Mar 22 2014



you just have to

cozy up

and take a nap



Jan 25 2014

and i feel, so much
depends on the weather

I’m not making this face quite yet, this bored, grumpy, is it summer yet? face, but I will be, soon.

My naughty kitten has a very restless heart, and this frigid cold is putting a serious crimp in his style. And by style I mean hunting, mouse exterminating, pest control. He sleeps inside every night, but by day he prowls our property (and beyond) for mice and moles and chipmunks (his favorite), with the occasional bird thrown in to show me who’s boss.

But for the past few days it has been so incredibly cold that he has stayed inside, pouting, causing trouble, getting into mischief. Keeping me up at night with his antics. Normally, after a day in the field, he comes in and passes out and we don’t hear from him until morning. But he has been sleeping most of the day, and so, at night, he is wide awake and looking for entertainment. Cat-style entertainment, you know, running over people’s heads, beating up the other kitties, pouncing on toys and pillows and anything else that can stand in as prey.

It’s kind of funny when it’s not highly annoying (which is around 1:00 in the morning). And it makes me think how much really does depend on the weather, though we like to think that somehow we are above all that, we like to think that we’ve evolved past caring about such trivialities, we like to think that the cocoons we’ve built for ourselves insulate us from what’s going on outside. And in some ways, of course, they do.

But even so, we can’t really ever escape the weather, or nature. Time cycles and seasons shift and we take the sunshine for granted until we are hit by a storm, or extreme cold or too much heat. Floods and droughts and cyclones and tornadoes are the stuff of news, and we forget the power of Mother Nature’s fury on those days when she is smiling down on us.

I don’t think it’s trivial when people talk about the weather. I think it’s human nature. I think it’s a throwback to the times when we lived out in the elements, when paying attention to the weather was a matter of survival. A time that, in the grand scheme of things, really wasn’t so long ago.

But I’m still going to be making this same face for a while before Spring arrives. For me, February is always the longest month. I have tried both fighting it and embracing it, but I think this year, I’m just going to accept it, and wear that expression with pride.

If naughty kitten can do it, so can I.

Jun 21 2012

the heart is a lonely hunter

Recently, my son moved out. It’s not the first time, it’s the second, so I wasn’t overly traumatized, but it is a big adjustment.

We are empty-nesters once again. Dynamics change, patterns shift, life changes. And goes on.

We miss him very much, but we are happy to see him moving forward in life.

Two weeks after he moved and got settled in, he came to pick up the one of our five cats that is his.

Another adjustment.

She is the playful little girl cat, the one who gets along with everyone, the mediator. My son found her in the middle of the road when she was just three weeks old. We had a hard time getting her to eat at first, she wouldn’t take formula from a dropper, and finally we made a mash of food and formula that she dove into, face first.

Every time she ate, her entire face would end up coated with food, and she cleaned herself so often that she rubbed all the hair off her nose. She is the cat that has always made us laugh.

But, we are adjusting, we know that she is safe and is on the next adventure of her life.

Our other cats however, are having issues.

We can’t explain to them that she isn’t truly gone forever, she is just someplace else. And so, they search for her, they mourn, they wander the house.

The kitty in the photo (Missy)  is our second oldest, the mother hen, the brooder. I took her outside with me the other evening, and she kept searching the horizon with her eyes, scanning the woods near our house, looking for Charlie.

Our second oldest cat, Pepe, is the silent type, the steadfast sentinel. It’s hard to tell what he is feeling, but he wanders the house and keeps trying harder than usual to get outside.

Naughty kitten, “He Who Must Not Be Named,” is hardest hit, Charlie is his best friend, in truth, the only other cat in the house that truly likes him. He is lost. Two nights ago he somehow managed to wiggle his way up under the quilt on my bed, and lay there like a lump under the covers for quite some time. He’s never done this before. He has spent twice as much time inside as normal, he is restless, angsty, needy, sad. He misses his playmate.

I try to explain to him that she is not gone like George, she is just somewhere else. But, of course, you can’t explain these things to a kitten. And yes, this means I talk to my cats.

Only our oldest cat, the Queen, is unaffected. She has never cared much for any of the other animals that have come into our lives.

