I may chat about my books, what I'm writing or reading, or just general thoughts. You may read posts about my cats or just my crazy life in general. Comments are welcome, if anyone wants to interact with me. Maybe we can share war stories, whether it's writing related or just about life in general.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The A to Z Blog Challenge

Hello everyone.  This is my fourth year doing the challenge.  I always think the same thing – how will I ever be able to accomplish this?  Somehow, I’ve managed every year and I hope to this year. 

My posts during April won’t have a theme, as usual.  I want to be able to blog about what feels right at the time.  I guess I’m the type of person who doesn’t like to tie myself down to any one subject all month.  Variety is the spice of life, so there will be a variety of subjects this year.

I’ll probably post some cat stories along the way because my fur babies are my kids.  I may also post about experiences in my life, great products I’ve tried, worthy books I’ve read, places and things I’ve seen, maybe even some recipes.  So I hope you’ll check back to read some of my ramblings.  I look forward to reading some of yours and to making some new friends by the end of April.

If any of you still want to participate in this challenge, you still have a few days to sign up here: A to Z blog Challenge

You also need to disable the CAPTCHA on your blog if you haven’t done so.  You want to make it easy for people to leave comments.  I wrote a post about this a couple of years ago.  If you don’t know how, please go here.

Let’s go forth and learn some new things from each other.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Spring Fever


My little boy, Raven, is fascinated with all the activity outside.  Birds are busy hopping all over the patio, chirping happily, as spring is in full swing.  They’re gathering and building nests for the new arrivals coming soon.

The chipmunks are doing the same thing.  The females are waddling around as they scurry for food, packing their little cheeks with all they can hold.  They gather bits of dry grass and anything else they can haul to their burrows for the new nests.  I’ve uncovered my flowers so took away the old mattress covers they pick the cotton out of every year.

Baby lizards emerge from the rocks and dart across the path, or climb up the house.  The cats get excited when they reach the windows.

Gardener edging lawn

Raven stays glued to the window with big yellow eyes taking it all in.  Today we had the lawn edged by a gardener passing by as our edger is out of commission.  Raven was the only cat awake and didn’t miss a thing as he ran from window to window.

 Purple Robe Locusts
Our first blooms of the season are out and so beautiful.  They’re early as the locust trees don’t usually bloom until April.

Honeysuckle Vine

Honeysuckle Flower Bud

This honeysuckle vine goes from a bunch of sticks to lush, green leaves in a matter of two weeks time.  It’s loaded with buds already.  I’m wondering how that happened when it was a sight of brown tangled twigs not long ago.  The first year we lived here, we actually thought the plant was dead.

Lady Banks Rose

Lady Banks Rose

Here’s a lady banks rose we planted three years ago in the front of the house.  We have two of them out there.  We were wondering if they’d survive after the winter of 2013-2014, when it got down to zero, but they did.

What amazes me most about the desert is the plants that come back year after year from a state of death to full leaf and blossoms so fast.  Of course, all the critters that survive here also amaze me.

Happy Spring everyone!  I’m as happy as the birds.  I survived another winter! 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Counting noses


I have to do this every night to make sure the cats are accounted for before going to bed.  Last night Raven was missing and I finally found him the pantry.  He’d been in there at least three hours and never made a peep.  When I opened the door, he strolled out and waited for me to pick him up and give him a squeeze.  Then he headed for the laundry room where I keep water, dry cat food and the litter boxes.

I guess he would have stayed in there all night unless he finally made enough noise trying to get out and woke us up.


Last winter, Koki was missing one night so we gathered a flashlight, put on a jacket and were getting ready to go out and scour the neighborhood for her.  It was raining and cold, so I reached into the entry closet to get a raincoat and she came walking out.  She’d been in there for hours and never made a sound.

I don’t know why the cats are like that.  Perhaps they think they found a new place to play, a secret hideaway to explore.  Cats can fiddle with something for hours, so I don’t think they ever get bored enough to make enough noise to be found.  They’d have to leave their fantasy and get back to their ordinary world.  What fun is in there to that?

