What Cats Do Best

Our kitty Smokey laying just across a roaring fire with feet pushing up against the wall!

Spread right out,

be yourself

in an envelope of comfort!

Don’t  hold back,

relax and give in.

Sleep the hours away

and indulge in

a peaceful slumber!

Advice from cats!


Katy doing what she does best, relaxing in her chair without a care in the world.




Our sweet Smokey curling up on his favorite chair which happens to be mine too!



My beautiful kitty Katy, who is 14 1/2 years old.

My cats are quite the characters with their unique and quirky personalities. What do they do best? Sleep the days away but we love them even more because of that.

Isn’t it great dreaming of a sleep away kind of day?

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

A LOVE of Words


This post is dedicated to my brother, David Doyle, who fostered my love of books. Thank you, brother for caring enough to inspire and teach me!

My cousin Janice, me in the middle at about seven years old, and my little sister Barbie on the right. Even at this young age I loved words, written and spoken!



I’ve always been a lover of words, spoken and read. That love was born as early as I can remember and grew even deeper when I realized the precious freedom of speaking with my own voice. As a young girl I gabbed incessantly driving everyone crazy! Then one day this profound  devotion evolved when I picked up a book. My older brother, David, influenced me greatly by buying me classics like Little Women and Black Beauty. By  becoming an avid reader and indulging in books, I learned how the world worked in so many exciting and diverse ways. The written word served me with many hours of leisure in my bedroom or outside in the yard and still does.




 Now that you’ve learned of my adoration of language, you can surely understand why writing is so precious to me! It’s been yet another medium to freely share my thoughts. The babbling overflow spills onto the pages as I type, a freedom of expression that has developed into an appendage like possession. This encompassing passion is fueled by my deep seated NEED to affect readers in some way. I  can only wish that others, especially the children I work with at school can feel this empowering emotion and release in writing!




It’s apparent that I’m a lover of words, for they dominate my kitchen in every way! Everywhere you turn a sign, plaque or picture almost shouts words at you and you can’t help but “read the room’ as you go. I never realized this before until I wrote this post. Unconsciously I’ve surrounded myself with little pieces of languages, pieces that heal and spread joy.


While eating a breakfast of toast and honey or a scrumptious bowl of granola and fruit, I can see Live, Laugh, Love staring at me and I feel so blessed to be able to do all those things and I can thank my family for that.






A little quaint postcard bearing an adorable black cat stares at me while I wash the dishes and it says, Someone Loves you. Thanks, Mom for your love and your artwork! 



I’ll post on my mom’s artwork in the future.




My newest words I acquired recently is my Just Roll With it sign. If I’m having a bad day and ready to cry tears of frustration, perhaps that advice will help me to let it roll. I want to mention that I bought this from a fellow blogger, Jodi at Creativelifeinbetween.  I love her blog and her little Etsy store, Mckinney x2 designs. She creates amazing artwork prints and notecards and her daughter-in-law paints the whimsical signs, of which I own two! Check out their store and read Jodi’s beautiful and creative blog at Creativelifeinbetween.com







Do you notice how there is a message or word trend in products? If not, when you shop next, notice the products donned with inspirational words.  It appears that consumers, like me , crave these bits of language. These are words that drive success and serve as a motivation for a fulfilled life of happiness.


My little collection of words envelope me in joy, for their inspirational message and little reminders of kindness fill my cup to an overflow. It helps me to go about my day and enhances my life in small yet significant ways!   I really love words and how they can grasp at the emotions within you and squeeze tight.


Notice how you can read words everywhere you go! Some suggest hate or division. Others support happiness and instill a foundation of peace. You can choose which messages to live by and to read. Others simply ignore and stay positive. 



With this,  I hope you have a joyful day filled with meaningful words… whether they are spoken, read or written. Enjoy the message and pause to reflect.


All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤



Happy Birthday Dear Katie


Here is sweet Katie, my special kitty who is celebrating 14 years of life this summer. She’s always been unique in many ways. First of all, she’s as skittish as they get! I know it’s because of her barn cat heritage and her mother, Rascal was crazy that way too! Just ask my former neighbors, that’s where we got our little cutie when she was  a wee kitten. Even though she’s scared of her own shadow, she certainly is a lovely pet and we’ll keep her. 


