animal lovers, baking, cat familiar, cat lovers, harvest, healthy pumpkin raisin cinnamon muffins, Holiday season, Holidays, kindness to animals, Lila, Lily Cat, Princess Lily, pumkins, Pumpkin Muffins, Thanksgiving table
animal lovers, baking, cat familiar, cat lovers, harvest, healthy pumpkin raisin cinnamon muffins, Holiday season, Holidays, kindness to animals, Lila, Lily Cat, Princess Lily, pumkins, Pumpkin Muffins, Thanksgiving table
*******Lada Ray is a writer, Feng Shui master, world traveler, linguist, financial consultant, nature/animal lover and spirituality & metaphysics researcher. She is the author of 3 novels and 2 novelettes (more on the way), including THE EARTH SHIFTER - a critically acclaimed, top-rated spiritual thriller; international adventure/thriller GOLD TRAIN (Accidental Spy Russia Adventure), which reached #58 on #Kindle bestseller list and #60 on #Amazon #book bestseller list; psychological thriller Stepford USA (Accidental Spy Small Town Adventure); metaphysical fantasy Catharsis (Legend of the Lemurians). Plus, sample Lada's writing #FREE: Green Desert (Accidental Spy Iraq Prequel) - ebook free everywhere. Lada is a huge animal lover, and as such, most of her books feature adorable and amazing animals, animal protection issue being an integral part of her books.
******Presently, Lada donates profits from her book sales to America’s oldest no-kill animal shelter, Tompkins County SPCA in Ithaca, NY; and to Siberian Tiger rescue project in Russia. Read more about that here!
Go to BOOKS BY LADA RAY for more on each book and for all buy links.
Amur tiger conservation, animal rescue, animal rights, Animal sanctuary, Author Lada Ray, books by Lada Ray, Catharsis Legend of the Lemurians, Catskill Animal Sanctuary, Donating, donating book profits, Проект Амурский тигр, endangered species, Gold Train (Accidental Spy Russia Adventure), Ithaca New York, Lake Baikal, no-kill animal shelter, Pet, Russia, Russian Far East, Siberia, Siberian Tiger, Siberian Tiger Project, Stepford USA, The Earth Shifter, Tomkins County SPCA, Ussurain Tiger, WCS Russia, WWF
Each of the books I’ve written is about justice, peace and/or kindness amid the most adverse circumstances. Most of my books feature amazing and beautiful animals, both wild and domestic. I am very passionate about the beauty of our Mother Earth and about her animals being treated with respect and care they deserve.
THE EARTH SHIFTER features one of the miracles of Lake Baikal – its endemic seals (Nerpa), Siberian Bear, wolves, White Eagle, as well as the majestic Siberian Tiger; both STEPFORD USA and GOLD TRAIN feature rescued super-intelligent and heroic cats and dogs; and even my sci-fi novelette CATHARSIS includes a note of warning against cruelty and about the need for animal protection and preservation.
For a while, I’ve been considering donating profits from my book sales to a no-kill animal shelter and animal rescue in New York State, USA and in Siberia, Russia. I’ve done some research, and these are the organizations that clearly stand out.
NEW YORK, USA
Tompkins County SPCA http://www.spcaonline.com/ The first ever no-kill animal shelter in US History! Provides shelter to 3,000 animals annually.
Sept. 28, 2013 March for the Animals, Ithaca, NY
The Tompkins County SPCA was incorporated in February 1902 in an effort to prosecute individual cases of cruelty. In 1999, the SPCA Board of Directors resolved to become a “no kill” shelter, maintaining its no-kill status continuously since 2001-2002. Animal People, a prominent national journal on animal issues, ranked Tompkins County (Ithaca, NY) the safest community for companion animals in the United States. P.S. Ithaca (home to Cornell University and Buddhist Monastery – Dalai Lama’s Seat in North America) has also been voted the most spiritual city in the USA.
Catskill Animal Sanctuary, Saugerties, NY http://casanctuary.org/
Located in the New York’s Hudson Valley, Catskill Animal Sanctuary (CAS) is a 110-acre haven for horses and farm animals rescued from cruelty and neglect. In addition to emergency rescue, CAS provides innovative programs that educate the public about the sentience of farm animals, and the devastating impacts of agribusiness and institutionalized cruelty on animals, people, and the planet.
