Dagger and I wish you all a very Happy Valentine's Day filled with love and joy.
Please continue to reach out to others in love and kindness.
I know you know that we can all use a little love and kindness in our world.
Keep creating, learning and inspiring others❤️
Happy Tales to you,
Having a Dream
💞😁 Happy New Year!!!😁💞
As I begin a new year, I am reminded of the circle of life: its beginnings, endings and every experience in between. I pray that 2020 will be a year full of hope, good health, prosperity, peace and love. It's good to reflect on the past, knowing that in the future we will be the best we can be. It's also good to keep dreaming big and think passionately.
This month we celebrate the greatness of Martin Luther King Jr. Dr King had a dream. His hope was that one day all people would be considered equal. His "I Have a Dream" speech came to be regarded as one of the finest speeches in American oratory (Wikipedia~ Marten Luther King Jr.) His speech begins by saying, "I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It's a dream deeply rooted in the American dream."
We can still dream...we can still hope in a better tomorrow. We can start with one small act of kindness...Just one small act of kindness will make the world a better place. I met a woman in my orthopedic doctors office today who said, that even our smile is contagious. How great is that!! A smile is a universally known communicative tool. Every nation and country in the world can understand that small gesture: a smile😍
However, its' a hard thing to do when we are challenged on a daily basis by negativity. But we must make 2020 a year of positive affirmation. A year full of kindness and love. Just think... that if everyone does one act of kindness a day our hope for peace in the world would be attainable. That's dreaming big, for sure!!
Dagger is a great example of how kindness can be shared. Each day I post a positive message on Dagger's Social Media Channels. But that's not what makes Dagger special. When people meet Dagger they are whisked away into this world of peace, love, comfort and joy. It's amazing how his artistic talents are second to his love of ALL people.
Dagger and I had a dream. The dream was to one day see him help a person with a disability. But God had another plan for Dagger... In a way, that dream really did come to fruition...it's just changed a bit. He is still helping. He is still making the lives he touches happier. However, he's now a talented artist giving all of the money he makes from his paintings and workshops/demonstrations to charity. And that is why I call Dagger "The Do Good Dog" 😁 As a certified therapy dog for TDI, Dagger brings comfort to all he meets.
Dagger's message of education and community service resonates where ever we go.
The hope for 2020 is that we will be able to continue our mission and that we will stay strong and healthy throughout the year.
🎉🎉 Happy New Year, Everyone! 🎉🎉
Happy tales to you,
The National Calendar is a great resource for me as I write the daily posts on Dagger's Social Media Channels. This month of January we look forward to...
January 14th National Dress Up Your Pet Day
January 15th National Hat Day
(a perfect day to talk about Dagger's Red Beret)
January 16th National Nothing Day
(Dagger knows a lot about nothing😁)
January 20th Martin Luther King Jr. Day
January 21st National Hugging Day ( I LOVE hugs❤️)
January 22nd National Library Selfie Day
January 24th National Peanut Butter Day
(One of Dagger's favorite foods💕)
January 24th National Compliment day
January 25th National Opposites Day
(That's a day for my husband and I...we're as opposite as you can get😘)
January 31st National Inspire Your Heart with Art Day
Wow❤️! That's a month full of great National Days.
There's a lot more too!!
ENJOY every day😘
During this time of the year many religions use candles as part of their holiday traditions.
The Jewish people light a Menorah during Hanukkah. "On each of the eight nights, a candle is lit in a special menorah (candelabra) called a 'hanukkiyah'." It is aptly called the "Jewish Festival of Lights."
In the Roman Catholic and Christian traditions a set of four Advent candles are used signifying Hope; Peace; Joy and Love and a fifth candle in the center representing Jesus. They're lit on each of the weeks leading up to the birth of Christ. The Advent wreath signifies the waiting and anticipation of Jesus' birth and the preparation needed to welcome Him once again into their lives.
"Kwanzaa is a seven day festival that celebrates African and African American culture and history. Kwanzaa takes place from 26th December to 1st January. During Kwanzaa a special candle holder called a kinara is used. A kinara holds seven candles, three red ones on the left, three green ones on the right with a black candle in the center. Each night during Kwanzaa a candle is lit. The black, center, candle is lit first and then it alternates between the red and green candles stating with the ones on the outside and moving inwards. This is quite similar to the lighting of the menorah in the Jewish Festival of Lights, Hanukkah." All of these rituals signify the hope and joy of the season.
