Carolyn Holm

One Dog, Two Cats
Grand Ideas
InterSpecies Memos

Cows???

Dear Mom,
Winston doesn’t know his own name.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Of course he does, he just pretends he doesn’t.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
He doesn’t even look at you when you call him.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Sometimes. When he’s in that mood I can call him ’til the cows come home and he won’t acknowledge it.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
We have cows???????
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
That’s just an expression, sweetie.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Cows have an expression?
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
No, it’s just a way of saying… oh never mind.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I want to see the cows when they come home!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
You’d probably bark at them.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I would!!!!! I’d be so excited!!!!!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy
You’d probably completely flip out crazy.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
That sounds so fun!!!!!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
The cows would probably stamp on you.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
A cow would do that?
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
An annoyed cow confronted by an hysterically barking dog probably would.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Maybe I shouldn’t meet the cows.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Good thinking. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
What should I do when they come home?
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Don’t worry, their home is in a different place.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Thank god, that’s a relief!
XOXO Poppy

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Dress Code

Cher Madame,
Winston is very proud of his cuff. 
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
He is indeed!
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
It’s annoying. He says it makes him more stylish than the rest of us.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
That’s so cute. All it is, it’s just where they shaved his leg for the IV when he was in the hospital.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Voilà. C’est medical. It is nothing about style. That is why it is annoying. Because this petit cat, je suis all about the style. 
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
You are both very handsome cats.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Je suis le Tuxedo. That is much more of the style.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin
Tuxedo cats are traditionally black and white, and technically you are charcoal grey and white.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
The grey and white is a more formal Tuxedo. With pink accessories.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Accessories! You mean like the pink nose and the pink beans?
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Beans? Comment????? Of what does Madame refer to, the beans?
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Beans are a cute name for a cat’s neat little round pads. That’s what they look like. Pink beans on your feet. Black beans on Winston’s.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
The Winston has the black accessories. Poppy doesn’t have any proper accessories.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
She doesn’t have beans, but she is dressed to the nines. All those skirts and that plume of a tail.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
She thinks she is properly presented, but her look it is vulgar. Regarde the ears. The ears are preposterous.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
I think her ears were designed by Dr. Seuss.
Love, Carolyn

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Crows

Dear Mom,
I took care of the crow situation for you. I ordered them to get out of the birdbath.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Thank you, sweetie. But they’ll be back.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Yesterday you called them a bunch of low-lifes.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Because they left greasy rib bones in the birdbath. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I’d like some rib bones!!!!!! Why didn’t you give them to me?
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
I didn’t think of that. But anyway, those bones were picked clean. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
They like to bring their lunch to picnic in our garden.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
They do. I like crows, they’re smart and interesting. But I wish they wouldn’t leave their trash in our birdbath. The other day there was a mayonnaise packet floating in the water. Surrounded by an oil slick. Disgusting. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
They are also very noisy animals. They do a lot of yelling together.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
They do. I wish I knew what they were shouting.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
They are probably saying that humans leave trash everywhere, so it must be okay.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Touché.
Love, Carolyn

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Emergency!

Dear Winston,
I’m so glad to have you back home again. Three days without you seemed like such a long time. We missed you!
Love, Carolyn

Mom,
It was horrible! They hooked me up with tubes! And stuck me with needles! Look at my front leg – they shaved it!!!! Though actually, that looks kinda cool.
Winston

Dear Winston,
You had a serious condition. A urinary tract blockage left untreated will damage your kidneys. You can’t get very far without good kidneys!
Love, Carolyn

Mom,
I thought kidneys were something to eat.
Winston

Dear Winston,
They are, for a carnivore like you. But you have a pair inside of you and they are a very important part of your body. I’m so glad you woke me up with your crying so I could know that something was wrong. Though I have to say 3:00am was a bit early. 
Love, Carolyn

Mom,
I was glad when you and Dad came to the hospital on the second day to visit me.
Winston

Dear Winston,
We were so glad to be able to! Normally, because of Covid rules, we wouldn’t be allowed inside. But they called us and asked us to visit you because you were despondent and not eating. When we sat with you, we could see that you started to relax! But I was surprised you wouldn’t touch the Temptations treats we brought.
Love, Carolyn

Mom,
I’ll eat some now if you like!!!!!
Winston

Dear Winston,
I’m sure you would love to, but I don’t want you filling up on Temptations. You need to eat your dinners. You need to get healthy again. Sweetie, you are still having trouble with the peeing. That’s why we are keeping such a close eye on you. We don’t want any more emergency visits to the hospital! 
Love, Carolyn

