Archive by Author

School Days Again-One

22 Oct

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 

 

Photo by Renan Kamikoga on Unsplash

 

I’ve been a bit low, lately. I need to find a way to be useful and I want to enjoy it. I’ve been praying for the Lord to show me what to do with myself. I’ve tried a few things, but for various reasons, they don’t feel quite right.

I toyed with the idea of working at a school again. Although I never finished college, I’ve been a teacher most of my life. When I was twelve our sixteen-year-old Sunday School teacher got polio and had to quit teaching. Because no one else could do it, I was asked to take over the class of four children in my own age range. One was my brother, two were the children that lived in the other side of the duplex we lived in and the fourth was the younger sister of our sixteen year old teacher. The former teacher was at a school reunion not many years ago and I was glad to see she had survived her disease. As for me, I’ve been teaching in schools and Sunday Schools ever since. I do love the concept of being sin-free because my Savior died for me and I like to study and share about Him too.

Here in Florida when our grandchildren were growing up I was their art teacher during home-school days. They spent one weekend a month at our house and we had wonderful times together. When I started teaching a mixed class of beautiful black children with a few white ones to enjoy too, the teen-aged grandchildren (by that time) helped their granddad and I with the class when they came to stay. That particular class lasted for ten years with essentially the same children. When the church closed down I was out of a job. Our grandchildren are grown now and on their own, and I’ve missed being around young children.

Before I taught my last Sunday School class I worked one morning a week listening to one child at a time work on their reading. They were of all ages. I’ve loved finding ways to help them recall what they were learning. The rehab reading teacher who was in my “young married” Sunday School class took me to an awards program after I’d been helping for two years. It turned out that I was one of the people they called to the stage when they gave out awards.

 

 

I’d only been doing what came naturally so I was astounded. My daughter suggested I wear it when I went to the school to apply as a volunteer this time. I didn’t know if I’d have the nerve to do that, but the fact of having is was deeply comforting. It was an atta girl, and a you can do it all in one. I’d just have to figure out what the next step was.

 

 

Author, Poet and Artist

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

 

Here Kitty, Kitty 10

15 Oct

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 

 

Thea’s Millet

We looked on YouTubeto try and figure out the best way to cut Thea’s claws. My neighbor later told me she has never cut any cat’s claws, but the word is that they can grow back into the paws, so I’ve always cut them.

The best video I found on the subject was a vet who shows how to squish the cat and cut her nails. We put a towel over her and Bill pressed down so she couldn’t move and I cut the claws. It worked well, except that I had planned to add treats to her ordeal so it wouldn’t be so scary for her. The Vet said not to worry about hurting the cat so we didn’t…worry or hurt.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVAmlSGH-MM

 

I guess Thea gets a bit anxious to be allowed into the kitchen in the morning. She has been not scratching on the door itself, but on the edge of the carpet that covers the step into the kitchen. This is the third time we’ve tried to keep her from doing it, but it’s not working so far.

 

 

She isn’t being mean or bad and neither are we. She’s just being a cat and we’re only human. We went to the big store today and walked around looking for ideas to keep her from ruining the step.

Something clicked in Bill’s mind and he came up with the solution. He got aluminum strips that you use on a roof overhang and cut and fit them to the step. We put up alerts, plus we have handles, put in by “Aging Matters,” to help us remain safe. Kitty hasn’t tried anything more, she’s a fast learner.

 

 

Thanks for your attention and your comments throughout our adventure with the lovely Thea. You may hear from her again someday. Until then, here’s the dear creature sitting for a silly picture to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Next week’s blog will be about my return to second-grade. See you then

 

 

 

Meow.

 

 

 

Author, Poet and Artist

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

Here Kitty Kitty 9

8 Oct

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Photo credit Unsplash

This morning, Thea and I went out to the porch while it was still dark. I turned on a couple of lights, but we couldn’t see out. We heard a heavy rustling and I hurried in the house to get a flashlight. No animal makes a clatter like an armadillo and sure enough, the flashlight reveals the small, armored creaturemaking its way through some dead leaves along the side fence. Thea was beside herself with excitement and jumped up on the shelf to follow watch the action. The only thing that was between them was the screen.

