Sunday, April 27, 2014

Ask, and Believe, then Wait to Receive

   I like to watch the House Hunter shows on the Home and Garden channel.    Every episode follows the same format.  Buyers are shown several houses, but only three options are included.  The buyers must decide if they want to place a formal offer, and if so, we get to see the price negotiations, and the conclusion.    Recently, I watched a program about a first time home buyer, who's motto was "ask, and believe, then wait to receive".  Her approach was the same with every house.  She had asked for a home that would be perfect for her,  and she believed that it would become available.  Of course, she had a small budget to work with, and a wish list that would be difficult to find.  She fell in love with a house that was outside her budget, but she put in an offer for the maximum that she could borrow.  Sadly, the offer was rejected, and the agent stated that the deal was done.  The buyer repeated her mantra, and said that she would wait to receive her blessing.  If this house wasn't the one for her, she knew that another one would come along.  Apparently she wound up getting the house of her dreams, because the original offer fell through.  A true happy ending!
    I decided to try and use this in my own life.  I've begun to ask for good things, and believe that I will receive them.  While I'm stuck in traffic, or in the long line at the grocery store, I use the time to let my mind wander of good things to come.  We all have heard that we are meant to enjoy many more blessings than we actually do.  Some say that we need to ask for things like love, good health, the right job, and financial security.  I'm willing to take that chance.  My friends say that I've been able to accomplish things when I've  put my mind to it, and maybe this is the same idea.  I need to focus on what is important to me, and take steps to get what I want.  I am going to ask,  and believe, then wait to receive.  I'll update again as my wishes come true.....and the beat goes on......the beat goes on........

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Marathon Monday

  Tomorrow is the 118th Boston Marathon.  This year will be different for many reasons.  Tomorrow, there will be more runners and spectators than ever.  There will also be more security, and news coverage.   Last year the race was interrupted for many,  when two homemade bombs were left to explode near the finish line.  Three innocent victims died at the scene, and a police officer was killed a few days later.  I've also learned that another officer who was involved,  passed away recently.
  The bombers could never have predicted that their acts of hatred would have galvanized the city of Boston, the country and the world.  Boston Strong is the perfect way to describe how we emerged after this horrible tragedy.  Bostonians are just too stubborn to let the bad guys win.  Boston was determined to not be defined by a senseless act of violence, but of a city that wanted to show that love will always trump hatred.  Our love of freedom, friendship, and our flag helped us to triumph over terrorism.
   This week, I watched many of the TV shows and tributes to honor the victims, and celebrate the remarkable journey of the survivors.  We all marvel at the resolve of the injured to live their lives to the fullest.  I was so touched to see and hear from the survivors.  We all watched news footage as strangers ran toward the danger, and helped get the injured life saving medical care.  Big Papi of the Red Sox  spoke for all of us which included the famous "bleep".
  This week, we heard from the medical staff of the Boston hospitals, and the Watertown cops who recounted the events.  It took just 108 hours for Boston to apprehend the bad guys.  When it was all over, residents lined the streets to cheer on the police officers as they left that small town.  Citizens who would have never believed that they would need SWAT teams and armored vehicles in their neighborhood.  Americans who were so grateful that our government is big enough to fight for us, that they sang "God Bless America" as the tanks left.  
  Everyone who made it to the hospital that day, is alive and still fighting to recover from their injuries.  The One Fund has been set up to help as long as is needed.  This year, many runners are raising money to help with ongoing medical expenses.  It will be a long road to recovery, but we will all get through it together.   I'm always proud to be an American......and the beat goes on.....the beat goes on.......

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Finding the Best Solution

  Our new puppy Zoey is already a celebrity in the neighborhood.  We've had neighbors drop by with gourmet peanut butter dog bones, and someone else gave us two coats that their dog had outgrown.  We will begin our sixth week tomorrow, and she is settling in beautifully.  I believe that puppies train us on how to care for them, and then we have a wonderful life together.  In six weeks, we have learned that Zoey will need to go out as soon as her feet hit the floor, and so I'm happy to say that accidents are few and far between.  It seems that for a small dog, she really loves to be outside.  She will go for walks several times each day, as long as we stop and talk to everyone.  She loves to be petted, and looks for the neighborhood kids who generously give her extra hugs.
    We are working on getting Zoey to come when she is called.  It's fair to say that progress is slow.  It is pretty easy to get her to find me when we are in the house.  I just have to make one of the toys squeak, and she will come running.  What happens outside is an entirely different story.  She bounces over to me, then darts off to chase a leaf, or anything else that has her attention.  This is a problem if she won't come to me, and I need to leave for work.  I need to resolve this issue quickly.
    The solution is the thirty foot training leash.  It gives her plenty of room to run around, but I can get her into the house quickly.  Of course, I just pull on the leash while calling her name.  I also praise her for coming towards me.  A friend also suggested finding a "high value" reward of some kind.  I've decided to use something that she will never get as part of her daily routine, which rules out all the toys, as well as dog bones,  ice cubes, and frozen string beans.
    Zoey went crazy when I microwaved some pre-cooked bacon strips for BLT sandwiches. I believe that bacon may be something impossible to resist.  I'm thinking the real thing is probably healthier than the processed dog treats. I like the fact that I can crumble it up into tiny bite sized pieces.
     I begin by letting her smell the bacon, then I walk into another room, calling Zoey as I go.  Of course, she is hooked, and does not leave my side.  Nevertheless, I reward her with a tasty morsel.  After a minute, I go back to the kitchen, and call again.  She bounced to my side, and gobbled up her treat.  I try and let enough time go by that she becomes preoccupied with a toy, then call again and reward.  After fifteen minutes, we have done this about ten times.  Half the bacon strip is gone, and I decide to stop and try again the next time we are outside.  Even though she is on the leash,  it works beautifully.  I know that we can use bacon for training, as long as I use it sparingly.  We will spend a few minutes each day, both inside and out working on this.  Sometimes,  I will not have the treats, but I can use praise and affection as my reward.  It is all about consistency.  I want her to know what I expect, and what she can expect in return.  This is the foundation of a beautiful friendship....and the beat goes on....the beat goes on.........