Reviews, talk, and fun

Cooler Days, Cooler Ways

The weather here has been unbearably hot for many, but with Wednesday’s entrance  of our new season it gave all here a taste of cold.  It’s nice for the kids who started school this week, but from the looks of it the weekend and on into the week we are returning to the heat.

I’m not complaining.  It has been a good summer and I am ready for the cooler days of autumn.  Things get busy and many who can are beginning the season of days that are full of washing and packing jars and getting them ready for winter.  Try doing that with a full time job, something some of my friends and family do every year.

I love fall with it’s wisps of winter with frosts some days and warm Indian summer days for others.  I also love the long walks through leaves that seem to do a jig with each gust of wind.

Version 2Fall and winter are my seasons.  I revel in the way those seasons can actually slow us down a bit and find a change of pace in our busy lives.  Not too much though and that’s good thing.

I am going to enjoy our last days of heat and revel in a few more moments of lazy fun.  We’re lucky in Michigan to have the seasons.  It gives us many ways of seeing beauty whether dressed in a twinkling snow cover, or the many shades and hues of fall.

Quiet Days

DSC05696When I’m home from cancelations for meetings, or just needing a way to refresh myself and regroup for the coming days I take a day to practice peace. I have no exact way to find my center but a few habits definitely help find my center again.

The first practice is always listening and taking in music.  All kinds of music!   It is a beautiful way to refill my emotional tanks.  I have always wished that I could have been a musician but it wasn’t to be so I listen sometimes simply absorbing the tunes, and inhale them when I’m down.  It is then I can begin to relax once more.

Another way is to do deep breathing and focusing to let go of the hurts of the days and weeks and the mindfulness can get below the surface and encase my heart in a peace.  This is a new practice for me and I’m slowly getting better at it, but it has already given me joy and with it I can begin to step back into my life’s rhythm again.

The most tactile way to reach outside to calm that inner beast is by taking walks in nature whether through absorbing beautiful pictures on rainy days, or walking when I can. Exercise has never been fun for me, but walking is a meditation of its own in my life.

Finally, when I am calm and centered and mostly unflustered I can pray.  I tend to only pray for people not their needs and often do a form of doodling to keep me focused and write first names along the lines and patterns I draw and sketch.

Life is not contentment in every step for me,  but I still can find my joy. Its still there and a smile is seldom far from my face, or my thoughts with these practices.Version 2

House Sitting Animals

I am really thankful for the late life career that found me.  I began house sitting cats a few years ago and fell in love with both of my girlfriend’s cats and for a while they were my only pet friends.  Since then I have slowly built my business.

The wonderful thing is I love my charges and love playing with them.  I’ve never had a job that was so much fun to work at in my life.

Right now I am sitting for a 3 animal household only one is a cat.  They sleep all around me in the night and love having me play with them.  I really could do it every day of my days.  Why do I love animals so much?  They understand love and give it back unconditionally.

Life is so good!

Well it hasn’t been too long yet, but I am experiencing a much quieter day without the drivel from the continued political world.  I have fine tuned my Twitter account so that I no long receive daily updates from the candidates and thankfully I am sleeping better too.   Writing in my journal about lovely weather or visits with friends has become a daily thing once again.

I don’t know how the change is going to go overall.  Oh and yes, I quickly touch base with FB only for “messages.”  I do a quick in and out and that means friends who want to catch up with me can.

What have I done lately?  Cleaned more closets; Spent time watching professors from Yale on iTunes U on the middle ages (really!); Started to knit again to music(!); and writing.  I knew who I was going to vote for after the first six months so all of the run-up to the election serves only to make me and many people around me more belligerent, so I have asked for a politics-free zone when I am with friends and that has worked as well.

I am also doing Tai Chi with much fewer tight muscles.  I have to admit that a day free of listening to those on television or on FB screaming and arguing is quite a thrill for me.  I have never been much of a political hound with my nose to the ground or in my case to the TV or radio.  I am becoming a calmer person and that is a really good thing.

When did we start this presidential political system?  It has been almost 2 years.  This is how the rich beat us down.  I simply cannot take the hate and rhetoric any longer and have closed or left much social media totally.  It’s scary, but I can honestly say that it doesn’t scare me as much as it hurts.  This is how they beat us down.

I am reading a book I have read at least three times and I have to say it explains a great deal to me.  My first thought comes from the author, Chaim Potok.  “Capitalism and Compassion are incompatible.”  My second thought is from me: How can so much HATE be Christian?  For me these are such sad thoughts that are playing themselves out in our country today.

God help us.

We’ve had a cool June and they say July will be hot, but at least for today I still have the windows open.  I’m sitting at the computer with all my windows open and the sound of the birds filtering through a beginning warmth of the day.  It’s funny because my Bella is sitting at the open window talking quietly to the crows and other feathered friends.

Bella is one of the most interesting I have ever known.   You might ask why since she does most of the ordinary cat thing like chasing balls and her laser light but she certainly has her little idiosyncrasies.  One of her little oddities is she never sleeps in the same spot more than 3 or 4 times. On top of the rocking chair which is not very stable unless someone is sitting in the chair has been her latest place, but she has decided she like to be in the bedroom with me at night after her hauBellanting through our apartment late every night.

Her favorite spot right now is my dirty clothes hamper.  She adjusts whatever is on the top to suit her sleeping position and settles in for the night.  She stays there all night usually too and I usually scratch her on my way to get my coffee in the morning.

Everyone I’ve talked to tells me that all cats have a strangeness about them.  But I just tell them my Bella is really extra different – and wonderfully special!



A year with a Crazy Cat

thumb_IMG_0283_1024It has been over a year with Bella my lovely white cat.  She had stomach issues when I got her and thankfully she is super healthy now and into everything!  I have discovered that she is a, “bushwacker!”  That simply is a cat that loves creeping through the low places of my apartment and catching me as I walk past.  I’ve made the apartment as a jungle gym for her.  In the heat of today she’s in her bed by the window looking at the green world outside her window.

We started the day with her waking me me and meowing strongly for her pumpkin for breakfast.  THAT has made a huge difference in her stomach health!  Then it is time to chase the little red laser light which she loves!  She spends about an hour as my lap cat enjoying the knitting I do then.  I love that she talks with me much of the morning.

Life is cat-good!