Friday, November 25, 2011


Grandma’s house was made out of stone and sat perched on a hilltop accessed by a dirt road. You could sit on the screened-in porch in the summer and watch the cars go by on Route 151 at the foot of the hill. In the summer you could hike down the hill, go out to the highway, take a left and be at Coffey’s store in about five minutes time to purchase an orange and vanilla popsicle on a hot summer’s day.

In the winter time, at Christmas, this stone house on the hill became a land of enchantment. It nearly always snowed and was so cold that the outside water pump froze and real icicles pointed their daggers downward along the gutters. The house had a metal roof and was an orchestral symphony when freezing rain pounded the shingles during an ice storm.

Inside, the entire house smelled of wood burning in the wood stove in the kitchen and sitting room. The sitting room was where everyone gathered of an evening to talk about their day or just listen anxiously as stories of past Christmases were told once again. Always, just before Christmas my uncle would appear at the door in his Santa outfit to gather Christmas lists from me, my sister, brother and cousins. We could hardly wait for that special night. It was almost as good as Christmas morning.

Soon we would tire and climb the steep steps to our upstairs bedroom which consisted of two double beds, a dresser and mirror and, of course, a chamber pot. That cold metal beneath your little back end in the middle of the night was enough encouragement to wait until morning if at all possible. Occasionally accidents did happen, but nothing was ever mentioned about them. The next night there would be dry clean sheets again.

When morning came, everyone would arise at the break of day. There were chores to be done, cookies to be baked and for us kids, anticipation of the coming of Santa. It seemed that we ate all day long. If it wasn’t fresh cookies, it was hard candy, peanut butter fudge, marzipan, nuts, fresh tangerines, apples or oranges. Oh how good everything tasted!

Then there was that one magical Christmas … the Christmas when I saw the real Santa Claus. I had a bad cold and was allowed to sleep in a downstairs bedroom with my grandma. It was Christmas Eve and I was rubbed from my waist up with Vick’s Vaporub. I had a huge red kerchief tied around my neck to keep out, I don’t know what … drafts I guess. Everyone was asleep but me. I needed to find the potty.

I arose in the middle of the night or the wee small hours of the morning, tiptoed past my grandma’s dresser with the silver hand mirror and the blue bottles of Evening in Paris and pulled open the door that I thought was the way to the potty. Much to my surprise, there in my peripheral vision was a long white beard and long white hair topped off with a red pointed cap trimmed in white. I was so excited I didn’t make it to the potty! I ran back to my grandma’s bed, climbed into bed and under the covers and prayed that Santa hadn’t seen me for we all knew that if Santa saw anyone peeking, there would be no presents for anyone.

I could hardly sleep all night long. The Vick’s had long lost its effect and I couldn’t breathe through my nose. Grandma snored and I was terrified that I, personally, had ruined everyone’s Christmas.

The next morning I awoke with the strong smell of bacon being fried in the kitchen and Christmas carols playing on my grandma’s Victrola. I had to change my nightgown before bursting out into the living room to find no presents under the tree.

That door leading from grandma’s bedroom to the living room weighed a ton that morning. I closed one eye and slowly surveyed the room with the other. My first target was the dish of cookies we left for Santa. They were gone! Someone had eaten the cookies. There was hope! Next, my eye landed on something with long golden hair. Could it be? It was! The new doll I wanted so badly. You could actually comb and style her hair ten different ways. And there was … no it couldn’t be. A Red Flyer wagon! I hadn’t told anyone about that wish and there it was!

I ran through the house screaming, “He came, he came! Santa came and I saw Him!” Grandma, my sister and brother and mom looked at each other and then at me.

“Now you know, Alice Mae, that Santa doesn’t leave presents if anyone is peeking!” My mom spoke with incredulity and surprise in her voice. She looked at the others, encouraging them to echo their agreement. They did, all heads nodding up and down.

“But I know I saw him, and he still left me presents,” I insisted.

“It was just a dream … just a dream in a little girl's wishful head,” humored grandma.

“Maybe so,” I said, but in my own heart I knew. There really was a Santa Claus.

Word Count: 882
© Copyright 2007 Kat (UN: katkola at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Class of '61 50th Reunion!

This past weekend I attended my 50th High School reunion.  It was great seeing old friends and acquaintances and catching up on some good times. 

We aren’t the same people we were in high school.  We may look the same, and even sound the same, but now we have more in common than we did 50 years ago.  The years have been good to some and not so good to others.  How we weathered those years shows in the tiny wrinkles that line our face and in the depths of our eyes. 

At earlier reunions we spoke of our marriages, our children, our jobs.  Now we speak of our retirement, our marriages, our grandchildren and our health.  Health is a big one!  For the most part, we are grateful that we can still come to these reunions and so very sad for those who are no longer with us and for those who are unable to attend because of health problems, traveling problems, etc.  We remember times, long ago, that meant so much to us and long for those times when life was simpler and troubles were fewer.

We vow to stay in touch, but alas, life takes over again when we return home and immerse ourselves in our daily routines.  We think about those we have seen and wonder sadly, in the back of our minds, how many will be around at our next reunion.

I also think we find that each person at the reunion gives us back a piece of ourselves that existed back then … that part of us that held our impressions and our beliefs of who we thought we were and, therefore, who we thought others were in relation to us.  We see how wrong we were, in most instances, and how time is a great leveler.

We’ve all had our bumps and bruises in life, our plans that didn’t pan out, or did.  We’ve had our accomplishments, our failures, our dreams and our hopes.

We now know how much more we are alike. 

More alike than different.

And, we revel in that knowledge.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Moonblower Bush

This is one of my favorite flowers. It's called a Moonflower Bush. The flowers open up in the evenings, around sunset. They look like huge trumpets.
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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Nine One One


by Kat

I gaze into the pit
where all the souls
that live
don't fit.

No reason was
given why
they had no chance
to say goodbye.

They've all gone
to better places
and we are left
to mourn their traces.

Left at ground
zero where
we bow our heads
to show we care.
© Copyright 2008 Kat (UN: katkola at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My Purple Martin Goodbye

My Martin year is almost over,
And I know it won’t be long
Until I find myself listening,
For that beautiful Martin song.

While they go to spend their winter
In climates much, much warmer.
I stay and plan for next year
And miss those little charmers.

I love each one like it’s my own
And try to show them I’m their friend.
But before I know it, they are gone
And I’m looking for them back again.

I hope they had a good year,
Raising chicks in my backyard.
I tried to make it easy,
But, it was sometimes very hard.

They had to watch for predators,
While I placed safety measures
In spots they couldn’t see
To protect their little treasures.

