The five service pups I've raised...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Low Tide Ride- June 28, 2009

What a glorious June day in America's finest city. Today was the lowest tide of the year.

I was invited to participate in the Coronado Low Tide Stride and Ride put on by the Coronado Rotarians. It was wonderful and oh so very scenic. The early morning fog lifted and the sun was out by 8 AM. This was worth waking up at 5:30 AM on a weekend!

I met Celeste at 7 AM and we rode south from her lovely home in Coronado, 9 miles to Imperial Beach where we registered and then rode BACK along the hard packed shoreline of the Silver Strand as its called. This is an area that the military uses and it is typically off-limits to the public. So it made it extra special to ride the 8.2 miles along this lovely stretch of beach.

We eventually passed Coronado's grand dame - the Hotel del Coronado. The stride/ride finished just south of dog beach. At the finish line, there was even an area set up where they hosed the sand off our bikes and then re-lubed our bike's gears and chain. Nice!

Here is the finish clock at the end. We did a nice pace but did not kill ourselves. In fact we were the pacers for a guy jogging who's aim was to keep us in his site as we peddled along.
My only sore spot was my tushy! I should have worn my padded biking shorts even if they are warm. The protective padding would have helped. I thought (mistakenly) my own body's padding would be plenty.

The view as we rode was so stunning; the crashing of the waves, glistening sand dollars on the beach, pelicans diving head first into the surf for their breakfast.
The photo below was the hardest part, that is pushing my bike through the powder sugar sand at the end; very challenging after a 17 mile bike ride.
Kerry was waiting for me and was happy to take a romp in Celeste's neat year, and play with her lab and golden kids - Navaro, Asta and Gail.
This is Kerry here on the porch with Celeste's kids.

Saturday, June 27, 2009 old do you think ...?

“If you didn’t know how old you were, how old would you think you were?”

Recently I have been struggling with components of getting older. Southern California has its focus on youth and appearance no doubt so it is a brutal place to age. I’m as vain as the next person, however the idea of injecting stuff into my face does not appeal to me in the least. And the way some people appear so altered (Wayne Newton and Cher come to mind) seems sad in a way, their attempt to freeze time.

But what bothers me more is my body’s response when I ask things of it that used to come with ease. I never needed glasses, now I need my magnifying readers to see some print. If I crouch down to play with the dogs, my knees which never gave me problems seem to lock up and I have to get up slowly as they “unlock”. (I try not to do the moan as I slowly rise, and I think geez – now I look like one of those old people who’ve “fallen and I can’t get up” commercials!) So comes the various aspects of a body’s aging. But I suppose what’s most alarming to me is how rapidly these changes seem to have arrived; just in the past year or so.

A birthday card said: “If you didn’t know how old you were, how old would you think you were?” This gave me pause to think. Really think. I guess since I’ve not married nor had children, my family is still my core family, the one I grew up with. So having not done various life milestones it seems my mind still has me thinking like a much younger person. And certainly in my spirit I am still only in my 30’s, - a child of my parents, a sibling to my remaining sister and brother. In my spirit I do not feel my current chronological age.

But still the dilemma; how does one age and not let the challenges of aging bring one down? I suppose it’s a healthy acceptance of what one’s body can still do, and striving to do behaviors and activities to be as healthy as the Lord intended I be at this age, within my natural means.

I was reading Dr. Andrew Weil’s book “Healthy Aging” where he writes of people not respecting what their bodies are capable of, as they age. For instance he writes, men often push themselves too far playing a sport their 30 something body could play but which their 60 something body should not be playing – and doctors see them in the hospital with an injury that will take much longer to heal and which may just give them fits well into their advancing years.

Dr. Weil writes of his mother Jenny who at 89 went in a small raft in Alaska to see whales close up…and at age 90 went to New York City with a much younger friend. Upon arriving in the city, Jenny got right to business. They walked to the MET from her friend’s apartment and in route came across a street fair where Jenny went from stand to stand. Then got to the MET and they viewed the entire Impressionist section. They then went out for dinner and finally to the theater that night. When finally back to the apartment the younger woman was ready to collapse, but Jenny said “that was a really fun day but I wish we could have done more”. What a zeal for life! That’s what I hope I always have.

And so, as much as I can I will stop agonizing over the new wrinkle in the mirror and the effects of gravity on my body parts, my creaking knees, and struggling eyes. I will acknowledge and then release these new challenges my body is presenting me. Rather I will celebrate life and thank my body for what it provides me still.

If you didn’t know…how old would you be?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Goodbye, Farewell

What makes goodbyes so difficult? Is it because it’s the end of special times you had with that person? Do the goodbyes make you realize the times you enjoyed together you wished you had cherished more? Or perhaps, knowing that going forward, you won’t have that special person’s company to enjoy as you have in the past.

