A Mixed Bag Week

While the gardener and I were in California for two days last week, my daughter encountered the bobcat. She was in the back of our house, watering plants. As she turned slightly, she saw the bobcat walking toward her from the side.  She scooted into the house quickly and took this video.

She said that the bobcat actually hung around the backyard for awhile. Then he/she was back again the next morning!

In Arizona our mask mandate is expired, but where I go people are all still wearing masks inside. Not outside, thank goodness. Without a mask mandate, you do run the risk of running into a jerk. When we were in Pasadena, I noticed that everyone has to wear a mask outside, even walking down the sidewalk where other people are a block away.  I thought that was pretty stupid, too. I wanted to stretch my legs and get some fresh air. Dear God, Can we please have common sense back? I promise I’ll take good care of my share. Love, Luanne

Pasadena sidewalk

Not sure if I mentioned that my The Artist’s Way group finished the Cameron book and is moving on to another. We’re starting Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland. It’s a short book, but so far it has some brilliant ideas. I also think the Cameron is brilliant, but there are things I don’t like. One of those is that Cameron comes from a place of extreme privilege, whether she thinks so or not, and it kind of permeates the book. The Bayles and Orland book has a voice I prefer.

Here’s one of my latest art journal pages. Although it’s not cheerful, I am pretty happy with this messy one. The man’s face is a transfer from a sketch my MIL did of a man at the Art Students League when she was there. His name was Leonard.

I read an article, “Success and the Late Blooming Woman Author,” in a recent issue of Writer’s Chronicle, the publication of the AWP. Late blooming is a subject dear to my heart because I didn’t publish Doll God until I was almost sixty. Look at this passage:

The percentages of women writers 55 and older being published in “the most equitable magazines”  “rarely reached twenty percent.” Ugh. Well, I keep working against that. Never said I wouldn’t take on a challenge.

Leaving you with a little cat chat. This Perry routine has evolved over time, and this is where we are most recently: Every night Perry carries his “babies” up to our bedroom and, one by one, lays them in front of my face and looks at me for approval. His babies are little stuffies we call squirrels and mice. They are not all squirrels or mice, but they are close enough. When I wake up in the morning, I am surrounded with cat stuffies in the bed. Here’s another piece of cat info: when I hold two cat food cans in front of a cat–let’s say, Felix–he will go back and forth a couple of times, sniffing them, and then nudge one toward me. There is no doubt that my cats know they are supposed to choose which one to eat.

Make it a great week, dears.




Filed under #AmWriting, #writerlife, #writerslife, Arizona, Art and Music, California, Cats and Other Animals, Reading, Writing

65 responses to “A Mixed Bag Week

  1. Aww, Perry shares his stuffied with you to keep you safe. If I gave Sasha and Gus a choice they’d eat both.

    • Maybe it is to keep me safe! He keeps them there all night long, so that would stand to reason. In the morning at some point he carries them downstairs again :/.
      Hahaha. My cats are pretty finicky although Felix does eat a lot. The reason I let them choose is because with their pickiness it can waste a lot of food.

  2. Amy

    I love all the cat stories, even the bobcat—though he is scary. I read something online about a rabid bobcat attacking someone, so be careful!!

    Although I also am tired of masks and think we are safe without them outdoors if we are vaccinated, I think that the reason we should keep wearing them when others are around is that there are a lot of unvaccinated and inconsiderate people out there, so we want to continue to set the example that mask wearing is wise for those who remain vulnerable. With only about a quarter of the country fully vaccinated, it’s too early to throw caution to the wind. I do, however, agree that when no one is around and you are walking in the woods or on the beach, there’s no reason to wear a mask. In my over 55 community where everyone is now fully vaccinated, we aren’t wearing masks. But when I walk around town, I do.