I did the best I could
And lessons, hard, were learned.
So next year, I can tell myself
Their presence has been earned

I’ll say ‘goodbye’ as they head south,
And feel the empty place
That’s created in my heart
For “they” can’t be replaced.

“So long”, Mom and Papa’s
“So Long” little fledges,
Be safe in that long flight
To more exotic places.

I know that Brazil is the spot
Where you fly and eat and grow.
I hope that you remember me
Next Spring, I’m sure I’ll know.

I’ll be the one looking out
Of that window to your world
Where the gourds are bright and shiny
And the wait will be no more.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


The days are busy now.  There is much going on and even more waiting to be done!  I now have five baby Bluebirds that are 14 days old.  I don't open the door to the Bluebird house now - don't want them to come tumbling out! 

I have six baby Tree Swallows and five baby Purple Martins.  There are six more pair of Purple Martins that are nesting and should be laying eggs any day now. That will be a lot of babies!!!

Hannah, our wonderful English Bulldog, is at the Vets.  She has an eye ulceration that has to be treated eight times a day.  It takes three people to get the drops in her eye.  She will be having surgery tomorrow or Friday and then will be needing treatment for another week.  We miss her sooooo much!

We are having the trim and shutters on our house painted and hoping the painter gets finished sometime this summer! :-)  He is taking his good ol' time.  The expansion of our driveway should be finished by now, but the Contractor hasn't started yet...says he's been delayed by all the rain lately.  Our new sunroom should be about ready to get installed sometime early in June?  We'll see!

I wish things could always go smoothly and that time is something we could bend to our "will".  This isn't the reality, I know, but it doesn't hurt to dream!  I also wish people would do what they say they are going to do and "when" they say they're going to do it.  This, also, isn't reality.

Reality is waiting. 

Reality is being grateful that my plate is so full and that I have a plate to be full.

Reality is knowing that I love and am loved.  That I have food in my refrigerator and a comfortable bed in my bedroom - that I have protection from the heat and cold and the blessing of being able to make plans at all.

Reality hits me right in the face when I turn on the TV and see the devastation in Joplin, Missouri and other places, just in the last couple of days.

Reality can be harsh and it can be wonderful. 

What makes the difference? 


My attitude.

My acceptance of what "IS", rather than what I wish for.

My gratitude for what I have, rather than my sorrow at what I don't have.

My ability to affect, once in a great while, my own reality.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Catching Up

I have a pair of Bluebirds nesting in a brand new house I built just for them this Spring.  There are now five beautiful blue eggs just waiting to hatch.  Hatch date should be this Friday, 5/13/2011!  I check the eggs every day to make sure nothing has disturbed them.  The mama bluebird hears me coming.  If she doesn't hear me, I tap twice on the outside of the house and she comes flying out.  She flies up to the roof of my house and watches while I check her eggs. 

I can't actually see the eggs.  They are in a very deep bowl/cup that she has made in the top of the nest.  The only way I can check the eggs is by putting my little Dual Lens Kodak camera inside and taking pictures.  I work fast so mama bird won't get upset with me!

                      Bluebird House

These are Tree Swallow eggs.  There were four of them yesterday and I should find five today.  They are cream colored and smaller than the Bluebird eggs.  The Tree Swallows live in a gourd hanging on a Shepherd's Hook about 25 - 30' away from the Bluebirds and the Purple Martins. 
The Tree Swallows gave me many headaches when they first appeared in my backyard.  They wanted to nest in the gourds that I had prepared for Purple Martins.  They defended those gourds with their lives and chased away every bird that landed on the gourds.  Finally, I learned that if I made them a gourd of their own, 25-30' away from the gourd rack, they would nest in it, protect it, and also protect the Purple Martin gourd rack.  It worked!!  They still defend the gourd rack from other birds, not Purple Martins, and they fiercely defend their own precious gourd.  Another Purple Martin friend and enthusiast sent me entrance holes for the Tree Swallow gourd that are small enough for Tree Swallows but too small for Starlings and other predators.  I am so grateful to him!  Hatch date should be 5/20/2011

      Tree Swallow House

If you look carefully, you can see two Purple Martin eggs.  I think there is one more hidden underneath the two shown here because this is the third day of egg laying and there should be three eggs.  Today, I think I will find five eggs.  I didn't check this nest yesterday.  Didn't want to disturb the Purple Martin mama too much! Not sure what the hatch date should be yet.

     Purple Martin Gourd Rack.

I've been busy also planning two flower beds - one for my front yard and one for the back yard.  I love the planning and the results of a beautiful flower garden.  The work in between the "planning" and the "beautiful" is the hard part.  My old bones and joints aren't what they used to be!  When they are completed, and if I'm still 'young' enough to take pictures, I'll put them in my blog for all to enjoy.  (I suppose folks enjoy other peoples' flower gardens?)

When you get right down to it, it's always the planning and results we enjoy, huh?  Just as with the birds, planning for their comfort and well-being, and the flower beds, so with life! 

We plan, we work toward a goal or destination, and in the end, it's the in-between part that makes us who we are.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Baby Birds?

I lowered the Purple Martin pole today to check on all the nesting. 
Mama has been working hard to form a rich bowl
Of pine and hay and sticks and leaves.

Soon there will be little eggs, probably five or six.
But she doesn't rest, knowing that more work lies ahead.
She has to feed herself and sit on those eggs a while each day.

Just for them.

Do the baby birds feel her work and love?
Do they feel the careful attention to each turn
And curve of the protective bowl she makes?

Do they know how hard she's worked
To find just the right gourd on just the right pole
In just the right backyard with just the right protection?

Just for them.

When they hatch, there will be hungry mouths to feed,
Mouths that open as soon as she enters the nest
And don't close until she leaves.

Will they feel the love that it took to get them this far?
Will they trust her to keep them safe from harm?
Harm, that lies just outside that nest.

Just for them.

Yes, they trust her, for they know that mama's
Love and work and flight and food
Will make them strong inside the brood.

And when they leave, it's her they see,
Gently pushing them from the nest, the bowl,
Where her love used to be.

Just for them.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Memories - Blessing or Curse?

I think our memories are both ... a blessing and a curse.  At times, we gloss over the curse memories and embellish the blessing ones.  But, you know what?  I don't think it really matters.  They are OUR memories, they made us who we are today. 

When you get down the road a few years, you'll have memories that are made today and wonder the same thing - blessing or curse?

We need both.  We use both to plan our direction, to set our feet on the paths we want to follow.  Maybe we can just take the lessens learned from all memories or events and use them to make ourselves and our world better.

I would love to hear some of your memories. 

Just click "Comments" and tell me about the memories you would like to share.

