Spiders, Ladybugs And Dogs Oh My

The four-footed one has tamed a dragon (well dragonfly) and turned a dinosaur into a pet (okay a stuffed one if you must be precise), yet she is terrified of a small little bug, a ladybug or ladybird to be exact.

I suspect they don’t taste good, perhaps even emit a noxious substance or maybe they bite.  I have no other explanation for why the four-footed one is terrified of these things. She tends to explore her world through paws and mouth.  I know she’s batted these insects around as I’ve watched her do it against my warnings.  And I know she had one in her mouth because I saw her spit it out, much to my revolution.  And fear not for this little bug’s life, for the hardy shell kept it safe in her mouth.

And from this one encounter, too close for her comfort, she now gives all ladybugs/ladybirds a wide space. She sees one in her space and she gets up and moves out of its way.  It isn’t s big deal it just is unusual for her.  I mean she could sit on one of these bugs and kill them and yet she is the one who gives them space.

One of nature’s mysteries I guess is her relationship with these insects.  Another mystery of nature is her insistence in licking spiders.  Normally I’d try to solve the mystery, but I think some things are better left alone.  And spider licking may be one of those things!

Suds

The dishwasher decided to go kaput.  I can’t blame it, I mean it has a never-ending job that seems to be taken for granted.  Maybe it’s staging a strike, perhaps it just wants to be appreciated and then again maybe it’s broken from regular use.

It isn’t the end of the world, but with limited energy and I use the dishwasher.  Oh I don’t run it every day or all the time, and never run it with only a small amount in it.  I mean to say that while it may not be the greenest of choices, it’s a choice that allows me a little more quality of life.  And now it is no longer functioning.

My dishwasher, it seems, is a bit like me, damaged and unable to work as it had previously.  It doesn’t mean it is something to be cast aside, it simply needs some help.  Beloved pointed out that early cultures would allow domesticated dogs to lick their dishware clean.  I’m not sure how clean that would get things, but maybe it was better than nothing.  Other cultures scoured the dishware with salt or sand, which then would get into their teeth and wear them down as well.

So no sand or salt and despite what the four-footed one thinks she will not be licking the plates clean.  Washing by hand is in order until the machine is fixed.  And once it is fixed, I promise you I will not take it for granted not for one wash cycle.

Slightly Disturbing

There’s something slightly disturbing about hospital warnings becoming routine.  Well unless you work in a hospital, surgery or treatments being the norm of your day.  At that point it probably is routine in a non-disturbing manner.  I mean it’s just your job, you aren’t on the receiving end of warnings and cautions up to and including death.

It is slightly disturbing when it becomes routine to be on the receiving end of these warnings on a regular basis.  It is more disturbing to take it all as a matter of fact, almost nonchalantly.  And then suddenly it isn’t disturbing anymore, it’s just part of your medical interactions and you have long made up your mind to things such as your own mortality.

This is just all part and parcel of life with serious chronic illnesses.  You adapt, but perhaps your family and your friends aren’t as familiar and thus not as desensitized to it as you are.  After all part of dealing with serious chronic illness is understanding how it has altered your life and then making changes to strive for the life you want.  And so you are forced to confront or at least consider your own mortality a little earlier than you otherwise might have.  And this too can be slightly disturbing to some.

I’ve never really considered this aspect of my chronic life.  I know it exists, but it was the look on my friend’s face as I causally joked about being asked if I wanted life saving measures for an IV infusion that brought this home to me.  It isn’t normal, not for a healthy person.  And yet for me it’s so normal I don’t even think about it any more and that my friends is slightly disturbing simply because it is a clear sign of how far down this road of chronic illness I’ve already travelled.

Until

I had heard, from a friend, that another friend of mine had taken the idea of being an advocate for her child a bit too far.  Apparently this mother has become a helicopter parent that’s hovering a little too close for people to notice the separation between mother and child.

It’s hard to say much about this when I’m not a parent so I just made a few noncommittal noises and was ready to leave things be.  But of course in life there is always something, typically something small, that makes things change.  In this case it was a little something that moved the moment from noncommittal to until.  I was fine with things until I heard that the mother did not feel that I “honored” her child’s “personal need to express emotions” through “verbal dialogue”.

In case you are wondering when mom and child were last visiting me said child felt it was acceptable to tease the four-footed one because “it’s fun” and “I really wanna”.  I do not tolerate teasing or other forms of abuse towards innocent animals.  (Of course I’m also never sure what the four-footed one will do in response so I really do not accept any level of this.)  The child’s response was to immediately try to kick the four-footed one (he missed) and proceed to hit my walls.  Needless to say I was not impressed and told him as much.

I had assumed things were fine after this altercation, but mother decided that her son should be allowed to express his desires and responses in any he saw fit and I was selfish to not allow him this chance.  I should point out the child is ten years old and I know for a fact he knows how to behave.    Mom, without telling me how she felt, decided that I was being neglectful towards her offspring.  I worry for this child’s future because not everything is going to go his way and his mother won’t always be there for him.

