Tag Archives: hope

The World Can Breathe Easier Once Again…

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My Hero…

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I feel full of hope and have faith in our government once again.  I do not have to hold my breath any longer—- l—-o—-n—-g—<<sigh>> of relief, and breathe…..

Welcome President Obama! 

Tell us what to do, we are at the nation’s service.

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Happy New Year!

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Damn it is 2009! and I am ever so grateful….

Although it started out awful, I spend New Years Eve puking my brains out and it was not even alcohol induced, what fun is that!  I had the damn flu!  Just now getting back to my normal self, if there is such a thing.  

But things since the ring in of 2009 thing have already climaxed….. Leave it to me to get a new job in this horrible economy without even looking!  A promotion even, with a fantastic agency, less costly benefits, a raise, and managing a group of people I know (for the most part) and already have established relationships, not to mention the impact that the program has on our community!  I am so excited and terrified at the same time.  (Being terrified only means that I am anxious to do a good job.)  I am ever so grateful for having friends & acquaintances who believe that I am a capable, compassionate  and confident leader; over the years I have been fortunate to experience many growth opportunities thanks to this network of individuals.     

And Woody, the ever so adorable being below now resides with us.  We adopted him just before Christmas from the Community Cat Connection, the shelter where I volunteer and sit on the board.  

Woody has brought much love and odor into our lives, yes I said odor.  He is assaultive with his affections, demanding and persistent.  He loves to sit on my lap and knead, he usually goes for the boobs, I am after all his new mumma, but damn he has the biggest paws and claws of any cat I have ever owned.  He also has some problems with gas, stinky, smelly, offensive toots.  Have you ever met a cat that farts?  We we now are owned by one.  We are researching the cause and how we might be able to resolve the gas.  Probably a food issue.  It is on the checklist for his first vet visit with us.  Oh and he doesn’t meow, he quacks like a duck, is 15lbs (huge) and drools when he gets excited.

Hence all his Nicknames:  Duckman, Sirdroolsalot, stinky boy, the Tunaeater (say it like Arnold Schwarzenegger), Quackman,  Sweaterman (he looks like he is wearing a sweater), the boobymonster….. and the list goes on and on and on….

Woody’s transition into our home is very slow, with the ever so dominant female Boo who rules the roost not yet accepting his presence.  So for now he is set up in the finished basement with his own pad, toys, scratching post, beds and bathroom.  We call it his bachelor pad.  From all the reading I have done, slow transitions are the most successful transitions with hostile territorial first pets in the home.   Woody comes upstairs and watches TV with us, snuggles in bed and wanders the house under our watchful eyes, but does not yet have full access to the house when we are not present and engaged in his supervision.  Someday though, time, it will take time. 

Anyway, Happy New Year to you and yours; 2009 the year of CHANGE, for me, for you, and hopefully for the whole country.  It is going to be a good year for us all, I can feel it, can you?

Namaste 

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Be the Change

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Live By Example

Even with all that I do to try to make this world a better place, I felt inadequate when I read this story today. I have to admit, it made me cry a little……

DETROIT, Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ — Homeless men from the Mariners Inn shelter and treatment center in downtown Detroit are once again launching an effort to help needy families this holiday season. The homeless men will provide Christmas for four families with money they collect from friends and local businesses or that they earn. Through the Adopt-A-Family program, the men hope to raise $500 for each family to provide clothing, toys, household items, and food. This is the third year that the men of Mariners Inn have provided Christmas for local families in need. Richard Drewery, one of the clients heading up the campaign, stated, “If people had not helped me during my time of need, I don’t know what would have happened. I just want to sort of give back what they gave me.”

“These men may be homeless but they are not hopeless,” says David Sampson, COO for Mariners. They know what it feels like to be ignored, not just at Christmas, but year round because of their circumstances. The men are sons, they are husbands, and they are fathers that have found a way to look beyond their own situation to help somebody else in need. This campaign represents the true spirit of the holiday season.

Please help the men of Mariners Inn achieve their goal. While the men provide Christmas to others in need, they also heal themselves and in doing so gain a sense of self-worth. All donations are tax deductible and may be dropped off during normal business hours. To make a donation or learn more about how you can help, please contact Doreen Webb at 313-962-9446 (ext. 230) or at webbdmi@comcast.net.

Mariners Inn is a non-profit, 24-hour, residential substance abuse facility for homeless men located at 445 Ledyard in Detroit’s historic Cass Corridor. The agency provides free shelter and substance abuse recovery services to men from across the state. Men show up sober at the time of registration and are tested regularly for alcohol and drug use. Our zero tolerance policy helps support the determination these men have made to finally break their addictions. At Mariners, men get the help they need to return to society clean, sober and eager to support their families and community.

 

    Contact:  Doreen Webb
              (313) 962-9446 (ext. 230)
              webbdmi@comcast.net

Makes you wonder if you are doing enough, huh?  Well don’t just sit there, do something about it!

Oscar went to his Forever Loving Home today!

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Congratulations Oscar!

