Movies · Travel · Uncategorized

Nora’s New York

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I am visiting NYC and here I am with Kate, best friend and traveling companion. We are sitting in Cafe LaLo.   Again, another beautiful, summer day in the City. The first thing I notice upon entering, is that the walls are painted in cheerful yellow and bright, colorful prints adorn the walls. You might recall Café Lalo from the movie You’ve Got Mail. Remember the scene where Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) is supposed to meet Kathleen, (Meg Ryan) only they don’t.. well that was filmed here.   In this very spot.   Anyway, There’s a full bar above a huge glass display of every delectable pastry imaginable. Again, the city of endless choices.  Adding to the ambiance, music that I know and love is blaring from speakers.  It’s my generation of music, The Beatles, Creedence Clearwater, Stones, Lynard Skinner…who wouldn’t love this place?

Ok, so the young waiter in his muscle tee and rolled up jeans saunters over to take our order.  He doesn’t seem to be particularly interested in either us or our order, but no matter.  The menu is presented.  The mocha cappuccino is not the best I’ve tasted, and after perusing the menu, decide upon avocado eggs benedict. I am dissapointed in my choice.  Remind me to never mix eggs with salad ever again.  I guess I’m just a greasy, egg, bacon and homefries kind of girl.  However, The overall ambiance, with floor to ceiling windows cranked open to the street below, flooding the cozy cafe with warm summer morning light, the colorful poster-art filled walls and blaring music make for a happy atmosphere.  Breakfast over with, we call for the check. The waiter brings it over, suddenly all solicitous and smiles.

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Ok, if I don’t see anything else in this fabulous city, I will return home a happy girl now that I have seen Apthorp. For anyone who is a Nora Ephron fan, you will know at once what I’m talking about. Apthorp was the NYC residence of the queen of romantic rom-coms. I’m talking when  Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle,  You’ve got mail. Yes, now you’ve got it…that doyenne of chick lit. The one, the only, the irrepressible Nora. I am channeling my inner Nora. Yes, I am starstruck…never mind that she passed away in 2012. This is Nora’s old stomping ground and I’m playing in her backyard.  She lived in the Upper Westside and I am standing outside the building she loved and called home.  It has an imposing ornate, wrought iron gate from where, if I crane my neck, I peer past the cobblestone entry and into the famed courtyard.  I see bright, spring flowers around a huge fountain.  This is the very building and courtyard she immortalized in her 2006 New Yorker essay.  Describing her new home, she wrote: “ten steps in and I said “I’ll take it.” She was in love.  Please take the time to read it.  Once you do, you will fall in love with her, too. I’m no Nora, but I sure am a wanna be.

Until next time, friends…

Animals · Rescue · Uncategorized

Cat Catcher Extrodinaire (I am not)…

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I awake to the thunderous sound of hard rain against my bedroom window.  I bolt upright, for once not having to shake off a sleepy fog. I’m alert and already throwing off covers and jamming my feet  into tennis shoes. My thoughts are of whatever small animal has managed to get caught in the trap I set last night.  Poor thing! It must be drenched already, and I’m trying to remember if I had hidden the trap  far enough in the underbrush to protect whatever got caught.   I brush my teeth, don’t bother to drag a comb through my bed-head hair, and keys in hand, head out to my car.

All the while I’m driving in the rain, I think about Timmy cat.  I am half hoping that mission is accomplished and he’s been successfully trapped, and half hoping that NO poor, unfortunate animal has been trapped and is now, forlorn and scared, in a cage. Exposed to the rain. Mother Nature is not cooperating this morning.  It’s hard enough for me to scrunch up my courage to fight the thick underbrush, fearing poison ivy and all creepy crawlies….and to tentatively approach the trap in the dead of night with only a sliver of moon shining through deformed branches and eerie moss hanging from dead trees.  My footsteps crunch along a bed of dry, fallen leaves…magnified in the silence of a quiet night.  Any manner of wild creatures could hear my approach and there goes any chance of trapping Timmy.

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My Timmy is Jack’s Boy…and that’s a whole story in itself.  Timmy, like Jack, just showed up in my backyard one day and I have been feeding him ever since.  No, I am not a crazy cat lady…but apparently I am a woman who can’t turn her back on a stray waif who is obviously hungry given their pitiful meows.  Oh no, I am not that woman.  So, after forming a mutually meaningful relationship and gaining his trust, we bond. (Believe me, that’s easy to do when the first time I pick little Timmy up for a cuddle, he wraps his small paw around my neck and oh boy, there goes my heart).  Welcome home I whisper into his soft fur as we snuggle.

