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On one of my farm vacations, I watched Boots explore a hay field during mid morning. He was hunting for field mice, playing with the other kitties and poking around at the bottom of a hay bale. All of a sudden he leaped on top of it. I was fortunate to snap this action shot. I never knew what captured his attention. Later I created a haiku and discovered the joy of a photograph prompt.
Morning mission hunt
Prowling cat in alfalfa—
Hay bale distraction
Photograph and poem originally published in “Summer laJoie 2016”
In celebration of National Poetry Month, today’s feature “Morning Visitor” is a cat poem I wrote after my beloved Lexie Lee’s passing in 2014. She was a feral who found her way to my home in 2004. She bravely survived hurricanes and fought lymphoma.
Unexplained lightness on bed
One week after your passing
Spot where you use to snuggle.
Did you return to your beloved home?
Is this the sign I asked you to send?
A sign that you are safe.
My life is so different without you
My life is so rich because of you
Ten years my fur baby, my muse.
Unexplained lightness on bed again
Ten days after your passing
I whisper Lexie Lee.
I turn over to look at you
Lightness is gone in an instant
But you are forever safe in my heart.
My welcome home greeter
My napping buddy and lap kitty
My kindred spirit.
“Morning Visitor” ©2014 Linda A. Mohr
This poem won Cat Writers’ Association Muse Medallion in Poetry category in 2016.
November 25, 2016 in Author's Life | Tags: ABCs of Gratitude, CWA Muse Medallion, Dr. Holleman, Dr. Marc Weinberg, Finding Our Wings Anthology, Ingrid King, Omega Institute, Richard Blanco, Rumi, Tatianna Book, Wayne Dyer | Leave a comment
If you only say one prayer in a day, make it ‘thank you’.
In keeping with my annual Thanksgiving month tradition, here is my 2016 ABCs of Gratitude list. My list is a culmination of the year. But gratitude is a daily ritual. Before I get out of bed each morning, I acknowledge one blessing. I do the same at the end of the day. I’ve discovered that I can’t be in gratitude and be unhappy.
Wayne Dyer believed that if you get to a place of gratitude you will experience peace. Be in a state of gratitude for everything because there is something to learn in everything. Be grateful even for the pain because there are lessons to be learned from it. According to Ingrid King gratitude is a wonderful way to raise your vibration and shift your energy. The vibration of gratitude is a powerful force. It can shift your mood and your thoughts from a place of scarcity to a place of abundance.
Anthology Essay…Finding Our Wings
Country View…soothing and peaceful
DAR…8th year of membership
Felines…FL house & MO farm
Health Essay…state DAR winner
Inn…Veranda House at Rhinebeck
Joe…unwavering life partner
Kravis Center…Bridges of Madison County
Laundry Room Renovation… stackables
Muse Medallion…Lexie Lee poem
Ninth Anniversary…Tatianna book
Physical Therapist…Dr. Adam’s amazing results
Quincy Airport…easy peasy
Retreat Speaker…female veterans
Sweet Peas…blooming in MO in November
Tai Chi…class 2 minutes from house
Universe…providing healing energy and hope
Vacations…NY, AZ, OR & MO (3 times)
Zebra sweater…thrift store find
What are you thankful for–today and this year?
October 29, 2016 in Author's Life, Awards & Reviews, Human-Animal Bond | Tags: Cat Books, CatManDrew, Drew Strouble, Human-Animal Bond, Linda A. Mohr, Tatianna Book, Tatianna--Tales and Teachings of My Feline Friend, Watercolor Cat Portrait | 1 comment
Do cat books have nine lives? What I know for sure is Tatianna–Tales and Teachings of My Feline Friend published on October 29, 2007 does! Does award-winning cover art showcasing the beautiful watercolor work of Drew Strouble continue to be appreciated? His website featuring Tatianna artwork as well as other incredible feline portraits speaks for itself!
If you are looking for a book for the cat enthusiast on your holiday shopping list, this autographed book is one to consider. I love to give and receive books for Christmas and always have several titles on my wish list. I will autograph the Tatianna book and provide complimentary gift wrapping and shipping. Both hard and soft cover editions are available. Hardcover books are $23.95 and soft cover books are $13.95. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to arrange a purchase.
