Caring for Pets Who Care for Us

 

submitted by Tomaca

My dogs, my cats, my turtles are my babies.  They are loved and they are treasured.  And – spoiled.  I can’t forget – very spoiled.  But, how else would you treat someone who loves you unconditionally no matter what?  You could come home in the most foul mood; you could be hurt and in tears, but who is there always ready to just give you love?  They are.

sarge

There’s a joke about a guy locking his wife and his dog in the garage for several hours and coming back, opening the door and the only one who is really happy to see him is his dog.  It’s funny, but, yes, it’s true, very true.

 

And, animals don’t hold grudges.  Whatever is gone is gone.  I won’t say that they forget, but when you make a mistake, they forgive you and move quickly back into the “love you” mode.

We hope that if you decide to get a pet, you will get one from a shelter.  A lot (not all) of these blessed creatures have been abused, were homeless, were hungry and scared.  Yes, even big, seemingly-scary dogs can be scared.  I remember my dad went to the pound and got two dogs.  One was a beautiful German shepherd and the other was a little “barky” mutt (my mom picked the little one).  They were wonderful animals.  Our German shepherd was named “Sarge.”  The day he came home, he urinated on the floor.  My dad went and got the mop, came back and was getting ready to mop of the mess and poor Sarge saw the mop and cringed and cried and peed some more.  It took work to get him to understand that he was safe and that no one was going to beat him anymore.  I was a little girl and seeing that just broke my heart.  To think that someone would beat and hit this wonderful dog was not understandable to me.  Sarge soon turned around and became the confident, relaxed and protective being that he was created to be.  He was also one of my best friends when I was a little girl.  He developed the most amazing calm and confidence.  We put up a big “beware of dog” sign even though Sarge was very friendly.  If he was put in a situation where he had to protect anyone in the family, I have no doubt that he would do so without hesitation.  Thankfully, none of those situations ever occurred.  So he got to relax and enjoy his life as a big, happy, lovable dog.

petbed

I’ve always been an advocate for adopting pets from shelters.  Once you do that, often you will find that animal was there waiting specifically for you!  They bond with you so quickly and will do anything – even give their lives to protect you and they love you unconditionally.

Women become their “people moms.”  They see us as one of the pack leaders and because it’s usually mom who takes care of the pets in terms of the feeding and brushing, they see us as the food givers too.

Our pets deserve the best. You want to make sure they are comfortable, they have plenty of food, water and why not take it step further and get them their very own pet bed.  If you do, they just might stay off of yours!  Not necessarily though, because there’s nothing like sleeping with a member of the pack!

We have had up to four dogs at a time.  At bedtime everyone would pile into my son’s bed.  He had to find a way to lay in the midst of the pile.  It was quite funny when you’d peak into his room and five heads would all lift up and look at you.

The cats were quite different.  They were both rescues too.  They saw the dogs as being beneath them.  The younger dogs would always want to play, but the cats would have nothing to do with it.  They’d hiss and scratch and eventually the dogs learned to leave them alone.  The cats were there first so they felt completely entitled to rule everything. The dogs would get out of their way.  The cats ( my boys) also had their own unique beds and the dogs were not allowed to get on them.  We never had to intervene, the boys handled their own business of clearing defining their territory.  The dogs came to understand very quickly where they should not tread or lay their heads.

There’s a whole dynamic when you have pets in your home.  I am so very grateful to have grown up with cats, dogs, rabbits, ducks, birds, hamsters and a host of siblings.  At this point in my life I would love to expand and have horses, chickens, cows and goats.   When my parents grew up, their parents raised their own livestock.  My mom’s stories still filter through my mind.  However, because I am a vegetarian, I would not use the animals for food.  I appreciate how animals have enhanced my life and broadened my vision and understanding of life and the psychology of how we all interact (yes, I’ve learned a lot from animals).   So moms, ladies, dads, get a shelter pet.  You might be thinking that you are saving their life, but in truth, they are saving yours.

