Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Part 5 of The Past Life Regression Series

**Past Lives is a Meme which features installments from bloggers around the world writing creative stories about past lives, even possibly their own past lives!

Our story starts with a fictional Australian called David.
As a last ditch effort trying to resolve his debilitating phobias, he goes through Past Life Regression (PLR) therapy. Join us as we follow David’s experiences through different times and continents.

If you are just joining us, please read Part 1 of the story and follow the links at the end of each segment to learn David's progress so far. Please note that you will be traveling to different blogs as each author adds to the evolution of David's journey.

Past Lives Part 5- David's Regression Continues

Falling...falling...my stomach in knots as the rocks below me get closer... “David, David, I want you to come back away from the light towards the sound of my words”, Dr. Marlowe's voice soothes and guides me into the observer's stance.

“Tell me where you are now”, he asks.

But I am already on my way, too deeply involved, answering him before he completes his sentence...

“New emotions, heaviness, despondency.. Once again...... Falling...as I feel warmth and watch the rocks below morph into the pebbled tessellations of an Oriental rug beneath my bare feet – browns, golds, terracotta and sand....

“Master Hugh”, Lao Chen's voice comes from my right side and my eyes follow to where he is standing at a black lacquered cabinet, a punk smoking in hand. “Are you ready for the pearl”?

With my addled mind, I listen as Chen's voice rolls his r's with a thick Mandarin accent laced with proper British over his words so that pearl comes out sounding more like 'pe'.

I grunt a response, ready to drift off again into my shadowy dream world. This sorry state of affairs has become my only escape and solace from this, a drab and cursed life, of which I, when younger, enthusiastically embraced as promising and full of adventure.

Another sip of absinthe. I drink mine without babying the water by pouring it over sugar sliced from a loaf. Although meant to take the bitter edge off for those less foolhardy, I much prefer to find what sweet messages I can in the green clouds of milky louche`.

Chen's formal queue of braided black moves with a life of its own from his bare shaved head under his black satin skull cap while he busies himself with the lantern and pipes. The voice of his long brocaded sleeves shushing against his sides as he cleans first the pipe chamber and then adds oil to the lantern lulls me further. My thoughts drift to Lillabeth.

She has become as jaded and as disappointed in me as I am with my union to her. My having a title and minor peerage was as attractive to her as her family's wealth was to me when we were met through introduction at an outing in Churchill. Let this be a cautionary tale to those of you contemplating marriage for either reason- money or status climbing.

While not beautiful, Lillabeth was handsome with regular features, a somewhat ruddy complexion prone to chapping, nondescript dark hair, wide hips and a boyish chest. She grew more comely in my eyes as I learned that she was sole heir to her father's shipping concern. Junkets carrying goods to China, including raw opium from India, and returning with Chinese silver and silks had made a wealthy, if somewhat gaudy man of Thomas Reeve. His one and only child never knew an item of whimsy she didn't get if only barely suggested to him.

Thus, I inherited her with a profoundly developed sense of privilege from her doting father along with his monies and business when he abruptly passed from an appallingly incurable case of bilious gluttony aggravated by gout.

Lillabeth was particularly cursed in the landscape of motherhood. Thrice she greeted me with good news to deliver two of them in her early courses and to carry yet a third, a son, to full term only to be still at birth. I buried him in the family plot next to his grandfather in the churchyard of Greyfriars.

She began to look at me first with guilt, then rage, solemnly blaming me for the mishaps and misfortunes of her ability to carry through a viable heir. I joined Her Majesty's 26th regiment training under Major Pratt, as part of a deterrent to forces opposed to British shipping interests in the Orient to escape her attention. I was granted the rank of leftenant commanding a small company whom I grew fond of during our long deployment.

My fortune with the military was to prove as dreary as Lillabeth's with her attempts at establishing herself as mother to a titled and landed young peer. Before we had an opportunity to even engage the enemy on her shores, my horse misstepped coming down the ship's plank and sent me hurtling to the hard stone of the causeway below.

I was sent back to Great Britain on the next ship with honorable letters of discharge from 'injuries derived while in service to the Crown', a small but reliable pension, which was the first of monies I could truly say were my own, and was also given an open script for Paracelsus' laudanum from hospital to chip the edge from the blinding pain in my back and legs. No amount of bed rest or remedy could assuage in the least except for the draughts of laudanum.

