The way to love someone
is to lightly run your finger over that person's soul
until you find a crack,
and then gently pour your love into that crack.
~Keith Miller

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Notes from the Hymn "How Firm a Foundation" and just a few musings from now

Yesterday I stopped at the convenience store to buy a king size pack of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups for Two and Five to share. A favorite treat for both. The guy behind the counter was a really tall and well muscled kid with shoulder length dreadlocks ... and though very dark complected, he absolutely glowed. I waited in line and when it was my turn I said, "It makes me feel happy to see you, I like your glow."  I say things like that now if I want to, the grey streaking my hair grants permission. He said, "I am practicing joy so that I know where to go when sorrows come." Yes, that is exactly what he said.  I smiled ... and remembered:

The winds of change and circumstance
Blow in and all around us
So we find a foothold that's familiar
And bless the moments that we feel you nearer.
~Nichole Nordemon (*I AM)

He is building a familiar foothold.  I remembered ... it is an intentional endeavor.

"Philip Yancey notes that there are three things that greatly increase suffering: fear, hopelessness, and loneliness.* Fear can magnify pain in the mind to the point where it becomes intolerable - not because the pain is itself unendurable, but because fear is so devastating to the mind.  Hopelessness makes a person "give up" and cease to struggle, greatly magnifying the suffering, as in the case of Elie Wiesel when his father died.  Loneliness, even without other suffering, is misery; and when we are suffering, the loneliness exacerbates every weakness because the mind as well as the body is in pain."
Why Does It Have To Hurt? The meaning of Christian Suffering. Dan G. McCartney (page 109)
*Where Is God When It Hurts? Yancey (149-158)

Psalms 13 is given as an example of "faith conquering fear" ... even though the psalmist hasn't received an answer he finds peace as he reaches a place (a foothold) where he can again trust. 

These were the words I wrote in my book:
Fear -> Faith
Despair -> Hope
Loneliness -> Love

... there then remains these three ... (I Cor.13:13)  

I sat in Sunday School near the window wall where I could feel the early morning heat on my back, and  brushed away the tiny little tear which had pooled and fell before I could get my game face back on ... I am circled back to these words ... the words on my wrist ... (
protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres ~ loves 
... not so you or anyone can see them, they are invisible, but I know they are there).

Psalm 27 ... expressions of faith
Psalm 23 ... fearing no evil among the deep shadows
Psalms 22 ... hope
Psalm 42 ... intentional/deliberate hope

"But sometimes we find ourselves in places where no one comes to sit with us.  It is then that we most need to remember that God is there with us... ." (Why Does It Have to Hurt, McCartney, pg. 121)  And I'm thinking certainly there are places where no one comes to sit with us ... maybe we think we know who to invite, but for one good reason or another, we sit apparently alone.  And sometimes our aloneness leaves a seat open to sitting with whomever might just wander up ... and maybe they are even good company ... but they can't possibly understand where you are sitting.  Their company becomes a (perhaps welcome/relieving) distraction, but ... you still know you're sitting there alone.

Psalms 131 ... quieting one's soul

And for me I struggle to direct my waning strength to find the footholds most familiar. I really need to feel God nearer.

J.R.R. Tolkien quotes

“The world is indeed full of peril and in it there are many dark places.
But still there is much that is fair. And though in all lands, love is now
mingled with grief, it still grows, perhaps, the greater.”
"Still round the corner there may wait, A new road or a secret gate."

"Courage is found in unlikely places."
"A box without hinges, key, or lid, yet golden treasure inside is hid."
“There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.” 
Languages take such a time, 
and so do all the things one wants to know about."
“And he took her in his arms and kissed her under the sunlit sky, and he cared not that they stood high upon the walls in the sight of many.” 

“A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities."

“Little by little, one travels far.”

“May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.” 

“What do you fear, lady?" [Aragorn] asked. 
"A cage," [Éowyn] said. 
"To stay behind bars, 
until use and old age accept them, 
and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.

“A man that flies from his fear may find that he has only taken a short cut to meet it.” 
"You can only come to the morning through the shadows.” 
“In sorrow we must go, 
but not in despair. 
Behold! we are not bound for ever to the circles of the world, 
and beyond them is more than memory.” 

"He that breaks a thing to find out what it is
has left the path of wisdom."

“Don't go where I can't follow!” 

