Tuesday, September 1, 2009


I've gotten comments from friends that they can't leave comments on my other blog, cindyluck.blogspot.com, so I'm hoping you can leave some here. The other blog is dedicated to my writing life and there are prompts there, so if you'd like to use them feel freee :-)

This morning when I wrote my morning pages, I wrote about 'scars' -- something I plucked from my inspiration box which brims full of possibility for spur-of-the-moment surprise ideas to write about.

Here's what I came up with. It's not the scars that leave visible marks on our knees or chests, breasts, or hands that haunt us as much as the ones we can't see -- the lies we've been told, the deception or humiliation we've experienced, words that cut deep into our hearts, lost loves we won't see or speak with again, words left unsaid and more.

Whether or not you are a writer, we all have something to say about our own scars...

Friday, June 26, 2009

writing writing writing --I've moved

I've not been very good at posting on this blog -- because I've been posting prompts and goodies about my writing life on cindyluck.blogspot.com

Come check it out. Frankly it gets pretty lonely there ... won't you drop in for a visit?


Monday, May 18, 2009

Book in a Week

I finished my class, Book in a Week last week. The class was amazing.

I set an unrealistic goal of reaching 50,000 words, but life happens and there were a couple of things that I didn't want to give up like spending time with my grand children, taking them to yoga class, going to my own yoga class--those sorts of important things. Speaking of yoga, by the end of the writing week, my left arm felt the pinch of too much computer work and too few breaks. My yoga teacher, Mary Smith, at the Danville Yoga Center worked with me during class, and when I left, and for the first time in a week, I was pain free. Pain free! Yoga is amazing.

Okay, back to the class. I wrote a total of 26,000+ words--a little more than half my goal. I felt I let myself down, but 26,000 words was more than I most probably would have done if I hadn't taken the class.

Here's what I learned about myself as a writer:

~I love to procrastinate. However, if I completed my day's work knowing where I planned on beginning the next day, I found my way to the page much quicker. Otherwise it was to Starbucks for coffee, a load of laundry, a telephone call, answering emails, you know what I mean?

~Once I start writing, I don't like to stop, hence the sore arm. So, I needed to have a stern talk with my stubborn self.

~The best laid plans as they say--I had my plot figured out and by golly my characters wanted little, if anything to do with it.

~When I get out of my own way, my work is much more successful.

~A collage of pictures for the characters in my book was incredibly helpful. When I could see faces, I slipped into their heads easily.

~I am my own worst enemy! I suppose most of us are.

~Pay attention to synchronicity events--it led me where I needed to go!

The class and support from the group, not to mention April, was just as good as having your own personal coach giving a gentle nudge when needed!

April will be holding another class in early June. Here's how to contact her:

Friday, April 24, 2009

Write a Book in a Week, are you kidding???

Two weeks ago I began an online writing class called Book in a Week. I heard the instructor, April Kihlstrom (www.aprilkihlstrom.com) speak four years ago at the East of Eden Writing Conference in Salinas.

A book in a week? Come on now! I've been working on Nineteen Darby Way for four, yes as much as I don't want to admit it, it's been four years. (My husband says it's taken me longer to write my book than it did to write the bible, but that's another story--not the bible--the comment).

We're just finishing up week two and then we have one more week of preparation before beginning to our week of writing. And, I'm procrastinating by writing on my blog instead of figuring out the flaws my characters have. I figure, if I gave each character one or two of my own flaws, they'll be all set and maybe, just maybe they'll teach me something, like how to rid myself of them.

We'll see, first I have to get to writing.

If you've thought of writing a book, I can't recommend April's class enough. She's written seventeen books, is so informative, answers all emails with suggestions and new ideas, and has the whole class developing characters, plotting, using post cards, and making collages. We're all making progress.

Check her out, again her web site is www.aprilkihlstrom.com

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Poor me

I've been so busy posting on my new blog, cindyluck.blogspot.com, that I almost forgot about my old buddy, scribblescrabble! The place where I got my experience, sort of like the entry-level position at a factory, Macy's stockroom, or K-Mart, when you were sixteen and owned the world.

