Anything is Possible!

With Love, Hope, and Perseverance


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CFFC: The Presence of Animals

This week our topic for Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge is celebrating what Connects you to the present moment.

Yesterday’s history

Tomorrow’s a mystery

Today is a gift

That’s why they call it the present.

All of nature connects me to the gift of the present moment, but animals are especially good at drawing me in. Maybe it’s because they are experts at being in the here and now. Walking and training my dog, Marley requires that I be present and vigilant as he is constantly wanting to chase or smell something. We’ve made progress. Stroking the formerly feral Mama Cat is soothing as I listen to her purr which gets louder over time.

The residents at the Farm Animal Sanctuary where I volunteer are always doing something interesting to help me focus on the now. At least once a week, I go there to cut produce and feed the two pigs and 11 roosters, then I hang out with the goats. There are also three sheep at the sanctuary who graze at will.

For more on CFFC, visit our host, Cee by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: Marley, the Bunny, and the Cat Under the SUV

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “iron(y).” Use “iron,” use “irony,” or use both. Use them any way you’d like. Bonus points if you use both. Have fun!

First of all, let me get this out of the way: I don’t iron anymore. Period.

Now, to the story.

The bunny was just sitting there on the corner near the house that has been vacant for many years. I was surprised that Marley, my pitsky with a high prey drive, did not see the bunny. We crossed the street and waited. We’re supposed to be working on recall, still on leash, with all our training tools. Still, the bunny barely moved. He or she munched on some weeds. It vaguely occurred to me that God was doing me a favor, but my growing confidence led me to be less vigilant. There’s some irony in here somewhere.

The bunny looked like this
(from Pixabay?)

We moved on, heading back toward our house. I (again vaguely) knew there was a cat who lived in the vicinity, but I was confident and pushed the envelope. A cat would be an opportunity to practice recall. Marley realized before I did, that the cat was hiding under an SUV parked close to the sidewalk. Before I knew it, I was pulled to the SUV Marley stuck his head under. The cat’s hissing just excited him more. At some point, Marley must have suddenly responded to my commands, because I ended up falling HARD on my butt. Thank God I did not let go of the leash. And thank God I did not break a hip since I have osteoporosis. But that didn’t stop me from cussing which I rarely do in public. I’ve had coccyx issues in the past so falling hard on my butt is an “Oh —-,” experience.

The young couple of the house came out to see if I was okay, distracting Marley from their cat who had since run up a tree on the other side of the SUV. Eventually I got up and made my way home. That all happened last Saturday night. My butt still hurts, but not as much. I trust my body knows how to heal.

Lessons learned: Don’t push the envelope. BE VIGILANT. Beware of parked vehicles near our path.

The good news is that yesterday, when Marley accidentally got out of the kitchen while Mama Cat was in her safe corridor, he did not go crazy. We’ve been keeping them separated, though I’ve been thinking it might be almost time to let Marley see her on the other side of the pet gate while he is in PLACE on his cot – a command he is learning. While I was doing something on the computer, with Mama Cat in the dining area with me, I noticed Marley was whining and pacing on the other side of the gate.

What?! He’s supposed to be in the kitchen!

I called David to get him back in the kitchen, but at least Marley didn’t go crazy. He acted more like he does when he wants to make friends with another dog or person. So that’s good news, especially since Mama Cat and the SUV cat are both tuxedo cats. I’m hoping Marley will clearly understand that Mama Cat is part of our family.

“I was here first.”

