Good night, Eileen.

My dear friend Eileen passed away just after 1am MN time. She had battled severe and aggressive cancers for the past 3.5 years and it was an honour to know her. I met her via Chris’ blog some time ago and we met in person in 2007.

There is a funny story about how we met Eileen at MSP. As our plane from New York was landing, pao turned to me and asked how I would know who the person who was picking us up from the airport was. I replied that I didn’t know exactly what she looked like but I would know her when I saw her. And lo and behold, she was standing by the luggage carousel with her sock knitting in hand and we headed off to her car in the parking garage of the airport.

We got onto the freeway and she said casually that she hadn’t really got a clue where she was at the time and needed to find directions to get us to St Paul where we had booked a b&b. So she pulled in what pao and I thought was a hotel and got out to ask for directions. Pao turned to me at this point and said he thought we had stopped at Bates Motel and was she going to reappear with a shot gun and kill us and did I think we ought to run away before she returned. I told him not to worry and she eventually returned and went on our merry way. Eileen was not the serial killer we fleetingly thought she might be and became a really good friend who I chatted to regularly online about stresses and strains of life and we had an amazing trip with them down into Wisconsin and I went over again to see her last year as I knew that the end was coming and I wanted to see her again before I died. In typical Eileen style and despite her obvious discomfort, she insisted we take a road trip so she and I could have some fun time together so off to South Dakota we headed. 24 hours later, I ended up in hospital so I can safely say that on both occasions there was never a dull moment with Eileen.

I loved my dear friend for her zest for life and being so unwilling to let her illness stop her from what she could do. My life was so much richer with her in it and I will miss her immensely. She leaves her wonderful husband Scott and son Bren and his partner and granddaughter Lorelai. I know that she will be missed much by her wonderful friends and parents, too. I share in that sadness but rejoice in the knowledge that her pain has ended and she is at peace.

Good night, Eileen.

Come visit!

I was driving back from visiting a church a distance away on Sunday when I got to a roundabout and said to pao that we shouldn’t head straight home but go to the beach. So go to the beach we did. It was glorious. We got slight sunburn. It could have been the only day of sun we might enjoy this summer.




Hurrah! Come visit soon. The sun is shy and needs encouragement!

Luna is the other beautiful puss we saw on Saturday. She also approves of the sun.

Making Monday : Is it really bigger on the inside?


I’ve been beavering away at this for a little while hoping it will be a nice shawly wrap to wear to Paul’s cousin’s wedding in a couple of weeks


But it doesn’t seem big enough. I think this is one occasion where I should have done a gauge swatch but you live and learn. I was concerned about the yardage but I seem to have acres and acres of yarn left.


I think the border may suddenly get bigger and I will be employing a pin to keep it held closed. I will have to think of something Dr Who-ish if I can. Otherwise I have quite a neat swirly sparkly pin I can use.

I visited my friend whose lovely cat Will was happy to come and sit with us in the sunshine. He is a handsome chap. I think I must find myself another ginger puss soon.

Kitty love

Dear lovely blog readers,

mrspao has been terribly low since our elder friend, Phoebe, passed away. I am trying my best to fill that big gap in her heart but she is still terribly sad. She keeps saying it is the end of an era because Phoebe came with them from their old house. Also, she is sad because it is just me and Sirius here to provide the feline company and she is used to something like Jeanne’s house with many kitties to play with. I will try my best to cheer her up but in the meantime, perhaps, a good cat or dog story from you might cheer her up.

(not to be confused with Tamyra who is running for Senate but don’t get me wrong, I’d like to be president though)

Ten on a Tuesday : 10 Favorite Ways to Eat Strawberries.

Strawberry shortcake, cream on top.
Tell me the name of your sweetheart?
Is it …….
Alex, Brandon, Cam, Danielle, . . . . . .
* make them up as you go

This jump rope song reminds me of my days in junior school 🙂

1. Plain without any adornment. We used to have some huge strawberries called king strawberries here which were delicious and they didn’t last long.

