philosophy

Making Changes

Making changes can be a good thing in life. Things get stale, or go out of date, new things come into being, and you may want to have a piece of the new best thing. These are fine things, if they suit your life, and your lifestyle.

One such change is the new image I have put on the this blog – well, it isn’t actually something new, the image is one from ten years ago, bu it hasn’t been in this position before, so that is new (although it has been in different places on this blog previously, I think …).

Anyway, the image is of a Pharaoh Hound puppy, one of ours, and possibly the puppy we still have, Missy, who is now ten years old, and a long way beyond being a puppy, and she has the grizzled muzzle to show for it. The creature with the pup is Pumba, from The Lion King, a toy for our puppies at that time, to play with. The puppy and toy are both in our whelping box, where most of our pups were born, over our years as dog breeders.

Giving up dog breeding was definitely a good thing in our lives. Showing dogs and breeding them was fun for many years. Things change though, we had an actual human baby, he grew, we all found other things to attract our attention. We still had dogs, but they became solely pets instead of show/breeding stock and pets. The dogs aged, and passed on, and weren’t replaced with new dogs. Missy is it, and she happily lives her life between the backyard and her sofa!
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Anyway, gardening took over our weekends, rather than dog showing. We enjoy our garden, and our garden is certainly coming along much better now that it’s getting more attention. I am so happy with the vegetable garden, and those mandarins on our tree! I like the herbs in our garden too, in fact I was outside earlier today and chomped a few sprigs of parsley, which is far healthier than I previously realised.

dig it

I’m making a point of eating healthier food, with more vegetables. Today I chopped up a celery stalk into small pieces, and mixed it through my lunch of nuts and dried fruit. The celery was a lovely crunchy addition, and I’m glad I added it! I had a mandarin with my lunch too, which wasn’t so lovely. It wasn’t one from our garden, it was a purchased one, and even before I ate it, I had pretty low expectations of it regarding flavour.

This mandarin didn’t smell fresh, like the ones from our tree smell, it was old and stale, and that’s what the smell was like too. I love the smell of a fresh mandarin! Picking your own, when the fruit is at its absolute best is a wonderful thing. I’m so glad the change in our lives has brought these things into my life, more and more. With my husband retired from paid work, he is also glad to have so much more time to spend out in the garden, digging and planting! A fine way to get some exercise in the sunshine.

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Any other changes? This year I have been putting more attention into my writing ‘career’, including this blog and my others. That’s not a big change, but with luck, it may begin to actually bring me things, who knows. This blogging is fun to do, I love putting my thoughts ‘out there’ into the online world. I get a few comments here and there, and I love that, knowing that my words have found some interested readers. What writer doesn’t love that?!

I’m thinking about my life, and ideas, a lot more these days too. Being mindful is something that interests me a lot. I love to read interesting things, and share them with other interested people. Sharing thoughts on social media in this way seems like a fine thing to do, and even better is when I meet up with the people who share things like this, and we can give each other a hug.

doggone itAs I get older, I am loving getting hugs from friends, both new ones, and long-time friends. Hugs are gifts we give to others, which also give good things back to us, so hugging people I like, often, is a great change to make! It may be hard for people who know me these days to believe, but I used to be quite shy, and would never have hugged anyone, really. Now it can be a large hugfest, when I meet up with friends! More hugs is a great change.

If you have any good changes in your life, I’d love to hear about it – feel free to leave a comment here!

 

 

 

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garden, Uncategorized

Why Gratitude is a Good Thing

I sometimes do a week of thanking Nature, and the world, for the good things in my life. Things like gentle breezes, flowers, trees, the lovely night sky (I live in the country), yummy fruit and vegetables. Feeling grateful for the good things in life is a fine meditative thing to do, much healthier for your mind than focusing on the bad things.

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Missy, our dog, is another thing I will usually put on my list of things, although some of the things she does certainly don’t get on my ‘gratitude’ list. If you’ve ever had a sight hound, you may have an idea about the unlovely things our lovely dog sometimes does. There’s no need for me to go into that here.