CAS offers weekend and special group tours, vegan cooking classes,speaking engagements, a summer day camp for kids, and a host of compassionate programming year round at its primarily solar-powered Sanctuary. Since 2001, CAS has rescued over 2,000 animals, and has worked in tandem with law enforcement to bring animal abusers to justice. Catskill Animal Sanctuary’s mission is to rescue and rehabilitate farm animals and horses, to advocate for the abolition of institutionalized cruelty to animals through education, and to help people adopt a cruelty-free lifestyle.
Buy links for my books (ebooks and paperbacks)
Siberian Tiger, aka Amur Tiger, aka Ussurian Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) – IUCN Red Book endangered species. The largest cat and most magnificent tiger in the world, currently, only about 350 adult tigers are left in the wild (about 450 individuals all together), 95% of them in the Russian Far East.
Siberian Tiger habitat
I have written about Siberian Tiger in THE EARTH SHIFTER, in the scene where Sasha encounters, and psychically helps, 2 tigers (and their yet unborn baby) dislodged from their habitat.
Victor, tiger rescued from a poacher, released into the wild Continue reading »
car, hero, inspirational video, kindness to animals, love in action, making the world a better place, pay it forward, Random acts of kindness, random acts of kindness caught on film, real life kindness, Russia, Russian culture, sharing, simple acts of kindness, youtube video
A must watch video! I cried… This is a beautiful compilation of random acts of kindness towards people and animals by total strangers in various Russian towns. Love in action, pure and simple!
As you all know, I am originally from Russia, although I presently live in the US, and I recognize some of the Russian towns in this video. Russians always help each other; it’s embedded in the culture.
A million thanks to Carlosanchez.co Youtube Channel, for posting this on YT
The drivers in Russia all carry dashcams in their cars to record any potential police irregularities and any car accidents for insurance purposes. But as a result, such beautiful and inspiring moments also get caught on film. It’s so wonderful to know that there is so much kindness still alive in the world!
Notice that all this has been recorded in 2012. Blessing to all!
anti-war movement, Happy International Women's Day, History, International Women's Day, March 8, Mother Nature, peace, Russia, sacred feminine, spring, Spring flowers pics, Women, Women's Day celebration in Russia, Women's rights
A retro Russian poster: March 8, International Women’s Day! On banners: words “Peace” and “Friendship” in different languages
Happy March 8! Happy Women’s Day! This is an almost forgotten phrase I grew up with and loved so much. On this day, March 8th, men in Russia would bring colorful tulips and daffodils, as well as lily-of-the-valley and mimosa flowers to their women – mothers, wives, girlfriends, sisters and daughters. Many companies and organizations would host parties to honor their female employees and give them gifts. My parents worked for the Russian Railroads, a rich organization by any measure, and my mom used to bring fab gifts from work on this holiday. My personal favorite was a set of filigree gilded silver coffee spoons she once received from her administration.
March 8 is a national holiday in Russia. All the women would usually be treated like pampered goddesses, being showered with flowers, kicking back and relaxing, as men of the house would take over all the cleaning, cooking and other chores, while their better halves would enjoy a fabulous day off. This, by the way, is a very strictly and solemnly observed Russian tradition. Even if a man is not a domestic type, or a high profile tycoon or political leader, he will show his humility and try his rusty domestic skills on this day. Following the Russian example, celebrating March 8 like this has become a tradition in many other countries, including those where women are normally treated as inferior, like the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Tajikistan.
This post card reads: Happy March 8!
I love March, as it’s my birthday month and as it’s also the beginning of Spring. I remember our warm and joyful March 8 celebrations back in the old country, those huge bunches of fragrant tulips and mimosa – my mom’s favorite flowers we always had in our house, the open windows to let in the scents and sounds of spring….
At this time, we are still buried in the snow up to your ears here, in Upstate NY. Spring in the USA comes very late, and when it does, it hardly lasts for a couple of days, and all of sudden, it’s hot summer. I miss that wonderful, incomparable springtime, when all of nature awakens slowly and luxuriously, when the first flowers appear and snow slowly melts, feeding the earth and allowing the new growth to start in abundance.
By March 8, spring already awakens in Russia, and its essence, filled with the sounds of birds and fragrance of the spring flowers, permeates the air. Women’s Day is about that wonderful spring celebration and it’s also about honoring the Sacred Feminine, the Mother Earth and nature.
