The Red Badge Project

I attended a Red Badge Project class today.  They are writing “classes” for women veterans.  The focus is on self-expression.  I was anxious but chose to stretch my limits and go anyway.  It was a new environment.  Fortunately two friends were there also.  That helped me feel more comfortable.  I was also concerned about critique.  Although I share my blog, my writing is for me.  I don’t worry about impressing anyone or being perfect.  No criticism. The other attendess gave feedback about how the writing touched them and what they enjoyed.  Yet, we could still touch on sensitive topics if we wanted.

One of the exercises that we did was to write one continuous sentence.  One gigantic run on sentence.  I found it diffult not to use ending punctuation.  We were allowed to use commas, colons, semicolons, and dashes.  I want to share my long run one sentence.   The topic is my paretner.  The one who doesn’t exist.  My writing turned into free thought, tangetical exploration of relationships and independence.  

Romance is overrated; pressure to marry and have children- Mom really wants grandkids, talk to my brother and sister,  they’re married: no one had children, deal with granddogs, grandcats, and grandferrets- no one should be pressured into having kids: relationships are risky and confining- there is freedom in being alone- I can do things I wouldn’t be able to: I have my own destiny but I am not selfish- I help others, I honor obligations, I treat others with respect and am supportive but still, maybe I should have gotten married- religion and society demands it- why can’t I feel free from who I am supposed to be and what I should do; so I rescue those who were thrown away and are misunderstood by people but ferrets are intelligent and hilarious and they are crazy wild but yet domesticated, I understand: they depend on me -and I wonder who rescues who- Brighid was a young kitten, another castaway; I’m adrift too and she chose me and I chose her- two lost souls and I wonder who needs a partner when the ferrets and cat provide the unlimited, non-judgmental, simple love and trust that people never do but still, I have to wonder why there is so much judgment on different because everyone is- yet, here we are, all grouped together, marching toward something but nothing; society’s expectations: hide being different – because different is dangerous-  yet  I still can’t change who I am; I can’t lie to myself anymore but still I hide the truth from others behind a mask of normal to just be another lemming jumping off the cliff into insanity.

Punctuation makes a difference.  Still, the style of free writing offers a different way to communicate thoughts.  It requires patience on the part of readers.  I think it also provides more opportunities for each person to find a meaning unique to them. 

I think this style also illustrates the inner jangle of thoughts that just never shut up.  Almost everyone experiences this.  Often they are fears, self- criticism, and lists of “I need to..” or “I should…”

Really, life is a run on sentence.

Ferrets and Food 

Never leave a ferret alone.  Two are even worse.

I heard a crash and went into their room to see what it was.  I see two ferrets munching down on the food spilled from the storage container they knocked over.

A bit of the backstory.  When the ferrets are out of the cage to play I pick up their food.  My cat, Bridghid, is on a diet.  She climbs into the ferrets’ cage for a snack if I leave the food down.

Needless to say Bridghid was also quite pleased as she joined them for dinner. 


My ferrets are smarter than I.

Just My Luck

I was supposed to have an outpatient medical procedure this week.  I am usually anxious about any medical appointments besides basic preventive health care.  The past week my anxiety has been much worse than usual.

I got sick on Friday.  The procedure had to be moved to later this month.  Now I have it hanging over my head even longer.

Brighid showed her connection with me last weekend.  I was running a temperature Satirday night and had chills.  I wrapped myself in a blanket and curled up in a fetal position, coughing and feeling like crap.  Brighid jumped up.  She usually demands attention by doing the cat thing of walking across my body, head butting, kneading and otherwise making her highness’ presence known.  Not that night.  She jumped up, sniffed, then curled up at my head purring. When I woke up during the night, she was there.  She was still there when I woke up Sunday morning.  She probably jumped down during the night for a while but she was there mostly.  She does the same thing when I have a migraine.Msje was a huge comfort.

I took a nap today.  She curled up next to me.  My cough woke me up, hacking like I was coughing up a lung.  She looked at me in astonishment when I sneezed.  If I didn’t feel like I was choking or about to puke, it would be much more amusing.

The loyalty and love of an animal is so comforting.


Lessons by Pets

Brighid is not a happy cat right now.  But Kaliyah is a satisfied ferret.  One of Brighid’s favorite toys is now in Ferret Stah Number Three.  It still had food in it!  She is now making her displeasure known with rather loud meowing.  Fairly soon I will have to rescue her toy.

