Bengal Cats, Cat Convos, Rainbow Hill Meanders

Cat Convos Friday

140412 -  - medium-14Weekends are always an interesting time at the Rainbow Hill. The dialogue has been translated for those not fluent in meow.

Kuri: Good morning! Good morning! GOOD MORNING!

Hiyu: This way to the kitchen!

Kuri: We know you’re awake. We heard your phone chime.

Me: It was a text message.


Hiyu: Whatever. Doesn’t matter to us what it was.

Loki: Come on, already.

Me: Look guys, it’s the weekend.

Kuri jumps on the bed and stalks over to sit on my chest. He’s a big cat. Kuri stares down at me and brings his nose down to touch mine.

Kuri: Time to get up now!

Loki: Yeah, we heard the phone. You can’t sleep until you feed us.

Hiyu jumps to the top of the tall dresser and stares down at the bed. Kuri bumps his forehead into mine. Kuri: Get up already.

Me: Weekend, guys. We don’t get up at five on weekends.

Kuri: Already a weekend? I like weekends. That means we get catnip today.

Me: Only if you let me sleep.

Loki stomps over Arna, our ancient, ailing dachshund.


Loki: Look, even the dog is awake. Time to get up.

Hiyu runs down the hall: This way. This way. Now. Now.

Arna gives me a sigh which means: Give them what they want, so I can go back to sleep. Please?

Loki gives me an evil grin, Kuri again butts his forehead into mine and Hiyu calls from the kitchen. I look at Arna and give in.

Me: Okay, I’ll get you guys breakfast, but then I go back to bed.EOS 30D_IMG_7001-small

Kuri and Loki follow me out to the kitchen. Hiyu purrs from his perch on a stool. Kuri exchanges looks with Loki and cocks his head at me.

Kuri: You do know we always win. Right?

I stifle a yawn and nod. I don’t tell them that the dog had the deciding vote. They don’t need to know her sigh holds more sway than all their screaming put together.


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Rainbow Hill Meanders, Seattle, Washington

My Favorite Things 2


The Space Needle, Mt Rainier and Elliot Bay at the last sunrise

A few of my favorite things: hummingbirds buzzing around my head, a bald eagle perched in a nearby tree and rainbows everywhere I look. That’s what The Hill looks like as it meanders through the space/time continuum.

Mt Rainier and Mt AdamsWhere I live is definitely one of my favorite things. Beyond my little cottage on top of the hill is the city of Seattle, snow-capped mountains (both east and west), volcanoes, beaches, forests, lakes and inlets. Any direction I go takes me to a completely different place. There are so many rich adventures to be found that I will never manage to find all of them.

I have help with one of my favorite organizations. The Mountaineers

The Mountaineers were founded in 1906 by an almost equal number of both men and women. From the website: “The Mountaineers is an outdoor education nonprofit of 11,000 active members offering you ways to get outside and get connected to a community passionate about the outdoors.”

Looking up at that balloon

There’s more to living here than hiking, kayaking, and beachcombing. There’s a rich history from the native tribes and an inspiring collection of diverse mythologies.

Where I live, I can go berry picking in the morning, take a ferry for ice cream in the afternoon and be back in time for the ballet in the evening.

Or I can go kayaking in the morning and then hike The Olympic Rainforest before going to a late afternoon at one of the many area museums.

Before my fellows in the Pacific Northwest rise in anger about my not keeping all of this secret, let me say: “Oh, yes. It rains here constantly. It’s gray and you really shouldn’t move here.”

Actually forget that. There are many paradises scattered around the world. Let me know what yours are and why. My next favorite thing is traveling. Where should I go?


Many thanks to kiwinana for nominating me for the Liebster Award. You should check out her blog @

For those of you who are wondering, the rabbit is Kala. She and her brother, Merlin, have since moved on to a rabbit-centric home where they get far more attention, but somehow they still sneak into the pictures. The Bengals liked them well enough, but I found myself overstretched.

A pari of bengals




Bengal Cats, Blogging 101, Cat Convos, Rainbow Hill Meanders

Cat Convos Friday

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It’s a fact. People visit us to see the cats. We’re secondary. People read this blog to listen to the cats. All of the other great content is secondary.

For those of you new to Cat Convos Friday, I talk to cats and they talk back to me. I have translated the cat part for those not fluent in meow.

Loki: Mrrr…grrrr, mmm…why?

Me: Did you get up on the wrong side of the cat tree again?

Loki: Is it afternoon already? I want to sleep! I don’t want to get up!

Me: You’re the one who woke yourself up.

Bengal and monkeyIt’s somebody’s fault I’m awake. I know it is.

I pick up the little cat laser toy. & shine the little red dot in the middle of the floor.

Me: How about a game?

Loki pounces. The red dot moves. Loki runs after it. Hiyu comes to investigate.

Loki: It’s mine. I got it. Wait, where’d it go?

Attentive BengalKuri stumbles into the room with a yawn. He crouches down as he sees the red dot moving across the floor. Hiyu stalks behind the coffee table. I can see him laughing as his brothers bowl each other over.

