Spending time

NCseashoreI’ve spent all my vacation this month, and now I’m looking at work schedules, as well as some training. But I am so glad I took time to spend with family and friends.

1 week “invested”, and here are my rewards:

  • Walking the shoreline, enjoying low tech days
  • Hunting for fossils (found: ancestors of the sand dollar)
  • Pausing to watch pelicans drift across the sky in lazy Vs


  • Laughing while playing board games
  • Watching thunderstorms across the water
  • Sketching the beach from the comfort of a screened porch
  • Waking up before sunrise for a walk on the beach at low tide
  • Visiting friends and family on our way home

The shoreline of North Carolina was a beautiful place to visit. Returning home, our yard seemed newly beautiful too, with lots of monarch butterflies migrating through. Hope your summer break was grand.



Holidays where the air is clear

Kites at Harkness Memorial State ParkA while ago, I visited New England, staying with friends where the air is clear. It was hot and a bit humid during the day, but it would settle into cool temperatures by 1 AM, which is clearly a huge benefit of living up north, in the hills. It was one of those long weekend holidays, with somwhat stressy driving on either side of solid days of beautiful weather and really good seafood.

There was time for sketching, late night reading (my friends have an enviable library of mysteries of the “cosy” sort), and drowsy attempts to identify which frogs I heard through the open windows. There were trips to parks, where I sketched in the shade.

I goggled at the giant frogs of Willimantic (on the bridge… very large, with shiny gold eyes). Go to this article to read more about it: Bridge Ornaments. A friend and I visited a museum up there, that was housed in a section of the old American Thread Company (ATCO). I’ll possibly post pictures from that part of the trip in my Flickr (in the sidebar).

I regret nothing… not even coasting home at 2 AM to cats who had lost all hope that even the house sitter would return. [They were thrilled by their people arriving at a weird hour, and then they gave me the stink eye for the next 2 days.] I do regret leaving the cool weather and coming back, but I did have work to do and cats to feed.


Enjoying summer while we may

IMG_4538 beachThe weather has been oddly monsoon-like. Someone told me there’s a layer of wet air (like a river) being pulled up the coast. So, while the UK discovers forgotten landmarks due to the heat crisping all the verdant green, we have rain everywhere, as well as mosquitoes and air too humid for jam to set. If we have your weather, Columbia, we’re sorry, and we’d send it back to you if we knew how.

Before this week+ of wet weather, there was a brief jaunt out to the shore, and a bit of sitting on the beach. We saw a Fowler’s Toad (I think) unbury itself from the sand near the dunes, and then bury himself again. Guess he didn’t want to sit near us.

Between storms

The moon peeks out, like a golden imp,

framed by milkhaze clouds in the dark sky.

Storms roll through, all exclamation marks and gouts of rain.

People dash for doorsteps, pelting through puddles,

struggling with umbrellas, peering from beneath rainhoods.

The moon peeks out after everything is quiet. Birds chirp about wet feet.

Something creaks in the darkness. Now is the between. (C) 2018, RJ N

Cats and photography


His Most Serene Fluffybutt enjoying the sun porch

No videos to show here. I haven’t quite worked out what platform I’d want the videos to be on…. But I have videos and photos of horse jumping contests, sheepdog contests, races I’ve attended, and video after video of my cats (kittenhood to old age). Does anyone else do it too?

I spent a few minutes hunting up videos from when Malkin was still with us, and when he and Leia were best buddies. Those were amazing days for both cats: Leia would lie near him and hope he would wash her ears. I only got video once. But it’s proof that before Malkin got sick, he was a sweet, thoughtful cat.


I think if he hadn’t been so calm and placid, we wouldn’t have Leia now, because she never would have calmed down enough to be pet (or be A pet). Our rescue princess is 15 years old…. and I feel we’ve all reached an amazing milestone.

Celebrations a Bit Muted this Year

IMG_4471Yes, there were fireworks on the 4th of July. But the local town’s fireworks were canceled. So, people made do, up and down an undisclosed tributary of the Patapsco River.

I think I mentioned once before, either here or in person, that the citizens of Maryland almost reenact the War of 1812 (rockets red glare, etc.) on the 4th. And while it was loud, and there was lazy boating up and down the creek… no one drowned, no boats got hit by the people who couldn’t get their rockets to fire in the correct direction, and we mercifully could walk back to our picnic.

BTW: here’s a fabulous website that lets you enjoy the Patapsco River on a beautiful day (from the convenience of your own office chair). You can find it at the Chesapeake Conservancy: https://www.terrain360.com/map/patapsco-river/visual.

The holiday was a lovely diversion from current events, upheaval, etc. I also took the long weekend as an opportunity to sketch, and practice with some new art tools. So, what are you up to now that Summer has the northern hemisphere in its humid grasp?

Over 10 years ago

… You know how WordPress (and other sites) love to tell you how many years you’ve been doing a thing (or how many months).  So I went back to the beginning, and looked at my first post on this little site. And it seemed pretty simple… I was adjusting to extra time, living in a new place, learning a new rhythm. And from that “really simple” post, we’ve had:

A lot has been going on behind the scenes here, and through it all it’s been interesting to see what people find via search engines, or what posts get comments. Many of my posts were written with this grey sweetheart sitting on my lap (long gone, safe from the terrors of the Kitten).  But I think his philosophy still stays true, 10 years later: Happiness can be simple. At least from the cat perspective, we just need to find the right spot.



His Most Serene Fluffybutt enjoying the sun porch

Flickr Photos