Category: BLOGGING101

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My dog inspired me to buy an RV!!

My dogs are an integral part of my family and when one of my dogs, Sky, developed a debilitating disease referred to as degenerative mylopathy I had learn to be creative to continue care for her. When the disease reached the point where she could no longer stand or walk on her own her fear of being separated from me was evidenced in perpetual heart-wrenching cries. I could tell these weren’t cries of pain but initially I really had no idea what the solution could be. It finally dawned on me that she needed to be with me as much as possible. When the dogs were younger and I was working the overnight shift I used to bring them to work with me in the back of my covered pickup truck which I had decked out to be a luxurious dog apartment. This solution was fine for the overnight shift since our overnight temperature in the SFBay area averages 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit. I’ve been working the second shift for the past several years and the weather can get pretty warm in the summer so not suitable in the back of a pickup. As soon as I started bringing the dogs to work with me in the back of the truck in Sky’s semi-incapacitated state everything just started to work out terrifically. I rigged up a camera in the back of the truck so I could check on her status at any given time. Both dogs were quite at home in the truck because it was familiar. Sky had no separation issues now that she knew I was close by. The only thing is, as cool as the Bay Area stays for the most part it is not cool enough to use this solution on a long term basis. I needed...

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Photo101: Day Eleven: A Pop of Color

  Today’s Tip: As you train your eye to look for color, keep it simple: Choose one bold color against a neutral background, instead of several colors competing for attention in a scene. Look for a strong color within a basic composition of uncomplicated lines — your pop of color will stand out more. Continue to experiment with light and POV as you shoot color-as-subject — the color may transform as you move. Don’t ignore soft, pastel shades — colors like mint and pink can make statements, too. Juxtapose pastels with black and darker shades. When in doubt, pair an accent color with white — you’ll see its impact immediately.

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Very Inspiring Blogger Award – The art of giving & receiving

I am humbled to have been noticed and appreciated with this award and I thank Helen for taking the time to notice my blog.  My blog is in it’s infancy and as such I don’t think there is enough content to be worthy of any sort of an award but in the spirit of learning and growing I realise that there is more to receiving an award than the receipt of it.  There are rules that go along with the receipt of this and most awards.  In other words, it’s not enough to say thanks, post the award and move on!  No! The fact is that this award like others I have seen, requires action.  I have to admit, my first inclination was to politely decline the award.  That would have been much easier…. The fact is, there are benefits for choosing to accept the award just as there are benefits to nominating someone else for the award.  Namely, traffic!  Now really, I don’t want to think my objective in having a blog is dependent on who sees it or how many hits the blog gets.  Ultimately this blog is written for me. I would like to write more and to be a better writer.  I have discovered that growing and learning doesn’t occur in a vacuum and as such, reading what other people write, and admiring and appreciating others content, character, stories and styles are all a part of the process in my own growth.  So again thank you Helen for challenging me to respond to this award. Once nominated, there are some rules to follow: 1.  Thank the blogger who nominated you.   2. List the rules and display the award.   3. Share seven facts about yourself. 4. Nominate (15) other  amazing blogs and comment on their blog to...

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Community lost without swift response (Daily prompt use it or lose it)

Use It or Lose It Communities are seeming like a lost art in the hustle and bustle of daily life in this ‘civilised world’. How civilised are we if we don’t know our neighbours. Do you know yours? We need one another all the time but sometimes it is only in an emergency when we truly feel and recognise the neighbourly love and care that could be felt every day. I’m grateful to live in a close nit community where we do know and care about one another on a daily basis. We have no security here, no emergency services within close reach. We do have one another and the care and compassion and challenges of this knowledge. Use it or lose it is the subject of this daily prompt and I for one find that it relates to using or losing our sense of community. Love is meant to be shared and if we don’t use and express the love and caring for our neighbours and neighbourhood before you know it though we have people living next door we have lost our real neighbours and community. It was a quiet night. Nothing out of the ordinary. I was at my computer working on some sort of mindless project or perhaps a mindful project… then I thought I heard the distinct sound of two cats at each others throats wailing their dominance. It was high pitched and brief but enough of a commotion in our quiet harbour community for me to go to my door and look out and listen … nothing. Nothing at all. My neighbour Ike in his boat berthed next to mine looked out at the same time and we commented that we had heard this commotion and then went back to our respective activities. Within moments -we...

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Blogging with pictures – puppy of course!

Today’s assignment to try a different posting style… so though I’ve used pictures in my posts before I thought I would show a story via pictures in this blog.  Of course the web can’t read pictures so I’ll just say this picture story will show the pup Zulu (catahoula breed) from 8 wks to now 3yrs from mangy, scrawny pup to handsome companion for his older (non-related by blood anyhow) sister (Sky -Australian Shepherd). Both Zulu and Sky are rescue dogs.  Zulu the Catahoula was adopted from the Jefferson County animal shelter in Mardas, Oregon.  Sky, the Aussie was a year old when she was adopted from the Milo Foundation in California.

