Percolated Updates

artwork by: Libby Sealy

I have been away far too long from blogging. I'm not really sure why I do that. I guess I figure my life just gets too boring, and I have nothing to blog about, or my life gets too busy and I cant find the time to blog.

Since I have last blogged, I have gone through a lot of changes, and challenges. I went from not working, to working a full time job as a patient sitter for an 84 year old woman with leukemia. Not having a full time job for 17 years, I found this a bit challenging. However, after I have been working for 7 months now, I have finally learned how to juggle working full time and then coming home taking care of my family. At first this was a bit overwhelming, but I finally got the hang of it. Millions and millions of women had been doing this for years, yet it was my first time, I just had to remind myself that if other women could do it, so could I. Receiving my first paycheck was a great feeling, then each paycheck after that I learned how to plan the bills, and budget my money. It is such a great feeling being able to buy my own clothing, buy the girls clothing, buy anything we want, with out even asking my husband for any money. I know my little old lady will not live forever, but when she passes, I will continue working and find myself another old person to take care of.

Sitting with my little old lady for 9 hours a day became quite boring some-days. Although I cook for her, and help her with whatever needs she may have, I still became quite bored. Her sister in law taught me how to crochet. However, she only knew just double stitching and single stitching. Once I mastered that, I got on the Internet and taught myself the rest. Now I'm making all kind of things. I love it. I have even sold quite a few crochet items as well.

The girls are growing into really young beautiful ladies. Julie, my 15 year old, has been struggling in school and dealing with a lot of ups and downs and dramas. Here recently she discovered who her true friends really are and who she thought was loyal was really not so loyal and rather deceiving. Julie also got her permit and cant wait to hit the streets..I however can wait forever!

Libby, continues to do great in school and if she keeps her grades up she will be getting a scholarship to whatever school she decides to go to. Libby is unsure what to do with her life after she graduates, so therefor she will be going to a Technical College until she can figure out which career path she finds the most interesting. I don't think I have ever been as proud of my daughters and I am now!

In a nutshell thats all thats been going on. I hope that I can be able to keep up my blogging! I love blogging so much, just don't understand why I stop the way I do at times. Maybe now that I have a new hobby of crocheting, a job, and pretty much.. a life..I can continue to blog about whatever strikes my fancy, or whatever is on my mind... The ups, the downs, the turmoils, the drama, the thoughts percolating in my mind.

Hectic and Distorted

The photo of above is the view from my Mother's balcony at the beach. What a beautiful sunset!

Again, things have been hectic around here. My mother moved to the coast. It still pisses me off that her exhusband ran her completely out of town, but if she can find a tad bit of happiness there, then Im happy for her.

I got a job the other day, but I dont actually start work until Monday. I will only work Mon through Wed, of next week, then leave for the beach on Thursday to visit my Mother and have a small vacation.

My thoughts and my mind are really clouded right now with everything. I have so much I want to write about, but can't seem to find the words to express it all.

My Mom is back here, tomorrow and staying at a hotel. Her divorce hearing is Friday, then Saturday she leaves back for her home at the beach taking my daughters to spend the week with her. Then we will go on Thursday and bring the girls back home on Sunday. It should be a nice for us all.

I really need to do better in keeping up my websites!

Dont forget to visit my Nature blog: When Nature Speaks Do You Listen.

Maybe tomorrow my head won't be so clouded and I can express the turmoil raging inside my damn brain. Even the coffee isn't suppressing the thoughts.

Mama Anxiety

Painting of My Mother by: Libby Sealy (my daughter)

The last couple of days I have felt like something wasn't right. I have had some feeling of anxiety, yet I just couldn't figure out why. Maybe because Libby is at the beach,with her church youth? Because Julie's asthma has been hard to control the last few weeks? Because business has been slow at the shop for Billy?

It wasn't till yesterday I learned why these feelings of uneasiness, nervousness and anxiety are coming over me. My Mom called me on the way home from the beach. She told me she was about half way home. Those same flames of anxiety seemed to engulf me at that very moment as she spoke those words. I became extremely sweaty, at loss for words, my heart started pounding,everything around me became fuzzy. "Are you there? Can you hear me?" I heard her asking through the phone. I managed to speak "I'm here." After our brief conversation, I hung up and sat outside on the steps of my front porch.Trying to compose myself before I walked back in the house.

Last night I laid in bed trying my hardest to fall asleep. So many waves of emotions and thoughts were spinning out of control. I let these emotions take over me, for I could no longer fight them, and I cried myself to sleep. Something, I have not done in a very long time.

