Spring, forward

 

One of the Stillman Farm orchards 

Seems to be more activity this year to do with the arts in this area. I jokingly, with wishful thinking, said to a friend, ‘maybe the area will become the art center of Massachusetts.’  Right now the claim to that fame is The Cape or The North Shore or Amherst / Northampton region and The Berkshires. 

  Cape Cod, of course is noted for the visual arts although they do have a summer playhouse. Apparently writers go there to contact their muse.
 The Berkshires has Moma, Norman Rockwell Museum, Chester Daniel French Museum (sculpture), Jacob’s Pillow (dance) and the summer res. of The Boston Symphony at Tanglewood, and Edith Wharton’s place The Mount in Lenox. So that’s a popular area for New York artists, writers, musicians in the summer. 
 Naturally, Boston is the cultural center with the Fine Arts, Gardner and Moma Museums plus all the art schools(colleges) and nearby Lincoln has the DeCordova and Concord has claims to the writers of olde-Emerson, Thoreau, Alcott etc. Longfellow used to hang out in Sudbury next door. 
 The North Shore has Cape Ann, Marblehead and Newburyport-attracting, seascape artists with their fishing ports. 
 Northampton/ Amherst, which is between Central Mass and the Berkshires, has The Five Colleges; they attract everything there.
 We are in the middle and have had to struggle for acknowledgement. People in the east think we are next to New York, well, they think anyone west of route 495 is New York. People in the western area think we are next to the ocean. We are just the glue that holds the two together. Nobody gives a fig about glue unless it fails. The glue wants to be recognized.
 So why do I imagine Central Mass could attract the arts? We’ve got lovely scenery and farms. Lots of farms producing milk, ice cream,cheese of all varieties, wine, maple syrup, meat, fruits and vegetables, sheep and alpaca wool,  and derivatives of all these in a craft vein, ie.,finished products like hats and mittens, soap, candles…
 A half to three quarters of an hour away is Worcester-the Art Museum, Mechanics Hall, Tower Hill Botanical Gardens and a couple of live theatres.
Live theatres–Barre has one. It’s in the geographical center of the state, and Sturbridge has one. Ware has Studio 13, an art  teaching facility with live music on weekends. Petersham, Barre and Spencer have art guilds. Brimfield has The Hitchcock Academy where artists can go and paint-they also offer music lessons. All the libraries offer lectures/ workshops.
 It just seems this year there is more activity for artists, illustrators, writers and musicians here. We have many, many talented people already plying their trade while living here. I bet most of the general public has no idea of the quiet fame and accomplishments these folks have. Maybe they want it that way.
 I have been invited to sign my books at Color fest in North Brookfield on June 20th. That is a collection of artists, writers and musicians to benefit a new land trust in that town. Also in June, in West Brookfield I will be signing and selling my books at the library.  In Barre in July I will be giving a talk on agriculture, specifically CSA and reading from my book. 
 In August I am taking Amtrac to Red Wing, Minnesota to a Boomgaarden family reunion in Kenyon which is where I wrote ‘Up In Smoke”.

A New (Ad)venture

After searching for a venue in the Central Mass. area, I found a room at  The New Braintree Historical Society where I can hold morning art classes for adults. I have taught before in various campgrounds when I was on the road so I know I enjoy this sort of thing. I love to see people discover they can put down on paper, something that looks like what it is supposed to. I like having people learn to see what they are looking at. I like working with pastels for this sort of workshop because right away it is colorful and budding artists can get right into it and moosh it around and layer color on top of color with out having to wait for it to dry or bleed into other areas. They can work fast or slowly. It is forgiving, it is very portable but it can be messy on hands and clothes so old duds are important and hands are soap and water wash up. Pastels are portable to take into ‘the field’ on a trip or just to have on hand if you have a little time to kill and you want to record a location.  This is an old medium used by the old Renaissance artists and the modern Impressionists. It is rapidly gaining in popularity.   Good pastels are nearly entirely all pigment with just enough binder to hold the powder together in a stick. Cheap pastels usually have more filler like chalk and are discouraging to use because you don’t get the intensity of color you may be looking for.  By cheap i don’t mean ‘on sale’. Some great brands go on sale from time to time.  Good brands include Rembrandt($$), Sennelier, Schminke, Daniel Smith and the cheaper but good-Faber/Castell. Art supply house brands can be good like Dick Blick and Utrecht and I will try Walmarts house brand and let you know. Pastels come in round crayon type shapes or square which I like for achieving sharp edges. They come in roughly 3″ sticks or half sticks. Half sticks are fine. Two types  are called soft and hard.  We will use soft. There are pastel pencils which I like for fine detail work. They are hard.  Pastels can be in powder form in little tubs with an applicator or a fine sponge. Brand name Pan Pastels.  All this is soap and water wash up for hands but some colors stain clothes. Be advised. Some professionals use disposable gloves. I like to rub it around to work it into the paper. I haven’t used gloves but I’m thinking about it.

