Writer ~ Editor ~ Creator

Writer ~ Editor ~ Creator

Entertainer, Humanitarian, Author, Lover but most importantly, Kenji's Human

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Having the Last Word : What's the Big Deal?

Over the years, I have heard people complain so and so always has to have the last word and how it bothers folks. As a result of society's negative stigma of always having the last word, I have adapted to the belief this is a negative action or a turn off to some people, but why?

Recently, a friend mentioned that I always have the last word. I have been thinking about what he said and trying not to, at least with him anyway. If he mentioned it, it must bother him. I respect him and our friendship so if not having the last word is important to him and does not negatively affect my life or inconvenience me, happy to try and curb the urge. 

What's the big deal?
I am the first to make changes to improve my relationships with people and improve who I am as a member of society as long as it does not go against my beliefs or change who I am at the core. For example: Kenji doesn't like it when I play music at a certain decibel or songs that have whistling in them. I simply don't blast my stereo when she is in the car or I will simply  change the station if I notice a song makes her uncomfortable. This does not change who I am or my relationship with her, just makes her more comfortable. Easy. So when the comment was made about having the last word, I became more conscientious and made an effort not to do it. He was appreciative and now we joke about it, but what I discovered was interesting.

I realized it was my way of having closure on a conversation and to me, I thought I was being polite. He would text me or call me and the conversation would often hang or end with a 'good night', 'talk to you later', 'see you in a minute', etc. Naturally, I would respond with an "okay", "ttyl" or if the conversation just hung out there like text messages often do.... I would respond in an effort to end the conversation. Apparently, this is considered having the last word. In some instances I would text him to say.....don't leave me hanging or else I will have the last word. This would usually produce a chuckle. Fun times.

My self awareness led me to a new discovery and ultimately wanting to know: What's the Big Deal with Having the Last Word.  I want to hear your feedback. What do you think about having the last word? Why is it such a stigma and what is wrong with "ending a conversation?"

Sunday, August 1, 2010

I've Saved 6 Lives. How About You? ~ Part II ~

When I began writing my last blog "I've Saved 6 lives......" I intended to write about both the cats and dogs I have saved over the years. As many know, I love to talk/write, therefore I have split up my series into two parts. The first part was about the 3 dogs and this second part is about the 3 cats I have saved. If you have not read part one please do! I've Saved 6 Lives. How About You? ~ Part I ~

.......Dogs are my first furry love but cats aren't so bad. They are also good companions if you are not allergic to them and do not mind being controlled in your home. Dogs on the other hand are easily trained. If you are having difficulty let me know as I have it down to a science! Just like kids, they need boundaries, rewards and love. Piece of cake! Watch out Cesar! I digress.... I could write about dogs all day. On to kitties....

I rescued my first cat when I lived in San Diego. A friend had liberated the kitten from a couple of kids who had found her in an alley and were tired of playing with her. I really am not a cat lover but the cute little fur ball tore at my heartstrings. I named her Precious. Words of advice; get to know your pets personality before naming her or she may end up being the EXACT opposite. This cat was a wholly terror! While I was at work she would bounce off the walls and chew on the hanging pictures. Crazy cat.

Eventually, I gave her to my parents as they had a big property and she could roam free. She ended up running away because of Sting.... a cat my Dad rescued for me after I ran a way from home at 16... another blog post entirely. Years later, my parents sold their house and moved away. When the house was on the market again, I stopped by for a tour for old time's sake. As I was leaving, I had one of the most incredible experiences of my life.... Precious came walking up to me from down the street. Her eyes were locked on me as she approached and sauntered up to me. We had not seen one another in more than 10 years. She sat down in front of me and looked me in the eye. I felt she wanted to say 'I've had a good life, thank you.' It was great closure.

Four years ago, Kenji (my doggie) and I moved into our beautiful house. It was not long before I discovered there was an orange cat that came with it. His name was not on the deed at signing, but it was obvious he wanted to be here and came with the yard. I named him Orange Kitty in an attempt to not get attached. Poor thing had a rough time fighting to keep the backyard to himself. Everyday, I would run outside to hissing and fighting as he fought cats attempting to defend his territory. I really don't think he would have succeeded had I not intervened. I began feeding him and it was not long before he was there to greet me when I left and when I returned at night and sleeping on my doorstep. After more than 3  years of love and affection, sadly he passed away. I took him to the vet on his last day of life and lovingly let him spend his last night in my home despite my allergies. I buried him in my yard where he was happiest.