My mother is coming home from the beach, but in 6 days, her home here, will no longer be her home. Instead, her home will be at the beach, some 4 and half hours away from me, 243 miles from me. Not only will she be moving this far from me, but she will be doing it alone.

At 63 years of age, my mother has been forced into a life of being alone due to a divorce from her husband of 20 years. He filed on terms of being separated one year, however, we all know that a man doesn't come home after 20 years and just suddenly want a divorce. My mother fought back, hired a PI, and a few weeks later was able to file on adultery. I will be blogging more on this in just a few weeks after their court date.

My mother has always been a strong woman, no one ever saw her break, nor ever saw her cry, but there is a breaking point, and he broke it. My daughters and I witnessed tears of hurt and sadness the first month he left her. She quickly dried those tears, and fought back with a vengeance. He quickly learned hell hath no fury on a woman scorned. To add to the pain and hurt, he left her just 6 months after she had a stroke.

My mom has found it hard to live in the same home they shared. She has found it hard to live in the same town as he and his 45 year old girlfriend. We all live in relatively small town, and she found it hard living in this town having to see the same friends they once shared. She found it hard to attend the same church they shared for 20 years, especially after he brought his mistress to the service after she filed adultery papers. The man has no heart and no soul. My mother has learned many secrets since they have been separated. Secrets that we all find outrageous, but nonetheless, as outrageous as they may be, they are true. He lied to their church congregation, he lied to her step children, and he lied to their friends. He made her look like the bad person....and with all that, he drove her out of this town, away from me, away from her grand children! This man, however, is slowly digging his own grave..once he brought his concubine into their church, everyone was able to see the truth..the truth! but it was too late. Mama had already sold her home, and already planned to make her home at the beach.

Mama's closing date on her house is in just a few days. She is home only for a few days to finish the last minute things that need to be finished, and deal with the moving company. After that, she will leave for the beach once again, to her new home, to her new friends, to her new life. She will have to come back home one more time and stay in a hotel to attend her court date on the 25th.

Now that I know the anxiety I have been having is from my Mom moving 243 miles away, I can start dealing with it. I know for a fact she will be happier there. She already had the condo at the beach, and had hoped of retiring there, she just didn't want it to be this way. I know she has wonderful friends there, friends that care about her! She has already developed a life there, as she has spent the majority of their separation there already. She goes to luncheons, dinners, parties, and on gambling ships. Matter of fact, she hit the jackpot last week, when several of her friends and her went for a birthday celebration of one of her friends. She has already rearranged the condo as she wanted it, and remodeled it as she wants it.

I know when my Mama drives away in a few days, my anxiety will turn to tears. I have grown closer to my mother in the last few months, so close that no one could break the bond we have now. We used to not be so close, and we used to not have such a strong bond. She made a statement the other night that one good thing came from all this...we are finally a family, a family like we are suppose to be. She and I have shared a little bit of a rocky past. I was a wild child and rebellious. she only wanted what was best for me. I mistakenly took her love, care, and concern and successful wishes for me as nagging. I was so clearly, freaking wrong. I had felt this way for almost 20 something years, ok, longer than 20 something years. It wasn't till she had the stroke, that I learned how much I love my Mama. I was terrified after she had her stroke! She bounced back quickly, and I realized how close I came to losing her. NEVER AGAIN! Never AGAIN!

I'm scared for my mama with her moving. I'm worried about her health as she still fights with high blood pressure. I'm worried about her safety living alone so far from me. The tears I had shed last night was from the strong realization of why I have been having so much anxiety. The truth is...I am scared of living with out my Mama.

If you wish, you can view my Nature blog by clicking here:
When Nature Speaks,Do You Listen?

Why I Am Who I am

Since school has been out for the girls, I have spent the majority of my time with them. Of course they claim to be bored, as I'm sure they are, but I have enjoyed my time with them.

Libby left for the beach with her church youth group Saturday, and will be returning back home this Saturday. She has only called me once since being gone, that just tells me she is having such a good time that she isn't thinking about me or getting homesick any.

Julie remained home due to being sick. This was her first year in not going, but I do not think she has missed it so much. Although Julie has been sick most of the week, we have had a good time together. We have managed to watch several movies together on my new plasma big screen tv which I received from my mother. We have cracked jokes, and have laughed till our sides hurt and tears spill from our eyes. We've stayed up till 3am while she plays some computer game called Runescape and watching movies with me. Even as I type this we are watching Mall Cop and haven't long finished watching Julie and Julia. While all this may sound boring to most of you and you're probably wondering whats the big deal...there really is no big deal, except that Julie hardly ever stays home. During the school months, we don't spend much quality time together in the evenings, except at the dinner table, and I don't ever get much quality time with LIbby either. On weekends Julie is normally at her best friend Audrey's house, or either locked in her room on the phone or on the computer getting involved in some kind of teen drama.

