Archive | January 2016


The Meaning of Life:

What is life
And why am I here?
To enjoy all the pleasures
and know all the cheer
Of chasing bugs and such,
Taking a nap;
Being treated as royalty,
For I am a cat!


I’m not vain,
Arrogant or proud;
I’m simply realistic
And say so out loud.
Everybody knows that
We’re great, you see;
Deserving of all compliments
That’s how it should be.

What is Life?
Why do we exist?
To give others perspective;
To teach and assist
The world in knowing
Its proper place
In the love and care of felines;
Admiring their grace.



It’s 2016:  A presidential election year in the US…and it is already heating up!  Actually, candidattes got a jump on things in 2015, so we get an extra long dose of political rhetoric.


I say, get your survival kit ready; you’re going to need it.


First, the zapper for your TV.  Flipping channels or muting ads is a must!


For detoxing, some really funny political cartoons of your own choosing or making.  Laugh often:  It really helps!


Then, plenty of time away from all things election – TV, publications, the Internet, discussions..  Get some rest and perspective.  You might need some earplugs, especially if you live with or near someone who is really into television or politics.


Good books?  Games or puzzles?


Then, there are those people who will completely annoy you because their views are so WEIRD!  You might need some ready-made excuses to get away from them.


All of us could use some help here:  Do you have some additions to the Election Year Survival Kit?



Even after the snow on the ground has melted, there are brave testimonies of its recent presence; proud sculptures that reflect the creativity of children:  Snowmen…or is the PC term “snowpeople”?  They stand in yards all around town, wearing hats and scarves, some made of leaves.  (Hmmm, I wonder if that’s to keep the cold in as far as they’re concerned.)

Snowpeople are perhaps one of the oldest and most universal expressions of art and play.  They come in all shapes and sizes; some are very elaborate, while others are simple, just like the variations among humans.

They are hearty folk, often the last vestiges of winter to disappear.

When I was in the sixth grade, a neighbor, my sister and I built a snowperson we named Mrs. Watson, after the street on which we lived.  She was so tall, we had to get a ladder to put her head on. She probably grew to about eight feet in height by the time we were done.  I wouldn’t call her lovely; she was a bit lumpy and not all that well proportioned.  Okay, what can you expect from three children on a cold winter day?

Mrs. Watson stood proudly in the corner of a neighbor’s field for the entire winter; in fact, it was mid May by the time she finally finished melting away.  By then, she was only a shadow of her magnificent self.

Children aren’t the only ones who have fun with snow people.

A few years ago, my cousin told me about a niece who worked at a restaurant in a well known resort.  There had been an unusually early snowstorm, so business at the restaurant was nonexistent.

My cousin’s niece (I’ll call her Lucy) clearly had too much time on her hands:  She made three snow people and put them in one of the cars for the nearby tram.  Then she called the operators’ station and said,
“The people in Car #8 will need a little help getting out.”
“Are they injured?”
“No, just a little cold!”




When I was growing up, we used to get bulb catalogs right about now.  Yes, in the middle of winter, while the snow is blowing into drifts outside and gardening is the least likely activity of the day!
But oh, the flowers!  Page after page of beauty in every shape, size and color.
Now is a good time to think about them; in fact, just trying to name my favorites puts a big smile on my face.  Let’s see, there’s roses, violets, gladiolas, delphinium, lilies, daisies, hollihocks, petunias, pansies,…too many to list…and they’re all my favorites!
What is (are) your favorite(s)?  Why?


Have you considered your pets and livestock in your emergency preparations???
They really need you to:  They most likely will not be able to care for themselves.
Again, what you do will depend on where you live and the type of emergency for which you prepare.  If you will likely be staying put, do you have extra food, water, first aid supplies and the means to deal with relieving breaks?  If you are more likely to evacuate, where will you take your animals?  Do you have supplies packed in the car for them?  Leashes for dogs, carriers for cats, ways to transport birds?

In the United States, there are several sources of information.  Here are two:
There are all sorts of suggestions and resources on this site.
Again, plenty of good advice for pets, as well as livestock.

FEMA, the Red Cross and CDC all have pages on their websites devoted to animals.


I found this one in the UK:
It’s pretty much everything you ever wanted to know about preparedness, and more!  Very comprehensive.


I did a search for other countries as well:  Everyone had something.


