Friday, August 17, 2018

Just what I need -- NOT!

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

For several years now, I've been wanting something I have absolutely no use for.

A golf cart.

Yup, that's what I want. I have nowhere to store one. I have nowhere to drive one to, but I still want one.

Mind you, I have never driven one. I just think it would be cool to have one and drive it around. Before my parents passed, it would have been cool to have one because I could have driven it up the street to their house. I used to visit them at least once a day (often twice or more--very handy when I was missing an ingredient for a recipe), but ... now they're gone and the house belongs to someone else. (Which makes me want to cry every time I see it.)

I don't have any place to store a golf cart, either. Our garage barely fits our two cars as it is. In fact, I can't park Mr. L's car in the garage because of the way we have to maneuver them in so we can open the doors, and he can't park my car because of how close I have to get it to the wall. The original owner should have had a 2.5 car garage because ... STORAGE. My parents' garage was 2.5 and it would have been dandy to store a golf cart.

Whenever we head to our cottage, we pass a place where there is always at least one unsed golf cart for sale. The house has a BIG garage, and I figure the guy who owns it probably buys broken golf carts and then fixes them. There was a pretty blue one last month that I coveted, but somebody else bought it.

I don't play golf, but my sister-in-law does. She gets to drive a golf cart around all the time. She thinks nothing of it.

Do you have something totally unreasonable item on your wish list and of no practical use that you'd like to own?

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Baked #Tomatoes Recipe from Karen Rose Smith's DEADLY DECOR

by Karen Rose Smith




This time of year we're harvesting tomatoes from our garden faster than we can eat them in salads. I freeze a batch every week too. But this is a casserole I created (recipe is in Caprice De Luca mystery #2, DEADLY DECOR) just for this time of year. If you like the taste of pizza and would appreciate a dish a little healthier without the bread, this one is for you!



Nikki's Baked Tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prep time—15 to 20 minutes  (This always depends on how much you enjoy the process of handling ingredients.  Some cooks rush through prep, others put on music and enjoy chopping and measuring!)
Bake time—60 minutes
Serves 6-8 as a side dish

Book 2 in Karen's Caprice De Luca
Home Staging  Mysteries
2-1/2 lbs tomatoes–washed, cored and sliced about 1/4" thick (I like to use large tomatoes)
1 medium onion thinly sliced 1/8" thick
2 teaspoons oregano (You will use half and then the other half later.)
1 clove garlic, grated

1 tablespoon sugar (You will use half and then the other half later.)
1/2 teaspoon pepper (You will use half and then the other half later.)
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese (You will use half and then the other half later.)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin olive oil
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 oz. bag)
1/3 cup Italian style bread crumbs (I use Progresso.)

Layer 1/2 of the sliced tomatoes in 8"x12" glass casserole.  Spread 1/2 of onion over first half. Then sprinkle with 1 teaspoon oregano, all of the grated garlic, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese.  Layer remainder of tomatoes and onion.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, 1 teaspoon sugar and remaining 1 teaspoon of oregano.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Cover with foil.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Remove casserole from oven.  Carefully spoon out excess liquid.  Sprinkle with remaining parmesan, then mozzarella cheese and bread crumbs.  Put the casserole back in oven at 350 degrees uncovered for 20 more minutes until bread crumbs are toasty brown.

After removing, allow the dish to sit for five minutes before serving.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Clubs...in or out.


I’m thinking of joining an astronomy club and maybe a camera club at the Cincinnati Nature Center. Both I’m really interested in and know little about.
When I was a kid I loved belonging to clubs. I was a Girl Scout, the most fun club of all times and I learned so many neat things in GS and not just how to sell cookies. They have these badge things you earn. I guess the GS still has badges and I learned a ton from the research.
It also made me try things I never would have tired before. I learned how to sew, start a fire, bake great brownies and hike…all that I still use today.
Then there was the sorority in college. That was a club of like-minded women. The biggest thing I learned in the sorority was how to talk to anyone about anything. Nothing makes you tune up your social skills like being at a frat part with guys you never met before. I use the talk to anyone about anything skill a ton!!
And now that I’m older, it’s always good to get new interests going right? But then there’s the club thing to consider. Maybe I should just read a few books on the subjects and get the info there. But then I’ll miss out on the personal tips and enthusiasm of the group.
So the thing today is, do you belong to clubs? Have they taken you places you never knew before, made you try new things, make new friends? 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Joy of Doing Nothing

by Maggie Sefton


Yes, Readers and Cozy Chicks friends and fans----That's my message for today.  We ALL need to relax more.  Our lives are filled with so many things to do and take care of that we forget we need to treat ourselves well while we're running around taking care of all the items on our daily "To Do" lists, real or in our heads.