Spending quality time with both my daughters is extremely important to me. I always give them their alone time they so often seek, and I let them go out with their friends as often as they want, but soon as I see a chance to be with my daughters, I snatch it up.

They grow so quickly. Libby hasn't been long turned 17, and Julie will be turning 15 in July. Sometimes I look at them and how grown up they are. How mature both of them are, and how amazingly beautiful they both are, and I have to ask myself, where in the hell did time go? When in the hell did they grow up?

Prior to the last couple of years, I had spent the last 10 years struggling with some serious health issues. It started when I found out I had a rare kidney disease and had to have my right kidney removed. Before then, I struggled with such high blood pressure, anger issues, headaches and such that i never really knew anything was ever wrong with me, till my blood pressure went so high that I lost vision in my right eye. When I had to have my kidney removed, I was only given a 40 percent chance of survival. A year later, I had to have my left kidney operated on. After I recovered from my kidney issues, I had a freak accident with a motorcycle where i crushed my whole right leg and lost mobility for 2 years. I became a recluse, not wanting to go anywhere, struggled with depression and anxiety, and struggled with pain everyday. After a few operations to my leg, i regained mobility once again and saw everything in a different light. I learned to appreciate the smaller and finer things in life, and to never take anything for granted.

During those 10 years I was so self centered, so self absorbed, feeling sorry for myself, and not seeing the damage I was doing to my family. A year or so after my last operation of repairing my leg, I still struggled from some type of fear after learning of some really strange complications from receiving a bone graft which I will not go into right now. The depression got so bad that I contemplated suicide and honestly, not only did I contemplate, I actually had the pills in my hand to end all the grief I was causing to my family. I had a smorgasbord of pills in my cabinet from all kind of doctors. I had so many different kinds of pills in the palm of my hand and a cup of water in the other hand. It was Libby who walked in the kitchen that night as I held a handful of pills in my hand. She didn't know what I was thinking, she did not know what I was about to do, but seeing her face, hearing her voice, i threw those pills in the trash and realized what a mess I was in. How did I allow myself to get that way? The next day I told the doctor what I almost did the night before, he changed my medications around and put me on a different anti-depressant medicine. That medicine only made me numb. I was a zombie, a pure walking zombie. I'm not exactly sure when it happened, but one day, I decided I didn't need to be a zombie. I didn't need the anti depressants. I didn't need the Valiums nor xanaxes nor ativans..what I needed was my life back. What I needed was my family back.

During those years, my daughters had to grow up. They had an ok childhood, but I took away alot of their childhood. They had to worry about me, they had to help take care of me, and they had to deal with every damn emotion I went through.

The last two years, I have completely changed, but its been within the last year that I have changed the most. I no longer take any drugs to control my moods or fog my mind. I will admit occasionally I do have to take a pain pill for the pain I sometimes have in my leg and the arthritis in my knee.

I look forward to every moment I can spend with my children. I let 10 years go by, but I will never let the next 10 years, nor 20, nor 30 if i make it that long. I want my children to experience everything there is to experience and I want them to be able to do that without them worrying about their mama's health issues, or what kind of damn mood she may be in. I can never take back what I put them through in the last 10 years, nor could i ever give them the childhood that they missed. Instead, I spend every moment I can with them. I want to hear their dreams, their fears, their sorrows, their worries, and YES...The teen drama.

For the most part my kids say I'm a good mama, they say I'm a pretty cool mama, and they think I'm a crazy mama. I'm not all that crazy, I just like doing crazy things, saying crazy things, and crazy is what seems to make them smile. We laugh, we joke, we pick, we kid, we fight, but the strong amount of love we have for each other always wins over the simple fights.

This last year I have been on a journey. A journey of self discovery, of who I really am. I have learned so many different things along the way. Some things would just blow the average joe's mind, but the biggest thing I kids don't really need me, I need them. It is my children that are my therapy, my drugs, and my life.

I also have the best husband. While he may have his moods just like the rest of us, he has been a wonderful husband through out it all. Our love has grown stronger in this last year, stronger than ever, and we have a stronger friendship with each other. We know now that we can get through anything, just from the hell we have already been through.

Afternoon in the Park

Friday my oldest daughter Libby and I went to a park located uptown. I had never been before, but Libby thought it would be a good idea to go and take a few photos. I was not overly impressed.