What is it about lights and lighting candles that makes us so joyous and hopeful?
Is it a way of showing our homage and paying tribute to something or someone? Or is it a way of heralding in a new beginning? I think it's both.
We use candles to celebrate birthdays, holidays and special events. According to Wonderopolis, "for the Ancient Greeks, putting candles on a cake was a special way to pay tribute to the Greek moon goddess, Artemis. They baked round cakes to symbolize the moon. ... People may have believed that the smoke from the candles carried their wishes and prayers to gods who lived in the skies."
Light is extremely significant to all life. Sunlight gives us much needed Vitamin D and shines on vegetation thus giving plants their green color. The stars in the sky shed light on the earth and were used to guide the Magi to the child Jesus. Light guides our way when we drive in our cars and a plane takes off and lands on a runway. My husband uses a flashing light when he takes the dogs out for their walk at night. And on and on...Light is so important.
But, what about the dark? Many people love the dark. I, for one, am not one of them. Comparing light to dark is a paradox of sorts. While they are opposites, each adds feelings of emotion to the beholder. Take Dagger, for instance, he'd prefer to be in the light than the dark. You see, he's extremely afraid of the dark. I think that says a lot about Dagger. He really is a dog that lights the way for so many people. I believe that his loving the light so much and many other attributes make Dagger a very special dog.
Each of us has a light burning inside of us yearning to shine brightly for all the world to see. It's so important to share that light with others through acts of kindness and love. especially during the holidays. Sharing our Time, Talents and Treasures will not only make the recipient feel good, but most importantly it makes us feel good too. Dagger shares his little light everyday with everyone he meets. His little light shines through his eyes which I feel are the windows to his soul. He's truly a blessing.
So, how can we let our little lights shine? Perhaps, this Holiday Season we might want to set some time aside to visit a shelter...During the holidays, the animals in the shelters are very often forgotten about because people are so busy. Another great suggestion is to help out at a Food Pantry or Soup Kitchen. Bringing holiday cheer to the homeless will brighten their day. Or get a toy for a child and bring it to a participating "Toys for Tots" collector.
Whatever you do, let your light shine as brightly as it can to light your way to true happiness this Holiday Season!!!
🙏🏻 Holiday Blessings 🙏🏻
Happy Tales to you,
We say "Thank You" when someone does something nice for us. We feel thankful when we do something nice for someone else. We are grateful for the people and animals in our lives. We give thanks for them. Giving thanks is the simplest yet most generous way of expressing the way we feel about those around us.
It costs nothing. It's truly priceless.
On Thursday, November 28th, 2019 we will be celebrating Thanksgiving here in the United States of America. Families and friends will gather around the Thanksgiving table to share a harvest meal together. Depending upon your families traditions, a Thanksgiving meal is as diversified and unique as the many nationalities that inhabit our great land...from sea to shining sea.🇺🇸
When I was growing up in our "Italian/American" household, a Thanksgiving meal consisted of...antipasto; lasagna; tossed salad with oil and vinegar; turkey; mashed potatoes; gravy; sides of vegetables; whipped sweet potatoes with mini marshmallows melted on the top; nuts (in the shells that you cracked yourself); dried & fresh fruit; Italian pastries; cookies; pumpkin & apple pies...apple cider, seltzer, wine, coffee and tea. WHEW!!!! And "mangiare" (eat up in Italian) we did!! We often laughed because by the time we served the turkey we were all full. The turkey was an after thought during our "Italian" Thanksgiving feast. Our grandparents (from "the other side") wouldn't have wanted it any other way. That is until one day my dad made an announcement... 'This year, he said, we're going to have a real American Pilgrim Thanksgiving." So, we deserted the Italian cuisine and went with a more traditional menu. In fact, my dad did his fact finding about the harvest festival celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in October 1621 which is commonly called the "First Thanksgiving." We welcomed the new tradition with open arms. We had New England Clam Chowder with corn; turkey; stuffing, mashed potatoes, whipped sweet potato casserole with tiny marshmallows melted on the top. (Yup, I know...I know...the Pilgrims did not have tiny marshmallows and sausage stuffing, but we had to have the marshmallows and sausage stuffing!!!). To us, we now enjoyed a "traditional" Thanksgiving dinner that most Americans were enjoying as well. I never felt bad about deserting all of the Italian dishes because we saved all of them for other more religious holidays. Besides, as Americans we felt the need to embrace our American roots. I'll never forget that year...it was a new beginning for my family.