Speaking of entry level positions, reinventing myself as a novelist is proving to be quite a challenge. Trying to hold my heavy head high after receiving what I consider more than my fair share of rejections for my novel, Nineteen Darby Way, has not easy, nor fun, and it's humbling. At first I said, "well, now I'm that much closer to a 'yes'" but I don't think I even fooled myself with that one.

So I gave my baby to a woman who is very 'literary' and am waiting for her opinion, a decision made after rewriting the first four chapters in another tense and person. I hoped maybe that would work, but after chapter four it didn't and it was time consuming and frustrating. It was a dreadful experience.

This book, my baby, may be the book that finds its' way under the bed until I reach the best seller list (tee hee) with the next book--then I can dust it off and everyone will be clamoring for it, right? right? well, maybe?

Anyway, I've heard that every writer has at least one, two, or possibly three unpublished babies...maybe Nineteen Darby Way will be mine. But the fight is not over yet!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Oh dear, this could be dangerous, this downloading pictures trick I now know how to do--sort of (I can't figure out how to see the pictures before I download them, so this one was snapped before our backyard remodel).

Anyway, here's Jake lounging in the backyard...which is where he'd probably like to be right now -- but it's cold and rainy today. I don't want him outside laying on the cold ground or on the flagstone because at his age (ten and counting) I worry about his hips.

As with most larger breeds (Jake is part Golden Retriever and part Grand Pyrenees) hip 'challenges' are always a concern and we want and try to keep those challenges to a minimum. So enjoy the picture of our peaceful baby taken a few years ago! It's easy to see why he's so special isn't it?

I know I know--beauty is in the eye of the beholder and although his head is too big for his body (and actually his tail looks a foot too long is this picture) and he doesn't have "golden retriever" ears, he's still the best, most handsome dog I've ever seen. What I need to do is take a close-up of his soulful brown eyes, then you'll understand!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Jake The Dog (and my first picture)

When we got Jake, we had no idea how he'd change our lives...and as you can see, he had no idea how we'd change his. Rick and I were given these cozy little vibrating slippers from the grand kids for Christmas and thought it would be fun to put them on Jake. Can you believe how sweet this dog is? To let his parents humiliate him like this? I know, it's cruel, however, you will notice that aside from the cruelty, he does pretty much have run of the house, er...and the furniture.

I'd like to mention that this is the dog my husband said we could have (after my begging for literally years) if I promised not to let him sleep with us, let him lay on the sofa or eat people food. Guess who breaks all the rules? Yup, my husband. He and Jake are best buddies.

If there is such a thing as reincarnation, I want to be Jake.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Younger Hair...

I was flopped out on the couch yesterday afternoon during my three o'clock slump and thought it would be a good oppotunity to relax and sort out the mail since we'd just returned from O'ahu.

There were piles everywhere. I usually rifle through them with the expediency of the mail carrier, but yesterday, I took my time and looked at the quirky ads, magazines, and flyers.

You know those packets that have coupons stuffed into them? Or little pamphlets with the best deals in town. Well...

in one of said pamphlets, I found an interesting advertisement... so worry no more ladies....

Younger hair is here AND, not only does it give you beautiful tresses rich with REAL hair in an assortment of lengths and colors, but the wig has (and I quote) "an incredible face-lifting feature that makes you look ten years younger."

Can you believe this?

A wig that has a face-lifting feature?

It feels like society has stooped to a new low, doesn't it? If a face lift will make you feel better, go for it. But in a wig? What happens when you take the wig off and your stretched skin falls forward like that of a bloodhound? I know, not a pretty visual.

Their website is www.faceliftingwig.com in case you want to check it out.

Why can't we be beautiful just the way we are? Why can't society value women (and men) for their wisdom instead of trying to make the norm of fifty, sixty, and seventy year-olds look like surgical experiments? Go figure...Don't get me wrong, I'll drive you to the hospital to have a facelift, but if you're going to be pinning your skin under a wig, I think I'm busy that day :)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Curves Closing

For the past six weeks or so, I've been working out at Curves to firm up, slim down, lower my BMI. There have been times when I've been unable to make the recommended three times a week because of my Friday yoga class (which my 15 month old grand son calls goga) but I'm out there trying.

