Puppies Puppies Puppies

Are you a dog person? I AM!!! Every time I see a dog, I say, “Awwwww, I love that puppy!”

My husband responds sarcastically, “Really?” He’s a smart a**.

I grew up with dogs. Peppy, our black toy poodle, was my first dog. We then migrated to a blond Cocker Spaniel and a couple of German Shepherds, even taking in a retired police dog named Buddah. He was solid black and beautiful.

pippas-first-day-of-school-was-funOver the last few decades, we’ve opened our home to a West Highland Terrier, a Golden Retriever, an Australian Shepherd, a Bichon-Skye Terrier mix, and our latest baby, Pippa, a 10-month-old mini-schnauzer (photo – with Rudy the Bichon-mix in the background). I love each of them equally. Dogs are joy and unconditional love. Period.

I’ve also expanded my puppy kingdom by raising dog-loving children, and now I have grand-dogs – a Husky, a Sheltie, and a long-haired mini Chihuahua.

If you’re a dog person, you know all these breeds. If you’re not, you may need help picking out your first dog. Get one! You won’t regret it.

My new friends at PuppySpot put together this awesome flowchart to help in your search. Be warned, when you visit their “puppies for sale” page at “puppyspot,” you’ll lose your heart to one of these cutie pies! Let me know which one you pick! ♥

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Stop by their website and take a look at the babies. Tell everybody there “Pippa says hi!”

www.puppyspot.com

On This Day – The Year of the Rooster

2017 The Year of the Rooster!

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If you were born in 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, or 2005, this is your year!! Not necessarily all good luck, but definitely a year of change and growth.

The rooster is the sign of punctuality. Think of the real rooster, who awakens farmers with the rise of the sun. People born in the Year of the Rooster are honest and intelligent, and most are born naturally good looking.

bbd77de8536ebd73d77ccd3a7ec79627In the Chinese zodiac, January 28, 2017 begins the tenth of the twelve year cycle. Most people would think this year would bring good fortune to those born under the sign, but in truth, this year brings change. The question of luck depends on how you look at those changes.

If you’re a rooster, you may face career changes this year. It won’t all be bad, but you’d be wise to put away a few dollars in case some months get a little tight during the transition. Your relationships will remain stable this year. And, health-wise, make sure you get your annual physical.

Rooster folks have lucky numbers of 5, 7, and 9 and lucky colors of gold and brown.

Celebrities born under the sign of the rooster include Justin Timberlake and Elton John, so maybe we’ll see more of them. Jennifer Aniston and Bette Midler also share this sign. And it wouldn’t upset me to see a bit more of Matthew McConaughey. 🙂

(rooster painting by Theresa Paden at www.TheresaPaden.com)

 

 

MLK Day and the Fiery Cross

We must meet hate with love.” ~Martin Luther King Jr.

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(photo of MLK removing a burnt cross from his yard in Atlanta, Georgia 1960)

If I found this symbol of hatred in my front yard, I would probably call anyone who would listen, post it all over social media, get the police involved, and generally throw a fit. Then, I would pack and move, which is exactly what the haters wanted to happen.

MLK didn’t do any of those things. Look at his body language. He doesn’t show hatred, anger, or fear. He seems very calm, though undoubtedly very perturbed. He hasn’t even told his small boy to “go back into the house,” as he refused to cower from the danger that obviously existed.

Though we all know MLK was quite an incredible man, my thoughts on the photo revolve more around history. What does religion, Jesus, crosses have to do with racism? Where and when did cross burning start?

The first recorded instance I could find is in the poem The Lady of the Lake by Sir Walter Scott, published in 1810.

In the third part of the poem, a burnt cross was used to summon Scottish clans to rise up against King James. In the poem, the chieftain made a cross of wood and lit it on fire. He then killed a goat and extinguished the fire with the goat’s blood. The burnt cross was then carried by a messenger to a nearby village. The messenger spoke only one word, the place to meet. The village would then send a messenger to the next village and so on. Any man who failed to show up at the appointed battle was to meet the same fate as the goat and cross.

This, however, wasn’t something new the author created. Using a “fiery cross” or a “bidding stick” was the common way to rally people to an assembly as far back as the 1500s, and commonly in the 1700s to rally Scottish clan members to arms. It was even used with Scottish settlers in Canada during the War of 1812. All of the above examples were never a form of racism, only of communication.

The burning cross became a symbol of the Ku Klux Klan when this public way of rallying supporters was adapted by them in the 1915 film The Birth of a Nation. They used cross burning as a rallying cry, but this time, it was not to stand up against monarchs or battling neighbors. This time it was accompanied by hymn singing and prayer and was used to rally supporters to create/maintain white supremacy. It became an anti-Catholic, anti-Jew, anti-immigrant, prohibition symbol.

By the 1950s, the Klan and its burning cross was more focused on an anti-black rhetoric. This is where they lost me. I hate to leave you here, dear reader, without the answers, but I have yet to find why this symbol was used to show hatred by placing it on black people’s lawns.

Please let me know what you think.

 

Synchronicity – the way you know you’re on the right path

There are many moments in my life where “The Twilight Zone” theme music should be playing in the background. I call those moments Synchronicity – the times I know I’m on the right path.

I’ve been so stinkin’ busy the last five months, I’ve not written any blogs, I’ve not worked on my book “Witch Dance” that I wanted to release September 21st (umm, what is the date today? crap.), I’ve not marketed, edited, or completed much. Of course, with the lack of progress on my book and the work-a-holic that I am, I’ve felt a bit of despair. I guess the feeling has been akin to failure, or loser, or slacker, or something.

Well, I had a moment of Synchronicity that changed my mind.

