Does Music Affect Our Animals?

ImageI find that whenever I have my spiritual music playing, my animals seem to enjoy it too!

I meditate and chant mantras in my office daily. In the end when I open my eyes, I can be sure to see both our pets laying by my feet. I usually can hear our dog Ruby walking in, by her dog tags. Our cat Chelsea sneaks up on me. I’m surprised that with the loss of her hearing that she continues to find her way by my feet. Her hearing is very minimal at best. I think she can feel the vibration or hear very little of it. Maybe she is used to my routine and remembers what she would hear and because she can still feel the vibrations, she still wants to be included.


I decided to do some research and apparently music does have an affect on our pets and their moods.

* Loud sudden music can startle any animal and make them nervous. This is because of several factors. First is that the sound over stimulates the ears and then the brain. Most pets are sensitive to hearing and rely on it for protection. Your pet may not need to worry about the lions sneaking up on it, but they would like to know if some one is coming and may step on them. In the jungle, there are numerous sounds, but the unimportant note can be screened out, with loud, blaring music it can become a cacophony of sound and they don’t know what is happening. This can make them nervous and they will startle easily, making the pet to appear to be in an irritable mood. Over time the animal may become used to low music, or its eardrums may just give out! A low, soothing music with a slight drum can often calm an animal down. Why? It is training and conditioning. Most mammal grow up with siblings and nursing from their mother. The steady heartbeat can be both felt and heard, and encourage thoughts of safety. Mother means safety and contentment, so soft steady music will make a pet relax.


Music can have a very interesting affect upon birds. It can often get them excited and some will start bobbing and bouncing, just like a person in the mood to dance! This is because birds are very sensitive to sounds and patterns for mating. Notes arranged in a set pattern trigger nerve responses and suddenly the bird is in the mood for “love”.

So, how can music affect the mood of your pet? Loud and discordant music can make them nervous and irritable, causing dogs to bite and cats to scratch. Low and rhythmic music can calm and animal down and put it to sleep. Certain rhythms, mainly in birds, can trigger “happy, buoyant” moods.


 Take care with your music and what you play around your pets!

 * Jeremiah Soliman


                           I find comfort and solace in listening to spiritual music, so why wouldn’t our pets enjoy it too?                                                                    


Our Dog Ruby & Cat Chelsea Bell

Be good to your pets…. They count on YOU!



Remembering… John F. Kennedy

As we approach JFK’s birthday, I thought it would be nice to pay tribute, to one of the best presidents, that has ever served our country. I wish I had been alive to witness his great accomplishments. Being a native of  Boston, Massachusetts myself and still living here, I am thankful for all the Kennedy’s and what they have done for the state of Massachusetts. Now don’t get me wrong, I know there’s a lot of scandal that goes along with the Kennedy Family as well but this is a positive piece on JFK. Unfortunately, he was taken from us way to soon.

John F. Kennedy a.k.a. Jack, was born May 29, 1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts. He was a son, brother, husband, father, Civil Rights Activist, U.S. Representative (Congressman and Senator) and our 35th President of the United States. JFK was assassinated on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas.

Some of JFK’s Famous Quotes

After Kennedy graduated from Harvard University, he joined the U.S. Navy and was assigned to command a patrol torpedo boat, in the South Pacific. Kennedy was injured when a Japanese warship rammed his PT-109 and split the boat in two. Although Kennedy hurt his back he managed to haul a wounded sailor by the strap of his life vest and led the surviving sailors to an island close by. They were rescued six days later. Kennedy earned the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for extremely heroic conduct and a Purple Heart for his injuries that he sustained on that day.

In 1946 Kennedy became the U.S. House of Representative from Boston. He pretty much found that working in Congress was boring. In 1952 he set out to win a seat on the U.S. Senate, which he successfully won. In 1953 Kennedy came to marry Jacqueline Bouvier.  The couple had four children. In 1956 a daughter was still-born. Then in 1957 Caroline was born and in 1960 John Jr. came along.  After serving eight years in the senate, Kennedy decided to run for the U.S. Presidency. On November 8, 1960 Kennedy defeated Nixon, by a narrow margin, to become the 35th President of the United States of America. Their fourth child was born in August of 1963, they named him Patrick. He was born premature and died two days later.

Kennedy Memories In Photographs

Over the years when listening to Kennedy’s speeches, I can”t help but hang on his every word.

 JFK’s Most Memorable Speeches.

Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald, on November 22, 1963, in Dallas Texas, as the world watch on in horror and disbelief. Not only was this a day of mourning for America, it was a day of great sadness for the world. Kennedy was considered one of the most popular and beloved presidents, back then and still today.

His Final Moments

Rest In Peace… John F. Kennedy, The 35th President of the United States of America




My Battle with OCD


DIAGNOSIS – According to the National Library of Mental Health:

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is unwanted repetitive behaviors and thoughts. Typically beginning in the teen years but can occur much earlier. The chronic condition caused by a mix of neurobiologic and environmental factors, responds to both drug therapy and exposure psychotherapy.

