Thursday, October 27, 2016

R.I.P. Sweet Pasha

Thursday, October 27, 2016 - 4:25 PM

Best Ever Cuddler,
Big Brother to Lilliput.

Out of the blue, Pasha cried as if in great in distress. I found him lying on the floor spread-eagle, panting frantically, his pupils dilated. When I picked him up he hung in my arms limp. When I put him down gently, he could not stand. I immediately called my vet and tore down the winding hill at top speed.

The vet took one look at him, then at me; she said that I needed to sit down. Pasha had developed a fatal blood clot and was in great pain as his blood was pooling in his hind quarters (Saddle Thrombus).

I sat with him as he went to sleep.
Thank you, sweetest of cats,
for the years of pure joy you brought me
(except, of course, when you bit me - but we know whose fault that was).

Lilliput already misses him - it's no fun having the pillow all to herself.

Friday, July 1, 2016

A Pirate and A Pony

What does a pirate have in common with a pony? 
They both inhabit Author Helen Hollick's newest Sea Witch adventure,
though only one of them lives on her Devon farm.
Alas, it isn't Jesamiah Acorne. That may be a good thing since this Exmoor Pony is described as "rather stubborn."

(Well, those of us who have made Jesamiah's acquaintance perhaps deducted the same thing about him - only in times of stress, of course.)

 You can read more about Helen's horses, ducks and Wonky Donk here:

Helen's fifth book in the Sea Witch Series is available for Pre-Order now.

will set sail for purchase on July 7th

US:    $5.99

Read my Interview with Jesamiah Acorne on my other blog:

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Meet a Jaguar

  This big cat is as deceptive and dangerous
 as the man who sits behind the wheel.

Read on my other blog, 
how Edward,
my oh so charming bad boy,
fits into the
Legends of the Winged Scarab series

(Of course, he does not appear in KHAMSIN -
that would make him way too old to still be charming the ladies the way he does with elan and impunity)

You can Download
Edward, Con Extraordinaire,
from Amazon:

Monday, April 11, 2016

Never Say Never

 ...because at the end of the rainbow bridge, there could be another little soul waiting just for you.

When I volunteered at the shelter, how often did I hear, "When this one is gone, that's it. No more pets."

When my friends told me about losing their beloved Corgi Tessa (right after having lost two of their other aged dogs), I couldn't blame them for feeling just that.

Well, yesterday, I heard that "Charlie" had come all the way from Texas up to North Central Arkansas via a couple of volunteer animal transporters.

"We found him on the Internet through a Corgi Rescue Group," my friends beamed. Hm, how come they were sniffing around on the Internet for corgies?

It turned out they had spied Charlie just in the nick of time, as the young dog had been scheduled to be "sent over the Rainbow Bridge" (via lethal injection) the very next day.

Cardigan Corgi Charlie
ready to be catered to and spoiled 
with home-cooking from his 
new daddy's own Recipes
(available from Amazon -
the recipe book, not Charlie. No way!).


                                                                   Never say Never!

And don't fret. 
There is one for you Fussy Felines too:

Sunday, March 13, 2016

They Waited for Spring

This week, three friends had to tell me they lost their four-legged, much loved pets. Why suddenly now, I wondered. Then I realized: They all had waited for spring for them to cross over the Rainbow Bridge.
Squeaky, born and raised in Egypt before moving to the US, surely is an
"Old Soul."

I know they will always be fondly remembered, just as I often think of my first Himalayan, Bombo (who flew all alone from Denver to Boston at eight weeks old--and then joined me via American Airlines six months after I had moved to San Diego. At that time, he was nine years old and lived in all that sunshine until he was eighteen).

One day, I scooped a little starving tuxedo urchin off the rocks at the Redondo Beach Pier while visiting a friend.
I named her "Samantha (Sammy for short),"
because her fur was like black velvet ("Samt" in German).

My San Diego Himalayan, Tiffany, was seemingly glad to get a friend after Bombo had passed away.

Lastly, after driving with an already ailing seventeen-year old Tiffany all the way to Arkansas, rescued Turkish Van "NickNack" eased Tiffy's loss the very day after I played "It's Time to Say Goodbye" to Tiffy (bad idea actually, just prior to the final appointment with the vet - because it'll make you late due to a severe crying fit).

