Friday, May 18, 2012

Lessons In Life

The last three weeks has been all about teaching and learning. We have had to teach our new baby so many things. He's had to learn how to get upstairs, how to get downstairs, what his name is, come when he's called. He's had to learn how to sit, to drop, to stay, to shake hands, to speak on command. That's an awful lot of learning for a little puppy but Toby has proved to be a smart and eager student.

But all the learning hasn't all been on the canine side. He has been teaching me valuable lessons in life too. And today I'm going to share the three most important.

Attack Life with Enthusiasm. It's a pretty exciting world out there and sometimes I forget to see all the richness that it has to offer. It's so easy to get bogged down in the business of living. To become numbed by routine. To be weighed down by worries. Watching Toby explore and frolic and play reminds me that sometimes you should just run with your ears flapping in the breeze. That chasing turkeys can be fun. That sometimes all you need for a lift is to watch the sun rise over a sleeping city knowing that you are one of a privileged few who's seen all that beauty.

Sometimes You Have To Get Right To the End To Get to the Good Stuff. Bad stuff happens to everyone. I've had my fair share over the past few years and it's taught me that there's just some things that are out of your control. You have to ride out the bad times. My wise son, Sam told me to just let go and float. Give up control and just go with it. You'll eventually get through it and get to the good bits.

When It All Gets Too Much It's Important to Recharge The Batteries. Life can be pretty tiring at times. Work, relationships, juggling demands from all quarters can just leave you all tuckered out. It's really important to take time out to unwind - a bath with a scented candle, doing some stretching and breathing, having a good laugh, going for a walk with a good friend, reading a book or just having a nap can all help me centre myself again when I feel like my world's spinning out of control.

Not only is my puppy a genius - he's a great and wise teacher.


We had tree-loppers in today to remove half of our poinciana tree. This tree had been one of the reasons that I'd fallen in love with this house. Really, it was probably the only reason. The house was a bit of a disaster area. It had holes in walls, a hideous bathroom and an equally vile kitchen. It had only ever been painted with an undercoat in the 27 years that it had been standing. It was the worst house in a pretty good street in a lovely suburb and it was the right price. 

And it had the most magnificent poinciana tree in the back yard. It was a tree that was just right for a tree house and when our boys were old enough they helped their daddy build one. The tree shaded most of the back yard so we found it hard to keep a lawn or a vegetable patch but I honestly didn't care because I loved that tree.

The day we got Toby it was raining hard and had been raining for most of the night. My beautiful tree couldn't cope and one of its enormous branches came down. Today we had to have another branch removed that had been too damaged by the first one. And now my beautiful tree is a shadow of its former self. But we're going to keep a couple of the logs to be features in our garden - and already they're being admired by the natives.


I had another day off work today because work's just THAT slow. So what do I do? I bake of course. Coach Chris sent me a picture of some cupcake last night which I took as a personal challenge. Could I master the Cookie Monster cupcake? 

SO MUCH FUN!! What is it about Cookie Monster that makes you smile?


  1. Just Float...I like it! Reminds me of one of those tubie river relaxing!

  2. Good life lessons that. We had to do the same with one of our trees a while ago and I'm still sad about it. Have a great weekend!

  3. Life definitely throws curve balls and when I look back on the past 4 years, I never dreamed it could be so rough...but you just hang in there and "float" because one day, it will all be a memory and will just made you that much stronger. Maybe I should get a puppy to help remind me :).

    Sorry about the tree. We planted a tree when we lived in Alabama and it became pretty special to us; really shaded the backyard, too. But when we moved to Colorado, we heard the new owners of our old house cut down the tree...made me so sad. Not that it was my tree anymore, but you understand. Hope your tree continues to grow and bring lots more happiness.

    The Cookie Monster cupcakes will be tons of fun to make...I bet they'll turn everyone's lips blue, too. Haha.

  4. Wise lessons, Char - we all need to be reminded of those from time to time!

    We also had to say goodbye to two beloved trees a few years ago, so I understand how you feel. But on the flip side, it will enable more sunshine to come into your life!

  5. Those cookies look delicious and are so beautiful!
    Great lessons given and received. Indeed we have a lot to learn from the animals.
    About the trees, we had to cut 2 beautiful palms. In Italy an insect destroyed thousands of palms.

  6. Completely agree with you: we've to ride out the bad times! It's a fantastic message that is applicable to so many situations and it covers any issue, any problem.

  7. I'm blown away by what amazing cupcakes you make Char and I am in love with Toby and completely agree with his lessons!

  8. Great life lessons!!!

    I'm sorry to hear about your tree, glad you're saving parts for the garden!

    Love those cupcakes too!

  9. Love your puppy lessons and such perfect and cute pictures to illustrate those lessons!
    Cute cupcakes as always.

    We got maple syrup as wedding favors at the wedding yesterday.

  10. Those cookies look really hard to make. If you pull it off you should be professional cupcake maker!


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