Mom,
Dinner has been a new kind of food. I don’t like different food.
Winston

Dear Winston,
It’s special food for your condition. To make you well again. And keep you out of the hospital. They loved you there, they thought you were a handsome dude and really sweet, but they don’t want you showing up again as an emergency!
Love, Carolyn

Mom,
I like the salmon treats you’ve been giving me twice a day.
Winston

Dear Winston,
You do indeed! Those are “pill pockets” stuffed with some of your medications. I’m so glad you like them because they sure make it easier to get the pills into you. But you have made the liquid medication nearly impossible without a chase and a dramatic wrestling match. Not to mention there is blood involved. But we’re almost finished with that, and then we’ll just have the pills in the pill pockets to deal with.
Love, Carolyn

Mom,
Puffin is jealous. He likes salmon. He wants some of them too.
Winston

Dear Winston,
Puffin appears to be annoyed that you came back from the hospital. I think he thought it might be nice to be the only cat.
Love, Carolyn

Mom,
He’ll get over it.
Winston

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Spots

Cher Madame,
Spots are très important.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin, 
Yes, you have some very nice spots. One like a badge on your chest, and a nice round spot on each heel.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Not that kind of spot, Madame. The kind of spot where this petit cat can spend the morning. 
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Okay, I know what this is about. My apologies, I got sidetracked by a phone call first thing this morning, and I didn’t make up the bed right away. I realize you were waiting for your spot.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
This petit cat was forced to wait around for Madame to prepare the spot. C’était the inconvenience. But the apology she is appreciated. 
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
It’s a lovely morning spot you have there, on the bed looking out of the window.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
But the bed must be properly made up with the comfy fur cover over the pillows. That makes it the good spot. 
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
You have several good spots.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Mais bien sûr. A proper cat has one for every occasion. For the afternoon there is Poppy’s bed in the living room.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
What about the dining room window spot? That’s a good one for watching the bird feeder between naps.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
That is an adequate spot, and it used to be a favorite, but the Winston has been putting himself there every day. This petit cat likes to enjoy his nap undisturbed by the proximity of an annoying youngster.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Understandable. 
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
There is also the Game Spot.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Where you sit expectantly every evening, at precisely 9:00pm, ready for playtime to start. I wish I could sense time as accurately as you do. 
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
It simply feels like game time. And the youngster Winston sits in his Spectator Spot. Up in the Stadium that is the sofa. Where he can watch me demonstrate my superior hunting skills, strategy, and artistic form. Then, when it’s his turn to play, you run him up and down the sofa with the fly-on-a-wire. No skill required.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
No, none required. Just a wild scramble back and forth chasing that thing.
Love, Carolyn 

Cher Madame,
He seems satisfied with that. Maybe just because he is quite young. And muscularly athletic. 
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Good observation. 
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
And to finish the day, there is the night spot on the bed by your feet. 
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Where hopefully you won’t weigh down my feet and cut off my circulation.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Toujours le sarcasm.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

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Pow!

Dear Winston,
That’s quite an entrance you just made.
Love, Carolyn

Mom,
I’m doing Zoomies!!!!!!!
Winston

Dear Winston,
I love it when you make a sliding entrance, like Tom Cruise in Risky Business. All you’re missing are the white socks and air guitar. But you have the attitude.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
I don’t know what you are talking about.
Winston

Dear Winston,
I know. It’s a human thing. A movie from the ‘80’s. 
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
Look out, I’m ready to start zooming around!!!!!!!
Winston

Dear Winston,
It’s ricochet time. I hope I’m not in your way or anything.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
That’s okay, I can just bounce off of you and over the back of the sofa. You aren’t in my way at all.
Winston

Dear Winston,
I was being sarcastic.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
I don’t know what you are talking about today.
Winston

Dear Winston,
That’s okay. You look like you are having a marvelous time. I’d love to have some of your energy.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
Look out, here I come again!!!!!!!
Winston

Dear Winston,
The house isn’t big enough for your zoomies.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
Woohoo! Look out!!!!!!! I just goosed Puffin. Pow!!!!!!
Winston

Dear Winston,
What was that crash? It sounded like the cat tree going over again.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
It did. And Poppy’s rug skidded into the water bowl!!!!!!!
Winston

Dear Winston,
This is a lot of excitement for one cat. Even for a big thug of a cat like you.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
I’m done now.
Winston

Dear Winston,
After all that activity, what a contrast to see you stretched out on the sofa doing your insolent Putin Power Slouch.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
still don’t know what you are talking about.
Winston

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War!