Hiyu gives an arched-back yawn and pads silently over to my ankles. Loki and Kuri continue to knock each other over as they chase the red dot.

Hiyu: You know I’m too smart for that.

Hiyu at a distance

Me: I’ll give you a feather to chase in a moment.

Hiyu: They never learn.

Me: I’m wearing them out so you’ll have more chances to catch the feather stick.

A slow smile crosses Hiyu’s face: Clever, very clever. Make them run up and down the cat trees.

A few minutes later, Loki plops down with his sides heaving. Kuri continues running in circles, but I see he’s tiring.

Hiyu stalks over and picks up the feathered end of the feathered stick. He jousts it at me in a run.

Me: Are you going to joust or chase?

Hiyu drops the stick at my feet. He doesn’t need words.

A new game begins.


Hiyu’s first chase: Hiyu at play

Bengal Cat Pictures, Blogging 101, Rainbow Hill Meanders, Writing

Writing Prompts

As I embark on my last week of Blogging 101, the assignment is to pick a writing prompt from the WordPress Daily Post.

I think the assignment is evil as I obsessively  peruse the prompts. Pick just one? I don’t think so. Make a list while I’m there and keep them in a file for when I think I have writer’s block. Absolutely.

Assignment: Pick a prompt and make it your own. As if.

Here is a selection of my favorites:

Create a word exercise. Oh, I love making up words and I love stretching existing words into new uses. This is not always the best trait in a writer, but the amount of fun I have is worth the occasional censure.

“Flagiprop  /fla dz prop:/ verb 1. to save a conversation by inserting a completely random and intriguing subject. noun 2. a strange term or word used to revive conversation”

120303 -  - medium Sneaking cat pictures in here. Who would I like most like to write my biography? Easy answer: most definitely a group effort by the Bengals. ?

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My favorite prompt of the day is a writing exercise. You’ll see my answer in a post later this week.

Write about any topic you wish, but make sure your post features a bookcase, something cracked, and a song you love.

This writing prompt is a little like the flash fiction contests held by my favorite writing blog by Literary Agent Janet Reid. She’s amazing. I do so wish she represented my genre.

If you have reached the querying stage for your book or want to look ahead at the process, then I highly recommend following Query Shark blog

Also check out: Such a wealth of amazing information.

Finally the last prompt: Is the glass half-empty or half-full?

Obviously the answer is how you look at it. My feeling is, if you put on the right lens, the glass is always overflowing.


Sculpture pictures from Porter Sculpture Park, Montrose. South Dakota
Sculptor Wayne Porter




Bengal Cats, Blogging 101, Cat Convos, Rainbow Hill Meanders

Cat Convo Friday

140412 -  - medium-13Today I inaugurate “Cat Convo Fridays“.

The truth is I talk to cats and they talk back to me. I thought Fridays would be a good day to share the transcripts of those talks. I have translated the cat part for those not fluent in meow.

Loki: Hey, hey, hey.

Me: I hear you, where…oh, there you are.

Loki: Hey, hey, hey.

Me: I heard you the first time. What are you doing in the bookcase?20110905-60d-0209-small

Loki: You need to catch up on your reading. Right now!

Me: Why right now?

Loki: Cause…uh…you remember that poem you read me?

Me: I’ve read you a lot of poems.

Loki: The one by Francesco Marciuliano. You know, the “Forever” one

Me: Ah, yes. “Forever is a very, very long time.” What does that have to do with the bookcase?

Loki gives me what I think is an evil grin and knocks a few books from the shelf.

Loki: I’m very clever and I want a lap, right now…forever

How can I say no to that face? I search the selection Loki has knocked to the floor and pick up the book with the greatest number of pages.

Me: Happy now?

Loki: PURR

And that is all for today because Kuri now wants to edit this morning’s post. See “While You’re Typing” by Francesco Marciuliano

Me: What is it this morning, Kuri? Punctuation or grammar?

Kuri gives me the look. It’s the look that says: Really, Lisa? Do I really have to spell it out for you?

Me: Uh, right. Spellcheck.


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Bengal Cats, Blogging 101, Rainbow Hill Meanders

My Favorite Things

Loki and Kuri

Loki and Kuri

I recently had the privilege of attending a showing of “The Sound of Music” at the amazingly beautiful 5th Avenue Theater  in Seattle. True to form, I now have a song stuck in my head.

Besides “My Favorite Things” the other song stuck in my head is from “The King and I”. Getting to Know You resounds every time I think about all the amazing blogs and fabulous writing I’ve been discovering in Blogging 101.

Now back to “My Favorite Things”.

Musicals are squarely in the middle of my list of favorite things, but today’s post is going to be a tribute to many things at the very top of the list. (See bottom of this post for the lyrics stuck in my head)

School song book

Writing, Reading and Family are at the top of the list, but I’ll return to those in a later post.

Bengals and Bubble Baths

Thanks to Kuri, The King of Tales, these two subjects will always be inextricably linked.

