Category Archives: Animals

Turtle Cake Is GFree and Yummy!

turtle cake cMy dad loves turtles. He had a slew of them as a kid, and when we were kids, he stopped the car to pick up a lovely box turtle that had found its way into the middle of a busy road somewhere near Lavalette, a popular place along the Jersey Shore. I only vaguely remember the incident as I couldn’t have been more than four or five. We named the turtle Mister T, and this was long before the A Team burst onto American television.

When we were a little older, from first through sixth grade, my sister and I participated with my dad in the YMCA’s Indian Guides and Indian Princesses program. My dad’s “Indian” name was Chief Walking Turtle. He was the head of not only our tribe, but was the head chief of the entire network of tribes participating in that particular YMCA’s program. When asked why he chose the name Chief Walking Turtle, he said it was because the turtle is a steady, deliberate animal that doesn’t rush off and make snap decisions; instead, he carefully chooses a path and follows it. That’s the kind of leader he wanted to be, he said. He sure was! Continue reading Turtle Cake Is GFree and Yummy!


Holiday Cheer and Jeer

holiday owls“People don’t know the meaning of the holiday anymore,” declared a woman who sounded very much like she hails from the place my mother fondly and proudly called the Armpit of the Nation, the state where we all were born and raised: New Jersey.

I was browsing the wares of a wonderful little gift shop, feeling mostly buoyant about the start of the Christmas season.

Ms. Jersey was shopping for a Christmas ornament to bring to a holiday party. The saleslady cheerfully pointed out every ornament in the store: a cupcake with feet and rosy cheeks, birds of all feather, snowmen, snowladies, angels, stars, dogs, cats, spheres, trees, Santas, a carrot shaped like a bunny, and even a shoe-shaped elf with a classy wedge. I peeked at them myself, and noticed that the Christmas ornaments hung over a jewelry case full of exquisite pendants: the Star of David, Hebrew letters, dreidels, scrolls, and Trees of Life.  One case over held a dozen or more necklaces bearing brightly adorned crosses.

I made my way around the store and as much as I didn’t want to listen to their conversation, I had to. It was loud. Continue reading Holiday Cheer and Jeer

The Ungodly Hour Feline Frenzy

Sophie bedsideSometime between eight-thirty and nine Thursday night I burrowed under the flannel sheets and red comforter and turned out the light. Maybe a minute later, Jax whomped on top of me and curled himself into a tidy ball on half of my rib cage.

Now that it’s gotten cold, the cats have gotten friendlier. During the summer they stay as far away as possible from a warm body like me, preferring to snooze flat on their backs in any place with a good breeze. Over the past week, however, on the trail of the Polar vortex pushing wintery temps way down South, the cats have morphed into heat seeking missiles. Continue reading The Ungodly Hour Feline Frenzy

The Magic of Black – Part II

Jax CloseHappy Halloween! It’s an excellent time to celebrate the magical, mysterious black cat and this post is all about Jax, the man of the house. He will be mad at me later today when his roaming privileges no longer extend past the front or back door. I fear for his safety, even though almost everyone on the street knows Jax is mine, as is his sister, Sophie. Sure, we live on a cul-de-sac, but crazy knows no bounds when it comes to black cats on Halloween and I take no chances.

We get plenty of people of questionable intent flying up and down our street. Just last Friday a dude driving an Escalade came within inches of making me his hood ornament. Jax and I were walking back home after visiting our friend across the street when this guy came cruising along, looking every which way but in front of him.

“Dude!” I shouted. Continue reading The Magic of Black – Part II

The Magic of Black – Part I

TJax up closeoday’s post has nothing to do with drugs, celiac disease, gluten, or my health.  It’s about a special creature both revered and reviled, especially this time of year: the black cat, the familiar of witches, plus the maker of mischief, bad luck, and all manner of ne’er do well.

I’m taking up for the black cat today because I know there are people out there who think it’s funny or even necessary to torture, abuse, or otherwise harm these majestic creatures. Such horrors are so common, many animal shelters won’t allow anyone to adopt a black cat (or even black dogs) during the month of October for fear the adopter has something other than a forever happy home in store for the ebony set. Continue reading The Magic of Black – Part I