Cat Tales

While I was walking in the cold sunshine yesterday, I had a thought about what I wanted to share on here.  I mulled it over the entire time I was walking.  By the time I got home — after stopping by the store, washing the car, and trying to figure out where so much junk comes from that ends up in my car — I’d completely forgotten what I was going to write about.  As my mom used to say about herself, “I’d forget my head if it wasn’t attached.”  What can I say?  I’m my mother’s daughter.

In honor of the current forgotten topic, I thought I’d share a sampling of things my kitties have done recently.  If you want to know me — the real me — you need to be aware I have three cats and two bunnies.  I have been fighting to accept myself in spite of the inner critic who tells me it’s wrong to love my pets.  Love brings light and happiness into dark times.  If I want to care deeply for my furbabies?  So be it.  If people call me a Crazy Cat Lady?  So what.  They’re not completely wrong.  And just so you know, I don’t have a dog but only because my youngest daughter is horribly allergic.  I’m an animal lover in general, not strictly a cat collector.  🙂

Here is the first edition of Cat Tales.  And hopefully next time when I sit down to write, I’ll remember what I was going to say.  Otherwise, the next post may be Bunny Tales.

  1. So I decided to try one of those services that send you a box of goodies for your pet once a month. The first box arrived yesterday. Really great toys, high quality, the cats love them. But the favorite toy of all, loved by all three cats? Yeah, you probably see where this is going. The box. All three want to sit in it and sleep in it and take their baths in it. But it only fits one at a time, so while one is doing his or her bathing/sitting/sleeping, the other two are doing their glaring. Undecided whether I’ll keep the service or not. I have boxes. A friend suggested I keep it going for 3 months so they can each have their own special box.  Actually not a bad idea.  🙂
  2. Got a new Blue-tooth speaker so I can listen to my phone’s access to Amazon Music. When the speaker came on today, Pye (“Pyewacket”) ran over to the speaker and looked so excited. I swear he thought Ed Sheeran was about to come out of the little box and play.  Later when I played the same song, the other two cats responded the same way.  Does that mean they all like Ed Sheeran, or does he get their attention because they don’t like him? Inquiring minds want to know.
  3. Friday jumped onto the coffeetable the other day and started licking the ice cubes in my glass. His face — when he realized it was cranberry-flavored Sprite and not ice water — was priceless.
  4. I’m thinking seriously about buying a remote control Star Wars BB-8 droid because I think my cats would love it. I may have just crossed over into the Official Nerdy Cat Lady Zone.
  5. Other than the typical birds and mice (and one rat), these are some of the gifts my cats have brought me over the years at this house:
    — Uncountable dry leaves
    — Many earthworms (alive)
    — A goldfish (alive)
    — Several snakes (alive)
    — Troll doll
    — Child’s plastic play ball
    — A Barbie
    — A mitten
    — Stray cats
    — Stray bunnies (alive)
    — Pine cones
    — Christmas ornaments
    — Troll keychain
    — Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer keychain
    — Numerous dog toys
    — Small teddy bear
    — A rubber chicken

Photos to introduce my babies.

Friday caught in the act of stealing a Troll doll:

Velma watching Giraffe Cam:

Pye (Pyewacket) when he was about 4 months old.  He’s a grown up cat now, but still thinks he’s the baby.  He was named after the cat in the Jimmy Stewart/Kim Novak movie, Bell, Book, and Candle (people always ask):


Still thinking about this blog

I’m still not certain what I want to do with this blog. Other times when I’ve blogged, I had very specific ideas about what I wanted it to be, what I wanted to share. Basically I knew the mission for the blog. This time it’s very different. I feel sort of like I’m wandering aimlessly. But don’t they say that all who wander are not lost? I think the wanderers are probably just trying to find coffee. But I digress. 🙂

Today I was walking the trail around the ball fields at the YMCA where I workout several times a week. If it’s not raining, after my workout I cool down by walking the trail. It’s not a very interesting walk, but it has become almost a time of meditation. Walking. Walking. Walking. Breathing. Watching the clouds. Feeling the sun on my face (rarely during winter days in the Seattle area, but much appreciated when it happens). My walk has become my thinking space and a time to practice mindfully taking one moment, one step, at a time.  (The photo is the view of Mount Rainier from my walk.)

All that to say, I think I want this blog to be a thinking space and a time for me to take one moment at a time. I’m torn about this idea of having this blog being something I do mainly for my own benefit. I’m so used to writing and speaking and teaching in order to meet the needs of others. To help them simplify their lives. To encourage them to find joy and meaning in their roles as parents, spouses, home educators, co-workers, bosses. I had a purpose. My books and blogs and articles had a purpose. Writing for my own purposes sounds self-centered after so many years spent writing for the sake of others.

What if nobody wants to read my musings here? Will I be okay with only a small audience following along and reading now and then? I don’t know. But I think by asking these questions and acknowledging my uncertainties and reservations about this undertaking, I may have taken the biggest step toward actually following through and doing it. I want to let go of my expectations and my critical inner voice. I want to trust in the process and not worry about the finished product. I want to practice healthy choices and self-care. Physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and even environmentally. I want to be brave enough to not worry what people will think. To not be frozen into inaction by fears of what others may do or say. To be brave enough to share me. The new me. The me who’s in progress. The me who’s uncertain, afraid, insecure, questioning, exploring, dreaming, living.

