CURRENTLY DIGGING: October
Currently Digging is a collection of things we have enjoyed throughout the month. Great Instagram accounts you should follow, stuff for you, for your dogs/cats, as well as great things to eat/drink or listen to; and of course, cannot forget a great read.
So, here it is, what we have been loving this month of October.
Being a Dog: Following the Dog Into a World of Smell by Alexandra Horowitz
I really don’t exaggerate when I say that a book by Alexandra Horowitz changed my life and my relationship with my dogs forever. And I’ll bet if you ask anyone who has read Inside of a Dog, they’d likely tell you the same thing. I think I apologized to Corbin at the end of every chapter. So when I learned of her new book, one that would dive into a dog’s sense of smell, I could not wait and bought my copy the day it was released. I am trying to savor it and not read it too fast. This book is delightful if you love dogs and science, or were ever curious how it was possible for your dog to tell time. I’ll be reading this one again, and it joyfully ties into our Instagram pick for the month!
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Instagram Follow: @conservationcanines
Take a love of protecting the environment and all its species, add a group of seriously passionate and hard-working people and blend in a bunch of dogs that were previously homeless because they were a lot to handle for a typical family home and you get the awesomeness that is Conservation Canines. Training talented and very driven shelter dogs to use their noses to protect wildlife is seeing the human + canine bond at its scientific best. Everybody wins here: endangered wildlife, the biologists working hard to protect and study them and the dogs who have now harnessed their energy and skills into something grand. By the way, if you are looking for a great nonprofit to support this holiday season, they are a great one. They have a beautiful 2017 calendar out now to help support their efforts (photographed by our friend Jaymi Heimbuch too!). Follow their thread to get to know the dogs and handlers as well as see them in action doing their lifesaving work in the field.
Follow @conservationcanines Here
Canna Companion for Cats, Dogs and Horses
Canna Companion is a unique blend of Cannabis sativa strains, otherwise known as hemp, designed to enhance the medical benefits of the Cannabis plant while negating the ‘high-inducing’ capacity of THC. I had been hearing the buzz (no pun intended) about hemp for pets for a few years now, but it wasn’t until it was recommended to me by Jodi Ziskin (Healthy Pet Coach) when our two kitties were having a tough time getting along and dealing with chronic kidney disease. She recommended Canna Companion along with an easy homemade diet with supplements. I did my homework and did all the research. I thought giving it a try would do no harm and if it happened to help the kitties, then all the better. Well, it took about two weeks, splitting one capsule between the two, mixing it into their food, and I can’t say I saw a change in their behavior as much as noticing a distinct lack of issues between them. Both cats seem more like their younger selves, playful, loving and their appetites are healthy, their coats shiny and soft. I will be giving Canna Companion a try with the dogs too, from my research and Jodi’s advice, it will likely help with Willow’s fear and Corbin’s arthritis. It is not cheap, but after seeing the results with the cats, and seeing what just a little bit can do, I find it a worthwhile investment. The coolest part? You can schedule a complimentary veterinary consult through their website!
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For the taste buds (and chilly nights by a crackling fire): The Balvenie
Caribbean Cask Aged 14 Years
“There may be white wine-drinking women and red wine-drinking women, but there are whiskey-drinking women, too. Sure, it may not be as common — choosing a drink traditionally thought of as “for the boys” — but we exist. And we’re here to tell you about it. While we won’t scoff at the offer of a glass of vino, our heart sits in a rocks glass with whiskey and two cubes.” So goes this written ode to girls who drink whiskey (or whisky if you are in Scotland). You should read the whole thing, it is spot on (so much, it is scary) and just like whiskey itself, incredibly romantic. The Balvenie is a dreamy whisky we discovered on a perfectly drizzly night while in Edinburgh. We were killing time and warming up before hitting the streets again to enjoy a haunted walking tour of the city —By the way, if you go to Edinburgh, don’t miss this fun tour and ask that your tour guide be David!— We fell into a delightful little hole in the wall called The Devil’s Advocate and asked the bartender for a recommendation. She came back with this goblet of golden warmth and it felt like drinking sunlight. Good news is, you can probably find it here in the US! A tip from the Scots, don’t add ice to this one, let its full aroma fill your nose and if you wish to open the flavor up a bit more, add some distilled water drops to it.
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For the trail: Infinity Rain Scarf
Morning hikes and evening strolls will get a little chillier and likely a little drizzlier. There’s nothing worse than a damp knitted scarf or a chin that has been rubbed raw by the neck of your rain coat. My friend Amy gave me this Infinity Rain Scarf. I want to kiss whoever invented this. I have taken it hiking through Ireland and Scotland (notorious for moody weather) and it has kept me toasty and dry in gnarly weather here in California (though we are starting to forget what rain looks and feels like here). Pop it like hood over your head to keep your locks dry and your ears warm too. Bill has been known to steal it from me on occasion 😉 .
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Tune in: Nina Simone
When I turned 18, my parents took my brothers and I to New Orleans. I fell in love with The Big Easy at first sight, sound and bite. I discovered jambalaya, beignets and café au lait. I became enthralled with its history at once vibrant and painful. And its music seeped into every pore of me. Teenagedom sucks, and while my peers and friends enjoyed boy bands and pop music, I found all my woes, fears and growing pains soothed and understood by blues and jazz; my spirits uplifted by big band and my heart’s desires bursting through every note sung by Nina Simone. I fell for Nina from the moment I walked into an old record store in the French Quarter. “Let the wind blow through your heart, For wild is the wind, wild is the wind…” More than a beautiful, soulful voice and albeit maybe an acquired taste for some, Nina was powerful. She was and will always be a powerful beautiful voice, for many reasons and causes. For me, she will always remind me of falling in love with New Orleans.
Lusting after: Scotland 2016
As the seasons turn colder and the days get shorter, we start craving warmth. Maybe we get a little nostalgic and if you have been paying attention in the world recently, 2016 has been one stressful year and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down yet. The older I get, the more torn I feel between the roots I have put down in our California home, to missing my family in Mexico so dearly, and worse yet, missing our fierce friends who are scattered across states and continents. Our recent trip to Scotland in September was a grand gathering among scattered friends, and I keep going back to that cozy farmhouse in Fort William, with whisky in hand and reading tarot, or hiking across Glen Coe and wishing it would never end. They say friends are the family you choose. How lucky are we to get to have more than one family in our lifetime? How lucky are we to be able to call a tribe all of those people you cherish, regardless of where we all live; and luckier still to have your home filled with the sound of their laughter, so loud it scares the demons away.