Sumo Is Not Well


After days of barely eating I took my little Sumo-boy to the vet yesterday late afternoon. My usually energetic guy had seemed depressed for a while. This month he started to refuse kibble in the morning, I assumed he was holding out for my homemade treats mid-day, but when he refused even Charlies, those tiny beef flavored treats he loves to catch when thrown in the air, I knew something was wrong. He had to be coaxed to eat tiny bits of boiled chicken or sardine/pumpkin mix and when he refused even that I got very worried. I thought he may have ingested something toxic, maybe on our walks, something that might have escaped my notice. It happened once before when he had snatched up a discarded sandwich with meat and got seriously sick for days. So yesterday the vet told me without any testing, just from one visit, that Sumo likely has cancer of the kidney/spleen. A sizable mass is palpable across his lower abdomen. 

He spent the night on my side in my bed where I could feel his slightly feverish body, his heart beat, and his irregular shallow breath. I could also feel my love for Sumo, this tiny body with this great adventurous spirit. I realized that this moment in time is about love and love only. Maybe all moments in time are about love, about caring for one another, about wanting only the best for another, be that a person, a pet or any other kind of creature. How we come to experience this may be of little consequence as long as we manage to get out of the way of ourselves to make another more important than our own 'small or limited self' our own likes and dislikes and silly preferences.

In the morning the anti-nausea pill he had gotten from the vet did not make him want to eat as we had hoped, not even a tiny little bit. But he was up for a slow walk over to our nearby farmers market. I thought taking him to the dog park might perk him up, so I settled Isabella with her portion of kibble and took Sumo to our glorious dog park, the one we used to visit for years twice a day. He loves to follow his nose and explore off-lead. We got there though in the middle of an already hot day (even while it is technically still Winter, but Spring sprung 4 - 6 weeks early here, temperatures were up already in the seventies.) Sumo lagged behind, sought out shade and eventually half way on our regular route refused to budge. So sad. I carried him in my arms back to our van. I was almost in tears.


Yesterday, after leaving the vet in shock, I stopped to buy some chicken for Sumo and ran into Sunil, a fellow dog lover we had befriended at the dog park ten years ago, who recommended the use of cannabis oil. So that is where I headed next to inquire about that oil I had heard from various dog custodians but also fairly recently from one lady suffering from cancer of the lung. The dispensary on Early Street could not be kinder and more compassionate. By mid-afternoon today Sumo had his first dropper of CBD oil followed eagerly by chicken I had boiled and blended. This latest blend he accepted in small dosages offered frequently. Marty’s Meals, a specialized dog food outlet, gifted us with frozen tripe squares and lo-and-behold, Sumo showed some excitement and did not have to be coaxed to ingest this, the whole of it. By evening Sumo did not hesitate to join and lead, yes, lead us on our walk!

My first concern is how to make Sumo comfortable and we seem to have succeeded in that to a degree to my great relief. If he makes it through then I will have to consider what further check-ups and treatments from those suggested by the vet I might want to and I might be able to pursue.

Postcard Protest

March 15. an avalanche of postcards that express our protests were mailed out.

I had to resort to some ancient cards I must have acquired back in the eighties that quote Rumi and Thich Nhat Hanh. It did not trouble me to cross out the word intimacy to overwrite activism. The Deplorable currently occupying (barely) the White House needs to know that there is no blocking the flow of our speech and our actions of #resistance. There can be no legitimacy until tax documents have been revealed, conflict of interests have been eliminated and Russian interference of the whole of our election process has undergone an independent investigation. The Con claims we don't care, but he is wrong and we are making a show of it.






My other card I mailed to the Deplorable posing as Speaker of the House. The guy that can not wait to throw seniors under the bus, rip away their health care and social benefits in favor of profit for the insurance industry. He claims competition will bring prices down, but what it will only do is make those corporate CEOs richer. We want #SinglePayer health care, not a sell-out. We want patient-centered care, not profit for corporate CEOs. Those two are not compatible. This idea that those vulnerable to needing health care would have to pay outrageous prices for insurance is just on-real. When will the US become a civilized society and attain affordable insurance for all? Meanwhile, we keep up our protest, we resist.


Every day is a good day to mail a postcard that offers a piece of our mind to a Deplorable.