This year will also mark a new beginning for my family, albeit a sad one.
This year is going to be very different for me and my family. Loosing my twin sister, Yolande, on October 20th 2019 is still quite painful. I'm thankful for the years I had with her. I'm thankful for the love she shared with me everyday. I can only imagine that as we celebrate all of the ways God has blessed us this Thanksgiving and future Thanksgivings that she is smiling down from Heaven knowing that we tried our very best to give thanks always. That's how she lived her life everyday!!
Taking the time to be thankful for all of our blessings is all part of the Thanksgiving Holiday.
I want to take this time to thank you my global family for everything that you do to make my world a better place 😘
Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving, everyone!!!
Happy tales to you,
There are many reasons for Dagger and I to be happy.
First and foremost, Dagger and I are still giving DogVinci Workshops, painting and making a difference in the world. That alone makes me very happy.
On October 20, 2019, Dagger will be the guest of honor at the AKC Museum of the Dog. He will be doing painting demonstrations for the visitors and meeting & greeting everyone that comes to their library from 11AM-1PM.
That's happiness personified😁
To add to this happiness...October is full of National Days to celebrate. There's National Black Dog Day; National Name Your Car Day; National Inner Beauty Day; National Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work/School Day; Columbus Day; National Make a Dog's Day Day; National Pumpkin Day and Halloween!!!!🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃 AND many more!!
I love National Days. I feel that National Days help us center on positive events. It's fun to learn about all sorts of things and causes that effect our lives.
I especially love the ones that include dogs in them🐶 As I've mentioned in my previous Blogs, education is key to all that we do in life. The National Day's also help to educate us about various events that happen in the USA🇺🇸and throughout the world 🌎 That makes my heart sign and Dagger's tail wag ❤️🐶
The other thing I love about October is everything pumpkin, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pie...all things pumpkin. For years now, I've been adding Farmers Market Organic Pumpkin puree to all of our dogs meals. It comes in a container. I add a table spoon to eat meal. Just make sure that it's NOT Pumpkin Pie puree which actually has added spices and sugar in its ingredients. Pumpkin puree has added nutrients and aids in a dogs digestive system. Never give your dogs raw or uncooked pumpkin and pumpkins that have rotted.
Halloween is an annual holiday celebrated each year on October 31. I love to see the little trick or treaters all dressed up in their favorite super hero or character costumes. However, Halloween can be a dangerous and stressful time when it comes to our pets. In our home we've learned over the years that we've had to resort to an alternative plan with the constant door bell ringing and possibility of one of our dogs escaping. Believe it or not, that mild manner, gentle dog Dagger is an alarm barker. Multiply that by two other alarm barking dogs and it can be a recipe for a stress filled time. So, what we do is place a decorated table on the front stoop of the house with a big plastic pumpkin filled with the most popular candy and a sign asking the trick or treaters "On their honor... to take one." This has been so successful for us.
While preparing this blog I came across PETMD's "10 easy tips to skip the stress and keep your pets safe this Halloween." I found them very helpful...
I hope you do too🎃
1. Trick-or-treat candies are not for pets.All forms of chocolate—especially baking or dark chocolate—can be dangerous, even lethal, for dogs and cats. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures. Halloween candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar and subsequent loss of coordination and seizures. “Xylitol ingestion can also cause liver failure in dogs, even if they don’t develop symptoms associated with low blood sugar,” adds Dr. Jennifer Coates, veterinary advisor with petMD. And while xylitol toxicity in cats has yet to be established, it's better to be safe than sorry.
2. Don't leave pets out in the yard on Halloween.Vicious pranksters have been known to tease, injure, steal, and even kill pets on Halloween night. Inexcusable? Yes! But preventable nonetheless. Black cats are especially at risk from pranks or other cruelty-related incidents. In fact, many shelters do not adopt out black cats during the month of October as a safety precaution. Make sure your black cats are safely housed indoors around Halloween.
3. Keep pets confined and away from the door. Indoors is certainly better than outdoors on Halloween, but your door will be constantly opening and closing, and strangers will be on your doorstep dressed in unusual costumes. This, of course, can be scary for our furry friends, which can result in escape attempts or unexpected aggression. Putting your dog or cat in a secure crate or room away from the front door will reduce stress and prevent them from darting outside into the night…a night when no one wants to be searching for a lost loved one.