I want to thank all my readers and followers for their support, recommendations, reviews, and referrals the past nine years. Many specialty shops have kindly carried the book. I appreciate the bloggers and radio personalities who have interviewed me and the libraries who have invited me to speak.
The Tatianna book is the winner of the Merial Human-Animal Bond Award in 2008 plus six other awards. The Merial award is judged on the Cat Writers’ Association entry that best reflects and promotes the strengthening of the human-animal bond, highlighting the bond between a cat and owner, as well as their relationship with their veterinarian as another direct caregiver. Visit Linda Mohr for further information.
Tatianna continues to work her magic as evidenced by your support and generosity. As stated on Tatianna’s jacket cover, “I feel connected to the faithful Tatianna who has never left my side—she is simply in another dimension.”
October 27, 2016 in Animal Care, Author's Life, Cat Care | Tags: Cats and Candles, Cats and Candy, Cats and Cords, Cats in Costume, Halloween Animal Safety, Halloween Cat Safety, Halloween Pet Hazards | Leave a comment
What do costumes, candy, candles, cords, and commotion have in common? All are potential hazards for your cats during the Halloween season.
Costumes: Dressing your cat as Snow White may be enjoyed more by you than your pal. Keep in mind that the costume should in no way constrict movement, seeing, hearing, breathing, or meowing. Check for dangling pieces that may be chewed off and swallowed. It should be non-toxic and non-flammable. Simple costumes like a t-shirt or hat are best. Consider doing a dress rehearsal. If the cat resists being put in the attire or tries to tear it off, forget it. Your cat should always be supervised if dressed in a costume. Your witch outfit may spook your cat. A dress rehearsal may also help your cat get accustomed to the disguise.
Candy: Halloween candy should be kept in the cupboard or in covered containers. The shiny wrappers are interesting to cats. I have to select a high cupboard out of the reach of Chauncey as he chews through any package left in sight or paw’s reach within minutes. He also knows how to open the pantry door, so that is off-limits for the candy stash. Contact your veterinarian or ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888)426-4435 if your cat gets into candy that is chocolate or is sugar-free and contains xylitol. Foil wrappers may cause an intestinal obstruction if ingested.
Candles: This time of the year we love the aroma of apple spice and pumpkin harvest candles. Candles light our jack-o’-lanterns. Cats are drawn to candles like moths to a porch light. Curious cats can knock over pumpkins and candles and start a fire or get burned. Cats may get singed when they swish their tail through the flame or get too close with their whiskers. Never leave candles and cats alone–even if you think the candles are out of reach. They probably are not. Since flameless candles are available in a myriad of sizes, shapes, and aromas, I have replaced traditional candles with flameless candles.
Cords: Halloween decorations with wires and cords should be kept out of the reach of your cats to avoid cuts and burns or electrocution. Dangling, snake-like, and thin cords attract a cat’s attention. These are just the kind of cords you will find on Halloween lights. Cats can also be strangled if caught up in a jumble of tangled cords. Take time to tape, wind up, or hide cords. Use cord protectors. Unplug lights when not in use. Whenever the routine changes, Chauncey and Grace take notice. Earlier this month when I decorated the Halloween tree, they wanted to be in the middle of the lights and ornaments.
Commotion: Ringing door bells, frequent knocking, strange voices, and masquerades can scare cats. Changing the home to accommodate holiday decorations is disturbing. Consider moving your cats to a safe haven during trick-or-treat time or a party. If you have house guests, let them know about the off-limits room or put a sign on it. I take Grace and Chauncey to the master suite a half hour before I expect the first goblins at my door. I set up extra food along with a couple of their favorite toys. They are safe and comfortable giving me peace of mind that they will not bolt out of the house when I hand out KitKats.
Halloween can be fun for the whole family. Please take to heart these simple precautions and have a safe Halloween.
A highlight of summer was attending a poetry workshop at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York. This beautiful 200-acre spiritual and educational center in the Hudson Valley has long been on my yearning list.