Geraniums
Pastel
Pastel still life


This is an excerpt from DanielSmith – making pastels website. You might enjoy the entire article.
Blacks are reliable permanent pigments that are inexpensive and make nice pastels. Having said that, I advise you to rarely use them if you desire clean, bright-colored pastels. I only use Ivory Black if I want to produce a very deep-colored pastel. Without the black, these very dark values are difficult to achieve. If my aim is to produce intentionally grayed neutral tones, I also use a bit of black. My palette reflects my style of using color. Only a fraction of the pastels in my landscape set are grayed neutrals made with black pigment; neutral grays made by mixing complementary colors are far more varied and interesting. Cutting out black immediately perks up your palette and boost the color in your paintings.”

Papers? You want something with a ‘tooth’ to it. Least expensive, Canson Mi Tientes. More $$, sanded papers like Wallis, Ampersand, Art Spectrum Colorfix and others. You can apply upwards of 20+ layers on the sanded papers. Check online at Dick Blick or Jerry’s Artarama, or Cheap Joes. Locally in Worcester at C.C. Lowell’s on Park Ave or in a pinch Michaels and A.C. Moore. Also you will need a piece of masonite or heavy foam core or sturdy cardboard to clip you paper to, and clips or masking tape. Painters tape doesn’t perform well.
Check out WetCanvas.com. Also, borrow a magazine on pastel painting to see if you get anything from it. Artists Magazine has articles.
I always use fresh fruit, vegetables and or flowers for a still life. You can’t make a vibrant exciting still life with plastic or silk stuff– my opinion. I usually include a piece of fabric and a piece of glass or metal. Later, we work on an animal portrait-a pet, perhaps, from a photo you have taken or have permission to use.

Border Collie
Pastel

Never copy someone’s work without permission. It is against the law. 

I will make this course material as inexpensive as I can but keep in mind, art supplies are not cheap.
Here’s a chance to exersize the non logical side of your brain.

My new book about Godfrey the kitten

I am excited about the release of my second children’s picture book called Godfrey Finds a Home. It is the first in a series I plan about Godfrey the cat who is discovered up a tree on a farm in Massachusetts.

He is rescued and has adventures on the farm. He learns about CSA-community supported agriculture which is a subscription sold to the consumer by the farmer who depends on it for his winter livelihood. In the North there is no produce farming done as the fields are locked up tight by Jack Frost. This is a great idea as it enables the farmer to pay his mortgage and all that housekeeping entails. Seeds and other amenities can be purchased for the following Spring. On the other side of the deal, the consumer gets a weekly box of fresh picked vegetables beginning in June and going to or through October. The Stillman’s CSA boxes are varied as Glenn grows a HUGE variety of vegetables and fruits mainly for the Boston market where there are numerous ethnic tastes. CSA boxes do not reflect all those tastes however, as a lot of households don’t know what to do with really ‘different’ vegetables-these are my words, my opinion. If there is a ‘different’ vegetable Genevieve tells what it is and what to do with it in her weekly newsletter. You are welcome to subscribe to her online letter which she has designed and built it and it is very pretty, as well as, informative. www. Stillmansfarm.com.