Those thoughts have come in loud and clear these last few days as I've relaxed down here near the Potomac River,  an hour and half from the crush of the Northern VA/DC/ Suburban MD "Metro Madness."  I didn't realize how much I needed to relax until I got here and just kicked back and relaxed.   Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.

Okay. . .I hope I'm not putting anyone to sleep, but those thoughts simply came in strongly so I figured I should share them on my post today.  And. . .a fun photo.  This cute puppy visited the Fort Collins knitting and yarn shop, Lambspun, one weekend in late July.  If you're wondering what that strange looking item is that's sitting on the floor behind the doggie, that's one of the marvelous spinning wheels that spinners use nowadays.

I think I've mentioned before how much I enjoy sitting around Lambspun's large knitting table while the spinners are spinning busily.  It is SO relaxing to simply sit and knit and listen to that quiet hum of the wheel.  :)

How many of you have sat and knitted while spinners spin?  Do any of you spin?  If I don't reply right away, it's because the Cozy Chicks have had some trouble with the Google account that carries our blog.  Keep your fingers crossed.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Britbox, British Mysteries and Tea!

By Mary Kennedy                                               
                                                                           

I'm in love with Britbox! 

What is Britbox? Britbox is a subscription video on-demand service that focuses on British TV series.  You can find all your fave series there, from Midsomer Murders to Agatha Christie to Agatha Raisin. By the way, if you love Ashley Jensen, who plays Agatha Raisin, you'll enjoy her in the series "Extras." She stars with Ricky Gervais in an entertaining look at the underbelly of show biz. 
                                                                             

If you're a devoted mystery fan, you probably enjoy a "good cuppa" from time to time. And if you love British cozies, the odds are spot on that you'll recognize your favorite brew (everything from Ceylon to Darjeeling.)  
                                                                              
I recently began watching a British mystery called Dalziel and Pascoe. When Detective Superintendent Andy Dalziel's car breaks down in the rain, he walks to a country house and asks the lady of the manor for a cup of tea. (he also asks for a hot bath and gets more than he asked for, but that's another story!) 

The passion for tea and mysteries goes back to Agatha Christie.
                                                                              

  Remember how Hercule Poirot loved his tisanes? He would often try to unravel the clues to a crime, while urging Hasting to "use his brain cells." 
                                                                                   

Recent detective shows have continued the trend. In the Inspector Morse series, Detective Superintendent Robert Morse tells his sergeant that he "needs a drink." The sergeant reminds him that he's just had  a cup of tea. Morse tells him, "It was herbal." The sergeant agrees and says, "You really do need a drink!" The next time you're engaged in a British mystery, be sure to pour yourself a nice cup of tea to go with it!

Mary Kennedy And if you need any delicious tea time recipes,I hope you'll consider our Tea Time with the Cozy Chicks cookbook! 
                                                                            


 
                                         
 
                                                                         



                    
     
                 


Saturday, August 11, 2018

Swans ... a collection

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

My family has had a cottage on the “real” Lotus Bay for over forty years. So I’m pretty familiar with the area, which is one reason why I’ve chosen to write about it.

Of course, my version is filled with fictional characters, and it’s not exactly in the same part of New York State as the real one is, and the names are all changed, but a lot is still the same. The seasons, the fishing, the lotuses, and the swans.

Swans are an important part of my Lotus Bay “universe.” Kathy Grant, one of my main characters, is opening a B&B called Swans Nest. (You can read all about it in the latest book, A REEL CATCH.)

But since I’ve been writing about Lotus Bay and the swans … I started collecting swans. Okay, I did have a few swan planters beforehand, but it didn’t become a collection (and you have to have three for a collection to start) until I started writing the series.

I’ve got tall swans, and itty bitty swans. Many white ones, but in pink, green, and orange. (I know! What’s with that?) And recently I acquired a lotus and lily pad salt and pepper shaker set. I mean, how could I resist it?

I’ve also got swan coasters, swan prints on the wall, and a couple of swan decorative plates. They’re such beautiful birds—how can one NOT like (love) them?

