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Friday, February 15, 2019

MEAN


For the life of me, I will never understand mean people.

Like the person who knocked the side mirror off my car.  What was that all about?  Did it make him feel powerful?  Did he get a thrill?

I want answers.  Why are people mean?  So, I found out what some experts had to say.  

Author, life coach, and speaker Martha Beck believes mean people are hurt.  Really hurt.  "At some point, somebody—their parents, their lovers, Lady Luck—did them dirty.  They were crushed.  And they're still afraid the pain will never stop, or that it will happen again," says Beck.


Dr. Marcia Sirota, author of the article "What Provokes Us to Be Mean to Nice People" in the Huffington Post states, "When we're overtired, overly stressed or really angry, it's much harder to contain our impulses, and something nasty can leak out: a hurtful comment, a selfish choice, a thoughtless act."

Dr. Monica Frank, founder of Excel at Life and a clinical psychologist says that most people are mean because of a distortion in their thinking or some flaw in themselves.  She breaks meanness into two categories:  
  1. the unintentional meanness which refers to behavior or statements that the recipient may perceive as mean but that weren't intended to be hurtful 
  2. the malicious meanness which is behavior or statements that have the purpose of hurting the recipient.
Thank goodness, I've only encountered one malicious (mirror-smashing) mean person.  Most of my run-ins fall into the second category, the unintentionally mean—

the friend who agreed to help me out, and then changed his mind,

the agent to whom I paid a mentoring fee, but never responded to my query,

the local newspaper reporters who refused to write a feature about my book.

Words are every bit as hurtful as actions.  People have told me:

"I told you so" after I lost a talent competition.  Nobody wants to hear someone's musical selection would have been a better choice. 
"You look like a boy" after I had my hair cut.  Nobody wants to hear this if looking masculine wasn't the goal.
"Look at those thighs" after I showed a coworker a photo of me.  Nobody wants to hear this.  Period.

Dr. Frank believes people are unintentionally mean because they: 
  • lack awareness or social skills
  • are misunderstood for humor or sarcasm
  • are sharing an honest opinion
  • have misdirected intentions (as in trying to be helpful)
  • have low self-esteem coupled with jealousy
  • need to feel superior
  • have displaced anger
  • have a mental illness  

However, the intentionally mean are mean for a different reason—they are pleasure-seekers.  Dr. Frank says, "People who act mean based on this reason are doing so due to a self-centeredness and complete disregard of others.  They seek to feel good at the expense of others."  She believes people who are intentionally mean engage in this behavior for attention, power, money, or respect.

According to Dr. Frank, "Usually, unless you have done something significant, it is not about you."  To shake off meanness she says, "Focus on living your life and don't get involved in the pettiness of mean people."

Tommy Cestare, the founder of The Leading (a website dedicated to improving people's lives by writing about the bright side of life) takes Dr. Frank's advice one step further.  He believes that a person with a positive outlook would not let mean people bother them.  He says that positive people have the confidence to brush it off and move on because they’re confident in their own abilities and aspirations. 

He states, "Someone called you ugly? You’re happy with your body so who cares what they think? Someone’s avoiding you? They’re loss, you know you’re awesome. Someone doesn’t believe in your abilities? You believe in yourself so why should you care about what they think?"

For a junior in college, Cestare impresses me with his maturity and positive lookout on life.  In the post "Let People Be Mean to You," Cestare says we should "let people disrespect you, cut you off on the road, leave you out of certain events, call you mean names…whatever it is.  Because these situations are the best teacher to show how confident you are in yourself.  They tell you more about you than anything else."  

Cestare also urges us to be more sympathetic toward mean people.  They may be are going through tough times and should therefore be given the benefit of the doubt. 

It's been noted that it's easier to be mean than it is to be nice.  And it's amazing that the seconds for someone saying something mean has the ability to make us feel depressed for hours, even days.  The time we have to live is much too valuable for being miserable.  

Sad, but true, there will always be mean people.  But we can change how we react to them.

We can be kind. 

We can be more understanding.    

We can be positive and self-assured.

We can focus on the good things in our lives.     