This holiday is also traditionally celebrated as a day of peace and unity around the world, hence the name: International Women’s Day. It started 102 years ago in Russia as a revolutionary celebration of women’s rights, and it also has its roots in the anti-war movement. Today, March 8 is a beloved and widely celebrated holiday not only in Russia, but in most other countries of the world.
A retro Russian poster: March 8 – Happy Holiday to our moms!
What a terrible pity that for political reasons such wonderful celebration is ignored by the mainstream USA!
This post is inspired by a comment and a Happy Women’s Day wish from my follower luv2sex.info. Love and March 8 go hand in hand, don’t they?
Happy International Women’s Day to all!
beautiful snake pictures, Chinese New Year, Chinese New Year of the Water Snake, Chinese Zodiac, Dragon dances, Feng Shui, Feng Shui advice, Feng Shui Master Lada Ray, holiday, Kundalini, New Year, Snake, Zhejiang
HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR OF THE WATER SNAKE!
Continuing with last year’s successful tradition, this is post 1 of the Chinese New Year of the Snake Extravaganza.
The Chinese New Year of the Water Snake starts on February 10, 2013, at the new moon. As usual, the New Year celebrations last for 15 days, until the next full moon. These celebrations include family get-togethers, wonderful meals with friends, dragon and lion dances, lavish prosperity ceremonies, and much more!
As a classically trained Feng Shui master consultant, I usually carefully examine the Flying Star chart for the year. I was fascinated by this year’s chart! Indeed, this is a very special year, when all the stars, so to speak, align in a very rare way. Such alignment (in a different way every time) only happens every 9 years. It symbolizes the ending of a cycle, and simultaneously, a new beginning.
This is the year when friendships and alliances of all sorts will be especially auspicious, and when people who usually don’t see eye-to-eye can work together, producing marvelous results! The motto for the year: Strengthen all your relationships, rekindle the old, and start the new ones!
Chinese Zodiac – Year of the Snake
I personally have particular affinity with the Year of the Snake as it’s one of my so-called “Chinese Zodiac Friends.” The Year of the Water Snake is doubly auspicious for me, as water is one of my benefic elements. But in truth, whatever your benefic elements are, this is a very special and auspicious year! Make the best of it!
There is often a misplaced fear of snakes in the West, partly steeped in a long-standing patriarchal society tradition of the suppression of the Sacred Feminine. And partly, originating from the irrational fear of a snake bite. In fact, there are very few snakes that bite lethally, and even fewer that would intentionally bite a human, unless their habitat is being threatened by said humans. Meanwhile, snake’s venom in small doses is considered a powerful medicine, and that’s why snakes coiling around a cup or a stick/sword are traditional symbols of pharmacy and medical profession.
In the enlightened traditions, Snake symbolizes wisdom.
Snakes as symbols of wisdom and discernment on Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun‘s head dress
In the Chinese system, the Snake is classified as one of the “thinkers” of the Zodiac.
In various indigenous traditions, Snake is also a symbol of the Mother Earth (hence wisdom), sexual energy, fertility, Kundalini, and Sacred Feminine.
Wonderful green snake. Courtesy www.animalpictures123.org
Many beautiful snakes are becoming an endangered species! The vanishing Garter Snake. Courtesy scienceray.com
However you look at it, Snake energy is very powerful, and should always be used with care and wisdom. And need I point out that, as any part of nature on planet Earth, snakes should be treated with respect and understanding.
I am looking forward to this New Year of the Water Snake from which I expect many great and positive things!
Stay tuned for more awesome, one-of-a-kind Chinese New Year posts!
Read on the first day of the New Year, February 10, 2013: HOW TO CELEBRATE CHINESE NEW YEAR OF the SNAKE in STYLE! Including dos and don’ts.
Later, I’ll have a post about HOW TO BRING PROSPERITY INTO YOUR HOME (a perennially popular topic!)
And last, but not least, I am planning on attending the New Year dragon dances in NYC Chinatown and filming them. I will post my vids here and on LadaRay Yutube Channel. I am presently at my Catskills retreat, but my Chinese family’s New Year get-together will be in the City. I’m very excited! Here’s to hoping the roads are not snowed in and I can get through! I’ll keep everyone posted how it goes!
Til then, HAPPY NEW YEAR of the WATER SNAKE, and may it bring much prosperity and love into your life!