I am patently aware of Lillabeth's disappointment that I had not been killed by the natives and returned to her in a camphor wood box. Rather, I appear at our ancestral door with my sea trunks and an injury that makes me prone to a gait-disturbing limp. With the knowledge of her final and utter disgust and disinterest in me, I became more consumed with the regular doses of laudanum, and when those tinctures did not serve to make me numb to both injury and my wife's assaults and wicked diatribes on my various shortcomings, I turned then to opium in it's most pure form.

And that, to whit, is why I find myself here in a den on a dodgy side street off Cheapside having Lao Chen prepare yet another pearl and pipe for me.

I lie back, watch as Chen touches the punk to the lamp wick, hold the silver bowl of my bamboo pipe over the shimmering pillar of heat rising from the glass alembic, and observe as the pearl begins to melt into vapour. I inhale deeply. I have forgotten how many glasses of Absinthe and how many pearls have clouded my senses in euphoria today.

Lying back, I watch the ghostly tongues of light from the lamps playing on the ornamental ceiling and feel my heart beat ever more slowly. I close my eyes and give myself over to it. I count the timpani of each spasm of that engine of life between shallow breaths with fingers on a clammy hand.

Slower now...I count...41........42..........43................44...........................


David’s next PLR Session is only days away. You’ll be traveling to Vicki North's Blog to read Past lives Part 6

Note: David's PLR story is purely fictional. If there are any bloggers in any part of the world who would like to participate in David's story by writing about a 'past life' in a time, place and country you are familiar with, please contact Lilly Taylor at lillyslife@gmail.com.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Accumulated Information on Frank Calloway, Artist 12/26/2008**Updated**

Frank Calloway

Frank Calloway was born July 2, 1896, and taught himself to draw. Diagnosed as schizophrenic in 1952 and institutionalized in various institutions in Alabama since then, he is currently living in the Alice M. Kidd Nursing Facility in Tuscaloosa. At 112 years old, his is a unique view of Southern America. Most of Mr. Calloway's art is of agrarian themes. His medium is ballpoint pen, marker and crayon on butcher paper often 30 feet long. Mr. Calloway puts in a full day of work considering his art as his job. He appears almost savant with his penchant for writing lines of figures and reciting multiplication tables.

Although he's always drawn, he really took it seriously when he took an art class in the 1980s.

He'll be be showing in an exhibition during the Fall at The American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore where 18 of his scrolls will appear this October. Recently selling for around $50.00 each, his drawings are expected to fetch thousands after the show. See more about Mr. Calloway in the news release HERE.

I've turned the web upside down and have come up dry. I'll be posting links to his art as they become available. **

Mr. Calloway got serious about his art at about 86 years of age. He's getting in his stride at 112 years. Now. I don't want to ever hear an artist say that they're too old to start!!

**UPDATE: As promised, I am adding information I've found on Mr. Calloway's art, where it can be found, and his life and will continue doing so if you'd like to check back with me. Please let me know if you've found additional information on this amazing man.

This is an image of one of Mr. Calloway's works, entitled "Old Man".

A link to a photo gallery of Mr. Calloway HERE.

And some information from versions of the N.Y. Times article:

Quote: "Last year, after a trip to Alabama’s Gulf Coast, Calloway decided to draw boats. But the boats are big old riverboats propelled by paddlewheels, not the modern ones he’d actually seen.
Several years ago, when people started showing interest in buying Calloway’s art, Moncrief-Craig ( director of Alice M. Kidd Nursing Facility where Mr. Calloway lives) decided he needed a guardian. Since 2006, Zondra Taylor Hutto has filled that role. The attorney is the Tuscaloosa County guardian, conservator and administrator for several residents, including Calloway.(I will post info when I can find it)
Calloway used to give away some of his creations or sell them for $50, but Moncrief-Craig and Hutto have stopped dealing the work since an appraiser said they could be worth thousands. They hope to have more of an idea how much the art should go for after the Baltimore show.
Calloway has few expenses that aren’t covered by Medicaid, so any profits will go into a special needs trust in his name so he won’t lose his benefits. The money can be used for items such as art supplies that aren’t covered by the government. When he dies, the remaining money will go to the state or to the state Medicaid agency, which has provided his care all these years.
Plans are for Calloway to attend the opening of the Baltimore show. It will be his first trip on an airplane and likely the first time he’s left Alabama. Hutto said she looks forward to sharing his work with a wider audience.

