“Never in the history of calm down has anyone calmed down by being told to calm down.” ~ Unknown
Look at this face. I’m in love with this little guy. I must be to get up at 7am on a Saturday to have him at the vet. Nothing’s wrong, it was just time for the yearly visit for Wally and the cats. Everyone is very healthy, although after the morning’s visit, three of four of us are now on diets. Leo is not (and Aunt Millie was SO pleased with him without his eye). After a wonderful lunch and grocery shopping extravaganza with Stacy, the afternoon weather was so utterly perfect – a 70 +/- degree difference from Thursday – that Wally and I sat in the sun for a bit. Before long, feeling energized by the natural Vitamin D, Wally got his spring haircut, albeit super early. He’s such a good boy. He stands still and never makes a fuss. Is he not the most adorable face ever? I’m so glad we found each other. What a truly beautiful day. And hey, it was mom and dad’s 56th anniversary. Bonus!
“I hope there are days when your coffee tastes like magic, your playlist makes you dance, strangers make you smile, and the night sky touches your soul. I hope there are days when you fall in love with being alive.” ~ Brooke Hampton
The most beautiful part of a sunset may not always be the sunset itself but the glorious colors cast to the east. The 2-Pony Ranch is beautiful all the time and I find it especially beautiful bathed in long shadows of golden light. Plus, long shadows are slimming and I’m all for that.
“A man who limits his interests limits his life.” ~ Vincent Price
This is, without a doubt, the best photo of the weekend and it’s fitting that it comes at the end of the best thing at Scarefest, besides my Okie peeps of course, and that was a lecture by Victoria Price. If her name doesn’t ring a bell, take a look at today’s quote. That’s Victoria’s dad, the totally awesome Vincent Price. Pam had met Vincent many years ago when she was working for American Airlines. It’s her story to tell, so I’ll simply say that he made a positive impression on her. Pam heard Victoria speak once before, so when I learned she was closing the event today, I went along. Just as Pam promised, her story did not disappoint. Even though the lecture is billed as a talk about her dad, it’s really much more, and that’s where it got really interesting for me.
Before today, I didn’t know anything at all about Victoria Price other than being he father’s daughter. Her presentation was about her dad. However, I found it to be as much about finding joy in the every day as it was about Vincent. The two are very connected. I’ve since learned that, several years ago, Victoria started a blog called Daily Practice of Joy. She has also authored a book called The Way of Being Lost: A Road Map to Your Truest Self as well as a biography on her dad. For those of you who’ve been following the outhouse for some time, you’ll know immediately why I enjoyed Victoria’s talk so much. I really appreciate how she’s using her relationship with her dad and his philosophy of life to spread a little love and joy through the world. I can’t think of a much better way to honor a loved one. He found joy in most everything he did throughout his life and encouraged his daughter to do the same. That’s a philosophy right up my alley! It was a lovely presentation, and meeting her with Pam was just a great way to end the weekend. May we all find joy in our every day.
“Without rain nothing grows, learn to embrace the storms of your life.” ~ Unknown
The last day of March has been wonderful. Catherine Brereton and I had a little business proposal that went swimmingly (stay tuned for that news). Me and the boy above got some overdue yard work out of the way. I played a little music. And then Stacy and I tried a great new Mediterranean restaurant. What a great day. Also, you might recall I mentioned Debra Faulk a few weeks back. She did her Tedx Talk rehearsal that we were all so excited about. I promised I’d let you know when it was available to see, and et voila, here it is. The talk is good, she’s still funny, and the message is always important. So, friends, enjoy the talk, enjoy this last day of March, and may it have been as awesome for you as it was for me and Wally.
“As we move from one year into the next, let us heal this hurting world with love and beauty. Let us live in hope instead of fear. Let us do the work we came here to do with peace as our guide. Let us shine for one another. Let us allow the movement of grace. Let us dream into one another’s hearts, remain open to possibility, and remember our true selves.” ~ Lori-Lyn Hurley
My faithful companions spent New Year’s Day with me. If we treat their ages as thoroughbreds, turning another year older on January 1 regardless of their actual date of birth, then Lilly is 10 years old today. Leo is an estimated 13 to 15 (it’s really hard to know with him, even for the vet), and Wally an estimated 6. I was scrolling back through the outhouse and found the day I got Wally in December 2014. He’s still as adorable and lovable as I’d hoped he’d be after we got to know one another. I wouldn’t take anything for him. I wouldn’t take anything for any of them. We four are off to a great start for 2018. I hope the same for all of you.
