Three days ago my cat, China Belle, asked to go out, and didn’t come back for two days.

Of those two nights, one was filled with thunder, lightning and heavy rain.

I was pretty sure by yesterday that she wasn’t coming back.  But she did.

Last night as I was opening the doors and windows to cool the house down, she came to the front door!  She didn’t meow, didn’t claw the screen, demanding to be let in, just looked at me. Of course I let her in, and she made it very clear that she just wanted to lie down.

I folded her a towel (she’s never been a pillow cat) and set her up on the bed, but she jumped down and lay on the floor.

She squeezed her eyes at me when I petted her, but most just rested.

This morning she’d passed on.

I’ve had this cat for 13 years, off and on.  When we moved here to Kentucky, she stayed with my Mom, and when Mom found out she had cancer again, I told her of course China would come live with us.  Driving back from Arizona with a cat, 2 sugar gliders, a gecko, and a flying squirrel after Mom passed away was an adventure I wouldn’t care to repeat, but we all made it safely back to Kentucky.

China Belle adapted just fine, as cats mostly seem to do.

She always loved watching birds, and she could lay out on the porch and watch the wild birds all day long in good weather.

In bad weather, she’d lie on the floor or in a chair, and watch the parakeets and finches.  When we got a few button quail, she’d give in to temptation sometimes and try to pat them through the cage.  What a to-do that always caused!

China was never a cuddly cat, like most I’ve been owned by.  She hated to be picked up, and was quite clear about how familiar her humans were allowed to get with her.  My son would pick her up anyway, and she’d grumble until he put her back down.

She’d meet me at the door when I got home from work, telling me (apparently) about her day and how she was starving even though there was food in her dish.

She’d come and tell me when her water dish had got empty, griping about it as only a cat can.

And when I’d get the sugar gliders out, she’d lie on the bed, fighting the urge to “help” them bounce around and play.

China Belle wasn’t a kitten when I got her from a friend.  At 6 months old, she’d already developed her standoffish personality.  But even with her prickly personality, she was ours and we were hers.

She loved Tyler even though he teased her a lot.

She’d tease him back by going upstairs to see if he was busy, then just sitting on the top step looking at him until he noticed she was there.  Then she’d meander back downstairs and do her cat things.

I’ll miss her a lot.

China Belle, wherever we go, just be patient.  And say hello to Mom for me.  Love you, grumpy cat.

Forgive, and Make Magic

Forgiveness is way underrated.

I grew up with the old adage “Fool me once, shame on you; Fool me twice, shame on me.”

But being forgiving doesn’t have to mean being a doormat.

The older I get, the more I understand that forgiveness (at least for me) means putting myself in the other person’s shoes, and then walking that mile.

Once I’ve done that, I begin to understand what motivated that person to act in that way.  I feel the blisters, the shin splints, the aching knees that person experienced.

If I can reach that level of understanding, I can get hold of forgiveness.  That’s where I need to be, the place where I can make room for someone else’s experience.  

And the truly miraculous part of this?

I become more kind, more tolerant, more calm in the face of difficulty.

Isn’t that the way to heal the world around us?

Photo by Tyler B Horsley

Bring Your Own Brain

Excellent idea! Been working on this with our son for 17 years. Not exactly taught in school…

Bring Your Own Brain

The unpublished book for serious users of the neck-top computer. Very few people use their neck-top computer well. Because they don’t understand how to use it for their benefit they mostly use it against themselves.

This is not their fault, it’s an artefact of generations of people who didn’t know how to use it, they passed their knowledge down the family line to make sure everybody had the same skill level.

This book is a distillation of what I have learned over 40+ years of study. I am bringing it up to current thinking so it has relevance for you today. It looks at how meditation and mindfulness work and how you can make far better use of your neck-top computer to improve any and all aspects of your life.
Click here to read more

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A Course in Miracles Experimental (by Pam Grout) Day 182

“You are the Universe experiencing Itself.” – Alan Watts

If I allow that this might be true, so many of my ingrained beliefs come into question.

If I let this idea grow and bloom, I have no choice but to open my mind and give it room.

If this is true, and I have a bone-deep feeling that it is, then I need to beat some of the barnacles off my brain and allow some fresh air, and fresh ideas, back in.  I have to make the space in my life and in my head to figure out what this really means.

Twice a day, when I’m falling asleep and when I’m waking up, there’s a few magical moments when my mind is sort of floating free – drifting and receptive.

I’m trying to use those mystical seconds to aim my consciousness at the Almighty, striving for a closer connection.

What do you think of as you let go of the conscious world and drift off to sleep?

Photo by Taylor Leopold, courtesy of Unsplash
With Grace and Gratitude, 


A Course in Miracles Experiment (by Pam Grout) Day 181

There’s a saying that you’ve surely heard:  “All we really have is today.”

 And if you can stop the running commentary on your head that’s continually trying to re-run the past or interpret someone else’s motivations, and focus on today, you’ll find a wellspring of hot in the now.

It’s hard to do, but Oh, so worth the effort!

I have spent way too much time on my life focussing on the things I didn’t want, that I’ve not had the energy or space to consider what I DO want.  

Maybe you have, too.

Take ten minutes out of your day to think hard about what you wish your life actually consisted of, without making comparisons to your actual life, and without judging yourself for where you really are or how you got there.

Let right now be where you are, wholeheartedly and with your full attention.

It’s amazing how different everything looks when you change your focus.

Stop looking at the bacteria under the microscope and step back into the sunlight.

Enjoy the day!

Photo by Aaron Burden, courtesy of Unsplash
With Grace and Gratitude, 


A Course in Miracles Experiment (by Pam Grout) Day 180

Grace is where it’s at.

Just think about it.

