Archive for the ‘animals’ Category



Quiet summer morning
Day dawns cool and pleasant
Breakfast for two
Outdoor eating
Watching the world rush by
Eating slowly
All the carrion the world
Two vultures in the median strip

Email Anguish

There is a particular email frustration I have, that I’ve seen at work and in private life, that drives me up a wall. Part of it deals with senders of email, and part with repliers of emails.  It forces me to pull out my soap box and rant……


For senders…..WHY for the love of electrons and in the name of all things efficient do you insist on putting a massive list serve alias in the “To” line instead of in the “bcc” line?!! By putting it in the to line, everyone can reply to everyone, which on a list serve can bollocks up, jam up, and overwhelm a system.  The better solution is to send the email “To” yourself and put everyone else in the “bcc”.  That way the correspondence is always between only you and one recipient.


For repliers…….What The Freak makes you think you need to “Reply to all” when you tell the list server to take you off a list, or to say anything else??  If you NEED to reply, DON’T REPLY TO ALL!!!  That only adds to the system overload and problems.  Just hit “reply”.  This isn’t like your private life, where everyone on the alias is a personal friend that wants to read what you say.  IT’S A LISTSERVE….it could have dozens, or hundreds or THOUSANDS of names that DON’T WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!!


Thus endeth my rant.  I hope it helps 😀


The other day I was on WordPress looking at postings, and looked at the statistics on my page.  I realized that, mid-way through April (okay, 2/3’s of the way through) I’ve only had one post.  I don’t know why I haven’t blogged more, but clearly I’m way below average even for my lackluster publishing.  I’m not sure why, unless it’s just sloth.


Now the idea of me being a sloth would amuse many people.  My current boss is amazed at how many projects I tackle. My previous boss, who I clashed with frequently, said that he’d only need a two person division if everyone did as much as I did.  And yet… I am, stalled in writing again.

It’s not a lack of ideas; Lord knows I’ve so many ideas and things about which I want to write and explore.  I have piles of articles, notes, drafts all waiting for publishing.  It just seems that recently, even with the advent of spring, even with the brighter days, when I get back to the apartment I just want to sit with the cat and chill until it’s time to go to bed.  The number of times I’m drifting off with Benny is surprising to me (it’d be even more but he has this tendency to feel the loss of muscle tone as I drift off, and yowls at me which then wakes me up).

I know. First rule of write club is to write.  I’ve violated it.  Again.  Yet again.

Well, I guess this is the first effort at kick-starting the process again.  At worst it was a good excuse to post a cute sloth picture 🙂

More to come, I hope.


I don’t know how many gifts I have received in my life.  I suppose that there a way of estimating the number, given a known number of birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, graduations, etc.  For many years receiving gifts was as difficult as giving gifts.  I think it comes down to generosity, and not being able to accept or extend it.

Two gifts stand out for me recently in my life.  Both have provided me with examples of what generosity is and what makes it so memorable, so important. The first example was three years ago.  I had spent the day in the hospital with my mother.  As anyone who has been in an ER knows, it isn’t an easy or comfortable process to be there waiting for hours on end, even if the news turns out alright.  I was beat that day, physically and emotionally.  My friend with the cats had a key to my place at that time, and when I came home she had left a gift on my table.  She had left favorite candies of mine (dark chocolate peanut M&Ms, dark chocolate Reese’s miniatures). That she had known my favorites and left them was touching enough, but ….. she gave me three (3!) bags of each! It was, I think, the extravagant generosity of the gift that touched me.  Thoughtful, extravagant, unexpected, loved.  I still remember the feeling, still have the empty bags as a reminder.

