1. There are many animal lovers out there- I’m one. I am most disturbed that it is apparently “ok” to kill animals when they are no longer deemed useful- as long as they are  put down humanely. Animals are considered chattel of their owners, who may determine their fate. Initially, the SPCA was asked to “take care” of the more than seventy dogs who were slaughtered. They refused
  2. Unfortunately, there is legislation that supports owners. As a friend of mine suggested, the animals could have been put up for adoption by the SPCA.
  3. Most ( or some of them) could have been saved. I recognize that there will have to be support from animal lovers, as well as money, to prosecute this kind of unconscionable behavior. Tears are not enough.






Many of you know what ECT  is- inducing an artificial seizure to help psychiatric patients recover from depression.

I have had the benefit of approximately 27  shock treatments (aka electro convulsive therapy);

At the time, I was pretty much catatonic with a serious depression which no combination of medications could help. This is called treatment- resistant.

My doctor then set up a series of ECTs  for me- I was, to say the least, very apprehensive.

The procedure goes something like this: the patient changes into hospital pajamas, has his/her vital statistics monitored (apparently, my heartbeat was in overdrive, and my pulse seemed non-existent),then shown into a waiting room with other “candidates”.

I remember that most of them looked as though they were awaiting a firing squad- the procedure scared the shit out of me.

I was afraid that I would not wake up. However, as a friend of mine said cheerfully “If that happens, your problems are over!”

The anesthetist injects a sedative into your hand, which is supposed to make you drift off; I never “drifted off”, but had to have an oxygen mask put over my face to help me along.

I remember a smell of garlic just before I was carried away.

Before I knew it, I was conscious and disoriented- soothing voices brought me around.

I was offered breakfast, but I only wanted coffee and a cigarette:; luckily, the nurses knew my priorities, and I was allowed to scurry off to the smoking room ( they still had them then).

All in all, I can say that I cared about the destination, not the journey..

It is several (I’m not sure) years since the treatments and I can attest to the success

of ECT;

But my memory is a sieve, and whole years seemed to have passed me by.

Once again,

my friend said with a smile “You probably don’t need the memories anyway!”

Well, that’s about it..

I find that humor (including black humor) helps me a lot,  and the “Blitz Krieg” on my brain has stopped.

Ta- da!

For those of you with brothers, I salute you!

Brothers have a special place within the family;

They leave the nest and do their things,

while sisters are expected to carry on with the rest of the tribe, caring and sharing any family disfunctions-

we are not always given credit, and we are not in the spotlight.

To be sure, my brother is a pleasant person who adores his children, likes his marriage, is successful in his job- need I say more?!

Me- I am now a long distance sister and aunt;

Perhaps this is best.

I don’t need to impress or suppress any hurts I have felt.

My mother, to be sure, loved us both in different ways;

While I was still her “baby” and was under her scrutiny,

my brother went out into the big, bad world and carved a life for himself.

Mom ultimately found him to be affectionate and empathetic toward her ( until her drinking got out of hand));

I remained behind, trying to understand her sadness-

I was not very helpful, it seemed.

Somehow sons are a credit to the family,

while daughters are seen but not heard- so much.

One particular refrain remains with me:

“Don’t bother your brother”. What?!

I pondered that one for a long time,

and concluded that I didn’t need to worry.

I also did not “bother” my brother with much of anything.

Don’t compare yourself to your sibling- rather, enjoy your successes and be your own person.

Remember, “A son is a son til he gets him a wife, while a daughter is a daughter for all of her life.”

We are still valuable people in our own right.


Our aunt is the family eccentric;

She’s the designated hitter-

We try to be kind

and understanding,

but we don’t always “get” her;

She lives on her own

and emails us de temps en temps;

She has a wealth of family history,

and we all appreciate this.

But she’s far away, and somewhat mysterious;

we think that she’s somewhat “reality challenged”,

so we don’t ask her a lot of questions about herself;

Perhaps we should..

There are times when we all need support.

I recently lost my beloved cockatiel and felt bereft,

But a close friend was right there, helping me cope.

She knew how difficult it was for me to ask that my Sam be put to sleep;

She watched me hold him as he went peacefully to his final rest.

She didn’t minimize my pain, but helped me to see that I was doing the best thing for him.

Sam went to the “rainbow” and that is where he belongs.

This is a true blue friend,

and I’ll always be grateful that she is in my life.

Another election, another day in which sanity prevails.

I believe that the US could learn a lot from Canada-

Canada remains one of the most respected nations in the world.

The Canadian government does not act rashly, nor does it demand that other “developing countries”follow it’s form of leadership.

American kids backpacking in the east, or in other countries, wear a Canadian patch on their jackets for protection-

Doesn’t this say something?

It’s tragic that Americans became paranoid about terrorism after 9/11,

understandable but not helpful.

Until the US begins to examine itself and forgoes fear-mongering ignorance,

they will remain among the most hated countries in the world.

I hope that rational Americans will act to stop both  Jingoism and Imperialism;

Otherwise, there will be dire consequences.

I hope against hope…


I try to follow where you lead-

Do you remember “Make Way for the Ducklings”,

or “Petunia’s Christmas”?

I remember for us both.

Into the past, dwelling among the ghosts of your family and the friends long gone;

You walk with with shaking steps,

And sleep more and more.

In your face a spirit seems to shine through, and you retain the essence of your beauty-

I try to show that I care

when you speak a different language-

Mingled half phrases, unfinished thoughts,

and nervous laughter.

We remain mother and child…