That Darn Cat
Portrait of That Darn Cat

Still doesn't have a name.

But she's stolen our hearts.

It's probably no accident that our little cabin in the woods came pre-equpiped with a kitty door to the front porch.  We've been working on teaching her to use it for, oh, 24 hours, so she can go in and out while we're away for the next couple of weeks.  Last night I thought we probably hadn't allowed enough time for proper training in kitty door usage, despite her obvious brilliance.  It's a little tricky, because it has a magnet that latches it shut after each use, and she has to really push to get through it.  But this morning she knocked our socks off again.  We fed her on the front porch, closed the front door, and not 10 minutes later she was back in the house, proudly announcing her presence.  "Me-row!"  She made a point to remind us that she had just used that kitty door, all by herself, because she was standing in front of the closed front door, beckoning us to come see what she had just done.

And we jumped up from our office chairs, first to see if something was wrong - why was she yelling at us from the other room?  Then to congratulate her like the proudest of parents.  "Look what you did!"  "So proud!" "Good job!"

And she purred and squeaked, relishing in the shower of attention.  Yep, I'm a bona-fide cat genius.  And I'm cute, too.

Man, are we suckers for that darn cat.

Here's the (not-so) short list:
Bella
Lola
Tessa
Bea
Belinda
Ingrid
Vivian/en

This is HARD, people.  Your thoughts in the comments would be MUCH appreciated!

Wed, 05/20/2009 - 6:46pm | cats | 10 comments | Leave a comment
Unquestionable Certainty
Morning Tea

I wrote the following at 7am yesterday.

I'd been lying awake for hours, head pounding, mind spinning, neck screaming, when I decided I should just get up and start writing.

Positivity is eluding me right now.  To say that I'm terrified would be a severe understatement.  While I know I'm supposed to be kicking ass on this tumor, I'm allowing it to consume me while I bury my head in a giant pile of debt.

I need a sign that everything is going to be okay.  I need the universe to show me, unquestionably, that it's going to be okay.  NOW.

Yesterday morning, I had no intention of posting this.  I was in a dark place, unsure of myself and my abilities.  I only wrote this down because I needed to get these thoughts out of my head and put my needs out to the universe.  I often advise my brother to do the same, to write down his thoughts, his needs whenever he struggles with something.  So as lay awake staring at the ceiling this morning, I could hear his voice, saying, "Write it down!  Mock it up!"

[Thanks, Little Brother.]

I most definitely received my UNQUESTIONABLE sign in my email inbox last evening:

Hi Lisa, I was referred to your site by a friend of  a friend of yours, and am in awe of the beauty of your writing, especially with what is going on with you right now.  I was wondering if you would be interested in being interviewed for a documentary film project I am working on, you can check it out at www.thelivedexperience.com.  Your story (actually more so the way you choose to live your life) touched me very deeply, sending you much love!  Kate

Meeting Kate like this, reading her encouraging words, and discovering her fascinating project renewed me with certainty.

Everything's going to be okay.

You deserved to know.  Because you deserve to try it, and reap the benefits.  What does the universe need to know right now? Write it down.  Mock it up!  (In the comments, please!)

Tue, 05/19/2009 - 10:12pm | health, metaphysics, personal growth | 0 comments | Leave a comment
Gratitude
Flowers from Friends

It's true what they say.  That what you put out into the universe, you will get back.  I know this, but had never had it confirmed so profoundly as when I was in the hospital a couple of weeks ago.  The nurses and doctors at Goleta's and Santa Barbara's Cottage Hospital overwhelmed me with kindness - the kindness of strangers.  But after four days of observation, I noticed it wasn't like that with everyone.  Despite my pretty scary news, I was doing my best to take everything in stride, treating everyone with kindness and a smile.  And getting it absolutely reflected back at me. 

But some of the patients I came across in the hospital weren't in the same place.  They were grumpy and sour with the nurses, doctors, even their loved ones.  And unfortunately, it stifled everyone's attitude, which I have to imagine was a detriment to their own health.  

So even now, while I struggle with what to do about my finances, I realize that there is nothing more powerful than your own attitude and positive energy in affecting your own health.  Change your mind, change your health.