Monday, March 16, 2015

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread - Wikipedia

Irish Soda Bread

This bread is an Irish staple you can make in a skillet, easy and simple.


3 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
¼ cup of sugar
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 large egg
8 ounces of sour cream
1 stick (8 T) of very cold butter, cut into cubes
1 cup of buttermilk
2 cups of raisins


Preheat oven to 375°F

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add the egg and sour cream to the flour mixture.  Using a pastry blender cut in the cold butter.  The mixture should resemble coarse crumbs. 

Stir in the buttermilk and raisins.  Mix until a sticky dough forms.  Transfer the dough into a well-buttered cast iron skillet and gently form the dough into a mound.  Score a large X on the top of the mound. 

Bake in a 375-degree oven for an hour, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Dancing in the Desert

Well that’s what I feel like doing today. The windows are open and its GREAT outside – in the mid seventies.  I’m sitting in my office writing and I can hear the little animals getting ready for spring as they call out to each other.  I LOVE this time of year when I’ve survived another winter.  Bring on those warm days.  I’m ready!


The cats love it too, laid out in the sunny spots around the house. 

Bradford Pear out front - blooming ahead of schedule

There are teensy-tiny green buds on the trees and we had to drag out the mower today.  Things are definitely looking up.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Let’s Play

Raven in the cat tree

That’s what Raven would say if he could talk.  He’s never at a loss for finding things that entertain him, starting with chewing on my hair at daybreak.  Once he has me up, I don’t even get a bathroom break in peace.  He wants to love all over me and kiss my face while trying to crawl into my lap when I’m sitting in the little room half asleep.  What fun that is.

 This is Raven inside a big pot in the entry of my house.  This pot is four-feet high.  I had to rescue him because he could get in, but not out.

He expects breakfast and wants me to hurry along to the kitchen where he still falls over at my feet while I’m getting his food ready.  I thought he might outgrow that, but he’s sixteen-months-old now and still falls to the floor from a standing position.  I’ve never had a cat do that before I got this little furry bundle of joy.

" I'm King of the house," Raven says.

After his breakfast, which he eats with the gusto of his last meal, he’s a terror in the house attacking whatever his eyes land on.  Once he runs off some of his energy it’s nap time for a couple of hours unless I start on some project he wants to “help me” with.

 "I'm sorting this stack of mail."

"Gimme that.  It's mine...all mine."
In the afternoon, we collect the mail.  As soon as it hits the kitchen counter, its fair game for cat paws.  This little rascal is into something all day long.  He pushes the boundaries everyday, but will settle down and come make peace with us if he’s yelled at too often.  I let him get away with a bit more than my husband does because I know how a cat thinks.  And as long as he isn’t breaking anything or in danger of hurting himself, I let him play.  He’s only young so long.

Changing the clocks - ahead one hour
Time to check the batteries in the smoke alarms too.

On another quick note, it’s that time again when they play with our head by changing the clocks.  So we’re springing ahead one hour.  Don’t get me wrong, I like the longer days but this system is antiquated now. Daylight savings time came into existence in the first place when WWI was going on in hopes of saving energy for the war effort.  I don’t think we really save any energy today.  I don’t know anyone who goes to bed when it gets dark.  We’re all watching TV, on our computers, reading, or doing other activities.

To read more about the story behind Daylight Savings Time, click here:

Sunday, March 1, 2015

No Sunny Spots Today

The desert behind my house

The rain is gently falling in the desert today and all is quiet, no critters are stirring, not even my furry ones in the house.  The cats are all tucked up in their warm places today. 

Raven and Tootie


We’ve had rain periodically for a couple of days now and have two more days to go.  We’re even expecting thunderstorms tonight, which we don’t have often.  I imagine that will send Tootie into hiding under the bed.

Another shot outside my window

I’m up in my hovel today trying to write.  It’s a great day to curl up somewhere with a good book, but I really want to get my WIP finished in this lifetime.  As I get on a role it’s always quitting time, which I really hate, but someone has to cook and clean up the dishes.  I wonder why we can't have cereal so I can keep writing.