Tuesday, March 6, 2012


This morning, for the first time this year, a sparrow erupted in chirps outside our bedroom window. A sign of spring. I envy those of you who live farther south who are already seeing the pale yellow wash on the bushes of forsythia. We still have snow on the ground.

I’m going to Florida! My sister Dolores owns a home in Fort Myers and has been asking me to come down for a visit. I finally agreed, and will be gone from Minneapolis from March 13 to the 21st. I’m taking my laptop with me, and so should be able to continue blogging. We’ve been exchanging e-mails about where we’ll go: to various beaches, to the Ding Darling (isn’t that an interesting name? He was a famous boat designer) bird preserve, to play golf, to just sit in the sun, shopping, etc., etc. Any suggestions? I've been there before, it's a very pretty area. I remember the row of huge banyan trees on the Henry Ford and adjoining Thomas Edison estates. And the shells on the beaches of Sanibel Island.

Today I’m going to interview some people who work at the Courage Center. I want to pick their brains about therapy pools and how they are set up and run– and how their security systems work. I am, of course, going to mess with the security system in the book I’m about to write. I have a friend – more an acquaintance, actually – who is designing the facility, and she’s come up with a pretty good idea for the flaw.

We have two cats, Panzi and Snaps. Both of them occasionally throw up – Panzi especially will stop eating her favorite snack, turn away from the bowl, and throw it up. Five minutes later, she’s back, wanting more of the same snack. But lately Snaps has been throwing up a lot, especially at night. It’s not a fur ball, there is little fur in it, though some. And there’s not any partly-digested food in it, either. I’m thinking a call to our vet is in order. We’re lucky to have a home-visit veterinarian. He’s a very nice man, very gentle with the cats. Do any of you have suffered a similar problem with your cat? What turned out to be the problem?

Advance notice: Saturday, March 24, from one to five: Bloomington Book Fair, at the Bloomington Center for the Arts, 1800 Old Shakopee Road, Bloomington, MN. I’ll be sitting at a table with Carl Brookins, senior member of my writer’s group, and we’ll both have books for sale.


Linda O. Johnston said...

Your upcoming trip to Florida sounds like fun, Monica. Can't tell you any cat stories about bad digestion but if you want to hear about doggy problems just ask!

Lynn said...

Have fun! And be prepared for HOT temps! We've had a weird winter this year. One place that I remember being fun is the Bubble Room on Captiva Island. It's a very kitchy restaurant, fun place to eat and the food aint bad either!

Ellen said...

Not only was "Ding" Darling a conservationist, he was also a Pulitzer-winning editorial cartoonist. For quite a few years, I owned two collections of his cartoons.

Chrystle Fiedler said...

My friend is in Florida right now and staying in a cottage in Siesta Keys. She is having such a great time and it's still COLD here in NY. I'm glad for both of you! Have fun!

Julie said...

Oops! Comment posted before I signed. ientsess

Betty Hechtman said...

I adopted two adult cats a few years ago from the SPCA. One of them throws up all of the time. He was 7 when we adopted him and must be around 10 now. All that throwing up doesn't seem to be a problem for him. Just me, the clean up.

I kind of remember my Vet saying that cat can throw up because they're upset.

Have a great time in Florida!

Dee W said...

Have a wonderful time in Florida!
Have you read All My Patients are under the bed? It's written by a vet who did housecalls in New York. One of the first books I discovered when I went to work at the bookstore. Fly Safe!

sosarahsew said...

When my in-laws wintered south of Ft Meyers, we would visit every year.

Corkscrew Swamp was always a favorite on our list annually. It sounds messy, but is really beautiful with a boardwalk to see all the sights - we saw alligators, owls, cormorants, a bear, and wonderful plant life as well. Start out early in the morning because it is less crowded then and also getting quite warm by the time you're done.

Babcock Ranch was also a fun place to see. They have tours on a bus to see the area easily.

Foodwise: I thought Rhodes key lime pie at Bonita Beach was the BEST and Michelbob's has great ribs! awwwwww, now I'm hungry!