author moments

What I Know for Sure, 2021 Edition

A group of friends recently shared their thoughts on “What I Know for Sure.” This task, based on Oprah’s essays and so on, was a pleasant challenge.

I jotted mine down in quick scribbles. Nothing really took too much thought. I just did 20 in no particular order. Most of them are pretty basic. There was some head-nodding as we shared at the dinner table. Here’s the list I shared:

1.) The most important approval in my life is my own.

2.) I feel better when I move first thing in the morning.

3.) I can do without way more than I imagined (e.g., cheese)

4.) The main thing I can control is my own choices.

5.) Focusing on what I can control eases my anxiety.

6.) Bring food, a book, and something to do with you.

7.) I can provide guidance, but walking the walk and being an example is the most powerful, grounding thing I can do for others and myself.

8.) I can’t expect anyone else to prioritize my physical, mental, and emotional health – that’s my job. They also may not understand what prioritizing those things look like. That’s also not my problem.

9.) Garbage in, garbage out – reading, media, food, all of it.

10.) Most people are doing the best they can based on what they know and are capable of at a given time.

11.) Play is important at every age. Laughter is, too.

12.) Local places beat chains.

13.) If it’s worth it, go for it.

14.) Nature heals, redeems, centers and grounds.

15.) Writing matters.

16.) Dogs are amazing and make most of the people in my life happier than other people do.

17.) Most things that seem like a big deal really aren’t that serious.

18.) To be on time, leave at least 15 minutes before you think you should. Always leave a buffer.

19.) Time and attention are the most precious gifts we can give other people.

20.) Thank people often for things big and small.

Most of this stuff is not groundbreaking. What I marvel at is how my list would have changed from even 5 years ago. I didn’t work out in the morning. I was beset with anxiety most of the time. I didn’t spend much time outdoors. I didn’t write for myself. I didn’t like dogs. Life is changing. I am changing. If my list stays the same, have I really learned or grown? What will the next 5 years bring?

I have a number of friends who are on the cusp of this time of great change with me. It’s wonderful to share such an exciting and transformational time with people. Instead of a stumbling, fumbling block it can be a launch pad.

What do you know for sure, right now?

Teddie Bear Adventures

New Addition

No fancy birth announcement or maybe this is it. June 3, 2021 a puppy was born. Her breeder named her Minnie. The one with the mint green cat collar. The one who needed a home. The one a friend shared online. The one I saw and knew needed to be in my life.

Fast forward through a meet and greet, online question sessions and more.  Plans were set in motion. Supplies purchased. Many discussions about the name debated. A fee was paid. The puppy was mine. As she enters her new life as a pet she will go by the name of Bear. 

We already have Teddie and now we have Bear. Together they will have countless Teddie Bear adventures. Such a cute name combo for the dynamic duo who doesn’t even know each other let alone like each other yet.

So much anticipation. Teddie is spoiled but could benefit from a companion. A bestie. A playmate. Will she understand the logic behind us getting a new addition? Teddie is well trained, happy and a great family pet.

Bear is a puppy. Untrained. Chew monster. Whiner. Tiny little thing weighing just 4 pounds. How will she adjust? Will she like Teddie? Bear is still in the little greenish collar with a bell. Why? She is so tiny she can only fit in a cat collar. It doesn’t even have a spot to connect a leash.  Not that’s she is even remotely close to a walk on a leash.

So many adorable moments to share but I will only list my favorite: watching Teddie walk on a leash and the curious little Bear follows along side or behind just trying to keep up and mirror her gait. One modeling. One learning and growing. Such a beautiful sight to see. When the puppy paws are wet from the grass, they leave the most adorable paw prints on the ground. Sights like this confirm why they needed each other. For Teddie it’s such a growing moment. Instead of pulling and running on the leash she is exercising patience while she waits for the little legs to stay in stride with her. Simply amazing to observe. Those little adorable paw prints.

Sleep or lack thereof. With a puppy comes sleep deprivation. They are just too tiny to make it through the night no matter how tired they are. She does well but again isn’t perfect. Life isn’t perfect. What a subtle reminder we get about life’s imperfections through our puppy. You adjust. You balance. You push through. Ah to see the passed out puppy at bedtime. Out cold under the chair she soon won’t fit under with the big sister keeping guard nearby. Just makes your heart flutter.

