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A dog’s resolution: play every day

By | dream, Pets | One Comment

“What’s the point of making a resolution if I’m not going to keep it anyway?” I asked my dog. It was the first day of the new year.

He rolled over and gave me his, “uh oh” look. If we’re going to have this conversation, please rub my belly. 

Dog owners face hilarious struggles.

“Well, there are some things I’ve been trying to do for many years. What’s the point of trying if I never keep my resolutions?” I asked.

“That’s your choice,” he said. I could read it in his eyes.

“Huh? Are you saying it’s my fault?” I asked.

“I didn’t say that. You did,” he moaned.

“Why is it that some of the things I’ve wanted for so long just don’t happen?” I asked.

“It means that you really don’t want them . . . yet,” he moaned with great empathy, begging me to play.

“What are you talking about?” I asked.

I knew what he was thinking. When you want it bad enough, you will make it happen.

“Make it happen? But I have too many distractions keeping me away from what I really want.” I told him.

He shifted his head sideways and moaned in his deep alto moan. It’s the same look he gives me when he wants something. Do you? Really? What’s stopping you?

 

“Well, you know, it’s all the stuff that’s been going on. I have to take care of all the people I love, and you. I’ve been going here and there. And I’ve been trying to do what’s right.”

He tweaked his head further. Right for whom? 

“Well, I don’t know. Everyone.”

He gave me the look. Are these people happy with you? 

“Well, I suppose their happiness doesn’t have much to do with me.”

“You’re getting somewhere. Continue,” he spoke to me through his hopeful eyes.

“I know what you’re getting at. They’re going to be happy or miserable regardless of what I do.”

Anything else? he yawned. He’s heard this story many times.

dog-yawning

Researchers find that dogs’ yawns are cued by their owners.

“They’re busy with their own lives. I know I need to do what I know is best for me and that’s the best thing I can do for everyone.”

I cuddled up close to him and gave him a hug. His tail picked up wagging speed. He spoke to me in body language, “That’s right. Let’s do it. Let’s play. See you already know what you need to do. What have you been wanting for so long that you aren’t doing? 

“Nothing, it’s just me. I’m the one who hasn’t been keeping my resolutions. I have no one to blame but myself. I really want to make this resolution. I know I need to make this resolution and then do what it takes to make it happen.”

Yes, and what else? he wondered.

“I need to develop the right habits so that I do what I need to do every day until my resolution becomes my reality. If I don’t make a resolution, my dreams are unresolved anyway. Deciding not to make a resolution means I’m giving up myself.” I looked him in the eyes.

Your dog might save your life.

He stared back looking bored. I felt like he said to me: You speak the truth.

“I do? I guess I do. What now?”

He started circling around me, like he always does when he wants me to get into action, wants me to play. Make your resolution on the first.

“The first of what?” I asked.

He ran to the door and looked back at me wagging his backside. The first of everything. The first of every year and the first of every month. First thing every morning. Right now! Do you resolve? Or do you not? 

“I get it. I got it. I’m resolving to do what I want to do . . . what I need to do.” I opened the door. He dashed around the back yard searching for his stick. He found it and ran to me. I threw the stick and he brought it back to me. I threw it again and he brought it back to me again, this time with a little more slobber. I knew I could throw it for an hour or two and he would stay in the game.

He wants to bring me the stick. He never lets me down. I throw the stick again, but this time I resolve to run with him. He beats me to the stick, but turns back to give it to me.

I dash off in another direction, and he chases me with the stick still in his mouth. He follows me wherever I go. I freeze and turn around to look at him. He drops the stick near my feet. He leans back with full attention on me, ready to take off the moment I grab the stick.

As I stare into his eyes, I know exactly what he’s thinking. I resolve right now to bring this stick to you. Are you willing to stay in the game? 

I drop my head back to look up at the sky. The sun is out of reach, yet I enjoy its warmth. My resolution is like the blinding sun. It’s out of reach, but just the thought of it brightens my day. It warms my heart.

I need to chase my resolution every day. I must master my game. I need to get fired up about playing every day. I got a burst of energy and threw the stick one more time. As he was running back to me with the stick, I felt a sudden sense of power. I got the crazy idea that I could throw any wish out to the universe and it would come back to me. I felt great!

