About Lisa Mae DeMasi

Lisa is seasoned in writing and the creative process, and partners with stakeholders to grow amazing brands through web, blog content and social media platforms. She has honed her creative skills working in multi-functional marketing capacities within small management consultancies as well as prominent organizations. Lisa publishes essays on the writing life, sex and relationships, and her love for horses and cowboy country. Her essays have been picked up by Lexington, Kentucky’s Horse Network, yogi Jen P's Manifest-Station, Ariana’s HuffPost, and another appeared in the IPPY-award-winning anthology “Unmasked: Women Write About Sex and Intimacy After Fifty”. She lives near Boston, where she bikes, hikes, rides and edits technology blogs for the CTO of Hitachi Vantara. She is pitching her memoir “Calamity Becomes Her: Love, Loss and a Healthy Dose of Overcoming Adversity” to literary agents and is at work on the sequel. Lisa obtained her MBA from Babson College and was offered a full softball scholarship to Regis College in Weston, MA, where she earned a B.A. in Business Management. She also holds a Master Certificate in Reiki. In August of 2018, she was awarded a one-month writer’s residency at Fairhope Center for the Writing Arts Writer-in-Residency in Fairhope, Alabama. Lisa is sometimes filled with so much love for nature and animals, it knocks her sideways.

My Work is Featured in the IPPY-Award Winning “Women Write About Sex and Intimacy After Fifty”

Are you a fifty-something woman in need of revitalizing your sex drive? Get your hands on the Unmasked anthology and dive into a new realm of possibilities!

A refreshingly blunt chorus of older women’s voices. —Kirkus Review

Marcia Meier (Ireland, Place Out of Time, 2017, etc.) and debut editor Kathleen A. Barry, a psychotherapist, present an anthology of essays and poetry about female sexuality after age 50.

For some women, aging doesn’t mean the end of their sex lives but rather the beginning of new adventures. Liberation from pregnancy fears, child-rearing responsibilities, and menstruation allow them to fully indulge their own pursuit of pleasure. This anthology gives such women the opportunity to speak for themselves—and they do so with aplomb.

Nonfiction author Bernadette Murphy discovers the orgasmic perks of learning to ride a motorcycle post-divorce.

Lisa Mae DeMasi, whose work has appeared in multiple literary journals, finds that, with reiki practice and essential oils, achieving climax no longer feels like “trudging up Mount Washington with a dead body strapped to my back.”

Writer and blogger Rita Bullinger describes how a communication technique called “Imago dialogue” has increased intimacy and sexual satisfaction with her lover: “Communication coupled with oral sex, I’m convinced, is what makes sex at sixty-six the best sex of our lives.” It’s not all excitement and discovery, however; writer Lola Fontay shares the unsettling experience of witnessing a man masturbating in front of her at the end of their first date. Poet Becky Dennison Sakellariou considers the legacy of silence around women’s desire: “A woman like me is invisible, if she is not, / she should be, an anathema, a sin.” But many writers here use humor to talk about the havoc that aging can wreak: “Just when we have our act together the warranty goes out on the equipment,” says author and professional speaker Sally Franz in her hilariously prescriptive essay “Tweaking Sex After Fifty.” The authors also often address sex with tact and sensuality: “Sometimes then, long-married / bodies, after stuttering into sleep, / curve into long slumbers of silk yesses, / yesses loud enough to waken dreams,” writes poet Brenda Yates. Toward the end, the bad online dating stories do become a bit repetitive. But there’s a diverse array of perspectives here, each unique enough to keep readers intrigued.

This collection of essays and poetry is meant to bring sex after fifty for women into the open, to proclaim that it is important, it is natural and healthy and, for some women, it is absolutely necessary. “Unmasked” will surprise, inform, and–it is hoped–encourage all women of a certain age to (re)discover their sexuality.

I am so proud to be a contributor to this Anthology! You can pick up your own copy here.

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Lisa publishes essays on the writing life, sex and relationships, and her love for horses. Her essays have been appeared in Horse Network, Manifest-Station and HuffPost. In August of 2018, she was awarded a one-month writer’s residency at Fairhope Center for the Writing Arts in Fairhope, AL. She lives near Boston, where she bikes, hikes, rides horses, and edits technology blogs for the CTO of Hitachi Vantara. She is pitching her memoir, “Calamity Becomes Her: Love, Loss and a Healthy Dose of Overcoming Adversity” to agents and at work on the sequel.

You can contact her at lisa.demasi@gmail.com and follow her on TwitterLinkedIn or via her website nurtureismynature.com.

