Tags: Cat Eyes, Cats, DPchallenge, Gibbs, holiday tree, Human, Perspective, Pets, photo, Tree, Ziva
For those who are looking for an extra bit of challenge, show us two photos, each one showing a different angle or interpretation of the same subject
Know what this is?
It’s shades of gray, veering toward the dark tones of an unadorned holiday tree, not far from the edge of the sofa. It was the view of a cat named Gibbs for two months…a view that is not colorfully human. Cat eyes do not see the same as human eyes.
THIS is what cats see of the world. Cool, interesting. The photo above could have used an editing program that would have blurred the scene and thrown in a bit of color.
Gibbs and Ziva may see better than their human in the dark, but the one that feeds them views the world in a crisp and colorful way. It’s no wonder the kids have a hard time finding a piece of chicken lost on a similarly-colored floor or plate.
My view from under the Christmas tree looked a bit different.
Tags: Adding, Ash Wednesday, Christians, Easter, Give Up, Good Friday, Lent, Macaroni and Cheese, Palm Sunday, Penance, Potato Pancakes, spiritual discipline
Growing up Catholic, Lent was a very big deal in our house. It started with ash on the forehead, continued with meatless Fridays, and came to a conclusion with Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter, 40 days later (not counting Sundays). For those of you not familiar with Lent, it is a solemn religious observance in the liturgical calendar of many Christian denominations. During Lent, many Christians the world over observe fasting, do acts of penance, practice moderation and keep spiritual discipline. (Read more about Lent in this article from the International Business Times or via Wikipedia.)
As a child, my parents did not ask us to specifically give up anything other than the traditional “no-meat Fridays” and to spend what seemed like an inordinate amount of time at church. I was not a practitioner of spiritual discipline at that time, nor did I fast or practice moderation. At least I don’t remember those pieces of Lent.
What I do remember is loving meatless Fridays. I loved my mom’s homemade macaroni and cheese (never out of a blue box) and potato pancakes. That was better than any meat dish they would have otherwise served at the end of the week. I yearn for both on the first day of Lent.
Funny story: Mom always served her potato pancakes (grated potatoes, grated onion, egg, salt, pepper, cast iron skillet, an inch of oil) with thawed frozen strawberries. Never with applesauce or syrup. The strawberries were sugary sweet goodness on top of salty potatoes…doesn’t get any better than that. Yum. Imagine my surprise, however, when I first ordered potato pancakes in a restaurant and had them served with an applesauce-filled paper cup. I looked at the paper cup, thought “huh?” and asked mom about the location of the strawberries. Mom told me that’s how potato pancakes are normally served (apparently, we were not a normal family) and I immediately felt the same stinging deflation as the day I discovered Santa Claus was not real.
And now, back to Lent and the title of this post.
For many Christians, Lent brings the penitence of giving up something near and dear to their hearts. Many give up food and/or drink – chocolate, sugar, pizza, alcohol, coffee, etc. (I gave up chocolate for six weeks a few years ago. It was tough. I almost died.) Others may give up pieces of social media, like Facebook or Twitter. How about 40 days without television? Without swearing? Without sex? Without blogging? You name it, it’s being given up by millions as I type this post.
This Lent, I am giving up gummy bears, but I am also adding in.
What is “adding in?” you may ask. I will tell you.
A Facebook friend had this idea last year. Instead of giving up something for six weeks that we eventually go back to, why not add in something good to our life? Something that could become a lifelong habit, or bring a change of disposition? Need examples? I will give you a few:
- Add in volunteer hours – at the soup kitchen or food pantry
- Add in a walk for 30 minutes every day
- Add in a healthy vegetable to your dinner plate
- Add in positive encouragement to a friend every day
- Add in telling a joke to your co-workers, just to make them smile
- Add in mercy for your fellow human being when they are having a bad day
- Add in silent meditation for 5 minutes every day
- Add in a daily thanks to Mother Nature, regardless of the weather
- Add in a daily thanks to your higher power for waking up
Add-in. Easier than giving up coffee and chocolate, it’s beneficial to the soul, a penance of kindness, a silent whisper of love and grace.