1. Lesson one- never underestimate a ferret.  Trouble can come from small things.

Kaliyah loves her dig pit.  She buries herself hunting for her hidden toys.  She leaps out of the box and does the Weasel War Dance then runs up into the play tubes.  She enjoys it more when her human plays “bury ferret.”  Pounce on the hand.  Pounce at the human.  Jump out the pit and jump at the human.  Scratch.  Because a ferret always needs a good scratch.  Hide under the bookcase then charge out and climb in the box again.  Each exit scatters the startch peanuts.  (The dissolvable kind).  She just plays openly an happily; totally in the moment.  She has ferret business such as stealing cat toys and exploring the house.  She needs to know her territory hasn’t changed.  Or maybe there’s something new to explore.

2. Lesson Two- play with abandon.  Don’t let fear of judgement hold you back.  Enjoy simple things.

Brighid hunts her toys and loves to chase and leap.  This is often followed by a meal,  if it’s feeding time, or a nap.  Or both.  There is nothing like a good nap in the sunshine.

3. Lesson three- play, eat, and sleep

There is nothing like jumping up on the human, shoving her wet nose in the human’s face, and purring like crazy.  The best is managing to leave fur on the human’s face. Bonus points if it goes into her eyes or face.  Then, settle in for a good cuddle and pet before sleep.

4. Lesson four- if you love someone, tell them.  

A ferret in a hammock is adorable.  She sleeps deeply, snoring softly. Then jumping down and scratch vigorisly, eat, drink, poop, and go back to sleep.

5. Lesson five- there is nothing more refreshing than a good nap and scratch. And stay hydrated.

A ferret and cat play together and occasionally nap together.

6. Lesson six- everyone needs “odd” friends.

The most important lesson they teach me is to laugh at simple things.  There is peace in just being.  Just be.  That’s what matters. 


Some of the pictures may be blurry.  Ferrets take great pleasure in moving just as you’re about to take a picture.  I swear that I hear them laughing. “Hold still” is not a concept ferrets recognize.   Brighid occasionally gets into that joke as well.  

Brighid hangs out

Happy Holidays

Bobby has breakfast in bed

You woke me to take another picture?


Journeys are Never Easy

Today was a bad day for me.  I’m not sure exactly why.  I was just really upset all morning.

I got myself locked into negative mental chatter.  My attitude was fuck this.  It’s been a long time since my mood was this low.  I’ve been frustrated and afraid this past month.  But, not like today.

My thoughts summed up:

  1. I wish that accident had killed me
  2. I really have no life.
  3. I want to go somewhere but I can’t travel alone. I’ll never see Alaska, Hawaii, the Florida Keys. Or go to Scotland again.  Or Ireland.  Or the Grand Canyon, or Glacier National Park.  I’m chained to my town.
  4. I never run a marathon or play in an orchestra again
  5. My careers are gone.
  6. The fucking accident killed me anyway.  I just still exist.

It was another day when the losses were in my face.   I can’t kill myself.  I can’t hurt Brigid or Kaliyah.  Brigid is not s cute kitten and may not find another family.  And I can’t take her with me.  It’s funny how my second thought was how my family would react.  Brigid and Kaliyah came first.  I suppose that’s because they depend on me.  My family would grieve and move on.  I don’t want to hurt them either.

So, I got Kaliyah out to play.  Ferrets make you smile.  She was in a playful mood.   I wonder where my running socks are. She loved the dig box game.  Lots of interaction.  She tried to drag my backpack under the couch.  Ferrets are determined animals.  She would not give up on that backpack.  It didn’t fit.  Fine.  She’ll try pulling under. Spinning it around and trying again.  Dig on it and the floor under the couch.  Flip over on her back and try pulling it again.  By now she’s hissing in frustration.  The odds were against her but she kept trying.  Until she got bored.  Then it was onto playing in the plastic bags closet that I forgot to close.

After she was done playing and tucked into her cage I decided to follow her example and take a nap. Brigid curled up at my shoulder and purred until I fell asleep.  Three hours.

It was a beautiful day.  I went for a short run then read a book at the small picnic area in my neighborhood and meditated.  There wasn’t a focus on the meditation.  I noticed nature and reflected on the Mother who created it.  I had a deer and baby come into the park. Mom deer looked at me, then slowly walked into the woods.  Shea’s her fawn were a reminder of Spring: new growth.  New beginnings.  Maybe even new hope.

I have no idea if my life is going to change.  Maybe things can still get better.  There still things to enjoy.  Even in a narrow world.

I feel better tonight although I am wiped out.  I hope to go to bed early. Maybe tomorrow will be better.