Nature verses the local grocery...

Friday, May 2, 2014

TRAILS OF LOVE: My forever LILYLOU

TO MY LILYLOU:  MAY YOU WALK THE PATH OF ANGELS; MAY YOU CONTINUE YOUR JOURNEY...PAIN-FREE AND JOYFUL IN YOUR NEW FREEDOM FROM THIS TIME AND SPACE OF PHYSICAL BOUNDARIES. I MISS YOU...ALWAYS.
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I walk in and out of this overwhelmingly immense space in my heart this past week.  A space filled with echoes; echoes of soft, silky fur, piercing blue eyes with gold centers, a little pinkish-white nose, a white face and white, delicate paws. Echoes of that well-known soft vibration under my hand – always and every  night, against my cheek, in the dark, that reassured my fears from a nightmare or the early AM anxiety knots in my stomach before a stressful day ahead.  Echoes of her different tones of kitty-speak, a special communication shared with only that small bundle of Love and uniqueness I knew as my precious LILYLOU, Snowshoe kitty-friend of 18 years.

How does one define or articulate a Love so deep and abiding that it was/is threaded, deeply woven into the fabric I call my life?  How do I cope with that space, that void, that nothingness that demands recognition each and every time I look at her pictures, now?  That unbearable incessant echo that pierces my soul as I fluff my pillow for the night ahead…without her.

HER LIFE 

We bought a wood stove in 1996.  In that barn where it stood, a tiny Siamese-type kitten screamed from a far corner the entire time it took to decide on our purchase. When we asked about the kitten, we were told she wasn't going to live long due to a medical problem.  She rode home completely encased and relaxed in the palm of my hand, mouth engaged the entire trip!  That mouth never quit over the years; I recall her trip to the emergency hospital in Denver, a 4 hr trip, during which she continued to share her opinion...the entire time!  The medical condition, by the way, was minor/easily fixed; the kitten...quickly crawled into our hearts and locked the door behind her, forever.

Lilylou was brave through her first major illness which began shortly before her above-mentioned trip to an emergency hospital, and ended a week later with a feeding tube into her little belly.  She learned how to jump into my lap 4 times a day for the process that made her burp and feel satiated, even as unfamiliar and different as it was for her, at her 5 years of age.  After 3 months, her so-dearly-loved ice-cream, finally convinced her to eat normally again, and the tube went away.

Four years ago, an antibiotic resistant bacterium attacked her sinuses and again – brought her to her little, delicate, Seal-point knees.  Almost dying on the operating table, she fought the good fight, again reared her life-energy and continued her path back to health.

Soon after, Arthritis crept into her legs, paws and shoulders and her struggle began.  I watched her begin to limp – once in awhile at first.  At first, she cried a little if we forgot to leave a night-light on between her kitty-pan and our bed. 

Two years ago, after taking her on a day-long trip with a few nights stay over in a strange place, she stopped eating and drinking till after returning home.  I later realized she was too old, too scared in her dimming sight and waning hearing, to cope with the unfamiliarity and strangeness of new surroundings.  It culminated in a near Mega-colon attack which included several days of stress for her and a few trips to the vet. It was a wake-up call to my psyche; I began to 'prepare' in  my mind, though my heart avoided all and any attempts to connect with my intelligent and reasoned awareness of the nearing horror in the wings of her life...and ours.

A year or so ago, we found a Precious little pup; from the moment she walked in the door, she adopted Lily as her long lost friend.  She jumped on her, rubbed against her, did everything in her power to lavish Love on Lily - which Lily accepted in like manner; I have never seen anything like this behavior in my life.  Precious behaved coldly to the other 2 cats in the house at that time.














A few months ago, she began to leave me at night in favor of her own bed; I’d awake alone, my cheek cool against the night air, where her warm body used to lean into me throughout the night.

Then a few weeks ago, even the height of the bed frightened her as her vision and hearing worsened, as her weakening ability to withstand the pressure of even a few, small steps down to the floor, without pain, increased. 

A week ago, her digestive system balked – at both ends.  Though she continued to drink, any food ingested went right through her – even after days of antibiotics and special food.

The final straw, for my intelligence, was the distress she endured through a necessary bath to clean the results of her ill attempts to coordinate her kitty-pan with her uncooperative and worsening bowels. After 18 years of communication, my intelligence could no longer ignore her distress sounds; no longer not hear the pain in her cries, the tiredness in her energy, the weariness in her movements.  My intelligence finally over-ruled my heart’s need to continue to bury my nose in her beautiful fur, to smell, touch, hear and embrace her unmistakable Lily-love through all my senses, real and intuitive.

