Prison Inmates in Pawsitive Change Program – Believe in Miracles

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Marley’s Mutts is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization in Kern County, CA. One of their programs is the “Pawsitive Change” which is alive in the California State Prison. It is a rehabilitation program that matches death row dogs with inmates inside the prison. The program is 14 weeks during which the inmates and dogs work towards their goals; the first 6 weeks are based upon dog psychology and rehabilitation and the next 7 weeks strive for the completion of the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen test.

Iinmates are encouraged to increase their willingness to engage in positive team-settings, express their emotions appropriately, and to understand canine behavior and handling skills to benefit them while in prison, and after they are released.

Canine’s work towards signs of trust and respect, a decrease in insecurity and fear, and to improve social behaviors and obedience. Many dogs and other animals are discarded due to behavior issues and pure neglect or abuse, and through these efforts the dogs have a much better chance of being adopted.

I have been following Marley’s Mutt’s on social media and I am extremely impressed by this organization. Zach Skow is the founder of the organization and he believes that by becoming a dog rescuer and creating the well-known shelter, it saved his life. He was an addict to drugs and alcohol with only 90 days to live, and his dog, Tug, was his saving grace with his unconditional love for his owner. The dog pictured above is Hooch, his tongue had been cut out when he was found by Marley’s Mutts, and he has his own remarkable story (I’ll share that in another post).

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(Unknown Inmate)

“We live inside a place where we can’t show our emotion, it’s considered a weakness. But with this program, we can feel, give and receive affection. We become cold in here, much more cold than we we entered. But these dogs give us a chance to be human.”
(Quote: InmateParticipant Cyclell)

The full story can be found on their web page at the “Home of the Mutt Militia”.
https://www.marleysmutts.org/

THANKS FOR READING!

 

I am not a representative of the organization, I just think they are awesome!!!

 

Christmas… Gifts… and then what?

Over 40 years ago, my main Christmas gift was a stuffed bear, it seemed giant-size at the time. Last week I was rummaging through my old treasures that I couldn’t live without, and saw the bear sitting atop a shelf in my closet. His fur was stiff and his dark marbled eyes were tucked back in his head, covered partially by fluff. I vividly remember waking up and running into the living room to see Santa’s gift, I was ecstatic! I grabbed the bear, squeezing and cuddling, it was almost as big as me.

Gifts at Christmas used to mean so much more, the colorfully wrapped sentiments have lost their value and have become an expectation. I would get one or two gifts under the tree, and they were special. I bought my children several presents when they were younger and unless the goody was coveted, they often lost interest in a short period of time. I was guilty of materialism during the holiday.

My family would gather for a meal, games, laughter and reminiscing, the air was light and Christmas music twinkled softly in the background. Although the traditions still aspire, I see it all over the world, the events often take on the theme of a “party” – alcohol abuse, arguing, judging… and don’t leave first or you may be the topic of gossip.

Not every family experiences the doldrums of the holidays, but for some, the holiday season is a nightmare. (Note: I’ve noticed we now have a “Holiday Season”, not Christmas.) Stores can barely contain themselves and they wait, biting nails, to put out their big displays and sale ads. The overall dollars are tracked to see which year had the best sales volume. People spend their paychecks and then dread January when the credit card bills roll in.

Quality non-profit organizations help less fortunate families obtain gifts and provide a wonderful service to the community, I have donated several times. Although I see the purpose, I wonder if the true meaning of Christmas is conveyed with the exchange.

Even though I may sound like a negative-Nellie, it is not the purpose of my post. I encourage everyone to engage in thoughtful presentations of sentiments to everyone you meet, now, and always. The “holidays” can be wonderful and joyous, and painful and devastating; you may find yourself with either perspective depending on your current situation. We know the happiness and the sorrow… we see and feel it. This year, make it a goal to do something about it. Focus on making a difference in someone’s life, help make it better… just one person, pick anyone. Pay it forward…

I intentionally left out the meaning of “Christmas” because I’m honestly not sure what it stands for anymore. The following site explained it to me, granting me a better understanding of the world-wide participation.

Thank you for joining me and reading my post, I know it is one of many…
Peace and Joy,
Rhonda

http://www.history.com/topics/christmas/history-of-christmas

A Shoebox House – Online Dating : From Chapter 2 – Zombie Squirrel, A Romantic Walk

Here is an excerpt from the 2nd chapter of my book “A Shoebox House”. This is a cute scenario at the park on the first day I met Luke.

“Luke was a gentleman and I never felt pressured or awkward about talking, or my appearance; I felt accepted. Although, I was still not sure what to think about Luke, I reflected on his profile, and accepted that it matched his demeanor and attitude.

