Saturday, February 28, 2009


are made to be changed.

Yesterday I was sure I was out of Melissa's 100-day challenge. I thought I'd never be able to catch up. I was totally certain I'd need to begin again from day one, all by lonesome, and do my own little challenge because I'd fallen a week behind.

Then I read yesterday's comments. I felt the stench of defeat blow away on the chill morning air. I was instantly inspired, buoyed by the support and encouragement of friends I've never met in real life.

You know, the smile on my face is completely real life, so long-distance companions must be the real thing, too. Don't you think?

Anyhow, my plan changed. Today I did today's 28, as well as yesterday's 27.

Thank you!

Oh! This must be the change-plans weekend. Yesterday I fully intended to get right into that closet, remember? But before I opened the doors I sat down to write for, you know, just a few minutes. A few minutes turned into a couple of hours. I lost myself in the story and it wasn't until my back hurt and fingers ached that I realized how much time had actually passed.

So...the closet? Untouched.

I guess closet cleaning will become a plan for another weekend! *G*

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Big Switch

Ah...crocuses are popping up here in the northeast...songbirds are returning from winter occasional warm breeze caresses the gray, slushy snowpiles surrounding every parking lot...yes, the signs of spring's approach are all around us.

Me? I know for sure it's nearly spring. How do I know? Because I'm contemplating getting out my spring/summer clothing and pushing the winter stuff to the back of the closet. I'm lucky in that I've got one of those big walk-in closets so all I've got to do is switch clothes from one point to another but with the big switch comes that awful, sinking-stomach feeling. You know the one, don't you? It accompanies the realization that summer clothing is not made out of down or corduroy, and therefore doesn't do much good at hiding the extra slice of cake or dish of ice cream that was a winter do get those feelings too, don't you?

Please say you do.

Well, I do. And although the past few months have done a great job of paring extra pounds off my butt (hospital food, snowclearing and wood hauling, remember?) I still have that wobbly feeling in my tummy when I think of pulling on shorts and swimsuits.

I fell off Melissa's challenge plan last Saturday, when I actually fell on the ice and wrenched my back. I'm totally bummed about it, since I loved the feeling of accomplishment every day brought. (I was also ticked off at falling, and swore in several languages to make that point clear. Thankfully I was all alone on the ice when it happened, so no one heard. And you won't tell, will you?) I'm not sure I'll be able to catch up so I'm contemplating starting over on March 1st, just beginning at one again and working my way up to one hundred that way.

And speaking of exercise, I saw this and it made me smile. I hope it makes you smile, too!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.

Now that I've confessed I'm going to do the closet switch today and tomorrow, I'm wondering what you've got planned. Anything you'd care to share?

Whatever you do, I hope it doesn't give you a case of the collywobbles. I've got a big enough dose for both of us, just by looking at last year's shorts! *G*

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

In the Post

A jerk of her head sent snowflakes flying. She toed out of the heavy bearclaw snowboots and shrugged out of the red down jacket. The jacket dropped to the sidechair, then slid and pooled on the terra cotta tiles in a crimson puddle.

The stack of mail hit the table with a thud. She pulled one item from the pile and opened it with a flourish.

He shook his head in amusement. "Anything interesting in today's mail?"

Waving a hand toward the assortment, she murmured, "Oh...the usual..."

"Nothing that catches your attention, then?" He swallowed a chuckle, but just barely.

"Umm...oh, you know. Uh, nothing much. Just..."

"The Burpee catalog?"

She nodded, her gaze glued to the glossy pages.

"I guess spring really is coming this year, then?" He laughed, the sound filling the room and finally catching her attention. She looked over the top edge of the catalog, a grin pulling the edges of her lips upward.

"It looks that way, doesn't it?"

Monday, February 23, 2009

Oscar's Buzz

I just love watching the Oscars, so last night was a big thing here. Hubby and I settled in and watched some of the pre-show stuff, then watched the entire awards show.

Loved the gowns! So many in vibrant colors! Yay for that...years where there's an endless parade of black doesn't do much for me so this year's colorful gowns really made me smile.

Always enjoy seeing men all decked out, too. Didn't they look handsome?

And the could anyone not love seeing the clips, hearing the details that made the stories come alive? Me? I love it all!

Did you watch last night? What did you think?

Sunday, February 22, 2009


What have you got planned for today? Have you plans? Or are you just going to kick back and take the day as it comes?

I've decided that today I'm going to do nothing. Really. Nothing. I mean it.

All right, I can hear you laughing.

