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Archive for Recoup

The Power of Naps

Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap.

—Barbara Jordan

Duff here. Naps are the Very Best. I take them Quite often, for They restore My Spirits and give Me energy for What’s coming up next. After all, You never know: It may be something Big. Or small. It could be a True Adventure. (Mom and I are good at that.) But haw sad it would be if You were not Rested, Ready for excitement and Frolic. That would be Stuck indeed.

When I nap in the Winter, I like to be Totally covered Up. You know, with My fleecy Blanket over Me to snuggle into for Comfort. But this is Summer, and I have a Different Mode. All I need is for My nose to be tucked in and warmed Up. The rest of Me is just right, accepting gentle breezes and Pats alike. Living unstuck. How about You? Are You an advocate of timely Naps? Or do You avoid Them at all costs, concerned You wouldn’t sleep That night? I say: Give it a Try. Your Patience and good nature will be Restored. (You might even regulate Your temperature by Sticking Your foot out from under the Blanket.) That’s living unstuck. #unstuck-living#the-power-of-naps

Doggy Day Camp

Triple D Boarding photoHello! It’s Duff. I recently returned from Doggy Day Camp at my favorite boarding facility. It’s a ranch (can you imagine?) with wide open spaces and many other Dogs to play with. I stay in the Small Dog area, for that’s where I belong. The owner tells mom that my favorite activity is to check out the perimeter of that Spacious Pen. My secret is: that’s where other Dogs have marked their territory. I check out the lay of the land, for one can’t be too sure. And then I play to my heart’s content. It’s nice to have some time off from my Job of comforting people. I live unstuck.

Before mom’s trip, when we begin to head toward the Camp, I’m unsure of where we’re going at first. Halfway there, though, I begin to get excited and jump from the car’s front seat to the back. Doggy Day Camp! And when we make the last turn, I am beside myself. I add a side-to-side jump. And even bark and excitedly whimper. We finally arrive and mom releases me. I bolt out of the car and greet the ranch’s owner. Next, I am let into the walkway and the play area. Nary a look back, for mom’s okay doing her thing. I’m doing mine. Living unstuck.

How about you? Do you take little weekend getaways? Mini vacays? Big Vacations? When do you get excited? When the vacay is coming? When you finish packing the car? Beyond the city limits? Is that when your tummy does a little flip? And you are free. (If you were like me, your ears would stream in the wind). I say: enjoy the time. Frolic and play. Revel in the new and different. I do and would highly advise you to do so, too. Live unstuck. #UnstuckLiving

Life is best danced to the song of your heart.

—On a decorative tile

On Goof Ups

When you foul up . . . don’t turn goof ups into give ups.


Duff’s Thought for the Day

Duff here. Have you ever made a gaffe? I mean, something so horrendous you wish you could crawl in a hole and disappear? I did that last week. Every spring, I have this yearning to go outside in the middle of the night. It’s spring. It’s warm(er). I’m ready.

Last week was the time for my big gaffe. One night, while I was in my carrier (Dog Cave), I thought it would be great fun to pant. Then whimper. My bed is at the foot of my mom’s. She immediately woke, filled with concern over my well-being. When I was released, I went to the living room and waited for her to put on my halter. Out we went and I meandered around. Completed a Very Small “Business” and we went back inside.

The next night, I did the same. Mom was trained and got me outside. This time, I disappeared up the hill. Mom was in an unfashionable get-up (long johns, hoodie, boots…you get the picture) but she tracked me down. Home we went.

The following evening, mom put me in the office. The computer is there, sporadically beeping all night. There is a small light which I was unaccustomed to. This time, I thought it a good idea to bark. Up the ante, so to speak. Mom came through the door and explained in no uncertain terms how that behavior was unacceptable. Night time is for sleep, apparently. My gaffe was horrendous and my tail was between my legs. My spring break was over. But I still live unstuck. Just more so in daylight hours.

Have you made a springtime mistake, then got corrected? What did you do? How did you handle it? She Who Must Be Obeyed was insistent that we get sleep at night. I say: you might consider if what you did is a battle . . . or the war. Whatever. Live unstuck. #UnstuckLiving

Share your comments below on my thought for the day.


