Monthly Archives: February 2018

Save Stress–Ask Questions and Keep Asking

I remember being told by my eye doctor, “I’m going to refer you for cataract surgery.” The next six months were filled with anxiety, visits to the surgeon’s office, and lots of eye drops, in preparation for surgeries to remove cataracts in both eyes. Despite information from the surgeon’s office, I felt left out. Some of my questions were never answered; some questions received two or three answers, any one of which could be the right answer. Part of my problem was I was so terrified of the idea of surgery I couldn’t think straight. I felt as though my brain shut down and I didn’t know what questions to ask. That experience led me to write this heads-up to anybody told he needs surgery.

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Friday Photos–Babe, A Memorable Purrsonality

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Babe

Babe came into the world on my bed. (Talk about a soft life! ) She was Spotty’s one and only kitten. At first we called the kitten “Spotty Jr.” Then we decided the kitten needed  a more dignified name. As my mother said, the kitten was Spotty’s babe, so the kitten was christened “Babe”.

Babe remained small in stature throughout her life, which lasted a long time. (Had she lived another week she would have been twenty years old.) People seeing her thought she was a kitten, but no, she was built small.

Babe made up for her small size by being large in determination and persistence. Because we lived then, as we do now, near a busy road, when Babe went outdoors she did so on a leash. She accepted this fact without much ado. She  expressed her desire to go outside by putting her paw on the door knob and meowing, “Me-out, me-out”. (At least, that’s what it sounded like). So I put the leash on her and took her out, either to tie her up or to go for a walk with her.

Babe’s greatest feat while tied was jumping up and catching a hummingbird. I saw the last part of that incident, too late to help the unfortunate bird. To this day I wonder how Babe was able to get a hummingbird, as fast as it darts back and forth.

Babe and I spent many hours walking on the property. Together we explored the area. She poked her paw in a hole, felt around in the hole, and when nothing came out, moved on. She sharpened her claws on any available tree or bush; she stared at a bird, mouth open, tail swishing; she jumped at a butterfly. We could walk over the same space for days in a row and she was never bored. Everyday she saw something of interest.  She taught me that  you can find joy and excitement in little, everyday adventures without ever leaving home.

Babe lived life to the fullest, despite the restraints of being confined to a house or a leash. Since she couldn’t do anything about those restraints, she adjusted to them and enjoyed life anyway–which is another lesson I can use.

I lived with other cats before Babe came along. But she was the first one to teach me lessons about life.

©P. Booher

 

 

 

 

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The Abby Chronicles–I Am a Working Cat!

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Here I am, ready to write my story!

Chapter IV

I know cats have a reputation for just lying around. SOME cats may lie around and be lazy. I, however, am Abby. I have work to do–roles to fill.

I am my household’s mouser. I am responsible for keeping the rodent population under control. Please note that even though I have only one good eye and one good ear, I caught and killed a mouse. The smelly little thing was hiding like a coward between the kitchen wastebasket and the sink cabinet. I grabbed it in one swift movement! I bit down hard on its neck, brought it out from the darkness of the battlefield, and dropped it on the rug. The mouse did not move (I knew it wouldn’t; I made sure of that!). The younger human came in, praised me, found a shovel, scooped up the mouse on the shovel and took the pest outside. I think the humans were amazed I could catch a mouse. But–I am Abby, the Determined! Continue reading

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Advice I Don’t Need to Hear–or Give

Sometimes I encounter people who throw out advice to me, but the comment given is definitely not helpful. Ever run into that?

For example, after one job at a store ended, I got a job in another store. A man walked in, recognized me, and said, “I thought you’d do better than this.” I was so embarrassed.

Much later I realized I shouldn’t have let that man’s comment bother me. He didn’t know my particular situation,  was not in any position to advise me about job-hunting strategies, didn’t suggest anyone who could help me,  nor did he really care about me. I didn’t need to take his comment to heart. His comment was what I call throw-away advice:  advice which doesn’t suggest any positive steps to improve the situation, so it’s not worth taking into consideration.