There was a small playground for little kids, a sheltered pic-nic area which only had maybe 2 or 3 tables under it and a gazebo which was occupied by what appeared to be a couple of thugs. Libby informed me there was a walking trail, and we should go walk on the trail, and maybe we could get some good nature shots. As we came upon the beginning of the trail, there was a very small flower garden, swarming with bumble bees feeding off the flower heads. Libby wanted to take a picture of the bumble bees and really wanted a to get a couple of macro shots, but each time she tried the bee would fly toward her. I, however seemed to have had a couple of calm bees and was able to get a few good photos.

Just as we were about to walk away from the flower-bee garden, a small beautiful butterfly graced us with her presence. She landed on flower and immieadtely began feeding. Her velvet, soft wings were a grayish brown tint, with a hint of soft, tiger orange on the upper wings. For some reason her wings reminded me of a sunset over a dessert. We both were able to get quite a few photos of her before she flew away.

I was really disappointed with the walking trail. For the most part it was quiet, secluded, and no other walkers but us. Ivy, bamboo, and kudzu lined the sides of the trail. The embankment was lined with old, factory mill houses and most of the back yards we could see were over grown with weeds, rusted swing sets, and over grown grass. All this combined seemed to have taken away the beauty I had imagined the trail having. I'm not really sure why, but I thought the trail would have been lined with wild flowers, planted flowers, and more exotic plants.
As we continued down the trail, we came upon the Cambridge Bridge which is now no longer in use. I stopped to take a couple of pictures of the bridge, when Libby stopped me and whispered "There's a homeless person sitting there." I hadn't seen her when I was taking photos of the bridge, but after Libby told me, I stopped. I didnt want her thinking I was taking pictures of her. As we passed by her, I smiled, nodded and said hello. She was dressed a pair of old worn out, dingy, khaki colored pants rolled up to her knees. Her shoes had a hole in the toe, and she had some kind of black cloth wrapped around her headd. Two grocery bags sat beside her, I wondered if it contained all her belongings. She looked up at me, almost as if in shock that I spoke to her. She smiled and I noticed she only had a couple of teeth. I could see the sorrow and pain on her face although she managed to give me just a little smile when I spoke to her.

We continued on down the trail for about a mile, when we came upon another bridge. Libby decided she would climb up the orange clay, dirt wall, and sit on one of the concrete slabs and rest in the cool darkness out of the sun. I went to the other side of the bridge and looked up under it. Up in the corner, was a pillow, a black trash bag and a blanket. I wondered if it belonged to the lady we had seen. I couldn't imagine someone having to live this way, and why some even chose to live this way. Others, falling on hard times, foreclosures, loss of job, might have been forced to live on the streets or trails. Suddenly I thought about my little home, and while I dont have much, Im so very thankful of what I have.

I started taking photos of graffiti on the walls. "We can do better with our lives" was painted on one side of the wall. I wondered, if the homeless painted this masterpiece, or was it just a bunch of bored juvinilles. I heard something behind me, I turned quickly to see a young teen, approaching us on a bicycle. He glared at me as if I shouldnt be there, then he saw Libby sitting up on the concrete slope under the bridge. He turned around and headed back in the direction he came from, only to turn around again and come back toward us. He made me quite nervous. I thought to myself, if he suddenly decided to mug us he would be terribly upset as we had no cash on us, only our cameras. He continued to ride back and forth past us and I acted like he wasn't bothering us, nor scared of him. He popped a couple of wheelies as if he was showing out in front of my daughter and I thought to myself "oh how cool you are little punk". He looked up at Libby sitting under the bridge staring off into space, he did a couple of donuts trying to get her attention. He finally gave up and rode off. I then told Libby I didnt want to walk the trail any longer. It was too secluded, and if we got mugged, raped or attacked, no one would be able to hear us scream. I later found out that trail runs all the way through our town, and even goes behind some parts of the ghettos too. It's the same trail where drug dealers, crack heads, and prostitutes have been arrested. The same trail where they have been reports of muggers. Its sad that the walking trail, which used to be a railroad track, has turned into a trail of crime.

Headed back toward the park, dark clouds began to form in the sky. I knew a storm was brewing, for the humidity was so high we could hardly breathe. By the time, we got back to the car, Libby and I both were dripping wet with sweat. Our mouths parched by the heat and humidity, we gladly welcomed the rain. That night, Libby and I stood out in the rain, holding hands, dancing like kids under the midnight's pouring rain. It was very refreshing, and a perfect end to a wonderful day with my daughter.