I showed up yesterday to find fliers taped to the outside windows and hanging on the purple and green walls inside: ATTENTION CURVES MEMBERS ....

and so the tight economy has hit my favorite new workout spot. On April 10, Curves will close its doors. I'm sad. I'm sad for me, for the women who have formed friendships and supported each other throughout the years, and I'm sad for the owners.

A gal I spoke with yesterday, one who works there, said she feels like a family member has died. Many women have had to cancel their memberships as residents of our little town, like every other town, tighten belts and let go of things they can't afford.

But there's always a silver lining isn't there? It took me awhile to find it, but I found my own personal one, two actually...

There's another Curves way on the other side of town, so I can drive there. But what really put a smile on my face was that I didn't realize my commitment was that strong. . .I really didn't know that!(I know, its only been six weeks...so we'll see)

Hopefully, I'll keep movin', shakin', sweatin', and firming up! I'm already seeing results.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Power of Power Pals

Here's the article I wrote for the California Writer's Club Tri-Valley Branch this month. Hope you enjoy it.

A couple of years ago, a few writing colleagues and myself used the Artist’s Way as a guide to help us deepen our writing practice and to live our lives as writers more fully. We did morning pages, artist dates, visited art galleries, read, got to know our inner critic, and how we sabotaged ourselves. We had our aha moments and our “I don’t agree with this” moments. Occasionally we faltered and fell, other times we accomplished our goals, and always, held each other up with support, respect, and accountability to each other. These were my Power Pals.

I’ve had the same Power Pal for a couple of years now, who holds me accountable and helps me reach my goals simply by being there. Not criticizing, not judging, not lecturing, just being there. I’m sure there are lots of ways to work with a Power Pal, but here’s one suggestion.

Make four lists:
Goals for the week
Yahoo (things you accomplished during the last week)
Boohoo (things you listed and didn’t accomplish)
Toodle-oo (items listed for three or more weeks and I still haven’t accomplished).

Email your Power Pal on Monday morning with your goals for the week. (keep a copy of the list taped to your work station so that you can see it easily and check off your accomplishments as you complete your tasks).

The following Monday, report your progress (your four lists) to your Power Pal via email. The beauty of these lists is that you can celebrate your successes (Yahoo) which is the most important, set your priority compass for the following week (goals), including the items you hoped to accomplish but didn’t (Boohoo), and finally, take a look at those things that appear week after week and remain undone (Toodle-oo). Once you identify those, you can make a decision to put the item on hold, scratch it completely, or make the commitment to do the activity that week. If you don’t, take it off the list. It is weighing you down for whatever reason.

As a coach, I can’t stress enough the power of a Power Pal.

Where do you find one of these gems? Just ask. Maybe at a CWC meeting, a critique group, a trusted friend. Remember, the effectiveness of a Power Pal comes in support not criticism, so choose wisely. Good luck reaching those goals!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Do you suppose...

Some of my most thoughtful moments occur when I walk our golden retriever, Jake. This morning as we were traipsing up and town the hills, I was thinking about the economy and wondered what the silver lining in all of this might be ...

Suppose we're facing an economic crisis because...

it's time for all of us, not just a few, to get in touch with what's really important in life?

or that maybe, just maybe, we learn to measure others not by what's on the outside, but who they are on the inside?

or that it's time to conserve (and I'm not talking about coming from a place of lack) and having enough doesn't mean huge opulent excess? That frugal is in and excess out?

that economic hard times bring us to a new place of discovery within ourselves, who we were, who we are, and who we might become?

or that this challenging time gives us the opportunity to spend time and develop stronger ties with people we care about, not putting them on the back burner while we're off to pursue meaningless activities that pull us away from what matters most?

or that it's time to even out the balance of power???

I don't know.

I wish Jake could talk, my big old Buddha boy, he'd have the answers for me if only...!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Rumi ~ 700 hundred years ago ...

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

~ Rumi ~

This was sent to me by a friend. It's so beautiful I had to share it. Imagine if we could accept the 'house guest' in ourselves and in others, what do you suppose the world would be like?

