Monthly Archives: June 2017

Goodbye Ebony ~ she left on cat’s paws

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Ebony in 2016 when we first moved to NE Florida. She loved to sleep on the bookshelf where I piled books after I took them out of boxes.

When I returned home from Brooklyn after visiting my daughter for two weeks, I noticed Ebony had lost weight. Well, she’d always been a little chubby, so I figured now that I was back, she’d start eating again. And she did eat.

However, 72 hours later, at night, she had trouble swallowing and her tongue was hanging out of her mouth. I thought it was an abscessed tooth. I told her how sorry I was she was in discomfort…to hang on until the next morning when I’d take her to the vet and they’d pull the tooth.

Dr. Rose did a physical exam and said it wasn’t a tooth. She only had to take one ex-ray. A huge tumor pressed on Ebony’s stomach, liver, and kidneys. She had trouble eating because there was swelling in the back of her throat. The vet said Ebony would not survive this, so there was only one choice. I had to put her down. I hugged her, kissed her, and stayed with her to the end. Dr. Rose always sings at the very end. She sang, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” for Ebony.

That song was so appropriate for Ebony. She was sweet, as gentle as a whisper, and affectionate. She had particularly taken to my author friend when Jenna Victoria visited a few months ago. I’m so blessed that Jenna got to know Ebony. She was a dear pet….the epitome of the phrase: on cats’ paws.

After I left the vet’s office, I confronted myself acting as my own accuser. If only…Maybe if I had come back from New York City earlier. Guilt. I should never have misjudged Ebony’s illness and lack of appetite as being caused by missing me. Self-condemnation. After all, I was the one who said ‘yes’ to euthanasia. Judgement. Many people do this. Men feel they should be able to fix all things that aren’t working right. Women feel they should be able to comfort, bolster up, even resuscitate (emotionally and physically) those they love. This certainly includes a beloved pet.

Romans 8:1 [NASB] ~ Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

If there was something we could’ve done better, and there usualy is…we can learn from it for the next situation. In this case, as believers, we must submit to God, repent, accept His forgiveness and grace…walk on and sin no more. Whenever we find ourselves nursing guilt, we must submit to God and push it away. If there was nothing or very little we could’ve done better, again, we must submit to God, and push the truly useless condemnation away. This takes making a quality decision on our parts. The accusation is of the enemy. We must move past it and move on to what God has for us…follow the path He’s set before us.

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Ebony (l), Trouble (C), Meadow (R) when they were ‘kittlets’ ~ not kittens anymore, yet not quite cats. Brooklyn, N&

 


6 Car Sounds NOT To Ignore ~ women listen up!

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Girl, with warmer weather here, if you’re hearing strange sounds coming from you car there’s something wrong. Period.

1. Hissing under your hood

If this happens wile driving, or after turning the engine off, the odds are this is NOT snakes trying to get out from under the hood, venomous or otherwise. Your car could be overheating. Do not pop the hood and try to take the cap off the radiator. It could pop like a hot champagne cork. Don’t do that. If you have roadside assistance, make the call. Another cause could be damaged vacuum hoses and leaks. Over time hoses wear out and must be replaced. Bring the car in and get it taken care of.

2. Metallic scraping, squeaking, squealing, grinding or growling

If you hear a squeaking or squealing noise, or a high-pitched grinding, your brake pads or shoes might be at the end of their life and must be replaced. And you didn’t know your brakes had shoes. Stilettos? If they’re whining, grinding or growling (sounds like something you hear at the dinner table, doesn’t it), get your brakes checked out immediately. It could be a sign the pads are so worn that metal is grinding on metal—a problem not to be ignored. It could lessen braking efficiency. This is dangerous.

 3. A sound like a quarter, or a dollar in coin in a clothes dryer

Women know this sound. If you hear that sound rattling around inside a wheel at low speeds (and then not so much, or not at all as you drive faster) it could be a loose lug nut inside a hub cap. That might mean your wheel wasn’t tightened properly the last time it was removed and replaced. Woman! Take your car to a mechanic ASAP!

4. A rhythmic squeak that speeds up as you accelerate

If you have rear-wheel or four-wheel drive (read your manual if you don’t know, seriously) and hear this sound, the culprit could be one of the universal joints or both (U-joints), which are found in pairs and are components of the driveshaft. Get it checked by a mechanic IMMEDIATELY. I’ll bet many women know the universal joint is important. It sounds important, doesn’t it?

