Posts in the ‘Love’ Category

October 21st, 2011

The Healing Power of Love

Cat healed due to power of love

Sunshine, the Miracle Kitty

We adopted a cat going on two years now. Her name is Sunshine and she’s what the vet called a “torty”, short for tortoiseshell coloring, kind of a blend of yellow, brown and other variegated colors. We think she’s a really pretty cat. Don’t you agree?

She is a rescue cat that we got from a couple whose yard she wandered into one day. They never wanted a cat at all, but she refused to leave, so they eventually gave in and started feeding her and letting her sleep indoors during the cold weather. But after a few months, they hadn’t changed their mind about wanting a pet, so they put her on Craigslist.

Having just lost a cat we’d been part-time fostering (his “real” owners moved away), I wanted another kitty, but I didn’t want to pay much & liked the idea of rescuing a kitty. I found Sunshine, we visited and fell in love. Unfortunately, with our 3 dogs and her shy personality, it was not a smooth transition. But after a few weeks, she settled in.

The people who gave her to us had had her examined by a vet, who told them she was probably a couple of years old and healthy. But from the time I first saw her, I noticed she drooled. I’m not very knowledgeable about cats, though, and our dogs often drool, so I didn’t think that much about it.

But after Sunshine had been with us for about 7 months, we took her into our vet for a check up. We were shocked to find out she had an advanced case of oral cancer and needed surgery to at least control the pain and try to treat it. But when they did the surgery, they decided it had spread and would just recur and kill her. When I asked about prognosis, they said, “1 month” at most.

We were shocked and saddened. It had taken us months to build complete trust and to get her to actually love us. We couldn’t believe we were going to lose her. Oh, and they also said she was an old, not young, cat.

Well, we got that prognosis of one month and we decided we would just love her the best we could for whatever time she had left.

That was over a year ago and she seems healthier today than she did the day we adopted her!

It’s really quite unbelievable. Though it does look to me like there could be some decay in her mouth, she eats 3 to 4 times a day (both hard & soft food), runs around and jumps on furniture like a young cat, exhibits no signs of pain, and seldom drools.

And lately, for the first time ever, she has started to play! It’s almost like she is getting younger and becoming a kitten again.

I can attribute it to nothing but love and tender care. She loves us and we love her. And I think, through some miracle, that love has healed her!

October 17th, 2011

Picture of a Big, Old Maple Tree

Four years ago, I moved into an older home, built in the late 70s. It’s not a great house… it’s aging, the rooms are small, the backyard is a bit run down. Definitely NOT the house of my dreams. But it had one great thing going for it… it was the closest house we could afford to the Boise Greenbelt. It’s a mere 10-minute brisk walk or 5-minute bike ride. And once you reach the Greenbelt, you can go for miles along the Boise River, glorying in nature, exercising your body… or whatever else you want to do.

Some of our family members couldn’t understand why we wanted to live here. But we knew what we wanted and we have not regretted our location for one instant in the last 4 years. But besides location, we also have this big old maple tree pictured below. It’s a wonderful tree with a huge wingspan and it makes the house!

Big Old Maple Tree

Our Big Old Maple Tree in the Front Yard

October 15th, 2011

More Inspiration… Taking Risks

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Mark Twain

I love that quote and it talks about a philosophy I have tried to live in my life, best I can. I’m not one to avoid change, nor to fear taking a risk. I’ve done it a few times in my life. Sure, going out on a limb can be hard, but it almost always will benefit you in some way.

When I started this blog, I wanted to write about things and people who inspire me. I already wrote about how my younger daughter’s blogging inspired me to start my own blog. And her craftiness frequently inspires me as well.

But today I wanted to talk about my older daughter, because in her own way, she has inspired me on a few levels too.

Inspiring Me to Recognize What Matters…

Sarah Collins, my daughter

Sarah Collins, my daughter

I will be the first to admit that Sarah and I don’t always have the easiest relationship. It could be that we are too much alike in some ways… stubborn, opinionated, super sensitive, wanting to be right, argumentative… who knows? All I can say is that it doesn’t take much to get us bickering at times. But that doesn’t mean we don’t love each other, not in the least.

And not only do I love my daughter, I am proud of her too! I admire so many of her personal qualities… and that’s not just me as a mother talking. Well, not completely anyway.  :)

For a while, I thought maybe Sarah wasn’t much of a risk taker. She didn’t go away to college, she didn’t get her own apartment until I moved away, and she stayed in New Jersey even when both her sister and I moved away. But then this strongly-avowed “Jersey girl” up and moved from New Jersey to Texas too, to join her sister. She did it, I think, partly because she needed a change, but also because she knew her sister needed her, and that is just the kind of sis that Sarah is… a caring, supportive, always got your back kind of one.

