Friday, June 20, 2008

Nina's Wild Kingdom

As you can see, the raccoons are back. With a vengeance. I thought Rocky and Raquel, a handsome, infrequently glimpsed couple had found greener pastures. But no. Apparently Raquel's had five (count 'em!) babies and Rocky's run off, leaving me as provider.

Yes, that's the area outside my back kitchen door. And that's Momma Raquel with Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Zeppo, and Gummo eating the cat food I leave out for the feral cat, Miss Kitty, who is the mother of one of my cats. (No, I didn't name her Miss Kitty, my former neighbor did. He was and probably still is a very nice man who helped me trap and spay her so she won't have any more kittens.)

I glanced out my back door and saw Raquel. She saw me, and instead of running, she picked up the blue plastic bowl I use for Miss Kitty's food in her pointy little teeth and stood up on her hind legs as if to say, "Where's the food, Lady?"

I know I shouldn't have fetched it. But the babies are so cute! So I scooped up some cat food and put it in the bowl as she backed up. I went back inside, and she picked up the bowl, running off with it, but scattering the food everywhere. So she and the babies (kits, cubs, bandits?) scuttled over and began crunching all very noisily in concert.

My elderly cat, Max, went to the screen door to observe. Raquel lunged for him, whapping the screen and hissing. Max did not flinch. Insiders refer to Max as "The Cat of Peace." And sure enough, after a few moments Raquel calmed down and resumed crunching as Max gazed over them.

Don't worry, I won't get near them or try to tame them. I'm not a complete idiot. But I do have a fondness for fuzzy animals. I like seeing nature rearing her gorgeous head in the middle of the city. We think we have this world under our thumb, but it keeps slipping away and stealing our cat food when we're not looking.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Paradise Indeed

I just got back from my first trip of the year to Hawaii, where I saw my family and a whole slew of friends. How lucky am I?
My last full day there I spent sipping fruity rum drinks and playing volleyball in the pool with about ten of my oldest and dearest friends under an achingly blue sky dotted with puffy cotton clouds, across the street from a white-sand beach. Every now and then I thought, "Wow, this is really my life right here, right now. Woo hoo!"

My Photo - Published

Well, it's official. has selected my photo of the Micklegate in York, England to use on its website. You can see my photo (right side of the screen) here. Hee hee! I'm foolishly very tickled.

If you click on the actual photo on this page, you'll be directed to my photostream at Flickr, which is kind of weird, but what the hell. It's just photos of York and Hawaii and my friends singing terrible karaoke, after all.