013The last few months I’ve been looking for a puppy. Our 10-year-old Bichon/Terrier mix, Rudy, has been lonely since we put our Aussie down last summer. Trophy husband and I are both gone to work all day (yes, I got a new job. more about that in a later blog), and Rudy sits alone by himself and pouts. He’s never been alone before – his whole life. His tail is droppy. His smile has faded. I needed to find him a friend.

I’ve had a few close calls in finding a puppy at some local county shelters and rescues, but nothing has panned out. Yet one failure after another. I found a couple puppies in the newspaper, but I never got responses to my emails.

Three weeks ago, I found a 10-week-old Miniature Schnauzer on Craigs List. I emailed the owner and within a few hours I was picking her up. The woman only had her for two weeks and thought raising a puppy was too time consuming, so she was looking for a new home for the little girl. She had named her Bella.

maxresdefaultOn the drive home with little Bella in my lap, trophy husband and I tossed out a hundred names. We didn’t think Bella really fit her. Piper. Pepper. Peanut. Etc. When Pippa came out of my mouth, I knew that was it! She looks like a Pippa. She acts like a Pippa. Trophy husband said, “You mean like the Princess’s sister?” First, I was surprised that he knew who the Princess was, much less her sister. Second, he said it with a mild disgust in his tone. I didn’t think he liked it, but I was determined this dog would be named Pippa.

Two weeks passed. I still hadn’t worked on my book, but now I had a new excuse. I have a puppy, which is a time consuming responsibility.

I figured this little girl was probably due for some vaccinations, so I pulled out the folder the woman gave us that had “Bella” written on the front. I hadn’t opened it since she gave it to us. I was busy. New puppy and all. So, I thumbed through the papers inside and found the breeder’s paperwork in the back. Written on the breeder’s paperwork was “salt & pepper” and in large capital letters at the top of the page, “PIPPA“!

Whoa! What?

Synchronicity

pippaYes, her name is Pippa, apparently has been since the day she was born. Yes, she is meant to be with us. She is the dog we are supposed to have. The disappointments over getting a dog from a rescue were not failures, they were leading us down the path to Pippa. Rudy’s smile has returned. His tail is wagging again!

 

The book can wait. I have a new puppy.

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Girls Can’t Run Marathons! Oh, Yeah?

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Girls can’t run marathons. Girls can’t do much of anything. They’re just…girls.

Young women today need to realize that women have not always been equals in the world, and in many ways, we still aren’t. We’ve only had the right to vote for the last 94 years. Think about that, ladies. Your great grandmother and perhaps your grandmother couldn’t vote for the next president, a privilege you take for granted. Up until fifty years ago, a woman couldn’t get a loan or open a bank account without her husband’s signature (and permission).

One woman who bravely and boldly paved the way for us is Katherine Switzer.

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At the age of nineteen, Ms. Switzer decided she wanted to run the Boston Marathon. Guess what? Sorry, it’s a boy’s club. You can’t run.

She did it anyway. I don’t know how she got past the registration desk, but somehow, she got her number, pinned it on her sweatshirt, and started the race. She got many kind acknowledgements from the male runners, but at some point during the race, reporters got wind of a woman running and caught up with her, asking her stupid questions like, “Are you going to run the whole race?” and “What are you trying to prove?” Eventually, a man tried to grab her and throw her out of the race. He turned out to be the race manager. He is the guy pictured below in the dress shoes behind her. Fortunately, he was tossed to the side of the road by Ms. Switzer’s boyfriend.

boston marathon race organizers attempt to stop kathrine switzer from running 1967. she finished the race

At that point, Ms. Switzer realized she needed to finish the race – for all women. If she quit or allowed them to throw her out of the race, it would be a blow to all women who desired to compete, and she would become a joke, a tabloid headline. At the time, there were no intercollegiate sports for women, no scholarships, no prize money. Women competing physically was almost unheard of.

In the freezing rain and frigid temperatures on April 19, 1967, Katherine Switzer finished the Boston Marathon in four hours and twenty minutes, forever changing the face of sports opportunities for women.

If you’d like to read more about Ms. Switzer and the Boston Marathon event in her own words, you can find it on her webpage HERE.

The Most Popular Actress You’ve Never Heard Of

Annette_Kellerman_1907Annette Kellerman (6 Jul 1887 – 6 Nov 1975) was a professional swimmer, a vaudeville star, a writer, an actress, and a multiple-business owner. She had her own line of one-piece bathing suits for women and helped popularize the sport of synchronized swimming. She performed in many aquatic-themed movies, most depicting her as a mermaid. Her mermaid costume designs are still mimicked today in mermaid shows around the world. Ms. Kellerman performed all her own stunts including a ninety-two-foot dive into the sea and a sixty-foot dive into a pool of crocodiles. She was a life-long vegetarian and in her later years, she owned a health-food store in Long Beach, California.

 

 

 

She advocated for the right of women to wear one-piece swimwear, and in 1907, on Revere Beach, Massachusetts, she was arrested for public indecency for wearing this skimpy little number.

arrested for public indecency Annette Kellermann on Revere Beach Massachusetts 1907

Apparently, Ms. Kellerman didn’t learn her lesson, and the powers-that-be missed her next photo. It’s a publicity picture for the 1916 Fox Pictures film “A Daughter of the Gods.”

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Ms. Kellerman was the first major actress to appear fully nude, and the film was the first million-dollar film in history. No copies are known today. The only remaining full film of hers in existence today is the 1924 “Venus of the South Seas” that was restored by the Library of Congress in 2004. In 1908, a professor at Harvard University named her the “Perfect Woman” due to her resemblance to the Venus de Milo. She was portrayed by Esther Williams in “Million Dollar Mermaid” in 1952, and she has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She also has a swimming complex in Marrickville, Australia named after her.

She died in 1975 in her home country of Australia and her cremated remains were scattered over the Great Barrier Reef.