Read last year’s How My Family Celebrates Chinese New Year of the Dragon!
Lada Ray is the Internationally Certified Feng Shui Master Practitioner and author, including best-selling mystery/thriller GOLD TRAIN (Accidental Spy Russia Adventure) & the new 5* rated metaphysical fantasy/thriller, THE EARTH SHIFTER.
animal lovers, beauty, Buddhism, Cat Ugly, City of Voronezh, dog, humanity, Jesus, Love, Powder the movie, Russia, Russian movies, Soviet movies, spirituality and enlightenment, White Bim the Black Ear
The story of the stray cat named Ugly, doesn’t let me go. There is so much more to say… Memories and thoughts flood my mind.
WHITE BEAM the BLACK EAR
Commonly (but incorrectly) translated into English as: White Bim the Black Ear, this is the title of a famous, multi-award winning 1977 Russian/Soviet movie (Russian: Beliy Bim, Chernoye Ukho) about a very intelligent dog, whose loving owner was hospitalized, leaving the dog in care of a neighbor. Beam (Bim) has unusually colored black ears, which is considered a blemish and an ugly, inappropriate feature for his normally all-white breed. The ailing, lonely writer and WWII vet, Ivan Ivanovich, rescues Beam from imminent death at the hands of a breeder and takes him in. When Ivan Ivanovich is hospitalized, the dog, not accepting his separation from the man he loves, runs away to search for him. It is a heart wrenching story of a loving, forgiving and intelligent dog, his grueling journey, encounters with various humans, their ignorance and prejudices, as well as some kind and loving people, especially children. Much like the cat Ugly in real life, Beam (Bim) in the movie serves as a powerful litmus test of sorts, bringing to light the good, the bad and the ugly of the human race.
Beam and the man he loves never meet. Hungry and exhausted, left inside a freezing dog catcher truck overnight together with another unfortunate dog, Beam dies the night before his owner’s arrival. The ending is bittersweet: Ivan Ivanovich returning from the hospital, adopts the little doggie whom Beam gave his last warmth during that chilly night; the dog catcher get pangs of consciousness and quits his disgusting job; the man, who once attempted to leave Beam to die in the forest, makes amends and asks forgiveness of his little son whom he deceived into thinking that Beam had run away; and come spring, the young puppy named White Beam the Black Ear, together with his loving owner, joyfully runs around, as both the man and the dog go to visit Beam’s grave where white flowers are in bloom once again.
I never got a chance to see this movie while growing up in Russia. But one evening in Princeton, NJ, when everyone in the house was asleep, I noticed it being shown on one of the Russian US channels. I can’t put in words the profound effect this movie has had on me! Two hours later, having cried half of the time, I went to make some tea. I hadn’t slept all night. The next morning, when everyone woke up, I was a changed person.
In Buddhist texts the effect that I felt would be described as “becoming enlightened.”
You’ll be able to find lots of praise for this masterpiece in so many places – just Google it! The common advice is to find this movie and watch it! But be prepared to cry while doing so.
Monument to White Bim the Black Ear in Voronezh, Russia. The inscription on his collar reads: “His name is Bim, he is waiting for his master’s return, he knows the way to his home. Don’t hurt him, people…”
Watch the whole movie (w. English subs!) on this wonderful blog by Kyle Keeton. By the way, this blog also contains a wealth of information about Russian life, culture and customs.
Remember the movie Powder about the unusual and gifted teenager, who looks powdery white and posses mysterious powers? Because of his strange white face he is constantly bullied and ridiculed by others, but he doesn’t respond, until he sees a deer being killed by the father of the same bully who’d always taunted him at school. Only then Powder springs into action, using his formidable powers to teach the killer a lesson.
As the wounded deer thrashes on the ground, and the hunter teaches his son and his friends how to best kill for sport, Powder places one hand by the deer’s heart and with his other hand, he grabs the man’s hand. All of the dying deer’s agony, all his fear, anguish and pain pulses through Powder’s body and into the body of the hunter. When the hunter tries to free himself from Powder’s grip, he can’t. Powder doesn’t say a word, but he won’t let go even as the man starts thrashing on the ground himself, feeling everything the dying deer is feeling. Powder only lets go after having made the hunter experience the full impact of the dying animal’s agony.
It was a very powerful scene. Had the shock therapy worked? Did it teach this man and his bullying son any lessons? I don’t know. But I hope it did.
