Captain’s New Home

Paula sent the picture

The Captain on the deck

He’s made himself

At home again

Taking it easy

Making it his own

Loving his new life.

And I am happy to see it. Thank you Paula.


Filed under Cats

More on the Captain

Captain Before the Move

As soon as I brought the frozen food in from the car and into the fridge, I settled down. I called my friend to tell her about the Captain. She said he had been there every day coming out of the woods at feeding time. She continued that he looked the same, meaning he had not lost any weight in the 4 days he’d been there. So who greeted me and ran the Captain’s usual routine? And how did he know? Ghost cat? Double? Split? I would swear it was the Captain. You make up your own mind.

He remains at my friend’s, happy to have her following his feeding schedule. He adjusted. Finally, so did I.

Now I have time to wonder why I brought so much stuff! Boxes of stuff that would go into the attic if I lived in a big, ole’ house. But I don’t. My kids sure don’t want it. They are building their own memories. I start with Mom’s pictures and keepsakes. I don’t know most of the people in those photos taken in the 20s, 30s and 40s. Out they go. Hard to do but I do it. Feeling a little guilty, especially as a writer, but I do it. I carry them in my head and in my heart. I do not need to look at them and I didn’t from year to year anyway. It is hard to do but I do it.

Next to go are the letters, boxes of them, some from 50 years ago. Some from my brother Albert who lived in Mexico and then Puerto Rico for 50 years. Out. Some from my son Kenny while he was in the Navy. Some from family members and friends who were away for one reason or another. Out. Out. I enjoyed reading the cards I kept, still kept a couple; tossed the majority. Gone. Hard. I love the cards I’ve received over the years.

Twelve boxes of books that I have no place for and really no longer need to surround me are still piled up in front of me. It will take a little longer to take them to Goodwill which is right up the street from me. They are heavy so I’ll need to take them out in small bags up the long path to my car at the end of the parking lot, for the next 4 years. Well, maybe it won’t take that long.


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I’m In!

the Captain

Well, I’m in. The move I thought was well planned, especially for a non-planner, was not easy. I had arranged for the wifi guy to be at my new apartment for the afternoon when I would be unpacking. Hah! The movers didn’t come until after 10 a.m.! I expected to be pulling out of town by then. They were quick and strong and easily picked up the heavy boxes of books. Since I had to leave before 11 to be in Farmville by 12, I left instructions on what to take and what to leave for the new owners. He had already taken what I gave to him for his store. I planned to return the next day to empty the refrigerator and freezer. The cleaning team was scheduled for Saturday.

 The movers did a fine job of bringing my stuff in and placing it where I directed. It was hot and they had to bring my stuff down a full flight of exterior stairs. They were good and finished by 4:30.  At 5 pm I panicked! The wifi guy had not come! I called immediately but 5:03 was too late! I missed the call from him while I waited in the empty apartment! Oh, no! Darn. Darn. Darn it!

The next day I scrambled. At the wifi office I pleaded. I knew it was my fault. The lady had squeezed me in a busy schedule (university kids returning and all needed wifi) and I goofed. No go until Monday. I would be waiting for him on Monday. . . closing day.

I didn’t get back to the house until Saturday. As I pulled into the carport the Captain ran up to meet me like he always did! He was thinner! What was he doing here! How did he get here! He was supposed to be 20 miles away, enjoying his new home, the forest and his new mistress! He was all over me, into the car and out again, ran ahead of me, ran through the house when I opened the door, like he did every morning when I fed him. He ran around outside the house and up on the front porch peeking in the storm door like he always did. He was replaying our daily life.

I couldn’t fuss, too much to do. Upset or not, I had work to do.

Then I spotted the dining room full of stuff that should have been moved. I told the movers all the furniture stayed in this room but there was a lot of other stuff that they overlooked! Mis-understanding.  I tried to get it all into my car but my car is a small one. I was running high on being upset. Frustrated. The cleaners came and got busy doing their job. I emptied the freezer, no room for the refrigerator stuff. I explained to the cleaner who does not speak English, to empty the refrigerator and take the contents for herself if she wanted it, but leave the bottle of bubbly wine for the new owners. She nodded her head, yes, yes. I paid her fee and left extremely upset over the Captain and over things I couldn’t take with me. My friend communicated with him and he understood all that was happening. He said he loved it there, had been happy and was staying even if I couldn’t be there. He said he would be alright.

 I cried the entire hour 10 minutes driving to my new home worrying about the Captain.


