May 10, 2021

Best Mother's Day Gift Ever

      

     I have always heard watercolor painting is difficult to master because water is a moving thing. Too much or too little will ruin your desired goal. I'm not bragging, well maybe a little, but take a lookie-see at this beautiful watercolor rose painting my granddaughter, Ava, created for me.  I love it!  And I told her the next time we get together, we're going to frame it.  Thank you, baby girl.  I just had to share it with all my online friends out there.  

                                                 -Grammy 

 


May 9, 2021

Happy Mother's Day!!!

      


     Isn't this a beautiful wreath for all the mothers out there to see and enjoy? I know my mother in Heaven would love it.  To me, it represents the tender devotion mamas have for their children, no matter their baby's age.  My friend, Jolene Woods, was sweet enough to let me snap this treasure of hers.  Happy Mother's Day, Jolene, and Happy Mother's Day to ALL!


wreath hand crafted by Tammy Haya 
 Message Tammy on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/tammy.haya.1
 if you'd like her to make something special for you or yours. 

May 6, 2021

Pictorial Bouquet for Mom

 

     If you are unable to be with your mother this Mother's Day, along with a selfie, send her pictures of your flowers, greenery, herbs, whatever you have, as a long-distance pictorial bouquet. (I recently did this with a friend far away.  I think she really appreciated the gesture.)  Don't have any outdoor plants of your own? Take some pics of the neighbor's vegetation so she can see what you look at each day.  Try a picture of a houseplant you've been nurturing.  Don't have flora of any kind? Take a shot of what you're cooking on the stove or  have just pulled from the oven. It doesn't matter what you text or email your mom because communication of any kind will tell her she's in your thoughts, the same as you are in hers. Nothing need be fancy.  If you're watching your pennies, and who isn't, send her a few snaps of the goings-on in your world.  She really wants to know. And a phone call or video chat would be a bonus.  Just sayin' ...   πŸ˜‰

 


                              needs fertilizer

         a cheat picture inserted here from a bouquet not my own




                                                   first tomato of the season!

Make and/or recall memories on 
Mother's Day

May 5, 2021

April 20, 2021

Announcing Our Gnome Mascot Family


R. Novel Gnome with Chappy and Graph

      Please meet the newest members in our GraciousJaneMarie.com mascot family. Left to right: R. (Romance) Novel Gnome and his diminutive friends, Chappy (Chapter) and Graph (Paragraph). Proudly representing this Amelia Island Southern Fiction Blog and The Goodbye Lie historical romance series, the gnomes are joining Abby, our Spokes-Dog,  the various and mostly four-legged members of our Critter Crew, Martha Bear, our Spokes-Ursine and her always mischievous bear friend, Teddy O.  (Teddy is in the process of planning a GTHYOOT -  Glad Ta Have Ya On Our Team staff party.  Those of us who have attended past Teddy O parties, dread, I mean are always somewhat surprised that, so far, we have survived each one. We can only hope this gathering  won't be too eventful, that the goings-on don't make a post here. This is a family friendly blog, after all.) 

  

R. (Romance) Novel Gnome
     R. Novel oversees our gnome team as head story consultant and editor. A tree root inspector by trade, he wanted a change because, by the end of the day, his beard was too often matted with mud and nematodes. Word of mouth led him to us after he'd completed a correspondence course on apple head doll making. His qualifications are slim. No matter because his services, being free, are within our budget. 
     His uniform consists of a sock imprinted with books. (The set of socks was a gift from my retired Navy Chief brother, Bob Harkins. Should R. Novel decide to change his hat, said sock has not been harmed in any fashion by glue, thread or scissors.  R. Novel's beard is a Dollar Tree mop draped over an orange Dollar Tree safety cone.  His golden nose is a perfume bottle cap.  The heart on his beard is from my sister, Nancy Kamp, jewelry designer and teacher extraordinaire.  His moustache is faux fur.  A sharpened mini-pencil tied to his hat with twine and a Goodbye Lie business card complete his look. 


Chappy
     Chappy (Chapter) is our pacing gnome.  His job is to review the flow of my writing, pointing out the good, the bad and the boring. He helps me with this blog, too, when he can spare the time between snacking and napping.  His faux fur beard is over a mini Dollar Tree safety cone.  His hat is a fuzzy sock, with a pencil, paperclip and pinchie-thingie as added embellishments.  The heart he wears has a sparkling crystal in the center, also from Nancy. 
  