I wanted some formal training in poetry writing and found Richard Blanco’s weekend workshop–The Poetry of Expression & Connection: What A Poem Can Do for the World. President Barack Obama selected him in 2012 to serve as the fifth inaugural poet in U.S. history, joining the ranks of such luminary poets as Robert Frost and Maya Angelou. He’s published several books which I devoured before the workshop. Richard’s website describes his writings as “possessing a story-rich quality that illuminate the human spirit.” They do that and more and that is why I keep one of his books in my reading basket at all times.
We met Friday night, all day Saturday, and Sunday morning. Our class was small with twelve students, perfect for a workshop atmosphere. Richard’s approach in writing poetry is using the five senses and having pin point descriptions. Our first assignment was to jot down three things we might write a poem about. I selected London, Grandma’s Table, and Family Farm. Then we chose one and worked on a list of the five senses with five descriptions under each one. The springboard for the poem was set. Each class session we reported back on specific assignments relating to our poem in progress. What was invaluable was hearing the instructor’s remarks to the other students as well as our own.
In the evenings, I returned to my little cabin in the woods and worked on a poem about my relationship with grandma. One evening when I sat on the porch I heard a rustle and a deer appeared at the corner of the cabin. I am not sure who was more startled! When he saw me almost touch him, he ran off before I could snap a photo. Over a decade ago Sacha, my life coach recommended Omega to me, knowing my soul would be right at home in the simplicity and beauty of this space. It indeed was.
Choosing this poetry instructor, this class topic, and this retreat location was not happenstance. Thank you grand universe for orchestrating this life-altering experience. I will write poetry the rest of my life.
As Labor Day weekend signals the winding down of summer, I reflect on special blessings. I attended the Cat Writers Write Stuff Conference in conjunction with BlogPaws at Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa in Chandler, Arizona. This AAA Four Diamond resort is an authentic representation of the Gila River Indian Community.
CWA’s 22nd Annual Awards Banquet was also part of the conference. Three of my online articles and one poem had received Certificates of Excellence awards and were in contention for MUSE Medallions. The MUSE Medallion is awarded to the entry in each category receiving the highest average score from three independent judges. To become eligible for a MUSE Medallion, each entry must receive an average score of at least 90 and been awarded a Certificate of Excellence.
My poem “The Morning Visitor” was the MUSE Medallion winner in poetry category. This was a bittersweet moment as the poem is about Lexie Lee who bravely fought lymphoma. I felt her spirit as I stood on stage to accept “our” award from Dusty Rainbolt.
The resort’s website promise that it “offers quiet serenity created by the Native American tribes who found haven here'” was certainly true for me as well. This was a trip to remember!
September 1 was the publication day for the first serious poem I ever wrote. I was on the family farm in Missouri for vacation in 2012. A strange event happened while I was relaxing in a lounge chair. “The Rocking Chair” (about my mother) will appear in the anthology The Light Within–A Collection of Peace and Prose published by Spiritual Writers Network. A free digital version is available on Amazon for Kindle Unlimited through Monday, Sept. 5. If you are ever interested in an author signed copy, please contact me.
May 28, 2016 in Author's Life | Tags: Albert Roasa, Carl Roasa, Floyd Roasa, Glen Barr, Granger Cemetery, Henry Mohr, Hubert Roasa, James Thurber, Laura Roasa, Leonard Mohr, Memorial Day, Memphis Soldiers' Memorial, Nathaniel Thurber, Poppies for remembrance, Raymond Seyb, Rupert Seyb, Saint Paul Cemetery | 2 comments
My great uncle Carl A. Roasa was inducted into the Army/Marine unit on July 5, 1917 in Kansas City, Missouri. He served overseas from May 20, 1918 until January 17, 1919 when he died in France of pneumonia. He was buried in the Granger Cemetery started by his parents Albert and Laura Roasa. They bought land and planted trees. Carl was the first burial. I read in Albert’s war records that his mother was notified of his death. I picture my great-grandmother receiving this devastating news of her beloved son, and my heart breaks.