I noticed that there were little squirrels everywhere, running up and down the walking paths and scurrying up trees. These squirrels had big, bushy tails, and were obviously well fed,their beady eyeballs were bright and alert. Luke and I walked side-by-side along the trail that circles the pond. Tall trees lined the path and obviously provided the much needed shade in the summer. Luke was always by my side, but he never took my hand or invaded my external comfort zone.

As we proceeded down the trail, the brave squirrels came right up to us; searching for a handout. I assumed Luke came to the park often because he had a supply of peanuts in his coat pocket and was ready to delve them out; like pennies in a wishing well. I turned around at one point, slightly startled, and one bold little bugger was chasing us, apparently he wanted more. He was galloping after us at a rapid pace, and I was envisioning a horror movie with zombie squirrels. I grabbed Luke’s arm as if he were going to rescue me. I felt the softness of his flannel shirt, and embraced the touch, however brief, of another human being, a man. In an uneventful fashion, Luke tossed him another peanut… and laughed at me. I smiled as the zombie squirrel bounced off with his treasure.”

Thank you for visiting my post today! I appreciate it.
Enjoy life.
Peace
Rhonda

A Shoebox House – Online Dating – A Visit to the Adult Store (Part II of II)

I am sharing from my rough draft of my book “A Shoebox House” .  Previously, I posted the Introduction, Embracing Life (Part I and II), and part of a middle chapter – Erotique (Part I).

Follow my blog for more excerpts over the next few weeks. 🙂

Erotique (Part 2 of 2):

“That’s when Lambert, the owner, paraded in our direction, as if he were on a catwalk, and we tried not to stare. His voice was soft and graceful, breaching on femininity, and it confirmed our assumption that we were perfectly safe in this house of ill repute; we definitely would not hear any pick-up lines from him. Lambert politely asked what I was looking for and I pointed at a purple, slightly arched, rabbit attached, vibrator that was hanging on the wall in a box. I told him I didn’t want a “stiff” one.

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He handed us the vibrators on display, showed us how to turn them on, and pranced off to go get more batteries. I felt the shaft of a blue one and it was soft, yet firm, and another one was stiff as a rod. There was an abundance of variety displayed; one was thick, wobbly and a nude tone, and next to it was an elephant dick. Thank goodness I didn’t see any “fists” like I saw at the “Adult Superstore” in Las Vegas a few years ago. I looked over at Olivia and said “touch this”. At first, she looked mortified, but her expression softened and she seemed quite pleased with herself as she extended one finger to touch it. I was proud of her and by the end of our visit she was checking them out like a baseball bat.

Sadly, Lambert didn’t show us how to turn off the humming units, and we weren’t sure if we should set them down so they vibrated and twisted in our hands until he returned. He explained to us, in detail, the purpose of a “rabbit”; which was a feature of the purple model that I was interested in for my future companion. The “rabbit” is the smaller finger-like extension at the base of the vibrator and was designed for a woman’s pleasure. We touched about 15 different vibrators and used our enhance skills of power shopping, sexual finesse, and the process of elimination. There were pink and yellow vibrators, horse-size black and nude dildos, ben-wa-balls, and pink bullets, no larger than my finger. Lambert told us he gave away 200 of the pink bullets at the MSU Career Fair, giving young ladies an option for orgasms and sexual health. As a single woman, I supported the emphasis about not jumping into sex too hastily and getting unnecessary exposure to STD’s. I was impressed with Lambert.

As we went to check out, we notice a man had entered the store. Lambert made a point to stand between us and the other customer, explaining the he did not want any issues with us being “hit on” because it tended to happen with female patrons. I laughed off the subject of creepers and proceeded to relay my experience with the vaginal moisturizers and gels, and my doctor’s prescription. Lambert gave me some highly recommended lubrication and condom samples, and elaborated on how vibrators would help induce a natural biological climate for pleasurable sex. Lambert was a doll to talk with and I made a note to come back and visit the love hutch again sometime. I adored his knit sweater, blue looked good on him.”

(Photo credit: Harris County Public Library)

A Shoebox House – Online Dating – A Visit to the Adult Store (Part I of II)

I am sharing from my rough draft of my book, “A Shoebox House”.  Previously, I posted the Introduction: Embracing Life, Parts I and II.

Follow my blog for more excerpts over the next few weeks.

This is part of a middle chapter – Erotique (Part I)

“Adult stores pique an interest with the masses, but only a few are brave enough to risk public humiliation. What was surprising is that Olivia didn’t bat an eye when she told me “sure”. I explained to her that my doctor gave me a prescription for a vibrator, for health reasons. I was unsure if I should tell her about the other reason, even if we were good friends, because it is very personal; either I was too small or he was too big.