I actually intended to write this post as soon as I got home from the hospital, but there were so many things to write about, and I kept putting it off, not wanting it to get lost in the shuffle.  I knew I had to be sure to give it proper thought and attention.  And now, two weeks have passed since my hospital stay, and I have even more for which to be grateful, even more about which to write. Thank goodness for publishing delays!

A partial list:

  • The tremendous care I've recieved from the amazing doctors, nurses and staff at the hospital, Sansum Clinic and the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara
  • Family, friends, friends of friends, neighbors and people I've never met.
  • Our little cabin in the woods, which feels as though it is situated in a healing vortex of love, light and nature.
  • The tireless efforts of the California firefighters over the last few weeks, working to save so many homes from the recent wildfire that ravaged our dear city.
  • And my dear, dear Boyfriend, without whom I would not have survived the last year, much less the last couple of weeks.

Thank you.

When's the last time you've paused in the midst your daily grind and thought about the things for which you're grateful?  Share your gratitude here. 

(Psst - in the comments!)

Mon, 05/18/2009 - 8:01pm | Blog Post, health, personal growth, tuber | 4 comments | Leave a comment
When the Student is Ready

...the teacher will appear.  So they say.

I have long paid lip service to the importance of being grounded and in the moment, but the type A part of my personality often thwarts regular practice.

I found myself in tears many times last week, frustrated by the physical and mental limitations caused by my anti-seizure medication.  I learned that the medication not only causes mental cloudiness, but also heightened emotions, physical weakness, dizziness, drowsiness, and confusion.  I was completely overwhelmed with the most menial of decisions, and here I was, having to make some pretty big choices regarding my finances, belongings (regarding a certain wildfire and possible evacuation of our home) and health.  By Friday night, something had to give, and I went to bed with the intention to take care of myself better over the weekend.  I would allow my mind and body to rest.  I had to.

And Saturday I awoke to a treat.  Breakfast on the front porch brought an aerial display of epic proportions by our community of hummingbirds.  They made me laugh out loud for over an hour with their antics, cursing and body-slamming each other for space on the feeder.  And just as I was marveling in my own, personal, live-action nature channel, it really came to life.  Mother turkey came through the yard for the first time with her new family of chicks.  Then the woodpeckers started heckling me from the trees.  The finches and jays and flickers and crows and grosbeaks and quail and waxwings all raised their voices, spread their wings and revealed themselves.  I was laughing so hard, tears were streaming down my face.  The message was so clear - the moment is right now, right here.  And I stayed put, sipping my coffee, taking it all in, allowing Boyfriend to click away with the camera.

I know I'm not doing it justice with mere words, and the magnitude of the moment wasn't captured digitally, even if I were to post a series of photos or a video.  So I'm gifting you with this clip - it's the only thing that comes close to capturing how I felt.  So make like Snow White with a smile and a song.

Wed, 05/13/2009 - 4:38pm | birds, health, wildlife | 4 comments | Leave a comment
The Magic of Motherhood, Not Quite in Time for Mother's Day

Let's not even get into the fact that my biological clock has been been shifting into overdrive for a while now.  (No, you can't ask me how long!  And I can feel you high-fiving each other, Kurtabel!)  But recent events have certainly heightened my nesting and maternal instincts, much to the dismay of all logical thinking.  

Then She Found Me came in the mail from Netflix the other day, and poor Boyfriend had no idea the treat he was in for.  By the time Helen Hunt shouted, "I'm not adopting a Chinese baby!" for the third time, I was nearly in tears.  

[Before certain family members get all excited, please see the previous post.  I'm in the process of adopting a CAT.]

So I'm going to risk boring you to tears by indulging myself in nature's version of the magic of motherhood.  I took this video Saturday* of the inaugural appearance of Momma Turkey Hen and her 9 balls of fluff.  Moms always seem to have impeccable timing, don't they?

Happy (belated) Mother's Day.

*NOTE: This video is not my own, but in an effort to keep my head from exploding, I opted to link to this video until I get my own posted to Youtube.  Did I mention how much I love Hughesnet satellite internet service?

UPDATE: I got the video uploaded without my head exploding.  Enjoy.

Sun, 05/10/2009 - 4:05pm | birds, cats, family, nature, wildlife | 0 comments | Leave a comment