The Beautiful Gift of Trust

The Crankee Yankee and I have been feeding and sheltering the “outdoorsies” for years. The five or so cats, the squirrels, birds, skunks and sometimes a raccoon or two show up to feed. I’ve learned over time to walk slowly, and announce myself into the back yard with my signature call that goes something like this: “tsk, tsk, tsk, psst, psst, psst.” That way they know it’s me coming out with their food and water.

Scooter, the plump black cat with a few bits of white under his chin, has been the most shy. He usually hides under the low branches of the pine tree on the other side of the stone wall when I walk out. Once I fill the food bowls and water and walk back into the house, he’ll come out and eat.

Over time he has come closer. As I do with any animal who is new to me or shy, I put out my closed hand out to them so that they can sniff my knuckles. It took Scooter a long time to do that, but afterward he became less shy. These days he wants to be patted, stroked, scratched under his chin, and he licks my fingers from time to time.

It is humbling to see and experience trust from a shy animal. I don’t know if Scooter belongs to anyone, but he is a very healthy-looking cat and is plump with soft silky fur. As with the other two cats who we fed and sheltered years ago; Plumpy Nut and Tinker, they became part of our family and are now indoor-only cats. At this point, it is enough to have Scooter trust me as he does.

As I really can’t imagine SIX cats in the house, I will just keep on what I’m doing, show Scooter love and affection and just see how things go. For all I know, he belongs to someone who adores him. For now, he freely eats and drinks at our house as he wants to. The Crankee Yankee and I fixed up a little shelter just for him, which looks like this:

Outdoor/Indoor Cat House by Pet Peppy - Self Heating Pad, Waterproof, Perfect Shelter for Cold Nights

We’ve used them before, and I hope that, if Scooter does not have a home, he at least has a way to stay out of the rain. Trust, especially from an animal, is a gift like no other. I truly don’t know how things will work out with Scooter, but we will just go on as usual.

More on this later as things progress.

 

 

 

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Finally, Spring!

It’s not like we had an enormous amount of snow last winter, but it sure was cold. Each year when Spring comes around, I sort of brace myself because here in New England the weather can be tricky. I’ve seen Aprils where the sun has been warm, the trees and flowers have blossomed and the birds have all come back. And then BANG: more winter comes and party-poops all over that Spring-yness.

However, it’s nearly May now, so I think we’re safe. The Crankee Yankee has already started mixing manure into the raised beds, and we have already decided where to plant our favorite things; cherry and roma tomatoes, peas, green peppers, corn, garlic, cucumbers and squash. This year we will use up one or two of the beds with flowers as well.

All around us are all those wonderful Spring things; the trees are sprouting leaves like crazy, the forthysia is blazing yellow everywhere, and the dogwood and flowering trees are heavy with pink and white blossoms. In our back yard, the tulips are coming up, as well as the orange day lilies. And if you are near any decent body of water, you can hear the peepers singing their wonderful “Spring is here!” songs.

All of us have had enough of winter, so even when the temps are in the low 50s, you’ll see folks walking around in shorts, t-shirts and sandals. True, their exposed parts are probably freezing, but hey—we are all sick and tired of winter; dressing as though the weather was in the ’80s might actually make it happen.

Wherever you are, enjoy all things that Spring brings!

 

 

The Earring Party

Yesterday I drove up to Maine to help my oldest granddaughter, Ava, put on a make-your-own earring party for her friends. She had thoughtfully put paper plates at every chair so that each girl could pick out the beads they wanted to work with. Between the two of us, there were enough tools for the girls to use. Once Ava showed the girls the basics, they just went to town.

I sat between two girls, and when Ava was busy, I helped them with their earrings. One of the girls had brought some pretty pink and purple ceramic roses to make a necklace, bracelet and a ring. We had a lot of fun putting them together, and she was pleased; the best outcome.

As I sat there, talking with some of the girls and helping them as needed, I watched my nearly 8-year old granddaughter help her friends. While I believe that Ava is a born leader, she is also kind, generous and compassionate. I told her from the beginning of the day that it was her show and that she was the boss; I was only there to help out. There was also one boy there as well, and the girls quickly included him. He got right into the swing of things and had a good time.

Just watching those girls get the hang of making their own jewelry (and they made sure to make their moms some earrings, too) was wonderful to see. It’s a beautiful thing to see a child share her hobby with others with generosity and kindness. It was a pure pleasure to help out and watch Ava share her gifts with others. Considering what our country (and our world) is going through, it gives me hope for the future.

