Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

It is Christmas Eve day as I write. Susan and Bruce are very busy preparing for tonight's family party. There are many presents under the Christmas tree. I wonder there is a present for me?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Painting & Blogging

Gosh! I didn't realize so much time has passed since my last entry. I've been busy helping Bruce paint the dining room and bedroom. And Susan takes me out to play in the yard a few times during the day. I guess I have been rather tired from all the excitement.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Our Real Nature

You are not the same, nor are you another.
– The Buddha

The words that follow are from my friend and mentor Eknath Easwaran:

"The Buddha is saying that we change from moment to moment. Personality is not cast in a rigid mold; the whole secret of personality is that it is a process. The nature of a process is that it can be changed. For a time, it is true, the changes you are trying to make will not seem natural. When someone is rude to you, you will still feel a wave of resentment inside. It does not matter; at the outset, it is enough to act kind, to pretend to be kind, to stage a sort of kindness performance.

"Gradually, if you put your whole effort behind this transformation, using the tool of meditation, the seething will subside. Then it will not just be a flawless performance, you will actually transform anger into compassion. You will feel sorry for the person who has offended you. You will not be the same angry person you used to be; and yet you will not be someone else, either. To be patient, kind, and secure is our real nature; anything else is being false to ourselves."

I will leave you with this photograph by Bruce Barone:

Monday, October 5, 2009

Gourmet Magazine

I am so stunned and sad to learn today that Gourmet Magazine is folding.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Cat Nadine Speaks

I am still sad about my Facebook account being disabled because I am not an "entity." Sad because I am now unable to share my wit, intelligence and love with my many friends on Facebook. But as I said the other day, I will write here on my Blog more often; I am even thinking of writing a book! Yes, a book. The Cat Nadine Speaks--Wit and Wisdom for Every Day of the Year.

I am inspired by Bruce's website and Bruce's brother Dennis, whose new book arrived in the mail the other day. It's called "Visiting Wallace--Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Wallace Stevens." The book is an impressive assemblage of an astonishing variety of poems and poets! Here is a poem from the book by Dennis and it even mentions a cat!

An Ordinary Evening

His house is empty when
He arrives--empty and
Quiet and large. Perhaps,

It is too large for one man
And two women. From
The window of his study

He can look toward the town
He travels to each morning
And returns each night.

It is winter and the slope of
His yard, so green six months
Ago, is now awash in white,

Patterned slightly by the paws
Of the neighbor's cat. Of the
Garden nothing remains but

The dried out sticks of roses
Trimmed low to the ground
And protruding some above the

Snow. He sits in his study
And thinks of the green of May
And red of June. He awaits

The return of his daughter and
The start of his dinner,
Hearty, he hopes, and hot. He

Dreams the sound of her feet
Upon the stairs, but realizes
That if he has fallen asleep he

Is now awake for she has entered
His room. He smiles,
Stretching forth his hands,

Hands that she steps forward and
Holds. He remembers how
He used to write to her mother

When he went to such distant places
As Greensboro and Elsie stayed
Here at home to guard the fort,

As they used to joke. Holly pulls
Slightly and he stands, shaky
At first, yet, recalling

The hikes he took last spring.

Maybe I will get to go outside this winter and leave paw prints in the snow. Susan and Bruce take me out (I take them out!) every day. Here I am in the front yard thinking about my book!

I have never been outside in the winter, in the snow. I have only stood on my stool at the kitchen window and watched the snow. Sigh. Just writing about the snow makes me think of those beautiful and poetic lines from James Joyce's "The Dead":

"Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther eastward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannaon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Blog

If it wasn't bad enough that Bruce and Susan brought me to the vet yesterday, this morning I woke up to discover that my Facebook account had been disabled because I am not an "entity." I am not sure what that words means in this situation but I am a cat; the cat Nadine. I guess I have relied too heavily upon Facebook as a simple way to stay in touch with many of my friends, but sacrificed writing often here on my Blog. So stay tuned, friends, because I will be writing here more often; I will be bringing you stories, poems, and photographs. Here is a photo of me resting on the living room couch last night:

P.S. The vet said I am a healthy cat!

