Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Cat with C'attitude

The Visitor

His Cat name is Sid, aka Sid-hartha, Sid-dee, Sid the vicious, and Squidney.  These different names represent his changing moods.  He's been lodging here at our place while his owner is packing and moving.

Sid the Polydactyl in the Study, by DG Hudson

In the photo above, you can just see the thumb on the right paw. It looks like a mitten and allows him to swat at things with panache, including people.  He's got the spunk and attitude of a dog, since he was raised with a large dog named Sasha, a female who tolerated his lunging leaps as a kitten. No one is sure who instigated all their escapades, and they aren't telling. But, a thumb does help get things open.

Sid the vicious, at 2 years by DG Hudson

Sid looks a little wistful here, missing his owner.  They will be reunited in about a week. In the meantime, he's come to think of our home as a 'Cat Spa', and we're his attendants. After all, he meows frequently and thinks he's talking to the humans.  Those are probably 'command meows'. He's still young and a little cocky.

Sid in formal pose, best paw extended, by DG Hudson

A Note About Polydactyls

Ernest Hemingway loved polydactyl cats, after being given one by a ship's captain. When Hemingway died, his former home in Key West, Florida was turned into a museum and a home for approximately fifty cats. About half of the cats are polydactyl. Sometimes these cats are called Hemingway Cats, because of his well-known love for the breed. Perhaps Ernest thought their big 'mitt paws' looked like boxing gloves.

We visited the Hemingway House a few years ago and saw these cats lounging on the beds.  In the lush garden, you can see a unique porcelain watering fountain for the cats; it came from Sloppy Joe's.


Have you seen a polydactyl cat's paws?  Did you know about these cats? OR if you like the photos of Sid, let me knowPlease share in the comments and thanks for dropping by.


References: Polydactyl Cats Hemingway House


Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Truth About Letting Go is LIVE!

Leigh Talbert Moore, author of The Truth About Letting Go, is featured here today. If you don't know Leigh, check out her blog. The NEWS: The Truth About Letting Go is officially available February 21, 2013.

The Truth About Letting Go by Leigh Talbert Moore

A companion to The Truth About Faking (not a sequel; the books can be read out of order), The Truth About Letting Go takes readers back to Shadow Falls, or more specifically Shadow Creek, with Ashley Lockett as she learns about real friendship, love, and letting go.

Ashley wants to smash everything in her once-perfect life. Charlotte wants to walk in Ashley's seemingly charmed shoes. Colt wants to turn Smalltown USA on its ear--with Ashley at his side. Jordan wants to follow his heart... but Ashley is the one sacrifice he never expected to make.

Up until now, Ashley Lockett has always followed the rules. She's always done the right thing, played it safe, and then her ideal life is shattered when her dad dies suddenly.

Fueled by anger and grief, she vows to do everything opposite of how she lived before. She rejects safety, the rules, faith, and then she meets Jordan. Jordan has big dreams, he's had a crush on Ashley for years, he's a great kisser... but he's also safe.

Enter Colt. He is not safe, and he's more than willing to help Ashley fulfill her vow.

Get it today on Amazon * Barnes & Noble * iTunes * Kobo

Add it on Goodreads.


I feel Colt laugh, and he looks down into my face. That’s when he seems to realize what I’ve been acutely aware of for the last several minutes—our bodies are pressed together.

“It’s awesome, yeah?” he says. “Adrenaline rush.”

“Yeah,” I breathe. “I guess.”


I’m not sure if he’s going to kiss me until he does. His mouth covers mine, and energy mixes with the alcohol flooding my body. Our tongues slide together, and I grip his shirt so I don’t collapse.  Every single bit of this is wrong, and there’s no way I’m stopping it. It’s back, that good feeling. The sadness has been pushed out again, and in its place is this rush, this rush of adrenaline like Colt said.

He pulls back and smiles at me. “We’re going to start dating. Now. You’re my partner in crime.”

About the Author:

Leigh Talbert Moore is a wife and mom by day, a writer by day, a reader by day, a former journalist and editor, a chocoholic, a caffeine addict, a lover of YA and new adult romance (really any great love story), a beach bum, and occasionally she sleeps.

-The Truth About Faking is her debut young adult romance (on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Kobo)
-Rouge is her first New Adult romantic suspense novel (on Amazon).

