May 2023 Hope Is a Cold Nose and Other Inspiring Stories

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42° 22′ 58″ N / 85° 57′ 25″ W

Hope Is

The Dance

If you have read past quests or if you know me outside of these blogs, you know one of my phrases is our dance of grace between opposites. 

As I begin to write of this month’s quest for hope, or I should say, as I begin to re-write what I had started.   I have danced.  From a few days ago when I had a plan of what I would write about, through the start of writing, to now, I have danced.  

The beauty of life is I will hit send to broadcast what I finish writing, and I will further dance. 

Such is the continual dance up the spiral staircase of life.

Until we reach the top of that stained glass dome.   Whenever that may be for each of us.

Before I continue, I would like to begin similar to the start of April’s quest.

How are you? 

What is it like to be you right now? 

I’m listening. 

As you dance that dance of grace between opposites, between such dances as doing well and struggling, between good, having fun and with a sigh there isn’t enough time in the day or whatever your dance may be, are you being kind to


Please remember.



You can’t pour from an empty cup, so please


Kind to


I found this quote recently about grace.  Ann Lamott wrote I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us. 

It brings to mind Albert Einstein’s words There are only two ways to live your life.  One is as though nothing is a miracle.  The other is as though everything is a miracle. 

My original intention was to write about a recent trip in which every encounter with a stranger felt like I was walking with the awe-filling presence of Grace.   Or perhaps better described as a floating, for it began to feel so magical that I thought perhaps I should pinch myself to make sure I was not dreaming what I was experiencing. 

Before beginning a recap of this month’s quest, I wrote an article for a monthly publication I contribute to in which I shared an element of my travel experience for inspiration to readers. 

Since I was in those creative juices flowing mode, I turned to this quest and began typing. 

Then the grace of life entered.   Based on other commitments for the remainder of Saturday, I paused with a plan to return to writing my original intent the next day. 

Hmmmm….these miracle moments haven’t stopped.  They seem to have followed me from my trip said to myself as the commitments brought more awe-filling sensations that something meaningful had been exchanged between two individuals.   Me being one of the two individuals. 

The next day came and with it a commitment prior to returning to write about May’s quest. 

The commitment included driving my mom a lengthy distance to visit a great aunt who had just been relocated to a rehabilitation center following a serious vehicle accident a few weeks ago.  

I had plans to take Kutana on the road trip and Ginger would stay back to “guard” homebase while all her peoples – K included – were gone for a bit.   Not one to relish a lot of strangers walking by her in a vehicle, Ginger finds it less stressful if she remains where she can best perform what she feels is her role as head of our family, which is Queen of Security.   

Yet, Ginger dances a dance of grace each time we leave, and she doesn’t.   She loves to go with us.  She just finds that because she cannot adequately perform her job without proper background checks, all are suspicious until passing the treats test and when they walk by her in a vehicle, they do not seem to offer treats.  Only suspicion as they walk by. 

So, food bowl packed for one.  Check.  Back of Grand Cherokee converted into a comfy dog bedroom for the trip.  Check.  Ok, K.  Ready?   Not check.

K, normally eager to go, paused outside the garage looking at the house and back and me.  House.  Me.   Lingering on her look at me.  Lingering at the view of the house. 

As I drive up the driveway to pick up my mom, I hear that inner whisper what about taking Ging? 

K, do you think we should take your sister with us? 

Yes, that is what I was trying to tell you before you thought I was just being my usual headstrong self.   

I know.  I don’t always hear you right away, do I?!  Work in progress, K.  Your momma is a work in progress.

Pick up mom.  Check.   Back down the driveway.  Check.  Start down the sidewalk towards the house seeing Ging’s entire body wiggling and squiggly and…

Dancing so. 

Ging, do you wanna go? 

It became hard to hear her Yes! as she began dancing a combination of the jig and a little mosh pit body bumping.   

Fast forward through a few hours of sharing perspectives and memories with my mom as we drove the highways and secondary roads we hadn’t been on together for a decade, at least, that were once upon a time the going and returning pathway that linked us to a physical presence with my grandparents every few months. 