P.P.S. Here is Sonnet 43 from Elizabeth Barrett Browning, which I think is beautiful and may I suggest you read it aloud:

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints—I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Art and Poetry

Susan and Bruce are sleeping. It is raining. And I hear rain will fall from the sky all day tomorrow, Saturday. I guess I will not be going outside. But I will have the house all to myself. Susan and Bruce are going to see the Georgia O'Keeffe and Arthur Dove exhibition, "Circles of Influence," at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute and then the Edward Steichen and Maurice Prendergast exhibitions at Williams College. Sometimes I think I am a work of art. Look at this photograph of me:

I get kind of choked up just looking at it; forgetting it's me, Nadine the cat! I am reminded of what Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote:

He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.

Speaking of which, here is a pretty photograph from Bruce:

May Peace and Love be with you.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

What Can I Give?

I was helping Susan bake a cake and assisting Bruce with his office work for Kolo this morning. "Whew," I said. "I need a break!"

Now I am reading Eknath Easwaran, Thought for the Day. WOW! It reminds me of me. He writes:

Beauty is all very well at first sight; but who ever looks at it when it has been in the house three days?
– George Bernard Shaw

"Often we try to build relationships on what is pleasing to us, particularly on physical attraction. But if there is anything sure about physical attraction, it is that it has to change. We cannot build on it; its very nature is to come and go.

"Physical attraction is a sensation – here one minute and gone the next. Love is a relationship. It is pleasant to be with someone who is physically attractive, but how long can you enjoy an aquiline nose? How long can you thrill to the timbre of a voice when it doesn’t say what you like? It’s very much like eating: no matter how much you are attracted to chocolate pie, there is a limit to how much of it you can enjoy. Beyond that limit, if somebody merely mentions chocolate, your stomach stages a revolt.

"If you want to build a relationship, build it on what endures. To build on a firm foundation, we have to stop asking, “What do I like?” and ask only, “What can I give?” Then there is joy in everything, because there is joy in the relationship itself – in ups and downs, through the pleasant and the unpleasant, in sickness and in health."

I think I give. Giving love--and help--to Susan and Bruce (And others!) all the time. That's why I'm a cat; the cat Nadine.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Photo of Me protecting my Noci

The Noci is made by Kolo. Bruce is a Sales Manager at Kolo.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Good News

Bruce has not yet told all his many friends about his new and exciting job so let's just keep this a secret between you and me.

Kolo, the leading and affordable luxury brand of archival photo presentation products, used by artists, photographers and other creative professionals the world over, has named Bruce as a new sales executive at the company.

Bruce will be responsible for developing new B2B business throughout the United States and serving Kolo select retail customers in New England and New York City.

“I am honored to be associated with such an innovative company,” Bruce said to me. “I look forward to combining my art history degree and sales and marketing experience toward helping businesses find creative ways to use Kolo products as employee and customer gifts or promotional items, assisting in the development of unique promotions, and educating people on the value of Kolo products as the way to help tell stories, in the store and in the boardroom.”

As most of you know, Bruce is a professional photographer specializing in portraiture and nature photography. His work has been featured in numerous exhibitions. A book of his photographs of Times Square, “Famous People Famous Places, Images of a Forgotten Times Square,” with an introduction by the writer Luc Sante, will be published this autumn.

Did you know Bruce recently owned an art gallery devoted to showcasing the work of young women photographers from around the world and has also worked in the printing and publishing industries? I'm sure you know he's a gourmet cook! And his fiancée, Susan, is famous soap maker!

I think Bruce brings a wealth of creative sales and marketing experience to Kolo. Plus, his work as a professional photographer--his love of art and photography, his creative instincts and his positive spirit are credentials that will help bring Kolo customers success in their businesses.

Bruce mentioned to me how Nautica used a Kolo book as an in-store promotion. How cool! And hotels and interior designers are keen to the Havana Photo Box from Kolo.

I am so happy for Bruce. What could be a better team than Bruce and Kolo!

Here's a photo of me contemplating my very own Noci from Kolo.

As they say at Kolo: "What’s your story?"

Saturday, July 18, 2009


I love this:

"That prayer has great power which a person makes with all his might. It makes a sour heart sweet, a sad heart merry, a poor heart rich, a foolish heart wise, a timid heart brave, a sick heart well, a blind heart full of sight, a cold heart ardent. It draws down the great God into the little heart; it drives the hungry soul up into the fullness of God; it brings together two lovers, God and the soul, in a wondrous place where they speak much of love."
~Mechthild of Magdeburg

I read that on Eknath Easwaran's Thought for the Day. I recommend you explore his website.

