Blog post #30 – May 28, 2017 Happy Memorial Day

Blog post #30 – May 28, 2017

Happy Memorial Day

Good morning, Cuddlers!

Allow me to say thank you and to take a minute to honor our nation’s military and our nation’s heroes. I’m especially honored to have my father, grandfather, and several aunts and uncles who served in the US military or served in war. I can’t thank my relatives enough for their service. I do think of them often, especially at times like Memorial Day.

While I don’t know any service dogs, I love seeing reports of the service dogs that served in Afghanistan or Iraq. Yes, I do get a little teary-eyed, but the stories of the soldier who are reunited with their service dogs are so touching. It’s so touching to see that the dogs are honored for their service. It also makes me want to learn a bit more about what they do while serving in the armed forces.

As a child, I also remember Memorial Day weekend as including a day when my mom was glued to the TV to watch the Indy 500. If we tried to ask her a question or tell her something that wasn’t even possible. We learned to not bother mom or join in on watching the race. As I got older, Memorial Day Weekend involved spending the weekend with my grandparents and still enjoying the Indy 500.

My cats may have moments of running around the apartment looking like the Indy cars racing around the track. As long as there are no big crashes, I’m okay with that. “Doggies and kitties…start your engines!”

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Striker relaxing and purring.

Next weekend I’ll be at a writing conference in Michigan. I’ll take next Sunday off from the blog and will return on June 11th. I hope everyone is enjoying their Memorial Day Weekend.

Enjoy the cuddle!

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Blog post #24 – April 9, 2017 Open Space

Do you like getting outside, especially when the weather gets warmer? Check out this week’s blog post about open spaces, and claiming your space. #sundaymorningcuddle #sundaymorningcuddlewordpress

Blog post #24 – April 9, 2017

Open Space

Good morning, Cuddlers!

As the weather starts to warm up again here in the Midwest, people and pets are re-discovering the joy of being outside. I love seeing the dogs running around in the park near my apartment. Their body language says it all – “Yay! I get to run around and see my friends!” No more of the quick walks because it’s 20-below outside. The dogs and their humans definitely enjoy the chance to run around in the park. Sometimes, it seems, like the dogs want to get chased by their human just so they can stay in the park a little longer.

The other day I bought a new area rug. It took a while to get the living room back together again because the cats kept playing on the new rug like it was a toy. They were “attacking” the little colored spots, rolling on their back, and looking at me with gratitude for the new toy and open space. Reggie and Abby had a game of tag going as they ran around the living room, but the middle of the area rug seemed to be home base. It was funny, but I had to warn them that the coffee table was going to be returned to the space.

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The cats “playing” with the new rug. (Striker just jumped out of the shot as I took the picture.)
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Otis claimed his spot on the new area rug.
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Abby was busy playing with the rug and the bumps in the rug.
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Reggie, after playing tag with Abby for about 20 minutes.

Between the dogs running in the park, and my cats claiming the space of the new rug, it made me miss being at my grandparents’ house during spring break. All growing up, we spent our spring break at grandma and grandpa’s house in the country. I, of course, loved visiting my grandparents, but I also loved getting out of the city for a week and having the feeling of space and freedom. It was nice to walk outside and only see tall trees instead of tall buildings. Or, at night seeing the light of the moon and a million stars, rather than the street lights and maybe one or two stars. I just love that feeling of stretching out and having a lot of space.

Sometimes I’ll go over to Lake Michigan and pretend that there aren’t a ton of high-rises behind me with a million + residents vying for space. I love city living, but I sure do love those moments when I get to claim some open space…even if it’s just for a moment.

Enjoy the cuddle!

Blog post #13 – January 15, 2017 Happy New Year!

The magic of Disney and hope for 2017…

Good morning, Cuddlers!

We’re already two weeks into 2017, so I hope the year is off to a good start for everyone. I also hope everyone had some quality “cuddle time” over the holidays – time to relax, time with family, time with your fur babies (or a friend’s fur baby), or time to do whatever you wanted.

