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How to Cope with Grief After Losing a Cat

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7 Things That Help Me Cope with Grief After Losing a Cat

It’s never easy letting go. These are things I’ve learned by paying attention to the grief process.

Catherine Holm  |  Apr 9th 2013

Grieving the loss of a cat is excruciating. In fact, I’m going through it as I write this. I think the grief process is one of the hardest, most intense experiences we have to get through.

It’s not easy to prepare for grief, as each end-of-life journey is different. That being said, I’ve been through this a few times and have discovered that I do certain things to help me cope. Hopefully, some of these suggestions can help you navigate the grief process.

1. I celebrate the cat’s (whole) life

At the end of life, whether it’s prolonged or sudden, it’s easy to get caught up in the sadness and intensity of that current moment. Sometimes, when I’ve found myself in this place, I realize I’m not honoring the rest of the cat’s life. What about the amazing years or months I had with the cat? What about the funny things my cat did? Or the loving bond we had? What about the wonderful memories and stories of the cat? I try to focus on the life I’ve shared with the cat, even though it’s very easy to want to focus totally on the end of life.

2. I find people who understand

Whether your cat has passed on or is likely to pass on soon, obviously you’ll want to be around people who understand. Now is not the time to take comments like “it’s only a cat” to heart. If you do run across someone who says something like this, try to breathe and let it go. You need your energy to get through grieving, not to get mad about ill-placed comments.

Instead, find people who understand and are respectful of your grief process, whether they love cats or not. A compassionate person and friend will give you the space and respect your need to grieve.

3. I take time to be alone, if I need it

Some of us like to share; others are intensely vulnerable when going through grief. I’m a little of both. Know yourself. If you need to be alone, honor that. It’s OK.

4. I understand that grief is a powerful process

Sometimes, grief reminds me of the waves of an ocean. You’re feeling fine and then WHAM, some piece of grief hits you and you’re down, or crying, or both. I’m not sure why it is, but just knowing that this happens has made me prepared for when it happens again. I try to flow with it. Everyone grieves differently. We all grieve in our own time, and in our own way. Let it happen the way it needs to happen for you.

5. I breathe (deeply)

This is a yoga tool, but it’s also a relaxation technique, which anyone can do. When you’re exhausted from stress or grieving, breathing deeply through your nose can really help relax you and restore your mind and body to a state of calmness. Even a minute or two of this has great benefits. I do this all the time during periods of stress, or if I’m grieiving the loss of a pet. From a physiological standpoint, this activates your parasympathetic nervous system (which induces relaxation) rather than your sympathetic nervous system (which is all about fight or flight). Try breathing deeply in any stressful situation or any time you find yourself holding your breath.

6. I’m good to myself and my body

I’m no good to my cats if I’m a mess. So even though it’s hard (grief is exhausting), I try to remember to be good to my body. I try to remember to eat good stuff (not junk), get outside, exercise, breathe — all good things for me. Find the good things for you and remember to do them.

7. I honor the immensity of grief

It’s a big deal, and we all get to go through it. The sadness in grief is huge, but strangely, so is the joy. Celebrate these wonderful creatures we love, whether we’re going through life with them or whether we’re letting them go.

Table Rock – A Peaceful Get-a-way, Winter or Summer

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If you love the outdoors, are seeking a peaceful, out of the way vacation with lots of options, Table Rock Resort in Pickens, South Carolina is the place for you.
Some background:  Beautifully located four miles SW of Table Rock State Park on the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway (SC Hwy 11) the drive there from Low Country at the beach changes majestically with the high, blue-hue (it actually is!) thrilling mountainous roller-coaster roads up to the sky. The Cherokees called these heights the “Great Blue Hills of God.” Following an ancient Cherokee path, this beautiful two-lane road arcs through peach orchards and villages, past Cowpens National Battlefield and over Lake Keowee.

The Blue Ridge contains the highest mountains in eastern North America. About 125 peaks exceed 5,000 feet (1,500 m) in elevation The highest peak in the Blue Ridge (and in the entire Appalachian chain) is Mt. Mitchell in North Carolina at 6,684 feet (2,037 m). There are 39 peaks in North Carolina and Tennessee higher than 6,000 feet (1,800 m); by comparison, only New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington rises above 6,000 feet (1,800 m) in the northern portion of the Appalachian chain.