Eknath writes:

"There is nothing on earth like meditation. Each day it is new to me and fresh. I find it difficult to understand why everyone does not take to it. Millions dedicate their lives to art, music, literature, or science, which reveal just one facet of the priceless jewel hidden in the world. A life based on meditation penetrates far beyond the multiplicity of existence into the indivisible realm of reality, where dwell infinite truth, joy, and beauty.

"In meditation I see a clear, changeless goal far above the fever and fret of the day. This inner vision fills me with unshakable security, inspires me with wisdom beyond the reach of the intellect, and releases within me the capacity to act calmly and compassionately."

I meditate at least once each and every day. Do you meditate?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Cat Nadine THE SpokesCat

The phone is ringing but I can’t answer it. I am busy updating my Blog. I am so excited to share with you news about a contest that starts on Monday, July, 13 (btw: The 13th is Daryl’s birthday! Bruce’s son.).

Bruce is out photographing nature. Susan is in the kitchen making soap. She’s not called “Soap Susan” for nothing! I am tap, tap, tapping (Or is this paw, paw, pawing?) at the computer keyboard.

Could you use an extra $100? Of course, you could!

Bruce’s friends Leslie Carothers, Jessica Koster and Leslie Newby (on behalf of BiOH polyols, whose soy-based ingredients replace a portion of petroleum-based materials traditionally used in foam) are launching a very cool video campaign on Monday. It will run for two weeks. The person (Maybe cat, too!) with the most insightful comment of the day, on the actual video itself, will win $100. It’s a Video Commenting Contest!

WOW! I can do that! Even me, The Cat Nadine, could use $100.

Bruce says the videos are about eco-friendly furniture and mattresses and offer me a behind the scenes peak at the new eco-friendly furniture lines that are coming out as told to us by furniture industry CEO’s, many of whom have cats, too! Do I hear play date?

As Bruce says, It’s All About Soy Love. Working for a higher purpose; helping families make better choices; foam is yet to be completely green but it is greener as it is made with some soy vs all oil. Meow! Makes me want to lie down and nap!

But, wait, there’s more!

The collective impact you and I (Yes, even The Cat Nadine!) can have on educating people about foams made with soy and the positive impact on our environment is huge. And you all know how important the environment is to me. I am green. And I love to nap on comfy, enviro-friendly furniture and sleep on mattresses that are good for Bruce and Susan; they wake up in much better moods that way. I wonder if soy tastes as good as catnip? Hmmmmm. Bruce? Susan?

My fellow cats, and friends, can you imagine how good it will make us feel to know that we are making better choices for our families and our futures? Close your eyes and imagine. Please. Try it. AH! And then imagine covering the furniture in TORAY Ultrasuede, which is a VERY cat-friendly AND eco-friendly fabric. Can it get any better than this? Well, only if I am outside eating grass, I suppose.

And there’s still more! On Wednesday we’ll get to see a video of the ever-charming Julia Rosien of NaturaWorld being, well, cat-like, Nadine-like, purring and promoting the best mattresses on the market. I can’t wait to curl up at her feet! WOW! And MEOW!

I got to get Bruce and Susan to watch this with me!

And you, too!

Starting Monday, July 13th, let’s all tune in to experiencebioh each and every day for the next two weeks and comment. I want to win a $100.00 EVERY DAY; Bruce and Susan could take me for a nice little vacation if they won $2000.00. But where? Any suggestion?

Come play with me; unless, of course, the cat's got your tongue!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Cats and Dogs

I was reading on Facebook that Bruce likes dogs. I didn't know know he liked dogs. I know he likes cats. I guess now I know he like dogs. And family get-togethers. And red wine. So says Susan Rapp of Urban LifeStyle Decor who posted a photo of Bruce's on Facebook on The 4th of July.

Cats. Dogs. This got me thinking about The Declaration of Independence. It was written on July 4, 1776. That is 233 years ago and still is a symbol of democracy.

It begins:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident:

"That all men (And cats and dogs I might add!) are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness......."

Ah, happiness. Happiness! How can we say happiness and not feel happy? I'm happy. Bruce is happy. Susan is happy. Bruce and Susan (And me!) had a great family gathering at our home on July 3rd. I got to go outside with them and Bruce's son, Daryl, petted me. Meow! On the 4th of July Bruce and Susan went to Stanley Park in Westfield, MA for their first "letterboxing".