Without Grace, my life becomes a series of painful experiences with no end in sight.

If I allow myself room for Grace, I can release all the negativity and begin to move on in my life.

If I give Grace a chance, I receive more than I give.

How can I do this?

When my husband grumps at me over something trivial, I mentally take a step back and a deep breath.  I remind myself that what hes experiencing is not at all what Im experiencing, and that without Grace, I won’t achieve understanding.

Then, I can “turn the other cheek”, see a different viewpoint, and respond appropriately.  Anger, irritation, or negativity will block my source of Grace, and they just get in the way!

Do you find yourself snapping back in anger or aggravation?

Try taking that deep breath.  Try to give Grace room in your head, your heart, your life.

Then, you can handle anything that anyone tosses your way, and hit it square on and right out of the ballpark!

Try it this morning.  Try it.  Then try to tell me it doesn’t work.  Because I have seen it in action, and the results are truly astonishing.

Photo by SAMIMX, courtesy of Pixabay

With Grace and Gratitude, 


A Course in Miracles Experiment (by Pam Grout) Day 179

Do you get up in the morning expecting that your day will be miserable?

Do you expect that your boss will have an attitude, that your co-workers will all be grumpy, that the newspaper will have gotten wet and be unreadable?

The things we expect, the fact that we think they’re going to happen, helps draw those experiences to us.

What if, today, you tell that snarky voice in your head to hush, and purposefully think about what positive things could happen?

Try it today.

Every time that voice pipes up with something negative, consciously replace that thought with “Only good things come to me.”

 Keep repeating it.

Every time.

By overlaying positive thoughts, the negative will sink down into the muck at the bottom of the ocean that is your mind, and that positivity will attract its like.

Calm your mind, your thoughts.

Add a tiny bit of positivity, and like a slick of oil on water, these conscious thoughts will begin to spread and ease the upheaval and chaos that is created by negativity and by our ego.

Which scenario makes more sense?  

Why allow anyone else’s interpretation of reality to change your life?  We are conscious, thinking, rational animals.  Let’s be rational, and allow that good to come into our lives!  

Why not try being something different today?

Photo by Skitterphoto, courtesy of Pixabay
With Grace and Gratitude, 


A Course in Miracles Experiment (by Pam Grout) Day 178

Love is the only real answer.

We’re not talking about romantic love, here.  That’s certainly got its place, but it’s too narrow a concept.

What we need to heal the wounded world we live in is a deep and abiding love that allows no unkind act, no uncharitable thought.

Reach down into your heart for that love that you had as a child – the love that allows you to laugh and be joyful all the time.  It’s a love of life itself, a celebration of every good thing that is and that will come.

Love truly can conquer all adversity, any challenge.

Imagine a world based on love, a world where every child is seen as a gift, where every being has enough to eat, a shelter of their own, a support system for hard times.

What a wondrous world we can make!

Ignore the overwhelming negativity of the mass media.

Prioritize love, kindness and caring.

Let’s change the face of our planet for the better!

Photo by edmondlafoto, courtesy of Pixabay

With Grace and Gratitude, 


A Course in Miracles Experiment (by Pam Grout) Day 177

This lesson really made me smile!

It’s titled “Earth Robots, Revolt!”

 Remember when you were small and everything was new, exciting, filled with amazement and possibilities?

Remember the time before “they” got you toned down, dressed up, and fitted into your tiny little spot?

We get so caught up in labelling things, that we forget that our kids, our friends, and even ourselves (sorry about the grammar loss here), we don’t actually fit those labels!  They’re handy, but they’re also limiting.

We’re defined by the labels we accept for ourselves, and until we kick them out and turn them away, we’ll continue in our (self-)limited ways.

What’s a label you’ve accepted for yourself? Tell yourself today, every time you think about it, that you are just the opposite of that label.  Every single time!

Because you ARE bright, beautiful, creative and wondrous in every way! You ARE everything you want to be, today and every day!  

Use that slogan the Army used to use, “Be all you can be!” and work it!

 You ARE important.  You CAN make a difference.  You do affect everyone and everything around you with your thoughts.  Make it positive, and make it happen.  Be every wonderful, amazing, powerful and creative thing you can be today.

Start the momentum.  Once you can get that boulder rolling, it will smash through those labels, obliterate them so entirely that no-one will remember them.

Be everything you can be, today!  Re-orient your thinking every moment, like the sunflower follows the sun across the sky…

Photo by RitaE, courtesy of Pixabay

With Grace and Gratitude, 


A Course in Miracles Experiment (by Pam Grout) Day 176

The Universe is still expanding.  The scientists tell us that this all started with a “Big Bang”, right?  What they generally neglect to mention is that the process hasn’t stopped.  Every once in a while an astronomist will bring up the fact, but mostly we ignore it.

The question this brings to my mind, though, is “If our whole universe is still expanding, why do we persist in believing that all the important resources in our lives are limited?”

Why aren’t we chasing after some of those limitless possibilities, instead of hunkering down with the tiny bit of ( land, food, car, job, money) that we’ve managed to make our own?

Why aren’t we teaching our kids a better idea, that’s actually more in line with that reality – that the entire universe is NOT limited, that what we can achieve is NOT limited, that if we can imagine it, we can achieve it?

My ego reiterates every day “You have to keep this job, You have to know where your paycheck is coming from, you have to …yadda, yadda, yadda.”

Does yours?

I’m gathering up the courage and conviction to strike out on my own, to ditch the 9 to 5, and let the money we need to find me in its own way.

Am I crazy?


But how else will I really prove my theory – that the Universe is unlimited and ever-expanding, and will grant me everything I really need when I need it?

Photo of the Lobster Nebula by skeeze, courtesy of Pixabay
With Grace and Gratitude,