Have you got any swans?
=========================================

Swans Nest Inn is about to open, and Kathy Grant solicits her BFF, Tori Cannon, to help spruce up her property at the marshy end of Lotus Bay, only they didn’t count on finding a body. Who was he? What’s his connection to their friend Paul Darcy? Meanwhile, two entrepreneurs with vast business ties are interested in helping Tori reopen the Lotus Lodge, and their real motives are as murky as the bay after a storm. Will Swans Nest open on time? Will the Lotus Lodge reopen at all?

Trade Paperback:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million 
Book Depository (free shipping worldwide)

Friday, August 10, 2018

Birdbath Heaven

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

My mother had bird baths. So eventually, I got one too.

I admit it. I haven’t been a good bird bath owner … until this year. I read where birds have a hard time finding water all year long.

Really?

Okay, so I decided this year I would try to make a point of keeping the bird bath clean and full.

Holy cow—what had I been missing?

During the summer, I like to write in our screened-in porch. This year, I moved the bird bath from the outer yard to the area around our pool. Holy crap! Those birds are there all day long. Not only are they taking a drink (and I’ve seen sparrows, robins, crows, red-winged blackbirds, grackles, and others I don’t know of) and bathing. Holy cow, do they like to bathe!

The other day, there was a bath-a-thon. Five birds at a time were vying to clean their feathers (while others sat on the electric lines scraping their beaks clean). Suddenly there were twenty or more birds vying to take a bath. The overflow decided the pool might be a handy bath—but too many times Mr. L has had to fish out dead birds from the skimmers, so I ran out and made noise to let them know that the pool was a potential death trap. So when they all flew away, I noted the water in the bird bath was a disgusting brown. So I dumped it and started again. The first couple of birds decided the water was too cold and flew away, but an hour later, it was bird bath heaven once again.

I read where it’s really hard for birds to find water in the winter, so now it’s my job to figure out how to get water in the bird bath and not let it freeze. I know there are electric wires for horse troughs, so are there heaters for bird baths?

The birds have given me so much pleasure watching them do what we do—keep clean and drink. It’s such a small thing to help them to keep doing that.

Do you have a bird bath?
 


Thursday, August 9, 2018

Meet Baler and Dottie...Our Pet Sitting Duo

by Karen Rose Smith


I really didn't intend to put pet sitting on my resume.  My husband and I have five inside cats and two outside feral cats that we've tried to socialize over a period of three years. They require a lot of attention, especially the two kittens we adopted last summer who are now a year old and still can get into quite a bit of trouble without much effort.


I've had friends call me for cat advice.  (That's how we ended up with two kittens last summer.) When my college roommate who lives about 45 minutes away adopted a kitten in her yard a few weeks ago, we went to visit.  Her grandkids had found the kitten and named her Dottie.  She has dots all over her tummy.  Our friend has an older cat Baler who is about nine, also a rescue.  Before a vet visit, Dottie was living on the screened in porch and Baler inside.  However, my friends were going on a planned vacation.  Baler and Dottie would be inside together.  Fortunately, from the beginning they got along.  Yes, Dottie annoyed Baler but, as a big brother should, he put up with her antics.


They weren't going to have anyone come in every day.  With a six-week-old kitten, I couldn't stand the thought of her going without cuddling and playing.  Kittens are a lot like kids.  Early socialization matters.  So we volunteered to help out.  We found out when their relative was coming in to feed, and we traveled there the other days.


By staying a few hours each visit, both Baler and Dottie came to know us.  By the third day, Dottie was cuddling with me.  She napped on my neck and played beside me on the sofa.  Baler jumped up on my husband's chair for some petting.


My friends are home now.  I asked if Dottie and Baler were behaving.  I heard back that Dottie is more cuddly since we were there.  Animals, like humans, just want to be fed...and loved.  One can lead to the other.  And if they learn to accept affection, they will give it back.  Right now one of our "kittens" is sitting on my desk while I write this, watching the kitten photos!  Every once in a while, he puts his paw on my arm--his version of a hug.  We'll probably nap together this afternoon.

We'll have to visit Baler and Dottie soon to see if they remember us!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Escape to the River. . .Again!

by Maggie Sefton


Hi, there, Kelly Flynn Readers and Friends and Fans!  I'm back in my old hometown area
of Northern Virginia enjoying Family time and visiting old Friends, too.  Yesterday, Monday, I drove down from the Vienna/Fairfax area of Northern VA just an hour and half away to the "River Escape" property which is surrounded by woods and lots of trees and is just a block and a half from the Potomac River.  Just down the street, literally.  This is is a perfect place to relax after a really hectic June and July with a lot of traveling and a busy, busy conference in Denver with over 3000 fiction readers.  As I've mentioned in previous posts, that was non-stop action.  :)    And, of course, NASA Astronaut daughter Serena's launch to the International Space Station in June.