My intelligence understands all the reams of reasoning that preempted her ‘demise’ – at my hand.  It understands the reasoning that supported – and still does, the purpose of preventing any further suffering, distress, waning bodily functions, arthritic pain that made her constantly move her little twisted paws as she attempted to find an elusive pain-less position. Her screams every night for the past 3 years as she attempted to find her way back to our bed at night – even with the lights on, as she dealt with her increasingly limited sight and hearing; alone in her increasingly scary kitty-world. My intelligence and all it’s mighty, fearless, feeling-less ego-centric knowing-ness…understands that this part of the life-journey - is a walk through time and space, an embodiment of constant change that must embrace loss and death...and all that life shows us, each and every moment we are physically aware. I understand…that I understand.

Lily lies at rest in our garden, in a sunny spot.  She so loved to solarize, particularly in her latter years. As my grieving allows, I will eventually plant bulbs, flowers and a small Amur Maple over her grave.  


As my grieving allows.

When and if…the echoes subside to distant shadows. 

When and if…my intelligence wins the final argument. 


LILYLOU

Summer 1996 - April, 2014

Hasty, Colorado



NATURE prevails...

Sunday, January 26, 2014

MEMORY Trails: The Mystery of Life

 
It is, sometimes, surreal and cruel madness, this life we live of birth to death. I know it is for lessons and growth that we must pass through the trauma of getting grown, and then breaking down, but it is still madness.
 
I watched my friend prepare to bury her Mom today.  A large crowd filled the church and it was obviously a religious experience for almost all present from the Amen's that resounded at times in response to the pastor who led most of the service. And, understanding the pain and suffering her Mom endured on many levels in her life, it was indeed - a positive change - if that even makes any sense in some sordid and macabre dimension, in which I am never too comfortable.  
 
Three days prior, I watched other friends as they circled around the casket of their 19 year old granddaughter...their strained expressions, wet cheeks, the palpable pain resonating throughout the air we all shared against the cold wind that blew around us on a January afternoon.    
 
Waiting in the parking lot for my friends to arrive for a meal of remembrance, I watched one of the swings on the playground near the building, moving rhythmically, to and fro in the wind, though the other 2 swings stood stock still.  I wondered if this 19 year old child might be resting, wondering, good-bying...on her journey between here and there. As I ate the food, participated in a ritual so part of living and breathing and all that that represents, I felt numb and out of place, and again - surreal.
 
Sometimes, as I walk my life-road, the trail is not so clear, some moments - not so easy, the climb - more treacherous, slippery, prone to lack of clarity, hazy at best.  This week led me through some foggy miles.  I drifted back 12 years, when I too, watched my Mommy claw her way through her last 24 hrs on this planet.
 
Our individual moments, ingredients in a worldly soup of dark and light, high and low, are the sweet and bitter morsels we chew on...as we walk alone, each of us, on our own Trails of Nature.
 
 
 
But always...Nature prevails.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

NATURE TRAILS: Morning and Moon-set

Nature rarely announces her third act...you know, the one where all the characters come together, the plot closes and the play makes complete sense; you're even happy to have paid the outrageous last-minute ticket costs.  Such was this rare morning between 5:30 and 6:30.

I always 'greet' the moon - before I plug in the coffeepot.  Just a little routine I have - keeps me in tune with the outside world...the one that really counts. Kinda like kneeling in the garden dirt, about mid August, surrounded by the sound of a few honeybees, birds chattering in the chicken yard - scrambling for the left-over chicken morsels from a dozen over-fed, happy chickens.  The soothing, pervasive musky odors of aged working compost and energized dirt in which my veggies are also feeding.  I believe I feel better for having sunk my fingers into the dark dirt and behind a weed root.  Truth is, I think the electronics of the Universe run through me, steadying the polarities of the stresses gained during the previous days spent dealing with the man-made world in which I attempt to function. "The Force be with you..." comes to mind. These "forces" hold the Universe together...it works for me!  But I digress, back to this morning's rare moment...

Of course, I dared not let my sleepy best friend enjoy the rest of his warm, quiet rest; of course, he 'decided' to join me in my Nature fizz!

First, the eastern sky lightened and a pale pink/purple tinge dusted the bottoms of the few lingering clouds on the horizon.