Graph
     Graph (Paragraph) is in charge of grammar and punctuation, sometimes rearranging the order of his namesake, i.e., my paragraphs.  His skill set is limited, but he tries very hard, spending his breaks diagramming sentences with pretty colored pencils. We hired him because he is sincere and willing to work for paperclips. 
     He has a shiny green nose, courtesy of Nancy.  And, in the spirit of uniforms, he wears a heart and his hat is trimmed the same as Chappy's.  His hat is half of another pair of fuzzy socks. Never a wastrel, I wear the mate along with Chappy's extra sock. Yes, I sometimes don mismatched socks.  I do it because I am too busy to take the time to sort socks.  Also, I don't look at my feet after I put on my shoes.
     You'll see and hear from our devoted mass of assistants, here and there.  After all, do you think I can imagine all this great blog junk to write about plus my novels, by myself?   
      

April 8, 2021

Free Spring Tree Plus The Goodbye Lie Diaries - Carolena Dunnigan

Spring Tree
     Here is a simple idea for another free seasonal tree.  This time, it is a Spring Tree. With supplies scrounged from cupboards, closets and the garage, it didn't cost a penny.  Silk flowers, bows, decorations from what used to be a fanciful grapevine wreath, a small stuffed bear and light gray bunny, a few pastel ball ornaments, and a garden angel from my kids, well, just plug it in and you have a soft spring-like twinkling tree! Create your own and watch for smiles. 
                           -Jane Marie 

***

The Goodbye Lie Diaries

(Through the magic of electronics, mental telepathy and a smidge of time travel, I am able to communicate with my clan of characters from the The Goodbye Lie series. The result is The Goodbye Lie Diaries, scattered throughout this blog.)

Late 1800s

Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida

*Carolena writes:  


 Good day, Jane Marie,

*Carolena Dunnigan
     I have enjoyed seeing your Valentine and St. Patrick's trees and now your spring tree. Mama and the Littles decorated our parlor palm for Daddy. He hinted and, quite frankly, pestered her into making him his own Irish tree. She loved the end-result. As it turns out, I am inspired now, too, and want to help bedeck a spring tree of our own. I have some lovely hair ribbons that will be perfect, draped over the palm fronds.  If I know my family, I imagine we will decorate one evening soon, immediately after dinner. That way, we can sit back and admire our efforts whilst having a slice of Peeper's vanilla pound cake. Mmmm. 
     I do hope Aunt Noreen doens't come over for one of her intrusive visits. I dread she will critique the finished palm plant and hurt feelings. If she does, I may just let go of my tongue and tell her what I honestly think of her.  I get so tired holding back and not challenging her rudeness. I pinched my finger this morning when I closed a stall door and it still hurts.  I would so enjoy taking my suffering out on her. Of course, if my sister Breelan participates, she may beat me to it. She stands up for herself and injustice more often these days. Being the oldest, I think Bree is fashioning herself after me and growing a backbone. 
      

*Carolena Dunnigan is the featured player in Amelia Island's Velvet Undertow, set in 1889 Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida.  Judgmental, often with a quick temper, she is the interior designer for yachts and ships in the family's Aqua Verde Passenger Line.  Commissioned to build a yacht for a world famous conductor, Paulo Alontti, deceit reigns, driving the story into the horrors of the great Johnstown, Pennsylvania flood.  One reader wrote: I can smell the flood waters! This is all part of Jane Marie Malcolm's Goodbye Lie historical mystery/romance series.

Buy e-books and paperbacks from The Goodbye Lie series HERE! (You will be redirected to Amazon.com. πŸ‘“ πŸ“š πŸ‘)


April 4, 2021

HE IS RISEN!

     HE IS RISEN INDEED!