I'll start:

I remember when my sister and I used to get up every Saturday morning to watch "The Big Top" circus on television.  We didn't have one of our own, so we had to go next door and watch on a neighbor's TV.  I think my love of the circus started then.  Circuses don't seem to hold the charm for me these days like they did back them, but they were enchanting, daring and exciting to a 7-year-old!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Quiet Time

I really NEED some quiet time in my day.  Actually, I need a lot of quiet time.  I don't get much of it, however!

Since my husband retired because of his health and I retired because I was tired of working, we are together 24/7.  This is way too much togetherness! 

Now, I 'm not saying that I don't like being with my husband.  I'm just saying that too much togetherness isn't, necessarily, a good thing.  I guess my point is that I'm not getting enough quiet or alone time and I need it badly. 

Without some quiet time, I can get very cranky.  Now, with very, very little quiet time and practically no alone time, I wonder how anyone tolerates being around me. Can anyone be pleasant all of the time?  There must be those saints out there who never give thought to their personal needs and only think of doing or giving to others. 

I'm not one of those saints!  I'm not a saint at all.

I could probably become a recluse.  I can very easily understand why some folks do seek a solitary life that is quite isolated.  I need quiet.  I need time alone with myself.  I don't know how to get it.

I'm a writer and need time to write, time to think, time to simply let my imagination run rampant.  Not getting that these days. 

I think I'm afraid I would hurt my husband's feelings if I took a day off to be alone somewhere ... anywhere, in a peaceful, quiet setting.

I also think that my heart is telling me to find a way to get what I need.  My hearts acting pretty crazy these days ... palpitations, etc.  Our bodies do tell on us when we don't tell on ourselves or when we try to run away from those things we really need.

I've always envied those people who practice meditation.  I've started it at certain times in my life, only to stop when it seems that I can't get the hang of letting go of my thoughts.  I understand that there's no trick to it, but ........... .

I firmly believe that if we don't, voluntarily, give ourselves what we need, our souls, our spirits, our minds and our bodies will suffer for it.

Now, let me think of all the reasons why I can't get this thing I need so very much.

1.  ..............................
2.  ..............................
3.  ..............................
4.  ..............................
5.  ..............................
6.  I don't ask for it.
7.  I'm afraid someone will think I'm selfish.
8.  Something terrible will happen while I'm away and it will be my fault.
9.  ......................................................................................................
10. I don't ask for it.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Change and Control?

Change and Control?  For some reason, I've had these two things going around and around in my mind lately.  I am a person who hates change and loves control.  Am I a control freak?  Probably!  I dislike that aspect of my personality, but I have to acknowledge that it is definitely one of my faults. 

I'm coming to realize that change and control are really different sides of the same coin.  Change frightens me and I try to control the events of my life so that I don't have to deal with it.  It never works!

I want to embrace change, to be able to say to myself that change is usually a good thing and that, when it's not good, I can deal with it.  The truth is, when change is not good, I'm forced to deal with it.  After all, what's the alternative?  I either deal with it and give up control, or spend a lot of time depressed and angry, fighting change.

I wonder if others have this problem.  I think it's probably pretty commonplace.  I would love to hear what you have to say about change and control in your own life.  Any good ideas for me?

I know that my faith and my nature battle over these two things constantly.

I pray that faith will win.  In spite of my nature and in spite of my nurture, faith has to overcome!

Doesn't it?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Having Fun!!

I think we grown-ups forget sometimes how important it is to have fun.  We get bogged down with our jobs, our responsibilities, our image, or our 'whatevers'.  Paying that mortgage, saving for the kid's college educations, and taking care of everyone else but ourselves takes precedence.  This is true, I think, for all of us.

When we do get a spare moment during our busy days, we can quickly find something to fill the gap.  Whether it's a new hobby, volunteering or sitting in front of the TV, we manage to fill every minute with "meaningful activity".

I find myself with projects piling up and wondering when the time will come to get them done.  Some of these projects are, yes, you guessed it, for having fun.  Like painting, taking pictures, or just taking a few moments to do nothing and listen to the world around me, WITH THE TV OFF.

One of my biggest time consumers, aside from keeping a house, running errands, taking care of hubby and yardy is, you guessed it, the COMPUTER!  I have to admit it, I love this thing!  I love what it can do for me and I love what I can do with it.  Without it, most of my communication with the outside world would fall to the wayside.  That's probably very sad!

Ok, I'm getting depressed now.  And NOT having fun!  You see what I mean? 

Back on subject.

We sit in front of the TV having vicarious fun.  It escapes me right now how MSNBC, 24 hours a day, qualifies as fun, but, you know what I mean.

Last evening, we played cards all evening with family.  Now that was fun!  We talked, we ate, we played.  Afterwards, I was worn out, but it was the best "worn out" I've had in a long time.  You see, my life is that unfun!

I guess the point of this is lost somewhere in the writing of it, but I think you get the point.  My life needs more fun.

I think yours just might need that too.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

Life's Little Annoyances

I'm still awaiting the arrival of my Purple Martins.  So far I have Bluebirds and Tree Swallows nesting in houses that I've provided.  It's so reassuring to see the birds enjoying their dwellings and it gives me such joy to know that in some small way I helped.

I do still have some predator birds, namely Starlings, trying to disrupt this peaceful and joyous demonstration of life in my backyard.  They are not indigenous to the United States, and seem to only want to cause trouble.

I suppose that this, too, is a lot like 'life'.  I see the Starlings like the little annoyances that come into our lives each day, trying to disrupt our peace and do us harm.  I haven't learned how to out-maneuver these things yet, either in my yard or in my life.  Each day is a new lesson in balancing the beauty and overcoming the threats to our peace.

If I go outside and clap my hands or make a huge noise of some kind, the Starlings will flee.

I wonder if life's little annoyances would do the same thing if I made a little more noise?


Saturday, March 19, 2011

To My Friend, Scott

I learned today that a wonderful artist, writer, human being and friend of mine is having to move, with his family, to a homeless shelter.  This is my email to him.  If you read this, please remember him in your prayers.  He's so very talented and a gifted human being.

I'm so very sad to hear this news.  If I was wealthy I wouldn't hesitate to send you anything you need right now. 

Please keep the faith.  I know God sees and will not leave those who love Him and believe in Him to suffer.  This has to be a test of faith for you and yours.  I've been close to this edge at another time in my life.  He didn't abandon me and I know He won't abandon you.

I don't know why things happen the way they do sometimes, but I do know the One who does know every breath we take and every hair on our head.  I know He loves us and will not leave us.

Please believe and let us know, when you can, how things are going.