 

I am grateful for her though, and I’m especially grateful for all of the lovely birds that love around where I live. We have ones that most Australians would have, Magpipes, Sparrows, Starlings. We also have two different kinds of Honeyeaters, Crows, Murray Magpies, two kinds of Miners, and many others.

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I have a list of the different kinds of birds that I have seen at my place. I’ve been working on this list for around twenty years, and I currently have around 45 different birds on the list. I live in country South Australia, about sixty kilometers north of Adelaide. We in a little townette, called Redbanks, on one and three quarter acres of land, with farmland on all sides of the town.

On our property we have around fifty trees and bushes over 2 metres tall, eucalypt trees, pine trees, a couple of citrus trees, and lots of others I don’t know the names of. There are different flowers at different times of the year, for birds to feed on, or for insects which also provide food for the birds. In am grateful for the trees, the flowers, even the insects because the birds can feast on them.

Feeling grateful for things, is so much healthier for a person than feeling angry about things, or despondent, or annoyed. There are things that annoy me, or otherwise are not things to be grateful for, but thinking too much about those things is a bad thing, not a good thing. It has been proven that positive thinking has good effects on a person’s health. I’m a believer in following good scientific studies, and I feel I am proof of the benefits on focusing on the positive in life.

As I have talked about on another of my blogs, where I talk about my life with Multiple Sclerosis. Talking about these things, and sharing the good things about my life with MS can help to remind me about how well I’m doing with this disease, and it can also give other people inspiration to find ways to be grateful about the good in their own lives too.

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dogs

When the Dog Goes Walkies

I’m not the one who takes the family dog walkies, that’s not my job. Graham is the one who goes walkies with Missy, and they both enjoy it. They are both getting more toned, ridding their bodies of excess weight, and adding on muscle. Being out and active in the garden can do both of those things too.

Missy is a ‘get up on the sofa and stay there’ kind of dog, for a large part of the day, but sometimes, when she goes into the yard, she really goes, streaking around and around the backyard like there’s a banshee at her back. Then she’ll suddenly stop and look at me, as if it was my fault she was running madly around and I should apologise, or something.

Of course, she may just be doing it because she likes a good run, every now and then, who knows? Until we learn how to understand what dogs really think, we can only guess, and the dogs can’t actually, truly tell us if we get it wrong.

Missy and Graham are out walking at the moment, which means the house is all mine, except for the people on the TV screen who I’m doing my best to ignore. They might be talking about sports I’m not interested in, or it could be political. I heard the word ‘problems’, and that’s it. It’s mostly a blur of sound, with little actual meaning. I think I just heard the word ‘drunk’ or it could have been ‘drug’, I’m not sure. Either way, it isn’t a good word to hear, under the circumstances. I’ll continue ignoring the TV, it’s better that way, I think.

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So when I’m home alone, I ignore the TV, that is on anyway, waiting for Graham to get home so that somebody at least pays it some attention. I’m happy with no TV on, and only Natures sounds coming in from outside (although with the cooler weather here, I can’t hear much of that either). The idea of exercise, walking up and down our road, is a good idea, but I don’t like walking that much, even though I know I need the exercise almost as much as Graham does. I’m more like Missy, and will do my favoured exercises, but not too often, even if it’s good for me. Missy and I both like lolling about doing not much physical at all.

I don’t know if Missy does much thinking when she’s on the sofa. I know she has dreams, or maybe nightmares, when her legs move, and she whimpers a little bit. Do dogs really dream, I wonder? Am I just putting my own human interpretation on something? Humans often do that, anthropomorphising things that animals do, especially when the animals in question are our pets. When these creatures live in our homes, we see them doing things, and think we understand it all.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We don’t always get it right, I’m sure, but I hope that at least some of the time, humans can in fact understand what’s going on in the animal/pet world. When I wrote my three books with Buster the Dog (who lives in my head), I was trying hard to understand how things humans do seem to our pet dogs. I certainly enjoyed writing those books, and like sharing them with people (not just because I get money if they buy my books!)

I love to write about things to gain a better understanding of them, and to understand what I think about things. Do you write about things? If so, what is your favourite way to write – a journal or diary? A blog? Poetry? Stories? I’d love to hear about it!

