Trouble, trouble

Anyone else having trouble with their WordPress account? I can’t “like” any posts (well, once or twice with great persistence I’ve managed to do so on the Reader).

I’m also having a great deal of trouble with this block editor!!!  

This photo is ©Jennifer – by the way. I added it when I was trying to add a feature photo. It took me forever to figure out how to do that, and I’m not sure I can do it again.


LotusLand TV: Help Vivian Find a home.

Click on “View Original Post” to see the video. I realize my followers and others who may view this blog live around the world and therefore may not be able to help Vivian, but keep in mind cat rescue facilities near your home the next time you are looking for a pet.

Insights From The Edge

Vivian is a 7-year-old, healthy, sweet Lynx Point Siamese who has so much love to give.

In September 2020 she will be surrendered, for a second time, to the Southern California Siamese Rescue. Why you ask? No fault of her own.

Cats, particularly Siamese, are very sensitive and form strong emotional attachments to their owners. They get hurt and confused when abandoned. The flip side of that is that once they’re in a forever home, they are forever grateful. Vivian will follow you from room to room, sleep with you and stay by your side. She needs a human who will be there for her as she’s been let down too many times for someone who deserves so much better.

The first time she was surrendered she was the victim of bullying. She’d been viciously attacked by the dog and the resident cat–for five years. The owners stuck her out…

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LotusLand TV: Cats Helping Cats Save Lives

Update on Ollie and Lena! Click on “View Original Post” to see the video. You’ll be glad you did!

Insights From The Edge

Lena, Ollie, Greta and Charlie, all former fosters have gotten together and created a YouTube Channel to tell their awesome stories and help other babies find their forever homes too.

Lena here, I’m running the show!!!! Hahaha! (Mom left her computer because Greta was being bad.) Watch our new video. I helped edit and write, though I gave all the credit to Charlie. He needed to feel important. Hope you all like it! Just watching it helps, but if you want to share it, maybe more people will love cats and then more cats can be saved! Oh, mom’s back. I have to post this right now before she erases it.

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Aquarius, two

My sister and share little in common, despite being, well, sisters and growing up only a year apart in the same household. That’s almost exactly a year apart, making us both Aquarians. We share little in common but the traits of our Zodiac symbol.

Aquarians are creative, and that is incredibly true of both of us, although our creative abilities are very different. I’m the writer, she’s the artist. I can barely draw a stick figure yet Beth is very talented in that area and always has been. She has an inherent sense of proportion, for example. that I am woefully lacking. Beth is also a better writer than I am artist.

Aquarians are notoriously independent thinkers, which can make us stubborn, to say the least. You can see how this might divide my sister and me, although we rarely argued growing up. The divide came more in the form of isolation–my brother and sister were close and shut me out. That was devastating.

Yet we were also stubbornly loyal to each other. You didn’t criticize one of us to another without incurring some wrath. And if I knew Beth was in pain, I was there for her, although she oftentimes rebuffed my attempts to comfort her. Perhaps I did the same, I don’t know.

Aquarians are idealistic, something that, at least at one point in time, was vitally true of both of us. I’ve grown more cynical as I’ve gotten older, and I don’t know if the same is true of my sister. Because, you see, Beth has separated herself from the family and I haven’t heard from her in nearly twenty years.

That breaks my heart, and I know she has distanced herself because of her own pain. Which brings me to this point: Aquarians are sensitive and tend to internalize their own pain.

How can two women with so much in common have so little to share with each other? I want my sister back, although, after all this time, I don’t know what we’d say. And knowing she doesn’t want to be a part of my life hurts terribly.

Beth, you are loved.

Image Credit: ©EllerslieArt –

Hope, Contentment, Gratitude

Some days, I feel like I can see my future, and for the most part, I’m content with what I see. Other days I’m not so sure. I suppose we all have our vision of what’s ahead and I’m lucky if I believe my options are good ones.

Yet I can’t help it, I hope for something a little better. I want some things I don’t have now, not material things (although financial security is always a good thing) but some sense of satisfaction with what I’ve accomplished.

