Life Through a Child’s Eye

I have the pleasure of watching my six-year-old granddaughter for Spring Break this week.

Let me just say right now, I’m having a blast. Yes, nothing is getting done around the house except for watching her favorite cartoons, snacking all day, and playing hide-and-seek with the cat, who isn’t aware, and certainly didn’t sign up to participate in this game! But, the household chores can wait because children and grandchildren don’t stay little that long! 


Grace Faith, (her middle name is the same as mine which makes me smile), has made up this game called: Treasure Hunting. She begins by mapping it out on her Etch-a-Sketch. Next, she has to make sure her coordinates are correct on her drawing; she even allows me to follow her finger along the curvy lines until she gets to the X. Now we are ready for the actual hunt. She runs ahead of me, after she’s chosen from MY STUFF the “treasure of day”. She yells ahead to let me know which room it’s in. As I search she tells me ‘closer’ or ‘warmer’ if I’m really close. Of course, I see the item as it’s the only out of place item in my house; but I keep up with the game a bit more. Finally, Eureka! I’ve found it! And, with that seemingly small amount of effort and enjoyment, her big smile of achievement, she’s already off on the next item on her agenda!

Next on HER list today is to visit her 96-year-old great-grandmother who lives only a couple blocks away. As we arrive, she eagerly attempts to open the door to SURPRISE her, but finds it locked! I could tell when she looked up to me she was the one who was SURPRISED! I could almost see her little mind moving as it quickly processes the situation. Suddenly she announces, “How can an old woman just take off like that?!”  

That was the cherry on top of my Day 2 of Spring Break. I just love how children view the world, a world us adults haven’t seen in a long, long time.  I can’t wait until tomorrow to see life again through a child’s eyes!

Spring: A Time for Change

It’s been quite awhile since I have blogged so I thought I’d better get back into it. Why now? Well, Spring is on its’ way, the weather is warming up and the sun is shining much more than during the winter, so I must be coming out of my ‘winter hibernation’.

That being said, there really isn’t anything new under the Sun, just different ways of saying the same ‘ole things. Still, every year we as humans feel rejuvenated when trees put on buds and tulip leaves begin to emerge. A feeling of change is in the air!

I have that urge to dig into the dirt and draw lines down the length of my home garden so I can bury tiny seeds with hopes of seeing green emerge in the weeks ahead. I get the ground ready while waiting for the weather to warm up enough to get my tomato plants buried in the soil as well. The sooner they get in there the sooner we get to reap our harvest…BLTs.

So, what does this have to do with A Time for Change? Let me tell you!

Sometimes we get in a rut in our choices in life. We mindlessly buy the same seeds we bought last year and the year before that and the year before that. We even will go so far as to purchase the exact same seedlings our own fathers used ‘back in the day’. It is the same with many other areas in our lives. In fact, we really don’t want to change that or anything else. The older we get the more secure we feel with keeping things the same.

That is why I’m blogging to challenge you and myself as well to get out there and pick different seeds for your garden. I dare you, yes DARE YOU, to resist your weekly day-to-day routines and strike out a new direction. Choose a different road, even if just for an hour in your week. Buy that special plant you have always had reservations about in the past.

Make the Change….Spring IS IN THE AIR and it’s time!

Once Upon a Lifetime Pet Story

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It had been several years since there had a been a pet cat in our home. We had a long-haired tuxedo cat we lovingly named Taz. He was so adorable, loveable and the complete opposite of what you would think by his name. He passed in 2005 and we loved him so much it just didn’t seem right to bring another cat into our home until …December of last year when we broke down and ended up adopting two litter-mate females. It was time. We were a little out of practice and didn’t get them to the vet in time, to make a long story short, and they both ended up pregnant. We thought that the one female, Patches, had actually gotten pregnant before her sister, Tabby, which would mean each litter would be delivered a week or so apart. No matter when they had gotten pregnant we never expected what happened next.

Last Thursday BOTH cats gave birth to their first litters; first Patches with 5 babies and directly after her last one was born Tabby began delivering her litter of 6 kittens. WHEW! I was busy all day long with kittens everywhere. We were not expecting this at all. We had prepared a single box for the new mother and babies but we didn’t expect to need two beds at the same time. So, I hurriedly obtained two large plastic laundry baskets to accommodate the new families. However the oddities didn’t stop there.

