Monday, June 17, 2019

To Quit or Not to Quit?

The question of 'to quit or not to quit,' I suppose determines on what it is I want to quit. Growing up, I always tried to persevere. It was rather drilled in to my head by my Mom. Never have I considered myself a quitter. 

Vince Lombardi

Give it a chance! That was my motto and still is. Without going into details, an example would be when a bump in the road came into my life toward the end of my freshman year in college, I did not quit. Instead, I promised my Mom that I would continue on with my education. I not only did this but managed to graduate a semester early. 

Somehow, I have always considered quitters as being weak and this was never something that I wished to be called. Determination and stubbornness won out for me. 

Then one day, I read an article about how quitting can be a very positive thing. How? Let me go into some real-world examples. The founder of Whole Foods dropped out of college several times over a six year period. When it dawned on him that all along what he wanted more than anything was to open his very own grocery store. And so he did...

Billionaire, Mark Zuckerberg quit Harvard to build his goal of Facebook. 

'The Rock,' aka Dwayne Johnson was originally a football player with the Canadian Football League. He quit to join the World Wrestling Federation. His success with wrestling led him into acting. He is one of the highest paid actors in the world. 

The difference with quitting in these examples and what I try to do for myself is ask this question: Is quitting better than just carrying on? Delving in deeper by doing some heavy duty thinking about what I am doing now...  is it helping me get to what I want to achieve.

Each individual must ask and answer this question honestly. "Quitting is not giving up. It is choosing to focus your attention on something more important." Osayi Osar-Emokpae put a whole new spin on quitting with this quote. 


Asking myself about why I am doing this and is this adding value to my life are important questions. 




Definitely not something to take lightly. To me, the biggest take away that I learned from researching quitting was that no one should feel bad about quitting if they did some soul searching first. All winners have quit many times and many of these times it was an important part of the journey in finding true happiness. 

Epilogue:  What made me research this subject was in writing my novel. I have had so many interruptions that I wondered if I should just put this goal aside. By asking myself why I started and would I accomplish what I wanted to if I kept going, I knew the answer! DO NOT QUIT! It will happen, step by step.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

The Real Story From the Two Dogs

Lola and Smiley may have their version of the Tale of the Two Dogs, but we are both here to tell you our version; the REAL Story as told by me, Davis, the black goldendoodle and by my little sister, Maggie Mae. 

Because I am the oldest, I get to go first. Everything was going along fine with me being the only dog in my house. I had all the love and attention that any dog could ever hope for. Was I spoiled? Totally! Who could resist my curly fluffy fur and my big brown eyes that I learned early exactly how to use, especially when I did something naughty, wanted a treat or was really in need of a back scratching.

The one thing that I must admit was just how much I love, love, love playing with other dogs. The only time that I get to do this is when Lola and Smiley take me to WGAC Doggie Day Care. This usually happens twice a week. It is so much fun and it made me start to think about how nice it would be to have a brother or sister at home to play with all the time.

And so the search began. My Lola and Smiley took me for a drive to see about getting a brother or sister. I loved going to this special place called Goldendoodles by Kim's Design because it is where I came from. Kim seemed to really love seeing me all grown up and gave me lots of love and hugs. 

We went into the kennel and as she brought out puppies one at a time, I must say that I was not that impressed. Until this one little female came out and both of our tails were wagging in unison. It was like an instant connection between us. She nestled into me and actually even pulled on my tail. She wanted to play. Somehow, I knew she was the one that we should take home. 

Lola and Smiley called her Maggie Mae. By the way both of our names are related to music, which is almost always playing in our home. Davis Miles (just switched around) is a play on their last name and then Maggie Mae is a favorite Rod Stewart song that they both like and came up with the idea together.

We are still in the puppy stage, but it is getting better. Maggie did not make it all through the night the first two nights. But by the third night? She did it. I kept telling her that someone would be out to get her early and to just hang on quietly instead of waking the whole house up in the wee hours of the morning.

I can remember like it was yesterday of the soft little whining that I would do and out one of them would come. Usually it would be Smiley. It takes Lola so long to dress. Geez! We only are going out in our private backyard.

I think that I made a good choice for a little sister. It is rather nice to have a constant playmate.



There is one thing though. When I am ready to nap and she is not? Well, she wins out because she is relentless. She even had my ear one day while I was resting on the hardwood floor and started pulling me across the floor like a dust mop. She can be a little hellion. And let me tell you, I have not taught her the benefits of tip-toeing. I can jump on on the kitchen counter silently but Maggie bangs into the cabinets and jumps up and down. She is only about 20 pounds but she sounds like a tyrannosaurus rex wherever she goes.



Even when I let her have the bully stick and lay on top of me while she is chewing it, sometimes she is like a worrisome gnat that just won't go away. But there are those times that just snuggling with her makes it all worthwhile. Plus once she finishes all of her puppy shots, she will be able to join me at Day Care and see how much fun it is to romp and roam freely. Then she will come home wanting to rest some too. 



I have taught her so much. Things like how to guard the front door, how to bark at any one who may be a threat like the UPS delivery person. I have tried to teach her that the FedEx delivery person is just fine because that is where Smiley worked. Even some of the workers that come to our house are okay. The way to tell is by listening to Smiley's voice when he talks to them. Plus, it doesn't hurt when they talk to us and tell us how cute we are.

