Monday, August 28, 2006


Both of my grandfathers kept birds down their cellars. I have no independent recollections of it. I did not know until family members told me so.

I do remember that my maternal grandfather kept catfish in a tank in the house, had a large goldfish in a small "pond" he dug outback, and watched Gunsmoke on television. Later on in years, I discovered that he really liked John Wayne and Johnny Cash.

I didn't know my paternal grandfather. He died when I was very young. I know that he came from Italy, that he wore overalls, that there was a family farm, and that he kept birds in his cellar.

I am allergic to birds and that keeps me from having my own. I especially admire African Greys and Macaws and Conures. I remember learning about carrier pigeons as a child. In petshops, I whistle and talk to the birds to see which ones respond.

I feed the birds in my yard and in return have been dazzled by little miracles hatching from their nests in trees and birdboxes. I've been buzzed by chickadees and hummingbirds, sung to by rose-breasted grosbeaks, and awed by pileated woodpeckers. I have birds all around me like my grandfathers did. The birds just don't live in my cellar!

~life sapphoq

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Once, I decided that I wanted to sell kool-aid and brownies at my own stand in my driveway.
My mother took me to the store to buy the necessary stuff, supervised in the kitchen, and provided me with the necessary stuff to set up. I sold everything.

When we added up the cost of the materials, I found that my enterprise was not profitable. In fact, the ingredients for my short-lived business had cost more than I made without factoring in my time. I didn't do it again.

How often do we invest our time into something or someone and find the results are disappointing?

~life with sapphoq

Saturday, August 12, 2006

FERAL CATS 8/12/06

Yeah, we had 'em in our city when I was growing up. Only they weren't called "feral." Well, at least I didn't know the word. We called them "strays." Or "alleycats." I began feeding one cat on our open-air front porch. Wisely, though I didn't think so at the time, my mother found out and put a stop to it.

One of my old cats [he is dead now: brain tumor] was an abandoned pet. Not quite a feral cat. He moved in under a friend's porch after his owner moved and left him out in the street to fend for himself.
My friend's two daughters were feeding him tuna fish. He was getting beat up by the other strays in the neighborhood. And that is how Chopper came to live with me and my [then] three dogs. Chopper fit in very quickly. And once he found the couch and the bed were acceptable places to lounge upon, he was content. He never wanted to go outside. I think his three days in the wild cured him of that. My cats these days are all indoor cats whether they like it or not. My home is not a democracy.

Speaking of 'not a democracy," husband sort of agreed to come with me to a garage sale this morning. Only the garage sale was a village-wide sale. We stopped at one place where there were seven or so kittens. The woman there was trying to give away the kittens. She didn not want them to goto a friend's barn where "they would become feral" is what she told us. Having reached our own limit of three cats with a kitten adopting up on a walk last week, we respectfully declined.

My grandparents had barn cats. The barn cats never came into the house. They didn't seem to wander in that direction. For a bowl of fresh mild at every milking, the cats patrolled the barn and hayloft-- keeping the place relatively vermin-free. The cats never got fixed or went for shots. But they certainly were tame enough to like us and to know that we liked them. Perhaps it would have been better for them if they had the opportunity to get spayed or neutered. My grands didn't have the money. And we didn't have a feral cat program in the county back then that could have helped. Instead, the cats lived relatively healthy lives for many years. I don't remember them ever getting sick although I suspect that they could not have all been worm-free or flea-free.

There is a rest home up the street where the staff people were feeding cats who genuinely were feral. The folks living in nearby apartments used to complain mightily. The cats seemed to enjoy hanging out in the complex. And sometimes there was that musty odor about that betrays the hormonal wish of a tom looking for a female in heat. One time, a cat climbed up into a friend's truck engine. She didn't know it and neither did I. I was there when she started her engine. We both heard a loud "THWACK." An orange tom fell out and convulsed to death. Shortly thereafter, some caring folks from a feral program came around, trapped the cats, and had them fixed.

The link above and below is from a chat I thought was interesting. The topic of feral cats comes up briefly at the end of a discussion about "how many are too many."


Wednesday, August 09, 2006



I dreamed that I was walking down the beach with the Goddess.
And I looked back and saw footprints in the sand.
But sometimes there were two pairs of footprints, and sometimes there was only one.
And the times when there was only one pair of footprints, those were my times of greatest trouble.
So I asked the Goddess, "Why, in my greatest need, did you abandon me?"
She replied, "I never left you. Those were the times when we both hopped on one foot."
And lo, I was really embarrassed for bothering Her with such a stupid question.

I grew up in a family that prided itself on its' religion and yet there was drunkness and severe verbal abuse. In my roman catholic high school, I was expected to take religion classes. After the first year, the priest asked us what we had learned. I told him I had learned that I didn't want to be a roman catholic anymore. That didn't go over real well, needless to say.

I began skipping church, choosing instead to visit several of the more exotic churches in my neighborhood or to visit the italian bakery. My mother caught on after a bit so then I would stop in at the roman catholic church first and grab a "Sunday Bulletin" to bring home. Soon as I was old enough to drive and got wheels, I went through several years of pentecostalism vs. partying. I perceived myself as having to have one or the other in my life.

Eventually, I ditched religion and partying both. As I grew in my recovery from addiction, I found that I no longer believed in a male god. To my own discomfort, I found that I didn't believe in a goddess either. Or in a bunch of them. Ultimately I decided to be what I truly am-- a solitary witch with animistic beliefs.

~life with sapphoq

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Group-dynamic game - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I remember taking a required Group Dynamics class in college and H A T I N G it. The professor was very knowledgeable about her area of expertise. I wasn't. I studied enough and participated enough to do well in the class. Actually learning anything was another matter entirely. I didn't.

I proceeded my merry way blundering through team-building exercises at a variety of jobs. Again, although the facilitators of the sessions were skilled, I wasn't.

That hasn't changed much through the years and it hasn't changed with the onslaught of my tbi either.

I am essentially a loner at heart. I prefer people in small doses. I don't like groups. I don't like to work in a team. I enjoy my own company.

~life with sapphoq

For those who wish to read some un-biased material on group dynamics a.k.a. team-building, I humbly and solitarily offer an excerpt from a Wikipedia article below:

Group-dynamic game - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "Group-dynamic game"
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Group-dynamic games are experiential education exercises which help people to learn about themselves, interpersonal relationships, and how groups function from a group dynamics or social psychological point of view.
Group dynamics can be understood as complex from an interpersonal relationships point of view because it involves:
relationships between two people
relationships between a person and a group
relationships between groups
Group-dynamic games are usually designed for the specific purpose of furthering personal development, character building, and teamwork via a Group-dynamic milieu. The group leader may sometimes also be the game leader, or between peers, the leadership and game-rules can change.
Some games require large spaces, special objects and tools, quietness or many before-game and after-game needs. When aged, frail or disabled people ('special needs') are involved, existing games may need modification to be used.
The use of group dynamic activities has a history of application in conflict resolution, anger management and team building and many other areas such as drug rehabilitation and drama therapy."