Saturday, October 14, 2017

A Guest Post

by Ruby Dog

My person (Clara), asked me to post a few words about a misadventure she had recently, in the hopes that others may be alerted and avoid injury.  Did you ever notice the mini curbs that are overly plentiful in many parking lots? Some of them are even placed where it's necessary to straddle them in order to get to your destination. Well, about a month ago, my person was carrying a bag of dog food back to the large pet supply store where she had bought it. She parked up next to the store's entrance and put the bag up against her left shoulder. When she had taken two or three steps toward the door, she went flying through the air (having tripped on one of those tricky mini curbs) and landed hard on the cement sidewalk.  Her right side sustained significant injury...especially her knee which now looks very weird in its effort to heal.  I asked her to post a picture of it, but she said that would not be a nice thing to do. I say exactly what is on my mind at all times, but she says that being tasteful is important. I'm trying to learn about "tasteful" and how different its meaning is from "tasty" (about which I'm knowledgeable). Anyway, humans, be careful of those pesky mini curbs or whatever the parking lot designers call them.

On the lighter side, I've had a nice summer -- played a lot of "fetch the stick" and barked at a lot of noisy vehicles that went past the yard. Also I went for numerous rides in the car; I get very excited when I sense that we're going out in the car. I'm so glad that Clara adopted me :)

And I'd like to remind everyone to please care about dogs ... and all the other animals who are your fellow beings. Clara's Animal Ministry blog is at http://animalministry.blogspot.com  and her Healing The Earth Family blog is at http://healingtheearthfamily.blogspot.com.  She has a nice music video called "Fantastic Five"on You Tube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c76mqe3-1II .

I've enjoyed speaking here (ruf)!
Love, Ruby

Friday, September 22, 2017

my September song ...

Dear Readers, 
I've been out of touch for a couple of months and it seems like much longer. I hope that people still read blogs.

I was honored to be doing what I could to assist my beloved closest friend through a surgery and hospital stay. He is recovering well now at home and I'm so proud of him and his courage and wonderful spirit. 

Another person in my realm was distressed recently when told a needed hip replacement couldn't be done because of some other existing health concerns. He is now getting in-home health therapy which is a welcomed step forward.

Shifting gears, I'm wondering if there is anything that the general populace can do to help unite people together and gather the momentum to promote peace? Peace is cool (war isn't).  It would be a comforting contrast to current news items.  I'd love to hear songs like we heard in the '60s .... "Love Train" and "He's Not Heavy He's My Brother", "Blowin' In The Wind", "Imagine", and many other of the wonderful songs of that time.  I think we truly can say that the hippies had it right! These songs are beautiful, humane, inspiring, exciting, and could really do some good now. We would hope for radio stations with the courage to play them. We humans need universal love, compassion for each other and for our fellow beings the animals, respect for our planet, and a sense of gratitude for life itself and all that is beautiful.

I'd like to write a little joyful thing here. I always have a little reservoir of joy on hand, just waiting to make an appearance. Here we are in the initial days of autumn (Autumnal Equinox) ... equal daylight and darkness on the 22nd! And no matter what the circumstances, Nature offers comfort and balance and good energy.Trees are magic in their ability to absorb our concerns and take us in under their comforting boughs. My personal immediate advice includes hugging a tree and petting a dog or cat. My dog, Ruby, is like a psychologist, able to look into my eyes and lift up my thoughts. Also, I find that doing something nice for somebody really does give me joy. So, with gratitude, I thank anyone who is reading this blog. And I thank everyone who promotes kindness today.



Monday, July 24, 2017

"Words that we say weave a pattern of lace".

Hello dear friends and readers one and all,

This post's title is a lyric line from my song "Conversation".  I haven't posted in a while.  My muse was always with me but I had tons of mundane tasks that are now either done and out of the way or piled up in a dusty stack in a remote corner of my mind (I was going to say "brain" but realized that could sound a bit scary :) I've just taken a deep, wonderful breath ... aahhh. Now to weave some amazing thoughts into our pattern of lace.