 


(The wooden church was inspired by Barb at The Shabby Tree. My friend, Doug Roselle, cut the wood, nailed it to the base and sanded it for me.  The star was cut from a copper sheet years ago for a grapevine wreath by Larry Dingman, a master horticulturalist. I made the cross from clay. It was a necklace, originally. Thank you, Doug and Larry.  -jmm)                 

March 29, 2021

Cotton Ball Bunny Face

     Draw then cut out a circle with  ears for the base of your bunny head. Mine from chin to tips of ears is 8 inches and 5 inches wide.  Cover it with cotton balls.  Take those balls and dip in coffee.  Squeeze them out and place outside in the sun to dry.  Meanwhile, run to the dollar store and pick up a pair of false eyelashes.  Our local store had a dozen different styles!  Fluff the dry cotton balls and hot glue to the cardboard base.  Brush some pink blush on the ears for color.  Glue on the the lashes, add a ribbon bow with a flower and a little pink nose or just leave the lashes, but you must have lashes.  That's the best part.  I love my bunny head, inspired by Barb from the online Shabby Tree.  Thank you, Barb.  Enjoy! 
                                  - Jane Marie
 

March 23, 2021

A Flirtation or Danger? - Excerpt from Amelia Island's Mark of a Man

In Miss Ella's Rose Garden   
  
"One last thing, please. I'd like to speak with Miss Marie* about her schedule at the camp. Do you know where she might be, Miss Ella?"

   "I believe she's with our maid, Doctor. I'll get her for you," she called down.

   "Thank you, ma'am. Tell her, please, I'll be waiting out back. I'd like to have a look at your rose garden, if you don't mind.  From Peeper's window up there, it looks like you've some fine specimens."

   Flattered for her efforts, "I'd love to come down and point out the different varieties, but I've got to get some food into Peep before she drifts off. Be sure to examine my Blank Double de Coubert. I've only just planted it last spring. It's the six-foot bush with the large white blooms on the end of the back row. Be careful though. Her extra sharp thorns bring blood if they stick you."

   "Yes’m. And please keep me informed through Miss Marie on Peeper's progress."

   "I'm so happy you've come all the way out to Dunnigan Manor to see about our Peeper," Miss Ella said. "Once again, thank you for all your help."

   As Frankie left the house, his mood was light. After encircling the pretty ten by twenty foot flowerbed three times, he pursed his lips in sudden impatience, and decided to leave. He would catch up with Marie another time. The screen door squeaked then slammed. From behind the trellis full of yellow roses, he could see her holding several carrots. As she passed, his hand struck, taking hold of her wrist and stopping her dead.

   "You scared the fool out of me!"

   "I need to know if you can work an extra shift Tuesday next. One of the nurses can't make it."

   More hours at the camp were far from what she wanted. "Let me think on it while I give our horses some treats."  She walked into the barn and he followed.

   "I need to know now.  I have a schedule to plan. Can I count on you or not?"

   Inside the stable, the smell of clean hay filled their nostrils. "I put in enough time there. I would rather—"

   He tore the carrots from her and threw them onto the floor, grabbing her wrist again. "You'd rather do this?" He jerked her to him, grinding his lips into hers. "Where have you been? You haven't met me at the beach one time this past week," he snapped. "I'm going crazy without you." He wanted desperately to keep kissing her, but there was no darkness to conceal them. "I see that Lt. Seever talking to you in camp. You'd better tell him to quit drooling over you." He pressed his lips to her throat. "If I have to make up a reason, I'll have him or any other bastard court martialed and strung up to keep them away from you!"   

   "Shh," Marie warned, catching her breath. "Don't be silly. The lieutenant and I have never met like this. I swear." She wished about now it was Lt. Seever kissing her. She didn't dare explain the lieutenant had asked permission to call, and she'd kept putting him off. She was sorry she had. Trying to hold the doctor away, "What if someone sees us? What will I say?"

   "Say you're giving me a tour of the place or something. Tell them the truth, that you're feeding carrots to the damn horses. It doesn't matter."

   "Clover did buy two new saddles last week. And there are some barn cats in the loft."

   "Marie. I don't give a pig's squeal about any of that. All I want is to touch you again. Come on." He led the way deeper into the barn. He envisioned Marie lying on the straw and having her right then and there.  The cottage by the sea was so much more private, less risky. At this point, though, he was ready to take that risk. He needed release, and badly. He was beyond the point of discomfort. He'd been holding back from other women, saving himself for her introduction into his wicked and wild world. Anticipating fulfillment, his eyes squinted and his lips tightened across his white teeth.            

