Trigger Warnings

Every year I sign up to donate to Operation Shoebox. This year I signed up for 2 newborns and I did my shopping on Friday. As the babies may not be born yet I do not know whether they will boys or girls so I did boxes which are suitable for either. I used yellow and green as my theme.

They provide a list of the items you must include as well as a list of things which are optional. I put in a yellow babygro (aka a onesie in some countries), a pair of booties, a baby blanket, baby soap, baby cream, a facecloth, baby powder, a rattle/teething ring, some nappies, baby wipes, earbuds (or QTips for you Yanks :)) a stuffed animal and some chocolate treats for the new mom. I used a hard plastic see through box instead of a shoebox as the mommy will be able to use it for storage afterwards. I chose Nessie as my stuffed animal in tribute to Norm’s Scottish heritage.

Making these boxes and thinking of how happy I may make someone really makes me feel great. I know that baby goods are so expensive and many moms will have been out of work with no pay due to pregnancy and these treats may make a big difference to them. I usually choose toddlers to do a box for but this year I decided to look after a couple of mommies by providing for their babies.

On Friday night Norm and I were both a bit tired so we decided to stay in and get a take away curry from Indian Oven and binge on Sons of Anarchy.

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Sometimes we just need to chill out and be a couch potato, but we are at such an exciting part of the series that we sat on tenterhooks rather than relaxing. In the episodes we are currently watching they are in Belfast so we take the piss out of the American actors trying to do the Belfast twang and shout out when we see a familiar setting.

We really should get out more I guess.

Saturday morning I was up and out of bed in a rush to get myself and Pixie off to the chiropractor in Noordhoek for 9.30a.m, which meant leaving by 8.30a.m. to allow for traffic. I just washed my face and threw on clothes as I planned to shower later before I went to drum circle.

It was a beautiful day and I enjoyed the view of the mountains and sea on my way there.

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Image credit.

When we arrived at the chiropractor’s house I thought it a bit odd that there were no other cars outside as parking can sometimes be a challenge as I do not know how to parallel park. (Stop laughing).

We were a few minutes early and we just sat outside and watched the world go by.

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I put Pixie’s leash on and we went off to the gate. David has 5 dogs, 2 of which are large loud Newfoundlands and they were all barking at poor wee Pixie and she hid behind my legs. The dogs are not normally out when patients are coming in so this added to my confusion. I rang the bell and there was no reply, I rang the landline and there was no answer. I decided to check my last email from David and I saw that he had not replied to my mail requesting a confirmation of our usual appointment but as I go every 5 weeks at the same time I keep my diary blocked out to avoid double booking. I was so annoyed but there was not much I could do so I just popped Pixie back in the car and headed back home. That is 2 hours of my life wasted and a chance for a long lie in bed gone.

On my way back home I was going around the traffic circle at the top of Constantia Nek and there was a cyclist entering the circle to my right from Kirstenbosch, however he was far away and so I entered the circle and carried on down the hill into Hout Bay. He started shouting at me to ‘wake up’ and so I gave him the finger. This seemed to enrage him and so he caught up to me and drove next to me while shouting angry abuse at me. I then rolled my eyes and made the universal hand gesture for ‘you are a wanker’.

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This made him go full on psycho. He punched my side mirror and continued to scream at me even louder. His face went so red I thought he might have a heart attack.

Due to the violence of my first marriage, aggressive men really trigger me. As soon as a man shows any sign of aggression or anger it puts me into self-defense mode and makes me puff up and goad him on. I know that this situation is my trigger and it is almost as if I have no control over my reactions.

Norm later pointed out to me that all of my road rage incidents are after I have made this hand gesture at an already aggressive man. I know it is a trigger for men, so why do I do it?

I pondered this a lot and I ended up saying ho-oponopono prayer and apologies to the cyclist. I hope it calmed him down and he did not go home and beat his wife or kick his cat.

I am working on maintaining serenity and sending out positivity but it is not my natural go to position as a cynical reality based Virgo, but I think awareness of our shortcomings and trying to change is half way to success, right?

When I got home Norm was busy making us breakfast. I am so lucky.

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I relaxed a bit and had another coffee and then got ready to go to Eagle Owl Lodge for a drum circle.

There were lots of us there and it was fun. I took my own drum and this allowed those without their own drum to use the large communal group drum.


There was a sweat lodge being held after drumming but I did not stay for that. The lodge looked fabulous though.

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While I was out Norm started tarting up our garden shed.


The blue paint is peeling and he’s busy trying to make things more appealing for the upcoming show day.