Here is a photograph that Bruce took at the park:

Bruce says he is happy to get support for his photography from Urban Decor Sue and others; people like Leslie Carothers. Leslie lost her Grand Ma this past week. I feel sad about the loss and wonder how Leslie's Grand Pa, Jerold Frederic, the famous pianist, will be.

I will think happy thoughts for all my friends.

Friday, July 3, 2009

What More Could Nadine Ask For?

I thought I would get on the computer before Bruce and Susan wake up. It will be pretty busy around here today as family and friends are coming over for a barbecue later to celebrate the 4th of July. Daryl, Bruce's son, is coming and he always shows me attention and affection. And I get to go OUTSIDE, if the weather allows.

Bruce has planned a wonderful menu. I am sure he will post it later with photographs. Susan makes dessert and she will spend lots of time going through cookbooks trying to decide. And Bruce will want to be getting to the grocery store…and so it goes. They actually are a great team; Bruce is the calming force and that goes a long way for making a happy household.

I am so happy to live here—love, peace and beauty and great food. What more could a cat ask for?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Some Thursday Thoughts

When Bruce comes into the sitting room to watch the ladies' semifinals of Wimbledon, I am half asleep on the couch. He sits next to me. I stir. I am thinking about yesterday when I was outside on the damp grass. Bruce gets up from the couch. He goes outside. I get up from the couch. I watch him through the back door window. He photographs himself. He comes back inside. He says nothing. I say "Meow." I go into the bathroom and jump up on to the toilet and then on to the window sill. I watch the sparrow at the birdbath. Bruce is talking to himself. He says "I want to get out my softbox." I didn't even know what that was until I came to live with him a few years ago. It, the softbox, that is, was set up in his photography studio, along with a bunch of other nights. He once made me sit still on a stool so he could photograph. I didn't mind so much.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fog & Flowers

It is rather foggy this Saturday morning and I am reminded of the poet Carl Sandburg's poem, Fog:

THE fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

One of my favorite poets, W.S.Merwin, says writing is about listening, about focused attention. And Pierre Tielhard de Chardin wrote: "Seeing: We might say that the whole of life lies in that verb - if not ultimately, at least essentially." Simone Weil said: "Absolute attention is prayer."

For me, Nadine, all this reminds me we all have to "stop to smell the flowers."

Monday, June 22, 2009

Father's Day continued

I had a fab time yesterday when Bruce's son and daughter came over for dinner and to celebrate Father's Day. Daryl loves me and he always brings the best out in me. I played with a dried rose bud--actually did cartwheels. They laughed and laughed at me. Danielle brought Bruce a basket of food goodies and the BASKET was for Me! She's the Greatest! I got right in it.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

I never knew my birth father. But Bruce is my Dad now. And Susan my Mom. Bruce is making a special dinner for his children today: Pork Loin with Blueberry BBQ Sauce, Sweet Potato Fries, Collard/Kale/Mustard Green Melody (I just LOVE that word-Melody! Saying it aloud makes me so Happy!!!), Salmon Fritters (YUM!)and Garlic Bread. Susan is making a chocolate cake! She is in the kitchen now. Bruce woke up early and made a meatloaf to bring over to Susan's mom's house for lunch! He is meditating now. I know he misses his Dad. Fred. He passed away a few years ago. He was in the hospital recovering from knee surgery and had a heart-attack in the middle of the night. But he lives on in Bruce's heart and soul. Here is a photo to honor him today; it is about what Fred taught everyone he encountered through his perfect example: Follow your Heart everywhere you go, Let the Beauty within you be the Beauty you show, Let your song Soar freely and your Spirit flow:

Bruce's children are young adults. Danielle is a Physical Therapist. Daryl is an Engineering student. Bruce is so proud of his children. They are happy, healthy, intelligent, loving. And funny, too. Bruce says his greatest Father's Day gift is to be blessed with two wonderful children (And blessed with me, too; of course!).

Happy Father's Day. And to all you single Moms out there.Happy Day to you, too. Here is a pretty flower for each and everyone of you. God Bless!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Our Path

I listened tonight to something Bruce read to Susan. I think you should read it, too; I think it is wise advice. Something the poet Gary Snyder wrote in his book Practice of the Wild.