✌ and 
COMMENTS

Hey, I loved reading the article about being mean.  From my years of working in mental health and now at the school.  I can say that some people are simply mean, and have distorted views of themselves and the world.  Then there are some people that go out of their way to be mean.  Some have mental issues and some do not have any home training or reference to rely.  Simple "yes sir, or please and thank you" are not being said from our young people and when I meet the parents, I can see the reason.  Very sad when I see mean people.  I try to keep myself strong and have a good positive thought life to deal with such people.  G. Smith.







Tuesday, January 15, 2019

THE TEARS OF AN AUTHOR

I'll be honest with you.  My marketing plan did not go as well as I had hoped.   

For my first book, you could say I was fairly successful.  But in my mind, I felt there could have been better strategies for promoting Maggie.  I wanted to be spotlighted in the local newspaper, have libraries buy copies, and secure a lot of school visits.  

This did not happen for me, and it left me feeling frustrated and nearly in tears.

Authors like me who are published by a small press must do most of the marketing by themselves.  So, I learned about marketing well before the release of Maggie.  In fact, I began marketing nine months before the release date.  

After signing the publishing contract, I studied marketing books, read articles on websites and emailed other published authors to find out how they marketed their books.  There was so much to grasp and at times it was mind-boggling.  Eventually, I began to see how the process worked.  Most published authors stressed the importance of contacting the local paper, libraries, and schools.  So, I followed suit.

But school media specialists didn't answer my emails or return my phone calls even after I had mailed packets detailing a school visit program that would benefit their students. 

Newspaper reporters were not was interested in a local author whose book was inspired by a local rescue dog.  

Librarians turned down my requests to read at storytime or to acquire the book for their collection.  

I got angry and whiny, but soon realized that was not going to help the situation.  There had to be other options to promote my book.  So, I worked on developing a new marketing plan.  Not the plan of other published authors.  MY marketing plan.  And here is what I did:    

  • Arranged book signings at local bookstores and gift shops
  • Partnered with non-profit organizations that connected to my theme
  • Placed books in local boutiques
  • Created strategic keywords for my book on Amazon
  • Visited day care centers for book readings
  • Sold my book at craft fairs
  • Developed a unique website 
  • Wrote articles and guest blogs  
  • Created a Pinterest account and made boards and pins that related to my book 
  • Got a book review in local magazine
  • Participated at the Kentucky Book Festival 
  • Placed copies of the book in a doctor's office with part of the proceeds benefiting an animal rescue organization
  • Signed books for Small Business Saturday


As I look back, I couldn't figure out why the newspaper never contacted me, even though my publisher sent a press release and I followed up with emails and phone calls.

But I did learn that the local libraries have a tight budget, and therefore they gravitate toward purchasing books published by larger publishing houses.

Likewise, schools have little funding for school visits.  On top of that, some schools require a background check for visitors.

It took me months to learn about marketing.  And even after a year, I'm still learning.  Marketing is still not easy, but this is what I discovered so far.

  • Authors must learn the ins and outs about promotion.  They must explore how other authors market their books and decide which of those methods might be worth implementing. 
  • Authors must be determined to think outside the box.  Not all of the ideas tooted in books and online are going to work.  Authors should think of ideas that have never been tried and dare to be original, different, and exciting.
  • Authors must be plot a new course when the best laid plans aren't working.  Authors must not give up and accept failure, but be flexible to change their marketing plan when things aren't going smoothly...


even if they have no clue where to start,

even if it means getting a little whiny,

even if it means shedding a few tears.  

✌ and 

Comments:

"Thanks for this honest look at marketing."  J. Cornebise

"Ah, the lessons of life. Everything is more difficult than imagined."  D. Henley



Saturday, December 15, 2018


THE BEAUTY OF HINDSIGHT 


Math has never been and will never be my strong suit.  But when I was fourteen, you might have thought math was my best subject.

At the end of 8th grade I took a placement test and scored high enough to take advanced algebra.

When my freshman year began at Jeffersontown High School in Louisville, Kentucky, I was proud to be part of Ms. Leslie's advanced class.  But after a few lessons, I realized this was not the right place for me.  I was in over my head.  Equations looked like a foreign language to me.  A blurry foreign language.  Vanity called and I gave up wearing my glasses—there were so many cute boys in class.

Ms. Leslie intimidated me.  No, let me rephrase that.  She scared the hell out of me.  She never smiled.  She was firm.  She was totally all business.