My writing, for example. I wrote a novel, but it’s so flawed that I really need to scrap much of what I’ve written and start over. The writing is good but the plot needs some help, and some of the basics such as location need to be fleshed out. There are other flaws I’m acutely aware of but don’t know how to remedy. So I’m a little stuck, and don’t know whether to keep plugging away at this novel or start a new one altogether.

It’s an election year, and I have hope for the outcome in November–and deep fear as well. Enough said.

To be perfectly honest, hope isn’t an overriding feeling in my life. In fact, I’m greatly discouraged by much of my current situation and don’t have a lot of hope for anything changing in the foreseeable future. So I’m trying to grab hold of hope and implement it into my life. Look for the ways things could change and believe in them.

I’m grateful for much of what I have, and if I have any hope at all, it’s that those things I’m grateful for will stay in my life. My job, for example. It’s not a perfect situation–what job is perfect, after all–but I’m so thankful to be working. In the current climate I’m one of the lucky ones.

My mom and dad are both living, in their 80s and healthy, and I have hope they’ll be around for awhile. My mom just lost a close friend, a woman she’d been friends with since they were three years old, who was also healthy but died suddenly of a stroke. Barb had been playing tennis almost literally until the day she died, so losing her was a shock to everyone. I hope I don’t have that kind of shock any time soon.

Hope is a funny thing. It needs to be coupled with gratitude or we’ll get lost in the mire of what we think we’re missing. Contentment is good, and contentment with hope sounds like an ideal situation. I have a little of all of this, including the mire part, and I want more hope in my life.

But if the future rolls out the way I see it now, I’ll be okay.


Image Credit:  ©krissikunterbunt –


These Days…thank goodness for all of you

I’m not good in heat. Some people thrive in it, but I prefer cold weather. Sweater weather. Weather that allows me to show off some of my hand knit scarves, gloves and hats.

Now, snow doesn’t thrill me, at least not while I’m living in the South. If it snows in my neighborhood, roads might be closed down for days and the parking lot in my apartment complex certainly won’t be plowed. So I’d better be well-stocked, especially with cat food. I can figure out a meal for myself with a little flour and water (well, not literally, but I usually have enough staples to make do) but not for the cats.

Anyway, it’s July now, just the start of summer weather. We’ll have this heat until late September, maybe even October. So I need to deal.

I set my thermostat at 78 degrees, just like the experts recommend, and it’s way too warm most of the time. So when I’m home on the weekends I turn it down, knowing full well what that will do to my electric bill. Fortunately the cats tolerate warmer weather well, besides, it cools off decently in the bedroom, so when I’m at work 78 degrees works fine.

And I’m mostly home on the weekends these days, given the restrictions COVID-19 places on us. At least, those of us who choose to follow them, and I choose to follow them. Some of my friends have gotten pretty lax about it, and that concerns me. However, I can’t dictate their choices. 

(I’m typing this sitting on my sofa, and my sweet kitty Walter is giving me the most plaintive look because I won’t allow him to sit on the laptop. He’s doing everything he can to get in my way, such as leaning on my arm, reaching out across the keyboard, and softly meowing. At least I can blame any typos on him.)

This is a tough time for all of us. Even though I don’t relish hot weather, I still feel like I should be getting out more while the sun is shining. However, where can I go? The pool is out, as is the lake, because so many people are hanging out there and I’m not going to put myself and my co-workers at risk. I do take short walks, but I get so darn hot and don’t really enjoy them.

Connecting with all of you is a bright spot in my day. Thank goodness for blogging and bloggers. The writing, as mundane as mine might get, is a release, and reading what all of you have written is a connection with others. So thank you.

Self-Quarantine, Mini-Vacation and COVID-19–I’m One of the Lucky Ones

The latest odd event in my life is an unexpected three days off while the building I work in is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. This mini-vacation has happened because one of the lab employees has a confirmed case of COVID-19. They did what they could with contact tracing and sent a dozen or so employees home for two weeks of self-quarantine, then surprised the rest of us with these days off.

It was weird, learning about this. We were at one of the busiest points of our day–nearing the end of it–when the director overseeing our department stopped by and sent us all home. I had to ask her twice if I was just supposed to drop everything and head out. About an hour or so later, simultaneous text and phone messages confirmed what she’d told us.