Orange Kitty had a beautiful friend..... Siamese Kitty, I suspect you can guess her breed. Siamese Kitty was abandoned next door and neighbors would feed her. She would hang out with Orange Kitty and come to his rescue. On several occasions if another cat approached, Siamese Kitty would literally step in-between Orange Kitty and the other cat. They would snuggle together at night to keep warm.

After O.K. passed, Siamese Kitty took his place in my yard. She is so sweet.....if I sit down outside, she curls up in my lap. When I leave a door open, she strolls in the house. I really want to find a home for her where she can stay warm at night and curl up everyday on someones lap. She truly wants to be indoors but I am allergic and Kenji is a 'no thank you' cat kind of dog. Kenji is a one pet human kind of dog and I promised her I would keep it that way. I think she was a little jealous of my fish Luigi, but I can't prove it.

Prior to Orange Kitty's passing, I had researched where I would send him if I ever moved. I decided against the Humane Society after learning they have so many cats, more than likely he would be euthanized. I discovered a wonderful rescue Cat House on the Kings. They are California's largest no-cage, no-kill, lifetime cat sanctuary and adoption center located on 12 acres. Please check them out and donate if you feel the urge.

I may take Siamese Kitty to Cat House on the Kings, but would prefer to find her a home! Please let me know if you or anyone you know would like to love her and provide her with a warm home and a safe life. I will provide the food!

Friday, July 16, 2010

I've Saved 6 Lives. How About You? ~ Part I ~

I was put to a challenge well not exactly. It was 'suggested' by Be the Change for Animals, http://btc4animals.com/ to blog today (okay yesterday) about a cause near and dear to my heart. At least I think that was the request. I am more than happy to blog about the adoption of animals as I have numerous experiences in various types of adoptions and rescues.To date in my lifetime I have been involved with the adoption of 3 dogs and 3 cats. I admit I am more of a dog lover and am allergic to cats but I will help any animal in need. My first story begins when I was five or six years old.

One rainy winter afternoon, I can remember my father driving my brother and I to our Mother's office. I remember pulling up in the driveway in our Mustard colored Pinto full of anticipation. My Mother's boss Flora (can't believe I still remember her name) had found an abandoned puppy sitting on a doorstep across from the office. When she knocked on the door and inquired about the pup she was told it was a Christmas gift they did not want so they put it outside! What the !!!! Even as a child I knew that was wrong. Their poor decision became our opportunity.....now he belonged to us.

I named him Muffin and he brought us years of enjoyment and love. My heart continues to go out to all rescues that care for unwanted pets. I really like Muttville http://www.muttville.org/ as they rescue, foster and support senior dogs. Senior dogs statistically are among the least desirable dogs to be adopted.

Our second dog we adopted from a shelter. My parents let me pick out a puppy. I fell in love with a litter of Old English Sheep dogs and chose the one that did not want to wake up. I wanted to name him Nappy because he liked taking naps. At my parents suggestion I chose another name Napoleon, 'Polo' for short. Hey, Polo's were in at the time so I got my nickname from the current trend of Ralph Lauren attire. Polo lived many years and was a great guard dog. In all honesty the most he would probably do is lick someone to death.

Polo was fortunate because when he was brought to the shelter, he was a puppy. Typically, puppies always get adopted. Unfortunately, there are many, many pets that are not adopted from shelters and are often euthanized. When choosing a shelter, I recommend supporting the shelters that do not euthanize animals. They are far and few between but I hope one day soon all shelters are no-kill facilities.

My current fur baby Kenji, was (for a large fee) rescued from a puppy mill. I did not realize it at the time, but as I left the woman's house I discovered many litters whimpering in her garage. I was very upset at the discovery and did everything I could to get her shut down. She had been circumventing the system for years and at the very least was banned by the AKC for papering dogs.