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Clones have rights too!!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Clone Wars.” If you could clone yourself,  how would you split up your responsibilities? How would I split them up?  Really -the question is how to get out of being a clone and have some rights!! As Bonny’s clone I am seriously hoping that this forum will find other clones in a similar dilemma as myself.  I am tasked with doing all the things Bonny doesn’t want to do.  When there is a wedding I have to go and make the appearance and as Bonny’s clone I can tell you I don’t like weddings or funerals any more than she does so why am I stuck doing these obligatory appearances.  Parties, crowds aren’t my thing either but guess what? Clones have no rights and I for one would like to stand up and be acknowledged as a real person and not a clone.  The problem is clones are without rights at all because everyone assumes they are talking with the real Bonny.  I want to shout out and tell them it’s all essentially just a joke and Bonny would never go out to a ballgame or a people infested event. The thing is all of you know this!  You act surprised to see me so you know I shouldn’t be here in the middle of your crowd so certainly you wouldn’t miss me if I didn’t come.  How many years has the real Bonny avoided the family gatherings but I dread that I will be expected to go at the next planned event simply to make Bonny look good. I know my words are in vain but if there is some other clone stuck with writing this task maybe we can band together and somehow be recognised as more than clones!  Maybe...

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Time to see the glass ‘half-full’ not ‘half-empty’

Is the glass half full -or half-empty?  Are people generally good -or bad? … I like to think people are honest, and by nature, good.  I’ve certainly had my share of experiences that could jade that outlook but have found that my own state of thought is in a much better place if I stick to my conviction that people are generally and genuinely good. One of my neighbours (I’ll call him Dan) is one of those truly good people.   You can ask him for help or for a favour and not once does he ask why or bat an eye.  He is always willing and able to help. Unfortunately, Dan seems to have allowed life to cloud his outlook to some degree. He seems suspicious of strangers and at times even willing to think the worst of his own neighbour(s) ! A rather humourous example of this took place over the last few days. I’ll try and keep this short but will there are several parts to the story.  One of my other neighbours, ‘Gary’, was cleaning out his liquor closet and offered ‘Dan’ the remnants of a bottle of vodka.  Dan took it gratefully but decided he didn’t like the taste and set it aside.  Shortly thereafter another neighbour happened by, and in the spirit of camaraderie Dan offered the vodka to to this other neighbour, ‘Sabrina’.  She added it her glass of juice and didn’t consume more than maybe a glass or so when she started to sense that something wasn’t quite right with the taste.  After commenting on the taste, both Dan and Sabrina decided to smell the alcohol, and decided that it smelled nothing like vodka! Dan could only think the worst at this point.  He became convinced that his neighbour, Gary must have intended death by poisoning for Dan and...

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Inspirational neighbours laying the groundwork…

When you truly write for yourself then, you are writing from your soul, and it is heartfelt and not as draining as trying to invest the energy into making others happy or pleasing others.

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More Pan please, play de Pan!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Transporter.” Soca, Soca, Soca Man!! Pan music -play de Pan. Jump Up! Jump Up! Jump Up Man! Car-ni-val is the plan … Steel drums (pan music) & Soca music are synonymous with putting me in a dancing mood and transporting me instantly back to home sweet home, Grenada (Gra-NAY-da)!  Soca & Pan music styles of music but both are synonymous with ‘Jump Up’ (crowds of people in the street dancing to Carnival  music). Carnival time in the Caribbean is dancing time.  As a child the Carnival was all about steel drum bands being pushed and pulled through the streets with elaborately costumed dancers accompanying them.  The dancers gave enough separation between bands so you could hear what the preceding band was playing.  The days and weeks prior to carnival were full of anticipation and excitement.  Party was in the air; even as a child we could all feel the mood change at Carnival time. J’ouvert (from the French jour ouvert, meaning day break or morning) Monday would start the Carnival festivities and I have to say that was the day the most of us kids got a good scare from the Jab Jabs!  Jab Jabs were men who coated their bodies in back oil and sometimes smeared red paint on their bodies as well.  The Jab Jabs would go through the streets all day Monday and into the night dancing and drinking and trying to smear the black oil from their body on any unsuspecting tourist or passerby.  As a kid they sure did look scary!  I never wanted to go out on J’ouvert Monday.  I was scared of the Jab Jabs with their big horns and black oil and sometimes snakes.  It was all in good fun and no one got hurt or anything. Tuesday would be the parade of...

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A Windy Night

Living on a boat is full of adventures.  There are days when it seems no different than living on land. Then there are days like today when you have no doubt you are living on a boat!  This morning the rain was pounding down and there was nothing I could do to convince the dogs to brave the rain and go outside.  They were more than happy to wait till a small break in the weather came to go out and do their business. All day the rain came down and the wind gusted through the marina.  I actually love this time of year and the storms that brew in the winter time.  I love my boat moving in the wind storms as though it were out on the high sea.  I don’t know that I loved it so much when I first moved onto my boat 15 years ago.  I was still learning the dos and don’t of living on the water.  One of the ‘dos’ is being prepared.  You must be prepared for the winter storms.  Dock lines need to be adjusted, anything that might blow away must be tied down, flashlights ready, and just a willingness to stay alert and pay attention to your own boat and your neighbours’ boats.  The biggest don’t would be, don’t put on a bunch of new dock lines right before the rainy season.  The rain will cause the lines to stretch out and you will be retying them constantly  all winter long. I think the reason I love the windy days and nights so much now has to do with my experience.  I know I have done my part to be prepared and I don’t have to worry about sinking, or coming loose from lines.  Of course this does not mean I...