Monday, January 31, 2022


What makes a 'being' sentient

The dictionary definition is defined as "able to experience feelings." So sentient beings experience emotions like happiness, joy, gratitude as well as pain, suffering, and grief. 

Scientists (and anyone who has ever had an animal ) has determined that animals are sentient

If you know this, it changes how you think, how you act, etc. when dealing with animals - any animals (even humans). 

I think what got me onto this subject is that recently I've been re-reading James Herriot's "All Creatures Great and Small". That man knew this about animals. It's so obvious in his writing. He really cared. Over the years I've read all his books, watched his series (several different ones) on TV, and just happened to be sent the ebooks recently from a friend on my Kindle.  So I started reading them again. Love them!

Next question:  Are animals self- aware? 

Studies have shown that some animals ARE...  and that possibly there are degrees of self awareness. Now there is a difference apparently from self awareness (conscious of being a separate entity from it's environment and from other beings like itself) and conscious awareness (being aware that we ARE aware).

There are so many things we don't know. But as time goes by, we are learning. IMO, anyone who has ever lived or worked around animals know they are not that different from us. Some species have more and better communication skills (and this also varies within the specie - some dogs/cats are smarter than other dogs/cats - same as with people).

I read somewhere at some point that an adult dog/cat had the mental ability of a 3 year old child. I personally think this varies also - some smarter, some not so much. 

And yet there are people who look upon animals as if they haven't any feelings or understanding. Animals know when they are loved or not loved. They learn to trust or not to trust according to their experiences - just like humans. Just because they don't have an equal  mental ability doesn't lessen their right to a decent life. 

They say that if wild animals have never been around a human or have never been treated badly, they would have no reason to fear us (they may want to eat us if that's their nature, but wouldn't fear us). We see this in areas where raccoons will come to the parks in some areas and take food out of people's hands (we had one here that would come to the door and take vanilla wafers out of my hand). I'm not saying this is a good practice - just an example of how they can come to trust and not fear (and I'm very aware that one should always be wary of wild creatures as they will react badly if frightened).

Not sure where I'm going with this post. Just started thinking about how difficult it is for some animals and how some people don't consider this. "Don't feed the birds/squirrels/wildlife!"  "They are a nuisance!" Really??  Yes, they can be an 'inconvenience' sometimes... but when you think of your life compared to theirs, putting up with a little inconvenience isn't so bad.

And I'm not talking just about feral cats, but all feral animals. They do contribute in their own way. Feral cats keep the rodent population down. Birds, opossums, and raccoons eat mosquitoes and other insects, etc.

A few pics of wildlife in our back yard over the years:

These are only a few. I also have pics of birds, wild ducks, toads, snakes,... and once an armadillo stopped by. But it's generally the cats, raccoons, and possums that actually come to the door to look in and ask for something. And the truth is, none of them have ever caused us any trouble. 

We do get coyotes on occasion and we can't allow them to stay in the yard... too dangerous for the other critters. We have a signal horn that blasts loud and used to chase the coyotes off... banging a few pots will do it too. But they don't come in often. We do have a 6 feet wood fence.

OK, I'm going to close this as I'm sure it's getting a bit long. Hope I didn't bore you or get any anti-wildlife people in a tizzy. Just started thinking about our animals through the years (both inside cats and outside wildlife) and how much they have enriched our lives (and I do hope to see them again one day - as far as I'm concerned, if there's an afterlife, they will be there too).

Thanks for visiting. Sharing my thoughts with you means a lot. 

*and just a note here concerning the upcoming below freezing weather that is being predicted for our area in the next few days - please do what you can to protect the animals... maybe some blankets, covered boxes, heat lamps, extra food... all will make their survival just a little easier.

Hugs (virtual),


Friday, January 28, 2022

my thoughts on the last Friday in January...

I laughed when I saw this... as this is how I feel when shopping in person at the grocery store. Mostly we do curb-side pickup, but occasionally DH has to pick up a Rx... so I go with him. Passing unmasked people always makes me move a little faster. 

He has passed his quarantine time... and is doing fine. Doctor didn't recommend getting retested since we're home and retired. And I've not been tested since I've had no symptoms. So I 'guess' we're fine.(We did sign up for those free home tests kits, but who knows when those will arrive.) 

Supposed to pick up granddaughter from school today. Told son that we will stay masked - just as a precaution. 

Don't you hope this is true?
what is this pandemic teaching us?


