The cat box


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You know the old joke about buying a gift for a child and he ends up playing with the box.

It took a while for the cats to get the concept of the hide-y box we purchased a few weeks ago. It’s not like they have a shortage of play structures and climbing surfaces…  They seem to be getting too old to climb to the usual vantage points.

I like this photograph from a sunny Saturday (#Caturday). It depicts harmony and contentment.



I am glad they are learning to share. More like I am glad Geneva is learning to share…

The other box they share requires daily attention.


These darlings just may outlive their servant.

You can follow and enjoy a new series of pages under “Pampered Cats and Other Household Gods“. Do drop by.

While you’re feeling adventurous, why not drop by the blog for The Year of the Rabbit – A Novel about Fate, Family and Forgiveness?






Compassion and Contentment


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It is Sunday, my day of reflection.

Tabby cat beside plants and a small statue of Kwan Yin

Tabby Cat sharing a sun puddle with Kwan Yin

The weekend has been relaxing and productive around our humble home. We have the freedom to choose if we wish to visit a building, a natural space or remain in our home to reflect and pray. We can also choose which day and how many times a week.

Here you can see a new statue of Kwan Yin, the Asian Goddess of Mercy. We welcomed her into our home in celebration of the Lunar New Year a few weeks ago.

Some also refer to her as the Goddess of Compassion. I like that. Our world could use some more compassion these days.

I try to instill that wisdom upon Geneva regarding her treatment of Snuggles but it’s a hard lesson.

two cats beside plants and Kwan Yin statue

A peaceful morning

Wishing you a peaceful Sunday. I invite you to read an excerpt from The Year of the Rabbbit, when young Sera Fletcher finds her special spot to relax on a Sunday afternoon.

Thanks for dropping by.



It was all about the dress


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Thinking back to my First Communion, I’m pretty sure I was more interested in the frilly white dress than the concept of “The Body of Christ”.

wee catholic girl first communion

Catholic girl’s first communion

The Body of Christ concept kinda scared me. So did images of that pitiful, bleeding Jesus crucifix hanging near the altar of our church. Scared the bee-jeezuz outta me.

Fuzzy memories take me to the back room in our family home, that armoire at the bottom of the stairs. I admired the few pretty dresses that Mother hung in there. Now I’m sure the one I wore had already gone through my four older sisters.

Growing up Catholic also meant growing up poor.

Follow more Growing up Catholic recollections.

Then there was the Confirmation during my awkward early teens. I remember dragging my feet to get ready. I recall one of my older sisters wrestling me into the tub to wash up. I remember wearing the light blue skirt that Mother made for me, along with some frugal blouse. I remember one of the smart-ass boys making fun of it. The concept of being poor really sunk in when I discovered my parents couldn’t afford to buy me a suitable dress for the occasion.

Going through photo albums, I have admired wedding photos of a couple of sisters, of my Mother wearing the pretty, white dress. Ah, the virginal, white dress for wedded bliss.

When I eventually married, I did not qualify to wear a white dress. I also needed something loose to fit over my growing belly. I was five months pregnant.

The hesitant bride wore a long dark blue batik gown. It brought out her eyes. 

Thanks for dropping by. Visit the other blog where the Tabby Cat rules.


Cat Lady Chic


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You can spot them on the buses and in grocery store lineups. Cat ladies. Pet people.


Fur, fur everywhere! How do you perform a quick removal from your black dress slacks? How do you maintain that professional or date-able appearance?

Black cat at computer beside cat lady chic book

Cat Lady Chic

How can you be proactive in adapting to a home life with pets? Read on here.

What do you think? Please post your suggestions and sage advice in the comments section below.

Thanks for dropping by and watching where you sit…


Pampered Cats and Other Household Gods


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This is what I have been doing in the lulls between gathering ideas for that children’s book, serving the resident felines and slogging through the adult working world.

When ideas dry up and the winter blues contribute to a crippling stagnation, I turn to the creatures who make me happy and give me a sense of domesticated purrpose.

cats napping in window shelf

Cats lying in a cramped window shelf

You can learn more at this page. It may soon be complementary to the Growing up Catholic series.

Thanks for dropping by.


A romantic interlude


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Sometimes romance takes time…

Excerpt from The Year of the Rabbit:

“So… how is the wine?” she insisted.  

He extended his right hand to her. She accepted.  He pulled her closer and enveloped her with his arms, one around her shoulders and the other around the small of her back.  She put her arms under his and around his back. 

Gio buried his face in her hair, breathed in then let out a big sigh, “It was worth the wait.”

Despite her womanly experience, she trembled.  He pulled her closer, her hip pressed against his thigh.  

Read a bit more here.

Happy Valentines Day.


Mystery, Romance and Bliss


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Yeah, Valentine’s Day is approaching.