Forward through a visit with my great aunt, and her overflowing gratitude at a visit from her treasured niece (my mom) and my grateful opportunity to be both observer and visitor.  Visitor as great niece to an aunt who is two years away from entering her 90th decade on earth.  Observer of the bond of an aunt and a niece, in seeing mannerisms in my great aunt that affirm her and my grandma were indeed sisters, and in reflection of my place in the generational flow as I become more and more conscious of how we are impacted by seven generations before us and our footprints we leave impact seven generations to come.

Forward through returning to the Grand Cherokee to find both girls peacefully waiting before excitedly wiggling and squiggling here comes Grammy.  Here comes mom.  They ARE BAAACCCCKKKKK! 

And hey, this means it’s treat time, cuz mom always gives us “good girl” treats when she comes back.   Or better yet.  I KNOW I saw mom put your food bowl in a bag, and I think mine is right here in this bag.  So, hey, let’s tell them IT IS LUNCH time and then we can get not just a treat, but FOOD!  Ok.  Wait.  Wait. Let’s be happy to see them and then let’s do the begging trick.  Got it?  Ok. Here we go!

[In unison] Hi mom!  

Hi Grammy!

We ARE SOOOOOOOOOOO glad to see you!   And we were such good girls.  See…..

Fast forward to returning home and Hmmmm…. these miracle moments haven’t stopped.  They seem to have followed me from my trip.

I sat down at the keyboard with my plan to continue writing my original message, yet life seemed to continue to bring other plans.  

Or more like I continued to choose to respond to what life was bringing by following the internal whisper that was calling over here instead.  The story I thought wanted to be put to paper seemed to be caught in midair between intention and landing as sentences to the “paper” screen you would soon read.  

Then a meaningful dialogue with someone very dear to my life and an email from an individual I have shared with you about in other monthly quest recaps – Soren Gordhamer, founder, and host of Wisdom 2.0, contained, in the words of Soren, this message theme. 

How does our desire to be liked or to maintain harmony prevent us from sharing our concerns or experience?

And then it hit me. 

I was dancing.  

My intention to write about all the miraculous encounters on my trip was to harmoniously share with you about the power of seeing and hearing others, for, as you have “heard” me say many times, people just want to be seen and heard.  I wanted to inspire you with stories of individuals who shared how a note they received had made them cry because they had felt seen and valued.  I wanted to inspire you with stories of the power of handing someone dignity and non-judgment. 

I wanted to be seen and heard, too. 

For the passions I have, the things I believe in, the concerns I have.  

The footprint I feel called to leave with whatever remaining steps I have. 

I was hearing that inner whisper nudge in a vast sea of things for people to read from an even larger sea of people to read from, what makes your trip so important?  

I thought about you, the readers, who respond to something I’ve written.   

Why you respond. 

And then I stood still, the dance paused, the center found, and I saw a single word threaded through my trip and the miraculous moments since then.  That single word as I looked at Ginger with a swelled heart for how good she did on the road trip with no anxiousness or fear of not being home to perform her role to utmost perfection.  That single word as I relived the energetic sensations I felt in my body with each unplanned awe-filling encounter with another person human or fur.   

That single word my sacred owl whoooo’d in affirmation as I sat with my hands over the keyboard about to erase the words I had started a few days ago.


Fully present with another.  In person.  Virtually ear to ear on a phone or via a zoom or Microsoft teams technology.    Or in words written that were the words that felt as if they were meant for the person reading. 


Heart to heart.




People just want to be seen and heard.  

And feel that they are.  That they have been. 


Is also fully being present within ourselves. 

Connected to

Our own hearts.

There is so much more I could say, because after all, I love words.  And I am very passionate about connection, seeing and hearing each other, and and and. 

Let me leave you with this video from the Heartmath Institute. 

Hope is

In the dance.

Especially if in the dance, we routinely pause and live from the center.

After all.  It is the center

where the heart resides.

