Thursday, March 22, 2012

Anatomy of a Friend

A friend is there when you need him

 He warms you when you sleep

 A friend allows you to learn with him

This is Aidan as a baby. He loved his Coo Coo.

A Friend tolerates change.

Me, pregnant with Kieran. Cookie Puss was the most gentle cat with all the kids, from babies on...

When a friend is sick, you stay with him

Even if the loss of him will hurt very deeply.

You stay with him in comfort through his last night and you cradle him in your arms for his final breaths. 

A friend is someone you NEVER forget.

I miss you Mr. Cookie Puss.

You were a VERY good friend.

Mr. Cookie Puss came to me in April 1996 as a newborn kitten. I was lonely in my new Santa Barbara apartment and decided to "foster" a mother cat and her three kittens. I ended up adopting the mother, Wren, and her two sons, Mr. Stripes (a descriptive term, which stuck) and Mr. Cookie Puss (an unfortunate name, I know, but the more dignified name never caught on).

These cats kept me company in the two years I lived and worked in a new town before I met my husband and future family.

Mr. Cookie Puss was always a happy and adventurous cat. He loved water and new places. In my 1920's apartment cottage, he discovered a whole new world by climbing up into the flue vent of the stove in the kitchen. 

When he made the move with me to our current house, he retained his jovial outlook and settled in happily.  As our family expanded, I grew to appreciate his sweet tolerance of babies and children. He never hissed, scratched or bit anybody. As a baby, Aidan loved to pat him and be near him. Aidan's first words turned out to be "Coo Coo". They had a special bond.

Cookie Puss loved me and was always there in my garden waiting when my car would pull into the driveway. We had a ritual. I would pull in and he would approach the car from behind and lay himself down behind one of the tires, as if I had just run him over.  The kids and I would always stop to pet him while he was down, expressing our feigned grief that we had run Mr. Cookie Puss over. Again.

Cookie Puss was a very soft, fluffy cat. He loved to groom himself, so he was always clean. He was infinitely pet-able and always loved to be held. He was the best cat for comfort, my therapy cat.

This important being will always be in my heart and I miss him terribly. He was a very good friend.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Please Come Back

What follows is a link to my mom, Kathy Neches'  blog. She said what I wanted to say much better than I could have, so if you are inclined to trust me, read her blog first.  My blog is a mere commentary on a very important subject.

Mom's Blog

Over the weekend a beautiful soul attempted to take her own life. She had EVERYTHING to live for. She was a college student, an athlete, and a twin. It saddens me so much to think about a perfect vessel for life's experiences, destroyed because of pain and sadness that was perceived to be unending. Life never gives you any circumstance that will not eventually change. I have been telling my daughter lately, as she is feeling the ache of a broken friendship, that we came into this life to feel. We came to feel love and pain as much as to feel joy and betrayal. We came for the full experience and the whole experience enriches us. As adults, we have lived through enough broken hearts and loss to know that the pain does, eventually pass. The presents of being in the present are like beautifully wrapped gifts, absolute surprises that we could never have dreamed of. These are worth bearing the pain for. These presents are our reward for going to sleep instead of killing ourselves, when we are in a very dark place.

Sam is in a deep coma, her light may not be totally gone, but I call out to her soul to hang on, and come back. Please Baby, be the miracle and return to finish what you started. I know you won't regret it.

Love, Shelley

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Pulling the Death Card

Pulling the death card from the tarot deck can be a cause for alarm for some. I see it as an opportunity to celebrate. It means death of the old ways. It means a complete deconstruction of old patterns. It means things are gonna be a wee bit hairy for awhile. Not that I've been having fun with it, but I know it's important to fully fall apart in order to become a better me.

For the monarch caterpillar, the skin has to be shed many times during it's short life. As it grows, it must break through it's old sheath and grow a better fitting skin. I imagine this is uncomfortable. I know it is. I believe I have shed a few skins in my lifetime. When the death comes for the caterpillar, it actually liquifies itself in its chrysalis, completely reorganizing its cells to become a different insect altogether. Different, but the same.

The death card is like this. A total deconstruct is necessary before a newly reorganized self can emerge. This week has felt like this for me. A complete falling apart of my emotions. A panicking liquification of my sense of who I am. An energetic implosion and hopefully a rebirth.  The point is, I know that I must maintain courage through the deconstruct. I must simply breathe and trust. I can use meditation, naps, books, tears, cookies, and lots of forgiveness of myself through this important stretching; this invited and welcomed metamorphosis.

Another way of looking at it is if you're going to be in the muck, you might as well get good and dirty. Just a loving reminder to all my caterpillar friends, we can do this. Hang in there. Together we will soar!

All my love,


Monday, March 05, 2012

Beating the Blues

This is what I do when I'm feeling blue. I dip into them. ...and the greens and the purples, yellows and golds. Sparkles help too.

Saturday, March 03, 2012


"You're so lucky! I wish I were you"  This is what I used to say when I was a kid and somebody had something I wanted. An ice cream, a new bathing suit, blue and yellow two-toned Vans, whatever it was I coveted, I said this to them as they licked their dripping cone or unwrapped their present.  LUCKILY, things have changed for me.  My BF Jill is going on another dolphin trip in June. This will be her third, although Panama was most decidedly a whale trip more than a dolphin trip since we only saw two dolphins all week but dozens of humpback whales. She took a trip to Hawaii a year and a half ago. I didn't wish I was her then. It could be that a tsunami had just flooded the town she was headed to.  This dolphin trip is different. Its a nice little test for me. Jill is going to Bimini with Aleya, our dear friend who organized the Panama trip. Many of our "whale pod" family will be there again, but there is absolutely no way I can go because Kieran will be graduating from elementary school and I wouldn't dream of missing something like that.  What I realized is, that request I made so many times actually has happened. Jill is "me"! When she goes, she takes me with her in spirit. I AM so lucky!! I feel nothing but empathic joy for her in having this adventure. I really am so lucky.

Jill's Dolphin
Baby humpback waving "hi"
Panama sunset

Making a moment magical

I'm so lucky I didn't reveal any more breast then that.

Ancient petroglyph at White Lotus

Stormwatch '10

We so lucky!