Fairy Rain

In these lovely days of May, the daffodils, violets, irises, blueits, tulips and so on are up and showing off their beautiful colors. The air is heavy with their scent, and, after so many months of snow and ice, it is intoxicating.

The dogwood and other flowering trees (I don’t know all their names; I tend to call any flowering tree a dogwood or a flowering crab tree) are also in full bloom. When the wind blows, it scatters the tiny pink and white petals everywhere. In fact, if you stand still near one of these fragrant trees, you will soon be covered in what I always call “fairy rain.”

It always seems like magic when you see them raining down like warm snowflakes on the wind. I remember sitting under one of the ancient gnarled old apple trees in the front yard of the house I grew up in. I would sit still and let the petals drift on and around me like a lacy blanket.

I feel the same way about milkweed; the dry brown pods burst open in the fall and the soft silver-white floss drifts out into the wind. Piloting each spindrift there is a tiny brown seed; the offspring of the milkweed plant. Off they go, twirling in the breeze like little ballerinas. They, too, fall under my category of “fairy rain.” Off they fly to where the tiny seeds can take root in the dirt and grow into a new milkweed plant. They have always fascinated me.

My godmother, the mother of my best friend and now sister-in-law, had a beautiful paperweight that I loved. In it was captured a beautiful fluff of milkweed with its seed clinging to it. To my surprise and great gratitude, last Christmas she gifted me with it. I was touched beyond words, and this lovely paperweight now is in pride of place on my jewelry armoire.

During this fleeting season of spring before summer’s full heat is upon us, please take the time to watch and appreciate those whimsical drifts of fairy rain. It’s like a short visit from a magical princess.

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Two Silly Old Twits

The other night the Crankee Yankee and I decided to have an early supper at our local Mexican restaurant. I had had a bad day, so I ordered a margarita. I’ll bet I drink margaritas maybe three times a year, and when I do, I wonder why I don’t drink more of them as they are cold and so delicious.

We ordered our dinner from a very nice young man, and everything was great. However, I quickly ran out of my margarita, and ordered another one. (Now I haven’t had two margaritas in one sitting since the ’90s. I had forgotten that tequila is usually not my best friend.) It was just as good as the first one, and it went well with my chicken and spinach quesadilla.

The Crankee Yankee helped himself to a sip or two, and that’s when the mayhem began. In putting down the glass, he tipped out quite a few ice cubes, some of which landed in my plate. When I could stop laughing, I said, “oh no worries, it cooled off all those jalapenos!” Which got us both laughing uncontrollably.

Good grief, you’d think that two people of our ages could keep it together better than that, but it turned out that we just couldn’t. Our nice waiter came back and cleaned up the ice cubes, saying not to worry; he had seen much worse on Taco Tuesdays (I’ll bet he did!).

This of course got us laughing all over again. We finished our meals and boxed up our leftovers. I left a huge tip for the nice young man (he certainly deserved it for waiting on two silly old twits!), and we wobbled out of there. We made it to the car and then collapsed into more laughter.

Seriously, if you want some real entertainment, order a pair of margaritas for the two older people sitting near you. Better yet, order a round for yourselves as well. Evidently tequila turns older people into giggling silly old twits.

NB: No hangover the next day! Go figure.

 

A GREAT Cause

If you are looking for a really good cause to donate to, please check out the *Monadnock Kitty Rescue in Jaffrey, NH. The rescue facility is run by volunteers, and they are devoted to the cats they shelter. You can see their website at kittyrescueandadoption.org/, and also you can view their wish list for the things they need for the cats. This wonderful shelter was on WMUR’s Chronicle on April 26.

The Crankee Yankee and I went up last weekend to see the place. We brought some items on their wish list and a check to help out. All the volunteers who help out cleaning, grooming. and feeding dearly love the cats. The woman who showed us around each tidy room explained how they care for all the cats.

All of the resident cats, even those who are recovering from sickness, have large clean rooms with literally tons of soft, clean beds, jungle gyms, toys, transoms near the ceilings, windows, heat and A/C (depending on the time of year), and always large bowls of kibble and fresh water. There is even a room full of donated children’s playhouses (the shy cats really love those), doll beds, and so on. Litter boxes are changed regularly.

Should you bring a neglected or injured cat to the Kitty Rescue, they, unlike most shelters, do not ask for money. They will take the cat in for free, and make sure that the cat is checked out and cared for. They bring the new cat to a peaceful room with food, water, shelter and unconditional love and attention.