Enjoying the Little Things . . . on the Mountain

As I went on my walk yesterday, I began to delight in the pleasure of paying attention to trees. So many kinds, shapes and varieties of trees here on the Mountain. I can recognize them by their bark, their leaves, their height. But to really know a tree, I have to watch it closely: where it stands, how it moves, its relationship to other trees.

Think about the mighty Ponderosa pine. Tall, with branches clustered toward the top part of the tree. Strong, sturdy branches with flexibility to manage powerful winds. Massive roots anchor the tree firmly into the ground. This infrastructure runs deep to tap nutrients from the belly of the earth. If its bark is thumped or cracked, it quickly grows a new layer to heal that wound, that scrape. Evergreen is the name of this tree, for its needles grow day after day and are constantly replenished. As the old, dead needles drop to the forest floor, they create a soft carpet to insulate the ground below. This begins the cycle of decomposition as bugs and beetles burrow in to break down the load. The roots are able to absorb the nutrients, promoting further growth.

Next is the juniper. Sturdy, hale and hearty, it grows wherever it can get a foothold. Its branches are shorter and stubbier, giving durability a new name. Its shape is like a bush, more rounded to withstand heavy snows and drought. This plant also features buds, complete with yellow pollen in the spring to ensure new beginnings.

And then, there is the aspen tree. The Mountain is gifted with vast stands of aspens. Their gray-white bark is in sharp contrast to the brown of the pine or the juniper. The aspens grow as a community: their root structure supports the entire group. The runners grow out, then pop up to develop into yet another tree. They grow close together, supporting each otherl Interconnected, they nourish the clusterl To me, the aspen is a graceful tree, bending as the wind ruffles the leaves. And those stands of golden leaves in autumn are a sight to behold.

All of these trees weather storms, parasites and insects. They handle droughts, floods, heat and cold every day. And they continue to flourish and grow. Perhaps their bark gets bumped or scraped. They have to have time to grow back together. If attacked by an insect, the trees have to have the time to mend and repair. They can regulate their own resources to heal because that’s Mother Nature’s design.

You also have these resources, these capabilities. Your roots travel deep into your past, bringing experiences you can use to further your forward momentum. Learnings and teachings are gathered from many different situations over the years, providing knowledge and wisdom for growth and development. You, too, can repair and heal. Just as a tree needs time to grow, it needs rest during the winter before spring growth. You also need time to take a break, to take a look at where you have been and savor the moment. Your mind reaches to the sky for inspiration and creativity as your roots reach for nourishment and sustenance. You are in a perfect place to feel your connection with all that’s around you as you live on the mountain. How do you feel as you make your connection with outdoors?

I’m curious: How do you tap into your inner resources?

How Do You Recoup?

After AFC and NFC playoffs last weekend, two teams advance to the Super Bowl. Huge headlines, celebration in locker rooms, jubilation among the fan base. But to have that happen, two other teams also had to lose. Gloom and doom. Dark Skies. A dreary outlook.

The Jacksonville Jaguars had a fairy tale season. Blake Bortles stepped into the breech and did his best to lead the team to a victory. The team played well together and coaching was superb. But when up against the New England Patriots, the best in the league, it was a challenge to come out on top. Not this year.

The Minnesota Vikings played their hearts out. The week before they made playoff history by becoming the first-ever team to win in a walk-in fourth-quarter “Minnesota Miracle” touchdown pass. Some said the reveling after that game took the wind out of the Viking’s sails when they faced the Eagles last Sunday. Just not up to par.

After having the best season in this century, Coach Marrone of the Jaguars told how this loss was right under a death of someone who is close to you. It takes a while to settle down, unwind from the frenzy of competition and take stock of the situation. But grief is also Mother Nature’s finest motivator. Like a reboot of a computer, it’s time to begin the practice of moving toward a win again. But not until the healing is complete.

Are you like me? You have had opportunities come your way. You have worked hard to achieve that goal, but somehow it eluded you. Or you were courting a lady, hoping for the best. But it didn’t work out. Or you were dreaming of a vacation. But your husband fell ill and you didn’t go. The remedy for recovering? Take time out and step back from what’s happening. Do something different. Enroll in a class. Perhaps even take a short weekend getaway. A breather is good. And when that new perspective comes your way, you’ll be ready to take life on. Live unstuck. #UnstuckLiving

Leap and the net will appear.

—John Burroughs