 On the other horizon, a sleepy full moon began its descent; the synchronicity was palpable! A finely tuned Natural rhythm, chanting a mantra heard only in our racing heartbeats.

At one point, our fingers lost feeling; holding a metal camera in 30 degree temps with a breeze...is challenging.  But the saga had a strong hold and we persevered.


 Then - THE moment occurred - the brilliant red ball broke over the horizon;



Seven minutes later, the moon disappeared for another day...


IN MEMORY OF BOOBIE/POOH BEAR, November, 2013. 
May NATURE take you to Eternity.

 

Nature prevails!






Tuesday, October 29, 2013

NATURE TRAILS: moments at Home

"NATURE IS NOT A PLACE TO VISIT: IT IS HOME."
 Gary Snyder

Found this poignant quote today, it touched deeply.  We forget that Nature was here - long before we were, that she rules this planet, as a tough and Loving guardian. We can count on her!  We can indeed, rest in her all-knowing plan, be who we can be at any moment, with her guiding light, warmth, understanding that is obvious in every aspect of her kingdom.
  • Watch the peaceful butterfly as it flits from flower to stem - in complete faith that whether it lives another day or not - it truly is - the moment it enjoys.
  • The Pelican glides up and down, circles and dives in its constant faith that Nature will provide its food. No stress, no worries as it travels through graceful, powerful flight, using every muscle, every moment.
  • The ants move determinedly, quickly, carrying greater loads through their day that we ever could.  Their tasks are centered, full-focused as they create their little worlds.  Their entire being gobbles up their every movement, their every moment, oblivious to the constant peril they face in a world of giants.  Have you ever noticed an ant sitting still on a grain of sand, stressing over lunch, death or large soled tennis shoes?! Their every movement, every effort, is completed - in their moment of given time.
  • Our babies trust in Nature as they sleep their worry-free nights, trusting that Nature will provide. They smile and giggle through their moments, adding joy, excitement, new faith to our moments.


Nature gives repetitive morning sunshine throughout her realm, brings new energy for planet-wide hope and warmth, dreams and possibilities.  Her fading colors at dusk, leave us with beauty and design with which to tide us over through her sometimes, long nites. Her weather permitting, moonlight guides us through our darkness, our dreams, our pondering.



Sit in the moonlight this week and ponder the millions of moments we enjoy.  Learn increased determination and focus from the ants in your life.  Revel in the smile of a baby.  Find peace in the flight of a butterfly. Gain a sense of freedom in the flight of a Pelican.

Be at peace with the glorious moments we have this day. 

ONE MORE TIME


One more time...to laugh and play,

One more time for rays and soft rain...

One more time to hug and smile,

One more time for thought, and pain.


One more chance as a freedom soldier,

One more season with rake in hand; 

One more moment for heart to heart,

One more time to take a stand...


One more moon for pondering light,

One more drive down hiway lanes..

One more time to look and learn,

One more time...while time remains...

NATURE prevails...





Saturday, October 26, 2013

FORD TRAILS UPDATE: Corporate dismissal

Three weeks of life now separate me from my fire event of 10/2/2013.  And life really does...go on; nothing stops the 'life-train' from its destination, wherever that may be.

But I want to state some facts here, for the record, about my interactions with FORD Motor Company.  After contacting FORD 3 times, I was informed that my "case" was now in the legal department and that the legal department was the only department that could deal with me - AND - that the legal department ONLY deals with their customers through snail or e-mail, that I could no longer handle this "claim" in any other manner!

I contacted my attorney.  He advised me that FORD is famous for out gunning and out waiting people with my similar problems, and that it would be in my best interest, to let go of my desire to have FORD reimburse me for any part of my loss. It appears they were NOT very interested in ascertaining the cause of the fire which - in my opinion, might possibly save someone else's life.

Also, for the record, we decided - as a direct result of this 'big corp' behavior, to not even consider replacing our vehicle with another FORD product.  They lost - forever, our business; in this case, approximately $20,000.  In a few days, we pick up a 2014 Jeep Patriot.  Had FORD been smart enough to assist me - in some manner, we most likely would have replaced our Ranger with another similar product. It seems to me that FORD must have so much money at their disposal, that our measly $$'s were inconsequential.

For the public record, anything posted herein is MY PERSONAL OPINION, of which I assume I still have a right to express under the Constitution of my United States of America.

