Sunday, August 30, 2009


“God invented dogs to give us the uncompromising love that human beings need...we in turn give them the same kind of love,” - Steny Hoyer

When I am feeling battered by the world, our dogs climb into my lap and give me so much doggie love that I forget about whatever was making me feel down. A little doggie kiss on my arm, my hand, and then they lie on my body as if I was a, a throne....and they of course reign over all. How did I ever get along without them?

Billy is a big 17 pound Pekingese with a black face and beautiful dark eyes. Strong but tenderhearted, at 3 years of age he is the baby of the pair. He grew too big to be a show dog. Now he is a lapdog and he loves it.

Pumpkin is a tiny little guy, only 9 pounds of Pekingese but at 6 years of age he is very much the boss. He tells Billy what to do, and Billy says, "Okay, whatever you say. You need the big bed because you are the big dog. That's fine, I'll sleep in the little bed. I almost fit. I think I like it that way." They welcome everyone to the house, no questions asked. Guard dogs they are not. Loved to distraction is what they are.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Clouds, clouds, clouds

I've always been fascinated by clouds. When you are up in an airplane looking down on them they look soft until you fly into them, then they are kind of scary. I'm always glad when we break through them and can see the ground again.

Around sunset, the clouds take on a life of their own. When the girls were little, going down to the outlet of the Platte River in Northern Michigan to see the sunset was something we loved to do.

First the clouds would be very colorful, then slowly they would become darker and darker until the sun finally sank beneath the horizon. Then the mosquitos would attack in force...but that is another story.

Storm Clouds over Northern Michigan

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Roberto Assagioli said "Without forgiveness, life is governed by an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation." So sad...but so true. It takes a strong centered loving person to forgive, to understand that in forgiving I lift the burden of resentment off of my own shoulders. Forgiveness begins when I can remember those who hurt me in some way and wish good things for them.

In Obama's eulogy for Kennedy he said, "We should live our lives ..with purpose, love, and joy. Show those we love that we care about them. Treat others with kindness and respect." Yes, I try to do that always. I do not always succeed. Maybe I should need start by forgiving myself.

That is a good place to start.

Welcome to family and friends

Hi. If you are checking out my blog for the first time....thank you for your visit and welcome you are. I am trying to keep up with this new way of connecting with the world.

At first I thought that Facebook and MySpace were mainly for kids in high school. Now I realize that people of all ages are using these sites to keep in touch with people they love, but don't have an opportunity to see very often. That is a beautiful thing.

Oh yes...I need to explain the name Dede. When I was a little girl, that was my nickname. I liked the name, never really like the name Helen. When I was in therapy trying to get my head on a bit straighter, the Dede from my past helped me fix the Helen in my present. So I am grateful to Dede. You may find that strange, but for me it is a good thing. So call me Helen, Dede, Mom, Nana, Jama, Friend, or "Faucet Eyes".....whatever you like is fine with me.

May good things happen in your life today.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Zotchy Bathrooms

Watching the latest in bathroom renovations on HGTV and the astronomical prices...$40,000 to upgrade. In these declining real estate markets, there is no way these people will get much of a return on their investment. Luxury...oh yes. Marble floors with radiant heat, recessed lighting, programmed shower stalls, aroma therapy...the works.

But I remember my grandmother's bathroom with a big claw foot tub that you could sink into and disappear. Bubble, bubble. The floor was linoleum, and the wrath of Nana descended on anyone who spilled water on the floor. From a little window there you could see the roses spilling over the arbor and the Bachelor Buttons making a swath of blue along the garden wall. It was simple, it was shining clean, it was home, it was perfect.

When they show those fancy bathrooms, they never mention any roses climbing over the arbor just outside the windows, or pine trees that sway in the wind, or the rain falling softly on the window panes. But that is what I remember best...the sweet sweet smell of the roses and the pines.

Cocktail party conversation

Malcolm Gladwell has written several books that make interesting cocktail party conversation...Blink...The Tipping Point... and The Outliers. They are an easy read and some of his observations will make you think in a new way about how we learn, how we react to new events, how we judge things we look at, and how we excel. Being in the right place at the right time with the right kind of opportunity tips the scale in your favor. It also helps to be brilliant, driven, and obsessed. 10,000 hours of practice...10,000 hours. That's what it takes to become a Mozart, an Einstein or a Bill Gates. Pass me the chocolate...I need a nap.

Morning is broken, seriously!

Another chilly day in Michigan with the rain falling softly on the garden. The painter calls to say he will not come today. No surprise. The dogs say, "We are not going out there in the rain. Have you lost your mind"? I get another cup of coffee, decide to wait to buy any more stock, and pin my hopes on a late day rally.