But now----I get to relax.  Just relax in this restful spot, probably sitting in a deck chair on a shady part of the wrap-around deck.  Boy. . .do I need to relax, and I'm looking forward to it.

These past few days, I've been going around to bookstores in the Northern VA and Washington, D.C. Metro area taking postcards of the latest Kelly Flynn Mystery----DYEING UP LOOSE ENDS.  As I've probably mentioned several times before this is the 16th Kelly Flynn Mystery.  Hard to believe, isn't it?   I'm hoping all of you will enjoy it.  

Our Northern VA family gathered at daughter Christine's home on Saturday to have a special video call from daughter Serena on the Space Station.  That was great fun.  We got to see her two crew mates,  Kasparov and Gerst, exercising and lifting weights.  And Flexing muscles.  :)   I'm unable to post the video online, however.  NASA rules.

So I will post some of the River house peaceful photos of the Potomac River and grandchildren searching the sand for shells.  :)  


Monday, August 6, 2018

MAKE A TIAN FOR DINNER TONIGHT!

By Mary Kennedy                                               
                                                                         

What's a tian, you ask? It's a delicious dish, consisting of roasted veggies with an orzo base, and it's the perfect way to use up these wonderful summer vegetables. 

It's super quick to mix together and if you have a zucchini...

                                                                               

a yellow squash...                                                
Some tomatoes...

                                                                           

And orzo, you can make it tonight.

You can also add shallots if you have a couple...but it's not really necessary. A little garlic (4 cloves) would be a nice addition, too. 

 You also need veggie broth. I like the low sodium kind.  You can find it in the soup aisle.
                                                                                 
                                                                            

Tians are made with or without cheese. Some people like to grate and add 3 ounces of Parmesan cheese to their tian, but you don't have to. And if you are watching calories, you don't need to, it's fine without the cheese.

Here's what you do.

Ingredients:

3 ounces parmesan cheese (optional)
2 shallots 
4 garlic cloves
1 cup orzo
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1 zucchini
1 yellow summer squash
12 ounces plum tomatoes (I use whatever kind I happen to have)
1 3/4 cup vegetable broth

Directions:

Heat oven at 425. Grate about a cup and a half of parmesan, if you using it. Mince shallots and garlic. Combine orzo, oregano, pepper flakes and 1/2 cup of the grated parmesan, shallots and minced garlic in bowl. Spread mixture evenly into 13 x 9 inch baking dish.

Now slice zucchini and summer squash 1/4 inch thick. Core tomatoes. Arrange the veggies on top of the orzo base in the baking dish. Pour broth over top of vegetables. Bake about 20 minutes, until the orzo is tender and most of the broth is gone. Remove dish from oven and heat broiler. Sprinkle the left over one cup of Parmesan (if you decided to use cheese)  over the dish and broil until nicely browned, about 5 minutes.

Enjoy! Bon appetit!

Friday, August 3, 2018

Spider Alert!

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett


When you live near water, there’s one constant come summertime: BUGS.

I admit it, I LOATHE bugs. Flies, ants, and especially spiders.

There must be millions of different species of spiders. Some I can take, and some I can’t.

Daddy Long Legs don’t bother me so much. They don’t seem to want to be around humans and I cut them a lot of slack—until they get too close. I’ve been known to let them live in the bathroom for days as long as they didn’t come near me. They come and they go. I like it best when they go.

And then there are the black spiders. Despite the fact that this type of spider has very short legs, they RUN VERY FAST (and they have good hearing because they run when they hear me scream). Last week, I was terrorized by (what I think was) the same spider two days in a row. There I was, relaxing on the couch, watching a DVD of Boston Legal, when Mr. Spider ran up the wall. Of course, I leapt off the couch screaming and ran to the kitchen to grab my spray bottle of peppermint oil in water, which my neighbor assured me would “deter all bugs and even mice.” Yes, it has done a great job, but it needs to be reapplied on a regular basis. It’s also poisonous to cats, but since we are currently catless (and I wish it weren’t so), I’ve been using it liberally.

So, squirt, Squirt, SQUIRT. There, Mr. Spider, take that. I thought I got him … but I was wrong.

Not 24 hours later, there I was watching Denny Crane and Alan Shore being buddy-buddy when I looked down and GAK!!!!!  Mr. Black Spider was running on the side of the couch WHERE I WAS SITTING—AND WITH SHORTS ON!!!

