Pet Photography — “My cat is so pretty”

I think my Cat, “Kate” is so photogenic and I don’t think I’m biased!  She loves me and I love her!  We trained her to go in and out of the doggie door to use the restroom!  At night, she’s able to roam around the living room and nap in her bed that I placed on top of a high table.  We keep our bedroom door shut and every morning, sometimes as early as 4:00am, she would come to the door and meow to get me up.  Now, I have a large piece of foam insulation board blocking the hallway.

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I love my dog Jake too…but it’s more difficult to get good shots of him!

 

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Lessons in Hot Yoga and on Facebook

A couple of days ago, I went to a Hot Yoga class in Loveland, Ohio at a studio called “Simply Power Yoga”.  There were 22 of us sweating profusely in the over 100 degree heat for an hour and fifteen minutes.  At the beginning of class, the teacher read the following to the class.

Letter from a Mother to her Daughter:

“My dear girl, the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through.

If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don’t interrupt to say: “You said the same thing a minute ago”… Just listen, please. Try to remember the times when you were little and I would read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep.

When I don’t want to take a bath, don’t be mad and don’t embarrass me. Remember when I had to run after you making excuses and trying to get you to take a shower when you were just a girl?

When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn and don’t look at me that way… remember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things like eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair and dealing with life’s issues every day… the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through.

If I occasionally lose track of what we’re talking about, give me the time to remember, and if I can’t, don’t be nervous, impatient or arrogant. Just know in your heart that the most important thing for me is to be with you.

And when my old, tired legs don’t let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand the same way that I offered mine to you when you first walked.

When those days come, don’t feel sad… just be with me, and understand me while I get to the end of my life with love.

I’ll cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared. With a big smile and the huge love I’ve always had for you, I just want to say, I love you… my darling daughter.”

– Unknown

Here is a photo of my mother and I on a cruise back in 2004.  She passed away in June of 2011.

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As the teacher read this…I found myself welling up with tears, trying to wipe them away without anyone noticing, and remembering back to all the times I wasn’t patient with my mother.  When she was finished reading…she made eye contact with me and knew I was touched.  Then yesterday on Facebook I saw the same letter posted on an acquaintance’s page.

I also remember all of the times I was patient and sweet to her.  Calling her almost daily.  Buying her diamond rings and hiding them in her glass of champagne or wrapping them in multiple boxes.  Flying her to see me in Germany when I was in the military.  Quitting my job to take care of her when she was in a nursing home and finally, again, the week before she passed.

I realized that we are too hard on ourselves.  We beat ourselves up.  I learned the lesson of forgiving myself and realizing I’m not perfect!

Listening to your Heart

I’ve decided not to go on the six-week European trip.  Instead, I’m going to get a job and spend more quality time with my husband.  I’ve been searching for a while now…perhaps going through a mid (or maybe later) life crisis.  Feeling that I have to fit everything in now.  I typically had jobs/careers that offered one or two weeks of vacation per year and while my son was growing up, the time was spent going to Myrtle Beach or boating/camping.  When I finally was able to travel for longer periods of time…I went a little “hog-wild”!

We’ve all heard “Balance is important in life” or “All things in moderation” and I haven’t been living my life in balance lately.  So…having recognized that, I’m now going to change it.  It’s O.K. to travel and have fun, but for me to feel fulfilled, I realize I need a purpose.  I enjoy helping people and I have a lot of interests and talents.  Instead of staying trapped in the thinking that I have to figure everything out now…I’m just going to take action and start somewhere!

50 Things I Love

1.  Hiking through the woods followed by a break

near Durango, Colorado

 2.  A beautiful sunset

Santa Fe, New Mexico

3.  Talking to a friend

4.  Pretty colors…the blue sky…green trees…colorful flowers

5.  Watching the snow fall while sitting in front of a fire

6.  The sound of church bells

7.  Having a great dream

8.  Cappuccino

9.  Planning a trip…almost as good as taking the trip

10.  Crying when you feel like it

11. The sound of crickets and tree frogs on a summer night

12.  Having a clean house

13.  Hot shower with yummy smelling soap

14.  The feel of the wind and sun on you while riding in a boat

15.  Finishing a project

16.  Getting the job you wanted

17.  A body massage

18.  Lotions and Potions

19.  The lazy warm feeling in the morning before getting out of bed

20.  Lying on the beach soaking up the sunny sun

21.  Reading a great book

22.  Wearing a soft sweater

23.  Stretching

24.  Petting a dog or cat and watching their eyes droop

25.  Listening to a great song while driving a convertible

26.  Taking a nap

27.  Feeling sexy

28. Laying down at night when you’re really tired

29. Sitting in a hot tub staring at the stars

30. Drinking a glass of good wine

31. Surprising someone with a gift or good deed

32. Visiting a beautiful European city or anywhere in the world…

Lisbon, Portugal

33. Laughing really hard and long

34. Wildly dancing for an hour or two

35. Feeling tipsy

36. Kissing passionately…

37. Watching a good movie

38. Cooking and savoring a delicious meal

39. People watching

40. Cuddling

41. The sound of the waves at the beach and…the smell

42. Taking a long sweaty jog

43. Playing with a child

44. Taking cool photographs

45. Winning

46. The smell of freshly baked bread

47. Flirting

48. Looking younger than you are

49. Being able to scratch where you itch

50. Believing in miracles and magic

 

As I was making the list…I realized everything on my list is simple, basic and doesn’t cost much money.  Except for the traveling part!  It made me feel good just thinking of these things!

