Bonding takes time!

February 20, 2019

Wow, it’s hard to believe how time flies! Yes I know what a cliché this statement is, but so true! I happened to see an article I wrote seven years ago when I first brought Skylar into my home as a rescue cat. I explained how he came into my life through a local pet shelter, how he lost his excess weight by following me around the house in just six months and how my other cat died soon after he arrived. It was all so sad… losing first one of my fur babies to kidney failure (Hercules in April of 2011) and then my female Judas in January of 2012. Skylar never met Hercules, and he never really bonded to Judas so when she didn’t come home one day he wasn’t upset. Of course I was. I’ve never had human children, but I almost felt that Skylar was an intrusion as I just wanted to mourn my fur baby of 18 years. Yet, I had to attend to him. He didn’t bond to me so easily either. It was a process for both of us.

About 4 years ago Skylar had his first major episode of really being sick. Although he had a tendency to vomit his food, I assumed he had a sensitive stomach and rotated his food until I found a brand and type he seemed to tolerate. In the process, he seemed happier and his weight normalized. Then he had an attack of a bladder infection that set up a major stream of vet visits. I felt like the animal hospital had a swinging door. At the time, the vet I was using was very close by but the various vets kept doing the same things over and over. Needless to say, the bills I was paying were really adding up; that is, until another pet lover at my aerobics class suggested I try a different type of vet – one that uses Chinese Medicines. Dr. Chau turned out to be a lovely person who treated Skylar according to both Western and Eastern medical disciplines. After some testing, she found that he not only was in renal failure but he also had pancreatitis. We started him on sub-q fluids a couple times a week and some Chinese medicine pills, as well as antibiotics for his infection. It wasn’t very long before the cat I thought was dying came back to life. He turned around in many ways. Somehow he recognized that I was trying to help him even though he hated the fluid treatments early on.

After about six months of this process, he started to settle down about the whole thing and cooperated… not fighting me so much. Each time I would take him in to see Dr. Chau, she’d say, “he looks good for a dying cat!” Although she initially gave him 2 years to live, he’s now well past the 4 year marker. So indeed, he’s doing well for a dying cat!

Skylar on my bed looking his adorable self.

Meanwhile, Skylar became more and more attached to me, eventually coming over and wanting to sit near me.  In the evening, he likes me to sit with him while I watch TV. He always lets me pick the show as he normally sleeps through it anyway. His new thing is to curl up between my legs as I lie on the sofa. Sometimes he climbs up on my chest for a hug. It warms my heart when he does this, as he was quite cautious for a very long time. I have to believe that the little guy was badly treated during his early years. Since he’s a rescue, it’s difficult to know exactly how old he was when he first came to my home, even with the vet checking his teeth. I’m guessing that he was about 7 years and he’s now with me 7.5 years making him close to 15 years old this year. This is pretty amazing considering how sick he’s been over the years.  

During the years that Skylar has been with me, I’ve learned to give him prescription medications in addition to the Chinese meds (all of which Dr. Chau has prescribed) to manage his symptoms. What’s interesting about this situation is that I dilute each medication to about 1:7 so that one might wonder how such a small dose could be helping. Apparently, they are helping because without each one (and now there are 4 plus the Chinese tea pills morning and night) as well as the fluids which have increased to daily with the progression of his disease.

The photo is Skylar on my bed, one of his favorite spots for sleeping. And more, recently, he sleeps curled up close to me. I don’t know how long my fur baby has to live, but for now, I’m his pet parent and he’s my little boy. We both seem to like it that way.


Are You Connected?

February 6, 2019

Ever sit in front of a TV set that’s not turned on? There’s not much happening; it’s just a dark screen. One can stare at it for hours and wonder what kind of shows or other programs are on but really, it’s just in our minds. Until we turn on the set (as in establish the connection of the TV with the electricity that provides the source of the programming), we won’t get a signal. Well, our lives are really like this.