   They passed half a dozen horses and two wandering goats, frightened several chickens and one squawking peacock out of the way until he spotted an empty stall. It was still too much out in the open. Although his intentions would take only a few minutes, he still wanted some sort privacy. "Come on. You said you've got cats in the loft?" He got behind Marie and pushed her up the steep ladder. "This should be fun. There are books out there saying making love to a woman in a hay loft is romantic."

   As she climbed, with him two rungs behind her, she whispered, "Make love? I couldn't do such a thing. And here in the family barn? Oh no. "

   Frankie didn't hear what Marie was saying. He focused on the round rump he imagined beneath the sway of her skirts. Once in the loft, he led her to the southwest corner, the furthest corner from the house, and pulled her down on top of him. His mouth was on hers and his kisses were anything but tender. Her hands on his chest, she struggled to put space between them, trying to catch her breath. He would have none of it. He easily overpowered the minimal strength in her arms and she collapsed hard onto him.

   He flipped her onto her back, and it seemed his full weight was crushing her. "Please, not now. Not here. This isn't how it's supposed to be." She wanted to scream yet wouldn't as the horror of shame at being caught permitting such a disgusting act soured her lunch. "I don't want this, Frankie. Stop it. Stop it!"

   His hand fumbled at her dress, bunching it up around her middle. The dry straw poked and stung her bare skin not covered by her stockings. His knees bruised her thighs apart the same time he fingered the buttons on his trousers. Tears scorched Marie's eyes when she saw her bodice open and felt her chemise rip apart. He delighted in her exposure and her embarrassment no longer mattered. Someone had to help her, anyone. One scream escaped, until his hand covered her mouth, squeezing her cries silent.

   "Not another sound or you'll regret it," he breathed into her face. "I've waited too long for this. I'll wait no longer."

   ***************************

*Marie is the youngest of four adult Dunnigan siblings featured in Amelia Island's Goodbye Lie series set on Amelia Island, Florida in the late 1800s.  Throughout her story, Amelia Island's Mark of a Man, Marie's young life seems destined to end in despair unless she stands up to fate. 

 


March 16, 2021

And a Happy St. Paddy's Day to You, Too!


 This Irish Claddagh necklace was a gift from my dear brother, Bob, a retired Navy Chief.  The hands represent friendship, the crown is loyalty and the heart love.  It is very special to me.  Thank you, Bob. -jmm

☘☘☘

HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!!!

March 15, 2021

Accidental Irish Dinner!

      So there I was, making pancakes for dinner from scratch. A little too much liquid in the batter was apparent when I poured three dollops of such onto the hot skillet. They immediately ran together to form one big shamrock- looking flapjack.  Adding a little green food coloring to the rest of the mix then, I proceeded to fill the family with semi-lovely Irish clovers! 
☘☘☘☘☘☘☘☘☘☘☘☘


March 8, 2021

Ain't It the Truth

It's New and Improved!

(What's better?)

It's Old and Still Working.  

                                                                             -jmm







March 1, 2021

Free St. Paddy's Tree and The Goodbye Lie Diaries with Michael Dunnigan


      Here is our St. Paddy's tribute, another seasonal tree for free!  It's a living Norfolk pine with white lights strung up and down the sturdy trunk.  A shamrock scarf tied in a bow is the tree topper.  Add gold and green balls along with light and dark green hand drawn and cut construction paper shamrocks, just balanced on the branches.  Beneath the tree is a black plastic pot filled with necklaces we've collected over the years from our annual Shrimp Festival in May. (Well, except for Covid cancellation last year and this.) Add an oxalis/shamrock plant and a Halloween top hat with a big green bow and you have a fun tree that will cheer the Irish in everybody!  Decorate your own real or artificial plant or tree with green.  The whole idea is not to have to spend any extra money, a thing rarely done.   Enjoy! -jmm   





***

Goodbye Lie Diaries

(Through the magic of electronics, mental telepathy and a smidge of time travel, Jane Marie is able to communicate with her clan of characters from her  The Goodbye Lie series. The result is The Goodbye Lie Diaries, scattered throughout this blog.)