Leigh loves hearing from readers; stop by and say hello!

Blog * Facebook * Amazon Author page * Goodreads * Twitter * Tumblr

***  Leigh's Blog, 'That's Write'

Do you know or follow Leigh? (aka LTM)? Do you read romance?  Hope you can say hi in the comments and then, go and check out Leigh's new book!  Thanks for stopping by.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Backyard Birds - Woodpeckers

Even birds know that sometimes, you have to share. . .

Pileated Woodpecker, top; Downy Woodpecker, lower, by Green Eye, DGH

If you have old trees, or even dead trees, woodpeckers will come. Variables affecting this are: the predators in your yard, or if there is food nearby, and tree coverage. When these big Pileated woodpeckers show up, the other birds back off.  Those beaks are sharp and strong, and can kill other birds. The red colour on their heads warns the other birds to stay back.

Pileated Woodpecker looking for food, by DG Hudson

The acrobatic Pileated Woodpecker, in the photo below, wants to hang on his suet and eat it while swinging. It shows the strong markings on the side of the head and the pointed beak.  The preferred natural food is tree grubs, with suet and seed adding the fat they need.

Pileated Woodpecker, Suet feeder, by DG Hudson 

All photos in this post were taken from the side deck, looking down on the feeders. Lurking there, we took these photos as silently as we could so as not to disturb the birds. No special lens was used. These types of photos have to be taken quick and without fuss (minimal noise, beeps, opening doors, etc). The birds don't wait. The Pileated Woodpecker, about 16-19 inches in length beak to tail, is striking with swathes of red and black on the head. The smaller varieties have the same 'don't mess with me' attitude as the larger birds. Or did you notice in the first photo that the smaller bird is on the larger feeder? 


The Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, considered extinct at one time, was sighted in 2006 in Florida, and became a subject of disagreement as to its authenticity. We saw the newspaper article reporting the sighting while visiting. They prefer hardwood forests, and may have changed habitats. That is, if they really have come back. We can only hope.  The Ivory-Billed Woodpecker


And now for something fun. . .

Pileated Woodpecker, Color Injection by DG Hudson


Do you like birds? Any interesting birds you can remember from your travels, your backyard, a movie, or a story? Please share in the comments.

Happy Valentine's to those who celebrate it!


Friday, February 1, 2013

La Belle Époque - Beautiful Era

A time of learning, invention, design and innovation. La Belle Époque or simply Belle Époque, refers to the years between 1871 - 1914. 

In the UK, it paralleled the Victorian and the Edwardian eras. In the USA, this period was called the Gilded Age. Kaiser Wilhelm and Alexander III still ruled their respective countries. France was at the forefront of modern knowledge and new methods. 

Au Lapin Agile Cabaret, Montmartre, Paris, by DG Hudson

Au Lapin Agile Cabaret

During the Belle Époque Picasso and other artists frequented the Au Lapin Agile Cabaret (the nimble rabbit cabaret), a Montmartre spot where art was discussed and sometimes accepted as payment for an artist's bill. Picasso made the cabaret famous in his 1905 painting, At the Lapin Agile.

Prominent artists in Paris during the Belle Époque included post-Impressionists Paul Gaugin, Henri Matisse, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and a young Pablo Picasso.  There were many more.


 Maxim's in Paris, part of the Belle Epoch, by DG Hudson

Maxim's was founded as a bistro in 1893 and later became a Paris hotspot. One of its chefs included the young Wolfgang Puck. Maxim's, embellished with Art Nouveau designs, was a well-known gathering spot during the Belle Époque, the restaurant where everyone in Paris went to be seen. 
In Montmartre, the Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge, Montmartre, Paris by DG Hudson

The Can-can dance was a popular 19th-century cabaret style that appears in Toulouse-Lautrec's posters from the era. This nostalgic period is featured in Midnight in Paris along with the Lost Generation. In Belle Époque Paris as now, the Moulin Rouge is a landmark famous for its burlesque performances 


Did you see Midnight in Paris? Do you consider this time period a romantic period or a scientific era? Would you want to live then? 

Please share in the comments and thanks for stopping by!



Youtube - Belle Epoque   Montmartre post for 2012 A to Z Challenge Belle Epoque - Au Lapin Agile Cabaret (artists' hangout)