Monthly Archives: March 2007


I’m feeling like a child
and wondering what to do
the earth is spinning faster
my dreams are coming true

A sense of what can be
overflows my soul
the light that’s growing brighter
solidifies my role.


Every time I’m faced with a career dilemma, I receive a call from someone who requires my freelance services. That’s telling me something. Lately I’ve been referring callers to a friend of mine whom I trust. It’s not that I don’t want the work. Sometimes the timing is just not right or the work is too much for me to handle on a part-time basis. Tonight I said yes, because it’s right. I felt it. Or should I say, I didn’t feel that I shouldn’t. I’m trusting my intuition, it’s not wrong. I’m opening up and I like where it’s taking me. Struggling with my intuition makes me tired, following it fills me with confidence and strength.

It may be a post-39 thing. My post-39 friends agree, just be quiet and listen. The answers will come. Perhaps I’m simply experiencing the wisdom of the ages. I love it!

I’ve subscribed to a new magazine called More. I like celebrating the freedom, confidence and the license to deny that comes with being at least 4 decades old. I must admit, I hid the cover a bit at the sushi restaurant when I took it from my bag. When I left, however, I flashed it around proudly. I feel strong, a little tired, but strong.

Peanut, Peanut Butter

It worked again! One bark and then she was back to it. I froze it this time so she was busy for a while no doubt. I’m afraid she’ll develop an allergy to the peanut butter if I give it to her everyday. Maybe I’ll try putting some mashed banana in the Kong. I think she still likes bananas. She likes them well enough when I’m eating one. 

She barked and spun in circles when I ran to the kids because one of them was coughing. Once I knew my son was ok, I put Mandy under calm control and she chilled out. That was good practice.

I was out tonight and when I came home she didn’t bark at all. I think the sitter may have been holding her back though, so that’s not fair. I praised her up big time anyway.

Day 4:  Still working on calm control. Barking manageable when home. Nothing soiled or destroyed. 


My live is full. Busy and joyful and fulfilling and worth waking up for. I love the madness. I love the excitement. I love being in it. I love being me. My house is messy, my kids are idle, my dog is frantic and I’m at peace.

Peanut Butter

This morning it was just Mandy and I so the routine was a bit calmer. I put peanut butter in her Kong and slipped out. No barking. Seems like a good trick, but I can’t say what happened when she found me missing.

Everything was intact when I arrived home. She’s hard to handle and doesn’t listen so well when she’s excited. None of us do, I guess. We took her for a walk and tried a game of fetch. She wasn’t interested in the toy she was fetching and found a piece of wood she liked better. The fetching was better with this, but she’s still not returing to me like the fetch rules say. We’ll keep working at it.

I’ll try the peanut butter trick again tomorrow. I want to play tug of war, but I can’t find her rope anywhere. I think she’s hidden it. Silly girl.

Day 3 retraining:  no barking, nothing destroyed, a little hard to settle down, fetching needs practice, barking still controllable when I’m home.

Good girl

This morning we shovelled and Mandy barked. So I brought her outside with us and got her to sit and stay on the step. She was exceptional. She broke her stay when I retrieved  the garbage bins, but she quickly returned when I pointed to her. I was seriously impressed. She usually takes the opportunity to scavenge at the neighbors, which has had unpleasant results.

Of course, when I left she barked. I’m not sure how she did all day, but there’s no “For Sale” signs on my neighbors’ lawns, so I’m guessing they are not completely annoyed yet. Actually, I’m pretty sure she spent the day in my bed…which is what I would have done given the choice. No messes when I arrived home. But she’s hard to calm down after being alone all day. She’s so glad to see her Mommy.

Our walk was a little pully, but pleasant. She reminds me that to a dog a walk isn’t just exercise, it’s exploring time and sniffing is a necessity. I give her grace and she appreciates it. This activity doesn’t do much for my cardiovascular necessities but it’s all about Mandy these days.

