This is the blog of Julia Douthwaite Viglione, and my dog, Honey Girl (a German shepherd-Corgi mix, born 2009). Ever since we met at the foster home sponsored by Pets Connect, it’s been unconditional love on both sides. Even though we are both learned ladies (I have a Ph.D.  and Honey Girl graduated at least three times from “Top Hat and Tails” in Mishawaka, IN), this blog is dedicated to a simple idea that requires a kind of re-education: friendly life. The idea that kindly friendship–for yourself, for people, and for other sentient creatures on our planet–is what truly matters. No “credentials” can compare.

The subtitle, “Zen and T’ai chi wisdom for beginners,” derives from the sources of my continuing re-education. They include the study of Asian moral philosophy, Stoicism, and the martial arts of T’ai chi and Aikido. I practice a wonderful 90-minute session of preparatory exercises and the Wu Form of T’ai chi (a bit more each week) four times a week, three at home and one in studio under the direction of Sifu John Leong, Seattle Kung Fu Club. I do 20 push-ups and other arm strengthening exercises from Strong Women Stay Young with the T’ai chi exercises, too.

Beginning in January 2021, I now practice Aikido three times a week with Sensei Michelle Pleasant of Fusion Kung Fu; on 1/17/22, I passed the first test, qualifying for Gokkyu in Aikido.

The readings, together with the martial arts and strength training, provide an excellent basis for the calm forbearance we need to endure upsetting news, and to enjoy life every day no matter what happens. 

p.s. The title “daily” was a mistake! By week two it was getting too hard!  So I’ll bring good thoughts almost daily. Or weekly, or whenever a good thought comes to mind.

p.s.s. Sometimes I write very quickly in a passionate burst. And make typos. I promise to come back and reread my work and fix them, but you’re welcome to let me know as well, if you see one. 

p.s.s.s.  Feb. 7, 2023 update on RESPECT QUILTS: I’m currently finishing Respect Quilt no. 17, for my old pal and phenomenal woman, Dr. Peaches Henry. I plan to keep on making Respect quilts indefinitely. If I keep up at the rate of 5-10 a year, I may produce 300-some by the time I’m 93!  So please send me your old Levi jeans, if you have any! I will pay $5 per pair, plus shipping.  I am incorporating the two pockets from Levi’s in every “Respect” quilt I make, so the need is ongoing.  Use the contact form here, or email me at juliawsea@gmail.com.  Thanks to the people who have already sent in their Levi’s for this project: Diego and Lin from California, Monica from Virginia, and Katelyn from Oklahoma. You (and your old jeans) are much appreciated!

Thank you!

Honey Girl, looking adorable, October 2020.