2. Strawberry pie.

3. In between layers of a Victoria sponge.

4. Strawberry pierogi. I like them best gently fried with some sugar on top. The packet says to boil them but we didn’t think they tasted as good.

5. Strawberry jam. Particularly good on scones.

6. Strawberry beer. The Belgians make fabulous strawberry beer.

7. Strawberry ice cream. One of my favourites is Baskin and Robbins.

8. Strawberry milk shake. Definitely the best flavour. I love the milkshakes at Dairy Queen.

9. Dipped in Godiva chocolate.

10. With whipped cream atop a meringue or


Sirius woke up when I mentioned cake.

Making Monday : Borrowed Making

Some borrowed makings. I saw some beautiful pieces of lace at the weekend. I do wish I could do something as lovely but I don’t think I have the time or patience. I do have a lace cushion and some bobbins given to me by a friend whose daughter used to be a lacemaker. I do have a friend who knows about lace making but I have told myself I mustn’t get sucked in!




It was mesmerising to see the bobbins being moved around.

The kittens are just intent on making mischief.

Almost Wordless Thursday : Jubilee

Thank you so much for all your kind comments on the passing of Phoebe. We have a Phoebe-shaped hole in our hearts but we were glad to know her and love her.

I thought I’d post some of the photos I meant to post yesterday. There has been really strong royalist fervour in this country and it is nice to see our nation flying the flag.












Good night, Phoebe

Our beautiful, cantankerous, naughtie Tortie fell asleep at just after 4.15pm today. She was such a character and completely filled our lives with cattitude.

She came with her sister, a vast ginger cat called Lucy who died about a year after she came to live with us. She had always been a bit hen-pecked by Lucy who bossed her about. They both arrived together and were quarantined in an upstairs room to get them used to our other kitties and for them to bond with us but pretty soon after we started letting them out to explore the house, they wouldn’t come down the stairs. It soon became abundantly clear that they were both not used to stairs so we had to practically starve them to convince them that coming down those stairs was a very good thing. Eventually, they caught on and Lucy was quickly hoovering up everything she could. Once Lucy died, Phoebe started to come into her own.

Phoebe started to enjoy life and started bossing us about. She loved the sun and would go wherever it was warmest. She was always found under the warmest radiator or the warmest patch of sunshine.

She was quite a comfort to us when she wasn’t bossing us about. She used to sit on the bed as much as she could and we knew she wasn’t right when she stopped dragging herself up the stairs to sleep on the bed a couple of days ago. She would creep up the bed until she was really close and purr like mad, dribbling as she went. We would consign her back to the end of the bed and she’d work her way up again. Stubborn is a short word to describe the enormity of her character.

She was also one of the best cats for modelling.

She is the last of the cats we brought from our old house in Canterbury so it is very sad that she is the last of an era. Even though she suffered a stroke, her iron will meant that she not only survived but made a full recovery. To the very last, she fought on and wasn’t going to give up but sadly her legs were no longer functioning so it was the kindest thing to let her go to sleep.

We will miss you, Phoebe. Your loud meow, gentle purrs and resounding kindness will resonate in our hearts. We love you. Good night, Phoebe.

Ten on a Tuesday: 10 Favorite Workout Songs

Well, strictly speaking, I’m not really one for working out. I like to walk and walk so I guess I’m going to list songs that get me moving 🙂

1. Walking on Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves
2. What a Feeling (Flashdance) – Irene Cara
3. Groovejet – Spiller
4. Chasing Pavements – Adele
5. American Boy – Estelle
6. Beautiful Day – U2
7. With or Without You – U2 (can you tell that I like U2? :))
8. The Sun Always Shines on TV – Aha
9. Jump (For My Love) – Girls Aloud
10. I Believe in a Thing Called Love – Darkness

Tamyra’s idea of a workout is resting her eyelids.