Do you remember the movie, the Avatar? Here’s a recap just in case to make my point; the blue almost human looking creatures all have long tails that seem to connect with other creatures that we’d call horses, just to simplify the discussion. As the tails were plugged into each other, the “connection” would allow both to sense what the other needed. Rather than the rider pulling on the reins or making noises, as one would expect in this plane of existence, in the land of Avatar, only thoughts are needed. One could say that the thoughts of the creatures would be conveyed through the connection; it was like an energetic transfer both of feeling and need – what and how it should be done. Later in the film, the humanoids would do the same thing, and while swaying back and forth one could imagine a large gathering of people singing Kumbayah. This plugging in was required in their world for a connection between beings.

Just like the TV set or the Avatar creatures, we as humans have a source that we need to plug into in order to function properly. One could say that we need to receive our programming as well as interconnect since we’re all made of the same divine energy. This divine energy comes from a divine source where our inner guidance system, our life lessons, both challenges and successes are all interwoven. Unless we make a decision to plug ourselves into this divine plug, we will just walk around in a daze, blindly performing our daily duties without much thought. Plugging in can be as simple as taking a meditation walk, sitting and asking for guidance, or the act of prayer. How will you plug in today?


Every year above ground is good

January 24, 2019

When you remember someone that has passed, are there funny sayings or mannerisms that come to mind? In the case of my father, I always remember what he used to say when I asked him about his getting another year older and his practical response, “every day above ground is a good day”. So each year when I’d ask him, “Daddy, how does it feel to be 85, or 86, etc.?” “He’d reply, every year above ground is a good year”. Even though I knew what the response would be, I continued to ask him every year until there wasn’t a response. He passed the day after his 90th birthday and he wasn’t able to talk on his special day.

What is the alternative? If one is not above ground, then obviously, one is not alive. But to live, really live means to be more than just above ground and room temperature. This is the lesson for this article. Sometimes I feel like life is moving so fast that there isn’t time to do more than just keep up. When I thought about all the things I had to do today and realized that I was tired, I decided to just take a nap. Once I woke up I realized that none of the really important things that I had on my list were important at all. If none of them got done, it was really ok. In the overall scheme of the universe, none of it was important.

So what is important? When we are above ground, during our living years as the song goes, we should aim to make each day count, but for what? What’s really important? Some possible answers are to be a good person, to love, to help others, and to learn our lessons. Now you might ask how one knows what their lessons are? I’ve written many articles about life lessons so it’s not an easy answer here except to say that we have to pay attention to what happens in our lives and do our best to follow the path that’s best for us. Sometimes what’s best is not what we really wish to do. When I think about my father, he was always busy with hobbies and studying things. He valued education and taught us to do the same. He also valued hard work, probably a product of his depression-era younger years; although still a good foundation for him and a good legacy he gave to his children.

We each have to figure out how to use the time we have above ground and make sure that every day above ground is a good day.


If a tree could talk

January 7, 2019

Ever walk by an interesting tree and wonder about it? Old is It? Do animals live in its branches or inside part of its trunk? What stories could it tell you about people that have been walking by. Some trees are called witness trees because they’ve seen horrible events… or maybe two people got engaged under a tree. All of these are possibilities if a tree could tell you what it’s seen or heard.tree

What is precipitating this question for me? Recently there was a tree that fell across the walking path behind my townhome. As I stood looking at this huge brown tree devoid of leaves, essentially dead, it fell across the path, having fallen due to excessive rain, I wondered about its life.

After a heavy rain storm, I decided to get out and take a walk on my to find the path blocked by this fallen tree. For some strange reason I actually felt sorry for the tree, as it had come to the end of its life. Then I thought again. No, perhaps it was the end of its living life but in death it would provide a means of life to other creatures. Does that mean it continues on in another fashion?

Can we say the same thing about our own lives? When we end our physical lives and change our form do we continue on in another fashion and live life in another form ourselves? It might be another version of us; the spiritual version that is eternal just like the tree continues on even when it decays into bits of wood and then into bits of earth. It then becomes elements that give nourishment to plants and other living things.  As we change form do we help other living things to flourish? Does the spirit inside us help others to flourish? I believe we can do so when we become spirit guides also known as guardian angels. This is when our souls choose to help others while we are in spirit form.