UGLY, BEAM, and JESUS
One of the original post‘s comments compared the little kitty, called Ugly, with Jesus. When Jesus was put on the cross after being cruelly mistreated and beaten, just like Ugly, he didn’t lash out, but responded with love and forgiveness. The same applies to White Beam the Black Ear. He never attacked, nor even growled at any humans who treated him so badly. He never lost what we so misguidedly call HUMANITY. I know, certain religions do not consider animals equal to humans, as they are not supposed to possess “a soul.”
Me — I am with the Buddhists on this one. All life is precious and sacred, and no one’s better or worse. And those who think they are better, are in fact worse. Look around and see the manifestations of this everywhere. From animal cruelty and bullies, to wars in the name of “national interests” and “democracy”, to those who think they know more than others, when the opposite is actually true. This is the real message of this story.
“FIRST DO NO HARM”
These are the words from the Hippocratic Oath, created by Hippocrates in Ancient Greece and taken by all modern physicians. A similar concept of first doing no harm exists in the Native American, Siberian Shamanic, European and Chinese Naturopathic traditions.
The children in the USA are taught the Oath of Allegiance in kindergarten and school. Sure, it’s great to express one’s patriotism for a country. But I can’t help but think how much more important it is to first teach people to be responsible and benevolent citizens of our planet.
Just imagine how much better life on Earth would be, if the first words everyone learned in school were: FIRST DO NO HARM!
The heartbreaking story of the loving and forgiving stray cat, named Ugly, is something that resonates deeply with me. Read the original story here:
What is it that makes people act indifferently or cruelly towards others, be it an innocent animal, Earth’s nature or another human being. Ignorance? Closed-mindedness? Fear? All of the above? Parents who live in fear and with their minds closed then instruct their children, and perhaps even pets, like the dogs in Ugly’s sad story, to live and act in the same way.
Who hasn’t had experiences with bullies in their childhood? But what if a bully grows up and becomes this? Remember the terrible story that happened in New Jersey a few years ago, that of a young gay man, whose roommate at Rutgers University posted videos of him having sexual acts on the internet? This deliberately cruel act led to the young man’s suicide. The story received a lot of publicity and the guilty person received punishment. But what about so many other despicable acts and attitudes that get swept under the carpet? Do they just disappear? Do they teach a lesson? Do they leave a mark? Or do they escalate into something monstrous?
Where there is ignorance and closed-mindedness, there is prejudice followed by irrational fear, and even violence to “protect” the “threatened way of life.” In Ugly’s story, humans hosed down the poor stray and shut his paws in their doors. But on a global scale, these attitudes lead to wars, or attempts to start wars, as we are presently observing in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Iran. What always struck me is that people who have started the war in Iraq haven’t the faintest idea on how to correctly pronounce the name of the country, nor do they care to know how people in that country live and what’s important to them.
But it always starts small; it always starts close to home.
In the old days, pigeons delivered urgent and important messages. Postal pigeons brought hope and saved lives. They carried correspondence from war zones and hard to reach places; they delivered messages from stranded or imprisoned people, leading to their rescue. Intelligent and gentle birds, they have been considered messengers of the gods. And along with the dove, their close relative, in Europe they are a symbol of peace and love.
Pigeons are a fixture on European squares, with people feeding them and kids chasing them, which pigeons don’t seem to mind. Humans and pigeons have always peacefully coexisted in the most beautiful cities of Europe, and some consider them an enhancement to the scenery. In Italy and some other countries it is actually considered great luck and a sign from God when a pigeon poops on you. In Odessa, where I grew up, children built pigeon lofts on roofs of apartment buildings, where they fed and played with pigeons. Although people in Europe LOVE feeding pigeons, authorities are not amused, aiming to limit the pigeon population.
Pigeons in Red Square, Moscow.
Pigeons in St. Mark’s Square, Venice. Authorities don’t like it when people feed the pigeons. Some cities even impose a hefty fine if you do. This photo’s inscription reads: “They sure missed the sign that says, don’t feed the pigeons.”
One of the many beautiful fountains of Odessa, this one with city pigeon sculptures.
