Monthly Archives: October 2012

Dogs and Full Moons

I can totally understand why ancient people had so many myths and legends concerning the full moon. Werewolves being just one of them. Tomorrow night will be the full moon and my placid easy-going laid back lazy  lab mix has turned into a werewolf wanna be. No, she’s not out attacking people and turning them into labradoodles. It just makes her act crazy.

The last couple of nights she had been totally weird. Normally in the evening she sleeps. She is always either next to my chair or in the doorway of the computer room.  But not the last few nights! She started this werewolfy behavior by constantly going in and out all evening. When I told her to chill and lay down she just became more insistent that she needed out. Not willing to clean up a mess or undo her house training I obediently got up and let her out, then in, than out, then in, all evening long.

Yesterday, again she wanted in and out all evening, but she added to the strangeness by sitting on the deck and howling. I have never heard her howl before. She turned six years old today and I have never heard her howl, not when fire trucks or police cars go past with sirens. She just isn’t a howling type of dog, until yesterday.

Maybe she was just celebrating her birthday, but somehow I don’t think so. I think she was channeling some inner werewolf. I don’t like October or Halloween so I believe she was doing it just to get me. It’s rather unnerving to go to the door to get your dog and it is sitting there with its nose pointed at the almost full moon howling. Everytime I let her out last night she howled.

Tonight, she is once again going in and out repeatedly. She’s restless but at least she’s not howling, but now there’s been a new development in my dog’s full moon change. When she is outside she won’t come back in. She stands out in the yard staring at the door and giving her one bark which means she wants in. When I open the door to let her in she runs around the yard in the dark like a crazy dog. She has done this before on full moons, but it has been several years since she’s been this crazy. Then the cat decided to join in. She has been attacking the poor dog. Everytime I get the dog to settle down for a nap the cat attacks her.

That isn’t really anything totally new, the cat always picks on the dog. She knows the dog can’t fight back. It’s the difference between a ten pound cat and a seventy pound dog, the cat would ultimately lose the battle. Unfortunately that made the cat think she can get away with picking on the dog whenever she wants to. In our house it’s not survival of the fittest, it’s survival of the littlest. The cat wins.

Is there such a thing as a werecat?

Only one more night and then the full moon will be past and everything will go back to normal until the next full moon. Maybe next month I’ll go out and howl with my dog!

Does a full moon affect your house or pets in any way? Or is just my crazy critters?

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I Hate Halloween

I love holidays. I usually spend the entire year planning, making and waiting for the holidays. My favorite holiday is Christmas. I love most of the other holidays but I really love, love Christmas.

That being said, I hate Halloween. I don’t even know why. I’m not a big fan of scary movies, but I do read scary books so it’s not that  it scares me, I just don’t like it. Never have.

I like the candy part of it but there is no way I would ever have gone out trick and treating just for candy. I know lots of people like going to haunted houses and things like that. They do scare me. Went through one years ago, during the day while they were setting it up and it scared me. I wouldn’t go back after dark.

I don’t even like walking after dark during the whole month of October, it doesn’t bother me any other time but I am really nervous, scared, freaked out whenever I have to go out after dark during October.

I don’t know if this is some sort of deep dark hidden fear passed down through the centuries from some of my long gone ancestors. Maybe it comes from my cave man ancestors. I love reading about how different traditions started, how holidays have changed over the years, that does include Halloween. I love reading about it I just don’t want to be out there during it.

I don’t even really like answering the door to all the little tiny trick or treaters. The worst part is my 10 year old great nephew usually comes on Halloween. He loves handing out the candy. His family lives to far out of town to get many trick or treaters so he comes to help us. It’s kind of embarrassing having to hide behind a 10 year old when the kids come.

It is embarrassing but that doesn’t stop me from doing it. I hate Halloween. I hate October. I hate having a holiday that I don’t enjoy. The only good thing about Halloween is that it is the start of the holiday season. As soon as Halloween is over, Thanksgiving will be here and then….. wait for it….. drum-roll….. CHRISTMAS!

I’ll be putting up my outside Christmas decorations the weekend after Halloween! Won’t turn them on until after Thanksgiving but I learned years ago, when you live where it gets really cold you put up lights and whatever before it snows and gets really cold. It’s impossible to put up outdoor lights when the strings are frozen, your fingers are numb and you’re falling through the deep snow banks. I put mine up at the end of October or the beginning of November. I do have a test after it gets dark. It’s fun to see the cars slow down and stare while we’re out there enjoying the first sight of all those twinkling Christmas lights. But that doesn’t help Halloween, I still hate it.

Does anyone else feel the same way about Halloween? Do you have a real reason for not liking it?

