The Joy Of Water

The day had been swelteringly hot and the humidity made every piece of clothing and hair stick to my skin. 
The ceiling fan faithfully turned around over and over in circles offering me some respite with its gentle breeze while I sat at my desk working on my laptop. There was only one thing on my mind. Only one thought that clouded all other thoughts.
The beach. I needed to get into the water.

It took a lot of effort to be able to get what I needed to do done, but the motivation was there as the reward beckoned.
It seems so unlikely, who would have thought a culmination of sand, salt water, waves, and breezes could be so tantalizing? None of them on their own would make heads turn but put them all together and they become heavenly.
Getting submerged in water on a hot summer day is the best simple pleasure there is. It does not matter if it is being hosed down in the back yard, jumping into a lake or a pool, floating in the ocean, or even trying to fit into a kiddie pool. Let's face it,…

Through The Good And The Bad ~ A Guest Post by Vanessa Guzman

Winnie came into my life in late 2009 as a surprise gift. She was so small and helpless, affectionate, and tender that as soon as I held her in my arms, I fell in love with her. Being a Labrador, she was always playful when she was little, she chewed our shoes and destroyed everything she found. Thankfully, that lasted only a few months.We decided to train her to be obedient and alert in preparation for any unforeseen circumstance or in the event an intruder should enter the home. Being protective by nature, she became jealous of everyone who would come very close to us, and although she was never aggressive, she always "marked her territory" to make it clear that "she was the queen of the home and we belonged to her."Over time, she became more sociable and gained popularity with the other dogs at the park. Honestly, she would make me laugh when I saw how she liked to run around and play and yet knew when it was time to go home as soon as she got bored. Winnie lear…

The Art of Saying No

I tend to forget I am not Wonder Woman, no matter how much I would like to be. 
I forget that my body gets tired, as does my brain.
So many things to do, so little time to do it goes the adage. This is true, along with the fact that others who require your time and service do not think it is necessary for you to rest or to take a break. There is a push and a pull to be present at everything as if that is the true mark of authenticity and loyalty. 
One thing I have learned is that no one will know when you need to take a time out for yourself but you. And when you know, you need to take action.
"Just one hour," they say, while you know that one hour adds up to the five hours already committed to other meetings on the same day. So you say no and thunderclouds ominously appear over your head.
They will pull and cajole and even shame you when pushing or cajoling do not work in a last attempt to manipulate. 

Ignore the manipulation and stick with your priorities.
Running on empty helps …

A Funny Little Dog Called Maddy

She came into my life accompanied by one of the people from the shelter that rescued her, riding in what is called a motor-taxi which is a motorcycle modified with a caboose and seats at the back to carry passengers. I met them at the corner from the house I was renting in the dusty neighborhood an hour outside of Lima, Peru. 
The lady got out and put her on the ground, then we walked back to the house. The little dog walked by my side, and it was obvious that unlike Mayah my other dog, she knew how to walk on a leash. I was pleasantly surprised. Many other things about her revealed that she used to have a home where she was probably loved because she knew what a sofa was the minute she saw mine and was upon it in no time. 
I called her Maddy, short for Matilda (I didn't like the double T's which sounded harsh so changed it to D's instead) meaning "mighty in battle" which she proved that she was, mainly when it came to hunting and killing rats. Maddy was adopted to…

It Started With A Pineapple

I used to be afraid of creepy crawlies, terrified of slugs, and snails. I couldn't look at an earthworm and felt the heebie-jeebies when I ran into a caterpillar. And don't get me started on the centipedes. For those, my machete comes out of storage.

And then just as the Covid-19 lockdown began, we were given a pineapple.

Lo and behold, within a few weeks after that, I was rejoicing when I saw an earthworm and picking snails out of my lettuce with my bare hands. What brought about such a drastic change in my life?

The pineapple.

So what did the pineapple have to do with it all?

It started me on my veggie garden journey. 

Yes, me. The only person in the world so terrified of bugs and creepy crawlies that for years, I have been able to go hiking without touching or brushing up against a single leaf or a blade of grass, and I became really adept at dodging branches with my Matrix moves. Thinking back, it is remarkable I did not fall off a cliff in order to avoid touching a leaf. This f…