You and your family are in my prayers and will stay there ... until!

Love in Him

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spring Is/Was Here in the Valley!

It's been a few days since I blogged.  Sometimes the days just get away from me and, by the end of the day, I don't seem have a thought in my head. 

Another weekend has come and gone.  For me, Saturday was a day of just not feeling well.  I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in both arms/hands, but more pronounced in my right arm.  I had to take a break on Saturday because the pain was just too bad.  It's also allergy time in the Shenandoah Valley and my sinuses were screaming at me all day long.  I really don't like complaining, but sometimes it just helps.

Sunday was a gorgeous day here in the Valley!  Spring cried out to be felt and heard.  The birds in my backyard were abundant and singing all day long.  I haven't seen any more Purple Martins, but they can't be too far away.  I saw my first one on my gourds on March 8th.  It was so exciting!

Another sure sign of Spring was the opening of Willy's Ice Cream, located on the corner of West Main and Lew DeWitt Blvd.  The opening of Willy's is always a welcoming and delicious event.  I got there on Sunday to get my first Twist Cone and the lines were long.

I found myself just wanting to buy flowers to plant and paint to repair.  It's still, officially, late Winter here but Spring is making itself known, as Winter takes one last long, deep, breath.  A sigh of relief for the Maker of Winter and a burst of joy for the Creator of Spring.

In all things, give thanks!

And, I do.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Blog a Day?

When I started this blog, I had the intention of writing a Blog a Day!  Thoughts of sitting here, putting thoughts to words on the computer filled my mind, like visions of sugar plums dancing through my head at Christmas time.

I see now how darned difficult it can be to write a Blog a Day.  There are the days when absolutely nothing of interest crosses my mind.  There are also the days when something of interest does cross my mind, but it just won't take form in words.  Then, there are the days when thoughts and ideas crowd my mind and there just isn't enough time to create the Blog that would express them.  At those times, I try to jot down words to remind me of what I'm thinking about.  I look at my notes the next day, when time allows, and see things like 'thoughts of yesterday', 'no one knew', 'what if someone knew', 'going too fast', 'ice cream and alligators!', 'things I would tell President Obama'.  Then, I can't for the life of me, remember what great and worthy themes were in my  head to produce these darn notes.  Some do look pretty interesting, huh?

So, today is a blank day.  Many things happened, but time is pressing.  It's dinner time and I haven't finished the laundry.  I cleaned the floors, but I haven't finished the laundry.  I'm tired as heck, but I haven't finished the laundry.

I think I'll go finish the laundry.

Tomorrow is another day. 

Notes for blogs:
fear of thunder
bad moods and other fairy tales
fabric softener on kitten fur
pet hair, yarn and string

Monday, March 7, 2011

What Do You SEE?

Another writer today reminded me of the ability to see, really see, the world around us.  As a result of a childhood taking care of an older sister, who had epilepsy, I  learned to be hypervigilant at a very young age.  I could tell by the expression on my sister's face when a seizure was coming.  This was important to know, especially since we were alone much of the time.  Where I went, she went.  Where she went, I went.  I could not leave her alone for fear she could hurt herself falling when a seizure occurred.  I also needed to summon help because she was older than me and bigger.  Yes, I learned how to read faces for pain, anger, intention, illness, emotion, safety and many more things.

I still practice this very important gift.  I consider it a gift because reading faces kept me safe at that time and many times later in life.  I also learned to be hypervigilant about everything going on around me.  That too, has been a true gift and blessing.  Even now, I don't/can't turn it off.  I see things that others miss all the time.  When driving, I'm always scanning the horizon, as well as the road ahead.  Yes, it can be done safely!

Why am I writing about this?  I think it's because I realize every day how fortunate I am to have learned this skill.  It was learned for self-protection and for  the protection of others.  I probably shouldn't have had to be hypervigilant as a child, but in my surroundings and environment it was a necessity.

As mothers, we learn to have that second sense where are children are concerned - especially when they are small.  I have, however, been with other mothers who did't seem to have the abilty to be watchful and vigilant with their children.  I worry about those children.

When I'm in a restaurant or at a movie or just out shopping, I see who is in my immediate vicinity and what activities are going on.  I see what people are doing, as well as what they are not doing.

Frequently, at the end of the day, all of this "vigilance" can be tiring, but most of the time I'm not even aware that I'm being vigilant.  Is this an acquired or inherited trait?  I don't know.  I am, however, very glad to have this skill and pray that I keep it as I continue to grow older.  As we get older, this skill is just as necessary and, maybe more necessary, than when we were young and supposedly "carefree".

At times, I wonder who's watching me?  Who's "care taking" me?

Oh, yes!  I know.

He who cares for that tiny little blade of grass also cares for me. 

If find His hypervigilance a true miracle.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Freedom vs Hatred?

Many memories of racial unrest, freedom and hatred, living side by side, flashed through my mind while working with my daughter on an assignment for college that she's doing on Ancestry and our experiences of racism.  It shocked me how many of us didn't question the separate restrooms, water fountains, movie theatre seats, bus seats, etc., when I was growing up.  Here in the south, it was just the way things had always been.


The words "integration" and "segregation" became part of our daily conversations in the early 60's and so did the name "Martin Luther King".  I was a young wife and mother in those early years and began to see how differently the world was going to be for my girls as they grew up.  I was glad things were changing.  I wanted to be out there, fighting the good fight also.  But as I took care of my girls and taught them differently than I was taught, I saw that I was doing "my thing" for the cause of equality for all.

Then came Betty Freidan and and Gloria Steinem and The Feminine Mystique and Ms. Magazine.  Again, teach your children well, as the song, by Graham Nash, goes.

Flash forward, it's the early 2000's, and hatred takes another ghastly toll.  We all remember where we were and what we were doing.  We also remember what we weren't doing.  We weren't watching closely enough.  We had allowed hatred to take root again.  This time from across the seas making it's way to our "peaceful?" shores.

Does hatred attract hatred?  I think so.

Also, peace must attract peace.  Right?

Teach Your Children
by Graham Nash

You who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by
And so become yourself
Because the past is just a good bye.

Teach your children well,
Their father's hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked, the one you'll know by.

Don't you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.

And you, of tender years,
Can't know the fears that your elders grew by,
And so please help them with your youth,
They seek the truth before they can die.

Counter Melody To Above Verse:
Can you hear and do you care and
Cant you see we must be free to
Teach your children what you believe in.
Make a world that we can live in.

Teach your parents well,
Their children's hell will slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked, the one you'll know by.

Don't you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Nurturing Attitude?