The Blue Ridge Parkway runs 469 miles (755 km) along crests of the Southern Appalachians and links two national parks: Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains. In many places along the parkway, there are metamorphic rocks (gneiss) with folded bands of light-and dark-colored minerals, which sometimes resemble a marble pound cake.

Arriving at our destination, the 18-Hole Scenic Golf course overlooking The Rock at Jocassee surrounded by the Blue Ride mountains, the first thing you see is the equestrian center. Guests abound atop trail horses, exploring the scenery and many nearby waterfalls.

Along with golf, there are tennis courts, fishing, boating and hiking, a swimming pool (open Memorial Day to Labor Day and just good old plain fresh air and beautiful scenery plus skiing in the winter.

In our two-story 2-bedroom unit equipped with all modern conveniences and a fireplace, we found a pamphlet entitled “A Homeowner’s Guide Living with Bears”. [Okay.]  Natural Resources officials say the number of black bears in South Carolina has gotten so large that the animals are boldly looking for food in residential areas. Black bears can get up to 600 pounds. [Mouth open on that one.] If one does approach you, the booklet tells you the ‘thing to do’ is make yourself look as large as you can possibly can by waving your arms. It’s difficult to look ‘that big’ if you are only 5’2″, so I looked over my shoulder a lot. The locals told us that they haven’t seen a bear in the resort area for over 12 years, and we didn’t see one either. The guys were disappointed somewhat.

Cell phones do not work in these elevated areas, so bring a phone card. Also, the Wi-Fi works in the club house, but not in the rooms. This was disappointing at first, but the blood pressure drop and serenity feeling overlooked the loss almost immediately. Accommodations are immaculate.

The restaurant at the Club House was better than anything locally (within 10 miles) and we dined there every night on fresh caught trout, crab cakes roasted stuff chicken, and wonderfully fresh garden salads, all cooked in gourmet style. Veggies, ice cream and bread were all fresh and delicious. We enjoyed visiting with the chef, and owners each night after dinner and they gave us many insights as what to see and where to go.

It was unanimously agreed among our group that the locals in neighboring (10 miles or less) local towns were the friendliest people we’ve ever met. Down-to-earth, congenial, happy, and helpful, from the waitresses to the owners to the other guests. This is a Mayberry, NC-like town seen on the Andy Griffith Show. We visited homegrown honeybee stores, the largest flea market ever on Wednesdays, and Greenville, the third largest city in the state of SC, is only 20 miles away – one half hour if you have to have city.

We took a couple of day trips: one to Biltmore, American’s Largest Home in Asheville, NC – about an hour and a half ride – 70 miles away. You can spend the whole day there and have lunch at their extraordinary buffet amidst an outside garden. And wine tasted at the Biltmore winery.

We also visited the Cherokee Reservation’s Harrah’s Casino – about a two and a half hour ride from the resort. No one won anything, but it was a hoot.

One very pleasurable lunch – just up the road a couple of miles from the resort is the Victoria Valley Vineyards. Overlooking a Tuscany Terrain look-alike with terraced vineyards, we enjoyed a Bistro lunch after another delicious wine-tasting and wine tour. This beautiful facility, known for its scenery and good food, is a popular venue for weddings, receptions, or any kind of celebration. The day we lunched there, the only other group was a small wedding party of about 6 people.
I brought many books with me – and I never read one. The entire time was pleasurable, relaxing, fun and memorable. A great place to go with a golf group, a family, or as a couple. If you like solitude, even alone. There are people all around in the middle of the mountains and the bears know their place;  they never visited.
Table Rock Resort in the Foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, South Carolina 144 Sliding Rock Road, Pickens, SC 29671,
864-878-3942

The Top Ten Reasons to Believe in God

There are a lot of publications and articles about personal power and how each of us, as an individual, is part of the universe.  As part of the universe, they say one may  attain “Universal Truth” and the attainment of the highest individual human potential.  This say this can come from a combination of cosmology, astrology, esotericism, alternative medicine, music, collectivism, sustainability, and nature.  This spirituality is characterized by an individual approach to spiritual practices and philosophies, while rejecting religious doctrine and dogma.