I whipped off my shoe and starting beating the couch half to death, and then sprayed it thoroughly, but I wasn’t sure I got him. So then I sprayed all around, under and behind the couch. Of course, I nearly choked to death from the pungent odor of peppermint (which isn’t fun and Christmasy in such high concentration) but I hoped I got him (or her).

So it’s been a few days with no sight. But he—or his siblings or children—will be back. Is it any wonder that I search the walls before I go to sleep at night, and I turn on the light when I go to the bathroom during the night because – I don’t want Mr. FAST-RUNNING SPIDER to run across my foot, or god forbid be sitting on the toilet paper roll (and, yes, that has happened).

I like to think of myself as a pretty self-sufficient woman who can handle just about anything. But when it comes to spiders—all bets are off.

Are you unnerverd by arachoids and scream in terror, even if you are a million times bigger than they are?

SPOILER ALERT:  I am
-----------------------------------------------
PS - A REEL CATCH is now available in Trade Paperback and ebook.

Trade Paperback:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Fast Food and Staycations

by Karen Rose Smith




There is much talk about the benefits of staycations instead of vacations.  If you are a dog or cat mom, going away is often troublesome if you don’t have a friend or relative to care for your pets. This week my husband and I are enjoying the benefits of a sort of staycation with caring for a kitten at a friend’s house. 

I try to cook healthy meals. Especially this time of year it’s easier to cook meals that are lower calorie and carbs with vegetables from the garden used in salads and main dishes.  However, a staycation required something we don’t usually do—fast food.  Our staycation includes driving to our friends’ house about 45 minutes away.  These are trusted friends—my college roommate and her husband.  They adopted a six week old kitty and they also have an older cat.  The baby, Dottie, has only been a member of the family for two weeks.  Their trip was planned but they needed some kitty care.  We obliged.  Conditions can happen fast for baby felines and even 24 hours of not eating or drinking can be detrimental if not lethal.  So while we relax or in my case edit at their house, we are watching, playing with and loving their cats. (Photos next week.)

 

Where does fast food fit in?  Who feels like cooking before and after pet sitting? Keep in mind that we feed our 5 feline babies and get them settled before we leave home.  Fast food has provided us with easy meals and more time for whatever we need it for.  If we leave early, we stop for breakfast at McDonald’s along the way.  


If we leave later, we make a detour to Kentucky Fried Chicken and take along 2 chicken pies in a warming bag for lunch.  

Pizza for dinner from Domino’s works too as well as ice cream from our favorite ice cream vendor. Next week we’ll clean up our diets and start summer cooking again. 

Another benefit of this staycation is time for me and my husband to shake off work and house burdens and just talk and relate—in the car, playing with the cats, conversing over a meal. Let’s face it, at home, tv news and DVR’d programs sometimes reign.  

So there is a place for fast food in our lives...at least a few times a year. 



Wednesday, August 1, 2018

National Girlfriends Day...



I love that they actually have a day for this ‘cause I truly value my girlfriends. Girlfriends get you through the tough times, are there to celebrate the good times and even if months or years separate you when you meet up again it’s like no time has passed at all.
Girlfriends can be life-long or someone you met recently and wish you’d know all your life. I am lucky enough to have both.
One dear friend I’ve known since I was four. My grandmother introduced us. I was so shy...yep, me shy...and my grandmother took me by the hand and said, “There’s a little girl down the street, let’s go meet her.” And we did.
Barbie and I went to school together from kindergarten all the way through high school. We walked to school every day...until Barbie got a car. And yes, it was a mile both ways, some of it uphill and in the winter there was a lot of snow.
In college we sort of lost touch and even beyond but when we got married we reconnected and now in retirement we are back in each others lives a lot.
And then there’s the new-found girlfriend Paula. I met her through my sister-in-law and wish I’d known Paula all my life. She is a ton of fun and so helpful to everyone she meets. She plays golf and is really active. We share a great love of desserts and puzzles and movies. I feel so lucky to have met her.

One of the most fun things about girlfriends is going away together to really catch up and share new experience. Do you ever get a chance to do a girls’ weekend? Go away with just the girlfriends? Do you do it every year? I think that would be the best. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Busy, Busy Summer

by Maggie Sefton




Boy oh boy. . .this has certainly been a busy summer.  Mega Busy.  Starting with NASA Astronaut daughter Serena's launch with two crew mates up to the International Space Station on June 6th, there has been an event or a trip or a conference scheduled ever since.  It certainly keeps you busy.   I traveled to Johnson Space Center in Houston for a week then.  There was the launch then the hatch opening from the Soyuz space capsule where Serena and her crew mates---Kasparov who is a Russian Cosmonaut and Gerst who is a German scientist with the European Space Agency---could transfer to the Space Station.    