I got home late in the afternoon and Norm and I decided to see if we could snag a table for dinner at Cheyne’s as he has moved locations to the building which previously held Ragafellow’s before they closed. It is a prime spot with much more room than his previous location. We have now out lived the old Luigi’s, Ragafellow’s and now restaurant number 3 in this same venue.

I booked online as Cheyne had posted on social media that their phone line was not yet in operation and I was pleased to get a booking for 7pm.

We arrived promptly at 7pm only to be told they had no record of my booking despite being sent a confirmation of my reservation. Not again! Last time we tried to go to Lucky Bao they did not have a seat for us despite our booking. I told the host that I had proof of my booking and he asked us to go through to the lounge until he could sort out a table for us. I told them I did not want to eat in the lounge as the tables were awkward for eating and he said he would try his best.

Luckily he managed to get a table for us in a matter of minutes and off we went to settle in. I was busy absorbing all of the changes Cheyne has made and enjoying the vibe in seconds.


Norm was only interested in the menu.

We ordered drinks and chose 4 dishes each as there is a ‘4 dishes for R260’ deal.

I chose the baby shrimp tempura from the Sea section of the menu which comes with red pepper caramel and garlic truffle aioli.

The flavours were divine, it was like the fanciest scampi you can imagine in a sort of salt and pepper batter. Really yummy.

Norm and I decided to add an extra dish to share from the Earth portion of the menu as we were so in love with the duck fat fries when we last ate at Lucky Bao (one of Cheyne’s other restaurants.)

However they were different than the ones we had at Lucky Bao, these were more like wedges than fries. As a result they were not aligned to the delicacy of his other dishes and they were a bit discordant.

Tasty but a bit too chunky.

Also from the Earth portion of the menu I chose the Potato and Coconut Dumplings with tom yum lemongrass cream and peanuts. I love these dumplings so much, they are light and fluffy and so full of flavour. I could eat about a dozen of these babies.

From the Land portion of the menu I chose the Crispy Pork and Quails egg san choy bau with chinese mustard and roasted nuts. I have had this dish before and it never fails to disappoint.

I saved my fourth option for dessert – a choice from the Happy Endings portion of the menu. I really deliberated drifting from my usual choice but at the last minute reverted to form and had the double thick peanut butter shake with toasted peanuts and 70% choc soil.

It is nice to see that Cheyne has expanded his menu somewhat but he has kept his old faves. We really enjoyed our evening and think the new venue is stunning. The large lounge may become a new summer hang out for cocktails.

On Sunday we had a lot of things we should have been doing, but we opted instead for a long lie in bed, watching CNN and drinking frothy coffees while surrounded by the animals.

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Eventually hunger drove us out and we decided to head out for lunch. We stopped at the High Constantia shops and went to Bootlegger’s Coffee Shop.

We were pleased to nab a table outside in the shade. We have never eaten here since they took over what used to be Green’s. We had missed breakfast so we ordered a salad. I ordered the Caesar salad with Bacon. I love a good Caesar salad but very few places do an actual proper Caesar, they usually omit the anchovies or use some other type of lettuce. However I was ever so impressed with their version. It was pukka!

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Freshly grated parmesan, proper cos lettuce, anchovies and a boiled egg. It was so tasty and the service was great. We will be making this a regular visiting spot.

After lunch we headed off to Meadowridge and Tokai to hit a few showhouses. We saw six houses, one which Norman loved but the traffic noise from the nearby motorway was much too loud for me. None of the others were suitable for us however so it was not a very successful venture.

We decided to stop for dinner at Woodcutters Arms and when we got out of the car we were struck by the intense smell of smoke in the air. Norm told me he had seen on social media that there was a huge fire in Glencairn which is across the bay from us.

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Image credit.

I read today that the fire is now out, I hope there was not too much damage. We desperately need more rain to put a damper on these recurring fires.

At Woodcutters we grabbed a cosy corner booth and ordered drinks. We had our usual starters, Norm had his scotch egg.

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And I had my jalapeno cigars.

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For our main we both had the buttermilk chicken breast burger which was juicy, tasty and dripping with cheese.

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There are only a few more days until our big Halloween party which we have every year. I am so unprepared in regards to my outfit but I am sure it will all come right on the night!

Have a great week.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxox

 

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Please Forgive Me

Forgive me readers for it has a been a long time since my last confession. I do not think I have been doing any vast amounts of sinning, I have just been a bit busy.

This message is what is upper most in my mind at the moment however, the concept of the power of forgiveness.