Filed under Cats, Moving Away


The Captain with Attitude

And I am still packing! Who snuck in during the night and scattered more stuff to pack? Bathroom, under the kitchen sink, and the top shelf of the spare room closet. Bottom of the office closet. Will it ever end? Stuff I forgot I even had.  Chuck it, maybe.

The Captain is settled in his new home with lots of woods to roam around and someone to care for him and put up with his male ego attitude! But, I sure miss him. No one to greet me when I pull into the carport. No one waiting to be fed in the morning and afternoon. Time to move onto new adventures! Farmville, here I come!


Filed under relocating

Not One Room is Completely Packed

family tree wall before removal

How does this happen? How does one person who lives simply, without a lot of tchotchke, have a small house, yet so much to pack up? I’ve been at it every day, sweating like Ali in a boxing match, and still each room has something unpacked. Not one room is completely emptied. My kitchen looks like a pathway between canyon walls with piles of boxes representing the canyons. Yet I donated all my pots, pans, baking and serving trays when I realized I could make this transition to an apartment. I downsized to only 6 plates and no bowls a year ago, using soup mugs for salads, dessert, and duh, soup.. Most serving pieces and fancy dishes are long gone. I no longer entertain, so why keep all of it. I am determined to live simply without all the trappings.

I think the house is cleared of books now that I have taken the last 4 bags to Goodwill on Saturday,  unless one pops out from a hiding place. You never know about books. They creep into my life. I do have 2 small piles to be hand delivered to an individual who collects War Between the States books. Mine are from the Army of the North so I’m not sure about handing these over to a Southerner. It is my belief that it is important to know both sides to fully understand the war. I hope he will not destroy them. I don’t think he will.

I am seeing bare walls with little nails sticking out or band-aid looking strips of white that kept my pictures and paintings on the walls. Looks weird. Days are counting down. My goal today is to empty 4 drawers of miscellany that just collected. Wish me luck.

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Ten Things I’m Thankful

Dr. Don Arnold & Ernie Fleming of Oakley Hall A & A. will find new homes for .. . .
  1. Today I learned that the manager of Goodwill in South Hill VA area is very fond of Jane Austen. I feel so much better for donating my treasured set of 8 or 9 Stephanie Barron well-written books featuring Jane Austen as a sleuth.
  2. Plus I am content with so many of my other Jane Austen books have gone to the right place to be bought by others. I enjoyed/loved them, now others will.
  3. So grateful for my physical strength and good health to complete packing up my house for the big migration to Poplar Forest II in Farmville VA. It has been a daunting task and nearly complete.
  4. My moving date has been moved up by 1 day to the 18th. Zowie! This time next week I will be in my new home…..unpacking.
  5. Thanks to the person who developed duct tape. Man or woman.
  6. Huge thanks to my dearest friends nearby who have nurtured me.
  7. Thank you to Don and Ernie at Oakley Hall Antiques & Art who will finding loving homes for some of my art work.
  8. Thanks to my NJ friends who filled in the empty spaces of information on some of the artists of that artwork. It’s nice to have some back story to a piece of art.
  9. Big time Thanks for all the love in my life.

10. One of the purposes in my life that I am thankful for, is the making of memories that can be relived again and again.

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Filed under art, Ten Things of Thankful

Still Packing

grandmother’s dishes

Time is slipping away and I have far to go. I’ve packed 6 boxes in the kitchen, tossed out lots of stuff I haven’t used in a couple years and haven’t opened a drawer yet. Do I take Grandmother’s dishes? Just these few as keepsakes. The rest were donated.

The moving man cannot do the 19th! OMG! He can do the 22nd and that is my settlement date. Won’t work. We talk some more and he can do the 18th. He is a very busy man. All is well. The apartment manager says, yes, the 18th will work. Phew! Close call.

After a fabulous lunch at 313 Franklin Street with my Soul Tribe sharing stories and food, I come home and look around. Time is getting shorter. Will I make it? Back to boxing more stuff and trying to stay calm. Next comes the battle with the Captain. Time for him to go to a new home.

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Apartment Application

Outside my apartment window

I waited until Friday, the day after the apartment manager returned from his vacation to call. He gave me an appointment to fill out the application on Tues. Whew. My confidence was seeping back in. He filled out the form online that I had trouble connecting, after showing the ground level apartment to me.