4. Keep glow sticks away from pets. While glow sticks can help keep people safe on Halloween night, they can add some unwanted drama to the holiday if a pet chews one open. “Thankfully, the liquid inside glow sticks is non-toxic, so it won’t actually make pets sick,” Coates says, “but it does taste awful.” Pets who get into a glow stick may drool, paw at their mouth, become agitated, and sometimes even vomit. Coates recommends that if your pet does chew on a glow stick, “offer some fresh water or a small meal to help clear the material out of the mouth.”
5. Keep Halloween plants such as pumpkins and corn out of reach. While small amounts of corn and pumpkin can be fed safely to many pets, ingesting uncooked, potentially moldy Halloween pumpkins or corn displays can cause big problems. Gastrointestinal upset is a possibility whenever pets eat something they aren’t used to, and intestinal blockage can occur if large pieces are swallowed. Coates adds that “some types of mold produce mycotoxins that can cause neurologic problems in dogs and cats.” So, keep the pumpkins and corn stalks away from your pets. And speaking of pumpkins…
6. Don't keep lit pumpkins around pets. If you are using candles to light your jack-o-lanterns or other Halloween decorations, make sure to place them well out of reach of your pets. Should they get too close, they run the risk of burning themselves or causing a fire.
7. Keep electric and battery-powered Halloween decorations out of reach. Electric and battery-powered Halloween decorations are certainly safer than open candles, but they still can present a risk to pets. Pets who chew on electrical cords can receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock or burn. Batteries may cause chemical burns when chewed open or gastrointestinal blockage if swallowed. Shards of glass or plastic can cause lacerations anywhere on the body or, if swallowed, within the gastrointestinal tract.
8. Don't dress your pet in a costume unless you know they'll love it. If you do decide that Fido or Kitty needs a costume, make sure it isn't dangerous or simply annoying to your pet. Costumes should not restrict movement, hearing, eyesight, or the ability to breathe. Coates warns that pets who are wearing a costume should always be supervised by a responsible adult so that if something goes wrong, it can be addressed right away.
9. Try on pet costumes before the big night.Don’t wait until Halloween night to put your pet in a costume for the first time. “Any time you want to introduce your pet to something new, it’s best to go slowly,” Coates says. Get your pet costumes early, and put them on for short periods of time (and piece by piece, if possible). “Make it a positive experience by offering lots of praise and treats,” Coates adds. If at any time, your pet seems distressed or develops skin problems from contact with a costume, consider letting him go in his “birthday suit.” A festive bandana may be a good compromise.
10. IDs, please! If your dog or cat should escape and become lost, having the proper identification will increase the chances that he or she will be returned. Collars and tags are ideal if a Good Samaritan is able to collect your wayward pet, but microchips offer permanent identification should the collar or tag fall off. Just make sure the information is up-to-date. Use Halloween as a yearly reminder to double check your address and phone number on tags and with the company who supports pet microchips."
Taken from: https://www.petmd.com/dog/seasonal/evr_multi_halloween_safety_tips
Whatever you do...enjoy the month of October.
Be safe and Be well 😁🎃😘
Happy Tails to you.
🍎 September Reveals Exciting Happenings 🍎
I never really liked the month of September.
That is, until recently.
You see, I have always loved the summer. That carefree time when whatever you want to do, you do…Well, most everything😁
There’s no school, no meetings and no schedules to keep. The longer summer days give us more time to enjoy outdoor activities.
BUT…then comes September…”Serious” September~~
School begins, clubs resume and things seen to get serious again. It can be a scary and challenging time giving our stomach flutters and our stress levels go up. I think for me it’s always been the fear of the unknown that made me nervous about September. When I was a student questions like: "Will I like my teacher/professors? Will my teacher/professors like me? Will I do well in all of my subjects? Will I get on the hockey team, in the art club? etc. etc." These questions would make me very nervous as I anticipated what will be.
As a result, for me, September was a month of fearful anticipation of what the future would bring, until I started to enjoy the beauty of the month more. I’ve come to realize that September is a beautiful month. I just never took the time out of my busy schedule to recognized just how splendid it is. The weather in NY, where Dagger and I live, is pleasant. It’s still warm, but not as warm as the summer months. As the harvest season begins we Long Islanders take day trips to neighboring farms to pick apples and pumpkins. It’s a favorite fall activity along with eating grilled corn at a roadside farm stand. Most of the time, Dagger comes along enjoying the scenery on the east end of Long Island and even gets an apple just picked from the orchard for our trip home.