New Camera On The Way

I sat up last night, sitting anxiously in front of my laptop. My eyes glued to the screen. I was watching an auction on Ebay, on a camera I have been wanting for quite awhile. This particular camera up for auction was a Fujifilm Finepix S700. It might not be the best on the market, and it might not be a DSLR camera like I dream of, but it was close enough to my likings. As I sat and watched the clock count down, I decided to go ahead and enter my bid. Once I hit "Confirm" I received a message I had already been outbid. I continued to enter my bid over and over, but each time, I had been outbid. I waited, and I watched the timer countdown to the final seconds, 50 seconds to be precise. I then entered my maximum bid of $150.00. With my palms sweaty, my heart racing, I refreshed my page just for good measures, and at the top of the page was "Congratulations you are the winning bidder". I jumped and screamed with delight then immediately paid for my purchase. I had won the auction and stayed within in my budget. I won the bid at $132.00 plus $20.00 shipping and handling.

There were other cameras up for auction, but I liked this one, as it also came with 3 different changeable lens, 3 lens covers, 2 tripods, camera bag, and the necessary cords to hook to the computer. Now all I have to do is sit back, and watch the mail box the rest of the week. I'm so excited, I can hardly stand myself. It's like Christmas time and I'm a little kid again.

I have always been quite happy and satisfied with a small pocket size point and shoot camera. Even this past Christmas I bought a relatively nice pocket size Sanyo. It served the purpose for those special moments I wished to capture and hold the memories. It wasn't until I got into my hobby of capturing nature at its finest, that I realized, my little Sanyo was piece of crap.
The 3x zoom feature was nothing but a pain in my ass when I tried capturing birds in flight, or birds perched on a branch. I became disgusted when a Red Headed Woodpecker was pecking midways up the pecan tree and my zoom feature still couldn't capture him. However, I did like my macro feature but even it had a tendency to blur.

My husband often made fun of me carrying my camera in my jeans pocket every where I went. With my larger camera on its way, he asked me last night, how I'm going going to be able to stuff it in my pocket. Where there's a will, there's a way. Luckily it comes with a camera strap, maybe I can wear it like a necklace. It should accent my jeans and tshirts quite well.

Yes, it might not be the most expensive camera, and it might not be the DSLR camera of my dreams, but I am more than excited. This is definitely a step up from my 3x point and shoot Sanyo. However, I know me, and next year I could very well be typing about the 10x zoom is not enough and how I will be saving for my dream DSLR camera. For now, for the less experienced photographer, I am stoked and my new camera cannot get here soon enough.

The following are photos from the seller of the new camera.

As always, don't forget to visit my Nature Blog:

I'm Back

I took some time off when I first started this blog, a big no-no as we all know. Why start a freaking blog when you're not going to keep up with it? I apologize to my 3 followers! You were kind and gracious enough to follow and I aborted ship! I think a lot of it had to do with me losing my other blog I had for over a year, that, was kind of a slap in the face, I can be such an idiot sometimes.
I seriously have no other excuses. But, the good news...I'm back. Spring has sprung, everything is so fresh and brand new, so I might as well be too! Here's to new blogging! (Imagine toasting with a few margaritas).

Pirate's 6 Day Ordeal Aloft In The Tree

**The following is a true story. I advice you to NOT attempt these measures at home! Please leave it to the insane non professionals! No humans or animal were harmed in this event.**

Dec 31,2009- Pirate called to us from the top of the pecan tree Thursday morning. Little did we know of the chaotic rescue mission we were about to embark on. I had been highly successful in the past of talking my own cats down from trees
as well as neighbors and friends. Pirate became a bit more challenging.
As the sun began to set, and the moon began to rise, Pirate's cries became louder. In the cold of the night, she sat wedged in between the "V" shaped branches. She watched fireworks in the sky, getting an up close and personal view of the multitude
of colored sparks in the air. Shivering with no coat, I began to call her name. I tried coaxing her from the tree, but she remained.

Jan 1, 2010- Friday morning, a new day, a new year, Pirate remained in the same spot. As the day went by, she meowed loudly each time she heard the back door shut to the house, knowing we were coming to her rescue. I spent most of my New Year's day trying to talk to her and persuade her to come down from the high elevations. Her already large eyes, were widened to the max, she looked as if she was a cat on crack. I rummaged through the cabinets for a can of tuna, thinking the foul aroma would bring her down, but she only cried louder. As the day turned to night, my family and I gathered at the dinner table to eat our traditional New Year dinner of
collard greens, black eyed peas, and baked chicken. I set a piece aside just for Pirate. After dinner Billy climbed to the top of the ladder, and placed the chicken not even half way up the tree, along with the left over now frozen tuna that awaited her. The dogs began to circle the tree like little black sambo trying to figure out where the pleasant smell of the human delicacy was coming from. I knew then, Pirate was in the tree because of the dogs. The cold air sent chill bumps through out my body and I shivered against the cold breeze. Calling her name over and over again that night, her food would freeze as the temperatures would drop to the teens.