Last week I posted about the huge RWA readers and writers conference which was actually scheduled in Denver for the first time in 20 years on July 25 through July 29  Even though I didn't have to take an airline flight like I usually do for that conference, those five days in the super large Downtown Denver Sheraton hotel were non-stop activity.  Meeting people, going to workshops, signing books at the great Literacy Signing where all the proceeds from book sales go to Adult Literacy programs in the Denver area.  Talk about a worthy cause that's often overlooked.

This Monday I'll be flying back to Dulles Airport in Northern Virginia for five weeks.  I'll spend the first week up in my old hometown area of Northern Virginia visiting family and my dear childhood friends.  Lots of people who are important to me.  I'll also visit several bookstores in the Northern VA and Washington, D.C. area and take postcards from DYEING UP LOOSE ENDS.  Both bookstores and readers really like to see what new books are coming out, so I've always found the postcards are well-received.  After that I'll drive down to the peaceful property an hour and a half away where you are surrounded by deer peeking out at you and bald eagles swooping around their nest in the tall trees.

At the end of August, I'll travel back to Northern VA so my family can gather and celebrate several family birthdays which all occur at the end of August and beginning of September.  So that will be a lot of fun especially with a Family potluck.  :)    

Monday, July 30, 2018

FUR-FACE TELLS ALL!

By Mary Kennedy
                                                                       

Okay, here's what happened. Fur-Face (pictured above) high-jacked my blog today. She said she noticed there's been a lot of chatter on social media and her name has appeared in a quite a few posts. She wants to set the record straight, so I'll let her tell it in her own words. 

Mom has been talking about me! And she knows darn well I can speak for myself. Here's a little secret, all cats can talk. But why would we tell humans? They'd put us to work, maybe doing 
data entry...

                                                                   
or working as short order cooks!
                                                                              

Holy mackerel!  You can see how that would cut into our leisure time, which is precious to us. This is Maggie, who foolishly admitted she could read and do light housework, and look what happened! She's slaving over the kitchen counter, trying to make banana bread. I rest my case.

And let me add that I wasn't exactly thrilled to see "cute" photos of myself plastered online. Mom never asked me if she could publish them. Who does she think I am--Kim Kardashian, always looking for a photo op? I had no idea she was posting candid shots of me. Here I am with my cat mother, Eliza, taking a rest from our busy day. I admit I got lots of compliments from the photos, but I like to fly under the radar.
                                                                               



 I'd like to set the record set on something else. Mom suggests that I spend my time lolling about, sleeping in boxes, or curled up in a patch of sunshine, but the truth is, I do have serious work to do.

For example, mouse patrol. Here I am, staking out the backyard from the safety of the glass sun porch. I'm scanning the yard for rodents. Luckily, I didn't see any, because it wouldn't have been pretty. No mice on my watch!
                                                                              

Mom downplayed the seriousness of my work and said I was "pondering the mysteries of life" in this photo (or maybe lusting after a plump chipmunk.)  Not true! I take my job seriously, and she should, too.

I should mention here that one mouse did escape my attention and ended up in the basement, which is off limits to cats. Now any normal human would set a humane trap and set the little critter outside, but what did Mom do? She put out food and water for him! She even named him Timothy. I got so tired of hearing about his cute exploits, and I was so afraid she might capture him and keep him as a pet. (yes, insane as it sounds, that is exactly the kind of thing she might do.) 
                                                  
                                                                             

I was afraid she was going to bring him upstairs and we'd have to welcome the little rodent with open arms (I mean, paws) but luckily Dad wouldn't allow it. Thank god someone has some sense in this household. She also was going to buy Timothy an exercise wheel, but again, Dad discouraged her.                                                
                                                                             
   

She was making it way too easy for Timothy to stay and enjoy himself. I tried to tell her the whole idea was to get the little guy to go back outside where he belonged! Luckily, he disappeared into the outdoors one day and none of his friends showed up to take his place. That was a close call!

I'll give you the lowdown on the whole household of Kennedy cats next week. There are six of us. And of course, I'd like to hear about your cats! There's great solidarity in the feline community.

Thanks for letting me vent, your feline friend, Fur-Face.