So, instead of concentrating on the fear I felt of what will be, I now focus on all of these new and exciting happenings, the beauty of the scenery and opportunities of what will be in store for us. As I let go and let things happen, over the years, the fear began to subside and the promise of tomorrow has opened up to so many positive happenings.
In fact, Dagger & I have two great Fundraising events coming up in September. And they both happen to be scheduled on the same day!!!
On Saturday, September 21st Dagger and I will be walking for
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at
Heckscher State Park~1 Heckscher State Park East Islip, New York 11730. (Please consider joining our team and walking with us...Dagger would LOVE it!!!! He'll plop himself on the ground for a belly rub 🐶😁) (Click the link below to join)
Dagger became a partner of St. Jude about 3 years ago.
It has been a wonderful partnership.
We love and support St Jude because:
🐶Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for anything – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
🐶AND St. Jude has helped push the overall survival rate for childhood cancer from less than 20% when they first opened our doors to 80% today. St. Jude won’t stop until no child dies from cancer. To us, that's the ultimate!!!!
We are also Fundraising for Canine Companions for Independence's~Long Island Chapter DogFest. I’m a Northeast Board of Directors Member for CCI, Past LI Chapter President and a two time CCI Puppy Raiser. My family and I have been supporting CCI for years now. CCI provides highly trained assistance dogs to people with disabilities free of charge. It’s an absolutely wonderful organization 🐶 The LI DogFest will be taking place at:
Tanger Outlets Deer Park ~152 The Arches Cir ~Deer Park, NY 11729
If you would like to help me fundraise for either or both events click the links below:
For St. Jude:
For Canine Companions for Independence:
Whatever you do as you enter in the month of September,
enjoy and be safe!!! And enjoy and apple and an ear of corn on us!!!
Happy Tales to you,
Happy Days...Happy Ways 😘
Did you ever wonder how happiness happens? Do we look for it? Does it just come our way without really trying? Well, on August 8th, we celebrate National Happiness Happens Day. According to the National Day Calendar “Happiness is encouraged all day.” It continues to say that we must “Recognize every moment of glee, joy, delight, and pleasure.” And can you believe that there is a “Secret Society of Happy People.” This organization was founded in August 1998 and formed to celebrate the expression of happiness. The society encourages members to recognize their happy moments and think about happiness in their daily lives….They have two mottos which include “Happiness Happens and “Don’t Even Think of Raining on My Parade.”
I've often thought of what makes us truly happy. Is it our furry loved ones? Our family? Our community? The beach? A good movie? Making other's smile? What is it?
To me my family and my community furry and not so furry make me happy. I find that making them happy makes me happy too😁.
To touch on one thing that brings joy to my life is easy for me...Dagger makes me happy everyday. He is such a delight. No matter where I go, he follows. He watches me sometimes with his eyes ajar. He’s a true soulmate. I’ve often thought about how many people Dagger has made happy in his 6 1/2 years of living so far. From his dog mom, Gaylor and dog dad, Fonzi, to the last person he set his soulful eyes upon; he just brings out the best in everyone. It must be thousands and thousands of people that he has made happy over the years. People of all ages and from all over the world from infants to seniors he just makes so many people happy. I love to witness this. We’ve had over 200 DogVinci Workshops and Painting Demonstrations in the past three and a half years and each time we walk into a library, school or museum we are greeted by glowing and excited people who in an instant begin to smile as soon as they see Dagger enter. It just makes my heart sing!! The happiness that Dagger brings is immeasurable!! That’s the ultimate for me to see and witness.
I also love to see happiness resonate when I do something nice for someone. That makes me happy too.
What makes you happy? Can you name one thing? If so, share it with me. I'd love to hear your happiness stories 😍😍 You know, Happiness does Happen when we look and sniff for it 😘😘
The thing is, we have to be open to knowing that Happiness does Happen...it's really does!!😃😁
So, as the “Dog Days” of Summer march on, may you take the time to reflect on what it is that makes you happy. Look and sniff around...You may just find happiness right around the corner. And then let your happiness reach out to others.
Happy Days. Happy Ways!!!
Happy Tails to you,
Celebrating Independence can be Stressful for our Furry Kids
We who live here n the USA celebrate our Independence on July 4th. It’s “a federal holiday which commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain." New states that entered the union received their star on July 4th. Although this practice hasn’t happened in over 50 years, it is a day of pride and festivities. There are parades, barbecues, picnics, fairs, fireworks all happening across the USA.