We went back inside. I noticed a book that a successful friend loaned me a few days ago. He said it was a game-changer for him. I sat down and looked at the cover. RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE. I started flipping through the pages and randomly got caught up in chapter 5, the Plan and Do chapter. I was hooked as soon as I saw these three questions:

  1. What do you want?
  2. What does it cost?
  3. Pay it.

Get it done when life gets tough: Advice from Julie A Fast

 

 

Morris the cat rules at Orange Cat Cafe

By | Pets, restaurants | No Comments

My husband and I walked to Orange Cat Cafe from a beachside condo where we stayed the prior night.  I ordered an Americano, and oatmeal with bananas. Bob placed his order and paid.

Morris the cat us before we saw him. He decided to get up and greet us.

Morris the cat saw us before we saw him. He decided to get up and greet us.

We sat down to wait. A cat tip-toed toward us, whispering “meow” to welcome us. Bob reached his arm out inviting him to come closer. The cat circled around  a few times before he jumped up on the deep window sill to get closer. He stepped onto Bob’s knees to greet him.

I love pet-friendly shops. I reached over to pet the orange cat and he stepped over to my lap.

“What a sweet cat. What’s his name?” I asked.

“Morris. He’s 19.” Karen told me.

“Seriously, 19?”

“Yep, he’s lived here his whole life. This is his house,” she said.

“Really?”

“Yeah, this used to be a flower shop.” The previous owner passed away several years ago. In her will, she said Morris had to stay with the property. He has his own house over there,” she pointed toward the small building next door.

Orange Cat Cafe in Pismo Beach, CA

“We keep our bikes in there, but he has his own couch and entry.”

“He’s 19?” That’s pretty old for a cat. He didn’t look a day over 10. “What do you feed him?” I asked.

“It’s funny. I tried to change his food, but he wouldn’t eat it. The 9Lives people probably don’t want to hear this. This Morris likes Friskies. He likes the dried and canned stuff. ” she said. “He usually gets about a 1/2 can of the canned stuff every day and he can eat as much of the dried stuff as he wants.”

While waiting, I did a quick search on the 9Lives Morris the Cat. He has more than 300,000 likes on Facebook! I got curious to learn more about this famous cat. All the cats that have played the 9Lives Morris have been rescues, I read on Wikipedia.

I followed Orange Cat Cafe Morris outside. He kept looking back to see if I was behind him. He meowed at me, as if he were inviting me to visit his home. He rolled in the dirt and then posed for this picture. I swear he understood everything that was going on. I soaked in all the positive energy.

MorrisTheCatAtHisEstate

Morris the cat at his estate.

I wondered how many customers this friendly cat has greeted over the past few decades.

I noticed a black and white cat on the side of his house. So did Morris. He walked back toward the other cat. The black and white cat walked through the fence posts, obediently exiting Morris’s space. Morris stood guard near the gate for a few minutes and then jumped up to relax on his throne.

The dirt is browner on the other side of the fence.

Hello Kitty, is the dirt is browner on the other side of the fence?

“Morris definitely rules the streets around here,” Riley told me. “That black and white cat is Baby Face.”

Does Baby Face believe that the dirt is browner on the other side of the fence? Does he wish he could live like Morris?

“Do you have customers who come just here to see Morris?” I asked.

“Yeah, people come see him and they don’t even order anything. There’s a campground a few blocks away. Some people have been coming to Pismo Coast Village every year for ten or fifteen years. When they come in for coffee, they ask how Morris is doing.” Riley said.

Morris the cat at Orange Cat Cafe

Morris the cat in his front yard at Orange Cat Cafe

Service was in true form to its location: beach-casual. The coffee was great. The homemade cinnamon/honey oatmeal was delicious. Morris was delightful.

Orange Cat Café’s crew—(left to right) Karen Kennedy, Bronte Diaz, Noah Kennedy, Riley Kennedy, and Taylor Diaz

Orange Cat Café’s crew—(left to right) Karen Kennedy, Bronte Diaz, Noah Kennedy, Riley Kennedy, and Taylor Diaz

Few cats have private estates. Not many animals are given the chance to have a life and legacy like Morris. I look forward to running into this sweet tabby again on the other side of life. I’m excited to hear the rest of his story.

