Sunday, January 31, 2010

Furry Angel of Death- Amazing



PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The scientist in Dr. David Dosa was skeptical when first told that Oscar, an aloof cat kept by a nursing home, regularly predicted patients' deaths by snuggling alongside them in their final hours.
Dosa's doubts eroded after he and his colleagues tallied about 50 correct calls made by Oscar over five years, a process he explains in a book released this week, "Making Rounds With Oscar: The ExtraordinaryGift of an Ordinary Cat." (Hyperion, $23.99) The feline's bizarre talent astounds Dosa, but he finds Oscar's real worth in his fierce insistence on being present when others turn away from life's most uncomfortable topic: death.
"People actually were taking great comfort in this idea, that this animal was there and might be there when their loved ones eventually pass," Dosa said. "He was there when they couldn't be."
Dosa, 37, a geriatrician and professor at Brown University, works on the third floor of the Steere House, which treats patients with severe dementia. It's usually the last stop for people so ill they cannot speak, recognize their spouses and spend their days lost in fragments of memory.
He once feared that families would be horrified by the furry grim reaper, especially after Dosa made Oscar famous in a 2007 essay in the New England Journal of Medicine. Instead, he says many caregivers consider Oscar a comforting presence, and some have praised him in newspaper death notices and eulogies.
"Maybe they're seeing what they want to see," he said, "but what they're seeing is a comfort to them in a real difficult time in their lives."
The nursing home adopted Oscar, a medium-haired cat with a gray-and-brown back and white belly, in 2005 because its staff thinks pets make the Steere House a home. They play with visiting children and prove a welcome distraction for patients and doctors alike.
After a year, the staff noticed that Oscar would spend his days pacing from room to room. He sniffed and looked at the patients but rarely spent much time with anyone — except when they had just hours to live.
He's accurate enough that the staff — including Dosa — know it's time to call family members when Oscar stretches beside their patients, who are generally too ill to notice his presence. If kept outside the room of a dying patient, he'll scratch at doors and walls, trying to get in.
Nurses once placed Oscar in the bed of a patient they thought gravely ill. Oscar wouldn't stay put, and the staff thought his streak was broken. Turns out, the medical professionals were wrong, and the patient rallied for two days. But in the final hours, Oscar held his bedside vigil without prompting.
Dosa does not explain Oscar scientifically in his book, although he theorizes the cat imitates the nurses who raised him or smells odors given off by dying cells, perhaps like some dogs who scientists say can detect cancer using their sense of scent.
At its heart, Dosa's search is more about how people cope with death than Oscar's purported ability to predict it. Dosa suffers from inflammatory arthritis, which could render his joints useless. He worries about losing control of his life in old age, much as his patients have lost theirs.
Parts of his book are fictionalized. Dosa said several patients are composite characters, though the names and stories of the caregivers he interviews are real and many feel guilty. Donna Richards told Dosa that she felt guilty for putting her mother in a nursing home. She felt guilty for not visiting enough. When caring for her mother, Richards felt guilty about missing her teenage son's swimming meets.
Dosa learns to live for the moment, much like Oscar, who delights in naps and chin scratches or the patient who recovers enough to walk the hall holding the hand of the husband she'll eventually forget.
The doctor advises worried family members to simply be present for their loved ones.
Richards was at her mother's bedside nonstop as she died. After three days, a nurse persuaded her to go home for a brief rest. Despite her misgivings, Richards agreed. Her mother died a short while later.
But she didn't die alone. Oscar was there.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Dentist



Had my big major dental appointment this evening. My dentist is awesome I had a 7pm appointment! Really helpful to the working masses. I am now all clean and polished. I have only ever had 1 cavity in my entire life. I have good dental genes!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

More Alice



Pink











Pink is the color of a rose.
They come in other colors but everyone knows
pink is the mother-color of a rose.
Pink is a new baby, the inside of a shell..
Pink is a cooked shrimp and a Canterbury bell.
Pink is peachbloom, gauzy... frail
the wind's exquisite wedding veil.
Pink is a bonbon, pink is a blush,
some Easter bunnies are pink plush.
If you stand in an orchard In the middle of Spring
and you don't make a sound you can hear pink sing,
a darling, whispery song of a thing.
Pink is the beautiful little sister of red my teacher said, 
and a ribbon girls tie round their head.
Pink is the sash with the lovely fold
your remember when you're old.
Pink is the flower on a lady's hat
that nods and bows this way and that.












Red










Red is a sunset, blazy and bright.
Red is feeling brave with all your might. 
Red is a sunburn spot on your nose,
sometimes red is a red, red rose.
Red squiggles out when you cut your hand.
Red is a brick and a rubber band.
Red is a hotness you get inside
when you're embarrassed and want to hide
firecracker, fire engine, fire flicker -- --
and when you're angry red runs through your head.
Red is an Indian, a Valentine heart,
the trimming on a circus cart.










Saturday, January 23, 2010

Tarot ~ Victoria Regina Deck












This is one of my most favorite Tarot decks. The Victoria Regina is a black and white deck, featuring scenes and personalities from the Victorian era, including Queen Victoria herself. Guns=Swords, Clocks=Pentacles, Mason jars=Cups and  Dip Pens=Staves. I have had this deck for years now and every-time I see it, I see something new in it!