Fernandina on Amelia Island

Late 1800s

Michael Dunnigan
Patriarch *Michael Dunnigan writes:  As Peeper says, "Boy howdy!"  Your green tree is truly an honor for my family.  I humbly thank you.  I would relish a tree like this in our parlor.  Since the ladies are far more handy at such things than I, perhaps a gentle prodding will result in one of our own.  To be factual, prodding will not be needed once they see this beauty.  I predict my wife, Miss Ella, will make a party of it and involve our littles, who are not as little today as they were yesterday.  Youth is far too fleeting for me.  Then again, look at my babies, Breelan, Carolena, Marie and Jack Patrick and what joy they bring us as they journey into adulthood. I correct myself and add mostly joy.  They do keep their parents' lives eventful, but we shan't speak of such at this time.  Instead, I thank you for this Irish delight!   

Most sincerely,  M.  Dunnigan


*Michael, featured player in The Goodbye Lie series, heads the Dunnigan household in the late 1800s in Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida.  In reality, he just thinks he does.  His wife, Miss Ella, pretty much runs his life, in a sweet, and most helpful manner, of course. The number one characteristic about Michael is that he adores his family even when his patience is stretched to exploding as his adult children discover their unpredictable futures.  

February 18, 2021

Another Peeperism - Fashion

Remember this and ya best be wise.
 A low cut blouse will oft call flies.           - Peeper

 







*


Peeper**

Who is Peeper? 
    ** Mid 1880s - Peeper Clegg is the wise and beloved grandmother from  The Goodbye Lie romantic mystery/suspense series who knocked on the Dunnigan family front door one day when Mr. Michael was off to war.  There, in the tiny seaside town of Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida, she had heard his wife, Miss Ella, and little girls, Breelan and Carolena, could use help.  Pushing her way over the threshhold, once Peeper entered the home, she never left.  And everyone who knows this adopted grandmother loves her often outlandish personality, her always loving ways, her delicious forced feedings and her elixer-fixers. (That is everyone except Aunt Noreen, who lives next door, visits Dunnigan Manor far too often and raises a ruckus every time she appears.  Of course, Peeper relishes needling Aunt Noreena, as she calls her.) So, through the magic of electronics, a scattering of stardust and a fluttering of bluebird feathers, she and the others on Amelia Island can communicate from their time to ours and we can communicate back!      

* Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com - Thank you -jmm

Want more Peeperisms? 
Click here --> Peeperisms!


February 12, 2021

Valentine Chihuahua

 

Abby, our spokesdog and always willing model, is posing in her burgundy lace-trimmed daytime shirt meant for frolicking.
 She's all about the love.





Abby is enthusiastically modeling her formal Valentine gown.


πŸ’– May sparkling hearts overflowing with love 
rain down on you forever! πŸ’–

February 3, 2021

Newspaper Heart Family Craft Plus Breelan and The Goodbye Lie Diaries

    
     What is spare time?  I hear there is such a thing, but I have none of it.  I like it that way.  If I'm not working on my next historical fiction novel, Amelia Island's Sand and Sin, in my Goodbye Lie series, writing this blog, walking the dog, growing tomatoes, cleaning, cooking, yada, yada, fill in the blanks, I am crafting.  I have been a crafter ever since I can remember.  One of my earliest memories is making an entire Christmas scene from colored construction paper and crayons and taping it to the metal sliding closet door in my baby brother's room.  Bobby didn't care.  Heck, he couldn't do much more than chew on his hand, and his door was a great place to showcase the entire tableau. From a sun, clouds and a brick house with a smoking chimney to pine trees, the Christmas star, Santa, a sleigh and that one reindeer with a red nose, it was a major undertaking!  Why not more reindeer?  My little scissor hand was worn out by this time.  I'm telling you all this only to prove I am a sincere, ever-loving crafter.  
     Well, I have discovered Barb from Georgia, creative and fun host of  The Shabby Tree online craft videos.  Her projects are usually simple, quick, and you use mostly hot glue, no need to bring out the sewing machine or even a needle and thread. Lots of supplies can be found at The Dollar Tree, too. This time, I made her woven newspaper heart.  And it turned out to be "stinkin' " cute.  That's what Barb always says. 😊 
     Here is a link to her woven newspaper heart video instructions: The Shabby Tree newspaper heartshabbytree/videos/225610678962746 - This is perfect for Valentine's Day, week or month or, if you're like me, all year long.  I love hearts. Get it? love hearts?  I have them scattered all over the house.  Anyway, you can make these as a family craft using rolled newspaper to weave with another roll covering a wire to form the outside frame of the heart.  Secure with dab of hot glue, being careful of burns, of course. (Until recently, I always kept a glass of cool water nearby to dip my fingers in if I accidently touched any of the hot glue.  I discovered rubber finger tips, 3 for $1.00 at Dollar Tree!  They have already saved me from more scars and ouchies.)  You can keep the embellishments simple or fancy with lace, buttons and other bling.  Enjoy! - jmm  