On the day we visited, we met the older cats who have lived happily in this wonderful shelter for 10 years or more. There were cats who arrived sick or injured and were tenderly treated and brought back to good health, and even a couple of new kitty moms nursing their kittens. Of course there were also three cute and rambunctious little kittens who were having the time of their lives wrestling each other and playing with toys.

Just about all of the cats are adoptable, and we loved the fact that they take in feral cats as well. Some of the ferals have been rehabilitated to the point where they can be adopted. Some will always be feral and because of that cannot not be adopted. However, these too will always have a loving home at the Monadnock Kitty Rescue and live out their lives in comfort, safety, good health and lots of love.

All of the devoted volunteers work hard to keep this amazing shelter running smoothly, and they operate on donations. Every little bit helps; even $5 can make a tremendous difference for these wonderful cats.

Sadly, too many people regard cats as disposable pets, thinking that they can abandon them when they are too much trouble to care for. The worst thing anyone can do with a cat that is no longer wanted is to leave them outside to “fend for themselves.” This is pretty much a death sentence for the cat. Despite popular belief that cats will just catch and eat mice and somehow survive in hot or freezing weather with no shelter is not only wrong but criminal. Domestic cats are not used to fending for themselves, and too many die of starvation, injury, neglect and disease.

However, the BEST thing anyone can do with a cat that is no longer wanted is to take it to the Monadnock Kitty Rescue or a decent shelter. This gives the cat a chance to be adopted by someone who will love it and keep it happy and healthy and with all the necessary vet visits. It is also highly recommended that, when adopting a pet, you have them microchipped so that should they get lost, they have nearly a 99% chance of getting home safely.

The Monadnock Kitty Rescue is truly a labor of love. If you can afford even a $5 donation, it means the world to these amazing volunteers who care so tenderly for these deserving cats. Every dollar goes toward keeping the shelter going and keeping the cats well cared for, healthy and safe. The Crankee Yankee and I plan to donate often to help keep this dedicated shelter running. If you choose to donate to them, please know that we are donating right there with you.

You will never regret helping these sweet and deserving cats. Please spread the word about this wonderful shelter, and please help out if you can. I don’t usually use my blog to ask for donations or help for organizations such as this, but if you could see this merciful haven for these sweet cats, your heart would be moved as mine was. Thank you in advance for any help you can give.

*Monadnock Kitty Rescue & Adoption
Jaffrey, NH
(603) 532-9444
http://kittyrescueandadoption.org

Hours are as follows:

Saturday 9AM–1PM
Sunday Closed
Monday Closed
Tuesday 6–9PM
Wednesday Closed
Thursday 6–9PM
Friday Closed

  

Radiation Buddies

Today I will have my last radiation treatment for my DCIS. In a few weeks I will be meeting with my doctor to discuss whether or not to take Tamoxifan as a final weapon against cancer.

While the radiation has made me tired and listless many times, it has been a positive blessing. Not only have the nurses been angels to me, but I have also made friends, or “radiation buddies” in this process. As we sit there in our hospital gowns, waiting to be taken in for radiation, we have time to chat and get to know each other.

My favorite person I’ve met is Sue, a lady who is a few years older than I am. She has been a joy to know, and I have loved our talks. We have laughed together and commiserated together. We have talked about our families and our hobbies and our lives. She has lifted me up with her humor, courage and outlook on life, and she has made each and every day a joy for me.

Because of Sue, I actually looked forward to my treatments each day. She has been through this a few times before, and her experience and knowledge greatly helped me as this was my first time having radiation therapy. Just knowing that I would see her every day made my day.

We may never know everything about those we meet in our lives, but having them in our lives, even for a few weeks, is life-changing. Sue made the all the difference for me during those 20 days of radiation therapy.

We are all in this life together, and even cancer cannot keep us from looking forward, making friends, and laughing together. Sue helped me through more than she will ever know. I will never forget her and her beautiful spirit.

Happy Mothers’ Day!

Happy Mothers’ Day to all mothers everywhere! There are mothers who give birth to their own children, mothers who adopt children and make them their own, and there are mothers who do not have children but mother the people and animals in their lives.

“Mothering” can be for children, relatives, friends, pets and those in need. Mothering is a kindness and a pledge of love to all those in our lives whom we love and care for. Mothering is a delicate balance of unconditional love, kindness and forgiveness, strength and comfort, dependability, caring and tolerance. With all this comes a very necessary sense of humor and the sense to know when to stand firm or overlook.