Katie loves sweets and tried to have a bite of my cinnamon roll pancakes! No, no Katie!


We talk to our kitties like children and they react and passionately purr. We know they are listening even though they don’t know what is said.  I can tell you that  I know they feel the love and loyalty in our voices. Katie follows me around the house looking for a quick scratch or a hug. She loves being picked up and walked around where it’s higher. Her favorite walk is when Branden clutches her and brings her through our living room high in the rafters. This pudgy lady really misses her Bran when he’s away at college. There are nights she will repeatedly scratch at his bedroom door, hoping that he will emerge and scoop her up!





Despite her anxiety, her missing the litter box sometimes (which I’m trying to be patient about but observant) and her feminine temper towards our male Smokey, we truly love her and her company. No pet is perfect, but like our children, Tom and I only harbor unconditional love for her and our Smokey.



All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤


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My lovey, Katie the cat hiding a near my son’s boxes.She keeps trying to get inside one! He’s fixing up his car soon with all these parts and will get it on the road.

Cats in Charge?


Taken from Lingvistov.com




Sometimes I feel like my cats are taking over….a feline revolt of sorts. Imagine furry friends marching all over the counter tops, jumping on the high point of the fridge and racing to and fro between rooms. They’re in our face looking for food, snuggling up just to acquire a treat. Proudly prancing around the kitchen, these sneaky kitties paw open cupboard doors and peek inside.

They secretly wait until we fall asleep and when snoring starts, Smokey springs into action! While our older cat Katie stands guard in the kitchen doorway (really doing nothing but she feels like a team player), the sleek black cat operates risky business. He jumps on the counter as soft as he can, for this has to be done in a clandestine way. This determined cat peers over the trash can , one paw strategically pokes at the trash cover and another jab will do it. Score, it lands on the floor!


Crash! It’s not too secretive or hush- hush now! I roll over in bed in confusion. What now? Smokey! Trudging down the stairs I hope that it’s not a false alarm for its 12:00 am, an hour I should be sleeping in a steadfast snooze.



After cleaning up trash on the floor and tying the bag to go outside, I giggle when washing my hands. They are truly taking over, affecting our everyday occurrences.  Our life is an unfolding story with our rowdy cats starring as the main characters. They call the shots and make the story happen, they are in charge. Even so, we couldn’t be happier here with our quirky kitties.


All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤

Christmas Movie Marathon






The minute Thanksgiving passes, I get out my Christmas movie collection to watch. These movies are special and can be seen again and again and we don’t get bored with them. My husband’s favorite movies are action and adventure and he sports a small sigh when we start. I think he wants me to be happy so he tolerates it for the month of December, but ends up laughing and enjoying our marathon. We don’t have the Hallmark channel but if you do, check out the family oriented movies. Also ABC Family channel has 25 days of Christmas programming.

Here is a list of good Christmas flicks:

Home Alone and Home Alone two
Chevy Chase in Christmas Vacation
Christmas With the Kranks
The Family Stone
The Family Man
Four Christmases
Fred Claus, funny
A Christmas Story, a classic with a funny pink bunny suit, ” you’ll shoot your eye out, kid.”
The Spirit of Christmas ( Netflix)
It’s a Wonderful Life, my favorite
I’ll Be Home For Christmas
Trapped in Paradise with Nicholas Cage
Miracle on 34th Street

Love Actually, Netflix




I’m trying to slow down and take care of myself. I’ve been nursing a lower back injury for close to two months. Finally I went to the doctors and without an x- ray she’s pretty positive that it’s a herniated disc or deteriorated disc problem. This time of year is hard to slow down with everything that moms do but I must attempt to. I’m on Naproxen for two weeks to shrink the swelling and no lifting over five pounds. Physical therapy starts in January. I can’t help think that it’s another test of strength…of course I WILL pass! In the meantime I plan to go to work for four days but take it easy as best as I can. Christmas will come and with help, I’ll make our dinner.