I'd like to first tell you about my dog's sitter and friend, Jennifer the Pet Nanny. Jennifer took the lovely picture you'll see currently at the top of the pix column; in it Ruby was in the process of lifting her right paw to shake hands.  Jennifer is such a loving, capable, pleasant  person that I highly recommend her for anyone in the Knoxville area who has a pet needing regular or occasional care and companionship.  Her contact number is (865) 216-6118.


I'd like to share with you some quotes that I particularly like, each one is on a different emotional level and is personally special to me.


The first is:


"Even this late it happens;

The coming of love, the coming of light.
You wake and the candles are lit as if by themselves,
Stars gather, dreams pour into your  pillows". ... by Mark Strand.     

The second is:


"The wondrous voice, the voice of the one who attends to the cries of the world,

The noble voice, the voice of the rising tide surpassing all the sounds of the world,
Let our mind be attuned to that voice.
Put aside all doubt and meditate on the pure and holy nature of the one who regards the cries of the world,
Because that is our reliance in situations of pain, distress, calamity, death.
Perfect in all merits, beholding all sentient beings with compassionate eyes,
Making the ocean of blessing limitless,
Before this one, we should incline." ... by Thich Nhat Hanh.

The third is:


"Soul is something creative, something active. Soul is honesty.  I sing to people about what matters.  I sing to people who accept it like it is. There are tears when it's sad and smiles when it's happy.  It seems simple to me, but to some, feelings take courage"... by Aretha Franklin.


And to those awesome words I'd like to add my own little one-liner: "We are all in the same cosmic canoe'"... Clara the Lady Wolf.


Please, if you haven't, check out my music video "Fantastik Five".  And  if you like it, click on the You Tube "Like" tab.  Please also send your blog comments to the blog; it's easy, just click on Anonymous.  Thank you :)  Peace and blessings.


Friday, June 23, 2017

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Thoughts About My Dad ...

The upcoming Father's Day weekend lends itself well to memories; my father passed away in 1996.  I think about him often ... Daddy was, in many ways, unique. While I was growing up, most of my time was spent away from home with my mother, who took me hither and yon to do music performances.  So I  had a kind of "double life" :)  An interesting couple, my mother and my father were from different worlds ... she was a city girl and he was a country boy. In those days "country" meant where there were few vehicles and mostly woods and ponds and swamps (real swamps with skunk cabbages growing).    

Every day when Daddy would get home from work he would go outdoors and busy himself with his garden, which was more like a mini farm.  He loved trees and could identify every tree; he spent many hours building and remodeling bird houses to hang in some of the trees.  In wintertime, he would be shoveling snow, putting down ashes or sand to make the walkways safe. When he did get to spend time with me, he would tell me about Nature and things like putting mud on insect bites and bee stings so they would stop hurting. He delighted in making little jokes about some of my mother's visiting relatives; the jokes would be little rhymes usually. He was not the warm and fuzzy type of father (no hugs) but he put much effort into teaching me ... conveying Native American lore and he knew a lot about animals, both wild and domestic. He would go out of his way to help an injured or lost dog or cat. We went hiking often. There were, at that time, ponds and creeks that lent themselves to his obvious respect and reverence. He could predict the weather with uncanny accuracy.


A few years ago while going through some very old photographs, I came across one of him, sitting on the back steps of what was then his parents' house (ours was next door and the properties were connected into one huge area of land).  In the photograph, he was carefully holding a baby on his lap. The baby, who was dressed in a knitted outfit complete with ruffled cap, was about seven or eight months. On the back of the picture he had written "This is me holding MY baby -- this is the only baby I've ever held". When I read that I felt very touched by the image of this young man with his thick, unruly hair, holding what was, perhaps in his mind, the most fragile thing he had ever held.


He was a very talented hockey player and could ice skate so swiftly and well, it was fascinating to me. He had also been a softball player and a saxophone player before getting married. Active always, he could run up the hill leading to our house in the middle of winter when it was slick with ice; his philosophy was that if he kept running, his pace would propel him too fast to slip and fall. I remember hearing him say that many times to people who would be struggling up the hill (either on foot or with their cars). "Just run" he would sometimes call out to them. They would be in disbelief seeing him glide by :) To me it seemed to be a lesson in perseverance and rising to the challenge.