Grandmother Robin Youngblood is the elder who has trained the ladies who I have been eagerly following to try and absorb some of her teachings. She has started a meditation which she wants to go world wide that is based on Hoʻoponopono (hoo-pono-pono) which is a Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. The purpose of this meditation is to tell Mother Earth we are sorry for the damage and harm we have done to her.

The video Robin posted on Facebook is included below.

Ho’oponopono has 4 steps.

Step 1: Repentance where you start by saying ‘I am sorry’. You can choose to specify why you are sorry, who you are apologising to or you can do a general repentance directed to the Universe and it’s inhabitants.

Step 2: Ask Forgiveness by simply saying ‘Please forgive me’.

Step 3: Express your Gratitude by saying ‘Thank You’.

Step 4: Express your Love by saying ‘I love you’.

As with Step 1 you can direct these messages to a person, a thing, a situation, the Universe or even just to yourself. The purpose of the prayer is healing.

To those who have never heard of the concept of ho’oponopono, here is a link to read more about it, but the art of Ho’oponopono gained attention when Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len healed a ward of criminally insane prisoners at the Hawaii state hospital with his cleansing meditation, without ever going to the facility or meeting the people he cured in person. He reviewed each patients’ files, and then he healed them by healing himself. He not only improved the prisoner’s behaviour patterns, but also the atmosphere of the ward personally over a period of four years. He did all of this by repeating the Ho’oponopono prayer.

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The meditations which have been done by the spiritual community that I have watched so far are all slightly different but the main message includes the Ho’oponopono prayer.

I have been practicing this daily by repeating this mantra to family members, to the Universe and even to drivers who cut me up in traffic.

This makes me feel at peace and calm. Whenever I think about the chaos in our world, the corruption of our politicians, the recurring hurricanes, wild fires and other symptoms of our disrespect to Mother Earth it makes me anxious. The prayers make me feel less filled with despair.

Another reason why I have not been posting for the last few weeks is that Norm has been away for three weeks and we always keep his absence off of social media for security reasons. He was in Budapest, the UK and Malaysia on work. I had Vanessa my manicurist and her daughter Robyn come stay with me to help me manage the dogs and to provide me with a bit of company at night.

I cannot be home to feed the dogs at 8am and to let Cordelia in when she arrives at 9 and still make it to work and home again to deal with the dogs in the evening. Also the dogs need to go out midday for a wee on the days when Cordelia is not there and Vanessa works in the village so she could pop home from work to let Navajo have a wander around the garden. She fed the dogs in the morning and waited for Cordelia to arrive and I dealt with them when I got home around 5-6pm. It worked out perfectly and Vanessa and her daughter are both so sweet so it was a great plan.

Norm came home this Monday and it was so lovely having him home. It makes me appreciate him when I have to do everything he normally does for me.

Usually when he goes away we have some sort of drama or catastrophe but this time all seemed to go smoothly other than a fire in our village which raged for days. It started behind a 5 star hotel on the coast road.

This meant that the road was shut during the peak part of the fire so that the firefighters could work without traffic obstructions. The road was closed also due to the lack of visibility for cars passing by. That meant the entire valley had to exit via the only other road into our village and it took me 2 hours to get to work.

Eventually the fire crossed over the mountain into Hout Bay due to the shifts in wind. It was on the opposite side of the valley from my house so I was safe but it was very near Retha’s house and the smoke was horrendous. You could see it from my house.

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On Friday night it was raging very near Retha’s house.

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Image credit.

I stayed home mostly while Norm was away other than one or two ventures out and about. Retha and I went out for breakfast to Pastis last Saturday to escape the smoke from the fire.

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We both had the eggs benedict.

Pastis Eggs Benedict

After we had brunch we popped into Sacred Ibis to collect the drum bag that Michelle had made for me. I cannot say how much I love this bag. Birds are so significant in my life.

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The level of detail is so intricate. Even the zipper is lovely.

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When I got home I decided to pray and drum for rain to both fill our drought ridden dams and to put out the fire which was still raging. Later that afternoon the heavens opened and it poured with rain and extinguished the fire.

I hope that I helped to contribute to that rain.

With prayer anything is possible

I thank you Mother Earth.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxo

Listen to the Coyote

This past weekend I barely feel as if I caught my breath! It was non-stop from start to finish.

In fact since my last blog I have been really busy. Maybe this is due to the warmer weather erratically arriving?

On Wednesday after work Retha came for drinks and afterwards I cooked dinner. I made Mexican salads with spicy beef and they were yummy.