Marley resting in PLACE.

~~~

For more streams of consciousness, rules, and more, visit out host, Linda Hill by clicking HERE.


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Good News Tuesday for May 3, 2022: Free Gym Memberships for Teens, Turning Sewage into Green Energy, a Congolese Nun with Special Skills, and the Mysterious Journey of a One-Eyed Cat

Seeking Balance One Tuesday at a Time

Planet Fitness Offers Free Summer Memberships to High School Students

Teenagers 14-19 can work out for free at Planet Fitness this summer. If they register early, they’ll have a chance to win a scholarship. Younger teens can sign up with a parent. According to their website map, Planet Fitness has gyms all over world. You can read more about it here.

Oregon Town Turns Sewage into Green Energy

Treating wastewater consumes a lot of energy, but a town in Oregon is turning wastewater to green energy. The process “creates heat for five of the buildings on site and an estimated 4,324 megawatts of electricity, providing about half of the facility’s energy usage.” I learned a lot from this article from Reasons to be Cheerful.

Congolese Nun Creates and Maintains Hydro-electric Plant

A Congolese nun became an electrician and raised money so her town would have more consistent electricity.  Through her work, Sister Alphonsine Ciza helps provide reliable electricity for convent, a church, two schools, and a medical clinic. Here’s more from the Good News Network.

One-Eyed Cat Shows Up on an Offshore Oil Rig after Missing for Five Years

Here’s a mystery with a happy ending. A friendly black cat named Dexter went missing five years ago. Turns out he’d been living at a prison in Scotland where he was fed and loved by staff and inmates. Dexter had a habit of hanging out in shipping containers and was accidentally shipped to an offshore oil rig in the North Sea. The folks at the oil rig put his picture on Facebook which got him shipped back home to his original owner who plans to take him to visit the prison.

Got Good News?

Share your good news or GNT link in the comments!


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Marley and Dave (It Feels Like We’ve Adopted a Teenager)

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday, is…..  “rest” to use any way we like and enjoy!

Rest has become more important to me as I get older. That doesn’t always mean I get enough of it. There’s always something to do, but that’s nothing new. Rest, as in stretching my back out flat, is in some ways more important than sleep. But I’ve read that sleep is important, too.

The two “men” in my life, David the husband, and Marley the pitsky (husky/pitbull), have more energy than I do. They are often “on alert” and busy when awake, but they sleep well. Marley has made slow progress in his training. In the house, he’s a sweetheart – well-behaved and loveable, though even my golden retriever didn’t shed this much.

We are still keeping Marley and Mama Cat separated. Marley has a high “prey drive.” He’s getting better when I walk him in the back yard as we reinforce the fence and only occasionally lunges at squirrels out of his reach. I watch him closely to anticipate a lunge by planting my feet and holding on to the leash with both hands, but like I said, he’s getting better in the yard. He LOVES to play ball on the long leash, throwing the ball in the air and starting to let me get it from him if he gets a training treat.

A few nights ago, David was taking Marley on his nighttime walk and right out of the gate, Marley lunged at a neighborhood cat, catching David off guard and catching two fingers in the leash. The next day, David went to the doctor. They had to cut his wedding ring off. 😦 But that can be fixed. His ring figure has a small fracture, and his pinky finger popped a tendon. It’s good it’s his left hand, but still. On Wednesday, he’ll have surgery,

Apparently, Marley needs more serious training. I’m watching a video program for “reactive dogs” but I’m also researching more local training. We did five sessions with a woman who I like, because she is laid back and not bossy, but maybe I need someone more serious without being bossy. I bet dogs think we are bossy. No, we are just pack leaders. Huskies are notoriously headstrong, and pit bulls are tenacious. Both breeds are loyal and affectionate. Good thing David loves Marley. When I asked him how he felt about Marley after the injury, David said, “It wasn’t his fault. I wasn’t paying attention.” I’m sure glad I got my “must love dogs” wish from my soulmate wishlist. It makes me love him even more.

David is going to have to give those fingers a rest. Marley will probably chill out in a few years when he’s ten. Even though he’s six, he acts more like a two-year-old dog. I feel like we’ve adopted a teenager. At least I don’t have to worry about him going out and partying, especially since we got him neutered and keep close tabs on his whereabouts. Marley keeps us from becoming too sedentary.

Mama Cat, now she knows how to rest.

I’m trapped on the couch by MC while Marley and Dave are back in the man cave

I love this picture of Marley waiting for Dave to come home and take him for a walk. It was a few weeks ago. You can see the Christmas tree lights reflected in the window. I finally took the tree down.

~~~

For more on Stream of Consciousness Saturday,

visit our host, Linda Hill by clicking HERE.


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SoCS: Trees! Plus, a New Family Member

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ….. “tree.” Use the word “tree” or write about a tree. Any kind of tree. Enjoy! You can learn more about Stream of Consciousness Saturday and find more streams at the blog of our excellent host, Linda Hill.

