I hope everyone finds their Josie. I am so grateful each week I get to see her and ride her. She is so considerate, gentle, forgiving, and caring. Some may think it impossible for a horse to be all these things, but she is. She is beautiful in form and strength. I am in love with this girl. She is supportive and patient. I am talking about my horse, Josie. She isn’t really mine but she makes me feel that way . I am hoping she will always enjoy me as much as I do her. Why do I love horses so much? Horses are better than pills in a bottle to calm your heart and soul. Trying to push myself to be more independent I am. She motivates me because I see what my life might be like if I was able to care for a horse of my own. Horses are motivation in a world of false hope. They never disappoint. Prancing high above our fears and worries they carry us thru our pain to a place of being. Happiness emerges when we feel safe and laughter and joy abound.
Josie wasn’t trained to help people like me but she chose to accept her role in being a gateway to independence. Will she know how important she has been to me? I’m sure she understands I love her, but how much, how could she? It doesn’t effect a moment of her riding to wait for praise or credit. It is just what she has chosen do. That is true giving. I hope we all find a Josie in our life, whether equine, feline, canine, or human. Perhaps we can be a Josie to someone as well.
*Special thanks to Sherry at Hoofprints in Orange Park Acres for her amazing equine program.
Dan is the Captain of a band of boarder collie misfits who set sail just off the coast of California in search of the lost at sea Prince Iz-Man.
At sea the ship endured much turbulence. Each day at sea was valuable to the life of our dear prince. Iz-Man meant the world to Dan as he was once the prince’s dog of choice. Having a childhood fever the young prince made Dan his best friend and translator. The young prince had muted his voice out of sorrow for his life as it had been. Dan was his only joy in his present life. Just as they started to live happily came a jealous Sea Monster envious of their joy. Life shifted when the Sea Monster swept our dear young nobleman out to sea during his daily swim. Dan immediately mustered up a group of hunting dogs to motion a rescue of his loyal friend who had become his world.
Not under the turbulent sea would anyone dare sail but Dan. He searched night and day for his nobleman. Having sailed the sea he moved to the most dreaded South Pacific. Life would be sour as he would have to sneak out his nobleman from the hands of the Sea Monster. More than strength, love moved him to never give up. Rescue was the only mission with soul. So he turned on his team of trackers to test the Sea Monster.
Surprisingly, they found the Sea Monster hiding much like Sea Monsters do in a cove in the deep South Sea. Love was so strong that jealousy could not see the light of day.
The Sea Monster was sleeping so sound the boarder collies sneaked past him unnoticed. They quickly grabbed the young prince and hurried to their ship. One collie accidentally stepped on the toe of the Sea Monster and woke him up. The Sea Monster then noticed his prince was gone and started to chase the pack of dogs as they scurried onto their ship with the young prince by their side. Inches past the reach of the Sea Monster the ship caught a strong wind sweeping it out to sea.
Fearing the Sea Monster would follow, Captain Dan had ordered a barrier of sharks waiting that the Sea Monster not dare cross. Dan’s sweet special Prince was safe again.
Some say the Sea Monster still exists, but as long as Prince Iz-Man has Captain Dan at his side he no longer fears life or anything in it. Hope and happiness was then restored and healed the young prince.
Written by Isaac Dzama
Every year in school we are required to write a short story. Little did I know just three months after writing this I would receive my service dog, Barris. We may not sail together but he is certainly my dog of choice.
Santa Catalina Island is a unique island off the coast of southern California. After seeing it from my neighborhood for eight years I finally got to travel by boat to see it.
Catalina Island is known for its pristine harbor with boats of many shapes and sizes. I found the harbor to be my favorite place on the island.
We went snorkeling at Lover’s Cove which was enjoyable except when the underwater submarine kept blowing its horn at me as if it owned the cove.
We did take an open air jeep tour with the Catalina Island Conservancy, which I really enjoyed.
The encounter with the mighty buffalo was certainly what we wanted to see high up on the mountainside, and the buffalo did not disappoint. These creatures are quite interesting to see up close with their fuzzy ears and woolly maned heads.
So what do these mighty creatures tell us? Eco systems are not meant to be disturbed, as Catalina buffalo are proof of that. I was on the inner interior of the island and could see the struggle the integrated eco system has on native plants and animals. The eco system is so delicate the slightest interference can completely change the appearance and the island itself forever.
Morning Marine Layer
Bison with protected tree screens.
What are we doing to preserve places that are unique and interesting like Catalina? I wonder what Laguna Beach water would have looked like and how many different kinds of fish and kelp were there 60 years ago? Much of what we do to the environment resembles a waterfall. What we see on the surface is often all that is recognized or valued. Underneath is an entire world of dependent eco systems. If we redirected the waterfall it may make new eco systems but leave the old one vanished for good. Can we take that chance with certain habitats?
Humans are similar to eco systems. Understanding we are delicate creatures of habitats ourselves, we must respect how much we alter ourselves with medications and surgeries. The result of abrupt change, without supporting the other areas of codependency we have neglected to consider, could result in us forever being unbalanced or unsupported. I know my own self and sometimes I am left under-supported neurologically when my routine or lifestyle is suddenly drastically altered. Sometimes the changes are not controllable, like the buffalo who refused to be relocated off the island of Catalina after a movie shoot. What then? Each scene is one that must be given serious thought as to the interruption of normalcy. We see the work of the conservancy and are grateful for their work of preserving such a landmark as Catalina. What conservancy do we attempt for ourselves?