While I love it all, I’m really not to fond of the effect fire works have on noise-phobic pets. Those of us who live with fur babies, the 4th of July can be a very stressful holiday for the dogs as well as the humans that care for them. There are more dogs that run away on July 4th than any other time of the year. When a fearful dog gets spooked they often use all of they might to flee their premises. They escape their surroundings not knowing where they are going. Sometimes they even break through glass windows in a state of complete fear running aimlessly and ultimately getting lost. Shelters become overwhelmed with the hundreds, sometimes thousands of stray dogs found wandering the streets the day after the 4th. So, what can we do? The best solution is to encourage and educate the public about the effect fireworks have on the animals full of stress. But, any body who has witnessed and lived through the holiday can attest that this can be a pretty difficult solution to attain and the sad reality is that it will never happen. In fact, in my neighborhood, it seems that the fireworks and firecrackers have gotten worse over the years. Therefore, the only ideal solution to the problem is to make sure that our pets are in a safe environment. It is very important that your pet have an up to date ID tag clearly visible so that if your pet does get out of your house or yard at least he or she has some identification on. In addition, it's also so important to keep your pets indoors in a safe secure place. I’ve heard that playing “White” music helps. A "Thundershirt" is terrific also. I used a "Thundershirt" for my beloved Maggie May. Filled with stress, she would scratch and slam her body on furniture and shake like a leaf. The "Thundershirt" seemed to work very well for Maggie May. Some people even give their noise-phobic pets anxiety medication. However, be aware that sometimes the side effects are worse than the stress the dogs are feeling during the booms of the sudden blasts of the firecrackers. And any kind of medication should always be given under your veterinarians direction specifically for your pets size and medical history.
It might be beneficial for pet parents to stay home to ensure their pets well being is addressed. Sometimes trying a combination of a number of things may help to settle your dog. Cathy Rosenthal, Newsday columnist for “My Pet World” says, “Banning fireworks in neighborhoods seems like the kindest and simplest thing to do.” I couldn’t agree more!! In fact, in a town in Italy they have silent fireworks. Now, how great is that!!?? I’m grateful that Dagger and Miss YaYa don't mind loud noises and the fireworks don't bother them. However, Tommy TuTu does get stressed out by the fireworks. So, we try to make his environment as stress free and comfortable as we can by having him wear a Thundershirt and playing some white music in the background.
Maybe one day we will celebrate our Independence while watching the beautiful displays of color in the night sky in silence with our fur babies sitting calmly right by our side. Now, that would be a REALLY good 4th of July!!!
What ever you do this July 4th, be safe and celebrate our Independence!!
Happy 4th of July everyone!!
Happy Tales to you,
Welcoming Summer on Long Island
Written by Yvonne Dagger
I love the month of June because it is the beginning of an exciting time...
The “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer!!”
To me, as a youngster, June was always a time of the year for saying farewell to another school year, celebrating Father’s Day, graduation’s and looking forward to summer activities. Whenever June arrived, I always knew that the days ahead were going to be carefree and fun-filled. They signified BBQ’s, picnics and going to the beach.
For many of us, June is the start of the summer vacation. Kids go off to summer recreation and camps of all types. Outdoor activities and drive-in movies watched under the stars dominated my childhood. Books I had put off reading during the school year were on my list of things to “catch up on.”
It was also a great time of growth for me both creatively and spiritually. Although I never felt the growth at the time, in retrospect, I’ve noticed how much I did grow over the summer months. I’ve come to realize that the summer brings so many benefits and opportunities. If we just explore the possibilities the summer has to offer, our imagination grows as well as our creative skills. I've witnessed this first hand over the course of my life. There are so many ways to increase your creative ability.
For instance, a project I’ve enjoyed doing over the summer months is painting in plein air. Taking an easel, a canvas and paints outdoors and choosing a subject is a wonderful way to expand one's creative skills. I've done this many times over the years during the summer months. I’ve even taken my French Easel down to the beach and painted en plein air. I've found that painting the same scene outdoors at different times of the day to witness how the sun’s rays hits an object from all angles is a wonderful thing to do. The great master Claude Monet, the founder of Impressionistic painting, did this often. He would go to a location at dawn and paint the same landscape, building or haystacks on four canvases at four different times of the day. He would paint one at dawn, another at noon, then another about 4PM and the last at 7PM. His Impressionistic style of painting was completely evident as the viewer saw how an object changes when the light of the sun and atmosphere hit it coming from different directions. If you happen to have the time, I would highly recommend planning a project like this for anyone that loves to see how light affects an object. It’s on my list of things to do again this summer.
