Sunday, April 14, 2013

Feed a Man a Fish and Other Wisdoms To Get You Through the Tough Times

Hello friends! Peanut Pumpkin Pie here to share a little of my puppy wisdom during one of the most stressful seasons of the year ~ tax season! It's been a while since my last post, mainly because we have had some hardships in my family that have kept me preoccupied. My grampy got sick, we lost our sweet Happydog, I got really sick, etc. Needless to say, there was a lot to make us feel like we had been sent to an un-fun dog house with an empty water bowl and a too-short chain.

There is a lot of advice out there in books and on the web on how to deal with those tough times in life, and there are more slogans than you can shake a stick from your yard at. I have a few favorites that I go to from time to time like:
  1. Don't worry, be a silly billy.
  2. Just do it! long as your mommy says it is okay first.
  3. Turn a frown upside down by standing on your head. The sudden rush of blood flow to your brain will make everything seem better.
  4. The art of being happy lies in finding just the right nom on the floor.
I could go on, but you get the idea. Sometimes though, fun slogans aren't enough. You need something deeper. Something with a little more meat and mashed potatoes to it. At those times, I turn to words of wisdom.

There is a saying from ancient times about happiness and how to find it. It is a saying which still rings true in this modern era of ours the way that timeless wisdom has a tendency to do. It goes like this..........

"Feed a man a fish, fill his tummy for a month. Give a man a squeaky fish, and bring him happiness for a lifetime." I's pretty heavy stuff for a pumpkin to share, but the message is important. Wait a second........

My mommy is trying to tell me something very important related to my post. Give me a second....

Okay.....Mommy just told me that is not how the quote goes at all. In fact, I am not even close. But, since my version goes along with my wisdom of the day.......

We are going to roll with it! So back to my story......sometimes the secret to finding joy in life is looking for it in the simple pleasures around you and taking the time to enjoy them.

After all, never underestimate the power of a squeaky fish to bring joy and joyness to all who encounter it. In fact, squeaky toys and play in general have the power to transform a tough time into something magical. I will show you what I mean.......

Today, my grampy was working on taxes and other stressful things. I could see from the look on his face, he needed my help. He needed the power of squeaky toy joy.....and me. I brought him two of my favorite squeaky toys (my fluffy pink poodle dog and my little forest frog) and placed them on his arm. He didn't notice. He was too stressed.

I tried calling his attention to the squeaky frog (a personal favorite of mine) thinking perhaps grampy just needed some encouragement. Still no response. He was too stressed.

I moved the squeaky frog from his arm and plopped it on top of his keyboard. Everyone knows it is impossible to resist a happy smiling squeaky frog on their keyboard. Right?

Apparently, sometimes they are resistible. I knew it was time for drastic measures. It was time for a full blown puppy intervention!

Sometimes happiness needs a helping paw, and that is just what I gave to my grampy today as he worked on his taxes. I saw he was stressed and needed some happy fun time. And boy did I make sure he had it!

All my grampy needed was a little encouragement and the next thing I knew, he was having the time of his life squeaking the squeaky frog with me.

He was so happy in fact, I got scratches for my efforts.........

Mommy said I did a good thing in helping grampy today de-stress from a stressful situation and finding a happy moment in the process. Sometimes the joys in life are few and far least that is what it may feel like, but they are there. All you have to do is look for them.

Okay, so maybe I can't guarantee that a squeaky fish or frog will make everything better all at once. I can't even guarantee they will make you smile the way they do me. What I can promise you is that looking for the little joys in life is the most worthwhile effort you will ever make. Those little joys can get you through the tough times when nothing else will. Whatever the little joys are to you, I hope you find them. In my terms, and from my heart, I hope you find your squeaky fish when you need it most. Love you!

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Peanut Economics: Rockin' N Rollin' With the Punches

Hi there friends! In 2013, I thought I would mix things up a bit and kick it old school in trying to find myself a means of employment. Last year's efforts were a bit of a let down, so I thought I would try out for something a little more traditional to help me bring home the bacon.

I decided I was going to join an 80's rocker band. It made perfect sense to me, and there seemed to be so many pluses to the career move. I made a mental list for myself to weigh all of the potential benefits.

1. Job security. You gotta figure, if a rocker hasn't disappeared into obscurity after twenty years or so, there's gotta be some kind of cool secret to their career longevity. 
2. Savings on hair grooming. Rockers NEVER cut their hair, or wash it very often, so I would save tons of money by not having to get groomed. There might be a small monetary offset on cans of hairspray and eyeliner, but hey, sometimes, it's a trade off.
3. Great singing talent is not necessarily a requirement. Apparently, when kicking it old school rocker style, the moniker 'if you can't sing good, sing loud' really can work for you.

The more I thought about it, the better I felt. I really thought I could do this. The big question though was what kind of rocker did I want to be? I tried to channel a little classic rock with Credence Clear Water Revival but found I didn't quite have the right sound for it.

Next, I gave my best rebel yell at the first white wedding I could find, but the ushers threw me out before I could even get to the chorus. Apparently, the guests were not a big fan of my rendition of Billy Idol.

I finally decided, if I was going to be a rocker, I needed to go all the way and commit myself to Rock And Roll All Nite! I kissed my good girl image goodbye and unleashed my Peanut Poison Pie...... rocker and roller of all things round and squeaky. Nothing could stand in my way!

