Dear Russell

I’ve known you for a while.  I’ve worked for you.  But as an outdoor/indoor cat you haven’t been my primary boss.  You’re pretty independent.  I mean, you are the supervisor.  So, I hope this doesn’t offend you, but I never thought we would really connect.  I thought I would basically be your door/food delivery woman.

I was wrong.  (This time I had just you and the fish.  The fish are more interesting to me when Stewie is there to watch them aka Cat TV.)  I pulled into the driveway and you came to great me.  Not once, not twice but three times!  I felt it happening.  When I picked you up to carry you through the house, you let me hold your sweet little paw.  You lounged in the sun (like I like to).  I sat with you and you enjoyed the sun with me.  When I carried you, you talked to me sniffed my face.  It wasn’t a headbutt. but it was ours.  Yep, it was coming.  You sat outside the bedroom window and sang to me when your little hyper-thyroid body was ready for more food.  I was in love.

I sat with you while you ate.  I brushed your coat.  I scratched your ears and your tushy.  We chatted.  I did my best to scare away the hissing, tooth baring, grumpus neighbor cat.

You’ve got me.  I’m yours.  I love you Russell.


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I knew I would work for him before I even knew what he’d look like. His people told me as much. I knew I’d love him when I first met him. I didn’t know how or when but I knew I’d fall.
We took a few walks and he wasn’t sure about walking away from his house with me. After all we had just met.
Then I came to stay in his house! Our walks got better. Although he still doesn’t want to walk with me, say when we’re walking away from the dog park or a dog. But I think that speaks more to him being a puppy than anything else.
On Thursday I fell. We were in the car. He likes the car. He was in the back seat and I was driving. He came up between the front seats. Front feet on the console between the seats. I put my arm up and told him I needed him to stay in back. He didn’t push passed my arm or put an arm over mine. He just stood there. Watching where we were going. And then it happened. We didn’t make a turn or brake so this was all him. He leaned his head against my shoulder and just took a moment.
My heart melted. I looked at him and told him he had me.

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Sometimes I want to say or write something anonymously.  Do you ever want to do that? Do you ever have something you really want to say.  Maybe even need to say.  But you know it would cause a storm.  So you don’t say it.  You don’t write it.

The search begins for a place to write it…  A place where I can say what I want to say. Maybe no one will read it.  Maybe someone will.  I suppose that’s why I used to journal. But a journal can be found.  A journal can be read.  Handwriting is distinctive.  And there’s that storm again.

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I knew it was love when…

When still in my pjs, I pulled on my jacket and boots.  Left the comfort of a perfectly stoked fire. Trudged through the cold and snow to feed you breakfast.  When I remembered to bring a handkerchief or washcloth and a bowl of warm water to the barn. Because you had allergy eyes and I wanted to wash your sweet face to get the pollen off.    -Laddie

When I was perfectly happy sitting on the sofa listening to you snore.  When your sweet little voice woke me up before the sun was up and it made me smile.                                      -Sam

When I patiently waited for you both to settle down and fall asleep.  Instead of getting out of bed and sleeping on the sofa.  When I was putting on one’s jacket and the other kissed my hands.  And vice versa.  As if to say, thank you for taking care of my brother.     -O & C

When you chose to hang out with me.  When you switch from barking at me ringing the doorbell to tail wagging and happy dance when I come in.                                                         -Oliver

When you sat on my feet while we looked at the spider in the garden.  When, despite your size, you tried to sit in my lap.  Then when you got into my lap you got so excited that you had actually made it.  You were all kisses, tail wagging and wiggling.                                      -Ole

When, after hanging out in the arena for a long time, we drove home.  Built a fire and curled up in the warmth.  When I tell you I won’t talk to you while you’re barking, and you stop.                                                                                                                                               -Molly

When watching your little bear tushy running makes me want to run.                                    -Charlie

When you were so happy to see me.  When you fought with the vacuum.                                  -Hooper

When I see you sitting backwards in a chair, just staring at the back.  And I stop to say hi and make sure you’re okay.  When I learned how to approach you and you let me touch you.  More than that you actually enjoyed it.  No scowl no hissing!                                          -Emily

When I brush poop out of your tail.  When I worked with you, on your terms, to put on your jacket.                                                                                                                                          -Danny

When you patiently let me give you a bath.  When you learned the word present.                 -Calvin

When you lovingly recognized me after not seeing me for months or years.                           -Oolum

I love my bosses and I’m so grateful that their owners hire me.  Thank you.