Happy Monday

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Saying Yes to Life

It seems that all I hear about these days is how we need to be pulling in our belts, tightening the reins, and hunkering down. It's understandable. But at what cost? I'm not suggesting that we all go out an splurge on expensive items, but what about saying 'yes' to the things we love. Our happiness and well-being count, too. Joy don't necessarily come in the same package they did last year, but there are plenty of ways to have joy in our lives without breaking the bank...or touching it, such as enjoying...

A sunrise and sunset,
a child at play,
a happy puppy,
a good book from the library,
a cup of steaming tea or coffee,
a conversation with a friend,
a walk in nature--or around the block,
doing something for someone else,
and maybe an occasional splurge.

Saying yes to life is all about being conscious not only of our choices, but of living in the very moment we have.

I think we've become so 'outer' oriented, spending and accumulating 'stuff,' that we forget just how resourceful we are...and how many pleasures in life are free. I thought about this the other day. In the morning I spent time with my daughter and my three grand children who live close by, in the late afternoon I drove to Oakland to spent time with my older daughter and my grandson. It didn't cost a penny. How grateful I feel for these wonderful gifts in my life.

If the dwindling stock market, investments, bank account have you down, remember that enjoying life in the moment is totally free and in fact, can have a longer lasting effect than something that costs money...and saying yes to life is a diversion from all the negative energy floating around out there!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Vagina Monologues

Last night I went to dinner with friends and then the five of us drove to the Bankhead Theater in Livermore to watch Eve Ensler's, Vagina Monologues, the proceeds of which benefit Tri-Valley Haven, a place for women of domestic violence. Here's their website if you'd like more info www.trivalleyhaven.org

I knew several of the performers, none of whom is a professional in the field of drama. They are artists, poets, writers, volunteers, working women, women just like us.

The play is hysterically funny and painfully heart-breaking when you hear true stories about our sisters in foreign countries (and in our own) who are raped, suffer genital mutilation, and beaten. Sometimes these women can't leave their abuser, some do, some take their secret of rape or battering to their graves.
The last page of the Monologue program says,

"Tri-Valley Haven creates safe homes from abuse,

contributes toward a more peaceful society,

one person,

one family,

one community at a time.

Together, we build a world without violence."

Thursday, February 12, 2009

120 Minute Hours

My husband has been skiing all week. I dropped him off at Oakland Airport on Sunday morning and I'll pick him up tomorrow afternoon. Could I tell you how many plans I mentally made for myself before he left? Everything from staying in my pajamas every day until noon to going out to dinner with friends every evening. Funny how things don't always work out as you planned...

Monday morning I had a dentist appointment and because I'm dental phobic I take heavy duty drugs the night before my appointment, which I couldn't do Sunday evening because I during dinner with a friend I drank two glasses of wine.

I took my double dose of nothing-phases-me-in-the-least in the morning, my friend Sue drove me to and from the dentist's office and I think I slept through most of the appointment. After Sue dropped me off, I slept until the phone rang at 6:20 p.m.--which gave me ten minutes to get ready to go out to dinner at a neighbor's house.

And that's how my week went--spinning my wheels or sleeping through the entire week! I'm still scratching my head trying to figure out why. But, on the positive side I did attend my sexual assault training (did you know that about 10% of rapes/sexual assault are actually reported?), attended one yoga class (that kicked my butt), signed up at Curves (easy decision--I couldn't make it around the 'circuit' once without huffing and puffing ), and I did do rewrites up to page 141 on Nineteen Darby Way. So the week wasn't a complete loss. The best of course, was getting in grand kid time.

An old friend told me to repeat

"I now experience 120 minute hours."

If you're looking to stretch time, try it. It didn't work for me this week because I forgot to try it, but when I've used it in the past, it has worked.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Happier Than God...(Walsch's new book)

I've been reading Neale Donald Walsch's book, Happier than God. I heard him speak last year (I think it was last year) at Barnes and Noble when he was running around the Bay Area promoting his book.

If you've never seen him, his looks took me by surprise. He's got intense eyes, white hair, a beard, and a kind face...kind of like ... well, you know who... Interesting.

