A Spanish Purr Sounds Just as Sweet

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“Whaaa? Is Jennifer blogging about cats, again?” 

Look, I will be the first to admit it. I love all animals, but my adoration for creatures of the feline variety is mega-size and always has been. So if you think I’m a hopeless ailurophile – for those who don’t know, that’s the fancy word for cat lover – I will readily own up to it. This blog has my name on it which means there has to be a cat post now and then.

I think often about kitties of all stripes (pun intended), particularly my own. On the days leading up to our trip to Cuba earlier this month, and actually, any time we travel, I begin worrying in earnest. What do our cats think when we disappear like that, for days on end? Do they open their eyes from each nap expecting to see us, and roam from window to window, wondering what the devil has become of us? Do they fill with anxiety, for fear we shall never return?

We're so blue without you.

We’re so blue without you.

When I voice these concerns to my husband, he gives me a patronizing smile and reassures me once again that they don’t think that way, especially as we make sure before we go that all their needs are met and we have someone checking on them. And of course they have each other. But how can he know that for certain, that they aren’t pining for us? I know he loves cats too, but does he think he can read their minds?

Wherever we go, Cuba included, little cats seem drawn to him. I’ll give him that. Like this little tomcat.

Well, hello!

“Hola” from el gato!

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The Cat Whisperer (sounds much better than p#ssy magnet ;) )

The Cat Whisperer

This gorgeous boy belongs to the restaurant's next door neighbour.

This gorgeous tabby belongs to the restaurant’s next door neighbour.

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Staring at my husband in quiet awe

He stares at my husband in quiet awe.

Pose pretty for the camera

Pose pretty for the camera, sweet boy. x

So even though I remain unapologetic and consider myself as devoted to cats as he is, and I worry more about the ones we leave behind, I wonder why they always give him the lion’s share of attention. Even the Spanish ones.

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What do you think? Say anything, but please don’t call me a crazy cat lady!

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Further Reading: 8 Purrfect Destinations For Any Cat Lover

For the Love of Reading

Reading was my escape and my comfort, my consolation, my stimulant of choice: reading for the pure pleasure of it, for the beautiful stillness that surrounds you when you hear an author’s words reverberating in your head.”

― Paul Auster, The Brooklyn Follies

***

 Ah…

The written word. It has been my truest passion since my chubby little hands first held a book and my eager, unfledged mind tried to unlock the enchantment within its pages.

As I know it is with many of you, reading since childhood has taken me everywhere, through experiences and adventures in exotic lands beyond my horizon, and all the way back to the charm – or heartbreak – of a domestic story around the corner.

Books have allowed me to journey along with colourful, unforgettable characters, to get inside their minds, to live other, more fascinating lives. And between the lines, some books have given me truthful and enlightening glimpses of myself, that I may never have learned otherwise.

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Reading at Poolside

 

 Our book club offering this month, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley, found its way with me to sunny Cuba last week, a key item among my accoutrements, and a vital part of my prescription for R and R. To me, bringing along good reading material on a holiday is arguably more important than bringing along my husband my camera. Hmm. Of course, if I hadn’t had a camera, you wouldn’t be looking at my sun-starved knees right now. ;-)

In our rapidly changing world of hurried living, instant technology, and short attention spans, has the enjoyment of full-length books fallen by the wayside? Certainly not for this female. Even if you are clutching an e-reader, as I witnessed with many fellow vacationers, you are my kind of people.

You are the kind of people who would probably love, and identify with, these other delicious author quotes I found on the love of reading.

“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.”
― Jorge Luis Borges

“The world was hers for the reading.”
― Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.”
― Lemony Snicket, Horseradish

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”
― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”
― Cicero

Do you always pack a book or two when you travel? Or does a good read have the ability to take you away no matter where you are, even from your couch or in your own garden? Come, bookworms, share your thoughts!

The Day We Met

One day back in September of 1994, when I was divorced and living in an apartment in Mount Pearl around the corner from my sister, she called me on the phone. Being a weekday and her husband’s birthday, she invited me over for a low-key evening, with our brother joining us to make a foursome for a game of Scrabble. Yay! Scrabble was one of my favourite games, so I quickly agreed.

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But she called back later with news. “It looks like we won’t be having that game of Scrabble tonight after all,” she said. Our brother had called her to say he was bringing his friend Paul along, and five was too many for Scrabble, so we had to scrap that plan.

“Damn!” I fumed to my sister. “I was so looking forward to a game! Who is this Paul person, anyway, and why does he have to come over and spoil our fun?” She told me she, her husband and our brother had known Paul for years, and we would have to plan a game for another time.

I swallowed my disappointment and agreed to join them anyway to hang out. We had drinks to celebrate my brother-in-law’s birthday, and we watched the guys play video games for a while. When my sister introduced me to Paul, she told me he was an artist and he loved cats, and had one of his own. Something in common! :)

I know this sounds far from exciting, but when we chatted, I became intrigued with “the new guy”. It wasn’t love at first sight exactly, but for some reason – chemistry, I guess – I fell head over heels in LIKE with Paul.  And he seemed to like me too.

When I left to go home, he said, “It was really nice meeting you for the first time, Jennifer.” Walking back around the corner to my apartment, I couldn’t get him out of my mind. Irrationally, I had hoped he might have offered to walk me home, because I thought we connected. But maybe I had read more into it than he did.

