Saturday, April 10, 2010

Creativity Time

This I know about myself -- I need creativity time every day. I need sensory pleasure every day. I need fun time every day. I need outside time everyday. Sounds like a lot of needs huh? But, each of these needs can be quite simple to fulfill. It really only takes a little taste of these things for me to feel happy and get my need tank topped off.

Today, for example, I made muffins. I know, so small. I love to look at cookbooks and recipes and blogs about food. I love different foods, different tastes and focusing on organic, wholesome but oh so tasty food. So last night I found a very interesting sounding recipe for Lucia muffins. They have saffron and golden raisins and almonds and sounded just interesting and different enough to ignite my creative spark. I went shopping following dinner with my BFF -- off to Trader Joe's we went in search of semi-exotic ingredients my kitchen did not possess, such as saffron and buttermilk. I felt excited thinking of my morning with my honey and making homemade muffins. You have to understand that generally breakfast 7 days a week for me is oatmeal with a variety of fruit and yogurt. Honey makes himself his own granola with oatmeal or peanut butter toast. So this felt like a special and fun Saturday morning 'Occasion'! Why shouldn't Saturday morning, or any morning feel like an Occasion?

They were glorious - golden/orange from the saffron, not too sweet, almost like cornbread in texture, the golden raisins giving them a hint of sweet deliciousness. What a small simple pleasure. We added fresh squeezed orange juice from our tree, sliced bananas and strawberries and the meal was a culinary experience for a king and queen.

Creative energy in the kitchen - great start to my Saturday. Now off to fulfill my need for the great outdoors. What do you need?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Letting Go Again -- Good bye Precious Jewel

It was almost exactly one year ago that we said good bye to my dear orange cat Willy. Now we are readying ourselves to say good bye to PJ (Precious Jewel or Puddle Jumper), our mini dauchund. PJ is 16 years old, well 16 and 1/2 Jay informed me. She has lived a very long and happy life. Jay got her as a cute little puppy, oh so adorable from the pictures I've seen.

PJ came into my life 5 years ago, when I began my relationship with her owner, and I was smitten right away (by both of them). I loved how excited she would be to see me, and how much she loved to sit in my lap. Jay would joke about how I was now her best friend and how my lap was the perfect lap. It did seem every time I'd sit down, there she was immediately. Her needs were simple -- her people around her, or being allowed to go with us wherever we might go. Being very small, it was easy to take her with -- to relatives, the store, a drive. She loved to ride, and you guessed it, she rode on my lap.

I discovered she was quite fond of catching whatever morsels might fall while I made dinner or prepared my salad for lunch. She'd come running from wherever she was as soon as she'd hear the chopping, then sit absolutely still, eyes glued to my knife, waiting. A bit of lettuce would fall, no thanks, but drop a piece of carrot, and she was on that in a heartbeat. I took to giving the pretense of peeling the carrots, in the vicinity of the garbage, but allowing the pieces to fall to the ground around the can, where PJ would happily gobble every bit. I discovered she liked more and more of the vegetables I ate and the fruit as well, so morning fruit chopping became another favorite time of day for her, apples and bananas her favorite.

We have taken trips with her, ridden our bikes with her in the basket, given her baths, clipped her diggers, and watched while she practically inhaled pieces of chocolate (yes, she was fed that on a regular basis and she loved it). She woke us up excitedly in the morning, hopping and jumping so happy to see us. She has always been a complete love, giving her love to us so very generously and we have truly enjoyed her companionship.

For my sweetie, this is an especially poignant time. He always knew this would be hard. They have been companions for 16 years. She was the child he never had. I believe he learned a lot about nurturing and care from having her in his life. Together we bless these memories, bless her for being so sweet and count ourselves lucky for having known her and shared some time with her.

She is not well. Walking is near to impossible. Tomorrow will probably be her last day. So as we look back over our memories and muster our courage to say goodbye, I'd like to reflect on my relationship with her in these four questions:

1. What memory am I leaving behind that I will not miss? How she could get stinky when she needed a bath!

2. What memory am I leaving behind that I will miss? Her sitting oh so contented in my lap, admiration and adoration written all over her face. May I provide that for those I love.

3. What PJ characteristic do I want to take with me? Her unstoppable joy. She was joyous at the drop of a hat, and held no grudge.

4. What characteristic of hers do I want to cultivate in my life? Sensory pleasure - the feel of fabrics, rain, grass, carpet, the smell of bar-b-que, chocolate, chipmunks to chase, the taste of my hand, licking my ice cream bowl, M&Ms, the sound of us coming home which made her jump and bark for joy. These little, small but so very rich pleasures of life, made her a happy pup. May I so appreciate all these pleasures in my daily life as well.

Thank you P. We love you so much. As we told you every day, "you are such a good dog".