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weather

My Front Yard View

Today I’m in my best seat in the house, on the sofa, near the window, with curtains drawn and the sun shining. I can see part of the front lawn, a weird shrub thing that has been there forever, but I still don’t know what it actually is. I can also see some of the pots we have with plants in them, along the front of part of our front veranda.

I can see the road near our driveway, and so far the only thing I can see moving are the plants. There are clouds up above, in the blue sky, but I can’t really tell from here whether or not they’re moving, but I assume with the strongish wind we have at the momeny, they definitely are moving.

The only living things I can see outside are plants. I haven’t spotted any birds at all, in the bush, flying around, or on the ground. Maybe all of the birds are somewhere warmer … It’s quite a cool day, after all, winter really is well on the way, so we should prepare ourselves for the cooler, and then cold weather, in the southern hemisphere. For those in the northern hemisphere, summer is approaching and you’d better prepare yourself for the heat.

Ah, I just saw a car drive past, so I’m obviously not the only living creature around. My dog Missy is inside with me, in her own favoured position, on her own sofa, curled up and cosy. IMAG0306Missy looks most comfortable there, and I’m comfy too. I have to go out later today though, and looking out at the sky again, I can see I’d better put a warm jacket on. The sunshine and blue sky have disappeared, and obviously those clouds sure were moving. There still haven’t been many cars though, and I like that, living on a quiet country road, where not much happens …

I still haven’t seen a single bird, but here comes a bit more sunshine, and I hope I’m soon going to be inspired enough to actually get up and get myself some lunch. My tummy is hinting that it would be a good idea, and I know I have plenty of health giving walnuts available to mix with some other things and turn into a good lunch. Did you know walnuts were the healthiest nut? The BBC said so, and I’m certainly prepared to believe them! BBC means believability to me.

So I thnk that’s it for me, time to get up off the sofa and get my lunch and another cup of coffee, yum.

Do you ever just sit comfortably inside and look at what’s happening outside? What do YOU see? (I still haven’t spotted any birds at all out there)

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dogs

Books & Bugs

Books take up much of my time, the reading of them (a little, I will endeavour to read more), the writing of them (a novel slowly coming into existence), and promoting them (I have mobile office full of them, my little car would probably run better if they weren’t loading her up!). Yes books. I look around this room and can so so many books, some mine, some my husbands, some ours, some just seen to have been there forever, with no-one to call them their own. But whoever’s books they are, they’re important in the household.

Bugs though, neither husband nor I claim ownership of any bugs that come into the house. If he sees them, they’ll be sprayed to death, if I see them, well, I’ll encourage them outside if I can, and just ignore them otherwise. Huntsman spiders, them I’ll actually take outside before they’re killed inside. I don’t mind having these useful spiders in the house, but hubby still has a bit of a thing about spiders, and he gets rid of them forever, dead and gone. I don’t like mosquitoes, but they like me, although I don’t remember too many problems from these pests in the summer just gone. Lower rainfall perhaps?

Yes, I’ve just gone away and checked. http://www.weatherzone.com.au/news/south-australias-dry-start-to-2018/527728 There has been very little rain so far for 2018, and low rainfall means fewer mosquitoes. I try to be kind to all of Nature’s creatures, but those pesky mosquitoes … They make it hard to like them, that’s for sure. I love the amazing ability given to those of us who have decent internet, to be able to wander off to easily find records and information, without having to do more than key in some words, and click on some keys.

Anyway, bugs … The big black bugs that are on my blog, along the top of the page, we certainly have plenty of those around still.  and here it is again:

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I saw one near the front door yesterday, that fortunately was heading away from, not towards the door. I don’t mind these bugs either, but again, I put them outside, to both keep them out of the way, and also to keep them safe from the possibility of insect spraying from the one with the trigger finger … I wonder, does he resent these freeloaders coming into our home, uninvited? After all, the mortgage is paid for with his money, so I suppose that’s fair enough, in a way. I’m the one trying to be Zen about creatures in my life that want to share with me, not him.

