It’s been five months since we welcomed Schooner and Katy into our lives. Since then, we’ve drastically altered the rhythm of our days in order to nurture them and keep our belongings from ending up as chew toys. We’ve cleaned up every kind of canine body waste, cajoled them through crate training, and unintentionally conditioned a salivary response to the iPhone camera. Through this process, I’m reminded of a Keith Cunningham quote, “Ordinary things consistently done produce extraordinary results.”
Everyday, twice a day, we walk them. During, we work on three simple commands: “Sit”, “Stay”, and “Leave it”. There’s no trick to it, no professional dog trainer – just consistency. The results have been fantastic. While they are technically still puppies, they can be trusted to follow our commands on and off the leash. People we meet along our walks can hardly believe how young and well-behaved they are.
And so I’m left wondering…how much more I could accomplish in life if I just consistently practiced three simple skills twice daily?
Schooner: The First 6 Months
Katy: The First 6 Months
Forgive me for re-posting old content but in doing so I hope to show my appreciation and love not only for my mother, but for all the mothers out there who sacrifice so much for their kids. Thank you for all you do and Happy Mother’s Day!
Originally posted 5/8/2011
You’ve given me so much love, patience, and support over the past forty years. You’ve also given me something invaluable: a role model. In watching you, I’ve learned there are at least three things I can do to thrive in my life:
1. Find meaningful work: Many years ago you told me the civil rights battle of my generation was going to be fought in the classroom. I didn’t know what you meant back then, but I do now. I’ve watched you dedicate your career to improving educational opportunities for kids. You’ve inspired me to try and make a difference, too.
Thanksgiving in Mexico
2. Be willing to grow & change: As kids, you were always there for us. After we left home, you went back to school for your Masters and then a PhD. Now, you’re a successful business owner. Seeing you constantly set a higher bar for yourself has taught me to do the same.
3. Marry your best friend: You and Daddy make such a great team. You taught me the importance of working hard at marriage…and I don’t mean the laundry!
The love, respect, and laughter you share extends outward to those around you. We’ve all been warmed by your light!
4. Lastly, make sure there are plenty of dogs around!
Mabel & Mom
Hobie at the Reservoir
It’s a terrible thing to lose a trusted companion, running buddy, constant giver of unconditional love. But the memories Jack and I have of Hobie and his mom, Splash, will bring us joy and laughter…and tears…for the rest of our lives.
Splash & Hobie napping together, 2009
Splash of Shadowlawn (1994 - 2009)
Port A Christmas 2002
Here are some wonderful words I came across recently that rang so true for me.
If you can start the day without caffeine,
If you can get going without pep pills,
If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,
If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,
If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,
If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,
If you can take criticism and blame without resentment
If you can ignore a friend’s limited education and never correct him,
If you can resist treating a rich friend better than a poor friend,
If you can conquer tension without medical help,
If you can relax without liquor,
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,
…Then You Are Probably The Family Dog!
The United States Olympic Committee has introduced measures to address the fact that its workforce is not reflective of the demographics of the Colorado Springs community where it is located. This diversity effort, commonly seen as an organizational best practice, is apparently not popular with Colorado Springs Gazette editorial page editor, Wayne Laugesen. Accompanying his critical article was the following online poll asking readers if the “USOC should give preference to minorities” as part of their hiring process.
However, Wayne’s polling question misleads us by confusing diversity efforts with affirmative action. Designed to bring institutions into compliance with the nondiscrimination mandate of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and thus create more opportunity for minorities and women, affirmative action has been employed by the use of quotas, or giving preference to a candidate based on minority status. Proponents of affirmative action see it as promoting equality while detractors see it as being unfair and unlawful.
Regardless of implementation, affirmative action along with Equal Employment Opportunity laws are designed to support diversity. They are not synonymous with it, as Laugeson’s polling language would suggest. Workforce diversity is a strategy for increasing an organization’s competitiveness in a global marketplace. Moreover, it is much harder to implement than the hiring quotas Wayne is suggesting: Attracting and retaining racial and ethnic minorities, females and people with different abilities requires committed effort and innovation. And, in the case of Wayne’s world, overcoming ignorance of the issue.
Rin Tin Zen
I’ve been meditating off and on since 2008 but recently committed to making it a daily habit. A month into this new behavior I can already feel the benefits of meditating 15 minutes twice daily: more patience. The good news is that neuroscientific studies show meditation also lowers blood pressure and helps combat illness, depression, and insomnia.
In experimenting with various forms of meditation, variety keeps me motivated. Meditation is simple and easy to learn, but it takes time, patience and practice. Here are some ways to kickstart your meditation using your iPhone, iPad, or iTouch:
1. Mindfulness Meditation: Well worth the $1.99, these meditations are written and narrated by Stephan Bodian, a respected teacher and author of Meditation for Dummies. Using mindfulness-based techniques for stress-reduction, this app provides 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, and 40-minute guided meditations. There’s an audio guide on the basics of meditation, a checklist for optimal practice, and 10-minute deep relaxation exercise to prepare for meditation or to unwind at the end of a stressful day.
2. Yoga Nidhra Lite: According to Yoga Journal, nidhra or “yogic sleep” is an ancient practice for creating full-body relaxation and deep meditative states of consciousness. This free app offers nidhra meditation by Madhav, a yoga teacher trained in the Satyananda/Bihar tradition. It’s another way to vary your practice because you can do it right before falling asleep.
I’ll be posting more as my practice strengthens. Whether you’re just starting to meditate or have been doing it for years, I’d love to hear from you!
Last fall, some yahoo stole my bike out of the garage. So, I’ve been pricing new ones lately. I fell in love with the Electra Amsterdam but not with the price tag! Even though it’s not uncommon in Colorado for your bike to cost more than your car, I’m not buying into it.
Luckily, I came across this used beauty, added a basket and bell and voila! For less than $150 I’m a kid again! Considering I can bike to the doctor, grocery store, church, Jack’s office and some of our favorite dining spots, I think I’ll get my money’s worth.
Seemingly incongruous, today we honor our fallen soldiers and kick off the official start of summer. So, while praying for the souls of those who lost their lives in service to our country, I’m so grateful to spend the day with a very special man who, long before I met him, returned safely from the Vietnam War.