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Laura,

Your art work is beautiful, you're very talented.  I made cards for over 30 years, but the last couple of years just haven't had the "want to", I guess mild depression, I've battled it since George died, not bad enough to get on something, but it's just something I battle.  I wish my love of art, of creating, would return.  I've hung onto all my supplies with that hope.  Maybe someday.  It is hard to explain how creating feels unless you do it, but it's very uplifting to the soul.

You talk about purpose...my purpose has been in being there for those who grieve.  I'm on another site as well as this one, it gets a lot of traffic, a lot of young people, but there's no moderator looking out for them like we have our Marty here, they're left on their own, so I share her articles and what I've learned from her, in that way it flows.  I don't know what I'd have done if not for this place!

I have a lot of things I do, a lot of activities, I'm on a worship team (music), I'm Church Treasurer (full cycle bookkeeping, payroll, and lots of reports), I help at the senior site twice a week, I'm in some ladies groups and a small growth group, as well as church activities.  So I keep busy and have interaction with others.  I don't drive at night so early morning and evenings are my time with my "family" (Arlie and Kitty), Arlie and I take walks twice a day, and I try to have at least a day at home to cook, clean, etc.  Nothing makes up for George, but I've had to learn to embrace what is and not compare to what was, and to find what good there is.  I try to see my grandchildren once a month.  My heart still grieves over my daughter, both her lack of contact with me and also knowing her life is not in a good place and hasn't been for some time.  Some things we cannot change, we can only lift them up to God, but it feels a burden I carry all the same.

I think a person CAN find purpose in their art, if it's enough for them.  You have Lena, that is some purpose!  My animals are huge incentive to keep going.  I try not to think about the day I lose them, but it kind of lurks beneath the surface, if you know what I mean.  I know when that time comes, I'll have to deal with it, much the same way I had to deal with the loss of my beloved.  I will get other pets...they won't replace the ones I have now, none can, but I will forge new relationships and bonds, because I need them...and because they will need me.  I can't imagine life any other way.

You have such talent, I'm glad you still have the desire to draw or paint, it's beautiful and the beauty you create is inspiring.  Maybe today I should try once again to do the same...

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2 hours ago, kayc said:

I will get other pets...they won't replace the ones I have now, none can, but I will forge new relationships and bonds, because I need them...and because they will need me.  I can't imagine life any other way.

You have such talent, I'm glad you still have the desire to draw or paint, it's beautiful and the beauty you create is inspiring.  Maybe today I should try once again to do the same...

Thank you, Kay, for this and the rest of your thoughtful post. You do so much to comfort and aid people here - it has been wonderful for me to have your support. I know others feel the same way. Pets are family, and sometimes things are such that they are our only family...maybe we have other relatives, but somehow they can seem less like family than the fuzzy ones who share our homes and hearts. I don't know what I would ever do without Lena, but just enjoy and treasure her. I keep reworking the math as to life expectancy. The Guinness world record for a cat's life is 38, and the same guy had two other cats who lived into their thirties. I hope she will live as long as I do. I know that's all kind of a crazy thing to think about and I know that there are other cats who may some day share my life, but she is the one who has gotten me through all the trauma and everything else from the past six years and kept me going. I have had other cats before, but Lena's presence in my life is HUGE. You know what I mean.

I think it would be good if you returned to your art. And I really appreciate your encouraging me in my artistic endeavors...

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I wear purple toenail polish from early spring until well into the fall and then I see my nails really for the first time. I looked at them last night and the deep ridges that went across them, perpendicular to the length of my toes. I know from the past this relates to significant trauma or stress of some kind. Counting back based on a measurement, I came up with sometime between February and March. I couldn't remember what exactly was going on then, and tried looking at my calendar and email related to the school district, but there was nothing there since I no longer have access to that email. I found this unsettling but then realized that it might be a good thing to not have all that trash to thrash over. I looked at my posts here from that period and it all made sense - that was when I was put on an improvement plan that I could either follow by breaking the law or not follow and be determined to be insubordinate, by the definition of my evil boss.

I am glad to be out of there. But the drama continues elsewhere. In my new post as a contracted school psychologist two days (or less) a week, I just had a rash of complaints that were unfounded and quarrelsome. The SpEd director was sympathetic and supportive when I told her what had happened and she said everything was fine. Nevertheless, I found this unnerving. How did I end up in a field where people are so petty and nasty (education) and doing a job (School Psychologist) who is so frequently a target for lies, gossip, and coordinated efforts of malignment? I wish I could retire. I love the work, but the constant attacks are awful. I suppose I am getting closer. In a few years, I will be able to collect retirement and social security, and then whatever I make will be padding to have a more comfortable lifestyle, travel a bit, and buy art supplies. I wish it were now, but it's getting closer.

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Lena is beautiful!  My Kitty is 23 and going strong, who knows!  She is doing amazing for her age, I never dreamed I'd have her this long.  I don't think she'll live as long as I do, but at least hopefully not any time soon...

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3 hours ago, kayc said:

Lena is beautiful!  My Kitty is 23 and going strong, who knows!  She is doing amazing for her age, I never dreamed I'd have her this long.  I don't think she'll live as long as I do, but at least hopefully not any time soon...

You just never know. The guy whose cat was in the Guinness book of world records with the one cat who lived to 38 and other cats who lived to be 33 and 39 - when he was asked what they ate, he said they ate a lot of eggs and bacon! Go figure. Well, I do know that they need a lot of protein and liquid in their diet...

I am so glad you have Kitty to keep you company and share your home

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Cats have a high fat diet, whereas Arlie can't tolerate it, go figure!  I think Kitty would like bacon and eggs and cheese!

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6 hours ago, kayc said:

Cats have a high fat diet, whereas Arlie can't tolerate it, go figure!  I think Kitty would like bacon and eggs and cheese!

I think it's rather individualistic...Lena cannot tolerate much fat and so she had a low-fat, high protein, high liquid diet...and I watch her blood work for other possible signs of pancreatic trouble. Her "aunt" Susan, a close friend, also loves Lena and watches over. Susan is a psychiatrist, but did go to med school after all. She had some dogs who developed pancreatic problems from eating high fat table scraps, and Susan herself had pancreatitis and had to have it removed. I am blessed to have Susan in Lena's life...I use her commentary to aid in my communication with the vet and to help make suggestions... But those cats that ate all that bacon and eggs clearly did not have sensitive tummies!

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I'm just going by what the vet told me.  Catfood is much higher concentration of fat than dogfood, but even that is too high for Arlie, I have him on an extremely low fat diet (I have to cook for him, he couldn't even tolerate the gastrointestinal dogfood the vet sells) because of his Colitis.  My Kitty seems to be able to eat just about anything and if she doesn't have problems at 23, I doubt it'll change much.  Arlie has always had problems.  My sister's dog died of pancreatitis and emergency efforts couldn't stop it.

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