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Major Orlando Bean Blossom Maxwell 199?-2014




The only dog I never went looking for found me on his own. My other dogs were planned, searched for, budgeted for, but one day I got a random call from the Austin Humane Society asking me if I wanted to come meet a poodle. I had wanted a Standard, not a miniature, but for some reason I still don’t understand, I agreed to go look at him. I don’t remember the exact story but I was told he had been left tied to the door of the Humane Society with a note that said something like “no dog deserves to live like this.”

And, for reasons I still don’t understand, I agreed to adopt him and he came home with me.

Poor guy did not have a name for almost two months  but I finally realized he needed to be named for Major Applewhite, and we even found him a jersey.

Major Appetite


Major started off so scared of everything. Someone had treated him very badly. Over time, though, he gained confidence and became a happy, adventurous little guy. He was always the best behaved one of the bunch. I remember one day when two foster poodles managed to open the gate and take off running, I got outside just in time to see them head around the corner, and Major turning back to come home.

Yard + Toy = best day evar!

Yard + Toy = best day evar!

He loved squeaky toys.

He really loved squeaky toys. He would do this for hours.

He loved to patrol the back yard and mark off his territory.

He loved his big sister Mojo…




…and mostly tried to disregard the existence of his little sister Mirabelle.


He also really loved treats, even those clearly meant for a larger dog.

Bone and squeak toy!

Bone and squeak toy!


I keep saying how happy Major was. And how sweet. Not as flashy or as demanding of attention as his sisters, but people who got to know him always wound up liking him the most of the three.

In 2008, we had a big storm (microburst) blow through which brought awful hail and high winds. It broke a bunch of the windows on the front of my house, sending glass flying, including in the bedroom where we had been sleeping. But, Major woke me up before the storm hit – jumped on my chest and was shaking like a leaf – so we were safely in the bathroom when the hail came. His big Lassie moment!

Major had been declining over the past 18 months. Losing weight, losing strength, suffering congestive heart failure, not being able to get around too well.  He lost a lot of his hearing and never bothered with squeak toys. He couldn’t see or stand too well, so patrolling the yard was too scary. But still, he would try to follow me wherever I went and would curl up next to me as soon as I sat down. I wanted to sit here with him next to me for a long time to come, but in the past couple of weeks it became apparent that for the first time since he came to me, he really wasn’t all that happy.  As the vet said, he had many problems and they all made it harder for him to just survive, much less enjoy things. And I had promised him early on he would never have to suffer again like he had as a puppy.

So we said goodbye to him today. He went very peacefully and astonishingly fast. I don’t think it has quite hit me yet that he is gone, or just how much I will miss him. I am so thankful to him that he found me, because he has been such a bright spot for so many years.

Rest in peace little buddy. You were so very loved.



Hello again, and why the name?

Insert normal excuses for not blogging more regularly here.

The question came up about the name of this blog and the short story is that it’s a joke from high school. A running joke. A LONG-running joke. The first time I wanted to experiment with HTML, I needed a domain name and, on the spur of the moment, chose this one. Mostly this is a place for me to experiment and learn (this is my first WordPress site and I did it plus the custom headers myself) but I also intend to blog a little more. But it’s mostly when the mood hits, which it hasn’t for a while.

I’ll try to do better, if you haven’t given up by now.


My father died 15 years ago. I found out on my birthday and we put his death date at 5/30. I know he died at least the day before my birthday because that’s when the police found him, but I don’t know exactly when he died. Someone said they heard him moving around the day before. But for me, for the past 15 years, my birthday has been the day I knew he died.

Yesterday, for the first time, I thought about my birthday celebration and not my father’s death. Only later in the night of my birthday did I remember. Is this healing or forgetting or both?

I feel I have let him down…not remembering. But he let me down too, dying when he did. He had some control over that date. Some.

I feel freed. Free to love him for who he was without the curse of this date. But knowing I think that date was key for him … he wanted me to remember.

I let him down this year. But I feel life moving on. I’ve moved on from 1997 for many years, for many reasons.  But I firmly grasp the healing hands of time today.


Lil’ Poodle’s Blue Steel

Lil Poodle

Sweet baby.