New Doll- Valentine






My husband gave me my Valentine early this year. I have named her Valentine for the occasion. I Love her red and black fur trimmed suit! Thank you my love!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Orange











Orange is a tiger lily, a carrot,
a feather from a parrot, a flame,
the wildest color you can name.
Orange is a happy day saying good-by
in a sunset that shocks the sky.
Orange is brave, Orange is bold,
it's bittersweet and marigold.
Orange is zip, Orange is dash,
the brightest stripe in a Roman sash.
Orange is an orange, also a mango
Orange is music of the tango.
Orange is the fur of the fiery fox,
the brightest crayon in the box.
And in the fall when the leaves are turning
Orange is the smell of a bonfire burning...










White








White is a dove and lily of the valley
and a puddle of milk spilled in an alley -- --
a ship's sail, a kite's tail, a wedding veil
Hailstones and halibut bones
and some people's telephones.
The hottest and most blinding light is white.
And breath is white 
when you blow it out on a frosty night.
White is the shining absence of all color
then absence is white, out of touch, out of sight.
White is marshmallow and vanilla ice cream
and the part you can't remember in a dream.
White is the sound of a light foot walking
White is the beautiful broken lace
of snowflakes falling on your face.
You can smell white in a country room
toward the end of May in the cherry bloom. 







Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Mermaid or A Whale- I LOVE this!







Recently, in a large city in France,
a poster featuring a young, thin and tan woman appeared in the window of a gym.
It said, "This summer,
do you want to be a mermaid or a whale?"

A middle-aged woman,
whose physical characteristics did not match those of the woman on the poster,
responded publicly to the question
posed by the gym.





To Whom It May Concern,
Whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, sea lions, curious humans.)
They have an active sex life,
get pregnant and have adorable baby whales. 
They have a wonderful time with dolphins stuffing themselves with shrimp.
They play and swim in the seas,
seeing wonderful places like Patagonia,
the Bering Sea
and the coral reefs of Polynesia .

Whales are wonderful singers
and have even recorded CDs. 
They are incredible creatures
and virtually have no predators
other than humans.
They are loved, protected and admired
by almost everyone in the world.

Mermaids don't exist.
If they did exist,
they would be lining up outside the offices
of Argentinean psychoanalysts
due to identity crisis. Fish or human?
They don't have a sex life
because they kill men who get close to them, 
not to mention how could they have sex?

Just look at them ... where is IT?
Therefore, they don't have kids either.
Not to mention,
who wants to get close to a girl who smells
like a fish store?

The choice is perfectly clear to me:
I want to be a whale.

P..S. We are in an age
when media puts into our heads
the idea that only skinny people are beautiful, 
but I prefer to enjoy an ice cream with my kids,
 a good dinner with a man who makes me shiver, 
and a piece of chocolate with my friends.

With time, we gain weight
because we accumulate so much information and wisdom in our heads
that when there is no more room,
it distributes out to the rest of our bodies.
So we aren't heavy,
we are enormously cultured,
educated and happy.
Beginning today,
When I look at my butt in the mirror I will think, 
¨Good grief, look how smart I am!¨



Gray










Gray is the color of an elephant and a mouse
and a falling apart house.
it's fog and smog, fine print and lint,
it's a hush and the bubbling of oatmeal mush.
Tiredness and oysters, both are gray,
smoke swirls and grandmother curls.
So are some spring coats and nannygoats.
Eagles are gray and a rainy day
the sad look of a slum and chewing gum
Wood ash and linen crash.
Pussywillows are gray in a velvety way.
Suits, shoes and bad news, 
beggars' hats and alley cats,
Skin of a mole and a worn slipper sole.
Content is gray and sleepiness, too
they wear gray suede gloves
when they're touching you...










Blue










Blue is a heron, a sapphire ring,
you can smell blue in many a thing:
Gentian and Larkspur, forget-me-nots, too.
And if you listen you can hear blue
in wind over water and wherever flax blooms
and when evening steps into lonely rooms.
Cold is blue; flame shot from a welding torch Is, too
hot, wild, screaming, blistering blue
and on winter mornings the dawns are blue...










Monday, January 18, 2010

True then and True today



"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance." - Cicero - 55 BC

Brown









Brown is the color of a country road,
back of a turtle, back of a toad.
Brown is cinnamon and morning toast
and the good smell of the Sunday roast.
Brown is the color of work and the sound of a river,
Brown is bronze and a bow and a quiver.
Brown is the house on the edge of town
where wind is tearing the shingles down.
Brown is a freckle, Brown is a mole
Brown is the Earth when you dig a hole.
Brown is the hair on many a head
Brown is chocolate and gingerbread.
Brown is a feeling you get inside
when wondering makes your mind grow wide.
Brown is a leather shoe and a good glove -- --
Brown is as comfortable as love.











Black











Black is kind, it covers up
the run-down street, the broken cup.
Black is charcoal and patio grill,
the soot spots on the window sill.
Black is a feeling hard to explain
like suffering but without the pain.
Black is licorice and patent leather shoes
Black is the print in the news.
Black is beauty in its deepest form,

the darkest cloud in a thunderstorm.
Think of what starlight and lamplight would lack,
diamonds and fireflies, if they couldn't lean against Black...








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