I wanted to do well in class, but the book was impossible to follow and there was no way to approach a teacher who frightened me.  Looking back, if I had been braver and asked for help, I would have probably made fewer Ds in algebra.

Ah, the beauty of hindsight.

Since then, my math skills have not improved that much.  I have a habit of overestimating.

I overestimate when packing for a trip and bring
  • way more clothes than necessary: 14 outfits, two jackets, earmuffs, scarves and gloves—I kid you not—when going to Spain for a week in April.  
  • too many meds:  Tylenol, muscle relaxer, Imitrex, Flonase, Pepto Bismol, Imodium, Naproxen, decongestant, antihistamine, Benadryl.    
  • too much jewelry:  earrings, bracelets, and bangles for every outfit. 
  • too many hair products which I won't list because this in itself is another blog.

I overestimate when cooking for a family gathering (20 pieces of chicken for five people, right?)

I overestimate when I should arrive for an event (an hour is not too early, is it?)

Sometimes, I underestimate.  When Jim and I got married, we held the ceremony and reception at a Spindletop Hall, a historic mansion in Lexington.  The ceremony took place in the library.  A very small library.  The room only held 200 people.  We invited 210 people.  We counted on five couples declining. 

They showed up.

I have a habit of overestimating more than underestimating, like the time I had my first book signing.  Two hundred invitations were sent to family and friends.  Of course, not everyone could attend.  There was a nice turnout, but true to form, I overestimated how many books would sell.  

And then there was a school visit.  I was scheduled to give nine classroom visits over two days.  The teachers gave me a head count of 225 students.  

I thought half of the students might like to buy Maggie.  Roughly 112 books.  Then, I thought that's being too optimistic.  It seemed reasonable to order two cases of books.  Each case has 25 books.  Surely, I could sell this quantity.   

I sold 14 books.

That said, I still have quite a few more copies.  I would love to sell them.  Each and every one of them.

How many do I have?

It might be best if you did the math.
   
✌ and 

COMMENTS:

Read it. Enjoyed it. I don't know what that stuff is on the chalkboard, but I think it's way beyond algebra!  M. Cook



Thursday, November 15, 2018


WHERE'S THE BEEF JERKY?

I could have sold more copies of Maggie at a holiday craft fair...but I sat next to Beef Jerky Man.

Last year at the fair, I shared a table with Peggy Park, author of Grandmother's Journal.  At first, we were nervous.  Our table was in a room off the beaten path of the main lobby.  We figured the foot traffic wouldn't be as good and that people wouldn't find the smaller room.  But, we were pleasantly surprised.  People visited the lobby and then wandered into our room to buy jewelry, candles, holiday crafts, handbags, and paintings.  Peggy and I were the only book sellers and since we did quite well with sales, we decided to share a table again for this year.

But this year...oh my goodness.  Our table was next to K. C., a man who sold homemade beef jerky.

Beef jerky is a dried meat snack.  It is made by marinating beef in a curing solution and drying it. Meat treated in this fashion has unique flavor and a long shelf life.  Native Americans smoke-dried meat to preserve it and are credited for the invention of this meat-processing technique.  

Beef jerky is advertised as a nutritious product which is low in cholesterol and high in protein.  It was used during World War I as a source of protein for soldiers.  Astronauts travel with beef jerky.  It is a 2.5 billion-dollar-industry in the United States.

While beef jerky is touted as being a healthy snack, it can be high in fat and sodium.  As reported by Sara Ipatenco for Healthy Eating, "A 1-ounce portion of beef jerky contains 116 calories and 7 grams of fat, of which 3 grams are saturated.  While beef jerky also contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, much of the fat in the food is saturated.  If your diet contains large amounts of saturated fat, you're at an increased risk for heart disease.  A diet high in saturated fat can boost your cholesterol levels. Too much saturated fat as a regular part of your diet can also elevate your risk of developing type 2 diabetes."

Ipatenco advises to "look for beef jerky that contains small amounts of saturated fat.  Many brands manufacture thin strip versions of meat, which are often lower in total fat and saturated fat.  Opt for low-sodium versions of beef jerky as well; they are more nutritious than traditional versions." 

I wasn't sure about the quality of K.C.'s beef jerky.  But, I do know he sold an assortment of flavors:  peppery, spicy, teriyaki, scorpion (hot chili pepper) to name a few and that people flocked to his table.  I could tell in the opening minutes of the fair that we were doomed.  I could feel it in the air.  Peggy and I could not compete (not that this was a competition, mind you) with beef jerky.