Who Rescued Whom: How We’ve Made One Another Whole Again

An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language. ― Martin Buber

Lady’s ribs protruded from her coat and her belly was swollen with milk.

Thirteen frightened rescue Labs who’d just endured a straight 12½-hour drive from Muncie, IN, combined with the anticipation of the adopting families, made for a chaotic scene at the rest stop Union, CT, that crisp autumn day.

“Lady” the handler called out and we came forward to meet our new family member. She looked at us with her sad eyes and immediately dropped to ground, presenting her belly in submission and desire for loving human contact.

Ostensibly, she was about 2-1/2 years old and despite being clearly underweight and having recently delivered a litter, Lady was beautiful. We couldn’t help but look for comparisons with famous beauties — high cheek bones, gorgeous brown eyes. Audrey Hepburn, the original Sabrina. She took to her new name immediately and we raced to the park to feel the joy of freedom and play. Off-leash, she couldn’t get enough of fetching the ball or the stick. Soon, we learned that she was an incredible frisbee player.

Until laying my eyes on Sabrina’s profile, my heart couldn’t entertain loving another dog. And what canine isn’t after the same love?  I’d grown up with animals and while we maintained a diverse entourage, the loss twenty years earlier of our beloved German Shepherd was still a bit raw. Dennis, my husband on the other hand, had grown up with allergies and never experienced life with the warmth and companionship of any four-legged, furry creatures. I surprised him announcing the planned adoption on the train returning from a business trip to Washington, D.C. His face actually lit up (a dog!)

In Sabrina’s case, she couldn’t know the variety of family members that awaited to embrace her presence. Within days of the initial hair-raising excitement, the cat sought out occasions to groom her ears. Our pet rat was free to waddle the kitchen floor unbothered, and the pair of bonded bunnies in want of company, stretched out beside her on the living room floor.

Dog, cat, rat, rabbit?

You bet.

And Dennis and me?

Like kids again.

Sabrina settled into the folds of our lives, well-nourished and exercised in Boston’s epic snowfall in the winter of 2010, taking careful watch over all of us. The fear expressed in her eyes pre-adoption disappeared — the classic love-story.

But in the vein of “who rescued whom?” there’s more to this story.

Thirty years ago, as a passenger in a VW Rabbit that was broadsided in a January blizzard, my abdomen was driven into the steering wheel—blunt force trauma that necessitated re-plumbing and iterative repair to my digestive system. The all but miraculous recovery did leave me with irritable bowel syndrome and permanent damage to the nerves that signal my bladder is full.

Working from home for most of the eight years following Sabrina’s adoption, I suddenly noticed that when I’m busy working away, Sabrina will gently place her head in my lap every couple of hours, prompting me to get up and make a trip to the restroom. And, when I suffer acute intestinal cramping, Crohns-like symptoms, she’ll sit at my side and lean her body against mine. Her calm and steady source of nurturing helps me to relax and mitigates the cramps.

In 2008, the Department of Justice amended the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to include individuals with digestive, bowel and bladder impairments that limit major life activities, calling for employers to make reasonable accommodations and if the individual elects, to allow certified task-oriented service animals (dog or miniature horse) to accompany them on-the-job.

Sabrina demonstrated that she met the requirements and serving in the capacity of a sensory/medical assist was certified by the National Service Animal Registry (NSTAR). She was welcomed enthusiastically in a temp role I held at Sun Life Financial in Wellesley in 2016.

Her competencies and understanding of language constantly astound us. For bystanders in public, the grocery store, pharmacy, gym, dentist, doctor, gazes from cell phones are broken, conversations fall short.

Then, come the smiles. A question. Praises. The feel-good moment.

Sabrina brings people together.

In 2017, being hired for a role at a snooty Cambridge brand-analytics firm, the HR Director responded to a detailed email explaining my condition and Sabrina’s certification with an “enlightened” “you can’t bring your dog to work.”

My reaction?

I walked out of the place.

Most recently, her behavior on-the-job at Dell Technologies is so well-mannered, coworkers never run out of compliments about her.

The other day I read a distressing post from a woman who said every time she looks into a service dog’s eyes, she sees sadness. Even Ingrid Newkirk, CEO and Co-Founder of PETA, has told me, “the life of a typical service dog is a terrible one.”

It’s true. Any canine enslaved to servitude is doomed a dog’s life unlived.

Service animals are working animals, not pets.

The ADA confirms it.