    
These are nice memories to recall. Thank you, Daddy.
And happy Father's Day to all dads.  


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Delightfully eclectic!

Tonight I am in "picture mode" and so have posted a few new, exciting pictures.  I just thought of one additional one I should put up there ... it isn't exactly a picture, but is actually a promo for me and my music.  It will probably not be easy to take your eyes off the gorgeous wolf that meets your gaze as soon as you log onto the site :)  He/she is amazing!

Also tonight I'm focusing my thoughts, hopes, and dreams on wondrous things ... such as the pictures, and the theme of today which is "Mothers".  I said a meditation this morning in honor of those of us whose moms are deceased, focusing on my own mom and the mom of my best friend.  Both were amazing women who dealt with hardship, yet remained faithful and kind to all. 

Tomorrow we will again, undoubtedly, find ourselves shocked by the latest crazy antics in Washington DC, but I'm ever hopeful something and/or somebody will pull us up and out of that mire and into the Light of Peace.  Two things that best promote the possibility of peace (besides prayer and meditation) are Nature and Music.  So I will put up my little jpeg music promo (that is very newsy and sort of cute) and also a picture that may be surprising though pleasant to see ... it's a current and very classy photo of Mr. Putin playing some of his favorite music on his grand piano.  

One more bit of news !  Currently (here in Knoxville) work is being done on a video that will feature five of my recorded songs, with a myriad of exciting visual offerings, and awesome production.  The songs were recorded at Songwriters Recording Studio here in Knoxville,  with multi-talented Sandy Garrett at the helm.  The video production is being handled by HPVideo in Knoxville, where Ben and Tom's expert talents will put together "Fantastik Five" (that's the working title) by Clara ... the Lady Wolf.  It will go up on YouTube and on this blog and perhaps elsewhere.

Now I need to get those remaining two pictures up! 


Sunday, April 23, 2017

"Never In A Million Years"

This post will be a bit of whimsy and nostalgia. I'm placing it here as the first post so that people will be curious and log onto the blog and see the post about Leo and his rescue organization which is directly after this one :)

This post will require a bit of imaging. Most people who are acquainted with me know that my childhood and youth (well, most of my life) was in music performance at venues of many descriptions. My mother was a very active "stage mom"  :) When I was 19 years old and had left my home of origin (actually, had been run off by my sibling who was not a nice person), my mom saw an ad in the newspaper about a vocal group looking for an additional singer who can do harmonies. She renewed her interest in being backstage and insisted that I inquire and I found myself with three guys who were going to sing and one additional guy who was a talented piano player. The building was very old and in the center of New Haven (CT), about two or three floors up in an old building. The floors were that nice, worn-looking kind of wood. I didn't really want to be doing this kind of music... I was 19 and these guys were in their mid-thirties (old) and the piano player, Tony, must have been in his 50s. They called what we were doing "progressive jazz"; of course I was much more enthused about rock and roll. Well, we practiced there and at each other's houses for a while, then added our own instruments ... me on piano, Charlie on guitar, and Geno on bass ... or sometimes Charlie would play the bass and Geno would play some kind of hand rhythm instrument ... later Ray entered the scene and played drums. By this time I was really enjoying the harmonies ... very close jazz chords on some terrific old (at that time) songs ... and Tony kept saying "Rock won't last, it won't last!" This is all leading up to what I want to tell you :)

One night while we were in the old building, we heard footsteps coming up the stairs.  It was a  smiling middle-age man of stocky build and I think he was carrying in his own huge stand-up bass. The guys knew him and asked him if he'd like to do a song and in a split second he responded by saying "Sure" and I heard my very first vocal and bass solo as he launched into a spell-binding rendition of "Never In A Million Years". I'd never heard the song before.  It was mesmerizing to me and at that moment, the bass became a much-loved instrument to me. I later realized that the bass sound is very important to me when I play piano or my split keyboard (which has a bass function). As a matter of fact, a saxophone player who came to my house five or six years ago, jubilantly exclaimed "A keyboard player with a left hand!"  