I entered 2017 cuddling with the cats and Abby looking shocked when I yelled, “Happy New Year!” I also had a shocked look on my face, but that was because of Mariah Carey’s debacle on Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve show. (That’s a post for a different day.)

I intended to send the first 2017 post from Disney World last week as I ran in my second Dopey Challenge. That’s the challenge accepted by about 10,000 runners to complete the 5k, 10k, half-marathon, and full marathon over the course of four days. In addition to the running, my sister and I spent a few days walking around the parks at Disney World, which totaled about another 26+ miles. Needless to say, we were tired!

If you can believe it, there is something “cuddly” about Mickey Mouse. One of the benefits of running in a Disney race is that they have various Disney characters along the race course. Where else can you go for a run and take a picture with Goofy, Donald Duck, and Mickey Mouse dressed up in patriotic gear? Or, where can you stop for a quick picture with the Genie from Aladdin and feel like you do have the power of Genie in your corner? Seeing a life size version of Winnie the Pooh & Tigger brought back a whirlwind of childhood memories. From being so proud that Winnie the Pooh was my favorite character, to loving the stuffed Winnie the Pooh that I’m sure my grandparents gave me (along with a few Winnie the Pooh books). The memories of Disney characters can’t help but bring a smile to your heart.

Disney knows how to make you feel like all of your troubles are somewhere pretty far away, as you focus on the “magic” and the possibilities of your dreams. What a great feeling of comfort! Who knows how this year will unfold. Who knows what challenges or joys will come our way. I do hope that we can all remind each other of the hope and possibility of the days to come…we just have to be ready for it. If Walt Disney can believe, I can believe, too.

Enjoy the cuddle!

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Diana and Paula with Goofy, Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse at Disney World 2017.
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Paula and Diana with Winnie the Pooh and Tigger at Disney World 2017.
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Diana and Paula with Minnie Mouse and Pluto. Enjoying the festive race environment at ESPN at Disney World.

 

Cuddling vs. Running

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Abby plots her plan to get the “chase” on, while Otis tries to stay out of it.

Good morning, Cuddlers!

Today’s Sunday Morning Cuddle focuses on a topic that isn’t very “cuddly.” Like clockwork, every night at 9:30pm my four cats get a burst of energy. Abby starts chasing Reggie, Striker gets in on the action, and Otis focuses on staying out of the commotion. They run up the 6-foot cat tower, hop on the TV over to the purple chair and on to the bookcase. Then, they leap over to the 5-foot cat tower, head into the kitchen, jump up on the refrigerator to the top of the cabinets, and down again. Well, Abby usually just meows at Reggie and Striker to get down from the cabinets because she wants to keep running around. Sometimes their “circle” includes running into the bedroom, over the bed, and back into circling the living room and kitchen again.

This burst of running energy also comes when I get home after being gone for a long time. Who am I kidding…they have this burst of energy even when I’ve been gone 5 minutes to get the laundry started. I open the door and all four of them run out of the apartment and take off down the hall. They act as if they’ve been stuck inside the apartment all day long and have been dying to run.

I’m going to be thinking about fast cats and their seemingly endless energy this morning as I run in my 4th Chicago Marathon. I can only imagine the possibilities if I had the same energy or quickness as the cats. When I start the race it does remind me of when the cats rush out of the apartment. That rush of crossing the start line and jockeying for a good spot is the same image of my cats running down the hall. I’ll also think of their speed at mile 20 or later when I start to get tired. Cats sure know how to sleep and cuddle, but they also seem to have this desire to race and be in 1st place!

What are moments in your life that you, too, have those bursts of energy? I invite you to think about what gets you super excited to get moving and moving fast! If only we could harness “cat energy” for when we need that extra oomph to get us through our day.

Enjoy the cuddle! (Or…for this week…enjoy the energy!)