Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Half Smiling… again… remember this time!

As we entered the hay field this afternoon we could see that Spike had found something by the focused way he was looking at the ground. We got closer, but as soon as we were within grabbing distance he was outta there… with a mouse tail hanging out of his mouth….

Gross! And what immediately came to mind was the time Bella swallowed one whole, and then barfed it up in the living room – DISGUSTING! I can deal with straight puke, but dead animals in the puke… lets just say that I was close to puking myself.


With a re-enactment of that in my mind I knew we had to get it away from Spike. Luckily I had stuck a few hotdog treats in my pocket before we left the house. And luckily, he has a pretty good recall if I use the right words, so over he came, mouse in mouth. I quickly grabbed his jaws and pryed them open for the mouse to fall out, and then gave him his treat. Carm took the mouse by the tail and flung it into the trees. Another treat to distract and it seems that he forgot all about his most recent killing spree.

Which brings up the question: would he have swallowed it if it had still been alive and moving? Or do they make sure they are motionless? Questions that don’t really bear thinking about!  (I found it interesting that he dug his rat toy out of the toy box later in the afternoon!)

While I was outside and walking past the trailer I had the thought that if we were a bit more footloose and fancy free we could just load up the camper and head to Myrtle Beach and Charleston. Wouldn’t that be a blast.

Alas, we have responsibilities, not the least of which is Grace.


By my calculation, we could be there at the end of 3 medium days (8am to 3pm). There is a state park nearby that is apparently quite nice. And beaches that the dogs could run on. Certainly we wouldn’t be having days at the beach like we did at Pancake Bay, but it would be fun none-the-less. Looking at the map shows me that we could spend a few days in Washington seeing the sights. No doubt that with a little research we would find lots to see and do.

I was looking through my blog for the Butternut Squash Risotto recipe (didn’t find it), when I came across a long forgotten post about half smiling. I’m including it again as a reminder as I have been practicing more of a half frown lately… I like the idea of hanging a branch or something as a reminder.

'Half smiling' mindfulness exercises by Thich Nhat Hahn

Half-smile when you first wake up in the morning

Hang a branch, any other sign, or even the word "smile" on the ceiling or wall so that you see it right away when you open your eyes. This sign will serve as your reminder. Use these seconds before you get out of bed to take hold of your breath. Inhale and exhale three breaths gently while maintaining the half smile. Follow your breaths.

Half-smile during your free moments

Anywhere you find yourself sitting or standing, half-smile. Look at a child, a leaf, a painting on the wall, anything which is relatively still, and smile. Inhale and exhale quietly three times. Maintain the half smile and consider the spot of your attention as your own true nature.

Half-smile while listening to music

Listen to a piece of music for two or three minutes. Pay attention to the words, music, rhythm, and sentiments. Smile while watching your inhalations and exhalations.

Half-smile when irritated

When you realize you're irritated, half-smile at once. Inhale and exhale quietly, maintaining the half smile for three breaths.


Art is the stored honey of the human soul, gathered on wings of misery and travail. ~ Theodore Dreiser