In Sabrina’s case though, everybody won, and life couldn’t be better. She thoroughly enjoys the hikes and playing and gets plenty of it. Sabrina teaches me to exist in the moment—just like she does. We enjoy the sight of the sun shimmering through the trees, the call of the birds, and the fragrance of wildflowers when I tread beside her when we’re on our hikes. But she’s always there, as my devoted helper.

What more could a dog do for a girl?

Sabrina is just like heaven.

To see all of Lisa’s published work, click here.

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Lisa publishes essays on the writing life, sex and relationships, and her love for horses. Her essays have appeared in Horse Network, Manifest-StationHuffPost, and the IPPY-award-winning anthology Unmasked: Women Write About Sex and Intimacy After Fifty. In August of 2018, she was awarded a one-month writer’s residency at Fairhope Center for the Writing Arts in Fairhope, AL. She lives near Boston, where she bikes, hikes, rides horses, and edits technology blogs for the CTO of Hitachi Vantara. She is pitching her memoir, “Calamity Becomes Her: Love, Loss and a Healthy Dose of Overcoming Adversity” to agents and at work on the sequel.

You can contact her at lisa.demasi@gmail.com and follow her on TwitterLinkedIn or via her website nurtureismynature.com.

 

Even Rabbits Have a Christmas Wish List

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Even Rabbits Have a Christmas Wish List

A great holiday story! Rudy here, posing with Santa, is a former foster bun of mine that was rescued from a horrible situation by Sue W., a great lover of all animals. Sue surrendered him to House Rabbit Network thinking she could live without him. End of the story? She couldn’t live without him and adopted him today!

Hopscotch: Small Bun, Big Personality

Our newest foster, Hopscotch insists on speaking for herself and I wouldn’t dream of preventing her from doing so. Here’s her pitch…

“I like to think of myself as low in maintenance and high in entertainment.”

I’m an adorable lion head house rabbit, a very special breed that came into being in Belgium. This means I speak English with a Dutch accent.

Far from Belgium and anything Dutch, I ended up for sale as an 8-week old baby and was bought by a young boy who feared for my life at a New England fair. He could not keep me.

Since then, more than a year later, I have been moved around a lot and grown wary about being picked up and even touched, so I would do best in an experienced home. Experienced means you are seasoned in caring for a rabbit like me, have patience, and don’t expect me jump on your lap and shower you with kisses. At least not right away. Don’t get me wrong I want to trust you–I just need time. I’ve been with my new foster mom and dad for nearly three weeks now and already taking treats from their fingers—bits of banana and their slow movements have enticed me to do so. Banana also happens to be my  favorite thing next to Stella Artois, Guylian’s Chocolate Seashells, and Ridley’s “The Liz,” a road bike. (My foster mom is budding in here saying never give any type of beer or chocolate to a ‘bunny.’ She also says she’s never seen a ‘bunny’ ride a bike no matter how fantastically engineered it is).

Most rabbits, even Belgian ones like me use a litter box and I’m quite tidy—I like to think of myself as low in maintenance and high in entertainment. I am “a petite” at just 3½ pounds, but I’m a spry girl and prefer being kept in a pen so I can run its perimeter as fast as my little feet will carry me and do binkies. What’s a binky, you ask? In the language of a lagomorph, it’s when rabbits become so overwhelmed in glee, we jump into the air and twist our head and body in opposing directions—to a first time observer, it looks like we’re having some kind of convulsion. In reality, it’s actually a conniption, a form of hysterical frenzy.

Talking about binkies, do you know that cats can bink too? My foster mom sometimes straightens out my pen so I have access to most of the first floor. The only bit of mischief I get into is sneaking up on and startling the cat that often shares my pen—she binks straight up into the air!

After a great while of exploring the place, I begin to feel tired and climb up on my cardboard box tunnel. Like the bun diva that I am, I survey the room feeling secure and confident until I grow so sleepy that my eyes close and I fall asleep sitting up. How I love to have room to exercise, feel safe and be cared for. And, I find, I have developed a certain affinity for cats.

Won’t you consider adopting me as one of your companions—developing a bond with me, have me trust you? I’m so much fun to have around, I just need a permanent loving home in which to blossom. 

Please contact House Rabbit Network to inquire about adopting me, the little caramel-colored rabbit with a Dutch accent and a lion’s mane.

Consider fostering too!

Hopscotch brings out the highlights in my hair nicely.