Puppy mills are notorious for deplorable conditions for both the sire (dad) and the dam (mom) and the puppies.  If you are unsure if the puppy you are adopting is from a puppy mill, (although I highly recommend a shelter or rescue) ask to see the pups parents. All reputable breeders will produce the parents or make arrangements to do so as this is not an uncommon request. Next time I will use the Shih Tzu Rescue http://www.shihtzurescue.org/as/contents/about.shtml. This rescue keeps dogs until adopted and will keep those that do not find homes allowing them to live out their lives at the facility.

I cannot end this blog post without a little education as I love to teach in addition to entertain. According to the Bill Foundation website over 56% of dogs and puppies entering shelters are killed, based on reports from over 1,055 facilities across America. (National Counsel on Pet Population Study)

An estimated 5 million cats and dogs are killed in shelters each year. That's one about every six and one half seconds. (The Humane Society of the U.S.) Millions more are abandoned, only to suffer from illness or injury before dying. (Doris Day Animal League)

When you are ready, whichever way you decide to adopt whether it be a shelter, rescue or if a lost abandoned animal finds you.............please rescue an animal rather than supporting a breeder. If you cannot provide a home to a homeless pet, can you perhaps volunteer your time at a shelter? Donate money, even if its $10? How about donating items? Did you know shelters are in need of food and bedding such as towels, bathmats and even the pet bed she outgrew? What about Fluffy's toys she no longer wants? Please think outside-the-box if you cannot adopt but if you can, please help.

The Fur Babies of the world thank you for your time and consideration.....Kenji is giving me the stink eye....better sign off.

......to be continued in my next blog...........my rescued cats.........oh the suspense!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Ferris Wheel

My life is like riding on a Ferris Wheel. As I sit up high looking down below with the wind whispering through my curls, my heart pounding with my adrenaline rushing. I have mixed emotions ranging from fear to excitement. As I cling to the safety bar, knuckles turning white I rev up the courage to peer below. Looking down I can see all the wonderful rides. Some look dangerous yet exciting while others seem safe and fun. So many possibilities and opportunities it will be hard to choose. I am eager for my current ride to end so that I can start another.

As I look around I see kids rocking their cages scaring their friends, a couple kissing and a small child crying from fear. There are many distractions and yet I still day dream. I remember being in Paris riding the largest Ferris wheel in the world Le Grande Roue de Paris. This Ferris wheel was a replacement to the first wheel built in 1900 for the World Exhibition. It was later demolished and the passenger cars were so large they were used as homes for French families in the region devastated by the World War. The second wheel was larger than the first which was 100 meters. It was an amazing experience to be up so high and to see breath taking views of France such as the Eiffel Tower and Champ de Elysee.

Back to the U.S. ......... as I peer down from atop, all the people are small like ants scurrying around. Fascinated by their movements, I can't wait to get down and check out all the fair has to offer. My first stop will be the cotton candy stand and then maybe I will have a carmel apple or perhaps a funnel cake {so overrated; deep fried dough nothing like my Grandmother's 'wondas' (Zeppoli) dough tied in knots, fried and covered in powdered sugar}. Mama's confections were even better than the fried sugary dough served in brown paper bags served at the North End St. Joseph's Festival in Boston. Give Mama's a try and let me know what you think.

~ Mama's Recipe ~ 

8 1/2 oz - All purpose white flour
1 - Egg
3 1/2 oz - Sugar
3 1/2 oz - Unsalted Butter
Touch of Vanilla Powder
Pinch of Salt
Shortening for frying (Crisco is my favorite)
Powdered Sugar for sprinkling (we use a baking shaker)

Prepare dough and allow to rise overnight.
Roll out using a rolling pin on wax paper dusted with flour.
Use a pizza wheel (or pastry wheel for jagged edges) to cut into strips not too thin or they will burn.
Twist the strips by rolling and then tie into knots. 
Deep fry until golden approx. 30 minutes, allow to cool.
While the knots are still warm, sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Serves 4

My life parallels a ride (and all of the distractions) on a Ferris wheel. Daily I encounter many opportunities and I want to experience each one. I always find positivity and humor even in the worst situations. I created this blog to share my colorful opinions and experiences, the majority of which are funny, unique and rather entertaining. My goal is to teach readers something new, to invoke thought, to put a smile on their face and to make them  laugh (or at least giggle). Please follow my blog as I journey through this carnival of life.