Residence of A Soul

My soul was…

broken, smashed, crushed…

None and all could apply to all souls.

At times it feels like a heavy rock, pulling me to the bottom of the ocean, but the ocean seems bottomless and the destination never reached. An endless fall.

Other times, the place where we, humans, decided long ago, our souls reside, and so do our hearts, is in the center of our chest, slightly to the left.

Breathe in, slowly breathe out, and focus… there must be a sensation of soul, but how could one recognize that which she doesn’t know? And yet, it “feels” like a hole. Perhaps, this is how a blind person knows when to stop at the edge of a hole, but in my case, the hole was my soul. I was standing at its edge, undecided and stared down in its depth, where my soul was suppose to have resided. Perhaps it was still there, too deep to perceive.

Was I going to loose my emotional balance and step forward in search of IT, or instead, take two steps back in the safety of Mother Earth?

I am peaceful, I am safe, I made the right choice and stepped back!

I  write about the many possibilities, the options of where my soul might reside and how it might “look.”

For now, I conclude, it resides everywhere, rather than nowhere and “its shape,” is no shape.  My soul is pulverized in minuscule particles, able to be anywhere and nowhere at all times or no times…

It could be next to you, my children. You will not see it, but feel its presence and its love for you. When you do, please allow it to rest and breathe in your presence before it’s blown away, pulverized into eternity.

Defense Strategy From A Guard Dog

Dogs have been known to be man’s best friends forever.

Any dog lover who observed his dogs behavior, knows their personality is as diverse as that of humans. The Nature versus Nurture debate applies to dogs too.

Duke and I met in 2009 and his foster mom, from the rescue organization warned me, he was an escape artist.  Duke mysteriously was able to jump any hight fence and unlock any door and just run to freedom. Well, it turned out he crowled, not jumped any height fence, and was so strong, he was pushing the front door until the poor front door was so hurt, it gave on and let him out.

After he pulled several escape tricks on me, he finally trusted enough that he had a permanent home at last. The result of this realization was that Duke became the best guard dog in the history of guard dogs.

His strategy is simple. When the door bell rings he pushes me back as far away from the entrance. His logic is, why worry and fight the u known danger outside when we solve the problem by not opening the door.



When the door bell rings and you are not expecting visitors, apply Duke’s strategy.IMG_0003








The Value Of A Penny

How many times we look down  at the road we walk on and  at our feet, covered  in dirt, we see something which might be a penny. It is a penny!

Should I bent and pick it up? Hmm… it’s dirty, rusty… it’s JUST a penny!

How many times we kept walking, leaving that dirty penny behind, in its own misery, too cheap to deserve our effort to bend and cleaning it up?

If we shop, and we are short a penny, most times there would be a penny jar to the rescue, or a kind shopper, behind us, who would offer help. Most of us were both the person in need of a penny and the kind shopper who offered the penny.

Not so, if humans are not involved. If you receive a computer generated bill, and is short a penny, your payment will be rejected as insufficient. It doesn’t matter if it’s a penny or $300. Suddenly the value of the penny is equal to that of any amount of money.

How did I figure this out?

Last December, when I received a notice that my water was going to be turned off at the end of the month because of non-payment.

On a closer look, I discovered the payment I made on time, was not picked up from a box outside my borough. The delay, resulted in a “penalty” of .98 cents, to which a “late fee of .05 cents was added and the warning to have my water turned off within two weeks from receiving the news.

Now, every time I think I see a penny covered in dust, I pick it up, clean it and safe it in a special jar, labeled: PENNY EMERGENCY.

Respect the value of the penny because if you don’t have it, it is as valuable as any amount of money. 

Easy and Delicious Leftover Dish. Use Your Imagination!

One of those evenings when I was hungry, but nor hungry enough to go to the store and get the needed ingredients.

Beside, there is always the inconvenience that when I return home, the parking spot in front of my house is taken, as street parking is “public.” The only advantage of life in the city was re-learning how to parallel park without damaging the cars behind and in front of mine. My self-esteem went through the roof!

Back to food… I had the following in my refrigerator, and by the way they looked, they needed to be cooked, or else…

One cauliflower, 2 large carrots,  2-4 Tbs sour cream, oatmeal, eggs, butter, almond milk, (or milk)  various small quantities of cheeses, parmesan  grated cheese, dash of salt.

Boil the carrots and cauliflower and drain the water. Mash and mix with 2 beaten eggs, and 2-4 Tbs milk or almond milk, the mixed cheeses leftovers and the sour cream.

In greased baking dish, layer old fashion oatmeal moistened in little almond milk.

On top of the oatmeal layer, pour the carrots, cauliflower, eggs, almond milk, sour cream and cheeses mix.