But that's the plan for the day. Rest, and lots of it. Why? I woke this morning and decided I needed a day off. One to do...nothing--or as close to nothing as I get.

I figure I'm going to hang around by the fireplace. (Because it's snowing so hard I can barely see the barn but we're not going to talk about that today. No mention of that s-word this morning, all right?) I'm going to read. A lot. Watch movies. Read some more. This afternoon I'll bake brownies. With nuts. Or maybe without nuts, who knows? And then I'll read a few more pages. Or maybe I'll take a nap. Or...well, the day's open to all sorts of nothingness, isn't it?

Whatever you've got up your sleeve, I hope you enjoy every moment of this day.

Me? I'll be the one resting...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

From the Farm

Just a quick note before I head outside to battle the white stuff. You know, the white stuff.

And I don't mean marshmallows.

One of the interesting things about living in the middle of nowhere, a spot where we get walloped big time by the white stuff, is that there are special moments hidden amidst the flakes and squalls. Just yesterday I saw...

Do you see that little red blob?
Look closely...
see it?
A cardinal!
(It's probably wondering what it's doing stuck in snowland.)

And this.
Sorry to get the rump shot,
but I was too far away to ask the deer to pose.
I love looking up toward the edge of the forest.
You never know what you'll see.
Hope you have a great filled with unexpected pleasures!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Have Mercy!

I feel like Bill Murray. I never thought I'd say that but there you have it. Bill. Murray. In Groundhog Day, you know?

Just saying, the white stuff I spent yesterday morning clearing from the driveway is back. And it's brought reinforcements.

Egads! (I love that word.)

When will it stop? When will we see grass for more than an hour? When-- Oh, you get the idea already.

I am so at the end of my snow rope. Can you tell?

So this morning after I choke down my coffee and mutter around my waffles, I'll suit up and start my new best friend, the snowblower. Then I'll tackle that ^&*%##! driveway again, hoping that if I do slide on a patch of ice buried beneath the snow I won't break anything as I bounce around on the ground. Yeah, this country living gig is so sophisticated.

On a less-grumbly note, I've been giving a great deal of thought to the summer gardens. Last year we had ten vegetable gardens, and could feed an entire neighborhood with our excess harvest. This year we're going to have only one small garden but I'm going to share the whole gardening process with you. Hopefully by harvest time we'll marvel over how much we actually grew in a small space with a minimum amount of fuss. The hardest part will be choosing what to grow and what to forego this year. I don't think we'll have space for walking stick kale but I do hope to find a spot for some fennel. We'll see.

But first, before I can map out a garden, I've got a chore to do. You know what it is. Don't make me say that word again, please. That s-word--you know the one.

What have you got planned for this Friday in February? Anything you'd care to share? Hmm?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Time Out

That's how I feel about what I'm about to do, like I'm giving myself a Time Out. Only, instead of sitting myself in a chair facing a corner, I am using this TO to get something (hopefully!) good done.

Let me back up...

I've been working on a new novel, titled Madcapped. It's been going well, and I'm pleased with the characters and the way the plot is unwinding. No complaints. An added bonus? The story is off-beat, with quirky characters who make me laugh. All good, right?


I've got a half-complete manuscript that I want to find a home for. I had forgotten about it, truthfully. A couple of days ago I discovered it when I was looking for something else and it's been on my mind ever since. Just begging to be addressed, you know? Just screaming to be finished. The characters? They're howling for closure.

I can't ignore them. I've tried, but they just won't shut up.

So, a Time Out.

If you could give yourself a Time Out to address something, what would it be? And...why don't you do just that? That way we'd be in Time Out together. ;-)

Hope you have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


She looked up when he walked into the kitchen. His color was good but there was something about the way his gaze scanned the space that told her more than his appearance ever could. He was restless.

Dropping the cheese grater into the bowl half-filled with mozzarella, she crossed to the table and pulled out a chair. Indicating the empty seat with a nod, she watched while he sat. With a small smile, she dropped a kiss on his temple.

"Feeling antsy?"

"A little," he admitted.

"Need something to do?"

His arched eyebrow was her answer.

"I thought so." She pretended not to see the question in that raised brow, the one that told her just how hard it was for a strong, active man to remain idle. "If you don't mind, I could use some help here."

Without waiting for a reply, she brought two cake layers, a bowl of frosting and a red cake plate to the table. Then, she handed him a frosting knife.

There was just a small chunk of mozzarella left. She grated it quickly, tossing it onto the pizza that would be their dinner. As she stuck the pizza into the oven, she glanced over at him.

The first cake layer had a thick, smooth coating on it. She watched as he placed the second layer onto the first and took up his knife again. With slow, even strokes he swept the icing over the cake's surface.