A few days ago my husband and I have rescued a young pigeon, who appeared to have fallen out of the third story attic where lots of local pigeons resided. The building in question is located on Main Street, a short walk from our house in the Catskills. My husband noticed the poor bird sitting motionlessly on the sidewalk, as cars and huge rumbling trucks passed by. He was not fully grown, but not a baby any more either. He might have flown out of his flock’s nest on top of the building for the first time, but grew tired and was unable to fly back up.
The little thing puffed up his little body in fear and had a very dejected and ugly look. We were afraid something might happen to him so close to the traffic and started slowly directing him along the nearby driveway into the inner courtyard. The pigeon stood up and reluctantly walked into the courtyard on his unsteady little feet. We followed to see where he would go. At first, the pigeon went all the way to the back as if trying to blend with the wall, and stood like that, his back to the door of one of the courtyard’s small stores, which was closed for the moment.
My concern was that someone might open the door and squash him. As if hearing my thoughts, the pigeon slowly emerged from his “hiding spot” and settled himself in the middle of the parking lot with the same dejected look, with cars around him coming and going. People would walk to their cars right past the pigeon, and drive out without giving him a second look. At times he tried to fly, but couldn’t.
We knew if we didn’t do something fast, our little pigeon would be squashed by one of these cars in no time. I went inside of one of the stores located in the courtyard and asked the owner whether they had the key to the attic so I could put the pigeon back where he would be safe.
The woman said that only the landlord had access to the attic. I asked if she had the landlord’s telephone number. Here is what the store owner responded: “I don’t want to bother the landlord for something as insignificant as a pigeon.” I replied that it was a living thing, just like her or me, but she firmly reiterated: “I won’t bother him for a pigeon.”
Meanwhile, my husband ran back to our house to look up the instructions for pigeon rescue.
Turns out that if a pigeon sits without moving, if he can’t fly and allows you to handle him, it means he is tired and in need of a few hours of rest. We made a few holes in a cardboard box, I put on leather gloves, just in case, and placed the little pigeon safely in the box. He allowed me to handle him and my husband carried him home.
On the way to our house, we met a woman walking two adorable dogs. My husband proceeded home, while I stopped to pet them, as the woman started telling all about her beloved pets. I listened to her, thinking that it was great to meet another animal lover.
“We just rescued a little pigeon,” I shared with her.
The woman’s attitude changed immediately. “Did you know that pigeons carry lice?” she said.
“Oh,” I responded, “I wore gloves, see?” And I showed her my gloves, which I took off to pet her dogs.
“And lice can get in your hair,” she went on. “Just letting you know.” She jerked on her dogs’ leashes and quickly left.
My husband laughed when I told him the story. “I have news for her,” he said. “Dogs carry lice just as much, if not more. And according to my research, there is no substantial evidence that pigeons carry lice. It’s more of a tale than reality.”
I believe my husband. He is good at research.
We placed the box with our little pigeon in our shady back yard to allow him to rest and calm down. A couple of hours later, I took him out of the box and let him wander around the yard. We also gave him some bird feed and water. He ate and drank and again sat in the sun, resting. We were a little concerned about our cat Lily’s reaction to the pigeon. Lily loves basking in the sun in our back yard, which our little princess considers her domain. But, as if knowing that it would not be a good idea on that specific day, Lily (this famous mind reader) slept in the TV room all day, which was highly unusual for her on such nice, sunny day.
Meanwhile, the little pigeon started recovering. When we first saw him, he was all dull and puffed up from fatigue and fear. Now his black body started acquiring an irridescent glow. His little feet, which seemed pale pink when we found him, now acquired a distinctive red coloring. His neck, which was initially puffed up to a degree that I thought that perhaps something was wrong with him, now stretched and became slim and graceful, as he calmed down, ate and rested. His body was very pleasantly warm to the touch and he turned out to be a very beautiful little pigeon.
The pigeon wandered back and forth around the back yard and the driveway, and eventually headed to the front. I caught him again almost on the sidewalk and put him back deeply into the back yard, where he continued his exploration. Although his wings seemed fine and he was now well rested, his attempts to fly were still unsuccessful. I left him alone, deciding that he would be okay in the back and because I had lots to do. I retreated to my study, asking my husband to watch him from the window of his study.
When I came out several hours later, my little pigeon was gone. Turns out, while I was at work, he got his wings back and flew off, no doubt to new adventures.
I’ll miss him. But wherever he is today, I wish him a safe and happy journey!