Life goes on...  It's now Friday and I have to say that I have been feeling a bit off. Hard to explain... getting waves of extreme tiredness which last for a while, then gone, then it comes again. You know the feeling when you're coming down with something... really weird.  Started yesterday and continued through the night. Took a Tylenol before going to bed. 

 Feeling a little better this morning, but still not right. When you're my age, it's hard to tell if this is just something that happens (How does one know when we've never been old before?or if this is the dreaded Covid trying to infiltrate my system. I have been triple vaccinated and hardly go anywhere (and wear a mask when I do).... but then I can say the same for DH and yet he tested positive.

We both had Dematologist Appointments next week. They just called to remind us. Told them about the dreaded Covid in the house - so we will have to reschedule.


The outside feral cats are gathering forces... or so it seems. Now instead of the usual 3-4, we're having 6 or 7. Poor One-Eye has competition when he comes to the door. I try to save him something (like a little salmon left over from my dinner recently), but unless we're really quiet... the others run up and he runs off.  He's old and has survived being beat up, but he's not a fighter anymore.

And our little white faced feral kitten is a sassy little thing. She is like her mama and not afraid of the others, runs right among them and goes for her food. She had taken to using the cat tree a lot lately... getting playful with Squeaky and BK, who are a little older, but still playful. Sometimes we think Squeaky might like to come inside. The others run away from the door, but Squeaky will stick his head inside and look around. If you remember, we call him Squeaky because he has a very squeaky little voice and likes to talk A LOT!


Also, our AGA is off again... (my kitchen isn't warm and cozy as it is when the AGA is on). But when the gas people checked the lines when changing out the meter (for the home generator), they said we had a leak in the AGA valve and that needed to be replaced... so they turned off the gas going to it. We miss it so much! But thank goodness we now have the Breville toaster oven air fryer. It is very useful (but it still has to be pre-heated and we've gotten spoiled with the AGA - no preheating necessary since it's on all the time.)

That's about my news for today (and yesterday). DH and I are having coffee and rum cake at the moment (from Christmas - had a few small ones put away in the freezer).  


 I recently read this... and thought that I've always believed this... 

and I'll be honest here (although I know everyone would not agree with me) but when I read this, I think of Barack Obama...  

(and after looking up the meaning of self esteem, I see that there are 3 kinds;  inflated self esteem (narcissism), low self esteem, and high self esteem). 

The high self esteem I'm talking about is defined as :
a frame of mind that lets you celebrate your strengths, challenge your weaknesses, and feel good about your life. It allows you to put daily ups and downs in perspective because, at your core, you value, trust, and respect yourself. It helps you understand that everything isn't about you, enabling you to not take everything personally and not be overreactive. 

Hugs (virtual),


Thursday, January 20, 2022

a day of memories...

DH and I - 54 years ago

Today is our 54th Wedding Anniversary. Looking at this picture, it's hard to imagine that 54 years have passed since this day (however looking at us today, it's not that hard to realize - we're old!). 

DH and I were both in our last year at LSUBR when we married. It was January 1968 and we had a few days between the end of classes and graduation, so we took advantage of that. Since we were in classes almost up to the date, my mom basically organized the wedding. We just had to show up... 

I'm not that into these things, so it was great that my mom was. And she did a terrific job as everything was perfect... and fun (which I didn't expect - since being the center of attention has never been my thing - but the champagne helped). 

Here's another pic in our 'going away outfits':

We weren't really going very far as we honeymooned one night in the French Quarter in New Orleans and then had to be back on campus for graduation.

After we graduated, we moved to Satellite Beach, Florida where DH had his first engineering job. We had an upstairs apartment not far from the beach and not far from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral. This was 1968... so we were able to watch space shots  from our apartment... which was exciting.

We moved from Florida to Texas in 1971 with 2 toddlers... and had a third in 1973... haven't moved again... and probably won't.   

The 3 kids are all married now and have families of their own. They all live fairly close (none more than a few hours away) so we get to see them all a few times a year. So... despite the pandemic, despite the toxic political atmosphere, and despite the fact that life isn't always perfect - after 54 years, it's still good... and I would do it all over again if given the chance. 

Thanks for going down memory lane with me...  I could post lots more pics of kids, family, grandkids, and cats... but won't bore you with that (at least not today). 

Stay well and stay safe!

Hugs (virtual of course),

Almost forgot to post a pic of our Anniversary cake... 


Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Cat puzzle and a Covid update...

We just finished this cat puzzle  -  one of 2 puzzles  I picked up for 'the house'  at Christmas... knowing we wouldn't be getting out much for a while yet. It wasn't a large one and DH finished it in about 10 days. I helped (added cat's faces here and there).