Found some gems

Looking for a photo of something else, found this forgotten video footage of Mirabelle’s puppyhood.  So cute.  And it appears that Mojo did like her at first, but Major never did.  Sibling rivalry is sad.

Can you believe the Monster was ever so small?




Dorothy Hamill

If I meet her, will I be cool? Or will I exclaim “I had your haircut!!”

Possibly one of the funniest things I’ve seen this year.

Too Many Lisa Maxwells

Or should that be Lisas Maxwell?

My car was in the shop this week and when I gave my name, the tech looked at me and said “oh, we have another Lisa Maxwell in our system.”  So, add that to the list of places I frequent, along with at least one other Lisa Maxwell in Austin. We’ve also visited the same hair salon, doctor, pharmacy and vet.  I actually met her at the vet’s office one time, and in an eerie concidence, we both had dogs named Murphy.

If you were wondering:

I’m not running for Lake Worth City Commission District 4.  (Apparently this is a contentious race….)

I’m not an art director although I know some people who do that.

I am not in Administration at Harvard.

I am not the Austrailian rock singer.

I am not the English actress (who, by the way, was in The Dark Crystal, and who gets the bulk of the Google search returns…including the promise of some nude photos.)

I am not an attorney in San Francisco.

I don’t sell real estate in New England.

Who else am I not?

Annie Says Hi.

I’m running out of room on my laptop hard drive. Thus, I’m spending time trying to clean off space and discovering some gems in the process.  Today I found this article on intuition by Anne Durrum Robinson.

I had the great fortune to meet and get to know Annie through my involvement in AWC/Austin.  She was truly a luminous being.  I still carry one of her business cards in my purse even though she died in 2005. Whenever I see it, it makes me smile.  Today I found this article an a folder called “Miscellaneous Creative Stuff.”  I am pasting it its entirety. I don’t think she would mind.

Your Ever-Present Partner in a Changing World
By Anne Durrum Robinson

Call it “hunch.” Call it “gut feeling.” Call it ‘instinct.” But whatever you call it, keep it always by your side!

We once thought intuition was a special gift for women. The feminine contingent relied on it heavily because, for many eons, it was all they had. The masculine supply of records, numbers, statistics and rules was, for the most part, out of their reach.

But, as the old comics were so fond of saying, “Them days is gone forever.” Today’s highly educated, widely read, widely traveled gals are as conversant with the left-brained skills as any of their masculine counterparts. On the other hand we find many of those counterparts now aware of the value of and equally reliant on their intuitive sources.

So let’s agree that both men and women can and often do access this elusive part of their mental make-up. What are some of the other things they should bear in mind about this potential ally?

First of all, belief in it is very important. Intuition is an inherent right-brain ability, given to us all. Some people recognize its power and rely on it all their lives. Some never become aware of it. Some try early heeding of its advice, are ridiculed out of it and never turn to it again. So belief and practice are both very important in the efficacy of intuition.

Equally helpful is the knowledge of the various kinds of intuition. It can be physical, hence the appellation of “gut feeling.” It can be mental, as with a “fleeting thought” or “inspiration.” It can be emotional, as with other types of feeling. It can be spiritual, appearing in dreams or visions during prayers and devotionals. Lately there has been the recognition of environmental or circumstantial intuition in which a set of oddly related circumstances tends to encourage one to take a definite action or prevent one from doing something.

As I have watched this old world spin faster and faster, I have become increasingly aware that certain attitudes may no longer be appropriate. Reliance on data has become questionable. Data are quickly outdated or often inaccurate. Forecasts are disproved almost as rapidly as they are made. Strategic planning has often turned into stra-tragic planning. Tomorrow seems to by-pass today as it slides hastily into yesterday.

So how do we access this valuable but elusive partner? Here are my suggestions:

  • Acknowledgement “Intuition exists. We all have it.”
  • Valuing “Intuition is an incomparable ally, always ready to assist me.”
  • Affirmation “I state regularly my belief in intuition.”
  • Gratitude “I give daily thanks for its reliable and accurate guidance.”
  • Recording “I keep a running record of my intuitive experiences.”
  • Evaluating “I carefully distinguish between intuition and wishful thinking.”