Dear Mom,
What happened last night?????????
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
You mean the cats. Yes, that was a lot of drama last night.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
They were unhinged! They were crazy! They were hissing and yowling at each other! 
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
It was an all-out war, wasn’t it! I’d never seen Winston stand up to Puffin like that. I didn’t see the incident that set it off, but suddenly there they were, face to face, about three feet apart, and Winston aggressively yowling at Puffin! Then they were both hissing and yowling at each other. And when I went to pick Winston up he rolled over with teeth bared and claws out, yowling and hissing at me! Until he realized it was me, and then he was glad to be comforted on my lap.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
But I couldn’t tell what they were fighting about!!!!!!! It was so scary!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
It was scary, wasn’t it! I’m guessing Puffin was in an angry mood, and he made some kind of bullying swipe at Winston, and Winston realized he’s as big as Puffin is, and it was time to stand up to this bully. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
But what on earth happened to make them so angry??????? They were fine yesterday until they came back from the visit to the vet.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
I think it was the stress of that visit that set them off. Puffin doesn’t like going to the vet, but at least he is used to it. But for Winston, it was all new. Being stuffed into the carrier, the bumpy car ride while he cried the entire way, and then the handoff in the parking lot. It was a lot to deal with.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
That handoff horrified him. He says he thought you were giving him away.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
I would never do that! NEVER. You all know that, right?
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
That’s a relief. Winston definitely needed to know that. He couldn’t understand why you would give him away.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Poor Winston. I don’t blame him for being horrified. Sadly it’s the pandemic procedure now. You were there recently, you know the drill. I have to wait in the car while the vet tech person comes out to collect you and bring you inside for the exam. Poor Winston. The handoff to complete strangers, then being handled by them, and given a shot – imagine how that must have seemed to him. The last time he went to the vet he was a four-pound infant, and I’m sure he doesn’t remember a thing about it. He hasn’t been out of our house since!
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Well, they were both pretty upset. When you got home and let them out of their carriers, Puffin stalked off looking like he’d like to stab someone, and Winston dashed off to hide under the guest room bed. Next thing we know, they are at each other. I didn’t know what to think!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
You handled it very well. I appreciated your restraint. Meanwhile I had no idea what to do with them. It was so upsetting! They were completely off the rails. So much hostility! This was anger, pure and simple. About that trip to the vet. I spent the whole evening trying to keep them apart and calm them down.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I could tell you were upset.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
I’m sure you could. Wasn’t it a relief this morning when they were back to normal? As if nothing had ever happened. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Cats.
XOXO Poppy

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Disruption!

Cher Madame,
The household cannot continue with this insufferable chaos.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
I’m sure you refer to the work being done on the house. I’m afraid we’re going to have to live with that for a while.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
C’est impossible. Le noise, and dust, and noise, and the invasion of strangers. Ouf. And enfin, all that noise.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
It sounds like dinosaurs downstairs, doesn’t it? That’s the power tools. The hammers and saws.
Love, Carolyn 

Cher Madame,
Sometimes the noise of Mexican music.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
I rather like that part. Mexican music always sounds so cheerful.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
Also, the noise of the Poppy insanely barking. She barks at me now every time I enter the room. She needs to calm down. And she goes crazy barking at the workmen. It’s the same men every day. Can’t she figure out that by now they have a security clearance? 
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
I’m with you on that one. It is annoying, isn’t it?
Love, Carolyn 

Cher Madame, 
Why is Monsieur putting us all through this?
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
I’m sorry. Remodeling is always miserable. But when it is finished we will love it! And we’ll have that surprising rot problem fixed in the wall by the patio.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
But now it is terrible. Everything is topsy turvy. 
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
I understand. It’s been a real strain. You are tense, we all are. Last night when I went to move you so I could sit down in my chair, you hissed at me, and growled. But I didn’t take that personally. I understand why you might feel a bit grumpy.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
I don’t think the Winston is tense. He seems to find this all immensely entertaining.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
He does, doesn’t he! Sitting there in the window watching the men work outside on the patio. And sneaking downstairs to get a peek at what they’re doing there. He seems to have adapted to the situation.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
That lunatic even thinks it’s fun that our litter boxes have been moved to your bathroom.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
Sorry about that. But we have to continue to share the bathroom until the remodel is complete. How do you think I feel about it? It’s no picnic for me. But I appreciate your discretion. You only use your litter box when no one is around. 
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
The Winston loves sharing the bathroom.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
He does. He is so weird. Whenever I go in there, he shows up to join me. So he can use his box while I’m there.
Love, Carolyn

