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Author Archive for Joan Courtney

Mom’s Cold. Time for More Bedding.

Duff here. The thermometer registered 12 degrees when Mom returned from Her early morning Walk the Other Day. We go out earlier for My Constitutional, but that Sashay is relatively brief. Her walk Lasts about an Hour. And She was Very cold when She came back through the Door. I was Content, but apparently felt Cool To Her Touch. The Drill goes like this: Mom’s cold. Therefore I must be Too. But please note: I was Minding My own business, Lying on My End of the Sofa. Living unstuck.

After She encased me in a heavy Towel, Mom warmed another blanket in the Dryer. She placed that One on Me too, in hopes I would Warm up. (I think the Situation would have improved mightily if She was the one Wrapped in the warm Blanket.) Satisfied She had done her Duty as a Doggy Mommy, She moved on to other Errands. After a Short While, I was panting. A Lot. I slid out from under the Covers and Lay on My Back in the middle of the Room. I was Cooling off. Now that’s living unstuck. I appreciated Her concern, but Enough. And all was Well.

What about You? Do You have Friends or Family who do Well meaning things for you? Have You found: Some Things are appreciated, while Others may go overboard? I recommend: Follow My lead and thank them. Then Do what You need for Your Own well Being When The Time is Right. A Caution: Don’t be within Arm’s reach when Mom gets Cold. Live unstuck. #unstuckliving#carefrommothers

A kind word (or deed) warms three cold months.

—Japanese proverb

The Past: A Place of Reference or Place of Residence?

The past is a place of reference, not a place of residence.


Duff here. My past has been full of Eventful Deeds. I began as a Puppy, with all that entailed. So much to learn! How to Sit. Standing very Still for Mom to get my Harness hooked Up. How to Heel. When to get into My Carrier, My safe Place. A funny story about that: Years ago, after staying at A Wonderful kennel, Mom came to Pick Me up. The owner of the Facility was puzzled by My lack of Training. She asked my Mom to Watch. Then pointed to My carrier and said, “Crate!” I stood there and looked up at her, then Mom, concerned I had not Done Something correctly. Not living unstuck.

The Owner turned to My Mom and commented on My lack of Obedience. Mom started to smile, Which did not help The Situation. When asked what She did, Mom sheepishly said, “Hip hop in Your carrier, Duff.” And in I went, like the well Trained Canine I am. Now I understood. My Frame of Reference was clear. I was living unstuck. And I went on from There, learning Much of what the World had to teach me. Not stuck in The Past. And there’s more to Come.

How about You? Are You using the Past as a reference to Move on to Other Adventures? Or is It a Residence where You have camped out? I say: Time to Pack up Your Tent and Move along. You never know what Will be waiting for you. The Journey is risky but Oh-So-Rewarding. Time to Stretch. Live unstuck. #unstuckliving#stuckinthepast

My Early Christmas Gift

Duff here. When I was a Puppy, Christmas was a very Special Time. Good Food was always cooking on the stove. Baking and candy Making was ongoing. The Aromas throughout the house were delectable. My Doggy Daddy made sure I was outside the kitchen proper, but You can be sure I was right at the Edge of that marvelous Place. During the Season, That was Allowed. I am still persistent when It comes to munchies and Such. With My pleading Puppy Dog eyes, I live unstuck.

Mom forgot I was a Puppy (how could That happen?), and placed a Food treat under the Tree. It was beautifully wrapped, with Ribbons and Sparkly paper. And what was Inside Smelled so good. Simply irresistible. There was No One around when I Stealthily snuck over to the Package. I carefully picked It up and carried it to My Abode. Mom caught on when She heard the gentle tearing of the Decorative wrap. But by then, It was too late. I had the parcel opened and Half the Treat devoured. How Mom laughed at My cleverness. But You know, She learned from That experience. Forever after, My Gifts were placed under the Tree only on Christmas Day, period. Living unstuck Her way.

How about You? Have a Memory of an Early Christmas gift that was Supposed to be a Secret? (But You discovered It.) Bet You were wiser than I was, and carefully rewrapped The Package once Opened. Now that’s living unstuck. I say: Look around the House at This time of year, for You never know what You’ll find. Just remember to Act Surprised when the Gift Giving commences. Live unstuck. #unstuckliving#sneakysurprises

Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.

—Charles Schultz

You Are Such a Light

A candle is a small thing. But one candle can light another. And see how its own light increases, as a candle gives its own flame to the other. You are such a light.

— Moshe David

Duff here. Mom and I have many Good Friends who are Jewish. Their Celebration of Lights begins on Sunday, and We want to honor the Holiday. As the Story goes, a small Quantity of oil, to light The Temple’s Menorah, miraculously lasted for eight days. It’s amazing to Me that There was enough Oil in that vessel to continue burning for that long. A True Miracle! To recognize the Event now, Gifts are exchanged and parties Thrown for that Length of Time. My goodness. Now that’s really Living Unstuck.

On another Note, a Friend of Ours who is Jewish holds a Special Place in My Heart. He took it upon Himself to help Socialize Me when I was Younger. He had Many Dogs. And He thought I might be lonely, for I am a Single Canine. (There’s just Me in Our home.) He thought perhaps His dogs could Light the candle of Friendship. Mom dropped Me off at His Place, and He gently introduced His Pups to Me. Alas, I am a Shy Dog. I was having none of that and immediately scooted under the Steps of the Porch — no unstuck living that day for me.