But, getting back to my book,
The book includes Genevieve, Glenn, Faith, Reid, me and Larry as well as the men who work here on the farm. They are from Jamaica and come in the Spring and leave in the Fall. They work hard and are dedicated and do their jobs well. There are others who live locally who work here too.
The book is 32 pages and half of them are illustrations done by me in watercolor, colored pencil or oil. The men carrying baskets 

and Larry

Larry

is done in oil on canvas. I am learning as I go about how to illustrate for ‘modern’ methods of publishing as the illustrations are either photographed using my Samsung phone camera app which is incredible or they are scanned into my computer. They are then emailed over to the publisher as is, of course, the copy. I have read a half dozen books on illustrating for children’s books and none of them told me how to do this. 
The story was written before Larry passed away so this is a memorial to him as well as clue-ing kids into how vegetables are grown and prepared for market. Corn does not appear from a can, box or bag.  Ears of corn are, in fact, ripped of a tall stalk at the peak of ripeness. Picture a raised bed of strawberries, sweetly fragrant, ripening in the June sun. The romance of the farm is in this book. It’s all true and the only down side is the winter.
From the shameless commerce division (quoting from The Tappit Bros.)…
You can order the book,$11.50 from me, signed if you wish.
 I offer free shipping on orders of 4 or more books or you can get it from Amazon or order it from B&N. ISBN # 978-1-4575-3120-0
Thanks for your support for CSA,also.

Treading Water or Moving on

Since mid-October I have given little thought to painting except it didn’t interest me.
I started up again with my friends at Hitchcock Art Group to be social.  I painted animals on rocks. I fooled around with Zen doodling. I progressed to finishing my illustrations for my book (at the publishers now) called Godfrey Finds a Home and edited and reedited the story.

 That got me moving. Then I bought some apples and pears and did some watercolor still life paintings. The winter was long and cold. I accepted that I wouldn’t be going South for winters, anymore. I wouldn’t be seeing Utah and Colorado. I had the motor home listed for sale on Craigslist and E bay and gave several hundred dollars to two different folks who said they would advertise the motor home on magazines and other places. Rip-off. Not a bite in six months and I didn’t hear from those folks after the first couple of check-in calls.  I cannot drive it and I cannot afford to park it. I am walking away from this millstone. 
My choir had a special Sunday in May and I painted a watercolor of the Church for the program. We did some interesting music from Vaughn Williams, for one.

 



I watched Last Love on Netflix. Actor Michael Caine, a retired philosophy professor, is speaking to a young friend. He was ‘treading water’after his wife died. The girl asked him if he loved life. He says yes, but, life is people, food, music, art, nature. When you lose someone you gave all your love to, everything else dies, too. You are surrounded by countless others that cloud your vision, an unwelcome distraction. You seek oblivion in isolation. Solitude make you wither.

I am studying piano for the second time in 60 years. I figure if I’m going to direct the choir I’d better get some solid music background. It is different for me this time as I am learning the bones and structure and not just tickling the keys with kiddie tunes.
I wish I had done it 10 years ago so I could have played chords with Larry.I have been accepting commissions for pet and house portraits and I am unpacking boxes (after 6 months here) and settling in.  Larry’s children and his sisters and brothers have been wonderful to me, very caring. He would be pleased. The river birch I planted in his memory, is doing well.