    • i heard that about the rabid bobcat! So scary. They really don’t want us to relocate him, saying 80% of them die if relocated. 🙁
      It was dumb walking where I was with a mask on. And I almost fell again on concrete. I fell in December, got pretty banged up, and it might have caused my eye trouble. I trip on the sidewalk in Pasadena because it’s uneven and my mask was riding up over my eyes. They do that to me. It’s the shape of my face, I guess, but they are always riding up and covering up my crummy vision. The closest people were in the photo which was hundreds of feet away. It’s a very sleepy neighborhood I was walking in. That’s what I mean about common sense. At this point an outdoor mask mandate needs to have an out for common sense.

      • Amy

        I agree with you on that. I wouldn’t wear one if I saw no other people around or only across the street or where I am going to pass them in a matter of seconds. And I also agree that they interfere with my vision. I could never drive with one on. And let’s not even go to what it does to my ability to hear (my hearing is impaired and even with hearing aides I need to see lips for my brain to be able to put the vowel sounds and consonants together).

        But…if it keeps us all from getting sick or dying, it’s a cost I am willing to pay.

        • I finally got my hair done (13.5 months later), and my stylist was telling me what jerks some people have been. She had to “fire” a lot of clients, especially ones who argued about wearing masks.

  3. What a beautiful Bobcat. This was a super catch-up post, Luanne. The sketch of Leonard by your mom is excellent. Perry must keep you entertained for sure. Our cats would always let you know if the menu was not acceptable. I remember buying some sale tuna cat food that eventually went to the shelter. Have a super week.

  4. Love the cat and aging stories. At nearly 77, I’m stretching that age thing in the online writers groups, and even conferences, I’m in. I kinda like it!

    • I had no idea that you were 77, Joy. You are kicking everyone in the you-know-what with your output and your energy! Yes, you should “kinda like it”!!!

  5. I like this format

  6. Your cats are very intelligent! We’ve never had a true mask mandate in FL. It’s county by county and so far my county still requires masks indoors. Still, it’s a college town and Greg has frequently seen large groups of young people, maskless and not social-distancing. They probably think they are safe because they’re outside but you still need to social distance. The median age of positive COVID tests is 28 in my county. That’s the MEDIAN, not the average. I try and stay clear of young people around here 😏❤️

    • I suspect Tempe is probably like that. The main campus of Arizona State University is in Tempe. It’s one of the ten largest public university in the country, I believe, and an urban campus. Luckily, I don’t have anything right now that drags me over there!
      Cats are so smart, but I think they learn a lot the more “civilized” they get.

  7. That bobcat! Yikes. He/she is beautiful, but I wouldn’t want him in my backyard. Then again, daughter in western Mass had a bear stroll through her yard the other day!
    I like your artwork.
    I don’t wear a mask on my early morning walks, but if I walk somewhere crowded I do. When we go to a winery, we have to wear masks inside or while walking around, but at our table we can take them off.

    • Isn’t that amazing about the bear! Do you know what kind of bear? My cousin’s old house also had bears. One used to come up to the doorstep, and he had his little grandchildren living there! I do wonder how to live with bears, but I love them.
      Thank you!
      Exactly makes sense–using your common sense about masks!

      • I imagine it’s a black bear. I think that’s what they have in western Mass. We had some roaming around in our area last summer, but I didn’t see any. I think they’re young males looking for a new home.

        • OY! My first encounters with bears was in Alaska where I learned that black bears are more dangerous than brown ones! They certainly are amazing animals though.

  8. Thanks, Luanne, for your newest post. Loved your artwork and the bobcat video.
    Have a great week.

  9. Ah, I love that Perry surrounds you with his toys! And what a visitor you had to your yard!

    • Methinks Perry loves his mama :). That visitor is gorgeous, but I wish he/she would stay away from my indoor kitties! That is my real worry about the bobcat. Otherwise, we just need to watch the granddog carefully when she’s visiting.

  10. Your life is full of excitement! Good things happening!

    • It feels weird that things aren’t completely falling apart about now–after over a year of pandemic. My mom is getting really lonely though, and I don’t feel comfortable flying yet.