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Past 3AM

A few weeks ago I got a file box full of sheet music back from my niece.  I had lent it to her, thinking she may find music she likes. But it was all from my singing day so not always interesting for piano or any of the other instruments she plays.  Anyway, I thought I might like to do some singing so I had brought it home.  It sat where I put it for a few weeks.  Tonight, at midnight, something struck me to sit down and go through it.

Now it’s past 3AM and I’m finally heading to bed.  I looked and sang my way through the whole damn box.  Some of the music was pristine.  Bindings intact, pages unfolded and clean.  While others were beyond well-worn.  Bindings cracked or torn off, corners folded, pages post-it-ed, breaths marked.  Pages missing and others just out-of-place.  Some songs came back to me and other were lost.  You have to understand, while I studied singing for over 13 years I never learned to read music.  I tried.  I tried piano, guitar and cello but it just didn’t translate for me.  I’ve always assumed it was part of my learning disability.  So the songs I sang for the past 3 hours were ones I still had memorized all these years later.  I haven’t done any singing since I moved in late ’01.  I guess I needed it.

I go to sleep knowing I’ll revisit that file box again and again.  Maybe even at a more civilized hour!

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Back on the (proverbial) horse

It’s been far too long, again.  I bought a chrome book to help with the writing.  My hope is that I’ll bring it with me and write more.  We’ll see how that works out.

Now the question is, what to write?  Here I am, I’ve got my little refurb and I’m ready to go!  It’s missing it’s F7 button.  (But it has 2 F8s!)  So I was thinking I’d call it F7.  Does it need a name?  No.  Is it like me to name it?  Yes.  When I was little all my brown stuffed animals were named Cinnamon.  Isn’t weird the things we remember?  Why do some things stick and others fade away?  I’ve been thinking about that recently.  How some memories become our stories and others never get told.

Do you have stories that “everyone” knows? Or is that just me?

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I LOVE Public Radio

The other day I was driving down to wine country to meet friends and go… wine tasting!  On the way down Radiolab was doing a story on Laughter.  Not just people laughing but laughing in other creatures.  A study was done that demonstrated rats laughing!  It doesn’t sound like human laughter but they are clearly laughing.  What’s more they seem to enjoy it.  They tickled them.  When it stops they want more!  So, there I was driving down the highway laughing out loud as I listen to…  Laughter — We all laugh — and you’ll find that humor has very little to do with it. But what makes us laugh? To find out, the program tickles some rats, listens in on a baby’s first laugh, talks to a group of professional laughers, and travels to Tanzania to investigate an outbreak of contagious laughter.  

After a lovely afternoon of wine tasting with great friends and an early dinner I headed home.  Snap Judgement did a piece on False Prophets.  Vikram Gandhi grew weary of fake religious gurus. So he became one. He named his guru-self “Kumare.”  Followed by a story about the practice of taking Inuit children away from their homes and families to “educate” them in Catholic schools.  A young Inuit girl lives through the violent transition between traditional and modern societies.  Then came a piece on Faith Healing.  What if you need a doctor, but doctors are not allowed?

The day was made complete by a car port moment (some people call them driveway moments and those people have driveways).  Live Wire did a show that had me laughing out loud all by myself in the car.  I can’t remember the specifics that got me but it was the perfect way to wrap up the day.

For this and so many other reasons, I love public radio.

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