Aside from my weakness for dark chocolate, I will be burrowing into books and shielding myself from the onslaught of jewelry, romantic getaways and chocolate advertisements. Humbug!

This cat lady divorcée is not entirely jaded. I enjoy the glow from my three hours of bliss while volunteering in my community book shop. I get to browse the shelves for new gems, chat up the regular patrons, meet new people, and on a rare occasion shake hands with a local celebrity. Blush, gush!

You may be interested in a cute event hosted by the Friends of the Ottawa Public Library Association to raise funds. It’s called “Blind Date with a Book”. You pay $3 for a pseudo-wrapped parcel of books not knowing what is inside.

poster blind date with a book FOPLA

Blind Date with a Book – Valentine’s

Aside from this being a clever fund raising idea, some people think that picking out a book is a personal activity and choice.

book shop haiku

I lean to agree. How about you?

Thanks for dropping by. Please leave that sealed box of chocolates at the counter on your way out. ❤


Rising to another Lunar New Year


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I seek light in the darkness.

World events and backwards politics south of the border brought disturbances in a gloomy January.

It was a pleasure and relief on Friday evening to celebrate the Lunar New Year, to look forward to new developments, friendships and opportunities.

I like joining in small gatherings with family and friends to eat good food and share in good spirits. I like the of ambience colourful lights but do not appreciate the auditory assault from firecrackers or fireworks.

I appreciate joyful noise.

I cherish silence.

Year of the Rooster illustration

Year of the Rooster illustration by G. Jobateh

Wishing you a happy new year of harmony and opportunities.

Thanks for dropping by.

Parts of text on this blog post appeared on the Novel’s blog last weekend.


The bookshop withdrawals


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It has only been a couple of weeks but I really miss my bookshop shifts.

The Christmas and New Years holiday hours have messed with my routine, my near-weekly fix. I miss greeting the families with young children who visit the shop in-between weekend errands.

Books about book shops or book stores

Books about bookshops and bookstores

I miss chatting up the regular patrons. I miss tidying the shelves and discovering one or two gems to purchase for my own reading enjoyment.

book shop haiku

Spending time with family and friends between the paying day job shifts was a nice consolation for the past two eons but I look forward to experiencing my three hours of bliss once again.

Now that the new year has arrived, I can fixate on one personal goal, to nurture my inner child and embrace my love of drawing once again. I would like to explore possibilities, benefit from new technology tools, and expand my skills at writing a children’s book. It will likely contain cats…

pen and ink drawing of a cute kitten

Blissful Kitten pen and ink circa. 1982

Wish me luck. In the meantime, I invite you to read that novel I published in 2011.

Thanks for dropping by and… Happy New Year!



Muskoka as a travel destination


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During my book shop shifts, I enjoy the chats with regular clients.

They are inquisitive, well-read folks. Some say nothing for long stretches then surprise you with interesting questions or observations.

book shop display

At your local book shops, there’s always something different each week

One appears to be a grumpy old man but I think he brightens up when I acknowledge his arrival. He always says he’s in a hurry to get to his next appointment but often has time for chit chat or cranky observations.

Most of the clients leave the store with bagfuls or armloads of purchases – or items from the free bin.

At times we receive herds of children with their families. I love it when they visit the shop, explore the children’s section for new treasures – or ask random questions.

One of the regular gentlemen customers likes to explore new places so often occupies the travel section during his visits. During one shift, I noticed traveling man standing in the middle of the shop with a blank look on his face.  He declared, “I … am wondering where to travel next…”

“Muskoka!” I replied matter-of-factly.

“That’s right,” replied Grumpy Man, “Didn’t you recently travel there?”

“Yeah,” I responded, “After Thanksgiving for the Cranberry Festival then again two weeks later for a funeral.”

“Oh… Sorry to hear that. So what is Muskoka like?”, inquired Traveling Man.

view from airplane georgian bay

Georgian Bay air tour 2015

“Lots of trees, lakes, rivers and Georgian Bay if you travel far enough west. It can make for a nice, long drive through Algonquin Park.”

View of forest, Georgian Bay and CPR rail bridge in Parry Sound

View of forest, Georgian Bay and CPR rail bridge in Parry Sound

“Huh… thanks!”, he responded then turned to explore more shelves.

Muskoka is indeed a nice place to visit in the winter for ice fishing and carnivals, and of course, in the summer – along with all the rich people from Toronto and the U.S.  I failed to mention the black flies in the spring time though. Follow this site for tourism information.

If you’re looking to explore Muskoka through my memories, imagination and camera lens, follow this blog entry where I demonstrate you CAN go home again. Follow this one where I challenged my fear of flying – with help from my son and my little anxiety friend. Why not read a few excerpts from my novel? Heck, why not buy an ebook copy?

You can also learn about Muskokaisms, as recalled and recorded by my ten siblings and me.

Thanks for dropping by. May your world travels be enjoyable, educational and safe.