My Mother

When my mother was living with me last year, I composed a five-page typewritten mini “autobiography” for her. Following the ideas from a website called “Living Legacies”, I questioned her extensively and discovered many things about her that I previously wasn’t aware of.

When she was born in the early 1930’s, there was a mid-wife to herald her birth. She was one of eleven children, born into poverty. Her parents did share-cropping for a few years and life was difficult in the country.

There was no electricity or running water. Coal oil lamps were used and there was an outhouse. They didn’t own a car, so walking was a necessity. A horse and wagon was used to transport their possessions when they moved. The boys were the horsepower to pull the plow for farming!

Rainwater was collected to wash hair and bath time came around once a week. Her mother would cut everyone’s hair when necessary. Although mom was a tall and skinny girl, she chopped wood, carried water from a spring, helped with doing laundry on a washboard, and would knock hens off of their nests, so she could gather their eggs. One of her sisters milked the cows. They had pigs and usually a few dogs and cats.

The boys would sleep together in one bed and the girls in another bed. Mom remembers having to pick dandelions for soup, because they had very little food. There were the cherished memories of her mother making cornbread, fried chicken, milk gravy, chicken & dumplings, bacon, eggs, and homemade blackberry pies.

Mother wore hand-me-down clothing and Grandma would make broom-stick skirts for the girls. When the holidays came, there were peppermint sticks for Christmas and Turkey was a treat for Thanksgiving.  She has fond memories of playing hide-n-seek, swimming in the creek, playing with dolls, and her brothers making homemade toys out of sticks.  They picked berries and shelled walnuts.

Gathered together, sitting on the floor, the children enjoyed listening to radio broadcasts of “The Shadow”, “Inner Sanctum” and the “Squeaky Door”.

She left home when she was 17 years old and lived with one of her older sisters for a year, before moving to the YWCA. She married my father in her early 20’s.

Life was difficult for Mom as she was raising her three children, because Dad changed jobs frequently and the lack of money was a constant. She felt frustrated because she couldn’t provide much for her children in the way of clothes or any activities that required money. There were no family vacations, except for camping.

Dad and Mom owned a Deli for a while, and Mother worked behind the counter, while Dad grew his beard long and traveled through Amish villages, purchasing meats and cheeses from them.

Mother’s next job was laundering napkins at a restaurant/nightclub. I had left home at this point and was in the military.

There was much turmoil through the years in my family and they ultimately divorced in 1981 and Mother moved to a small apartment. She met her next husband shortly thereafter and remarried in 1983.

For the past 20 years she was an Apartment Complex Manager and her husband was the Maintenance Man there. She has fond memories of her years with him, before he died in 2001. They went fishing, had picnics and grilled out, went to dinner with her sisters, had friends that lived in the apartment complex and enjoyed many good times with them.

Beginning around 1995, Mother had a ghost that would harass her every night in the apartment that she and her husband lived in, until she moved out in 2008. She had a team of paranormal investigators spend the night once and they recorded activity.

In November, 2008, Mother was informed that she has a giant aneurysm at the base of her skull and they didn’t want to operate on it. She was in a nursing home and not doing well, so I quit my job and she moved in to my home so that I could take care of her. She improved rapidly and a year later she moved into a senior citizen apartment nearby.

Just recently she fell and broke both of her arms…so she went back to a nursing home for a month before returning home.

The following are some of mother’s thoughts, beliefs and opinions:

• She believes in God, heaven and hell.

• If she could have three wishes they would be to own a small compact house, that my older brother would stop drinking and that her aneurysm would disappear.

• Her advice to young people is: To live life without drinking too much and without anger.

• Her advice to married people is: To love one another like you would love yourself.

• She is sometimes afraid of the thought of death and other times, not.

• Her greatest challenge in life has been her oldest son, because he has been mean and angry with her for most of his life.

• The most generous thing she’s ever done is: sacrificing many of her wants/needs/money in trying to change her son into a loving son.

• The meaning of life to her is: It is what you make it. God gave us life to see what kind of individuals we would be on earth.

To be In The Moment…Zipline!

 

Another fun day with my son…Ziplining at Camp Kern, just north of Cincinnati.  We’ve been one other time in Mexico about 7 years ago.  I’m admitting it…I was scared…but one of my big beliefs is to “face your fears”!  I took Justin skydiving a few years ago and for some reason this makes me a little more nervous.  The only injury of the day was before we even got outside…Justin hit his head hard on this doorway of the Ozone Zipline building.  The autumn colors were stunning and the other five participants were fun.  We went on seven lines…each one getting longer, faster and higher…up to 175 ft. high and 45 mph.  Because I was one of the lightest in weight, I had to do the “cannonball” to ensure I went fast enough on the longest lines to reach the end.  I can’t say I was ever totally relaxed…but I was in the moment. It’s nice to feel proud of yourself for doing something that pushes you…I guess that’s called empowerment!

 

 

 

 

 

Justin always went in circles…unintentionally…and one of the guides asked if he came out of the womb backwards!

 

 

 

Color coordinated gear…

 

 

 

This is the cannonball!

 

 

 

 

Sending peace, love and joy!

~Sherry~

 

p.s.  I have a phone interview with a travel company…so send good thoughts!