We put Tabby in one basket with her six and Patches in the other basket with her five. That seemed to work well but they didn’t like the idea of having these baskets in the corner of the living room. We figured this out when they kept trying to run off with one or two kittens to hide them back in our bedroom closet, which was where they had first attempted to deliver them. Of course we blocked that pass but had to decide somewhere that would be a good place to keep them away from the main traffic as well as safe, secure and secluded. The bathtub had always been a place the two cats had enjoyed exploring for some reason, so we thought that might work well for the purpose at hand.

We tried it out to see if they would find that it a more comfortable place to care for their young. We soon decided it didn’t matter which kitten was with which cat; we just put five in with Patches in her basket and in the next basket we put six with Tabby. We then closed the shower curtain and gave the new families some privacy.

It wasn’t long before I had to go in and check on the new mommies to see how they were getting along with the new location. To my surprise Patches had left her litter behind in the one basket and was lying in the same basket with Tabby and her six. I was shocked. So I put Patches back in HER basket and tried it again. Again she jumped back into the basket with Tabby and her brood. So, I gave up on the one basket altogether and simply put all eleven kittens in the same basket with Tabby and Patches. It was almost immediate when Patches let me know she was happy by closing her eyes and purring.

They have been this way happily for the last three days, but I know soon they will outgrow that one basket and God only knows what we will have to do next. We may end up giving them the entire tub!

Every time I go in and check on them I am still amazed at how simple nature is; two sisters sharing the care for each other’s babies in peace and solitude. It is so beautiful to see… one will stay with the litter and let the other one come out for a “breather”, then they will switch and the other one will come out for a little socializing with our family before they settle back in together again to share in the nurturing of their furry little clan.

Yes, I know I’m a city gal and never lived on a farm but I have had the experience of helping a few other pets with their delivery and raising of their young, but I really think you will agree that this one is one for the records….a once upon a lifetime pet story, at least it is for the books in MY life.

…and then there were ELEVEN?

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Today, the first day of Spring, when everything is renewed, I had two very pregnant cats hiding most of the morning. My husband, Roger,  began the search, as we both were suspicious since we knew they were due any time. Actually let me back up a bit to December of last year. I want to give you a better picture of the entire story, so, here goes…

Last December when the temperature was down in the single digits and the wind chills were below the single digits, my husband was working for a local farmer. He soon made friends with two of the barn cats on this farm.

It was about this time I had discovered a mouse in the house. Well, one thing led to another I called the exterminator and he brought home the two cats. The poison killed the mouse and the two cats ate the rest of the mouse bait which seemed to cause them…

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…and then there were ELEVEN?

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Today, the first day of Spring, when everything is renewed, I had two very pregnant cats hiding most of the morning. My husband, Roger,  began the search, as we both were suspicious since we knew they were due any time. Actually let me back up a bit to December of last year. I want to give you a better picture of the entire story, so, here goes…

Last December when the temperature was down in the single digits and the wind chills were below the single digits, my husband was working for a local farmer. He soon made friends with two of the barn cats on this farm.

It was about this time I had discovered a mouse in the house. Well, one thing led to another I called the exterminator and he brought home the two cats. The poison killed the mouse and the two cats ate the rest of the mouse bait which seemed to cause them no ill harm. It was like catnip to these two tough sisters. Yes, I said SISTERS! Tabby and Patches were litter-mates. They got along well with our 3 dogs and settled right into our schedule. Actually the cats pretty much walked in and looked that look at the dogs and they stayed clear of the new additions to the Hathaway House. Just when Roger and I were trying to get the last of our Christmas shopping done it occurred to us maybe we should be checking to see if these two cats had been spayed. Well, we did think about it anyway. But the holidays were upon us and we let that thought get away. Next thing we know it’s the New Year and there are some strange cats hanging around our house. UT OH!

Yep, too late. We now had two pregnant sisters. Well, no use crying over spilt milk I always say, so we lovingly cared for the mothers-to-be and patiently waited for the arrival of the little furry newborns. My husband and I both thought that the cats were about a week apart on the delivery dates. We waited, and we waited, and we waited. Just when we thought these two cats were going to be pregnant for the rest of their lives, it happened TODAY and boy did it ever~!