I'm beginning to see how difficult it can be to write a daily blog.  As I go throughout my day I try to pay closer attention to all that I see and do.  To find the deeper meaning in my actions and the actions of those around me.  I'm seeing that this is a tall order for myself.

It seems, far too often, that I go through my days doing what comes next, without much thought given to what that may be.  Today it was adding more gourds to my Purple Martin rack and modifying an existing Purple Martin house that I erected last Spring.  Then there were groceries to buy, things to pick up at the hardware store, like a 4 x 4 and a Bluebird House.  I've noticed quite a few Blue Birds in my yard lately and wanted to see more, give them a home and watch them raise families.  They are such beautiful birds!

I digress.

There was a little time for computer work and now, time for my blog.  I suppose most of this day was about nurturing, and providing sustenance, for God's creatures.  The birds in my yard, the critters in my house (one dog and four cats) and, of course, me and my husband.

As I think about it, nurturing is a good thing.  It requires thought, planning and action.  Those being nurtured don't care too much about the "theory" of nurturing or about who took care that they were, indeed, nurtured.

Why did I do these things?  For myself? For those who needed these things done?  The answer is "yes" to these last two questions.

The next thing is my "attitude" while doing them.  Did I do them prayerfully or thoughtfully and did I give of "myself" while doing them?

This is what I reflect on at the end of the day. Yes, I did give of myself.  Sometimes, I'm sorry to say, I gave with resentment, because I wanted to be doing "other things".

I don't like this about myself.  I don't like being selfish, although there are times when one needs to be selfish.

I've learned, however, that the feeling at the end of the day, when I have done things with an attitude of helpfulness and a heart of love, is a feeling like no other. I pray that I will remember this tomorrow, BEFORE I start my day.

My prayer will be that the Creator and Giver of all things will grant me an attitude of love while living each moment and a prayerful mindfulness while doing the ordinary tasks that fill my day.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I seem to be complaining a lot lately.  Today it was a morning medical appointment with the cardiologist that turned into 3 hours.  He wanted CT Scans done while I was there.  I had them done and was told to wait for the results.  I waited one hour, only to be told that they just received the reports but couldn't tell me anything until they talked to the doctor, who, of course, was at lunch.  I left!

Then it was take dog to groomer, already 1 hour late, get lunch and make it to another appointment for my husband.  That one lasted an hour, most of it waiting.  Then, time to pick up the pooch.  It was now 4:00 PM and not one return trip home.  The entire day was spent either waiting or coming and going.

I know that there are many, many more problems in life than mine today.  I know this, and I'm working on not letting these things get to  me...but, at the moment, they still do.

We have so many time-savers today.  Most of them are electrical.  I think some human time-savers would be just what the doctor didn't order today! :-)

Thanks for listening!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Hidden Person of the Heart

On days like today it is great to know that God looks on the "hidden person of the heart".  I found this phrase in a devotional I use (try to use) daily. 

Today was an unsettling day for me.  Not outwardly, but inwardly.  It was one of those days when I felt that I had lost direction.  Perhaps it was influenced by the unsettling Spring weather. Perhaps not.  I spent most of the day trying to find direction and I forgot to get my heart still and my mind quieted.

I think this is common for many of us.  We feel pulled in so many directions; by the media, responsibilities, phone calls, families, schedules that are too full and demands upon ourselves, by ourselves.  Yes, I demand and expect a lot from myself.  I'm my own worst enemy a lot of the time.  I let myself down, I let others down and I let my Heavenly Father down.

And then comes that 'still small voice'.  Again.  That gentle, quiet, loving voice deep inside, where the soul lives and breathes, saying "Be still and know."

I must have been listening for it.  Some part of me was listening.  It's so great to know that when I'm most destructive to myself, the Creator of all things speaks through the madness.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Recycling has become the thing to do these days.  A very good thing, too.  I have to admit that I don't do as much as I should, but I do use my cloth totes at the grocery store, or most anywhere I purchase things.  I like using them instead of the plastic bags.  I should recycle my aluminum cans and other plastic containers.  That's my next project for the environment.  I also need to recycle my newspapers, catalogs and magazines.  I do believe that just one person, doing the right thing, can make a difference.

I've noticed lately how so many things, in our society, have become recyclable.  Relationships, marriages, images, friendships and even jobs.  Is it any wonder we find ourselves relying so much on digital gadgets.  We can't sustain a relationship unless we can contact a loved one or a friend 24/7 on our cell phone, blackberry or computer.  We forget about the important people in our lives and simply replace them, if problems arise, on Facebook or Myspace or Twitter.  Email has replaced letters, phone calls and/or personal, face-to-face visits.  We used to miss seeing someone's familiar face.  Now, we don't care about their face.  As long as we get digital access to them, their face is irrelevant, unless, of course, you have a webcam! 

Yes, I'm guilty of this too.  I do find myself missing those personal touches though.  I've never liked talking on the phone, but I do that email thing pretty frequently and I do take the easy way out far too often.

I don't like what we're becoming.  A society of "throw-away" people.  Families of disposable partners and friends.  If we allow someone into our lives and problems arise, we simply move on, find someone else and forget to learn how to relate to one another.

This probem is far to big and far too important to address in one daily blog.  I feel the discussion rising in my soul and am compelled to bring it up more often.  If just to bring it home to myself.

This calls for a post-it note on my PC screen.  Yes, a lovely hot pink one should do.  If I don't see that one enough, or if it simply becomes invisible to me, I'll just replace it with another color.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Day of Nothings

When you're retired, like me, there are some days that are filled with "nothings".  I try to look at my day and see what stood out to me and, finding nothing, I have to look harder.

There were errands to run:
1. Return Blankets to Kohl's
2. Pick up a couple of things at Petsmart
3. Check out sales at Peeble's - have $10.00 Peeble Birthday Check to spend.
4. Purchase a Whistle

The blankets were ordered online and simply weren't what I was looking for.  Hannah was getting low on Dental Bones and Granulated Bones and I wanted to find a new poop scoop, a metal one.  I had this $10.00 check from Peeble's that I received on my birthday and it's expiration day is Feb. 28th., so I had to use it. I wanted a whistle to scare Starlings away from my bird feeders and my Purple Martin gourds.

All of the above were accomplished, but I didn't find a metal poop scoop.

I added Sunflower Seed to my bird feeders since all was blown away by yesterday's wind.  I also decided to close the entrances on my gourds until the Purple Martins are spotted.  Which will be soon, I hope.  I don't want House Sparrows or Starlings nesting in my PM house or gourds and I don't want them to get accustomed to even being nearby.  They are predator birds and seek out Purple Martins for their eggs or just for "lunch".

I've spent time on my other websites, (Kat's Korner) at and at my Facebook account.

