cat tuesdays

for me, animals are healing.  in late 2010, as part of my healing process, i searched for animal shelters where i could volunteer my time, and, in turn, heal in the presence of animals.  my search brought me to PAWS  PAWS is an amazing organization, and i am so grateful to be part of it.  i started off as a fill-in dog walker and even brushed a great pyrenees for 3 hours one day.  i wasn’t asked to, but me and the pup were enjoying our time together and he looked quite dapper afterwards (he was adopted by a family later that day).

my regular shift, which i have had every tuesday since 2011 is at PAWS Cat City in the university district of seattle.  i’ve combined my love of animals and photography into something i can give back, each tuesday, i help with the care, socialization and adoptions of the cats in our colonies and, i also take photos of the cats available for adoption, these photos are used on their profiles found on the PAWS website as well as

a good photo can make all the difference for the animals.  a photo can start the process of someone coming into to visit PAWS, the loving face and eyes of a cute calico, tabby, tortie, torbie, etc etc etc, can grab hold of the heartstrings and bring you in to see them.

every tuesday for me is “kitty cat tuesday” and so i decided to share with you some of the very precious animals that come through our doors and await their loving forever home.

i present to you, CAT TUESDAYS

say hello to dusty – the amazing one-eyed handsome man … stay tuned for more precious felines!

as of this post, this sweet man is still available for adoption

dusty is a one-eyed handsome fella who gave me full face headbutts as his thanks for my brushing him.


you may not see it, but it’s there.

my armor.

a protection, worn especially heavy over my heart.

there is damage done that can never be reversed, but there is much left to give and share with those dear to me.

trust.  it takes longer now than it ever did before.

i feel too much for this world.  it feels as though i was born for another time, another place.  a kinder, more loving world.

there is goodness in so many, and i feel connected to it, to them, often times, it’s immediate.  then, there are those, that, for no reason known to me, judge (blindly).

then there is the factor of self, the armor doesn’t always protect the body and mind from itself.

there are people in this world that do not operate the way that i do.  i know this.  i’ve become more aware as the years pass.   pearl s. buck put it quite well:

“…a human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. … a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death…”

those that understand, will understand.  (sympathy)  those that don’t, but do care, will try to comfort (empathy)  and there are those that do not understand, do not try to understand, and make you feel like less of a person because of how you are.

my world became smaller.  not the “walls closing in on me” smaller.  a smaller group of those that i let in to my heart.  i have learned over the years that i can push myself and pretend, put the happy face on and act like things don’t affect me like they do.  but that is on the outside, and, on the inside, i’m crumbling.  so, i try, to find the balance of knowing that there are days that you have to push yourself, because, you just have to for your own good.  and then, there are days that you must allow yourself to be.

depression wreaks havoc on the soul.  up and down, good and evil.  the exhaustion from the ever present “not good enough, never good enough, don’t make a mistake, can’t make a mistake, everything must be perfect, don’t upset anyone, be perfect, do perfect, say perfect, always, no room for failure”

and so, my armor.  to protect, for the heart can only take so much.

the pain and hurt has made me more aware, more aware of what i never want to feel.  it still hurts when i feel the sting and makes me want to run and hide.  i’m not here to say how to fix everything and feel wonderful for ever and ever.  it’s never going to happen.  but, i try to surround myself with those that i can trust, let in and love.

my armor is there, always, but my heart is willing to love.

i just returned from visiting my family.  it’s been over 2 years.

i realize more and more how amazing my family is.  loving, true, devoted, caring, giving.  i’m fortunate, i’m surrounded by their love and have been my entire life.

generations of love have been my example.  my grandparents, funny, loving and devoted to each other, to their families, their eyes light up when they see us, they hug us and kiss us.  my parents, my father is an amazing person, strong, honest and good, he gave me my goofy sense of humor and my love of animals, my mother, 100% a mother always, she is loving and caring, she wants her family to be happy, healthy and wrapped in love.  my family has always encouraged my creative side, never made me feel my sensitive side to be a weakness, gave me an example of what true love, devotion, honesty and commitment is, to be loving all the time, to all people and all things.

i walked barefoot in the grass, sipped coffee in the silence of nature, laughed with my sisters, played with my nieces and nephews.  hugged the generations of our family that have made me who i am.

there are no battles amongst us, above everything, we love one another.

i know i am loved, i feel it, see it, there is no doubt.  it’s healing and soothing for my soul.