At the moment we've just started on the 2nd one. It's a little larger, so may take a bit more time.

Still haven't gotten a lot done around here. Did put Christmas away and threw out a box full of old mail (catalogs and junk mail). But wish I had the energy to get a lot more done. I keep hoping one morning I'll wake up and feel like I can do it all - hasn't happened yet.

I have been cooking. Made sour cream chicken enchiladas today.  DH was asking for them and it's been a while. Such an easy recipe and they're so-oo good.


As for DH's positive Covid test - he's been very lucky in that although he still has a bit of a cough, he doesn't feel bad and has never run any fever. Grandson and I have no symptoms... and it's been over 10 days since DH started his 'cold'... 6 days since he was tested at the doctor's office... and 3 days since we got the results back. 

Funny (not really funny haha) thing is that since this Saturday (when we got the positive result back) at least 8 people (mostly bloggers/blogger's family and people my daughter knows in the Hill country) have tested positive.  Guess omicron is finding it's way into our inner circles. Most have not been too sick, although a few are definitely not feeling well. 2 my daughter knows have been hospitalized.

*Has anyone heard anything from Apache Dug...? He hasn't posted lately, hasn't replied on comments, and wasn't feeling too good in his last post. This has me a bit worried...

Well,  all I can say is stay cautious, use masks, and keep your distance. You (and others) may not know that you already have Covid and are asymptomatic. And of course - without saying - GET VACCINATED! (unless you have a health problem and a doctor has advised against it) It may not keep you from contracting the virus, but it may keep you out of the hospital. 


I think I may have mentioned that my oldest son gave me an Amazfit 5 band for Christmas. Well, it is definitely an interesting gadget. You wear it on your wrist and it tells the time, heart rate, steps, oxygen level, calories, etc. and has an alarm, stop watch,  timer, camera, music, weather, sleep monitoring, stress level, etc. 

However, it's taken me a few weeks to figure out how it works and right now an alarm goes off at 7 am and every 10 minutes after that until 7:30. I haven't figured out how to change that although it's not too much of a problem as it's usually the time we get up anyway.

Here's a pic:

I find the sleep monitoring especially interesting as it tells the amount of light sleep and deep sleep you have, shows your heart rate during sleep, and how many times you were awake. Also gives you a score each morning as well as a weekly or monthly average. I also like the oxygen level bit. Since I haven't worn a watch since retiring 10 years ago, it feels a bit strange... (I stopped wearing a watch back then as I was so glad to finally own my own time and not to have to follow someone else's schedule).  But I'm wearing this Amazfit for other than telling time (just like the iPhone that I use for everything except talking).

That's my post for today. I sincerely hope all of you are being cautious and staying well. We can't guarantee anything when it comes to our health, but if we've done everything that is available to us, then we can at least feel that we've done our best. That's my opinion anyway.

And as I was telling a friend of mine last night on the phone (yes, she and I talk - probably the only one except my kids that I have long conversations with) -  "it will all be OK in the end... and if it's not, then it's not the end". I heard that in the movie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and loved the saying (movie is good too!).

Take care dear friends...

Hugs (definitely virtual now),



Saturday, January 15, 2022

living alone... pros and cons

I have never lived alone. I went from my parents to my husband - with no time inbetween (unless you count college where you are never alone - with room-mates and classmates, etc.) 

DH and I got married 2 days before my graduation - had a honeymoon in the French Quarter in New Orleans, and then back to LSU Baton Rouge for graduation. 

But this 'living alone' is something I think about... not because I would ever want to do it, but because so many people I know do. Some have never been married, some have lost their spouses or partners, some just prefer it. Most seem to like it, a few - not so much... but I've heard some of the pros and cons and they just make me wonder. 

I've heard that women live alone better than men. Don't really know if this is true, and not sure why this would be, so perhaps someone could enlighten me. My guess is that men are more used to being 'taken care of'... and women generally tend to do this naturally.  Not that men don't take care of women as they do... but in a different way. As I see it, they offer security, comfort, and not only the ability but the strength to do some things around the house and home that are not necessarily beyond a woman's ability, but more to a man's nature. Does that make sense?

I've been told that some people prefer to live alone as by doing so, they can set their own schedules and do as they please... and that they don't want to share their living space with anyone. Several women have told me this. 

I would certainly like to hear other people's comments. Pros and cons from both women and men would be helpful. IMO I don't think I would like living alone. Not that I don't like my own space and quiet time (as I tend to be an introvert), but sharing a life (even if only with a pet) appeals to me more. 