I’ve never seen a guidebook or blueprint of how you combine these universal attainments to pursue happiness or fulfillment.   It is true that, as individuals, we can attain a self-actualization of our talents, as described in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.   But is this the Universal Truth?   We can combine all of the ‘ologies’ above, but is this the Universal Truth?   Isn’t there a broad interpretation of Universal Truth and different ways for different folks to embrace it?   Or define?   Or live it?   Who created the universe?

God has made it very simple for us in terms of Universal Truth.   In His wisdom and guidance, He has provided a Guidebook and Blueprint for us to find and embrace the Way, the Truth and the Light — God’s Universal Truth.

God, through inspired men, and the Holy Spirit, and in His mercy and wisdom, has made it possible for us to learn about Him.   God has passed onto us, his instructions for life and happiness, His laws and His commandments. The universe, which God Himself created, stands silent.  Silent.  What is beyond the universe?   God is.  Our Father blessed us with the Bible, His communication with us.  His Word.   Many people try to undermine it or interpret it differently, or add things to it, or condemn it.   If these same people  studied the Bible, they would see that it is a masterpiece that fits together unquestionably.   All they have to do:  is read it.   The universe is barren, cold, and limited.   God is all encompassing, warm in His Love for us, and unlimited.   The universe cannot promise what God promises us.

The Top Ten Reasons To Believe in God:

10. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

9. “The Lord will guide you continually, watering your life when you are dry and keeping you healthy, too.” Isaiah 58:11

8. “For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.” Psalm 100:5

7. “The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace”.Psalm 29:11

6. “For nothing is impossible with God“. Luke 1:37

5. “Give your burdens to the Lord and he will take care of you.” Psalm 55:22

4. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears  us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him.” 1 John 5:14-15

3. “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11

2. “But remember, that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.” 1 Corinthians 13

And the top reason to believe in God is because, He promises…..

1. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you.” Jeremiah 29:11

Marie Coppola  December  2015

The World Makes its Own Violence

Someone asks at every horrific memorial service, “Why do we have so much violence?”  “When will it change?”

Some voice the reason as mental illness; others mention religious persecution; and the president and political figures blame it on the gun who has no mind of its own.   I say it is in the minds of our culture.

In little more than a half century, our culture has changed from “happy is the average family with two children living in the suburbs”.   Elvis was banned on TV & and shown only from the waist up so his pelvic motions weren’t viewed by the kids.   His gyrations were ‘disgraceful’.

Newlyweds planned for the ‘blessed event’ and the word ‘abortion’ wasn’t ever said out loud; it was rare and ungodly.   Dads worked and brought home the bacon and Moms were the rule of the roost, making a home for the family and was there when the kids got home from school.

God was an integral part of life;  even in public school, students took turns reading Scripture from the Bible in homeroom before they said the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag and started their day.   The family structure usually had a faith base, took their annual vacation together and sat down each night, together, to share dinner and the day’s events.  Patriotism – God & Country – were staples of life.   Kids were happy, played outside, had friends and a safe place at home.  Girls could be tomboys and boys could take dancing lessons – they grew up and emulated their Moms & Dads who were their role models.    They are the grandparents of today.  If you ask them, they will tell you they had ‘happy childhoods”.

Things changed during the 60s and 70s by the Beatles, drugs, free love and the Vietnam War.  People rebelled against the ‘establishment’, family structure, and the ten commandments.  “Do what feels good.”

Many of the folks from that era are now integrated in our government today and hold high offices.   Our president, who was indoctrinated in Indonesian schools never said the Pledge of Allegiance to America or sang the Star Spangled Banner.  Over years, our culture changed.

Today, Hollywood has evolved from “disgraceful” pelvic motions to nudity, progressive lifestyles, profanity and easily accessible porn.  Legalizing same-sex marriage and transgenders.  These are our new generations’ role models.   Babies are no longer ‘blessed events’ – they are ‘mistakes’ and ‘women’s right’ to abort them – 87% of them aborted for ‘inconvenience’.  Some abort them for gender selection.   We have morphed into the desensitization of aborting and gone the extra step of hatching still breathing infants to sell their body parts.    Life has ceased to be sacred – what’s the difference between hatching or killing babies or shooting down students?   What are we saying to the next generation?

Due to seven elected judges who decided to allow same sexes to be married – now we have Dads & Dads and Moms & Moms.  Many at some point break up and change their minds and then become Dads and Moms again – and these are our new generations’ role models.    The government has supported gender change, and some of our young teens are able to ‘change’ their sex without parental permission.  You are allowed to be a different gender at any time if you ‘think’ it.  And we are allowing people to end their own lives.