Woohoo! I get to write about trees two posts in a row. So many possibilities, but I’m not to plan. Hmmm. There’s a sycamore in my yard close to the house. Who’s been leaning for years since a hurricane whose name I’ve forgotten. She’s sent up a slender new trunk, there’s probably another name for this skinny spike, not really a trunk, but the point is, for balance. In 50 years, it might be another trunk. The tree leans over my neighbors back yard mostly, not her house, and has survived and stood strong for many subsequent hurricanes. I bet the roots go under my house and her house, maybe even across the street, joining with other roots of the many trees in my urban forest.

I’ve been reading the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Understory. Almost finished. Slow reader. It’s disturbing and beautiful. At first, being trained first as a technical writer (well one class), I thought the book was wordy. I’ve had to look up a word almost every time I pick it up. But now, it’s become poetic. The book is about several people from all over the country/world who come to love trees and desire to save them. The scientist writes about how trees communicate with each other in the air and underground, which brings us back to my urban forest. So many leaves on my pathways now, making them soft and covering tiny animals and plants.

The larger animals, like squirrels, who have had the run of the yard for a couple of years since we have not had a dog and Mama Cat lives inside. Now we have adopted a dog. A big one. Bigger and more energetic than we would have chosen. It’s a longish story and related to the fact that my daughter and her fiancé already have two big dogs in their apartment. Marley is their brother. Their mother, Leilu, my grand dog, just crossed the rainbow bridge at age 7 due to cancer. Marley’s first adopter called Ayla to say she could no longer care for him for financial reasons. Last night was his first night here and he whined enough for David to go get him from his crate (which he supposedly has slept most of his 6 years) and slept with him in the spare bedroom. Marley is going to be a challenge, especially where Mama Cat is concerned. I’m reading about that, scheduling obedience consultations, and we go to the vet Monday.

Yesterday, during his first run in my backyard, Marley rolled in the leaves and something very stinky. I’m glad my daughter gave him a bath. He’s a husky / pit bull mix (a pitsky), very energetic and LOVES to be with people. He’s very curious about the smell of the other animal in the house, but we’re taking that slow. Marley is not allowed in the cat side of the house.


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SoCS: Buttercups!

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is “butter.”

We are not going to write about, wait, who’s we? Me and the cat? She’s not interested in writing. She just wants to cuddle since she hid most of the day yesterday in the bedroom where maybe she was trapped. I don’t know. But I don’t want to write about the first thing that popped into my head, the butter in the refrigerator and object of my cheating in my endeavors to be vegan for lent. I’d rather write about the second thing that popped into my head:

Buttercup!

Photo of buttercups my daughter, Ayla, took in the mountains

Then, I thought of Princess Buttercup in The Princess Bride and found this commentary about how she is not just a typical, helpless, fairy tale princess. She is not in love with the prince. She loves to ride her horse. It made me like her more. I didn’t realize until recently that the same woman who played Princess Buttercup, played Jenny in Forest Gump. Back to the commentary.

Horses and freedom. My horse phase was more than a phase. I actually had my own horse in my twenties. I miss horses. And the beach. But there’s no reason I know of that we can’t go back to the things we love in some way or other – if it’s meant to be, we will find a way. Trust the Timing.

Spring is coming. With buttercups!

That was way more fun that writing about my awful side effects from Moderna 1 and 2. But that is over and done with, and I’m very glad. I survived, and I’m thankful for my strong immune reaction.

Buttercups! Daisies! Roses! Orchids!

Check out the orchids and other flowers blooming in time lapse from Nat Geo! They even have fairy tale like music to go with the images of Princess Bride riding her horse. That’s my stream of consciousness for this Saturday.

But wait!

I forgot all about sharing that commercial where they sing the buttercup song. Can I have three videos in one post? Let’s see! I’m not promoting the product. I just love TV commercials that use old songs like this. I’d totally be singing with her if I was in the store. It doesn’t matter that the lyrics are sorta sad. It’s got a good beat and it’s easy to sing to.

For more on Stream of Consciousness Saturday, like rules and stuff, visit our host, Linda Hill at the link below!