Of course, you can give up something for Lent, especially if your gummy bear habit or cursing is out of control. But beyond the 40 days of Lent, Christian or not, “adding in” can be a journey of health and happiness to your spiritual well-being. You can add in any time of the day, any day of the year.
And so, dear readers, I ask you…
What would you “add in” to your life today or in the coming weeks?
(Adding in a second Easter basket for yourself doesn’t count.) :-p
Tags: Bob Ross, Challenge, DP Challenge, Happy, LIOLI, Mall, mall walkers, Natasha, Pancakes, Snow, Spring, Walking, Winter
Natasha and I have a new Saturday morning routine. We are mall walkers. Food court at 8:30 a.m. is where we meet. Natasha sets her Gym Boss, I start the pedometer on the cell phone and off we go for three laps around the inside caverns of the mall. As we solve the world’s problems and a few of our own on this walk, the colors of clothes, shoes and underwear pass us by and the undelightful smell of Abercrombie & Fitch’s force-fed cologne makes us gag. We plug our collective noses and carry on, knowing that there are pancakes waiting as our reward.
Yes, pancakes with pecans and blueberries and syrup. Why do you think we walk? (Andra, I hope pancakes are waiting for you at the end of the Trace. And fried chicken.)
As we were walking into Blueberry Hill Pancake House, Natasha threw down a writing challenge: “I want you to write something nice about winter.” My reply: “Really? I haven’t been whining about winter. I’ve been good.” Natasha agreed that I had been a lot less whiny about the cold and snow in recent weeks. I told her I’d think about a happy little winter post.
Happy little winter. Reminds me of Bob Ross when he would paint happy little suns and happy little trees and happy little clouds. I don’t remember Bob ever painting a happy little winter.
Anyhow, I’m procrastinating. There are other current challenges that would allow me to circumvent.
1) Margaret Rose challenged her readers to write about liver – like it or loathe it. Well, I loathe it. My post would consist of blech, blech, blech, blech and more blech. Blech times a million. I have tried to eat liver in various presentations at various venues, but I end up wanting to feed it to the cats or the garbage pail. Blech.
2) Weekly Writing Challenge-Threes: Wasn’t that the photo challenge a couple of weeks ago? It sure was. This week, the challenge is to write a story based on three photos or pictures. Up to this point, Natasha’s Challenge contains a picture of mall walkers and a picture of someone trying to keep the liver down. I would need a third Google-searched picture and a cohesive story to bring it all together.
Hmmmmmmm…thinking, thinking, thinking…*sigh*
I guess I’m back to winter. Write something nice about winter. Happy little winter.
It appears Bob did know winter on his canvas. Pretty little picture. It is a reflection of a warm hearth and warm heart on a winter’s day.
Truth be told, I would not be without winter and the first snowfall; a fresh white blanket on Christmas Eve; the powder that beckons skiers to the black diamond hill; the sunlight gleaming off the ice-glazed mounds of snow; the crisp, clear air that tingles the nostrils. Winter brings warm fuzzy blankets and heaping mounds of comfort food (or pancakes) to help warm the body and soul. Coffee and tea steam warmth into the face of its drinkers. Ice skating rinks and sledding hills are filled with laughing children and adults. Neighbors help shovel neighbors’ sidewalks. Winter is the wonder of a thermostat that keeps us warm and the impressions of a snow angel left behind. Winter is the wonderful season of snowblowers, snowshoes, ice shanties and sculptures, woolen mittens and a knitted Green Bay Packer hat. Winter gives life a chance to sleep between the flannel sheets until it’s time to praise spring.
Happy little spring.
Winter continues to exist in my world and I continue to live and breathe in it. A warm-up is on the forecast, which is actually closer to normal. I’ll take it. A high of 30 degrees will feel like summer on my face and give renewed hope that winter is beginning to lose its grip. I may have to get a T-shirt that reads, “I survived Wintermegeddon 2014!” I’ll wear it when Natasha and I are able to give up the mall walking for street walking, call winter over, and bitch about how 85 degrees is too hot.