Jan 2, 2010- Saturday morning we started on a different approach of getting Pirate from the tree. Billy climbed the top of the ladder to the middle of the tree, where then he proceeded to climb the brittle pecan limbs. When he came to a spot that was straight up, no other branches to set his feet on, he wrapped his arms and legs around the big branch and began to shimmy up the branch. I couldn't bare to watch, thinking if he fell, he would surely break his back if it wasn't a fatal fall. Halfway to Pirate, he began to complain of his head hurting and he slid
back down the branch. He said she was too high, the higher he got, the more nervous he became which made his head pound.
Pirate remained in the "V" of highest biggest branch. We gathered around the fireplace to warm our hands and feet and come up with our next plan of action. I searched the internet for ideas, but none were very useful. When we went back outside, our other cat Eugina ran up the tree, jumping branch to branch, till he reached Pirate. (yes i know Eugina is a girl name, but he's kinda gay and prefers to be called Eugina) He ran directly to Pirate and touched her nose with his. Then in a flash, he ran down the tree,jumping branches with only the grace and style of a cat, then jumping 15 feet to the ground. He turned and looked back up at Pirate as if to say "That's how its done idiot".
Pirate watched wide eyed, but still remained.

Jan.3, 2010- Sunday morning, Pirate was still alive, cold and hungry,enduring the 16 degree temperature,yet she was becoming distraught. Her cries were becoming frantic, yet she was showing signs of movement. Every so often she would groom her tabby fur, and look down at us with hatred, wondering why we ha vent gotten her down yet.Billy thought he had a brilliant plan. He ran to his man cave in which most people call a shed, and brought out his remote control helicopter. His brilliant plan was to fly it above her and scare her down. His plan failed. Pirate remained.
Neighbors from up and down the street started gathering at the house. Unfortunately they were all men, and when you put the minds of men together, God only knows what
brain storms will occur. I went in the house for coffee and to get warm as the temps were only in the 30s. Later my 14 year old daughter Julie came in crying. She said the men were outside trying to shoot the cat out of the tree. "What the hell !" I screamed and ran out the back door. The men were gathered near the tree laughing. "I don't find it too freaking funny" I yelled as I ran down the steps, feeling
the arthritis scream in my knee, this made me even more mad. The frigid cold hours I had spent with this cat in the tree had taken its toll on my knee consumed with arthritis. Grumpy, ill, tired, cold, and in pain I began to yell at the men with words no lady should ever speak...but no one has ever really called me a lady. Billy said "We only are shooting bbs, we are not even shooting her, just
shooting around her, to scare her down".
"Well thats enough! What if one hits her?" I asked furiously. Billy turned and pointed the bb gun at my leg "lemme shoot you,it don't hurt,plus I'm not even aiming at her" He said jokingly. Hell if I was stuck in a tree and 3 grown men were shooting at me, I sure as hell wouldn't come down!
That night I sent Billy as high as he could go with a warm mixture of salmon and tuna heated in the microwave. I thought the steam would travel to her delicate nostrils...heat rises right?? so wouldn't the smell rise as well? Suddenly Billy started screaming "shes peeing on me, shes peeing on me!" Despite it all
I laughed till I hurt. Served him right for them shooting AROUND her with bb's. I went back in the house..the stench of microwaved salmon and tuna consumed my house, it smelled like a rotten fish yard.

Jan.4 2010- Monday morning, with Pirate close to starvation and dehydration, I began calling on the phone to vets, animal shelters, humane society, and
fire departments. The vet stated that cats normally come down after 3-5 days, and then stated what every other non animal lover said "you don't see cat skeletons in trees". He then went on to explain a cats strength and resilience, and assured me she would eventually come down. I wondered how she was going to withstand another night of 16 degrees with no fat, no food for the natural fuel that would keep her warm. I called he humane society who offered no assistance. I called the animal shelter who is with the humane society, who transferred me back to the humane society...I hung up the phone.
I called the fire department.."its too much danger, its too much a liability" the voice on the end said... same story I had already heard from another fire department. Billy came home from work with a coworker who claimed he would climb the tree and bring the cat down. Half way up the tree, he stated he couldn't go
any further, it wasn't his cat and he wasn't going to risk his life for the dumb ass cat. However, He and Billy took two pieces of 20 feet pvc pipe and attached them together to make a 40 foot pole. They were going to try and knock her down. Pirate had eased out on a much smaller brittle branch, it could have broke at any given time, but she clung to life on that small branch.
The pvc pipe might have been good idea instead, it was too flimsy and not sturdy and she only got smacked in the head and rear a few times. This too proved useless!

