Posted in animal death, animal rights, Colombia, Colombian life, expat life, friendship, Perfection and Peace, photo challenge, Uncategorized

Too Much Shiny in My Life!

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Everything is shiny in my life here in Colombia at Villa Migelita. Lately, my dog Marley has become the shiny object in my life. He is old and he is still doing OK. I want to share a story from yesterday that made me realize he knows he is growing older too.

We needed to bring Orion to the Veterinarian because he has allergies. Marley came out and saw Orion in the truck. I said “Come Marley, back to your house” he ignored me and when I opened the door he jumped right in and sat in the front seat. I say “Marley we are going to the Vet and you need to get down.” He jumped to the backseat with Orion and sat down. I realized he wants to be with me every single second he can.  I understand because dogs just know. I said “Ok, you can go too.” He relaxed and went along.

He was my shiny object for the day and for the rest of his life. His years are numbered. I don’t know how old he is. He has been with me since 2008 before my daughter died. He is the gentlest, most special dog in the world. According to me. I know we all have our dogs and think the same. But yesterday made my heart smile. Orion had to be put in a room by himself because Orion does not like animals not in his pack. Marley was able to explore the farm of my friend and veterinarian.

Marley exploring
Just sniffing around the farm of my Vet 

He was so happy. We went off to look at a cow that had a problem, and we left Marley to himself. He was so happy. He was with me, and he was on an adventure. He also had a little check up too. All is fine with him and he is still strong, I just can’t take him on long hikes anymore.

So my Marley is the shiny object in my life for the next years. I will treasure each moment with him, and I will listen to him when he asserts himself. He had an adventure without a hike yesterday and he was very happy for that.

Marley and duckling
My gentle Marley
marley and me 1
The only hike I take him on these days

So when his life comes to an end too soon, I will remember him jumping in the truck and saying in his own way ” I need to be with you more!” I will listen!

Marley hanging with us
Hanging with us at Vet’s
Marley
Marley with the school children of my area in Colombia
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Posted in Alternative Lifestyle, Colombia, Colombian life, expat life, friendship, nature, Nature Symbolism, Uncategorized

Thousands of Parrots

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The other day I went on a journey with friends. We explored the mountains of La Buitrera de Palmira, Colombia near my Villa. 

We drove around in my 4 x 4 Toyota truck stopping when we found beautiful views.

Look at the size of these Elephant Ears!
I can hold this leaf up so we can pass!
Hiking and viewing flora and fauna
Right before we saw all the parrots come home to the trees where they live
Height is no problem
The elements of Colombia are so intense, there is no description unless you are right there in the moment

We ended up at a farm that is filled with so much organic and biological study of nature and plants. We were given a tour. There is a weather station for our area located at this super high altitude. When I check my phone in the morning this tiny little station lets me know the weather. I found it fascinating.

Weather station
We have stations like this all over the mountains in all areas of Colombia, tracking weather and currents

But then I heard them, the chorus of parrots that sound like angels to me. It is a sound you can never imagine unless you are right there. These parrots go over my Villa every morning around 5ish and return at around 6ish. I have always wondered where they go to. I found out. It was a moment of realism for me. Because I can only describe to you what it was like. I didn’t have my camera with me, just my phone which was out of battery.

I heard this sound of such beauty and noise, beautiful noise. Then I see them all flying to the trees on this farm much higher than mine at Villa Migelita. My question of 5 years was answered in a moment of them landing together in trees that were very near to me. They were green and they looked as if they were falling when they moved to lower trees. I was mesmerized. I couldn’t take my eyes away from what I was seeing. It was a first for me in Colombia. I have many parrots visit my farm, but this, this incredible sight was something that touched my soul.

amazon parrots
Internet image, but they were just like this snuggled together or free-falling to different trees.

So I watched without moving for at least a half hour. I will never forget this amazing spectacle in my life. But it even gets better. The cover image is the trees they were in while driving back home. The sun was setting and we had left this amazing farm with so much cultural history.

Indigenous Pot
1000 year old Indigenous pot

We were all talking about how amazing the elements were on this farm. It was an experience of a lifetime! Including holding a pot made by Colombian Indigenous people and of course the thousands of parrots. I am not exaggerating this at all, because my cover photo does not show the parrots but we were driving down and there were more parrots all in the trees with the sunset surrounding them. They were flitting about, and we were just watching from my truck. They were highlighted by the sunset, but not enough for any photo. They were snuggling each other, they were squawking, they were happy. They were free. That is the way it should be for all animals and nature.

So I can only describe it to you, this sighting of where the parrots go when they fly over my Villa. It was so wonderful, so fascinating, so amazing. Always in my memory and now I know where they go and live. Where the parrots nest. I will always be so happy so many parrots fly free here in Colombia, the way it should be.

 

 

Posted in Alternative Lifestyle, camping, Colombia, Colombian life, expat life, friendship, minimalism, nature, photo challenge, Uncategorized

The Wonder of Nature and Colombian Texture

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Some beautiful photos of different textures from my life in Colombia. I just adore these photos. They capture nature and happiness together. My life is perfect as an entrepreneur and tourist guide to all that Colombia is. Follow me at @Villa Migelita Instagram, or on Facebook at Villa Migelita  and of course my blog. I have the most amazing friends and adventures. Enjoy!