And then, Sarah took the biggest risk ever… totally beating anything Jenn & I  may have done in the past or since… she sold or gave away just about everything she owned and moved to Greece to teach English! The picture here is at a party right before she left… I think she looks so beautiful and happy in that photo.

In the end, that venture didn’t work out quite as she had planned, but she saw a beautiful country that she loved, got to experience some ancient history in the home of Greek myth (another love of hers), and made some fast friends. In other words, she grew and she added to the fabric of her life. So, I find her willingness to take that leap very inspiring.

But that is also not the main thrust of how Sarah inspires me. The primary way she has inspired me really came to the fore while she lived with me here in Boise for a year after her Greek adventure and before she returned to Texas. I’ve never been super political, voting mostly only in the presidential election. Nor am I one to keep up very well with world news/politics.  And although I have strong feelings about things like racism and prejudice, I’m not one to do much about them.

Sarah is different, though. She is not shy about standing up for the downtrodden or in voicing her opinion about social injustice. And she’s willing to go public with it too. While she lived with me, she wanted to become active in some of our local demonstrations for gay rights… just because she had strong feelings about the issue. I share her feelings and I agreed to go to the demonstrations with her in downtown Boise.

I wish I could say that since she left, I’d continued in her activist steps, but I haven’t. Nevertheless, Sarah definitely inspires me to be more socially aware and a bit less selfish in only thinking about myself and my family all the time. Sometimes we all need to take a bit broader perspective and to do what we can to make a difference in our society.

So, thanks, Sarah, for inspiring me to have a more well-developed social conscience… even if I am still a work in progress! :)

October 14th, 2011

Daily Photo – Autumn Is Coming… Slowly

Autumn is making a bit of late arrival in Boise this year. All the seasons are skewed. Spring seemed to go on forever, making summer start late, and now summer doesn’t want to let go either.  But the last couple of weeks, we’ve started to have cooler weather, especially at night and so today, I saw my first sign of fall in the changing colors of the foliage. It’s a start…

Autumn is coming to Boise

Autumn is coming to Boise

Kathi MacNaughton's virtual signature

October 12th, 2011

Daily Photo – The Cat with a Thousand Hideouts

My cat, Sunshine, is a cat of varied tastes. For as long as she lived with us, she has never settled in one particular place for long. I am not an experienced cat owner. I’ve only had a cat for two years, because before that, I used to be deathly allergic to them. For some reason, my allergy to cats (though not anything else) went away. So I don’t really know that much about cats, having been a dog owner all my life.

But since Sunshine came into our family (as a rescue kitty), she spent a lot of time outdoors, but due to some trauma is now an indoor cat. Throughout that time, though, whether out or in, she spent a lot of time just lying around… but always in a different spot, from day to day. She seems to love a place to death for a few days… and then it is out and she’s on to the next great spot. She only has so many spots though, so sooner or later, what was out is back in again.

We can’t figure it out, but it seems to work for her. Currently, she spend a lot of time in proximity to me. Her favorite spot of the moment is the very top shelf in my office closet, which is open shelving. She squeezes into a small space, but will stay there for hours. Here’s a picture of her in her hideaway spot:

Sunshine the cat in the closet

Sunshine up high

October 10th, 2011

About Inspiration

Inspiration comes in many forms

Inspiration comes in many forms

I am a person who is always in search of inspiration. I think it’s one of the things that makes me… well, me. I have always been like this. I love to learn new things, to get ideas from others and to widen my horizons. I grew up in a rural area with a small town, rather parochial mentality. Then I went away to a mega college and experienced so many new cultures and other things that it changed my life forever. I met my future (first) husband in college and ended up moving to his hometown area near Philadelphia, which was another eye-opening experience. So, in a few short years after leaving rural New York, I was a much different person.

I read a book once when I was having a career crisis that described a certain type of person they called a “Quester”. I can’t even tell you what book it was at this point, but the basic premise is that these questers are constantly seeking something… answers, information, new meaning to their lives. It resonated with me, because it described me to a T. At that point in time, I was trying to find my place in the world, when my career in home health management imploded.

Now, when I am so content in what I do business/career-wise, I still am questing… often to find spiritual meaning in my life… or just to find better ways to live my life.

I’ll be writing about my many inspirations in the pages of this blog as time goes on, but today I wanted to talk about my inspiration for even starting this blog.

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