On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

my cat from hellA lot has changed in Kitty’s life since the last time I devoted a complete column to her. Most of the changes began when David discovered a program on Animal Planet called “My Cat from Hell.” I don’t think he really believed Kitty was that bad, but he thought he might find some tips on how to restrain some of her more irritating habits, like scratching on the furniture and using our bare feet for toys. Read the rest of this entry »

This is a post I wrote in 2011. In honor of my recent change in age, I thought I’d share it:

Birthday-Cake-Lots of CandlesI’ve been thinking more about days lately and less about months or years. Maybe it’s because Mom’s ninetieth birthday is coming up. When you’re ten or twenty years old, being ninety is something you can’t imagine, but when you’re next birthday will bring a Medicare card, imagining it is a little easier. Realizing that your days are numbered and that number is dwindling makes you look at them a little differently. Read the rest of this entry »

Published in the Rains County Leader on April 12, 2016:

Angry Gopher

The gophers will not be happy!

The big garden news this years is that there’s not much garden, at least so far. The gophers will be disappointed to know that I missed the fall garlic planting altogether. About eight or ten volunteer plants sprouted in the garden area, and about that many came up around the back porch where Kitty knocked them off the drying rack last summer. Aside from that, my little underground friends will have to go elsewhere to find seasoning for their Italian meals, and the squirrels will have to do without early tomatoes for their salads. Read the rest of this entry »

Published in the Rains County Leader on April 5, 2016:


How did you get up there, Kitty?

When Kitty was younger, at that age we all go through when we have more courage than sense, she learned to scale a tree quite a while before she figured out how to climb back down. She gave David and me some anxious moments, and she provided me with a column or two about David’s adventures when he climbed a ladder and coaxed her from her tree-top perch to the relative safety of the rooftop, and from there, back down to the ground.

After some unpleasant encounters with neighborhood feline bullies, she has become much less courageous and is content to watch the world through the windows while she relaxes in the security of the great indoors. However, she recently discovered that sometimes being under the roof can be as scary as being on top of it. Read the rest of this entry »

Published in the Rains County Leader on March 29, 2016:

he_is_risen_wallpaper__yvt2Above all else, Easter is the time when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Beyond that, it is a time of tradition. When I was growing up, Easter was, among other things, a time for new clothes, big family dinners, and pictures. This year involved two out of three, but in a rather non-traditional way. Read the rest of this entry »

Published in the Rains County Leader on March 22, 2016:

Kitty in chargeIt’s been several decades since I’ve shared my home with a cat, and I don’t remember how they reacted when I was sick. However, I’ve owned several dogs, and most of them were very empathetic when I didn’t feel well. I had a cocker spaniel who would lie down with me when I was in bed with a cold, and later, a malamute/husky mix who laid his head in my lap if he thought I was feeling down. Kitty is not nearly as empathetic. Read the rest of this entry »

Published in the Rains County Leader on March 15, 2016:

Kitty in chargeKitty has spent most of the week reestablishing her dominance of the Brendle household. Several weeks ago, while we were still house sitting, I mentioned that she was in the metaphorical dog house after using her claws on the passenger door of our Pontiac. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of her mischief. One day when she was particularly bored, she amused herself by clawing the weather stripping on the doorway from the garage into the house and chewing on the corners of a small wooden bench. I later found out that the chewed corners were Spike’s work, Spike being the resident canine, but she left enough of a mark to require drastic measures to prevent more damage. Read the rest of this entry »


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