I did not have any leftovers for my lunch the next day and the girls at work naughtily persuaded me to use OrderIn to get sushi from Sakura Sushi Bar.

It was divine! I ordered:

  • 1 X Prawn, Avo & Mayo Salad @ R48.00
  • 1 X Salmon Roses @ R64.00
  • 1 X Open Prawn Tempura @ R48.50

sushi

That day Norm sent me a message to say that my cousin ‘C’ had posted ‘RIP to her  sister ‘T’ who was ‘transitioning” on Facebook. Norm is C’s friend but I unfriended and blocked her years ago due to her random bizarre harassment on Facebook.  My Mom is still friends with T and so I messaged Mom to say that T had passed away. For some reason my Mom decided to ring T’s phone and got the shock of her life when T answered. Mom told T what C had posted online and then C starts harassing my Mother on a continual basis. I had to show my Mom how to block a phone call, what is wrong with someone who harasses a 75 year old woman for caring about her sister?? The crazy is strong in my family. One reason why I am quite happy to not be in the states.

Our house pictures went up on Property24 late on Thursday night. Several of the pictures were terrible and it really upset me. It upset me so much I could not sleep. I probably had 4 hours sleep on Thursday so all day Friday I felt dreadful. I messaged the agent and he took down the worst of them but none of them are great quality. They are blurry and yellow. The view and the outside of the house look amazing but none of the inside pics do the house justice.

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Here is a link to the full advert: My House.

What do you think?

After work on Friday I went to Kevin, the Chiro who is coaching me on Mindfulness and working on my knee and back issues. He reminded me to focus on the now and to not obsess about whether the house will sell or what may or may not happen.

He took my blood pressure and it was 165/82 which explained why I had been feeling so rubbish all day. I had thought it was lack of sleep and stress. The question is did the stress or sleep interruptions cause the blood pressure issues or did the blood pressure issues cause the stress?

I am sure it is a cyclical chicken/egg type response.

I cooked baked chicken breasts, steamed cauliflower and spinach for dinner and settled in with a wee vodka to relax. I was so tired so I did not want to go out. I started watching Lucifer a series I had not watched before and it kept me amused for a few hours. I am really enjoying it.

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I loved the lead actor, Tom Ellis when he was in Miranda and he is very funny and sexy in this show.

I was up early on Saturday as Caitlin and I were going to collect the pottery we painted on my birthday at Clay Cafe. The plates look so stunning!

 

After we collected the plates and my mug we had eggs benedict and a coffee.


Then we headed over to Earthworx garden centre to find a new plant for Caitlin’s flat. We had a little wander around and discussed all of the plants and then enjoyed gazing at the Fairy Garden they have set up.

Caitlin bought a plant and a new pot to put it in and then we parted ways. She went to the house to pick up some things she had left and to sort a few things before going to lunch with Wesley.

I headed into the city to the hairdresser to get my roots done. I snapped this when I got home.

Grey begone!! 

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It was a gorgeous sunny day so I sat on the porch while Navajo and Panda had a mooch about.

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Retha messaged me to ask if I wanted to come for a braai at her place and then she came to collect me. There were only a few of us there, it was such a warm day but in typical South African style once the sun set it was freezing so we layered up and tried to stay out of the wind.

me at retha braai

I had far too much vodka and got to bed a bit late. It was made even worse when Navajo woke me at 5 am to go outside and then wanted to go out at 6 am again as well. He seemed to be feeling poorly.

Eventually I got up and started getting ready to go to the Introduction to Shamanism course that Michelle (Dancing Heart Spirit Woman) was putting on at Soul. I was very happy that Norm had driven me there before and I could follow my instincts to get back there as I am not very good with directions or new places I have never been before. I set off in plenty of time and was there a bit early. My friend Carol also attended. We sat outside in the garden in the sun until everyone arrived and was ready to start.

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Eventually we all entered and got seated in a large circle around the room. There was a cloth in the center which Michelle had set up as an altar and we were all invited to place our items onto the altar for blessings.

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I brought my new drum and drumstick as well as some crystals. Other people brought photographs, beads, cards and all manner of personal items they wanted to be blessed by the energy that day.

The altar had an item to symbolise each of the four elements:

  • Feathers for Air
  • A lit candle for Fire
  • Rocks and crystals for Earth
  • Seashells and a bowl of water for Water.

We all took a turn holding the talking stick and telling why we were there and what we hoped to gain from attending the workshop. Then Michelle began her teachings. She taught us about the Medicine Wheel and what the 7 directions represent. I’ve found a few different images to give you an idea of the different elements represented in each direction.