What a sight to see. Puppy 1 out for the count. Dog 2 keeping watch. Deflated stuffed animal 3 lying lifeless nearby. A casualty of the busy play day shenanigans however at quick glance it could look like Dog 3. Of course it’s not real. One puppy in training is enough for this household.
I’m sure I will share many more stories and glimpses of life with Teddie and Bear. For now I am off to get a cat nap after rising super early for potty duty. Enjoy the cuteness over load of my four- legged pals.

As I conclude this entry, my heart swells thinking of my puppy’s birth date. June 3rd was also the day of my dad’s birthday. I had no clue until I saw the birth papers that they shared the same birthday. What a great way to honor my dad on his birthday after he passed in 2020. My little buddy has new meaning to me. A guardian angel of sorts.

Teddie Aspen

Dog Intuition

My dog is smart.


My dog knows me well.


My dog likes to nap often.

My dog knows 99% of the time I have an even-keeled voice tone. My dog knows when my voice tone shifts to playful. She may return with a few playful barks to get the frisbee or tennis ball. She may even run in a circle in excitement. She knows the playful voice.

My dog also knows when a firm voice hits. Like the time I raised my voice to the teen to get a point across. She may shift her comfy spot by my foot to her lounge bed in a way saying I’m going to stand clear of that crazy lady. Dogs know people. They get a vibe whether it’s their owner or a stranger. Pay attention to the dog.

My dog can also recognize sadness, sickness or even a wiped out tired kind of weary. If I am lonely or need a snuggle for whatever reason she is there. Loyal to the core. This may have something to do with all the snacks I give her. She is there by my side. She knows it’s her time to comfort just like it was time to play. Dogs are intuitive. They know their owners and their environment.

Kids are similar when they are young. They cuddle when they are tired. They laugh when they play. They hide when they are in trouble. When the kids grow up, all that changes. Some lose their curiosity. Some lose their purpose. Hopefully they don’t lose their loyalty. This is where a dog differs. They want to grow old with you. They appreciate you no matter what your age or stature is in life. It’s unconditional love and companionship. Others may drift away in your life but the pet hovers.

Teddie Aspen

Oh Teddie

Oh Teddie we miss you so!

Today little Teddie Aspen went in for doggie surgery. She had to be fixed and microchipped for safety. I was a little spacey about the process.

I didn’t bring her favorite blanket for comfort. I didn’t realize she was spending the night and and and. I was pitiful the whole morning.

I was also completely weirded out that the vet was now like Chick-fil-A. Official car parking spot signs. I felt like I needed to ask for fries and a coke when I dropped off. This really made me think of how much things have changed since corona hit us.

A few hours later the vet tech called for an update. All was good but she had an ear infection they noted so she needed meds for that. Poor baby is alone. Her first sleep away night and it wasn’t to grandma’s. It was to a cage. She is going to be so sad and she has the cone of shame on.

I asked for a picture so I wouldn’t feel so bad. It made it worse. She looks so pitiful. She misses us. We miss her. We are counting down the minutes until she is home recuperating in her own environment. Nobody likes to be sick in a hospital alone so I’m assuming she feels the same loss from us at the vet’s.

See the sad Teddie pic below. As soon as she is back with us we will be spoiling her of course. Hope she can avoid shredding her cone of shame!

Teddie Aspen

Captain Destructo

Well I’m sure you have read about my sweet pup named Teddie. She is a joy in my life. A cuddle buddy. A spoiled rotten girl. But what I don’t always mention is she is a destruction queen.

Enter the new toy posted above. The indestructible toy as advertised. I’m not sure why I buy these things other than to see if she can shred it to pieces.

Guess what? She can shred it. In record time. She finds a way to get every ounce of the white stuffing out and leave the trail in every room she visited. Yes, it was just hours after I vacuumed so that chore was a definite waste of time!  She destroyed the indestructible frisbee. The light up ball. The window blinds. The rope with a ball center. The shoe that was left out. You name it, she shreds it. She has bones. She has treats. She just likes to rip apart all the items I get her. Even her little brown bear. The lifeless bear that she totes around like a security blanket but then sits in the corner and shreds it.  I have even thrown away her shredded items and she hovers at the trash can like I’m the worst person in the world. I seriously don’t want her to get sick from ingesting material not meant for consumption.  Is there any dog toy you can suggest that is actually destruction proof? I would love a suggestion. Or maybe I need a dog whisperer.

I guess she wasn’t a fan of the adorable “spoiled” sweater I got her for the cold weather. She immediately started to eat that too. She has even chewed through her walking vest while on a walk. Good thing this girl is cute and gives good snuggles because she keeps me in the poor house with her destructive ways.