 

The Disappearing World…

 

Submitted by  Tomaca

 

I remember my mother saying “Don’t read in the dark, you’ll ruin your eyes” she would say as I lay in bed reading – yes, in the dark!  But, I could see perfectly fine.  The letters and words were very clear to me. I would tell her, “Mom, I’ve got eagle eyes – no problems here.”  She would shake her head and walk away leaving me to continue what I was doing.fostergrant2

When I hit my forties, I noticed that words and letters were becoming just a tad bit difficult to make out.  Finally (and to my foolish little mind’s amazement — how could this happen?), it got to the point where I had to make that trip to the eye doctor and yes, it was confirmed – “You need to start wearing glasses to read.”

It was actually kind of exciting at first because I picked out a pair that I really liked and of course – I got an attractive eye glass case to keep them in.  I felt kind of “official,” if that makes sense, when I put them on to read.  Of course, I no longer read in the dark, but now I could make a lady-like pause and pull out my glasses to read with (like it added some sophistication to who I was).

As a child, some of us come to believe that people who wear glasses are smarter than people who don’t.  I don’t know how that ever got started, but when you went person-by-person, there wasn’t always truth to it.  But our mindset as children was that people who wore glasses were smarter.  So, with that engrained in my subconscious, it seemingly elevated my perception of myself.  (But, yeah – wishful thinking.  Turns out not to be true in my case!)

Anyway, of course, as time wears on, the eyesight continues to wear out.   The world is disappearing more and more these days from my eyes and the eye glass prescription numbers get higher as the glasses themselves get thicker.    I am grateful however, that it is still just for reading.  I can still see distances really well and hope that stays with me.

Both my parents were wearing glasses full time as they got older.  They needed them to read with and to see in general.  I am holding my breath with hopes that I won’t end up there!  But, I keep in perspective that I am very grateful to have sight.

Meanwhile, it’s regular annual eye exams and reading prescriptions that inch up slowly as time goes by.  I’ll just keep donning my foster grant reading glasses as necessary.   Remember the commercial with the slogan “Who’s behind those Foster Grants?”  That will be me!

 

 

Explore the Creation of Music —

 

 

I’ve been running into women who have pianos at home, but don’t play them.  The reasons are varied, but in drumsessence it boils down to choosing not to make the time to play for whatever reason.  We all know that music soothes the soul.  Music is what we are as physical beings.  Our bodies create their own rhythmic sounds – our hearts beat, we breathe and there are even other sounds within us not often heard by the ear (without an instrument) such as the sounds of our bodies digesting food, and the blood rushing through our veins.  If you have the talent to play an instrument and have gotten away from it in recent years, go back to it.  If you’ve never learned to play music, then why not try an instrument  – any instrument?  Flute, drums, piano, bass, guitar, cello, clarinet …. string or wind?  Even wood blocks, cow bell, conga, African drums, ddrum drums at Guitar Center… Be creative and be exciting.

 

Some people may get a little worried about what their friends would say.

Don’t.

Just do you,

be you,

improve you,

love you.

 

Tomaca

Tomaca’s Bagging It!

Written by Tomaca Govan

This nice bag was made with Walmart bags.
This nice, chic-looking bag was made with Walmart bags.  (Not sure how many – maybe 30?)

I’m the person at the office who is always advocating recycling  plastic bags.  I set up a deposit location in the office and personally take responsibility for bringing the bags to the grocery store for recycling.  It’s one of my pet peeves because it’s so very wasteful to use plastic bags for shopping.   Of course, I don’t.

One day I was doing some research on the recycling process and came across website after website that showed what people were making from plastic bags by crocheting and weaving.  I was so happy to see that people were using their own, basic ingenuity (and artistic talents) to turn plastic bags into things that are reusable and long lasting.

The bug bit me and I started making my own crafts.  The first thing I made was this really nice bag from Walmart bags.  They were easy to come by because I went into Walmart and asked for their recycled plastic bags.  I walked out of their with dozens of bags!