I am not religious, but here are some of the things I love about his book is:

~if you want something for yourself, do it for someone else

~ this was one of my favorites: "The meaning of everything is the meaning you give it."-- I underlined this on page 89 and then thought it was absolutely brilliant on page 221 "Nothing has any meaning, save the meaning I give it" ...which tells you that I was a tad unconscious when I underlined it the first time.

~ "Judgment is not discernment, and observation is not judgment. It's healthy to be discerning, and natural to make observation"....Walsch say an observation says "what's so" and a judgement says, "so what?"

~and .... "Let it go" ~ just breathe and relax.

Don't you feel better already????

~Smile -- it's true, when you smile you can't help but feel better and in these difficult economic times, a little feeling better can go a long way...

Happy Friday~~~

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Beauty Hoarder

My side of the bathroom vanity is a mess. My husband's side: A water glass. A pill box.

On my side stands body lotions, face soaps, facial creams, perfumed lotions, perfume, and so many different hair products I could give all the neighborhood women stand up straight, curl down tight, or slick 'n smooth, hair do's.

This morning after I shampooed my hair, added hydrating leave-in conditioner, slapped on goo to thicken my too thin individual hairs, I went to grab a jar of hair paste to get that chunky look. Very carefully, using my best agility skills, I dipped my hand into the middle of a rats nest worth of jars, cans, plastic bottles, sprays, and I nicked one with my thumb, BA-BOOM -- one by one everything fell like a seamless row of dominoes.

I am a hoarder (not to mention insecure AND lest us not forget feverishly looking for the Fountain of Youth). Imagine my surprise when I realized the hoarding bit. I had no idea! If there's a dab left of whatever it is--face wash, fine line wrinkle creams, deep wrinkle cream, vitamin C cream, "serums," hair sprays and countless lotions--it's saved. What would happen if the small wrinkles came back and all I had was deep wrinkle remover? What then, huh?

And so it goes. There are lotions to firm my butt, put my ankle skin back where it belongs, push boobs up up up--do you suppose that's where double chins come from? I hadn't thought about that until now!

I have serums not only get rid of wrinkles, but to erase all the sun damage I've created since being an inhabitant of earth (shame on me!), and remember the myriad of deodorants, perfumes, mascara, make-up, blush, lipstick, eye liner, lip liner, eye shadow, blush brushes, shadow brushes, lip brushes, hair brushes, tubes of lipstick so old they could be used as Spackle, and of course lip gloss, who could live without lip gloss??? Need I go on? I'm exhausted thinking about it!

My conclusion? In order for me to be really organized, I need the shelving of a Sephora cosmetic shop or at the very least, the cosmetic and personal products lane at the local Safeway.

With all the products available for us to fluff up, slim down, even out, plump, dump, hydrate and so on, isn't it amazing any of us actually have the nerve to show ourselves in public?

So I had to do something this morning, and I did. I put everything on the counter in a several baskets, and put them under the counter now I don't have to look at it, I just have to find it ...ack!

Life is good so enjoy~~~~

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Fun Calendar Color Coding

I should know this from being a coach. If it's not on the calendar, it most likely won't happen. People like to-do lists and they like to cross things off once they accomplish them. I like that, too, but I also like color coding...

I paid a small fortune this year for a Franklin Planner. (Well, it wasn't that it was so expensive as much as the price went up once I decided I didn't like it) But, it's very chic--bright red leather, smooth to the touch, smells great. I knew I'd love feeling the leather every day and I would have except what I didn't love, or even like, was the daily calendar I chose to fit inside it.

I couldn't see a week-at-a-glance every day and I knew that would make me nervous. I need to know what I've got cooking, even if I forget to look. There safety knowing that I've written my life down someplace and I don't need to remember everything.

So I began the search for another new-new calendar. And I found one at Border's. I checked office supply stores but nothing quite hit me the way this one has. It was love at first sight. It's perfect. Not only can I see a week at a glance, but I can also see the whole month vertically! Isn't that cool?