I love it! It is much bigger than I anticipated and thickly carpeted. Maybe I won’t have to unpack some of the boxes of books after all. It has a kitchen, pantry, laundry room, dining room, living room with electric fireplace (reminds me of my old book shop), gorgeous bath, a bedroom with walk-in closet and a small alcove room. Wow. This is not the retirement community I thought, it is a family apartment complex filled with mostly adults. My windows overlook the woods and a pond. A walking path meanders along. Tremendous good luck has dropped in while i was doing all that sweating over being homeless. Ha ha. Overlooking the woods. There is no view. I’ve been missing that.

By the time I drove home, my application was accepted! I’m so excited. The little bit I learn about my neighbor tells me we are going to be good friends. I can move in on the 19th of August and settlement is on the 22. Perfect!

Now it is time to pack up most of the kitchen. Again, not as easy as my mind told me it would be. Why is that? I pictured zipping around the kitchen and putting everything into 4 boxes and done! Whoa! I just packed 4 boxes and desperately need this break! I’m soaking wet from perspiration, panting, and there are several more boxes to go. The appraiser is coming at noon and my bed isn’t even made yet. Zowie!

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Moving, Moving

Partial wall of paintings

Onward to find a place to live. I looked at another senior living and apartment complex online that seemed even better. I drove there to see for myself. Oh, wow! Really nice. Nothing available. Oh, no!  I’m beginning to panic! I don’t want to be homeless at my ancient age! Deep breathing calms me. Remembering my message from my spirit guide-this move is meant to be. Yet the down still sets in.

I talked to the manager. Then I talked some more. He emanates confidence, intelligence, and competence. A people person. Perfect for his position. Even that is a positive for me. Finally, as he goes through his papers, there may be a one bedroom coming available. He will let me know. Maybe.

The next day I drove the nearly 1 ½ hours back again. The telephone just doesn’t do it for me. It looks like an apartment will be available after all. I’m back up to a high.

At home I continue as if I was certain all was going well. Don and Ernie came and treated me to a wonderful lunch at the 313 Restaurant. My choice was Chicken Salad and Sweet Potato Fries. Yum. Conversation with them is always interesting. Before lunch they went over my collection of art work. I will not have room to hang all of it. I know this even though I haven’t seen the apartment yet. They select a dozen to sell in their Oakley Hall Antiques & Art Store in Warrenton (NC). I am content to let these beautiful pieces go to bring someone else the joy of looking at them each day. I can bring them to mind by just thinking of them and the memories of how they came to hang in my homes. I am flying high again!

More to go . . . not in yet!

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Reverse Painting of Cat Lizzie

This is not the painting….just a picture of Lizzie. The painting may be found at Oakley Hall Antiques & Art in Warrenton (NC)

Emily Eve Weinstein

Back when my new, used and rare book shop was in full swing in Bordentown (NJ) many authors and artists came to introduce their books and work. Emily Eve Weinstein, on her way from Durham (NC) where she taught, to visit her parents in NYC would stop and spend the night at Exit 7 on the NJ Turnpike.  She ventured into town and drew many fans from the area excited to see her newest book. Emily always gave some kind of art presentation. The year of the Cat Book, she showed how to do a ‘reverse painting’ by painting on glass then placing art paper on the wet painting and voila`. An original painting resulted. This painting that she did of my cat Lizzie (named for Elizabeth Bennet of Pride & Prejudice) was the result of her visit that year. She captured Lizzie’s expression perfectly! I purchased prints of each picture in the book for resale, but she gifted the one of Lizzie and I kept it these 20+ years for my own pleasure.

​​​​C​at Book started out simply enough. Emily Weinstein set out to create a series of monoprints of cats she knew personally. As she explored her subjects, she saw that each cat had a story. So she wrote the stories down, and began hearing of fascinating cats farther afield. The trail led from North Carolina up the East Coast to New York City, where she was able to paint the much-heralded Brooklyn heroine cat, Scarlett, who rescued her five kittens from a ravaging fire. Other cats depicted include Snappy, who has sailed around the world; Wild Boy, feral in the High Sierras; the talking feline Regis, and Max, who has learned to box. It’s all great fun….and wonderful art!

From her website: Emily Eve Weinstein is a muralist, portraitist, and teaching artist, While creating murals in various towns over the years, Emily realized that many of the youth were drifting about and getting into trouble. In response to this, Emily would hand them a brush and send them up the scaffolding to help. Recognizing their value to the community, Emily taught the youth important skills which enhanced their self-esteem.  As a result of encompassing the youth into her work, Emily’s murals soon began to foster a new and intrinsic community value.

Her murals may be seen in Durham and Carrboro (NC) and Long Island (NY)

Arlene S. Bice


Filed under art, Cats, cats in art