You may think that I am crazy, attributing all these thoughts and emotions to cats, but I have lived with them all long enough to know their patterns and habits, and the change is clearly visible.

This weekend, we plan to have my son bring Charlie for a visit. Hopefully, that will make everyone feel a bit better.

Because as far as these cats are concerned, this empty nest stuff is for the birds.

And I am a a slightly crazier crazy cat lady.





Jan 21 2012



your next step,

but let your heart

be your guide.


(do you see the heart?)

Dec 15 2010

five minutes.
{reverb10 – day 15}


Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes.
Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most
want to remember about 2010.

I feel like I did exactly that in the way I answered the wisdom prompt.
But here is today’s five minute synopsis.


I fell in love. With a kitten.

I felt the sun on my face as sweat poured off my body,
taking stress and frustration with it.

I spent a weekend giggling in the Thousand islands,
most notably when my niece dropped her glasses
in the toilet.

I held my husband’s hand many times.

I whispered my secrets to the moon.

I got rained on, a lot, but I did not melt.

I sat in my garden once and wrote about everything
directly in front of me. It was life.

I gave out a lot of hugs. This is new,
I never used to be a hugger.

I started two blogs. I wrote every day.
Every day.

I counseled my children. Sometimes they listened,
sometimes they did not.

I spent time at the hospital with my mom. She spent
most of her time asking questions of her caretakers,
remembering the names of their children.

I stopped my car by the side of the road,
more than once, to take pictures.

I drove for two hours to find the base of a windmill.
It was like finding the end of the rainbow.

Then I fell in love again, with the other kitten.

And it all went by in exactly five minutes.

{reverb10} check it out here

Nov 30 2010


Today I am over at Vision & Verb

talking to the animals…

but not this one, because she’s asleep.

Oct 1 2010

gray is my favorite color…

Well, it’s not really, purple is, but that’s how the song goes, and yesterday when I woke up, it was dreary and rainy and misty and foggy and everywhere I looked, there was gray.

So I wrote about that grayness, over at the blue muse, wrote about questions with no answers, and all the things I’m not afraid of, and the one thing that I am. Which is not gray.

And then later in the day, I found out that I will have to work all weekend if I want to go away with my family next weekend, even though I was supposed to be taking a jewelry class from a metal clay master on Saturday as a gift from a friend.

That is the way my life works (tiny violins playing in background).

And that is the way it worked yesterday, as gray poured from the sky, for hours. I don’t think it rained steadily, all day long, even once this summer. But yesterday was that day. And along with all that gray came the feeling sorry for myself and the melancholy mood and the wishing I were anywhere but here, and then also, this:

I went to check on the outdoor kitties, who don’t wish to stay inside even when it’s raining, and there was Brett, standing on two legs, peeking in the window of the back door in that cute little way he does, front paws up on the sill, meowing his cute little let-me-in meow that makes his nose wrinkle.


Just then, when I looked out at him looking in, he had a big, fat chipmunk in his mouth. And even still I could see his little nose wrinkling, still see that somehow he was trying to meow around a mouth full of chipmunk fur, and was asking me to let him in.

Well now, I couldn’t tell if the chipmunk was still alive or not, but either way, I was not opening that door. So I walked away in the hopes that he would get tired of the game and take his prey elsewhere. I came back five minutes later, but he was still there, peering in the window, still meowing with his mouth full.

So, I waited five more minutes and went back again. This time, the chipmunk was, um, clearly dead. Ugh. And by this time it was raining so hard that the back entryway was starting to flood, which meant that I was going to have to do something about the chipmunk before he starting floating his way toward the door.

Off I went, in search of my rain boots, and just then, the mail lady came by to drop off a package, which she had to set down right next to Mr. Chipmunk’s remains, as it was the only dry spot left. Double Ugh. Poor mail lady. Poor chipmunk. Poor me who now had to go out and find the shovel in the pouring rain and clean up this mess.

A mess that was made by my sweet little kitten, who, ten minutes later, was dry and happy and purring in my lap.

And this kitten, well, he’s gray, too.

What a coincidence.

Aug 7 2010

nine lives

{august break no. 7}

times six cats equals 54 lives.

That’s a lot of Karma.

