Final Blog Post of July: Facebook Blogging Challenge

What My Pup Taught Me in July

Congratulations to all my fellow-bloggers for completing another amazing Facebook Blogging Challenge. Thanks for educating, entertaining, encouraging and engaging with me, friends. Here’s to many more wonderful challenges in the future!

Now, honestly, I wanted to end with this simple congratulatory note, BUT MR. Male Diva – aka our Oreo – had other demands. He wanted me to re-purpose his 24 teachings of July into a SlideShare presentation, so they could be recorded for posterity! Huh..like someone actually cares :P

Seriously, does he think I am jobless? Doesn’t he realize how long it took for me to piece together the Powerpoint, then play tug-of-war with SlideShare, only to realize that this visually driven social network doesn’t quite like me?!

I then tried Slide Online to fulfill Mr. B&W’s order. When that too failed, I save my .ppt file as a .pdf file and re-uploaded it onto SlideShare – thankfully, this FINALLY worked!

Oh…but to be a pup’s slave ain’t fun at all.

Unfortunately, this labor of slavery – oops, LOVE – was also very much worth it. I had never played with SlideShare before, so my darling actually introduced me to a new social network.

But I AM NOT thanking Oreo – that guy’s ego is getting too big for me to handle! :P

So here is my very first SlideShare presentation. Please be kind. ;)

By the way, following is Oreo’s final message to all of you

Hello humans…

How did you like learning about some invaluable life-morals from a super-smart pup? I know my mum is annoyed at having to put together this time-consuming compilation of slides, but I know she will thank me later *evil grin* Her anger is as ephemeral as a wisp of smoke ;)

Thank you for spending time with my mum - I love you!!! Do NOT tell her I said that or she will demand a love letter from me.

Oh no – she is looking at me with tears in her eyes. I think she is finally thankful to me for forcing her to create a slide presentation. About time! BUT she is going to want to HUG me too. YUK…BYE *wagging my tail and running away*

Well, SOMEONE has too many chips on his shoulders! ;)

“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”   ― Earl Nightingale

Anyway, thanks again for spending this time with me, dear readers. I would love to continue our interactions – together, let’s constantly grow as wordsmiths and dominate the world!!! <<hehe>>

Paying It Forward

Paying It Forward

I entered this month’s Facebook Blogging Challenge with a simple goal: to rejuvenate my creativity.

Although I enjoy writing for others, I have noticed that writing for (ME and) MY audience offers the most fulfillment. And since I had just adopted my pup, Oreo, I thought it would be FUN to create a series of posts about what this furry darling teaches me every day. Ergo, the “Inspired by Oreo” series was born.

My husband – who, surprisingly, has read all my posts of this month –  teases me about penning cheesy drivel that unnecessarily places this 3-month cutie on a pedestal. But then he was never astute :P, given that his butt is always on the couch at home, his heart is forever set on the next hot game or show, and his brain is permanently turned off  <tee..hee>

My first attempt at participating in a Blogging Challenge was extremely satisfying. I met some wonderful people and learnt a lot throughout the process. And the second time is no different.

The quality of writing, the variety of topics and the transparency of the authors left me in awe – and more than a little envious ;)

Hence, for my penultimate post, I decided to take a break from Mr. Oracle Oreo and list five writers - that I met during the course of this challenge -  who left an indelible mark on my psyche.

Please note that I am not playing favorites here. I am sure that every participant did a phenomenal job, but it is just easier to connect with people who post around the same time as me.

“The true alchemists do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words.” ― William H. Gass, A Temple of Texts

Kebba Buckley Button: Upbeat Living

Aaah….I was destined to meet this wonderfully witty, warm and wise woman who has quickly transformed into my unofficial mentor in life! Her daily musings leave me feeling energized, enthusiastic and excited about living. Almost every post of hers is a decadent mix of spiritual storytelling and scientific elucidations, which will stimulate you to let go of negative emotions, embrace happiness and BE (and give) your best every day. Indeed, I do not sleep without checking out her posts, OR, if I do hit the bed, peruse them first thing in the morning. Simply put, Kebba invigorates me. Lova ya #HUGSS

Minette Riordan: Creative Right Brain Entrepreneurs

Who says that you cannot be artistic and business-minded at the same time? Minette is – what I would call – an imaginative entrepreneur, who is committed to transforming the often-daunting field of marketing into a fun, COLORFUL experience through her ingenious and intuitive strategies. My favorite post of hers outlined the importance of including ‘creative time’ into your busy schedule. I was so impressed with her creativity that she was promptly invited to be a guest on my weekly Google Plus Hangout-On-Air show, #GetBizy with Kit and Jim! Thankfully, she agreed, and I cannot wait to continue interacting with her! You rock!!! #HUGSSS

