Today was a good day to be outdoors for several reasons, the lovely fall day being just one of them.  The biggest reason to get out of the house was that Carol was scrubbing carpets!  My ears hurt from the roar of the vacuums and scrubbers.  My abilitiy to get around since I'm blind requires that furniture be where I expect it to be.  Today none of my landmarks were in their right places.  I was humiliated bumping into things.

I experienced awful confusion.  I felt really anxious.  Jan said it would have been better if I hadn't insisted on wanting to be where the people were.  I could have stayed out until this housecleaning was done.  How could I have known?  How is anyone able to trust those around them when friends depart from normal routines and you don't understand why?

How do you trust when you don't understand?  There must be a lesson in today's experience.  Things are back to normal.  I feel safe again.  Have I learned anything?  Is understanding necessary for trust??  I am writing these things down so I might remember when the carpets get scrubbed again, as well as in the event of other unfamiliar activities:  These are good people.  They do care for me.  Trust is a choice.  I came through this bout of doubt just fine.  Hopefully, I'll spare myself the pain of so much anxiety next time.  I choose to trust, just as Cosmo and the chickens choose to trust me.


In All Kinds of Weather

I am who I am no matter what is around me.
You see me happy in snow. 

You see me happy without snow. 
It's what's inside us that makes us happy.   To be pleasant or to be a crab is a choice.  What I work to build up inside myself is a large eye for the world around and joy in the freedom to explore as much of it as possible.  Every day brings new feels and sounds and smells -- opportunites for enlarging my response. 

I spend most of my days outside, which reminds me to tell you what a gift it is to live in Minnesota!  If you are awake for it, every day in Minnesota can stimulate your senses with this state's generous gifts of new landscapes.  Some stimulation comes through the guests who visit Clare's Well.  More vibes come through the feel of the very ground under my feet.  They say you never step in the same river twice; I never lie down twice in the same yard.   

I recommend noticing and responding to all the littlest gifts of nature. It is a shame to waste her time by ignoring how she changes the yard every morning.  She does it just for us.


Bad Hair Days

Do people complain about your hair?  Carol and Paula complain about mine.  They comb and brush me even though I tell them every way I know how that I don't like brushing!
Here is an example of somebody else they should get after.  Just look at that disheveled bush on her head! 

Oops.  That's not a very good attitude on my part!  I am a Franciscan dog.  OK.  I apologise for making fun of my sister chicken.  That was so rude of me.  I'm sorry for saying such a thing.

I still don't have to like being brushed, do I? 


Welcome All Strangers?

There has been a lot of human talk about immigration and immigrants lately.  Would you be surprised to know that I have first hand experience of welcoming immigrants?  Probably not.  You already know my mission is welcoming, but do you know it includes being gracious to those of my own species no matter where they come from?  They have canine qualities same as I do and I don't understand this business of picking and choosing for reasons which only insult all of us.

It seems that creatures of every ilk pick and choose who they will be gracious to and who not.  For instance, there are humans who welcome me and not cats, and some who welcome cats and not me.  Now that really has nothing to do with us cats and dogs-- if it did, I think there'd be more consistency.  For myself, if it moves I probably like it.  This might surprise you:  I have a friend who is a Mexican dog.  He is a Chihuauah and when I asked him for his papers, he didn't know what I was talking about.  I'm pretty sure he doesn't have any proper papers.
But Akitcheeta (Keechi)  is a fun Chihuahua who visits me almost every week.  The above picture catches him in the middle of a fun chase.  We get along well.  Well, I admit, I quick clean out my dish of food when I see him coming but I let him come in!  I visit regularly with the Irish Setters from next door and with the Black Lab from down the road, too.  I think those who say diversity is the spice of life are right on.


Winter News From the Well

The biggest news you all know already:  no snow.  This works for me because I can easily find my way around the yard and down the driveway by feeling the grass where it meets the gravel. 

This leads me to wonder, what do you use to guide you as you make your way through the day?  I stay close to the ground (obviously); that seems like a good starter for anyone. "Keep your feet on the ground."   How much time do you spend outside in contact with the ground?  What difference does contact with ground make for you?  I'd like to hear about it.

Other news is that Carol is still in Nicaragua and Paula and Jan miss her a lot.  None of us is quite the same without her.  She returns on the 21st.  She said this will be her last year to go on this trip; however, we've all heard that before -- what's your guess about whether or not she'll come home with plans to go again next year?