Ava’s generation is a unique and special one. It is my feeling that her generation will bring positive change to our country and our world. These children are kind and generous, but moreover they care for others, for the animals who inhabit our world, and indeed our world itself.

Sometimes, positive change just comes from sharing our gifts; kindness, love, joy and earrings.

 

 

 

Let’s Just Drop the Snark, Shall We?

Recently the Crankee Yankee and I bought a flip-phone for a friend who lives alone. She agreed that it would be nice if, say, the power went out she could call for help, and so on. Most of us at our age (60s, 70s and so on) feel better if we have easy ways to get help and/or contact a friend if something happens.

It had been a long time since the Crankee Yankee and I got our flip-phones (yep, we like our flip-phones mainly because they are very low tech), so it was kind of an adventure to get our friend’s phone up and running. I got so confused that I called the folks who sell these phones.

A heavily accented young woman answered my call; mainly I wanted to know how to get a phone number for the new phone. (Seriously, it had been years since we got ours up and running, and I just flat could not remember how things worked.)

Well—little miss “yes, I can help you,” got increasingly more irritated with me when I told her that I had no idea where to find the Settings icon. She did speak rather fast, and I would stop her and say things such as, “I’m sorry; I just don’t see the icon you are talking about.”

Evidently she thought I was hard of hearing, because she then loudly went into *SOLS on me: “DO YOU SEE THE LITTLE ROTATING ICON IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SCREEN?” Little rotating icon?! I couldn’t even see where such an icon lived! She got progressively louder and more irritated (and kind of snarky), so I stopped her and said, “Ok, dear. Thank you for your time, but you are not helping me one bit. Buh bye!”

I’m sure she damn near rolled her eyes right out of her head, but thankfully I wasn’t there to see that, or I might have had to shove that nice new flip-phone down her throat. Truly, it never pays to piss off older people, especially older people who have bought and are trying to figure out your product. The review I sent was straight to the point: don’t get snarky with your customers, and have a bit of respect for people a lot older than you who did not come down the birth canal with an iPhone clutched in one hand and busily texting with the other. KWIM?

*Stupid Old Lady Speak)

Stuff Not To Do in Your 60’s

A few years back, I posted a similar warning about things we really should not do after 60 (just my opinion). But as the years go by, I find more and more things that those of us in the 60-ish part of our lives really should avoid.

First, for women:

  1. *Please ditch the high-school makeup. In our teens, we could look adorable with blue mascara, purple eye shadow and silver lipstick. Sadly, those days are gone. Subtle is the way to go; less is truly more.
  2. Even if you work out daily, do your stretches and take your vitamins each day, it’s probably not a good idea to put your butt over your head. Why? Because you could put your back out (and if you do, how the hell are you going to drive to the ER?), you could pass out from the pain of squishing your stomach into your chest, or get so dizzy that you can’t get up. Just leave that to the kids.
  3. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE—do NOT copy the dancers on TV, especially the ones who twerk. Not only will you embarrass your family to near death, but the wobbles from all that twerking might make your ass hang even lower. Who needs that?
  4. Do not pepper your speech with unnecessary “likes” or hip-hop slang (unless of course you are actually a hip-hop person). It just sounds sad from an older person.
  5. Do not throw down tequila shots in a young peoples’ bar. It will not make you young again, and the real young folks there will just laugh at you. If you should go overboard and throw up, no one will hold your hair back.

For the men:

  1. Resist the temptation to call other guys “dudes.”
  2. Do not try to emulate whatever crazy “thing” is that young people are doing, such as “planking,” “dabbing,” and whatever the hell they are up to now. You’ll just look pathetic—and old.
  3. Never interrupt a group of young women at a bar and try to appear thirty years younger than you actually are. They won’t buy it, and they will definitely NOT go home with you.
  4. Don’t get grabby with women of any age. Not only do they not appreciate it, but they will probably knock your old butt to the floor. Just don’t.
  5. Do not under any circumstances, refer to your nether regions as “the good stuff,” “ticket to heaven,” or heaven forbid, “the baloney pony.” Ewww.

So there you are. In your heart and mind, you may feel 25, but your body does not. But here is the very best thing you can do at any age, and here it is: JUST BE YOURSELF. Yup, that’s it. Being your own unique self is the best. It makes you confident, assured and authentic. If you are with younger people and you don’t understand the references or latest lingo or the last blockbuster movie, just let it go.

