Monday, November 16, 2009

Journal: A New Week--Amusing Autumn Reflections

Re-Invention in Re-View:
(and a bit more lighthearted)

I begin the week gratified by the regular response of my friends here, and for your patience and indulgence as I strike out in new directions with my posts.  Sometimes it's hard to justify writing about art or animals or film or music when the events of the world are so thank you for allowing me to clear my head....and this space is designed as a safe place for anyone to do so....
I blurted out to Mark on the way to the gym that I am filling my life with activity, trying to re-emerge as a re-invented individual, because I have finally learned to enjoy the world, and make up for the time I lost being too complacent or too low in my view of life to care. And the result is going to be fabulous, and I am happy you, readers, (especially Mark, and Charles, and  Tom of Sophisticated Lunacy) are on this journey with me. 
 I fear that some day advanced age or failing health will force me to admit that I can no longer keep writing, or learn to play an instrument, or study a new language, or travel, or care for my dogs, or feel enthused about creative pusuits....So my furious levels of activity can be excused as a new growing pain, or staving off mortality, or simply enjoying the possibilities that are there for me as long as I am able to reach for them.

~I saw the first Christmas Tree of the season! It was in the third-floor window of a tall apartment building in downtown Arlington Heights.  I happened to notice the lights as I was in the car on my way home.   Had this occurred three weeks hence, I might have had the same rush of excitement at seeing the first robin of the Spring; but today, it struck me with the same sort of annoyed panic one feels when the first guest arrives at a party three hours too early. 

~Basset hounds are notoriously hard to train, and that includes housebreaking: 
"........How are they to train? Bassett Hounds are not the easiest breed to train. In fact someone said that you can train them to do anything as long as they want to learn it. They can be stubborn and slow to learn. The best thing you can do is start to train them young and be very patient. Also, rewards are a must in their training. They respond to treats even better than most breeds....."
Our error in bringing Maggie home in October was that the weather soon became too nasty to allow her to linger outside to learn the beauty of a grass surface  As a result Mark and I spent a lot of time paying attention to her bladder and bowel needs, and saving our floors and carpets.  Soon she learned that she would be taken outside whenever she waited by the back door...and, sly as she was, she often waited by the door not because she had to go, but because she wanted to get outside to eat june bugs, or chase squirrels, or lay in the warm sun, or put her snout deep into the snow...once inside, she would curtsey on her little rug....!  Annoying as it all was then, I would do it all over if she were back....and now, I hope she has a patient guardian of some kind, wherever she might be...

~Speaking of squirrels, they are so entertaining this time of year. The hole ten feet up in the trunk of our maple tree has been re-occupied by a nest-building mother.  Thick fur I noticed on the tails of the squirrels as they dash around storing food in the yard (and destroying the lawn!) indicates another cold winter.  We plan to set "squirrel food" (raw corn kernels) in Maggie's old bowl on the patio.  Sometimes as many as five of these creatures will feast together, then bury the remains everywhere.  We had a corn stalk grow in a flower bed this summer---even produced a couple of good ears!


  1. Hey are very inspiring to us shlumps out here who need a good swift kick in our complacent little lives...haha..seriously I get in those moods where I don't do anything (for no apparent reason) and just let life drag me through it. I need more motivation to get out there and fill up my life and you may have just pushed me in that direction!! Thanks!!! -Thom

  2. Thom, it's great to have you're always welcome here!
    We all have "fallow" periods....and times of natural energy and inspiration.
    I'm glad I can help energize you, just as so many have done for me!

  3. Hi Tom, thanks for the shout out and the kind words. It's always a joy to read your posts because they do serve to motivate me in many ways, key amongst them to think about new things or old things in new ways. Oh, and write. I'll never be able to keep up with your prolific mind but I can't quit now that I've started.

    Loved the anecdote about Maggie. Sadly we were partially unsuccessful in our attempts to potty train our two dogs when they were young and are paying the price for it. With them it's not about having to go, as they can go freely in and out of the house 24/7, but a question of whether something needs urine on it or not. Which is a point of disagreement we have. They seem to feel most things do and I feel than nothing does. Any suggestions for fixing this or will we have to just agree to disagree? LOL!

    Great post, Tom!