Seeing us as buffalo roaming a strange place isn’t that far off from how I picture myself. I can’t expect the whole world to adapt into a new world just for me, but small changes and appreciation for who we are will sweeten the environment for changes that benefit all. Some of us will remain and some of us will fade away as if their waterfall was redirected and they anticipated no change . Time has no mercy for those who expect no change. So are you a Catalina bison or sea kelp? Each is beautiful to look at, but one has been there as long as we know and the other claimed its mark in recent history. Both contribute to the attraction and beauty of Catalina. Don’t we want to see them both? Remember with change we grow.
How do you describe a place that makes you feel so connected to yourself and the world surrounding you? Paradise! Even in this world full of distractions, our minds can connect to raw nature in Alaska. Under such peace and freedom from the negative hum of media, we can actually connect at a time when everyone is yearning to disconnect from their devices. I love technology, as it makes it possible for me to type this blog. We live at a time and in an environment dictated by social media. I have been spending years to improve my social skills and yet society is moving in the opposite direction. Social media trains people to rely on typed words to communicate without actual personal interaction. I can speak from experience that an emptiness is left in or souls when this is left to stand alone in our relationships. In some ways you would think this would make it easier for me, yet I wonder is this the direction of elevated humanity?
I am almost sure we are stifling the natural bond the world has known until now. How do we embrace this change in technology and still stay connected as humans? We must think of solutions before it is a lost art of personal emotional interaction. Ways to stay connected are families who play, eat, and pray together. I love cards, games, and love to eat. All is well when everyone feels loved and accepted and this is not always conveyed thru typed words. So let’s take some time everyday and talk personally to the ones we love. We can still stay connected. I am not sure we can continue to stay connected as we were created to be if we don’t.
I am back! I am excited to share the most amazing vacation I have ever experienced, Alaska, the last frontier. It is true beauty preserved and intrepid. Even the air seems so dear you think it would cost you to breathe it. Predators are given freedom and the eco- system takes care of itself with its unique balance that humbles even the jealous souls to think nature is better when left alone. My favorite part of the trip was the wild life cruise we took out of the small fishing port in Valdez. Our boat was tagged as the “Lulu Belle”.
Captain Fred was as entertaining as informative and in my opinion a master at what he does.
Yes he let me drive!!!
I am in awe of such amazing beauty that it is hard for me to choose my favorite experiences but this was definitely the best day of the vacation. We saw humpback whale, dall porpoise, otter, sea lions, moving icebergs, Columbia Glacier, and the most inspiring mountainous backdrop to observe it all.
I recently moved into a new house and I really love it, yet I struggle with getting out of the way of my own success. Much of my day is spent eagerly looking forward to typing. I mostly enjoy the process of thoughts flowing smoothly into words that resonate with people. Only people have the ability to respond to readings such as a blog. I wish I could blog Barris’ thoughts. Oh wouldn’t that be touching and humorous at the same time? What makes us innately so different than animals? I have wondered this not from an evolutionary standpoint but more from a thinking analytic standpoint. I openly express my belief in God and a Creator, yet I still ponder these questions. I am perplexed at this question, mostly because so many of us never take the time to ponder answers to the questions we do not already know the answers to. I suggest we let nature answer us with its high hum of wisdom. Open your eyes and ears to what the birds tell you. I am still in awe of the melody they sing everyday. Pondering over their purpose of such joy in song, I wonder, am I living as I am supposed to? I might know how I am living, but how I was meant to live may surprise me.
I would love to travel in space. I would love to design my own intergalactic transport. It is possible if our minds can dream it. Our minds are windows into the future. What is your future? I wonder about mine a lot. I just keep praying for answers and taking one positive step everyday trying to see the future as a safe and purposeful one. I am confident I get answers to my prayers not just in life but also in my thoughts about my future. This requires dismissing negative thoughts that seem to be told as reality, yet are only lies and deception. In my case, it is “you are not smart” or “you don’t get it do you?”. For others it may be “you are not worthy” or “you are not loved”. But those are all lies. We are as successful as we believe we are. If we believe we are valuable, then we live a life of value. If we are purposeful, we live a life with purpose? Reflect on your life now and if you are not satisfied ask yourself , “What do I need to change?”. It may just be our attitude. Growing up in a world full of bullies and criticism isn’t always a day at the beach. Yet, we can just put our minds at the beach when those thoughts or people try to bring our thoughts down. Understanding our future really helps us stay positive.
I am personally finding great joy and satisfaction from writing about things I am passionate about. What are your passions? I enter a new field when I hear beautful music by Mozart or great composers like him. Sweet streams of water also make my mind stream away from painful sounds. I hear birds chirping right now and I am sure they are telling me to join them outside on this beautiful day.
In this day and time we all must see ourselves living not like we have in the past but one step in the right direction towards the life of our dreams.
Everyday ,or on every reality of a day ,we need to live with purpose. I am still finding my full potential as I am confident I have not fulfilled my full purpose yet. I have a 92 year old Grandma and she still lives with purpose and that is wonderful!
Everyone needs great moments to look forward to. I need it just like you. What will we do to make greatness happen? I wonder if I were the way I was meant to be, would I be that much different or better? Better as far as communicating with my mouth not my laptop, maybe. But somehow I think I am better as a result of my extra mile or two added to my marathon of life. It is only a race to finish, not against the world. I am confident each of us can finish our race of living with purpose if we just never give up!
I hiked on the trail in our neighborhood today and saw whales migrating from where I was standing. I can only say we are blessed to even observe such living creatures. May all of us reach our full potential one step at a time.