And if push comes to shove, just hang around with people your own age and laugh it up about young people today. That’s always a fun subject.

*I once saw a woman in the grocery store who looked to be in her late 70’s. She had dyed blonde hair (we’re talking lemon-yellow hair) in a long ponytail, bright blue eye shadow (and plenty of it), deep pink rouge on her cheeks (that sadly showcased every wrinkle on her face) and bright neon red lipstick. I wanted so badly to whisk her home and re-do her face. What once worked in high school just doesn’t cut it when you’re older.

From The Kindness Blog

The Kindness Blog is a place where I go when I want to give up on the human race and all the damage we do. The Kindness Blog is a refreshing oasis in the middle of the whirling sand storms of hate, cruelty, viciousness and anger.

Some of the pictures from the Kindness Blog moved me to tears of happiness and joy. I hope they bring you happiness as well:

A photo taken of a girl seeing herself in another photographer’s photo for the very first time. Her reaction is so beautiful and pure.

A photo I took of a young girl seeing herself in another photographer's photo for the very first time.

Aid worker giving water to a starving Nigerian boy.

Aid worker giving water to a starving Nigerian boy.

Christians protecting Muslims while they pray during protests in Egypt.

A brave police officer handcuffed himself to a woman who was trying to commit suicide, saving her life.

A brave police officer handcuffed himself to a woman who was trying to commit suicide, saving her life.

A doctor calmed a weeping girl, about to have heart surgery, by watching cartoons with her.

A doctor calmed a weeping young girl about to have heart surgery by watching cartoons with her.

A Japanese-American man tearfully welcomes his son home from WW2.

A Japanese-American man tearfully welcomes his son home from the WW2.

Baby bats rescued from a heat wave

baby bats rescued from a heat wave

A soldier rescued a baby bunny and then raised him, dedicating hours to feeding the little guy.

A soldier rescued a baby bunny and then raised him, dedicating hours to feeding the little guy.

After work, this man takes uneaten bagels and hands them out to the needy on the street.

After work, this man takes uneaten bagels and hands them out to the needy on the street.

Have a seat ma’am…

The photo says it all....

Australian Firefighter giving a thirsty koala some much needed water after a wildfire.

Australian Firefighter feeding a koala some water after a wildfire.

A brave firefighter and the cat he saved from a burning building.

firefighter and a cat he saved from a burning building.

Irish rugby player Brian O’Driscoll visiting a girl in the hospital after winning the Heineken cup.

Irish rugby player Brian O'Driscoll visiting a young girl in the hospital after winning the Heineken cup.

Man Reunited with His Dog After Tornado Destroys Their Home

Man Reunited with Dog After Tornado Destroys His Home

An elderly person passed away in the waiting hall of the Shanxi Taiyuan train station, China. A Buddhist monk who happened to be waiting for his train went forth, held the deceased’s hand, and proceeded to bless him.

An elderly person passed away in the waiting hall of the Shanxi Taiyuan train station, China. A monk who happened to be waiting for his train went forth, held the deceased’s hand, and proceeded to bless him.

Punk rocker lets a little kid touch his spiked jacket

Punk rocker lets a little kid touch his spiked jacket

Superheros at children hospitals always makes us smile

Superheros at children hospitals always makes us smile

This 82 year-old barber brings clippers to the park to give homeless people a free shave.

This 82 year-old barber brings clippers to the park to give homeless people a free shave.

This firefighter risked his life to save one woman’s beloved cat.

This firefighter risked his life to save one woman's beloved cat.

This photo of a Mongolian girl and her camel is simply bursting with joy 🙂

This photo of a Mongolian girl and her camel is full of joy.

A man holding an umbrella over a guy in a wheelchair.

This picture of a man holding an umbrella over a guy in a wheelchair.

This pit bull was on the ‘Kill list’ some years ago at the New York Animal care and Control.

He was adopted after a volunteer snapped this photo and posted it on Facebook.

This pit bull was on the Kill list some years ago at the New York Animal care & Control. He was adopted after a volunteer snapped this photo and posted on facebook.

This lovely woman jumped into the Boston Waterfront to save a wild bird. Look at her face…isn’t that the expression we all make to every adorable or baby animal we see?

This woman jumped into the Boston Waterfront to save a wild bird.

I hope that these pictures of love, joy, compassion and courage make your day as they made mine.