moose in the window, doa, carefree children,
turkeys in the night, not my realm, and
dear cats and dogs

There’s frequently a hummingbird feeder hanging from the plant hanger so M&M are used to looking out at the little birds. But sometimes it’s not a bird. I hate this lifestlye—it’s SO unpredictable. (^_^)

The state of Iowa changed the name of its Elder Affairs Department to the Department of Aging. It goes by the initials IDA, Iowa Department on Aging. Nothing wrong with that. DOA also works.

Well, I’m heading towards Idaho. I’m making a quick stop here in Pinedale to check some things on the web and then I’ll be taking rt191 through the Bridger-Teton National Forest. It looks like there are a few forest roads this side of Hoback Junction so I should be able to find a place to camp for a couple days. I want to make a quick stop in Jackson for new casita tires. There are not many miles on them since I’m not into traveling the asphalt but many of the miles have been pretty rough. I don’t think trailer tires are designed for the primitive roads I tend to explore.

Every once in a while I come across a person who gives me flak when they find out I don’t care all that much about what is happening out in the world. I don’t follow the news, even when I’m on the grid. They say I should be more socially responsible when I say something like, ‘It’s not my realm.’ I’d love it if the world was a better place, people treated each other better, and we actually cared for our planet but there’s nothing much I can do on my own to make world changes. Are you familiar with Michael Jackson’s song, ‘Man in the Mirror’ (stellar tune)? There’s a line, ‘If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself then make a change.’ Then there was Socrates saying, ‘Let he that would move the world, first move himself.’ And Ghandi, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world.’ I don’t see a whole lot of this goin’ on. At this point in my life I’m quite satisfied with what I do. I taught for over 20 years, contributing to social development; I’ve been supporting a girl in the Philippines for quite a few years through Children International (I’m also going to start using Heifer International later this year; sounds more practical); I take responsibility for my health; I practice zazen and try to follow precepts; I try to do the friendliest thing, although it’s taking some work (actually, a lot of work); I eat and live lower on the food and resources chain (this does good for beings yet unborn); I worked down to a low carbon footprint; for most of the year I get all my electricity from the sun; I use only 2 gallons of water a day; I bring my own bags into grocery stores; I try to give my friends some laughs; I support grape growers; I provide a good life for two rescued animals, and I guess I could come up with quite a few more things if I had a mind to think about it. So when someone throws something like that at me, I try to think of the precepts (rather than voice what might initially come to mind).

A couple weeks ago, a carload of RVers pulled up and asked if I have seen a German Shepard. Nope. He’s blind. Where are you set up in case I come across him? They told me and drove off looking for the pooch. I put on a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, filled a Nalgene, picked up a length of rope and went out looking for the dog. Didn’t find him. Sometimes I feel more empathy for animals than some humans. But then again, an animal is frequently in trouble because of what a human has done, or not done. These people bring a blind dog to the mountains, a place with strange smells and sounds and don’t keep an eye on him. Unreal. Animals can’t protect themselves from cruelty or stupidity.

I generally keep the blinds rolled up at night so M&M can look out and see what’s going on outside. One night Mesa jumped down on me from the galley counter. Never did that before. It certainly woke me up. He’s not a little cat. He raced to the door and then up onto the back table looking out at something. Then back to the door and then to the tabletop. I was way too tired to get up to see what was out there. Then I heard the turkeys. ‘Forget it, Mesa, I’m not gettin’ up and those birds are too big for you.’ I thought turkeys roosted at night. Stuff like this doesn’t happen to those who have fish for pets. Always wanted goldfish.

Remember what it was like to be a carefree child on a summer day? Riding bikes, exploring creeks, meandering through the woods. Days filled with adventure and curiosity. Or nights, lying on the ground and watching the stars? Guess I never grew up since that’s still my life.

July’s sixty minutes for sixty years: NAILED IT with 1875 minutes. My resolve sure wanes from time to time, though. While I believe in taking responsibility for my health, there are mornings when I’d rather sit back and read a book than go out and give thanks. Luckily it has been balancing out. I think Diana mentioned on her blog or in an email that the first month can be tough (getting into the mindset) and the second month tends to be easier. It was, even though I had quite a few more opportunities for being active while house-sitting in Chama. I’ll see how August goes.

August humor—the note was posted very low on the refrigerator door:

Dear Dogs and Cats,

The dishes on the floor with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Placing a paw print in the middle of my plate does not mean that it is suddenly your food, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Racing me to the top of the stairs is not the object. Tripping me doesn’t help because I fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king-size bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out on the other end to maximize space that you are taking up, is nothing but sarcasm.

For the last time, there is not secret exit from the bathroom! If, by some miracle, I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge in an attempt to open the door. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years—canine/feline attendance is not required.

The proper order for kissing is: Kiss me first, then go smell the other dog or cat’s butt. I cannot stress this enough.

Finally, in fairness, dear pets, I have posted the following message on the front door:

To all non-pet owners who visit and like to complain about my pets:
1. They live here. You don’t.
2. If you don’t want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. That’s why they call it ‘fur’niture.
3. I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.
4. To you, they are animals. To me, they are adopted sons/daughters who are short, hairy, walk on all fours and don’t speak clearly.

‘Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.’
Ralph Waldo Emerson

RVwest article ‘Following a Free Spirit’


I love "Dear Dogs and Cats." Immediately forwarded it to a friend who has four small dogs, his "children."
Anonymous said…
The next time someone asks me why I'm not more socially responsible, I'm just going to direct them to your blog and save myself a lot of time and aggravation. Well put, my friend!
Kimbopolo said…
Love "Dear Dogs and Cats". So true!

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