Tuesday, September 5, 2017


Summer is nearly in the rear view mirror. Such a beautiful summer here, warm and dry. I think I heard no measurable rain for over 60 days. It'll be here soon enough.

We are still working on moving, which means lots of house projects to get the house ready to sell. I did a bunch of them this weekend, including adding earthquake straps to the water heater, so if there's an earthquake, it won't fall over. Drilling into the concrete foundation to place anchor bolts was not fun!

The realtor gave us a list of things that need to be done so a potential buyer could get a loan. Apparently, in this area, banks won't write a loan if the hot water tank is not secured to the wall. The crazy thing is, if there is an earthquake here, the house won't be standing (house is not attached to the piers it sits on) - but the hot water heater will be standing! Anyway, glad to have that project over with.

I've been training Theo on how to assume the Buddy tummy rub position. It took him a few times to remember how the legs go for maximum tummy rubs, but I think he's got it now!


Speaking of Buddy, we recently marked a year since his crossing to the rainbow bridge. Still miss that guy, quite a bit.

classic Buddy!
There has been a lot of fort-action here lately. The blanket fort is always a winner. Pretty simple, just drape a blanket between the couch cushions and the cats do the rest.

 There's a Rose in this fort!

Willow's been known to sleep through the coming and going of the evil suck monster when she's safe and secure in a blanket fort! What's the point of having a fort if it ain't gonna keep you safe?!

Hmmm... this fort is getting a lot of attention, I wonder who's in there...

It's Oliver!!!!!

Oliver LOVES inside kitty forts - he loves most anything related to being inside kitty.

Some have asked if Oliver and Pierre are coming with us when we move - they most certainly are! We're not leaving any of our family behind. No cats left behind!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Bennington Battle Day

May your Bennington Battle Day be peaceful!

I'll admit it, I've got a special fondness for my Oliver boy. 

This guy melts my heart like no other.

He's showing signs of getting older. He's not nearly as nimble and 
his girth has expanded over the past year.

I think his girth is from boredom. He gets locked on the back porch most nights and doesn't have much to do overnight, except eat. He also doesn't roam the neighborhood much anymore, he pretty much stays in the yard. Good for his safety, not so good for the lack of exercise.

Tuesday night, Oliver's enjoying some supervised inside time - his favorite thing of all!

Much to Oliver's displeasure, Theo's wanting to do the supervising!

Some of you guessed our news - we are moving!

Theo in his beloved blanket fort!

The plan is to move from Washington State to Vermont in October! That's like 3,000 miles! Lots and lots of big change involved with this and just around the corner! Yikes!! Stay tuned for more details.
Laura makes the yummiest foods!
Fresh summer pesto veg salad.
Yum! Yum!! Yum!!!

Friday, August 11, 2017

trust the process

The older I get the more I realize how much I built my life around having a sense of control. And I see more and more how control is really an illusion. The sense of having control provides me a feeling of power, a sense of safety, protection, but it's really quite limited.

I notice my desire to control most frequently with the cats. I can do everything in the world to protect them and yet they will still get sick and have problems. Maybe my attempts at control can provide some reduction in risk, but as much as I might like, I can't eliminate the risk.

The outdoor cats are just that, outdoor cats. Taking care of them quickly reveals the limits of my ability to keep them safe. Getting emotionally attached to feral cats is a setup for emotional pain, I can only do what I can do. Cats will be cats. Of course Oliver and Pierre are not really feral anymore and the ideal thing would be to bring them inside, but Oliver's territorial urine marking makes that unrealistic. Thankfully, they are both very clever and stick close to home, but that doesn't stop me from worrying! I worry and worry about those boys, especially when Oliver stays out all night or I'm traveling away from home.

A huge theme in all areas of my life over the past few years has been "trust the process". Willingness to let go of what I can't control and even some of what I can and lean deep into the fear - and trust. Trust Oliver. Trust my ability to grieve and get through an undesired outcome. Trust my community. Trust that joy will re-emerge after the tide of pain subsides. Trust my gifts and abilities. Trust God's love is enough to get me through whatever comes. It's been scary, very scary in fact, and it has been more rewarding, freeing, and life-giving than I ever could have imagined. Leaving behind the safe and familiar cage of fear and stepping out into the spontaneous, creative, freeing aspects of life, which at times still feels like stepping toward crazy. Over time I've noticed my emotional resilience building. I've noticed my courage and self-confidence growing. And I've noticed that I'm getting invited into bigger and bigger challenges.