I've read and responded to my email, checked out credit card charges and done a lot of thinking about the woes of finding something interesting to write about everyday. 

My conclusion is that,

Some days are just filled with Nothings, which on closer examination are still "Nothing Days."

We need these days sometimes.  I don't know why we need them, but I'm grateful for the nothingness of "Nothing Days".

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Gadget Lovers!

My husband and I love gadgets!  Probably, me more than him.  I don't know why.  We don't lead extremely busy lives.  We're both retired.  We like being retired.

I like to "fidget" with things.  To see what I can make them do, to "outsmart" them (this seldom happens).  To see what they can't do.  I like knowing that I can work them, even if I don't need them.  Yes, I know, that's crazy.

Let's see, we have two desktop computers, an iPad, a Wii, a Blu-ray player, a portable DVD player, and a Nintendo DS game player.  I have a cell phone, a Honda UV with a Navigation System and a rear-view camera and a brand new Nikon D3100 Digital Camera.  We also have one of those digital picture frames, but I can't find it since our last move.

Ok.  The facts.  We use the desktop computers every day.  My husband uses the iPad every day.  I don't remember the last time he used the portable DVD player.  We use the Blu-ray player for DVD movies and to download movies from the internet.  We also use the Wii to play games when the grandkids are here and to download movies from the internet.  I have never used the Nintendo DS game player, but my husband uses it to keep his brain busy at times.  I do love and use my Navigation System, and the rear-view camera comes in real handy for backing up in a crowded parking lot.  I've spent several hours watching the DVD that came with my Nikon camera trying to learn how to use it.  I've only used "point-and-shoot" cameras before.  I know I'm going to love it, just as soon as I learn how to use it.

I can't wait until the automobiles that park themselves are sold in my price range.  By then, they'll probably drive themselves too.  I would love to have the built-in DVD players for the backseat of my UV, but no one ever sits back there but my English bulldog, Hannah, and she only watches TV.  Oh, yes, we have fold-down steps for her to get in and out of my UV because she's anatomically unable to do so without steps and we are too old to lift her.  I'm waiting for a portable escalator to come along any day now.  Wouldn't it be great if it could be built right in to the back of the car?  Maybe where the spare tire is kept?

I'll never purchase a Kindle or anything like that for reading.  I love the feel of a book in my hands.  I love to read, to underline, to highlight and read again.  I am running out of book shelves, but the library always needs donations.

Email is great, but it's such a thrill to get a handwritten, or even computer written, letter in the mail.  A "Thank You" note that is handwritten means so much more than a digital one.  Yes, I'm guilty.  To save time, I send those e-cards too, but every time I do, I feel a tug internally.  I know that a "thank you" or a "get well" or "happy birthday" card takes looking for just the right card, writing your name in the card, buying a stamp and putting the card in the mail box.  All of that takes time and effort.  It also takes "caring".

Yes, there is a balance.  We need a balance in our lives of gadgets and heart.  A gadget may do it faster, but not always better.  A gadget may engage my mind, but not my soul.  A gadget may save me time, but what am I using that time to do? 

Perhaps more heart and fewer gadgets are needed here?  That just feels right. 

Oh, yes.  Gadgets don't "feel" either.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Once Upon A Time

        "Once upon a Time" used to be a phrase that set my heart afire. They were four words that held promise and potential...the promise of an exciting story that would transport me to worlds unknown, or the potential for learning a valuable life lesson from wise ones who had gone before.

         Today, those four words have a whole new meaning. Once upon a time I could see my feet by simply turning my eyes downward. Today, I have to look in a full-length mirror or, heaven forbid, bend forward and fight vertigo to see my feet.

         Once upon a time I leapt out of bed, anxious to begin a new day of adventures. Today I roll to one side, bring my legs forward slowly and hold on to the mattress as I push my sluggish body up, over and out. New adventures mean a trip to the health food store or bookstore for the latest weight loss food or bestseller.

         Once upon a time brushing my teeth meant simply that...grabbing a toothbrush and brushing my teeth. Now, I take my teeth out to brush them and pray that they don't slip out of my hands to the floor because I left my glasses in the next room and don't want to step on my teeth to look for my glasses.

         Once upon a time a shower was just a shower. Today it's necessary hot water therapy for bones and joints that are simply there to hold together a body battling the ravages of gravity. Most days the water works (no pun intended) and gravity loses.

         Once upon a time clothes were purchased and worn to show off the body. Today, clothes are purchased and worn to hide things. Shoes were worn to complete an outfit or show off a slender ankle and well-turned leg. Shoes are now purchased and worn for one purpose protect and support. Forget fashion! Just give me a shoe that won't rub, callus or contort my fallen arches and I'll pay you a whole month's social security check.

         Once upon a time food was a treat...something to look forward to and prepare with happy heart and taste buds. Today, food has been reduced to fiber, low fat, good versus bad carbohydrates, no sugar and tons of antioxidants. When I go out to eat I have to look for the items with the healthy heart next to them on the menu or turn to the back of the menu for the Senior Citizen offerings.

         Although "Once upon a time" now brings feelings of nostalgia, if I'm lucky, it will continue to do so for many years to come.

The End

© Copyright 2006 Kat (UN: katkola at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Sometimes I think we expect too much from our heroes and, yes, from ourselves as well.  We want perfection in this society ... from our sports stars, from our movie stars and from our politicians, to name a few.

No one is perfect.  We should strive for it, but we'll never reach it.  We can expect it in others but, if we do, we should be prepared to be disappointed.  It's the striving that's important but the failures are the teachers. When our heroes become less than perfect, let us remember they are human, like us, and probably doing the best they can.

I confess that I'm a perfectionist.  I don't expect perfection like I did when I was younger.  I probably wouldn't know it if I saw it.  How close do we have to look to find this illusive thing?  When did we tell ourselves that we need to be perfect.  When did we decide that we are the judges of perfection, in ourselves or in anyone else?

We all have strengths and weaknesses.  We have warts and blemishes and scars.  We do the best we can, most of us, with what we have - with what we've been given.  Let's look for the good, strive for the best, fall and get up again.

After all, we're all on this journey called life together.  Sometimes we need a hand up.  Sometimes we need to give one.

As Christians we aren't perfect, just forgiven.

Monday, February 21, 2011


I've been looking into my ancestry again lately.  I started doing this many years ago, hit a dead end and stopped. 

One thing that popped up the other day, while going through my newspaper clippings was the obituary for one of my maternal Great Grandfathers (the father of my mother's father).  It seems that he fought in the Civil War.  The obituary goes like this:
"The rapidly dwindling band of veterans of the Army of Northern Virginia, in the War Between the States, suffered another loss Monday night when the venerable J. W. Meeks, of Nelson County, father of Deputy Sheriff J. W. Meeks, of Alleghany County and Mr. A. P. Meeks, of Iron Gate, died at the ripe age of ninety years."

It makes me feel proud to know that my Great Grandfather fought in the Civil War and also that he lived to be ninety years old.  That was a long time to live back then.  It's still a long time to live.  I wish I had a picture of him, but I don't.

I hope to preserve these findings for my children and grandchildren.  It think it's important to know our roots.  It gives a a sense of who we are and where we came from.  It plants us firmly in our history and the history of our country of birth.

In my search, I also located the obituary of another Great Grandfather (the father of my mother's mother.)  It says simply that: "Mr. Charles Miller, aged about 40 years, dropped dead early this morning while at work for one of the contracting firms building the Belt Line around the city.  The cause of his death was heart disease."  It goes on to say, "Mr. Miller is survived by a family and several friends, all of whom will learn of his sudden death with sincere regret." 

This obit is so different from the other one.  This Grandfather was very young when he died and his obituary was very short.  There may be a more thorough one somewhere, but I haven't found it yet.  I find it very interesting to have such diverse heritage, but this information can raise more questions than it  anwers at times. I know of no one, still living, who can furnish me with more information, so many of my questions will go unanswered.

I suppose the point of all this is to hold on to the clippings and pictures and knowledge of those in your familly.  Preserve the stories told also, if there are any.  It's the stories and the memories that help our descendants ground themselves in their history.

History is important.  Especially our personal history.  If for no other reason than giving us a point of reference for our past, stories to pass down through the years, and most of all, roots.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Purple Martins

For a very long time I've wanted to be a landlord to Purple Martins.  They are such beautiful birds and they are endangered.  They have to rely on "humans" for their survival. 

Last year I decided that I would try to attract them to my yard. I put up a Martin house that attracted Swallows and House Finches, but no Martins.  In late May, I decided I liked the look of gourds.  I had read that lots of people use them successfully.  I put up four gourds on a pulley pole and, lo and behold, on the third day I had Martins checking out my offerings.  One Purple Martin kept coming back and soon I noticed he was hanging around a lot during the day, calling out for a partner.  Soon, he attracted a female Purple Martin who decided to stay.  A couple of weeks later, they started building a nest in their gourd.

After several weeks, sometime in June, I found five eggs in my Martin's gourd.  They had started a family.

I named my first couple Adam and Eve.  Of the five eggs that were hatched, three of them fledged (became full grown Purple Martins and learned to fly).  I was soooo excited that I was a successful landlord.

It feels good to know that some of the things you have done to provide for and nurture God's creatures were successful.  The joy comes in the providing and nurturing as much as it does in the success.

It's time, now, for a new attempt at attracting these marvelous creatures.  Adam and Eve should be back in a couple of weeks and, hopefully, will be bringing a few of their friends with them.

With God's help and a little luck, another family will make their home in Kat's Kountry. :-)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

I Worry

Yes, I'm a worrier.  I seldom admit to it.  I don't like it. It does not make me feel good or make me proud, but I am a worrier.  I worry about big things, little things, ridiculous things and, most of the time, things I have no control over, which is just about everything!

I worry that my grandkids won't have as nice a world to grow up in as I did.  Come to think of it, my world wasn't that great either.  We had wars, assassinations, poverty, injustice, discrimination, inequality - just to name a few.  My personal world wasn't something to write home about either, as 'they' say. 

But I do remember slower times, times when there were actually no shows on the TV.  Yes!  Only test patterns.  I remember times when we could go outside or down the street to play without worrying about those who prey on little children.  Sometimes we would be gone all day; gone to the pool, to the movies, to the library, to a friends house.  As long as we were home by 5:00 PM, or so, the police weren't called and there were no posters up on telephone poles or on the sides of milk cartons.  Now, it seems, there are really no safe places.

I worry that my kids will have to work until they're 100 years old before they can retire with enough savings to support themselves and have health care.  I worry that my younger grandkids won't be able to afford a decent education.  If I were wealthy, these things wouldn't worry me as much, but they would still worry me. 

I worry that I'll become a burden to my children if my health doesn't prevail or if I simply get too old to care for myself.  If my health should fail, I worry about who will care for my husband.

You see.....I told you.  I'm a worry wart.

I wish I could put all of these things in the Lord's hands every day and let them go, knowing that one second of worry won't prevent any of the above things from happening.  Some days I can do that better than other days.  I know I 'should' be able to do it all the time.  But, I can't.

And then, I pick up my favorite book.  Right there in 2 Corinthians, chapter 9, verse 8, it says,

"And God is able...."

Will I believe that?  Yes, for tonight.  But tomorrow I'll need to know that again.  Is that a worry or memory problem?  Oh no...memory problems, too!

Friday, February 18, 2011

When Bad Things Happen to Good People

I found out this week that a good friend of mine has just learned he has cancer.  This man is a real jewel.  His life is his family, his neighbors and helping others.  He loves to garden and it shows with one look at his yard;  Plants, trees, grass and flowers all planted with love and cared for from the heart.  He's always there to lend a helping hand to anyone.  He planted my favorite flowers for me and when I look at them, I see him.

I can't help asking, "Why?"  Why this man and not someone else who's life is spent in self-seeking and never giving a thought to his fellow man, to his neighbor? 

This isn't my first "Why?" and I suppose it won't be my last.  I also find myself asking "Why?" when good things happen to bad people, things that aren't, on the surface, deserved.  I don't know the answers.

But, I know the One Who knows the answers.

He says, "My grace is sufficient".

He also says, to paraphrase, "My ways aren't your ways."

I have to accept that.

And I do.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

How My Heart Looks

The Doctor said my Heart looked great!  This was wonderful news.  The medical staff that cared for me was caring and professional.  It's sometimes difficult to combine these two things, caring and professionalism, but, when they come together, healing is possible and miracles sometime happen. We need more miracles today.

I noticed something else yesterday while being totally at the mercy of others.  I don't like giving up control.  I don't think any of us do.  I realized, however, that "being without control" isn't the same as "being out of control".  In the news today I heard about the childhood molestation of Senator Scott Brown and the horrible assault and rape of one of our best reporters, Laura Logan. They know what "being without control" is among those who are "out of control".  I, too, know that particular horror. 

Why do I bring this up now while talking about my heart procedure?  I realize that the horrors of abuse, especially sexual abuse, never leave us.  I realize that the events that shaped my life came right back to me again yesterday, lying on that table "being without control".