I wonder whether I could write a book about these things? Zen and the Art of Insect Acceptance … What would the Buddha do with these tiny invaders? I doubt very much he’d spray them with toxic chemicals. Am I really going to start thinking about writing a new book about these things? No, I don’t think so. I suspect there would be research required, and research is certainly not my strong point. I know enough about good research, to know that a one minute Google search, and then a five minute reading of one of the results, that is not research, it’s flaffing around, a method much more appropriate for a totally non-serious blog, such as this one. If you want top class research, you’ll have to go and look somewhere else …

So, on with books. I am a writer and poet. I even have a book out, a poetry collection “Tense & Still”, where insects, including mosquitoes and spiders are mentioned, as well as some warm-blooded creatures. It’s a book published by an actual publisher, and if you’re interested, it’s available here: http://www.ginninderrapress.com.au/store.php?product/page/405/%2A+Carolyn+Cordon+%2F+Tense+%26+Still

I have some other books that are self published. If you want these books, you don’t go to a fancy website and order and pay for them online. I have three self-published books that I wrote with Buster the Dog (not a real dog). I also have a blog I started when I wrote the first of these books The first of these was “Dig it! Gardening Tips for Dogs”, the second one was “Doggone it – Mindfulness from a Dog’s Point of View” and the third was “Dog Buddha’s Thoughts”. These books are illustrated by Allyson Hean, she’s a friend of mine, and we decided to self-publish these books way back when our sons were at Primary School, a long, long time ago. In between these three books, I wrote and had published the “Tense & Still” book, and another one, a memoir about my diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis. This book has its own blog too.

If you want these books, you have to let me know, and we can organise things by email or but comments on this blog, or any of my other blogs … email is probably best, I check my emails regularly – kittycordo@gmail.com that is my email address.

I think that enough for now, Missy, our dog, is sounding a bit restless, and it’s time for us both to go outside to get some of the lovely sunshine I can see outside, it would be a shame to waste all of it and not get some myself! I’ll see how many bugs I can find out there!

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philosophy

Philosophical Meanderings of My Mind

This post Christmas/New Year season has become a sit around and do not much time. Today is Sunday, and I’m usually in Gawler in the late morning on Sundays, doing a poetry workshop with another person, or other people, but that isn’t happening today, so the first session for 2018 is more likely to happen next Sunday instead. I hadn’t planned that, but in not planning it, I was probably subconsciously planning it not to happen. I don’t/can’t know for sure, and it doesn’t matter, really, I don’t think.  I’ve had some outside time, and am now inside again, at home, and happy with that, even though it’s just a small thingmissy slightly bemused.
Staying home today, the only poetry written, if any, will be done here, with the cricket on TV and radio as the background for the day … And trips outside of course, as requested by Missy. Missy is currently lying on her sofa, looking extremely comfortable, eyes closed, ears erect, but not active … I just slapped the sofa next to me, and her eyes opened, eats turned to me, then away, and she rolled over and now has her back to me and my silliness. She’s not huffy at me, just not that interested in what I’m doing. That’s fine, we have our own lives, to some extent, the humans and the dog, and we’re enjoying our lives, together or separate.
Out of the window on my left I can see clouds, grass, plants and birds, all doing their own natural thing, obeying the rules of Nature, which make more sense to me than some of the rules of the cricket … With Nature, there is no appeal to a higher authority, because if Nature says it is so, then it is. If something other that humans were expecting, it means Nature wasn’t using the rule we thought was being used. Science may find the answer, people may think they have the answer. Much may be written, thought on, argued over, but Nature will just continue on, and we must manage as best we can, with whatever Nature and mankind do next …
There were sparrows outside, on the front lawn, about ten minutes ago, when I started writing this post. I can’t see any now, but I’m sure there are certainly lots of sparrows out there, back yard, front yard, in the trees and bushes and just everywhere. Sparrows are very successful occupants of our world. They have their needs, and seem to be able to fulful those needs well. The sparrows I saw earlier seemed to be adolescents, not quite up to adult size, and I’ve been noticing such not quite adult sparrows, and thinking about what they get up to, boy and girl sparrows, getting on with their lives, boy groups, girl groups, boys sparrows seemingly crashing into the girls groups, while girl sparrows flitter away, only to be followed and annoyed by the boy sparrow.
I’m quite likely putting my own interpretation on these actions of the sparrows, and could well be getting it entirely wrong. I’ve written a haiku about these matters previously, and it’s in my poetry collection “Tense and Still”, where I wrote about various creatures I see in my life, whether our dogs, cats I’ve seen, known, imagined, or those wild creatures I come across in my life or my travels or in my imaginings.
Thinking about these things whether I uncover the truth or not, helps me to gather ideas, things to think about can lead to things to write about, and writing about things is the thing I do. I am a writer, a poet, a blogger. Words are my tools, and I love to use these tools in the many different ways possible to use them. Poetry is my favourite method, certainly preferred over writing a novel, because of course a poem can be thought on, written, edited and published very quickly. A novel takes so much longer to complete. I have one of those ‘in progress’ at the moment, but I have a strong suspicion this novel will make only very slow progress, because I’m allowing myself to do many things other than the writing of this novel …
above the fish pond
I know being a novelist isn’t really a title I feel fits with me, the way being a poet does. The longer form of literature feels too unwieldy perhaps for me to handle. I know how to put together and publish a poetry collection, and how to market it. A small book of poetry can be printed in small numbers, and sold in small numbers, and small numbers of people get a little book of my poems to read and think about. It will never make me rich or particularly famous, but that’s fine. Money and fame are not what I write for, I write for my own amusement, and the small amounts of money/fame I gain while nice to have, will never be the major thing.
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birds in garden, d, Uncategorized

