Quote: Opposite of Anger

The opposite of anger is not calmness, its empathy.

Mehmet Oz

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Dog Training

Photo by Kelly Parker McPherson

Our new dog is way smarter than the beagle. We couldn’t get the beagle to do anything.

The new dog has been taught to sit, give paw, and to ring the bells on the door when he wants to go out. I am amazed at this. This is my second dog ever, and I am used to much more intelligent animals (cats).

He has also been training us. Training us to let him out of his crate when the cats’ food dispenser goes off in the morning. So much that we had to change the time of the dispensing so we weren’t wakened at 4:30. He’s been training us to give him belly rubs and bring him biscuits when we crate him.

I’m beginning to think that training is a two way street.


Photo by Kelly Parker McPherson

Catch More Flies with Honey

Photo by Anderson Mancini

There is an old saying: you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. My mother used to tell me that whenever I would get salty and hand her attitude. I grew to understand that I should be nice to people when I wanted something – and then that extended later into a general courtesy. I’m not always perfect with this, but I do try.

There is a woman whom I know by sight. She has been a vocal proponent of some issues in an organization I belong to. And while I agree in principle with what she is saying, I don’t agree with her methods of accomplishing the aims, nor do I agree with her treatment of others.

This woman is a bully. And when she gets called on it, she retreats behind a label.

In some ways she reminds me of a student I had. I’ve talked about him before (Self Examination). He hid behind the gay label as an excuse to be a snotty rude asshole.

This woman was part of a committee who asked me to step aside in a related volunteer effort because apparently what I believe is embarrassing to them. She ejected another friend of mine, with similar beliefs, off of the committee they work on together with a flimsy excuse. I am struggling not to take offense at these blatant attacks on what we believe. Because we are a minority belief, we are being trampled. And it is okay because it is supposed to lead to a larger good?

And the bully, along with her cohorts, can’t see that they are doing to us exactly what they are protesting against in another group.

As a powerful civil rights leader said, “If we desire a society of peace, then we cannot achieve such a society through violence. If we desire a society without discrimination, then we must not discriminate against anyone in the process of building this society. If we desire a society that is democratic, then democracy must become a means as well as an end.” (Bayard Rustin)

As of now, I want nothing to do with her. I don’t want any part of anything she has a hand in.

This saddens me. I wish I could put my principles above personalities, but I can’t. That is my problem, I know, and it points to a character flaw on my part.

Had this woman applied a little honey, things would have gone much smoother.


Photo by Anderson Mancini

My Office

A few years ago my husband turned an unused walk-in closet into a writing studio for me.

It’s a snug littls place with sloped ceilings. I share it with the cats, but it is my refuge when I want to have time and space to concentrate for writing.

This year, after I completed NaNoWriMo, I was tired of how it was. So I pulled things out of their spots. I cleaned. I rearranged the furniture (as much as I could within the bounds of the room).

And then over winter break, I made it better.

I have a chair in my room that I use to read or relax with the cats. It didn’t have a footstool. So I bought a low one at IKEA and covered it with the bath rug that used to be the only covering on the floor. The old rug from our bathroom made it into the space, making the floor a lot less cold. I moved the bookshelves and cleaned off the top so the cats could look out the window. And I put away things on the horizontal surfaces.

For Christmas my husband bought me a single-cup brewer with a small footprint. My idea was to have it go into the bathroom, but this idea was met with resistance. So while at IKEA I bought a small stool/table and a place mat that fit perfectly, and put it in the corner of my writing room. One of my drawers was given over to K-cups and tea bags.

My office is now a place that I feel relaxed in. Before it was crowded and cluttered. Now it suits the purpose of the room, and I find myself spending time in there just as a sanctuary.