Linda Mohr and Vera Hirschhorn, Poetry Chair

My poem The Veil was awarded second place in the 2017 Poetry Contest sponsored by the Boca Raton Branch of the National League of American Pen Women.  Two other poems received honorable mention awards as follows:  First Honorable Mention–Angel at My Side and Third Honorable Mention–Morning Visitor.

I am honored to be a member of the National League of American Pen Women since 2012. The organization was founded in 1897 when women were barred from the Press Club in Washington D.C. The NLAPW mission is “to encourage, recognize, and promote the production of creative work of professional standard in Art, Letters, and Music.”

There are 81 branches in the country made up of artists, writers, poets, photographers, cartoonists, composers and arrangers “who believe in the power of words, art, and music to illuminate the human experience, fire the imagination, and nurture the soul.”

My membership eligibility is Letters based on Tatianna—Tales and Teachings of My Feline Friend. The Boca Raton Branch is the largest in Florida and one of the largest in the nation. It offers workshops, lectures, juried art exhibits and writing and music competitions. The organization is a wonderful way to connect with South Florida authors, artists, and musicians and to support their creations.

Famous members include Vinnie Ream, who created the sculpture of Abraham Lincoln, Pensive Lincoln, which stands in the Capitol Rotunda and United States Poet Laureate Kay Ryan. Many First Ladies are honorary members of the League including Barbara Bush, Rosalynn Carter, Hillary Clinton and Eleanor Roosevelt. Other famous women to belong are Erma Bombeck, Helen Keller, Georgia O’Keefe, Dale Evans Rogers, Helen Thomas and Eudora Welty.

For further information, visit American Pen Women or Boca Raton Branch



Village in Wiltshire…population 511 in 2011

Our field trip day took us out of Oxford into the southwest English countryside. We enjoyed a scenic drive to reach the first stop. The quaint village of Avebury is known for Avebury Henge, a mysterious prehistoric sacred site. It consists of a ditch and bank with circles of stone, constructed between 2600 and 2400 B.C. Exploring a village like Avebury is fascinating to me, especially the architecture, signs and flowers.

What more does an English need?

Well maybe a shop or two!

Brilliant shop marketing…but short on time, tutor is rounding us up!

One of the stones in circle…would love to hear this mystery unraveled.

After short stay in Avebury, we were back on road to Lacock. This quintessential English village has charm galore. It has made appearances in such films as Downton Abbey, BBC’s Pride and Prejudice and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. We had lunch in a pub established in 1361.

Fish & chips with malt vinegar–of course!

Lacock’s streets are lined with ivy-covered stone cottages and timber-framed buildings.

Now I could live in this charming little abode! Look at the blue and white jardiniere in window!

I wonder what’s behind the wispy white curtains?

Tranquil setting of Lacock Abbey founded in 1232

Lacock Abbey operated from 1232 until 1539 when it shut down from King Henry VIII Dissolution of Monasteries order. It has gone through different changes from a Gothic ruin to the birthplace of photography. William Henry Fox Talbot who lived at Lacock Abbey captured the world’s first photographic negative in 1834. Today it is a country house with monastic roots.

Side view of Lacock Abbey

Medieval tithe barn for storing 1/10 of farm produce for church

Double take….are these eggs really free?!!

Yes, I found an antique shop in Lacock village and Dorset buttons!

I’ll end the field trip with an antique shop photo. After touring Lacock Abbey I had just enough time to backtrack to a little shop in an alley I had spotted earlier. I found Dorset buttons made in the English county of Dorset from 1622-185o. These craft-made buttons were created by binding thread or yarn over a ring. After 1850, machine made buttons took over.

I just never know what treasure I will find behind those antique signs. Oh, the thrill of the hunt! How I love it!


Next travelogue post: The Oxford Experience Closing Banquet

A Yearning Come True…a student at Oxford

In 2010 I published my first ABCs of Gratitude. It is a November project that I look forward to every year. As I reminisce about the year and look back on previous lists, some years have more ups. Others have more downs. But in the end, I always found 26 blessings. This year was no different.

I also start each morning by acknowledging one thing I am thankful for. Since last year I have added a nightly gratitude ritual. Before falling asleep, I count off on my ten fingers what I am thankful for the day. I credit this idea to Linda Sacha, a dear friend and my life coach who suddenly passed away in August. I find reviewing the grace and goodness of the day is the perfect way to end my day.

