The Wedge of the San Rafael

The Wedge of the San Rafael
Someone has to live here, in the middle of desert beauty. Might as well be the Kellys.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Boo, the thief

Housekeeping First

First, many thank yous to Marilyn Bown, her husband Gordon, and their lovely daughters and one daughter-in-law, who helped arrange a wonderful book club meeting last week in Salt Lake City. Some 30 bookclubbers (two clubs and part of a quilting book) showed up with their copies of Borrowed Light and Enduring Light. We chatted about the books. I shared some stories about how and why I wrote it, and talked about My Loving Vigil Keeping, which appears to be out already on Amazon. A quilter, Marilyn gave me two lovely pillow cases - with pillows, too - featuring that double wedding ring quilt pattern that Iris was making for Julia. I was stunned.  Thank you all.

Yesterday I had an enjoyable lunch/interview with Cathy Free of the Deseret News, who writes a column called Free Lunch. She wanted to know about my research for My Loving Vigil Keeping, so I brought along the 1900 Winter Quarters census, and a bunch of photos and anecdotes about mining in general and the mine disaster in particular. Let me put in a plug for the Gourmandie French Bakery, a delightful eatery in downtown Salt Lake City, where we had the interview. The food was good, and there were cases of Napoleons, eclairs, and other wickedness. The interview will be out in about three weeks.

And a book launch - apparently a booksigning on steroids - is scheduled for August 11 in South Jordan at the Seagull Bookstore in the South District  from 3-6. The other two authors are bringing along chocolates, and other extravagances. I opted for grapes and maybe those little grape tomatoes which are as good as candy. And there will be drawings for books.

Boo, the Thief

Now to the topic at hand - Boo, our thieving cat. Daughter Liz moved back a couple years ago to regroup, and brought along Flower Jane, a feline refugee from the mean streets of Midland, Texas.  Also in Liz's entourage was Mr. Pants, whose claim to fame is not brains, but a luxurious tail. Last fall, we added to the traveling circus by acquiring Boo, a mostly Siamese named thus because he arrrived around Halloween, and because he's skittish.

He's more than skittish. To quote a line from some stage play: "He would make coffee nervous." From his earliest kitten days, Boo liked to squirrel things away. Liz had a little stuffed Kermit the Frog. Had is the operative word, because Kermit was last sighted being dragged away to points unknown by a kitten not much larger than he was. Rest In Peace, Kermit, wherever you are.

We have our suspicions. Our basement is sort of finished but not quite. The room where Liz sleeps we have charitably dubbed a bedroom, but there is a need for better sheetrock, paint, a carpet, and clever ceiling work to disguise the ductwork. It'll be remodeled next year probably, after we recover from the kitchen remodel that starts any day now. Or never. You know how contractors are.

Boo has a hidey hole in the intricacy of the ductwork, where there is a little shelf. When the doorbell rings, he usually growls (or mutters) and hightails it downstairs to the hidey hole. I suspect that is where he stashes things.

I recently bought a "Draig" (dragon) necklace, to channel my inner Welsh. It seems like a nice thing to wear when I am feeling in need of a dragon, and I have the DNA and the bona fides to wear it. It came in a nice little red satin bag with a drawstring. I set it in a brass bowl on my desk where I keep paperclips. (See accompanying photo) The dragon was inside the little bag, and all was right with the world, until Boo jumped on my desk, took the bag in his mouth and started downstairs with it.

I stopped him immediately, and replaced it in the brass bowl. A few minutes later, Boo did the same thing. I wasn't paying attention until he was down the basement stairs. Fearing that my dragon was about to end up wherever Kermit was, I took off after him. He dropped the red bag by the bedroom where his hidey hole is, and I put the dragon away this time, since Boo was decidedly singleminded about the matter.

Maybe I should put a GPS device in the red bag with the dragon and let Boo have his way. I'm willing to wager that the dragon will end up next to the long-lost Kermit, and probably Jimmy Hoffa and Amelia Earheart, too.


  1. Wish I lived closer:) I love all the books I have read thus far. My Silent Vigil Keeping, I just read, and went through a box of tissues. Loved it, touched my heart, and reminded me of my great-great grandmother who walked the rails for coal. Just bought a bunch more of your books that you are re-releasing, happy am I. Thanks for sharing your talent with us all. Please keep them coming:)

    1. Ah, yes - "walking the rails for coal." Hard times, indeed. Writng My Loving Vigil Keeping has turned out to be a total highlight for me, partly because of people like you who have sent me stories about their mining ancestors. Not to be morbid, but I sometimes get the feeling that "my guys" are watching out for me. They will always be my guys.