"Get control of you own time; master the twenty-four hours. Do it well, without self-pity. It is as hard to get the children herded into the car pool and down the road to the bus as it is to chant sutras in the Buddha-hall on a cold morning. One move is not better than the other, each can be quite boring, and they both have the virtuous quality of repetition. Repetition and ritual and their good results come in many forms. Changing the filter, wiping noses, going to meetings, picking up around the house, washing dishes, checking the dipstick--don't let yourself think these are distracting you from your more serious pursuits. Such a round of chores is not a set of difficulties we hope to escape from so that we may do our 'practice' which will put us on a 'path'--it is our path."

And here's a pretty photograph from Bruce:

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

New Photo of Me

I like this photo of me. Reminds me of my cat-like nature

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Spring: rain. Then sun. Yesterday it was rain and then sun. The day before; rain. Ah, the weather. At the hour late in afternoon I go outside, tethered, of course, but out nonetheless. I am chained, so to speak, to watching the sparrows flutter about the bird feeder.

This morning I am reminded of Spring, a poem by Mary Oliver,from her book West Wind:

This morning
two birds
fell down the side of the maple tree

like a tuft of fire
a wheel of fire
a love knot

out of control as they plunged through the aire
pressed against each other
and I thought

how I meant to live a quiet life
how I meant to live a life of mildness and meditation
tapping the careful words against each other

and I thought--
as though I were suddenly spinning, like a bar of silver
as though I had shaken my arms and lo! they were wings--

of the Buddha
when he rose from his green garden
when he rose in his powerful ivory body

when he turned to the long dusty road without end
when he covered his hair with ribbons and the petals of flowers
when he opened his hands to the world.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Yesterday & Today

I sat and waited and watched the rain early Friday morning; and meditated, too, by the back door, knowing in my heart, Bruce would take me outside once the rain stopped.

After Bruce washed the dishes (I might add that Susan was out with her Mom.), vacuumed, and ate some egg salad (Yuck!), he edited a few photographs for his websites BirchLane, and BruceBarone,listened to Chicago (!) and Jackson Browne (!!), and then he took me outside. The grass was wet and the air was thick but I didn't mind. The rain still fell, slow and steady, lightly it fell on the grass; barely could I perceive the rain drops, but fell they did on the pink wheelbarrow, the pink table, on Bruce, on me, Nadine.

Today, Bruce will mow the lawn and I will go outside late in the afternoon, when the pine trees are bathed in dappled sunlight and the one rose, still wet with yesterday's rain, is my inspiration, sweet sent to my nose.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Getting Better

I slept through most of Thursday and therefore never got to go outside. I was reminded of my life with Bruce when he lived in Eastworks in Easthampton, Massachusetts, where he had his photography studio; how I would sit and stare out the window at Mt Tom four hours and hours and never go outside, except for brief strolls out the loft door and down the hallway. Bruce stared at Mt Tom, too, for hours and hours and photographed it in all seasons and made a 10-minute music video. It is really pretty. You should watch it!

Last night it rained. Today it is rather humid. I think Bruce will take me out later. Meanwhile, as Catherine Ponder says,"Use periods of delay as a time of preparation.......I mentally accept the possibility of something better for myself. Vast improvement comes quickly in every phase of my life now. Every day in every way, things are getting better and better for me."

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Middle Path

I simply LOVE Eknath Easwaran. I get his Thought for the Day every day in my in box. You should, too.

Today he says:

Lunch kills half of Paris, supper the other half.
– Montesquieu

"I suggest eating moderately. Fasting may not be as easy as feasting, but after a while it is not too different. Both are extremes. It is not hard to go the extreme way, but what is really difficult is neither to fast nor to feast, but to be moderate in everything we do. This is what the Buddha called the Middle Path. It requires great artistry and vigilance. Instead of negating the body and senses, we train them to be valuable instruments.

"I try to eat good, wholesome food in temperate quantities in order to strengthen the body. If my body is not strong, I cannot contribute to the welfare of society, and I cannot give the best account of myself in life. We harness our physical, mental, and intellectual capacities not to make money or achieve power or fame, but to use these faculties to make our contribution to life."

Bruce and Susan feed me wholesome food. And give me love. And time to meditate.

