Category Archives: animals

Finding Ten Things of Thankful (#90)-oy vey!

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I could sit here and tell you all things this week that went horribly wrong. I could tell you all the things that completely stressed me out. I could sit here and tell you what a crappy crappy crappy week this was. However, THAT is not what Ten Things of Thankful is about. 

Let’s see if I can turn this week around day by day:

Monday:

What happened Monday. Well I really can’t remember Monday very well. I had my Cleaning Job so I had income to go to the Farmers Market to get fresh fruit and produce. I got my kitchen cleaned up and even baking soda and vinegar bombed the oven. So that is three things right there.

Tuesday:

Tuesday I got my four and half mile walk in. It was very much needed and I really felt the week off that I took to get over that sinus/allergy flare that seems to be pretty much done.

Wednesday:

Oh Wednesday why must you attack me so? The day before the school had testing. Whatever happened, the kid did not get a decent lunch. When you have a protein deficiency this then makes a phone call to mom to bring protein the next day. She gets very similar to hypoglycemic symptoms. LUCKILY, I was able to leave my Nanny Job for a  bit and take her some magnesium to calm the shakes and some protein. I don’t blame anyone, she is old enough to advocate for herself, she made the choice not to say anything. I am sure she was told at least four times to bring her lunch box with her and didn’t. It was just frustrating because she is normally pretty aware of her protein need. She had a breakfast of 20grams of protein only an hour before she called just to give you an idea of what I am talking about.

Thursday:

Thursday we will just call the day of so many mix-ups. Everything that needed to get done got done. Well except for gas in the car. I just didn’t have it in me after a quick grocery store stop.  However the baking soda and vinegar bomb from Monday made my oven so clean I hardly recognized it when I went to put dinner in after it was pre-heated.Sparkly clean ovens make me happy and I am sure the neighbors as the fire alarm did not go off just from pre-heating the oven.

Friday:

You were such a tease Friday;Over-sleeping, car seats forgotten, wrong shoes worn to school and all. Hey remember I didn’t have it in me Thursday to stop for gas…….yeah I completely forgot. LUCKILY enough I made it to my Nanny job by shear stubborn Irish will and possibly some anger of wrong shoes worn to school. Mommy does not like getting phone calls from school, especially not when it’s the second one this week. In all my rush I forgot to bring the greek yogurt to mix my left over pulp from juicing the day before. LUCKY for me, I have awesome friends who take time out of their lunch break to bring me some! Plus I got a second four and half mile walk in and it was much easier this time!

Pretty sure there is more than ten things in all of that. Pretty sure I turned my week around however, I am really really really glad it is over and we can just focus on moving forwards.

Oh and some obligatory pictures from the week……

Squish is really digging this solid food stuff. I have been fired from feeding him for not shoveling it in fast enough

Squish is really digging this solid food stuff. I have been fired from feeding him for not shoveling it in fast enough

Fish make nests? I don't think I knew that before.

Fish make nests? I don’t think I knew that before.

Very well Pheasant I suppose this meal is good....enough..

Very well Pheasant I suppose this meal is good….enough..

The Kid and Snickerdoodle in a tree

The Kid and Snickerdoodle in a tree

Me and squish

Me and squish

Sunset

Sunset

We have Wednesday morning Youth Religious education garden watering . I supervised and drank my greens smoothie

We have Wednesday morning Youth Religious education garden watering . I supervised and drank my greens smoothie

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#1000speak Finding our way back. Join Us.

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On my post Gratitude Vs Depression Vs Anxiety at the end I added a bit about a new initiative that I am participating in.

This is a little more about that:

The newest news on that is that you don’t have to be a blogger to join: We now have a site where we will publish anyone who does not have their own blog.

What is this #1000speak all about?

Somewhere we lost our way.

Somewhere we forgot compassion.

We say we have compassion but, I think we have forgotten what true compassion is.

