The Power of a Peanut part 3

Darling Friends,

As promised, I am posting a second time today–such is the excitement and awe around here.

With sweetness and gratitude,



Day 9

7 am and we are ready to get going. The plan is simply to get Ari to the back door, maybe feed him halfway, on the new rug in the kitchen.

The sun isn’t even up yet, and I’m dressed, filling a container with kibble. J and Ari are coming down the hall, all the way to the back door, and out they go. I grab my coat and follow.

The air is fresh and chilly. Even with the porch light on, it’s darkness everywhere for me. I hear Ari scrambling on the wooden deck, hear J’s quiet, reassuring, “Come on, come on” across the way.

Fear starts slyly seeping into my thoughts. I imagine Ari tumbling down the steps to the grass and rolling down the hill. Or, J lunging to catch him and falling into the shadowy abyss.

“We’ve already come farther than we planned,” I remind him.

“Come on, you can do it.”

We have come so far, I tell myself. So far this week, so far over the years. Yes, Love is everywhere.

And I remember our tent in South Dakota in 1993, the way it seemed to breathe in and out as the storm approached, the darkness and uncertainty, the four young children whose courage I wanted to inspire, and how we all moved fearlessly to safety despite the rain and thunder, the collapsing tent, the tornado winds. And I remember the brightness of that long ago sunrise.

“I need some apple for incentive, ” J says as he opens the door and moves into the house.

Silence closes in. I cling to Love Divine. Then I hear scrambling on the wooden deck, more scrambling, more silence.

“Ari’s moving,” I call through the door.

J dashes past me.

“He’s in the yard. Good boy, good boy, Ari!”

They both scramble up the steps and we all go inside, laughing and hugging, and loving the day.

The Power of a Peanut part 2

Darling Friends,

Things have been happening so quickly around here, that I must let you know I will be breaking my own rule today–I will need to post twice in one day to keep you all up to date. Your kind words and sweet thoughts/prayers have worked wonders, keeping our spirits high as the struggle continues. Please know there is much love for you and many wags of appreciation on this end.

Blessings to you!

Day 8

Ari wants to move, that is apparent. He will crawl for a treat, will stand and walk a few steps when encouraged with “Okay, let’s go, 1, 2, 3, up Ari.”

But the tiled hallway is too much for him. It’s downright terrifying. Maybe it’s too slick for his wobbling steps. Maybe he remembers how his feet went out from under him a couple of time before this nightmare began. Has it only been eight days since he was walking?

Our days have been spent moving and encouraging Ari to move independently. We coax him to move in circles around the bedroom, hustle him across the hall to my office for his usual day with me, hustle him back for snuggles and treats, and J even manages to get him down the hall to the living room. We parade in circles around the room a few times, bestow praise and treats galore, and settle down for a bit of quiet, seemingly normal, reading time.

Joy is a welcome guest. Or perhaps I should say, Joy is a cherished family member we yearn to keep with us. We are counting our glimpses of her as she draws near, and we can’t wait to help her unpack once she finally, truly returns

There is only the matter of the hall, the danger zone.

So J heads off to Home Depot for some runners. Maybe carpet will provide the grip Ari needs to move about independently.

With everything in place, we try again. A few apple bits, and Ari is up and at the door of the room.

“You can do it,” I urge, “look how easy it is now,” and I back down the hall.

Timidly, he crosses the threshold, into the hall, all the way, across the kitchen, into the living room.

Once there, we prance about, all of us. I offer treats as I move slowly backward, J behind me to guide. He even manages to catch a few minutes of our parade on video for the vet to see.

A few hours later, we make the return trip with no trouble, back down the hall. And what a startling, and sweet surprise when Ari later decides to simply walk himself across the hall to my office. What a champ!

An exhilarating, exhausting day draws to an end. We can only hold our breath hopefully as we all drift off to sleep, wondering what the morning will bring.

The Power of a Peanut

Darling Readers,

It’s the closing hours of day six, and we have already come so far.

You see, J and I awoke on December 30 to find Ari the WonderDog unable to stand. Thinking the worst, I phoned a hospice vet used by our daughter last summer to assist her beloved Zoey across the Rainbow Bridge, and spent the hours until her afternoon arrival crying with J, and saying good-bye. At 13 and a half, Ari’s health has always been excellent, his weight and activity level aligned to his age or better. This was something new and unexpected, and horribly, horribly frightening for all of us.

Dr Lori took one look at our WonderDog, and declared that good news was evident. She diagnosed Idiopathic Distibular something or other and proclaimed that within a week or so Ari might well achieve 90 percent of his abilities with our nursing care.

So our days have been occupied with Ari:

Feeding him kibble by hand, watering in small amounts, and rejoicing in the smallest of improvements.

Well yesterday, something truly amazing happened– We learned the power of the peanut.

Yes, Ari will do anything for a peanut, or a crumb of fetta cheese, or a bit of English muffin. The heck with fancy kibbles and dog treats flavored like chees or peanut butter. Our Ari prefers the real thing, only the real thing.