It’s easy to love that, which is beautiful. But it seems, beauty in this world is impossible without ugliness, and sometimes the biggest beauty is hidden in what appears ugly. All you have to do is look beyond the surface.
The post below is reblogged from Joseph A. Gier via Ayanna Nahmias http://ayannanahmias.com/2012/08/12/animal-rights-story/
I don’t often reblog other people’s posts, even the ones I enjoy very much, since my own blogging schedule is so tight. After my last post about the Sunshine Award, I was planning on basking in the Sun for a few days before publishing 3 brand new posts about the beautiful Golden Ring of Russia and the magnificent Russian churches. These posts, complete with gorgeous new pics are literally standing in line, awaiting publication.
But I am putting all that on hold, because THIS POST is much more important and I want as many people as possible to read it! It’s not an easy read (I cried while reading it!) but it teaches something that very few things in life can teach with more humility and poignancy, namely: LOVE, COMPASSION, FORGIVENESS and KINDNESS.
Unfortunately, I don’t know who initially posted this story, but I want to thank that person, as well as all those who reblogged it. This post is a MUST read for all. Please tweet, FB, reblog and mention it in all your favorite social media!
I am also planning parts 2 and 3, where I’ll share my own experiences and thoughts on the subject.
This is not written by me .. but felt move to share it…I have no reason to believe it is not true.
Everyone in the apartment complex I lived in knew who Ugly was. Ugly was the resident tomcat.
Ugly loved three things in this world: fighting, eating garbage, and shall we say, love. The combination of these things combined with a life spent outside had their effect on Ugly.
To start with, he had only one eye, and where the other should have been was a gaping hole. He was also missing his ear on the same side, his left foot has appeared to have been badly broken at one time, and had healed at an unnatural angle, making him look like he was always turning the corner.
His tail has long since been lost, leaving only the smallest stub, which he would constantly jerk and twitch. Ugly would have been a dark gray tabby striped-type, except for the sores covering his head, neck, even his shoulders with thick, yellowing scabs.
Every time someone saw Ugly there was the same reaction. “That’s one UGLY cat!!”
All the children were warned not to touch him, the adults threw rocks at him, hosed him down, squirted him when he tried to come in their homes, or shut his paws in the door when he would not leave.
Ugly always had the same reaction. If you turned the hose on him, he would stand there, getting soaked until you gave up and quit. If you threw things at him, he would curl his lanky body around feet in forgiveness. Whenever he spied children, he would come running meowing frantically and bump his head against their hands, begging for their love. If you ever picked him up he would immediately begin suckling on your shirt, earrings, whatever he could find.
One day Ugly shared his love with the neighbors huskies. They did not respond kindly, and Ugly was badly mauled. From my apartment I could hear his screams, and I tried to rush to his aid. By the time I got to where he was laying, it was apparent Ugly’s sad life was almost at an end.
Ugly lay in a wet circle, his back legs and lower back twisted grossly out of shape, a gaping tear in the white strip of fur that ran down his front. As I picked him up and tried to carry him home I could hear him wheezing and gasping, and could feel him struggling. I must be hurting him terribly I thought.
Then I felt a familiar tugging, sucking sensation on my ear – Ugly, in so much pain, suffering and obviously dying was trying to suckle my ear. I pulled him closer to me, and he bumped the palm of my hand with his head, then he turned his one golden eye towards me, and I could hear the distinct sound of purring. Even in the greatest pain, that ugly battled-scarred cat was asking only for a little affection, perhaps some compassion.
At that moment I thought Ugly was the most beautiful, loving creature I had ever seen. Never once did he try to bite or scratch me, or even try to get away from me, or struggle in any way. Ugly just looked up at me completely trusting in me to relieve his pain.
Ugly died in my arms before I could get inside, but I sat and held him for a long time afterwards, thinking about how one scarred, deformed little stray could so alter my opinion about what it means to have true pureness of spirit, to love so totally and truly.
Ugly taught me more about giving and compassion than a thousand books, lectures, or talk show specials ever could, and for that I will always be thankful. He had been scarred on the outside, but I was scarred on the inside, and it was time for me to move on and learn to love truly and deeply. To give my total to those I cared for.
This story makes me think of my favorite flower – lotus. Incredibly and strikingly beautiful, it is also the flower universally considered in the East to represent the divine perfection. Do you know why? Lotus grows out of the mud of a swamp to bloom into the gorgeous flower we all admire. To the Buddhists this represents the ultimate spiritual paradox: the divine beauty growing out of what appears ugly.