Alana Mautone: Ramblin’ with AM

“Ramblings” have never been more redolent, rapturous and remarkable than on Alana’s vibrant blog. Her reflections about life in upstate New York, her journey with an autistic brother-in-law, her passion for gardening, and other special moments will leave you nodding in agreement and smiling contentedly. Alana’s posts reverberate with a conversational, breezy tone that resonates immediately with her audience. Just check out this post about making low-calorie-cheesecake, and you will know what I mean ;) She is indeed a special soul, so full of vivacity and love, that you cannot help but fall in love with instantly. Oh – and don’t forget to browse through her GORGEOUS album of flowers! You are an angel, Alana! #HUGSS

Vishal Bheeroo: New Kid On The Block

I stumbled onto Vishal’s blog accidentally and his flair for writing dialogues grabbed my attention in a heartbeat! (Ain’t the most pleasant surprises always unexpected?!) He dared to push his limits by creating a romantic novella based on Orkut, the soon-to-be-defunct social networking website owned by Google. And has he delivered or what!!!  Every chapter was adorned with emotional depth and energetic discourse, along with a smattering of tongue-in-cheek humor. Of course, being an Indian, Vishal has sprinkled his passages with some Hindi (the National Language of India) words, people from all nationalities can revel in his tale. Because the language of love is universal, and his writing has a HEART that sparkles brightly! Great job, Vishal! I can’t wait to see what else you have in store for us!

Kimberley Wiggins: Coaching with Kimmie. J

Navigate to Kimberley’s site and you will see a smiling, confident women posing over a tagline that reads: ‘Embrace Your Passion. Own Your Power. Rock Your Brilliance’. Indeed, I cannot think of a more perfect tagline to define and describe the AWESOMENESS that is Coach Kimmie! Her every word pulses with authenticity, dynamism and eloquence. This is a woman who is extremely happy pursuing her heart’s calling and inspires others to celebrate their purpose too. It won’t be an exaggeration to state that I have often wanted to stand up and applaud after reading her exuberant posts. Her war cry: “When you tap into your greatest power to arrive at your greatest potential, a new kind of superhero is born – YOU.” Tell me you don’t already love this phenomenal woman!  #HUGSSSS

Thank you so much, wonderful bloggers, for enriching me with your insightful words and inimitable strength. Of course, I wish to continue engaging with all of you – and any others not mentioned here. This month has only reemphasized what I already knew: the Web is replete with some brilliant minds and shining souls, and the FB blogging challenge is one of THE BEST ways to connect with these geniuses across the world!

Lesson-of-the-Day-Never

 ….much like Oreo ;)

Over to you, dear readers. Would you like to spotlight some of YOUR favorite bloggers? Thank you for Commenting

 

Irresistible Innocence  Immutable Incandescence

Irresistible Innocence, Immutable Incandescence

Day 29. Facebook “July” Blogging Challenge

Note: This post outlines Lesson 25 in the “Inspired by Oreo” series. There is a disparity between the ‘Day No.’ and the ‘Lesson No.’ because I could not participate in this challenge from the 24th to the 27th, thanks to a FUN trip to Augusta, GA! hope you are having as much fun learning about my experience as a pet-owner as I am having writing about it! The word count for this post – minus this “Note” section, the portion in Quotes, Titles and the last paragraph – is around 380, which is 30 over my criteria that I set on July 9 

Artless Joy

10505521_864996423528802_8214915340093608659_n

                   I is sweet, I is cute, I is adorable

I looked up from my laptop to stare at the beautiful sight of my Oreo lapping up water from his bowl. The rhythmic sound – much like when water laps the shoreline of a beach on a balmy day – made me smile.

“How very innocent”, I thought, tears randomly springing to my eyes <hey, I cry VERY easily ;) >

This sweet puppy is content with whatever I buy for, give or feed him, at least most of the time <well, he CAN act like a male diva every once in a while ;) >. He never questions my motives, innately believing that I will only have HIS best interests at heart.

If I yell at or smack him, he retreats – heartbreaking sorrow flashing in his eyes – and slouches in a corner. When my anger ebbs – and I curse myself for screaming at my darling – I caress him gently, whispering gentle apologies. And, just like that, he curls onto my lap to begin another lip-smacking session of ‘let us bite her fingers’HIS way of saying, “It’s okay! I still find you delicious” ;)

Oreo never holds onto the anger and sorrows of the past. He simply forgives and forgets, wrapping me in his soul without any qualms or inhibitions. He doesn’t judge, he doesn’t question, and he doesn’t discriminate. He is just grateful and celebrates every moment.