Do You have Friends who are Jewish? I say: Help Them revere the Occasion and wish Them A happy Hanukkah or Hanukkah Sameakh. They will appreciate Your Thoughtfulness and may even Share the History of that Time with You. My Friend did with Mom and Me, and We have long Remembered it. Happy Hanukkah! #unstuckliving#happyhanukkah

The Season Has Begun

Duff here. Mom stepped out of the car at the Post office. And stopped Short. There was Santa’s Workshop. And all those twinkly colored Lights! Christmas is here. The Season has begun. I hopped out of our Car (just to Please Her), and She hooked Me up to My Leash. Off We went to enjoy the Sights. My Problem? I’m so Close To the Ground I couldn’t see The Glittering Effect in all its Glory. Mom tucked Me under Her arm so I could get Far enough off the Ground to appreciate the View. (I was more interested in Touching The Bulbs with My nose but to each His Own.) Talk about living unstuck.

The Lighting is up early This Year, and the Warm Feeling of the Occasion is oh-so-appreciated. Mom took Some Pictures to share with You so you could enjoy The Glow of The Lights too. I personally Think the reason the Lights have such an Effect is: It’s time for some Fun. Some Lighthearted Joy. Some Happiness. Some Peace. That can’t come Too Soon, Right? Living unstuck.

How about You? Do you travel about, Taking in the Christmas Lights? Gather up family and Friends and make an Evening of it? I say: The time to Do so is Now. Join Me and Cut loose. Celebrate the Season. You’ll have a Warm Feeling inside. I did. (Or perhaps it was Because Mom was Holding me, Keeping Me warm.) Live unstuck.

It really is the most wonderful time of the year.


Maintaining Your Road

So many signs along the road as I go for my morning walk! Some are about upcoming events (Dance! Friday night!). Others to locate a lost pet, complete with picture, description and contact number. Then, there are road signs. Dead End. No Right Turn on Red. School Zone. But the one that intrigued me was: Primitive Road. Caution. Use At Your Own Risk.

Roads, especially the dirt ones, are a specialty of our rural areas. What makes for a well-built road? First, they are graded to become flat and smooth. The best ones have a slight crown in the middle of the roadway to allow rain or melting snow to drain away. A very durable material of surface gravel, stones, and fine dirt is then dumped on the area and smoothed with massive pieces of equipment. Next is a layer of finely compacted earth, designed to be long-lasting to the weather.

But after a while, washboarding occurs. That’s the choppy ride you get when traveling over five mph on this jarring surface. The road itself resembles an old-fashioned washboard, hence the name, and if you speed along, can even be hazardous. Potholes can also be menaces, threatening axels and alignments of cars. But to repair and maintain them, huge graders are brought in. They take about an inch from the top of the surface, blend it with new materials and lay it back down. The road is smooth again.

The sign and the road are like life. At a very early age, you begin to build a foundation of belief and knowledge. This is similar to creating a smooth road and is indeed Primitive. The sources of this base usually come from your mom and dad, other family members, school experiences and sometimes your church. As a baby and toddler, you are cautious, for the world is new to you. Slowly, you build a framework of know-how. What is successful is retained, while you toss that which is not useful. Over the years, you develop a pattern of life for yourself.

But every now and again, a pothole pops up or you hit a washboard. Life is bumpy or even treacherous. Your experience from the past cannot cover this new event. Perhaps it’s the death of someone close to you. Or the failure of a business you started up. Or the frustration of not dropping those pounds that appear to be glued on permanently.

You can choose to stop there. After all, the sign says, “use at your own risk.” But then you take a chance on getting stuck where you are, never venturing out to new horizons or trying new venues.

But how to positively maintain your road? Here are some ideas:

  • Check out your beliefs. What was useful in the past may not always be what works in the present. And may not fuel those dreams for the future.
  • Test your risk quotient. Take a chance and venture to somewhere new. Do something you’ve never tried before. Stretch your horizons.
  • Take a look at your personal potholes and washboard situations. A relative rub you the wrong way? A friend try to put limits on your life? Start the day with a negative outlook? Time to grade the top layer? Or perhaps dig deeper and sort through some of the stones and gravel of learning placed there years ago? Take an inventory and make some changes.

Life is an adventure. You can keep on traveling the washboard of experiences. Or begin new adventures to smooth your life and enjoy growth for your heart and soul. The time is now.

If You Are Really Thankful

If you are really thankful, what do you do? Share.

—W. Clement Stone

Duff here. I have so much to be Thankful for: a Warm bed at night, Kibble and Bits in My doggy bowl, Frequent Walks with Mom, Playing with other Canines My size, meeting New Friends. When I live in that Place in My Mind, I am unstuck.

But right Now, I am most grateful to You, My gentle Reader. I share my Views of the World and am thankful You take the Time from Your Busy Day to read my Musings. You revel in My thoughts and Undertakings. At times, My ponderings may take You deep Inside of Yourself. But at other times, you may Laugh at My antics. I love it When You respond to My Ideas. Touches My heart and makes Me feel special. I hope you feel Important too, for You are Indeed. It’s all part of Living Unstuck.

At This Time, I would like to Wish you and Yours (including Your Four Legged Fur babies) a Very happy Thanksgiving. Thank you again for Traveling this Road with Me. What an Adventure it has been! And there’s More to come. Happy Thanksgiving. Live unstuck. #unstuckliving#thanks