Here is a photo Bruce took of me meditating:

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Two Days and Twitter

It has been a most enjoyable two days; Sunday and Monday.

On Sunday Bruce and Susan prepared a fine meal for his daughter, Danielle, and her boyfriend, Mike, which meant I got to go outside, as it was a BBQ and they ate at the picnic table in the backyard. I relaxed on one of the chairs. No beer or wine or steak for me though, just grass.

Bruce and Susan give me almost everything I want--most of all love. They have taught me the importance of consistency, praise, patience, and positive reinforcement.

Bruce says the focus of successful relationships (Business or Cats; LIFE!) keeping people, or cats, happy, is keeping the emphasis on serving rather than results, on involvement and personal touch, affection and care.

Meow! Meow!

Nothing wrong, says Bruce, with response rates, financial reports, and industry analysis, but once the focus goes too far in that direction, it is far to easy to lose sight of the value marketing ball, which is a matter of acting for the benefit and satisfaction of others. Value, says Bruce, comes from making a continuing contribution to a customer’s success or happiness.

Price and premiums may attract customers, says Bruce, but its knowledge and information, communication and constant giving, if you will, that sustains relationships. Price and premiums may get them in the door, but it does not keep them coming back. Doing it right may please customers, but helping them achieve their goals keeps them.

Bruce says Eccelesiastes reminds us there is a time to sow and a time to reap. He says people who are obsessed with either change or stability are bound to eventually harm their organizations. As visionaries people have to be able to sense when to exploit an established crop of strategies and when to encourage new ones to replace the old.

Which brings me to Bruce's post on his website BirchLane:

Bruce's friend from Twitter, Leslie Carothers, whose Grandfather, Jerold Frederic (I wrote about him a few posts ago) is a world-class pianist, has been very kind to promote Bruce's photography to Interior Designers, writes in her Blog at Furniture Today:

"Many of you know (but maybe a few of you don’t) that Kathy Ireland is the owner of Kathy Ireland World Wide and that KIWW is, according to Newsweek, a 1.4 billion dollar a year company which produces over 15,000 items sold to home furnishings consumers around the world through over 17 different manufacturer licensees.

"I knew Kathy was a huge and well respected name in the home furnishings industry and was very successful but it was not until our communication began on Twitter that I knew the woman behind the brand. And, now, I know the brand AND a bit more about the woman and so do 11,000+ other people who are following Kathy on twitter @KathyIreland.

"Here is what I know to be true about Kathy from watching her tweets over a period of weeks now:

"1. She tweets herself and does not pay someone to tweet for her. This is unusual for a major celebrity and shows me that she is willing to commit her most precious resource-time-to let people know who the woman is behind the brand. I admire this. As someone who tweets for a living on behalf of my clients, I know how much time it takes to be involved in authentic conversations. It shows me she understands the real power of Twitter-to build relationships by giving of herself in a loving, genuine and heartfelt way with many people from all over the world whom she does not know face to face.

"2. She is constantly reaching out to offer people hope and encouragement with their daily parenting (or other) challenges. This proves, to me, that she is genuine in living her brand as a Christian who is “providing real solutions for busy Moms.”

"3. She supports Feed The Children and many other charities and non-profits and is using Twitter and her celebrity status to help raise money for them-successfully.

"4. She speaks out about issues that are, for some, uncomfortable or unpopular. She is not afraid to take a stand and/or educate her followers/readers re: what she believes in. Even when people tell her not to do this, she still does. Kathy has a rare quality-courage. She could lose an endorsement or a licensee and she knows it, but she goes ahead because she knows how many parents and their children could be helped with the correct information. Is there a better definition of a leader? She is fearless on Twitter and I admire her for that alone.

"5. I know, from Twitter, that Kathy had to evacuate her family during the recent Santa Barbara fires, she has four children, she spends “bubble time” with them each day-no phones, no radio, no internet-no external stimuli whatsoever-just she and her kids with total focus on their needs.

"6. I know Kathy is very good friends with Elizabeth Taylor and that @DameElizabeth-as she is known on Twitter-adores Kathy in return.

"7. Kathy frequently asks her followers what THEY think about business decisions she is considering. For instance, recently, she asked her followers if they thought she should launch a new home magazine . She got huge feedback. Follow her and go back in her “tweetstream” and you will see the conversations and what the “twitterverse” thought of that idea. She understands the power of Twitter to “source the answers you are seeking from the crowd.” This is known, in the online world, as “crowdsourcing.”