And so, as they pass through our lives, they stay in our hearts.

My poem, excerpted from "Memories of the Heart," is to remember all these loyal companions:

                A Last Wish

Spring, you joyous youthful knave,
touch me, smile at me, lend me your strength
to brace myself, and to be brave
against the icy winter’s length.

Spring, don’t waste the time, come quick, I pray.
I want to greet you just once more
before my breaking spirit goes its way
to pass eternity’s awaiting door.

Spring, I waited. Hoped so much to catch,
through my slowly closing, tired lid,
your first triumphant thawing patch

to tell me that you’d come.
            And Spring just did ...

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Daylight Saving Time

In prior years, I wrote about Daylight Saving Time and its effect on me and my cats. I still stand by what I said back then on November 2, 2014 (although that was about gaining the extra hour of sleep - or so I thought).

However, John Oliver's short clip on this annoying 'tradition' and it's effect on Cows is not only funny, but thought-provoking as he rightly asks:
Daylight Savings Time: How is this still a thing?"

The man has a point, don't you think? Just don't forget to set your messed-up clocks an hour ahead!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Death by Toilet Tank

 When you get to a certain age – and live alone – invariably you ponder 'how will they find me one day.’ While I certainly hope it won’t be half-eaten by my two cats (being a writing hermit, nobody might miss me for weeks), the following scenario had not entered even my inventive mind.

Every couple of years, I look into my toilet tanks. Not just for something better to do, mind you, but to check on the bolts. Even though they are made of brass, they seem to disintegrate into mushy blobs after a while. It was time to change them.

Trip #1 to the hardware store. It may have been my accent, or the clerk’s perception...but I came home with bolts that (I found out after the tank leaked like a sieve) anchor the toilet to the floor! No wing-nuts, no rubber washers.                     

Trip #2: Getting the right bolts – and while I was at it, also the big new seal between the tank and the toilet.
So, where does death come into all this, you ask?

Getting the old disintegrated bolts off, I forgot the nut between the tank and the toilet top – and used pliers on the bolt thread, naturally flattening it. Then, once I discovered the nut, no matter how I tried, I couldn’t get it off over the mangled threads.

Hacksaw! After thirty years of use, it took a while. I straddled the closed toilet seat, sawing away until my tongue hung out of my mouth.

Not only was the toilet seat slick, so was the seat of my pants. As I slid backwards, I didn’t want to rip the tank off by holding on to it. Within a split second, I was ignobly deposited onto my tailbone. As if that wasn’t embarrassing enough, my head whipped back and hit the tile floor rather hard.

Damn, I thought, that’s all I need. Being found on the bathroom floor with an old hacksaw in my hand ...
gnawed over by Pasha and Lilliput.
Not the scenario I had envisioned which often included lying in bed, a blissful smile on my lips, sexy nightgown on a recently-toned body (darn, I missed gym again this morning).
To add insult to injury, it took days of on-and-off tweaking the leak from the intake valve (that had never leaked before), and the flapper that also had not leaked before.

Trip #3: Bought new flapper – didn’t fit; leaked.

Trip #4: Another flapper. It fit, but still leaks, just less.

Apparently, Oprah has fixed a leaky toilet or two in her time.

Still, I think, I’ll wait a while before I tackle the perfectly functioning toilet in my guest bathroom...

Or, I might just call the plumber.

PS - The kitchen faucet has been dripping for a while - and I just happen to have a little repair kit handy...don't worry, I'll be standing up for that one.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Super Bowl Fever

