Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Valentina, Baby

Happy birthday, Baby Valentina Rossa! Today you are three years old.

This is Valentina's Debut photo, her first day in the Princess Palace, approx 5 weeks old. We sat on the couch together, and she purred for so long that I thought for sure she'd wear herself out: but she has Energizer Batteries in her somewhere, and can keep up that beautiful sound for what seems like hours. It lulls me to sleep some nights and welcomes me home from trips to N. Ireland as well as ShopRite. 

Each adoption has taught me something more about life and about myself. Valentina has taught me that each day has the opportunity for joy and for play. I love you, little girl. Go play with your toy mice...

Monday, April 16, 2012

Progress, not procrastination

I've hit my limit. Procrastination, be gone. This weekend I was scheduled to run the MORE Half Marathon in Central Park. I didn't. I didn't because I came up with a boatload of excuses and things to do rather than my training runs. Shame on me.

And here I sit, complaining about feeling out of shape, and tiring too early. You know what helps those conditions? Running. Running helps combat exhaustion and muscle atrophy.

Last week, I texted my trainer and we are set for a long overdue session this coming Sunday. He is a straight shooter, zero tolerance for excuses kind of guy. I will be squatting and lunging and sweating starting at 10A.

My cleanse is going well. I keep thinking I want coffee, but I really don't. It's such an emotional bond I have. The physical part of it I worked through within three days. Again, I procrastinated giving up coffee and found myself completely wedded to my daily cup, like it or not. Often my gastro-intestinal system DID NOT LIKE.

And the last rant for today's post: finally I changed the design elements on the blog. Hopefully I followed the carefully prepared instructions for me as outlined...I feel progress, even through the sea of jello through which I find myself swimming some days. Progress, not procrastination.

Marine Corps Marathon, October 2004.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Awful Grace of God

I've mentioned the book Broken Open. I found a brief passage in a much longer entry about grief that is a glimpse into some of my emotions of late:

"...we learned the lessons of grief, like music or medicine or art or parenting or marriage, must be lived fully to be understood. And so began our journey through the 'awful grace of God'. ...were it not for our friends and family--who flung themselves into the our brokeness, to hold our heads above the water--we may well have drowned in our sorrow." -Elizabeth Lesser

Monday, April 9, 2012


Last week, two young people from my home town were put to rest after hard fought battles with leukemia and cancer. The mother of the young man who died wrote compelling posts to a Caring Bridge page she started when he suddenly and seriously fell ill. Posts I read occasionally in the early parts of his illness and  without fail the last few weeks of his life.

These posts, coupled with my own journey with grief, further complicated by the rapidly approaching 10th anniversary of Joey's passing, have stirred up thoughts and emotions and sheer inertia in completing a blog entry about the topic.

I'm reminded of the Keanu Reeves quotation, "Grief changes shape, but it never ends". This strikes a chord with me as I'm catapulted back to my own initial days after Joey's passing and the unhelpful and actually incorrect things people say about death.

So much sadness. For now, I'll say I'm sorry that families and friends are bearing the burden of these losses. How do you comfort a parent? How do you reconcile the loss?

I agree with Keanu. How it changes, and what shape it takes is not within our control. That doesn't mean our life is out of control. For me it has meant learning how to lean into it.

At some indeterminate point in time, the thoughts and emotions will flow onto a page.

Until then, if you have your health and if things in your life are moving along at a normal pace, be grateful. The alternative is rarely how to handle your winnings from the lottery jackpot.

Wind in his hair, surrounded by friends...Joey in 1999 at the Tuna Tournament.

Monday, April 2, 2012


For those awaiting the end of the story, Lulu is spayed. Tuesday, Dr. H and vet tech L came to my apartment with a pole where a sedative shot is attached. This pole aids vets in delivering care to feral or other cats who are difficult to handle. We really should have had a video camera rolling...

They were able to corner Lulu in a closet where she was wedged between the wall and a storage box. Bessie was too smart for all of us, so we were not able to sedate her; this was disappointing but not important. Lulu needed to be spayed, and while at the animal hospital her initial vaccinations were completed. She also received a mani/pedi, ear cleaning, teeth check, and a microchip just to top off my bill...oy...

Of course she had to run into what I call "Monica's closet". This is a reference from Friends episode titled: The One with the Secret Closet, where Chandler discovers that neat-freak Monica actually has a space that is a complete disaster. Pretty much what this closet looks like....I have tried to organize it but to no avail. Whenever I move from apartment dwelling, I intend to hire a designer to assist me in maximizing storage areas.

Upon her return, she went immediately under the bed, refusing to have anything to do with the cat playpen I purchased. Instead, Coco, Valentina and Manhattan occupy it as if they are inside a special kitty tent. Lulu and Bessie were so happy to be reunited that Lulu purred like a little champion every time I looked at her...she even allowed me to scratch her head, face and chin. A good sign that she is not mad at me.

I can only characterize the house call from Dr. H and vet tech L as something out of Dog, The Bounty Hunter. Without Leeland and walkie-talkies....

Now, let's see what happens with behaviors once the hormones level out; this should take a few weeks. In the meantime, I've started with some holistic remedies to help. I hope they do something more than waste my money and time...

This is Lulu's first solo picture, taken in August. I just love that little face.