Since our daily work load is based on daily deliveries, and those deliveries aren’t going to stop, I don’t know what they’ll do when we get back on Monday. Five days of shipments would mean a straight 24-hour work day, so they can’t expect us to get it all done in one day, but there are promises made to vendors about timely work. Besides, we can’t just keep getting further and further behind.

But I can’t worry about that now. It would ruin this time off. Yes, I’m told we’ll be paid, although how they’ll coordinate that is an additional question mark to me. We get fourteen days of COVID-19 paid time off just for self-quarantine purposes. Will we be expected to draw on that? If so, what happens if I come in contact with someone with a confirmed case and am sent home for two weeks? Will I have unpaid time off? I can’t expect the company to pay for an infinite amount of coronavirus vacation.

The obvious thing to be worried about is getting the virus myself, but somehow, that doesn’t concern me. We don’t know who the employee was who contracted COVID-19, but we do know about many of the people who were sent home, and it was in a department with which I rarely come into contact. Plus, I’ve been taking all the precautions. I wear a mask, I avoid communal rooms such as the break room (the rest rooms I clearly can’t avoid), I wash my hands frequently and stay six feet away from others whenever possible. That last one isn’t always possible, but I do my best.

I’m just glad my coronavirus story doesn’t include being laid off, and I pray that that good luck continues. I don’t know how I’d survive without my job. These government subsidies aren’t going to last forever.

So what do I plan to do with this unexpected vacation? If I’m smart, I’ll dig into the mess that rests in my second bedroom, clean it out and set up an office/sewing room. Every time I try, it overwhelms me, so I need to break it down into manageable, doable pieces–and start getting together a bunch of boxes for Goodwill.

I pray for that fellow employee who has the coronavirus and wish him or her a speedy recovery. I also pray that no one else at work contracts the disease, although I realize that’s being optimistic.

And I pray for a quick end to COVID-19, for the time we can look back on it and breathe a sigh of relief that this particular pandemic is over.

Image Credit: ©vvvita –

A Cookie is Just a Cookie (but ten cookies is a little much)

Ah, dieting.

I’ve been trying to lose weight–just a small amount–for about a year and a half.  I’m no closer to my goal now than I was in the beginning. I even shelled out what for me was big bucks on an eating modification program (I’ve been told not to think of it as “dieting” but “eating modification” and while I can see the logic of that mentality, the bottom line is, eating modification is, for me, dieting). I lost three or four pounds right away and then–nothing. For the next three months, no more loss. So I gave up on that program.

AdobeStock_164071054 [Converted]
Curse you, Joe, for bringing in donuts! Now where’s the one with the chocolate sprinkles…
Since I don’t have much to lose, telling my friends I want to lose weight is typically not very well received, especially those friends who could afford to lose a bit more. My co-workers, too, are not particularly supportive, in more ways than one. Not only do they roll their eyes at my plight, but they are constantly bringing in food to share. In one case, one of the women bought milk shakes for all of us. Surprise! It was, excuse the pun, sweet of her. I not only couldn’t say no, I didn’t want to.

Not to put the blame on others. I could easily be better at modifying my food intake. I tend to overdo it with favorite foods (my current favorite? Quaker Oats Simply Granola), so much so that I’ll swear off of that food for a time, only to find something to take its place.

I should say here my doctor has recommended I lose some weight. He’s with me in that I don’t need to lose much, but he was definite in saying I need to lose some.

I know I stress eat. I know I eat when I’m bored. Given the amount of stress I’ve been under lately, I’m lucky I haven’t gained any more weight. Okay, I did gain back that three or four pounds I’d lost on the eating modification program. But, no more than that.

Weigh yourself every single dayHere’s the thing that’s so hard for me: as an adult, I’ve had little problem with my weight. In fact, for about ten years I was too thin and tried to gain weight, but to no avail. It was when I was a teenager that I had a problem, and in that time and place, few of my peers faced the same struggle. So being overweight was isolating and heightened the insecurities I already dealt with. Now, I’m tapping back into some of those same feelings, and it doesn’t feel good.

But I am an adult, and I have tools now that I didn’t have then. So tomorrow is another day. One day at a time. And all the other platitudes. I will lose this weight.