Larry and Me

Larry and I met in 1982 at Minute Man Printing.  I was hired to manage the copy division and Larry would come in and take over while I went to lunch. We were part of a small work force and we had a softball team and everyone had parties so we all knew each other. A few years later I left to work elsewhere as a commercial artist and then I got my real estate license. Our paths had crossed several times when he called me in 17 years later looking for an apartment. When my kids left home I sold my house in Lunenburg and moved in with my 96 year old mother in Southborough. Coincidently, I had recently bought an 1830s fixer-upper in Barre and I had planned to go out on slow days and work on it  I told Larry about the house and I said he could live there rent free if he helped fix it up. I knew he had experience in construction as he had worked with his dad who was a contractor.  He agreed with my terms. As time went on he would call with questions on a project and I would go out and work alongside him scraping paint or tearing out walls.
He treated me like I knew what I was doing and I appreciated that. .  I had been through some unpleasant relationships and decided that I wasn’t very good at choosing men so I had my life planned out for the next twenty years as an unclaimed blessing.
 I can tell you the time and location when Cupid shot his arrow into my heart and I made the astonishing discovery that I loved that man. He had made a tape of his favorite tunes and sent it to me. I was playing it on my way to work on that morning. The tune was Welcome To My World with Dean Martin. Now, I knew that song but I heard it again for the first time at that moment. I never before had that incredible certainty that I loved someone. But I wasn’t sure how he felt so I kept my feelings a secret.  I would go out to Barre and work, we’d have supper, talk or watch TV and go to our own rooms-he at one end of the hall and I at the other. One time he filled my room with lilacs from the garden and when I went to bed the room was like a fragrant bower. I got into my antique spool bed and there was a knock on the door. He came in dressed in pajamas carrying his guitar. He sat at the end of the bed and serenaded me a while and then left. I had lovely dreams.
In August he convinced me to go to the threshing bee in MN and meet his family. Wow.  Everyone had work duties. Mine was to make Saturday breakfast.  I pitched right in and made breakfast for 2000, well maybe it was only 200.
His family was so warm and friendly to me.  I was scooped up and hugged by Boomgaarden brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles. It was there I learned about Larry’s Elvis act. He played along with his brothers’ Iron Horse Rock Band.
I watched the famous antique Case steam tractor in action powering the thresher to separate the oats from the chaff..
Anyway, on the way home, we stopped in Worcester at a nice restaurant for supper and he proposed. He said. ‘Well, my family likes you. Do you want to get married?’    I said ‘You Bet’. That’s Minnesotan for Yes.
My mother had a stroke and she lost ability to speak. She wasn’t able to call for help on the phone so I quit one of my jobs and stayed home with her.  It was a rewarding experience for me. She was very sweet and I figured out by her gestures what she wanted. But if she fell I had a hard time getting her up. So Larry moved in with us and he was a Godsend. He entertained her on his guitar and she could sing with him and then she’d clap her hands and laugh. He was so kind to her.
Larry joined my choir at Framingham First Parish.  It was with that choir of 35 that we went to England in the spring of 2000 and sang in churches including Oxford and Cambridge Universities. He recorded the music at several locations and it was made into a CD which some of you have and it was a money maker for the church. My mother passed away in February of 2000.
 When we came back from England I was asked by the choir director and the minister if I would like to get married in church on a Sunday. The church usually had a choir Sunday of special music but since we had recently returned from England they felt the choir was too tired to learn more music. I agreed as long as it was a secret from the parishioners. I didn’t want them to feel they had to get us gifts.  So it was, that I walked down the aisle to meet my sweetheart at the altar. The church was packed as the minister advertised that there would be a surprise.  Larry said later he wished he had sung a special song but agreed that he was too emotional to have done it. When the vows were over the minister said to me ‘you may now kiss the groom” and everyone laughed.
Our next big project was renovating an 1880s house in West Brookfield into a bed and breakfast and tea room. There again his ability to do renovations paid off. Larry would entertain our guests with his guitar. After 4 years, we realized our guests were having more fun than we were and so we sold it and bought a 37 ft. Class A motor home with all the amenities. It was like a nice condo on wheels. We loved it and we were completely satisfied to live year round in it. We zigzagged across the United States for almost seven years. He had all his music stuff and I had my art stuff and two computers of course.
I had mentioned to him that I had a dream of illustrating a children’s book. After reading some of the horrible books for children today I wanted to write a nice one but I had no idea what about. He came to me one day and handed me a sheet of paper. “Here it is, an outline for your story.  All you have to do is flesh it out.”  I did. He was technical supervisor. I gave him first billing because if we were going to sell any they would surely be to his big family.  It is called Up in Smoke. It is a great children’s book showing a loving family working together to get a job done and having fun. It will go down in history as a classic.
 We became workampers traveling every 5 months to a different park around the country.  He entertained with his guitar doing campfire sing-alongs. He would select a girl in the audience and sing a special song to her using her name. He also did  DJing and karaoke. But mostly he worked in maintenance doing repairs, plumbing, electrical and construction and I worked in the office or store.  During that time we saw pretty much all of California, Oregon the coast and  the Willamette Valley, Washington state to visit my nephew’s family in Seattle and over the snow covered Cascades to  Larry’s brother Allen’s family in Chelan for a month then across thru Idaho, Montana  and saw his niece and nephew in Yellowstone National Park. He thought the nice thing about visiting relatives in our RV is not having to disturb the household.  Larry felt connected to those that came before him. He often updated his family tree and had European connections. Our travels were from one relative to another. There would be his cousin in Corpus Christi, his cousin, Don in New Orleans, my nieces in Virginia, my daughter in Los Angeles, , a school chum in Sacramento , a sister in Hawthorne, Nevada, his cousin in Amarillo, my brother’s family in Phoenix,  his family in South Dakota, Illinois, Florida, South Carolina, a sister in Iowa, and a boat load of relatives in Minnesota and friends in Arkansas and Tennessee.  Wherever we went he brought his guitar and played and sang for people and got them or their kids to play too. He found folks to jam with at parks and hunted down the places where there was an open mike. He wasn’t the least bit shy. He was an avid fan of steam engines and we went to every train museum. He loved his family and his friends. He called them on the phone to see how they were doing. If someone wasn’t doing well he made a special effort to keep up with them. He was immensely patriotic and proud of his service in military. He was a constitutionalist, very interested in government and politics. We visited Washington DC several times.
I remember how athletic he was. His high school games were legendary.  He was singled out in the newspaper sports columns for some outstanding play saving the day for the team be it football, baseball or basketball. He helped win some of the trophies in the Ellsworth High School foyer. What may not have been well known was that he tried out for a baseball major league. When he first came to live in Southborough we went next door to my brother’s pool. I asked him if he could swim. He said no. I said well, I’ll keep an eye on you and if you get into trouble I’ll save you.  He went to the edge of the pool and dove in swimming under water the entire length.  I felt like a fool. I yelled at him ‘How come you said you couldn’t swim!’  He said ‘well, I am not good at the crawl but I can swim under water’.  The next time he conned me was when we played golf. I lived adjacent to Stony Brook Golf Course which my father had designed and built after he retired. Larry said he couldn’t play golf very well. He whacked the first ball onto the green.  Again I yelled at him for conning me. He just laughed and thought it a big joke. He was also good at tennis.
  He was great about keeping things in repair and took care of problems right away. He was often thinking of better ways to do something, a better sign, a better display.
If someone was tentative he gave encouragement. He was not awed by a person’s fame or fortune. They were his equal. He said marriage was work. He showed me how to be a better person, to understand what is important in a relationship and to overlook petty details of little worth in the larger picture. I did all the cooking but when I broke my leg last year he did everything-he learned to cook, did the laundry, cleaning, shopping and worked my hours as well as his.
He wished he had studied music when he was young. No one taught him to play. He watched other guitarists play chords and learned from observation. He never felt he should teach anyone how because it might be wrong. He admired anyone who could pick a tune on the guitar.  He admired his father’s ability to play any instrument. His father had an orchestra and after the Second World War ended his father played for wedding dances 364 nights of the year. He also regretted he didn’t spend more time with his father and talked with him more.  He left home soon after he finished high school and joined the Air Force.
In Texas a couple years ago he got a deal from a professional studio for us to cut a disc with them. That was pure fun. We only could afford one take, so any mistakes that are in it, we know about. At each park campfire I handed out rhythm instruments and sing along sheets, we did duets and we entertained at parties in people’s homes. We made a lot of sweet memories. We said ‘I love you’ every day.
We finally landed jobs doing just what we wanted. I was teaching art and some crafts and Larry was doing music-live, DJing and karaoke at this really beautiful park in Fredericksburg, TX called Texas Wine Country RV Park.