Jul 30 2010

spreading some sunshine

Last Friday, at the end of a long crazy week that was filled with its share of doubts, I received a lovely surprise. Jennifer Morrison, from realia, bestowed upon me the Sunshine Award: I was touched and honored and it came at such a perfect time, after one of those days when insecurities about my writing had reared their ugly head.

So first of all, I must say thank you, Jennifer, from the bottom of my heart. This really means a lot to me. I love the tag line over at realia: Pay attention – there’s a story wherever you go. So true.

And second of all, I want to say thank you to you, yes YOU, the one being kind enough to read this. Your comments and encouragement and kindness continue to amaze me, every day. It means so much to me, truly.

And thirdly, I thought that I should pay it forward a bit, and pass it on to a few of the people who add sunshine to my day. There are many more than I can list here, but these women were among the first people to comment here, to make me feel welcome, to make me feel that perhaps I do have something to say.

Debi, over at emma tree. She paints pictures with words, always. Her writing is poetry, pure and simple. She is the artist and writer that I imagined I might become way back when I was 13.

Beth, over at be yourself, everyone else is taken. The name of Beth’s blog captures her spirit exactly. I always leave there with a little smile on my face, she views life through rose-colored glasses.

Graciel, at evenstar art. She has encouraged me from the very beginning, she has a heart of gold, and I love her view of the world. I find peace and inspiration with her, always.

Julochka, from moments of perfect clarity. Early on, she featured me as a blog crush, and I was so surprised and honored, and I also love her way of looking at the world, profound and honest.

Thanks, to all of you. I am not setting any rules here, you may pass this along or not, I just wanted you to know how much you have meant to me on this journey.

There are so many others who have touched my heart, each in a different way. I appreciate you all, more than you can know.

:  :  :  :  :  :  :  :  :  :  : :  :  :  :  :  :  :  :  :  :  :  :  :  :  :  :  :  :  :  :  :  :  :  :  :

And I just discovered the pet parade over at red or gray today, so I thought that perhaps I should join in the fun, being a certified crazy cat lady and all. So here is “My Handsome Man,” my sweet Pepe, a truly gentle soul that came to us injured and starving and looking like a completely different cat three years ago…

I’m so glad he found us. He, also, has brought sunshine into my life.

Jun 28 2010

it comes and it goes

A moment of clarity so much clearer than I would have liked.

Seeing things that I could have done without seeing. Speaking words that make no sense to anyone but me. Laughing at bad jokes and hard comments and all this party banter. It makes my face hurt.

I would much rather be home, sitting in my garden, even if that means there are mosquitoes.

And then, later, I am home, in my garden, and there are mosquitoes, and black flies, and my funny little kitten who keeps rooting in my heart, growing deep into a place I did not know was there.

There is that risk, again. We take it, all of us, each time we love. Knowing what could happen.

It cannot be helped.

Like these damned mosquitoes. I just want to sit here. They just want to eat. But I am not in the mood for compromise.

There is another cat here, the neighbor’s. I’d like to adopt her, too.
I know she is hungry. I feed her, sometimes. But no more cats, no more. And she is theirs, not ours, although so was my Pepe, when he showed up here, half-dead. I didn’t feel like compromise then, either, although I sort of got permission before I brought him inside. At least I told them he was here. They did not ask for him back.

My mockingbird has learned duck. It is hysterical. Quack quack.
A big cosmic joke, the mockingbird. One of my favorites. Evolution is supposed to happen for a reason. But what is the reason for the mockingbird’s talent? And what about fireflies? What is the reason for the glow, is there one? Or are they just pretty?

Songs float through my mind these days. Lines I remember and don’t know why. Just now, “This is not my beautiful life.” Well, this can’t be anything but my life, I am the only one in it. This is my life. And it is beautiful.

The cats are playing: hide and seek, you can’t catch me, this is my house. Once survival is taken care of, something else kicks in: the need to be entertained.

I just want to sit here and listen. This mockingbird that has learned to quack. It makes me smile, I sit here by myself with a silly grin on my face. The air is oppressive. Humidity 100%. There is no breeze.

Nature doesn’t care what I think, or say or do or observe. She just marches on, in one direction. Nature never asks why.

But still, these cats.

They play.