The second was more recent.  My friend from my recent road trip,  without any reason, gave me a gift.  It was an unexpected, unique gift for me; it was the first time someone gave me a piece of jewelry, a cross on a chain.  The gift caught me off guard, for a variety of reasons, and I her why she had given it to me.  Her response surprised me, and has lingered with me.  She told me that during the trip she had noticed, and commented, on my lack of jewelry and asked why.  She remembered my response that during and after the divorce, I stopped wearing any because I didn’t feel I was worthy, or more accurately felt too worthless to wear anything.  She gave me a cross because she felt that as a symbol of my faith I might wear it when I wouldn’t wear something else.  She hoped that in wearing it I would eventually see myself again as worthwhile and begin to forgive myself.  An amazing insight and compassion from one conversation, delivered in one gift.

Two very different gifts.  My heart touched by both.  I’m still trying to learn generosity, still trying to forgive. But gifted to be touched by two such caring people.


It’s Benny year…

It has taken me far longer to get around to writing this blog than I anticipated.  I actually told one follower, Heather,  that I would write this…oh, months ago.  But in this case, I need to blame the subject for the delay, for time has not been as free these days as it used to be.


I’ve had Benny for a year now.  I got him at the very end of July last year, after a long couple of years of searching.  I had been spoiled by my girlfriends two cats when they were here.  They were, together, the most amazing cats I’ve known.  Both of them were large, over 14 lbs, and both affectionate.  In fact, Butterscotch was essentially a dog, for anytime you got near her she’d roll over and expose her belly for rubs. Having them in my life for a while convinced me that, perhaps, for the first time in my life, I would like to get a pet.  Finding a similarly tempered, equally affectionate and sized one, took a while.

Benny had been turned into the animal shelter at the age of 9, ostensibly due to allergies in the home he’d been in since the age of 1 year.  He’s a bit over 15 lbs….so the larger size that I wanted after Lionel and Butterscotch I found!  Still, I always wonder what it is like for him: new home after so many years, new human (and only one human at that), no other animals, smaller space (apartment instead of a house).  So much change for the poor guy.  I still wonder sometimes what goes on in his head.

He is quite the addition to my connection-impoverished life!  First, he is affectionate and not stand-offish.


Every morning we sit and he either nuzzles his head into my chin and beard and purrs while I pet him, or buries his head into my knees while I pet him before I go to work.  And this was the case from the first day….the first “selfie” I took of him was upside down in the space between me and the sofa arm, belly up and the wide expanse of white exposed.

day 1 upside down

He is also oh-so vocal!  I WISH I knew what all his sounds meant.  A couple I have figured out, at least well enough to mimic.  The staccato “Ahrow.  Ahrow. Ahrow.” when he sees birds outside the window.  The short, “arrggh”that he gives me in the morning after he’s eaten and gotten off my lap from our cuddle time.  The more traditional “rararow …rararow …..rararow” of the hungry guy when waiting for dinner.  But there are a number I don’t get.  The deeper “rarooooh” he sometimes does during the evening.  And the ventriliquistic “oww………oww………..oww” he does without moving his mouth.

fat cat

He does make writing more difficult, for no reason other than he is just such an attention hog that sitting and petting and being with him takes a lot of spare time.  He does make reading more difficult; holding a newspaper is impossible but at least my paperback books can be held with a single hand off to the side.  But I’m learning. I’m enjoying the time I spend with him, some of his quirks and idiosyncrasies.  Although there are times where I do tire of his LOUD yelling at me that he wants more food!   Still, he seems to be okay with having me, and I of him.

It’s been a good year . Benny really good year 🙂



Aquatic humor

After the last week or so, I thought a lighter, more humorous post was needed 🙂  Go into the weekend with a smile and giggle.

The article that caught my attention was from the Daily Mail.  As I have done on a couple of occasions, there isn’t really a deep message, just something amazing and colorful and good for a smile 🙂






Awake again, too early time;

Middle night, or early morn?

Stillness reigns, silenced sounds;

One noise, one stirring voice.

Melodious muse, mockingbird sings;

repertoire wide, diversity of range.

Songs sung, to audience unknown;

Softening my thoughts, from waking again.