Lisa Mae DeMasi lives in Natick, Massachusetts with her boyfriend Dennis and a fluctuating number of animal companions–some live with them full time, some are fostered, some board. This animal husbandry is a compulsion, saving just one more neglected cute and furry creature warms her heart. Dennis loves them too; the landlord is exceedingly tolerant. Her mother thinks she’s nuts. Lisa is also a blogger and avid writer, her work has been published in Shark Reef Literary Magazine, HuffPost and Elephant Journal. She considers Massachusetts her home, but has lived in Connecticut, Vermont, New York State and two other planets called Wyoming and Arizona. She earned a B.A. from Regis College and an MBA from Babson College, and possesses over 25 years working in administrative support roles in small Boston consultancies. She also holds a Master certificate in Reiki and practice this form of holistic healing on the animals in which she cares for.

 

Snoopy Come Home

“Are you upset little friend? Have you been lying awake worrying? Well, don’t worry…I’m here. The floodwaters will recede, the famine will end, the sun will shine tomorrow, and I will always be here to take care of you.” −Charlie Brown to Snoopy

He’d been dumped at a dentist’s office sometime during the night. It’s hard to believe, he’s terribly irresistible this darling little bunny, a Holland Lop-Eared. He’s mostly white, has dark brown ears and spots running down his back. He came to me as Mickey but my brother soon renamed him to Snoopy. Very fitting for the “bun,” he even presents me with his food bowl between his teeth, a paw-printed metallic dog dish.

Snoopy. The sweet little guy that greets me in his cage every morning for days now seeking a handful of pellets and hay; set him free from confinement to the expanse of the non-rabbit-proof living room and random passing cat. How adventurous he is.

Snoopy. The bun who in the evening jumps into our laps, displaces a cat or two or three, nuzzles our faces with his whiskers, unearths a kernel of popcorn from in between the cushions. How playful he is.

Snoopy. I am his “foster mom”—I foster buns until they’re adopted, a rewarding task when it comes to a happy newfound bond involving children or adults like me who haven’t outgrown caring for small and furry creatures. I am not paid to foster; the sweetness of caring for them pays me in bushels. How sweet he is.

Snoopy. I grow to loathe the day he’ll leave me, get adopted into a forever loving home. It’s okay, I tell myself, this is what it’s all about. This is the process, it makes room for one more to come into my life, be cared for. How tender he makes my heart.

Snoopy, the puppy dog rabbit. Precious thing. Until my work schedule changes and his late afternoon salad of organic kale, dandelion greens, Swiss chard and romaine is delayed two hours and he begins body slamming me out of his pen. At first I think, okay, he’s upset, his routine has changed. I send him Reiki energy, surround his body in light, think he’ll adapt, it is but a mere adjustment. How quirky he is.

Snoopy, you’re a sweet thing, I think as I reach into his pen the following afternoon to give him a scratch on the ear and set his bowl of salad down. Never bite the hand that feeds you. This is my next thought because Snoop-Dog is upset, taken a chunk out of my knuckle, his salad is late again—it’s got my blood in it. How surprising his behavior is.

Snoop-Dog, oh, Snoop-Dog, I think a day later as I shield myself from his snapping incisors with the gate of his pen. I’d rather drown in the saliva from your kisses than be bit and bruised and have to give you back to the rabbit-whisperer for aggressive buns in which you came to me post rescuing from the dental office. How it breaks my heart.

Snoop-Dog, oh, Snoop-Dog, back to rabbit rehab for you. I always wanted to be here to care for you, recede the floodwaters, end your famine, shine the sun on you but I am petrified. Petrified of you, an adorable Holland Lop that bites into my flesh as if I’ve wronged you. Really wronged you. Oh, my dear lagomorph, what’s got into you? 

Snoop-Dog, oh, Snoop-Dog, I hope Terry the rabbit-whisperer can bring you around. She tells me she is going to change your routine every day, not one hour will mimic the one before. Topsy-turvy, Snoops, your whole world is going to be turned upside-down. This is intended to tame you into adapting to change so someday you can be adopted and not bite the hand that feeds you. How saddened am I to let you go this way. 

Snoop-Dog, oh, Snoop-Dog, I bet in Northern Central Mass. you are not getting organic greens, so many pats on the head, the freedom to wedge yourself behind the dryer for hours on end. I kinda enjoyed the bun body slamming but given the chance, would you have not bitten me, particularly the last bout when you lunged through the air like an acrobat to plant your teeth into my shin?

How I miss ya, Snoops. Wish you could come back to me. You have been cheated by love and trust, but too quick to form misunderstanding of all I am capable of giving.