Hacienda Guadalajara 012
Look at the reflections and the perfect color of the plant life
Hacienda Guadalajara 016
I like the shadows in this photo of me
Hacienda Guadalajara 026
Just look at the water falling, no more needs to be said
Hacienda Guadalajara 025
I find this photo full of so much texture, again it is perfect

 

Posted in animal rights, Colombia, Colombian life, Dogo Argentino, friendship, nature, photo challenge, Uncategorized

The Friendship of an Animal

hike and poco 004
Orion

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The friendship of an animal is the best friendship one can have. I have wonderful friendships with humans but my love of animals surpasses these friendships. Animals give such unconditional love. This photo of San Francisco de Asis (Francis of Assisi in English) was taken in Silvia, Cauca, Colombia. He is the protector of animals and founded the Franciscan order of the Catholic church sometime in the 1200’s.

Francis of Assisi
The love between animals and humans go back many hundreds of years

I brought five animals with me to Colombia when I moved here in 2011. I have two left. My precious Marley and Franchesca the cat my deceased daughter gave me as a gift. They are both old now. I also have my parrot Luci, two ducks (with ducklings on the way) and dogs. Orion is the king of Villa Migelita.  Here are photos of some of the animals that live at Villa Migelita. They are part of the farm experience when visiting my Villa.

 

Posted in Alternative Lifestyle, child death, Children of deceased parents, Colombia, Colombian life, friendship, nature, Perfection and Peace, photo challenge, Spiritual Presence

Reflections on Motherhood and Other Things

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Mother’s Day is coming this weekend. I have a hard time with this day. I spend the day reflecting on the past with my children. One who is deceased the other who doesn’t really have a lot of contact with me. It makes me think what could I have done differently? I was the Mom who was always involved with their activities. But then I took care of my own mother for years who had dementia. It took a great tole on me and my children. I  now think should I have kept my mother in my home? Should I have divorced sooner than later? I don’t know. But I love my memories of happy times in their lives and all the happiness they grew up with. That just left when I decided to divorce and then my daughter was murdered.

Misha and I with Marley
One year to the day my daughter was killed.

I reflect on this photo, and realize Misha was a reflection of me, she looked like me and was very headstrong like me. I treasure this photo. I could beat myself up over and over again because I might have changed something in our lives and maybe she would still be here. But as I grow older and I meditate daily with Yoga, I realize we all have free will. We cannot change the path of our destiny, because we can’t control others, just ourselves. Most people do not want to change, and they will never do it. Me, well I wanted change after this horrible time in my life and I have become a different person. The problems in our lives are often brought on by thinking too much and worrying too much. Once we let go, we find a solution. Maybe not immediately, maybe not for a few years, but the solution is there. We just need to look for it and we need to accept that people come and go in our lives. Even our own children.

I have discovered while living in Colombia I do not live a life full of plans. Plans here are often disrupted with the littlest things. A battery has died in the car, and you need to wait for the local mechanic to come and give you a jump, the weather changes and that walk you planned on is now going to be later in the afternoon, the party you have at 3 in the afternoon with friends turns into an all night dance fest. Or it is a beautiful day and you take off in the truck to visit a place that is beautiful, remote and in the middle of the Rainforest. jungle-fever-and-buena-ventura-073jungle-fever-and-buena-ventura-096

Reflections in life are usually in the moment, not in memory. I have discovered this in my time as an expat in Colombia. I reflect often, but usually I reflect on how I can make my life better, to improve, not to waste time on mistakes or others who contributed to those mistakes. It is all about being the best person you can be. I reflect on that often. I know I am not there yet. But I will be before I die. At least I will die trying.

 

 

Posted in animal rights, chaos, friendship, Uncategorized

My Expectations Were Low

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Watch this video from Keith Olbermann it is powerful,well said and without undo partisanship. It is not important if you are a Republican or a Democrat, you need to watch this video if you own a pet, if you care for animals. Here is another link to what is happening to the USDA and our animals under the Trump administration. This administration is making it impossible to find out if abuse occurs in puppy mills, in laboratories, if the food you buy is safe for your pet. If you make a complaint no one will know. If you want to investigate about a breeder you won’t be able to find information.I don’t care what your political affiliation is, if you own an animal this should be a concern to you!

Before the election I did mention several times on my Facebook page  that Trump’s sons hunt wild game for trophies. I made no secret of my disdain for these offspring of Trump. It is obvious to me they were raised without compassion for living things. That is an elephant tail in the hand of Donald Jr. He is a monster to have cut off a tail of such a gentle beast and is holding it in his hand like he is so proud to have done such a deviant act.

trumps-sons

What causes people to become so cruel, so aberrant? I started researching this and there is very little about why these people do this. There is a correlation to children hurting animals and violence in adulthood. Also it is known that people who trophy kill have a lack of empathy, and disregard the needs of others in their lives. They also feel a need for control and find it by killing wild beasts they have no intention of eating. Narcissism is a prevalent trait in these people such as Trump’s sons. I can certainly see where they get the narcissism from.