  11. Wow to the bobcat story and double wow to your latest journal entry. I actually found it cheerful. The picture of the man was particularly interesting. I’m not sure why.
    No surprises on the ageism and sexism in the literary world. But we live to write another day.
    That Perry is something! He must entertain you and the Gardener immensely. I know he entertains me!
    Have a good week, Luanne.

    • Thanks, Ms. Birthday! I hope you are celebrating all month long. I’m glad you liked the journal page. My MIL’s favorite color was orange, and the negatives are from photographs that she took. I’ve scanned her sketches to my computer, and I’ve printed out a few so that I can use them for transfers. There is one from the 40s that looks eerily like my DIL!

      • Wow – amazing – t when I grow up, I want to be as diligent and as thorough as you are with your family history preservation. Alas, I do the best I can, but woefully small compared to your efforts!

    • I accidentally hit send. Yes, re the ageism and sexism. So disappointing that it’s still happening, but at least we are seeing it for what it is now. That is something and not enough. Perry is hilarious. I am not sure that he is 100% cat hah. He seems like a related animal, but not quite a full cat. You have a great week, too!

  12. That must have been quite the shock to see the bobcat so close. Lucky for us that your daughter had the presence of mind to get a video of the cat.

  13. Thank you for the catch-up post, Luanne! The bobcat seems to be making him/herself right at home. I like your art piece featuring Leonard. I was quite drawn to it. I’ll have to dig around all those Writer’s Chronicles on my nightstand to find “Success and the Late Blooming Woman Author.” I hope you have a good week.

    • Thank you so much about the art page. I am learning but at least this was the first one I feel quite content with (practically haha). Oh, I’m glad you’re an AWP member. You have a good week, too! (We’re almost halfway through it already!!! yikes)

  14. Loved your artwork and the bobcat video. What is it with older women who don’t jump in and work to publish their writing? I’m 70 and feel like I’ve just started. Best to you, Luanne.

    • Yes, I’ve just started, too!!! And now I’ve started the art journal thing (thank you, by the way), and as a beginner I keep thinking oh I have all the time in the world to get better. hahaha Maybe denial, but certainly a better way to approach life than the alternative. Is it because as women we put off so much of what we wanted to do until we retired and/or raised our kids?

  15. I’m with you on the age thing, Luanne, but I determine that poetry and art are transcend age, as so many have proven. Love the Perry stories! Keep them coming. Dave and I enjoyed the bobcat video too. xo

  16. Wow!! That video of the bobcat was awesome and terrifying all at the same time. Glad she was able to get inside quickly and safely. I don’t think I could stay there. I’d be terrified. As for the masks, “common sense is so rare, it could be a super power” quote from my daughter. I keep a mask in my pocket if someone walks up too close to me. When we were walking downtown on Saturday, we kept them on because too many were too close on the crowded sidewalk. When I walk in my neighborhood, I keep it in my pocket but for the most part walk without it unless it’s cold. The mask helps keep the oxygen warm. Side benefit for me. People make their rules out of fear. I agree with you about Cameron’s privilege. I’ve not heard of the book you are now using before but worth looking into. You have some very interesting cats around you. They obviously love you very much and know you love them.

    • Yes, it’s true that my cats and I recognize the love we have for each other. They are all so special. I’m glad the mask warms the oxygen!!! A side benefit!
      I’m so glad you agreed about Cameron. “Nobody” ever talks about that, but gosh, with her network I guess she can think life is all serendipity and ice cream cones hahaha. Stay safe, Marlene. XO

  17. There’s no state mandate to wear masks outside in CA. I know in Sonoma County, we don’t have to wear them outside, though some people do. I’m not sure which county Pasadena is in, so it’s possible they have an outdoor mask mandate, which is super silly.

    I love that Perry brings you his stuffies. What a sweet boy!

    • The latest order by Los Angeles county was revised on 14 April and tells people to “stay masked.“ Apparently Pasadena has interpreted that to mean stay masked outside. And that’s fine on the streets that are busy but for the rest of the city it’s ridiculous.
      Perry is very devoted and a very very nice boy. I am so lucky!
      Hope all is well!