     Out of the corner of my eye – okay, my ear – I hear the shouting about the Super Bowl. It brings back memories when this event was held in San Diego in 1988 (yeah, well, some of us were actually alive and well back then.)
     I was working for the President of a huge San Diego-based fast-food company, a sponsor of many professional sports teams (for good reason). That particular Friday night before the “great event,” all I wanted to do was go home. Instead, my boss hands me fifty (yes, 50) Super Bowl tickets to “distribute to the most worthy....” I was well aware of the corporate pecking order. Executive VPs first, then VPs, then Division Managers, etc. Problem was, the former were in a meeting well past five PM. Couldn’t go to the lower tier until I had the uppers refusal or acceptance. Bugger it!
     Ever wonder how the jungle drums reverberate through the corporate hallowed halls? It’s amazing. I had more people just “drop in” to my office after hours than I had seen them during the past year. And all I wanted to do was to go home to my cat.
     Oh, I didn’t mentioned that my considerate boss told me, “to be sure to take two of those corporate box tickets for yourself.” That’s when I think I sealed my demise.  I innocently told him, “No thanks. But the next time you have some San Diego Opera tickets, I’d love to be remembered.” (Blank stare on the man’s part).
     This brings me to another “episode.” I didn’t make many mistakes at work, but when I screwed up (to put it in American terms), I really did. There was this insistent guy who kept calling to talk to the boss. “I am in my car. It’s an expensive call.” At that time, you had to be somebody to have a car phone (which should have been a clue for any competent executive assistant).
     I primly told the man, “My boss is in a board meeting. If it’s that expensive, why don’t you call from a proper phone the next time?”
     “Well, I am blah, blah,” he said. “Don’t you know who I am?”
     “No.” I replied. “Is there any reason I should?”
     The boss came back asking for his messages.
     “There was this guy who keeps calling from his car phone. Strange first name. Last name sounded Irish. O’Something.”
     Boss’s eyes grow large. “Shaquille O’Neil?”
     “That’s the one,” I said.
     “Oh, Inge. Honestly! Only you.” (Boss shakes head.)

Oh, well. You win some, you lose some. I lived; nor was I fired.

     Sorry, Mr. O'Neil. What do you expect from a clueless Austrian who likes Opera? At least, I now do know your's is "the other sport."

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

New Year’s Resolution

Apart from the ever recurring resolution of “I’ll lose some weight this year”
“I’ll read more and eat less,”
my goal for 2016 (other than not falling off the ladder when I clean out my gutters) is to write at least one new novel:
Perhaps a stand-alone sequel (or prequel) to my Egyptian series that will grow to five books on January 6th.

Why else -- in Book 5, The Nile Conspiracy, would I have left several clues about the Khepri, a people long preceding my First Dynasty Egyptians? Why else indeed?

Now then, it’s time to conjure up new characters, sketch an outline, wonder how to start - and how to keep going. Nora Roberts was once credited for having this one fast and simple rule for writing a novel:

“Ass in Chair.”

Easier said than done when said chair is frequently ocupado.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Bah! Humbug!

Here we are once again, glowing with the warmth of eggnog, 
getting all tearful and cuddly for a day or two wishing everybody and their brother a ‘Happy One.’ A day or two? Really? Yup. Then all those smooshy sentiments are trashed in favor of year-end deals, exchanges, and ripping down the kilowatt-sucking ornaments in front of the house (unless you are Gretchen Wilson or a semblance of her “Red Neck Woman’ who proudly keeps those dreadful icicle lights up all year ‘round).

Why am I such a scrooge?

Because this is the very time when newly-purchased kittens and puppies are popped under the tree like a new pair of shoes—fit in, don’t pinch, and for heaven’s sake, don’t piddle.
Just like department stores having to cram unwanted gifts back into their year-end inventory, Animal Shelters all around the country are overwhelmed with Fido and Fluffy who didn’t quite fit the bill.

It’s so sad—yet so preventable. Every year, I hauled out my excerpt from Pasha’s book to post here – you can read last November's post yourself why not to bring a very confused and often frightened new four-legged member of the family into the throes of these festivities.
Rant over.
Why? Because right now, I have all my lamps on (no more burning candles in this house ever since Pasha stuck his bushy tail into one!), “Christmas in the Alps” is playing my favorite holiday songs from my long-lost youth, and I am getting all smooshy (though not on eggnog, mind you) - just the memories of simpler times. Tromping an hour through deep snow to go to midnight mass, a tree lit with real candles (I never had a pet then), and one or two gifts underneath. One was always, ALWAYS, a much-prized book.
Come to think of it, it is lovely to have a special time of the year to reflect, to be kind, and to be thankful for what we have.
I feel lucky to have my two sweet little rescued souls right here with me; are they really ten years old already? Time does fly; hence, we better make good use of it.
Oh, and by the way, 
Pasha and Lilliput 

do wish all of you a very Merry Christmas!
And so do I.
Bah! Humbug, my Paw!