A Soldiers’ Memorial was established near the Scotland County Courthouse in Memphis, Missouri in 1923 led by the Betsy Ross Club. Other organizations joined forces including Home Guards, Order of the Eastern Star and Mothers of Soldiers. The names of the soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice were chiseled on the memorial pillars. The engraving reads “In memoriam to the boys from Scotland County 1914 ~ World War ~ 1918, they gave their all for liberty and democracy.” The honor roll of twenty-five soldiers includes Carl A. Roasa.
Although I am not in Missouri this Memorial Day weekend, I will visit the Granger Cemetery as well as the Saint Paul Cemetery later this summer. My grandma Mohr taught me why we celebrate Memorial Day. We picked peonies and roses from her beautiful gardens and decorated loved ones’ graves. I learned that red poppies symbolized remembrance of those fallen in war. She always prayed for nature to hold back the rain to preserve flowers for Memorial Day weekend. She especially wanted perfect flowers for her brother’s grave, Rupert who died from influenza in France in World I. Private Rupert Seyb served in Company F, 350th Infantry with American Expeditionary Forces. He died in France at twenty-six-years-old. His funeral card has this tribute—In Loving Remembrance.
In sunny France there came a chance
To test his soul in blood
He didn’t stop—but o’er the top
He went—and he made good.
And that is why we dare not cry
As his brave soul passes on;
His name’s enrolled on Fame’s bright scroll,
Our glorious valiant son.
My ancestors who bravely served our nation and made it safely home were:
- Nathaniel Thurber, my great-great-great-great-grandfather—American Revolutionary War
- James Thurber, my great-great-great-grandfather—War of 1812
- Henry Mohr, my great-uncle—World War I
- Raymond Seyb, my great-uncle—World War I
- Floyd Roasa, my great-uncle—World War I
- Hubert Roasa, my great-uncle—World War I
- Leonard Seyb Mohr, my father—World War II
- Glen Barr, my uncle—World War II
Uncle Glen was proud of his military service and carried his discharge document from the day he left the service until his death in 2009. I have a letter he wrote to my mother when he was in Italy. “Here I am somewhere in Italy. The scenery is sure like the pictures you see of Italy. Everything is nice and green up on sides of mountains. They have orchards and lots of grapes. All the buildings here are pretty well blown up. You don’t see any windows in the buildings….I am feeling fine.”
My father served over 4 1/2 years in Company M 20th Infantry 6th Division with half of his time in New Guinea. As a heavy machine gunner, he was unharmed in battle. However, he was hospitalized for a month due to a baseball head injury.
I pause to reflect on what my ancestors’ service and sacrifice mean to my life, and I am deeply grateful.
May 27, 2016 in Author's Life, Awards & Reviews | Tags: 5 Halloween Safety Tips for Cats, Aftermatch, Cat Poem, CWA, CWA Awards, CWA Certificate of Excellence, Morning Visitor, What My Terminally Ill Cat Taught Me | 4 comments
Cat writers from around the world are meeting June 23 through June 25 for the Cat Writers’ 2016 Write Stuff Conference held in conjunction with BlogPaws Conference in Chandler, Arizona. Four of my entries in the CWA Communication Contest received a Certificate of Excellence Award and are competing for top cat honors, the CWA Muse Medallion. Winners will be announced at a gala banquet on June 24 at the Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa.
As stated in congratulations letter: “The standards for winning a Certificate of Excellence are very high, and this award is recognition of your outstanding work.” In 2009 I was honored with a CWA Muse Medallion for my online article The Cat’s Mastery of the Present Moment. The first three entries listed below for the 2015 contest were created following Lexie Lee’s valiant fight with lymphoma. I know she is sending me warm purrs and five paws up. As I compose this blog, I close my eyes and see her on the office window sill as in yesteryear.
- Morning Visitor–Poem
- What my Terminally Ill Cat Taught Me–Online article-any other topic
- Aftermath–Online article-any other topic
- 5 Halloween Safety Tips for Cats–Online article-any other topic
Visit Cat Writers’ Association for more information about the organization and contest winners.