And when the sweaty walk is over, we’ll head to the air-conditioned Blueberry Hill and have pancakes.
Tags: Abandoned, Children, children at play, DPchallenge, Parent, Playground, Snow, Summer, Winter
It was not a good day for the echoes of children at play.
At least not here.
The sounds of summer skin sticking to a sun-warmed slide are many months away,
as is the sound of a young boy’s mom telling him to “be careful!”
A parent’s presence on the adult swing is non-existent.
Though impressions of winter footprints meander through the snow,
it’s been too cold for Johnny and Susie to be outside.
A snow squall makes matters worse.
Temporarily abandoned, the playground is motionless, quiet, without voice.
If this is not enough abandonment for you, click HERE.
Tags: Anniversary, Blogger, Cake, Chocolate, Chocolate cake, Humor, Life, Sing, Song, WordPress, Year
The epic blogging anniversary is in two days. I started out on Blogger on March 1, 2013.
On March 17th, I headed over to WordPress and never looked back.
Chocolate cake (or martinis) all around! Time for a song!
Happy Blog-iversary to MJ
It’s been one crazy year
She blogs about cats and chocolate and people and stuff
Happy Blog-iversary to MJ
Happy Blog-iversary to MJ
It’s been one silly year
She’s sending a sympathy card to all of her readers
Happy Blog-iversary to MJ
Thank you for reading, liking and following. I truly appreciate your presence.
Tags: DPchallenge, Object, Pansies, Short, Snow, Spring, Tall, Winter
Oh why did you leave us here, tall one?
Out on the patio by ourselves. Alone.
It’s cold out here. Extremely cold. Polar vortex cold. We object.
The icicles are shivering their way loose from the roof. Soon, one will try to stab through our cover.
We can’t see under here. The light is dim.
Oh why did you leave us here, tall one?
It was once warm out here, months ago. Seems like forever.
Sadly, the leaves on the nearby trees fell back then, the grass turned brown.
You took our friends away. We suspect they died.
Did you give them a proper burial?
Dirt crumbs on the wooden floor have been replace with layers of snow.
The short gray ones no longer sniff us, try to eat us.
We are forgotten objects of summer love.
Oh why did you leave us here, tall one?
The cold gets colder, we feel more alone.
Our leaves wilt with sadness.
The tall one answers:
I left you there so I can see you again, short ones.
Look at you!
You’ve made it this far.
Your green is somewhat true. You held onto your yellow and blue. I am surprised.
I left you out there, short ones, thinking you would leave your seed and die.
Your tag said “hardy”.
The tag was right.
You give the tall one hope, the promise of spring.
The promise of warmth.
So, I must return you to the dim light.
And I must go to the other side of the glass.
A smile broadens my lips.
Promise, short ones.
Be safe, sleep well under cover.
You will be happy I left you there.
Whether it be a noun or a verb, more objects are HERE.
Tags: Cats, DPchallenge, Fur, Pets, Photography, Shade, Sun
The late day sun, a window, two felines and a freshly made bed provided an excellent opportunity for a second coming of this week’s photo challenge.
Tags: Cats, DPchallenge, Feline, Gibbs, Kneading, Pets, Photography, Sleep, sleep cycle, Snore, Threes, Wikipedia, Ziva
Gibbs and Ziva sleep 16 hours a day. Two thirds of their lives are spent in the curled-up prone position. So says Wikipedia…
Cats conserve energy by sleeping more than most animals, especially as they grow older. The daily duration of sleep varies, usually 12–16 hours, with 13–14 being the average. Some cats can sleep as much as 20 hours in a 24-hour period. The term “cat nap” for a short rest refers to the cat’s tendency to fall asleep (lightly) for a brief period. While asleep, cats experience short periods of rapid eye movement sleep often accompanied by muscle twitches, which suggests that they are dreaming.
