Six Cats And Holding Steady

During my “blog silence” my family managed to acquire cat #6.

How does this keep happening?

I don’t know. Maybe there’s a sign on my house that says, “Crazy Cat Family: Free Food and Love.” Sadly, it’s probably because people are shit heads and think because they have fur and claws they can fend for themselves in the wild.2015-11-06 08.27.40

This cat appeared on my doorstep in Autumn 2015. As you can see from the photo, she’s a fancy, fluff cat. Not usually the kind of stray hanging around. At first, we assumed/hoped, that she was lost and her family would take her back in.

Month after month went by and every day she appeared at my door.  We checked the neighborhood signs for missing cats and she wasn’t there. I checked the usual on-line places and found nothing there either.

Younger son often found her running around our driveway at 3:30 am on his way to work, so that confirmed for us that she had no place to go.

Each day she got a bit more raggedy and knots were forming on her lovely coat. My husband, sensing (correctly) that we were about to take in cat #6, dug in his heels and declared, “No more cats.”

Ha, ha, ha! (Look at how pretty she is!)

Come on, we all know what happens next. Right?

Hubby didn’t stand a chance.

We’d made a few attempts to coax her into the house that winter but she wasn’t ready. Then, February arrived and along with it, bitter cold. Valentine’s Day morning the wind chill was negative 24 degrees. I was seriously worried that she wasn’t going to make.

By some strange twist of fate, Hubby was camping with the Boy Scouts (annual Klondike Derby) so he wasn’t around to stop what happened next.

Younger son saw kitty on the step that morning and calmly picked her up and placed her in the house.

Naturally, she freaked like she had during past attempts. This time, we didn’t care. We weren’t letting her go back into the bitter cold. Eventually she settled in my older son’s room, where she is now happily embedded as the queen of the room.

And, no, we don’t feel sorry for taking her in.  She is happy, content and as spoiled as the other cats.

I have promised hubby that we wouldn’t add a number 7.

For now. . .





Me and The Doubt Monster – At Jill Archer’s Blog

Cats do fear the Doubt Monster

Stop by and say hello! I’m guest blogging at Jill Archer’s today. I’m sharing my tips for dealing with doubt.

Cats do fear the Doubt Monster
Cats do not fear the Doubt Monster

There’s a New Girl in Town

We’ve expanded our furry family again. This is our newest kitty, Ariel. Isn’t she a sweetie pie?


We adopted her from Mary’s Kitty Korner (a wonderful organization dedicated to saving cats). She is still getting used to living with us. She spends her days with older son, in his spacious room receiving chin rubs and playing catch the laser dot. She’s also been exploring the house and getting to know our other two kitties.


Next time you want a new pet, please consider adopting an adult cat or dog from a rescue group.

The King and Queen still reign supreme.
The King and Queen still reign supreme.

Yummy Plum Torte

Today I am shamelessly borrowing my friend’s plum torte recipe and passing it along to all of you.

IMG_3600If you don’t like plums, no worries. The recipe works just as well with other fruit like cherries, peaches, pears or apples.  And it freezes too.


The notes in ( ) are mine.

B-girl’s Plum Torte

You’ll need:

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter (and do use unsalted butter. It’s not as good with salted butter)

1 cup unbleached flour (I used regular all purpose flour and it came out fine)

1 teaspoon baking powder

Pinch of salt

2 eggs

24 halves pitted purple or prune plums (see note above – other fruit works too)

Topping: sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon

9 inch springform pan

Cook Time: 1 Hour, @ 350 degrees

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients Assemble!

1. Cream the sugar and butter. Add flour, baking powder, salt and eggs. Beat well.


2. Spoon the batter into the springform pan (I have used cooking spray or Cricso on the bottom to keep it from sticking).


3. Place the plums skin side up on top of the batter. Sprinkle lightly with with sugar and lemon juice. Sprinkle about a teaspoon of cinnamon or however much you like.

We interrupt this recipe for a cuteness!
We interrupt this recipe for cuteness!

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Remove and cool; refrigerate or freeze if desired. Or cool to lukewarm and serve plain or with vanilla ice cream or whipped topping.


5. To serve frozen torte, defrost and reheat briefly at 300 degrees.

Be sure to share!

The Weekend is Mine, all Mine!

Yay Friday! I hope your week went well.


Recently, I had an attitude adjustment. Every blog about writing or by writers, eventually, touches on the topic of professionalism and treating writing as a job.

I am not going to dispute that wisdom. If you’re in it for the long haul and you want to be published (or stay published), then you have to realize that writing isn’t sitting around waiting to be struck by genius. There comes a time in every writer’s day, month, year (take your pick) when you have to do the deed. You know, sit at your computer and write stuff – whether you feel like it or not.