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS March 6, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)


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Feral Cat Adventures Part 2

kitten-b-and-w-with-eye-damage

“Patch”

A couple of months ago, I wrote about our old feral church cat, Moses, who turned out to be Miss Moses, since we found out she was a girl. Miss Moses had cancer eating away at her mouth, and though she continued to eat plenty of canned cat food, she became more emaciated. She was sleeping a lot, and still feral, would not accept care for her skin and ears. We decided that it was time to say goodbye to Miss Moses on Sunday. Her body is now buried in a semi-secret spot, but her spirit has crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

Leaving food out for Miss Moses attracted another feral cat who started hanging around our church about a year ago. The new cat, a very feral black and white, later showed up with kittens, so I started calling her Mama Cat. When her two surviving kittens looked about 5 months old, I realized we needed to take action to keep our feral cat colony from exploding.

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Getting used to the carrier with food inside. Hungry Mama makes a rare entrance, while Patch looks to see if there’s room for her.

After a few weeks of getting the kittens used to me and used to eating in the carriers, and two nights in captivity, our  big kittens were spayed and got rabies and distemper shots. They each got the tip of one ear clipped and blue tattoo lines under their incisions to show they’ve been spayed.

The black and white kitten, who we’ve named “Patch,” has a bad eye which will likely need to be removed. Patch has become quite friendly and allows me to pet her, even without the enticement of food. But she she will not allow me to pick her up yet without squirming like crazy. Her bad eye is better and no longer leaking, but will probably still need to be removed at some point. Her less social sister, Gray is coming along slowly.

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Patch and Gray

As I was preparing to get the kittens ready for their trip to the spay/neuter clinic, I didn’t see Mama cat much. When I did see her, she looked bigger in the belly making me wonder. When I was in the midst of getting the big kittens spayed, it became obvious their mama was pregnant again.

The lesson learned: Don’t procrastinate! Neuter and Spay!

(Feral Cat Adventures, Part 3 will be coming soon!)

UPDATE 12/10/16 Patch got her eye surgery and was adopted by the vet-tech who fell in love with her. Mama Cat and daughter Gray are fat and furry and doing well at the church. I can pet them while they eat, but that’s as far as we go which is okay.


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Patience and the Kindness of Strangers

IMG_4242

Moses is a feral cat who’s been hanging around our church for at least three years. I don’t know who started feeding him first. It could have been me, or it could have been Mary, or it might have even been our music director, Chris, who still says he doesn’t like Moses, but who feeds him the most, and who worries about him the most.

For the first year we fed Moses, he wouldn’t let us get within a few feet of him. If we came too close, he’d take off. During a ridiculously cold spell, Mary and her husband, BW, put a styrofoam cooler lined with a blanket out for him, and Chris found Moses sleeping there the next morning. The following winter, they built Moses a wooden house lined with styrofoam.

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Over the past couple years, a few of us at church worked to gain his trust by gradually moving closer. In time, he got to the point of letting us be as close as we wanted as long as we didn’t try to touch him. If we reached toward him, he’d bolt. But in recent weeks, Moses has accepted pieces food from our hands, and Mary has been able to pet him ever so gently while he eats.

Moses has always looked scraggly and has been losing weight in spite of a good appetite. This past Sunday, he seemed lethargic and let Mary pet him more than usual, even without food as an incentive. Mary made a decision to try to wrap him in a towel to take him to the vet. He wasn’t too happy at first, but Mary held him firmly and was able to bring him into the parish hall. She sat down in a chair, holding Moses firmly in the towel which did little to block the moisture that seeped through as Moses peed on her.  It’s a good thing Mary is patient and loves cats.

We found out the animal clinic connected to a large pet store was open on Sunday and decided to take our chances that they’d see us as a walk in. I drove Mary’s car while Mary held Moses. Even though the vet was dealing with an emergency patient, they agreed to work us in. We waited for quite a while and chatted with others in the waiting room who asked about our snugly wrapped feral cat.

When we got into an exam room, we were told it would still be a while, as the vet was still busy with the emergency. Mary let Moses go and he found a cool hiding place on the floor and drank some water from a bowl. We noticed he had a bad place on his mouth we hadn’t seen before. It looked like some tissue was missing from his upper lip.