So, needless to say, Timmy becomes part of our household. Did I mention that my household already has three other cats? Oh, what’s one more for a good hearted, cat lovin’ woman? Introducing a new cat into our home has not been without it’s challenges.  Especially when one of the other cats has been the alpha male.  (There’s actually another male, Boots, but since he’s much smaller, he had no interest in asserting his male dominance and is quite happy to chase butterflies in the backyard). He leaves all the manly cat activities to the big O.  (That’s  O for Orange cat in case you’re wondering). Things that Orange is actually quite adept at, stalking and killing squirrels being one of his particular skill set.  (And there’s a whole other story right there).

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So back to my Timmy.  When he missed several days of free feedings at my house, I began to worry…soon worry turned to activity as I began to walk my neighborhood at all hours calling his name like a fisherwoman. When that didn’t work, I took to driving around in the car, banging his food bowl with a spoon outside the open window.  (Sorry, neighbors).  I expanded my searching by prowling around at all hours of night with only a small book light for a flashlight. (Why is there never a real flashlight when I need one?)  I ventured into places unknown and probably only ever inhabited by little woodland creatures.  I leave no bush unturned.

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My dear and good friend Lorri came to help with cat reconnaissance.  Hence the Have A Heart trap.  We have spotted him and know that he’s hiding out in the yard at an abandoned house.  I have called and cajoled…he knows the sound of my voice but is too scared to come to me.  He is injured.  I saw his little body silhouetted in the glare of headlights as he was trying to run, hobbling along on three legs and holding his front paw up in the air, unable to put any weight on it.  I don’t know which is worse, to catch glimpses of him like this, knowing he needs help, or to think of him being vulnerable, and easy prey.  I long to capture him and make him safe.  I long to pick him up and assure him I will always keep him safe and far from danger.  I want so much to cuddle him and whisper welcome home.

Until next time, friends…

 

 

 

Country Living · Farm · Wildlife

Hog Wild!

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Hogs! And wild hogs at that!

Hello readers…. I’d like to introduce myself.  My name is Susan Moseley, and my husband and I are moving into a 123 year old farmhouse located just outside of Uvalda.  We are making the transition from city slickers to, hopefully, embracing all that country life offers, good and bad… I’d like to share with you some of my random thoughts and experiences, one of which is the following:

We decide to leave the city for a few days and head back to the farm.  Finally, after the three hour trip, we unpack and grab what’s left of the dying daylight to check on things during our absence.   We notice deep ruts randomly scattered around the yard surrounding the farmhouse.  Never having been a problem previously, it now appears some nocturnal night-scavengers have taken to “rooting” on our farmland.  It dawns on me perhaps that’s what I saw the last time Glenn and I were here.  We had arrived late and it was already dark as we pulled into the yard at the rear of the farmhouse.  After an exhausting day preparing to leave the city, and after the long drive to the farm, we decided to just relax on the front porch with our drinks. (As my little grandson likes to say, “let’s have a party on the porch!)”

 We sat on the rockers, under a starry sky, enjoying the quietness of a rural Georgia night, pexels-photo-355887.jpeg

As we were enjoying the solitude, I saw something small and black run along the dirt road in the bright moonlight.  Not used to seeing critters of any sort, it caught my attention.  I sat up. Glenn peered into the darkness, too.  Not able to  distinguish what it was exactly, I guessed a cat.  Hmm…a feral cat? It disapeared into the night.  We have seen the occasional rabbit cross the yard, and I’m sure there’s a bunny family living in the old goat field, but other than that we have not seen any animals around the farm, wild or not.

Curious about the “ruts” in the yard, we googled the possible cause, and  Glenn determined that oh boy, we probably had hogs. Wild hogs. Now what were we going to do? Going to shoot them was Glenn’s swift and sure answer.  Animal lover that I am, this was not my line of thinking.  I was already in save our sows mode. I wanted to think of a plan to get rid of them in um, a manner that did not involve the words gun. shoot. kill.  No siree…this girl was mentally making a note to call the local county extension office and find out about traps and perhaps figure out a relocation plan for said trapped hapless hogs.  Or research natural deterrents, (mothballs, soap?) that might persuade these rooting tooting rascals to move onto other, more appetizing and appealing pastures.  Maybe.