Jan 5,2010- Tuesday morning when I returned home from taking the girls to school, I informed Billy it was the 6th day. She couldn't last much longer. He realized he knew someone with a bucket truck. The owner of the truck with mercy and malice in his heart, let Billy borrow the truck to get her down. The bucket truck would only go up about 45 feet, still nowhere near the cat at all. The brainstorm of two men came crashing like lightening..they would try the pvc pipe while in the bucket truck. Pirate clung to the branch with all she had, out on a limb, she held for deal life. She wasn't budging. Billy finally gave up. This had been our last hope. With tears in my eyes, feeling the huge knot in my throat I simply said "she will die tonight, she just cant go on."
Billy looked at me with angry eyes and threw his hands in the air "what else can I do? You want me to shoot her with a 22 so she wont suffer any longer? he yelled. I just shook my head, and turned so no one could see the tears begin to fall.
After we had taken the bucket truck back to its owner, and after I had taken Libby to church, Julie and I got out of the car. Accustomed to calling Pirate's name every time we were outside, we automatically called her. She did not answer. My first thought: well we are going to be the first in history to have a cat skeleton in a tree. I searched the tree high and low calling her name, calling "kitty kitty" effortlessly, she was no where. I mean nowhere. Cats are funny but they don't play Houdini and just disappear. I called her name again over and over, I then heard the faintest of meows.
Julie screamed "there she is" pointing to the edge of the wooded lot. Sitting on the edge of the woods, directly under the branch she had made a home for 6 days, sat Pirate grooming herself. She didn't look the same. She looked like a small fragile kitten, she had lost just about all her weight, she seemed to weigh only ounces. I picked her up and cuddled her close to me. She could barely meow. She looked me in the eyes with such another hatred look, I almost expected to get slapped. I could almost read her thoughts.."you humans are complete idiots"

Pirate has not asked to go outside since her ordeal. She eats and sleeps, and is totally soaking up all the attention. This just proves, we don't own cats, cats own us! She made a fool out of us all!


Cat Still Clings to Life In The Tree

Day 5, Night 4
It is going on night number 4 that my cat Pirate will probably once again sleep in the frigid cold temperatures, nestled and snuggled in the crook of a pecan tree branch. At the very top of the pecan tree, Pirate still remains in the same crook. She meows desperately out of cold, hunger and fear.

Earlier today, she climbed out on one of the skinnier limbs and I thought for sure the limb would break. I was almost hoping it would and we could run under and catch her. She lost her balance on the limb, and suddenly was suspending upside down from about 60 feet above ground. We stood ready to catch, when she suddenly turned upright and balanced herself on the thin limb once again. She then sought refuge back in the small crook of the tree.

If I had a dollar every time someone said "you don't see cat skeletons in a tree" I would be rich by now. True, I have never seen a cat skeleton in a tree, however, I have seen buzzards and vulchers perched high among the tallest trees. The thought of that sickens me. I feel helpless as she cries through out the day and night. I cannot process the thought of Pirate dying so high up,her carcass becoming a gourmet for the buzzards. South Carolina temperatures are not suppose to get below freezing this early in the year, but with temps dipping 14-18 degrees, I cant help but worry about hypothermia.

I have tried to entice her with salmon, tuna, and cat food, she remains in the tree. Several had tried to climb the tree, but its too high and too much of a liability risk. The fire departments no longer come out to rescue cats from trees. Their theory is "It will come down eventually. You never see a cat skeleton in a tree. Its just too much of a danger and we can not put ourselves in
the danger of risking our lives" Wait! What?? "cannot put ourselves to the danger of risking our lives?" Yea ok, like you don't do that when you are rescuing people from fires. That's beside the point, I understand they are trying to save humans not felines. But filled with desperation and anxiety I was rather put off by that statement. Tree services refuse to come rescue her..again, it too is a liability issue. One tree service agreed to do it for a fee of $500. I don't even know how to pronounce $500.

My husband took a remote control helicopter above tree level, to try and scare her down, it did not work. My husband and a friend climbed half the tree with a long pole to try and persuade didn't work. They tried hosing her down with the water hose, but the water wouldn't spray high enough. Only thing we have managed to do is scare her more.

Just as I was about to lose hope, calling her down, she looked at me with those big beautiful eyes she possesses, and I thought to myself, she has not eaten in 5 days. She has not felt the warmth of the fireplace, nor the comfort she often seeks on the back of the couch. She has not given up, she has not lost hope...why should I ?