"His art overcomes boundaries," she said. "People may say, ‘Well, he’s a folk artist. I don’t like folk art.’ But if you ever meet him, there is such life in what he creates, and you can’t look at one of his paintings without seeing that smile, without seeing that gentle man." (End quote)


New today, another image of a Frank Calloway drawing, above. Also a discussion on whether Calloway can truly be 112 on a genealogy site HERE.

August 03, 2008 Updated

I have a new image of Calloway's artwork and will also be posting additional information. This all would have been listed sooner, but my computer burped in the middle of posting and I lost all my work even though Blogger said it was saved as a draft.

I believe this work is called "Pink Cow".

August 10, 2008: I found these images of Calloway's:

Jus found a new slide show produced by the Associated Press HERE. If I can find the code, I'll embed it here as well.

Keep checking back occaisionally to see what I've gathered.

August 17th,2008: Michael D. Edens gave me permission to show these two sketches of Frank Calloway inspired by this post. I believe these will be available as limited edition giclees.

Click HERE to see Edens' other work.
If there are any other links with work on or about Mr. Frank, or of Mr. Frank as subject, I'd love to link to them as a clearing house spot for any and all info.

October 28, 2008 Updated****

I have scoured the web and have not been able to find much additional information on Frank Calloway's show at the American Visionary Museum in Baltimore other than these links below. If anyone knows of a show catalog, invitations or cards with any of his work, or information about sales of his art, I'd appreciate adding it. This post seems to have become a central spot with everything out there about him and I'm getting some international visitors. Please note that I have a translation widget at the top left of the page for your convienience.

**Deep Fried Kudzu has a post on the AVM show, which was called "The Marriage of Art, Science, & Philosophy". Calloway was one of 50 artists at the show

***"The Marriage of Art, Science, & Philosophy" Show runs through April 28, 2009 and the gallery hours are HERE

***There are blurbs and news articles about Frank Calloway and the show HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE,

***There's a great article and wonderful VIDEO here by the Baltimore Sun.

***Blurb and photo from the Baltimore Sun:

AVAM honored and welcomed 112-year old artist Frank Calloway from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Calloway used crayon, pen and marker to draw on butcher paper stretching hundreds of feet long at times. His work is embedded with mathematical systems and rhythmic patterns such as the 18 times tables. He came to Baltimore on his first airplane ride for a welcome ceremony and the opening party Oct. 3. he seemed thrilled to see his work on display. Calloway was met and greeted by NAACP chairman Jullian Bond on Friday, the morning before the opening party.

****The Independent World featured this STORY.

***There's a great first person account of Mr. Calloway at the show at The Real Muck.

*** Reuters carried the following article 112 Year Old Self0Taught Artist to Be Featured in National Exhibition

*** Artist Mark Barry has these photographs from the show in Baltimore which he's generously allowed me to use here from his Flickr Photostream. Hang around and look at Mark's other work while you're there. If you are interested in buying a set of photos or a giclee of them, contact Mark directly.

Update 12/26/2008: Keeping with my promise to put any and all links and news about Mr. Calloway here on the Deepwater Journal, I have a few small additions.

Wikipedia now has a stub on Mr. Calloway which should be added to.

"Do the job right", video of Mr. Calloway at work.

A New Still of Mr. Calloway with his materials.

And here you can find links to Frank Calloways show at the AVAM with some links. Dated October 13, 2008. Nothing much new. Mark Barry already gave me permission to use his photos of the exhibit.

September 04, 2009: I want to share with you an account of an excellent first person encounter with wonderful insight. David Ettlin is a semi-retired writer with the Baltimore Sun. I won't rib him about the semi part of retired in his bio bits with the George Carlin factionale of "either it got a bone or it ain't". The Real Muck is worthy of a leisurely perusal. Good reads throughout. But in keeping with my promise to update anything Frank Calloway, I hope you'll visit and comment.

Funny this comment from David comes today: I was just thinking of calling the home and asking after Mr. Calloway's health and art.

Mother Lode In Progress

I'm feeling closed to finished with this piece. I've decided to expand Mother Lode into a triptych with two more 'nuggets'. I'm putting both pictures I took up for your to see. The first picture was taken with my finger obscuring half the flash. Try this sometime if you have something that is so bright it's barking back at you.

You can see the bead frame around the chalcedony cabochon, earrings, the three plated chains, and the imperial and mystic topazes I put on. Lots of sun sitara, amber, garnet, fire opal, lemon quartz and one pretty bronze pearl surrounded by carnelian. I love the one 18K gold earring and tiger's eye star.