Winter Feels Like Spring

Outside the plants are growing green and flowers in a variety of colours are brightening our times outside. We still have strawberries popping up in hanging baskets on our back veranda, and life is certainly sweet! Nights and early mornings are cold though, and our air conditioner on ‘heat’ is most welcome to take the edge off the cold inside.

My poetry output is coming along, with another few poems written in the past week, and one of those poems in particular seems worth sharing further, somewhere, sometime. I’m not good at this ‘getting my work out there’ stage of the poetry writing thing. But for my next collection, perhaps, next year? Who knows …

Will the real Spring nudge me into action on that front? I can but hope. As I said, I’m not good at this. I have some poems that would be suitable for children, and I know an excellent publisher for such works, but I’ve still done nothing about getting those poems to that publisher. If my head wasn’t firmly attached to me body, would it say on?

Ah, self-recrimination, how could I live without you? I’d live quite well actually, I suspect. But there’s always the next thing, the new, thing, the best thing, and so old tried and tested things are ignored, opportunities missed. But as I sometimes write on my Facebook page, Life is Good. The birds outside my back door are still flying around, hunting and eating bugs and so interesting and entertaining me.

And this lovely weather we’re having! If this is Winter, then I’m enjoying Winter very much, except for the chilly times in the evening and the morning … But I look at our indoor/outdoor temperature gauge, and it is now warmer inside than it is outside (in the shade). And the sun is shining, so I don’t have to feel as guilty about using the power for the heating (air conditioner). Our solar panels are doing their job, and even if we’re not making all of the power we’re using, at least we’re making some of it.

Thinking about the seasons, and the plants leads me to the novel I’ve been playing with. I get excited and write a bit, then something else needs to be done and this work in progress stops progressing. Again. I’m much more excited about the idea of being a novelist than I am about actually writing a novel, that’s the problem. I play with little bits of writing, and the longer novel form seems like too much of an ongoing thing.

Will Spring really help me get something happening here, with this novel? Maybe yes, maybe no. But at least other bits of writing happen. I have a book that will almost certainly be ready to launch at the end of July, at the Adelaide Plains Festival of Words 2017. The text (my part of it) is almost all written and in a document, and the other bits are on their way, and there’s still more than a full month before I need to have it. Something to be proud of for sure.

And isn’t that something we all need in our lives? Something to be proud of ourselves for. If you’ve done things in your life you’re proud of, feel free to tell us about it – leave a comment here!

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