Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday. In this season of giving, why not give a bit of yourself?

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Save it for a rainy day….

“Sometimes the  most urgent thing

you can possibly do is take a complete rest.”

–Ashleigh Brilliant–

Chillin’ with my crew…

It’s been a rainy day here today in the Granite State .  There’s a chill in the air and the leaves are trumpeting their last hurray in red and gold before winter sets in.  It’s the kind of day where, as my dear friend Mimi wisely observed, you toss on a pair of sweats, throw dinner in the crockpot (“Set it and forget it!” ;-)), and then kick back and let the luscious scent of autumn fill your home (I’m already catching a whiff of beef stew…)

Bug and Beau and I took the hint and snuggled in for a day of relaxation–reading and snoozing as the rain tapped softly on the windowpanes and the snores of the dogs sketched a lovely contrappunto. It was, in a word, a perfect afternoon.

As we drift into Friday evening, I leave you with the dulcet tones of singer-songwriter Melody Gardot (a personal favorite) singing “The Rain.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQA4EoE2cOM

Happy Friday all….

More kudos for canine office companions…

Another rough day at the office…

Readers of my blog know that I spend most every work day with my dogs within ‘belly-rubbing distance.’  In fact, I recently posted on the joy I get from having Bug and Beau ‘at work’ with me.  This week, Dennis Wilson of Fast Company weighed in on the benefits.  Great article, so I thought I’d share.

Lola relaxes after a proofreading session.

The joy of ‘woofs’ in your workplace…

“Scratch a dog and you’ll find a permanent job.” 

-Franklin P. Jones

First off, full disclosure.  I work out of my home, so I’m spoiled.  I have Bug and Beau with me every day…and I love it.  If I’m having an ‘off’ day, there’s nothing like a good work break cuddle with my crew to remind me of what’s really important.  When I’m lonely, the gentle whistle and buzz of Miss Thing’s snores (which she would vehemently deny exist, I might add) remind me that I’m not alone.  When writer’s block sets in and my muse, like Elvis, has officially ‘left the building,’ a quick stroll around the neighborhood with the Bug or a raucous game of ball with the Beau man can be just the break I need to get my creative juices flowing once more.

I also experienced the joy and stress relief that dogs can bring to the workplace in my previous life as an employee at Harvard Business Publishing.  We were allowed to bring our dogs to work, provided they were well-behaved, and I have to tell you it really made a difference in the overall feel of the place.  You come to know your co-workers in a new way when, for example, your cube mate’s 140 lb. English Mastiff begins to {ahem} experience the after effects of a treat gone bad. (Yes, the scent is heavier than air….) Or you hear a noise in your cubicle and turn around to discover a distinguished colleague on all fours playing hide-n-seek with your 90 lb. male Dobe.

I was reminded of how lucky I am to share my workplace with my furry crew just yesterday, when NPR weighed in with a story on how ‘punching in with Fido’ can go a long way towards pushing the happiness and productivity meter up at the office.  Let’s face it–it’s hard to be grumpy when the soundtrack to your workday is the soft thwack of a tail on the floor, gentle snoring, or the occasional yip of a dreaming dog.  It doesn’t get much better than that….

Blue Nights…

This week I was afforded the immense privilege of guest blogging on David Kanigan’s wonderful blog, Lead. Learn. Live.  Thank you, David, for this wonderful opportunity!!

While my contribution has nothing whatsoever to do with the Beau Man or Miss Thing, I think they will indulge me this once.

It was a fascinating evening….   Blue Nights….

Small kindnesses…

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

-Leo Buscaglia, author (1924-1998) 

My two favorite lapdogs!

As readers of “Donna & Diablo” know, this blog is dedicated to telling stories of life with my two favorite furballs: Lola Bug & the Beau Man.  These wonderful creatures bring untold amounts of love and laughter to my life.  (Alright, alright, in the spirit of full disclosure, they’ve been known to introduce a wee bit of frustration every now and again, too–just yesterday Beau coughed up what was left of the plastic shoulder guide to David’s laptop computer case after he’d worked it over.  Color me naive–I thought the little darling was taking a nap in the laundry room 😦 )

Although Bug and Beau’s myriad small kindnesses never fail to warm my heart, today’s post is about the kindness shown to me by two fellow bloggers–folks I’ve not yet had the pleasure of meeting in person who nonetheless enrich my life in ways large and small most every day.

The first is David Kanigan, author of the fabulous blog “Lead.Learn.Live.”  David is a wonder: funny, insightful, provocative, prolific–his posts give me a reason to pause, ponder, groan, guffaw, or giggle virtually every day.  One of David’s posts this morning, “Warm. Soft.Rain,” absolutely made my day.  In it, he mentioned one-word associations that sprang to mind for some of his blogger friends, and the one he linked to me was ‘happy.’ A simple pronouncement, yet one that warmed me to my core.

I AM happy–incredibly so–and it tickles me pink that my happiness is perceivable, even to those who know me only through my presence online.  I’ve been through some rough patches in the last few years, and it wasn’t all that long ago that ‘happy’ would have been far from the first adjective I would have been assigned.  But my life has changed dramatically and today I am happy more days than not, and blessed:  with a man I adore who loves me dearly (at times in spite of myself); with friends who frequently leave me speechless (and those who know me know this is no mean feat) with the love, patience, and generosity of spirit they show me; with two wonderful dogs who every day make me feel like I’m the greatest thing since sliced bread; with my health; and with the ability to grow in some form or fashion every day.  So thank you, David, for that wonderful compliment.

The second blogger I would like to thank is Mimi Krumholz of “Waiting for the Karma Truck.”  Mimi is a constant source of inspiration for me.  She is warm, witty, generous, and genuine.  Her humanity shines through in every post.  Mimi has encouraged this neophyte blogger in so many ways–she never fails to ‘like’ my posts and comments just as frequently.  The knowledge that someone out there is listening, and responding, to my musings is more gratifying than I can say.

Mimi has also graciously nominated me for not one but TWO blog awards: the ‘Beautiful Blogger’ Award and the ‘Sunshine Blogger’ Award.  Though I have not yet fulfilled the mandates associated with receiving these wonderful acknowledgments (but I will, I promise I will!!), this delay should in NO way be seen as a lack of appreciation.  I am, quite simply, touched beyond measure that Mimi would feel compelled to confer these wonderful awards on me when I am so new to the game.  This simple act of kindness is deeply appreciated and gave me just the ‘atta girl’ I needed to continue in my quest to grow and develop as a writer.

 

Simple acts, brief interactions, yet so meaningful to me.  As Mark Twain said, “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear, and the blind can read.”  I hope that all those reading today can feel how much I appreciate their sharing a little bit of their time with me through this blog.  The boost it gives me is beyond measure.

The power of a hug….

This post appeared in David Kanigan’s blog this morning, and aside from the fact that the video is dedicated to me (which tickled me to no end), I thought it was a wonderful compilation of images and ideas.  I’m re-posting it here because, in many respects, Lola & Beau fill my life with hugs every day.  The unconditional love that they give never fails to buoy my spirits, and for that I am most grateful.  And it’s been my experience that our four-footed companions love a hug just as much as the next guy…. 🙂

 

Hump Day: 4:02 am and inspired….