Technology came about in the 1980s and has transformed our newer generations into human robots who are computer & cell phone addicted.  One of the effects of obsessive use of cell phones is narcissism – multiples of selfies posted on social media – coupled with loss of communication – less conversation, personal interface and abbreviated messages called texting.    They don’t speal much to each other or their family or their parents.   These young people will be the role models of the next generation.

Breakdown of the family through the growing self-interests of busy parents and uncommunicative children coupled with the breakdowns of faith and emergences of government-initiated different lifestyles has fractured family life as we knew it.   Members of the same family frequently spend holidays or special occasions separately with 2nd or 3rd generation step-parents and not the orginal family.   We are morphing into a culture where love, caring, sharing, loyalty and family values are replaced by overlapping of different values, interests and mindsets.

Our changing culture is consistently becoming nasty if you are not (in their view) politically correct – and you are labeled a ‘hater’ ‘bigot’ ‘racist’ or worse.   Even our government and celebrities do this.  If you value faith, you are called superstitious, a Bible Thumper, a radical right-wing or worse.   Your traditions, beliefs and actions are criticized as offensive, but atheists, and these name-calling persons are protected by the  communistic-founded  ACLU.   It is OK for them to be offensive to faith people but we must satisfy them and not God & common sense?   So who and what are we, anymore?   Do we want no God, no Commandments of right and wrong?   We are our own mapmakers of our destinies.   Where’s our voices?

Marie Coppola. Revised August 2016

 

 

Love animals? Not everyone does.

“No matter how much cats fight, there always seems to be plenty of kittens.” – Abraham Lincoln

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Animal lovers not only love animals but believe in caring for them.   Then there is the other extreme: people who do not treat animals as living creatures and might think, ‘it’s only a cat or only a dog’.

Living in a touristy, ocean area that provides fun and entertainment for visitors, I have been told by more than one vet, that families come to our area and ‘adopt’ a kitten for a short duration.   There’s always ‘free kittens’ signs that may lure the kids in their families to beg, borrow and steal that it’s ‘only for a short while’.   The parents may say OK, thinkiing themselves, ‘it’s only for a short while’.

After everyone is tanned, relaxed and fun-filled, it’s time to load the suitcases and the car and head home.   Uh, oh, what do we do with the kitten that we have petted, loved, fed and made a family member for 2 weeks?  It was meant only for a short while, and we can’t take it home.   So they, and many like them, go for a drive and drop it off in a ‘nice’ develolpment because ‘people there will probably feed it and take care of it’.

Wrong.   People in most developments have one or two dogs and even one, two or three cats themselves.   So the disoriented kitten, who was pleasantly socialized and fed and cared for now lives in an unknown area where its hunger and survival mode pushes it into the ‘feral cat’ category.

A feral cat is defined as an unowned and untamed cat separated from domestication. Feral cats are born in the wild and may take a long time to socialize or may be abandoned or lost pets that have become wild. They should not be confused with the wildcat which are not descended from domestic cats.

The ‘chosen for dropping-off development’ folks frown on these cat-trusions. Their dogs want to chase them; the cats  are viewed as disease carriers (I am guessing that 2-week owners of kittens do not get their rabies shots) and the once loved animal soon learns that he or she is not welcome here. They get a ragged look and are usually very hungry and thirsty.

I’m thinking that this happens a lot.  We have lots of scavenger cats prowling around the hood.   In fact, in  Point Pleasant, NJ (another tourist area), there are colonies of 300 feral cats in one area. Usually, cats do not carry rabies, BUT in Point Pleasant, there were a number of rabid racoons who did infect some of the cats.  One of the rabid cats attacked a teenager who had to have the series of rabies shots which are not the most pleasant thing to have done.

When we moved to SC, there appeared on our patio, a very small tuxedo kitten (a black cat with white markings that look quite like a tuxedo). We have an indoor cat and the kitten would come up to our screened-in porch and try to befriend our cat.   There’s always a risk of fleas in the southern hemisphere, so we made sure our cat was protected with flea medicine even though we do not let him outside.

Once you feed a cat, he will be yours. And this happened to us.   We fed Feral – which we called her – and watched her grow from a small kitten to an adult cat.

