Mrs. Robin lays her egg

Mrs. Robin laid her egg!

If you've been following along with the saga of Mrs. Robin's nest, after a week of starts, stops and nests being blown away, not only did Mrs. Robin finally build her nest (with a little help from darling husband), you'll be happy to know ... we have an egg!As I write this, she's out in the yard fending off a blue jay and a grackle, and declaring from her perch in the lilac bush war on anyone - animal or human - who dares come near her egg.  I'll be watching from the garage window for the … [Read more...]

Mrs. Robin builds a nest – a lesson in perseverance

Mrs. Robin is back this morning for another attempt at our garage window.

There's a robin building a next in the window of our neighbor's house. I suppose "building" is an optimistic word; she's desperately trying to build a nest without much success.We live in a village where the houses are separated by a single car driveway, so close that, if we were so inclined (which I'm not), we could talk to each other without leaving the house. I've had a front row seat to Mrs. Robin's construction attempts over the last week and it's been a lesson in failure and perse … [Read more...]

Does self-driving car take away opportunities to be nice?

The Google driverless car is just one of the self-driving cars predicted to become the automotive norm.

Technology will make a giant leap from fiction to reality if self-driving cars hit the road within a few years, as predicted in this story in the Los Angeles Times.As expected, the big concern about the vehicle is safety ... I feel like I should add a "duh" here. If there's no one behind the wheel, the big question is obviously, "How does the car know where to go?"But there's one aspect of this science fiction achievement that no one has brought up: the self-driving car further isolates … [Read more...]

Dog and baby photos: are they cute or dangerous?

This meme is making the rounds on Facebook.

 This meme is making the rounds on Facebook - it's a photo of a baby and what looks like a Neapolitan Mastiff. The title says "How to Hug a Baby", but for dog trainers and animal rescue advocates, it's a red flag. While most people see a photo like this and say, "Aw cute!" we ask, "How long before the baby gets hurt and the dog gets sent to the pound?"What we often interpret as a dog showing love to a human baby is usually the dog's curious interest in that writhing, squeaking … [Read more...]

How cold is too cold to do the right thing?

jeep snow jan 2014

I ventured out to the grocery store today to pick up a prescription and a few other small items. I say "venture" because it's cold out. Not as cold as the arctic sub zero temperatures earlier this week, but it's still only about 20 degrees out, and though the sun was shining the slight wind swept away any warmth.Brrrr.After two months battling bronchitis, laryngitis and asthma, I've been trying to stay inside and away from humans and germs as much as possible. One lungful of cold air or … [Read more...]

Be Nice: you make it a wonderful life

During the Christmas season, one of my favorite things to do is watch "It's A Wonderful Life". For me, it's just not Christmas without George Bailey and Clarence the Angel.If you've never seen the movie, it tells the story of a despondent man who contemplates suicide, believing the world would have been better off without him. His guardian angel-in-training, Clarence, comes to earth to give him the opportunity to see what the world would have been like had he never been born.George is … [Read more...]

Oh, be nice: a challenge for the new year

That's me in 2005, up on scaffolding plastering walls at a school in Mexico. I had so much fun in 2004, I went back the next year!

I'm trying to be nice. Honest, I am. But it's not easy.For years now, I've been working on a book idea about loving your neighbors. The idea came to me after I went on a mission trip to Mexico in 2004. At the time, I hated flying, didn't speak Spanish, knew zero sign language and was completely inept with both ball peen hammer and ball point pen. And yet I got on a plane and flew to Mexico to do construction at a school for deaf children.It's not as if I hadn't volunteered before. I'd … [Read more...]

If your dog could talk, would he speak like a preschooler?

Yup, my dog has a blog.

A friend posted on Facebook today: "Who decided that if dogs were able to speak and type they would do so with a speech impediment that makes you feel illterate trying to read it?"I understand what she means. As part of a community of dog writers, I see a lot of pets with blogs, Twitter and Facebook accounts, and to be honest, sometimes I have no idea what they're trying to say.  Dat for that, da for the, and a host of grammatical errors (like "i has not" and "U gotted") sometimes mean I … [Read more...]

Dexter has two mommies – and that’s reality

 I just wanted to share with readers a link to my friend Carol's blog, Fidose of Reality, and her most recent post about "coming out."Over the few years I've known Carol, she went from editor at a dog magazine's blog to host of her own blog, Fidose of Reality, where she writes about all things dog. I think it's a little ironic that it's taken her this long to share perhaps her most important "dose of reality" with readers.I'm pretty sure I met Carol at BlogPaws in 2010, but I … [Read more...]

When religion and spirituality meet, sometimes there’s smoke

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For some time now, my aunt has been telling me to sage my house - sage, meaning burn sage in a cleansing ritual to rid the rooms of negative energy. She's also talked to me before about balancing my chakra, too. When I was younger, I pooh-poohed that kind of thing, but as I've aged I've become more interested in the spirituality that I'd always been taught was ... well, bad. Wrong. Evil.But the last decade or so, I've begun to question a lot of things about organized religion -  not the f … [Read more...]


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