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Reach For It

Insanity

ReachForIt

There are those that propose that all one needs to do is think happy, then happiness will follow. Sounds simple. The fact that it’s near impossible has never escaped me. But what is possible is to think the best thought within every given situation. Even when doing so is difficult, doing so is not impossible.

Granted there are times when the best thought one can think is to think no thought at all. I had very few thoughts while my son was in brain surgery. I could not reach for happiness. The best I could do was to refrain from thinking the worst. And that’s what I did.

I don’t think its a wise thing to run from life, even when it gets ugly. Even when numb, try to be present. It’s my belief that any situation that has found its way before us, is one in which we are meant…

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Ratna Ling Update: Acceptance!

American Vagabond

ratna_ling_retreat_center_californiaIt’s on. My sweetie and I have (finally!) been accepted as volunteers at Ratna Ling center. I am so excited! I can’t wait get out of Texas, and back to the Bay Area. It’s been about eight or nine years since I’ve seen my friends there, so I am pretty eager. Leaving Austin will be the easiest move (emotionally) I have ever done. I’m more than ready for a change of scenery, weather, food, people… all of it. I’m just ready. I’ve met some nice people here and I had a great job, but that isn’t enough for me to want to stay. I need a little more in my life than a job. I need adventure.

Here is the plan. We leave Austin on the 30th and head back towards Houston. We’ll crash there through the holidays and then drive out to California in early January. I hope…

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Watercoloring on a Cool Autumn Saturday Morning

David Tripp's Watercolor Wanderings and Recollections

Those of you who have never painted a landscape probably don’t know how hard it is to hold together a green landscape; green is a really difficult color to give space to and to structure a landscape.  And therefore, if you paint a landscape that is predominantly green, you are risking failure.

Richard Brettell, “Cezanne and Pissarro in Pontoise” lecture

I knew I was asking for trouble, noticing that my photograph taken at Beavers Bend is predominantly green.  But still, I loved the composition, accompanied by the memories of that enchanting afternoon and evening standing in the Lower Mountain Fork River.  It remains one of my fondest of fly fishing memories.

My greatest challenge will be the task of separating the large, dark green mass of trees making up nearly 50 percent of the composition, weighted heavily on the right.  I still haven’t made up my mind exactly what I’m…

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My Dogs Are Not in Charge

eileenanddogs

As a Humane Hierarchy trainer, it is part of my value system to help my dogs get what they want, within the confines of our mutual comfort and safety. It’s important for me to give them choices and let them operate on their environment. To have an enriched existence not overcontrolled by me.

Until I read this brilliant post, “Threshold Roulette or Choice,” by Yvette Van Veen of Awesome Dogs, I would have said without much thought that more control and choices for pet dogs are always better. But Yvette is way ahead of me. There’s a big fat exception to that. So if you have time only to read one post today, go read hers. It is show stopping. I’m just riffing off of it. But here is the learning that she triggered.

Is Putting the Dog in Control a Good Thing?

I think most of us who are…

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Chickamauga 150th Commemoration

Emerging Civil War

“The most persistent sound which reverberates through men’s history is the beating of war drums.” — Arthur Koestler

Last weekend (September 18-20, 2013) marked the 150th anniversary of The Battle of Chickamauga. I had the pleasure of joining historians and other visitors on the hallowed grounds of Chickamauga for the commemoration. I attended “real-time” events and explored the battlefield.

Chickamauga, Georgia was one of the first National Military Parks established by the United States Congress. The park came into being in 1890 along with the significant sites of Gettysburg, Shiloh, and Vicksburg.

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