I'll wait to do the final shaping on the outside when all three elements are finished.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Darla Nunnery - Artistic Instructor St. Leo Prodigy

Darla Nunnery is a visual artist specializing in professional henna body art, painting, and multi-media collage. She received her Bachelors Degree in Fine Art from the University of South Florida in 2001 and began her henna business, Starlight Mehndi Studios, that same year.

Darla has worked in children's art programs at the Tampa Museum of Art, AmeriCorps ArtsUSF, Hillsborough County's Artists in the Schools program, and is presently employed as a Cultural Arts Instructor with Saint Leo Prodigy. With over 10 years experience as an artist working with young people, Darla's gift is encouraging students to tell their personal history through their artistic creation. Her ideas for projects to create with her students bring together influences from our living environment and cultural history, while at the same time emphasize community perspectives and personal growth.

Darla's work has been shown at the Tampa Museum of Art, University of Tampa's Scarfone Gallery, and the Globe Coffee Lounge in St. Petersburg, Florida. Additionally, she has been curator at many art events and gallery showings for her students over the years.
Currently site director for Saint Leo University Prodigy Program.

This is my Goth Other Chile, Darla that I'm so proud of! I've known Darla since her much younger years and have costumed for her during her reenactment days in some beautiful regalia.
She does more than painting and teaching art to children. Darla has a thriving business of doing traditional Mehndi. She's so good at it, making her own henna pastes from scratch and being a purist that the Bay Area Indian and Middle Eastern families use her for their traditional wedding rituals. She's beginning to experiment with henna on cloth as well. You can take a look at some of her Mehndi art on her MySpace page.
She's been featured in articles in The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Newsday and was chosen in Tampa's annual Best of the Bay for best body art.
Descended from a real French princess (she acts regal!), she also boasts a rarity in Florida: A real Florida Native from a long line of Floridians.
We're celebrating our birthdays tonight - mine past and hers coming up. Rituals are important to her as is family.

I'm giving her a reading from Madam Zucchini and she's taking me to dinner.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Go For The Gold

Here's a progress report on 'Mother Lode', the second piece in my Good Earth series. First, I went through a lot of bead boxes and trays, gemstones, old jewelry, threads, and then found the perfect embossed 'cloth of gold' in my big stash room. It's in the upper right corner of this picture:

I've been manipulating it by needle-sculpting, stuffing and trapunto as I embellish. I want to keep the shape of a gold nugget with its rounded bulges and depressions. I'm using flat lame' for the depressions. This is the darker version of the pictures I took so you can see the gold chain I couched on with gold threads.

The photo with the flash will flat blind you! The shots of iridescent green and blue are actually refracted light from off of the laser cut and iris AB sequins. And of course, I'm working at my computer desk - the only relatively flat and barely cluttered surface at my house.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Vikki!

Found these fun videos in lieu of an E card for Vikki North's birthday! Cook up some Creative Spaghetti today!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Touching The Rock

Familiarity. Comfort. Sameness. History. Finding the touchstones in our lives that make our progress and our anniversaries so much more is important.

I've reached my sixty-first year. Today. That longevity in and of itself is an achievement to the ingenuity of homo sapiens. We have found ways to prolong our lives through better nutrition, medicine, better living through Monsanto, and bigger weapons than the fangs of genus smilodon** who stalked our asses as we dropped out of the trees onto the savannas or into the water, depending on which anthropologist theory you follow.

We've learned how to upgrade our wood, stone, and flint bows, arrows and spears for state-of-the-art models with technology unknown to our distant forebears. Who knew that if you jazzed bauxite ore with cathodes of electricity you could produce light-weight aluminum, and concomitantly, the modern crossbow and long bows used in hunting today. I have a point here, readers. Bear with.

So. I'm thinking. Progress. Not necessarily technological progress, but just the achievement of a human having made it thus far with tales to tell, wisdom, experiences, changes, knowledge. I remember musing if I would make it to the year 2000. I would be a decrepit 53! LAWS! What an achievement and ripe old age! I was a young fruit of 17 when this first occurred to me.

And here I am at the ripe old age of 61 today looking back at the carpet of my life, having made it through the turn of the century, wanting to do the same for myself as I did for my dying mother: Remind others that the lump of flesh and bone in front of you is more than the sum of it's parts. This body has BEEN places! DONE things! WORKED, INVENTED, CREATED, HEALED, LOVED, SCREWED UP, MADE THINGS HAPPEN, MADE A MARK!