Image Credits: All © geosap–


On the Balance

Trying hard to adjust to the new digs.

It’s not just that it’s smaller. In fact, that isn’t such a big deal since I only used a portion of the space I had before. It’s not just that it’s dingier. That is a bigger deal. And I’m not enjoying the additional noise of an apartment complex.

Right now, though, I’m struggling mostly with how low or high my air conditioning should be set to maintain the optimum comfort while still keeping my electric bill low. I have no idea what temperature I should set it at. The recommended temp is 78 degrees, but that is proving to be simply too warm and somewhat oppressive. So I turned it one degree cooler, which is still pretty warm, but I’m not willing to go any lower. Not today, at least. Not until I see my electric bill and know the consequences.

That sort of adjustment is simply part of moving and learning how things work in the new home. As for the rest of it, I may never fully get comfortable with this new space–I was spoiled in the old one.

The cats, in particular Mimi, seem to be adapting to the change fairly well. Mimi has settled in somewhat permanently on the bedroom windowsill, which is comfortably wide and overlooks a large tree and a grassy area with plenty of squirrels and birds. I’ve pulled up the blinds and put some café curtains in to maintain my privacy. Walter hasn’t quite found his spot, although he does like to hide under my comforter, not knowing that the Walter-shaped lump gives him away.

I’m looking for good in the rest of my life to balance out the discomfort I feel here. I have a decent job with great benefits. My car is in good shape (knock wood). I have healthy, happy cats (again, knock wood). Most of all, I have the support of my family no matter what is happening in my life.

After all I’ve been through in the last ten years, overall I have to say I’m in a decent spot. Certainly far better than where I was six, seven or eight years ago. So I’m grateful. On the balance, things are good.

So I’m looking at the balance and remembering how good it is these days.

Image Credit: ©MclittleStock –

Ah, Moving Part II

Oh wow, I’ve moved.

The movers came last Friday. That part went smoothly and aside from losing the knob to my floor lamp, there was no damage to any of my highly valuable personal goods. (Okay, “highly valuable” is a subjective term and one I use here a bit facetiously).

The cats are adjusting. I have no idea how they feel about our much smaller home, but I guess they’ll get used to it. Mimi is quite curious about the wide open spaces outside the front door, and I’m constantly having to block her from running out. Walter has taken to hiding under my comforter, which is really cute because I think he believes he’s hidden. The lump on the bed gives him away.

I suppose I’m adjusting as well. I’m not thrilled with the new place, but now it’s home so I’m determined to make the best of it. I’ve got the living room and bedroom pretty much set up, with pictures on the wall, books on the bookcases and a few cat toys strewn about.

It’s the second bedroom that’s a nightmare. The room is wall to wall boxes. Well, okay, there’s a path to walk around the perimeter of the room, and to be clear, it’s not a very big room. But still in all, most of my worldly goods are in there waiting for me to dig them out. My desk is buried under those boxes as well, and that’s a problem, because despite its name a laptop is easier to use on a solid surface. Slouching on the sofa as I am now has multiple drawbacks.

Change can be hard, and this situation is difficult for me. I didn’t want to move out of the old place (further explanation about that can be found here). My new apartment is actually quite old, not in a charming way but in an outdated, faux paneling way. The cabinets are cheap and worn. Those in the bathroom are so bad it’s unreal, so I may paint them. You’re not supposed to do that, but seriously, the consequences are likely to be minor. I may not get my deposit back, but they keep eighty percent of it anyhow for cleaning. I’d paint the cabinets a neutral color that would go with the flooring. Yes, I’m justifying.

But like I said, I’m determined to make the best of this situation and look for the good. The cats have window sills they can perch on to watch the birds and the squirrels outside. I’m closer to work, closer, really, to the hub of this area. This complex seems to be quiet, and my unit is on the end of the row of apartments, looking out over a wooded area. I’m processing the change, and will come out better for it.

Image Credit: ©

Ollie & Lena–A Love Story

Any cat lover (and I know several of you follow my blog) will appreciate the story of Ollie and Lena. Thanks to Amy for sharing. Click on “view original post” to see the video.

