disposal, consisting of an old, musty Christmas tree, a couple pieces of decomposing wicker furniture, and various odds and ends.

This afternoon, I spent a few hours doing various forms of paperwork for our dog rescue group. I worked on some financial paperwork, some filing, and some educational material. Not fun, but things that are necessary.

And since I was on a roll doing dog stuff, I decided to give three of our dogs their annual DHLPPP-type shots that were in the refrigerator. Followed by cleaning litter boxes and picking up poop outside. I clean up our dog yard every time the dogs go outside now, because we have two who apparently consider themselves to be connoisseurs of poop. Even so, I sometimes run around with the scoop yelling “drop it” while chasing the offender. It’s a fine line between following the defecating dog around closely enough to get there before one of the other dogs grabs the result, but not so closely as to interrupt the dog doing his business. Such is my life.

As a reward for a productive day, I made Indonesian stir fried noodles for supper. Noodles, vegetables, and fish. Yum!

Just a day in my life.

Watch Dog

Zekie got the loft bed, while Cassius got the lower bunk.

Zekie was happy with his location. He could see out the window to bark at the mailman when needed. He could also watch birds on the feeder and keep an eye on passing traffic.

Although that energy expended on being a watch dog apparently tired him out.

Not Enough Books

One of my bookshelves

We have been isolating because of coronavirus concerns. We have a high risk issue so the disease could pose a serious problem. And we know it will get worse before it gets better. Look at poor Italy, 368 deaths due to the virus in the last 24 hours.

I feel terrible not going out and being of use and doing the things I should be doing.

The thing that I miss the most about not going out is that I didn’t get a chance to stock up on library books before this hit. I only had five left when this started. I will soon have to resort to my own stash of books. I have three shelves of books like the one pictured above. There is always on-line books too. Although I will look pretty silly sniffing my tablet trying to enjoy that new book smell.

We do take the dogs out hiking when the weather permits, so at least we do get a change of scenery.

I pray that the infections are mild and the deaths are few in our country and the rest of the world recovers quickly.