If you choose to feed a feral cat, it will stay in your yard and wait for you to feed it again and again.   Feral remained an outdoor cat.  Although she did allow us to pet her when we fed her, she never got beyond the few strokes stage – she was independent and feisty.   And this next statement is the reason for my article.

By ‘keeping’ a feral cat, even though it lives outside, it is your responsibility to make sure that the animal is protected against rabies and distemper.   They become semi- domesticated and any child in your area who tries to pet it, may get scratched or bitten.  If the feral  becomes rabid, it could infect another animal and then you have the Point Pleasant, NJ scenario.

We ‘trapped’ Feral by placing her food in a cat carrier and closing the door.   She was not happy.  We brought her to a pet clinic and she was spayed and had her shots; they kept her overnight and everything cost $80.00.   We brought Feral back the next day and she behaved as if nothing happened.   We also ‘petted’ her with the flea medicine so she wouldn’t get infected.   She sleeps on the patio and communicates in some way with our cat and they seem to be friends.

Recently, a ‘dropped off’ adult cat was in our yard.   He was ravenous but we did not feed him.   He was trying so hard to get onto the porch when I opened the door that he inadvertently scratched me with the tip of his claw – and broke the skin.   I called the pound and they came by and picked him up and gave me forms to fill out since the skin was broken. He was observed for 10 days and found to be all right.   Since then I have heard conflicting reports from accredited vets that you cannot get rabies from a scratch and yet the DHEC feels if  an infected cat licks its paws, it could transmit rabies through the saliva on its paws.   In any event, I was lucky, because they had the cat that scratched me.   Someone else could get scratched and never find the cat and then have to go through trials they really don’t want to.   Just because someone was irresponsible and ‘dropped off a cat’ they no longer wanted.

Animals should never be dropped off if they are not wanted.   It’s better if they are taken to the shelter  where they may be adopted.   It’s less cruel to the animal who may get diseased, attacked or starve to death.   Dropping off animals is becoming a problem in many states.   If you see anyone who does this, offer to take the animal to a pet shelter, if no one wants to adopt it.   You will be doing the animal and your neighbors a favor.

Marie Coppola revised September 2017

Goodbye to Nabisco & Honey Grahams

Good-bye to NABISCO

Since my toddler days, I can recall my  father, of Italian/American descent enjoying a breakfast tradition of a biscotti and coffee, sitting down at the breakfast table  with Nabisco’s Uneeda Biscuits and a cup of coffee.

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As a schoolgirl, we often had Nabisco’s graham crackers for our own breakfast.  Newly married, and during my pregnancies,  I ate only graham crackers for those nauseous mornings and later  I mixed graham crackers with formula or my own breast milk for my infants.  Graham crackers and milk were a staple for fast school-age breakfasts and included in the lunch bag as a dessert or snack.  As an adult, I reached for graham crackers on those winter-sick cold-virus days when food was not appetizing.   Or as a sneak low-calorie snack during serious dieting,

When I found out recently that Nabisco has already moved some and is planning to move its food operations to Mexico, I felt like I lost my family friend.   Quoting from the internet,

“This sort of thing seems to be a new trend among corporations.   Produce their product overseas where they can reap bigger profits because they use cheaper labor and usually don’t have to deal with unions and I bet there are far less regulations & inspections by government agencies.  Their greed comes at a huge loss for us.”

You can say that again – for me, too.  Along these lines, I have had several occurrences with overseas’ products.  One was with a prescription medicine I take for a chronic issue.  My health provider sent me a generic brand which was made in a country I never heard of.    I checked into it because it caused itching attributed – according to my doctor – from the added green dye color.  I dropped the insurance company and went back to the brand name.   No more itching.

The second incident was a pair of shoes I ordered online – they cost $79.99 and were on sale for $51.99.  They have a sweet button on my toe line   I wore them on vacation and  developed infected burn blisters in that same sweet button design  engraved on my toes.    I investigated and they were made in China and similar to the children’s burn marks from thongs made in China a few years back.  Bad investment.

Also made in China was catnip we purchased for our beloved cat which was packaged in the USA but made in China.  Fortunately for our cat, it was recalled (causing death in cats) before I gave it to him.   I will not buy anything anymore that is made in these unregulated countries – like China & Mexico.