I had planned to sit down and write about how I started working out regularly, but side-tracked myself with musings about this blog and its future direction. Tomorrow I may write about the gym. I’ve been told it’s an inspiring story. It doesn’t feel inspiring to me, but I am proud of myself for sticking with it. And losing 25 pounds in two months, too! 🙂

Stay tuned ….


Taking down Christmas

Note:  I won’t go into details about what happened two years ago that changed my life so radically, so please don’t ask. Thanks.

Today I took down the outside holiday decorations.  Wanted to take advantage of sunshine and no rain.  Tomorrow I’ll deal with the inside things like the tree and my Dickens Christmas Village.  Usually taking down Christmas isn’t quite as much fun as putting it up.  But I realized this year was different for me.

Two years ago I had the worst holiday season ever and only had decorations up because things had gone bad after I’d already decorated.  Otherwise, there would’ve been nothing up at all.

Last year, I chose to buy new ornaments for the tree so the decorations didn’t remind me of happier times and things I’ve lost, thus sending me into a major bout of crying.  The year before, December had been one long month of non-stop crying.  No desire to go there again.  I didn’t put up any decorations last year other than the tree.  Nothing outside.  No village on my bookshelf.   The tree with the new ornaments wound up being just right.  Festive, quiet, and not overly triggering.

Along came this year.  I didn’t feel Christmas-y at all.  When I saw ads for the holidays on TV, I felt like I was seeing something for other people, but not for me.  It was like Christmas had ceased to be something I celebrated.  About midway through December, I saw a cute little tree at the grocery store that needed a bit of love.  A Charlie Brown tree.  So I brought it home, decorated it with the previous year’s new ornaments, and felt happy to see the tree looking bright and festive and not in the least pitiful.  So there.  I had a decoration. A tree.  My tree.

Then I found myself thinking about the cute lighted deer family in my storage shed and remembered there were a number of new families in the neighborhood with small children.  Small children love holiday lights, so I decided to put up the deer.  The next night I decorated the bushes out front.  The next night I added lighted plastic trees.  Suddenly my outdoor decorations were the brightest on the street and it made me happy to be bringing a bit of holiday cheer to my neighbors.

So now I had a tree and outside lights and decorations.  I kept looking at my bookshelf that looked so empty without the Christmas Village.  I brought the village out of storage and realized if I set things up differently than I had in the past, it may not be triggering.   I left out some parts of the usual decorations that I knew would have connotations with people no longer in my life, and added a few new things.  And suddenly I was happy with my village.

Basically, I’ve learned this year, that now as a single older adult living alone, I can make my holidays about me and whatever I want them to be.  I can avoid things if they bring me grief.  I can embrace things that perhaps in the past I avoided for the benefit of others. Surprisingly, I found a sense of freedom this holiday season.

So taking down the outside decorations today was liberating.  Rather than feeling sad the holidays were over, I felt victory as I looked at each item and thought about the moments of joy each had given me during another sad and difficult holiday.

Remembering where I was two years ago and comparing it to where I am now, I realized how much progress I’ve made.

I remember thinking on the Winter Solstice, “We’re half way out of the dark.” It felt like a message of hope in a dark and difficult time.  Taking down Christmas today made me feel that way again.  That I’m on the upward path out of despair and darkness.

Hope.  Encouragement.  Light.  I wish you (and myself) these things in the New Year as we journey our way out of the dark.

Christmas for the cats

I’m thinking seriously about buying a remote control BB-8 droid because I think my cats would love it. I may have just crossed over into the Official Cat Lady Nerd Zone.  I received money from my dad for Christmas, and here I am trying to find ways to spend it on the CATS. I guess my dad actually gave a gift to his grand-cats.  🙂

Shall we begin again?

The last time I updated this blog was back in July.  I’ve been thinking about what to blog about here quite often throughout December, and have decided today, as we head into the new year, I’m just going to start sharing things and see where it all goes.

There are things that have happened in my life over the past two years that have shaken me to the very core of who I am.  I know I’m not ready to openly share about what’s gone on (and actually may never be ready).  But I’ve learned a lot through it all and will probably share the occasional snippet of wisdom now and then.  Probably not actual wisdom per se, but at least things I’ve learned that apply to this time in my life.  Other people’s mileage may vary.

I guess that’s one big thing that’s been hammered home for me is that there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution that fits everyone in all circumstances.  I think we often get ourselves into a bit of a mess when we try to apply our personal solutions or personal answers to other’s lives.  We’re all a mix-and-matched collage of individual problems, individual people, individual questions, individual circumstances.  So of course we would need individual answers.

Well, that’s it for January 1st, 2018.  I would say I’m going to try to post something every day this year, but life happens and I may not even post something new tomorrow.  I think what I’ll try to do in the coming weeks is sit down and post things as I’m inspired.  Maybe once a week.  Maybe three times a day.  Who knows?

I also plan on sharing my fortunes from fortune cookies throughout the year.  Just because.  🙂

Happy New Year!


“Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions.  All life is an experiment.” – Fortune cookie