Celebrating the Small things – the first of 2016

This is the Celebrating the Small Things blog hop, run by Lexa Cain and her two wonderful co-hosts L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge and Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits.

It is hard to believe that (at this moment) 2015 is winding down and 2016 is about to begin.

I remember for many years there was always a depiction of a baby getting ready for the year, sometimes as an old man crept out the other side of the image – the old year leaving for the new year.  I didn’t like the ones I found, but this one makes me smile.

My family always sat up together to watch the ball drop in Times Square, and we would sip a glass of champagne or, sometimes, Cold Duck, which we kids liked a little better.  Grandparents would get misty, I would get sleepy…

On New Years eve 1999 (turning to the year 2000) we all got together and watched New Years all over the world.  It was wonderful, though there was a video of a Jordanian baptism that just wouldn’t stop. 

“And now we take you to Paris!” 

And the baptism would show again.  We all began chuckling.  Everyone looked happy, we were happy, it was all good.

So what am I doing?

Well, I’ll be sipping Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut, whichI received as a Christmas gift.  I’m always happy to drink Champagne.

It’s a happy drink.  I remember one summer where a burgeoning case of depression (job woes, employers moving, ailing loed ones) was nipped in the bud with a glass of champagne drunk with family.

I’ll probably be sitting and watching the fire with a cat on my lap.  My money is on Little Miss Mess, a/k/a Frida, who has appeared in this blog a time or two.  She’s peppery, sweet and very affectionate.  Unlike a long departed darling, she does not like Champagne, so there will be more for me.

…and maybe I’ll break out my current work in progress and pick away at it.

Tomorrow, early, I drive to my mother’s to spend the weekend.

I hope you’ll all be with those you love, who love you.

And I’m ending with something pretty to look at:

Happy New Year!

Love Never Lost

I was at a cat show this weekend.  It’s a long story, and involves my eleven year old cat, Frida, who also modeled for Harry Winston.  I kid you not.  She loved the attention, the petting, the fussing over her – and, as vain as all cats, she enjoyed the necklace.  This photo was in the catalog for Harry Winston for that year, and I had obtained a copy of it for myself.  No, I didn’t make any money for the sitting.  I hadn’t expected to.  It was a favor for a friend, and I was tickled to see her wearing a quarter of a million dollars worth of diamonds.  Apparently, she enjoyed everyone.

I brought the catalog with me to the show.  My dear friend who gave me Frida (for the sum of $1) was there, and I wanted her to see it. 

The catalog had a pocket in the back cover.  I found a folded piece of paper there.  I took it out, unfolded it, and saw my father’s handwriting:

Dear Diana,

It’s been a rough time for you, I know, and I’m sending you a little something to help you along.  There is more where that came from, as you know, and you only need to ask.

Your mother and I are proud of you.



I had to turn away, a hand to my eyes.  I had not expected to find that. I remembered that terrible time, the economy at a halt, layoffs, no one hiring…  I remembered a lot of things.  Sternness when necessary, always there, always reliable.  Strike him as I might, he always rang true.  Perhaps the best gift I ever received.

I was remembering him just now, listening to this song:

The words to the second verse always speak to me:

          If heaven was a town, it would be my town
          Oh – on a summer day in 1985
          And everything I wanted was out there waitin’
          And everyone I loved was still alive

I thought of them as I folded the note and put it back in the pocket.  Often, what was never dies, but still is…

We always loved fireflies

Celebrations February 20, 2015 – Winter, wolves, polar bears and cats with scarves

Welcome to the February 20 edition of the Celebrating the Small Things blog hop, started by VikLit and now run by Lexa Cain, our fearless new leader and her two wonderful co-hosts L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge
Katie @ TheCyborgMom

Howdy, Neighbor! Where’s the food??
Today I am celebrating the fact that my roof has not caved in and I have not encountered an angry polar bear.  At least not yet.  In view of the arctic temperatures southern New England has been *cough* enjoying over the past month, I expect a migration that may rise to the level of Attila the Hun’s campaigns.  In fact, the drifts are so high, I have a strong suspicion that the pile of snow left by my terrible foe, the snow plow, especially by the mailbox, is housing a family of polar bears, or at least timber wolves (who are wondering, poor dears, when they may expect the caribou to arrive).
You…did say there were caribou here??

At least they are quiet.  By day.