After I made my first bag, I went and showed it to the ladies at Walmart at the customer service desk and they were so impressed, they gave me more bags.  Now, all I have to do is show up and they start digging out the bags.  One woman even offered to set them aside for me everyday.

plastic-hat-bagThis was the first time I ever made a hat of any kind.  I started it, watched it form and tried to make sure I was putting in enough stitches and reducing the right amount of stitches to make it shape properly.  I had to pull the stitches out and restart at least three times before I got it right – but, I got it right and the hat is really chic looking.  I added a white ribbon and it’s good to go now.   Together, they look very classy, and the finished products are very, very sturdy.  You would NEVER know these used to be plastic Walmart bags!

This would be a nice business for someone who wanted to make these and sell them on the internet or at craft fairs.  There are a variety of colors available with plastic bags, so the color combinations can be quite diverse.

Okay ladies – get out your crochet hooks and start gathering plastic bags, making your “plarn” and get busy.  Make sure you teach your children, your friends and others how to do this.  Then share your creations with us.  We would love to inspire others.

–  Tomaca

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Here’s a how-to for making what’s called “plarn” (plastic yarn):

plastic-bags-instructions

Here are some other very creative ideas that involve crocheting and plastic:

plastic-flowersplastic-hatplastic-basketsplastic-bear

plastic-turtle

The more reusing we do, the less this happens:

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plastic-float

plastic-in-oceanplastic-stuck  plastic-in-bird

Plastic is causing a growing dilemma on our planet.  If you do a google search, you can see the kind of harm it is causing in our oceans and on our lands.  There is an actual “plastic island” floating around the world:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pacific_garbage_patch.

Animals don’t know the difference between plastic and the food they think they are eating.  They are dying by the hundreds.  Fish that ingest plastic end up on our dinner tables when they are captured by fishing companies.

Please do some research and share it with your children, your neighbors, your facebook friends and anyone else you can think of.  Then discuss AND implement things that we can do differently to prevent further harm and to reduce the damage that has been done.

For starters, DO NOT use plastic bags any more.  They should be banned at this point given what we know about the harm they cause.  Reusable bags make sense on every level.

Human beings are very creative creatures.  We can come up with ways to reduce, reuse and recycle.  What are some of your suggestions?

 

I Refuse…

I ran into a girlfriend that I hadn’t seen in years.  It was wonderful to see her.  I didn’t say anything, but it was very sad to see that she had “left herself go.”  By that I mean all the weight she had gained.   Another friend of mine said she was on a diet and she remembered when she could eat an entire kitchen and not gain weight, but of course that is not the situation now.

 

Ladies, it is normal to get older and have your metabolism slow down.  But that just means that we need to exercise, eat healthy and in moderation.  I don’t sit down at a meal and eat until I can’t eat anymore.  I don’t overstuff myself.  I eat a lot of vegetables.  I eat fruit.  I stay away from colas.  I drink a lot of tea, hot and cold.  And, by the grace of God, I am healthy enough to exercise and move!  I walk every day, every other day.   I stretch, I dance.  I try to keep some fluidity in my body.

 

When I get lazy (and there are times that I do), the pounds start piling on rapidly.  I have to pull myself out of that funk and get moving.  I got up to 145 lbs and was very depressed about it for a bit.  But, then I smacked myself in the head and got to work.  Just from walking for 30 days, I have lost 8 lbs and am moving back down to my comfort level of 130 lbs.

 

If you are approaching or have reached middle age and the weight is piling on, get rid of it.  The older we get the more maladies try to encroach on our bodies.  If I live to be 90, I hope to stay slim,  mobile, flexible, healthy and strong.   Don’t accept yourself just any kind of way. YOU are in charge of you.  You are your own CEO!  Get moving and stay healthy.

ReDesigning OurSelves

We are in the midst of a redesign. We are seeking a more sleeker and professional look. So if you happen to visit and things seem a little awry, please bear with us because we don’t want to take the whole site down to redesign it. We prefer to edit it live so our special visitors like yourself won’t miss anything!

Be back with updates soon!