When I was caring for my mother in her dying phase, she would fall or wrangle her way out of bed. Her swollen weight was way more than my skinny ass could bend down and lift up. So. I called the Fire Department Rescue guys. They knew us from the familiar calls on 911.

"Mamie Drury Kerik has fallen and she can't get up", and they were on their way to maneuver, lug and lift her dead-weight back into her hospital bed which she constantly tried to escape from. These escapes always happened when sleep-deprived me was comatose from a 36 hour stint of ass wiping and fetching and toting and spoon feeding that never seemed to be enough to please or assuage. This was my life long song and lament. This was the lullaby sung to me from the age I was old enough to comprehend. I had already failed at my duty of taking care of mother 4 decades before it became a reality and duty. So. That when I got there, it was already a set up.

Sense some psychosis here? Good for you. But. Back to my original reason for the post. Touching the rock. When those rescue guys came in to lift Mamie up into her bed, there was always this aura that they ignored her. They talked to me as they maneuvered her up onto the hospital bed, never addressing her.

Me. With all my childish angst and issues, found this unconscionable. My mother was someone to be reckoned with, after all. She was a founding mother of the women's movement during the 1970s, anchoring the N.O.W. right here in Tampa Bay. She filed lawsuits along with my father at our kitchen table that allowed other women to get the first jobs with the Tampa Police Department, discriminations against big corporations like Coca-Cola and Tampa International Airport slapped down and paid for, giving the Barefoot and Pregnant award to presidents of South American countries renowned for their abominable treatment of women despite the pleadings the US State Department, and she was key in getting the first female news broadcaster ever hired in the Bay area on Channel 13. There were others involved in all of these, but I'm focusing on Mamie here.

So. The firemen and ambulances and oxygen techs and hospice nurses and doctors in the ERs would talk about Mamie over Mamie. It bothered me to my foot bones and bunions. She was a force to be reckoned with in her lifetime and in mine, and here were all these medicos and para whatevers talking over her. It didn't matter my issues with her. No childhood angst could excuse the rudeness with which these people dismissed this force of nature that was my mother.

She. Who had ridden a Harley Davidson down US 301 topless. She who had been a bouncer at Sweethearts Skating Rink where she met my father during WWII. She who had steered a little bit of history to the left for women. She who had single handedly taken on Sears and Roebuck and won a victory for the downtrodden everywhere. She. Who had raised me hard, had given me the gift of fearlessness with fist and arm, respect for root and knob, who was dying ignobly was being talked OVER.

I came up with a project. I dug out every picture that I had of Her from buxom 16 year old Ava Gardner look alike in a one piece Catalina swimsuit, to pharmacologist greeting the French representatives of L'Oreal who kissed her hand and begged her to go back with them, to reactionary who marched alongside the likes of Bella Abzug, Alan Alda, Gloria Steinem. Aged like a good ass wine from birth to 74, I had pictures. I wanted to post them above her bed. This is the woman who could find her way through the Okefenokee Swamp, shoot straight, and grab a rattlesnake by its tail and snap the head off in one smooth movement!

"Look. This is who you are dealing with here! THIS being before you, this awkward lump of flesh is the sum of it's parts, all experience, all nascent, all able to hear you when you talk about her as if she isn't there"!

So. The project. Touching the Rock. Find all those pictures of you birth to forty and beyond. Make a timeline out of your life like I plan to do so that no one stepping into to it (your life) close to the finish can dismiss you as unimportant, forgettable, clueless.

I'm starting my project out of turn. This is my graduation photo from C. Leon King High School in Tampa, Florida, Class of 1965. I will go back to the beginning as I'm asking you to do with your timeline. But for me, this graduation photo is symbolic. I'll start touching the rock from here.

** Paleolithic Saber Tooth Tiger

Friday, July 11, 2008

New Piece in the Good Earth Series

No pictures to go with this yet as I'm in the composition stage of this second piece. I put the foundation together last night, stabilized it and gathered my threads. Now I get to scrub through my bead and oddables collection and find the base components.

The theme of this one? Mother lode - the alchemy of gold into object as reflected in our eyes. Power, wealth, privilege and excess.

More to come on this later.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Geode I is Finished!

Geode I 9"X21" Textiles and
Gemstones Mixed Media $3250

Finally finished the edges and final details on Geode I while I dog sat for Martha. I will put it on the back of a cradle board with Velcro before it goes in a gallery show or sells. I also decided that Velcro will help it be hung in any orientation as is pleasing.

