Posts tagged ‘dog’

saying yes

We spent a happy and hectic weekend recently at my brother’s house, whose grown daughters no longer require baby gates and outlet covers.  One person was assigned at all times to our foster son, to keep his roving little feet and hands out of trouble.

Cheerful by nature, the poor boy cried with frustration more than once, irritated by the sharp tone of “no!” he heard again and again as he approached the stairs, the garbage can, the dog food dishes.

It’s wonderful to be back at home with our baby gates and cabinet latches and relatively baby-proof spaces.  Our son can once again roam his bedroom, playroom and our kitchen; the alluring dog and cat food dishes are safely on the other side of the gate; he is only occasionally accosted with a firm no.  Within the boundaries we set for him, it’s safe enough to let him explore and experiment.  We are of course always nearby, but we don’t have to be a half step behind him with a vigilant eye at all times.  I have more opportunities to say yes.

I like making resolutions, whether it’s at the new year, or around my birthday, or other times when I need to reassess and revitalize myself.  This new year, I am trying to shift my thinking about my resolutions, so that I can use them the way we do baby gates for our son–an opportunity to say “yes” to myself.

January 4, 2012 at 10:11 pm Leave a comment

merry, happy

Earlier in the week we received a package from a friend in Alaska.  Something for the cats, and the dog, my husband, and I.

“The children,” she said in her card, “can play with the boxes.”

Which is when I stopped and looked at the boxes, which were lovely, and gifts in and of themselves.

Merry, happy, and safe, whatever you are celebrating.

December 27, 2011 at 10:31 am 3 comments

Hope

Not long ago, I noticed that our dog, Wiley (pictured above at bath time) was begging much more than usual.  In general she’s a lingerer, but not an actual beggar.  It turns out that she had found the stash of chocolate cream cheese brownies my husband had secreted away for himself.  Thankfully, it was not enough chocolate to do her any physical harm.  Just give her bad habits.

It’s made me think about the habit of hope, which most dogs seems to have.  Since her experience with the brownies, the dog is hoping that anything in a plastic bag might be a chocolate cream cheese brownie.

Of course our lives are more complicated than dogs.  We don’t default to hope, like dogs do.  We have to choose it.

And it’s not as if we choose it once, and then we are always hopeful–we must choose it again, and again, and again.

It’s another kind of practice–do I choose hope, or do I choose resignation.

The dog hopes.  Out of this bath, something good will happen, I just know it.  She looks at me out of the corner of her eyes.  She’s hoping if she stands still long enough, this bath will be over, and the treat in my pocket will be hers.

And, of course, she’s right.

September 6, 2010 at 6:45 pm Leave a comment

Who are we?

I mean that not in any cosmic way—at least not this week—but I thought you might be curious to know who the people are behind the pup.

Carol is Up Pup’s creator.  It’s her art and her energy that created the lovely dog and this wonderful company.  Carol not only holds the vision of the company and creates the art, she also does the leg work–updating the website, taking orders, shipping orders, answering questions, making decisions.  She does all of this from her home off the grid in central Vermont, where she lives with her husband and two children, and of course Luna, their pup.

Although Luna, a chocolate lab mix adopted from the local humane society, looks just like the pup on the Up Pup wear, the pup that inspired Carol’s creation was their dog Molly, who passed two years ago.  Molly was a black lab mix who, even as an old dog with a bad back, knew the importance of the daily stretch!

Lucia in up dog.

Lucia is Carol’s daughter, and also her right hand gal.  She helps out at shows to set up and sell, she graciously poses in Up Pup wear for promotional photos, and is a general helper and support.  She is particularly good at talking with customers and potential customers, getting and giving feedback.

Sharon is typing the keys, that is, I actually write this blog.  Carol and I became friends in part because she gathered a group of neighbors together who let me practice on them when I was first learning how to teach yoga.  Typing this blog is one way of giving back to her, plus, it always helps a writer (at least this writer) to have a deadline and an audience.  I teach yoga, and also work at Sunrise Farm, a CSA in my community.

My husband Kevin is a massage therapist, and has taken many of the photos that are on this blog, in the store, and the Upper Valley Yoga website. We live in town with our two cats and our dog, Wiley, who is part Australian Shepherd (and possibly Tazmanian devil!).

You will also find, on the Up Pup website, photos of our friends Meg modeling our tank top, and Sadie modeling the children’s wear.  Please check the store soon for the organic cotton line for babies, adults (including men’s sizes) and children.  The colors are fantastic!

Thanks for reading.  Have a great week.

Carol, Lucia, Sharon and our pups!

Luna, exhausted after a long day of providing inspiration!