The song "Never In A Million Years" has stayed alive somewhere in the background of my mind and, recently, I looked for the lyrics on the Internet.  I made myself a lead sheet and have added the song to my repertoire :)    


D.E.L.T.A. Rescue Needs Help ...

D.E.L.T.A. Rescue (Dedication and Everlasting Love To Animals) Needs Help!  This is the largest "no kill and care-for-life" animal sanctuary of its kind in the world, home to more than 1500 animals who had been abandoned in the wilderness.  Located in a lovely high desert area of Los Angeles, it's surrounded by rolling hills.

Founded by Leo Grillo, it is a genuine 501(c)3 non-profit organization and has an "A" top charity rating. (Guide Star is one of the reliable ways to look up financial information about non-profit organizations ... especially look at the fund-raising expenditures). D.E.L.T.A. Rescue has two veterinary hospitals and a full-time veterinary staff on the premises and state-of-the-art equipment to provide care for each animal's needs. In 1979, Leo put his career on hold when he began rescuing dogs, puppies, and cats who had been dropped off and abandoned in the wilderness. He says that people told him he was a "fool" to devote his life to rescuing animals, but he stayed with it for going on forty years.

I heard from Leo recently and he is urgently hoping for some new donors, because many of his long-time donors have grown old and passed away. He says that he can't compete for funds with organizations that have professional fund-raisers and who have very effective television ads. He is asking each person who reads his appeal (let this post serve as a part of his appeal, please), to tell another person ... and pass the word along.

The work he has done and is doing is vital and admirable. This is a very good man.  The website is at http://www.deltarescue.org. Donations can be made on the site via Pay Pal or can be mailed by postal mail to D.E.L.T.A. Rescue, c/o  Leo Grillo, P.O. Box 9, Glendale, CA 91209.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

"A Real Little Trooper"

I wonder if anyone still uses that old phrase (the title of this post) ... so often said backstage during the old show biz days :)

I meant to put up this post recently when I wrote a couple of others. This one is in the "Nature's Wonders" category of my mind. It's about a poinsettia plant that I bought three or four Decembers ago either at the grocery store or Kmart; it summered outdoors and then came in each autumn just before the frosts would begin. I would bring in the scraggly (neglected) plant because it was clinging to life so valiantly; I admired that.

Last summer's drought hurt and even killed some of the plantings I attempted to keep watered, dragging the hoses around the property in the intense heat each day. The poinsettia was not on my plant priority list but, somehow, it managed to catch enough water spray when I when I watered my other outside plants to hang on ...  and it still had a leaf or two when autumn arrived, so I brought it indoors in November so it wouldn't freeze. It stands on a table with my houseplants here on my sun porch and now has a full crop of leaves on new branches and bright red brachts with the little yellow flower centers.  It looks proud :)  All this with no special care except weekly watering.  

I admire and respect the life force ... the courage and determination an organism (including human) can have under adverse conditions, in order to endure, grow, blossom, and fulfill its purpose.  And so I've named this plant "Little Trooper" :)  


Monday, March 6, 2017

Fierce Love!

"The Divine is with us, my friends, if we
only bring our attention there. Take heart.
Be courageous and brave. Practice
faith and patience as you Stand with Fierce Love.  When the consciousness is kept on God, you
will have no fears; every obstacle will then
be overcome by courage and
faith."     ~ Paramahansa Yogananda

Thank you, Ike, for sending out that quote.

Fierce Love is passionate and unconditional.  For me, it is the only kind of love that I can really call "love".  Fierce love does not back down or shrivel up; it lasts through the storm and administers caring; it is honest and palpable.  It is the way I live and breathe and, at times, pull myself or another back from the abyss.  It gives me courage. Fierce love is the real deal.
 ~ Clara the Lady Wolf

  

Friday, February 17, 2017

Important Stuff Of Many Colors !

Dear Readers,
I always do my writing and then add pictures, if any. This time it had to be done in reverse order, as I couldn't wait to see these photos on my screen :) They run the gamut in terms of feelings, importance, and you-name-it. Rather than do a bunch of individual posts to cover each topic, I think I'll sort of ravel on, putting each subject in a different color font and, of course, dividing up the paragraphs.
  
