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Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life—learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
+ Robert Fulghum

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Winter Fun

Dogs + (a little) Cattiness = Cure for the Blues

Can you stand another post about dogs? I’m feeling blue and behind and not the least bit creative. And while I might prefer to accessorize my bad mood with some Edith Piaf, a good stiff drink, and my favorite book, I have a little one home sick and lots to do. So I’d better get a grip.

And so dogs it is. First I have to show you the presents. In the photo Leila is wearing a lovely scarf finger-knit just for her by a young man named Jacob in Lily’s first-grade class. And the bone with the pretty pink ribbon is from our friend, Mary Jo, and her family. People amaze me with their thoughtfulness.

Leila is adjusting really well to her new home. And we’re adjusting, too. The first few days were rough because she wasn’t Gunther. But the wonderful thing is that she’s so different from him that it doesn’t feel like he’s being replaced. You all told me that’s what would happen, but I guess I had to find out for myself. The house feels better with the sound of tags jingling on a collar. And coming home to a wagging tail feels so much better, too.

And can I tell you something really wonderful that Andrew said? He and I were talking about what made Gunther so special, and Andrew said, “Gunther was always laughing at the world.” It’s so true. I love it when someone can take big, huge thoughts and feelings and condense them into bite-sized nuggets of wisdom and understanding. That must be why I love quotations so much.

I’m not quite out of my funk, but this helped. What will also help is if I can finally accept that no matter how hard I try to juggle everything, I’m going to drop a ball (or five) now and then. I just have to remember we’re all doing the best we can and nobody has it all figured out. Not even Angelina Jolie.

Speaking of: this is completely off-topic, but did anyone else smile when the three guys who won Best Adapted Screenplay for The Descendants mimicked Ms. Jolie’s legbombing at the Oscars? One assumes she was in on the joke—could anyone be that full of herself? But it was still fun.

Okay, now I really do feel better.

[UPDATE: You know what? I actually feel worse than I did before, and I blame Grandma Marilyn. “Be nice,” I can hear her saying all the way from Phoenix. And she’s right: I shouldn’t make myself feel better at the expense of someone else, no matter how famous and theoretically insulated she is. If Angelina and I meet one day as a result of our humanitarian efforts (it could happen!), then I want to be able to look her in the eye, secure in the knowledge that I didn’t throw her under the bus.

So, Angelina, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry. It’s not your fault that you manage six kids and I barely manage four, or that you clearly said no to the leftover Oscar Party black-and-white bars while I had two three, or that you write and direct meaningful movies that shine light into the darkness of the human soul while I haven’t even sent out my first query letter. Instead of resenting you and your kind, I will do things that really will cheer me up and make my life better. I will put on my exercise clothes and hit the treadmill, I will do a 27-Fling Boogie, and I will put the kids to bed early so Tim and I can have some “alone time.” Thank you for your understanding on behalf of the rest of us.]


  1. grampa jeff says:

    Andrew is right. I didn’t ever put it in those words but, yes, Gunther was laughing when he refused to learn how to play fetch. He would fetch just fine but he wouldn’t give up the ball or stick, he wanted to tease you with it, holding it tight in his jaws, just out of your reach. He was laughing at silly humans. I noticed one of the guys mimicking her pose, not sure if the other two knew what he was doing, though. You need to start sending Angelina some of your featured desserts, could use a few extra calories.

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