K.C. had a simple table.  Four white baskets filled with plastic bags of jerky.  Nothing fancy.  On the other hand, our table was bright and cheery.  Welcoming.  We had a bright red tablecloth.  We had books wrapped in Christmas ribbons.  We had adorable plush puppies and Hershey's kisses.  Still, we were no match.  People never even saw our table.  They walked right past, hypnotized by the lure of beef jerky.  I'm not kidding—people waved money in the air as they approached K. C.'s table.

When the fair was over late afternoon, K.C. counted his money.  He meticulously laid it out on top of his table in four stacks.  With that much money, he probably figured it made sense to separate it into denominations of ones, fives, tens, and twenties, but I'm sure he had no clue how it looked to other vendors.  Sitting next to him made me feel uncomfortable and a little jealous.  I'm sure he wasn't trying to be boastful of his earnings, but he could have used more discretion.

Even at closing, crowds continued to flock to his table.  I wanted to get the courage to ask them to come over, pick up a book, and see the value in buying one.  Peggy's book is a wonderful way for grandparents to share their memories.  And picture books entertain kids while teaching them vocabulary and life lessons.

I wanted to tell people a book is a gift you can open again and again.  A book could last a lifetime.

It was useless.  Beef Jerky Man had a product that people craved.  A good friend of mine tells me that he buys beef jerky because it tastes great and it stays fresh for a long time.  That opinion seemed to be shared at the fair.  People were going gaga over beef jerky.  I never would have believed how popular it was if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.

But all was not lost this year.  I met talented artists.  I sold a few books.  And, I learned an important lesson.  Next time, I won't use a red tablecloth.  Next time, I won't need ribbons or chocolate or plush toys.  Next time, I'll bring beef jerky. 

✌ and 




Monday, October 15, 2018


Losing and Winning 

I was totally bummed out and feeling low.  I was losing money on book sales.  

How does an author LOSE money instead of make money selling her book?  For me, the answer was giveaways.  

Professor, columnist, author Jane Friedman says, "Giveaways (or freebies) are popular for good reason; they’re a classic, frictionless way to make people aware of your work."  She also states, "The giveaway is one of the more powerful tools in the new author’s arsenal because it’s a way to get attention when you may not have anything else going for you."

Giveaways however, did not work for me.  I gave away copies of Maggie and the Summer Vacation Show-and-Tell as a contest prize and as a gift in a silent action.  I also gave free copies of my books to catalog companies, school book fairs, and other businesses in order to create attention and drive book sales.  And this starting adding up.

I decided to give up this practice.  No more giveaways.  I was stick-a-fork-in-me done with losing money.

And then an opportunity arose to have my book considered for the Kentucky Book Festival (which meant relinquishing another book.)

The Kentucky Book Festival is a week-long celebration honoring reading and writing in Kentucky.  Now in its second year in Lexington (my hometown), the 37th annual Kentucky Book Fair is the grand finale of the week.  This festivity attracts writers of all genres and patrons who share a passion and interest in writing and reading.  More than 140 authors will attend the Kentucky Book Fair to promote and support literacy, including Silas House (Clay's Quilt), Bobbie Ann Mason  (In Country), and Wendell Berry (Jayber Crow).

After giving away close to 20 books (well over $200), I was ambivalent about having my book evaluated.  This did not guarantee an invitation.  But, I felt it was important to send my book to the committee.  This could be an awesome opportunity to introduce readers to Maggie and her rescue dog.

During the waiting period, I grew doubtful of hearing good news and thought more and more about the difficulties of being a published writer.  Being published is supposed to be totally joyful, but for me, there were times when it was not always a bed of roses.  The more I considered the struggles, the sadder I got knowing:

  • Book expenses exceeded revenue
  • Page views on my blogs were not as high as I'd like
  • Responses from agents for new picture book submissions had been nonexistent

Don't misunderstand.  In spite of these disappointments, I feel lucky and blessed to have the opportunity to write.  Writing is still one of my biggest joys in life.  But it's hard to hold on to the good feelings all of the time.  Especially when I had just given away another book.  I had lost more money.  What were the chances that this "investment" was going to pan out?