– Tomaca

Make Christmas Special

We have been conditioned and trained to shop and to continuously buy new things.  If you celebrate Christmas, why not make it a different kind of Christmas by changing your gift-giving habits.  We don’t always need those new sparkly things that we have to spend money on.  All we need is a little imagination and creativity.  Here are a few suggestions.  After you read through the list, give it some thought and tap into your own creative mind and find a way to do make Christmas free or supportive of our local artisans and shops and find a way to make it fun!

 

Something old to you is always something new to someone else.

Look into your closet and pull out those clothes that you never wear.  Clean them, bag them up and give them to someone who will wear them.

Jewelry – same thing.  Go through your boxes and collections and select some nice pieces that someone else might enjoy.

Learn how to knit or crochet and make someone a nice scarf for the winter.

Sewing talent?  Aprons are always wonderful gifts for cooks and non-cooks alike.  How about the “grill master” who spends time barbecuing during the summer?  He or she would probably love something like that.

Sit down with your kids and help them make some really attractive bookmarks as stocking stuffers.

 

Give someone a coupon to do some work for them:

– This coupon entitles you to grass cutting for the entire month of July.

– This coupon means I give Mom and break and do the dishes every Friday.

You get the idea.  Don’t just give “stuff,” give of yourself, your time and your talents!

 

Get a gift certificate for a haircut at the local barbershop or hair salon.

Gift certificate for a dog bath or toe nail trim.  Or make a coupon to do these things yourself…

 

Get into fun with the arts and crafts –

– Draw or sew a nice design on a tshirt

– Make a necklace or earrings

– Remember popsicles?  Make a nice popsicle box for someone to store their favorite little things in.

– Cardboard boxes can be turned into great doll houses.  The crafting of the furniture, the windows, the flooring can take you on an amazing creative adventure.

– Cigar boxes are great to decorate to hold little treasures.  Stop into your local smoke shop and ask for an empty cigar box.  Sometimes they may sell them for a dollar or so, or they might be free.

 

Get the idea?  Christmas doesn’t have to cost a small fortune.  It is not wise to take on a year or two worth of debt just to go out and buy and bunch of stuff and clutter.    Get together with your girlfriends, your children, your family and talk about it.  If you can see beyond the projected commercial illusion of the Christmas holiday, you’ll be alright.  It might be difficult at first to be different, but being different is cool and gives you a sense of power when you can step outside of what’s considered “normal” and stand for your opinion.

This can be especially challenging for children because the Christmas pressure from other kids at school can be great.  But, continual conversations will help them get through it.  And, they’ll watch you and take cues from you.  It’s about breaking conditioning and it can be done.

And, if you are religious and Christmas is about the birth of Christ, then nothing else matters – does it?

At my house, I don’t do Christmas trees and lights.  I don’t have boxes of decorations that sit in storage for all but one month out of the year.  I do, however try to rescue as many poinsettias as I can.  Sounds silly, but people buy them expressly for the holiday and then throw them away.  Especially at my office.  So I will collect them, and then turn around and give them away to people at shelters or if I am sensing a little sadness in someone (even a complete stranger), I will give them a plant.  Poinsettia bushes are beautiful.  (I’m an animal and plant person anyway.)

So back to going into debt to feed the illusion of the Christmas holiday — Break the mold.  Break the chain.  Live life differently.  And if you do celebrate, Merry Christmas.

 

– Tomaca

When All Else Fails, The Family Looks to Mom

The northeast area of the U.S. (Connecticut and Massachusetts) got hit with an early winter storm on October 29th.  There were still lots of leaves on the trees and the heavy, wet snow accumulated on them.  The weight snapped branches.  As I sat in my quiet house, I could hear branches breaking in the nearby area.  Crack, boom! was a sound going on everywhere.  The result was the loss of power almost everywhere.  Banks are closed.  Schools are closed.  Grocery stores and gas stations were closed.  People did not have access to basic necessities.  The power outage was a severe one and widespread as I went to both states to try to find access to an ATM with power and food.  Everything was down.  I learned.

 

There’s a small safe in my house with no cash in it.  Our food was sparse as I had planned to get to the grocery store after the snow.  I had about half a tank of gas.   Fortunately, there was one grocery store open and I could write a check to pay for my food.  But there was no way I was going to sit in gas lines and fortunately, I could wait.  However, I have a gas can in my basement that should have been full.  So, now it will be once things are back to “normal.”