“How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on, when in your heart, you begin to understand, there is no going back? There are some things that time cannot mend. Some hurts that go too deep...that have taken hold.”

“Where did you go to, if I may ask?' said Thorin to Gandalf as they rode along.
To look ahead,' said he.
And what brought you back in the nick of time?'
Looking behind,' said he.” 

“His grief he will not forget; but it will not darken his heart, it will teach him wisdom.” 

“It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.” 

“Moonlight drowns out all but the brightest stars.” 

“Living by faith includes the call to something greater than cowardly self-preservation.” 


My son, One, has left the Ring Collection on DVD here for me to see again
a rainy day like today seems a good time to  sit again with Tolkien 
I was 13 the first time I read this through ... Daddy  encouraged it.
I like that they both appreciate these words.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sorta like a pesto recipe

(bc I'm out of pine nuts)
(bc the garden is plentiful with all four)
two cloves of garlic
(no bc required here)
Olive oil
Sea salt
freshly ground coarse black pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan
might add kalamata olives next time

Tomatoes from a generous friend's garden (and they tasted like "real" tomatoes) and onion from our garden. I mixed everything together and baked it on 350 degrees for about 30 minutes ... sprinkled with more Parmesan and switched oven to broil.  Delicious with chicken and beans ...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

How poor are they that have not patience! 
What wound did ever heal but by degrees? 
~ William Shakespeare

We could never learn to be brave and patient, 
if there were only joy in the world.

This is the orchid I didn't resist ... Have never seen one with so many flowering branches.  I visited with a lady who knows all about orchids.  She told me not to repot my orchids because they like the small sphagnum  filled pots that they come in, that perfect watering for them is three ice cubes per week, and that once they bloom out to trim the flower stalk above the second or third node and care for them as usual ... and they will re-bloom.  Also that a light touch with the orchid food is most desirable.  I'm interested to watch this one progress.

a best day remembered

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Landed ... intended to touch and go, but a line of heavy rain hit the other end of my runway about the same time I was cleared to land ... ATC gave me the option and I opted to let 'er pass.  Thought to wait a few minutes, maybe get out on a different runway ... ended up waiting for a while. What's forecast and what actually happens are sometimes very different.  It turned out to be a great day for me.  Enjoyed the hospitality offered at BHM, and I learned, among other more important things, that next time I blow out birthday candles I will wish for dreams that smell like CJ leather.  There is something simply very right about airplanes "hugged" by the scent of leather.

That silliness directed me to thinking about other dreams ... real dreams, the sort one has when the body sleeps and the soul is free to ramble towards unveiling the cloud of confusion in which we sometimes seem to operate ... 'least I know I do.  I thought about that during instrument training, that we learn to develop and lean on some internal source when stuff around us seems ... ummm, not right, incomprehensible maybe ... places where we find ourselves in the weeds.  I remembered airplane dreams, and thought to look back at my notes for what I missed or didn't understand when I made notes on a specific dream a few years back.  Also ... looking forward to some instrument proficiency work and learning how to use some new equipment ... . I'll benefit as a pilot (also, and more importantly, as a soul learning spiritual things).

"Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.  ~ James Allen

"You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you." ~ James Allen

THIS little volume (the result of meditation and experience) is not intended as an exhaustive treatise on the much-written-upon subject of the power of thought. It is suggestive rather than explanatory, its object being to stimulate men and women to the discovery and perception of the truth that—
"They themselves are makers of themselves."
by virtue of the thoughts, which they choose and encourage; that mind is the master-weaver, both of the inner garment of character and the outer garment of circumstance, and that, as they may have hitherto woven in ignorance and pain they may now weave in enlightenment and happiness.
JAMES ALLEN. (As a Man Thinketh, written by James Allen, 1902)

"The Vision that you glorify in your mind, the Ideal that you enthrone in your heart—this you will build your life by, this you will become." ~ James Allen

I haven't thought of this book in a long time.  L is reading it and shared a couple of quotes from Allen which he knew I would appreciate.

I know the dream quote, first one above, uses the word dream in the context of a plan, or goal, a desirable outcome, but what is a sleeping dream remembered if not a glimpse of something the soul longs for?  In the specific dream I am remembering I flew, with the help of another, to a peaceful place.  I have visited there in other dreams since. 