5.  Shrieking, howling, whining or even “singing”

If it’s howling, we know this is bad, but why? It’s usually a sign your bearings (tiny metal balls that help parts rotate smoothly) aren’t working right. If you have front-wheel drive (again, check your manual if you don’t know), and the sound changes as you turn from side-to-side and back again, it could be your front-wheel bearings. A gradually growing, but steady howl might mean rear-wheel bearings. If you have rear-wheel drive and the whine gets louder as you accelerate, it’s likely to be your differential, which allows your wheels to spin at different rates when needed. Yup, could be your differential’s leaking fluid. That pesky differential. Get it fixed immediately. Squealing under the hood could come from loose or worn or accessory belts that drive things like your power steering pump, air conditioner compressor, and alternator. In newer model cars, it could point to the serpentine belt, which drives multiple accessories at once, and is relatively easy and cheap to fix. Okay, if you DON’T GET all that, just take the car in if it starts shrieking and howling at you. Got it?

6. Rhythmic clunking, tapping or banging from under the hood

There could be a serious problem with valves, connecting rods or pistons. Get to a mechanic ASAP. Don’t wait for it to get to clunking. If you didn’t change your oil when you were supposed to, pull over and DO NOT DRIVE. Your engine could seize up and that will be the end of your car, unless you replace the engine. If you changed the oil, take it in when it’s just tapping. It’s not likely to get better with time. The sound will only get louder and your engine could seize up. Ladies, that’s bad, real bad. If you have roadside assistance, the best thing to is is call them immediately.

Tips: 1) Pay close attention to changing your oil. You mechanic will have placed a sticker at the top of the windshield with the mileage when it needs to be changed. 2) As stated above repeatedly, read your car’s manual. Seriously! That’s why the manufacturer provided it.

 

 


For a Christian Woman Over 50 ~ things profitable

woman, of the worldI hope, as a seasoned Christian woman over fifty, I’m at peace with myself and others. From time-to-time in my pondering moments, I’ve wondered what are a few benchmarks, standards, norms a Christian woman over fifty should have attained, or be shooting for in her life. Below is a list I’ve compiled, and it’s by no means exhaustive.

1. Have a healthy, intimate relationship with God. ~ Knowing the Lord can’t be tamed, managed, or manipulated, we should be willing to intentionally follow His direction on the faith-journey He is laying out before us. We should we willing to hear the personal “word” He has for us.

2. Be in possession of a good Bible, not only a preWWI family heirloom you can’t write in, except to record births and deaths, and one you’re almost afraid to open lest a page tears. Make sure your daily-use Bible is in a translation that speaks to you.  And don’t be afraid to write personal notes in the margins. According to a recent survey, the King James Version (KJV) is still the most popular Bible and the most used by Christians. The New American Standard Bible (NASB) is a more literal translation from the ancient texts. The Living Bible (TLB) is making its way into many homes because although it’s not a word-for-word translation, it tries to say exactly what was meant by the ancient texts.

3. Don’t lead a cloistered life. As the Bible tells us we are not to forsake the assembly of the saints. Also become part of the community at large. We should shine our lights, bring peace to situations in our neighborhoods, at work, where we recreate.

4. Have a pretty good idea what our emotional baggage is and where it came from. But instead of picking lint out of our navels and analyzing it to death, we should invite the Holy Spirit into the mess so He can heal it. After all, Jesus is the healer.

5. Forgive everyone we can think of who has done us wrong. And when our fleshly-self starts murmuring about them again, unleashes bitterness and resentment aimed at them, once again, determine to forgive on purpose…and we’re free. Also, don’t forget to forgive ourselves. Jesus died so that we would be forgiven. So, it’s important and biblical to forgive ourselves…and go free.

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Christmas Eve in my family has traditionally meant a meatless meal.

6. Have at least one tantalizing recipe, you’re known for, to hand down to your kids, your friends, or offer to your church cookbook. Better still if if came from your mom, and she got it from hers. All these little things are a part of a positive legacy women can create.

7. Have a few things in your home that document and/or attest to memories. Photos, shots or video of an abfab church activity, conference or a vacation. Curios, knickknacks, or a fine piece of furniture picked up on that awesome vacay. Women say having these things around the house makes them feel happy when they take a small trip down memory lane.

8. It’s really important to keep dreaming and to have a few dreams so big it will take God to bring them to fruition.

 

 

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