I have learned that we will get rain on Sunday with temperatures in the ‘forties, but I have every confidence in the blessings of nature and winter that the temperature will drop down into the sub-zero zones, allowing the wolves and polar bears to practice their ice skating.  The bright side is that I will have a source for financial gain, since I suspect people might pay money to see skating polar bears.  Or not.  It’s cold.  However, if they do come to watch, and

they are as obnoxious as some of the folks who have come through here within the past several months, I truly believe that the bears, who are known to be somewhat crusty with pushy humans, will thin the ranks of the cretins and make life much easier for me, over all.  If I can train them and the wolves to scoop litter boxes my life will be enviable. 

The REAL snow queen!

Frida  and the cats can whip them into shape!  (note the pile left by the snow plow, in the back Left of the photo!)

So what are you  celebrating today?  (enjoy them, and enjoy your weekend!)

Happy Valentine’s Day! (A post from Frida)

Good evening, all.  I’m Frida, Mom’s little cat (she has another, who is nearly 19 and a total doofus)  She has mentioned me once or twice, calling me a ‘Writer’s Block’, which is not funny.

At the moment Mom is outside with a pickaxe:

Mom’s Ice Removal Implement

 a snow shovel:

There  has to be a better way to exercise…

Paddock Boots (designed for winter riding)

Oh la-la!  Ceux sont tellement chic!

And an excellent vocabulary to use in addressing the Snow plows that come by and bury the driveway just as she has finished shoveling:

This truck appears to be named ‘You Blasted STINKER!’

Since she is otherwise occupied, I will simply extend what I know are her wishes for a happy Valentine’s day for all who celebrate it.  I regret that all I have is a Valentine she did of me and a friend.  But the thought is there.

And here it is: 

…oh, dear…  She just came stamping in, kicked off her boots and said something through her teeth about writing a fight scene!

August 1 Celebrations

Today is the Celebrations blog hop by VikLit .  Come join us: the information is below.  Join us!

Today I am celebrating:

1.  The delicious continuation of a break in hot weather.  So lovely to be able to wake up with a quilt over me and a cat at my feet.

Cup with Agapanthus

2.  drinking my morning tea out of a cup decorated with agapanthus, which I call ‘aspidistra’ because ‘aspidistra’ has an almost Dr. Seuss-like sound.

Little Miss Mess with Photobomb

3.  A road trip to a cat show with Little Miss Mess (so-called because she takes no nonsense from the two big boys in the household) is scheduled for this weekend.  Probably her last since while she does love going into the public and flirting with children and passers-by and going up on judging tables and blowing kisses to the crowd, she is now ten years old and perceptibly slowing down, though she still whacks the males in the household on the backside.

4.  The weekend.

What are you celebrating?

I hope yours is good!


Small Celebrations, May 23, 2014

Welcome to Friday and the Small Celebrations blog hop, started by VikLit.  We all sit back, take stock (Fridays are good for that) and notice the little things that make our lives happy, that make us smile, or that give a moment’s joy.

The information on the hop is below.  Why don’t you join?  Or, at least, visit the various posts and smile.

Today I am celebrating two rather small things.  Aside from a soft, spring rain that is making the grass green (and, unfortunately, making it grow!)

Shining Brightly

The photo of the spring rain did not turn out well.  It looked rather like the view you get through your reading glasses after handling them with hands that just boned a roasted chicken (smeary, I mean).

So we are celebrating two other things.

This is a hydrangea of a particularly bright pink.  It is bright even on a rainy day.  I forgot I had it, since I don’t generally go in my own front door.  Imagine my surprise when I saw this beautiful plant glowing in early twilight:

…and doesn’t the pink go beautifully with the handmade pot? 

Once it is gone by,  I will be putting it in the ground by the front door.  With any luck (and some good feeding) it will bloom again next year.

…And I am posting about a small celebration.  I’ve mentioned her before.  I think I called her an attractive nuisance.  She answers to ‘Princess’, though her name is ‘Frida’.  She is also referred to as ‘Little Miss Mess’.  And she is a very sweet illustration of a bit of poetry by Katherine Lee Bates:

Little Miss Mess, the Attractive Nuisance

Dawn love is silver
Wait for the west
Old love is gold love –
Old love is best

Frida celebrated her tenth birthday this month.  She is healthy, lively, in good flesh – but she is more than half the maximum age she is likely to reach.  (Burmese cats tend to be long-lived)  The time has passed so swiftly, and she is my best little girlfriend.

So what are you celebrating?


Celebrating the Small Things – April 4, 2014

Little things… 

This wonderful Friday blog hop is the idea of VikLit (visit her blog and enjoy it!)   This is our time to celebrate the small things that often go unnoticed.  It is smile-making, and perhaps more importantly, makes me, at least, look at things with new eyes and find wonders I had overlooked.