She stifled a giggle, but not quickly enough for him to miss it. He looked up, and raised the eyebrow a second time. This quirk held a different question than the first one had, a question he gave voice to.

"What? Am I doing something wrong?"

Quick to reassure, she shook her head. "No, of course not. Actually, that cake is iced to perfection. I never take as much care with icing a cake as you do. It looks beautiful."

He grinned. "Thanks. No big deal, really. After all, I have had enough practice."

"Icing cakes?"

Taking a dollop of frosting from the bowl onto the knife, he chuckled. "No, not icing cakes. Spackling. This is just like plastering a wall."

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Behind the Scenes

I'm sure I haven't spread the word very well, what with all that has been going on here, that I've got a new feature at From the Pages. In the chaos, this has kind of gotten pushed to the back burner. But now that things are settling down I just want to make sure everyone realizes that there's something fun and interesting going on over there.

What is it? Author interviews! That's right, every Tuesday and Wednesday readers get a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes in an author's life. Often the authors are gracious enough to offer prizes to commenters. Some authors even share recipes, something I find especially interesting! Yeah, I love a new recipe!

If you've got a minute I'd love it if you headed over to From the Pages and took a peek. I think you'd be pleasantly surprised!

Hope your Tuesday is a relaxing one. I've got a few chapters to write this morning, and yesterday's work to edit, so I'll be happy as a clam at low tide. What about you? Any plans for today?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Wake-up Call

I kid you not.
This is what woke me up this morning.
Ah, the joys of country living!
Happy Monday!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Big Sigh...

of relief here. Hubby's home, surgery went well and now we're just going to hunker down and wait for him to recover. The worst is behind us! Yay!!

Thanks to all who were kind enough to keep the Piglet company while we were away. You all rock! I know the little fuzzface felt the love, and felt less lonely knowing you were here with her.

So...I'm just trying to catch up with mail (there is a huge stack of it!), emails (please be patient, I'm going to get to everyone...eventually!) and laundry. How is it that laundry swells when left alone in a hotel room all day? I know I didn't have this much stuff when I packed my bag...

I've got to tell you, it feels good to be home. Hubby looks like he's been beaten up a bit but I know that will pass. He does a lot of sleeping, some eating...then more sleeping. I guess we're going to have weeks of that but you know what? It's all good. We're on the road to recovery, and that's what counts. We'll take our time and get there whenever he's ready to arrive. Until then, I'll find something to keep myself occupied.

Oh! Like my JaNo novel. Yes, I've been working on Madcapped. Not as much as I'd hoped (I actually completely missed writing anything at all a few days in a row) but the story is growing. Maybe now that we're home I'll have time to play catch up with it.

It's so good to be back here with you. I missed you!

So...what's new in your world? Anything you'd care to share? Hmm?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 13, 2009

All of Me!

"All of me, why not take all of me..."

Don't you just love that song?

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Doesn't this look like fun? All those little pieces, just waiting to be put together. Who knew it was possible to create a bird party from all those teeny, tiny pieces?

Now, if I just had fingers to put it all together...

Uh, yeah, the picture is sideways. Sorry! I'm a cat, not a blog's pretty amazing that I even got the silly picture here at all, don't you think? Just turn your head a little to the right...that's it...

Have a meowy nice day!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Anyone have any romantic Valentine's Day plans? I know Sarita sent out a stack of cards last week...I still haven't gotten mine but I'm sure it's coming. I mean, it must be...don't you think?

Don't you?

I thought so. It just must be delayed a bit. That postal lady looks like she's pretty busy. Maybe my Valentine is at the bottom of her stack. All right, I'll practice patience. Patience isn't one of my strong points but I'll work on it this time.

Hmmph... Just thinking...if a Valentine doesn't come soon, I'm going to sit right down with a pint of Ben & Jerry's vanilla and dip my whiskers in. I mean it, I'll lick the bottom of that pint clean. Who knows? I might even go back for a second if that postal lady doesn't deliver.

What about you? Is your mailbox overflowing with pink envelopes yet? Have you sent out your Valentines? And, this inquisitive mind wants to know... are you planning to spend the special day with anyone, um, special?

Me? I've got a sneaky suspicion that I'll have a date...with Ben...and Jerry.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Extra! Extra!


A review!

I know Sarita isn't big on sharing reviews here but hey, I'm in charge so I'll do what I want to do, say what I want to say, share what I want to share, shout what...ah, you get the idea. What can I say? There's just no way to muzzle an expressive feline.