 

In some parts of Africa, it is the woman’s responsibility to provide food for the family.  It is the woman who tends to the gardens and has vegetables and spices to feed the family.  She also fetches the water.  If men go hunting and return with nothing, the woman is prepared.

My father’s words ring true.  Always be prepared for an emergency.  Now I will take stock of medical supplies in my home – band-aids, bandages, medicines, etc.  I have my checklist of storable food and will absolutely start keeping cash in the safe.  Blankets?  No problem.  This is New England.  I’ve got those. Ladies, be prepared.  When all else fails, the family looks to us.

 

 

Zandi Tales


Zandi Tales is a series of stories written about  my little “Boo Boo,” my little pit bull Zandi.  I was sitting in the kitchen one day and 15 books or tales just flowed through me.  I wrote them all down in about two hours.  I didn’t question where it came from because I know that the Creator is always sending creativity to all of us all the time.  I didn’t question whether or not I would create the book because I saw the fact that all of it came to me meant that I should manifest it.  I am just following instructions that were given to me from the Divine.

 

I searched for quite a long time for an illustrator that I could afford.  Everyone, rightfully so, wanted some kind of compensation.  I didn’t have a problem with that, but couldn’t afford to pay anyone right now.  Lo and behold, a friend that I have been talking to for the last three years in a foreign country offered to do the work for me – for free.

 

So of course we are partners now, 50/50.  I could not allow her to do all of that work and not receive anything.  Also, she is a trusted friend.  A very dear friend.  Someone that I have never met in person, but we have corresponded consistently over time and embraced each other.

 

The first book will be released in time for Christmas, with others to follow.  I am thrilled and I am appreciative of the Creator, not for just giving me the idea and the stories, but also giving me the way to get it done.

 

Long story short, ladies – if there is something that you have an idea about, something that you want to do, then do it.  I am always telling people to just keep stepping toward their dreams.  Keep stepping, little by little and allow the Universe to make the way for you.  And, if you don’t give up, it will make a way.

 

I don’t know what will happen with this little book or the series, but I recognize that my job is to manifest it and to do my best.  That’s what I am doing.  Please do what you need to do to manifest your own creative ideas and to pursue your dreams.

 

– Tomaca

Welcome Olivia!

Olivia Grace Ward comes to us to teach about abuse, how to recognize its various forms and how to make changes.

 

The very first article she wrote  about the subtle signs of abuse hit home with me.  Not that I am being abused, but there are a few things that need to be adjusted in my own live-in relationship.   And there is darkness in past as there is in the lives of many of us.  Being raped is not a single isolated situation.  Our daughters and even sons being abused is not as uncommon as it needs to be.  These things should not be.

In the history of many indigenous cultures, any man who abused a woman was dealt with by the entire tribe, or community.  Anyone who abused a child was also dealt with in the same manner.  There were certain behaviors that were just not tolerated or allowed in any way, shape or form.  This is how life should be.  Every man should be up in arms about any woman or child being abused anywhere.  It is their natural, instinctive function to protect the weak – meaning women and children.   Just as it is a natural instinct for women to protect children.  But, alas, many of us we live in a culture where things are allowed to just be and we have to deal with a judicial system that is slow and does not always do justice.   People must protect people.

 

And for the abused woman, she has to learn what her part is in an abusive situation.  There are things that we tolerate and accept because of what we have learned and who we have become.  The bottom line is, if it doesn’t feel right, then it isn’t.  We have to make changes and learn what is right and acceptable and what is not.

Here is some suggested reading.  Some really good stuff that will help you get more of an insight into yourself, what your expectations are in a relationship, how you developed them and a way to change these patterns and behaviors.

 

 

I applaud Olivia for the stand she took, for the scrutiny she exposed herself to and for what she endured and overcame.  We are happy to have her join us at Women Move the Soul.   So, read on ladies.  Subscribe so you don’t miss anything.

 

– Tomaca