After further reflection, I wondered: Do I give other people that kind of advice–throwaway comments that are neither kind nor advice? To be truly helpful, I need to consider if I am close enough to the person to know some details about the situation. If I am not, the operative principle is “zip my lips”. Second, I should ask the person if he or she wants to hear what I have to say, or not. I have to earn the right to speak.

I want to make more of an effort to practice these principles. When I do, life is smoother all the way around.

©P. Booher

 

 

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Diving Into A Sea of Books–It’s Okay to Miss the Bed on the First Jump

divers-underwater-ocean-swim-68767.jpegAs an avid reader, I get excited about the great number of books out there to read, either  for entertainment, education, inspiration or with some books, all three. The quantity available in print, audio, and e-books reminds me of the vast amount of life in the oceans, so I call these book reviews “Diving Into A Sea of Books”. As with diving into an ocean looking for interesting objects, diving into books means you come across mixed results: over here, a book you don’t bother to finish, over there, a “treasure”–one that you like so much you can’t wait to reread it, and over there, a book you read and think, “meh”.

It’s Okay to Miss the Bed on the First Jump  by actor John O’Hurley is a book I consider a treasure.

Mr. O’Hurley, probably best known for the role of J.Peterman on Seinfield, writes about moments with dogs he’s known. Some shared his life and home, while other canines belonged to friends or worked as therapy dogs in organizations the author was familiar with.

With poignancy and humor he writes about the “life lessons” the dogs taught him–just by being dogs.

The author makes a few references to acting roles, but does so in a matter-of-fact way. He never displays an attitude of “I am a star!”, which is one of the things that I like about this book. He always swings the attention back to the dogs and their attitudes.

While dog lovers in particular would like this book, anyone who has ever contemplated the relationship between animals and humans and what animals can teach us, will enjoy it.

Comment: I read this book twice so far; the “lessons” are worth learning. I’m sure I’ll read it again. At 160 pages (hardback) it can be read in a few hours.

©P.Booher

 

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Friday Photos–Do Not Despise the Growth You Can’t See!

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Photo credit: Markus Spiske, Unsplash.com

Daylillies coming up out back

Photo Credit: P. Booher

 

The other day I was in the back yard, looking at a gentle slope of ground. Warm afternoon sunshine encouraged daffodils and daylilies to poke through the soil. I could see little shoots of green emerging beside tree roots, leaves, and bits of tree branches that had fallen over the winter.

I looked to the ground above the slope, and  wondered, “How much growth is happening that I don’t see? Surely other plants are pushing through the earth in other spots; I just can’t see them from my level.”

Then God whispered, “That’s like the growth inside you. Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not happening. Don’t despise the growth you can’t see.”

God knows I needed that reminder. Other people seem to have it all together, whether emotionally, mentally or spiritually. I seem to lag behind, and I get impatient. But growth can’t be forced, whether in a plant or a person. The same as a farmer dare not dig up seeds to see if they are growing, I don’t want to continually fuss and fret about my inward growth. Both processes take time and faith.

“Who dares despise the day of small things…” Zechariah 4:10 (NIV)

©P. Booher

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Friday Photos–A Remedy for Anxiety and Depression

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Sunrise in New Zealand. Photo Credit: Werner Sevenster, Unsplash.com

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Sunset. Photo Credit: Johannes Plenio, Unsplash.com

“From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the LORD is to be praised.”  Psalm 113:3   (NIV)

I have a hard time getting up in the morning due to depression, social anxiety, and other health concerns.  I am not sure of my ability to deal with the situations and people that may come my way.

Some time ago God began opening my eyes to the importance of obedience. In response, I decided to do exactly what this verse of Scripture says to do: to praise the name of the Lord.

Some mornings  I feel too overwhelmed by anxieties and negative thoughts to praise the Lord. But I do anyway, strictly out of obedience to His Word. I find my outlook improves. No longer concentrating on problems I could run into, I can focus on God–Who He is, how big He is, how worthy He is of worship, how capable He is of handling my concerns.

 

The practice of praising God re-orients my mind to the fact that He is in control. The swirling, restless anxieties and dark fears leave. I am at peace. I am more confident of my ability to face the world, as I remember God is with me.

©P. Booher

A postscript: I am finding  the more I practice this, the smaller the worries and fears are becoming, and the easier praising God becomes.

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