Ageless Authors Anthology…Morning Visitor poem

Baseball…spring training games with brother

Morning Visitor Poem

Christ Church…student accommodation

Draperies…new living room look

Electricity…restored 7 days after Irma

My Meadows Double Gothic Window and Balcony

Family, Friends & Fur Babies…blessings galore

Glimpse of the Divine…Sacha poem tribute

High Table…Oxford dining

High Table on Dais at Christ Church

Inspiration…black cat ABC poem

Junk Jaunt…Iowa treasure hunt

Knight…picture with Coach Knight & brothers

A Sports Moment to Remember

London…another Heathrow touch down

Maggie Mae…tortie stray adopts me

Northwood…interim PLA coordinator

Oxford…Country Houses course

Pen Women…creativity guest blog

Spiritual Muse Lexie Lee

Quinessential Store…new “old” merchandise Perry, MO

River Poets Journal…Little Red Bowl poem

St. Paul United Church of Christ…150th Anniversary

My Hometown Roots

Tatianna…10th anniversary

Understanding…sudden thoughts

Vacation…Oxford, London, MO, IL, IA

Evening End Revelation

Winning…Pen Women poetry awards

XOXO…Message in Baggie on web

Yoga…strength and balance

Zebra striped butterfly…Sacha’s spiritual message

Exquisite Family of 4 in Backyard, Photo Credit Jaret Daniels

What are you thankful for today and for this year?


To eat well in England, you should have breakfast three times a day.
—W. Somerset Maugham

Awe Inspiring Views Everywhere You Look

Poached and fried eggs, fried mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, baked beans, sausages, toast—This traditional English breakfast served every morning in the Great Hall fortified me for the scholarly adventure. My favorite part was (and always has been) slathering toast with orange marmalade.

Our class convened at 9:15 a.m. The meeting room was small and cozy with a couch for three people and eight straight back chairs arranged close to each other around the perimeter of the room. The Country Houses tutor sat next to a table holding a big screen monitor. He worked from a stack of handwritten papers and laptop computer. A door led to an adjacent room where he stayed at night. Two large windows flooded the room with sunshine and refreshing breeze. A tea and cookie break at 10:45 for a half hour was a great way to mingle with participants from other courses. Topics ran the spectrum from Castles of Britain, Life of Sir Winston Churchill, Oxford Murder, History of the English Language, Meaning of Life, Glory of Byzantium, Sixteenth Century English Reformation and Creative Writing. We resumed class until 12:45 following this schedule Monday through Friday. Most courses had a field trip all day on Thursday.

High Street City of Oxford…juxtaposed architecture caught my eye

Oxford is a blend of ancient and modern architecture with a population of 135,000. Established in the 9th century, the city is home for the oldest English-speaking university in the world. In the 21st century around 20,000 students including 12,000 undergraduates and 7500 postgraduates attend Oxford University.

Oxford…City of Dreaming Spires…loved this view

Teenagers were everywhere enjoying field trips or coming to Oxford to take a summer program at one of the 38 colleges making up Oxford University. Wide open spaces, gardens, river walks, pubs, cultural attractions and shopping are enticing in Oxford. But you can probably guess what I did on free afternoons–off to look for vintage buttons!! I wasn’t disappointed. A delightful dealer at an open air market had a myriad of sewing related items. The little vintage belt buckle collection was a nice find. Antiques on High is an eclectic dealer mall that I had visited in 1989. I found lots of pink buttons.

More Little Art Pictures

When not foraging in interesting little shops, I photographed magnificent buildings and clever signs. I headed down an alley and a street sign comically reminded me of one of my kitties, a Tortie feral I adopted in April. I named her Maggie Mae and nicknamed her Magpie. Just had to get a shot of this cool sign for my cool cat!

An Oxford Alley…My Tortie Maggie Mae loves to be called Magpie

I was fascinated with the façade of the Meadows building where I stayed. I stood on the outside and identified my windows. How intriguing—the ivy is growing around the shape of the Gothic architecture. As I approached a gated area to return to my room, the entry was crowded with young people beginning a tour. The attendant spotted my name badge identifying “The Oxford Experience.” I will never forget what she said: “Please let this lady by. She is a member of our college.”

My Meadows Double Gothic Window and Stone Balcony

Next Travelogue Post: Lacock Abbey Field Trip


Rose in Camouflage

Fall foliage ablaze
Calico cat camouflage
Oak leaf feather bed



Photo and Poem by Linda A. Mohr
Originally Published in Fall laJoie 2016


All Dressed Up…and Somewhere To Go

How exciting to attend High Table after the first day of class! A small group gathered with some of our tutors and staff at a sherry reception prior to dinner. Fascinating students included the Amsterdam couple who have participated eight years. A Texas grandmother brought her 16-year-old granddaughter to Exeter College for two weeks of pre-law while she took two courses at Christ Church. As the rest of the people entered the Great Hall, they followed tradition and stood until the High Table guests sat at their nameplate.

