Monday, November 20, 2017

Intangible Greetings

Choosing Laughter

The days are shorter and the air cooler now.
 at the top of the hill,
 is our warm,
 comfortable home.
A place we nurse wounds,
shed tears,
laugh if we can.
Sheltered from rain,
we read books,
write stories and play board games.
We’ve grown to appreciate the way the birds sing.

We’re grateful hospitals send us home,
because we’ve known young people
sent to hospice.
Yeah, young ones.
Believe it.
And fresh faces who passed while sleeping.
It happens.
They looked healthy....
We might complain on a sofa asking for a tea.
Flowers entertain our aching bones.
Trees sway near the window,
the dogs make a fuss,
visiting grand kids giggle on the stairs.

there’s the promise of a better place.
I’m bundled up imagining it.
filled with love,
and those traveling before us.
much, much higher,
with expansive panoramic views.
No tears,
or pain.
We won’t need doctors anymore
probably not even tea,
              and complaining will be a thing of the past.

              Until that time--
              each time I drive
              or walk up that little hill--
              my heart fills with immense anticipation,
              bubbling with appreciation,
              for stucco walls,
              a tile roof.
             Where I can cry if I feel like crying,
             or choose to laugh.
             Where I can be thankful,
             for another cool day--
             in Autumn.

Eve Gaal
Copyright 2017

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Top 10 Canine Truths Proving It's the Heart and Not the Brains

Yesterday I saw another one of those videos where the dog helps around the house and seems to be able to do everything. Of course, most of these short films are created to make us laugh, but this particular clip was about a service dog that held the shopping basket and ran up and down aisles in a supermarket. This brainy dog could do it all. Made me think of my little mutts, who can’t do anything, except shed hair, make a mess and bark. So the more I thought about it, the more I realized how important they are and all the various things they do to make me happy.

1.       Good Security
No one had better come within twenty-five feet of our property, even though the houses in our neighborhood are standing about twenty feet apart.

2.       Mail Alert System
It’s like a sophisticated App you can download for your Smartphone. Want to know when the mail arrives? Ask Pinky and Fiona because they will let you know! In fact, they will let the entire neighborhood know. 
3.       Comfort
If I’m tired or sick, they like to snuggle. If I’m angry, they’re on my side. If I’m crying, they will lick my tears away. This alone is worth the price of admission.

4.       Laughter
I love comedies, variety shows and most comedians. I even have a good friend who does stand up. But these two fur-babies, Pinky and Fiona, can make me double over in laughter just from a silly expression. Most of the time, they crack me up.

5.       Exercise
There are several types of exercises associated with Fiona and Pinky. Generally, there’s a daily walk for Pinky. Fiona doesn’t obey anyone so I have to go chasing her around the house or the backyard if I want to find her. There’s also exercise obtained by cleaning up the mistakes. As inside dogs, they get confused about optimal places for doing their duty. I think all this confusion adds a couple of years to my life. Which is a good thing, right? Sometimes I dream of being that sedentary writer who can focus on her manuscript instead of the aroma coming from the hallway.

6.       The Economy
Indisputable proof:
See the big heart?
With pets, it’s hard to save money but spending it helps the local economy. Not only is there some sort of foreign collusion in the dog-toy business but the kind-hearted vets dish it out with a smile. Plus there’s that city license, puppy pads, snacks, leashes, sweaters etc. When a Chihuahua can chew through a fifteen-dollar toy in one day, you know there’s something wrong with this world. Recently, Fiona had a bout of stomach flu and we took her to the Emergency Pet Hospital. Six hundred dollars later, they sent us home with a fancy X-ray and said she’d be fine. I’m proud to say, both dogs are a boost to U.S. capitalism and sadly, cheaper toys are not an option.

7.       Listening
      One major problem with the world is listening. Almost everyone has an opinion. Even the nicest folks go around telling other people what they think without listening to their friends. There are enough people in the world to trade in friends for new ones if they don’t agree. It’s like people who dump their dogs at the animal shelter when they move.  I have high school and college friends who have left me behind for new friends because I may not have immediately rushed to agree with their political viewpoints. Makes me sad but at least Pinky listens to everything I say. Fiona may not always listen to me but she hears me. Her ears move like antenna trying to find meaning in my words that her tiny little mind cannot process but her heart tells her to keep still and keep listening because her mommy loves her very much.

8.       Foot Warmers
There’s nothing better than reading a book and having two very cute friends keeping your toes warm. The downside is that they too are relaxed—leading to not-so-adorable emanations--commonly referred to as Chihuahua farts.

9.       Crumb Catchers
Forget the vacuum. I have built in little sniffers who find every fallen morsel.

10.   Love
There are few places in the world to find unconditional love, that’s why I recommend the Animal Shelter. Both of our pups were rescues and every once in a while, with tails wagging, they come and place a paw on my chest, and look me straight in the eye. That’s when I feel the overwhelming thank you and the love. Of course, it might also mean, give us a snack or we’ll piss in your bathroom, but honestly, I feel the gratefulness.  

Understandably, those clever videos with the smart dogs make my dogs look like dummies, but these two cuties have underappreciated talents and are sweet enough for me.

Do you have super intelligent dogs or lovable dogs like mine? 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Sharing November Surprises

I was delighted to find out a poem of mine had been accepted by Poetry for All. The publisher selects one poem for a chapbook that features one sole poet. They then create artwork around the poem and distribute them like gold doubloons or scattered seeds. My little booklet is #1371 and here’s what it looks like:   
The inside not only has my poem but a
lovely illustrated overleaf created especially for this poem.
Perhaps my poem will travel across the country in a warm overcoat and then turn up later in another person’s beach bag. While I’m going to distribute them at book signings, I imagine the publisher will be sharing them too. Let me know if you ever come across my poem, Ear Buds. If you order a signed copy of Penniless Hearts or The Fifth Commandment from me directly, I'd be happy to add a copy of the adorable poetry book. But there's no reprinting. When they are gone, they'll be gone to travel the world. Anyway, either email me or reach me through My Website.

The Back Cover

Most of my online followers have already read the latest, Fall edition of our Guild’s magazine but if you missed my story, Home Banner Cafe then here’s the link. This month, Straitjackets Magazine has something for everyone including: poetry, suspense, mystery and even my little romance. I've attended many different writing groups in my life but the extraordinary members of The Diamond Valley Writer's Guild keep shocking me, surprising me but most of all, impressing me at every turn. It's an understatement to say I'm proud to be a member. 


Hey, it’s November! The month of thankfulness, when even small things like a published poem and a story in an online magazine can mean so much. Writing is a way of sharing my heart with friends and those who follow this blog. Of course, there are the big things such as health, friends, family and God, that I hope none of us ever take for granted.
Sadly, I used to work so hard that I shamefully forgot to be grateful and learned my lessons the hard way. Take a lesson from my past and cherish those around you. But first, take time to care for your own feelings, your own health and even your own physical and intangible hearts.   

Is there something small but meaningful, that you are especially thankful for this season?