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I knew I was in for a fight on the swine’s behalf.  As I was mentally preparing my case to present to the judge and jury of one, (aka my husband), my thoughts were interrupted by his conversation with his mother.   Explaining the invasion of the pigs to her, she knew only too well how to handle this little problem and had two words of advise: kill them.  Apparently the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in these here parts…I knew then I had better put on my big girl boots and put sentiment away where it doesn’t interfere with the realities and practicality of farm life.  I have, no doubt, a lot to learn.

Until next time…..

Belongings · Irma · Pets · Relationships · Weather

Bring It.

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“The first rule of hurricane coverage is that every broadcast must begin with palm trees bending in the wind.” –Carl Hiaasen

The past twenty-four hours have all of us, here in Florida,  goggle-eyed at the weatherman tracking impending hurricane Irma.  Wasn’t it just a very short time ago that we were staring at our TV’s, watching the destruction and heartache of hurricane Harvey?  I am thinking that Mother Nature is very angry with us, indeed.

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 Maybe she is punishing us for polluting our land and oceans…”I’ll show you..take that” she screeches as she hurls ferocious winds that scream across our shores, darkening our skies with thunderous storm clouds eruppting in a torrent of rain, causing the ocean to swell and spill into our streets.  The rising floods wash away everything in its path, cars, homes, taking our memories in the rushing waters.    With shaking fingers she points lightening bolts to light up the black-as-night skies, flashing with angry thunder, they unleash a cacophony of brillisafe.ce and sound as we quiver and shake, trying to stay sa

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“Anyone who says they’re not afraid at the time of a hurricane is a fool or a liar, or a little bit of both” —Anderson Cooper

We know this is coming, we are trying to prepare.  “Hope For the Best, Prepare For the Worst” they tell us on TV.  I walk in and out of all the rooms in my little house.  I know I should be packing, gathering up essential things…but I am just a little bit lost.  What’s important enough to take? (apart from the obvious). I know what I want to take, and what I need to take, but I look around..what about my mother’s china? What about my beautiful grandfather clock? And the kid’s framed photos…

” It doesn’t matter,” I tell myself as I pack up what I can, those things that make up my home, and place the boxes in a hall closet for safekeeping. I cross my fingers and hope for the best.  I’m reminded of a saying ..”show me what you love, and I’ll show you who you are.” I think about that…A lot.

So I get the cat carriers ready, pack a few clothes, fill a cooler. The important papers, meds, electronic things go in an overnight bag. Yes, it’s my home but I can’t take it all with me. Not now and not later…you know..on the BIG TRIP..the one where there’s no coming back.

 This, then, is good practice.  If need be, honestly, I could walk out the front door with just the clothes on my back, knowing my kitties were safely in their carriers in the backseat of my car.  My grandchildren are safe with their parents.  In fact, everyone I know and love is safe. For now at least.  And that makes me a happy girl.

 So BRING IT, IRMA.  We are Floridians and we have lived through other storms and hurricanes long before you decided to pay us a visit.  No doubt there will be more to come.  Why maybe, just maybe, by the time you reach us, you might lose some of your power and vengence.  But, on the eve of the most dangerous and destructive hurricane on record, guess what? We will not wait to greet you.

Until after the storm is over, friends…

Environment · Reading · Seasons · Social

Every Summer Has A Story

The party’s over…

5681856The party’s over….”When summer gathers up her robes of glory, and like a dream, glides away”.  A lot of people reflect upon the months that have passed at the end of the year. For me, I find I become more introspective as the summer light becomes softer and the days get shorter.  I don’t want to rush the seasons, but my thoughts are already turning to finally being able to sit outside on crisp, cool mornings enjoying my cup of tea.  No mosquitoes! No more heat that makes me feel like a limp dishrag.

I think back to the lazy, hazy days of my summer and I reflect.  Did I enjoy it? Or did I join the chorus of complaints about it being “too hot.” every blessed day?  Speaking of Blessed, did I stop to give thanks for feeling the warmth on my skin, or for a new rose that bloomed, or for sighting hummingbirds at the feeder, and fireflies during the quiet, still evening as dusk gathered? These are all moments that make up the hours in my day, weeks, and months that pass, and I truly want younjoy each and every one.