Because of taking it easy, I watched a wacky movie on a Netflix disc, Mixed Nuts. The title is fitting for it’s about a counseling center around the holidays. Anything that could happen does, it has the romance, accidental murder, crazy happenings that are quite comical. Steve Martin, Madeline Kahn and Rita Wilson star, to name a few. Check it out!

Happy movie watching!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💗

A Snow Day




Yesterday in the morning at 7:15, I was all dressed for school with lunch in tow when the phone rang. No one ever calls us that early, unless, I thought maybe it’s the school! Sure enough a robot voice relayed the no school message. I admit that even though the car was running and I had everything ready, I skipped with glee and kicked the snow playfully when I went to shut off the car. No School! This never happens here, even when it’s icy and the roads are questionable, school remains open. I guess the furnace was on the fritz, no heat.
It felt like a snow day for the snow was falling and we had several inches piled up. Huge loud orange plow trucks pushed on by as I wrote my Christmas cards at my dining room table. My cat Katie accompanied me, trying to claw the envelopes and I laughed because I could pull them away just in time.  Glancing out the window, I spied about twenty wild turkeys crossing the road into our yard. Thoughtfully, I placed a chair in front of a kitchen window so curious Smokey could watch them longingly.



I trudged out back to gather some firewood for our stove, for that’s how we heat our house. When I zipped around the corner I noticed fresh tracks in the snow going to a little woodpile near the house. I thought maybe they belonged to a squirrel or chipmunk. With an armful of logs, I suddenly saw a little white creature pop up from behind the wood pile. I could have missed it if I hadn’t been looking that way, for it blended in with the blanket of pearly snow.


Oh my gosh, it was so cute ! This little adorable face looked like a mouse or ferret but with a white long sleek body. It’s tail had a black tip. A mink? A weasel? I researched online and discovered that it was a long tailed weasel, known to live in northern regions and even in the Arctic.


He scurried and laid down a trail in the snow and didn’t even seem frightened of me. He romped in the snow here and there. What a blessing for my day because I’ve never seen one and it was so magical at that moment, while snow was falling. Even though Tom informed me that weasels can be vicious, I hope to see him again and wish him well during the cold days of winter.







My new friend’s tracks





Sentimental thoughts come to my mind when I think of snowdays. In previous years I loved announcing to the boys that there was no school. This day no one was here except my cats who I hugged and petted and talked to. Instead I sent a message to my son in college and he responded right away. It made me happy that we could still connect on a snow day and he will be home after his last final this Friday. He probably misses snow days too. Getting up late, a mug of hot chocolate and venturing out in the winter wonderland was his snow day itinery.
So my snow day was special and magical and unfortunately something had to happen to the school furnace but many teachers and children received a well needed day. Thank you God for the little miracles of the day, a precious gift in the hustle of the holidays!



All My Best,

Heart and Soul ☃️

How A Cat Can Be Your Best Friend😽

Beautiful miss Katie, the elder of the kitties at 13 1/2 years old. 





Winking Smokey, the character of the house


Pets are a huge part of the family, for they sleep at your feet and accept you unconditionally everyday. Some people are both cats and dogs lovers, while others definitely choose sides in the cats versus dogs age old competition. Some people prefer dogs, saying they’re man’s best friend. They dislike cats and their independence and attitude. They say they don’t compare to dogs. I understand this thinking, but I’m a cat lover and I’ll tell you why.



Cats are loving and cozy companions. Many dog lovers don’t believe this, but it’s true! Whether it’s their rubbing up against your leg, cuddling on the couch or purring loudly when scratched, cats show their love and do appreciate attention. Our cat Smokey is so affectionate and wants to be close to us that he sleeps on our bed at our feet. He greets us at the door with his meowing whiny chatter and shows his love constantly.


Mischievous and unpredictable, as Smokey opened up a paper bag ( for kindling) to sleep in.


Did I hear something?


Cats sense danger and will help you through it. I know this first hand….several times my cats have tried to help when they thought there was trouble. One time I slept right through the alarm clock and it kept annoyingly beeping like a truck backing up. This prodded Smokey to incessantly meow and attempt to wake me up, even clawing my hair. He thought the waking alarm meant danger!



