Uncover the Sun

Great Wealth


There is great wealth

in releasing

out of your life:

clothes you never wear,

unhelpful ideas,

unsatisfying work,

and unkind people


If you sit quietly

and feel love inside you

it will be easier to tell

what is missing around you,

what supports that inside peace

and what does not

bring you joy


There is great wealth

in knowing

who you are

and who you aren’t

while still

not knowing

who you may become


Uncover the Sun



You’ve been hiding

under the cat’s paws

and been stepped upon by many feet

yet no harm has come to you behind glass-

nothing touches your hummingbird hope


you can pretend that autumn leaves

are new spring green

but then they crackle and cackle

like old geese and the jig’s up

you really are older than you look


and time presses itself between book pages

into past stories you no longer have time for

and young people want you

to wait for them

to grow up enough to care


but you don’t have time

to wait by their water,

you have to jump

into yours and be splashed by life

with the best possible passion


because it really is autumn,

the long summer has fallen

away, far away

and winter comes

on tiger feet roaring


Uncover the Sun

This week we have a guest blog from Olive Evangeline, an advice columnist from Catmopolitan Magazine, the go-to read for the urban feline.  Her “Just Ask Olive” column has become highly popular over the years. She welcomes questions from her readers and will answer any inquiries in the next edition. Thank you, Olive!

Dear Readers,

I am pleased to present you with “Just Ask Olive,” my advice column for anyone who ever wondered about the relationship between humans and the animal kingdom. I don’t say kingdom lightly. As every cat knows, we are here to be served. Feel free to send comments, questions, and concerns to me via this blog, and I will try to answer them as I find time between daily bathing, eating, and snoozing. Enjoy!


Dear Olive, I would like to show my human some appreciation for her years of service. What do you recommend? -Grateful in Idaho

Dear Grateful,

So, you want to gift your human with a token of your appreciation? It is often difficult to choose between a bird, rodent, or snake. For anniversary or birthday presents, nothing says I adore you like a tasty mouse carcass! To motivate your human to keep up good service, choose a small bird, since cleaning up the feathers will keep her tidying skills tip top. For service beyond the norm, a snake adds a bit of excitement to any household. And for superlative behavior, there’s nothing like bringing in a bat for high entertainment.

Dear Olive, I love my humans, but they are often uncomfortable bedmates at night. Do you have suggestions for a more restful sleep? -Restless in Montreal

Dear Restless,

It is difficult, though not impossible, to get a good night’s rest with humans sharing your bed. Although they are subject to tossing and turning, wrenching the covers, and generally dislodging your perch, there are ways to keep the interference to a minimum. Sleep on your humans’ feet, wedge your body next to theirs and go limp so they are unable to turn over, or snooze on their head to keep them immobilized. Now you can catnap stress-free!

Dear Olive, I am gaining a bit of weight on my kibble, but it tastes better than the canned stuff they keep serving me. How do I maintain my fine furry figure? -Portly in Portland

Dear Portly,

Ah yes, canned food or kibble? While it is not impossible to lose weight eating kibble, it is a slow process. Canned food, though it smells like metal, will definitely shrink those belly bulges. You could also try eating less or chasing other cats around the yard more to reduce pudge poundage. But the real question is, do you care? Luckily, being a cat allows you to love yourself completely, no matter the size of your girth.

Dear Olive, what do you do when your humans are too lazy to clean the litter box properly? -Disgusted in Arizona

Dear Disgusted,

You can always defecate or pee on the bed to get their attention, or barf in their shoes. Other ways to show your displeasure include biting them on the hand when they try to pet you, stomping on their belly in the middle of the night to wake them up, or breaking objects they like. Then there is the death glare, a fierce eye gaze so powerful that you will know you are doing it correctly when your human jumps to do your bidding. (Note the death glare in photo above.) Continue reading

Uncover the Sun

Leaps and Boundaries

Sometimes we simply have to shore up our boundaries and say “no” to people, places, and situations that bring us pain. Though seemingly insignificant, the appropriate use of that tiny, two letter word of negation can completely change our lives. If we decline to spend time with people who harm us, or with whom we are not at all compatible, or in jobs or living situations that diminish us, then we have more energy for experiences that bring us creative inspiration and joy.

And many of us, particularly women, believe that we must constantly change ourselves rather than quitting abusive relationships or jobs, because according to current pop psychology, “everything around us is a reflection of ourselves.” (That phrase has always struck me as particularly egocentric and an example of poor boundaries.)

An awful lot of women stay in abusive relationships and jobs where they are undervalued, simply because they believe it is their responsibility to fix everything, or to work on themselves so that they can handle abuse more effectively. And ironically, for many there seems to be a schism between work and home life. Many women tolerate behavior from spouses that they would never tolerate on the job, and vice versa.

For many of us, removing ourselves from relationships, jobs, or places that don’t work for us may bring feelings of guilt and failure along with relief. We may think we should have tried harder as if relationships are a goal to be achieved, rather than an on-going process of connection between people who may have differing motivations and values. We may have tried everything we can think of to handle a job we loathe or a boss who doesn’t care, or a family member who does not respond to attempts to resolve issues.

While it is a sign of emotional maturity to ask what we may have contributed to a dysfunctional relationship or work environment, it is also mature to recognize when it is not our responsibility to fix something. Sometimes, that little word “no” can move mountains, relieve the weight of trying to fix someone else’s behavior, and lighten our life considerably. And if saying “no” seems too abrupt, phrases like,”that doesn’t work for me,” are fine too. And if we do feel guilty for having clear boundaries and taking care of ourselves, perhaps we need to think about messages we were taught about our own worth.  There is a lot of power in saying no.