Anyhow, Sandswept was reviewed at I was totally jazzed to see this review! The full review can be found here. I especially liked this part:

"If you’re looking to escape for a while (mentally, at least) to a remote, idyllic island, this is the book for you. It’s a short, bittersweet tale about overcoming loss. Despite being the second in the Chincoteague Island Mysteries series, it’s much more a romance than it is a mystery."

Of course, this series is near and dear to my heart. I was born on Chincoteague, you know. My humans relocated me to New York but there will always be room in my heart for my birthplace.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Week Two

Oh, it's a lot more difficult to come up with something to blog about every morning than it looks. I've always considered myself one of those discriminating, but friendly, chatty felines but this morning I've got nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Niente.

Nothing. Not a word.

What does Sarita do when words elude her? Oh. Right. We're talking about Sarita, aren't we? Words never elude her. Just ask her husband--he'll tell you!

Uh oh. I might just be getting my furry little self in trouble here, talking trash about the lady who feeds and brushes me. Gives me treats. Scrambles me an egg when I have an upset tummy.

Hmm... I'd better pick a safer topic. A few days ago I watched The Pink Panther. Steve Martin always cracks me up; he used a line throughout the movie that got him out of almost every sticky situation. Think it'll work here? I'll give it a go...

Nice weather we've been having, eh?

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Sunday Smiles

I love Sunday mornings. I get to sleep in late, relax and daydream, lay about on my warm, cozy chair, eat as much as I want... Oh! Wait! I do that every day, don't I?

Hmmph! Well, even though they're similar--all right, they're just about the same--as all my other days, I love Sundays. Why?

Good question.

Let me think....hmmm....
How about because on Sunday mornings I get to reminisce about the good old days? Yeah, that's a good reason, the good old days. And to show you just how much I love Sunday mornings, I'm going to share some of my good old days thoughts with you.

And yeah, I like purple. A lot. It just looks good enough to eat, don't you think?

Happy Sunday! Thanks for sharing part of your day with me.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Cat Tales

Before she passed on, my sister Mimi had an idea about writing our own book. It was a good idea, I think, but since she was undeniably the smarter sister I’ve let the thought drop now that she’s gone. No, don’t feel sorry for me…I always knew she got the brainy gene in the family. No doubt about that! But we all have our roles to fill…someone had to be the cute one, don’t you think?

Anyhow, Mimi thought we should write a book. After all, we watch Sarita do it all the time and, between us, mind you, it doesn’t look that hard. She sits around with her computer, typing or staring at the sky. Sometimes she mutters, or closes her eyes and puts her head down. Mimi used to say we could do those things—all except for the typing, that is.

You know, I’ve been thinking…she might have had a point. And although I’m more of a looker than a brainiac, I just might be able to pull off the book thing. How hard can it be?

Sarita says that everyone has a story to tell. Me? I’ve got one, too—a tale of four cats who took a long trip from Virginia to New York…

What about you? Is there a story you’re itching to tell? Or maybe you’re already telling your story…if you are, how’s it going?

And…do you have any typing tips for someone without fingers? Hmm?

Friday, February 06, 2009


The Weather Channel predicts more snow.
They're kidding, right?
Please, say they're only fooling!
Oh, how I wish Sarita was here...

Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Cat Castle

Woo hoo, it’s cold here! I’ve been spending a lot of time in the potting shed—or, as I call it, The Cat Castle—and even with all its big, wide windows and sunny nooks—perfect for lazing about and contemplating the world—it’s chillier than I’d like it to be.

I’ve just got one question: When will this cold stuff end? I’m so ready for butterflies, birds and flowers. I’m even looking forward to the way the grass is squishy and wet beneath my paws when the snow melts.

Hmm…think there’s any chance we’ll have a warmer-than-usual spring? Or that it will come early and bring lots of flowers? I like flowers, don’t you?

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


In case you haven't yet noticed, I'm a cat. And, in spite of the fact that I'm--if I do say so myself--a pretty savvy feline, I'm still a cat where it counts--at heart. So, I take delight in doing some cat-ish (never catty!) things, like birdwatching.

But, in the throes of winter, there are very few birds to be watched, aside from the turkeys. And really, once you've seen one turkey you've pretty much seen them all, don't you think?

So I am waiting. Waiting to watch.

My favorites...

The red-winged blackbird.
Prone to admonishing cats who get too
near their nests.
Gotta respect that kind of territoriality.
Very friendly, even with felines.
Now, that's my kind of neighbor!
Love, love, LOVE these!
They look like balls of sunshine, don't they?