Doubt and worry seeped in and gnawed at me.  Feeling discouraged, I released a question into the universe:  Is writing still the correct career choice or is it time to move on?

Silly as it may seem, I asked for a sign—something, anything that might give me an idea if I should continue being a writer.  And then I went back to writing.  In only a few hours, this email appeared in my inbox:


"Dear Randi,

On behalf of the Kentucky Book Festival Committee of Kentucky Humanities, it is my pleasure to invite you to participate in the  annual Kentucky Book Festival (KBF), presented by Kentucky Humanities and our sponsors." 

I was floored.  This was unbelievable good news.  And the timing!  The timing couldn't have been more perfect.

This situation got me thinking about how we should turn to the universe more often if we have questions or if we are troubled.

"When you need to know, you will. There will be no confusion or doubt about what is being said. Seek out this kind of relationship with the universe and it will most certainly support it. Don’t allow yourself to get part of the message and end up more lost. Trust in the source, within and outside of yourself. Signs are not meant to be ambiguous, even if they appear to be so at first. Seek and find, then receive fully, in order to find your truth." ~ The Chopra Center.

And so my decision is clear.  Moving on to a different career is not part of the plan.  Despite the doubts and disappointments, despite feeling low about marketing a book, and despite losing money, I was shown that my footsteps should follow the writer's path.


Kentucky Book Festival
at the Alltech Arena at
the Kentucky Horse Park
Saturday, Nov 17, 2018
from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

✌ and 

Comments: 
"Great Stuff. Congratulations!"  M. Cook
"Congrats, Randi!"  C. Phelps
"Congratulations on the Kentucky Book Festival" A. Miller Hudson

Thursday, October 4, 2018















Marvelous musings and the mind-boggling journey of marketing a book


The Benefits of Gratitude  

I like hearing the words "thank you."  Don't you?  Those two words make me feel good. 

And yet, those two words bring back a hurtful memory.  

Many years ago, I took vacation leave from my job and drove 75 miles to take care of a relative recovering from surgery.  It was my pleasure and honor to care for him.  But, when it was time for me to travel home, I never heard I'm glad you came, you were helpful, thank you for being here.  Maybe he felt that I was obligated to help out.  Or maybe, he didn't feel well and just forgot to thank me.

On a more upbeat note, a fellow writer and protégé has kept in touch with me for over ten years.  He writes to tell me of his rejections, acceptances, and goals.  In all of his emails he expresses thankfulness for the help I had given him in the past and for the help I still give him.  And this means the world to me.

I never fail to notice gratitude.  My husband thanks me after every meal.  Even if it's just spaghetti and meatballs.  Even if it's leftovers.  He doesn't have to, but he does.

Our daughter is grateful.  She thanks us when she gets a surprise package at college.  She always writes thank you notes to relatives for birthday presents.

My cat Ozzie expresses gratitude.  After he's been fed, of course.  Ozzie shows his appreciation by rubbing his lips across my hand and marking me with his scent, telling me that I'm his.

I like to express gratitude, too and writing has given me many opportunities to be thankful—when someone critiques my work, when somebody submits to Kid's Imagination Train, when a writer asks me to guest blog, when an editor publishes my work, and the list goes on.  
  
When people do something nice for me, I like to write a thank you note, send flowers, or bring them something sweet to eat.  And after being published, I found there are a lot of people deserving of a thank you:  
     
  •  My publisher
  •  My agent
  •  Reviewers 
  •  Fans who came to the book signing
  •  Shop owners who placed a book order  
  •  Bloggers who promoted my book 
  •  People who ordered my book
  •  Editors that accepted an article I had   written on publishing a book
  •  Bookstore managers and book sellers
  •  My book launch team
  •  Business people who helped me market   my book
  •  Media specialists who booked a school   visit
Gratitude is easy to do and it can transform your life.

Amy Morin, psychotherapist and author states that gratitude has been proven to open doors to more relationships and can improve physical and psychological health, enhance empathy, reduce aggression, improve sleep, and increase self-esteem.  She believes we can cultivate gratitude. Rather than complain about the things you think you deserve, focus on all that you have

Grateful people have been found to be blessed with more happiness.