You can tell the progression from the first pictures I posted. The binding/backing is a silk linen weave with a heavy slub that reminds me of the texture on the outside of geodes. The little pocket on the side was an afterthought that turned out well. I like the idea that it can be in the process of growing.

I'm really pleased how it turned out. There are multiple amethyst gemstones including light pink Cape Amethyst, grape amethyst cabochon, faceted amethyst beads, loose diamonds and a diamond tennis bracelet, druzy, quartz, tourmaline, tanzanite, fluorite, some lapis, fiber optic cat's eye, glass beads, vintage rose montees, opal, fire opal and opal glass, leather from a fashion belt, vintage beads from my stash of 1800s jet and rocailles, vintage sequins, hologram sequins, carnival beads, mirror, Swarovski crystal, hand dyed brocade from Cindy's stripper costume, square bent silver wire, ivory salt water, gray and peacock fresh water pearls, iridescent blue rhinestones from a 1950s cocktail dress, and a lead crystal cube.

I know I'm OCD.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Maggie Field's ACEO Challenge

I've completed the first challenge for Maggie's Monday Musings, Margaret Fields' membership challenge site. The pictures were awful and I just replaced them so a bit more detail and color could be seen!

The subject is PARISIENNE and this is my interpretation of it. I have to do mine with lint and beads don't you know! To be a Parisienne means many things, but I kept mine to dance, Bardot and the 'City of Lights'.

'Le Tango', Degas' ballerinas at the barre, and the two Folies Bergère dancers give nods to the vivid entertainment and night life of Paris. I used beads and laser sequins to mimic marquee lights. And of course, brocade for the enduring fashion industry.

Had lots of fun with this one and can't wait for the next!

Look Who's Coming To Dinner!

This old lady is one of the wild critters that I feed on my three porches. I call her Connie. Apparently feeling slighted that there's been no food left out for the past few nights due to social obligations, she invited herself into the house to protest.

I was at the computer and kept hearing glasses clinking. Thinking that it was Baby licking the dab of cream cheese I gave her on a spoon because she's such a garbage disposal and begs for anything I'm having. So when I hear other rooting around noises, I get up to see what's going on because Baby can get into things, you know.

So I round the corner to the kitchen and I found Connie helping herself with Baby sitting there watching. She had gone through a pile of things headed for Goodwill sitting in the corner by the utility room. She wasn't happy when I shooed her with a bag towards the back door but took her own sweet time. Then she waited by the back door for me to deliver her bowl.

She found her way around to the water side porch, walked in through the door I left cracked open so the cats could get outside for some air and mosied into the kitchen through the length of the house. I took the bowl out to let her finish it and put down some fresh water with her waiting right there for the food.

I've told Connie if she'll call her order in, I'll have it ready for her next time.

And Baby Makes Three

I have lots of news to catch up on since I've been away from home most of the last week or so taking care of Jim and Martha Marshall's home, dogs, and cats. I am their legal animal guardian and second mom to kids and pets so I spend the week there doing my best to make things run smoothly.

Since there's so much to let you all know and so many things to show you, I'm going to do this in bites as I get inspired and to keep me focused.

My first bit of news is that I now have a new kitten. I already told you all about Charlotte and posted a picture of her. She is the kitten who was deserted on the side of my road with an inadequate box for 'shelter' and an empty bowl. Charlotte is doing very well. After a dose of flea meds and tons of food, she's thriving. She still has a raging case of worms and over the counter isn't working so the vet is the next step in her recovery for well kitten shots and treatment.

Our newest member is Baby, a tortoise shell kitten. The name 'Baby' stuck for several reasons. She truly was a baby when she dumped here. Barely five weeks old, you could fit her in your hand. IF you could catch her! First she cozied up to Charlotte who was closer to her age and size. Then she cozied up to the food and clean water bowl. And finally, she cozied up to me.

To distinguish between Charlotte and her, I started saying 'baby' to get her attention so she didn't identify with Charlotte's name. And because she started to identify with 'baby' and had no preference for another name, she became "Baby". My friend Linda Conner swears that cats will let you know their names and I've found it to be true. Just as Charlotte let Cindy Miller-Ray know hers, and the neighbor's white cat let me know he preferred 'Sam' to 'Snowball', Baby IS Baby.

These pictures were taken last week. Shes' been here a bit under two months, loves to be sung to and purrs so loud you can hear her in the next room. She's a lap cat and silky soft. I wish you could see the whorls of color on her and the harlequin patterns.