Insights From The Edge

The premier of LotusLand TV, a Punt On Point Media production. LotusLand TV is a channel dedicated to raising awareness about the rescue and fostering of cats. Saving a life, changes your own. The love you give to a cat, he returns 7-fold.

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Hair’s to You

Girl in black gloves mixes hair dye in a bowl

The latest run on household supplies? Apparently it’s hair color, and as someone who covers up my gray roots on a regular basis, I get it. I haven’t yet bought any hair color–dying my own hair scares me after a few failed attempts several years ago–but I can see it getting to that point.

Okay, I did get on Amazon to buy some root cover-up after I couldn’t find any in local stores or Amazon carries it, but is temporarily out of my color (medium brown). So I placed my order and just have to hope it comes in before my current supply runs out. It’s the temporary powder, nothing fancy, so I can see why it’s so popular. You just brush it on and voilà! You’re ready to go.

Hearing about the run on hair color makes me think once again about my stylist. She’s an all-American success story, having started out at her Aveda salon as a receptionist and moving up until she and her husband bought the salon. They’ve maintained its success, and I have no doubt there are dozens of women and men anxious for her doors to open up again. But what’s happening in the meantime?

I realize the economic security bill that was recently passed includes help for small business owners, but I have no idea if it’s enough. Our governor is as cautious as any and won’t allow hair salons to open up again until it’s safe (however you determine that fact). In the meantime, we’re all getting shaggier and grayer.

So hair’s to your health, the health of the economy and the health of the American spirit. There’s a lot of confusion, a lot of unknowns, a lot of fear. Hang in there.

Photo Credit: © COPYCATS–

Five Classic Films to Watch While You’re Cooped Up at Home

Looking for fresh ideas of movies to watch during this time of home confinement? Here are five of my favorite escapes in film. I’ve reviewed all of them on my other blog, Classic for a Reason. I’ve linked to those reviews, but here’s a brief description of each film below. These are all available to rent (or some, watch free) on Amazon Prime and YouTube. Enjoy!

The Palm Beach Story

Joel McCrea, Rudy Vallee, Mary Astor, Claudette Colbert The Palm Beach Story
Joel McCrea, Rudy Vallee, Mary Astor and Claudette Colbert work through the confusion of their relationships.

Tom (Joel McCrea) and Gerry (Claudette Colbert) Jeffers have hit a stalemate in their marriage: they are seemingly better friends than lovers, his business is floundering and she’s bored with the whole situation. He hasn’t given up, but she has, and one day she leaves for Palm Beach to get a divorce and find a wealthy man who not only can support her in the way she feels she deserves, but also provide the financing for Tom’s entrepreneurial project.

As fate would have it, on the train to Palm Beach, she meets just that man, John D. Hackensacker III (Rudy Vallee). In the meantime, thanks to a generous benefactor, Tom has flown to meet Gerry and stop her from divorcing him. Instead, he’s greeted by John, Gerry, and John’s flighty, oft-married sister, Princess Centimillia (Mary Astor).

The sparks fly and romance begins as Tom and Gerry face the truth about their marriage.

My Man Godfrey

Carole Lombard, William Powell starring in My Man Godfrey 1936
Wealthy Carole Lombard introduces down-and-out bum William Powell to her society friends.

Society elite Irene Bullock (Carole Lombard) and her sister Cornelia (Gail Patrick) are seeking a “forgotten man” as part of a scavenger hunt, and come upon Godfrey Smith (William Powell) living at a city dump. The two women are on separate teams, and Cornelia is the first to offer Godfrey five dollars if he’ll help her win the prize. Her offer is met with a shove into a pile of ashes, and Irene decides it’s best to walk away as well.

But Godfrey, after talking to the flighty Irene, chooses to help her win the scavenger hunt and triumph over her sister. To her delight, he denounces the group of wealthy citizens applauding him after her team’s victory is declared. She offers him a job as the family’s butler, which he graciously accepts.

But Godfrey isn’t just any butler, and Irene begins to fall for him, something Cornelia cannot abide.

How to Marry a Millionaire

Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, Lauren Bacall - How to Marry a Millionaire
Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall model for a local millionaire.