Just as this tree will one day provide a place for a nest for birds, a home for squirrels as well as mosquitoes or even other little creatures, we too can help other people thrive once we cross over.


Angels on my Shoulder

December 10, 2018

During my recent trip to Portugal I had several experiences where I felt that synchronicity was at play to the extent that it must be my angels at work helping me. The story I’m going to relate in this article is that of my day trip to the historic town of Sintra, where just when I needed help, it was available to me.

After several attempts to take a group tour on this particular Saturday during my vacation failed, I decided to go it alone. Armed with travel brochures, internet information on the key sights, and information of what not to miss, I left my hotel about 8:30 am with a very positive outlook. I had already mastered the metro system to the point of knowing where the nearest stop was and where to get off, but I didn’t know how to find the connecting train station for the out of town trip to Sintra. Buying the ticket was easy at the ticket booth which was manned with a live person, asking in English is a forte of mine as I don’t speak Portuguese.

angelThe next step was to get off the metro and find the train station. I started to inquire of my fellow metro passengers who either didn’t understand me or didn’t know. This was strange to me since it was with in a short walk of the metro stop. Everything is different when one is in another country and not familiar. On the third try I happened upon a family with an elderly gentleman who seemed to be the local resident and the others, the visitors. In asking this group about the location of the train station, I discovered they were from Poland. I chimed in that my heritage is Polish as my Mother’s father came from Poland in the early 1900s, a town called Silencia. To my surprise, I was told that they came from this same place. I was asking for help from people of my heritage land! As we got off the metro, the elderly gentleman, most likely their father, speaking no English but made to understand my goal from his relatives, pointed the way to the train station. Yes! Mission accomplished!

Having my ticket in hand I quickly found my train on the track already arrived. I barely made it into a seat before the train left so my timing was quite good. As I settled in the seat I had found after searching for one up and down several cars, I noticed French spoken near me.

 In my usual brilliant way, I asked the young woman closest to me “are you from France?” She replied, “yes, we are from Lyon”, referring to the 3 couples in her group. This brief introduction began a conversation about our day in Sintra and planned itineraries. After hearing about the place I wanted to see they changed  their plan and decided to join me. I was thrilled. We all got off the train together and for the next 6 hours became a new unit, wherein I was treated like one of them… something like being an adopted Mom. The young woman had left her 8 month old baby at home for this weekend away with her Mom so perhaps she was in a very nurturing mode.

It turned into a wonderful day for me, where at first I thought I’d be alone I was accompanied by a nice group of friendly people all day while touring interesting sights. We even stopped and had tea together. It was a very warm feeling to chat and interact with these young people for the day. About 3pm we parted company as our desires changed… with me wanting to view the inside of the Pena Palace and their only wanting to see the outside gardens.. We said goodbye with invitations from the young woman to visit Lyon.

About an hour later I walked down the hill, took the bus back to the train station, then the train to the metro and as I was coming up the stairs from the metro station I looked up in amazement… could my eyes be deceiving me? There was the same group of French people looking just as amazed! I knew then that I had been experiencing a divinely inspired day complete with angels on my shoulder to look out for me. How else could I have met the same group back in Lisbon?

Although I had a two week vacation on my own and did some organized tours during that time, some of my best moments were when I just trusted that I’d be ok on my own and went out into the great unknown. It was when I was in the hands of my guides, that I was truly guided.

Comments are always welcome.


Help, Don’t Hurt

October 15, 2018

There are so many times that people are passionate about an issue but their rantings only hurt the situation rather than helping it. We have a word in Jewish, Kvetching! And it is the equivalent of bitching, moaning and complaining consistently. So whenever we open our mouths to state our opinion, I’d like to suggest that we make constructive criticism meant to help rather than hurt all concerned.