After we were seated, the director of studies David Beard (who started The Oxford Experience 27 years ago) delivered the grace in Latin. Here is translation: In the neediness of our human condition, which invites your compassion, almighty God and heavenly Father, we give you reverent thanks for the food which, in your kindness, you have lavished on us for the sustenance of our bodies; and we also beg that we may use it without greed or excess and with enjoyment. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

High Table on Dais

High Table is just what the words imply. The table sits on a platform or dais above the main floor. It is at the top of the Great Hall furthest from the screen passage. During the Middle Ages, the lord of the castle could indeed “look down” on his household. His servants or subjects had designated seating in vertical rows of perpendicular tables according to status. Nobility and high ranking guests sat at High Table. They were served first and had the best quality food and drink. In 2017 at Christ Church, everyone in the hall enjoyed the same delectable food with turkey saltimbocca as the main course. Harry Potter or the Hogwarts teachers were not there! However, the Harry Potter films built a replica of the Great Hall in their London studio.

William Murray Over Door, Student 1723, First Earl of Mansfield

Many members of Christ Church were there in spirit. Ninety-two portraits grace the four walls of the Great Hall. Henry VIII oversees all as he is positioned on the High Table end of room in the middle. He founded Christ Church in 1546 as a dual foundation of college and cathedral. Cardinal Wolsey established Cardinal College in 1525 and his foundation is the original of Christ Church. His portrait is hung to the right of Henry VIII. Queen Elizabeth who united Christ Church and Westminster in 1561 is to the left of Henry VIII. The bust of the Queen Elizabeth II is below Henry VIII. I sat facing these formidable characters and felt their presence.

Other famous scholars of the college include Thomas Locke philosopher, John Wesley theologian, William Gladstone statesman and Lewis Carroll writer. Thirteen prime ministers studied at Christ Church.

Evening End Revelation

For me, the evening was steeped in great history, tradition, friendship and conversation. As shadows flirted with the exquisite stained glass windows, the ambiance of the Great Hall changed. A new reflection here, a new reflection there. For me, that is what education is all about. Members of Christ Church have sat at High Table in centuries past conversing and debating the challenging issues of the era. I know 2017 is no different. Later this year a second female portrait will keep company with Queen Elizabeth in the Great Hall, Professor Judith Pallot who joined the college in 1979.

As I leave High Table and meander through the hall (not wanting this to end), I follow a row of portraits. In my mind’s eye one causes me to pause. I see the sixteen year old pre-law student all grown up, and she is gazing at me with a faint smile. I return her smile, but I am beaming!

Next Travelogue Post: Class Time Free Time


Christ Church College

As the Chinese proverb goes, a journey of a thousand steps starts with a single step. Sometimes, a journey starts at the train station as my trip to Oxford did. London Paddington is a bustling station and Sundays are no exception. I like to ride trains and have done so on other trips using a BritRail pass. It is an easy and efficient way to travel. The scene at Paddington is hectic and fast paced. Travelers stand in mass staring up at time table boards that will eventually indicate a platform number from one to fourteen. An inbound train may only be in the station minutes before departure. So a stampede follows the instant the platform is known. I dashed off to platform 1 and a kind, observant man offered to lift my suitcase onto train. Oh, the perks of being a senior!

Tom Gate Christ Church 

Sixty-three minutes later I arrived in Oxford and taxied to Christ Church, one of thirty-eight constituent colleges in the University of Oxford system. I was about to embark on The Oxford Experience where I would be a student for six days. The impressive point of entry is known as Tom Gate. After being greeted and given a welcome packet, a scout (member of domestic staff) escorted me to the Meadows building. My private suite was on first floor which is second floor by American standards. The view looked out over a meadow, and I thought I was in the country. The exquisite blue sky was a beautiful backdrop for my photo shoot of architecture.

Later in the day following a short orientation meeting and wine reception, we had our first meal in the Great Hall of Christ Church. As I entered the hall, I was mesmerized. I commented later to a dinner companion, that if The Oxford Experience had ended at that moment, it would have been worth it. I am still at loss for the right words to describe my feelings. Being in a room where Henry the VIII and countless other historic figures have dined, was a pinch me I’m not dreaming moment!

