Monday 1 August 2011

Living in the present . . .

It's been almost a year now since we brought Mitzie home to live with us as an 8 week old puppy. I had no idea at the time how much I would learn from her over the coming months . . . I thought we were just bringing home something to love and to cuddle.

All the way home in the car she snuggled up to me as I held her close. I could feel her small little breaths against my chest, and with each one she began to twist me around her little heart, and wind her way about my own. During the days that followed, I came to understand her sheer, complete and connected presence. I had never observed anything before that was so thoroughly involved in the exercise of being in the moment as she was.

She was completely and innocently devoted to whatever lay before her . . . to whatever the experience was of her being at any given time. If she was playing with an empty milk bottle . . . then that empty milk bottle was her whole world. If she was rolling in the grass . . . her world was the grass. If she was bunching up her bed to go to sleep . . . her life was totally the need to lay down . . . sigh . . . and go to sleep . . . and sleep she did and does, with total freedom and abandon, and not a care in the world. Oh to be so free and completely one with your environment . . . I can only wish.

She knows her world primarily through touch and smell. She uses her nose like we use our fingers. She sticks her nose, without the hesitation that holds us humans back, into everything with abandon and this immediate knowledge and smelll of whatever it is brings her complete and utter joy. Todd is always saying she doesn't go for walks so much as she goes for sniffs. It drives him up the wall . . . but in a way I envy her that quality . . .

This wee creature, incapable of words . . . has taught me that there is an overwhelming feeling of endowment that comes from staying connected to our surroundings without deviation . . . a certain humility that comes from making a distinct connection with whatever we are experiencing. This brings her world to life, and can do the same for us . . . her awareness of the here and the now has been illuminating to me. She has shown me how very refreshing and invigorating living in the present can be, and I now dig my own heart into each day that I am gifted with . . . with total abandon . . . and joy for the here and now.

The way the sunlight falls upon the leaves of our roses . . . the moss that grows along a garden wall . . . the sight of wasps landing on the rocks of our pond and watching them sup from the water . . . our frogs as they sun themselves on the lily pads and wait for flies to alight . . . the way the sweetpeas climb and cling to everything around them, and shed their pink blossoms . . .

It all has even more meaning to me now . . . simple things and pleasures that bring me joy and sing the song of my heart . . . satisfying and free for the taking.

(Not so tiny anymore, but still our baby.)

It is a special treasure to be able to experience totally the now and to be fully present in and living my todays . . . and to think I learned it all from a dog!

Just my thoughts on this early Monday morning . . . the first day of August 2011 . . .

I've a very busy and full day ahead of me today. I have my reading lesson this morning and then this afternoon I am off to the Opticians to see if I can find out why my left eye won't stop twitching. It's becoming very worriesome to me now. You can't see it if you look at it, but it feels all droopy to me and I can feel it twitching constantly. It's just not normal. Wish me luck!

With these nice warmer days we are eating lighter and fresher. I don't like to heat up the kitchen and house by using the oven much, and in truth we (well, probably "I") have a longing and a taste for summer salads these days. (Todd just tolerates them.) This is a tasty one here today, very quick and easy to throw together. I like to do my own chicken for it. Just take a package of boneless skinless chicken breasts and place them into a non porous container, cover with Italian Salad Dressing and let them marinate in it for several hours or overnight if you wish. Then I just grill them and cut them into slices for use in salads (like this tasty one) or whatever.

*Chicken and Spinach Salad*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

Nothing coule be easier than this delicious salad. You can buy the chicken strips ready made, or you can make your own. I always make my own. It's very easy to do if you plan ahead!

1 bag (10 oz.) baby spinach
1 pkg. (6 oz.) fresh Italian Style Chicken Breast Strips
(Marinate some chicken breasts in Italian Dressing overnight,
and then grill. Cool, then cut into strips)
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup cherry tomato halves
1/2 cup Italian Salad Dressing

Toss all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Serve immediately.

Note - when I worked at the big house, I was made to pick off any stems from the spinach leaves. You can do the same if it bothers you to have them there. It doesn't bother me enough to make it worth wasting the time!

Over in The English Kitchen today, a deliciously light dessert called Blueberry Bliss!


  1. what a beautiful pooch!! I can only imagine the joy she brings you and Todd. She's a blessed girl to be in your family. Wish spinach agreed with me...the salad sounds good.

  2. Lovely post Marie. Mitzie looks so cuddly and the salad looks so refreshing. Have a wonderful day.

  3. What lovely thought to start a new month Marie..Thank you.. I try to live in the present as well...although I think I will stop at the ..sniffing...of it LOL
    but it is so true sometimes people are so keen to be in tomorrow or looking past they find it hard to cope with today.. ( My friend Cait is like that I have an awful job sometimes trying to get her to let
    go of yesterday or tomorrow, it's no wonder she was housebound for so long) These are som elovely photo's of Mitzie she is so lovely. long may you have her to enjoy..
    LOve for today and always, Sybil x

  4. What a JOY that Mitzie is for you both. I think that dogs and children do have the right idea as both do live in the present moment. I try to do the same. Each day is such a blessing. I hope the doctor can give you some relief from the twitching eye. There must be a reason for it. I have had that from time to time but only when my eyes are very tired and only for a short period of time. Have a wonderful Monday!

  5. aaawww...LOVED this Mitzie retrospective today! She is such a great beauty, what a sweetie. And we can learn so much about love, and living life in the moment, for today from our pets, can't we? Hoping very much all is well with you eye, Marie. Let us know how it goes. It's been so hot here too... Cooking is light, cool if possible, and quick & easy. Happy Week, dear friend--LOVE YOU LOTS ((BIG HUGS))

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  7. Hi Marie,

    Finally I am home and getting organized. My first stop on catching up with the blogs is right here. This post is beautifully written. I really enjoy your many talents, Marie. I never thought about learning to be in the moment from an animal but you are so right. I really envy that ability. I always seem to have a mumbo jumbo bunch of junk floating around in my head at the same time. Focus, focus, focus and enjoy!

    We just torture ourselves by not being good at this sometimes, don't you think?

    Many thanks to you for your countless, lovely messages to me lately while I have been mostly absent. You are a dear friend and I love you to pieces. I hope your eye is OK soon. I have had that before too, it is caused by stress. So do some relaxing!

    Hugs, B

  8. How simple yet profound what this darling pooch has taught you, and now me. Thanks for this. Tons of love...Jan

  9. i can't believe its almost been a year already?! she is a beautiful beautiful doggy! and i love how you describe her...if only we could be as "in the moment" as these creatures are sometimes! what a blessing pets can be! i love our little zac and even though sometimes i want to kick him(lol:) he has brought so much joy to our home!

  10. What lovely lessons you have learned through your darling little 4 legged girl. I am glad that she has brought so much joy and love into your lives. Pets can be so special. We have been babysitting Yoda, Mindy's dog while they are in Utah. He is a Cavalier King Charles and is so cute. He has been sleeping with us at the end of our bed each night. He likes to be down by my feet where he just touches me. John has even enjoyed having him around. I will be sad when he goes home today.

    I am having a bit of a hard time living in the moment right now with so much pain.... but I am going to try to enjoy each day for it's blessings.

    I hope you find out what is bothering your eye. Much love, Lura

  11. gosh a year, wow, I remember when you brought mitzie home,, you know Todd might not like salad but he's healthier for eating it,, good for you!!Have a super day marie,, its a hot one here,, the humidex is high!


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