In this article, I’d like to commend Queen Latifah for her recent commercial extolling the benefits of a good higher education. Apparently, as she explains, she’s achieved great success in life, but without the added benefit of a college education. From the sound of it, she feels and conveys in this ad, that with such advanced study, she may have had a better life, an easier time moving forward, or made more money earlier on. Now, of course, she’s well known as a prominent acting/singing personality and is making the big money as they say. But inwardly she still feels that a degree would be beneficial. To me, establishing all these benefits for her community and others at large is a great service to her listeners.helpful

I would also like to contrast her approach with the radio announcer typically on at the same morning slot. I listen to a morning radio show that caters to a predominantly black audience. The announcer of this show has a segment that he calls “a Racial Observation” during which time he refers to events of the day that point to the divide between the black vs. the white community. Perhaps a white policeman arrested a black kid and used force or a woman was assaulted and the perpetrator not prosecuted….in any case the situations are always where he is pointing to racial tensions in this country. During other parts of this show, people are making fun of multiple baby mammas and kids going home to empty houses, being raised by single Moms who don’t know where the father of their children are…. The point here is that neither accountability nor responsibility is discussed, rather just how awful things are and how unfair the system is to his group.

Well I’m a senior and there are a lot of things that are unfair to me too, but rather than kvetch, I’d rather give charity to help others and send positive energy to law makers to make it better for all concerned. In the end, I believe I will be taken care of by the powers to be because I live a heart centered life guided by my faith.

So back to Queen Latifah:. I salute her effort to extol the virtues of a higher education because it is the pathway to getting a good job and making something of one’s self. I had to work hard for my degree and in the end it has served me well throughout my career. So doing what it takes to go to school at night or by day if possible is a great way to be accountable and take responsibility for one’s life. So the next time you have something to say, keep it helpful and not hurtful. Comments are always welcome.

 


Time to Detox? – Part I The Physical

August 18, 2018

Detoxing may not be a fun topic but sometimes it’s necessary to focus in and get rid of negatives in the body which can take different forms. We can hold negative elements in our gut – the traditional place to consider a detox to get rid of toxins that overload our digestive system and cause a myriad of physical issues. Perhaps we don’t think as much about the negative junk that seeps into our thoughts and the need to clean out the closets of our minds. In this article I will address the first of these two types of detoxing and why it’s are important to our physical  wellbeing. Stay tuned for  the second type of detoxing and why it’s important to our mental wellbeing.

detoxFirst, let’s address the gut. There is a plethora of information on how our digestive track is like a second brain. From my recent reading on the internet about all the little critters that reside in our gut, it’s important to keep a healthy balance of what’s referred to as “good and bad bacteria”. Normally, if we eat a balanced diet, there shouldn’t be any problems with maintaining a healthy gut bacterial environment. That said, many of us, me included, don’t always eat enough fresh veggies and thus I have to admit to subscribing to lots of nutritional supplements. In addition, I’m guilty of taking over the counter anti-inflammatories, ingesting antibiotics when I’m sick or possibly from non-organic meats, and using artificial sweeteners, all of which can disturb this delicate balance.

Over the last year I found myself becoming increasingly uncomfortable through weight gain and digestive issues. I eventually pinpointed Splenda use as one culprit. In an effort to drink more water I was using lots of Splenda every day. And then my gut locked up on me. I finally realized that too many supplements and the use of Splenda had to get under control. So in comes the DETOX. Wow, what a difference. If you do decide to go this route, I recommend that you get a medical grade 2 week version, which I did through a local specialized pharmacy. I’m not here to advertise any specific product, but I basically had to get off all gluten, dairy, supplements except for those provided in the kit and only use their protein powder. The detox consisted of 2 protein shakes daily with a non-dairy beverage and one regular meal combined with lots of veggies and some low glycemic fruit. The first few days were difficult but I stuck with it and now I feel a lot better.

Ok, this is the physical component of the detox. I can’t believe the difference in the way I feel. I’m back to my normal weight, gaining energy every day and can more readily do my activities. My brain fog is clearing also. There is a huge difference… now detoxing the mind and getting rid of negatives there is a bit more complicated. My next article will address this aspect of detoxing… Meanwhile, comments are always  welcome.

 


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