Photo Challenge: Quest


via Photo Challenge: Quest


I saw this word today — “Quest”, and I decided that would be a fun way to look at my latest challenge.  I just had all my worldly possessions moved back to Delaware from Florida.  I have been living without them for a year and a half and got very used to a minimalist existence.  Now, taking up one half of the living room are about ninety boxes.  I kid you not.  In preparation for their arrival, I read “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo.  The book is inspiring and yet down to earth.  Step One involves getting rid of things that you don’t use, or don’t need or that no longer give you joy.  She starts with clothes, I believe, but I have to do this box by box since they are in a pile half-way to the ceiling.  My quest is to reduce my belongings to a reasonable amount.  You may be wondering “What in the world does she have in those 90 boxes?”.  Many contain books.  I have collected books (mostly illustrated and children’s books since I was in my twenties). One challenge is to reduce the number of books — it is estimated that there are 40 cartons of these.  Now, what will make this so hard is that I already got rid of half of my books before I went to Florida.  Yes, I can see that I had a problem.  LOL!  So, what is left is those that I thought I couldn’t live without.  In addition to these books, are my journals.  Starting roughly nineteen years ago (my first marriage was disintegrating), I started journaling every day and have kept every single one.  Some are worth keeping, but most are the ravings of a nearly-mad woman.   I cannot even read some of my hand writing from the years that I took care of my ill husband (2nd marriage).  I certainly don’t want to relive that time by rereading these, so I threw ten journals away yesterday and felt all the better for it.  The movers just delivered these boxes yesterday and already I also have  bagged up a bunch of clothes that hasn’t fit for over five years (antidepressants do put weight on) and a bunch of knick-knacks and what-not to go to the thrift store or the garbage.  My friend, Audrey, had stopped by to stare in wonder at the mountain of  boxes.  I was about to consider throwing out books of poems from my first love, but Audrey fell in love with them and wants her daughter to see them too.  We wrote each other poems nearly every day.  We would leave them on my car windshield when it was parked outside my job.  They are not of the Brownings’ quality but they are cute and whimsical.  Perhaps, I should keep these. I wonder if he kept mine?   Perhaps, I will blog about them in the future.

So, wish me luck.  My quest is a daunting one.  I seek to raze to the ground a mountain.  And there is lifetime of treasures to go through.

A New Black Cat Wives’ Tale


Image result for pictures of black cats

In this part of the world, there are too many bad luck superstitions associated with black cats. This is why black cats can have a difficult time getting adopted.  To combat this I am starting a new wives’ tale (versus an old wives’ tale):

“It is good luck to be loved by a black cat.”

My first cat was named Clementine. As she cried piteously on the way home from the shelter, I started to sing to try and calm her.  For some reason, I started to sing the old song “Oh My Darling Clementine” and thus her name. She was white with black and tan patches.  Cat kisses were her specialty.  I loved her deeply and was overcome with grief after I had to have her put to sleep when her cancer came back with a vengeance.  I would cry every day.  Even after two weeks, I showed no signs of stopping; I was inconsolable.  Then, one day I thought that perhaps if I gave another cat a good home,  it might distract me and help.  So off my son (four years old) and I went to the shelter.  There were many cats for adoption.  They peered out at us desperately from their cages.  Some cried “meow” at us. Paul kept looking at a straggly black cat with lusterless fur and some dandruff.  She didn’t appeal to me and I tried redirecting him to other cats that were healthier looking.  But, he was not to be deterred.  “Mommy, I want this cat” he finally said.  What was I to do?  I had promised that he could pick out the cat so I asked to be allowed to see and hold this woebegone kitty.  She didn’t mind being held and petted.  And, she had lovely golden eyes.  So, it was decided that we would add her to our family.

Well, several weeks of constant brushing revealed a beautiful coat and a loving temperament.  Taking care of and opening our home to a homeless cat was just what I needed to start adjusting to the loss of my beloved Clementine.  She was an outdoor cat (my first) and so we would leash her and take her for walks in the back yard garden to get her acquainted with her new neighborhood.