This is what the Free Dictionary say about compassion

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We forgot how much kindness,mercy and love tie into compassion. We forgot to be genuinely happy for others. Instead we are judging them. We are telling them they are wrong. A lot of times we say this with good intentions. We say it is because we care. Because we love them. We forgot that by doing things this way, we are forgetting how absolutely unique each person is. What makes you happy, isn’t necessarily what makes me happy. What makes your life gel is not necessarily what makes my life gel. In fact,if I tried it your way my life would probably fall apart. When I listened to what others said I had to do,I fell apart.I grasped at straws. When I stepped back and listened to my inner voice, When I was true to myself, things started clicking. It is hard because we want to prevent our friends families and even strangers from struggling and grasping like we did. We forget that during that struggle, during that grasping, I was learning. I was learning things about myself, about how I work, How I function.They were lessons I needed to learn.Sometimes they were lessons I had to have several times.

When you add in the horrors that have been in the News lately. Terrorism, death, people falling apart and the news is there to blast it in our face. Is it any wonder that people are loosing their faith in humanity? That depression is on the rise? That people are striking out in anger?In fear?

The best way to make a change in the world is , model the behavior we want to see in the world. If we want to see more kindness, we need to be more kind. If we want to see more love, We need to love more. True non-judgmental I accept you for who you are love. We can’t teach our children compassion if we don’t show them what compassion actually is.  Compassion for humans, compassion for animals, compassion for the Earth. To start modeling it maybe we need to just do it, the feelings and the actual want to be compassionate will follow.

I am proud to know some of the founders of this initiative. Flooding the internet with goodness. With stories of love ,kindness and compassion. Reading about it often inspires us to do more. 1000 bloggers may seem like a small little pebble in the grand scheme of things. It is just the first step. The ripples. That is what I am excited to see. How many ripples will this have? It’s the ripples that make the actual change. I hope for our ripples to be as big as a humongous boulder dropped in a river. Ripples that start in one spot and travel far down the stream.

(all links will open in a separate window for your convenience!)

Here is the post that inspired this initiative. Here is the post that started this in motion. Yvonne and Lizzi are just plain amazing. Their compassion is astounding.

If you would also like to join this initiative-sign up here.  Don’t have a blog? No problem. Send your writing to THIS EMAIL.

We also have a Facebook page you can follow the progress on!

Follow on Twitter under the hashtag  #1000speak

And of course stay tuned on this blog!!!

Autumn Equinox

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Grammar people- I did not edit this or worry about grammar in this blog post as I felt it would take away from some of the authenticity of my thoughts.

I have been struggling for a while to find what I truly believe. I finally realized a few years ago that part of my problem with religion and spirituality was because I didn’t truly believe it. Part of the struggle has been letting go of what I was taught and part of it has been finding what I do believe in. I feel I am starting to get somewhere. When my walking partner told me her kids were still sick and thus unable to go for our walk. I was tempted to just not go. Then I realized it fell on the autumn equinox and I felt led to find a walking meditation to listen to. I tried several choices off youtube. They were not what I was looking for. Then I found one. Sage Goddess  had an hour long ritual and it was simply titled Fall Equinox Ritual. This was it. This resonated with me right from the start.

Now a bit of backstory is that I have been walking this trail for four weeks consistently. I did however walk it a lot last fall and winter. The first thing I noticed when we started back up on this trail was how dry everything was. The first two weeks of walking this trail I was just continually amazed at how little life there was along the sides of the trail. This was a trail we had seen alligators and turtles, gopher tortoises and even otters. It saddened me a little truth to tell. I understand it was the circle of life but still. Even last week on Thursday when we walked it was still dry. There was no water visible. There however had to be water somewhere as the frogs were back. They were singing their songs again.

Today the trail found me in amazement again. It was now Tuesday. Five days had passed. There was water. There was so much water. There was at least a foot deep of water if not more in some parts. Some areas it stretched back as far as ten to fifteen feet.  This was the trail I had fallen in love with last year.

As Sage Goddess talked about the story behind the equinox. There are many but this one was dealing with Demeter and Persephone and Hades. I had heard it before. However I had never felt the depth of emotion I felt when she told the story. I understood Demeter’s anguish and it suddenly made more sense why the light was softer in the fall.  There was just so much emotion I felt and could relate to in this story. It was like. Oh this is why I embrace fall so much.