And, now I've color coded everything. Please don't think that this means I'm anal. Anyone who looks at my home office, in my purse, or the house when my husband is out of town knows that anal would not be a word to describe me, not one bit.

But color coding is fun! And it shows me when I am doing too much of something. For example, I have little yellow squares around my social engagements/appointments, blue blocks around anything having to do with the book, green around any freelance work.

Looking at my color coded week-at-a-glance, the book will be finished in 2120, I will have won the Miss Congeniality contest several times, and I'll be eating Ritz crackers forever.

Once I discovered this, I had some work to do ... but not today (there's that old dog procrastination--not really). I decided to let things sit the way they are, and in February, I will curtail my social activities somewhat!

This new system of color coding is such an easy and efficient way to keep track of my time! And it looks so pretty to see blue, green, yellow, purple, brown on the pages!

Just color me pink :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Old dog learns new yoga tricks...

This morning I went to a yoga class -- one designed for people over fifty and while I'd rather not, I fit into that category. I'd debated and debated whether or not to go, thinking that the class would be too slow for me. But, since it was Friday and I've committed to one class a week (a new year's resolution....) I thought how bad could it be?

I parked the car in the lot, grabbed my purple rubber mat from the backseat, and began speed walking up the meandering path toward the yoga room, almost running over a fifty plus plus woman's back.

Then my judgments kicked in. I decided that everyone looked older and stiffer than me. Certainly I was not as out of shape as any of them appeared. The room was crowded and everyone was clamoring to put their yoga mats near a wall--to hold themselves up I thought.

I paid my fee, unrolled my magic purple carpet in front of a small wall which meant I didn't have to share wall space with anyone else. It would have been smarter for me to be along the same long wall as others because there were a few near collisions with feet in my face and arms slapping across my belly during the class. As I said, class was full.

A very tall man walked in, unrolled his mat, and sat fairly close to the space I'd claimed. He pulled a bolster under his skinny white legs and as he did so, he began to lean toward the left until eventually, in what seemed to be slow motion, his head hit the wall followed by a face plant in the carpet.

Think Artie Johnson on Laugh-In back in the 60's. He'd come on stage riding a little tricycle wearing a yellow rain slicker and hat and fall over--as though he and the tricycle were one object.

Several people asked him if he was okay and he said yes. He didn't look one bit embarrassed. I couldn't help but think if that were me, I'd be red faced and ready to crawl under my mat. Then I thought -- this class is SO not for me.

But I stayed. I stretched and stretched and pushed myself and at the end of the 90 minutes I'd had a good workout.

After class I headed back back to the car. I noticed that my pace had slowed considerably, I felt the sun warming my back, appreciated the lush green plants along the pathway and felt myself standing taller after those marvelous yoga stretches.

And then it hit me.... This was a class of mature men and women who were there to improve their balance and flexibility, not to impress anyone. No competition. No Lycra. No water bottles lined up like birds on a fence. Everyone in sweats, old tee-shirts, comfortable clothing.

Isn't it funny where you learn your lessons? I thought I'd come to class to stretch my body. But instead I learned a different kind of yoga stretch -- a lesson in flexibility of the mind...

We're all here doing our own thing,

regardless of age~

having our own successes and learning
from our own mistakes...
or face plants

Letting go of my judgments allowed a new flexibility and awareness to enter. These old yogis were terrific. My calendar is marked for the next six weeks...same class and I hope, same students, except maybe the guy who did the face plant.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

the query, the summary, and oh--the sloth

I've been working on my query and two page summary, which I thought I'd perfected before the holidays. I sent them to six agents and received three rejections. I sort of panicked even though I knew I'd get a few -- or many.

Then I came to realize in a way I hadn't before that this query and two page summary business are the two things, (at the risk of sounding Sarah Bernhardt dramatic), that will make or break my success in the literary world...

at least with my novel, Nineteen Darby Way

If I can't provide a whale-sized hook to interest the agent and she's
she won't continue to read. Neither would I, I suppose.

Yesterday, even though I had a gazillion things to do, I managed to really hammer away and hone in on what I think needed to be said in the summary.