DEFINITION – Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, sensations (obsessions), or behaviors that make them feel driven to do something (compulsions). Often the person carries out the behaviors to get rid of the obsessive thoughts. This only provides temporary relief. If one cannot perform the obsessive rituals that they are used to, it can cause great anxiety.The levels of (OCD) can be anywhere from mild to severe. If one has a severe case and it goes untreated, it can destroy a person’s life. It can effect a person’s ability to function at work or at school. It can even make ones home life unbearable.

 According to the Archives of General Psychiatry – (OCD) affects about 2.2 million American adults, and the problem can be accompanied by eating disorders, other anxiety disorders, or depression. One-third of adults with (OCD) develop symptoms as children and research indicates that (OCD) might run in families. “I have dealt with all three disorders, which explains a lot.”   ~ Michelle Molloy ~

At times I feel trapped by cycles of thoughts. I become anxious when my daily routine is disrupted. I’m a creature of habit. People will say, change is good or go with the flow. I agree with that but for people like me, who suffer from (OCD) , the thought of disruption in our daily routines or actions, can cause us great discomfort.

Years ago when I worked as a Correctional Officer, within three years I found myself on depression and anxiety medications. At one point, I did not leave my home for a month. Not even to go to work.  I remember being in the video store with my son and boyfriend, when suddenly I found myself frozen in my tracks. I needed to get out of there FAST! I couldn’t stand to be around anyone! A lot was going on at that time in my life. I lost both my Nana and Grandpa and one of my favorite men in the whole world, Freddie Longobardi, who was like a Dad to me, had passed away suddenly. Another dear friend of mine, was killed in a domestic dispute.  My moms health was not good, my nephew started living with her full-time and the stress from working at the sheriff’s office, was all too much for me to handle.

I went to therapy for years. I had an awesome therapist over in Newton, Ma. I called him, Dr. B. His office was close to where I worked, in Dedham. The sheriff’s office hooked me up with him and he was a great listener and helped me more than I could ever say. He was an intricate part of my life for seven long years. He helped me understand why I was depressed and anxious. Why I was compelled to repeat the same cycles over and over. Whether it be cleaning my home or finding myself in bad relationships. It was all connected. He gave me plenty of writing exercises, which I still use in my life today. Medications did help and I am glad that I found what worked best for me, my mind and my body. I have been off all prescribed medications for years now. I live a holistic lifestyle instead. I’m a huge fan of marijuana for anxiety and depression.  Not medications such as Prozac, Klonopin, Valium etc. They may work for some people but not for me. Everyone and everybody is different and reacts differently to whatever you choose to put into your body. I hated the side-effects for sure.

My friends and family, including myself, have all made jokes and smart remarks about my (OCD). I’m fine with that. If you can’t laugh at yourself, what’s the point? Once I learned that one of my problems was (OCD) and how to deal with it, life became a lot easier. At least for me it did. Not so much for the people around me. (I giggle as I type this). I can be a bit of a pain in the ass. Neurotic and controlling, you might say. I could always tell when someone was screwing with me. You know, come to my home and move things and place things where they didn’t belong. It doesn’t take me long to notice when things are out-of-place. Pathetic, I know, but that’s why the call it (OCD). I cannot have a blind hanging crooked or uneven. All curtains must drape properly. Towels, all folded the same way. My cabinets must have items facing forward. Beds have to be made first thing and made the right way, with all throw pillows organized the way I like them. I wash my hands constantly. Anywhere from 50 to 100 times a day. Depending on what I’m doing. I have cut this amount down by wearing gloves when I’m cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, taking out the trash etc. My hands were raw and split so I needed to take precautions to protect my skin. Eucerin Intensive Repair lotion works wonders on my hands and feet. I do not touch door knobs or railings. I carry gloves and hand sanitizer in all my bags and even in A.J.’s (my man’s) glove box. My son now does the same thing.

When I was a bartender (which was off and on for many years), my regulars would get a kick out of turning my bottles (needed all labels and pourers facing the same way) or dropping napkins on the floor . They would take bets to see how long it would take before I noticed. It didn’t take long at all and we’d all get a good laugh out of it. I had to make the best out of situations that could cause me anxiety and  drive me crazy. I was surrounded by good people who helped me laugh and shake things off.

However, (OCD) is no laughing matter and it can truly consume a person and their life. I have learned to cope with change and relax a lot more now, then I used to. Some would say I’m still neurotic but trust me when I tell you, I’ve come a long way, on letting things go. I’ve been able to leave my house with dishes in the sink, as long as they are rinsed off and things don’t always have to be in complete order. (If I’m in a hurry) If I’m home, I have to take care of things because I can’t relax unless I do. The fact that I suffer from chronic pain can at times make this difficult for me but that’s where I’ve learned to let things go. If I can’t move, then I can’t get to it. It’s just that simple!

Unfortunately, I passed this on to my son. He is more uptight about it and definitely has it more severe than I do.  As he gets older and comes to terms with what life is like to live with (OCD), realizes that change is not always bad, that things don’t always have to go as planned, that things can be out-of-order and more importantly realize that no one is perfect,  he will become more relaxed and comfortable in his own skin.  Just as I have. It all comes with learning, age and experience.