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Guardian Angels and Quarters

I’ve always believed in heaven and hell. I never really thought about it a lot until my younger brother died. He was not only my brother but my best friend. When we were younger we did a lot together. He was the outgoing one. The one who made and kept friends easily. I was the shy one, the one who was much more content watching than participating in things.

When my brother died I was devastated. He was only 44 years old but cancer doesn’t care about that. Cancer doesn’t care that he had so much to live for. That was over nine years ago, at the time I didn’t, couldn’t believe it when everyone said time heals. It does, or at least it makes the pain less.

My real belief in angels started on the day of my brother’s funeral. Through, what I suppose was a technical mistake, my name was left off of all the funeral notices. Normally that wouldn’t have bothered me much. I like staying in the background, but this was my brother. It hurt, a lot to be left out. During the funeral when they read the names of the surviving family members and I wasn’t mentioned, all around me the rest of family whispered that I had been left out. That didn’t help. I picked up a few local papers on the way home from the funeral, curiosity  I needed to know if I had been listed in those notices. I hadn’t. It was too much, when I got home I thrust the papers at my older brother and fled upstairs to cry my eyes out. He was so upset he ran back to get our mother. She was still at the church talking to friends. It took us weeks to find those papers. He didn’t want me upset so he hid them under a cushion in a chair.

What I didn’t realize at the time was that my younger brother was there, he was watching out for me. Even though I was really upset leaving the church I noticed a quarter on the sidewalk. Not to extraordinary, but I picked it up. After I glanced through the papers and noticed my missing name, I found another quarter on the road. I picked it up. Walking the two blocks from the church to our house I found several more quarters. I picked them up also.

Rushing up the driveway, I found four more quarters, all in a row waiting for me. I didn’t think about them. I picked them up and put them in my pocket with the other quarters.

Much later I was watching something on TV about how loved ones keep in contact once they had passed on. One of the things they mentioned was coins. They like to leave us coins. My brother leaves me quarters. Over the years there have been less quarters in my path, but he still leaves them for me. When I have those days when I really miss him or need to talk to him, I find a quarter.

A friend recently lost her father to cancer. She had known my brother in school. She was having a really difficult time facing the reality that her father was dying. I was walking to the gym, we went to the same one but not usually at the same time. Occasionally we’d see each other there, but not often. Then one day on my way there I found a quarter. They just seem to be there when I need them. It doesn’t matter how many people have passed that way before me, when I look down there it is. I picked it up knowing instinctively that it was for our friend. My brother wanted her to know that everything would be okay.

I explained to her about the quarters, gave her the one I found. Later she said it got her through some rough times. It helps to know that those we love still watch over us and know what we are going through.

The quarters don’t hurt either. I always put my brother’s quarters in a special bank. Every year to raise money for the cancer fund they have an all night event where you can buy white paper bags and decorate them in memory of your lost ones or in honor of cancer survivors  They light candles in the bag and line the walkway for people to read them. I use the quarters to buy a bag for my brother and my sister each year. We lost them eight months apart to cancer.

Everyone should be lucky enough to have a guardian angel who leaves quarters. That is when he isn’t too busy playing hockey among the clouds and teaching the little angels how to play cloud baseball and hockey.

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You have to be Crazy…

I’ve been told that I’m crazy so often that I’m beginning to believe it. Not crazy in an insane way, although I’m sure some of my family are totally convinced that I am totally insane.

I love doing crafts, but not anything too ordinary. I have a small shop on etsy where I sell plastic canvas items, boxes, notebook covers, things like that. They are pretty ordinary even though I make my own designs for them. They are pretty basic.

Last week one of the teams I belong to on Etsy issued a challenge. The team was started just for these challenges. The first challenge was to make a home-made version of the popular bubble necklace. I have never followed trends, in fact I have never paid any attention to trends. I had to go online to find out what a bubble necklace actually was. They are very large beads put together to make a large triangle of dangling bubbles. Not my style, I am not tall enough to wear huge pieces of jewelry.

But it was a challenge. I’m not a competitive person. I watch sports but I really don’t care who wins, I just like watching the games. I also don’t join teams. I like working by myself. But I’ve joined several different teams on Etsy, mainly to help get attention to my shop. I thought long and hard about actually joining the challenge team, but the thought of trying to make a bubble necklace was intriguing. I had to try. I don’t make jewelry, its one of the only crafts that I haven’t really tried much. I’ve played around with simple jewelry a bit and I’ve fixed a lot of jewelry but that usually is just reattaching a jump ring or something like that. Simple stuff, now I was faced with making a necklace and all I do now days is plastic canvas.

After a few days thinking and drawing out designs I made my first necklace. It was simple plastic canvas circles sewed with Christmas yarn and put together with jump rings. Easy. It was fun and that’s when the craziness started. Ideas started going around and around in my head. Then someone on the team made the suggestion that someone should make one using owls in some way. That’s another big trend right now. People like owls.