Now many people who live in Florida say there are no seasons. I beg to differ. There is. They are just very subtle changes and you really do have to be paying attention. The change in the sunlight is always what I notice first. Soon after the air feels different. Less oppressive somehow. There is a slight change in the plants, the rain makes them fuller more alive, more colorful. We do have leaves that change colors. They just are not as many so you have to look carefully for them. Maybe it is because I take my walks outside twice a week minimum. I just have always felt fall the strongest though.

As I walked I found myself drawn more and more inwards and even despite walking felt grounded after Sage Goddess led us through a grounding practice.  Really it was a good thing that my pedometer kept interrupting every ten minutes as it forced me to look up and take in my surroundings.  My cats had knocked my cord out of the wall sometime in the night. So where I thought I had a fully charged phone. I was shocked to discover a mile and half into my walk that my phone battery was dying.

Sage Goddess had set the circle and was calling the four corners. I have always known I am considered an air element/East. However I have never fully related to any of the descriptions until now. I tend to relate the descriptions to personality and I really felt she had found me. Then she called Fire/south which is my daughters sign. Again everything she described I could relate into my daughters personality. She described us so beautifully and perfectly.

Sadly my phone died right after calling the four corners. However, my senses were so awakened. I tried to gather my thoughts for a letter to tell Sage Goddess how much just even that thirty minutes meant to me. I found it was much better suited to a blog post.

I spent most of the walk back looking off to the side. Noticing the little things. The song of the frogs was much louder and stronger. Their songs even seemed happier. We are wet, we are alive, we are happy.  There were so many little chickadee type birds flirting from branch to branch to water to branch. It may seem odd to see flowers blooming in Fall but that was what was happening. These were wetland flowers and they were showing how happy they were with the recent rain. They were bright and vibrant and almost seemed boastful and proud. Pinks and purples, yellows, whites and even a few red in color.  I saw a gopher tortoise hole and I wondered if anyone was way down deep in there. Enjoying the humid wetness of the soil.  A little further on I saw the gopher tortoise. He too seemed to be saying,” yes , this makes me happy.” The far off distant rumble of thunder had me thinking please clouds just hold off until I get to my car. Then I thought. well if it does, it might be just as cleansing as this walk has been. Before I knew it I was almost done with the second half of my walk. Here it was more obvious the plants had loved the rain. They seemed to have doubled and the sunlight that hit the new green of freshly grown leaves was just stunning.  There was Lantana blooming. They are my favorite and bring back so many childhood memories of picking them.

Fall is here. The trail is alive once more. I no longer worry that I will get bored walking the same trail twice a week. I now look forward to noticing all the subtle changes and hope again to glimpse some otters. The walk that normally takes an hour and twenty minutes took a few minutes less. I had a better more consistent pace. This walk was just the thing I needed. I felt grounded and restored like I haven’t felt in quite a while.

I will finish the Fall Equinox Ritual later today.  I am linking it here for anyone else who wishes to listen or practice.

 

Nature’s Gift

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Today I turned a year older. I didn’t really want presents. I have no room for anything and really don’t need anything. Instead I wanted to go on a hike at a new place with friends. I had seen pictures of a place that was a bit of a drive but still near by that intrigued me. Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve. I just can’t even begin to tell you how perfect it was.

There are quotes on plaques at certain spots along this boardwalked path. Between the sighs and sounds of the preserve, and the quotes. Nature was talking to me. Letting me know that I am on the right path and to keep it up. It was nourishing in a way I didn’t even realize I needed.

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“You learn that if you sit down in the woods and wait something happens” Henry David Thoreau.

The soft sunlight, the smell of cypress and the chatter of birds in the trees. It was all just so perfect.

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“Falling in love with the Earth is one of lives great adventures. ” Steve Van Matre

Its true. It was like falling in love with the Earth all over again. Every step. Every new discovery. Every new enjoyment from the kids.It doesn’t matter that we have lizards and squirrels. These were here now! We saw them! It was right there! Watching their delight was truly a gift. Using our imaginations and just taking our time walking. We even saw a tree looking at us!