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How about you? Did you take the time to pause and take care of yourself?  Or were you too busy planning another cookout, packing a suitcase for vacation, worrying about the kids, taking care of the house for summer visitors?  Did you make time to relax with a book you’ve been waiting to read? Maybe you curled up in a favorite chair during a summer thunderstorm, or you went to the beach, spreading the blanket out on the sand, not a care in the world…just your book, sun, surf and the pleasure of your own company. I hope you did.  I hope you got to see the grankids, meet a friend for lunch, wear a straw hat, go barefoot, sip on something delicious in your chilled glass!friends-very-good-restaurant-clink-glasses-28876288

As for me, I’ll try not to look back at all the things I missed or didn’t do.  What’s the point in that now?  Instead, I’ll fill my lungs with the sweet, fresh, cool air and look forward to fall.  Until next time, friends…I always like to leave you with a quote:

“She promised herself better…& never looked back.”autumn-leaves-hot-coffee-steaming-cup-warm-scarf-table-61159218

Cooking · Lifestyle · Pets · Writing

In the kitchen with….

download (1)The secret ingredient is always love…

Dedicated to Sass , who is one heck of a cook, and who always makes me wet my pants whenever we talk and laugh on the phone.

I don’t have time now to practice perfecting my pie crust recipe.  I’ve spent all morning and nearly half the afternoon at the kitchen table trying to troubleshoot WP issues.  I am getting more and more involved with the  “tech stuff” so I’m spending less and less time time writing.  This does not make for a happy girl, entirely.  Getting bogged down with the technical “how-to’s” interferes with my blogging for this neophyte blogger.  As a result, nothing gets done.  Breakfast dishes are still soaking in the sink at 2pm.  (Yes, I wash dishes by hand).  Heck, I’m still in my robe.  Hair is not brushed.  It’s not a pretty sight.   I have to shut down my mind and shove all the things I want to write about to the back of my mind and: getupfromhereanddosomething.  

Then Frieda-(cat), the little darling,  needs attention.  Why are cats sometimes like 2 year Olds?  She jumps onto the kitchen table where I’m writing and bats at my pen.  (It’s getting more attention than her). She rubs her head on my hand.  She bites a flea.  She licks herself.  She looks at me with goo-goo eyes.  The table is piled high with books, coffee mug, notepads, pens, phone and tablet.  All the necessary paraphernalia I need to get my creative juices flowing and to get down to the business of writing.  Oh, and Frieda.

What I really need, (and is on my wish list), is a writing sanctuary.  Not long ago, I read about a woman who blogged about her lovely little writing cabin in the woods.  THAT HER HUSBAND BUILT, just for her.  How twee.  I tried not to be envious, honestly, I did.  The closest my husband has come to supporting my writing/blogging is his daily query of “what’s for dinner?” when he sees me at the kitchen table.  The two are not remotely related, see what  I mean?  Just yesterday, he walked into the kitchen while a pot of chicken was simmering on the stove.  I was, as usual, busy writing away.  “Is that dinner?” he asked, peering into the pot.  I raised my head and looked at him.  I paused and thought perhaps now wasn’t a good time to tell him that no, actually, I was making gourmet homemade food for the CATS.  You know, something really tasty, with mashed carrots and chicken broth, too.  “Um, no…I said.  I thought about the Hungry Man Tv dinner I had grabbed at the store and thrown  into the shopping cart.  How was thso at going to sound appealing now that he had salivated over the simmering chicken?  So, I did what all good little wives do, (sometimes). I lied. I said “no, honey, that’s for homemade chicken pot pie for your dinner….tomorrow!” Now I’m not really proud of this, but I did it for him.  I couldn’t let him think I was putting the cats before him.  That would not sit well with the male ego.  He has already accused me of loving them more than him….and well, you get the picture.  Why is it that sometimes grown men are like 2 year Olds?

Which brings me back to the pie crust.  I had opened my big, fat mouth and told a wee, little lie. So there it was, the lie I had to make good on. And here it is, already well into the afternoon with no chicken pot pie in sight.

Until next time friends, I’ll leave you with this: “Happiness is homemade.”

YUM!

 

 

Beach · Friends · Hurricane · Lifestyle · Memoirs · Uncategorized

Thinking of you all…

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We are all greatly saddened with the current state of affairs going  on in Houston and surrounding areas.  What we see on the national news is so disturbing, and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t feel badly about it.  So sad to see how everyone has been affected by a Cat 4 hurricane.  We wonder how and why did this have to happen as we stare at the TV screen, and shake our head in disbelief.  As the world watches and feels helpless, I have to say God bless those who are donating and helping.  God Bless them all.

I’d like to add this quote:

“When you are going through hell, keep on going. Never never never give up.”

— Winston Churchill

Until next time friends….