Indeed, HIS is the purest form of love.

Lost Incorruptibility

There is no aphrodisiac like innocence. Jean Baudrillard

“When was the last time I placed such unconditional faith in someone or let go of unnecessary ire and hurt?”, I wondered, gazing lovingly at Oreo.

The answer did NOT surprise me – not since childhood.

Age and adulthood have transformed me into a cold cynic who refuses to distribute a piece of her heart without expecting something in return.

I no longer trust anyone wholeheartedly. I no longer love anyone without conditions or boundaries. I no longer enjoy the moment without constantly watching over my shoulder. I no longer liberate myself from the unwanted negativities of my past. I no longer enfold someone without first forming an opinion!

But Oreo – with his cheerful acceptance and amicable countenance – reminds me every day that innocence is blissfully DIVINE. 

LOVE

 

Do you ever rue the the loss of your guilelessness? What steps do you take – if any – to ensure that your innocence remains unsullied in today’s impatient and covetous world?  Thanks for engaging with me, dear readers! #HUGSS

YOGA RETREAT (1)

Lasting Memories, Munificent Love

Day 28. Facebook “July” Blogging Challenge

Note: This post outlines Lesson 24 in the “Inspired by Oreo” series. There is a disparity between the ‘Day No.’ and the ‘Lesson No.’ because I could not participate in this challenge from the 24th to the 27th, thanks to a FUN trip to Augusta, GA! I hope you are having as much fun learning about my experience as a pet-owner as I am having writing about it! I didn’t pay any attention to my word count today, instead penning as much as I could within 30 minutes, since I have to catch up for lost time this evening! Come on, I was away for a few days – surely, you can forgive one more minor digression ;) 

This Morning: Too Much Red Bull? 

10358145_878965592131885_2206340861338154471_n

Oreo got back home after spending five nights at a boarding place. I am quite sure he drank a lot of coffee during his stay because he ran around like a wild-animal-on-steroids the whole morning, not to forget the three stinky poops he promptly dumped on the carpet :P

I couldn’t do anything until 11 am, following which I worked for maybe an hour and a half and then had lunch. Since my body always wants to reject the food, I take naps to stay away from doing something stupid – like purging. Also, sleeping in the afternoon rejuvenates me.

My darling slept by my side.

Gently caressing his soft body, I thought back to Wednesday evening.

Five Days Ago: Separation Pangs

Take care of all your memories. for you cannot relive them. bob dylan

I sat at the top of the staircase and wept into my hands. Tears streamed along my ashen cheeks and fell onto the floor, leaving blurry streaks of sorrow across the carpet.

Oreo sat next to me - with his black-and-white face pressed cozily against my thigh - and tried looking into my eyes. But my opaque hands didn’t fulfill his desire, so he bounded to the other side, hoping to catch a glimpse of my red-rimmed eyes.   When that didn’t help either, he mewled – a pitiful moan of helplessness and love – and nudged my shoulder.

Finally, I looked up and enveloped him in a cushy hug. Of course, he wiggled out of my arms, but still never left my side. He continued staring at me with those gorgeous, tricolored eyes.

“I am going to miss you, Oreo”, I ‘weepily’ whispered.

My husband and I were driving to Georgia for my niece’s tenth birthday – and my sister doesn’t allow dogs in her home. This was the first time Oreo would be separated from me for more than one night, and I felt much the same way as a mum feels when her child leaves home!

Throughout the day, my pup looked morose, like he knew we were going away for a while. He stayed beside me the whole time I packed and rarely misbehaved.

My heart broke as we dropped him off, although Oreo seemed overjoyed to be surrounded by tons of doting humans at the boarders!

I am sure he didn’t think about me too much, but I gushed about him throughout the trip (until everyone ordered me to stop acting like an obsessed fanatic) :P

This Evening: Happy Endings

We woke up from our power nap and have been playing since. But his energy doesn’t enervate me anymore. It energizes me to be the best mum, friend and guardian that I can be!

LOVE you, Oreo, forever.

(((Uh oh! He pooped again! DANG!!!!)))