Cats’ independence  can work to your advantage! When going on vacation, a pet sitter or dog walker isn’t necessary. All you need is a person to stop by to fill up the food and water bowls. You can scoop the litter boxes when you get home. Unless you’re gone for a week, then it may be necessary to have your person do that.




Cats are just as loyal with unconditional love as dogs. People say dogs are man’s best friend but why can’t cats play this role? They can….our cats listen to us but with attitude, follow us around the house, and love us just as much as a dog could. They provide company with a roaring deep purr. Maybe you’re not convinced, maybe you still think dogs are better pets. That’s okay… but I’ll continue to love my cats, be grateful for them and value them as part of our family. 


Treat your kitties to a fresh fresh piece of fish as a treat! We had baked fish for dinner tonight and gave Katie and Smokey some! They were ecstatic! 





All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💗





Wild Encounters in the Night



Recently I’ve boasted of our rural area and of the amazing wildlife we host. I failed to mention that we are constantly reminded of just how wild it is and how daring we are to live with it! In the wee darkened hours of a couple of nights ago, A BOOM awakened my husband and my slumber. Usually these night time occurrences result in one of us sleepily padding downstairs to discover our cats in the trash or standing in a mess of something they knocked down and broken. This time, it was different and mysterious.




Tom checked it out, expecting the cat’s chaos and ready to gently scold our tom cat, Smokey. Yet when he dressed on the bedside, he spied our rambunctious kitty in a sleep stupor and our other cat slept in downstairs in the livingroom rocker. When Tom came back to bed ,he informed me everything was intact. Immediately I thought of a break in…even though we’ve never had any here, that doesn’t rule it out. But what was the crash and loud noise coming from the kitchen area or outside or on the roof?



Back to sleep we went after a few light words and questions, we both continued our slumber….until a little later,SUDDENLY another loud noise and incessant prodding at something outside or on the roof or possibly the attic interrupted us once again! This time Tom took his .22 and I know what you’re thinking, but a man’s got to protect his wife and dwelling! Meanwhile I quietly reminded him to make sure it wasn’t a human before he shot, if it was, he could scare him away. I trusted his sound judgment and knew he would do the right thing.



Outside my husband circled our house with flashlight in hand, with determination. I gently opened our bedroom window and heard branches of trees cracking like matchsticks in our backyard, leading us to believe that it was a pretty big animal and it had been trying to get inside!




Morning had broken and with first light, more investigating but we didn’t learn anything. As we braced for the next night, we wondered what animal would be trying to break in….a bear, raccoon, or porcupine? Were they prying boards off the house, pawing at rocks in the foundation or what? As I think and wonder about all this, I really do feel like we are living in wild country, maybe not like the Yukon or the Alaskan rough but somewhere where the wild are unforgiving, relentless and bound to come back soon. It’s the survival game, the same as our plotting our wood pile or filling our freezer for winter. It’s all about winter survival.


Yesterday Tom spent the morning boarding up our home, making sure whatever was trying to burst in, won’t be successful. Last night we slept peacefully with no noises or visitors. As far as we know, it didn’t come back! 


All My Best( shakin’ in my boots),

Heart and Soul❤️

A Flea Frenzy😝

Here we are engulfed in a blazing hot summer in beautiful New Hampshire. As you all know, this season brings numerous insects and creatures out. Many thrive with the intense heat, such as those annoying  fleas. I’ve heard people mention fleas on their pets nonchalantly so I never thought twice about it. Slap a flea collar on and they should be all set, right? ( at least that was my belief) Think again.
















I haven’t written as much as I’d like lately for my household has a lot of activity. As most of you know, our son’s getting ready and packing for college. Not only do we have that chaos of boxes and trash bags, but unwelcome visitors once again. ( see my blog in December about flying red squirrels!) This time our family had fair warning of their arrival, but we all looked passed the signs, not considering the possibility of fleas.





About 6 weeks ago our cat Smokey started itching all the time. A few weeks into it, he started losing quite a bit of hair. Patches would fall on my rug, a sure sign of something wrong. So I took him in the crowded cat carrier to a vet twenty minutes away. It was a haunting ride of terrified squeals and meows, he was a poor little fellow of ebony with uncertainty floating about him.