Part of the reason I got on this kick is that there are serious occurances of all sorts every year.  AS I mentioned in my last post, hazardous winter conditions are a probability where I live.  Tornados, hurricanes and earthquakes?  Hmm, not so much.  However, we are close enough to an earthquake zone, we will get refugees, WHEN there is one.


My plan includes stockpiling food and water, closing off unsafe areas so that frightened kitties don’t get themselves in trouble, first aid, including meds to relieve pain or anxiety, if needed.


One more question; then I’ll find a new topic for my next post (I promise!!!)
Where is your plan?  A hard copy with all important papers, addresses, information, etc., in more than one place – One in the house; one in each car…. is the best idea:  You can access it at any time.
There are apps for phones and moble devices, in case you want your plan to be available in electronic form as well.


May you N E V E R need to use this information!  If you do, you will be so glad that you prepared in advance.


Here are two questions that may not help you a lot today, or even tomorrow; yet if you answer them, you might just save your life and the lives of those around you.


WARNING:  This is not a popular topic; in fact, most of us would like to avoid it, but here goes:


What are the most likely dangers or natural disasters in the area where you live?  How can you prepare best?


It is not likely, for example, that there would be a tornado where I live; however, blizzards are possible.  It is not uncommon for us to be snowed in for several hours or a couple of days.


We probably won’t get “the big one” (referring to earthquakes; however, we will get people who flee when a severe seismic event occurs.


How we prepare for either of these emergencies will be specific to our area and needs:  We won’t store supplies outside and be prepared to camp out for up to three days, for example.  Instead, we will want supplies indoors.  We might have to think about how to stay warm or deal with the extreme flux of people and resulting shortages.


Do you live in a flood zone?  What makes the most sense for you?


Does the possible emergency reqquire you to evacuate or hunker down and stay put?  Do you need supplies in your car?  Home? Both?


What important papers, meds or clothing items do you need to have?


I have actually worked on personal preparedness for several years and have found that some things are real challenges:
*A 5 gallon container of water is too much for me to lift and carry; 1-2 gallon containers are much better.
*When I lived in an earthquake zone.  We were advised to have three days worth of food and water where we could get to them; to be prepared to camp outside for that period of time.  Storing food and water safely was a bit difficult, especially because of changing temperatures.  Finding insulated containers and places that are a little more constant will help.


*There is plenty of conflicting information to be had.  Some publications advise dehydrated and freeze dried foods; others say to get canned goods because they don’t use up your water supply.
*Circulating food and remembering to freshen water can get cumbersome.  It helps if you are stockpiling things you normally use.  That way, you can put the newest items in the back and move them forward as you replemmish your supplies.  I think this gets especially difficult when the possible emergency might happen “someday.”  The discipline of keeping up with this system can feel a bit tedius.


A little planning that fits your needs more specifically will go a long way toward a happy ending, should you ever have to take action.   My biggest piece of advice?  Make it doable.  Maintaining supplies is a top priority that can go by the wayside if it gets to be too much of a hastle.


I used to have a friend who was a “one-liner” kind of guy.

One of his sayins was, “Join where you’re successful.”

I have a new twist on that:
BUILD where you’re successful!
You can apply this to activities, affiliations, relationships, personal habits or just about anything else that comes to mind.

A useful tool for this sorting job will be three basic questions –
1.  What isn’t working?  Lay those things aside.  True, some may be difficult, painful or troubling; most likely relationships.  Think about how best to do this.  In the long run, everyone will benefit.
2.  What is working, at least somewhat, and could work better with some tweeking?  Put these in the “consideration” pile.
3.  What works at least reasonably well?  Focus on these.


I learned an important principle that fits here very nicely.  There are things we can build on, such as strengths, dreams, ideas and qualities.  Then, there are things we really can’t build on – weaknesses, anything we don’t want, things that are unhealthy or not right.

Add this idea to your sorting job and you have another question to answer:
Of the things on my “working” list or “consideration” list, which do I value the most?

This becomes your top priority.  You can rank everything else behind that.  Caution:  You might have some things that are equally as important to you.  That’s all right; simply write them down together.


Now that you have sorted things a bit, it’s time to build.  That means time, energy, thought, commitment and possibly material resources will go into this most important priority.  This also means that low or no priority items will naturally be laid aside.  It is much easier to say, “No” to things that you are not invested in when you are focused on the things that matter.

Happy building.