So perhaps this is why Trump is eliminating the need to protect animals in the USA. He has no compassion for them as he doesn’t own a pet and from what I have researched never has owned one. Trump is eliminating a lot our safety nets for the environment, water, pollution, and more. These are all of great concern to me. It comes down to money that lines the pockets of corporations. They will make more money if they don’t have to apply safety for the well-being of the animals or us the people. Because the environment is our future and our children and grandchildren’s future. Animals deserve safety nets too. Every animal has two eyes, two ears, one nose, and one mouth, we all share this. We are all equal under the law of the Universe.

During the election season my expectations were low about Trump winning. I just couldn’t believe anyone would vote for a man who was caught on tape saying what he did about women, or how he mocked a disabled person, the extreme lying that was shown on past tapes of him saying exactly the opposite of what he would be saying a month later. The hate I witnessed at his rallies also shown on filmed footage. I believed in the humanity of our nation. Now, not so much. I am sure many of us have lost friends on both sides of the aisle because of this election, but I didn’t until recently when I spoke up about Trump’s latest surprise with the USDA.

I had a friend whom I have supported with much love who owns an animal rescue and sanctuary. During the election season he posted many rants, fake news and support of Trump. I never commented because he was my friend and I wanted to stay out of politics. I do live in Colombia and I am an expat, but I still vote. I just felt that I live in another country so I wanted to stay away from all the division and hateful rhetoric I was seeing in my Facebook news feed. I have a very peaceful existence and like I said earlier in this blog, my expectations for a Trump win were low to non-existent. When Trump won and all the news showed the Russians interfered, I was shocked. But not surprised. I don’t think Trump would be in the White House without this interference which I am not going to go into except to say I wish we could prosecute all who are treasonous and I do believe Trump is hiding his ties with Russia. I would love to have a do over.

So let me examine what happened with this long time friend. I kept seeing his rants about politics even after his candidate won. He would post something fake, and then he would be called out and he would take it down. He would then show his lovely animal sanctuary and his good work and it was so confusing to me. I couldn’t put the kind person I knew who loved animals with supporting a man who has sons who kill endangered animals. I did one time write one thing on a post about this and he said in response that the future of the world was more important. Now, think about that. A man who has an animal refuge ignores the brutal murder of defenseless animals. I didn’t respond and just let it go.

Then he posted a video the other day saying how lovely his sanctuary is and how much peace it brings to him. I am a passionate animal and nature lover. I just couldn’t help but post this video to his comments. I wasn’t sure if he had seen it nor knew what was happening to our animals that I though both of us were committed to. He wouldn’t even look at it and dismissed my post as political. Now, again I will say it is a bi-partisan issue as it concerns anyone who loves and owns animals. I said as much and that he should just look. He dismissed it as propaganda. The person who posted fake news for months dismissed this real news as propaganda. I called him out on hypocrisy. I lost his friendship in the process.

I hope by writing this everyone will think of their passions in life. If you own an animal rescue you should be concerned that the new President is harming animals. I don’t care who would be elected…I would not stand by this horrific loss of the safety nets for our innocent creatures. I would call it out and I would say it was wrong. But that is just me. I am a person of integrity and I thought he was too. Now I don’t. I am disappointed and  saddened. I doubt I can ever be friends with him again. I see him as a hypocrite and only caring about his world on his land with his animals.But hopefully he will read this and I have one question for him. “How will you keep saving animals if you are unaware of the fact they need saving because the one place that regulated their well-being is gone?”

Posted in friendship

Apology to Spare?

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Gabe and Michele photo
My best friend for 38 years. A friend is always by your side and supports you. Gabe personifies this and more.

Why is it so hard to apologize when you are wrong? I often wonder this in my musings and meditations. I have a lot of acquaintances, but only a few I consider friends. These are friends who are with me when I need them. Some who show up out of nowhere, just because they heard I have trouble. People whom I have never had a harsh word with, nor have I ever had a snide comment from them to me or me to them. If they want to tell me something, they do. I listen. If it is not something I want to hear, I still listen. I take it under consideration and I learn from their advice. After all they are my friends and their advice is worthy of consideration. Always. I love them. They support me, even when I up and move to Colombia with a younger man. They support me because they see I am doing well. They support me because they are proud of me. They just support me. This blog is for them. I can’t put everyone here…but I will put a few. Because I appreciate all they have given me in life. I love you all very much. You know who you are. Some are newer to my life, some have been with me and my adventures since I was a mere kid…some I lost touch with but they found me because they missed me. I have found some of my old friends on my own also. I have no words to say except thank you. This blog is for all of you who have never spoken an unkind word about me, who have been there for me through my best moments and my most horrible moments. You are really wonderful friends.

So if you need to apologize you should. Life is short and apologies are sparse. If I offend someone I say I am sorry. Always. Maybe, just maybe this will change just one person out there who needs to apologize but hasn’t. Is it really worth losing a friendship, family member, lover, marriage over? I don’t think so. Apologies are a way for us to make things right again.

Misha and I with Marley
My daughter was always my best friend, no matter what we went through