Kind of like being an employee at a day job. I have a full time job. I also consider writing a job and when I am actively working on a story, I do it after the paid job.

Which brings me to the attitude adjustment. For the last few weeks, I’ve written my 2,000 – 3,000 words a day from Monday – Friday (after my day job ends) and I’ve taken the weekends off!

And by off, I mean, I don’t even turn my laptop on. For the last several years, my trusty laptop has been on 364 days of the year. The only day it got off was Christmas day because family comes over.

So far, it’s been therapeutic. I don’t feel all – “Ugh, I have to write today.” I admit, I’ve been getting a little grouchy about writing. Like it was a ball and chain. Until I realized that even with my day job, I take time off and I sure don’t feel guilty about it. Why should writing be different than any other profession?

Who wouldn't want to pet this cute cat??

That doesn’t mean I won’t write on the weekend. I will. But it’s also nice to know that I don’t have to feel guilty for taking a day trip with my family or grocery shopping so we can eat all week. Or read a book. Or just veg and pet my cat.

BTW- Mystic Hero is over the 55,000 words mark, well on it’s way to first draft completion in the next week or two. Yay!

See? It’s all about attitude. If you find yourself in a rut or so stressed out you can’t think straight it might be time for an adjustment!

Anyone else feel the need to take time away? How do you veg?

Don’t Skate Through Life!

So it’s Friday again. Yay! Too bad it’s raining like crazy here. Again. It may be good for the flowers but it’s starting to drive me batty!

Today at the 7 Scribes – another lesson on plotting and wisdom from Wayne Gretzky  A Hockey Lesson by Casey Wyatt.

I’m happy to report, I’m working on two books right now. Mystic Hero – Devlin Ward’s book and another paranormal romance – Lachlan’s Curse. I’ve been alternating between the two (like every other day). I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to do that. At some point, I’ll have to choose one for my full attention. Not sure which one it will be.

I leave you now, with my super adorable girl. How can I be expected to get any work done in the presence of so much cuteness? Have a wonderful day!

Do the Unexpected!

Today I’m talking about some awesome writerly advice from Orson Scott Card – Never Do What They Want.

I’m happy to say that Mystic Storm is really done. Whew! I’m going to take a mental break for a day or two, then I’m off to plot another story or two.

Have wonderful weekend! And enjoy the adorable photo of my cat.


Flying Monkeys and Cat Cuteness

Happy Friday! Want to hear more about Mystic Storm? Please join me today at the 7 Scribes and find out why I say – When in Doubt, Throw in a Flying Monkey . . . or Three!

Also, our new cat Nene has settled in nicely. Here she is on my lap.


A Tale of Two Kitties

I won’t lie. I’ve been avoiding writing this post for a while. If you’ve visited my site regularly than you know that my family has lost several of our beloved pets. See here and here.

And I’ve also written about my two cats.

I’m sad to say that we lost Madeline. When she was diagnosed with thyroid disease a few years ago, we knew that sooner or later her kidneys would fail. In this case, they did along with her heart. It was swift and sudden. One minute she was fine, the next not. And with cats, because they are predators, it’s in their nature to never show weakness until it’s too late to do anything about it.

The vet laid it out straight. She was suffering and she wasn’t going to get better no matter what we tried. We made the painful choice to say goodbye to her. Once again, we found ourselves in our vets “private” room saying goodbye to another member of our family.

After losing four pets in two years, we had decided no more new pets.

Until we were faced with the reality of that choice. Pepito (Maddy’s brother) was our only pet. Younger son missed his lap cat. His lovey girl. While we love Pepito, he’s not a cuddler. I think he missed having other cats around too.

As fate would have it, we happened to be in our local PetSmart when we decided to check out the cats. PetSmart has a partnership with with a local cat rescue group and supports adult pet adoption.

That’s when we met Nene.

She was abandoned by her owner to a New York pound and landed on the “death” list. Luckily, she was rescued by Mary’s Kitty Korner.

Because Pepito is fourteen, I didn’t want a kitten or another male. Nene was perfect. Calm, affectionate and four years old. The volunteers at Mary’s were fabulous, letting us spend time with her and assuring us that no matter what happened (if it didn’t work out) they would take her back. They are a no kill shelter and will keep cats forever if they need to. And they vetted us carefully to be sure we would provide her with a safe happy home.

I’m happy to say Nene and Pepito are getting along fine (it was tough at first because cats need time to meet each other, not like dogs where you can introduce them immediately). As you can see below, she and squirrels hit it off.

We have always adopted our dogs and this was our first adult cat adoption. Nene seems to be happy and I can tell that someone loved her because she is very cuddly and seeks out human company. She chatty, loves to play and purrs, purrs, purrs.

We still miss Madeline, Ollie, Sparky and Oreo, but we still have a lot of love to give and we’re happy to share it with Nene too.