Two weeks into that gig, it ended. God called Larry home.  Remember the good times and every day; tell your sweethearts how much you love them. 

Oktoberfest in Fredericksburg,Texas

 


5  10 25 cent store
Noble immigrants arrived here in the Hill Country of Texas from Germany in the early 1800s.  This area is west of Austin and includes such towns as San Antonio to the south, Comfort, Stonewall, Banderas, Dripping Springs, Luckenbach (of Willie fame) New Braunfels, Fredericksburg and many more wonderful names. Fredericksburg ,hereafter aka Fred., is a prosperous town of 10,000 + with a main street packed with stores, hofbraus, (brewpubs) and eateries with menus that list schnitzels and wursts of all kinds. Naturally there are shops displaying ‘scootin’ boots, leather goods, homemade ice creams, pastries and chocolate shops and shops representing the local wineries. There is a 5,10 and 25 cent store, a great visitors center, a half dozen B&Bs plus motels for a bustling tourist trade. About 20,000 are expected this weekend. Replete throughout the hill country are vineyards and, I am told, are second only to Napa Valley in wine production. Larry and I are working for our keep at Texas Wine Country RV Park a few miles outside of Town. We are directly across from Grape Creek Vineyards with it’s Tuscan style villa. They have received gold, silver and bronze awards in national competitions for their Viognier, Syrah, cab, merlot, Riesling, Pinot Grigio and more. They want $20 each to tour and $12 for tasting.  A little steep for me.  I’ll stick with Ste. Genevieve wines, another Texas vineyard, they’re quite good, sold in the grocery and easy on the wallet.
The November issue(out now) of Artist Magazine has an article on page 8 entitled Art & Common Gound.  It is about and artist that started a workshop business called art and vino that has become very popular. I was delighted to read about the thriving art interest be it galleries or hands on artists here where I am living at this time.
I am looking forward to attending an event called First Friday Art Walk, Fredericksburg.
 I am off to work now to paint faces and help with pumpkin painting. I  teach art and do crafts with adults and children.