Roger scoured the entire house twice to try and locate both cats but they were M.I.A. He gave up at that point and went into our bedroom to get a shirt to wear for the day when he noticed a foam pillow from the closet lying on our bedroom floor. Hummm that was strange. He went to the closet and listened. He could hear some purring coming from the farthest part of the back of the closet. He then called for the cats and all of a sudden he faintly heard a “mew” that sounded like a “kitten”. He crawled back into that corner and lo and behold he found the mother cats and 3 baby kittens. He yelled for me to come help. We were able to get them all out with much effort and ran to get the box we had prepared for the event. We weren’t even sure which cat was the mommy at this point and neither cat was interested in leaving the other, so Roger cut the side out of another box and put both boxes together in hope of figuring out what was going on. Next thing we know Patches delivers another cat and another for a total of 5 adorable kittens. She purred the entire time she was delivering and cleaning off her newborn. Just as she was settling in allowing the babies to get their first meal our other cat, Tabby, jumped out of the box and ran under our corner curio cabinet. With that, out of the box ran Patches to join her. I thought how strange for a new mother to do something like that even though these two were very close. So after a few minutes we had located the flashlight and were looking to see what was so important under that cabinet for Patches to abandon her new litter to be by Tabby’s side. To our amazement there was a little black kitten and Tabby looking at it like what is this? So we grabbed both cats and the new little one and put them all back in the boxes. ”

Just then Tabby delivered another one! Oh my word, our 2nd mother-to-be was delivering now! A third one was delivered very fast and it was all so overwhelming Tabby wasn’t cleaning any of her kittens.Tabby acted like her babies must surely be something she would leave in the kitty litter box. So, after she delivered  another one she just kind of lost interest and refused to clean her babies or suckle. Since Patches was doing so well and had everything under control I tried placing the newest delivery of Tabby in front of Patches. Patches lovingly cleaned the baby just as she had her 5 kittens earlier with no problem, and  lovingly let the baby crawl around with her litter. Patches was in all her glory and still purring to beat the band. I was distraught as what to do. Roger had bailed when he saw the second kitten coming out. He said, “I never have seen a live birth of any kind and I don’t intend to start with this one.” With that he was gone. So I became the sole midwife. Now I have had other cats and helped with other animals in labor all of my life, but NEVER have I heard or seen anything like what was about to happen next.

Tabby just was not delivering her babies in a normal fashion. She actually acted like they were foreign, and was really not into doing it anymore. Yet a fourth one came out posterior first! I had to actually lift the pregnant mommy up in the air to help her complete the delivery. Patches was there to do clean-up duty as in the previous 3. My daughter, Amanda, showed up around this time and I was very happy to see her come in that door. Together we held Tabby in the air and helped massage her belly though the last 2 kittens being delivered. That made 6! I was in total shock the rest of the evening, and pretty exhausted as well.

I had litter-mate sisters who went into heat at the same time, delivered back to back and had an amazing total of 11 kittens. All the kittens are healthy and nursing fine. The new mothers are still trying to figure out what is going on and I’ve given up on who has who’s kittens. They are all being shared by the new mommies. I definitely have a houseful and know the next two months are going to birth a couple more blogs out of me I’m sure, and, Yes, eleven is ENOUGH!

 

 

 

 

Facebook or High School?

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It’s been many years since I was in high school but I still remember those that tried to make my life miserable. Back then I thought I was the only one being harassed by girls that thought they were better than me. I always have been a very positive person and so instead of turning around and giving it back to them, I took it and ignored them. I thought all they wanted was a response and I was not going to give them what they wanted. So I took it. One girl would get on the school bus, find me and hit me as hard as she could in my arm EVERY DAY. I ignored her. Then, she would make sure her and her group of “friends” were sitting directly behind me in the auditorium and she would kick my chair during the entire performance we were called there to see.

I recently have found out that almost everyone I talk with had to put up with the same kind of juvenile treatment when they were in school. But as soon as I graduated high school I saw that the “gangs” in school meant nothing in the real world. I was very thankful to learn of this. People, for the most part, are treated according to their merits. Then there was Facebook!

Now, don’t get me wrong I love Facebook. I have many wonderful, positive friends that I enjoy sharing posts with and chats too when we can find the time. But there are a few that seem they have never grown up I’m sad to say.

Why do I say this? Well, there are those same type of trouble makers on Facebook I’m sorry to say. One of my daughters deleted her account just because of some of the ridiculous fights people try to reel you into on this site. I have begged her to come back to Facebook because I miss her. She refuses. So, when I recently had a couple of “high school” episodes on Facebook I of course shared it with my daughter. She asked me if these “altercations” were on Facebook. I had to admit with my head hung low that yes it was from Facebook.