I will not support American companies who are so greedy to take jobs away from Americans which affects our economy negatively and/or sell less regulated products for the same price and lead us down the path to third-world status.

“Mexico offers a certification option, but it doesn’t require it. The US does spot checks – on farms and at the border – but requires no standards certification. The main exporters face standards dictated by third-party auditors demanded by American clients. But some growers, they say, do not have direct relationships with the end client in the US. They sell to brokers, and some are more lax than others. That, Usabiaga says, is where the danger to all looms.”

GOODBYE NABISCO   untitled (96)  NO LONGER ON MY SHELF

Here is an article  from USA Today “Food Safety From Mexican Farm to Costco to your plate.

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2010/1023/Food-safety-From-Mexican-farm-to-Costco-to-your-plate.

PS – Since Donald Trump called Nabisco out on 8/19/15 speech, the  Mexico regulation articles that were on the internet last night are ‘coincidentally not available’ this morning.

Marie Coppola August 2015

 

It All Starts in Your Mind!

Bringing Your Thoughts Into Captivity

By Darrell “Coach D” Andrews, CSP

Motivational Strategist, Accountability Coach, Speaker

Of all the things that are targeted on life, nothing is targeted more than your thoughts. Anything (or anyone) that can control what a person or people think, controls the outcomes of an individual, family and more damaging-society. That is why tools such as television and the internet are so powerful. Often they are the vehicle used to impact what people think, embrace and eventually take ownership of. I have watched people, even those I would call the elect (according to the Bible), deceived in their thinking as a result of national agendas, policies and societal expectations. Your mind, more than anything needs to be protected from influences that shape the wrong perceptions and leads you and I away from the truth of God’s word. Especially in today’s world. Proverbs 4:23 tells us, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” The heart in the scripture can be translated to “Your mind.”

Of all the things I have done in my life spiritually, the one thing I am most grateful for is memorizing and doing my best daily to live by the scripture 2 Corinthians 10:5 which states, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Paul proclaims many powerful truths in this scripture and the scriptures prior to this one as well. For instance in, verses 3 and 4 he states, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” In a nutshell, this powerful set of scriptures are saying we need to take captive thoughts that try to pull us away from the truth of God’s word, and I would dare say do our best not to even allow them to challenge us. Our political interest, what we watch on TV, listen to musically and even who we associate with daily, impacts what we think. What we think, shapes who we are and this ultimately decides the course for our lives.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, you are not here to win a popularity contest, you are here to be an example to a lost and dying world. Based upon much of what I see today, I cannot tell who is a Christian and who is not. Just keeping it real. Our thoughts have been way to influenced by the world and I pray daily that this changes. A quick point of reference, I cut our TV off many years ago. We watch things, do not get me wrong, but we choose to watch what we want online without commercial interference. As a result, my 17 year-old son’s mind is not polluted with the filth that TV and many other medias bring. He is a respectful young man, focused and powerful in his spiritual convictions. The funny thing is many people think it is strange that he is not chasing girls, wearing his pants down to his ankles and looking a certain way. I laugh at this because they really think this is the norm and because since many youth today are doing it, so should he. This shows how thoughts can be manipulated by the world if you allow them. Our norm is not based upon what this world states, it is on what the word tells us. How can good in a young boy be interpreted as bad? Only in a worldview that is somewhat twisted!

So today make it a priority to bring your thoughts into captivity. Do not let negative thoughts proliferate your mind and take control of your being. You have power via God’s word to stop them in their tracks. You are made in God’s image and likeness, not mans. So man does not have the power to shape who you are. God already has. Do your best to protect this for your sakes and your families. If not, I believe that in a very short period of time, especially in the good old USA, the faith that we have stood for-for centuries, will be watered down to an afterthought. We who know the truth of God’s word need to assure this never happens.

It all starts in your mind!

Roadside Memorials – Legal or Illegal?

untitled (90)          Roadside Memorials – Distractions or Remembrances?
 
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We’ve all seen them; crafted hand-made memorials to mark the spot on the highway or road where a loved one died. Some have a cross and flowers or a stuffed animal – others are more elaborate with life-size posters and entrenched like a shrine. State officials worry that they are distractions and hazardous to drivers and may cause more accidents. They are not without controversy: some feel restrictions should be placed on them; others feel that survivors of loved ones who die on the roadways psychologically need to memoralize them at the place of death and will continue to do so, regardless of legislation and other attempts at control.