Great Hall Christ Church Founded 1546


Great Hall Christ Church

A little background on great halls….They can be found in palaces, castles and large manor homes in the Middle Ages and in country homes in the 16th and early 17th centuries. Colleges at Durham, Cambridge, St. Andrews and Oxford also have great halls for dining. In the Middle Ages, the hall was a living space where the household of family and servants ate and slept together. The hall was typically a long rectangle room, roofed in timber and entered at a screen end with a high table at opposite end.

After dinner, we were escorted to our classroom by our tutor Nick Doggett (which is what the professor is called) for a short get acquainted meeting. The aerial photo at top of this post gives you an idea of the massive space Christ Church covers. We were hopeful we would find our way the next morning for the official start of class. The eclectic class of twelve students included three married couples from California. The rest of us gals represented New York, Ohio, Florida, California again, Germany and New Zealand. Many of us have had (or still have) education careers. Two are architects, and I suspect they will add an interesting perspective to the Country Homes course. Class dismissed!

Entrance from Quad & Christ Church Cathedral

Next Travelogue: My High Table Dining Experience


Sacha commented to me in 2016: “Of course you will write and speak about it, because to do anything else is not you.” So here I am writing poetry, but I am shocked the “it” is Sacha. Hurricane Irma altered my plans to attend her Celebration of Life in Buffalo where I hoped to share my poem Tribute to Sacha…A Glimpse of the Divine. Thank you for reading. I appreciate you sharing with her family and friends.

Linda Sacha’s Artwork


Tribute to Sacha
A Glimpse of the Divine

By Linda A. Mohr

She left in a flash
Sudden, unexpected, shocking
A powerhouse jolt to my being
Stomach swirling
Soul numbing
Heart cracking
Pain scale to infinity
Avalanche of tears forming
A pool of radiant memories

She left in a flash
Causing me to ponder
Why her
An extraordinary woman
Who mattered
A visionary
Love personified
Living her calling
With zest and joy
A gifted life coach, mentor,
guide, teacher, adviser,
cheerleader, author and artist
An angel in my midst

Sacha’s Book Changes Lives

Her laser beam thinking
Insightful questions
Intuitive spirit
Compassionate heart
Limitless confidence
Boundless love
Enlightened me to stop pushing
a noodle up a mountain
To creating my path of passion

Finding Sacha Anthology Story

She left in a flash
Causing me to wonder
Why now
When there are
Books to write
Poems to pen
Music to score
Portraits to paint
Photos to snap
Plays to direct
Degrees to earn
Companies to launch
Products to market
Obstacles to remove
Commotions to calm
Health to heal
Lives to live

Sacha Coaching Result
Book Published 2007

Like a grad student
searching primary sources for a thesis
I dove into seven years of coaching notes
Twelve years of correspondence
Markers of moments
Looking for answers
Looking to solace my cracked heart

Historical Sacha References

A memorable name—Sacha
She had a unique conversing style
A greeting—Hey Toots or
Linda, Linda, Linda Mohr
A closing X & O
How many a surprise
Upper and lower case a mystery
In between—juicy conversation
Oh what magic

Birthday Note in her Artist Card 2017

Her stamp of approval
Ooh this sounds so you—how divine
So luv how you keep history alive and love it so well
Yikes, they are lucky to have you as a guide
You are doing a critical piece of your life’s work
You are something
Of course you are going to speak and write about all this
because to do anything else is not you

St. Helen’s Book Fair 2011
Linda Sacha and Linda Mohr

Her applause
Yea for you
Fab, fab and more fab
So darn exciting
Wow, what an honor
I celebrate you
I am beyond thrilled
I had a wonderful cry
reading your note and beautiful Omega poem

Powerhouse Dining, Linda Sacha, Linda Mohr, Nikki Sweet at Season’s 52 in 2010

Her treasure trove
Profound soul stirring nuggets
I dubbed
Bound to jazz her

Her Treasure Trove of
Sacha…isms are Magic

Imagine a little more
Act a little less
Let mind and heart go nutty for 2 to 7 seconds
What are the possibilities

You are an event waiting to happen
You have to allow it to happen, not force it
You don’t have to know the how
Universe is cooking something up

You + God + Universe = magic in motion
Yippee feeling is where something
sits in your heart twinkling
Oh you want more
The better it gets, the better it gets

Surrendering is important
Ask God to take over this piece for now
Guardian angel is always with you
just waiting for an assignment
When stuck, ask your angel to reveal

Through gratitude your cup is filled
Through gratitude your vibration is raised

Meditation is a daily vacation from your mind
Meditation is a pause from the wackiness of life
taking you to source energy