Harley cat, who lived to be 17 years old, was a 20 hour sleeper. I often told him he was sleeping his life away and he always gave me the look of, “I don’t care. Can’t you see I’m sleeping? Go away human and leave me alone!” Yes, THAT look. I tend to believe that Harley’s heaven is a continual sleep cycle, waking only to eat a few kibbles and get a chin scritch or two from an eternally resting crazy cat lady.
It’s funny how it never matters to the felines when human is sleeping on a weekend morning and the food dish has not been filled in a timely manner.
The timing of cats’ activity is quite flexible and varied, which means that house cats may be more active in the morning and evening (crepuscular behavior), as a response to greater human activity at these times.
Okay you two, “morning” is 7:00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. It’s 5:30 am, Monday through Friday, when I go to work. Please stop running across my head and playing on the bed when the human is sleeping. This includes your nocturnal hours that you may consider “evening”. Got that? Are we good?
*The silent feline ignoring behavior is defeaning*
You know guys, I’m a good mom to you. I never disturb you when your butts are sleeping. I go to work and leave you alone for nine hours. Then I go to yoga or the gym and leave you alone for another hour. When I’m home, the bed, couch, chair, cat bed, top of the kitchen cabinets, and basket are yours. All yours. You sleep without being disturbed. (Except for the times the vacuum runs and, really, that’s your own personal issue.) The human lets sleeping cats sleep. You both need to give the human a break on weekend mornings.
*Mr. Gibbs reacts*
Don’t roll your slanty eyes at me, young man, you will NOT starve if breakfast is 90 minutes later than what you determine. Act like your roommate and have some decorum.
Between the two creatures, Ziva is the one who I predict will sleep her life away. It’s that dang basket. Sleep comes too easy when curled up in a warm blanket, packed down in the basket just how she likes it, her own soft fur adding another layer of comfort. Ziva has one foot in her basket and she is purring at the speed of a locomotive. Two feet in, she’s snoring in a manner and sound that might require a box of Breathe Right strips.
Kneading is often a precursor to sleeping. Many cats purr while kneading.
And snore. Funny, there is no mention of cat snoring on Wikipedia.
With that, this post must come to a close. There are four cat eyes staring at me. It’s almost time for the next sleep cycle, when the human joins the eight legs in slumber. Gibbs and Ziva will settle in with their human…Ziva swaddled in her basket and Gibbs sprawling on the bed. Ziva will start the purr/snore fest and Gibbs will lay his head on the unused pillow.
I will find sleep. Those other two…they will sleep for awhile, play, sleep again, eat and poop, sleep again, stare at sleeping human, sleep again, plan to take over the world, and finally wake me up at 5:30 am for food.
*Let sleeping human sleep*
(PS: There is no Part 1 or Part 2. The title merely pays homage to this week’s photo challenge.)
You can view at least three more three’s HERE.
Tags: Goodbye, Last day, Leaving, Toilet Paper, Wordless Wednesday
Tags: DPchallenge, Flakes, Life, Photography, Silence, Silent, Snow, weather, White, Winter
It starts with one flake
One flake becomes two
Two flakes are suddenly a hundred, then a thousand, then ten thousand
It silently adds
First in inches, then in feet
Snow falls and we do not hear
It is soft, wet, filled with a hush
But snow knows how to add
On top of vehicles
Flakes silently coat
No one is inside to speak or turn the key
The snow coats the ground with a mute “hello”
And brings a stillness to the branches of trees
Lays quiet, peaceful
(unless you have to drive home in it)
Inside the car, the radio plays
The cell phone beeps
The driver sings
Outside, the wind blows taciturn snow
The flakes count in great numbers
Onto the road, onto the windshield
The driver wants to put a muzzle on it
Except that it is already reticent
The snow will not talk, it will simply fall
All the way home
The traffic hums slowly and follows tiring paths of white
The driver makes it home
Parks in the garage
And steps out into silence
For additional quiet….Shhhhhhhh!