One happy cat

My days have been far from still lately, yet I took a few moments to create a still life this morning after putting the kettle on the stove.

My inspiration?

The cat on my lap and the mug on the table.

The happy cat mug arrived in the mail yesterday.

My purring sweet cat, several years before.

The mug was carefully carried back from Japan by my dear friend Deb, and was mailed along with coconut mango tea and a warm note congratulating me on my new house. It was signed by others, just as kind, at a recent open house I was unable to attend.

I belong to a special group of creative souls assembled by writer Jon Katz of Bedlam Farm fame several years ago.

Each group member freely shares his gifts of writing, art, and music with each other, and the world beyond. They’re all fully supportive of their co-members’ creativity and over time have become supportive of the transitions different members have traveled.

Me, included.

Though I haven’t met all of the members in person, as we live in different states and countries, I feel I know many of them well through the sharing of our work.

As I look at each of the well wishers’ names, I wonder how many of them I’d recognize anyway from their unique and creative styles of handwriting, poetic words written, and loving hearts drawn.

So many of them have shared blessings with me in the card and I see one member, Donna, added, “I wish you all the happiness your heart can hold”.

Well, Donna, I believe it’s already overflowing with the loving card, comments, and my happy cat mug.

I get up to tend to my whistling tea kettle.

And I smile, knowing I’m whistling as well.

Barnyard in a bookstore

Thinking I needed to step up on my ’50 by 60′ bucket list, the first thing I did today was trip over a chicken.

A live one.

The big bird was dancing on the carpet of a bookstore, right by the front door.

Just like your local Walmart greeter.

This special shop is designed for the very young.

And the young at heart.

I guess that would be me.

I’m stopping by each of the independent bookstores within an hour radius that I’ve never entered before.

And in this particular bookstore I found the chicken had plenty of company.

I spotted cats, a couple of cooing doves, hairless mice, ferrets, and one big litter of kids in overstuffed chairs.


There may have been even more critters, children’s books and kids downstairs.

But I was just too chicken to go there.

Amazingly the store was spotless except for the mud I tracked in from my pink flip flops.

I became very excited when I encountered several of my favorite authors’ books, and I pulled down an extra special one from the shelf.

The chicken greeter walked right up to me, also excited as the book’s about a farm with animals.

Even though this is one big city bird.

But I still thought we’d be fast friends, and he’d surely want to sit right up on my lap.

Maybe even have me tell him the story.

That is, until he saw my camera.

And then read me the riot act with a round of cantankerous clucking.

Turns out this foul mouth bird prefers little kids to big, aging chicks.

But when I looked over my shoulder while exiting, I believe I caught him reading.

And he seemed to be really be enjoying the book.

Along with a young boy.

I smiled, happy the chicken had a new friend.

Even if it wasn’t me.

A man among men


H-Is for hope, shared freely with readers and friends.
E-Is for enthusiasm, in his writing, connecting, and with the dawn of a new day.
A-Is for authenticity. A role model for us all.
R-Is for respect of others, and in his reminders to respect ourselves through our work.
T-Is for tenacity, while adapting to an ever changing world. And showing us we can do the same.

This man has a heart of gold.

This man is Jon Katz.

Jon encouraged me, and has encouraged many others to start their own blogs. He is a New York Times best selling author, known for his Bedlam Farm series of books.

I wish him a full and speedy recovery this week as he, his family and medical team address a health concern.

My quick journey

I generally hate to shop, unless it’s a bookstore.

But as I was overdue in replacing my leaky shoes, I thought I’d visit my local second hand store that funds our area food shelf.

With sun finally arriving after a week of storms, I thought it’d be good to get out of the house and also get out of my funk.

It’s been a pretty tough week without much sleep.

And I’ve been wishing I’d traveled to an Open House in upstate New York at the home of author Jon Katz of Bedlam Farm fame and his wife, fiber artist Maria Wulf. (

But it just wasn’t a trip I could manage right now, so instead I traveled a few miles down the road for my attempt at retail therapy.

I love supporting this special thrift shop and others do as well.

In fact, someone was kind enough to donate a new pair of $425.00 Italian shoes that I picked up for $7.50.

Almost as thrilling as entering a great bookstore!

But it got even better.

Walking back outside a book sale had just begun.

I quickly picked up a few children’s titles for my little grandkids.

Then I noticed the adult titles and CDs over towards the back.

The first CD case was for my beloved Van Morrision, but the CD was missing.

I was disappointed, but kept digging.

Next, I discovered a copy of a newer book title that I love, “The House at the End of Hope Street.” Jon Katz recommended it last December when I’d called Battenkill Books in Cambridge, NY with an order.

Jon and his wife happened to be in the store at the time, signing copies of his own books.

But beneath that great read was an even better find.

I’ll even call it a gift.

A lone copy of Jon’s book, “Soul of a Dog.”

It’s the only one of his books that I haven’t read.

So maybe in a way I did travel to upstate NY today.

Which reminds me, I’ve been meaning to call Battenkill Books to pre-order Jon’s new book that’s coming out this fall titled, “Saving Simon”.

The book’s expected to be published at the same time as the next Open House at Jon’s farm in October.

Maybe I can even pick it up in person.

A girl’s just got to dream.