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Erotique is small and sassy and it is amidst some of the finer eating establishments located downtown near Willson Street. The risqué shop is known for its lingerie, sex toys, enhancements, vibrators and lubes and they advertise that relationships should be fun, fresh, and healthy. I used to get a creepy feeling about the place, but the new owner projects a different image, I could feel it. Now, I enjoy the turbulence the shop creates within a hypercritical community.

We drove into the center hub of Bozeman on a Saturday, an experience I try to avoid. I wish I could appreciate the city atmosphere and bask in its glory like some of the big city dwellers. I dreaded finding a parking spot, and I was one of “those” people who didn’t parallel park. The skinny concrete sidewalk is cracked and stained. We walked paralleling the historical brick building and it led us to Erotique’s blacked out door. On the side of the building, above the door, it looked like pink crepe paper was formed into the shape of a very large vagina, or at least that’s what it looked like to me.

I asked Olivia if she was nervous. She turned her beautiful brown eyes towards me, blinking a few times, apparently speechless, because she did not utter a sound. I hesitated before grabbing the door handle, and decided to pull down my sleeve to cover my hand, just in case. I strode into the forbidden cave confidentially with Olivia directly behind me, we were on a mission. I had been in Erotique before and it still looked the same; wire racks and colorful cabinets displayed assorted knick-knacks, and the deep red walls were lined with what-not… and more. The checkout counter was directly ahead and manned by an older gentleman wearing a nicely knit blue sweater. I avoided eye-contact and hastily turned right, which led us to the Great China Wall of vibrators and dildos.

Olivia was at a loss for words, and her eyes were occupied by the variety of sex toys suspended on hooks. We were drawn to a shoulder-height display where a few rubber playmates were exhibited. I turned my head side-ways, and then upright again; and even at a different angle, they were undoubtedly sex toys. I imagined that touching them would be like handling play dough art and pottery clay.”

“Indifferent Deceptions” – Erotique (to be continued)

**** Thank you for reading my post. I welcome your feedback on my writing ****

Peace,

Rhonda

A Shoebox House – Online Dating: Embracing Life – Intro Part II of II

I am sharing from the rough draft of my book, “A Shoebox House”.

Part 2 of the Introduction.

Follow my blog for more excerpts over the next few weeks.

Embracing Life (#2 of 2)

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“I was as much of a groupie as anyone when it came to rounding up the troops for a night out dancing to the “The Max”, a favorite band of many locals in Gallatin and Park County. The Bozeman Hot Springs is within 2 miles of my house, and I frequently worked out at the gym and soaked in the natural hot water. I could easily lose myself in a comedy, sci-fi, or a chick-flick at the big screen at the mall. The long scenic walks and hikes with fellow comrades provided an abundance of entertaining chit-chat and exercise.

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The favorite local taverns, bars, and bistros display a variety of cocktails and hors d’oeuvers, and an excursion downtown suggested many opportunities to select the ultimate atmosphere of your choice. Some dwellings are of questionable repute, some are swanky or ritzy, and most have a comfortable air about them. Taking in a play at the theater, or a concert at one of the countless venues, had become a regular occurrence; there was no lack of entertainment.

My life was well designed, I was enthusiastic about starting my new job, and apparently, I was living in one of the most popular places on the continent.”

Next: Erotique (Parts #1 and #2)

****  Thank you for reading my post. I welcome your feedback! ****

Peace,

Rhonda

The Birth of Waterfall ** Nature**Life**

Here’s a fun short story… 🙂

The Birth of a Waterfall

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(Picture: Palisade Falls, Hyalite Canyon, Gallatin County, Montana)

A waterfall is normally a branch of a river, lake or stream that over time has eroded the land and rocks, creating a formation of cascading water. Brave trickles of water venture away from their secure home within the main flow and they seek a new life. The earth provides a trail as the liquid seeps in between stones, small boulders, branches, roots, and soil; nature guides it along a path.

Base of Falls

The trail winds and twists like a snake, but the family of droplets does not give up. Obstacles present themselves throughout the journey, often separating the group, many stragglers are rejoined farther down the path. The leaders are the first to topple off of steep embankments as they approach their destiny. They feel an exhilaration of freedom, anticipation… and venturing into the unknown.

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By now the clique has grown into a full-fledged pulse of water and the momentum plunges them over the steep, rocky and earthy edge. We see the cascade of liquid phenomenon tumbling down and splashing into a pool of water, only to watch them continue their travels riding within the sea of their companions… onward to an unknown destination… encouraging genesis… and life.

Thank you for joining me today and reading my post. If you like it… you know what to do!

Have a fabulous week!! 🙂
Rhonda

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