I do not have my notes with me so I got the following info from another site.

The Medicine Wheel, sometimes known as the Sacred Hoop, has been used by generations of various Native American tribes for health and healing. It embodies the Four Directions, as well as Father Sky, Mother Earth, and Spirit Tree—all of which symbolize dimensions of health and the cycles of life.

Different tribes interpret the Medicine Wheel differently. Each of the Four Directions (East, South, West, and North) is typically represented by a distinctive color, such as black, red, yellow, and white, which for some stands for the human races. The Directions can also represent:

  • Stages of life: birth, youth, adult (or elder), death
  • Seasons of the year: spring, summer, winter, fall
  • Aspects of life: spiritual, emotional, intellectual, physical
  • Elements of nature: fire (or sun), air, water, and earth
  • Animals: Eagle, Bear, Wolf, Buffalo and many others
  • Ceremonial plants: tobacco, sweet grass, sage, cedar

The one which stood out to me was the Coyote, who represents the South. He is known as a clown and a trickster and is there to remind us to laugh and play. I know as a Virgo I need this reminder often as it is not in my nature to be frivolous of spirit. I am a serious person and I need to remember to enjoy life.

The other 3 ‘directions’ were also discussed, Above to represent the ancestors, Below to represent Mother Earth and the Within to represent the here and now, the centre of self. The colours to represent these directions are:

  • Above: Blue
  • Here / now / centre of self: Purple
  • Below: Green

We then had a gorgeous soup made from the vegetables that Michelle and Gordon grow at Sacred Ibis. There was also some divine fresh bread and a fruit salad for dessert. Simple, nourishing, healthy food.

We then did a few drum journeys. The first was to find your power animal. I was unable to go into a trance and did not see any animals at all. I had the same issue I have with meditating, my mind will not be still. I kept seeing pictures of hearts. Hearts everywhere but no animals.

We then had a second round where we were supposed to build up the energy of our newly discovered power animal and then blow it into one of the crystals or stones we had brought with us. We had to ask permission from the crystal to store the spirit animal there. However as I had been unable to connect with mine I just let my mind roam free. The word ‘All’ kept running through my mind. Was this supposed to combine with the heart from my 1st session to tell me to ‘Love All Animals’? I do not know.

The third drum journey was to connect with our Spirit Guides. I have always felt that one of my spirit guides is White Buffalo Woman. She has come to me in visions and in symbolism in so many instances. Even before I knew of her story, I would have mediums and psychics describe her to me and ask if I know who she is? Her message to me is always ‘do you know who you are?’. She has been trying to get me onto the Red Road for a long time.

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I saw her in various forms in my visions, I saw her as the beautiful maiden, I saw her as the elder with white braids. But I knew it was her. She had a golden light surrounding her.

I was sad that I could not see my animal totem but seeing White Buffalo Woman was a privilege and it validated what I have felt for many years since I saw her and the other native women in my first vision which took me back to my roots. In that vision she handed me a pile of animal skins and said to me ‘Do you know who you are’? This is always her question to me.

I am finally trying to discover who I am spiritually.

Michelle had brought along some beautiful Smudge Wands she had made. I was drawn immediately to this one.

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I bought it and Michelle told me that she had been gifted the Hawk feather and that she was glad that I had chosen to take it home with me. I love it so.

After the workshop was finished I headed home. Navajo had been sick a few times in the evening, I think he was objecting to the richness of the chicken gizzards he had eaten. I mopped up rivers of dog barf.

That will ground one back to reality pretty fast.

Josh came down on Sunday evening to stay for a few days of work on his project. Lily will be coming down to join him later in the week as they are going to a wedding this weekend.

Yesterday we woke to the horrendous news of the Vegas shooting  in the US and closer to home the shooting in Phillipi.

It is so sad that our world is so full of so much hate and pain. I pray for the victims and their loved ones.

Last night Retha and I went to meet her friend Lauren for dinner in Sea Point.

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We went to Wonderful on Main Road. They have a special on for R89 where you get a bowl of soup, a spring roll, a main course and dessert. What a bargain!

I had the chicken and sweet corn soup.

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Then a vegetable spring roll.

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For my main course I chose the crispy beef with fried rice.

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It was not the BEST crispy beef I have ever had but it was certainly not the worst. The beef was lean and tender.

For dessert we had the banana spring roll with ice cream.

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It was a nice evening full of laughs and busy conversation.

Tonight I am having a quiet night in as I am exhausted! 

The coyote will have to find someone else to dance with him tonight.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxo