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.