At the turn of the century we (my husband Mike and I) moved from busy San Francisco Bay Area to the quiet woods of Midcoast Maine. Here I belong to the local historical society for which I have published a couple of annual newsletters; volunteer at the local library, which, by the way, is a remarkable institution in such a small town and belong to the Searsmont Women’s Action Group, a mostly social organization who make favors and care packages for people in the community.  I have continued my interest in fitness and got my General Fitness Trainer and Personal Trainer certifications. I teach a strength and flexibility class at our Community Center free for anyone to attend. I really enjoy my life in a small rural town.

But my passion is gardening; I enjoy spending many hours in my gardens, planting, culling and tending to my growing crops and flowers.

In Florida I have no gardens of my own so I volunteer at the Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota.  There I have made a fabulous friend in Michael the gardener for whom I work. Slave really, no I’m just kidding Michael. It is part of what makes me happy to head back to Florida when the cold winds start to blow in Maine.

I also spend a lot of time at the ‘Y’ and read, walk the beautiful beaches and otherwise just mess around.

In my retirement I have learned the joys of boarding felines. I say boarding because one can never really ‘own’ a cat. At present I have two loving pets, one black female – ‘Spooky’ and one very tubby, sweet and lovable male – ‘Bubba’.

In addition to my ‘blog’ I have included a link to my online photo albums which are mostly of my gardens and of family and friends.   And now a Cat Haiku – not written by me but so true and you know it if you have a cat:

The food in my bowl

Is old, and more to the point

Contains no tuna.

So you want to play.

Will I claw at dancing string?

Your ankle is closer.

There’s no dignity

In being sick – which is why

I don’t tell you where.

Seeking solitude

I am locked in the closet.

For once I need you.

Tiny can, dumped in

Plastic bowl. Presentation,

One star; service: none.

>Am I in your way?

You seem to have it backwards:

This pillow is taken.

Your mouth is moving;

Up and down, emitting noise.

I’ve lost interest.

The dog wags his tail,

Seeking approval. See mine?

Different message.

My brain: walnut-sized.

Yours: largest among primates.

Yet, who leaves for work?

Most problems can be

Ignored. The more difficult

Ones can be slept through.

My affection is conditional.

Don’t stand up,

It’s your lap I love.

Cats can’t steal the breath

Of children. But if my tail’s

Pulled again, I’ll learn.

I don’t mind being

Teased, any more than you mind

A skin graft or two.

So you call this thing

Your “cat carrier.” I call

These my “blades of death.”

Toy mice, dancing yarn

Meowing sounds. I’m convinced:

You’re an idiot.

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