We learned this when I succeeded in coaxing him across my office with a nut or two. And while he is still afraid to traverse the tiled hallway from the bedroom to my office, he happily crawls after the lure, across

The room, stands on command with help, and scrambles with J across the forbidden zone to the next room. He has made this journey six times today, and each is mor confidently achievedthan the last.

And please don’t worry, dear friends, Ari is also eating a fair amount of his kibble, so we are not depriving him of his usual level of nutrition.

There is no telling whether Ari will make it all the way back to his happy-go-lucky self, or what the future holds. But for now, J and I are delighting in the courage and eagerness of Ari to be who he is, a Lab from tongue to tail, alert and loving and most of all, ready to do anything for a delicious snack. Especially a peanut.

Wishing you every sweetness and blessing in 2020,


Darling Friends,

May these dark days of winter, and the dark times of our lives be soothed and comforted and perhaps even sparked with joy as you embrace loved ones and friends, as you gaze into the Heavens with wonder, as you marvel at how unique you are, and come to realize what a precious gift you are to the world and to everyone you encounter.

I am grateful for your presence in my life, and for the wisdom and affection you bring me by way of your comments. So whatever you celebrate, may joy and wonder find you now and throughout the year. And may your light be a source of light to the world!

Joan Myles

Campbells World

Had a wonderful shower, clothes drying. Sitting in a beautiful patch of sun.
When I got out of the shower and discovered my clothes were not dry I put on a T-shirt and shorts. It’s that warm.
When Campbell said he needed out I put on my fuzzy robe, and high-top ankle boots, and went walking down the walk singing like some kind of silly fool with my robe blowing out all around me.
Everyone who saw us wished us a merry Christmas and one guy said he wished he could have my kind of fun.
My question. “Why can’t you?”
I love being silly and having a good time. My clothes are almost dry, soon I’ll get dressed and off to celebrate the day.
Just read a great holiday greeting. It said…
“Doesn’t matter what you celebrate. Just celebrate.”
I say celebrate every-day!

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Book Review: Charles Dickens

Title: Charles Dickens

Author: Jane Smiley

Copyright: 2002

BR 14255 2 Volumes

Maybe your bedtime dreams aren’t yet fixed on sugarplums, but with Christmas Eve only a week away, some reference to “A Christmas Carol” or Scrooge or the hauntings of Christmas past has no doubt graced your mental stage. Charles Dickens was not simply a master storyteller. His writing reaches into the minds and hearts of every age. He knew what readers liked, and he gave it to them.

The stories Dickens penned arise from his own 19th century life–the smokey London streets he covered on daily five to six mile walks, and the raggedand well-to-do people he encountered. Books like “Bleak House: and “Oliver Twist” reflect the miserable social conditions he worked tirelessly to alleviate when he wasn’t writing. And in “Hard Times”, Dickens champions rights and protections for workers such as miners. Even governmental neglect does not escape his sharp criticism, whether it underpins one of his novels or is prominently discussed in an essay for his weekly periodical. As for his characters, Dickens uses them to express every emotion known to humankind. They act out of cruelty, greed and compassion. They long for love and tolerance. They laugh and cry and strive to overcome the hardships dealt to them.

Jane Smiley’s brief account of Dickens provides a fascinating glimpse into the writer’s life and work, his friendships, passions and shortcomings. A man of remarkable energy and insight, Charles Dickens portrayed the world as it existed in his time, and well understood the place of individuals in improving it for everyone.

No Pool No Page

Writing a poem is like jumping

Into the deep end of the pool.

Think too much and I’ll remember

I never learned to swim

It’s always best to let go

Flail a bit with arms and legs

Feel my skin dissolve into nothingness

Let my essence lead the way

Let the water in me

Commune with the water around me

As if there is no pool and no paper

As if all is Poetry

Frost Comes

frost comes
grass stiffens
and I run to find my mittens

frost comes
birdies fluff
got my mittens
where’s my muff

frost comes
wildflowers fading
woolens on my shelf cascading

frost comes
Foggy glass
cloaks my eyes as people pass

frost comes
earmuffs muffle
frozen strangers by me shuffle

frost comes
then the snow
if I don’t feel
I’ll never know

**from One With Willows, 2019

Grateful (cont’d)

Grateful to loveand to be loved

***And I am grateful for you, my Darling Readers, grateul for your company on this amazing journey, for your willingness to read my scribbles, for your comments and conversations. Thank you, thank you! Wishing you sweetness on this Thanksgiving Day, and the blessings of shalom throughout these winter holidays.


Grateful to feel

The sun in my face

The rain on my cheeks

The wind in my hair

Grateful to hear

Leaves rustling overhead

Children playing down the street

My own breath moving

Grateful to know

The sweetness of this moment

The delight of living

The gift of simply being me




I long to stand like Ponderosa pines

Breathed and breathing

Naked to the wind and the rain

Poised always to receive

Always to give


I long to dance like Oregon air

My face open and giddy

My embrace wide as the sky

Moving always to give

Always to receive


I long to love like Love

Always loving