The first photo you'll see covers the space of a double column and I hope it is readable; in case not, I'll type the words here: "A white Rose to honor and hold in loving memory the dogs and all other animals who suffer and die torturous deaths by the hands of persons who are intentionally cruel. May civility and compassion for all beings enter the hearts of all humans"... Clara ... the Lady Wolf.

As an animal advocate and humane educator all of my adult life, I have known of many, many intentional cruelty and neglect cases foisted upon our fellow-beings, the animals. Each one is heart-breaking and sometimes justice is done. We learn of cases of starving horses, cruelties inflicted on farmed animals, and the killing off of wolves and other wildlife. Most frequently though, we hear of cases involving dogs -- man's best friend. And the catalyst for this post does/did involve dogs. About a year ago, I read a carefully documented investigative article that detailed a horrifying, violent, protracted death inflicted on a docile small collie dog and other dogs who had been waiting to be reclaimed by their owners at the dog pound in a small town in Texas.  The crime was, in essence a "fun" exercise, carried out at the city garbage dump where no one would see or hear the activities and the dog's cries. The perpetrator was/is an employee of a branch of the federal government; this particular man and his "trainees" were referred to as a "rogue" agency because it basically has little or no accountability, although it is under the umbrella of the Department of the Interior. What he did I would like to be asked about by media, in whom I could confide. For months I wrote to and called various animal help groups in the hopes that someone would raise this issue within the government realm and prosecute the guilty.That did not happen. So I mourned in silence and my health declined. I also realized that talking about it could put me in jeopardy, but I would like to talk with sincerely interested media and advocacy groups.  

Very recently I decided to place a beautifully-shaped boulder and the sign bearing a white rose, to honor the little collie and other animals who fall into cruel hands. Here is something we all can do:  Please tell others about the need for civility ... and compassion for all living beings.

Ruby, my dog adopted in late May of last year, just celebrated her ninth birthday on January 1st. She's a wonderful girl and I am blessed to have her. She has a huge understanding of the English vocabulary, so I often need to spell words, especially about going "out in the car" which she loves.  Some words I need to spell backward; "car" becomes "rac", for example.  

For the past eight or so weeks, I've been doing my own aerobics routine in the sitting room where my stereo is located. I raised the chandelier so it's out of my way. I did it because I was being overtaken by some kind of arthritis, from toes to knees to hips, even a couple of my fingers.  I take anti-inflammatory supplements, and for a while was relying sometimes on WD-40 (which does clear up a balky joint just as it would a rusty hinge). My motto is "whatever works". My range of motion has increased greatly; my pain is rarely thought about, but I know I need to regularly work those joints. I was always one for aerobics, so I know the routines. I'd recommend it for arthritis ... just start off slow and gradually increase the level of vigor. I've always loved to dance, so this is the best medicine (besides my supplements) for me.  Maybe for you too?     

My new CD "Early In The Morning" is here; contact me for it ... also I have a few copies of the previous one "Fantastik" !
As my readers know, I'm a songwriter, musician, singer, and piano teacher. Life needs music!  (865) 659-5383. You'll see my truck is shakin' his tail feathers with new tail-gate decals.

Our weather is majorly doing flip-flops; our political environment is turbulent. Let's hope our planet's health, the well-being of humans and our fellow beings will be salvaged. Let's hope for peace. Peace is cool; war isn't. Let's all meditate on peace, civility, compassion, and clear heads.       

Blessings and peace to all ...
Amen.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Very newsy news coming soon!

Dear Readers,
I've got some news items I'll be writing about here this week.  Please check back soon.   Meanwhile, feel free to check my newly redone personal website at http://www.claralandau.com.  It's got a totally new look and a new song player with your favorites AND my newest recordings (many that are on my Early In The Morning double CD album).  There is much more to come, though, so check back here on LW's Notes soon :)
Oooohhh!  Oooohhh!  (I love to say that and I love to sing it)!