A couple more thoughts from Allen (pulled out of context, but I think they stand well, even alone):

"CALMNESS of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom. It is the result of long and patient effort in self-control." ~ James Allen  

"The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream. The oak sleeps in the acorn; the bird waits in the egg; and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of realities.

Your circumstances may be uncongenial, but they shall not long remain so if you but perceive an Ideal and strive to reach it. You cannot travel within and stand still without."  ~ James Allen

Sometimes (I think) actual experiences and even dreams may become metaphors for the inner doings of  a soul.  For me, at least, it is sometimes easier to think of my actual day to day challenges and opportunities for growth, as well, as how I would ideally to handle a crisis in an airplane for example.  Maybe trading real experiences for simulated experiences where the "script" can be thoughtfully edited and then re-applied to the actual event from which the metaphor was constructed.  As this:

I imagine I am co-pilot on a flight which is flown by the captain right in to an embedded mess and everything goes biserko in an instant.  I saw that the circumstances were "right" for such an event to happen but was as unable, as a passenger on such a flight would be, to positively effect a change. ... some thing like that, a senario developed to fit a set of events which are real, but too much to decipher because they are so central in one's life. 

Or this; I recently heard a pilot talking to a group of pilots about the recent Asiana Airlines flt 214 (not this guy, writer of the story I linked, he actually sounds like he's thinking about it ... ) crash.  As he (pilot guy) speculated I thought one can never really know what happens in a setting where we didn't actively participate ... we see results and build senarios  ... and without much thought arrive at the idea that it would never happen to us/with us present.
What I am suggesting for myself is ... in fact  I may find comparable, yet non-aviation specific, events in my very own little life.  Rather then working through the hows and what-ifs of someone else's tragedy, I might actually benefit from a thoughtful look at in this case, an actual, or in other cases, a dreamed-up, senario based learning experience. And if I able, I might ask a Captain that I respected, what S/he would do ... and glean from their experience/training a better path for myself.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Theodore Roethke


In purest song one plays the constant fool
As changes shimmer in the inner eye.
I stare and stare into a deepening pool
And tell myself my image cannot die.
I love myself: that’s my one constancy.
Oh, to be something else, yet still to be!

Sweet Christ, rejoice in my infirmity;
There’s little left I care to call my own.
Today they drained the fluid from a knee
And pumped a shoulder full of cortisone;
Thus I conform to my divinity
By dying inward, like an aging tree.

The instant ages on the living eye;
Light on its rounds, a pure extreme of light
Breaks on me as my meager flesh breaks down—
The soul delights in that extremity.
Blessed the meek; they shall inherit wrath;
I’m son and father of my only death.

A mind too active is no mind at all;
The deep eye sees the shimmer on the stone;
The eternal seeks, and finds, the temporal,
The change from dark to light of the slow moon,
Dead to myself, and all I hold most dear,
I move beyond the reach of wind and fire.

Deep in the greens of summer sing the lives
I’ve come to love. A vireo whets its bill.
The great day balances upon the leaves;
My ears still hear the bird when all is still;
My soul is still my soul, and still the Son,
And knowing this, I am not yet undone.

Things without hands take hands: there is no choice,—
Eternity’s not easily come by.
When opposites come suddenly in place,
I teach my eyes to hear, my ears to see
How body from spirit slowly does unwind
Until we are pure spirit at the end.

Friday, July 19, 2013

looking at of late ...

"Be of good cheer. Do not think of today's failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost.”  ~ Helen Keller

“Do the things that interest you and do them with all your heart. Don't be concerned about whether people are watching you or criticizing you. The chances are that they aren't paying any attention to you. It's your attention to yourself that is so stultifying. But you have to disregard yourself as completely as possible. If you fail the first time then you'll just have to try harder the second time. After all, there's no real reason why you should fail. Just stop thinking about yourself.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt 
(You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a more Fulfilling Life)

“A challenge only becomes an obstacle when you bow to it.” ~ Ray Davis

“I realize the simple truth is that power isn’t control at all- power is strength, and giving that strength to others. A leader isn’t someone who forces others to make him stronger; a leader is someone willing to give his strength to others so that they may have the strength to stand on their own.” ~ Beth Revis
(Across the Universe)

"Licking your wounds will not stop the bleeding, but applying pressure will.” ~ Orrin Woodward

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” ~Albert Schweitzer

"One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the only strength which can overcome adversity." ~ Albert Schweitzer 
Albert Schweitzer
This is the kitten who wandered up at camp (we brought him home).  His eyes were huge, terrified.  He spent the first little while in our home scouting hiding places ... and while he is still skittish, he loves to snuggle with us ... still very afraid of outside.  Watching him grow comfortable and open to the good things available here where he is safe and cared for is really neat.  He is so different from the cats we raised without their mother cat.  He teaches them, and they teach him.  You can feel his gratitude when he is near as in this photo ... you can feel him relax in to the love.  It's pretty special.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

monitoring the numbers




I was calculating my average blood pressure over the past few months and from the numbers recorded at different times of the day, but weekly, it's 98/65 ... from those charted numbers the pulse (bpm) doesn't seem to vary specifically with higher or lower BP numbers.  Hmmm.  I don't really understand how the cardio-vascular system indicates health.  (It was my favorite system to view at the BODIES exhibition ... so elegant, it appears to be fragile, lacy, and continuously does such cool things for our bodies.)  Well, I get that it does indicate relative healthfulness, just don't understand how the numbers work together with one's age, height, weight, genetics, activity ... all that.  I saw the number recorded by this app ... PACER ... and I don't know how the BP number was derived.  Right now I am saving up for a FITBIT  ... right at 100 bucks.  I think it's worth it, counts steps, distance, calories burned, does other fancy stuff that's right up my alley ... . 
Thinking about making a commitment to train for a 5K.  My current goal is to reach 10,000 steps and sweat some every day.  And drink around 128oz of water/water plus electrolytes a day.  That's a lot of fluids, and I have to be mindful to make that happen.
Today I am reviewing the National Airspace System.  I really like the site. Lotsa really quality review material there for folks like me who don't fly everyday, but wish to keep their head in the game. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Very foggy outside and there's condensation on the windows.  I like the way it feels.  Also like these little African Violets.  They remind me of my grandmother, and of my daughters.  I like the continuity of it.
My little 10 hour a week job keeps me busy.  I can fit it in with other important stuff with a bit of effort ... and it lends itself to allowing freedom to do other things.  I'm thinking about it because I have recently seen a full time job that I am interested in.  I'm trying to think about working full-time as opposed to part time.

It would probably be a lot like how it was when I worked while my husband was back at school.  It would probably be like having two jobs.  That's the down side ... . It's pretty stressful for me to feel like I'm "failing" at keeping all the balls up in the air, and adding more balls without figuring out how to offload a few would create problems for me.  The big plus side I think would be that one's contributions were appreciated (you know that because they pay you ... lol).  Definitely something to think about.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Why "blog"?

Two showed this old photo to me.  She found it tucked away, upstairs, in an attic closet.  "When was this taken", she wondered, "How old were you then? You still look the same."  I smiled when I saw the picture again because I have often thought I can look at you (child of my heart) and see you all the way back through the years to your baby face.  This is how Mommas know ... we were there for all the stuff, the little triumphs, the first attempts at deception, broken wings and bee stings ... all that.  I look at this picture and I don't remember that day. (Who was I with?  Probably my friend CJ.)  I remember that blouse (I made it.) I remember that haircut. (First drastic haircut.  I'd always preferred my hair long, the stylist, Georgio, was not at all sure about whacking it all off ... and I was so surprised at how little shampoo it took to wash my hair, and a bit discomforted by air on the back of my neck, but I wanted a college girl hair cut.)  I was 17 or maybe 18.  Long long time ago ... and I smile looking all the way back through the years at this baby face.  Yeah, I can see me there.

So today, I saw the old photo machine shot, the other three were likely scattered among high school friends, and I dropped the sweet smelling mimosa blossom, picked up from the ground on this morning's run and I opened the camera app and took a picture of this day.  I think one of the very good reasons to blog, this type of blog, is so that the days might be remembered.
I did that photo a day blog a few years back and what I loved about that was/is getting to see all the wonderful things that one sees, but doesn't really see, over the year.  There is so much to be thankful for. It blurs with the business of a day and is lost.  The photo blog helped me be very intentional about looking at things within my little day.
This type of blog gives me the opportunity to remember my days.

stopped to screenshot this
perfect music for this morning
ironically the very next song was Back in Black
also a good song to run with,
playlist musta been alphabetical!

screenshot when I finished second session
stopped back by the house to fix breakfast for L
I think two short may be more productive then one longer
I'm shopping apps to find an accurate calorie burn + step counter

thinking about this
trying to forgive myself as well as I'd forgive a friend

and thinking about this
I seem to have a lot of anxieties lately
last night I dreamed about broken glass all over the floor

and thinking about this
stuff I picked up on a walk along the shore
(3 summers ago, but still a sweet little memory to cherish)
coffee in one hand and a little pail in the other
I really like being at the coast

the cats aren't really supposed to be on the furniture
here they were when I came in the room though
now they are wrestling with my tennies.

It's a perfect day.  I steamed the floors yesterday and all the laundry is washed, folded/hung, put away, and the whole house is tidy.  I can work in my yard ... or meal plan and grocery shop ... or redo my nails.  This morning I jogged in the a thick cool fog ... and birds were everywhere singing.  I couldn't see them, but I could hear them and they sounded just right.  Diffused white light shimmered all around.  Perfect.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

glove casts for the astronauts

Voyager picture of Jupiter's great red spot

via Tumblr

Quick notes ... sun is shining and there is more then enough to do.  Summer is a busier then it maybe should be time for me.

The book I am currently reading, Why Does It Have To Hurt (Dan G. McCartney), found it's own way to me.  The next book I'll look at is titled 7 ... here:
7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess
While working with the Korean women I really began to think about how excess shapes/has shaped my life.  Well, I don't really want to talk about this today (no time), but I helped my Mom situate a lot of clothes that she will never wear again in to space that seemed to be needed for other things and ... I have shrunk out of every garment in my own closet and find myself slowly replacing mostly everything ... and H and I were recently talking about how people really prefer to eat only a handful of favorite items ... and she mentioned this book.  In visiting with a couple of other friends I found that they also had read this book.  Sounds interesting ... next.
I could easily do life with only 7 garments of outerwear ... just leave my shoes alone ... and that's per season right? lol.
If I were choosing right now ...
1. blue jeans
2. natural linen slacks
3. black skirt
4. black t
5. black tank
6. long sleeve (french cuff) white button front blouse
7. It's a dress and for right now I'd have to say the creamy lace dress I bought on sale at The Loft ... one dress would be difficult to single out!

I'm saving up for the blouse right now ... tried it on this weekend and have found the pricing is much better on-line (but you gotta buy two ... I could need two ; )

Running shorts would be nice ... but I can't see what I'd cut from that list to include shorts or leggings.

Time is short ... some notes on that book (taken during Sunday School):
Job's situation seemed to be about so that the works of God may be displayed in him, rather then as a consequence of his actions (punishment).
Sometimes suffering is a consequence of sin though.

Whatever the cause, people respond to suffering in lots of different ways ... 
some with hope
maybe suffering leads to self-examination (conviction) and repentance
maybe we resist/avoid looking at our wrong (maybe we rationalize our wrong)
maybe we lean towards showing compassion for another who suffers (from their own poor choice, or chance, or circumstance ... )

"punishment" is not synonymous with suffering (anybody who has helped raise a child knows that I'm thinking) ... suffering might best be seen not retribution, but instruction.  Suffering may be seen to re-mediate.
Suffering without aid of Holy Spirit tends to harden and embitter a person, for a believer suffering may actually enhance one's relationship with God.  (I think there is a delicate balance in an idea or statement like that ... there is context that I'm not filling in.)  It would be unwise to shrug off discipline if you accept it as God "educating" you, enabling you towards spiritual peacefulness.
Then on to one of my favorite passages: Romans 5:1-8 (NIV)

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a]have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless,Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

suffering produces perseverance
perseverance -> character
character -> hope

And hope is good.

"Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world." C.S.Lewis

and this:
"...suffering so unbolts the door of the heart that the word hath easier entrance." Richard Baxter ( The Saint's Everlasting Rest...)

 "God, how are you using suffering to grow me towards you?"

Monday, July 8, 2013

it really should be a prettier word
like the word halcyon
for example

It hasn't rained today.  A few minutes ago I wondered if someone had accidentally left the light in the garage on ... sunshine.  Nice.  Blue dome overhead.  I like it.

Today I started the next big deal goal for me.  Running.  I used to love to run. I loved the feel of moving through air.  I loved looking ahead and thinking run 'til you get there ... .  I loved how I felt after the run.  An hour or so later.  I had forgotten that entirely.  I did distance running in high school.  And jumping, which I didn't like.  It was a team thing though, we needed jumpers.  I was unable to sculpt my psyche in to a hurdler.  Hurdles scared me ... running at a wall seemed, uh, insane. I see them, hurdles, even now and that super annoying childhood song spools up ... 
so high 
you can't go over it 
so low
you can't go under it
so wide
you can't go around it
you must go through the door

(duh, the door ... that song grated on me and "sat" me in the corner of Mrs. Shoebrook's kindergarten class more then once)

Anyway ... I started running today.  If you saw me I think you'd call it jogging. I'd run then I'd walk as fast as I could, then run again.  

Still learning about "suffering" in Sunday School. I hoped to make some notes here today, it's a complicated topic. 

Today I am thankful for the being able to run in air that smelled so perfect.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Pics from Sunday just past ... a good day as we celebrated a birthday.

Today has been for me the laziest day I can remember having.  Rain, moving up from the Gulf has been continuous, ranging from a light, showery, almost diffused precip (I look outside now to see it so with bits of crystal dripping from the rose vine), to the torrential downpour which woke me up this morning. It has rained hard a few times today.  I've enjoyed looking at the bands as I explore functionally on ForeFlight - what an amazing coupling of technology and engineering.  Very cool.

Today was supposed to be about removing monkey grass and re-setting iris tubers.  My old body aches from beginning that project  a couple of days ago, so the rain day brings some relief! I continue to be tired.  And maybe just a bit fretful ... anxious (which is very rare for me).

Let's talk about these cats.  I do not particularly lean towards cats.  Matter of fact, if Sammy could be my only companion animal for the rest of my life, I would feel quite blessed enough.  He is an awesome dog.  We came to make room for a cat because our children wished it so.  Then, Four showed up with the box of three kittens and there really was no good reason to say no.  I thought we would help them along, pick out one to keep around and send the other two to happy situations.  Then, the cats selected people and worked some kinda feline sorcery on them.  Not I, of course, I just feed them and look after the liter box ... and try to reassure Sammy that he is still the cat's meow. Bottle feeding them was no big deal.  It was neat to see them thriving and to help them along was really special.  One of them is across the room purring right now, earlier today two of them were snuggled up on the couch with me keeping my feet warm ... they are very chilled most of the time.  Sometimes they play and that is great fun to watch.
I was sad when the one kitten died.  Sad especially for my girl, but it was a difficult time for us all.
So ... there are three little black cats in this picture.  Our original box load was two black and one grey striped, their eyes were barely open.  It was very strange set of circumstances that brought the third black kitten into our home.
The day after Storm died my girl was scheduled for a week at camp which we all decided she should do.  I drove her up, dropped her off, and came back for her five days later.  Her big sister is a cabin leader there this summer and she told me that a little skin and bones scaredy cat had wandered up in the middle of the night before and might I consider taking him home with me (Mom, there's no where else for him we can't care for him here and with another batch of campers arriving in a few short hours from now no one can leave to take him to a shelter this isn't a replacement kitten for Storm but Mom he is so tiny and helpless and I think someone has been hurting him because he hides and won't let anyone find him but he really is very sweet). After "meeting" him I said the least I could do was take him to our local shelter.  He is still here.  The other cats adopted him.  He spent a few days hiding out but hunger coaxed him into the open spaces of our home.  He has been Frontline-d, named, and sports a little red collar.  I'm making an appointment for getting him in to the vet this week sometime.  I guess he is ours.

So ... I'm thinking about something when I see them all piled up together.  Storm's death was an accident comparable in randomness to a mid-air collision.  He darted under someone's foot as they carried a load of BBQ out to grill. Two blind steps off the back porch on to the patio and he was gone.
Because we loved him, we missed him.  He helped us learn that we had room for three cats around here (LittleBit will move out with Two pretty soon).  Him being here and then not being here made it possible for us to open our door and hearts to a little abused kitten.  It's very sweet to see him coming along.

I've been thinking about how something bad/sad (maybe even something epic bad/sad) is frequently a gateway for good.  In general, I have been ... uh not worrying, more like how someone can feel "weather" coming in in their bones, how something about the change in atmospheric pressure alerts animals and sometimes people to big storms ... I feel something I can't identify blowing about.