 

Lesson-of-the-Day

Over to you, dear readers! Have anyone in your life who frustrates you supremely, but you fall in love with that person over and over again anyway? ;)

Respect Your Responsibilties

Respect Your Responsibilities

Day 23. Facebook “July” Blogging Challenge

Note: This post outlines Lesson 23 in the “Inspired by Oreo” series. I hope you are having as much fun learning about my experience as a pet-owner as I am having writing about it! I didn’t pay any attention to my word count today, instead penning as much as I could within 45 minutes, since I need to pack for my trip to Augusta this evening. Come on, I will be away for a few days – surely, you can forgive a minor digression ;) 

An Irksome Canine and an Illuminating Gale

We are each responsible for all of our experiences. Louise L. Hay

I got irritated with Oreo yesterday evening.

It was cool enough for us to step out for a walk. But, like always, this cutie walked ten paces and then plopped his uber-cute <but stinky :P > butt on the lawn. I was stuck holding the leash, and smiling at the trees, grass and the occasional – meaning ONE – human being!

After about five minutes, I couldn’t fake a smile anymore and tugged hard at his leash to pull him forward. Unfortunately, my extremely strong pup stayed put – biting on the ‘rope’ and glaring at me for interrupting his smell-the-poopy-grass session!

Five more minutes later –  just as I opened my mouth to yell at him - a balmy breeze wafted , fluffing my hair and tickling my ears.

My face broke into another wide smile – only, this time, it was genuine. Mild winds are sexier than Leo De Caprio or George Clooney to me, instantly brightening my mood ;) 

As the leaves and the lawn swayed seductively, I looked back down at Oreo and relaxed my hold. He too eased noticeably, making me feel terribly guilty for my impatient annoyance.

Instead of letting my darling enjoy the outdoors the way HE wanted to, I was selfishly concerned about my own boredom. Ironically, when I quit forcing him to move, he happily walked – and even ran – only stopping occasionally to breathe in his favorite fragrance – “Stinky Poop” :P.

That sudden gust of air had reminded me of my responsibilities – something I never had to worry before Oreo graced our lives!

From a Princess to a Parent

10439486_862682843760160_399928605683073969_n

As the pampered second child in a close-knit family of four, I certainly didn’t want for ANYTHING and was responsible for nobody.  My parents ensured that I remained cocooned in their embrace until my marriage – and still hope I come back! ;)

Even after getting married, my husband and I – both introverts who crave their ‘alone time and space’ – had our own interests and schedules, while still being in love with each other. We weren’t the ‘oh-let’s-do-everything-together’ couple – au contraire, we often ate different meals at different times and slept at our convenience! 

I ate what I wanted, slept when I wanted and worked where I wanted.

Suddenly, however, this little munchkin has taken over my life. He is my first priority, which sometimes irks me because I can no longer be that old, carefree gal who had to worry about no one but herself!

I have to be a sacrificing mum to a canine *sigh* ;)

But after my enlightening episode yesterday, I began to think about all the times Oreo has to adjust for me – sitting quietly when I work, being caged in a crate when I go out, eating what and when I feed him , getting yelled at when he thinks my fingers are chew toys , being tied to a leash when he’d rather chase after every living (and flying) thing etc. ;) Isn’t it only fair that I let him have HIS kind-of fun during our walks ?

I truly believe that the unexpected breeze was a message from above, requesting me to stop being self-centered and CHERISH this delightful responsibility. Thank you, GOD!

Guess it’s time for me to shed the princess’s gown (completely) and don the garb of parent – and a proud one at that. 

Love you, Oreo.  Thanks for being tolerant of my needs. Now, it’s my turn! #HUGSS

recite-26340-1698511659-8mams7

How did you handle the transformation from being someone who had to worry only about oneself to becoming someone who was responsible for others? Thanks for reading and commenting!!!

 

Trust: A Timeless Treasure

Trust: A Timeless Treasure

Day 22. Facebook “July” Blogging Challenge

Note: This post outlines Lesson 22 in the “Inspired by Oreo” series. I hope you are having as much fun learning about my experience as a pet-owner as I am having writing about it! The word count for this post – minus this “Note” section, the portion in Quotes, Titles and the last paragraph – is around 410, which is 60 over my criteria that I set on July 9 

“You trust him,” said my cousin, last night

I looked up and blinked.

“Yeah, and he trusts me too,” I responded

Oreo and I were engaged in an aggressive game of – what I call – Tug and Throw, the ‘hyperactive puppy’ version of Fetch, which goes like this:

I throw his chew toy. My cutie bounces to it, picks it up and brings it back. Only, he doesn’t return the toy. So I forcefully tug at the toy and swing Oreo in an arc – trying to get him to spit his chew toy – while he spiritedly growls. My pup is extremely strong and never lets go. Hence, I have to pry open his mouth and take out the toy myself. I throw it again, and the game continues

10401937_875985869096524_1194706394709063473_n

                                                             Can I Trust You – FOREVER?