Not long ago,  South Carolina, in an attempt to curb (no pun intended) numerous memorials or grave markers along our roads and highways, offered new state-provided signs to put in places where loved ones met their deaths in accidents.

Some other states have already done this; West Virginia began offering signs two years ago.  Florida actually instituted a ban on roadside memorials. Florida, in 1997, provided free generic signs. You can see thousands of these signs on Florida’s roads dedicated to remembrances of place of death. West Virginia’s signs cost $200 and are in place for three years and then returned to the family.

Although there are no statistics to support states’ claim that home-made memorials are distractions and cause accidents, states also claim the markers are hazardous to lawn maintenance on public property for private reasons.

To remedy this, South Carolina is also offering signs like Florida did to replace the markers, but they are offering them at $250 each. They are printed “Drive Safely” or “In Memory of” with the deceased person’s name. They remain for two years and then the plaque is returned to the family.

North Carolina also has roadside sign plantings for $250. Normally, they replace ‘hazardous’ markers but leave other ‘non-hazardous’ markers for 60 days and then give it back to the family.
Marie Coppola  Revised July 2015

 

A Life-saving part-time job

Part-Time Position Open for Anyone Interested

  • Wanted:  Anyone who wants to increase their productivity.
  • Skills needed:  Discipline, dependability, and reliability.
  • Responsibilities:  Ability to work alone and produce lasting results.
  • Working hours:  30 minutes to one hour daily.
  • Dress Code:  Casual.        **Bonus:  Life-Saving

In these technological times, many workdays are spent sitting in front of a computer.   Whether you are an information system analyst  or work at home, many hours are spent sitting at your desk answering emails, creating spreadsheets, preparing PowerPoint presentations or attaching business documents in Microsoft Works or Word.  We even ‘do’ our social life online – shopping online,  on medias like Facebook to connect with old friends, reminisce and get reacquainted, make new ‘friends’, and post pictures of our mates and kids.   People complain that Facebook has taken over their lives but  considering how popular it is, it is a choice they choose.  And we all  sit and sit.

If, after hours of sitting in front of a computer screen, the worker may opt for relaxing after dinner to watch TV or spend more time sitting  catch up on personal emails or other PC-related video games.   These folks lives are called ‘sedentary lifestyles’.

Sedentary lifestyle is a medical term used to denote a type of lifestyle with a lack of physical exercise.  We have morphed into a society that spends many hours sitting down.   Being sedentary makes you more susceptible to diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and other health conditions.   Surprisingly, it also makes you tired, sluggish, and mentally inactive.   You need to move around, get your circulation going and rev up your metabolism.

How much time do you spend living your life sitting down ?

Do you exercise regularly?   The part-time job listed above is a mandatory part-time position for all of us who spend a large part of the day  sitting down & working at a desk or on a computer.   The part-time job is important to be performed the same as you perform your full-time one.   You must report to it every day and mentally hit the time clock reporting in and out.  No personal days or sick time.

It is habit forming and more effective if you ‘report’ to your secondary ‘job’ the same time everyday.   If you work at home, tell friends and family that you took on a part-time job every day from 11:00 pm to noon or whenever is convenient to ‘do the job’.   It may be that there is an exercise program on TV that you can work out with; if not, put on your sneakers and go for a walk or dance to your favorite music.

During the day, it’s important to get up from your chair, stretch and walk around for a few minutes – even if it is to get a glass of water.   Don’t leave water by your desk; get up and get a drink.   Exercise your eyes by rolling them from side to side and look out the window at a distance since you have been working close up and in a glare.  You’ll feel better and can continue to work in a few minutes.

You can still have your part-time job at the office – it may have to be on your lunch hour, but it will be more beneficial to you than if you go to the lunch room and just sit again.   If your company has walking trails or an exercise room, discover them on your designated half-hour.  If not, use  your time to walk the halls and if there are stairs, use them.  Don’t stop and talk and chat — look like you are busy and going somewhere in a hurry.  You are.  You are in a hurry to improve your health.   Afterwards, you can always have a yogurt or power bar.

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Forget the cup of coffee or candy bar to keep you going.   After the initial ‘high’, you get the physical and mental let-down and feel even sleepier.    Get up and shake your booty.

