Peace Begins with Me

Enzo is the main character in Garth Stein’s book, The Art of Racing in the Rain. “Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs).”

Enzo (or Ensō, both are correct) is also the name of a Zen circle, a Buddhist symbol that represents infinity, “no-thing.”

For me, that symbol translates to simplicity, minimalism, a meditative state, and enlightenment which I define as “Recognizing that we are all connected, then consciously living that realization—our thoughts, words, and actions an unshakable reflection of that understanding.”

Zen is an enlightened state of mind. It’s also a way of being—living. As we close 2017 and look to writing the pages of a new year, my mantra is “Peace begins with me. Right here. Right now.”

Will you please join me?

Incidentally, The Art of Racing in the Rain is one of my all-time favorite books. If you haven’t read it yet, please carve out time and gift yourself with the opportunity. You’ll be glad you did.

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Shouting Doesn’t Help

The road trip to my sabbatical location wasn’t much different from watching “I Love Lucy.”

SCENE: 70 mph, five lanes, one fork, two exits, lots of traffic, freezing rain, and slick road conditions at dusk. Oh, and did I mention the frequent bounding of mule deer across the highway?

LEN says: “There’s a fork in the road up ahead. When you veer right, stay in the left lane because the road we need to take is across from a shopping mall on the right.”

LAURIE shouts: “What?!”

SIRI grumbles: “Recalculating route…” (but I’m sure what followed under her breath was “Ay-Yi-Yi” with a Ricky Ricardo accent) as we missed the turnoff.

Hint #2 — The cat where I’m living during my sabbatical is usually indoor/outdoor. However, because wolves are down from the surrounding mountains hunting for food—one seen as close as the neighbor’s porch—he’s strictly indoor at this time.

“I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” —Robert McCloskey, American author and illustrator of children’s books

Can you relate?

Reminder, the caveat of the Looking for Laurie game stipulates: “The first person to type the accurate city and state of my sabbatical location into the comments section of the Mar 28 post will receive a personalized copy of Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth for themselves or as a gift to someone else.”

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Honda Fit — Barely!

Dog lovers that we are, when we’re out running errands, we typically notice when other drivers are transporting their four-legged friends around with them.

Recently we were behind a small Honda Fit when all of a sudden a big beige bottom belonging to a Mastiff filled the back window. Quick research on my iPhone told me:

“Massive is the word that comes to mind when you first see this dog. Other breeds might match or come close to his height, but the Mastiff outweighs them all. He’s considered the largest breed in the world and can weigh 220 pounds or more.”

Click on the photo to enlarge. Look closely at each side window.

While discussing that astounding fact, we turned the corner behind them. The change in direction must have jostled an as-yet-unseen slumbering giant. Before we knew it, TWO mastiffs—each with their head out a side window—filled the back.

Len and I laughed and almost in unison said: “Honda Fit—Barely!”

What was your most recent barely fit, tight squeeze situation?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Seeing Spots

Mary Engelbreit is famous for her quote — Everyone needs their own spot — and her colorful, smile-inducing artwork. And while she was referring to dogs in this quote (a big nod to Willa here):

I think everyone needs their own spot, too — as in location. Some indoors, some out, I have several. Here’s one example:

In addition to any animal companions you may have in your life…

Where’s one of your favorite spots?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Sidekicks and Sidecars

After the Writers’ Institute last week, Len and I rented a car and drove to Crown Point, Indiana to visit with dear friends. Along the way we saw the following sight: a man with his companion animal in the sidecar of his motorcycle. It’s hard to see in the photograph, but that’s not a muzzle on his dog; it’s straps to hold on his goggles. I love it!

Traveling companions

We smiled, waved, and laughed, as did other people in the cars around us. Clearly this traveling duo enjoy each other’s company—immensely. It was a real “feed good” moment to witness.

Len and I travel together well. Sometimes—especially when he flies—I’m in his “sidecar.” Other times, he’s in mine. Regardless, we always have a wonderful time.

Who frequents your sidecar?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Before and After

Willa, our vertically challenged Irish Wolfhound (thanks to a healthy dose of Old English Sheepdog), normally has long, thick, wiry hair.

Willa 12-01-2013

Willa’s BEFORE coat – long, thick, and wiry

Getting ready for spring, we took her to the groomer and asked for a “puppy cut” (even though she’s almost 9), where typically only 1/2 to 1-inch of the coat remains.

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Willa’s AFTER coat – sleek as a seal

A haircut is just one example of before and after, there are a multitude of others:

  • Things I wish I’d known before ____ (fill in the blank)
  • Redecorating/remodeling
  • Weight loss/gain
  • Manuscript editing
  • Taking a stand for/against something
  • The list goes on

Much like Willa’s haircut, many “afters” turn out spectacularly; some, not so much…

Are you pleased with your most recent “after?”

 

© Laurie Buchanan

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Reading, Writing, and…

Every Monday morning we drop Willa off at day camp after driving through Starbuck’s for a puppaccino—a vital part of the weekly routine.

Not on the menu, a puppaccino is a small, complimentary cup of whipped cream for your pup that you can get along with a paid-for item.

After check-in, we leave Willa at “school” where she socializes with other dogs, interacts with humans (both male and female), and gets her toenails trimmed without fear.

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In the back left you’ll notice a pool for supervised swim time.

When I think about my years at school, I learned several things that serve me well. Aside from reading and writing, the most important skill I learned was typing—something I use every day.

In addition to reading and writing, what’s the single most important thing you learned in school?

© Laurie Buchanan

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