I do get a kick out of seeing some of his habits because I do or did the exact same things. I have to cover my drinks, always! Even in my own home. If I rest my phone down on a table, I prefer to have a napkin or paper towel or face cloth underneath it. I like things to be organized and neat. If you saw the way my son keeps his place and how well he takes care of his personal belongings, you would be impressed. He was like this from a very young age. Always took care of his toys, video games, comic books, guitars, everything! I’m laughing right now, because I remember his first visit to our new apartment, here in Millville and he actually gave my coffee table, the finger test. Can you believe it? He took his fingers across the table to check for dust! At that moment, I felt, the poor kid! Look what I’ve done to him!

Even though he tells me he’s never getting married or having kids, I tell him, “You’ll make a great husband and father some day.” He’s loving, compassionate, helpful, honest and very respectable. He cleans, and does laundry better than most women do. We are working on his cooking skills. He’s very picky when it comes to food and he’s a creature of habit, just like his Momma. I maybe a little prejudice because he is my son, but you can ask anyone who knows him and they will say the same thing. “He’s a wonderful kid all around.”

Family 2010-2013 058

The joy of my life, my son, Ricky.

I stopped taking all prescribed medications within six months of leaving the sheriff’s office. My doctor slowly weened me off of them. I learned how to deal with my depression and anxiety, through my writing and believing in myself. Knowing that I was not going crazy was a bonus! I was set in my ways and my way of doing things. I believe my son will one day be able to control his feelings as well. I stayed in therapy for a few more years and that helped me big time. Of course, I do love my Maryjane and prefer it, as I stated earlier, over prescribed medications. It has helped me cope and deal with life on a daily basis, much more easier.  The side effects are not as concerning to me and I always feel good after a little puff-puff, especially when I’m feeling anxious and upset.

My controlling issues have also improved. I was always the one taking care of things and had things set up, the way I liked them to be…  smooth sailing. That’s what I wanted and god forbid it didn’t go my way. If you didn’t do it my way, well forget it! There was hell to pay! I will admit, this control thing, I’m still working on. Even as a young child, from what I’ve been told, I was like this. I felt the need to control every thing and everyone.  I didn’t like chaos. I liked every thing just so.  Every thing in order. Every thing MY way. The little controlling, Mother Hen.

It all goes back to my (OCD). I’ve stated many times, I’m a work in progress. Trying to learn my way through life and do the best I can. Not only for myself but for my son and all my loved ones. Taking control of my emotions, realizing I don’t have to be perfect and that I don’t have to sweat the small stuff, makes for a happier ME!

Peace-out, Michelle

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, and It’s All Small Stuff

Great book!!  I suggest reading it my friends. LIVE WELL, EAT WELL, BE WELL

Conquering Insomnia


Are you suffering from insomnia? Here are some suggestions to help you ease into a good night’s sleep.

Top tips to fall asleep.

  • Don’t do heavy exercise within two hours of bed time. Light exercise is perfectly fine though.
  • Don’t drink any caffeine at least a few hours before bed. Some may need to cease caffeine consumption up to 8 hours before bed.
  • Take a Jacuzzi or bath before bed. Add essential oils for an extra dose of doziness.
  • Stay away from any type of video screens an hour before bed.
  • Read if it tends to relax your mind, which could help you drift off to sleep.
  • Try either wearing socks to bed or putting a warm water bottle beneath your feet.

Chronic Insomnia – If nothing seems to help and your insomnia turns into a chronic problem, there could be an underlying medical reason. Check with your primary doctor, who will most likely suggest you seeing a psychologist.

To avoid chronic insomnia, make yourself a list of things you want to do in life and start doing them. Even addressing just one thing on your list can help you get to sleep at night. Keep making progress until you’ve crossed them all off and you may never have sleeping problems again.

You may want to consider trying therapy. A psychologist will help get to the root of your problem. If you try a psychiatrist, you may be prescribed medication in addition to therapy. The medication may help short term, but it’s not going to cure your problem, only therapy can do that.

Try talking to others. Shy and passive people are often the ones who have trouble sleeping. When you talk about your problems to others it helps you see them objectively and release some of your pent-up angst. This alone can help you sleep at night.

~ Michelle Molloy ~

On Mainstreaming Children with Special Needs

People with special needs… ARE PEOPLE TOO!

Autism & Oughtisms

Today a reader of my blog asked if I’d read a recent article written by Rachel Smalley, up on the Newstalk ZB website. The reader was not happy about what she read there, and having read it myself I also feel the article needs a public reply. There is just so much wrong with the way Smalley frames the debate she is looking at, that it is hard to know where to start, so I might as well begin at the beginning.

Bu Via Tsuji, via Flickr

Smalley’s article starts off with the recent example of the child with Aspergers and dyslexia, who had been expelled from school because of an incident with a skateboard. She uses this example to launch into the question of whether it is a good idea to mainstream children with special needs. She uses two examples to frame the debate: One where an…

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