"For instance, imagine you are going to High Point or Vegas and you have 1500 opted in consumers “following” you on Twitter. Why not ask them before you go something like this on Twitter: “Hey, we’re going to High Point to buy furniture for you, what would you like to see us carry?” ( And, furniture retailers like @iposit and @HighStyleClt are using Twitter to hire people, too.)

"8. Kathy understands that, through Twitter, when people admire and know WHO YOU REALLY ARE and WHAT YOU REALLY STAND FOR-OVER TIME, they begin to trust you and that this precious gift of trust is worth it’s weight in gold.

"Let me ask you this:

"At the end of the day, do you think that the people that are opting in to follow Kathy on twitter and ask her help and advice might just be a little more likely to walk into your store or go online and find out where they can buy a piece of Kathy’s home furnishings line? Do you think, if you are a manufacturer who licenses one of Kathy’s designs, that you might want to be on Twitter and talk with her to get the cross pollination that would develop as each of your “follower” groups witnesses the conversation between the two of you and jumps in with their own thoughts? If you are a furniture retailer carrying one of Kathy’s lines, do you think you might want to go on Twitter and talk with Kathy about how well her lines are selling, what consumers love or, even, what consumers are asking for? How valuable do you think this might be to you?

"I imagine Kathy knows the answer.

"Trust takes time. Building relationships takes time. Twitter accelerates the process over the entire world-in real time-allowing you to converse with potential customers in both your local trading areas or, if you are an ecommerce player, across the entire world. The choice is yours."

Bruce says he likes this Blog entry that Leslie write because it addresses the importance of dialogue in marketing. Trust comes from dialogue. And Bruce has first-hand experience with Kathy Ireland asking him on Twitter if Susan and he were happy with "her" lamps which they (and me!) have in the bedroom. His answer? A resounding "Yes!"

As Bruce wrote, All You Need Is Love.

When Bruce worked at Hearst Magazines, he once overheard a top circulation executive say to a copywriter, "that’s a beautiful direct mail package, but does it communicate that we love them?"

Personally, I like to keep in mind Bruce and Susan's philosophy: "We love our customers (and our Nadine!) and we will do whatever it takes to make them happy."

Ah, this is a long entry for me and it has made me a bit weary. Think I will take a nap in bed. Oh, and the lamps--they are Kathy Ireland lamps. Bruce and Susan have such good taste--and love.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


I was a bit under the weather yesterday. In fact, as soon as Bruce sat down to eat his lunch, a turkey burger, I got sick on my stool and on the kitchen rug. I don't think I spoiled his lunch. And I don't know why I got sick. I hadn't even been outside yet; so no grass eating. I crept off to the bedroom and rested for a few hours in the windowsill. I thought about what Eknath Easwaran wrote the other day:

As a person abandons worn-out clothes and acquires new ones, so when the body is worn out a new one is acquired by the Self, who lives within.
– Bhagavad Gita

AH. I think I understand. The basis of meditation remains valid for all of us. Trying to speculate about previous or future lives serves no practical purpose, since this life is headache enough. Let us confine our attention to this life and try as far as our capacity goes to learn to love here and now.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Rainy Friday

It is a rainy and cold Friday (for June!) but I am sitting on the chair by the door to the backyard itching to get back outside. I have been out almost every day. A few days ago when Susan and Bruce came home from grocery shopping I darted outside as soon as they opened the door. And just a few days ago I chased two squirrels up a tree; I didn't even know I had THAT in me. WOW. But yesterday when Susan took me out she put the leash on me. I'm okay with this; at least I get to go out and eat the grass. Bruce is busy today trying to find photography work and sell some photos. I watched Bruce's music video with him the other night and I really like it--I'm IN IT!!! And Susan is getting her website ready to go live; I'm NOT on THAT--YET!!! Susan makes soap--with LOVE. Bruce and Susan say Love Is All You Need. I agree. Love is a verb. And I know they love me. Now if they would only let me go outside!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sunday, May 31, 2009


Sunday. This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24) Let us rejoice every day. I believe in love. Bruce and Susan say love is all you need. Bruce wrote a short essay about love. It is good to love. To give. To help. Bruce tells me my recent post about the great and gifted piano player, Jerold Frederic, brought joy to him. This news makes me happy. Truly. All you need is love. And, of course, I like to get outside and sit with Bruce in the yard:

Friday, May 29, 2009


It has been a great week and I intend to publish many new posts.

