The Sunshine Factor

where sunshine is a way of life


Poetry Saturday: Animals and Their Language

Golden RetrieverAnimals have a way of communicating with us
having nothing to do with words

They don’t ponder if they’re going to communicate
but communicate, they do.

On a pre-dawn walk this week
I saw Matthew and his dog Buddy

I called Buddy’s name
I could see the hello in his eyes
and the rhythmic wag of his tail
“Mrs. S!” he seemed to say
even though his lips did not move at all

When I got home from my walk
My cats communicated with me too

Micah circled my legs and gave me a head bump
Rachael ran toward her momma and “chirped” with her tiny little voice

I don’t think my household could ever be without a pet
we would miss the little signs of love and acceptance shown by them

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NaPoWriMo #22




Tiger, my dear cat,

where have you gone?

I know that the traveling vet took you away in February,

but I miss you still.

I keep thinking you are coming back.

If I could only see you once more,

I wouldn’t get annoyed at your tapping on my leg

for food handouts.

I wouldn’t care that your back claws dug into my legs

when I was on the computer.

I miss your soft meows answering my questions,

when your mouth moved to speak but nothing came out.

Are you having fun in heaven, catching micies and fishies?

Are you patrolling the grounds up there

like you were a sentry for us in our house?

Our new kitty Rachael is now the watch cat

but please remember, you were the best.

We had a sad day on April 18th, which would have been your 16th birthday.

You are still in our family

and very much loved —

and terribly much missed.

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NaPoWriMo #16


It occurs to me

I could live in a tree

but then I wouldn’t be able to sleep

because the dark outside would be way too deep.

I could live in a rustic cabin

but my conscience would be a’jabbin’

I like to be home for my hubby and cats

at home you can never have too many welcome mats.

I could live anywhere, I guess

but it sure would be a mess

not to have a place I belong to

where I can appreciate the dew


Hope this finds you happily adjusted, wherever you live.  🙂

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NaPoWriMo #9


David had bronchitis and was napping in the chair

and Debbie had reactive asthma, so no, it wasn’t fair.

The two cats always on the bed with her lie,

All afternoon, they sure make time fly by.

Debb was wheezing and thought it was Rachael snoring

but it was her lungs who Debbie they weren’t adoring.

Micah snored too, and so the bedroom was noisy ~

I wonder, could they hear us in Boise?


Are We Forgetful, Too?

I have a feeling I’ll be writing more about our cats Micah and Rachael because they’re such a big part of life at the Stanton household…

I’ve only had Micah for approximately four years, and he already has forgotten that he, too, was once a new cat in the household.  Back when he arrived, our dear cat Tiger wanted to welcome him.  But, being the nervous type, Micah the newcomer is the cat who hissed and growled (out of fear).

He is reticent to give little Rachael a chance, but is getting more accepting.  Dave has referred to me as “the cat whisperer” (person who can help or understand animals), but Micah’s situation just needs patience.

Micah  now has reacted to his primal instincts – to defend territory – he did not reason like a person can.

But what about people?  Do we forget things when dealing with others?  I’m referring to a Bible story where a man was forgiven his large debt but then turned around and did not act gracious to the person who owed him money.

Then, there is the story of the lepers.  Only one of them, after being healed, came back to thank Jesus.

I’m just wondering if we forget to be thankful or forgive or give grace like we receive it.   I know the leper story always got to me; I vowed to not be like the ones who didn’t come back to say thanks.

And as long as we’re on the subject of thanks…thank you to my readers who are ever-loving and affirming and faithful.  You make me smile.    🙂


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Humor Me, Please



Wow, this is my third post today.   I guess I am in what they call “the flow”.

There’s a lot of love for writing and my blog and my WordPress family all around me.

Can you feel it?

I’ve thought up some posts to write,

and I think audience participation would certainly enhance them very much.

So far, you, my family, seem to be a little shy, or busy, or quiet.

You’re bright, humorous, loving, creative, thoughtful people.

How ’bout if you humor me a little and contribute to the fun?

I’ve love to hear answers to the questions if I ask them

or get to know your writing “voice”.