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Last night, at the end of my shift at the Community Cat Connection H and I said “goodbye” and “congratulations” to Oscar the cat.  For today he went to his forever loving home.

All of us volunteers at the CCC will miss Oscar.  He came into us after having endured some extremely traumatic conditions of severe abuse and won all of our hearts. (see earlier post)  He is such a gentle and loving soul he will make his new “mom” very happy.  

This is what I love about the volunteer work that I do at the shelter.  Now, you think it would be sad to say goodbye to a cat or kitten that you have gotten “attached” to or “bonded” with, and I will not say that it is not a little tug at my heart.  But it makes me thrilled to learn when I go in for my shift each week to discover that one or more have been adopted and gone home.  That is what we are about, rescuing cats & kittens from bad environments (whether it be abandonment, surrender, abuse, neglect, or stray) and finding them PERMANENT homes to love, protect, nurture and respect for the remainder of their lives whether they be 10 weeks or 8 years.   I thrive on the sense of hope that all of our cats, even the “old unadoptable” ones will someday go home.  

I have learned in the short time at the shelter that for most people, the real cat people who know cats, when you walk into the CCC to “adopt a cat”, you do not pick out a cat because they are pretty or cute, truly, the cat choses to adopt you and deep in your heart both you and the cat know that you have found “the one”, your pet, your new “family”.

I love my work at the Community Cat Connection, yes even scooping the poop.  I now am privileged to sit on the Board of Directors.  As an all volunteer operated organization we are doing pretty good, we are developing business plans, working on sustainability and everyday we become a more stable respected organization.  However, we are far from hiring staff, having an investment account, and a multi million dollar facility, but I have confidence that we will get there someday.  It is an honor to work side by side with the humane, dedicated and loving team of CCC volunteers, the CCC Family. 

But we cannot do it all alone! If you are able please consider contributing to our humble little shelter.  Money is a good thing, but we also accept donations in the form of cat food, litter, toys, hand sanitizer, beds, bleach and laundry supplies, paper towels etc……  We are also selling Cookbooks and Calendars, they make great gifts (we even take Pay-Pal online).  Community Cat Connection, Webster Massachusetts.      

Your assistance would allow us to continue to help cats like Oscar find their home. 

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Meet Oscar

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He only has Eight Lives left

I do not know where to start.  Oscar has such a horrible story.  I know I will sob if I try to document it all. The short of it is that Oscar was beaten with a shovel, and thrown away in a plastic garbage bag with the trash.  He is healing from a broken jaw and skull fracture.  When he came into the shelter he was infested with fleas and mites and covered in his own feces.  The “powers that be” only know how & why he survived. We at the Community Cat Connection are privileged to be his temporary guardians until he is well enough to move into a permanent forever loving home.  

Our volunteer family is tight knit and we communicate with each other through e-mail constantly. Everyone who has met Oscar has been “touched” by him.  I met Oscar tonight.  I went in to the shelter on my day off just to meet him.  He is indeed an amazing cat!  Despite all the horrible abuse he is nothing less than a love bug. As you approach the cage he starts to purr (loudly), he head butts your hand seeking attention and then (sigh) sadly cries when you shut the cage.  All he wants is love and attention.  He is such a good boy!

I could take this opportunity to go off on a rant about the deranged, sadistic and mentally ill in-human individuals who abuse & kill helpless animals such as Oscar, but I won’t.  I would rather spend my time channeling positive energy.  

Oscar was brought into our shelter by an innocent third party.  I do not know her name, but I praise her courage and spirit for caring enough about Oscar to drive from a neighboring state to our little shelter, the only one she could find that was willing to take him in.  She would not accept our waiver and paid the shelter’s “surrender fee” of $35.  This person is a saint and I personally thank her where-ever she is out there in the world.

Oscar is a survivor.  We all have lessons we can learn from him about unconditional love, trust, hope, strength, courage and survival.  I do feel “touched” and privileged for having met him and I look forward to my shift on Thursday to see him again.

I am thankful for our wonderful shelter the Community Cat Connection and our family of dedicated loving volunteers.  As small & humble as we are, if we were not in operation, Oscar would still be in peril (another part of the story I would rather omit) and he would not be in a safe nurturing, loving environment.  

Oscar is around 6 years old, and despite his frail appearance he is a large cat.  He could certainly stand to put on a bit of weight.  Oscar goes to our Vet tomorrow for a full work up including combo test (Feline HIV & Leukemia).  As one volunteer so aptly put it…..

To quote Ernest Menaul: “The cat has too much spirit to have no heart”.…Oscar obviously has a lot of spirit, and I hope his eight remaining lives are spent in the comfortable and loving home he deserves… 

Keep Oscar in your thoughts and send him as much positive healing energy as  you can.  I will let you know when he is ready to move into a forever loving home (that is if us volunteers let him go to one other than family…. I have a feeling we might fight over him). 

The Community Cat Connection now has a pay-pal account.  Please donate if you want to help support us in caring for cats like Oscar until they are placed with forever loving homes.