One such really big challenge is on the horizon, one that has many unknowns, many factors that are out of reach of my ability to control. The invitation has been offered and I've accepted. This particular challenge will be very disruptive to our lives and especially the cats.

I'm scared.

And I'm in - all in...

(to be continued)

Monday, August 7, 2017

Monday Willow

Another week, another cute Willow picture.
May Peace find you this week.

Monday, July 24, 2017

boys of summer

These boys know how to make my heart glow.

Oliver loves!!

Pierre loves!!!

 Just a matter of time before Pierre is rolling over for tummy rubs.

Yes, Pierre is as soft as he appears!

I was recently in Tennessee again for work. Very beautiful there.
Thursday night sunset
Friday morning sunrise

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Marvelous Marvs

Time passes so quickly. It's hard to believe Marvin's two year gotcha-day is fast approaching. There were so many times with him where I didn't think he would live, but now he seems stable and going strong! He's also got some surprises tucked away in his furs.

All year round, even on the hot days of July, Marvin prefers to sprawl on his heating pad with no cushion. The heat must feel good on his old bones.

And then the other day he did something that completely shocked me! He was actually using the super soft, squishy bed! 

Oh Marvin, you are a joy and delight all tucked into a tiny chocolate kitty package. What a lovely gift you are. Remember what Marvin looked like before he was trapped? So glad he's inside and loved now, the way all kitties are meant to be.

In other news, I recently had the joy of visiting my happy place - Isle Royale National Park, in Michigan. My favorite place on the planet.

My heart is restored now.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Marvin's home!

I got the call from the vet this morning saying Marvin was eating better and was back to his usual grumpy self, a sign he's ready to return home! He's such a funny one, at home he's lovey and sweet, but at the vet he has a reputation for being demanding, obnoxious, and very vocal! His chart has been flagged for staff to be extra careful.

Now, Marvin's back home and eating!

The Marvinator - ready for some cuddle action

When he went to the vet he wasn't feeling good and wanted nothing to do with cuddles.

I'm grateful to have Marvs home and healthy again. He seems quite happy to be home too.
Thank you everyone for your purrs and prayers.  Go Marvin!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Marvin update (two)

Some good news! I received a message from the vet this morning (Tuesday), Marvin is doing better. He's able to regulate his body temperature now and was eating a bit more.

We decided to give him another 24-hours of hospital care so he could get lots more fluids.

When I visited him this evening, the vet tech said he was doing better, eating about half the food they were giving him. He seemed more perky than last night, which is a good sign. Current plan is to check in with vet first thing Wednesday morning and hopefully bring him home before work. 

Meanwhile, in Marvin's absence, the other kitties are re-occupying the upstairs! They all slept with me last night, even Rose was nearby. What a delight to get to share the bed with them again.

They all miss their upstairs territory, which they had access to before Marvin came on the scene. It's sad they can't share the space with Marvin (he's very territorial). 
Theo so loves the spot on top of the cat tree!

Thanks everyone for your prayers and purrs!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Marvin update (one)

Marvin spent the day in the kitty hospital getting fluids and care. Sadly, there doesn't appear to be any change in his status. The vet said along with not eating or drinking, he's also not regulating his body temperature. At home he camps on a heating pad or a lap pretty much all the time, so no telling how long that may have been going on. He now has a heating pad in his "room" which is helping.

I was afraid to visit him at the hospital tonight, fearing that if I did my emotions would catch up to me. And sure enough they did. It's so hard to see a loved one struggle and be powerless to do anything.

He was really restless and took some time pacing and exploring before he wanted loves.

Once he warmed up to loves he didn't want me to leave him again. I've said this about a thousand times and will keep saying it, I love that our 24-hour vet is across the alley and that they have generous visiting hours!

Marvin's usual vet wasn't in today, but he'll be in first thing in the morning. Hopefully he'll have some ideas about what's going on and some treatment plan options. Right now, we're still in the dark.

  Hang in there Marvs, and please eat! I'm worried about you.
I miss your endless cuddles throughout the night.