I promise, I won’t force you into anything stupid

I wouldn’t hurt you for the world.

I want to get to know you better,

and to get to know someone better,

I spend time with them.

Will this be a go, I wonder?


Audience participation is optional;

audience participation is really appreciated!

I am actually not a needy person,

but my immediate family is dead and gone,

and I do love people.

I know it just won’t be everyone’s bag, to be so vocal on someone else’s blog,

but that’s the chance I will have to take.

I’ll be posting our first “opportunity” later this week.

Take care till then!



a/k/a/ Mrs. Loaf





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Daily Prompt: Oasis

Singer, instrumentalist, and composer Enya.

Singer, instrumentalist, and composer Enya. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From December 4th Daily Prompt: Oasis

A sanctuary is a place you can escape to, to catch your breath and remember who you are. Write about the place you go to when everything is a bit too much.

I go to my living room.  Amidst all the water and sea pictures that calm me (as I do love the water very much), I can be still and just BE.   I can lie on the couch and see the sky and birds and trees beyond the window.   Here is where I relax for a half hour when I get home from work, listening to Enya or classical music – a great time to close my eyes and get back in touch with my feelings, breathe deeply, and just appreciate.  If being a cancer survivor taught me anything, it is about the importance of being and being thankful and appreciating life.

Now that it’s Christmas time I turn on the Christmas tree and turn off the other lights; I stare at the different ornaments and think about their collective histories.

My living room echoes the joy that is sometimes there.  My husband and I  gather there to talk over the day or to pray together.  When occasionally I actually have time to read a book, I go to my haven and am surrounded by my cats, purring their acceptance and approval.

Christmas Tree (1)

Christmas Tree (1) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today I will be describing the point in my life at which time I knew my life would be forever changed.

My answer is in two parts about the same subject:  cancer.

Of course, when I first heard the news over the telephone that I had breast cancer, I knew it would be life-changing.  I didn’t think about it too much, though, because I was in shock.  A few tears rolled down my cheeks, I called my friend Patti, and then I prayed, “Okay Lord, so what is my first step?  Can you please guide me through this?”

But the most influential time in my life that I knew I would never be the same again, was later on in my cancer recovery.

I was in my cancer care center, scheduled to get a blood transfusion because my levels were dipping dangerously low.   A friend had driven me there to be on the safe side, in  case I felt woozy afterwards and wouldn’t be able to drive.

I was asked to sit in a recliner that was in the general transfusion area instead of being put in my regular, private infusion room.

“Ooh, I’ll have an audience,” I quipped.  My driver friend and I had quite an interesting conversation going, and then she got stir-crazy and declared she had to get up and walk around through the hospital.  Knowing I often slept through my treatments, I told her it was perfectly acceptable for her to take a break, and to have an enjoyable time on her walk.

One bag of blood had been imparted to my ailing body, and the second bag was started.  That’s when my turmoil also started.

I think I grew delirious because I was so warm, I was threatening to take off my sweater (and only top!), and I wasn’t being my normally teasing self.   Yup, I must’ve had a fever, because in about 10 minutes I was freezing cold.  I actually DEMANDED that the nurses give me several cotton flannel blankets fresh from the heater.

This was one treatment I didn’t sleep through.

This, right here and now, was the moment that changed my life forever.  I felt I was dying, I was so scared, but I knew that if I survived I was sure going to look at life differently and act accordingly!

When my friend returned much later, she saw a strange sight.  There I was, wound practically as tight as a mummy with all my white blankets, covered completely with only my eyes, nose and mouth peeking out.

The nurse asked me, “Do you want to tell her, or should I?”  I was so out of it that my friend started to cry.

She was told, “Debbie has had a severe allergic reaction to the new blood she received.  We need to keep her overnight, I’m sorry.”

Somehow I was able to give my friend directions for the keypad to my garage, so she could go feed and water my cats.  She did a wonderful service for me, considering that she and her son disliked cats severely but took care of my cats anyway.