 

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It was truly an enjoyable walk. It was exactly what I wanted. It was gorgeous weather. The humidity and barometric pressure were steady, important tidbits when dealing with arthritis.  We lost track of time watching the turtle weave around the pond. We delighted in watching them eat the algae.  It was a secure enough trail that we felt confident enough to let the kids wander ahead of us.  Letting them explore and make their own discoveries.

 

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Its camouflaged  very well but I promise you there is an alligator in this picture. We watched him rather lazily swimming around for a bit.

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I can’t even imagine what it was like here even just fifty years ago. These trees are relatively small for cypress. There were some bigger ones. I just love the cypress knees sticking up.

 

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I think one of my favorite things was how many Yellow crown night heron’s we saw. It was like once we saw one we kept seeing them. We even got to watch one eating a fish.

 

It was the perfect escape and the perfect way to turn a year older.

 

We followed this with a visit to Tropical Smoothie Cafe. The kids were super excited for smoothies.  It was all very delicious and the food came fast enough that the kids didn’t get too delirious and were so well behaved. Enough so that they even got cookies.

 

Why cats are assholes

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I mean really they are.. Even when they are cute.

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They sneak into our hearts and before we know it, we are exasperated with them but so in love.

I am completely and totally a cat person so don’t let this post fool you.

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Now…let me count the ways:

1. The jump from the headboard to your stomach at two am.

I really don’t think that needs any further explanation.

2. Leaving ten pieces of food in the food bowl, but yowl in your face that they are hungry. Sometimes this is followed up with head butts, pawing your arms…or when its is really extreme and they have gotten down to NINE pieces of food they will often resort to tripping you everywhere you try to go until fed. Try to wait them out and not give them food. Better hope that cat food bag is ….well no place is really safe. They will break into it even with food in the bowl.

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3. Indoor cats have to use a litter box. We understand that. I get it. It is their toilet. Keep it clean. But for the love of all things holy, why must they use the litter box exactly ten nanoseconds after you clean it? I mean really? Was that seriously necessary? Can the house just smell of clean cat litter for even fifteen minutes?

4. Dirty looks? Cats invented the dirty look. Along with if looks could kill. Think I am wrong. Leave your spot on the couch and come back, the cat is in your spot. Go ahead try to move them without a dirty look.

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5. If you have more than one cat, you know sibling rivalry goes to a whole nother level with cats. Cat on either side of me in the bed, it will last five minutes. Then its an all out swat fest and you are stuck in the middle. Claws are not held back.

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6.I can also guarantee that unless you are in extreme emotional distress, they will not want to cuddle with you when you want to cuddle. In fact if you want cuddles, they want absolutely nothing to do with you. Don’t pet them. Don’t look at them like you want to pet them. They WILL look at you like you are the devil.

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7. Back to food. Even people food is not off limits for begging. We have one cat that you absolutely can not crack an egg around because she will be in your face until you put a cracked egg on a plate for her. Which she will then take a few little licks from and walk away content. Congratulations you have just wasted a perfectly good egg. Think you can deny her that egg? Watch her jump on the counter. She is barely out of your hands as you try to remove her from the counter before she is back. Leave her on the counter and she will try swatting the eggs out of your hands, or worse just eat the egg from the bowl. There goes your recipe.

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8, So we already know they won’t want to cuddle when you do, they also only want to cuddle when it is most inconvenient for you. Sleeping? Not anymore! Pet me. NOW. Need to pee? That is the perfect time for them to jump on your lap, feet in your bladder of course, and curl up on your lap. Wearing black? White cat hairs should be on all black clothes.

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9. Cats are these strange animals that don’t need coffee to fully wake up. Once you stumble out of bed. All bets are lost. Every morning for weeks on end we will have the cat five hundred through the house. You think the way is clear and you can get lunch ready? Nope here they come for lap fifteen.  This fun race seems to have its own ebb and flow.

10. Cats also get into everything. Our catnip is currently kept in the freezer. It is the only place I can think of to put it that they can’t get into……..yet. This goes for treats and even the cat food bag is not safe from their destruction.

