Tag Archives: cat

A bitter wind today

We have a bitterly cold wind gusting about us this morning. So far the sky is clear and the sun is doing its best to offer some warmth. However with snow and sleet predicted for much of the South Island and the high hills and mountains of the country it is a day to hunker down inside.

The slow cooker is working away on Moroccan lamb and couscous for dinner, the soup pot is now bubbling away gently on the stove, the tea- pot and toaster are at the ready. All to help keep the chill out today.

Jazz has a cozy spot by the gas heater to do his stretching exercises and I’ve got layers of wool on. If you are a New Zealander reader keep warm today wherever you are living.

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Enjoy the moment, cease the rush

I am having an “at home” day today with a list of chores to attend to. It is so easy to let my busy “monkey mind” take control and push me along to “get on” with things.

But then a useful check to all this happened as I was having a cup of coffee and answering emails. Jazz, our cat, came inside and promptly claimed my knee. It would have been easy to move him on as my mind was reminding me of the next chore but I chose to sit quietly with him and to enjoy his purring and relaxation on my knee.
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Research shows that patting a cat reduces blood pressure and has other wonderfully calming effects on we “busy” humans. I decided all that was worth capturing and maybe cats get great benefits from human love and attention. Who knows?

In true cat style he suddenly decided to move onto a chair next to me. He groomed a little and then curled up to sleep.

But moments had been enjoyed and the “rush” slowed

End of year report

Most noted award goes to Mother Nature in 2011. Relentless earthquakes continue to rock Christchurch. One major quake claimed a large number of lives, while many have caused extensive damage and destruction.

In NZ we also experienced volcanic ash clouds, flooding, tornadoes and we watched in horror as tsunami killed tens of thousands in Japan. On the flip side it has been a surprisingly calm year where I live with gale force winds being much rarer than usual.

One word to describe 2011 = Draining – mentally, emotionally and physically.

Achievements of the year:
 Beginning to blog again and meeting friends from other blogs. Sort of cyber pen pals.
 Decluttering a junk room which is now a bedroom of sorts
 Learning more about digital photography
 Pursuing creative hobbies, such as knitting, sewing, family heirloom recipe books and gardening
 Strengthening relationships

Music award for 2011 goes to the community group we sing with. The fun, fellowship and joy of sharing our singing has helped fill our tanks.

Academic awards go to three family members this year: a Certificate, a Diploma and adjunct Certificate and a Degree were all completed.

The Courage award is shared this year by 2 family members. One who recovered from major surgery and the other who faces more surgery in 2012.

It is also awarded post-humously to our cat who had had frequent visits to the vet, tests, scans, interventions, and medication but whose life was ended with mercy and love on December 22, 2011.

The “take courage” baton is now resting with our other cat as he comes to terms with the loss of his brother and constant companion of 13 years.

Highlight of the Year has to be the 4 days of family, fun and excitement in December. Our youngest son married on Xmas eve in the most beautiful weather – hot, sunny and calm. You will note the cabbage trees in the photo taken at the Reception venue are not moving. That is the rarest of rare things!


We spent Christmas and Boxing Day with family and new family by marriage.

And in the wee small hours on December 27th our new granddaughter was born. Mum and baby well.

Works in progress for 2012:
 More tidying and Decluttering
 Income generation based from home for me
 Keeping resolve, resilience and relationships to the fore.

Happy New Year everyone!

Monday catch up

So what has been going on in my ordinary world? The past two weeks have certainly offered some very extraordinary times as well as the ordinary and mundane.
 From the evening of Sunday 14th August until Tuesday 16th August we experienced 3 dramatic snowfalls. Snow fell in our garden overnight in 1995 but it is extreme weather that brings it this close to sea level. This event was at the high end of extreme and the snow lay in patches on the local hills a week later.
 Once the snow clouds had moved on, the rain clouds arrived on the back of freezing gale force winds and it rained almost incessantly for four days. We were very thankful for the heater that powered on through numerous power surges.

 In the midst of this our cat who has had indifferent health for over a year now needed to have a fleet of tests. The final ones required x-rays and ultrasound to be taken. The skilful vet was able to aspirate a fluid filled cyst on the side of the cat’s pancreas and we crossed our fingers that this would perk him up. This cat should be named “Trooper” because that is what he is. He has more than used up 9 lives and has pulled through many different ailments and injuries. It is a joy to see him looking so much better.
 For now the cat is looking chipper, feeling comfortable, eating well and reminding me constantly of how strong the life force can be. Here he is in healthier times enjoying the new carpet and a gentle breeze wafting up the hallway.