We Are All Walking Contradictions


This yard sign above appeared last week in front of one of my neighbor’s home. It caught my eyes as a version of what I posted below had been making the rounds on facebook. The idea of love is one I frequently trip over and in regard to our neighbors especially so. I would vote for the possibility of respect along with free, open and honest communication while toning down the despicable to maybe dislike in regard to our neighborly relations. As far as the rest goes, I am all for possibilities and embracing seeming contradictions. Personally, I hold most of those listed below and then some:

For all of you who aren't sure, it is possible to love thy neighbor and despise his actions. It is possible to be gay and Christian.

It is also possible to believe in God and science.

It is possible to be pro-choice and anti-abortion.

It is equally possible to be a feminist and love and respect men.

It is possible to be privileged and be discriminated against,                         

to be poor and have a rich life, to not have a job and still have money.

It is possible to believe in sensible gun control legislation and                       

still believe in one's right to defend one's self, family, and property.

It is possible to be anti-war and pro-military.

It is possible to advocate Black Lives Matter and still be pro police.

It is possible to not have an education and be brilliant.

It is possible to be Muslim, especially, and suffer from terrorism.

It is possible to be different and the same.

We are all walking contradictions of what "normal" looks like.

Let humanity and love win.

Surprise Bits Of Color





Surprising bits of colors can be found in my 'hood, the Santa Fe Railyard,
here atop the #93 train, seemingly permanently stationed and progressing in rapid decay since it stopped running.

The Audacity


Sumo had the audacity to regurgitate undigested kibble IN, not on MY bed! On my freshly laundered white cotton sheets, at exactly 2 am this morning, without giving me the slightest of warning.

Loverboy Valentino, aka Pretty Kitty always announces in the weirdest of high pitched, complaining sounds the imminent inevitability of those waves of convulsions that will lead to his regurgitating the contents of his stomach. Such often self-induced by eating my decorative grasses, no doubt a form of self-help. Those dramatic announcements of his have given me the chance to quickly pick him up and carry him to the bathroom to do his thing where cleaning up is a cinch, to the point where this pretty smart kitty would head to the bathroom out of his own accord.

Kitty had a problem with throwing up for a number of years. Only much later was I able to connect the dots to vagrants hanging out in a basement of a vacant property next door. The new owner discovered an unwelcome surprise of a huge amount of disgusting litter that filled his basement. It attracted all the neigborhood cats, no doubt, including mine. I have to confess that even though my bedroom window looks right down on that area, I had never noticed any activity in that home during all those years it was on the market for sale. Yep, this was historically the home of the train master. When it was put on the market it sold the first day for more than the asking price of $350,000, but the new owners run into foundation problems and doubled the price when they put it back up for sale so it sat there empty for I believe 7 years.

Back to Sumo, how is it that this dog can do his business, meaning throwing up or peeing right next to me without my noticing? I must say in our now almost decade of living together he has done so only 4 times. I also like to say that there was a time my pets were not allowed on my bed, much less in my bed. But Sumo in particular it seems to me has maybe a genetic disposition for wanting to curl up under the covers next to his person. While kitty would like nothing better than to curl up with Sumo, nope, I am the focus of this rascal. Same with Isabella, she used to press herself into a small corner of her bed to invite him over and share, but Sumo refused adamantly in the first few years. He would choose the sofa if I would have let him to spend the night alone if not invited to my side. And behold, this tiny guy takes up space preferably right across the middle of my bed. 

So while Isabella used to have the good sense of getting up and wanting to go out to do her business until she got older and of late seems no longer motivated to make such exertions. Thankfully her stomach seems to have settled in a good and healthy routine, now that she no longer is given a chance to ingest raw bones that lacerate her innards and have me in a panic when I would discover her bloody stool. 

I was pissed this morning at 2 am when I had to get up and rinse the sheets out and place them in the washer, to then dig for new sheets to make my bed again from scratch. Anger denotes commonly a lack of understanding and truly I don’t get why a dog would soil his (our) bed? Sumo is fine, he is not sick, but was happy to eat his meal, sardines with pumpkin puree to sooth his intestines, around noon. Yep, having pets can be messy. I get upset more often than I should. My stresses and anxieties do not foster the calm and kindness at all times that I would wish for in my relationships with my furry companions. Always I feel a level of guilt that I could or should be doing better. What I do know though is that I do attempt to relate to each one for real, and not make them into an extension of myself, into babies or kids I never had, or toys to be paraded about. We relate and we do have an understanding of sorts.

Wähe


Wähe is what we ate in Switzerland on Fridays when Catholics would not be allowed to eat meat. Wähe would be offered in bakeries by the slice in varieties made most often with apples, apricots, plums or berries, but were also made from onions or cheese alone. Friday lunches consisted for us usually of a choice of two pieces of Wähe per person served with coffee. Wähe and Birchermuesli are by far my favorite Swiss-style delicatessen, Fondü does not even come close.

