Daily Dose

Introducing Jasper Mraz

It’s funny how the Universe works sometimes. About a month ago I got a text from a good friend of mine down in San Diego that included these picture and these words:

I have some pretty good will power from time to time, but did you get a look at that face? I mean, come on. And he was abandoned at a gas station and in need of a home? My friend knew that once I was settled in to my new house that we were going to start the search for a rescue dog. In fact, when I was visualizing the sale of this home from which I currently write, I imagined myself and my three kids under the front yard tree with a huge protective sphere around us, and the funny thing is, that inside that dome there was a tiny little dog. Now, I’ve always been a big dog type of gal. In fact, my previous dog Crosby had the head about the size of Jasper’s entire body. But when I saw these pictures and heard that this little guy needed a family to take him in, I felt like maybe it was kismet. The only huge caveat was that he was in San Diego California and I was in Boise Idaho.

When I say that the Universe is for you, I truly mean it. Because in the case of this sweet pup, when I brought it to my friend’s attention that there was one big obstacle (approximately 950 miles) between me and adopting the puppy, her daughter chimed in reminding me that she and her husband would just happen to be traveling to Boise Idaho on November 1st, as a part of their journey to their new home in Northern Idaho. She had already reserved a place to stay at my house that night, so what trouble would it be to travel north with a 10-week old puppy in tow? And that’s how this sweet little pup came into our hearts and home.

The name Jasper Mraz

We had a great time thinking of names for this little man as we awaited his three week arrival. Some favorites included Cosmo, Leo (his sun sign), Zephyr, Mr. Belvedere and Beef Stroganoff (Ray’s contribution) and of course Jasper. Besides being the name of one of the three wise men who came bearing gifts, Jasper is also a healing stone that is known as the “supreme nurturer. It sustains and supports through times of stress, and brings tranquility of wholeness. Jasper provides protection and absorbs negative energy. It balances yin and yang. Jasper clears electromagnetic and environmental pollution, including radiation. It encourages honesty with one’s self. Provides courage to assertively tackle problems. Aids quick-thinking and promotes organisational abilities. Jasper stimulates the imagination and transforms ideas into action. Prolongs sexual pleasure (hey-oh!) and supports during prolonged illness and re-energises the body.” (description credits to charmsoflight.com). After reading that and seeing his sweet face in person, the name Jasper won. As for Mraz? Well, if you’re reading this right now I’m pretty sure you know of my infinite love for Jason Mraz, so I thought, why not? Plus, it’s a lot harder to get mad at Mr. Mraz than it would be to get at any ordinary puppy.

To say that the first two weeks with Jasper Mraz have been all that the healing powers of which his name speaks would be a downright lie. In fact, it’s been quite the opposite. Jasper pushed me over the edge of overwhelm with the teething and the pooping and the peeing on the rug and the 10-week old puppy energy. I mean, I’m a single mom who isn’t fully settled in to her new home yet and I work full time at a job that never ends and have three teenagers to raise…and I thought it was a good time to bring on a puppy? Well, I totally lost my shit on day two and said that I had made a huge mistake and then I confessed to my kids that I hadn’t reached monk status yet (which was a real shocker to them). I just wasn’t my best self last week and poor Jasper got the blame for most of my exasperation. But then, at the end of the day, Jasper settles down and all he wants to do is to curl up in your lap and give you so much love. So, we forgive and we forget and we roll on to a new day.

Life is Wonderful

Last night my kiddos went back to their dad’s house and I was alone for the first time with Jasper. I decided that it was the perfect time to introduce him to the music of his namesake, Jason Mraz. Now here’s where the story gets good in my opinion. A few days prior Nora and I were enjoying an afternoon of pampering after her championship lacrosse tournament in Tucson, Arizona. As we were luxuriating in a foot massage, I decided to pop onto Instagram to see what was happening in the world since I didn’t have a book with me. I saw Jason’s post about the release of his live and acoustic album on vinyl with Toca Rivera. Which got me thinking…new albums typically mean a tour. So I did further investigating and found out that he is indeed touring with Toca Rivera and will be playing in nearby Salt Lake City on December 19th. I turned to Nora and asked, “what do you think? Should we get tickets?” And she looked back with all the certainty of an almost 15-year old and said “I can’t believe you’re even asking the question. Of course we get tickets!” So, right then and there, in the pedicure chair in Tucson Arizona I got Nora and myself an early Christmas gift to see Jason and Toca play live in Salt Lake City next month.

Me and my girl, in sunny Tucson AZ

Which brings me back to last night. I decided to put on an apple music playlist of Jason Mraz and Toca Rivera and the first song that was on the playlist was Life is Wonderful and even though I’ve heard the song many times in my life, I heard it differently last night. Perhaps it was because I hadn’t heard it in so long, or perhaps the words just spoke to my soul differently because I’m in a different place and time and season of my life.

Life is Wonderful by Jason Mraz

It takes a thought to make a word
And it takes some words to make an action
It takes some work to make it work
It takes some good to make it hurt
It takes some bad for satisfaction
La la la la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la la la life goes full circle
Ah la la la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la

Full circle, that’s where I’m at. I’m starting over and for the first time in a very long time, I have a new little being who is dependent on me for care and training. I know, after only two weeks with Jasper, that he is here to help me learn to set strong boundaries, but he is also here to remind me that even though the hard parts take work, life is wonderful and he is indeed a blessing in my life.

Full Circle

Track two on last night’s playlist was details in the fabric. And that’s when I realized that the music was truly speaking to me through Jasper’s name sake, just like it did 13 years ago when I heard this song live for the first time. I was at the Greek Theater in Berkeley and the first star had just appeared in the sky when the opening guitar chords started to play followed by the words “Calm down, deep breaths, get yourself dressed instead of running around and pulling on your threads and breaking yourself up. If it’s a broken part replace it, if it’s a broken arm then brace it, if it’s a broken heart then face it. And hold your own, know your name and go your own way…and everything will be fine.” Hearing that song through the acoustics of the Greek Theater was the first time in my life when I truly felt like God was speaking to my soul. That was in 2008. Last night when I heard that song again, I realized that I had just bought tickets to see these songs performed again. Full circle. This was the Jason Mraz that I fell in love with and it’s because of that concert back in 2008 that I started to attend concerts regularly and the music hasn’t stopped speaking to me since.

So, you can probably imagine that when I’m yours came on next in the playlist, I was swooning and giving thanks for both of the Mraz’s in my life: the musician and the four legged teacher who was curled up in my lap sleeping while I just listened to the music.

I needed last night. I needed time alone to bond with Jasper and I got exactly what I needed. Not only did Jasper and I bond, but I know in the depths of my soul that this little creature was destined to be a part of my next chapter. As overwhelming as he can be at times, I feel like we made excellent progress last night. It’s been almost 24 hours since his last indoor pee or poop. And I don’t want to jinx things and believe that the hard work of potty training is behind us, but we are one step closer and that’s all I can ask. I’ll be monk status before you know it!

The Universe is for you

Why did I give my dog a last name that’s different than my own? Fantasy, sure. Fun, definitely. Love, yes. But more than anything else, I think this little game came to me with a little Mraz in his soul. And I’m ever so grateful for his loving presence in my life right now. So the next time you’re wondering if Paulo Coelho’s words are true “And when you want something, all the Universe conspires to help you achieve it (The Alchemist), remember this story about an abandoned puppy, a coincidental 950-mile transport, a name, a musician, a concert and living life full circle. Welcome to the family Jasper Mraz!

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