 We had booked a short holiday from 22nd August, returning 26th August. The weather shone upon us every day with intense blue skies, sunshine and warmth.
 We stayed for two nights in a cottage just out of Masterton and really enjoyed walking around Henley Lake and the next day visiting the stunning Pukaha, Mt Bruce Wildlife Centre.
 On Wednesday we traveled through the northern part of the Wairarapa and on to Hastings where we stayed in another cottage on a lifestyle block. This part of the trip saw us visit my elderly father-in-law and enjoy a meal out with him and other local family.
 We headed home on Friday, having to make a detour back to Pahiatua to get across the high hills to the western side of our island. The detour was caused by a massive slip in the Manawatu Gorge, shutting the road we would normally travel. The slip was a result of the snow and heavy rain that our island had experienced the previous week, coupled with very unstable rock and soil in that steep sided gorge.
 Unfortunately we have all returned home with a virus causing two of the three of us a reasonably high degree of misery. Our weekend was a very quiet one to help enable us to heal up.
 Evidence of spring was everywhere on our holiday. Most visible were the numbers of lambs in fields, daffodils in clusters and clumps and blossom on trees. The photo below is ornamental plum blossom in Havelock North, Hawkes Bay. By the time we returned spring was showing its face more strongly in our garden too.

“Nature’s first green is gold……

I have had a poem on my mind for days now. Despite the very, very wintry weather we have been experiencing here since last Sunday night, there are signs everywhere that spring is not far away.
I have noticed, in particular, that the willow tree branches are either turning golden or have a russet gold hue. My father quoted Robert Frost’s powerful poem on this phenomenon around this time of the year, just a few weeks before his death in September 1989.

“Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day,
Nothing gold can stay.” Robert Frost.

We read this poem at his memorial service.

But this year it speaks to me doubly as we watch one of our cats require increased supportive care from the vet and under go more tests as we try to determine the cause of his lack of appetite, high inflammation levels and spells of general malaise, despite our love and best efforts at home.

Spring with its vitality and message of new life can be harsh when events in that season tell of the opposite.

Prompts

Over the weekend I saw this suggestion for encouraging writers to write. Begin sentences with “I write of”. Here are some of my sentences from today:

I write of nature because it contains so much beauty, power, rhythm and a space for me from the pressing things of life.

I write of things quirky because I have a sense of humour and a curiosity that enjoys such things.

I write of the ordinary and the good to offer a balance against the glitz, hype and unpleasant that occurs in our world.

I write of the ordinary and good because I know the value that both offer to me and to others.

I write of simple traditions such as cooking for others, writing letters, gardening, knitting, singing in a group, walking, spending time with people we love and connect with.

I write of books simply because I love books.

I write of books because they have helped me in a myriad of ways throughout my life.

What do you write of?

Another prompt I found was over at http://concernedwithstory.wordpress.com was to write beginning with “Right now….”

So for me today, Monday 25th July 2011:

Right now I am very grateful for heating, warm clothing and warm food on such a cold day.

Right now I can see the birds enjoying the apples I have hung for them for winter food.

Right now I am pleased to have paid the bills and grateful for having the money to pay them.

Right now I am wondering if my cat will increase his food intake.

Right now I am processing the information I received about a family member who served in WW2.

Right now I am thinking a lot about resilience and the notes I made this afternoon.

Right now I am pleased to have fixed the errors in the socks I am knitting my grandson.

Right now I have meal preparation to do so I am off to begin that:-)

When I ran self awareness groups I would use a “Right now” exercise at the beginning of the session to help clear the immediate, scattered stuff that was “on top” for participants. Once this happened, focus was easier for everyone in the group.

Writing “right now” sentences offers me similar but different clearing, focus and more.

I’d be interested in your discoveries from writing some “Right Now” sentences.

Autumn scatterings

I planned a day at home, taking it easy and the autumn weather has meant it was a good decision and an easy option. It has been dark, cloudy, very gusty and the autumn leaves have been scattering.

So what have been the scattering of activities of my day?

A prayer and good wishes to the people of Christchurch early this morning as I learnt that two nasty aftershocks had rocked that ravaged city early this morning. One shock was large enough to cause a brief power outage. I wish those tired, stressed people so much peace.

Humming Joni Mitchell’s song “Big Yellow Taxi” which we learnt at singing last night.

Monitoring PG, the cat to determine his intake and output. The vet was happy today to let him track on in the hope that the extra fluid interventions he has had on Monday and Tuesday this week had helped him regain his appetite. More monitoring is required just in case he needs another sub-cutaneous bolus of fluid tomorrow.

Watching more tree felling happening in our neighbour’s backyard.

Finishing a small knitted toy and trying to embroider a face on said toy……more practice needed on that skill, but the end result is good enough.

Hearing on the radio that it is 25 years since Paul Simons’ “Graceland” album was released and singing along to some of the familiar tracks off that.

More synchronicities found in the blogosphere as I find links between several blogs that I enjoy reading and one written by a woman who taught me my first computer skills way back in the late 80’s. The course was called “Computer Confidence for Women” and was nothing short of brilliant.

Collecting two books from the library which look particularly interesting for where I find myself these days.

And I took a few photos in my garden this afternoon but for some reason WordPress is not playing the upload game right now and I need to go and prepare some dinner…..

Nice day……