Top with grated parmesan, extra cheeses (if available) and dot with little butter.

Bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes or until brown on top.

You will know when it’s done, as it will not be watery and it should taste at least okay, but we aim for delicious. If in doubt add salt until taste won’t matter.

Rescued Dog, Or Rescued Human?

Why rescue a dog or a cat, or for that matter any helpless, homeless animal ?

In a world where millions of dogs and cats are homeless or kept in high-kill shelters and die in less than humane  conditions, my decision was easy.

It was April 1, 2009 when I adopted Duke, so today I celebrate his Birthday, for lack of an exact date.

A year prior, our beloved Becket, a boxer puppy my daughter purchased from a Lancaster, PA breeder, died at the age of 10 months of sarcoma, a deadly cancer. The cause: Inbreeding. My heart was teared to pieces and mourned him as a member of our family. When Becket died, I sworn to never buy a dog again, and always rescue from then on, in memory of Becket, to save the lives of as many as I could reasonably care for in good conditions. My magic number was, still is, a pack of three.

In the short time I spent with Becket, I came to realize that boxers have that hard to define human quality, which makes one ready to forgive their many faults. Which faults might they be?

This is the story of Duke and by the time you finish reading this post, I trust you’ll have drown your own conclusions.

Coincidentally, it was April’s Fools Day, when Duke’s foster Mom, Kim, brought him over to my house. He was about two at the time, strong and alert, so handsome, it made me wonder how did he end up in a rescue?

We would never know how did he spent his first two years of life. We did know, he was rescued from somewhere in a Southern state. His ears suffered serious frost bite and were infected and he suffered from anxiety.

“Duke is a difficult dog,” Kim, the foster Mom warned me. ” Five families tried to adopt him, and could not handle him, so they brought him back.”

“What do you mean, couldn’t handle him?” I asked, and considering myself a “dog expert,” I concluded the previous “to be adopters,” were just inexperienced.

Kim told me Duke was an escape artist and they all lost him. He could  jump any fence, no matter how high, or bolt out the front door…and run, run, run!

Oh, I thought, with an air of superiority. They were negligent! How does one loose a dog! Really!

Kim spent a few hours with us, explaining his one pro: Very handsome and  many cons. I was warned!

It was getting dark… Kim left.

Here I was with my other two resident dogs, fending their territories and  Duke.  I, The Human, supposed to be the Leader of the Pack!

I introduced Duke to each of his new buddies separately and just for safety reasons, didn’t leave them alone, and controlled Duke at all times.

When it was time to go to sleep, I wasn’t sure how to handle the first night together… and decided to error on the safe side. I left the light on, so I could observe Duke.

He seemed tired and relaxed, but all night I barely closed my eyes, watching the watch dog, and he, watching me!

In the middle of the night he wanted to go out. I had a small enclosed yard and opened the door to let him out, but with the speed of a deer, he launched himself over the fence and disappeared in the night!

Oh no! I lost the dog!

In my night gown, I grabbed the car keys, a dog treat and drove around,  calling out, more like screaming, as several lights in the neighborhood were turned on:

“Duke, Duke! Where are you?” I wasn’t even thinking we had just renamed him and he didn’t even know he was a noble Duke. Royalty!


After a while, I returned home defeated and humbled.

What was I to do at 2:00 AM? Leave the front door wide open? May be he will return… Close the door and watch out the window? Go to sleep? Call Police and report I lost my newly rescued dog?

As I was debating with myself, still standing in the driveway in my night gown, in the distance I saw a woman walking a dog. A vision! A hallucination???!!!

As she came closer, it became clear, she was walking Duke!

It turned out, Duke stopped a few houses over to play with another insomniac dog. The neighbor was a doctor and she came home from her night shift to find the two dogs playing in her back yard.

Fortunately, Duke had a name and address tag already, and she knew where to find me.

Over the 5 years that we have been together, I admit to “loosing and finding” him a few times. The experience taught me to be humble and never judge others.

True, Duke was unpredictable, but if I were to try and put myself in his “paws,” he had been running for two years. He had been neglected and abused. Just as with humans, it took years for Duke to trust and really, really feel he had a permanent home at last, and I was not going to give up on him, no matter what!

Many times, over the years, my dogs rescued me from depression and loneliness. Duke,  Lola and Sophie, forced me out of  bed, as I had the responsibility to care for them, feed them,  take them out, talk to them and simply return their unconditional love.

People who treat their pets as family would understand that when a doctor stated, looking at my intake form:

“You live alone.”

I replied:”I don’t live alone! I live with my three dogs and my African Grey Parrot.”

The doctor smiled. This is when he referred me to psychotherapy…

Happy Birthday Duke! I love you!

Your human Mom