Yes, we can overcome. And, yes, we can survive and get on with our lives.  But, those memories, those ghosts, those who were "out of control" still hover and haunt and raise their ugly heads.  When we least expect it.  When we shouldn't have to expect it, they are tangible and feelable and horrible.

I have to end this on a positive note.

Just as those others can hold us hostage in ways unexpected for the rest of out lives, those who were praying for me yesterday and sending their positive thoughts and energy my way, were felt and anchored me in hope and faith and love.

Thank you, to my family and friends.

You know who you are.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

It's Hard to Say

It's hard to say what bothers me most about tomorrow's hospital procedure.  Just the thought of someone looking inside my heart is an awesome thought.  I want to know what he finds there and pray that all is as it should be ... as God made it.  I know the surgeon can't see 'the thoughts of my heart', but he can see the beat.  That's awesome in itself!  If he could see the thoughts, what would he see?

I hope he would see love there.  Love for my children and my children's children.  Love for my husband, who sent me two dozen roses yesterday and chocolate-covered strawberries today and who is my true partner in this life.  I  hope he would see love for my God, my Creator, my Heavenly Father.  I pray that he would see concern for those less fortunate than I, both physically and in any other way.  I know that there are those who need this procedure but can't afford to pay for it and don't have insurance.  I know that there are those going through much more difficult and delicate procedures than mine today.

I trust that my surgeon will remember that I'm a unique human being.  That God created me and that I am deserving of all the care and attention that he can give and was taught to give when he learned how to look inside hearts. I pray that, if mine needs 'tuning up', he can do it or pass me along to someone else who can.

I hope he knows that loved ones are waiting for me and praying for me and wanting him to be kind and patient and precise when he looks at my heart and all those veins and arteries.

I want to thank him in advance for taking the time to look me in the eye and see my spirit.  Yes, I saw that in his eyes during my office visit. :-)

Most of all, I want to thank God for watching over me all these years and for knowing that He will be watching tomorrow, also.

Just Me.

Monday, February 14, 2011

For Valentine's Day

On Love 

by Kat

Love is weak
that cannot stand
on the strength
of its own illusions.

Love, defined by
tragedy and inert
longings, is doomed
by its own truths.

Love, caught up
in itself, grows
isolated and weakens
in its own fragile web.

Love is kind
that rests in
warm arms of respect
and delicate freedom.

© Copyright 2006 Kat (UN: katkola at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hard to Know

Sometimes, it's hard to know what to write about in a daily Blog.  It definitely takes discipline, but it also "teaches" discipline (I hope!).

Today I find myself thinking a lot about my "critters".  I have an English Bulldog, named Hannah, and four cats - Samantha, Sophie, Simon and Shadrach.  All but Samantha are Maine Coons.  The largest is Shadrach, who weighs in at about 25 lbs. Samantha is a Siamese.

All of my pets are loving, well adjusted animals.  Yep, it's hard to believe that I raised them.  I did have some help, however, but we all know who takes care of the pets, just as we all know who really raises the children. (Huge grin).  The fact that they are well-adjusted and really like people gives me comfort.  Some days, I find myself wondering why they love me like they do.  But that's just the way with pets, isn't it?  They see us in all of our moods, when we're sick and when we're healthy.  They see us at out worst and at our best. 

They love us anyway.

They are so much like God.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ramblings - Never Enough Time

There never seems to be enough time to do all the things I wish to do in a day.  Time to read all the books I have stacked in a neat little pile to read, time to take the pictures I want to take, time to paint the scenes in my mind that I want to paint, time to acquaint myself with that lovely sewing machine that was given to me as a Christmas gift three Christmas's ago, or, time to be alone and just reflect on my life and how I've arrived at this particular junction.  There's never enough time to let those others in our lives know how much we appreciate them, need them, love them.  When did we last say what's on our heart? 

Things come into our lives unbidden and unsought that give us pause and need thought and prayer and careful consideration.  Where do we find that time so necessary to ponder, to deliberate, to sort the wheat from the chaff? How do we sort out the necessary from the unnecessary?

Where do we find that point of reference, in new situations and circumstances, where we say to ourselves, "Yes, I've been here before and this is what I did", when there is no before, no point of reference, only an unknown 'after'? 

I like structure, planning, organization and happy endings or, at least, expected ones.  I think most of us do.  I like "thinking" that I have some control over the events in my life.  What a delusion that is when our experiences show how little control we actually have.  I suppose I need to learn to "roll with the punches", to "take things as they come", to "be prepared for the worst, but expect the best." 

I think I can see now, that I'm rambling a bit.  I sense that, as I ramble, there is that "still, small voice" saying to me, "Here I am.  Leave your concerns, your plans and your worries at My feet.  I am more than sufficient.  Be still, and Know."

I think I'll do just that.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Kat's Kountry: A Day of Testing and Resting

Kat's Kountry: A Day of Testing and Resting: "This was a day of testing, mainly bloodwork and going over the Heart Catheterization procedure. Also, a chance to ask the questions that I have concerning the procedure and the preparation for the procedure.

I was pleased with those who assisted me today.  They answered my questions thoroughly and patiently.  I'm feeling more positive about next Wednesday. 

I think that we need to be inquisitive and pro-active in all phases of our health care and the care of those we love.  The only dumb question is the one we are afraid to ask.

This afternoon, after getting my hair done, I plan to rest and relax.  For me, that is reading or zoning out in front of the TV for the Talk Shows that I enjoy when I can. :-) 

Later, Chinese take-out is the plan!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

And then Came Health Issues

I don't think anyone likes to have health issues.  I have some that I've successfully treated for many years with medication, diet, etc.  Recently, I'm having to look at some more serious issues.  I won't really know how serious until next week, but the particular issues concern my heart. 

As I consider that I might possibly not be as healthy as I thought, that I might have some limitations brought on by things other than age, I get a little scared and a lot worried.  I know that "they" can do a lot these days for problems with the heart and that gives me some comfort.  I also know that there are things that I have to take care of, and look at seriously, before some major testing next week.  Things like an Advance Directive.

I have an Advance Directive and as long as it stays in my Safe with my Will and other legal documents, I don't give it much thought.  But now, today, I read it and found that it's a lot more important and controversial to me that it was before.  These things are a tad scary when you weigh their importance.  I know that I need to take it seriously and I need to search my "heart" and my soul until I feel that it comfortably expresses my wishes and that I've taken it serously enough.

Until now, when I've thought about my heart, I've thought about emotions, feelings, spiritual and ephemeral things.  Today, my heart became a physical thing, not just the seat of my soul.  It became something that performs life giving and life sustaining functions.  It became something that can "literally" be broken.  I don't like that.