This lotus is for the beautiful cat named UGLY!
Catskill Mountains, frogs, geese, horses, nature, nature photography, New Age, New York, Rail Trail, Russian Orthodox Monastery, Tibetan Buddhism, Upstate NY, wild flowers, wild life habitat, Woodstock New York
I am continuing my series on America’s cool and off-beat spots.
I live in a beautiful part of New York State, the Catskill Mountains. Renowned for its skiing in the winter and hiking in the warmer seasons, it is also home to various colleges, artist and New Age communities, as well as monasteries and spiritual retreats.
Definitely visit the Woodstock Buddhist Monastery. Read my post + lots of pics: Woodstock Tibetan Buddhist Monastery
There are many other fascinating places to visit in the Catskills, including the New Age town of New Paltz, Russian Orthodox Monastery and the Peace Village. I am planning some posts about those in the near future.
But today’s post is all about the nature of the Catskills.
Many New Yorkers buy secondary homes in the Catskills because of its gorgeous mountains and unspoiled nature. Overpopulation, overconstruction and incessant traffic are a problem in most of the USA.
But the Catskills remain one of the few relatively pristine corners of the country, still preserving the beauty and charm of a long by-gone era.
Stamford, New York, known as the Queen of the Catskills, is located in the heart of the area.
In the olden days, when a railroad ran through town, well-to-do New Yorkers would vacation at the local summer and winter resorts. Some built grand summer homes. However, with the advent of automobiles, the rail road became defunct, and as fewer people came to Stamford, the town lost its luster, falling on hard times. But in the past twenty years, as buying of secondary homes became popular again, New Yorkers flocked here once more to destress and be with nature.
The defunct railroad has been turned into a nature trail, presently running for miles and miles to the neighboring towns. Dubbed the rail trail, it is my favorite place to hike, do photography and meditate.
I hear that the long-term plan is to revive the defunct rail road and bring big city traffic and commerce back to town. It would be a pity. The rail trail is a way for humans to interact with nature in a peaceful and unobtrusive way, and without creating unnecessary disruption of wild life habitats.
My hope is that the unique natural ecological system that so many people, animals, birds and other creatures can enjoy now won’t be destroyed, as humans attempt to re-assert their dominion over the area.
In Stamford, beautiful nature starts right at my doorstep.
Wild flowers on the rail trail.
Colors of the rail trail.
As I walk, scents of various blooms are intoxicating.
The mighty Delaware River starts right here, in Stamford, as a tiny trickle. It runs through the entire town and along the rail trail.
A cute pink frog from the river, whom I met on the rail trail and who graciously agreed to a photo op.
My favorite pond and its inhabitants.
I was lucky enough to capture him in flight!
My friends, Mr. and Mrs. Goose.
The Catskill Mountains are lovely any time of the year.
Horses on the rail trail.
And more beautiful horses.
Lily is very loving, beautiful, smart and fluffy, and I love her with all my heart. She co-starred in Stepford USA, and made her appearance in Gold Train as the super-intelligent and sassy cat, Princess Lily. She also starred in my YouTube video, Enchanted Halloween, as the Halloween Cat. Despite these lofty credentials, Lily Cat likes simple pleasures of life.
Lily and I, when we were just a notch younger
Us again, today
Hello, I am the official greeter
Lily’s famous ‘white paw pedestal pose’ featured in Stepford USA
And another version of the same pose
This carpet is very comfortable
Lily, this famous master of meditation, can meditate anywhere, even in the kitchen
Meditation over, time to go
Under the Bodhi Tree. A great place to relax, Buddha style
The Bodhi Tree meditation
I want my privacy, please!
Time for a nap
Lily: a portrait
Lily of the garden
The best hiding spot
A cozy spot by the warm heater on a cold winter day
What wouldn’t I do for a nice meal!
Time to say goodbye. See you again soon!
Today, I am simply sharing some beautiful images of one of my favorite flowers – lotus. I’ve collected them overtime from different sources and thought it wonderful to feast the eye on them this weekend. The lotus is so pure and healing…
In the East, it is a symbol of wisdom and enlightenment. And because it is considered an embodiment of harmony, lotus is a truly wonderful feng shui!
No words are needed. Simply enjoy!