***
Goodbye Lie Diaries
(Through the magic of electronics, mental telepathy and a smidge of time travel, Jane Marie is able to communicate with her clan of characters from her  The Goodbye Lie series. The result is The Goodbye Lie Diaries, scattered throughout this blog.)

Late 1880s
Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida

Breelan Dunnigan writes: 
Breelan
Please thank your Barb from Georgia for the grand newspaper heart idea.  While I am unable to work this link you speak of, for I have no device to show such, I believe I can evaluate the method you have used from your photograph.  There are so many trinkets and fancies around here in sewing baskets and the like, I am anxious to decorate my heart and shant delay. Grandmother Peeper keeps a short stack of newspapers in which to wrap the nasty    scraps she can't feed the animals. Should the family need more newspaper, for the children will enjoy this, too, I can aquire some at the Florida Mirror office.  I will be going there later to turn in my copy about Mrs. Edenmyer. She mentioned to me yesterday how she cracked open a three-yolked duck egg whilst making an elderberry cake for the senior luncheon at the Presbyterian church.  If Major Fairbanks prints my article in the next issue of the paper, she'll be the talk of the town! I'm off with a smile inside me.   


January 26, 2021

Free Valentine Tree Plus Breelan and The Goodbye Lie Diaries


     I love to decorate at no cost by way of using items I already have.  So, if you possess a plant, no matter the size, that is screaming decorate me with valentines, well, do it.  Here is what I did:
     A living Norfolk pine, formerly decorated for Christmas, has delicate branches which are pretty, but not strong.  With that in mind, I wound a string of white lights up and down the trunk.  We had different diameter silver balls and I used them.  I love dried flowers, hence the purple statice, a few white roses and baby's breath. With pink, purple and white copy paper, I cut out valentines of variou shapes and sizes. The best part was adding the teddy bear. I covered the black plastic pot in a white tablecloth, securing it in the back with one of those black binder clips, pooling it artfully. 😁 I made sure the cloth was away from the trunk in order to water the plant.  Finally, I added a couple of cherubs and a pretty heart shaped plate from my sister, Nancy Kamp, and there you have it.  It didn't cost a penny.
     The plan is to decorate this living tree for the different holidays. I can't wait! 



***
The Goodbye Lie Diaries 
(Definded - Through the magic of electronics and a sprinkle of stardust, we are able to communicate with the Dunnigan family of The Goodbye Lie series, set in Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida in the late 1800s!  Scattered through this blog, you will discover a diary entry from Breelan, Peeper, Miss Ella, Pat ... and others who live inside the pages of my historcal romance/suspense/mystery novels. They offer their positive comments, well mostly positive, until Aunt Noreen pipes up.  Oops, that was less than gracious.  I confess I have been reprimanded for telling too much of their personal stories in the books.  I apologized, but then explained how their tales are so mesmerizing and entertaining, it would be a disservice not to share.  (Guilt often works well.) Grudgingly, I was forgiven.  It's nice to have the permission of the fictional characters about whom you are writing.    


Late 1800s
Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida

Breelan Dunnigan
Breelan writes:  Such a lovely idea, Jane Marie. We can decorate Miss Ella's parlor palm.  I'm sure my mother will allow us to do so.  She is all in when it comes to family activies.   The children can help with the paper valentines and make cookies to hang, enough for us all,  Aunt Noreen and Uncle Clabe, too.  We will just have to wait to add the cookies on Valentine's Day morning lest our father strips the palm of anything eatable within the first thrity minutes.  Oh, I know.  We can assign Grandmother Peeper to gurad duty. She may be advanced in years, but she can hear the ting of the metal cookie jar lid being raised from clear out in the barn, so she will catch her Mr. Michael quick enough.