The vet thought Smokey had anxiety. Had any new changes happened to our family? Was he depressed? I laughed at this because I didn’t know cats had depression. No, no changes, the same comfty window waited for him, a scratch of love everyday, comforting talks from us, a nice bowl of water,and  two feedings a day.




When I got home that afternoon I noticed our other cat furiously scratching as well. Then I knew. Parting her brownish gray fur, it took a scant few seconds to spy little black bugs scurrying in there. Fleas! Yuck!  We have had cats for almost twenty years. Never, never, never had we had to deal with or even think of fleas! Now it’s our turn to suffer and fight the fight!




Not only did we have a good month of cats harboring fleas, but our home was simultaneously being infested. Unfortunately our livingroom diningroom, stairs and upstairs hallway is all carpeted. It’s a breeding ground for these pesky insects and really difficult to eliminate.




After reading much information on the Internet, we decided to buy Cat Armour Plus, similar to  Frontline topical medicine at Wal- mart. You apply it to the cats back of neck where they can’t reach. It’s supposed to work within 24 hours and last a month. Let me tell you, as a concerned mother and house wife with most of  the responsibilities of their extermination, you can’t always believe the package. 24 hours passed by, then days and finally weeks with little results. Meanwhile I started my new exercise routine of swinging the 45 pound vacuum here and there for three hours a day. I pulled out furniture and snuck in the tightest spaces to vac in cracks and crannies. I sprinkled Borax down every night and kept our pets secluded in an untreated bedroom. My son and I religiously combed their fur once a day ( sometimes twice a day for good measure) and found numerous critters.




Okay, so this is how Im spending my summer off from school! Most teachers and paras are lying on the beach, traveling or doing what they love and I’m inside vacuuming and picking fleas off my cats. All I can surmise is that God is teaching me patience and this is a test that I must pass to be flea free. At my lowest moment in this mess, I was feeling sorry for myself and even crying in misery when I received a phone call. It was my co worker who has fought cancer for about three years. I was telling her about my flea situation when she filled me in on her vacation…that she had just had brain surgery last week to remove a tumor. Silence. Stupidity. I was tongue tied and shocked. That’s when I knew in my heart that this was a lesson and that my God had dealt it. I guess fighting fleas wasn’t so bad or the end of the world, while this woman I know was fighting a much bigger fight. Cancer.



I won’t ramble on about outrageous flea baths, a bombing incident that lasted a day or the silly soap and water traps I left out one night. Now our kitties have Seresto  flea collars on their necks.  It’s been one day and I noticed they’re not scratching. I know this isn’t over yet….for we have to rid the house of them. So the vacuuming, spraying and paranoid drama continues. And that was my summer.


As I write this and lovingly watch my cats sleep with some relief, I realize there are bigger and more encompassing problems in this life. If anything ,this is a nuisance but it will pass. The fleas will die and life will carry on. If I can give any of you advice, it would be this, embrace difficulties, take them for what they are, lessons. Remember this too shall pass.


All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️



Katie’s Cat Nap








It’s an afternoon at home…I’ve already tended to my garden and now it’s about time for a light lunch. In my kitchen window lies a roly poly kitty named Katie.She’s a gray tiger cat with cool black marking stripes. She’s lived 13 years this month, hailing from one of our neighbor’s litters. Once a tiny fragile kitten, now she’s grown into a pudgy cat with an extremely soft coat of hair and a magnificent striped tail. So lovable and a dear, she’s an important member of our family!





What a beautiful cat she is! I think I better snap some photos to remember this moment! She relaxes and naps in the sill, feeling the wonderful cool breeze. The hummingbirds frequent the feeder just outside the screen. A warm sun covers the yard with an uplifting gold light… but that breeze! How comfortable and inviting!










Oops! I think my Ipad disturbed her nap! A little voice inside me warns me to let her be. Tiptoe away softly so she can resume her napping. Time to go out and read a book in this heaven. I hope that you get to enjoy sunshine in your neck of the woods, read a summer novel or take a cat nap.


Oh…the joys of summer in New Hampshire!🌞🌞🌞😎



All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️