In an attempt to clean up my diet and get a hold of a recent flare-up of inflammation, I have resisted the temptations of sweets and bread but resorted to baking myself almost daily now apple tarts, a nice ritual first thing in the morning. Yeah, it may be better to abstain from flour in regards to the calming of inflammation, but I can do only so much at any given time. I abstained from coffee and buying sweets for the last 3 weeks, mostly. Meanwhile, I drink a whole lot more, probably still not enough, but hey, one step at a time.

So, I prepare a crust from organic spelt flour with a bit of wheatgerm and flaxseeds mixed in mainly for texture. (I am afraid the benefits of those ingredients are no longer great after having been baked.) With a mix of purified water, sesame oil and Braggs I make a simple dough, cover the pan and place it in the oven that got pre-heated to 425 degrees. Next, I break one, maybe two eggs, add a dash of cayenne, maybe a dash of sugar, depending on the quality of the topping, the juice of one small lemon (clementines or oranges make for welcome variations) and then add one or two grated apples. Then I may add one or two cut-up dates or a few currants and if available cranberries. (I keep some in the freezer all year, grab a handful here and there as needed. They are great in soups too.) This mixture gets to fill the pan and to bake for another maybe 20 minutes. Plenty time to prepare a cup of coffee, or of late my ginger-brew, and check on my social media sites.
My pups get to enjoy pieces of the crust after I savored my treat. I figure a bit of flour and oil with no sugar or salt is better for them at any time than the usual commercial dog treats. They seem to agree, considering their enthusiasm. 

Wishing all a peaceful and nourishing day this Sunday morning.

Happy Valentine's Day & Night!

  
Pretty Kitty was our Valentine's Surprise 9 years ago, hence his name Valentino.


Valentino is our sneaky snuggle-buddy.
He will bide his time until unawares he will sneak up for cuddles.
Sadly, Sumo is not too keen to snuggle and cuddle - with a cat, afterall, he is a dog.


For everyone else though we wish you a day and night filled with snuggles and cuddles and as much sex as you could possibly want.

Happy Valentine's Day & Night!

SCROTUS

SCROTUS, our "So-Called Ruler of the United States" behaves not normal, he ought to be evaluated psychiatrically. American citizens deserve a competent leader in charge of all faculties. We are not talking about normal as in conventional, we are concerned about normal as grounded in consensual reality. We are concerned about serious and disabling, not to say embarrassing personality disorders. This puerile "twitterer-in-chief" lies through his teeth be that about the size of his adoring crowd or the amount of opposition to the Dakota Access Pipe Line (DAPL.) This illegitimate "ruler" has the temerity to claim he got no phone calls of opposition while he shut down the White House phone lines, while, in plain sight on twitter, his favorite playground, the world is up in arms against more governmental abuse of Native Americans by for-profit corporations all too willing to risk environmental damage.

Most Republicans shut down their phone lines due to a deluge of calls from concerned citizens that are outraged at confirmation hearings of not properly vetted, unqualified candidates seemingly chosen only for their monetary contributions and their expressed disdain for the institutions they are supposed to head. Shame on all Democratic Senator that gave their consent to any of those outrageously unqualified candidates. None should have been acceptable, not one of them.

The bully lives in a fact-free world where he seems to base his opinions on the consumption of faux news intent on spreading conspiracy theories. If only it were all a joke, we could wake up laughing, but alas, the man is very dangerous and should alarm us all. John Oliver has come up with an answer that is real, yet soaked in much needed comic relief, please watch to the very end. 

Beyoncé - Orisha Oshun






Having had nothing better to do last night I watched the Grammys for the first time ever. There were only a few celebrities that I was familiar with. With 9 nominations, Beyoncé was the most nominated female artist last night. Yes, I have been impressed with Beyoncé before, not so much by her singing, but her personality, her seeming kindness, coupled with daring. Her absolutely owning the power and the beauty of her own body. Beyoncé in her first public appearance since pregnant with twins stunned with her epic celebration of motherhood, fertility and female power through the generations as she embodied the Yoruba Orisha Oshun. Check out Beyoncé's site yourself for more stunning photos of her from yesterday's spectacle at the Grammys.

Motherhood is an especially powerful theme when taken under water. While on Beyoncé's site I discovered these most amazing, stunningly beautiful photos of herself, posted only earlier this month. Beyoncé's images are of a purity that allows us to celebrate the female powers of sensuality and elevates us women all throughout the ages.