GEICO, our insurance company - on the other hand, has been SUPER!  Their customer service was and is - immediate, complete, forthcoming, caring and just about everything one might desire from an insurance company! My personal items payment arrived within a week of the incident and the vehicle payment process is almost  complete.  It most likely would already be here, had I not delayed it with additional requests and paperwork processes. For anyone interested in vehicle coverage - particularly if you are military related, GEICO is a pleasure to deal with .  Their company truly understands "customer service".

As always, NATURE prevails...


Sunday, October 13, 2013

FIRE IN THE HOLE! Ford Trails



You haven’t lived “surreal” till you step over flames as you exit your vehicle and then - proceed to watch it entertain flames of varying levels for an hour or so, turning – not so slowly – into a crispy-critter of different textures, colors and oh-so-horrifous (??) odors (probably cyanide, among other chemicals, attesting to my clogged respiratory, head-achy and irritated breathing for several days).…

So was my day, Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013.

Going to a friend’s house to sew – can be an exhilarating experience! I was about a mile from this house when our cute, pretty – did I mention…well-maintained…2002 Ford Ranger, lost power.  It coasted for about 3 or 4 minutes then…directly under my seat I clearly heard…

-’clunk’
-“POOF” (EVERY HUMAN INNATELY UNDERSTANDS POOF!!)
-immediate smoke rising outside my windshield in front of the steering wheel.

As anyone recalls who has experienced a traumatic moment, time immediately splits into two factions which – somehow, work in perfect sync. It took about 3.5 hours to turn the key off as I stared at the ‘forever’ steering wheel.  Then, another 4 hours to un-belt myself.  This ‘slow time’ feels like a dream, a slo-mo of unreal, oh-so-safe cocoon-time. All through this probably 2 seconds of real-time, a constant screaming can be OVER-heard in the background, very similar to…”WHY are you NOT at least 1 mile AWAY from here yet???!!!”(Four letter words removed!) But I digress…

I stepped over the flames coming from under the cab, jumped away from the truck (into the other lane of traffic, I later recalled, WITHOUT LOOKING!), only to see the cab on fire as well as two car lengths of flaming road behind the truck

 This ‘innate’ human fear of fire again kicked in and I can assure you –that at 66 years of age – I can STILL outrun any track team member – ANYWHERE on this planet! 

….Looked back once – “STILL ON FIRE!”  Ran some more, knowing that absolutely – at any second, I would feel the blast that would emanate from our – now, ball of roaring fire! Adrenaline is so over-reactive!

At some point a car stopped and called 911. The next hour or so was spent chattering with any/all of the emergency personnel attending to our used-to-be cute little trick, as the 472.5 MACRO grams of adrenaline hijacked my body...for several hours.


All nervous joking aside, life goes on.  That ‘circle of life’ so poignantly reverberated throughout the soundtrack from “The Lion King” video, recently posted on this blog, continues.  By the next day, the event was fading and though the traumatic memory haunts me, and will for a long time, the reality of the actual event 'cools'. 

We’ve contacted FORD, have a 'claim #', and still await their response.  My communication to them included:

-         Request for them to ascertain the cause of this outrageous occurrence to a well-maintained, excellent running vehicle with under 140,000 miles on its odometer.
-         payment for the remainder of my personal items loss of $700; (total was $900 of which our insurance paid $200).
-         some sort of additional compensation to be discussed

As I mentioned, thus far, there is NO response from FORD. We have always been "FORD people', jokingly entertaining all the old sayings from childhood: "Found on road dead",  "Fix or repair daily", etc. And truthfully, we would care to entertain a new FORD replacement. (So far, a SUBARU Outback is on 'the list').  But without a cause for the fire, using another FORD vehicle would leave me haunted with the possibility of this happening to ANY Ford product, regardless of age and/or condition.

This fire should NEVER have occurred.  Our RANGER was well-maintained, regularly oiled about every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, kept washed; in general, was the ‘apple’ of my DH’s eye.  WAS...being the operative term!

 

We await a response from FORD Motor Company.

All you folks with 2002 FORD Rangers…might want to check under the cab to ascertain that all connections to the gas tank are in tight, working order!

NATURE prevails...




Sunday, June 16, 2013

Hunger Trails: Feed your Mitochondria


This video is a powerhouse of nutritional information and learning.  It seems the old adage of..."You are what you eat", may be more fact than fiction.



Also, through my nutritional wanderings, I found this next video, which gave me insight into my own elevated liver enzymes. I will now watch closely to the types of sugars I intake, since I use a lot of fruit juice instead of whole fruits.



As always...especially in food, Nature prevails.