it’s always hard to say goodbye.

never again.

i go through phases, stages of healing, where, the hurtful things of the past feel so far away that the memories are more from a person i used to know, than me, to times when it feels as though it was yesterday.

and then, i remind myself that these things will never again happen to me.  i won’t allow them.

i have a soft heart.  it’s good for me, but can be affected greatly by those who don’t have regard for others, for animals, for peace, for love, and on and on.

never again will someone make me feel worthless.

never again will someone call me names.

never again will i be made to feel guilty for being me.

never again will i be threatened by the one who promised to love me.

never again will i hurt the way i have been hurt.

never again will i wish myself forever gone than alive in the life i have.

never again.  i won’t allow it.

be kind

i promise that i am working on posting more, where those days go, sometimes, i have no good answer other than, the moments went somewhere, and hopefully they gave me some smiles, peace and love.

just a short post in-between a longer one.  but something to leave with you today.

be kind.  to yourself, to others.  for me, at the end of the day, as i close my eyes, i want to feel at peace with myself and with all those dear to me in my life.

it’s the golden rule that many have forgotten.  “do unto others as you would have them do to you”

smile at the person walking down the street.  hold the door.  say excuse me.  say thank you.  be forgiving.

we share this place called earth.  our feet touch the places millions others have stepped.  it hurts me to my core to see the pain that people cause to one another. take a moment, step back, think, breathe.

at the end of the day, is the action you’re about to do, the word(s) you’re about to say, going to bring peace to your life?

be kind.  i promise it’s a peacefulness to your soul.

free to move about

the seat belt light goes out and the captain’s voice comes through the speakers, “you may now move about the cabin”.  click. click. click. as the passengers unlatch themselves.

in our lives, no one should have such control over us that we feel as though we need their “ok” to move about.  there is respect and then, there is control.  in my past and to this day, i am the same way.  before i make plans, i ask my husband if we/he have anything going on and that i was thinking of doing xyz.  the outcomes of these moments are vastly contrasted between the two.

in the past.  it was more asking permission, one that, typically, was denied.  or, if not completely denied, the guilt tactic was used.  or the selfish tactic, how could i be so selfish to not want to spend time with him, why would i want to do that?  the seat belt light never went off.

now. i am encouraged to be me.  i am encouraged to do things, to go places.  it is not asking permission.  it’s what it is and always has been, respect for my husband.  i am okay with that.  he does the same for me.  we are equals, there is no permission slip that needs to be signed.  we encourage each other to be individuals.  connected at heart.

it took me some time to get used to this new-found freedom.  i never knew what it felt like to be me and married.  i was told i was selfish if i ever put myself first. now, i am told i am selfless and encouraged to be myself.

i tell people how i have the exact opposite of what i had before.  the antithesis.

you should not fear being yourself.  you should not feel as though you need permission to move about.

you are free to move about.


cuts heal, scars remain

it has been nearly two years since i found the strength to leave.  my heart and soul have settled in to their new life of happiness, kindness, caring and peace.  the cuts have healed, the scars remain.

scars tell a story. 

i have a scar on my big toe, it’s story is one of summertime camping, a boy at the campground, me being tough and riding my bike without a care, focused on keeping up with the boys, wiping out, not wanting to cry, because i thought i was supposed to be super tough.  i have scars from surgeries, a dog bite, burns, each one carries its own story. 

i also have scars that no one can see, just like my visible scars, these carry their own stories as well.  a word, a voice, a threat. 

i’d rather have my scars than the cuts.  they’ve healed.  i’ve healed, but i’ll never forget the moments behind them. 

it’s been nearly two years since i started the healing process.  everything begins with a moment, and that was mine.  i found my soothing salve, i found kindness and love.

those scars remind me of how a person should never be treated, and a way that i will never again feel.


words hold such deep meaning for me.  they can create images, convey thoughts, emotions.

writing is healing for me.  coming upon words, written by others, that move me runs deep within.

from time to time, i’ll share these.

this shall be the first of many.


to laugh often and much;

to win respect of intelligent people

and the affection of children.

to earn the appreciation of honest critics

and endure the betrayal of false friends;

to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others;

to leave the world a bit better,

whether by a healthy child,

a garden patch

or a redeemed social condition;

to know even one life has breathed easier

because you have lived.

this is to have succeeded.

– ralph waldo emerson