Friday, June 27, 2008


I don't usually remember my dreams. I sometimes remember that I did dream, but the details are fuzzy or nonexistent. This morning was different. I woke up at 5am and fed the cats, then decided to go back to bed. (I'm fighting a cold and just couldn't stay awake.) Between then and when I did get up at 8:30, I had a very detailed and vivid dream. Even grabbed my journal and wrote it down. I'm hoping it will turn into a story or novel maybe. I won't go into all the details here, except to say that it involved Kevin Spacey.

OK, stop the smiling and winking. It wasn't that type of dream. Just like it wasn't really Kevin Spacey and it wasn't really me. We were different people. Kind of like characters in a book or movie I reckon. He looked a bit like he does in the picture above - a little less unshaven though, with a slightly thicker moustache. We were friends...yes, that's it. What a waste of a dream, right?

Anyway, I'd like to take the details of the dream and try to "run with it" as it were. I think I can get a really great story out of it. A bit more serious than I usually write, but maybe that's what I need to do. And I've always been a fan of Kevin Spacey. He can play so many different parts, and play them all convincingly as well. So, I will keep him in mind as I write. Maybe that will help.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Love These Mountains

My husband and I moved to Western NC from Georgia in 1993, and we have never regretted the move. It is beautiful up here; and inspirational as well. My writing is really taking off and no small amount of credit goes to the wonderful scenery around me.

I have also made some great friends since we moved here. I've met some strong women who have become great role-models and helped me become a strong woman as well.

When I was a child, my mother and I moved around quite a bit. She was a restless soul and just couldn't seem to stay in one place for long. She used to say that if God had meant for us to stay in one place, he would have given us roots. This is the longest I've lived in one area. I think I have finally found my roots.

Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin has Left the Building

Just caught a news story that really made me sad. Comedian George Carlin died yesterday afternoon. He was 71-years-old.

George's humor was often a bit off-color, but it was always relevant and thought-provoking. He put into words what many of us were afraid to. You can check out one of my favorite routines on YouTube:

You can also view the AP report on his death:

Rest in Peace, George. You surely will be missed.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Sacked Out Cats

Statistics say cats sleep an average of 16 hours a day. I think mine sleep about 23 hours a day. And they can sleep just about anywhere. The picture above is Major sleeping on his favorite pillow. He LOVES that thing. When he's not sitting in the living room with me, he's sleeping on that pillow.

Eddie is the light sleeper of the bunch. She wakes up as soon as you step in the room, and she doesn't seem to sleep near as many hours as her brothers and sister. She sure is pretty when she's sleeping though.

Face's favorite place to sleep is in her basket. It's a small wicker laundry basket with a beach towel thrown in. During the day, we wedge it between our waterbed and the window. (Small bedroom.) There's a birdfeeder right outside that window, and she often falls asleep watching birds. Kind of how I fall asleep watching TV. :0)

Blondie is the loudest snorer and the champion sleeper of the bunch. He can sleep through most anything, although he sometimes snaps awake from a bad dream and has to be reassured. And if he wakes up to an empty room, he will come meowing through the house until he finds someone. Here he is sleeping in one of his favorite spots; on the bed under a large piece of lace. (Note the second wicker basket. He sometimes likes to sleep in there...on the bed.)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Feeling Nostalgic

I'm feeling nostalgic today. I decided to look up famous birthdays, just to see if I could find one for today. The name Lionel Richie jumped out at me, and suddenly I was back in high school.

Most of his songs from back then bring back some sort of memory:

*Hello makes me think about how I used to keep glancing out the door of the classroom, hoping to see Gary walk by. I thought he was the cutest thing.

*Dancing on the Ceiling reminds me of watching MTV with my friends; dancing around the living room like we were "all that."

*Say You, Say Me...well, what can I say? Remember Mikhail Baryshnikov and the late, great Gregory Hines dancing in the Russian studio? Weren't they wonderful? (I still mourn Hines' death.)

Today is Lionel Richie's 59th birthday. Happy Birthday Lionel. Thanks for all those memories.

I'm going to go put on one of his records. (Remember those things? Vinyl?) And I know my parachute pants are around here somewhere....

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

More Cat Stuff

This is Muffinhead. She is a dilute tortie who showed up at my house in March. In this picture, she is getting ready for her favorite pastime: rolling around in the dirt. She loves it. This area of my yard was recently dug up and cleared out, and she thinks that's just fine. Pictures don't capture it, but when she gets up out of this dirt, her coat is covered in mica. She just sparkles in the sun. Maybe that's why she does it.

I called this little girl Muffinhead because she's not the sharpest tool in the shed. Now, I say that, yet she knew enough to show up here where she is being well taken care of. I have four indoor cats, as I've talked about previously. A while back, I bought them one of those little "houses" made from foam and fabric. They didn't really like it. So, I put it on the front porch for my neighbor's cat. He loves to use it in the winter. Along came Muffinhead, and now it's hers. So, she has come to a house where she is fed and has shelter. She wants for nothing. (Doesn't even show interest in coming inside. I've tried.) Maybe she's smarter than I initially thought. (And check out those eyes.)