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What if You Come Down (to Earth) With Symptoms of Sustainability?

By | Biking, BUSINESS, gardening, healthcare, laundry, NONPROFITS, Pets, restrooms | No Comments

If you or someone you know has some of the following symptoms, you may be coming down (to earth) with sustainability. It can be contagious, but some people have strong resistance. Scientists believe that it may have something to do with a jean mutation. The jeans can be modified or removed, but some people don’t like to change because they’re comfortable just the way they are.

Sustainable World PeopleJust as a person who has obesity may begin to rely on a wheelchair to get around, a person who has sustainability may begin to rely on a bicycle to get around. Physical and mental conditions shape the surrounding environment.

Although some people feel uneasy about sustainability at first, they quickly begin to adapt to the condition. Some people do really crazy things like take up gardening or sell their cars. Once you catch sustainability, don’t be surprised if people with the mutated jeans call you crazy.

Once you’ve been diagnosed with sustainability, it’s helpful to join a support group with like-minded people who prefer trees over traffic and borrowing over buying. As the symptoms of sustainability increase, you may fall deeper into a wishful state of Utopia-euphoria wanting more people to contract your enthusiasm. Webweaver Earth

Here are some of the symptoms of sustainability:

Air. You go to parks and into the forest where the air is fresh and trees are plentiful. AIRNow

Banking. You closed your bank account and opened an account at a local credit union. Credit Union National Association

Whenever you go near a bank, you get withdrawal symptoms. PunOfTheDay

Bathroom. Your bathroom has a window which provides natural light and ventilation. American Restroom Association

Why are environmentalists bad at playing poker? They avoid the flush. Jokes4Us

Biking. Your bicycle is one of your main modes of transportation. People For Bikes

This CAR Game Will Drive You Crazy

Charities. You give generously to a local nonprofit or faith-based organization and they give back to the community. Charity Navigator

Cooperation. You quit your corporate job to work for a co-op. National Cooperative Business Association

Energy. Your home is drawing power from renewable energy sources. Renewable Energy World

Food. You have access to organic fruits and vegetables within walking distance of your home. GMO Inside

Gardening. You have fun working together with your neighbors in the community garden. American Community Gardening Association

Healthcare. You have access to affordable healthcare. Michael Moore’s Health Care Proposal

Housing. Your home is affordable and you help others who need housing. Habitat for Humanity

Laundry. You hang your laundry out to dry. Project Laundry List

Laundry Study Shows Americans Have Few Hangups 

Leaders. You’re a good communicator and leader. Toastmasters

Library. You enjoy going to your local library on a regular basis.

Lighting. The sun is your main source of light all day. VELUX

Music. You hear nature sounds or appropriate tunes that enhance your home, workplace and other public spaces. American Music Therapy Association

Names. You’re on a first-name basis with your neighbors and workers in local businesses. NeighborWorks

Organics. You buy organic foods in the local farmer’s market and grocery stores. CCOF

Outdoors. Your home and workplace outdoor spaces are green and welcoming. Alliance for Community Trees

What did the activist get when he sat on the iceberg too long? Polaroids. Jokes4Us

People. You treat everyone with respect, regardless of their age, race or social status. Grassroots International

Pets. You often take your dog along wherever you go. Go Pet Friendly

Plantscaping. You have plenty of indoor plants. Plantscape Industry Alliance

Prevention. Your healthcare provider incentivizes doctors for prevention. American Journal of Preventive Medicine

Why We Need to Do Doctor Reviews on Our Last Doctors’ Visits

Recycling. You have a donate box, a recycle bin and a compost pile, but you don’t have a garbage can. SCARCE

Sustainable Communities IndexSalary. Your boss doesn’t make too much more than you or your colleagues. Salary

Schools. Your kids attend schools which teach them how to create a sustainable future for themselves and the community. Edible Schoolyard

Seeds. You trade seeds and plants with your neighbors. Seed Savers

Sharing. You borrow stuff and lend a hand. mesh

Steps. The staircase in your workplace is more attractive than the elevator. StairPorn

