Rose Petals and Porch Cats



Whenever I have flowers to compost, I first put the blossoms, especially rose petals, on the graves of our cats.  Rocky, Tracy, Eddie, Lilly, and Gretchen are all buried behind the front hedge. Some of those dear kitties died at the prime of life; others lived to a fine old age.

I speak to each of them as I toss. It’s a sweet ritual I’ll miss.

We’re moving, and the cat graves won’t be coming with us. And we won’t mention the graves to any perspective buyers, either. Add phantom cats to the other woes of our 180-year-old-house, and we just might scare off a buyer for good.

But if the new people end up being good people, Rabbit Hill people, I might ask if I can sprinkle a few more petals from time to time.

Cliff and I are going catless for now. It’s too sad to leave them when we travel, and if truth be told, I’m kitty littered out. But we’re taking the cat toys with us just in case a whiskered orphan trots onto our new porch and decides to stay.



What about your? I hear others talk about going petless after the last one dies. Opinions? Thoughts?

The kitty in the porch picture is Eddie. He came one day and stayed for eleven years.

The Ladies Room Door Art Series: Part Twenty-eight




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Doors encore!

From Susan, the Australian Bar and Restaurant in New York City. Women’s above. Men’s below.

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Also from Susan, the visitor’s center at Indian Grinding Rock State Park in California. The signs are also written in a Native American language. Susan thinks it’s Miwok.

Indian grinding hole women's sign


I snapped this one at the airport in Albany, New York. I thought it was rather elegant for an airport.


And I took this at the Dallas Farmer’s Market

From Lisa, the ladies room door at Top of the Rock, Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum.

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I found this at a local shopping center. Walked by the back of the store, turned my head, and there is was: Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt in Durham, North Carolina.


These signs are from Parker and Otis in Durham, North Carolina.. Restrooms are unisex.





From Judy, these festive doors at Cirkusz in Budapest.




Thanks one and all for your vigilance in finding doors for our Ladies Room Door Art Series!

I’ll Let You Go


Sometimes, it’s the simplest songs that get ya. I kept hearing this one, and finally looked at my car radio dial to learn I was listening to Jessica Allossery

Back to those very simple lyrics. My first thoughts went to my daughter Laura, who is expecting a baby girl near October 1.

But then they drifted back to me. To my own days of letting kids go. I did well with empty nest. My girls loved college, and after they were both gone, I went to Vermont College to get a Masters of Fine Arts in Writing (a low residency program). Those were happy days for all of us.

But now, as I get ready to leave this old house, I’m feeling a new sort of empty nest, the thoughts of an empty house. I can still hear the girls’ footsteps in the upstairs hall. The bounding down the stairs. The slamming of the kitchen screen door.

The girls are delighted we’re getting a new house, and I’m already thinking how I will decorate the grandchildren’s bedroom. So a good letting go, if I can only get brave enough to walk out of that old screen door for the last time.

“Will you do better if someone buys the house who really loves it?” Cliff asked me the other night.

That might be one of those “duh” questions, but I get what he means. Yes, then I can let the house go.And it might be nice to let someone else tackle the dilemma  of the porch floor.

Any advice for those new to empty nest?

What about you? Any advice on leaving a long-lived-in house?

Younger Girls

Photo: Daughter Kath, mother of my now four-year-old grandson Mazen, is on the left, and Laura, is on the right. We were on our way to a baby shower for Laura in July.  Note the floor. Paint refuses to stick.

Letting Go: I found this great article the other day on Tiny Buddha. One of the best I’ve read. Check it out here.

Happy Fifth Anniversary, Friend for the Ride (and a Gift Card Giveaway)


Friend for the Ride started when my daughter Laura, low on cash in grad school, asked, “Is there something I can do for you to earn some money?”

I replied, “I’ll pay you to set up a blog site for me.” And she did! She’s a techno whiz, and she blogs herself at Taking Back my Twenties.

Is Laura still broke?

No Sign

Happily, no. And it’s a good thing because she has a baby on the way VERY SOON!

It’s been five years, do I still love blogging (after 650 posts)?

Another Yes

I love sharing my thoughts with you, posting sometimes useful information, and writing about life from a creative angle. I’m so appreciative to all of you for reading.

I’m always in need of guest posts. What should you write about? Sky’s the limit. Shoot me an email, and we’ll figure it out. Thanks! See the blog’s very first guest post here, written by my friend Susan Bellinger.

Do I plan to stop blogging any time soon?

No Two


Do I wish I had more readers?

I’d love more readers! The blog has not grown as I hoped it would, but my readership does increase slowly.

Does my family read my blog?

My mom did.That’s how she found out I was downsizing my Santa Claus collection. Mom was NOT happy. But she liked most of my other posts and even did a painting for this one. Cliff reads many of the posts. Not so sure about my girls…

Do I have a hard time coming up with topics for new posts?
No Three

This answer should really be “Sometimes.” But then a new idea will pop into my head, often inspired by a photograph. I took these signs on Bald Head Island. I thought they were vacancy/no vacancy signs until Cliff explained they are to signal if you have garbage to be picked up or not. Of course I could argue, most of us have some garbage…

Do I have a favorite post?

That would be like picking a favorite child, but the ones closest to my heart are those I wrote to celebrate or to face important moments:

The birth of my first grandchild.

The wedding of my daughter.

My cancer.

My mom’s death.

I appreciate the grittier and quirkier posts too, like this one about periods and cramps and romance and Smokey the Bear. I never would have guessed at age thirty that I’d one day write about personal body stuff. But once I start, it just sort of flows. (Yucky period reference somewhat intended).

Do I have a  favorite part of blogging?

Yes Six

I love uploading the photos and seeing how they look on the page. I love tweaking and editing. I love the moment a new post goes live. And I love getting comments and ladies room doors sent from all over the world!

Is there anything I hate about blogging?

No, but I’ve accidentally had posts go live when they weren’t finished. Talk about a panic!

 Am I going to do something special for this Fifth Blogging Anniversary?

Yes Five

Gift Card Giveaway: In honor of Friend for the Ride’s fifth anniversary, and because I’ve had fun shopping here for my new house, I’m giving away a fifty dollar gift card to Bed Bath & Beyond. For a chance to win, please enter a comment by October 10.


Thank you again, one and all, for your support. Thanks to Healthline for putting me on your Best Blogs List; to those of you who wrote guest posts; to agent Erzsi Deak for encouraging me to write about menopause; to Cliff for photography help and pointing out typos; to my daughter Kath of Katheats, who models blogging with class and creativity; and thanks to Laura for expert help and for needing a few bucks. Now it’s time for me to spend some money on that baby of yours!