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  • 10 - 20, 2009

    Pat the Cat (later to evolve into Toot, Tu-Tu, Pootin)

    came to us a starving, homeless kitten,


    hungry enough to ravage a watermelon rind. Over the

    course of his life with us he turned into the

    swaggering, fully man-skirted Prince of Couches

    you see napping happily below.


    If Pat was a man, he’d have been the marrying kind,

    the steady-Freddy, solid, dependable, home-at-five

    every-night kind a guy that lives for his family. Of our

    three cats, Pat ruled the interior of the house.

    His brother could have everything outdoors, and his

    sister owned the porch but inside, that was Pat’s domain.

    So we wondered when he didn’t show up for breakfast Saturday.

    By noon we were worried and after the sun went down and

    still no sight of him, we were pretty certain Pat was gone.

    We came home Sunday after being out all day, hoping

    to find him in his usual spot on the bed, but nope. Not to be.

    He never strayed far enough for a coyote to pick him off, and

    for five years he lived with the foxes that nightly visit the pond,

    so we suspect he may have been dinner for the great-horned owl

    that perches on the power pole near the top of the steps where

    Toot loved sitting in sunny contemplation of the great outdoors

    without actually getting down into it. We miss his little body

    curled into us at night and his rough-tongue cleanings, but  his

    spirit is here, and when I come up the steps cut into the hill

    I go around the top step because I know Tootin is sitting there.

    10 - 14, 2009

    In between walking in the rain, taking care of the chickens, and trying to dominate my fantasy leagues, I really am writing. Really. But for all you Franco fans, don’t get too excited. This novel revolves around a soldier in Italy immediately after WWII. No lesbians or detectives in sight. Yet. My books have a tendency to write me so we’ll see where this one ultimately leads…

    10 - 14, 2009

    The first rain of the year has come. It is a fierce, howling storm from the south. To celebrate the end of another fire season I take the dogs for a hike in the canyon. Sheltered from the worst of the wind they are happy and chase each other in tight round circles. While they’re distracting themselves I notice a shiny rock by the trail that turns out to be a young pond turtle. It’s drawn into it’s shell, probably frightened by the dogs. I drop behind it and wait. Slowly, four legs and a head emerge. Satisfied that it’s alive, I back away. Like the turtle, I plod up the canyon in the warm, soft-plopping rain.

    Southwestern pond turtle

    10 - 04, 2009

    I mark the year by happenings more than dates. The month we got our chickens, the morning I first noticed that the white summer sun had given way to the warm honey color of fall, the first pre-season football game, first cold snap, first regular season game, fall equinox, building the first fire of the year…I couldn’t tell you the dates and unless I was under investigation for murder, none of them really matter. What’s important is feeling the cycling of this great wheel we call a year. Feel it. Pay attention to the day, not the date.