First, this one, about music, because Bruce has been listening to alot of music. Romantic Music. I know, he IS such a romantic. Isn't he?

Specifically, he has been listenting to the The grandfather of a friend of his on Twitter:

Jerold Frederic's extraordinary career began at the grass roots level, playing in colleges and universities across the United States where he accomplished a record 257 engagements in his first three seasons under the management of Harry Culbertson. So remarkable was his success that Alexander Greiner, artist director for Steinway and Sons, said in the Steinway News, "Frederic's rise and extensive concertizing throughout the United States, accomplished as it was without preliminary debut in New York or Europe, presents an achievement without precedent in the history of the field".

In his early years he was fortunate to have contact with Moritz Rosenthal, Ignace Paderewski and Sigismond Stojowski. These remarkable pianists represented a tradition of playing that is all but lost today - a tradition that began with Franz Liszt and Anton Rubenstein. The printed note was used only as an entrance to a language in sound where everything is completely subservient to the nature of the thought. Harold Schonberg in the NY Times on 10/19/69 noted "...there is a dreadful uniformity today, and also an appalling lack of knowledge about the culture and performance traditions of the past". Frederic's playing has provided us with a new link to these great traditions.

Every few years Steinway provided him with his own concert grand which he would choose at their factory in Queens, NY from among a large number of these hand-crafted and very individual instruments. Most musicians would prefer to have their own instrument when they perform, but the nine foot long, 1000 pound Steinway presented a difficult logistical problem. Frederic solved that by designing a piano trailer that went with him wherever he traveled - even on his numerous trips abroad.

He has remained a Steinway Artist throughout his career and is one of the signatories on their distinctive 500,000th piano that was exhibited in Carnegie Hall and around the country.

Frederic's uncompromising approach to his art is one of the elements that has made him a great communicative artist and the present selections will allow his listeners to experience what is truly a language in sound.

Wow. I think everyone should hear the musical interpretations of Jerold Frederic.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


I have tasted freedom. I like it. And now that I have the sweet taste of freedom on my lips, in my heart, and on my paws, I wait by the door for it to open so I can rush outside. As Thomas Jefferson said, "There is not a sprig of grass that shoots uninteresting to me."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Take me back outside!

Susan and Bruce took me OUTSIDE after dinner last night, in our backyard. I want OUTSIDE, again. Right NOW.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Bruce just had a talk with me. He said I am still not updating my Blog as much as he would like. I said "this is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Please Accept My Apologies

I have been so busy the past few weeks looking out the window and trying to get OUTSIDE, I forgot to update my Blog!

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Meow! Up and down. Up and down. Bruce was working on taking a self-portrait with me in the picture!!! He must have taken dozens. Up and down. Up and down. He even picked me up once to better frame me! But I made a pretty good model, don't I!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Staying Warm

I am sitting in front of heat vent, staying cozy and warm. Bruce thought I looked interesting so he took a photo of me. Now he's taking pics of birds in the backyard. Last Summer, Susan put a leash on me and took me to the backyard. I ate grass; puked during the night. we did this several times. She doesn't take me to the backyard anymore. Oh well....

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sunday, Snow, and Sleep

Susan is sleeping; she is not feeling well this morning. Bruce is updating his websites, including his food blog, "Bruce's Kitchen," (aka "Love In The Kitchen") and I am watching the snow as I write this. It has been one week since my first post. A long week; Bruce sold his car yesterday (Finally!) but it took all week to find a buyer. I'm glad he sold it. Susan and Bruce need only one car now. They can always buy another one when the time is right. Speaking of not feeling well, I threw up on the bed the other night while they were sleeping. Yuck. I think I have been eating too many of the the dried flowers in the house. I think I will try to give them up for Lent. I wonder what others are giving up for Lent.

Monday, February 16, 2009

My First Post

My name is Nadine. I am a cat. I am a Tortoiseshell Cat. I live with Susan and Bruce. Bruce is a photographer. Susan is a soap-maker. We live together in a comfy house in Western Massachusetts. The house has many windows. I look out them all the time. I like watching the birds and squirrels in our yard. Sometimes, I sleep in the bedroom bay window.