Cher Madame,
C’est inappropriate. But even more concerning is that Madame is okay with his behavior.
Regards, M. Le Poufin

Dear Puffin,
I think it’s hilarious.
Love, Carolyn

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Abandoned

Mom,
WHERE IS DAD?????
Winston

Dear Winston,
In Alaska!
Love, Carolyn

Mom,
Alaska?????? Why???????
Winston

Dear Winston,
He’s fishing! He’ll come home with a pile of salmon!
Love, Carolyn

Mom,
Can’t he find any salmon here?
Winston

Dear Winston,
Not like the salmon he finds in Alaska. There he gets to stand in a freezing river, in the cold and rain, to snag his salmon. Something only a dedicated fisherman would appreciate. 
Love, Carolyn

Mom,
Puffin says Alaska is full of predators.
Winston

Dear Winston,
Oh my god, not the predators thing again. Will you guys please stop with the predators story? Dad is not going to be eaten by predators.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
You say that, but Dad told Puffin there are Grizzly Bears right there where they fish. You don’t get more predatorish than that.
Winston

Dear Winston,
The bears are too busy fishing themselves to pay much attention to humans. And besides, they don’t think we’re all that tasty. They much prefer salmon. 
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
Puffin says your attitude about Dad and the predator bears is cavalier.
Winston

Dear Winston,
Cavalier? Seriously? What has Puffin been reading? 
Love, Carolyn

Mom,
Most of the time Puffin tends to be a grumpy old badger, but sometimes he’s right.
Winston

Dear Winston,
Granted. But you’ll see, Dad won’t be eaten by a Grizzly Bear.
Love, Carolyn

Hey Mom,
He’s been gone for days. If he hasn’t been eaten, then he’s abandoned us. That’s even worse.
Winston

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Louis

Dear Poppy,
Louis was in the garden again this evening. I saw him slip out the gate just as we were coming down the stairs.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
That’s every night this week!!!!!!
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
He must be after the Meadow Mice. I haven’t seen them lately, but someone mouse-sized jumped out of the compost barrel the other day. 
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
But Louis is coming into OUR YARD.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
I know you think it’s outrageous. You put on quite a show the first night he was here. I thought you had cornered a raccoon. You were shrieking, honey, like you were terrified. I was surprised when I went to investigate and found it was just sweet Louis.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
That’s a little embarrassing. But I was so startled to find him there. And you have to admit, he really is a huge cat.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
You should be embarrassed. Especially because you’ve met him before. On our walks. For heaven’s sake, he’s a neighbor. Everyone on the street knows Louis. I do worry about him, though, being so much out and about. With so many coyotes around here, he’s living dangerously.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
I’d forgotten that I’d met him. I’m sorry I screamed at him. I’d cornered him at the back gate and he couldn’t get out of the garden.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Louis looked at you like he thought you were nuts. You were going completely berserk. I had to take you across the garden, tie you up, and then go back and open the gate for him. All things considered, he was very dignified and polite about the whole thing.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Then he came back the next night! Calmly sitting by the roses.
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
He looked magnificent there, didn’t he! Such a gorgeous, enormous golden cat, sitting there in the fading evening light. And I was so proud of you. You didn’t even bark. You just sat down and looked intently at him.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Should we tell Puffin that Louis has been coming by?
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
Maybe not. He’s been touchy about the idea of invading cats ever since last year when that ginger cat peered in at us through the patio window. And ran away when Puffin yowled and hissed at him.  He regards that rout as one of his major triumphs.
Love, Carolyn

Dear Mom,
Puffin still checks that door every night at about 9:00. Looking for that cheeky cat to return. 
XOXO Poppy

Dear Poppy,
So let’s not tell him about Louis. The thought of another invader would just make Puffin anxious. Cats are so territorial.
Love, Carolyn

Get a new post every week!  To get this weekly blog delivered every Friday to your In Box, it’s easy to subscribe: scroll up to the top of the blog page, enter your email address in the subscription box on the right, and click the subscribe button. If you are reading this in an email, go to blog.carolynholm.com to find the subscription box. (And if you’ve already subscribed, multiple paws are raised to salute you!