I suppose I can see why the bluebirds are snowbirds.

The puple martin igloos...uh, houses.


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Point of View

I guess we all look at things from different angles, don’t we? I mean, everyone has their own point of view. I hear Sarita muttering about POV while she’s writing, too, so I have an idea even characters in a book have got their own slant on the world.

Me? My point of view is pretty basic, given that it’s in the general vicinity of your ankles.

Feet. I see a lot of feet. And shoes. Loads of shoes. And, like I said earlier, ankles. Tons of ankles—one for every foot and shoe, as a matter of fact.

The way I see it, there are as many points of view as there are ankles, feet and shoes. Lots of them are similar, but there is still an enormous variety to choose from.

Take your sneakers, for example. Or, for Sarita’s friend Australian Judy, trainers. They come in all colors. Low- and high-tops. Some have that Velcro stuff that sounds like cottonballs being torn apart and gives me shivers right up to the tip of my tail. Others have enough reflective buckles, glow-in-the-dark laces and lights in their heels to help any pilot safely land his airplane. There are mule sneakers, something I find totally confusing because, really, how practical are sneakers without backs? Besides, who really wants to put their toes into something named after an animal who also goes by the title “ass”? Hmm? The mind pictures involved in pondering that one are just too scary to share!

But back to sneakers, in all their shapes and sizes… It seems there’s a sneaker for almost every foot, doesn’t there? And while I’ve never personally worn sneakers—or shoes for that matter, although I did try on a blue sock once—I figure they are like points of view. With so many to choose from, there’s just got to be a perfect fit for everyone, doesn’t there?

Monday, February 02, 2009


This is one of my favorite spots, and views, here on the farm. Of course the pond is ice now and the snow is so deep I couldn't make my way there without the help of a horse-drawn sleigh (or being carried by one of my humans, which is my favorite mode of travel!) but the memory of this spot, and its view, keeps me company during even the coldest winter hours.

What about you? Are there any special spots that live on in your mind's eye, and your heart, even when you're not able to visit in person?

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Happy February!

I’ll bet you never figured you’d find me here today, did you? C’mon, you can tell the truth…you tuned into From the Heart thinking you’d find Sarita, didn’t you?

Well—surprise! It’s me, Piglet! I’ve hijacked—er, commandeered—uh, no, that’s not it, either, is it? I’ve…oh, why is communicating to humans so hard? If you were a cat you’d know already that I am in charge of the blog today. And I will be for the next bunch of days—a full two weeks, actually.

I see you shaking your head. I know what you’re thinking. Really, I do. You’re thinking…

How will a cat be able to blog until Valentine’s Day?

I’m right, aren’t I? That was exactly what you were thinking, wasn’t it? And you’re also wondering…

What can a cat possibly have to say that will be even remotely interesting?

Aha! Caught you again, didn’t I?

Don’t worry, I’m not offended by your thoughts. I’m not shocked, either. While I hate to generalize, there are a lot of humans who think that animals are just for show, little fluffy, snuggly pets who don’t have a thought in their heads and who would never, ever be able to do anything intellectual. I don’t want to start anything here, but do I look like a hood ornament to you? And we are having a conversation here, aren’t we? There…now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…

Oh? Why am I here? And where’s Sarita? Well, I don’t want to invade her privacy but I will say she and the man are tied up—no, they’re not tied up with rope or anything…they’re busy—well, busy but not too busy to talk with you…ahh! There we go again, a communication snafu! Now if you were a Siamese you’d understand that I’m trying to say that Sarita will be away from her desk for two weeks or so. Most of you probably know her hubby has been under the weather; her being away has something to do with his getting better, so there’s nothing at all to worry about.

She did consider writing blog posts in advance and scheduling them to just come out for awhile but that seemed too planned for her liking so she asked me if I’d like to sit in her chair and blog every morning. Hey, we all have to step up when we’re asked to, don’t we? Move in when we’re needed most? Take charge—oops! I meant to say, take over—no, that’s not it—not “take over” like I’m planning to rule the world or anything. Although…no, ruling the world would take too much time away from lazing around, watching butterflies and eating, wouldn’t it? Scratch ruling the world…

I’m just here to chat with you while the lady’s otherwise engaged.

I hope you’ll come back again tomorrow, and all the tomorrows after that right up until Valentine’s Day. On the big day I’ll hold a contest to celebrate Sarita’s imminent return as well as the heart-and-flowers, lovey-dovey Big Day. Every comment made on one of my posts is an entry in the contest, so please talk to me! I promise not to scratch, bite or leave anything unsavory on your doorstep, alright?