July 30, 2010 at 5:20 pm Leave a comment

Keeping it simple

One day earlier this week, for no obvious reason, our power was out when we woke up.  No water for a shower, no way to heat the water for tea.  No checking email, no flicking on the radio.

It was lovely, I must say.

I straightened up the house, unloaded the dishwasher, and then wondered where my husband was.

“What are you doing back here?”  I found him in the back yard, with the dog.

“Just looking at things.”

We sat outside, the three of us, watching the men in the basket at the end of the long arm of the power company truck, fixing whatever was keeping our appliances from humming.  We watched the birds at the feeder, and we watched the dog, watching the red squirrels.

Half an hour later, the power back on, I was checking my email and drinking my tea.

The dog, who is onto something, stayed in the backyard, squirrel watching.

On Saturday, I took a lovely class (offered by Leslie at Upper Valley Yoga) and noticed the simple language she used to get us into some complex poses (or near them, at least).  Without the clutter of a lot of description (but plenty of clear direction), I was able to follow her instructions and still have my own experience of the yoga practice.

I realized that the space she left allowed me to connect to myself.  And that connection to myself allows me to connect to another.

These connections may happen in the most simple ways–the simple kindness of meeting another’s eye when we say hello in the grocery store.  The simple act of listening to our loved ones at the end of a long day.

This is a good reminder for me.  Simple isn’t my first nature, and everyday life doesn’t generally encourage me in that direction.

Thank goodness for the occasional power outage, and red squirrel watching with the dog.

July 19, 2010 at 10:19 pm Leave a comment

Let’s do the twist

Or rather, let’s do the revolve.

This week as I was planning a class, I realized that I had been using the word “twist” for the Sanskrit “parivrtta.”   So “parivrtta trikonasana” had become, in my translation, twisted triangle.

The translation of parivrtta is actually “revolved” (or even, in one online dictionary, reborn!).

Ah, words.

When we revolve something, including our bodies, we may be looking at a different face of something than we are used to, but we can still recognize the figure.  I imagine if I could tilt my house, or this table I’m sitting at right now, at a strange angle–I would still recognize it as my home, and my dining room.   The form is what it is, simply revolved.

When we twist something, we’ve by definition changed its form.  We twist something and make that form hard to recognize, or even unrecognizable.  If I twist the table, I may only recognize four legs, not know if it’s a table, or a desk, or a chair.  My husband says–when you say twist, I think of twist tie, and I don’t want to look like a twist tie.

If you join me in my classes this week at Upper Valley Yoga more than likely you will be invited to revolve.  Wherever you practice–at home with the dog or cat, in class with your friends or teacher–give revolving a try.

Here’s the trick I use to help me remember–imagine you want someone to be able to read words or an image you have on your torso–maybe you want to show off your favorite new uppup tank.  By keeping the side body long, and moving from your belly, you can keep your torso revolving, instead of twisting.  So the message on your torso, if looked at from the right face, is recognizable.

So, side body long, let your breath lead, and let’s do the…revolve!

July 12, 2010 at 9:12 pm 2 comments

Grace.

The dog and I are resting on the porch.  She has her nose in the sun and the rest of herself in shade.  I’ve got my legs in the sun.  The rest of me—and this computer screen—are in the shade.

We’ve had four days of my ideal weather.  Hot sun, cool breeze, and nights chilly enough to need a thin wool blanket.  It’s easy for me, on days like this, to feel that life is a blessing, that life is full of grace.  That I am full of grace.  And certainly, of course, the dog is full of grace.

I imagine grace is a quality within our hearts.  It describes the times in life when we feel afraid and do the thing we’re afraid of.  It describes the times in life when we say the perfect thing in a difficult situation, or when we say the wrong thing and forgive ourselves for it.  It describes those days when we feel the sadness in our hearts, and the beauty of the day, and the two can rest there, side by side.

Grace may look like the face of a baby, a well-tended garden, a beautiful loaf of bread.

I taught to the theme of Grace in my yoga classes this week.  One class is a group of friends who meet once a week in the summer to practice.  Some of them are new to yoga, some of them have a steady practice year-round, some come to their mats only when we meet for this class.  They watch, learn from, and help each other with a sense of fun, and kindness, and ease that is a joy to watch.  This is Grace.

Now, can I bring Grace along for the ride when it gets up into the 90’s again, as the weather tells us it will by the end of this weekend?  Blech.  We’ll see.

At least weather in the 90’s is perfect for wearing an uppup tank.  Check them out at http://shop.uppupyoga.com/.  They make a great gift if you know any yogis with a summertime birthday!

Have a grace-filled week.  Thanks for visiting.

Sometimes Grace looks like Luna, resting on the porch.

July 2, 2010 at 5:32 pm 4 comments

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