This is not the first cat to show up on my doorstep. I have taken to the shelter or found homes for many a cat or kitten over the years. (The one above was just barely a handful, and I now wonder if she was from the same litter as Muffinhead. They look so similar.) I think some of them have come from people who know how I found my own cats under my back porch and raised them. Maybe they figure I will know what to do. Others, I think, have followed the giant neon sign on my roof. It is visible only to cats and reads "Free Food Here" with a giant arrow pointing toward my front door. It coincides with the invisible tattoo on my forehead which reads "SUCKER!!!"

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Coffee Anyone?

OK, I have gotten hooked on coffee drinks. When I first heard of Starbuck's many eons ago, I thought "NO WAY!" Didn't think I would ever pay $4 or more for coffee. Then, we got a small coffee shop in our little neck of the woods. DT's Blue Ridge Java introduced me to the world of flavored coffee. My favorite? Mocha Latte of course. Hot once in a while during the winter, but iced most of the time. I also love the Frozen Mocha Latte and the Creamy Frozen Mocha Latte. (See a pattern here?) As a special treat when something good happens, like when I publish something, I will order the Mocha Twister. To coin a phrase - YUM-O!! If I'm looking for a dessert option instead, I will order a coffee ice cream milkshake with a squirt of chocolate syrup. (Diabetic coma in a cup.) :)

With gas prices going up, and grocery prices not too far behind, I have had to cut out my coffee treats for a while. So, I have started making some of my own concoctions at home. One easy way is to just buy General Foods International Coffee's Suisse Mocha flavor and serve it on ice. Almost perfect. I sometimes also just use instant coffee with a flavored creamer. (marshmallow mocha or southern butter pecan are both great options.) Or, I make some coffee in my little 2 cup coffee maker instead of the instant. It all works.

I do want to point out that no matter which version of my favorite coffee drink I'm enjoying, I almost always have it sugar free and decaffeinated. (Except when I use the flavored creamers. They don't come in sugar free - yet.) The drinks are a bit healthier that way. GUILT FREE COFFEE!! Can't beat that.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Spay/Neuter and Cat Overpopulation

Time for my lecture on spaying/neutering cats. Yes, it's a good thing for dogs as well, but my area is cats. The photo above is of a litter of six we found underneath our back porch. Their mother disappeared when they were about 2 1/2 or 3 weeks old, and we ended up raising them. Let me tell you, bottle-feeding six cats every four hours isn't a picnic. We were lucky; all six cats survived. We ended up keeping four, which is another story in itself, and two found homes through the local shelter.

Some estimates show that a pair of breeding cats and their offspring can exponentially produce over 400,000 cats in 7 years. That's a lot of cats. Also, there are 45 cats and dogs for every person born in America. Only 1 in 10 of the dogs, and 1 in 12 of the cats will find a permanent home. These numbers can be greatly improved if only more people would spay/neuter their pets, and adopt pets from the local shelters.

I wouldn't give up my kitties for anything in the world, but if we hadn't found them, some of them wouldn't have made it, and those who did would probably have had very short and very tough lives. They are now almost 9-years-old, and are living the "Life of Riley." :)

Having a cat spayed or neutered helps prevent unwanted behavior such as wandering, spraying, fighting, etc. It also prevents many types of cancers common in cats. It's a win/win situation.

OK, I'm off my soapbox....for now. BEWARE!!! I could jump back on at any time.
For more information, and to read about some great work by a great person, check out

Sunday, June 15, 2008


OK, it's not much. But, for this year, this is my idea of gardening. I currently have two tomato plants in a 5-gallon bucket. The plants were given to me by my friend Alessa, and she hopefully has another bucket I can use. I don't know how well these guys will do if I keep them both in the same bucket. So far though, they are doing well. I have a nice little tomato on one already.

Look closely and you can just barely make out some green here. I had one of those canisters of wild flowers...the kind you just sprinkle around. It was left over from about two years ago, and I decided why not see if they will still grow. What have I got to lose. Well, looks like I may get a few flowers out of it. So far so good anyway. Hopefully a few of these little guys will grow into some colorful blooms. We can always use a little color in our lives.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Happy Accidents

I believe nature is full of happy accidents; things you didn't plan, but turned out pretty well anyway. The picture above is of the large walnut trees at the edge of our property line. (The yard in that area was recently dug up and cleared out, hince the lack of grass.) I believe these are black walnuts, as I have been told that's what grows up here. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong.) Also, I love walnuts in general, but I've tried these and just don't like them. Anyway, I think one of our friendly neighborhood squirrels decided we needed more of these trees...

...and we ended up with this small walnut tree growing at the edge of our driveway. You can barely see the rocks around it, a product of work being done on our yard on two different occassions. We just had them piled up into a little rock garden. I don't know what the root system of a walnut tree is like, so at some point this one may have to be removed. For now, I'm enjoying the added "feature" to our yard...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Stormy Thoughts

I used to hate storms as a kid. Mom told a story about how I could hear thunder before anyone else. She said I could be outside playing on a beautiful clear day, and suddenly I would come running into the house holding my hands over my ears and screaming. I would throw myself onto the couch and try to bury my head, crying and screaming the whole time. Sure enough, it would soon start clouding up and a storm would hit. Weird. I sometimes still hear thunder before others, but not that intensely...and I'm thankful for that.