Schatze Page (Lauren Bacall), recently divorced, has joined with fellow models Loco Dempsey (Betty Grable) and Pola DeBevoise (Marilyn Monroe) to lease a high-class apartment for a year. Schatze, perhaps more than the others, is determined to bait and catch a millionaire, not the “gas station jockeys” she typically falls for.

The situation is looking bleak when J. D. Hanley (William Powell), a widower of indisputable wealth, begins courting Schatze. While she’s genuinely fond of the older gentleman, she’s also being pursued by charming Tom Brookman (Cameron Mitchell) a man she’s quite certain is too poor to be considered.

In the meantime, good natured Loco finds herself falling for a man she believes to be well off, but in fact, is merely a park ranger. Pola, who can’t see a foot in front of herself without her glasses, literally bumps into the man of her dreams, someone with an odd connection to all three women.

How the women resolve what they’re seeking with what they’re finding is as fun and classy as the film’s three stars.

Libeled Lady

Loy, Powell, Harlow, Tracy Libeled Lady
Myrna Loy and William Powell are confronted by Jean Harlow and Spencer Tracy.

Gladys Benton (Jean Harlow) is set to marry Warren Haggerty (Spencer Tracy) when he discovers his tell-all front page story about a socialite, Connie Allenbury (Myrna Loy), is false and she’s set to sue the newspaper for the astronomical amount of $5 million dollars (keep in mind, this is 1936).

Figuring the best way out of the situation is to turn the heiress into the homewrecker the paper reported her to be, Haggerty hires Bill Chandler (William Powell) to lure her into a compromising situation with a married man.

First, however, he has to marry Chandler off to his bride-to-be to make him the married man in question. Of course, nothing goes as it’s supposed to (how could it?). Gladys starts falling for Bill, who in turn is falling for the lovely Connie. There’s a smart and sassy ending that isn’t really an ending at all.

Sitting Pretty

Clifton Webb in Sitting Pretty
You’ve no doubt seen the greeting card with the baby with oatmeal on his head–it comes from this movie!

Harry (Robert Young) and Tacey (Maureen O’Hara) King have a day-to-day challenge in keeping a nanny for their three rambunctious boys. After the last woman quits without notice, Tacey places yet another ad, hoping to find the right young woman for the job.

When a Lynn Belvedere answers and later accepts her job offer, she believes she’s found that woman. Both Harry and Tacey are shocked when a bristling Mr. Lynn Belvedere (Clifton Webb) arrives at the door, and are further bewildered when he makes the disconcerting statement he doesn’t like children.

He does have a way with the boys, however, so the Kings keep him on, and eventually learn his kinder side. What they don’t know is his secret motive for moving in with a suburban family.

When the Kings—and the entire town they live in—discover the truth, it jeopardizes both home and profession.

A Matter of Faith–We’ll Get Through This

Sad to happy faces, with the emphasis on happy.

Trust. I do believe we’ll get through this.

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. My dad once told me that whether times are good or times are bad we believe they’re always going to stay that way. Right now, times are bad. But we’ll get through this.

I’m lucky enough to still have a job, but I’m afraid that may not last. Business has slowed down considerably and we’re not sure when it will pick up again. The company is doing everything it can to keep us all employed, but there comes a point, right?

I have to move shortly, and now I fear the governor may call for a complete shut down, a total stay-at-home order, and that would mean movers wouldn’t be available. Even if I had a friend with a truck (which I don’t), there’s no way we could move all my worldly goods in the back of someone’s pickup.

But these are things that haven’t happened yet and maybe never will. If they do, I’ll have to deal with them then. I’m just a notorious worrier (got that from my mom). I do believe that whatever happens, I’ll get through it.

I’m not someone who has posters with inspirational sayings or Bible verses all over my home, but I do have faith. Lately, that faith has been tested, for reasons that have nothing to do with the coronavirus. It’s just that a lot of people have given me scientific or historical reasons for everything I believe in. Still, I have faith for the unknown. And let’s just say that faith is misguided. If it helps me, I’m keeping it.

These are uncertain times, uncertain in many ways because we’ve never dealt with anything like this before. It’s unclear how to navigate these murky waters.

But we’ll get through it. My prayers are with all those who are sick, all their loved ones, and the loved ones of those who have died.

Image credit: ©Worawut –