I launched my new intent (to appreciate life and encourage others) that night in my hospital room.  I made the nurse laugh and she got to share all about her family, and I encouraged her.  I told her she made a difference and she should love herself because she is special.  SHE nearly started to cry.  What was it about me that encouraged tears?!

However, later that evening my pastor and his wife came to visit me.  I regaled them with several tales and they ended up feeling better than when they came.  Laughter was definitely present, and I believe it healed me from my allergic reaction.

Laughter and joy became my constant companions, and they have never left my side.  I was blessed to be given a second chance, and I am still living!



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Talk to the Animals

Non-pet owners may think the rest of us are crazy when we talk to our pets, but I think it’s good for us and for our pets.  Statistics show how pets, especially dogs and cats, can lower our blood pressure and lessen our chances of getting depressed.   

It is quite a routine in the Stanton household when I leave for work each morning.  I give the same speech, day after day, to each of my two cats.  I try to talk to them one on one and look into their eyes, and they look into mine.  On days when I’m in a hurry, I go bounding down the stairs on the way to the garage and call out my speech to both cats:

“Okay, boys, Mama has to go to work now.  Make sure you’re good boys today and be nice to the other kitty.  I want you to have a good day and know that Mama loves you.”  I smile when I think of how I’m always talking to them as if they’re children (that I didn’t get to have).  I think Tiger and Micah look forward to that little speech, because when the garage door opens right after I have given them my farewell speech, they know that they can now begin their hard work of the day – a nice snooze on their favorite places.  Lately they end up in my home office where they spend all their time with me when I am home.  It’s almost like they are place cards, holding my place till I get back to my blogs!

I also talk to wild animals and birds outside my home (in my neighborhood, besides the numerous squirrels, we have a band of wild turkeys).  I guess I figure that since they’re there, why not be kind and talk to them?  (But I’m sure they wish for the opposite.)


And of course, I don’t want to forget our animal friends at the zoo.  Their majesty and beauty are really something else.

My “Queen of SSS”story last week tells that I used to pet the insects that got into our sunroom, simply because I felt bad for them because they were hated by my mother.   I was sensitive even back then, I guess.

I grew up with wonderful dogs and now have cats.  My favorite wild animals are the Big Cats – which animals do you really like?




My Yoga Saturday

English: Vrksasana, the tree position, a Yoga ...

English: Vrksasana, the tree position, a Yoga posture. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Besides “honesty is the best policy”, laughter comes in as a strong second.

I began to fully live the day that I first laughed at myself.

Today I laughed when I attempted yoga for the first time.  I loved it even though the space in my bedroom that I’ve allotted for it is kind of narrow.   Most of this Rodney Yee CD yoga practice was in a sitting or lying position, and when I was lying on my mat I couldn’t fully extend my arms to either side because cats were in the way!  Tiger on my left got surprised when all of a sudden my left hand ended up at the place that unbeknownst to me he was lying.  Micah on my right gravitated toward my hand for a neck rub, because that is what he is used to doing.

Both cats were purring at the same time but definitely had different purrs.  I think they like yoga!  But next time I want to remember to cast my fan club out of the bedroom and shut the door.  Then I can concentrate and hear Rodney better!

I was really pleased with Rodney’s CD.  I only had to pause him twice, once to get my yoga strap and once to get a blanket for one of the poses.  I happened to do the a.m. yoga segment, and it was so relaxing.  I wonder if I can do it on a weekday when getting ready for work, without falling back to sleep?!

I found my muscles to be really tight, especially the hamstrings (no surprise here), but it felt so good to stretch.  Yoga seems to be coming into my life…yesterday at work my boss showed me how to do a tree pose.  The object was to place one foot at the bottom of the opposite leg, slowly slide the foot up along the leg, and raise your arms out to the side and up to the sky.  I immediately raised my foot as far as I could on the leg, put up my arms, and didn’t fall over.  “Debb!  You’re already doing it!” my boss said.  And to me, I was just doing a graceful stretch that until yesterday didn’t know that this pose had a name.

Yoga practitioners:  do you have any advice or comments about my new adventure, what to do or what to expect?  Thanks!