For the record, I have never raised my voice or touched this child.  I have never called him names nor made disparaging comments towards him or about him.  Evidently my lack of fully supporting her child is not only disrespectful but dishonourable.  His behavior to my four-footed one is acceptable, which makes me wonder what else will be acceptable in his future.

Nature’s Balm

The four-footed one and I had a nice amble today.  We had no specific destination nor any specific timeframe to adhere to so we took our time.  We watched clouds waltz ever so slowly yet gracefully across the sky.  We listened to the breeze as it made the tree stand way.  We watched in wonder at a crow with beautiful blue-black feathers as it determined the best way to open up a nut it had found.

Okay so maybe the four-footed didn’t do all those things, but while she was doing her thing I was doing mine.  For all I know she could have been plotting her getaway while I was shaking off the bad mood through nature.

The crow, for all I know, may have had worries and fears of its own, but it carried on with the situation at hand.  There is something to be said about letting things sort themselves while you allow nature to soothe the unpleasantness or at least distract you with that which is bigger than yourself.

To be honest being out in nature let me forget myself and consider things from a different point of view.  It didn’t fix my situation any, but it let the negativity slip away even if just for a short period of time.  And in that time I was able to count blessings and find some semblance of a smile from within.

On Getting To Numb or A Walk I’m Not Sure I Will Take

I met a man once who said the key to a fulfilled life was to have no expectations or desires from anyone or anything.  He said the art to meaning was to simply be with whatever the moment happened to present.  He didn’t come by this through hours of meditation, prayer or contemplation.  Instead he found the key to this through walking.

I haven’t thought about him in a while, but while walking with the four-footed in the squall that felt more like autumn than summer, he popped back into my head.  It may be that I thought of him because I had put on shoes with very thin soles through which I could feel every small pebble as if I weren’t wearing shoes.  After all he told me that if you walk far enough and long enough your feet won’t hurt anymore because they will be numb.  If you walk enough hills, uneven and hard ground eventually the ache in your calves drift away for they too a numb.  And the heaviness in your legs?  You guessed it, your legs go numb.

The art to walking until you are numb, he assured me was to start when there was a cool wind whipping small burst of cold rain across your path.  This way you’d soon enough be wet and cold to the point where you couldn’t feel either any more.  He walked in the dark so his eyes has less to be distracted by and let the sun’s heat burn him until he could no longer feel it.

I guess if you experienced nature in a way that was more tactile you’d soon find yourself no longer distracted by the colours, smells and touch.  After you were no longer distracted you could simply be with the beauty of nature as it was with no expectations or desires to hold or tame it.

He reckoned that the further you walked, especially with heavy steps, the quicker you’d fix your broken heart.  Not that it would heal, rather it would shatter and grind the broken pieces to dust.  Once it was dust it would eventually shake from your being with each step you took.

If you did his right, when you stopped walking you’d still be numb.  You wouldn’t know what to do with yourself at a standstill, but you would be numb and prepared to simply be.

Now while I was wearing my thin soled shoes while walking with the four-footed one I wished to have numb feet  so as to no longer feel the sharp edge or bite of a stone.  While I admire those who simply can be in the moment with no distractions I’m not so sure I’m ready to go to that extreme.  I want to smell the freshness of spring when everything is green and unfurling.  I wish to feel the summer wind upon my face and watch the golden grasses form waves as if they were an ocean.

In The Air, High In The Air

While walking the four-footed one lately I have found myself noticing all the beautiful colors gracing our walk.  Flowers are happily competing with each other in riots of color and perfume with no shame or hesitation.

The four-footed one has not allowed the flowers to go unnoticed, any within her reach are thoroughly sniffed.  She doesn’t seem to mind getting pollen on her either, unless it makes her sneeze.  Sneezing is not her favorite thing to do, yet it doesn’t deter her from smelling the flowers.

I’ve also noticed a sudden crop of tree-houses popping up in rapid succession.  I adore tree-houses, and these ones are luxury model tree-houses.  Some of them appear to be mini-versions of various houses in the area.  A few have porches and decks!

Growing up I can’t recall any tree-houses having porches or decks.  Most had hastily tacked ladders to the tree and none of the ones I knew of were weather-proof.  The tree-houses of my childhood are a far cry for one I saw tonight.  This treehouse was sparkling white with blue shutters, a porch, a deck and a tin roof.

I may need a treehouse something along the lines of the one I just described.  Or the one I saw the other day that was done like a red barn.  For th  record I never had a treehouse as a child.  My father didn’t see a need for a treehouse ruining his trees and my mother was not a fan of trees or heights.  Perhaps now it’s time to treat myself to one, provided I can find a tree that supports my needs!