Community…Doing What We Can

What I know for sure is when a door closes, another one opens. It’s easier if we work together.

About a month ago a neighbor was about to enter the freeway near the University of Southern California. She saw something on the ground and thought it was a small cat or possum. She got closer and realized it was a tiny dog looking for scraps of food. Her frosted face identified her as a senior. The little dog had no collar and very long toenails like she’d been on the street awhile. When approached the dog looked up with bright eyes and wagged her tail. She was hungry but friendly.

Scared she’d be run over, my neighbor picked her up and put her in the car and checked around the area to see if anyone knew anything about her — no luck. Los Angeles was expecting a cold rain storm that night. Wanting to get a roof over her head and a meal in her belly she took her to a local shelter, one that is known for making a big effort to get small, friendly dogs adopted. My neighbor put “first rights” on the paperwork and could pull the dog out in a few days.

Senior dogs tend to be harder to get adopted and this girl was estimated to be about ten years old.

My neighbor used social media to get the word out about this sweet girl, including “Nextdoor” for our specific neighborhood.  The entire community wanted to know the outcome. Numerous neighbors expressed interest and one woman stepped up to adopt her to be a friend to another small senior dog she had in her house.

WOW! That’s the way to use social media and it’s a life lesson: If you see something and think “I’m not going to get involved.” Do it. Get involved, miracles happen, and lives are changed. In this case, two dogs and the “human” are getting a chance for a better life. And the rest of us reading this, well my heart has been touched. And you?

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When I worry I remind myself I’m using my imagination to create something I don’t want. I try not to worry and someday will say “I don’t worry.”


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Interesting Places

When I draw and paint my work is never finished. I stop in interesting places. Your work is like that too.

Anya Sketch

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I don’t compete. I don’t compare. I’m running my own race now and am much happier.


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Scammed or Anything for Love?

I have a neighbor who is my “go to guy” for questions about things that go wrong at my house, recommendations for repair people, and for interesting and honest perspectives on just about anything. He’s a seasoned, intelligent, informed man and I’m lucky to have him as a friend and neighbor.

One day as I was heading out for a walk with my dog and he was getting his mail he looked at me and said, “I’ve just been scammed.” He proceeded to tell me that he received a phone call from his grandson who lives in Northern California.  His grandson was crying and said that he was in Florida where he had been flown for the funeral of a friend. The story unfolds that the grandson was in a holding cell in a Florida jail. The Uber driver that picked him up at the airport was stopped by police for a traffic violation. In the car the police found cocaine and a revolver. The Uber driver said it belonged to his passenger (grandson).

Fast forward the grandson is allowed one phone call from jail so he called Grandpa, hysterical, with the name of a lawyer. My friend talks to the lawyer and is told the courts are backed up for two weeks and the grandson will have to stay in jail until then and will be booked on criminal charges within the next few hours. My neighbor is told the only thing that can push the case up and get his grandson out of jail is $4000 to be paid in gift cards from very specific retailers. Urgency was stressed over and over again.

What did my neighbor do? He went to the retailers and got the gift cards! He called the lawyer back and gave him the gift card numbers. This ordeal took several hours. (Imagine LA traffic, and standing in line for gift cards in a large amount that have to be purchased in person not online).

Then in a moment of reflection and rational thought, my neighbor decides to text his grandson asking him if he is in California or Florida and does he have a friend that recently passed away in Florida. The grandson replies “I’m in California and no friends have passed away.”

The gift cards were canceled in time.

A scam? A scam that hit an informed, intelligent, man in his Achilles heel, his grandchildren.

Looking back and telling me the story he felt foolish and saw some of the illogical requests in the story…gift cards for payment!

Further investigation uncovered that this is a scam as big as those phony IRS calls we all receive. The scammers get information from the social media accounts of young people and somehow get to their family with a story and urgent requests that will make us do the unimaginable.

Scammed, yes, but not taken.

A demonstration of love for his grandson, ABSOLUTELY.

I will bet you would have done the same!

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I seek out diverse friends who broaden my perspective; they enrich my life, that means YOU!


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Moments do not last; it is in the very definition of the word. It’s up to me to make each moment count.

Sweet Deer


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Wayne Dyer said: “How people treat you is their karma. How you react is yours.” I like it!

Gentle Giant

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The Deep Work

I love watching sports. It’s so inspiring to see the results of athletes that have spent their lives training to get to the top of their game.

As I was watching the Super Bowl a few weeks ago there were numerous players that created memorable moments on the field. Those moments will be replayed for years.

I also find the commentators perspective to be interesting as they are former players and their view of what’s happening offers insight for us to bring to our daily lives.

After the first drive on the football field, one of the announcers, a former quarterback, said the quarterback on the field was not mentally focused at the first play and needed time to get his head into the game.

He told us what he used to do before stepping on the field and getting the ball in his hand for the first time. He would do multiplication tables in his head to get his mind focused and sharp. Physically he knew the practice and training he had done the week and months before prepared him to withstand the demanding game on his body. To take the field mentally ready he had to prepare in his own way. He had to do the mental deep work that will make his physical work appear easy.

What a nugget to bring into my life! It encouraged me to be conscious of my deep work, the work I do before “taking the field” on things that require me to be centered and fully present. What do I do? I write down my thoughts at that instant or take out my drawing pad and do a quick sketch to capture the moment that will never be here again. Then I tell myself the presentation I am about to make, the round of golf I am about to play, or the conversation I am about to have requires me to be 100% attentive. Most of the time it has to do with other people watching, listening, or participating and I owe it to them, to you, to be mentally ready, to have done my deep work before engaging.

What about you? What is your deep work? A crossword puzzle? A game of Ken Ken on your phone? Meditation? It doesn’t matter, as long as it works for you and prepares you for your big game.

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Good, Better, Best

Did I do my best today? I ask myself every day.


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