A mother is a soft place to fall. A mother may despair of some of the things we do or when we mess up, but they don’t give up on us. A mother can and will stand firm on what is right and good for their children.

A mother will back up those they love fiercely, and, when those they love do the wrong thing, a mother may be heartbroken about it, but will enforce the necessary punishment for the good of her child. (What the child may never know is how many tears she will shed for having to be the “bad guy,” but she knows deep in her heart that there are consequences for doing the wrong thing.)

Never having been a mother myself, I tend to mother my granddaughters unconditionally. I do the same with my friends, the Crankee Yankee and all of our cats. Mothering need not be biological, but it is a state of mind. We also need to mother ourselves from time to time.

“Mother” is both a noun and a verb. Which ever one we are, take the time today especially to mother in whatever way we can. For me personally, today and every day I remember and honor my own mother, my grandmother, my mother-in-law, and my god mother. They have blessed me forever with their love and their very being. I love them with every beat of my heart.

 

 

No More “Shoulding” on Ourselves!

Oh, the time and life wasted on all those “shoulds” and “must do’s” and “have to’s” and so on. Who but ourselves are putting us through all this *sturm and drang? Who says that we have to put ourselves last in every single aspect of our lives? Who demands that we take care of the needs of family, pets, friends, etc. before we even allow ourselves a sip of morning coffee?

Us, that’s who. We started this craziness, and we can stop it. Example: when I get up each morning, I make the coffee, make sure the cats’ bowls are full (both food and water), I pull on enough clothes so as not to get arrested when I go outside to check the stray cat food stations, and make sure that they have fresh food and water. I empty the dishwasher, clean out the sink, and so on.

This week I JUST. SAID. NO. I decided that I would at least sit down and have a decent cup of coffee with the Crankee Yankee and chat for a few minutes. It’s a little thing, but it makes a positive difference. Hey, I made the schedule for myself, and I can change it.

So, that’s my goal for each day: no more “shoulding.” The world won’t come to an end if I take ten minutes to myself before starting the morning routine. I’m in my mid-60’s, I’m retired, and I don’t have to stick rigidly to the schedule that I made for myself.

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

*Per Webster’s: “Sturm and drang” was a late 18th century German literary movement characterized by works containing rousing action and high emotionalism that often deal with the individual’s revolt against society, or turmoil.

Ava’s Awesome Earrings

Our oldest granddaughter, Ava, who just turned 7, loves to make things. When I introduced her to making earrings, she took to them as though she had been making them for years. I supplied her with beads and earring findings, and showed her how to put the parts together. Within minutes, she picked it right up, and started making some pretty terrific earrings. Her color combinations are remarkable, too; she puts colors together that you would never think of—but they work.

Each time we’ve been together, we always end up using up everything. So the last visit we had I brought loads of beads and findings for her. Now, when my mother was making jewelry, she was fanatical about putting everything in its proper place; she had lots of segmented boxes for each type and color of bead. She did the same with the earring headpins and wires. Everything was neatly organized to a T.

My own jewelry makings area is a mess. The most I can say is that I keep the colors in separate boxes, but everything else is a hodge-podge. I know it’s very un-Feng Shui, but that’s how I am.

However, I felt that I should at least make an effort to keep Ava’s bits and pieces in order. So the last time we went up to visit, I carefully packaged each type of beads and findings into little plastic bags. When I gave them to her, she promptly opened every bag, and dumped everything into her pink plastic jewelry box, and then swirled them all around. I bit my tongue before I said anything about organization; I realized that she, like me, has her own way of doing things. She much prefers rooting around in there to find what she needs wqhen she needs it.

I had to laugh because all I could think of was how my mother would have hated that! But we are all different, we are all doing things the way we want to do them. There’s nothing wrong with that. Ava is every bit as creative as me or my mother, and she is doing it her way. I love her free spirit! I wouldn’t be surprised if she starts her own business some day. Personally, in my own mind I call them “Ava’s Awesome Earrings.” But that’s up to her to decide.

The main truth is, I love that kid to absolute pieces (and her little sister, too), and I am one of her main cheerleaders. I am all for her to do things her own way, and I applaud her unique take on everything from making earrings to just being amazing.

And you know what? That’s more than enough. 🙂