Your Best Excuse for Not Going to the Gym

Students. Your kids are participating in solving real issues in the community. Youth Service America

Transportation. Your community is investing heavily in public transportation, bikeways, sidewalks and pathways. American Public Transportation Association

Volunteers. Your neighbors are engaged in making the community a better place to live. Volunteer Match

Water. Your drinking water is pure and safe. Local waterways are full of healthy marine life.  American Water Works Association

Weight. You’re healthy, not malnourished or obese. Weight of the Nation

Sick of Diets? Film Diet Plan Will Help You Escape the Fat Trap

Work. It’s easy for you to find work opportunities near home. Smart Growth America

If you’re experiencing several of these symptoms, stay calm. If you generate too much excitement, the zombie police with mutated jeans may try to attack. They are known to be mindlessly unreasonable, doing raids on people who sell fruits and vegetables, for example. Check out this raid on an organic food store in California.

Zombie Police - resident evil

What’s the difference between zombies and patched jeans?

Zombies are dead men. Jeans are mended. JokeIndex

If you or your loved ones are coming down (to earth) with sustainability, the best thing you can do is band together with other level-headed people and come up with a smart plan to protect yourselves in the event of a random zombie invasion.

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Your Best Excuse for Not Going to the Gym

By | Biking, BODY, Comedy, health, Pets, POPULAR, spouses | 6 Comments

It’s always good to have a few excuses up your sleeve in case you run into someone who nags you about joining a gym. Prepare now for the next time one of your “you-should-join-a-gym” friends or family members nags you. If you put a little thought into it now, you can easily ward them off later. For the sake of simplicity, let’s call this friend Jim. It’s best to develop a few excuses that are custom made for you, but here are a few ideas to get you started.

The world's strongest man, Patrick Baboumian, is vegan.

The world’s strongest man, Patrick Baboumian, is vegan.

“I’m taking vegan cooking classes.”

This is a timely excuse you can use now since Jim probably heard about Patrick Baboumian. At Toronto’s Vegetarian Food Festival this year, he carried 550 kg (1,212 lbs) more than 10 meters (32.8 feet), setting a new world record. This makes him the strongest man in the world. This 34-year-old Armenian-German relies on plant power to build his lean body mass and strength. The Star

When he was a boy, Patrick’s hero was the Hulk. Today, he’s achieved his goal of being as big as the Hulk, but despite eating lots of greens every day, he still hasn’t turned green.

He broke the world record by lifting some heavy metal on an outdoor stage. He didn’t use any fancy gym equipment. Real men go to competitions to lift things like logs and cars.

If Jim gives you a hard time about the vegan thing, tell him that after you eat your vegan dinner, you go around the house lifting furniture. Make up specific examples like, “I can already lift my LazyBoy. I’m working on lifting the couch, and eventually I may even be able to lift some of my family’s potatoes.”

“I’m concerned about FARTS.”

Flatulant Air Release Timing Syndrome (FARTS) is particularly troublesome in smaller gyms, and gyms with poor circulation. Scientists are still studying the causes and effects of FARTS. They believe it’s mainly due to diet, but it could also be hereditary.

Though it’s not considered to be contagious, other people will notice if you have FARTS and they may try to avoid you. FARTS is particularly common among people who run on treadmills or ride stationery bikes.

Psychologists are also studying other possible negative effects of treadmills and stationery bikes. When people ride bikes or run on treadmills that go nowhere, some psychologists believe that it may reinforce the idea that no matter how hard you work, you just don’t seem to get anywhere. Working hard to get nowhere? That stinks!

“My local gym won’t let me bring my dog.”

This is a perfect excuse if you have a dog because you can back it up with research. Studies show that pet ownership is linked with better heart health.

Dog owners can also use the FARTS excuse. Despite the fact that most dogs are smart enough to avoid treadmills and stationery bikes, some dog owners have reported that their dogs have contracted FARTS.

You can tell Jim that you’re waiting for a dog-friendly gym like FitBernalFit or K9FitClub. As soon as one opens nearby, you’ll be the first to join. If you have more than one dog, you can elaborate on the fact that your dogs really miss you when you’re at work, so you like to spend as much time as possible with them on evenings and weekends. It also gives you the opportunity to change the subject.