Marie Coppola  July 2015

Symptoms & Treatment for a Diabetic Cat

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In these economy-strained times, the last thing folks want to do is add pet medical expenses to their already crunched budget.

Since there are over 90 million pet cats in the United States, at some point in time, your cat may need medical attention either at a veterinarian’s office or at an animal hospital.  In addition , since the average life expectancy for indoor cats is 14 years  {although the oldest known cat, Creme Puff, lived to age 38 and some cats live to 18, or 20}  the costs for their care is increasing along with their age.

Statistically, cats are prone to diabetes at age 9, and our cat was no exception. Since we had suspected, diagnosed and now corrected his affliction, this diary might be helpful for those of you who will experience a similar situation.

According to the National Pet Pharmacy, 40 percent of cats are considered to be obese! Only 5 to 10 percent of all cats can be classified as only slightly overweight. In recent years Feline Diabetes Mellitus (diabetes) has become almost a daily diagnosis in animal hospitals all across America. Our cats are at risk for a number of obesity related disorders. Documented research indicates obese cats are far more prone than cats of normal body weight to Diabetes, arthritis and a very serious disorder called Hepatic Lipidosis.  And the 40 percent obesity figure seems to be growing.

Along with the above, a cat’s history may have a genetic predisposition to diabetes, along with a sedentary life style.  Our cat, who used to be an active, outdoor cat and became an indoor cat, LOVES to be sedentary; he was also overweight.

Like humans, who take in more calories than they burn, Goombah, our cat, had the luxury of a feeding contraption where he could graze from during the day. He was a nibbler and visited the feeding station more than he should have and was approaching about 15 pounds when he first showed signs of diabetes.

Coupled with his obesity  (the vet’s word, not mine, I love him round) and his lack of exercise, his disease became apparent while we were on vacation. We have left him before and at the vet’s suggestion — at home —  since he is familiar with his surroundings and not farmed out where he may become disoriented and/or feel abandoned. We always left someone in charge to cat-sit, to feed and pet him. This time was no exception.

An ‘exception’ occurred the day after we departed. Our area had a forest wildfire, a devastating forest fire that destroyed 70 homes nearby and continued to char 31 square miles near our home.  Damage estimates rose to $16 million for the three-day blaze. The fire came within 3 miles of our development and neighbors tell us that ash and smoke were heavy on our street.

I’m mentioning this because the caretakers for our cat also live in our development and were anxious and preparing to evacuate if necessary. Although Goombah was being taken care of, we’re assuming that anxiety was high for both humans and animals. Goombah, just adjusting from his ‘parents’ not being there, aware of surrounding smoke, unstable feeding times and anxiety were factors, we feel, in contributing to his onset of diabetes.  Our vet concurs.

When we returned some weeks later, Gombah greeted us – he was three pounds lighter –  a lot of weight for a cat to lose in a few weeks’ time.   He was thin and his gait was different, his legs were wobbly.

He was constantly hungry and thirsty and we thought as long as he was eating, he would be OK.  But, his routine had changed, too.  He no longer slept curled up with us; he would find a corner in the house to sleep curled up in a fetal position. Something definitely was not right.  He wasn’t gaining weight and he was eating and thirsty all the time.  He didn’t play much anymore and was lethargic.

When we brought him to the vet, he was checked and his sugar count was very high and after two overnight  stays, he was diagnosed as diabetic and would need insulin twice a day.  He was given a high protein diet  (40%) and no wet food as it contained too many carbs.  No more food grazing all day; he is allowed one cup of dry food a day.

The cost for blood work every 6 months – about $75; insulin for month – about $30 – needles for a month about $15.

Goombah has stabilized and now weighs 14 pounds. The hardest thing was not giving him needles, as we thought.  The vet trained us how to do that and it is not hard to do.   Goombah purrs while he is being injected.    The hardest part was rationing his food. The vet told us he wouldn’t be happy with his lowered amount and he’s not. He meowed more and sat over his bowl and stared at it.   Eventually, he got use to the routine and is not as adamant about eating constantly.

The best part is he is healthy again – we have him checked every six months.  He no longer sleeps in corners; he snuggles with us and is his affectionate and playful self again.  He is 15 years old and we hope to enjoy his company for many more.

Marie Coppola July 2015