We play this everyday: not only does the game tire him out – which is FANTASTIC ;) – but he also relishes every moment of it!

However, my cousin was amazed because I was manhandling my pup fearlessly. Consequently, he made that simple, yet powerful statement, which stopped me in my tracks.

Until that moment, I hadn’t paid MUCH heed to the trust factor in this canine-human relationship, especially from my side; guess I just took it for granted. Oreo and I spend all day together, which would have never been possible without our innate faith in each other.

Each of us believes that the other one will never harm (us).

Love Cannot Live Where There is No Trust: Edith Hamilton

Simple, eh? But my brother’s words – along with my response – struck me more forcefully than a hard-ball hitting my head, because it was a powerful reminder of the immense responsibility on our shoulders.

We have both placed our wholehearted faith in each other. Each of us trusts the other being to remain caring, compassionate, comforting and COMMITTED forever.

“What if I let him down”, said a fearful voice in my head.

“Or what if he stops loving me”, another voice chimed in.

Just as I was about to enter panic-mode, Oreo nudge me with his head and barked playfully, mad that I had stopped playing with him.

I smiled and whispered to myself, “We will be fine”

Indeed, to trust and be trusted is an earned honor, one that I will cherish forever. Thank you, Oreo, for your childlike faith in me, and for also giving me the space to become comfortable with your presence in my life.

I TRUST that we shall always be there for each other.

lesson_trust

 

Do you believe that trust is a luxury or a right? Whom do you trust the MOST in this world? I am immensely grateful that you chose to spend some time with me! Thank you! #HUGSS

PS: I am visiting my sister in Augusta to celebrate my niece’s 10th birthday. Hence, you will not see my posts every day (until Monday, the 28th). Thanks, readers!
From Me, To You

From Me, To You

Day 21. Facebook “July” Blogging Challenge

Note: This post outlines Lesson 21 in the “Inspired by Oreo” series. I hope you are having as much fun learning about my experience as a pet-owner as I am having writing about it! The word count for this post – minus this “Note” section, the portion in Quotes, Titles and the last paragraph – is around 420, which is 70 over my criteria that I set on July 9 

I stirred in my sleep, aware that it was time to begin a new day, but not yet ready to get out of my super-comfy bed! Something warm was pressed against my legs. Frowning, I groaned, slowly opened my eyes….

…and experienced the most beautiful sight of my life (thus far).

Oreo was sprawled across my knees, breathing gently as he slept. I never understood the phrase “my heart swelled with love” until then. Tears of joy sprung to my sleep-ridden eyes. I gently caressed his soft hair, while recalling how he got into bed with me.

Let’s Cuddle Next to Mum, Shall We

IMAG0409

I woke up at 3 am last night. As I walked past Oreo to get a glass of water, I noticed him awake and looking at me with those beautiful, round eyes! My thirst long forgotten, I decided to play with him for 10 minutes before getting back to my not-so-pleasant dreams ;)

After chewing on my luscious fingers for five minutes, he began licking my hands and face. I was surprised not to find a puddle beside my bed because his gesture melted my soul, especially since he is not generally a licker! Picking him up, I decided to forget my husband’s ‘Oreo-should-not-sleep-on-our-bed’ rule and nestled him against me.

Breathing in his baby-scent, I drifted back to la-la land….

….until I awakened to find my darling draped across my legs.

Never have I felt more content.

Love Should Not Have a Dollar Value

Love isn't something you find, love is something that finds you - Loretta Young

My extreme joy at such a simple sign of affection made me think about why humans are so crazy about grandiloquent gifts (of love)! Why do we crave the costliest jewelry, trendiest outfits, classiest cars and premium brands, when nothing gladdens our hearts more than unexpected and INEXPENSIVE surprises?! Ironic, eh?!

For instance, many Indians akin ‘gold’ to ‘love’. If your husband doesn’t buy you gold jewelry, then – apparently – he doesn’t love you enough! I roll my eyes at these stereotypes.

My husband is not great at giving presents.

But he stood like a rock beside me as I almost destroyed myself by starving. No newly married man should have to go through such unfair struggles. Nonetheless, even knowing that I was wrong, he not only supported me, but also protected me. To me, there is no richer gesture of love!

Oreo – thanks, my cutie, for reminding me of the power of such artless and heartfelt gestures of affection.

Lesson-of-the-Day-Love

 

What was the most memorable present you have ever received in your life? Why do you cherish it so? Thank you so much for commenting, dear readers!