 Larry is the DJ and tonight he is having ‘Stump the DJ” at the pool. He also does karaoke on another night, organizes jam sessions, and mans the pool tables. I know, but somebody ‘s got to do it. We are given black polo shirts and a name tag for our uniform. First time we’ve had black. Sensible color. In the past we ‘ve had green, bright blue, yellow and light blue and they all get dirty half way thru the day especially if your cleaning out firepits or painting.


No Madison Ave art dept here
Add Fredericksburg to your list of places to visit. It’s October and days are warm and nights are cold. As winter progresses it will get colder during the day but not parka and mittens weather.
 

Midsummer in Minnesota

We’ll be celebrating Midsummer Fest amongst Norwegians-Uff-Da to you. Oddly they think Uffda is Norwegian when in fact it is upper MidWest specifically Minnesotan.

Dutchmen’s Breeches
Rose Breasted Grosbeak



Baltimore Oriole


 I am residing in a lovely area of southern MN in a tiny secluded valley thru which the Zumbro River winds. It is edged by old growth woods and is a haven for golden eagles, turkey vultures, Baltimore Orioles, Rose breasted grosbeaks, cardinals and many other lovely birds. A gravel road runs from Rt 52  circuitously to other farm and county roads-gravel as well. Someone took a T-square and right triangle to southern MN except for our particular road which oddly enough has a name-Sherwood Trail. Roads have numbers. Farms have 6 plus digit numbers. Like 69825  324th Rd SW.

 We have a hill in our valley. Actually two hills. The one across from our park was a clay mine. Until the 40s there was a factory and kiln where pottery and tiles were made, there was a railroad to load the barrels to ship out to the world. There is only a rail bed now. Nothing else remains. Strikes me as odd that the clay bed is on top of a hill. I haven’t mentioned the wildflowers. Drooping trillium, Dutchman’s breeches,rue, huge red columbine, angelica, tall vivid blue something-that I can’t find in my book,wild honeysuckle and more.
One day snow came down. The sun was shining and it was warm with a light wind. Yet everywhere was a whirl of snow. The cottonwood trees decided the weather was advantageous to their propagation and the fluffy down with a tiny seed attached falls like snowflakes and covers the ground and drifts in piles. Everything is about a month late here due to the cold and rain. Farmers in many cases have given up planting as the fields have been too wet. They have an opportunity to plant alfalfa later. If they want to collect crop insurance they can’t plant anything for a while. The main crop in this area is corn-for ethanol   Farms are measured in sections. It is amazing for a native of Massachusetts to see fields as far as the eye can see–in fact the curve of the earth, of rich dark soil free of stones and instead of growing something beautiful on it they grow fuel. Ah, but that’s where the money is. It is all highly mechanized even to planting with a GPS.
So I am nestled in this lovely situation with painting opportunities everywhere. I plan to paint the river,of course, with the tubers floating down bobbing and turning. Tubers are adults and kids in special inner tubes that bob and turn down the river. Fun.
 I have to work in the store 5 days and take reservations as well. Larry works outside,collecting tubers in a tractor and wagon, does karaoke parties, bundles split wood and delivers to campers, See http://www.shadesofsherwood.com . On Sunday we work the pancake  breakfast at the Rec Hall and sing for the folks at the church service beforehand.
We are working and enjoying Shades of Sherwood Campground in Zumbrota, MN for our summer occupation.

Last week 3 tiny kittens appeared on our doorstep yeowing at 7 AM. Larry said they came from the barn on the hill above us. Something must have happened to their mother. Two were very spookish, one was calm and sweet. One of the spookers was very much like a lilac Himalayan the other two were yellow tigers. We fed them and hugged them and with kindness they responded and became tame but still full of spunk.
Two kitties and a teddy bear buddy

They all have homes now. We will miss them and so will our adult cat,Tex. He had grown tolerant and even friendly to the last one remaining. I enjoy your input. Comment please.