  18. A lovely round up of events, although the mask wearing was not the high point of your week. But you have to make the rules for the lowest level of compliance. Have you seen the meme doing the rounds on social media?
    It reads: “Do you remember, before the internet, that it was thought the cause of collective stupidity was the lack of access to information?
    Well … it wasn’t that.”
    My book was published on my sixtieth birthday, my girlfriend’s on her seventieth. On the eve of my book launch my 80 year old girlfriend did a stand up comedy routine in a basement nightclub.
    Ya gotta’ watch out for these old women …

  19. I love that you let the cats select dinner.😊 Good idea to be wary of the bobcat. My closest encounter with one demonstrated its nonchalance at my presence. (I got some nice photos.) But we almost lost our outdoor cat in the backyard to one.

    It seems to me that a lot of women writers are of a certain age. I’ll be over 60 when I first publish a book, though I’ve done magazine articles and my blog, of course. Please enlighten me on AWP. I’m just beginning to join writers organizations. I’ve been pleased so far with the Women Writing the West group. The other one I joined is a dud.

    • I have to let those picky boys choose their food or they will drive me crazy. About the bobcat, YES! nonchalance! What gives with that? Google says they are shy and reclusive. HUH? I’m so glad that’s an ALMOST BTW.
      AWP is the big league of writer conferences. It must be the largest one. They hold it every year in a different city, but always in the U.S. https://www.awpwriter.org/ There are so many conferences now, and many prefer smaller more intimate ones, but in one fell swoop you can attend seminars by many well known andor up and coming writers about all variety of writing subjects, hear the bigwigs read, buy books from tons of publishers and especially small presses. it’s very exhausting for a Highly Sensitive Person like me. I went for a day and a half or something a few years ago in Tampa, and I was flattened. But it was SO rewarding. This year I attended via Zoom, and I LOVED being able to get the goods from the seminars without getting exhausted from people and the overhead lights to take so much out of me.

      • I will check it out. I’m also very sensitive and not crazy about crowds, particularly when I don’t know a soul. But on the other hand, I am getting so tired of webinars and Zoom (on the bright side, I can exit a webinar or Zoom if it’s not suiting my needs – much more difficult to do in person).

  20. Luanne, I’d dash indoors too if I encountered a bobcat – beautiful to look at from the safety of inside a house! 😀 Having completed Julia Cameron’s book I’ve been on the look out for something else to inspire me … Art & Fear sounds very different and original and well worth a closer look. I love your latest art journal page, full of energy, emotion – I like the raw feeling to it!

    • This is a very short book. our first meeting with it is tonight and we read the first 22 small pages. After this one, we will go on to another one. maybe The War of Art. Aw, thank you so much for seeing that emotion in the page. That’s what I really want because of course I lack training and talent, but I have passion and creativitiy!

  21. That bobcat video is something else! Wow! Thank you for sharing that. The book looks quite interesting! Glad to see that your art journal pages are going well! (Hopefully, the world will keep moving away from mask-wearing outdoors! People do need a ‘breath of fresh air!’ 🙂

  22. The bobcat video was really neat. Your daughter got a good shot of it and thanks for sharing it. No bobcats in my area, luckily. I’d probably freeze if I saw one. Probably never go back into the yard.
    The article about women writers over fifty-five is discouraging. Those magazines are short-changing themselves from all that wisdom that comes with age.
    You are such a good mommy to you cat with her little gifts to you, Luanne.

  23. Trying like mad to catch up on all these older posts! Re bobcat, is it always the same one?? How would you know if yes or no? Btw, seeing it on top of that wall, reminds me of the video that was all over the news recently of a bear on top of someone’s backyard wall, that was starting to threaten the dogs below. A young woman ran out and shoved that bear back down the wall, on the other side, saving her doggies and shooing them inside!

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