Armadillos are not native to Florida, and they have few natural enemies, (dogs and probably cougars which are endangered). The small mammals can dig under almost any fence. Their armor is like incredibly thick tough skin. Stories abound about how they got to Florida. My favorite, but most unlikely is a mid-night escape from a de-railed circus train. They may have been here and multiplying for about 66 years.

I just looked up where they came from and didn’t find anything about that, but to my horror and dismay I just found this: 

“Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, is caused by the Mycobacterium leprae bacteria. The bacteria can be transmitted through fluids from the nose and mouth. (Some animal experts have warned the public this week that armadillos spit, and that, if you see one of these creatures, it’s best to keep a distance.)”

There’s another good reason for having an indoor cat. And it’s a reason to stay away from armadillos and try our best to keep them out of the yard. 

https://www.newsweek.com/spitting-armadillos-blamed-floridas-emerging-leprosy-problem-356823

Except for certain diseases and dangerous animals, Florida is a fine place to live. Richer folks have homes here and also homes in the frozen north where they go to escape our summer heat. We call them snow-birds. They take that well. Most of us came during the early days of the Space Race. We’ve been here fifty years and have no plans to leave until we head out for heaven.

Thea enjoyed watching the armadillo in the light of the flashlight.The creature went around the yard looking for the squeeze-through place or self-made tunnel where it came in under the fence. This particular one has dug three holes in our yard.

So onward and upward. After being on alert for hours over the armadillo, the lizards, the squirrels, and the birds, Thea conked out on my bed. In the daytime, she sleeps so soundly and in such odd postures that yesterday I had to wake her up to see if she was breathing. I don’t think she gets bored, except maybe at night when she’s in the studio by herself shredding paper. Funny thing: she sliced open the Pine/Cedar bag of litter with her claws. Must get them cut! I know pine and cedar smells nice, but I’m sure she was disappointed that it wasn’t a giant bag of treats.

 

 

Author, Poet and Artist

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

Here, Kitty, Kitty Episode Eight

1 Oct

My Take

DiVoran Lites

When we adopted Thea, we got an invitation for a free visit at the SPCA Wellness Center if we got there within a month. I didn’t want to pass that up, so I wrote it on my calendar. It has almost been a month since she came to live with us. Oh, my how time doth fly!

I sprayed an old towel for her carrier with something that’s supposed to make cats feel peaceful. All was well, no resistance, no meowing. 

Thea weighsseven pounds, which really isn’t a lot, but when I added my purse to her weight and the carrier’s, it was all I could do to lug her to the car. When we arrived, I went into the wrong office, and the only reason I got in there was because a very nice man jumped up and opened the door for me. He had a tuxedo cat too and we had just settled in for a conversation about our pets when the associate came to tell me we belonged in the next building over. She took Thea’s carriage while I drove my car over there.

In the examining room, I let Thea out onto the steel table then kept my hands busy all over her silken fur to keep her from jumping down. Finally, the assistant came in and said I could let her explore. Thea did that then while we waited she got under my chair and relaxed. She usually wants to be where either Bill or I am, plus, I was playing soft music on my phone.

There wasn’t much to the exam. The vet asked if she coughed or threw up or had diarrhea. No, no, no. They asked how well she ate and drank and eliminated. I had a question as to whether she was getting enough water or not and the vet assured me that she wasn’t dehydrated. I decided to just give her wet food and keep making a sauce out of it with water.

When we finished with the young woman vet, an even younger assistant carried Thea to the car. This time Thea fought being crated, but I think she was afraid she was going somewhere besides home with me.

I appreciated the free visit and the assurance that Thea was doing well. The SPCA is a group I would definitely deal with again, and I will probably take Thea there whenever we need a vet. After reading all the symptoms of allergies to vaccinations, pills, and shots of which there are many I told the assistant that Thea stays either on the screened-in porch or in the house at all times and that I would like to avoid using any more pharmaceuticals if possible. She wrote something down, so perhaps she took me seriously.

Home time and a thorough bath.

