Monday, December 24, 2007

cHRistMas PAsT and PreSENt


Friday, December 21, 2007

All in a Morning's Day

Ok, so today I spent my morning caring for an ill Beta fish named Nemo. Technically, he is my grandson Nathan's pet fish, but Nemo has been in my care for about a year now. My daughter rescued him from a party as he was part of the table's centerpiece; swimming in a vase of flowers for everyone's amusement. I won't go there right now, but I was proud of her for rescuing him before the props were disassembled and packed away. That was three years ago. How long do these little Beta fish live?

We thought he was dying at Easter time. He lay, almost lifeless, at the bottom of the bowl, not interested in eating his breakfast nor in watching the comings and goings of our colorful and gigantic bodies as he usually did. We would stop to tap gently on his glass house to get him to move . . . we were checking for signs of life. We said some prayers around him. I put a few drops of holy water in his bowl and I even gave him a Reiki treatment. Soon he was his old bouncy self again. A Miracle!

Well, he has had a case of the icks lately . . .
fin rot. I have been treating him for that, but the medicine has not healed him completely. I was about to try a stronger medicine today, but, after I changed his water and cleaned his bowl, then I put him in the new water, he would not leave the top. Betas can breathe the air at the top. I quickly re-changed the water, fearing the medication was too strong and therefore suffocating him. I continued observing him. He was still hanging, listlessly around the top gulping air.

I went online to look up Betas and Beta health problems. Along with
fin rot, swim bladder and constipation are the three most common ailments, with swim bladder and constipation going hand-in-hand. The information provided suggested I do not feed him his Beta food for a day or two, but I was to peel and mush a couple of frozen or canned peas and see if I could tempt him to eat them. The high fiber would help unblock him. The 'pea' treatment is preferable to the good old-fashioned Epsom Salt bath, which should be my last option due the the extra stress it would create. Now remember, I am still referring to a little Beta fish here . . . not me.

Nemo did not go for the peas and I am going to hold off on the Epsom Salt bath and the medication for the time being. I'm praying that nature takes its course and within a day or two he will be pooping with the best of them. I'm praying for a Christmas miracle much like the Easter miracle.

(Don't doubt for a minute that a little fish won't steal your heart - Nemo actually has a personality, he comes to see me when I'm near his bowl and he bubbles with love. I love that little guy!)

So, that was my morning - diagnosing and treating a Beta fish named Nemo with constipation and swim bladder. Two nights ago, my friend rescued a cat that was trapped in her window well and she spent her afternoon at the Veterinarian's office. Tonight I'm going to rescue and treat myself . . . I'm meeting a friend for a drink. Salute!

Down with Santa! created by: StoveStomper on 12/23/03

Monday, December 17, 2007

Snow Day

Emmy was like a child on Christmas morning when I took her outside.
Just two days ago, the sun was shining, the lake was blue, the water was rippling against the shore. Now, shades of gray, sheets of ice and a thick white blanket of freshly fallen snow are decorating December's canvas.
Ahhhhh, the beauty of Michigan.
Time to go inside . . . I made a pot of Northern Bean soup. Sunday was definitely a hot soup kind of day.
This evening my sisters are coming over - to my nest - for our annual Christmas get-together. My theme is Oprah inspired: "my favorite things." We are each preparing one of our favorite dishes, and in lieu of individually chosen gifts, we are bringing three of the same thing - one of our favorite things - to gift each other. I thought that would be fun; sharing and giving and receiving something we each personally love.
I'll be back to writing and posting regularly in about a week or so, but for now - as a woman, a mother, and a 'gammy' - the holiday season keeps me very busy. I'll keep in touch with these little updates until Time gives me her gift.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Trimming my Tree and Decking my Halls

While I prepare for the Christmas holiday . . . send out my cards (the one above - for all of you - is our "Christmas in July photo taken 7-25-07 on Luke's 18th Birthday), bake cookies, wrap gifts, fix the top strand of lights on my fully decorated tree that went out . . . here's a bit a holiday cheer and spirit:

I stopped believing in Santa Claus when my mother took me to see him in a department store, and he asked for my autograph. Shirley Temple

Christmas at my house is always at least six or seven times more pleasant than anywhere else. We start drinking early. And while everyone else is seeing only one Santa Claus, we'll be seeing six or seven. W. C. Fields

Santa Claus wears a Red Suit,
He must be a communist.
And a beard and long hair,
Must be a pacifist.
What's in that pipe that he's smoking? Arlo Guthrie

It is good to be children sometimes, and never better that at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself. Charles Dickens

The Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot have a nativity scene in Washington, D.C. This wasn't for any religious reasons. They couldn't find three wise men and a virgin. Jay Leno

"Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people once a year."
Victor Borge

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play
And mild and sweet the words repeat,
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had roll'd along th' unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bow'd my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong, and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."

'Til ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
first published in 1863

I wish you all a festive, stress-free, pre-holiday season!

AND . . . A Festivus for the rest of us!" From Seinfeld

Monday, December 03, 2007

Aquainted with Evil - Innocence Lost

As a people, have we changed at all? Have we evolved at all? To loosely quote from one of Castaneda's books; "If you think you've changed a little, you haven't changed at all."
When I think back . . . back centuries . . . back millennia . . . I have little hope left. Little hope for all of us, for mankind as a whole, and for me who is a part of this whole.

For as far back as we can collectively remember through historical writings, art, stories . . . from the beginning of our existence we have continued to make the same ill-fated errors in judgment over and over again. To our detriment, we have continued to be the same 'people' we have always been, regardless of the difficult life-lessons we have experienced, the pain, the sorrow and the obvious karmic outcomes of our doings.

Since our beginning, we have engaged ourselves in wars, religious and political conflicts, prejudices, social hierarchies, poverty, rape, pillaging, addictions, greed, sexual exploitations, immoral and unethical behaviors, ignorance, denial and indifference causing us to be uninvolved.

Sure, we can argue that there also exists 'good' people: generous, caring, concerned, involved . . . just as there has always been.

WE HAVE NOT CHANGED. And that is fact.

A few days ago, the body of a young girl, Emily Sander - just eighteen years young - was found. She was a college student. She had her whole life ahead of her. She needed extra money. She found a popular-by-demand side job in the dark world of pornography; a world that would not exist if we were truly an evolving species. But, unfortunately, pornography does exist (as it always has) and it is raping us, especially our children, of the gift of innocence. It is an ever-growing business and our appetite has become insatiable. Pornography, for one, is destroying the fabric of mankind. I know from my own personal experience and the experiences of friends around me.

And then there is the recent news story of the eight-day old infant girl - sexually abused and murdered by her twenty-eight year old father. We can say, "He is a sick @*%&, " but the questions of "How could he . . . ?" or "Why did he?" should really be a question of "What happened to him that he, one of our own, became so filled with darkness and evil that he would ever have thoughts like that in his mind - thoughts that would lead him to do something so cruel, horrible and ungodly?"

The news continues to report the horrific stories perpetrated by mankind - stories we do not want to hear about, but must know about if we are to fully understand the crisis we are facing in this world.

All I can say, with much sadness and despair in my heart, is GOD HELP US ALL.

December 23, 2012 is quickly approaching. While I'm not a 'doomsdayer' by nature - I am actually an incurable romantic and optimist - I don't know where else we can go, what else we can do . . . except PRAY and clean our own minds and hearts of the trash and toxins that have accumulated within us by means of our mere existence and co-inhabitance among our fellow man in the outskirts of the garden.

Thomas Cole.
Expulsion from the Garden of Eden (detail). c.1827-1828. Oil on canvas. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, USA.