I imagine what it boils down to is one's own personality and life style, perhaps one's upbringing or experience, and your general concept of what constitutes a good life. 

Possibly the death of my good friend's husband recently made me think about this. She is doing well and has children, family, and friends around to help... but still, it's difficult... and I really wonder about those without family (but surely friends would take up the space?). And choosing to live alone and losing a husband of 50+ years I realize are very different scenarios. 

And I'm sure that someone will bring up sex... but in today's world, one does not have to live with someone to have a sex life (although it may make it more convenient). But I'm not referring to a love life here, just general living arrangements. Do others wonder about this?

That's my 'wonderings' at the moment... nothing crucial, just one of the many things I wonder about. 

(And by the way, DH just got his Covid test back. Apparently he's positive... ??? How??? Who knows?? But he feels fine, cold symptoms appeared about 8 days ago... and have now subsided. He has no fever, a little coughing, but that's it at the moment. We're kind of shocked as we have been vaccinated, boostered, and stay home pretty much. But who knows?)

Hugs (definitely virtual),


Monday, January 10, 2022

a Sunday perspective...

Today is Sunday, January 9th  and I've really nothing new to post. There's a lot going on in the world  (the not so new omicron variant, political division, climate change, etc.), but at home here in Texas, my main thoughts are tuned in on putting Christmas decorations away (still working on that), going through all the trash mail that has accumulated lately, and deciding what to cook for supper tonight (earth shattering stuff, right?).  

Don't get me wrong, I'm know how lucky we are that these are my main concerns at the moment. We're not rich, and we're not totally without some health issues, family concerns, etc., but in the great scheme of things, life has been good.

Sometimes it feels kitschy... (not sure I'm using this word right, but it's the best I can come up with at the moment)... to talk about mundane things in a world in crisis (is that an exaggeration?). But our individual lives go on and things like this are how we spend our days.  As I listen to DH talking to his brother on the phone (mostly football stuff and/or old memories from their childhood), I consider the possibility of Skyping or Zooming with my cousin this afternoon.

I love this technology... and although it seems to replace talking on the phone for the most part - just as texting has replaced letter writing (I still do both... letter writing probably a bit more than talking on the phone - as I like to write). I have even saved letters my kids wrote to me when they were in college or just married, etc.  I love to go back and read them on occasion. I even kept the emails my daughter sent me the first few weeks after her daughter was born (memories of bygone days - since that granddaughter is now 20).

Now it's Monday and of course I haven't posted this yet. I did get to talk to my cousin on Zoom yesterday. I really do enjoy this available technology as seeing the person you're talking with makes you feel closer than all the miles separating you. I miss my cousins and their families and since we can't physically visit these days, it is nice to be able to do this. I think this pandemic and all that it entails is making people realize how much we need each other... something we possibly weren't so aware of in pre-pandemic days. 

Quick update:  Just back from my Cardiologist appointment. He went over all the tests and basically said that my heart is in good shape, despite a little valve leakage and some premature ventricular contractions. I asked if the episodes I have are due to nocturnal hypertension or just old age. He said possibly both. Told me to take the Rx Propranolol if needed (if my bp gets higher than 150 in the night) and to see him in 6 months. He would like me to do an annual echocardiogram just to make sure the valve leakages didn't get any worse. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the outcome.

OK, enough ramblings for today.  I read this next poster and thought how simple life would be if we just did this...

Thanks for reading and hope 
you are all having a good January so far... 

Hugs (virtual), 

* If you're so inclined, tell me what you think of all the new technology we're seeing today. What is your favorite? Your least favorite?... and why. My absolute favorite is my iPhone... because it keeps me connected with family and friends in so many ways - and keeps info at my fingertips (as my memory tends to take a short vacation when I need it most). I have other favorites... and some not so favs, but I'll go into those in another post.

Saturday, January 1, 2022

New Year's Day 2022... and White Rabbit!

Wishing Everyone 
Happy Healthy New Year 2022!

(We made our traditional home-made eggnog
and watched the Crystal Ball go down on TV!

Now cooking a pork roast, steamed cabbage with bacon, black eyed peas... and corn bread for our New Year's day dinner. 

Texas has been in the 80's lately, but tonight winter comes... supposed to be in the 20's Sunday morning here...  

(heat lamps are on for the ferals, blankets, and cat trees with hidey holes abound)

one of the feral kittens on the cat tree

another view

and before I leave I probably should say, "Rabbit, Rabbit, White Rabbit!"  (as we really need good luck for this month and every other  in 2022)


virtual of course