Image result for pictures of black cats and flowers

Image result for pictures of black cats and flowers

My son named her Puffy for her glorious black fur.  She was always ready for petting and kisses from my son Paul.  And from me too.  She was a very loving cat. Although, Clementine could never be replaced, adopting wonderful Puffy had helped ease our sorrowing hearts.

So, back to the point.

“It is good luck to be loved by a black cat”.

So, please consider adopting one of these oh-so-lovely beauties.

Image result for pictures of black cats and flowers

Image result for pictures of black cats and flowers

Pictures from Bing.



Русская деревня — Фотограф – Белгород


I saw this lovely photo this morning and it took me back a great number of years to Long Island, New York and the Roslyn Duck Pond.  My sister, who was eight years older than me, would take me there often.  She is a true aware nature lover.  I, on the other hand, forget how much nature soothes and awakens and have to be reminded to step outside and let it work it’s healing powers.  There were all manner of ducks at the pond and I derived a great deal of pleasure watching them swim and cast about for the pieces of crusty bread we threw to them.  Geese visited the pond too and would eagerly and aggressively chase us if we were too slow throwing the bread to them. My sister made a huge difference in my life. She was the sunshine in my dark world.  She showed me things to love, whether it be nature or music (Dan Fogelberg and Classical) or old black and white movies.  She shared herself with me generously.  In her I found safety and affection and love.

Отрывок из интервью Алексея Марковича для американского электронного журнала “Жизнь как искусство”. Главный редактор: Лоанн Лунн. Февраль 2016. Лоанн Лунн: Говоря о своём проекте “Путешествие по России”, ты довольно-таки часто делаешь акцент на сельской части России, а также на русской деревне. Откуда такая любовь к сельским просторам? Алексей Маркович: Я типичный городской житель. Родился в городе Белгороде, […]

via Русская деревня — Фотограф – Белгород

Sixty-Nine Top Photos in the World


Image result for photos of fall leaves

lifelessons - a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

My friend Gloria sent me this link which I just had to share with you.  If you can top these photos, I’d like to see what you have in your arsenal. I am constantly amazed by the creativity in our world!!! presentation/d/ 1IHNgzJC6n3u7WePDtD2v61e4XapYx SB4DJyEwjEIdDo/embed?hl=en_GB& size=m&slide=id.p3 presentation/d/ 1IHNgzJC6n3u7WePDtD2v61e4XapYx SB4DJyEwjEIdDo/embed?hl=en_GB& size=m&slide=id.p3

View original post

Waking from Dreams


Image result for pictures of the beginning of sunrise

Yesterday was a better morning.  I woke up at 4:00 am with my mind racing and unable to go back to sleep.  But, I was in a good mood and got many things done.  I wrote back to my kind therapist that I just moved away from.   Its been about a month since I moved back to Delaware from Chicago.  I am staying with my son till I can get some housing help. We just signed a lease for a year and I hope to be able to live independently by then. I also signed up for a course from Coursera and started taking it.  Its about the best methods for teaching children with dyslexia and other learning disorders how to read.  I tutored children in reading before my husband passed away.  I also filled in a housing application and the many pages of paperwork required to see my new therapist.  But that was yesterday morning.

This morning I am a mess (though I am feeling some relief by writing the blog now).  I slept well but had distressing dreams about my first husband screaming at me and being abusive and also hugging my father who sexually abused me.  For some reason  I awoke from these dreams wishing I didn’t exist anymore.  I am trying to reframe my desires for death in these terms when I get real dark.  It has been a bad couple of hours with no relief in sight despite reading through other WordPress blogs and two cups of coffee.  However, from writing this I can feel the dark cloud rising and leaving me.  Not sure why. Perhaps, sharing removes that sense of isolation?

I hear the garbage truck outside lifting the cans and emptying their contents and am somehow comforted by that.  I look at my parakeet and feel glad to see him.  I am feeling a change of venue.  I was stuck in the past this morning but now have moved into the present.  Ah, relief.




Remembering Steve Irwin


Image result for pictures of Steve Irwin - bing

Thanks to Mark Aldrich, for reminding me that it was 10 years ago today that we lost Steve Irwin.  He always made me smile or laugh.  He made the world a better place and his memory still does.

Image result for pictures of Steve Irwin - bing