All that being said……I wouldn’t trade my three hellions for anything in the world. When I am an emotional wreck, they are there for me.  All these pictures of cats are my cats, so obviously they walk all over me.  I don’t ever see myself not having a cat, even if they are assholes.

Rest when you need rest

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Rest! I can’t rest I have a house to run! I have stuff to do! I have cleaning to get done! Oh and I got to get time in for me and get everyone where they gotta go and think about dinner and I CAN’T POSSIBLY REST!

This is the one area that I am constantly struggling with when it comes to managing chronic pain and illness. I am absolutely horrible at it. Then when I do rest, I feel guilty about resting!

I know I have been doing too much. I know it. I have felt it. I did it anyway. I had a lot to get through. December always brings so much running and doing. I can’t tell you how many times already that we have been double triple or quadruple booked this month.  Of course on some of them we made decisions not to go or not to do it.

I get caught up in wanting to see my daughters reaction to things. To seeing Santa to seeing the Christmas lights. To experiencing it all through her again.

So when I crash. I really really crash. I rarely sleep during the day as I already have soooo much trouble sleeping at night. Today though it wasn’t a choice. It was a demand. My body demanded I nap.  For once when I woke up I felt better. That doesn’t always happen. It tends to happen more when I crash though. This is the second time in five days I have crashed like this. I need to get better at truly resting. Laying down in bed watching tv. Sitting down to write is not resting. I need to just lay down and read or lay down and watch tv. Not try to always engage my brain.  If I need to grab a cat and snuggle and just pay attention to petting the cat, then that is what I need to do.

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It doesn’t do any good to beat myself up more for resting. It doesn’t I know that. This morning though I was feeling guilty about not getting any cleaning done. Not moving the laundry along, not finishing the few dishes , not getting the floors done.  Then I realized I was not getting anything done until I at least attempted to sleep. Sleep I did. I now feel that maybe when I come back home I can get some cleaning done at least do the few dishes and make dinner.

So today I have a renewed motivation to be better at resting. To pace myself better. So that I can better enjoy the season. That even when I make sure to schedule in self care in a walk for myself I need to also schedule in time to rest. To actually rest and to not feel guilty about resting. It is a form of self care and my body needs it more than most. To rest and say, its okay to rest.

Update on cat rescued on my walk

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Enya is doing very well. She is progressing very nicely. It may look worse to you now that her hair is falling out. That is from the Mange. The actual insects that cause it are dead and as a result her hair is falling out. It will grow back. She is pretty much eating and sleeping.

This rescue has been a multiperson act.

Ms. Deborah Whitham is caring for her in a foster care role. She is an amazing woman who also runs Shamrock Preschool. I met her when my daughter went there.(https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shamrock-Preschool/154811004555108). Enya got her first immediate care by the Venice Cat Coalition. Who states had she not been rescued when she was that with the coyotes and inclement weather she would not have lasted another two weeks.(http://www.venicecatcoalition.com/). People often mistake the thought that if you rescue the cat or animal you have to provide the care. This is simply not true. There are people out there and places that will help. I may have rescued her but I in no way could take care of her. I was lucky to know some of these amazing people who took up where I could not.

Ms. Deborah had some credit at Jacaranda Animal Hospital and has taken Enya to see Dr. Reinhart there. (http://www.jacarandaanimalhospital.com/). She tested negative for Feline Leukemia. She has a daily dry mouse like shampoo to use daily to help her hair and skin recover. Her eyes are looking much better. She can at least open them now and they are looking clearer and clearer.

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Ms. Deborah reports that she started Meowing Friday and Sunday morning she was very saucy in telling her that her wet food bowl was empty with a very plaintive Meow. As a cat owner that makes me so happy to hear. When cats are comfortable to demand food that is a great sign.

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This is not a great picture of her but it does show how the hair and scabs are just falling off. It is a good sign even though it may not appear to be. She will need some animal sweaters to help keep her warm as her hair is falling out. You can contact either Shamrock Preschool or Jacaranda Animal Hospital if you would like to help.
If you recognize her or suspect you know who she is please pass the word along. She is super sweet and behaves like a well taken care of cat.  Someone somewhere is missing her.