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10% Hope is not much :-(

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OM at Kripalu

I am glad that I was mentally prepared and got a good chunk of my crying and worry out of the way yesterday evening.

Pathology should be back within 5-7 days.  There is a 10% chance that it is not malignant.  After pathology is confirmed we will run blood tests, urine samples and full body x-rays.  These diagnostics should determine 1 – whether the cancer has metastasized, and 2- whether or not she is even a candidate for surgery.

I am planning on making all the decisions based on Hocus’ Quality of Life, not quantity of life.  She is after all a geriatric kitty.  Surgery would only be an option if the cancer has not spread and she is not in a high risk category of going under anaesthesia, or the if the tumor breaks through the skin wall and begins to cause concern (I will spare you the icky details about that).  Chemotherapy is not even an option.  It is my will not to cause Hocus any unnecessary stress or trauma .   I keep reminding myself that every decision I make from here on out is for her, not for me.

To date, Hocus has had a full wonderfully spoiled life.  I was reading in a chart in the exam room today that she is the equivalent of 82 years old.  That is a good long life.  I plan on making her remaining days as happy as all her previous days and as comfortable for her as I can.  It is unclear at this point how much time we have left together, but from what I have read probably less than a year, likely 5-6 months.  If it comes to her being in pain, suffering, not eating, not enjoying her life, then I will make the difficult decisions. 

Right now Hocus is not acting sick in any way.  I am unsure  whether she knows that she is diseased. She seems to be really enjoying the Reiki sessions with me everyday and wants me to have my hands on her all the time (more than usual that is).  She is happy, playful, affectionate and my goal is for her to remain that way for as long as she can.  She is sleeping right now in the sun next to me out on the deck, absorbing all those good warm healing spring sun rays.

I am OK with this.  Yes it is hard, yes it will get harder, and it is sad, but I cannot change what is.  Fact -We all die someday.  I just feel like I have been challenged a little too much this year in the death department. I have experienced, “suffered”, many losses this past year, some people I knew intimately and some only acquaintances, but all significant in their own way.  I count seven total.  I know there is a lesson in all this death somewhere, I guess I have not learned it yet because I feel like I keep getting challenged & tested by it.   Either that or it might be the fact that I am inching nearly a year towards turning forty.  I think I like the “lesson” scenario better.    

I want to end with two quotes I found on a a Buddhist blog & website about the Buddhist perspective towards healing from grief and loss.  They make sense to me and resonate some beauty for me in this challenging time. 


It is best to expect to be up and down and just take each day and each experience as it comes. It is thinking that we should be feeling something other than what we are feeling that makes things so difficult.  The thing is to train ourselves to be as simple as we can be – simply feeling sad, simply feeling angry, simply feeling awful or happy for that matter.  That way we somehow can honour each experience and from that some inspiration naturally arises …….and we find the inspiration to somehow open up into the moment and live it in a way that feels meaningful and good.  Somehow we have the power within us to do that – it is what we are – we are that openness, that awareness and that sensitivity, responsiveness and its feels good somehow.  It is how it is and how we want it to be somehow.


I’m reminded of a Buddhist teaching I was given in England, by the 10 year old daughter of one of my classmates, Heather. “How do we hold on to the things we love?” her mother asked. “Like this,” she replied, with her hand outstretched, palm up, fingers open.
This is the epitome of accepting love, the gentle way we hold all that which is precious and delicate. 

http://americanbuddhist.blogspot.com/2007/03/buddhism-grief.html


There is still that 10% chance on which I can hope.

5 Tissues* Chick Flick Nite – “Things we Lost in the Fire”

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 Hope comes with letting go.…..A recent widow invites her husband’s troubled best friend to live with her and her two children. As he gradually turns his life around, he helps the family cope and confront their loss.   

I am going to start my own rating system for the movies that I rent.  Instead of 5 stars I will use a scale of tissues, 1-5.   You see, I get all my emotional and hormonal blockages cleared out on Monday night, “Chick Flick Nite”.   I indulge in take out, something sweet, get in my jammies early and watch a girly movie that my other half has no interest in (or tolerance for).  I am a sucker for the real tragic ones involving you know, the terminally ill, death, abuse….. hardcore.  But they are usually the films in which I find good lessons and they always help put life in perspective.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a sucker for a Meg Ryan or John Cusack movie with a happy ending.  Just that sometimes us chicks need a good cry, and if you are past due for a good cry just let me know and I will set you up with the perfect movie to purge all that stored up ick.    

    

“Things we Lost in the Fire” is a five tissue movie, quite literally maybe six or seven.  Raw, powerful, tragic, yet beautiful and full of lots of hope.  The tragedy  is in your face right from the beginning – death – addiction – very slow and deliberate it does not ever seem to cease. But through all the challenges these characters go through we see beautiful moments, moments of hope, moments of tenderness, of charity, of love…. it is a movie about being human and surviving thanks to the help of others (whose lives are equally as fucked up as your own).     

    

Accept the Good