I’m not sure she will like this picture of herself. Lately, she has been gazing into the door mirrors in the hall, so she does know how beautiful she is and might be embarrassed by this picture. An interesting tidbit: I read that animals that are able to see themselves in mirrors are the best show animals. I’ve only had a couple who could.

Author, Poet and Artist

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

Here Kitty Kitty Episode Six

17 Sep

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 

 

On Monday, Thea and I go out the French doors and onto the tiled and enclosed patio. I sit down at the table with my Kindle Fire 2 to use Gateway Bible for devotions. Thea, paws on the plant shelf under the screen, gazes to see where all the noises are coming from.

 

 

 

Nature sings in all its glory, and Thea can hardly be still. She then hunkers down and stares at the sidewalk below. I wonder if one of the black racers that protect our property against Cuban Tree Frogs is slithering by. I watched one eat a whole frog once. Gross! The frogs are what we call exotics, and since they destroy the beautiful green frog natives and produce off-spring readily, we are not put-offwhen we see a creature that keeps their numbers in check.

One squirrel chases another up a telephone pole. They jump on the metal roof making a clatter like tree limbs falling and Thea hunkers down. She hides under the plant shelf where she can see, but not be seen by the Florida cardinals who are bringing their spotted adolescents to the feeders for the first time.

Ginger dog runs panting on the other side of the privacy fence, another strange but intriguing sound. Lizards run up the screen almost as if they are begging for attention. I imagine that for Thea, the whole experience full of suspense like would be for us. Fear playssee-saw with curiosity as she leaps onto the shelf, then down, then up again. She seems so new and innocent that I wonder where our silky tuxedo cat hasbeen all her two years of life. Nighttimes on the porchshelistens to cicadas and hears a chuck-wills-widow (like a whippoorwill) calling its nighttime song.

A few days later we’re on the porch again and Thea is busy near the basket in the corner. She’s after something. I look upbut go back to drawing. It must be a lizard,I think. We usually try to take them out before a cat gets them, but this time, I believe it’s too late. The next time I look up, Thea is proudly carrying a small dead Cuban Tree Frog to where I can see it. It has turned blackish. She taps the critter then licks her white paw clean and taps it again hoping to see it move.

I get the broom and dust-pan and dump the frog into a bunch of ferns that grow around one of our trees. Later Bill asked what I did with it. When I told him, he said, “That’s where I put everything that I don’t know what else to do with, too. No wonder the ferns are so well fertilized.”

 

 

 

We’re not heartless, but we’ve lived in Florida a long time and our environmentalist son keeps us apprised of what’s going on in the world of nature. Thea is part of nature and as a cat she is considered invasive or exotic. A single cat has been known to kill all the birds on a small island. However, Thea is an indoor cat. The chances areshe has always been one. Other reasons she stays in the house and on the porch are: cars, ticks, fleas, feral cats, and poisonous snakes. Sometimes I feel as though I’m keeping her a prisoner, but then I wonder what kind of life it would be for a human-loving kitty to live in a shelter her whole life and not have a family of her own.

 

 

 
Author, Poet and Artist

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

Here Kitty Kitty Episode Five

10 Sep

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 

Author, Poet and Artist

 

 

This morning I was in the kitchen and Thea started scratching on the rug in the family room instead of on the scratching pad. She’s been doing so well with the pad, but apparently,she forgot it for a moment. Earlier, she went to the pad and scratched and then looked up at me ready for the single treat she getsfor scratching there. I laid the treat on the pad and she ate it. With her eyes and a little murr (meow-purr)she asked for more without having to use the pad again. No. So she went back to scratching and got her treatlegitimately. Cats seem to take a long time to train, so I am thrilled when she shows she’s been watching and listening.

When I heard her scratching on the carpet in the family room which is connected with the kitchen, I said, “NO.” Startled, she collapsed onto her side with one of her paws in the air still scrabbling. She was so startled, I decided that yelling wasn’t the best way.

