“Musings on this Veteran’s Day Weekend”

I couldn’t wait for those political ads to end….I had deluded myself that hatred and animus exchanges would ease…..
How long do you imagine before defeat if a general had no control or respect from his troops and fighting within the regiment ensued…….Not very long, I can tell you.
There is a bond in battle between brothers…knowing each has the other’s back…..
Where is the unity between politicians to work together to try and come to decisions best for our nation? This country is only as strong as those united to fight for her…..This election has resulted in eclectic wins…….the number of women, the myriad of religious views,  and number of young veterans stepping into office.   What is most important is how that eclectic group is willing to mesh together as one cohesive force, working for the best interests of our nation.
I live in a home once in the midst of Civil War….
I have lived to see walls torn down. I now live, seeing walls waiting to be built, and walls manifested in the hateful minds of those mesmerized by dictators of evil from the past……
My farmhouse was built not long  after our Revolution…..it withstood our Civil War. It continues to stand not that distant from a line that separated our nation…..
So many lines separate us now……I fear where that line will be drawn in the sands of time.   May we all have ‘each other’s back.”
going home
Shirl
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“It’s a Tough World out There”

My new “patient” at the squirrel house is this little one…….he is missing part of his tail, it is bloodied on the underside.   Perhaps a close encounter with a cat; perhaps someone sought to trap him and he escaped by the hairs of his chinney chin tail………P1190736

It’s tough to have a disabled tail; squirrels use them for all their arboreal gymnastics.  I will care for him as long as he wants to hang around…..though not much hanging from that little tail, I’m afraid………..:-(

Poor little fellow……it is a tough world out there.   Where you feed them every day, you notice the injured ones.   You notice when they don’t show up anymore, and you worry and wonder…………

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“One Dollar at a Time”

For those blog readers who read my social media posts, you might be aware that through the end of the year, I have pledged 100% of my personal share of paperback book royalties to animal rescues and organizations.

Book sales have been dismal as of late.   This pledge helps me reach more readers and, at the same time, helps animals.  Royalties are not much, but each dollar will be sent and has already been sent to several deserving destinations.

Sometimes, I feel discouraged that I can only send a couple of dollars.  I wonder if the rescues look upon a meager donation with different eyes.   I try not to be discouraged.   I have been thinking of my dad.   Each day, he would receive at least ten charity envelopes in the mail.   Multiply that by a week of mail and you will see how heaps of these letters piled up on his table.   He would put one dollar in each envelope until the time his arthritic fingers could not write any longer.   Nearing his final days, he asked my own daughter to make a form letter of sorts….apologizing to each charity because he could no longer donate …… He wrote out the words he wanted her to say, not an easy task for a man whose handwritten name was becoming a challenge.

Can you imagine.   This man believed his dollars were so important that these charities would miss his donations.   I remember on one occasion, a Native American charity sent my dad a crayon drawing made by a child.   My dad believed this drawing was made for him; I didn’t have the heart to tell him it was a form letter sent out to all who sent in money.   He showed it to me like it was done by his own grandchild.   I hoped those charities knew how much my father gave, not in monetary numbers……all those dollars took a dent out of a strict budget to which those of his generation adhered.

Each dollar to him was his gift; he worried about each charity when he was no longer able to help.

Each time I hit the PayPal button and give a dollar or two to an animal rescue or sanctuary, I think of my dad, his shaky, arthritic hands writing his name on each check.  My dad didn’t live to see any of my books……but his charitable spirit lingers on……Each dollar may not seem like much but each holds a priceless memory and legacy.

I will continue to honor my pledge until the end of the year.   If you purchase one of my books as a gift, you will help give a gift to a worthy cause.

Thank you,

Shirl

You can find the link to all of my books at

https://shirlknobloch.com/

 

 

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“Good Morning Evermore”

thorI just finished reading “Ravenmaster” My Life with the Ravens at the Tower of London” by Christoper Skaife.  Yeoman Warden Skaife takes great care of these intelligent, quirky beings and brings his and their world into ours.

I have always loved birds.   I have kept doves and parrots and canaries for decades.   I know how smart they are, how mean and vengeful they can be, and how they can love and mourn just like us.

I visited the Tower back in 1999 as my memory recollects.   I wanted to see the ravens and got some photographs of them.   In the gift shop, I picked out a stuffed raven to bring home, and to this day, he sits upon my shelf.

After I read Yeoman Warden Skaife’s book, I went to look upon my raven closely and read his leg tag and wing tag once again.   They said Thor.   I smiled.   I am not a Raven Master but a Reiki Master and in my work, I have been privileged to sit with many an intelligent and sentient being as they closed their eyes in peace.

This morning, upon awakening, I picked up Thor and whispered, “Good Morning.”   If you read Christopher Skaife’s book, you will understand why.

Yeoman Warden Skaife, you mention you read all your media postings.   I hope this blog finds its way to your eyes.   I am an Author as well.   I write mostly fairy tales.  In one of my collections, I tell the story of the deep love a raven Syran feels.  I would like to send you my story, as I know you will understand.

Thank you for this book.   I hope one day I revisit the Tower and gaze upon these magnificent beings again……maybe bring a bag of crisps along the journey.  Here is a my book, I painted the cover, which shows this raven fairy tale, “Love’s Price.”  If you do read my blog, please message me where to send it.book cover witches

I know you would never teach a raven to say “Nevermore,” but I will continue to tell my Thor Good Morning evermore, because of you.   If anyone visiting my blog has dreams of visiting London and the Tower, please read “Ravenmaster” beforehand; you will see so much more than Tower birds once you do………

Shirl
****Note……my daughter informed me after reading this that we visited the Tower more around 2007-2008.   Sigh, I wish I had more of a raven’s memory  🙂

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“Now you see it, Now you don’t”

Every so often, we conduct a little experiment at my house.   I leave a tempting morsel of food on the kitchen table and walk away.   Aura Lea falls for the trap every time, or maybe she has the experiment down pat.   She has me trained to provide a tasty snack and she solves the scientific equation perfectly by stealing it……….