I played HARD at all hours of the day and night.........the way a real rocker should.........and I didn't care what anybody said about it! Squeaka! Squeaka!

I even had the attitude going know the one they say you hafta have as a celebrity rocker to help set you apart from everyone else?

I had the moves and the grooves on know the kind that say 'look but you can't touch'....

They were great times, being on the road, unskinny bopping (whatever that means). It was what a Peanut Poison Pie rocker's life should be.....

But just as every rose has it's thorn, this rocker life of action was beginning to feel kind of empty for me, and I was starting to miss my mommy alot. She had always encouraged me to follow my dreams, but had always reminded me to stay true to myself in the process.

I realized as I squeaked my squeaky ball that life on the road as Peanut Poison Pie just wasn't for me. I liked being just plain old Peanut Pumpkin Pie, squeaking my ball with my nicely groomed hair.

I like being just plain me. I decided to hang my up hair and pass the flaming baton on to someone else.

It's not that there is anything wrong with being a rocker. It just wasn't a good fit for me. I guess I wasn't enough of a fallen angel. When the last song was sung and my shooting star landed, I picked up the phone and told my mommy I was coming home. I will always look back on my rocker days with fondness as a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but I will always be grateful for the decision I made to leave that rock and rollercoaster life behind.

It is so important to know who you are in your own heart; not based on how someone else defines you but on how you define yourself. People's opinions of you will come and go like the flashes from a pyrotechnic's flashpot. What you think of yourself is the thing that matters most. It is the opinion you will carry with you the rest of your life. As long as you know who you are and are happy with the person you see looking back at you in the mirror, nothing else matters.

Here's hoping that today when you look in the mirror, you love what you see. And don't forget to rock and roll with the punches!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Peanut Economics: Exploring the Arctic Tundra Outbackside

Hello dear friends! This is a special edition of Peanut Economics, and you will understand why it is special in just a second. As many of you know, I am a snow dog, or at least my ancestry goes back to the great snow dogs of old. Although I may be too little now to pull the giant sleds in the Adirondacks, my heart is as large and as fierce as the giants I was bred down from. I still love the snow, and I often dream of the day when I too would get to explore the frigid wonderland we know as the Arctic tundra.

This winter unfortunately has been for us devoid of snow, and so this little snow dog had only her dreams to cling to. That is until one morning when I woke up super early to this....

I was elated! Could it be? Was the day finally here? I could feel the promise of fulfillment of my dreams within my very paws. But I had to be careful. This was not an undertaking for the faint of heart. Conditions had to be perfect, or else I put my very life at risk. I went through my mental checklist, and I prayed that all would be as I hoped it would be. First, I tasted the snow to make sure it was ready. If it had an off flavor, I would know it wasn't time. Nope....tasted great. CHECK!

Then I walked through the snow to make sure it had the right crunchy sound beneath my paws. Perfect crunch with every step. DOUBLE CHECK!!

Then I did the full body plunge to make sure it was the right temperature and consistency for exploration. Super cold and perfectly packed. TRIPLE CHECK!!!

I looked to the heavens and thanked the good Lord for smiling on me. My dream was finally coming to pass. Now all I had to do was get my supplies together. I was burning daylight, and there was no time to waste!

I got my gear together as quick as I could. There was no telling what I might need in the frigid arctic tundra. Since I had never been there before, I took everything I thought might come in handy. I brought extra blankets, a pink kiddy pool (never know when you need to go wading), a red tool box, a cardboard box, and a small animal crate with a scary stalking kitty already inside. I had everything I needed!

As the fearless explorer, I said my goodbyes to my mommy, complete with hugs and kisses.........

and I headed to the great Arctic Tundra Outbackside........

Oh the beauty of it all! When first I laid eyes upon the great white expanse, it took my breath away so that I had to take a moment to soak it all in....

With as beautiful as it was, I could not forget I was an explorer first and had to see what I could see while daylight was on my side. So I wandered through the frigid wasteland......

Seeking new and wondrous things........

Pushing myself to my physical and emotional limits in this lonely, barren world of ice and snow......

Where a snow dog can be forced to do things for the sake of survival they wouldn't ordinarily do.....shameful eat snow.......raw snow.......uncooked even........

Oh wait........I do that all the time anyways.......okay.....never mind.......back to the tundra and blowing snow and survival in the vastness of the Arctic Tundra.......

It was a long day, filled with the taste of an icy victory. My paws were turning into pawcicles, and it was time to head home. As I gathered my supplies together, I did so with a full heart, savoring the knowledge that I had fulfilled my dream of being a real life snow dog in the Arctic Tundra Outbackside!

I couldn't wait to tell my mommy about my many adventures. She would be so proud.....maybe not about the snow eating......but about everything else......her heart would swell with joy for me. I raced home to share everything with her.

How wonderful it was to share the day with my mommy....the triumphs.....the made the whole experience that much richer for me. A dream fulfilled is a gift indeed. A dream fulfilled and shared with someone you love is a treasure that is beyond compare.

Today, I had a dream come true, and it was amazing. The thing that made it extraordinary was the fact that I didn't experience it alone. I got to share it with someone I love and who loves me in return. My prayer for you today my friends is for you to live out a dream (no matter how big or small it is) and to have the gift of sharing it with someone you love! Happy dreaming!