My husband does alot of work for a car rental company who does have a bucket truck. He is going to call them tomorrow and ask is there any way we can rent the truck. The thought hit my husband like a lightening bolt at supper, but it was already too late in the evening, the business had already closed for the day. I will be calling others I can think for help as well.
My only hope now is prayer!

Path to Peace..proud owner of such a wonderful basket

It has been said that Rwanda was one of the most intensive killing campaigns ever in human history! Mainly an overwhelming amount of Tutsi men and just a moderate amount of Hutu men were the targets of the mass slaughter that occurred in 1994. In a space of just 100 days between April and June of 1994 it is estimated that 800,000 Rwandans were killed.

The genocide was started by the death of Hutu native Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana when his plane was shot down April 6,1994. It was never confirmed who was responsible for the assassination of Habyarimana but Hutu extremists are believed to be responsible. Within 24 hours of the assassination, roadblocks were set up around Kigali by Interahmwe militia...the name means "those who attack together".
Tutis were separated from Hutus and were inhumanly hacked to death with machetes on the side of the road. Death squads went from neighborhood to neighborhood in Kigali, murdering not only Tutis but also some Hutus as well. They even murdered the Prime Minister who was being guarded by Belgian soldiers. The soldiers were disarmed, tortured and murdered prompting Belgian to withdraw the remainder of its UN troops.
The genocide expanded from Kigali to the country side. The Government radio encouraged the Tutis to congregate and meet at churches, schools and stadiums promising that these places would be safe and a place to seek refuge. Helpless civilians started to gather at these places, only to be easy targets and exterminated with machine guns and grenades. By April 21 a quarter million Tutis and some Hutus had been violently murdered..slaughtered.

This was the worst act of genocide in human history, the dead of Rwanda accumulated to nearly three times that of the the Jewish Holocaust. The killing rate was atleast five times that of Nazi death camps. By the end of April according to Human Right Watch, this was the worst massacre ever in human history finishing off half of the population of Tutsis. This genocide is one of the greatest ever, the worst ever in human history, yet its the least known and least investigated.
The Tutsi men were the primary target, yet were not just confined to adults but to young boys as well. Large numbers of women also lost their lives. Another large number of women were victims of such horrific acts such as rape and mutilation. Those women who survived, many were left with AIDS. Some women were raped individually or gang raped after witnessing the killing of their relatives and destruction of their homes. Many that were allowed to live were told they were allowed to live so could die of sadness. The horrific acts some women had to endure are way to graphic for me to type and even more way too graphic for me to imagine.
One woman who lived said "I was raped by so many interahamwe and soldiers that i lost count."
It is said that 25,000 Tutsi women are widows of the genocide and two thirds of them are HIV positive. It is believed there will be tens of thousands of children who have lost their fathers to machetes will one day lose their mothers to AIDS.

800,000 violently murdered, slaughtered, mutilated because of the chaotic nature of genocide, 750,00 Tutis and 50,000 Hutus who did not support the genocide.
Needless to say the scars of the genocide will remain with Rwandans for many years!
In the aftermath of this brutal genocide the population of Rwanda is around 70 percent women. The majority of women shared homes made out of mud with each other and often sharing with several orphans along with their own children. They had no income. No cash to buy clothes, none to pay for schooling, none to survive off of.

Willa Shalit became involved with Rwanda during 2002 during a United Nations Development Fund for Women. She saw the conditions these women and children were living in. She saw a way for the women to earn a living for themselves rather than charity. She helped them import their amazingly beautiful baskets and founded the Path to Peace Baskets.
Path to Peace baskets are hand woven by Rwandan women in the village. Woven out of sweet grass and sisal in many different designs and patterns. It normally takes these women between 1 to 3 days to make these beautiful hand crafted baskets.
In 2003 the baskets were first imported and within a year they became Rwandas largest non agriculture export. The lives of these Rwandan women were changed forever, this time in a more positive way. They now live in clean homes with tin roofs. They now have livestock, and gardens, and the children now attend school.
In 2008, 40,000 baskets were imported to the United States.
Currently 4,000 women now make these awesome baskets.
My mother gave me an after Christmas gift...a unique, one of a kind, handwoven basket, from the Path of Peace project which sparked my interest in the Rwanda genocide.
I feel honored to have such a beautiful peace of art hanging in my kitchen, especially knowing how it originated!
If you are interested in one of the baskets, you can purchase them through Macy's or go to this website for more baskets made by these women!
Not only do I admire my basket, but each time I look it, I'm honored to have a basket made from one strong individual who endured such a hell we could never possibly imagine!