“You know how most people give their dogs boring names like Rover or Spot? I call mine Sex. I was so embarrassed recently when I went to the city hall to renew the dog’s license for Sex. I told the clerk, ‘I’d like a license for Sex.’ He said, ‘I’d like one too!’ Then I said, ‘She’s a dog!’ He said he didn’t care what she looked like. I said, ‘you don’t understand. I had Sex since I was 9 years old.'” Garrick’s Jokes

And you can go on talking about Sex until your friend forgets about the gym question. If Jim isn’t interested in Sex, then he’s probably not a very good friend anyway.

“I’m learning partner yoga.”

This is a good excuse for people who are married. Tell Jim that you and your spouse/partner are doing partner yoga together several hours every evening while you watch TV. If Jim persists by bragging about how much he benches or how many reps he does, tell him how much strength and flexibility you’ve gained now that you’re doing the dog, the cat, and even the happy baby.

“I’m totally claustrophobic.”

If you have an older brother or sister, you can use this excuse. Make up a story about how your older brother/sister locked you in the closet when you were five years old and ever since you’ve been chronically claustrophobic. Tell Jim that you need open space and fresh air.

If he persists, you can embellish a bit more on the indoor thing. Tell him you’re allergic to the toxic disinfectant sprays they use in gyms. He can’t argue with you on personal stuff like this.

This excuse works particularly well if you’ve ever lived near Venice, CA. Tell Jim that you just can’t seem to find a gym that compares to your former gym, Muscle Beach. You can’t stand those oppressive gyms without a view or fresh air.

Free Fresh Air: Hurry! Offer Ends Soon

“I bike to work.”

Jim probably drives to work. Tell him you’re taking up donations for the League of American Bicyclists to help make roads safer because of all the people driving to gyms. Tell him that you’re only asking for a small donation, about the cost of one tank of gas. If Jim drives a car, ask for $50. If he drives an SUV, ask for $80. If that doesn’t work, give him 13 reasons why he should bike to work.

“I get paid to workout.”

This is a perfect excuse for anyone who does manual labor. Whether you’re stocking shelves, framing houses, or climbing telephone poles, you’re getting paid to workout. Why do you think personal trainers are the only people excited about going to the gym? They’re paid to hang out there.

“I’m a stair master.”

This is a great excuse if you work or live in a tall building. The more floors, the better. You know how magazines are always putting out tips like, “take the steps instead of the elevator.” Tell Jim that you begin your workday by climbing 27 flights. That ought to impress him.

Why don’t more people take the steps? Most stairwells in the US are unattractive passageways installed just to meet ineffective safety codes. Remember the 200  9/11 jumpers?

It’s all backwards! We need to erect more buildings with the emergency stairwells outside the building where they belong. For the sake of good health, indoor stairways should be as elegant as today’s elevators, lined with mirrors, fine wood and polished brass rails. And only one elevator for the disabled. Some people think guns are killing a lot of people in the US, but this number is low compared to the statistics on elevators.

You can use the stair-master excuse for most people you know, but be careful about using it with colleagues who work in the same building. If Jim catches you in an elevator, you can say, “I’m running late for a meeting.” Of course he’ll understand.

White-collar people use this excuse all the time, even though most of them never run at all. People with desk jobs drive home and turn on their TV so they can watch cops and robbers chase after each other.

11 Equipment Essentials for Easy Everyday Exercises 

As you can see, there are many good reasons for not joining a gym. But just in case you’re still looking for a few more ideas, check out this two-minute clip by Jeff Allen . . .

If you’re forgetful, put the Hulk in your kitchen to remind you to eat your vegetables every day. The whole family can have fun with the Hulk. If you have kids, keep the Hulk next to the fruit bowl. If your in-laws are visiting for the weekend, put the Hulk in the refrigerator. Next time Uncle Jim comes over for dinner expecting steak, point to the Hulk.

Subscribe to VegNews to learn more about the benefits of going vegan.

One last word of caution. If you have a dog, be careful where you keep the Hulk. The Hulk has no protection from Sex.

What’s your excuse?

Vegan Society