For whatever the reason, everyone knows that it’s just plain hard to say good bye to a friend and not feel a knot of sadness at the departure; even when there’s adventure and excitement on the other end for them, where they are going.

And so it was tonight for our dog park gang. Time to say goodbye, as Rose, her daughter Mariah and golden doodle Molly leave tomorrow to head north, up the coast from Encinitas, CA all the way to Kenai, Alaska. A big move! She leaves behind family, her job at the elementary school, and her friends and neighbors -some she’s known for 12 years.

While I don’t know Rose super well -I am very fond of her. Many a night we chatted and talked about family, careers, men and dogs. Once we even went to town for a dinner and some wine. She is a great listener and easy to share with. I’ve known her for a little over three years and Rose is just one of those people that can make you feel so at ease; with a quick smile and an easy laugh. We had a great send off party for her on Saturday night, and it was easy to see how well liked she is by many, as there was quite a turn out. It's a fun group that is quite a mix of varied people = married couples, singles, families with teens and also young families with wee ones; and what originally brought us all together was the love our tail wagging fur friends. ...and Molly -now Rose's golden doodle is about the most affectionate, sweet girl you could ever meet. So eager to please she even comes to lean against your leg when you're scolding your dog, just to let you know it's not her that's in trouble.

At her party on Saturday night, we gifted Rose a hand-crafted scrap book with our messages and photos of us with our dogs. It brought her to tears. But it was the perfect gift as it will provide her sweet memories of her friendships left behind, but always just an email or phone call away.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Freedom of Speech

Today Miss California was removed from her "office". I won't lose sleep.
it was reportedly for being outspoken on her opinion that marriage should be between a man and a woman. Now excuse me, but since when is an American not permitted to have their own position on a topic?
also in the news, a young student wanted to present a report on Harvey Milk - the first openly gay political representative. Her school said not until her class members had permissions from their parents to hear the presentation.
The ACLU got involved and said the student's rights of free speech were being violated and the school had to permit her to do the presentation and apologized.

I see an alarmingly trend toward intolerance of one side here, oddly enough the side that so often gets condemned for just such intolerance!

Weekend Retreat

Well the bags are packed (almost). The dogs have sitters to watch them for the weekend.

And we're ready to head to La Quinta for some weekend sunshine and scrap booking at Dusty's retreat - see here:

I have not been over for awhile, but her "season" is closing and we (Lyn, Lisa and I) are the final booking until the fall when Dusty's retreats begin once more.

Dusty's is the perfect place to relax and really make some progress on what ever project one is working on. For me, I will do journaling to FINALLY finish my Turkey/Greece albums from my trip in 2004.

Dusty said we could bring little Miss Francie so she will get to play with Inoki (age 10 months) and Jonie, Dusty's release CCI puppy (now almost 3 yrs I think).
I can't wait to introduce Francie to swimming!

Here's a funny photo from when Dusty and some CCI friends did the "decorate the dog" contest at CCI's volunteer appreciation party a few years back. Yep if it stands still long enough we scrappers WILL decorate it

That's sweet boy Ever, my 4th CCI puppy I raised. He was so calm and such a trooper to let us decorate him as part of the contest. We also had to make up a story that coincided with his "duds". And that's Jonie, Dusty's pup she was raising then.

I'll try to post more when I return on Sunday from our desert get away.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The End of a Nation

This quote strikes home.
As California, is fiscally bankrupt. (We spend more per month providing services for immigrants that are illegally in our state than the US spends on the war in Iraq.)

Here is a quote that captures our future if this nation's politicians do not come to their senses:

A quote by the late Dr. Adrian Rogers, 1931-2005
"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom.
What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.
The government cannot give to anybody, anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any Nation.
You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Dog Days of Summer

Molly, our favorite Golden-Doodle turned three today.
So Rose, Molly's person, threw her a party on the green belt. At one point we counted 21 dogs, but I know there were more as the evening wore on. That's Molly above, flanked by Ronie on her left and Kerry on her right- all wearing their birthday bandannas.

We pitched in and got Molly a set of RoughWear Grip Trex hiking books to protect her paws when she moves to Alaska later this month; as come winter she will need them.

Molly in true spirit, allowed Rose to put them on her and as awkward as they must have felt she pranced around trying to figure out exactly what were on her feet..."you call this a birthday gift?" she must have been thinking. "Bring on the birthday cake!" We fired up the grill, and while we were short enough charcoal, the kids had a ball attempting to roast their marshmallows on skewers to make s'mores.

Here are some photos from the party - that's Rose and Molly showing off her new RED boots. I'll also add a video of Kerry trying on Molly's boots yesterday as the video from today's party didn't turn out so well.

Fun to think how all we neighbors have formed our little doggy community, joined together by the love for our 4-legged friends.

Kerry in the parking lot at the green belt trying on Molly's boots: