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Spiritual ABC's -- Letter B (yes there are two)



Live in the present moment. Don’t obsess about the past or worry about the future. All you need is right here now.

Spiritual Literacy -- Reading the Spiritual in Everyday Life, by Frederick and Mary Ann Brussat. 

After all that has gone on in my life, I don't think this needs elaboration. 
I've got it.
I do.
I am here.
Not back there.
And tomorrow?
Remains to be seen.



Spiritual ABC's -- The Letter B

Walk the path of beauty.  Relish and encourage its inward and outward expressions.  Acknowledge the radiance of the creation.
Spiritual Literacy -- Reading the Spiritual in Everyday Life, by Frederick and Mary Ann Brussat.

My young life was shaped, in part, by walking paths in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.  My Dad loved to get out away from the city and follow narrow, steep, twisting paths up to clear, cold, deep mountain lakes where he could fish.  I was, in fishing as in many other pursuits, my Dad's companion and shadow.  What I learned, very early, was that a path took you to your destination.  Wandering along the paths my Dad led me onto, I learned to identify the different species of pine and fir.  I learned to spot the tiny orchids that would grow in the dark and moist places.  I learned to identify the voices of the various birds.  I learned to taste the breezes, and know the ways of thunder storms and puffy white clouds.  Forever in my memory is that small child's view of Dad's dusty boot heels striding confidently up the path ahead of me.  Off the path, it was likely that your socks would get covered in burrs.  Off the path, there was poison ivy and poison oak.  Off the path, steep and rocky hillsides were nearly impossible to negotiate.

In my growing up years, I came to know that getting where you wanted to go meant "walking the path."

A path leading to beauty is an intriguing and evocative image.  Beauty in the outside:  the sunrise which is a part of my morning drive in these early days of the school year; the tomatoes ripening on my patio; the soft, sweet belly spots on the tummy of a sleeping kitten; the sound of my Lovey's laughter, the happy voices of kids in the hallways at school...  Beauty in the outside is easy for me to identify, and if I pay attention to it (see letter A?), I'll marvel and revel in the abundance around me.

Beauty inside is more problematic for me.  Asked to describe my positive attributes, I can easily point to strength and courage and curiosity and intellect, but beauty?  Not so much.  When I think about that inner beauty, I imagine serenity, and calm, and peacefulness, and quiet joy.  I can get to all of those things sometimes.   I know what the experiences of serenity, calm, peacefulness and joy feel like.  I just don't manage to sustain it.

I believe the creation is radiant.  I have seen and felt the radiance.  I know that I am part of all of that, and so I know of my own radiance...  I just have to remember to walk the path.



So How Am I Anyway?

 I sense from swan's recent post that it might be good were I to somehow describe who and how I have come to be, and feel, these days.  swan is feeling quite pleased with the recovery and increased happiness that has evolved since our huge crises and upheavals that we lived through the end of 2010 and into 2011.

First of all it is good to see how happy swan is these days.  Her health, her excitement as she begins her new school year, and her relief and invigoration at having passed through a period when  the potential for all of us to lose each other was both real and probable is truly gratifying.  She is so good and has risked and cared so much.  It is great to see her feeling rewarded by our present reality.  It is wonderful too to see her fulfillment as she moves into her new and expanded teaching role.

I am generally much better than I was.  I revel in my health, even as I struggle to get past the effects of my recent knee replacement.  This one is taking longer and proving more difficult than my first knee replacement in 2005.  I had expected to be further than I am by this time, but am working really diligently three times a week in my PT and have generally pushed harder in my own personal exercise and  rehabilitation efforts than most might (sometimes to my detriment).  I am confident that in a few weeks this will fade as me knee becomes much better than it has been for years and I am able to return to exercise walking and bicycling.  I miss terrifically my now 10 week hiatus from sincere cardio conditioning and its physical and emotional benefits.

But when swan wants to know how I am, she already knows all these things. So that is not what she is seeking information about.  She wants to know "How I Am" as a more in depth probative question.

I am better.  I am so much better than I was two years ago now mourning the loss of my career and my father and my freedom to be who I was or had been until then.  I am today sober 589 days and I feel great.  I rarely mourn the absence of alcohol in my fact my imagining of feeling its effects now seems really unpleasant.  I enjoy remembering the many good times I had drinking and telling drinking stories but do not want to return to how punishing medically and economically my drinking became or to the way my behaviors when I drank effected our family. So that is all good....or mostly.

I am better too by far since I no longer have to attend AA meetings, or rehab. aftercare meetings, or probation meetings, or wonder when there would come a knock at the door to take me to prison.  The court's lack of direct and immediate participation in my life permits me more of a suspension of fear that they might come for me anytime than I have lived with since our troubles.  I also now live knowing with that ostensibly well-meaning but malevolent police and court folks may come for me at any time regardless of my behavior, and that I may be hauled off to prison from sleep on my couch if I become deeply upset and need help.  So I am in many ways much better and in others still terrified and hurt.

I am better in that I only wake up "in jail"  in my sleep maybe once or twice a month as opposed to once or twice a night.  I no longer have daily rage fantasies of getting weapons and killing as many police as I can.  I no longer wake up each day wishing I and not lived through the night.  I am glad to be alive again.  I trust my family does not want to have me imprisoned again and I hope that I will either never get to a point where they will want to do that to me again, or that if I get there I will be able to hide what I am feeling so that they will not.

I have trouble respecting myself or imagining my having much value.  I no longer have a role in which I give much to anyone.....I do make most of our shopping happen and keep our condos free of trash, and try to help make sure we all get health care we need, get our cars maintained, and help get   t and swan to work.  I still don't deal well with the reality that I am a criminal who has been jailed twice by my family.  Either that was excessive which is a reality I don't know how to cope with, or it was necessary and appropriate which leaves me feeling worthless.......subhuman.  I led social movements, and made successful businesses of them so that they helped sustain communities.  Now I am a criminal......a criminal who is sober.  I was a man who was drunk.  I have to revel in my sobriety which is healthy for me and joyous for everyone else, whether those close or more distant from me..

I have a whole list of friends from "before" who have contacted me wanting to know how I am.  After "all this" happened I dropped out of sight.  I imagine calling one of them back and keep putting it off and days become weeks, then months, then years.  I feel such shame.  I  am so humiliated and I don't want to face anyone who knew me.  Others simply ended ever relating to me, even if they reached out to t or swan.

So I am healthy and much happier than I have been anytime since October 2010.  I am living and sober (which seems so silly to me to be the focus of a life...........but in that it cost all this it must be worth it just seems empty as a life's purpose............the purpose of my life now is to not drink, and then all will be good.)  My feelings of love for swan and t have crescendoed back to levels rivaling or maybe in some ways exceeding before.  I am so grateful to them for caring for me this summer......especially the first two weeks when I was in real agony (this really was a tough knee replacement) and I was truly incapacitated with pain medication.  And I just feel such a life bond with them I cannot imagine life without them.  I enjoy many little things now politics(now that I am sidelined from participating in them), reading, movies.  

My sexuality has rebounded greatly in terms of my SM and in general.  My "Dominance" ( a term which seems pretty ludicrous to apply to me these days) comes through in that the control needs of my personality are still what they always have been, and I think signs of that being restored are comforting to all three of us.  

So I am so much happier than I have been...........and really am glad to be alive again.  I wish there was a way to convey how relieved and actually "good" I feel compared to where I have been.  I realize that this likely comes off as morose and depressed, but label it as you might, it is how I am now.  

My immediate present is fine.  My internal monologue is still about woundedness, shame, and fear.

I am genuinely thrilled to see swan so happy.  I think t is still recovering (if there is such a thing as recovery for what was such a loss for her) from her mom's death, but she is better daily.  My joy in them and for them is very real.  I really am better and am sorry if my still struggling is a source of disappointment, that I am not as joyous in the present as others.



HI! I am the family member who needs "Blogging for Dummies". Back when we closed out Compuserve accounts and decided to run for free on the Internets, I found other things to do in place of accepting Swan's invite to join....and in putting that off, I became unable to blog or comment. Now our Swan has me fixed and I am back.....much to your dismay, I am sure. I probably will never be as prolific as Swan or even Tom, but I can at least pop in occasionally now.

You have all read about Tom's knee recovery and the fact that it is still a work in progress. And we did get a rushed trip to Denver this summer. We all did the Soul Retrieval and were slightly stunned at each of our outcomes. And followed that up with a Shaman class that pretty much killed me for the rest of the summer. Conference room chairs for 8 hours a day, 2 days in a row, after 20 plus hours each way in a car to and from Denver has my back a mess. Swan and I are doing the "Dr. Back Cracker" thing now, trying to get a handle on migraines. Not so sure that is working for me, since I had the Mother of all migraines yesterday that kept me low and home all day. Today is that "I hurt like hell, but at least the migraine is gone" day. Might be an early night is in my near future.

This part of the household is fine. We had a visit from my favorite niece this past weekend and her guy. We tried to kill him with Sugar-Free Syrup on Saturday morning. For those of you unfamiliar with Maltitol, I will just say, their next visit I will have some real syrup for him so he is not stuck in the potty and miserable. Swan's French Toast is wonderful and he was very taken with it. We never thought about the fact that he was not familiar with Maltitol, I felt guilty as hell all weekend. Personally, I prefer sugar-free powdered sugar with butter on my thick cut, multigrain French Toast but there are some people who have the syrup calling.

Well, old fur-ball is calling for his daily "lap time". Pranzer is now over 15 and carries his cat schedule with him at all times. If I do not behave as any well brought up catified person should, I am pushed around until I submit.

Later All!  T


Spiritual ABC's -- The Letter A

In November, 2005, I shared a piece taken from one of my favorite books, Spiritual Literacy -- Reading the Spiritual in Everyday Life, by Frederick and Mary Ann Brussat.  In that post, I offered their list of "spiritual ABC's" with no comment at all.  Now, however, I find myself walking a renewed spiritual path of my own, and so I am inclined to work my way through those ABC's one letter at a time.  I don't know, yet, if I'll find much to say about all of these, but I am content to let the words come as they may.  I understand this may not be "it" for everyone, so feel free to go find something more interesting and exciting.  My feelings won't be hurt much...

Pay attention.  Stay awake and totally alert.  See with receptive eyes and see a world of ceaseless wonders.

I have a greater respect for the act and choice of paying attention these days.  Being awake and alert is necessary for a fully lived life.  It is, of course, possible to just bumble along, stumbling through the days, seeing nothing of what is.  I fell into that pattern, I think.  I was wrapped up in staying alive, staying in place, holding on to what I imagined to be important and "real."  I forgot to just look, just see, just perceive.  And perhaps that isn't really even the truth.  More accurately, I suppose I refused to look.  I put metaphorical hands over the eyes of my mind and my heart and refused to look, see, or perceive.  I missed seeing the hard things, but I also missed seeing the good things, the beautiful things, the amazing and wondrous things.  I chose voluntary blindness, rather than allow myself to see the truth.  That choice was wrong.  It was a mistake.  I cannot afford to miss a single bit of the wonder that is out there to see.  Even when some of what I see is confusing, frightening, or ugly -- I will choose to pay attention and stay awake.



Out of the Ashes

"All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by frost.  From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring; renewed shall be blade that was broken, the crownless again shall be king."  ~~J.R.R. Tolkien

I feel good most days.  Except for the still too frequent migraine headaches, I am well.  Well in body, spirit, and mind.  

I do not look backward much these days.  I know what is back there.  I was there not so long ago, and I have no desire to return -- not even to those days I once considered "good" before all the fragile visions came crashing down around our heads.

I worked to get to this place, in this time, feeling as I do.  I worked hard, enduring bitterness and rage and fear and pain.  I spent hours and hours sitting with my therapist (worker of wonders and miracles large and small), while she dragged me through defining what I wanted, what I needed, what I would and would not have in my life.  I read everything that I could get my hands on related to addiction and trauma and recovery and how the brain works and how relationships work -- and how they don't.  I lived through a long, dry, solitary time when the relationship at the very center of my life seemed nearly moribund, and from my dryness, I cried a deep, rushing, turbulent, and ultimately cleansing river of tears.  The night came to be my friend, holding me quiet and close while I pondered what had been and what was and what might yet come to be.  I learned that I am fashioned of sturdiness and steadfastness and an unreasonable capacity for hope.  I was not all that I would have wished to be ... I crumpled; whined; and tried to run away on more than one occasion.  I found that I am utterly human:  sometimes foolish, sometimes wise; sometimes strong and sometimes very fragile; amazingly bright and shockingly stupid; capable of constructing great towering, philosophical castles in the sky and prone to kicking the whole thing down as though it were nothing but a pile of child's building blocks.  

I came into this part of my life, some dozen years ago, a rather jumbled up intellectual, spiritual, and emotional mess.  I carried secrets, harbored doubts, defended my woundedness with blind ferocity.  I wanted someone to take me in and give me definition, make me belong, and keep me safe.  Even as a "mature" woman, in my late 40s and 50s, I never, ever understood that finding where I belonged and building the place where I'd be safe were my own responsibilities.  I abrogated those obligations to myself, and so I laid the fire that would consume my world -- and I lit the match myself.  

The work of the last couple of years has taught me that I belong to me.  I can share what and who I am ... and I do that joyously and generously in the places where it makes sense.  My teaching is built on that giving from the deep well of self.  My love for Himself seeks out and longs for that overflowing of the gift that is my truest self.  It remains the core attraction of the BDSM lifestyle for me -- the energy and fulfillment that comes from being able to relax and trust and give it all.  I am proud to know what I know, and I am proud to be here.  I do not know what the numbers are, but I am certain that most relationships, confronted with what we have passed through in these last two years, crumble to dust.  That ours did not is not merely a matter of great good luck -- we earned this, and I want to shout that from the rooftops.

I should be clear that I am alone in feeling this way.  My loves are not likely to endorse my Pollyanna-ish willingness to see life as good and full of promise -- and claim the right to brag and dance gleefully over the discovery.  That is all me.  T and Himself are at different places, and they will have to describe that if they choose to do so.  I can only see what I can see of what I have come to.  I want to drag everyone along to this place.  I want to put my hands on my hips and push out my lower lip and stomp my foot about finding myself here without them...and then some quiet voice (my own quiet inside voice) reminds me that each of us is learning our own lessons and walking our own paths.  I don't get to define what is "good" or "healing" or "best" for anyone but me.

Tolkein's words speak to me of the long view of things; of not projecting too far from here into the future; of trusting the deep roots and the strong foundations; and of believing that there is renewal of what is broken.  The phoenix will rise from the ashes.  "The crownless shall again be king."




A new school year starts this week; full of promise and possibility.  I am as ready as I can possibly be -- and, as usual, I am a nervous mess.  There will be new kids to meet, and new classes to tackle, and I am awash in anxious feelings.  What if they don't like me, what if I can't engage them in this new material, what if I'm just no good at any of it...?

My dreams are chaotic and full of disturbing imagery.  I wander lost and helpless through a landscape that I don't recognize, but which still seems vaguely familiar.

Not to worry, however.  It is fine, really.  This mental fussing is just part of getting into the pattern and rhythm of the school room.  I am, actually, entirely ready and relatively certain that my preparations throughout this summer will set the stage for success for me and for my students.  I am physically healthier than I have been for a couple of years -- no major aches and pains, and feeling hopeful that I may even have found a set of things that can help to minimize my migraine issues, too.  I look at my face in the mirror, and I can see my eyes sparkle back at me.  It has been a long while since the last time that sparkle was part of my daily look.  It has been a good summer, interestingly.  Even as we've worked hard to come through His knee surgery and the requisite rehabilitation, we've enjoyed the long, slow, lazy days and nights.  We've reveled in hours to spend together.  We've laughed and loved and learned, once again, how to be gentle with each other.  It has been a summer full of small things, and that seems like a very big thing.

I remember trudging back to school last August, uncertain that I had the personal resources or reserves to make it through the year.  I was, then, exhausted, beaten, and sad.  This beginning feels completely different -- vibrant with power and hopefulness.  I have been conscious about not looking backward; deliberate about focusing on what is.  Still, the contrast between now and then is amazing.  All the various, small steps toward health and healing have paid off.  There are now so many moments of joy and love and simple happy sweetness and peace.  I cannot point to a specific moment when life changed and showed up feeling good again.  I only know it has, and I am glad and grateful.

So, I am headed off into a brand new year, and I am nervous but also excited.  Nervousness will evaporate, I am sure, in the rush and spill of happy greetings and new adventures that lie ahead.



Spiritual Backpacking and Shamanism

Last weekend was our two-day "Way of the Shaman" workshop.  It was a full weekend, packed with new experiences and new information.  I ended each day feeling drained, weary, and a little punchy.  The torrent of information left me unable to make much sense of what I'd learned.  I knew that it was going to take me some time to process and sort.

We learned and practiced a number of techniques, and while I understand that listing them here will not mean much to our readers, I feel like I need to acknowledge what was offered by the presenters as a beginning point for my own practice.  We learned and practiced:

  • JOURNEYING (Upper and Lower worlds) 
It is all very interesting, and I found myself alternately diving deeply into the awareness of this bit of reality that I am sometimes only peripherally aware of... and then falling into an analytical frame of mind, evaluating each experience like the science geek I can sometimes be.  From time to time, as the workshop progressed, and I listened to others describe the intricacies of their fantastic visions, I wondered if I was perhaps not "doing it right."  Where some described journeys full of talking wolves and beautiful, strong, young Native American "teachers," I saw simple stone fountains and plates of sweet grapes.  Standing out in the parking lot of the hotel where the workshop was held, singing the morning sun song, seemed a lot like public humiliation play, and trying to "dance my power animal," was only difficult because I had to try not to giggle hysterically. 

OK.  I'll admit it -- I am and earthbound, skeptical, prosaic, old woman. 

I appreciated the instruction in techniques for accessing that "other" reality, but I am not interested in living life there.  I am glad for tools and practices that help me live better, day by day -- but I expect to do the vast majority of that living right here in this world; this reality.  Power animals and spirit helpers / teachers are welcome to the party that goes on in my head.  I'll take all the help I can get.  In the final analysis, however, I am responsible for me and I'll make my decisions as best I can.  

The best, and most useful parts of the weekend for me?  I "heard" quite distinctly that I need to relax; to avoid rigid patterns; to keep my heart light; to go with the currents and tides; to listen more deeply; to keep myself grounded and steady and stable; to practice simplicity; to approach others with gentleness and compassion.  

Rattles and drums?  Soul songs?  Spirit canoes?  Rock divination?  Spirit guides and power animals?  Talismans?  All of that seems like infrastructure to me -- bridges across the gap between here and "not here."  I am glad to have been shown another way to move between the realities, but I find I am not absorbed or enthralled.  Intrigued, yes.   Open to the possibilities, yes.  I am.  I think all of this can just fold into my days and my nights; add another dimension to my experience of my world; enrich my life.  I am not interested in living in the realm of "non-ordinary" reality.  I want to learn to be fully present and engaged with this reality.  The days are each precious.  Life is truly a good gift.  I don't need a spirit ally to convince me of that one.



Another Kind of Journey

We arrived home, safely, last night, from our Colorado trip.  The kids seem good (although I worry about my son...), and the grandson is growing and becoming more and more interesting as he gets older :-)  We had some car trouble on the homeward leg, but it all worked out fine.

Today has been a day to do the laundry, catch up on some sleep, walk in the sunlight, and try to relax just a bit.  Tomorrow, we head off for a two day workshop that is the beginning of learning how to "DO" shamanism at a deeper level.  We have our drums, our rattles, our notebooks, our stones, our blankets.  We've done some significant amount of reading and study.  We are as ready as we can be.

I imagine that each of us have our own personal expectations, but I hope to...

  • learn how to live with more presence, more awareness, and more joy
  • begin to form ties to a community who can share this with me
  • figure out how to further the healing that began with my soul retrieval
  • learn how to transform power and energy
  • learn to create for myself and my future

We'll head to bed in awhile, set the alarm for an early start.  This should be interesting...



Westward Bound

We are traveling west to visit the kids and the grandkidlet.  We'll be busy for a bit.  No promises for what will end up here as we are on the road...  Back late next week.  Be kind to each other...



Bondage in the Garden

I have a small patio garden:  some cucumbers, peppers, and four tomato plants growing in Topsy Turvy planters.

This year, I have been pretty successful with my cherry tomatoes.  They have been spectacular and delicious.  We've enjoyed several batches of them already.  The other two planters have a full size tomato plant variety called "Mortgage Lifter," and I am anxiously awaiting those tomatoes being ready to eat.  They are not there yet.

Tomorrow morning, early, we head off to Denver and a visit to the grandson and his parents.  I am thrilled we are able to make the trip, but I am fussy about my tomatoes and cucumbers.  Six days without water in our Cincinnati heat will kill them for sure.  What to do?  Watering my hanging garden is a chore and a labor of love.  I haven't got any neighbors who would be willing to haul water to my green babies for a week.

So, I hunted online and found a self watering siphon system.  It consists of a set of ceramic spikes with tiny siphon hoses to gradually and steadily feed water to the plants.  It gets some pretty good reviews by people who have used it, and I hope it will be the answer for my plants while I am gone.

There are some complications to using it.  The siphon tubes are pretty short -- less than three feet long.  The water supply has to be below the surface level of the soil.  My hanging vines are up high.  So, I have messed and messed with how to supply the water the system needs.  Finally, I settled on hanging buckets with ropes.  A few quick knots and my bit of garden engineering is set to go.