Now there is the cutest TV commercial on lately. Have you seen it? It’s three grandmothers talking about saving money on their insurance. The one lady was so proud of her “wall” which she has taped all her family pictures on…yes her actual real wall in her house. When she then had a difference of opinion of one of her lady friends by her side, she turns and says “I unfriend you”… It’s very funny but now a way of life it seems.

I don’t like unfriending or even blocking people. I hate it actually. I enjoy all my friends Facebook or otherwise.

But, then again, if they are acting like that maybe they really aren’t my friends after all in High School or on Facebook…

Compassion, I suppose~

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When you meet someone in the street, in a store, or as you past someone by…do you smile and greet them or look away? Don’t answer that question. I already have seen first hand many, many times the answer. And, yes, I guess we all are guilty at times, me included, right? But, have you every wondered when your eyes ‘almost’ meet another’s what personal struggles that person may be going through at that very moment? I have, and what’s more, I have seen first hand both sides of that scenario.

Sometimes it’s hard to greet the next person you see with a smile when your entire day has been less than desirable. And, if that person doesn’t respond positively with you, do you allow it to ruin your day as well?

The smallest act of kindness is very underestimated I have found all too many times. How hard is it to give someone a shoulder to cry on when they are having a bad day, or just a touch or compliment to show you care…YES care for humanity if nothing else!

Okay, you are probably getting tired of me on my soapbox and playing twenty questions with you, but I do feel very strongly about this subject.

All too often we forget that the smallest gesture of kindness can make or break someone’s day. Are we too much in a hurry today that we cannot take our eyes off our IPhones a moment to give another human being a smile, a kind word, a compliment? 

I think if we could start real slow, and choose to give only a second to meet one new person’s eyes a day with a smile; or perhaps give a compliment to your waitress or clerk. Isn’t it a simple thing to do? I know it’s a personal goal for me.. and, it could be for you too..

Compassion I suppose, you got any?

 

 

 

True Friends…a Chapter in MY Book of Life

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Life is messy…In my life I’ve experienced many things. Through the years I have often referred to my life as a book full of many chapters. Each chapter carries with it bad, good, and some in-between. Some chapters I never want to end, but everything must have an ending just as it has its’ beginning.

Good friends and family have always been there to see me through the rough spots, but then I have to continue on my own in order to reach the next chapter of my life. No one can do it for you.

Hopefully, I have learned enough living through these chapters to get through to the next, and so on…But, there is always one thing I can never understand let alone learn. That something is how to tell who I trust and if they really are a true friend.

No matter how long I live I don’t believe I will ever understand how someone can be a friend to your face one minute and cut you to your core the next minute when your back is turned.I have been so blessed to have so many true friends in my life, but I still have to deal with the others who say they are my friend to my face but act differently when my face is turned.

My motto is always to be willing to say the same thing to someone’s face that I would say to someone else behind their back. Sadly this isn’t the way it works for many in this world.Sometimes I get hurt when I forget that not all are forthcoming and upright like I am with them.

It’s easy to tell someone else how to deal with it when someone hurts you. You say “Just let it roll off your back…” or “Don’t worry about it…”. My aunt always used to give me some of the best advice. She would say to me, “Melodye, allow in only the good and let the bad fall to your feet. Never allow negatives to enter, only positives…” I try to keep that one in all my chapters. However, what the little voice inside my head keeps saying is: I have lived 42 years without their opinion, and I surely can live another 42 years without it. It still hurts when you have given your all, laid it on the line only to find a true friend impostor has trampled on your heart and soul, let alone your character and good name.

So as I turn to another chapter in my book of life I ask myself this question: “Who really are my true friends and what part of me do I allow them to be involved in? Do I add their name to my list or should I just black ball them until I am sure they are worthy of my trust?” The answer is simple. You can’t tell a book by it’s cover. You must open each one and start reading a bit before you know whether it’s going to be a Best Seller or Basement Close-out.

Yes, I will continue to give my trust even if I don’t get it in return. Why you ask? A friend of mine pointed out just tonight when he said he knew what I would always do because I am a person who cares.

Now how can you argue with that?

What I learned as a Brownie in the Girl Scouts serves today as much as it did then…

“Make new friends, but keep the old, one is Silver and the Other Gold.”

As another chapter comes to a close I still don’t know the answers but I do know this; in MY Book of Life True Friends are hard to find and even harder to keep. I will continue to collect the Silver ones as well as the Gold ones and maybe I will strike it Rich before my Book of Life ends…