Monday, May 30, 2011

Ironic, Isn't It?

Just the other day, I was writing about the Internet and how it is being edited, without our knowledge or consent, and I've been thinking more about that and wondering where it will all lead us.

This morning, my daily consideration was this:

"The challenge of our times is to rebuild connection in our lives by reaching out to others and by being part of something larger than ourselves."
~ Edward M. Hallowell

The irony was clearly pointed out to me, that in this age of information and access, we seem to be more and more isolated. With all the tools at our disposal that makes information instantaneous, we seem to know less and less about those individuals right next to us.

We come and go and wave at our neighbors in passing. We smile, ask, "How are you?" But, we generally don't wait for an extensive answer as we have our car door open and one foot already inside the door. We've learned to be brief in our responses to questions that are polite but not being asked with genuine interest.

Email makes it easier to chat someone up or hit an individual with what I call, 'drive-by communications.' But we don't seem to extend ourselves into anything in-depth anymore. We've become lazy. Or indifferent. Or exhausted. Or overwhelmed. Or....

When it comes to each other, we've become isolated. With blogging, we can reach across the globe to each other and often form friendships that are incredibly rewarding. Yet, we no longer take the time to sit on each other's porches in real time with real people. Ironic.

By nature, I am sort of an oxymoron....I love people. I love to listen to them. I love to talk with them. While at the same time, I am also rather a isolationist. I can go days without the itch to leave my home. I am perfectly content to stay inside and watch the world through my windows. It can stay out there while I stay inside. And yet, I can't help but wonder, even though that suites me fine, am I doing my part to stay connected? Am I doing my part to form a sense of community? Probably not.

And, while I share myself freely on my blog and in emails and letters, I know I could do better at calling others. I know I could extend myself more by visiting with others. It's not about time; it's about intent.

In this world of ours...this brave new world of Tweets and Facebook and blogs and Internet and emails and Snail Mail and iPads and, and, and...information and access isn't the issue.

The issue is that it takes energy and commitment to be part of something bigger than ourselves. We must be willing to invest ourselves in real time with open hearts in order to truly contribute.

But, the question remains, in this hectic world that is all too much, all too 24/7 now... what does that look like? How do we do it? Perhaps by opening the door and looking for someone we know who lives close. By standing still and being completely open and present to them, no matter how long the encounter lasts. Maybe by smiling at others we pass in stores or at the mall and taking a moment to look into their eyes. To let that individual, who's name we will never know, understand that we 'saw' them.

Maybe it means just asking the questions of ourselves, "How do I let others know they matter to me when I encounter them? How do I continue to reach to be part of something bigger than myself? Can I try harder to be a better part?"

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Cares To Be A Part...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Silent Sermon Sunday

To remember those who have served, serve today, and will serve when we need them in the future. Remembering, also, those who love and loved those who serve.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka Airman Evan Frock's proud step-mom
Picture taken by My Lion at McKeesport Cemetery

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

You Vs. The Internet

My cousin in Florida sent this to me for my consideration. The fact that he could do this is because of the great tool and gift we call The Internet.

At the same time, while viewing the video link he sent, I was reminded yet again, that any tool not used correctly ceases to be a tool and can be down-right destructive. So, take a look at this and tell me if you think it interesting as I did.

I've discussed the problem several times here, this notion that others decide what information you get, your access to it and how you receive it. That's a huge problem. It will only continue to creep more and more into our world, this invisible censorship, unless we stay on constant alert. The only way a free society stays free is by open access to information and all the voices and opinions that go with it.

We all so want the world to be simple and uncomplicated. I'm afraid that being completely aware and tuned in doesn't allow for that. Whether it makes us uncomfortable, sad, angry, or uncertain, we have to have a tolerance for those itchy feelings. We have to be willing to hear it all.

So, tell me, what did you learn today? How did you learn it? And, could there have been more information that you should have known about, been given for your consideration, not edited out of your sphere of knowing?

I suspect that the answer for all of us is, yes, we could have been told more than we were. You should be the only editor of the information in your world. The only editor.

Eli Pariser: Beware online "filter bubbles" | Video on

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka A Professional Communicator

Friday, May 13, 2011

Forever Bond

See that picture? No, that's not my attempt at being pictorially creative. If you want to see good photography, go visit my friend Sarah at Cottage Garden, or Beth at Be Yourself... Now those gals got the eye!

No, that photo is a shot viewed through my front window and that haze is not a ghost. That, for lack of a socially acceptable description, is dog snot. Yep. My windows run almost to the floor; the Scotties think they are the best ever. They can patrol the community from the comfort of home.

I used to clean the windows regularly. After all I don't want people to think I'm a lousy housekeeper. What would the neighbors say?! But, you know what?

UNCLE! I give up! You win, I loose, I'm not doing this anymore! I'm yelling, "Leave IT!" But, not at the dogs, me. Put down the glass cleaner and step away!!!!! Unless I'm going to hobble the dogs and stake them down in the center of the room, what's the use?!