To my husband, Denis, June always meant that the surfing season was beginning. He loves to surf. And he’s real good at it, too. I call him the “Duke.” Although, I’m not a surfer… I do love to watch him surf, though…and me? I love the sun. The sun has always meant happiness to me. So, the longer days of sunny enjoyment makes me feel real good. I’ve also noticed that Dagger loves the sun too. He loves to lay in the sun. He will lay down outside in the sun for an hour and sometimes more…if I let him. But, I have to be his advocate and bring him in out of the sun or he’ll stay out there all day. I think, like me, it makes him feel good and it is a great source of Vitamin D which gives him and me extra energy 🌞
Whatever it is that you do as the summer gets under way, have fun exploring, creating, learning, inspiring and above all... be safe!!
I’d love to hear about your summer plans…
Please share them with me in the comments below.
Happy Tales to you,
Holding memories in our hearts can be a wonderful and honorable thing to do. I feel, it gives the memory a purpose and legacy. Your memories live on in you and others too. During the month of May there are so many personal memories that come to mind for me.
First and foremost, May is the month I married my High School sweetheart 47 years ago. I remember the day like it was yesterday...it was a sunny beautiful Spring day! I think about what "kids" we were back then. Who knew what life had in store for us. We didn't. That's for sure! We just trusted that things would always work out and be okay. Life threw us some curve balls at times. But, all in all, looking back, we were and still are truly blessed. Two kids, 5 grand children and 7 fur babies (4 have gone over the rainbow bridge) later we are still "kids" at heart!! Denis is still running and surfing and I am still creating art. I would like to think that we are a lot wiser and experienced then we were back then…but, truth be told...we still have so very much to learn and experience. That's what's so exciting about life. You never know what windows will open and a breeze of opportunity will just fly right in :-)
May is also the month we celebrate and honor our Mothers. This year Mother's Day is on May 12th. Oh, Boy! Need we NEVER EVER forget Mother's Day. Those wonderfully strong ladies living or deceased who nurture(d) and care(d) for us. For me... Mother's Day holds so many fond memories. At 91 years old, my mom is still a huge part of my life. She's a listening, non-judgmental individual who protects those that she loves. She is the mother of 6 children, 14 Grandchildren and 18 Great-Grand children...AND boy, oh, boy, she has seen and witnessed a lot in her 91 years. Living through WWII and the Great Depression she experienced a nation that came together in the bad times to bring forth the good times. She met my dad when he arrived home from the war. I guess you could say she fell madly in love with a soldier. Mom stills admits that she loves a man in uniform!!! Dad never talked about the war and his days in battle. He just never shared those memories with us. He held them in his heart. But, he always celebrated on one very special day…Memorial Day. That was super important to my father. When dad passed in 1995 he had a touching and moving send off at Calverton Cemetery in Riverhead, New York. I'm sure as he was looking down from heaven, he was proud as ever for the send off the United States Armed Forces gave to him. He was so proud to have served his country and he never forgot the fallen soldiers who fought next to him that never made it home.
Memorial Day is a day of treasured memories. It's a day that we recognize and honor the fallen soldiers both human and canine that served selflessly to defend our great nation to keep us safe and free. It's a day the USA comes together to celebrate the lives of the brave who gave their lives to protect ours. This Memorial Day may you take a moment out of your day to remember and honor those great soldiers for their service and sacrifice.
Yes, memories can conjure up treasures we hold near and dear to our hearts. They make us think, reminisce and can even bring a tear to our eyes. They really can hold a fruitful and wonderful purpose and legacy. They may even help to make the world a better place. Now, wouldn't that be an honor!?
May you have a safe and happy Memorial Day!
Happy Tales to you,
by Elvis Presley
Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind
Memories, sweetened thru the ages just like wine
Quiet thought come floating down
And settle softly to the ground
Like golden autumn leaves around my feet
I touched them and they burst apart with sweet memories,
Of holding hands and red bouquets
And twilight trimmed in purple haze
And laughing eyes and simple ways
And quiet nights and gentle days with you
Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind
Memories, sweetened thru the ages just like wine,
Memories, memories, sweet memories
A Place where I can Bark, Blog and Woof a Little
written by Yvonne Dagger