I think I may, at last, have put to use the things learned over the years in all those Bondage 101 workshops.  Tah Dah!!!!



Baseball Dreams

Cincinnati is a baseball town.  Our Cincinnati Reds are the second oldest major league baseball team to play continuously in the same city.

The regular season in major league baseball consists of 162 games.  Opening Day is usually the last week in March or the first week in April.  It is a big deal here, with a parade and an inevitably sold out game.  After the weeks of spring training, we come to the opening game with great anticipation, for here, in Cincinnati, hope does, indeed, spring eternal.  Some years are miserable and our "boys of summer" lose badly from the very start.  In other years, things can start off looking promising.  The pitchers pitch and the hitters hit, and the fielders run and catch and throw with superhuman grace and skill.  We dare to hope.  Somewhere in the middle of the season, they play the All Star Game, and there's a bit of a break.  It marks the halfway point.  Usually, for us, the All Star Break marks the point where the season goes all to hell, and they break our collective hearts -- again.

In Cincinnati, people talk with deep reverence, about the Big Red Machine, and the years when the magic worked, and the team went to the playoffs and eventually won the World Series.  There is a wistfulness to that; the sound of baseball fans, long denied.  

This year has been different.  The early games were not promising.  They lost more than they won.  It seemed as if we'd never see them make it to 500.  But then things began to shift...  Our guys have won 64 and lost 41.  There are, therefore, 57 games left to play.  As of today, the Reds are 22 games above 500, and they have the best record in major league baseball.  We are ahead of everyone, and three and a half games ahead of our nearest competitor.  The excitement here is palpable, and everywhere you go, people are talking about our Reds.  We are beginning to believe, while simultaneously knowing that they might just turn around at any moment, and break our hearts.  But for right now, we are into the "dog days of summer," and our Reds are playing their hearts out, and we are caught up in the excitement and magic and special glow of that place that is full of possibility.



Moonbeam and Moon Shadow

In the early days of May, May 3rd to be precise, I had my soul retrieval.  One of the parts of my "self" that I got back in that healing session was a little girl, about three years old, who when she was found, was holding onto a small cat or kitten.  I thought that was interesting as my dreams in the nights leading up to the soul retrieval were filled with my sweet, old cat, Cleo, who has been dead for a number of years.  I assumed the small cat was Cleo, and went on with the business of soul reintegration and healing.

We have, in the last few weeks, gotten into the habit of walking late at night when our hot Cincinnati summer days have cooled into darkness.  Our condo complex is quiet at midnight, and we don our headlights and walk and talk prior to turning in to sleep.

Last night, just before midnight, we made it about 1/3 of the way through our usual route, under the bright light of a moon that was a few days shy of full, when suddenly, there stood a tiny kitten.  It was startling.  One minute, we were walking along, chatting mostly about baseball, and then, in a twinkle of an eye, there was this kitten.  She seemed to appear from out of nowhere.  It was a little startling ... a soft, fuzzy, ball of determined baby, materialized from the midnight moonbeams.

We looked around, wondering if she might belong to one of the neighbors.  There was one guy working in his garage, and I figured maybe she was his.  I scooped her up, and walked up his driveway --  Not his, though she'd been hanging around his place for awhile.  He wanted no part of her.  We sat her down in a nearby lawn, and started to walk away.  No way.  She followed us for nearly three-quarters of a mile, and we put her down for the night on a soft rug in the garage.

We went to bed with our heads in a whirl, wondering what we would do with her.  Our old lady cat, Callie, is not welcoming to other critters.  And we are planning to leave on Saturday for a trip to Denver.  Now is not a convenient time to take on a new baby kitty.  Of course, we were utterly, completely in love with our little moon shadow...

This morning, we got up; called the vet; and took her in for a check up.  She is pretty healthy -- some fleas and ear mites (to be expected with a kitten who has been outdoors).  She has two sore paws -- probably burned on the hot pavement.  She weighs three whole pounds, and the vet guesses that she is about three months old -- probably born right around the first week of May.  It would seem that our magical, moonbeam kitty arrived here on the planet at precisely the time when my little girl soul part came back bringing her soft little kitten with her...  (insert Twilight Zone theme music here).

We are all in love (except for Callie), so meet the newest member of our family.  This is Moonbeam (Moobie) --