Death serves a purpose
Throws living into reflection
Every tear is a tribute
Intensity of grieving is equal to intensity of love
All is in divine order—even sadness
Everything happens for the evolution of the soul
Everything happens for the expansion of the soul

And finally her signature request
We are grateful for anyone past or present
who can show up to help

A Glimpse of the Divine

And show up for me, they have
Higher consciousness messages
of protection, wisdom and nurturing
I am here and always have been
When you think you feel him, you do
When you feel his presence, you do
It was my time to journey on
I can help you more from this place
I can be with all of you at the same time
All can feel my presence

More of Sacha’s Joyful Artwork

As the sacred work
of her soul expands exponentially
I embrace my next assignment
with gratitude
Like an exquisite web of strands
We remain eternally connected
Her heart to my heart
My heart to her heart

Once in a while like magic
I sense a tiny tug
followed by an unforgettable voice
“Well, aren’t you something”
That’s my Sacha shot
And all is as it should be
In all ways and always



Adopt Black Cats
By Linda A. Mohr

All black cats deserve
Endless favorable guardians

Hated, idolized, jinxed, killed
Loving, mysterious

Now overlooked pets
Query rescue shelters today

Vocalize worthiness

Yearlong zeal


Family Portrait


All images © Bernadette E. Kazmarski on The Creative Cat

To view more black cats or see the multiple takes of Family Portrait to get this “all eyes on camera” shot,  visit this link

Bernadette has been a professional commercial artist and graphic designer for 35 years. She has rescued and fostered cats for three decades. Her muses (as pictured above) are an incredible family of five black cats she rescued from a neglectful neighbor. Meet Mewesette, Mr. Sunshine, Giuseppe, Jelly Bean and Mimi.

From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, The Creative Cat offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats. From catchy and creative headlines to factual articles and fictional stories, The Creative Cat provides constant entertainment and important information to people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

Please take a few moments to visit Bernadette’s site. I promise you will be in awe with her beautiful work.



British Reception at The Chesterfield Hotel Mayfair

As my British Airways flight touched down 6:30 a.m. at London Heathrow, I said to anyone awake, “I’m home.” I have always experienced this feeling in my favorite city in the world. As the taxi cab driver made his way to The Chesterfield Hotel with me ogling over all the familiar sights and sounds, my happy soul acknowledged again, “I am really home!”

In a few days I will head to Oxford for the primary focus of this 2017 jaunt. But I simply could not bypass the opportunity to return to London for the eleventh blessed time. So for now I will stay at The Chesterfield Hotel in Mayfair for several reasons. I have a history with The Chesterfield Palm Beach as that is where I held my book signing party in 2007 for Tatianna-Tales and Teachings of My Feline Friend. Chesterfield Mayfair is located in one of most beautiful areas of London, is within walking distance of Gray’s Antiques and is authentic British.

I luckily arrived without jetlag and spent Friday morning having a wonderful English breakfast in the hotel, exploring the area on foot and getting access to my room around noon. My little cozy bedroom was a joy.

My Serenity Retreat

Later I explored Gray’s Antiques where multiple dealers have their wares. I’ve joked that my car automatically stops for garage sales, thrift stores and antique shops in the states. When I am in London, the vintage markets call to me and off I go on foot.

Scottie Dog Buttons & Brooch


I found some sweet little Scottie dog buttons for my eBay customers and I added a brooch to my personal collection. Love brooches with faces! I appreciate how the “hustle and bustle” in London is offset by peaceful parks and wide open spaces like my favorite St. James Park. This trip I sat in a park at Trafalgar Square a few minutes from the hotel.


Antique Treasure Hunt Begins at Notting Hill

I would not be in London and not go to Portobello Market on Saturday. It is billed as the largest street market in the world. My feet agree! The eclectic one mile market includes antiques, vintage stuff, collectibles, food, clothing, flea market items and more. As my cabbie dropped me off at 9 a.m., my heart is racing and I can’t wait to begin the hunt. What will I find? I walked miles and ate at a little Italian café where one cook prepared all the food just a few feet from patrons. So entertaining! I bought lots of buttons (but sadly no cats available) for resale from a lovely British couple that have had a button booth for 21 years at Portobello. They take a bus and train every Saturday morning for an hour to get to their shop. They have attended National Button Conventions in America—yes, there are such meetings! And yes, some collectors specialize in cat buttons, myself included!

Little Art Pictures

I arrived back at The Chesterfield after an exhilarating market day, welcomed an impressive room service dinner, repacked my suitcase cubes and prepared for my next adventure.

Next Up: Arriving at Christ Church in Oxford


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