Today, I had to write an article for the paper which was so fun, partly because it's about the Paws to Read program at two of the local libraries, and partly because it kept me from doing 'the work.'

I hit 'send' to my editor and found myself looking at other writer's blogs, skin care products, and searching up and down the 680 corridor for a yoga class. The thing about the yoga class is that I have information being mailed to me about a yoga class in Walnut Creek that sounds perfect. I could have waited until I'd done at least some work on the query.

Then, when I finished that pseudo important task, I put my 'favorites,' back on my toolbar. They'd mysteriously disappeared. I can now procrastinate by reading others blogs with ease again!

I do enjoy watching how I try to trick myself...and I will not let myself feel guilty, not one bit.

So, to all my writing buddies faced with the same problem ~~~
Go into procrastination WITH GREAT GUSTO! Enjoy it, play in the muck, and when you're finished, get right back to work!

We all need a little break from our 'should' list every now and again...

and again...

and again...

Ain't life good?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Christmas Dog Bones

Last year at Christmastime, I whipped up a few batches of dog bones to give to the dogs Jake played with at the soccer field nearby. I bought little doggie bags with pictures of brown pups with black ears, threw in a bunch-o-bones and tied a nice festive bow around the bags.

Jake had been underfoot hoping for a few scraps since I began baking so I gave him a little treat. Jake weighs in at ninety pounds. He's a big boy with a very hearty appetite. He stood still at the kitchen sink with his treat in his mouth, savoring the flavor, dropped it on the floor and gave it a really good sniff. Finally, he picked it up, walked over to his bed, laid down, and lopped his hefty paw on top of it. And there the bone stayed. I grew tired of waiting to see how long it took him to actually eat it. I left the room.

The next day, I brought the bags to the soccer field along with some extra treats and began to distribute them. I was a bit concerned and with good reason. Jake's playmates reacted the same way he did. Every dog put the treat in his mouth, stood still, dropped it, gave it a sniff, picked it up and found a little spot to lay down and looked at the treat. Eventually they were all eaten.

Aren't dogs supposed to eat everything? Even things that make them sick?

The dog moms and dads tried not to laugh, but it was funny and eventually we all had a good laugh. I was a little embarrassed, but really, did it matter? It must have...just a tad...

because not to be outsmarted by man's best friend, this year I found a recipe in the newspaper for doggie Polenta-Parmesan-Parsley treats. These were going to be soft. I wasn't about to try anything with the hard factor of a golf ball.

After breakfast on Christmas morning I began spinning the golden magic. I added polenta to boiling water, like magic it began to thicken. I stirred and stirred. I added the Parmesan and parsley. It smelled pretty good. I spread olive oil in a glass pan and then spooned the mixture into it and put it in the refrig. An hour later, I took it out. Soupy. I put it back in. However, time was of the essence. We were on our way to my daughter's house for Christmas brunch and I wanted to take their dog, Maggie, a few treats.

I pulled the polenta out of the fridge at the last minute, grabbed the cookie cutter and cut Christmas trees. By the time we got to our destination--about 40 minutes away--the trees had turned to bushes, rapidly deteriorating to flat corn tortillas.

I gave Mags a hug and brought her into the kitchen. I tried to pick up a treat off the dish, but it slipped through my fingers, sort of the way an egg might. Maggie wasn't the least bit deterred. She licked my hand, the plate of bushes and seemed to be quite happy. I felt this was a semi-successful outcome.

As soon as we got home I raced into the kitchen like a woman possessed to check the polenta. (you'd think I would have had more to worry about since we were having company for dinner, but no, the Polenta-Parm-Parsley was foremost on my mind). It look great! But where were the the morning tree cut outs? The polenta had slid to one end of the pan. Undaunted, I once again pressed the tree cookie cutter into the polenta. I tried to pick it up without the benefit of a spatula. So soupy. It stuck to my fingers like loose cold oatmeal, but still not solid. As an eternal optimist, I gave it another hour. Finally, I had to admit that we all have talents, but dog treats isn't one of mine. I threw half of it out and gave the rest of the mush sans trees to Jake, who seemed relatively happy to lick it up.

Next year I'm buying squeaky toys at the pet store.