 

Photo by DiVoran

 

We can’t sleep with cats, we don’t even sleep with each other. We’ve reached the age where sleeping can be difficult sometimes. The first night we let Thea sleep in the converted garage we call the studio, Bill scattered a few treats around the room so she would have something to do and feel more at home. The next morning most of the treats were gone, and the half-fullbag that Bill had hidden under a towel had been sliced and diced. She didn’t quite get to the treats, but we then knew to put the bag away next time.

One or the other of us has been to Petco once a week for food, litter box filler, and treats. I went one day to buy a couple of toys and a small cat tree. While I was there, I met a friend from Book Chat and her daughter and granddaughter. They have a new kitten to add to a mother cat and a grandmother cat. You see, it was this way: the sweet child with the short bob apprenticed at the SPCA for several weeks during the summer and naturally, she fell in love with a kitten, and her dear mother, who loves the animals as much as she does allowedher to adopt it.

 

Photo credit Unsplash

 

Leaving Thea for a minute…don’tworry, she’s right here on the couch in my office sleeping to the sound of computer keys…I will comment on the apprentice programs for children.

We were at Chick Fila last week and four or five 7-11 aged children followed a small woman in a red Chick Fila happily waiting for her to tell them what to do. That was the first time I knew children were getting work training in the summertime. It’s wonderful. Most children are capable of learning a great deal in that way. Oh, how I would have loved either job: animals or a café. Oh well, come to think of it, those were the jobs I had as a child and very satisfying they were, too.

I just picked up Thea and walked through the house with her. She looked up and asked a couple of times with her little murrs what we were doing. Told her were just stretching our legs. She’s back on the couch again, sleeping as though she had never been interrupted.

 

Here Kitty Kitty, Episode Four

3 Sep

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Photos by DiVoran Lites

 

When we brought Thea home from the SPCA, she was hyper-alert to her new surroundings. It didn’t take her long to hide, but I thought I knew all the cat hiding places. Finally,I found her in a dining room chair fast asleep. She didn’t come out for about five hours. I figured that having been a recent mother caring for kittens, and being in an entirely new place before we got her she was exhausted. For several days she had no desire to eat, drink, or do any of the things eating and drinking are connected with. I worried as if I were the new mother, not her.

 

 

The next task for Thea was to taste a biteof every house plant we had on the back porch shelf. Before she got to a raggedy old poinsettia however, I threw it into the yard trash barrel. Then I cut back the pothos that grew down to the porch floor and started up the French door, because I thought it might be poisonous. I’d never had a cat that was interested in vegetation before, but my neighbor who once hada hobby of taking in stray cats told me I could provide Thea clover if I had any growing. I did and I moved it onto the porch. By now she has her own leaf garden which consistsof clover, catnip, and cat grass.

We’re teaching her to stay off the kitchen counter by crackling a piece of aluminum. I wouldn’t care if she got on the bathroomcounter or even on the porch table (if we weren’t dining outside). I’m not sure she was actually in a home before even though she is two years old.

I got down on the floor to pet her, but when I looked around, she had sprung into my chair. I laughingly told Bill about it, then I looked at her and her expression was so clear. Did I do something wrong?She’s as polite as she can be and she’s trying to please.

That has worked. I bought her a new scratch pad and started getting down and rubbing my own fingernails on it. My nails became quite smooth, and soon Thea picked up the habit. We bought her a cat tree and she can scratch there.

 

 

Bill’s sister, Judy, and her husband, Fred came for a visit on Sunday evening. Thea rubbed their feet, then got on the couch with firstone and then the other to purr and be petted. She included Bill and methen came around the circle tending to each of it a secondand third time. She worked so hard at being a good hostessshe had to take a little nap between the second and third time. She is gaining strength and energy every day, but she is still a champion sleeper and a sweet loving member of the family.

At first, Thea resisted being picked up, but I do love to carry a warm, relaxed creature in my arms, so I picked her up at various times and let her down almost immediately. Eventually, she enjoyed the things she could see from an aerialview.

 

Angel Wings

 

We’re settling in. Two more visitors came and each one fell in love with her. I’m sure it’s true that people live longer when they have a pet to care for. Thea has already become happily energizing, and inspirational to us.

 

Author, Poet and Artist

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

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