***

The Goodbye Lie series, set in the late 1800s, in Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida reveals the deeds and misdeeds of the Irish-American Dunnigan family. 
  

is available in E-books and Paperbacks

January 15, 2021

Our Button

     15 years ago, on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving in November, at 8:30 p.m., I heard a teeny meow coming from beneath the old Peck High School here on Amelia Island in north Florida. I had just finished handbell practice there.  It was dark and, with a flashlight retrieved from my car, I couldn't see the cat. The only thing I knew to do was call our local  Cats Angels adoption organization. (I tried the fire department first, but they were busy fighting a fire.) I left a voice mail on Cats Angels answering machine. Remember, this was 15 years ago, and I spent a restless night, worrying about the kitty.  Next morning at 9 a.m., sharp, I got a call from Cats Angels.  Sad to say, I don't recall the name of the volunteer with claustrophobia who crawled under the high school building.  The result was an itty-bitty calico kitten whose right front paw had been caught in orange construction netting.  She filled the length of my hand as I examined her paw for injury.  Thrilled there was none, her eyes just barely opened for the first time, she looked up at me.  You know that old proverb about if you save a life, you're responsible for that life? Well, how could I not make her part of our family?  And so we did, naming her Button, as in cute as a button, because she was so small. I remember swaddling her in a washcloth to keep her warm and to cuddle her.   

Button 

Hide and Seek

my helper

Button's kitty-whickers were good luck! When I'd find one, I would tape it to a piece of paper and snail mail it to our daughter, Barbra, while she was in college. 
 You can't have enough good luck in college. 

The truth is we mostly called  her "Kitty" 
and that was the only name she recognized.
 
Who's there?

a portrait

I'm ready for my close-up.

Button's beautiful coat
 We had another calico named Pansy. (Calicos are usually female, as I understand it.)  Pansy had a leg injury.  The vet shaved around her injury and her skin was different colors like the pattern of her fur!!! 


     You know how cats like to get into boxes and game board lids, right?  Button had a favorite cardboard box with a thick towel folded inside for comfort which we kept up on the foyer counter.  She spent so much time in it, our family made up a four word song we entitled Cat in a Box.  To no particular melody, we just sing-song the words cat in a box and then repeat them for as long as we can stand it. Talk about your ear-worm!  Button ignored us anyway.  (I never thought to take a picture of her in her box, but this is the position in which she watched us.

     Well, little Button has left us for a better place. I'm sure one dear cat lover who recently arrived in Heaven, herself,  has lovingly welcomed our girl and they are best buds already.  We are thankful Button aka Kitty spent her life with us. 
                                               - the Malcolm Family

P. S.  I nearly forgot to share the time we evacuated our north Florida home for an approaching hurricane.  Button never liked to travel in her big carry cage.  Covering the cage with a towel so she couldn't see helped to keep her from yowling and she settled down for the three hour ride to a pet friendly hotel in Tallahassee.  We made the large bathroom a safe haven for her once out of the crate, her bed, food and litter box all at the ready. Leaving only a nightlight on in there to keep her calm, we left her sniffing her surroundings while we left the room to grab a quick lunch.  Upon our return, I peeked in the bathroom and the kitty was not there. Maybe she pushed the door open because it wasn't latched sufficiently or the housekeeper ignored our Do Not Disturb sign we hung on the exterior door knob and let her out. The housekeeper said she hadn't been in the room.  Searching, we called "kitty, kitty, kitty" and nothing. I looked under the bed because I heard animals can find or make hidey-holes on the underside of the mattress.  I checked the cupboards, the drawers, everything and everywhere.  Finally, I looked under the bathroom sink.  No way!  Did I mention the room had been recently renovated?  And the wall beneath the sink was left unfinished.  I called kitty, again, and heard her tiny meow.  It was coming from inside the wall, between the wooden studs!!! What to do? What to do?  What if she chewed on the wires in the wall?  Hubby Bruce said to relax. (Don't you just hate that when you want to semi-freakout?)  Button would come out when she was hungry.  You know, he was right. Six hours later, there she was, as if nothing had happened.  After dining and drinking, she settled herself inside the crate, not her cozy bed.  Go figure.  Kitties, gotta love them and we certainly do, don't we.