What is Hope to you?   I would love to read and hear your thoughts.  I’d love to share them with others via email or on my web page(s).  I welcome your handwritten messages or drawn pictures to the address below.  Or feel free to email me (     

P.O. Box 327

Gobles, MI 49055

ATTN:  Hope Is


35.73°N 84.31°W

A Cold Nose

Recently I was blessed to have my path crossed with another fine organization supporting veterans by providing service dogs.   I am including a link to their website and a powerful video highlighting once again the power of

Connection through unconditional listening and love. 

Smoky Mountain Service Dogs

N ° S ° E ° W °

Hope Whispers, Nature Speaks

As a reminder, if you need a weekly inspiration as you dance that dance of grace between opposites, you can view/ follow on Instagram and YouTube.

Below is a link to the two most recent videos.   May one or both inspire your month ahead!

The Art of Hearing; The Dance of Grace: A time to shred; a time to be born.

The Art of Hearing; The Dance of Grace: Purpose meets where the crack begins.

As a reminder, workshops and courses are available.  See my web site or email me at!  I’d love for you to attend! 

And now to share book three, here we come! 

Between the Dash. 

Well, you’ve known that title.   Let me give you the full title. 

Between the Dash…My Story Just Beginning: Inspiring Life Stories from Less Home to Hope

Before I explain further, let me first acknowledge that a year plus ago I began a journey with a third book that was a different subject than Inspiring Stories from Less Home to Hope.  The avenue I was exploring may still come into fruition.  Or may not.  Or the stories may fold into a book concept not yet thought of.   Signs were pointing to “Pause”, and since I continue to learn that it is best to let go of the oars and flow with the current, I knew it best I honor the signs.  I hold these initial stories in reverence while I listen for what wants to emerge in the future.   I have two to three other book concepts on my intention board; these may become the future.   All things in the right time, always. 

 So, back to Between the Dash…My Story Just Beginning: Inspiring Life Stories from Less Home to Hope

The “Dash” Poet and author Linda Ellis writes in her poem “Between the Dash”, “…for that dash represents all the time…spent alive on Earth…for it matters not, how much we own – the cars…the house…the cash…”

Until one finds themselves without any of it. No cash. Or at least not enough to stretch for all living expenses. Like food. Clothing. Transportation to travel to and from work. A home. The basic survival needs as a human being, at least as modern society is structured to survive in the “wilderness” of towns, cities, and economies. And this is provided that survival is not threatened by other external factors.

Like the “lions” of natural disasters such as a hurricane or a fire. Like the “tigers” of dis-eases that require medical intervention. And the additional expenses of utilizing health care systems trying to assist survival. Then there are the additional predators threatening survival. If we treat each other with respect. Or don’t. Like domestic abuse. Discrimination. Racism.  As if these weren’t enough threats, then there are the menacing enemies of such things as addiction and emotional and mental traumas. 

To say it is not easy living between the dash can be an understatement for many.

Like Hope has a Cold Nose, Between the Dash has among its objectives to inspire, educate, and foster such things as compassion, dignity, unconditional listening, and non-judgment.  It will be co-authored like HHCN was through life stories.   Like HHCN it will highlight the strength and beauty of the human spirit.   It will show that in the Universal Truth that life holds suffering, life also goes forward through our choice to also embrace such things as joy, faith, and


Namaste’ my dear readers.  

In a world of algorithms, hashtags, and followers, know the true importance of human connection. –

You cannot build a deep connection with someone who is disconnected from themselves – Yung Pueblo

It turns out that our ability to connect with other people is driven by our ability to connect deeply with ourselves.  And that can be just a few minutes sitting on the porch feeling the breeze against your face.  That can be a few moments spent in meditation or in prayer or remembering three things you’re grateful for. – Vivek Murthy




If you have enjoyed this month’s message, please pay it forward to others.  They can also subscribe to future emails by visiting   If you know of someone who has a Hope Is message to share, please encourage them to share via the post office address (or via email at  I welcome sharing their input in a future Hope Is message! 

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