I think I’m going to try the fetch game outside. Before Doglogic Mandy would fetch and run away. Extracting the ball from her mouth was an act of wit and bravery. I now know what she’s thinking so I can anticipate and correct her. I’m going to practice with her right now. NB:  we’ll practice a bit more in the house.

Day 2 retraining – Carpets ok. Barking minimized when home. No new stains.   

For the love of dog

Yesterday an excellent dog behavourist made a housecall. I gained a lot of knowledge about my dog’s brain. Turns out 8 year old Mandy is exceptionally bright and I’ve done a good job teaching her the basic commands. She loves to work for “good girls” and neck rubs and this will come in handy as we move forward. It’s not going to be easy, however, to subdue her nasty barking habit—sadly a byproduct of her anxiety.

In an effort to ease her anxiety over being left alone, I bought and installed a wooden gate. This way she could still see the front door but remain confined to her warm, cozy basement abode.  As I was getting everyone into the car, my five year old came yelling. “Come see this Mom, it’s really cool. Mandy can jump right over the gate.” I moved the gate up a couple of steps. She make the leap effortlessly. I then moved the gate to the top of the steps. Check. She appeared contained so I left.

When I arrived at work I realized the gate to the main floor was also closed. This meant that if she did jump the new gate, she would be stuck on the stairwell between floors. No water and no toys, save for about 20 pair of shoes and a lace window treatment on my front door. I called for backup patrol. She had in fact jumped the gate and was a happy prisoner amid the risers.

For her safety, the upstairs gate was opened. Ironically, the same gate that was meant to keep her in the basement was now restricting her from roaming there. Checkmate. Did I mention Mandy is extremely smart?

On my way home I planned my next opportunity to return my latest purchase. At home I discovered that before she jumped the new $20 gate, she actually attempted to chew her way through it. Wooden splinters filled the foyer. I’m the proud owner of a slightly usable gate. 

And after our walk I also noticed a nice little brown package on the newly patched carpet. Thanks Mandy you’ve saved me a trip to Wal-Mart Customer Service and blended the new carpet nicely with the old.

Day 1 of retraining. Commands are going well. Barking under control when I’m home. Human interventions are failing. 


In those seldom moments when there is time to think about the past, you still have the choice to dwell or move on.  The past cannot be taken away. It is part of you. Scrape off the sweet parts and devour them. Sprinkle honey on the sour parts—they will caramelize and be easier to swallow. Conquer the past and consume it joyfully. Feed your soul the delicacies of what was and whet your appetite with what can be.


“I wasn’t thinking about anything,” he said.

She looked straight into his eyes. “Not the answer I was looking for.”

“Give me a break. You don’t consume every waking moment of my day. I do have other interests,” he said.

“Still not the right answer,” she said.

His shoulders relaxed. “But when I think of you, it makes me happy.”

“Now we’re getting somewhere,” she said.

View from the front

For the second time this year I went to our local comedy club, Mark Breslin’s Yuk, Yuk’s. I have to admit I feel a little sorry for the performers. The stage is so small, it’s like they are in a cage with 100 sets of eyes clawing them for humour. We enjoyed 4 performances, all very entertaining. The Headliner was an extremely funny woman named Kate Davis who gave it back and soiled my makeup. The banana bit was right on. I won’t share it, it’s worth seeing.

All this made me play with my own comedy routine while I was doing dishes this morning. I have kids and a neurotic dog so there’s a lot of material. 

I took my kids to Wal-Mart today. My 3 year old screamed for me to put stuff back on the shelves. Everyone looked at me like I wasn’t raising him right. 

My dog has a shrink because she has anxiety.  I spent $180 to learn the word “stay”.  That’s $45 a letter. Now I have anxiety.

My son threw a rock and hit me in the back of the neck tonight. I told him to go in the house. He told me he couldn’t reach me from there.

My dog is so smart, when her shrink was talking about playing tug of war, she ran upstairs and brought down her pull-toy. That’s pretty incredible. I have a behavourist because my dog barks at everything, except when the house cleaner is knocking on the door. She seems to like the fur on the carpet. I think she’s cloning a playmate.  

I like humour writing…