This week, we attempted the experiment, expanding the perimeters a bit.   My son was eating at the table, my wolfhound Aura Lea watching his every move intently.   I  had put a piece of toast on the edge of the table.   My son wanted to see if he just turned  his head and pretended to look at something in the opposite direction…what would Aura Lea do?

I was in the kitchen, at the sink.   My son turned  his head to the right.   With the speed of a bullet aimed at Superman’s cloak, Aura Lea clamped her mouth around the toast.   Proof of the experiment vanished.   Yes, we were the lab mice…….set up again in a perfect kitchen maze by Aura Lea.   She waited patiently, testing our intelligence.   Sure enough, we were fools enough to leave a bit of food within her reach.   Her intelligent eyes waited for the exact moment, the moment no one “saw”………

The experiment has fool proof results.   The perfect scientific equation……AL + TT  = AL

A vanishing act unparalleled by the likes of Houdini himself.

AL + TT  =  AL ………………………(AL  Aura Lea)   (TT  table treats)Aura Lea Gettysburg Hallway

 

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“Gilded Cages”

I took a trip to a large pet store chain yesterday, needing a myriad of supplies for my own furred and feathered pack.

While grabbing supplies in the bird aisle, a group of store employees gathered around a large cage with two peach faced lovebirds inside.   “They are so bonded,” one said.   “I wonder what will happen when one of them is bought,” he added, not a hint of remorse in his voice.   I gathered from the conversation that these two were deeply attached and affectionate towards one another.

Another employee chimed in……”I’m not sticking my finger in there, that one bites.”   Another worker added, “I wouldn’t want to buy two birds and have them bond together and not to me.”

And I listened as one did indeed charge to the end of the glass, in protection of her beloved sibling.

I felt so bad for this pair.   I have kept birds for decades.   I have always tried to keep my birds in pairs, unless of course fights occurred.   Once, after many years, a fight did occur and a mate succumbed…..a mate who had repeatedly thwarted the affection of the other.   Rejection can sometimes mean attack …….. these intelligent creatures have feelings and emotions that can range from jealousy and rage to deepest love.

Now, few of my birds linger.   I have a devoted mated pair that have been together for almost two decades.   When one leaves, I am sure the other will follow soon after.

I hoped for a miracle for these two.   That a young person, because parrots live a long life, affluent enough to purchase and care for them properly, would bring both home.   That miracle is not likely to materialize; one will be bought, most likely, the gentler of the two.   The one who was in need of protection from her loving caretaker.    The caretaker’s gruff exterior will hide a crying heart, watching hands swoop down and take her friend.  I wish I were that young person……but years and wisdom have made my eyes see through that gilded glass with more reality now.  I would bring both home to be happy and together.   Their captive lives should not be isolated from another of their kind, just so they can bond more closely to us.  Canaries sing in cages not from happiness, but calling out for a mate.  They sing for us, their mates, when kept alone.   We love their voices; they pay a price of loneliness to fill the air with beautiful song.

I walked by the lovebird cage as one lovingly preened her companion; my own heart a little heavier.

Those lovebirds still haunt me today……..what price will each of them pay to be kept in a gilded cage.

 

Shirl

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“Memories of 9/11”

This will be a quiet day for me…..I was close by and witnessed the tragedy of this day not on a TV screen, but through my eyes. It is recorded in my brain….what I saw, how I felt, the clothes I was wearing…….and the shock of what I saw. It was not until hours later that I realized I saw thousands of lives extinguish. When it happened, somehow your brain thinks they all got out, the buildings were empty…..later, the true horror becomes reality…….When I saw that burning, gaping hole, I knew that Tower would not stand. And when I saw the antenna sway on the roof of the second Tower, I turned to my daughter and said, it is going to fall too………and seconds later, it did. I feared we would not make it home that morning……the police were telling us to get out of there…..Thankfully, we were lucky and made it home, not to safety, I don’t think any of us felt safe that day and not for a long time afterward. A worked with a girl who lost her pregnant friend and her friend’s husband in the Tower. Kids in my town’s school system lost parents. For months after, I could not look up at the sound of a plane flying overhead without cringing. I told my younger daughter, away at college to remain there if anything happened to us, being so close to NYC. I found a farmhouse in Gettysburg, far away, I thought. A place of safety. Then, I realized that Gettysburg is only an hour from Washington, DC. There is no place of safety anymore……..Man has never learned from war …….. I doubt man ever will. That was my second eye witness account of war…….I was close to the Bosnian bombing raids……I watched the bombs drop from the sky like a surreal lightning storm with no rain…….making the night sky glow.
Somehow, I believe what has touched us in the past guides our path in the present. I always felt touched by war, even as a small child. I would steal into my older brothers’ room and snatch war books. Other girls were reading Beatrix Potter, I was reading WWII bomber pilot remembrances. I know that is why my home stands on hallowed ground now.
For all those innocents who rode the subway that morning, grabbed a morning coffee and bagel on their way to work, sat at their desk wondering if they would get their work finished that day, were so happy to be on a flight to home and loved ones……..may you all be in a place of safety and peace now…….forever…….surrounded by the glow of love, not bombs.NY Skyline
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