Nature sleuthed

One of the things that is most enjoyable about Columbia is the presence, and frequently abundance, of nature.  It is, quite honestly, the reason I stay here, and have been here since college graduation.  I’m not sure whether it my normal observation skills, or the abundance around me, but I always seem to notice the presence of nature around me.  The red-shouldered hawk on the light pole, the groundhog beside of the highway, the rabbit on the way into the library.  In one sense it’s a little odd, because as a child my mother used to point out birds in the trees….birds I didn’t know I couldn’t see because I needed glasses and we didn’t know it at the time.

As is obvious from many of my posts, I enjoy walking. Walking is my mind-freeing, thought-producing time.  My walks since the spring have followed a particular path.  the other day as I was walking, I heard the sounds of baby birds.  It being spring, I smiled and kept walking.  The next time I walked, I noticed their sound again, and in the same place.  I looked around, and though I didn’t see them, thought perhaps they were in the broken branch of a tree adjacent to the sidewalk.

The other day I passed yet again, looking yet again to see if I could see any fuzzy little heads peeking out of a nest.  As I looked, I noticed a hole in the limb below where it was broken off.  The shape of the hole and it’s location so near to the sound caused me to wonder whether IT might be the home of the baby birds.  As I stood there, a small flash of shape and color came into view and disappeared into the higher branches.  The flash of red always catches my eye, and as I looked, I realized the bird that I had noticed was a downy woodpecker.  Ah…now it made sense.

I walked away, but since the sidewalk was clear, I kept looking back.  I stopped fifty or so feet away, and waited.  Sure enough, as I stood there, the downy mother came out of the upper branches, and disappeared into the hole.  I had been right…there was a nest, it was where I thought it was (close, at least to my first guess) and now I knew to whom it belonged.  Another successful nature day in Columbia 🙂

I hope I get to see the babies at some point….in the tree and not on the ground!



Writing Pause….Overcrowded Life

Hi!  Remember me?

Yeah, I know.  I’m not sure I remember me either.

I know it has been more than two months since I wrote here. Once again I have violated the First Rule.

Life got in the way.

Much of it was a crazy work schedule that left me toast at the end of the day, unable to focus or write.

The other writous interruptous in my life has been….Benny. More on him later, more on elections and Christian umbrage and thoughts of the world. But here’s one of the more pleasant reasons for my loss of time. Nine year old rescue, 14 pound big boy. And a cuddle slut in the best senses of the word.



Hopefully I’ll get back to writing before the winter blah’s sucks all the creative juices out of my finger tips like a dog sucks out marrow.

Meeting, and…..

Introductions are awkward.  I never really know what to do, how to act.  Good impressions….you know that first impressions always last, even if you learn more and differently over time, because that first impression is imprinted in that memory and that feeling.  It’s worse, because I get anxious about good impressions on BOTH sides of the line.

Relationships are hard too.Will it work out?  Will there be a connection?  Is it a flash-in-the-pan or will it survive the NRE phase (new-relationship energy) and become a real connection? What if you’re seeing a bad mood day?  What if it’s a bad mood day for me?  What if it’s an overly upbeat mood day, for either of us?  Does that color the development of the relationship?  What will the rest of the days be like?  And even if this is a normal day for both, how do things work when either of you are sick, or traveling and away, or dealing with holidays?

Maybe it’s not worth it.  Maybe I should just toss in the towel.

Who am I kidding. I know I want it.  The last live-in was awesome.  Way too short but amazingly wonderful and loving and affirming.  Yes, I know, the next one won’t be the same, couldn’t be the same, and I shouldn’t expect it to be the same.  I have to let it develop in its own time, in its own way, become wonderful in its own special beauty.

So….I’ve decided to do it.  Put in the paperwork.  Made a decision both to do it, looked at the pictures and decided who I wanted.  Now to sit back and wait for the call.  And to prepare.  So much to do…clean the place, put things up, get the litter box, toys, carrier.  Orange and white tabby, 8 years old, 14 lbs.

What did you think I was talking about? 😉