As reported by Robin S. Stern, Associate Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and Robert A Emmons, Ph.D. Dept. of Psychology, University of California for the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, "Grateful people experience more joy, love, and enthusiasm, and they enjoy protection from destructive emotions like envy, greed, and bitterness.  Gratitude also reduces lifetime risk for depression, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders, and it helps people entangled with those and other problems to heal and find closure.  It can give you a deep and steadfast trust that goodness exists, even in the face of uncertainty or suffering gratitude to mental health and life satisfaction." 

Stern and Emmons said it perfectly, "Gratitude isn’t just an emotion that happens along, but a virtue we can cultivate. Think of it as something you practice as you might meditation or yoga.  Gratitude practice begins by paying attention. Notice all the good things you normally take for granted." 

When you practice gratitude, it can inspire people to acts of kindness.  It has the power to strengthen bonds with other people. 

There are countless ways to say thank you.  All you have to do is to take note when someone is kind and express thankfulness.  No one gets tired of those two little words.  

✌ and 


Thursday, September 20, 2018




Marvelous musings and the mind-boggling journey of marketing a book

ONE COOL CAT  

Ozzie isn't crazy about his vest. 

Maybe he's not fond of the fabric.  Maybe he's not crazy about the pattern.  Maybe he doesn't like the color red.  Wait, are cats color blind?

"Want to try on your vest, Ozzie?"
Ozzie skedaddles away.

I'm feeling a little discouraged.

My husband Jim asks, "Who takes a cat outside on a leash?"
Well, that would be me.  If dogs wear vests, why not cats?

On cold days, the lean, short-haired breeds like the Greyhound, the Chihuahua, the French Bulldog, and many terriers and pinschers have trouble staying warm outside and benefit from wearing a vest.  According to www.orvis.com, "Dogs whose bellies are close to the ground—the Dachshund and the Corgi, for example—need extra protection from frigid sidewalks and snowy paths. Toy and small breeds, light-bodied breeds, and breeds with very short or thin hair (even if it’s long by nature but you keep it clipped close) need the extra warmth of a dog jacket or sweater outside in the cold."

Though most cats don't need a vest to stay warm, a vest would keep an indoor cat safe outside. The decision is up to the owner and of course, the pet's cattitude.  Our vet said that getting Ozzie outside for some fresh air would be good for him because he is an indoor cat.  That's all I needed to hear.  And since I need to take breaks from writing and marketing Maggie, being outside would be good for me, too.

The plan:
Day 1 - 3:  Let Ozzie sniff the vest and get familiar seeing it
Day 4 - 6:  Let him wear the vest around the house
Day 7:  Let him enjoy the great outdoors

I placed the vest next to Ozzie's food bowl.  He didn't tear it to shreds.  He didn't pee on it.  I took this as a good sign.

But the first time he wore it outside, he hugged the back door, crouched, and slunk around.  This was not a good sign.

And yet, he didn't growl or cry.  So, here we had another good sign.

I wasn't going to torture him with a lengthy stay, just long enough to sniff plants and experience bugs and birds.  To feel sunshine on his back.  To feel grass beneath his paws.

Ozzie tolerated  seemed to like the grand outdoors, but being out in the backyard wasn't always the cat's meow.

On one occasion with Ozzie outside and all-vested up, Putt-Putt (our loving stray) wandered by.  I hadn't expected he'd show up.  His schedule is fairly random, unless it's breakfast or dinner time.

When Putty comes to visit, I leave the deck door open and the screen locked, so that he and Ozzie can enjoy each other's company.  Since they are buds, I allowed Putt-Putt to get close to Ozzie.  But then clear out of the blue, Putt-Putt bit Ozzie.

Ozzie screamed.  My interpretation:  get me the hell out of this vest and back inside where I belong.

I felt terrible for Ozzie and never expected Putty to bite him.  But Putty's home is outside and he felt inclined to defend it.

I gave Ozzie a break from going outside after Putty's attack.  Then after a while, I tried again.

My husband snickered.  The look on his face said are you really going to do that to him?

Yes, yes I am.  I wasn't going to give up.

It's been several months and Ozzie is still not crazy about his vest.  Though, he is a good sport.  He humors me.  We hang out on the front porch away from Putty's backyard space for a good five minutes!  We take in the sunshine and enjoy the great outdoors. Or, at least one of us does.

Trying new things takes time. Ain't that right, Ozzie?  He may not believe it now, but one of these days Ozzie will know he is one purrty cool cat.


✌ and