We are very lucky, in that Lola and Smiley take us out for rides to run errands often. The drive-thru tellers at the bank and at the pharmacy always give us treats. When we go inside to Hollywood Feed, we end up getting several treats. I love that store and I can tell that Maggie does too. Starbucks give dogs a free puppuchino. They are soooooooooo good. 



I think this is one of her favorite treats. (Mine too!) Other things that I have taught her is how to counter surf. She can't quite reach but she is getting there. She and are play tag with tea towels or dirty laundry and run through the house passing it off to one another while Smiley is telling us to drop it. Maggie likes that game. 

There was a time that the back of the sofa looking out in our front yard and cove was only for me.



No longer! I am learning to share. Maggie makes sure of that.



There are times that she gives me my space. Especially after I have been playing hard at Day Care and just need to rest. She is a fast learner. I will hand over the story for Maggie Mae to tell now.




Maggie Mae here. Yes, I am laying out on the coffee table in the screened porch area. Lola can't resist this face that I think I am getting better and better at giving to her and to Smiley. You must put a little sadness and tilt your head a bit and POOF! Magic happens. They let me stay here. It is outdoor furniture after all. 



When she is trying to work on her blog or novel, I know that she really is wanting to take a break and talk to me and I have just the answer on how to make that happen. Resting my head on the keyboard will do it every time, along with giving a pitiful kind of lonely look. I am getting the hang of this.

In the morning, after Davis and I go outside for our business, Smiley always takes a coffee back to Lola while she is dressing. The best part of it? He lets us come too. I get so excited to go back and tell her good morning. As soon as the gate is opened, I go full speed ahead, bust through the door and slide across the hard wood floor and land on the side of the chest of drawers, get my balance and go flying into the dressing room ready to give her kisses. 

This seems to make her laugh and Davis just walks in silently. I heard Lola tell Smiley that she can remember the days when she never knew Davis had walked in the room. What fun is that? I say that we should make our presence known. 

The one thing that I don't quite have the hang of would be two little girls that come over now and then. The older one is like the boss lady. She tells Davis what to do and when to do it and he does it.



Bailey Grace actually had Davis stand on the stool and she got him to wrap around her. Then there is her little sister, Skylar. She cries whenever she sees Davis. She is still young and does not yet have the authority in her voice like her sister does. I don't seem to scare her so much.



Bailey held me so that Skylar could try to give me a toy. It would work better if I were on the floor but Bailey thought maybe I would not be so scary if she held me. Please take note of my brother in the background in his crate for this moment. Sometimes, Skylar will get some of his nuggets to feed to him through the crate. We will work it out sooner or later.
In a few weeks, we will have two more girls coming to visit. I have not met the twins just yet. Davis has and hopefully we will not scare them too much. I know all of the grownups will help. 




Kids and goldendoodles belong together.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Fountain of Youth

There seems to always have been a desire to have the fountain of youth at our disposal. No one seems to have the desire to age, or at the very least to feel the aches and pains of growing older. Let's not even talk about the wrinkles and such. 

Stories of just such a fountain, one that would restore the youth of anyone who drank or bathed in the waters have been told for thousands of years. As early as the 5th century B.C. by Herodotus, then more stories from the 3rd century A.D., the Crusades through the 11th and 12th century A.D. and waters were also claimed to be a fountain of youth by the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean during the Age of Exploration in the early 16th century.

Most of us have heard of The Fountain of Youth associated with the name Juan Ponce de Leon. He traveled to what is now Florida in 1513. Legend has it that he was told by the Native Americans that the Fountain of Youth was in Bimini and it could restore youth to anyone.



Many others tried to find these waters and some claimed to have found them, mainly to get in good favor with the people they ruled. POLITICS most definitely were involved. Eventually, a tribute to the spot where Ponce de Leon was supposedly to have landed, (although there is no historical or archaeological evidence to support this claim) was St. Augustine, Florida. There is proof that as early as the 1860's, there was a tourist attraction. Luella Day McConnell had The Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park created in 1904. She abandoned her practice as a physician in Chicago and headed to the Yukon during the Klondike gold rush of the 1890's. She purchased the Park property from a British horticulturalist with cash and diamonds, for which she  became known in St. Augustine as "Diamond Lil."



She began advertising this attraction, charging admission and selling post cards and water from a well dug that was to have come from the fountain. She even claimed to have discovered a large cross made of coquina rock, stating that it was placed there by Ponce de Leon himself. She continued to concoct tales that kept some amused and appalled others until her death in a car accident in 1927.

The manager of this tourist attraction bought the property and made it one of the state's most successful tourist attractions. There have been archaeologist digs, even by The Smithsonian Institution. They produced many burials and it was discovered that this Archaeological Park was in fact the first Christian mission in the United States. It is called the Mission Nombre de Dios. Also discovered, was that in 1565, it most definitely was the settlement of St. Augustine, making it the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement. 

Fascinating as all of this history can be for those of us who always want to know the rest of the story, I am not naive enough to believe that there is a for real Fountain of Youth. What I do believe in is Sophia Loren's description of the Fountain of Youth and I quote:  "There is a fountain of youth: It is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age."