After about 30 minutes, the vet came in. She listened to what history we had about Moses, and we warned her that he would not be cooperative. The young, confident woman got down on the floor and introduced herself to Moses, then she calmly caught him by the scuff of his neck, like a mama cat would, (not recommended for amateurs) and put him on the exam table.

Then, Moses let her pet him. He settled down and didn’t struggle. He even purred and “made biscuits” kneading a blanket on the exam table. We were amazed and dubbed her a cat whisperer.

IMG_4260 (2)Holding the back of his neck, the vet used a tongue depressor to open his mouth. (Also, not recommended for amateurs.) She said it looked like ulcers, but it could be cancer, and his teeth were not in good shape.

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Thank you, Dr. Wallis!

The vet recommended blood work, IV antibiotics, and sub-cutaneous fluids. (In spite of his water bowl at church, he was dehydrated.) The blood work ruled out diabetes and some other problems but did not test for feline leukemia. There was only so much to be done in one unscheduled visit on a Sunday afternoon. But it was a start.

When we went to check out, we were informed that a woman we had talked to earlier in the waiting room had anonymously paid $40 toward our bill! How awesome is that?!

Mary and I each having multiple pets, and wanting to honor Moses, took him back to our church courtyard which he knows as home. When we let him go, he took off for the bushes. I checked on him the next day, and he let me pet him ever so gently while he ate his cat food.

 

 


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Stream of Consciousness Ramblings on Cats, Dogs, and More

There’s so much going on that I could write about, but at this moment, none of it has to do with our Saturday Stream of Consciousness prompt, which is “cat.”  Is it possible to find a connection?

Well, the cat does not have my tongue, or my keyboard. I’m getting ready for an art show at my church and taking my”Forest Angel,”

Forest Angel

Forest Angel by JoAnne Silvia

… and tonight, a fund raising dinner for a local farm. Sunday night is the visitation for the family of my father’s best friend who died yesterday, and the funeral is Monday. I will probably write about my dad and his  friend later. They sure could tell some stories about their times in the marine corps……

I’m glad I don’t have a cat right now. I have nothing against cats. I have had cats before. When my son was born, we had a cat. She was fine with him when he was a baby. One time I was so used to picking up my son, when he weighed about 10 lbs, the same weight as the cat, that I picked up the cat and put her over my shoulder like the baby, without thinking. It was funny. I must have been trying to take her somewhere. Ramble was her name, and she was a good cat. She would bring all kinds of presents into the house: lizards, birds, once she even brought in a snake. She had the snake’s neck in her mouth and the black snake body wrapped around hers. Fortunately it was not poisonous. Once she brought in a half grown bunny. But we were able to let the bunny go outside.

So I have nothing against cats, but I’m mostly a dog person, which you know if you’ve been reading this blog for a while. I love dogs. We are down to three, having had five when my true love returned to me. Having a cat would be very close to impossible and very stressful, since the dogs, at least one of them, would not be…..compatible, to put it  in not so gory terms. I don’t want to go there.

Doodle on the bed

Doodle says, “I would love to play with a kitty.”

Cats can be nice and quiet and snuggly on cold winter nights. Maybe I will have a cat again some day, when I’m old, (older, cause I’m not really old yet…..) and need a quiet, calm pet. I’m probably not being honest here. I’m more likely to have a dog, even when I’m old. Though as I get older, I do appreciate smaller dogs after always wanting big dogs for most of my life. Small dogs are easier to bathe, have smaller messes, and they are definitely easier to pick up and carry somewhere. Easier to find a sitter for than big dogs…. But big dogs are better protection. I still like big dogs, just not the big messes. I don’t know how to end this.

The End. This concludes my Saturday Stream of Consciousness Post for Nov. 7.

There.

PS. I wont have much time to read and comment Saturday due to the art show, but I’ll be sure to catch you later!

SOC badge with butterfly

If you’d like to join in the Saturday SOC prompt and post, visit Linda’s blog:

http://lindaghill.com/2015/11/06/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-nov-715/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!