Did you ever use that product called Gorilla Glue? It's amazingly strong glue, isn't it? Well, just so you know, I'm shortly going to be a mazillionaire when I trademark, the incredible, bonds like nothing you've ever seen, sticks to anything, won't rub off, lasts for a life time, Scottie Snot Glue!

You heard it here first! Oh, before you go, say hello to the Chief of Quality Control. Sheeze...

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka Rory & Fiona's Mom

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Silent Sermon Sunday

It matters not, male or female, animal or Human, if you have loved, nurtured, and cared for another...Happy Mothers' Day. Blessings upon you.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Image of a card I made for Michael's Mom

Friday, May 6, 2011

More Lessons From Rory

For years, I've given my dogs a 'vitamin cook,' every morning. I take vitamins each day and think that life can be so stressful, a little extra fortification has to be a good thing. I think the same is true for our animals as well.

The brand I've used all these years is Pet Tabs. My old vet used them as a treat for his 'patients' who were good during an exam. My animals love them.

The other day, Michael and I were shopping for supplies at PetsMart. We noticed that the GNC company now has an entire line of various supplements and vitamins for all animals. Knowing GNC is a reliable company, and after reviewing the label to determine the ingredients were pretty much the same, we then got down to price. The GNC brand was significantly less expensive, so that was the deciding factor. The next morning, we went through our usual routine using the new vitamins.

Now, let me remind you that I'm still amazed after five years, how regimented and routine these Scotties are. They do not like to deviate from their schedules. Of all my animals, these two take the cake in this regard.

While my other animals had a routine, it was my routine they followed, and they flexed accordingly to The Queen's Will. Well, since these two are dogs, Rory & Fiona must bend to my will as well, but they absolutely let me know they are not amused by this. And, they've trained me well enough to know that it's easier just to let them stick to the familiar.

So, the morning ritual is- small carrots and a vitamin tab to be eaten under the dining room table, followed immediately by 'brekkie' in the bowls in the kitchen. Sometimes Rory likes to play a bit and wants me to snatch the vitamin and carrot away. After a few swipes, he will jump on them and keep me from getting them. Being victorious, the game is over and breakfast is eaten.

The first day with the new vitamins went as usual. Rory is a finicky eater. Fiona loves that he is because it means that, if we're not paying attention, she'll get two meals for the price of one. So we have to watch Rory to make sure we either pick up his meal or he eats it.

Over a few days time, I noticed that Rory was really off his feed and routine in the morning. He didn't want me to play with the vitamin and carrot, and in fact, he didn't want to eat them. He'd drag to his bowl to eat his kibble. I started to get concerned and then, just the other day, I paid attention as I handed him his vitamin and he very quietly turned his head away. He wouldn't eat it.

That's when it struck me, "Oh for heaven's sake, he doesn't like the new vitamins!" Upon which I called Michael and the conversation went like this, "Hon, I don't think the Boydog likes the new vitamins. I can't even make him take them anymore. I'm having a hard time imagining the new ones can taste much different because they smell the same, but honestly, I think he knows the difference."

"How's Fiona with them," he asked before quickly adding, "Never mind, she'll eat anything." "Right, she eats them just fine," I confirmed. I asked if I could buy the Pet Tabs which, considering the amount of money we just spent on the other vitamins, might mean that there's no money in the budget to spend. He answered, "I suppose. It's a pain, but he's such a simple, undemanding dog that if he really doesn't like the new ones, I feel like we have to get him the other." He said that with a sigh; I understood. Crazy animals....what difference should the brand of vitamin make?!

The whole way home after buying the old brand I was saying, "If I bring these home and open the bottle which means I can't return them and he turns his nose up at them which means it's not the brand it's just this little odd dog being odd once again, I'm going to be really pissed these dogs are entirely spoiled and I'm an idiot for giving into this nonsense I should know better and I am really a chump." was just like that run on sentence when I was having it run through my head.

Back home, I called Rory and handed him a vitamin. I swear his eyes lit up as he took it straight away! He came back looking for another. This morning, I'm happy to report that morning routine is back on track and no coaxing was needed to eat or take our vitamins.

So here's the thing that Rory taught me through all of this. Being uncomplicated, simple, and polite are virtues that are hard to ignore. Because he pretty much always does what we expect and ask of him...okay, let's not look at how he can't seem to come when we call him once he's outside...

Because he is always polite and quiet with no fussing when he absolutely doesn't like something, we find that we want to do what we can to make him happy. Even it it takes us out of our way a bit.

He was patient with how long it took me to finally figure it out. And, it's okay that he let us know he has a preference when it comes to some things; it doesn't have to be all our way. When something or someone is as quiet in their needs or demands, it seems a no-brainer to do what you can to make them happy.

It's such an easy thing and it makes me feel good to see him happy with his old brand of vitamin, even though it means a hit to my wallet. I'm still very happy to do it for him.

I think I'm going to work on being polite, quiet, uncomplicated, and undemanding. Wish me luck. I'm not as smart as my dog.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka Rory's Human
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