Join us!  Details are at the end of this post.

A novelist, Robert Raynolds, wrote something that made me think, and made me nod years ago.   I still agree.

He said: The wonder of life is composed mostly of trivia.

If you think about it, the things that make up the fabric of our happiness are things that, taken one by one, seem so small as to be unnoticeable.  And yet, like the princess in the fairy tale who could feel a pea through twenty mattresses, once one is removed, its loss can be felt.

So what am I celebrating right now?  

I have Miss Frida (my cat – see my post about her a couple weeks back, here) beside me, sleeping.  She just turned ten years old this morning (April 4).  Old love is, indeed gold love.

I am about to head for bed (it is 12:15AM in the eastern United States – and good morning to my friends overseas!), and I know it will feel good to pull the covers up over my shoulder, settle into my pillows and drift off to sleep.

And tomorrow I will be visiting my charming mother and going with her to look at a place she may move to, which can care for her as needed, and where she will have friends.  We’ll squabble, of course, and visit antique shops and, if she’ll let  me, bake some pies.

And I will mix her an ‘Old Fashioned’, a drink she loves.  I’m blessed to have her still.

What are you celebrating?

Celebrations – My Best Little Girlfriend, February 28, 2014

It’s Celebrations time!

VikLit had the idea for this blog that celebrates the small things that often go unnoticed.  It happens every Friday, and it will always  bring a smile as we see joy through others’ eyes.

Why don’t you join the hop?  Details are at the end of this post.

Today I am celebrating my best little girlfriend, who came to me unexpectedly through the kindness of a friend.  She has brightened my life for nine years, given me a hobby when I was at loose ends, made me laugh just about every day.

Herself, age 9 (photoshop backdrop)

Frida is a cat, as you can see.  She is what is called a ‘Sable Burmese’.  Rich chocolate brown. They came to the United States and then to Europe in the 1930’s from Thailand, when a sailor brought one back with him.  Go to Bangkok and you will see little brown cats in the streets.  They come in other colors, too.  Frida had had a bit of a bad time before she came to me.  She had developed an infection and had lost most of her coat.  Her owner, a good friend, had stabilized her, and she was on her way ‘back’, as you might say.  I didn’t know that.  All I knew was that she was pretty cute, and we hit it off immediately.

Cats tend to be matriarchal.  Shrimp that she is, Frida bossed around the big boys at my place, cuddled with my dog (a Lab) and generally tried to rule things with an iron paw in a velvet glove.

Cold Morning

Most mornings she sits on my lap.  On cold mornings, she is especially affectionate, even going so far as to try to commandeer my bathrobe.  Sometimes I let her.  
Earlier in this blog I mentioned her disruptive way with manuscripts, and she has honed and perfected her techniques over the years.  Her presence when I am writing has led to phenomenally decreased output.  On the other hand, I laugh a lot.

She works very hard for different causes, from disrupting writers (a cause dear to her heart) to cat rescue.  She even serves as breed ambassadress whenever it is necessary. She does tend to squint at times when she is happy: that distant stare translates to ‘Ooh!  I’m so happy to be here!  Help rescue a cat, why don’t you?’

One time, I recall, someone thought she was a mink.  She’s a minx, I guess (though a charming one), but she also runs a tight ship,going so far as to thwack the big boys who happen to annoy her.

It’s been a nice nine years, well worth celebrating…

Party Girl

                                     She does somehow make every day seem like a party…

(Today is a Friday!  I hope you all have wonderful weekends.)


Small Celebrations – October 11, 2013

Once again it’s Friday and time to happily participate in VikLit’s wonderful blog hop marking the small celebrations that make life special.  Why don’t you participate?  Details are at the end of this post.

We commemorate small celebrations, and this week I’m posting about one of my smallest.

cold morning, affectionate little girlfriend – happiness!

She is seven pounds, ten years old, chocolate brown, feisty and very sweet.  Her name is Frida and she came to me in May of 2005 through the kind generosity of a friend.  Frida is a Burmese cat, a breed that originated on the Malayan peninsula.  Go to Thailand and Burma and you will find little brown cats walking in the streets.  This little girl’s ancestors came to the United States in 1930, accompanying a sailor who had taken ship at Kowloon.

I’ve loved Burmese since 1965.  I have owned them since 1980. 

In her I have my best little girlfriend, my feisty little angel, and a peppery but sweet companion.  Who could ask for more?  She’s worth celebrating!