“When you are generous, sometimes people will take advantage. You may be respectful and yet some people will still be unkind. You may be a good person, and some people will nonetheless still treat you terribly… How you treat others is really about who you choose to be in this life… That’s how the world changes — one brave person like you being kind.” ~ Bryant McGill
Our Shero is surrounded by her three boys after an action packed day. For the first time since her accident she was able to take our Hero to one of his appointments. It made them both happy, and it makes me happy that she was able to regain her independence. They’ve both still got a lot of appointments over the next six weeks, but things are getting better. I count four blessings on my couch.
“When your spirits need a lift, think of the virtues and talents of those around you—one’s energy, another’s modesty, the generosity of a third, something else in a fourth. Nothing is so inspiring or uplifting as the sight of these splendid qualities in our friends. Keep them always in mind.” ~ Marcus Aurelius
Wally and I had a house guest yesterday. It was a special treat to entertain someone of the canine variety. Bianca AKA Binx AKA Little Dog AKA The Snake Slayer spent the afternoon with us while her mom, Crystal Heis, took Mr. Boyfriend out for his birthday. Friends of Crystal know Binx really well. She’s notorious for the number of snakes she kills. Some years back there was a healthy nest of garter snakes in Crystal’s garden. She kept a tally that year, and the next and the next, until word got around the snake world that Little Dog’s kingdom was not open to them. Binx’s fame grew; her hunting prowess became legendary. Chipmunks weren’t safe, and no cat with half a brain dare tread through her territory.
Binx hasn’t been well lately, but that didn’t keep her from being keenly interested in Leo and Lily after they made their way downstairs thinking the house was dog-free; lulled into a false sense of security when they heard Wally go out the back door. Binx wasn’t fast enough to give chase, but she was plenty energetic to keep them treed, as it were. There they remained until she finally needed a nap. When she wasn’t occupied with the cats, she was a great helper with the wedding photos. She’s extremely photogenic herself, and might be the world’s most photographed snake slayer. Naturally. Wally and I were honored to have a star in our midst.
“Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
When I first got Wally I took him to a dog park. He did great until two large dogs arrived. Then, he began to cower and he stayed that way until we left. That was over two years ago and I have assumed that he has a fear of large dogs ever since. Eric and Bree’s dog, Porthos, is a Great Pyrenees. When I took Wally with me last Saturday I assumed he would not have a good time because Porthos is just about big enough to saddle and trot a human around the yard at a full gallup. To my complete surprise Wally was actually snippy with the gentle giant. Porthos was, of course, cool as could be, completely unruffled by the little white thing barking at his ankles. Little wonder he’s a cool customer. He’s Bree and Eric’s dog, and I love him as much as I love them. Okay, maybe not quite as much, but I do love him.
“Change is tough… it also makes you better.” ~ LaTrisha Milton Blunt
When I first met Marcie she told me about her dog, Annie. She talked about her with a familiar love. She talked about her as I talked about my Sadie (1992-2009). I understand that special bond between a woman and her dog because I was lucky enough to have it with Sadie. There’s not a single day I don’t miss her, and not a single day I don’t feel special that she picked me.
They were living in rural Anderson County when Marcie told me about Annie. If memory serves, a torrential downpour had spooked the dog and she was missing. She was gone so long she was feared dead. And then, as country dogs do sometimes even after long periods of time, she miraculously reappeared.
When Marcie sold her house to move to Lexington there was some concern about Annie’s transition, being a country dog and all. Between Ann and Marcie, they helped Annie get her footing. Annie is a precious being. Not particularly fond of the camera, but willing because she came to greet me as soon as I walked in. She said okay to my lens, and that’s a gift from human and animal alike. She is as perfect as Marcie said, and just as kind as Marcie.