Now, I kind of like storms. I find lightning fascinating, which isn't necessarily a good thing. Back when I was so scared of storms, I lived in areas where you rarely heard of a lightning strike. Now that I love to watch lightning streak across the sky, I live in an area where strikes aren't rare at all. My timing just isn't too great.

I kind of envy storm chasers. I would love to spend just one day with a group of chasers. I know it's crazy, but what a rush it must be, to see the raw power of nature up close and personal like that. Scary, yes; but beautiful as well.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Bad News/Good News

Somewhere out there, in that vast wasteland we call the internet, there are ideas. Ideas for a short story, a poem, an essay. I know they're there. I've found some of them before, and I know I can find them again.

I often find myself on You can find a myriad of ideas there. The only problem is, most of them are sad. Some of the stories on CNN are just horrible. Of all the animals on Earth, human beings are the cruelest of all. The things we do to helpless creatures, and to each other, are often appalling.

To get away from the bad news out there, I sometimes check out the Good News Network. Mind you, some of the stuff on the site is for members only, and I don't subscribe. But, you can look at some stuff there. Or, you can go to Google and type in "good news." You'd be surprised what you will find.

My favorite thing to do is go to the images section on Google and type in "smile." You can get a good laugh that way.

Early Morning Musings

WOW! It is way too early for this. But, I woke up at 1:30am and just plain wasn't able to get back to sleep. I decided to search around the net for a while, looking for a way to earn money doing what I absolutely love - writing. I did manage to find a company with jobs in writing, editing, research, etc; and even better, it's a work from home opportunity. So, I typed up a quick introduction email, attached my resume and sent it out. Wish me luck. This would be a dream job for me, plus with gas prices being what they are...well, working from home is looking even better than it ever has.

OK, time for some good news for a change. Patrick Swayze has been cleared by doctors to begin work on a new television series. It seems his pancreatic cancer isn't as bad as originally thought, and it looks like he is going to be all right. This is good news for a few reason: 1) I have always like Swayze...what child of the 80's doesn't?!? 2) It's a crime drama series, and as far as I'm concerned, we can never have too many of those. 3) Just goes to show you that when some doctor somewhere tells you there's no hope, they aren't necessarily right. There is always hope.

Way to go, Patrick!

Well, that's it for now from the mountains of Western North Carolina. Time to take advantage of the early morning hour and work on my novel.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Mother Nature Is Weird and Wonderful

OK, all my life I have heard cicadas...I thought. Today was different. I heard a sound coming from the mountains around me this morning that sounded like one of those spaceships in the old B movies. It was weird, creepy and fascinating. I am told that is the sound of all those cicadas that have come up for their 17 year trek above ground. I tried to record it, but there were way too many ambient sounds. So, I searched the internet and found a site with recordings of what I heard this morning. ( If you have never heard this sound, check this site out. The "Nearby Brood Din" is a perfect match to what I heard. This afternoon, the sound had stopped, so I am assuming it's a morning thing.
As a kid, I used to love finding the shed skins of these little creatures on trees and such. Creepy as the "bugs" themselves may sound to me, I still watch for those skins. From the sounds in the mountains this morning, I may find quite a few this year.

Check out my favorite porch-view shot from a recent writing retreat weekend at Lake Logan. The weekend was sponsored by WNC Woman magazine and was absolutely wonderful. The workshops were great and the setting was beautiful. Even without the workshops, this setting inspires creativity on its own.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Miscellaneous Musings

Well, we've been having a bit of a heat wave in the NC mountains over the past couple days. When we say "heat wave" up here, we mean temperatures in the 90s. My thermometer read 94 degrees yesterday.

My hubby and I moved up here from the Savannah, Georgia back in 1993. A heat wave down there could have temps above 100, not to mention the stifling humidity in that area. That's one thing I don't miss; air so thick you could cut it with a knife.

The mountains up here are beautiful. I have never once regretted our move to this area. I never get tired of the views. Even when the clouds are covering the area, it's beautiful. Sunrises and sunsets off the Blue Ridge Parkway are glorious. And in the Autumn months, when the leaves are changing to various shades of orange, red and gold....breathtaking.

I have some great photos I am trying to upload, but for some reason it's not working. So, as soon as I can get it going, I will post some great Smoky Mountain pictures.

For now, I hope you have a peaceful day.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

New Blog - Day One

Well, here it is. My own little blog. It's not really my first. I did set one up for my writers group, but it didn't go over too well with the group. I may still pick it up one day as a way to share writing prompts and such. Who knows.

As I write this, it looks like history has been made. is projecting Barack Obama as the winner of the Democratic Primary. I'm not Republican or Democrat; I believe in voting for the right person for the job. I have closely watched the Democratic Primaries this time around, one reason being it is history in the making. We were looking at either our first female, or first African-American presidential candidate. Like I said, HISTORY.

So, there it is. My first personal blog entry. Short...maybe not sweet...but it's mine. This may not be a daily thing, but hopefully five times a week at least. We'll see......