Okay! I can do owls. I just had to figure out how to make them small enough for a necklace. Making them out of plastic canvas was out of the question. The entire necklace would have been measured in feet instead of inches. There was no way I could make owls small enough for a necklaces unless. . .

I painted them! I’ve always like painting miniatures. My family and everyone else who sees my paintings think I’m crazy. I ended up painting ten different colored owls on scrabble tiles. They turned out really cute, even if I do say so myself.

Today I painted forty-five more tiles, some with dogs, cats, bears, landscapes, flowers and anything else I could think of painting on tiny surface. I love painting teeny tiny things. Maybe I am a wee bit crazy, but at least I enjoy my craziness. Have you ever enjoyed making something only to be told you were crazy to do it?

Maybe it’s just jealousy, I don’t know, I just like creating things that most people wouldn’t think of doing.

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How do you handle grief?

Grief  is the hardest emotion to handle, at least it is for me. Grief isn’t just one emotion it is all emotions. Sorrow, pain, anger, confusion, guilt, every emotion you have ever felt is in grief. It leaves you drained, physical and emotionally.  For me grief is the worst emotion to go through. After dealing with grief everything else is easy.

For me, grief is grief! It doesn’t matter if I’m grieving the death of a loved family member or the death of a loved pet.

To anyone who has never loved a pet this might seem stupid. Anyone who has loved  and lost a pet will totally understand. I can’t live without a pet. I am a basically a dog person although I do love my cat. Possibly because this cat thinks she’s a dog, she’s shaped like a dachshund and acts like a German Shepherd. Anyway to me the grief for a pet isn’t all that much different from the grief I felt losing my brother and sister.

Ten years ago my youngest brother died of cancer, it was the worst time of my life. He was my brother, my best friend and my main supporter. He cheered me on in everything I did. I did the same for him also. When he was diagnosed with cancer it was devastating. He fought the cancer for three months before losing the battle.  I made it through with a ton of tears and a ton of poetry. I write poetry whenever I’m faced with things I can’t handle. Poetry has gotten me through life. I only write it when I can’t express or deal with my emotions any other way. Eight months after my brother died, my oldest sister was diagnosed with cancer. She died after a three month fight.  Once again we were plunged into deep grief.

Losing both of them so close together was terrible, the worst possible time. Then my eleven year old dog died, she died of old age but it didn’t make it any easier. I turned back to the poetry. A month later I got a new dog, a two year old golden retriever. I had him for two years and then he died of cancer. A year later my 20 year old cat died of old age. Death! It was all I was writing about, occasionally I would slip in a poem about what they all meant to me, but mostly I was writing about how I felt losing them. My grief was just as deep, just as hard to deal with for the dogs and cat as it was for my family members.  For a three year period I was emotionally numb. There was just too much death around me. Death has never scared me, the way I die does. I don’t want a long painful death, but then no one ever does. After those three years of losing so many loved ones, human and animal, grief and death finally turned into peaceful memories. It became easier to tell the stories about them again. Life continued. I can’t forget any of those I’ve lost, but the losing them has eased. I know they are no longer suffering and hopefully are in a much better place. I do believe in heaven for both humans and pets.

Thankfully we pass through the grief and in time we only remember the good happier times we had with them. What brought this up today was yesterday my sister lost her three year old lab to a freak accident. He was a very typical lab, loved playing ball. She threw the ball for him as she had done thousands of time. He ran after it and somehow broke his back. He had to be euthanized immediately. Obviously she is devastated but he died doing what he lived for. He loved playing ball and running.

Grief is such a hard emotion. No one really knows what to say to you or even do when faced with the grief of others. After the funeral is over you are basically left alone to deal with all the pain and emotion. It’s even worse when you lose a pet, no one comes to help you through those first few days. You bury your loved pet alone or with a few family members.

Sometime I think its easier to hide out until the grief has run its course and you can move back into life with just the memories of your loved one or loved pet. Unfortunately life usually won’t let you hide until your emotions are ready to face people again.

Life is never easy and death isn’t comfortable for anyone to talk about or deal with. I handle it by writing poetry. It’s how I handle death, it’s how I handle most problems.  My intentions with this blog wasn’t to bring anyone down, its just that death is always a part of life. You can’t get away from it, sooner or later everyone loses someone they love and I was just wondering how others dealt with death and grief. They are the most intense emotions we ever have to deal with. They are never easy but they are a part of us. I write, I write about them, to them, for them. I keep their memories alive by writing poetry. Most of my poetry will never be read but that’s okay. I write for myself and those who I’ve lost. What do you do to ease your pain of grief and death?

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