As it turned out, he later gave my brother-in-law a piece of paper with his phone number on it to give to me, with instructions to call if I wanted to talk sometime. He knew about my past and my kids, and didn’t want to pressure me if I wasn’t interested. After some hesitation, my brother-in-law gave it to me (he was also concerned it may have been too soon after my messy divorce). Truth be told, at this stage in my life I was not looking for anyone to date, but a new friend would certainly be nice. Especially one as nice as Paul. PRODTHM-553

I was overjoyed! This being only a few days since our meeting, I raced home and nervously dialed his number. But he was still at work, and I left a message.

He called back. Being the shy person I was, our relationship began with a number of lengthy getting-to-know-you, way-past-our-bedtimes, I’m-going to-be-tired-in-the-morning phone conversations, before we ever started dating. I’ll never forget how jittery I was getting ready for the first date. My sister called while I was doing my makeup, and I filled her in, telling her we were going out to dinner at the Casa Grande. She practically dropped the phone, squealing excitedly to her husband, “They’re going on a date!”

Subsequently, I fell in love with the guy, and we delighted in discovering how compatible we were. Coming upon twenty years since that first meeting, we still are. That “unwelcome guest” who spoiled the Scrabble match became the love of my life.

And wouldn’t you know it? Turns out he loves Scrabble just as much as I do.

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Imaginative Reflection

 

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“Happiness resides in imaginative reflection…”

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“…when the picture of one’s life…as it truly has been or is, satisfies the will, and is gladly accepted.” ~ George Santayana
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“Any artist’s or poet’s role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel…”

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“…Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all.”
~ John Lennon *

What does Reflection mean to you?

 

*Quote taken from Lennon’s interview to KFRC RKO Radio on the same day of his death.

This post has been my contribution to the Photo Challenge: Reflections and Ailsa’s Pink Theme.

Scenes from Montreal

With few signs of spring here in Newfoundland, and our vacation more than two weeks away, I’m getting a little restless for a change of climate and scenery. This morning found me looking back on photos from a different spring, of our May trip to Montreal five years ago. Won’t you come along and take in some sightseeing with me, in one of my favourite cities?

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view from our hotel room

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inside the Centre for Architecture

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Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

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Let’s go inside.

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Exhibition by Yoko Ono

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John Lennon's Piano

John Lennon’s Piano

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Mount Royal Park

Mount Royal Park

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playing in the park ;-)

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Ah…Spring in full bloom

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view from hotel # 2

view from hotel # 2

Loving Old Montreal!

Loving Old Montreal!

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pretty windows

pretty windows

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admiring the architecture

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Shopping!

Shopping!

View from the top of Olympic Stadium

View from the top of Olympic Stadium

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I wanted to bring these home.

I wanted to bring these home.

Sunday Fun Downtown

Sunday Fun Downtown

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Sangria on Crescent Street

Sangria on Crescent Street

Hoping to visit again someday.

Have you ever been to Montreal? Lived there? What is your favourite city to visit?

The Bitter and the Sweet

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I thought that I was coming home
Heart skipped with childish glee
I longed to to see my pretty mom
We’d catch up with mugs of tea

  Heart skipped with childish glee
Yes, dad would be there too
We’d catch up with mugs of tea
Like we always used to do

Yes, dad would be there too
We would have so much to tell
Like we always used to do
When they were strong and well

We would have so much to tell
Of both the bitter and the sweet
Since they were strong and well
And our family was complete

Of both the bitter and the sweet
But the real world intervened
A stab in the heart under the sheet –
Just another errant dream.

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This was my attempt at a Pantoum Poem, a poetic rhyme scheme style from Malaysia.

The loss of my daughter Kaitlyn by suicide

Jennifer's Journal:

Rhonda deals with the loss of her beautiful daughter last spring by blogging about it. Heart-wrenching, powerful, and beautifully written, she tells how even those closest to us often keep depression hidden. Please ask for help if this is you.

Originally posted on My Bright Shining Star:

On 4-11-13 I lost my beautiful, brilliant 23 year old daughter to suicide due to the illness that she kept from me and all others all her life, depression.  This is the story of my travel down this road of horrendous pain and disbelief, and stories of her wonderfulness as a person Image

View original

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes

The Daily Post challenge for photographers this week is to show three similar images. I came up with two versions from winter and summer here on Perry’s Point.

Ice Storm Aftermath

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“Glass” on Grass 

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Glitter-Coated Branches 

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Crunchy Tufts of Grass

 

Seashells on Rocks

Now that March is marching toward us, this photographer is growing a smidge weary of the snow and ice. Thoughts swing to the anticipation of warm weather and the new life that Spring unfurls. I remember this colony of mollusks, better known as seashells,  from last summer.

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Shelled mollusks are not the only things living on these rocks. Colonies of tiny, white rock barnacles are everywhere. Barnacles are arthropods, related to crab and lobster.

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Shells and Barnacles

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Yellow Algae Grows Here Too

I’m ready to trade the ice for seashells. Are you?

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You came back today.

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Yesterday you waited at my window
your haunting face pressed to the frozen glass
your knowing eyes pleading for entry
you waved hello

willing my door to spring wide
I stood strong
you came back anyway.

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Now,
I watch you slither in
you hold me close
your cold morbid grip weighs me down
fills me with shame
overshadowing all I love
making me wonder why I believed
you were gone for good
fear sits black and frozen in my chest
will you stay will you stay
you will stay
one day forever.

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