One way to keep oneself “honest” about the genuine-ness of one’s intuition is to keep a consistent intuition journal. This can be as fancy or as pedestrian as one chooses.

Each page should record a separate intuitive experience. The page should be dated. Circumstances surrounding the experience should be carefully and completely recorded. One’s way of receiving the intuitive experience should be noted. Some people may alternate between or among different methods of receiving; others may be more consistent in the way they get their intuitive information. (Personally I have two different signals. If I am being cautioned about a person, a small warning bell will ring way back in my consciousness. Important information about a situation will generally be repeated three times.)

The intuitor should make careful note of his/her intuitive experience, indicating what information was received, by what means and when.

Later one should return to this particular page and record how the experience “played out.” Was the intuitive information valuable to the receiver? Was it complete? In what form did it arrive? Was it accurate?

Over a sufficiently long period of time the intuitor can begin to winnow the wheat from the chaff of his/her experience.

Obviously the time has come (in the commercial as well as one’s personal world) to enrich common sense with “uncommon sense;” to raise conventional wisdom to “unconventional wisdom;” and to bolster pure intelligence with broader, more far-reaching intuitive sources.

In which of the following areas can these often-ignored sources enrich your life?

  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Problem-solving
  • Negotiation
  • Management
  • Interviewing
  • Counter-intelligence work
  • Acting
  • Creativity (in many directions)

Actually, you can differentiate intuitive access in two other ways:

  • Spontaneously
  • Deliberately

Spontaneous intuition can occur anywhere, at any time. Deliberate intuition is, in some ways, more under your personal control. You spend a large part of your normal day in your beta brainwave frequency…not in touch with your more receptive side. As you begin to doze off to sleep (if you have no serious sleep problems) you move softly from beta to alpha which is slower, more deliberate, and more aware. With practice you can learn to recognize and hold your alpha level of awareness. Then, as with any good problem-solving system, you can state your problem or question; give a specific assignment to your subconscious mind; then drop on down past theta to delta brainwave frequency and deep sleep. Meanwhile your subconscious mind (with its list of recent instructions) searches its various sources for the information you need or desire. As you become more adept with this formula, you can give your subconscious several sets of instructions and requests. There is one caveat: be very clear about what you know and what you need.

As you come awake the next morning, your brainwave frequency moves from delta, through theta, through alpha and back to busy, demanding beta. Learn to hold it at alpha for a time. Give your helpful subconscious an opportunity to confide in you whatever it has discovered in its sleep-time forays. It may offer you a good bit of information on one assignment. On the other hand, it may simply bring bits and pieces of help on several different requests. As best you can, sort the information into its proper places and record it all in your information journal.

When I first became intrigued with the difference that reliance on intuition could make in one’s life, I found one or two authors who had written reliable books on the subject.

As I have studied more on the subject and taught many workshops in that area, I have happily seen the number of well-researched, well-written books greatly increase. There are fine videos and audio cassettes available. For a time, an international network flourished and (until I was wheelchair bound) I attended excellent conferences on the subject. Reliable trainers offer workshops throughout the U.S. and other countries.

Once a month I mentor a group of men and women on the importance of intuition. I call the gathering the HUNCH BUNCH FOR LUNCH. We meet at my home and each attendant brings his/her own lunch. Using an expansive list of materials which I gathered when I was training business/industry clients in this helpful and fascinating subject, I lead the group in various exercises designed to put members in touch with their respective intuitive responses. This group has no connection to a “séance.” Rather it is a workshop to enable the members to sample various ways of connecting to their intuitive selves. Some people find certain exercises effective. Others find entirely different exercises more productive or more to their liking.

Our globe seems to be spinning faster and faster, and the number of challenges is increasing nationally and internationally. With business and individual relationships getting more far-flung and rapidly diverse, our formerly vaunted “common sense” will no longer get the job done. We need “uncommon sense” and we need it NOW. We truly require a built-in adviser to tell us what to do, how to do it, with whom and when. In short, we need our INTUITION: readily available and always by our side!

P.S. Annie’s namesake, Annie, was featured earlier in this post.


I always think to myself “No bodies. No bodies No bodies.” before I open the dumpster.  Do you ever do that? 

Perhaps I watch too much Discovery ID.