I read before I brought my kittens home that Bengals tend to like water. Cute, right?Attentive Bengal I’ve had cats all my life and it hadn’t occurred to me that the water bottle spray to discourage unwelcome behavior might not work. The three Bengals just give me a look like “Interesting, why did you do that?” and “Can you do that again?”

There’s nothing like relaxing from a long day in a lavender-scented bubble bath. Kuri agrees.

In our house a closed door is a closed door. People knock. Kuri, who is always curious, opens the door. Hiyu and Loki will follow. Kuri jumps up on the side of the doorway and surveys the situation. As the other two watch, he makes his decision. He jumps into the water, sits on my feet and gives me a look that says “Now what?”

For me “now what?” translates for me rising quickly out of the bath and firmly telling the inquisitive cat who is sitting in water up to his chin, that “No, I don’t share.”

For Kuri this is not a one-time-thing. If I forget to lock the door, I end up sharing my bath with a cat.

TED TALKS They’re free, they’re great, they’re thought-provoking and they’re inspiring. You can also get TED as a free app on your phone. Ted Talks also help create my reading lists (great ideas), museum lists, and research questions. There is an amazing array of dynamic speakers in almost every category imaginable. (See end of post for a small sampling

Jamila Lysicott: 3 ways to speak English

Other linguistics and lexicography experts: Erin McKean, John McWhorter & Anne Curzan.

Science: Ed Young, Robert Full, Vijay Kumar, Jedidah Isler, Garrett Lisi

Art: Aparna Rao, Margaret Wertheim

Other Favorites: Susan Cain, Amy Cuddy, David McCandles, Tim Harford, Melvin Russell


Jamila Lysicott

Susan Cain:

Susan Cain’s bestselling book. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Erin McKean

Aparna Rao

With thanks to AZLyrics

From “The Sound of Music”

“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens Brown paper packages tied up with strings These are a few of my favorite things.”

 With thanks to LyricsMode

From “The King and I”

“Getting to know you, Getting to know all about you. Getting to like you, Getting to hope you like me. Getting to know you, Putting it my way, But nicely, You are precisely, My cup of tea. Getting to know you, Getting to know all about you. Getting to like you, Getting to hope you like me. Getting to know you, Putting it my way, But nicely, You are precisely, My cup of tea. Getting to know you, Getting to feel free and easy When I am with you, Getting to know what to say Haven’t you noticed Suddenly I’m bright and breezy? Because of all the beautiful and new Things I’m learning about you Day by day. Getting to know you, Getting to feel free and easy When I am with you, Getting to know what to say Haven’t you noticed Suddenly I’m bright and breezy? Because of all the beautiful and new Things I’m learning about you Day.. By… Day.”

A pari of bengals




Blogging 101

Like Wow!

Starburst on the FourthIt’s true, I am a writer, a collector words, a vocabulary aficionado, and I just titled this blog post “Like Wow!” complete with exclamation point.

Before there is a mass outcry, let me say in my defense that I believe that one should always choose the most accurate phrasing one can come by and in this case “Like Wow!” is it.

As I said in my last post, I’ve started 2016 with a blogging 101 class. Our last assignment was to write directly to our dream audience (You know who you are) and also to try something new. I think the title counts for something new.

I chose “Like Wow!” because it is the best and most accurate description of my fellow bloggers and the amazing writing I’m discovering. They are an incredibly diverse group of people who taking leaps of courage, of commitment, and of challenge as they put themselves out there for the entire world to see.

I have been amazed by incredible polish, amazing pictures and wit that turns on a dime. I’ve been awed by honesty and vulnerability. There are times when I want to give encouraging hugs and pats on the back. Times when I wish they could hear me laugh and even more times when I want to tell them not to worry so much. I can see them writing with their souls as a canvass and I wish I could tell them how well they’re doing and that the words they want will follow.140608 -  - medium-17

Now having said all of that it’s time for cat pictures and an explanation of how this post nearly became titled: The Cats Ate My Homework

Hiyu at a distanceHiyu is a Marbled Bengal.

He loves the crinkling sounds as he bites into paper and plastic. He’d never eat anything outside of tuna or his food, but he is an outstanding thief.

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Loki, AKA Lazy Loki, doesn’t know the difference between paper and food. If the other cats are in on it, then he wants a piece of the action. After they’ve caught it.


Kuri plays XboxKuri likes to take responsibility for all of the mischief, even if Loki or Hiyu thought of it first. Hiyu and Loki have their share of stories, but Kuri is the King of Tales.

~ lisa

Rainbow Hill Meanders

Blogging 101

Welcome 2016!

As Rainbow Hill Meanders is almost two years old, I’ve decided to finally learn blogging. Thank you WordPress Blogging 101! Today’s assignment is revisiting the who and why of the blog.

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Rainbow Hills Meanders is thus named because (surprise, surprise) the house is on a hill, has many skylights and some inlaid multi-colored glass. When the sun shines, and even in the Pacific Northwest this occasionally happens, rainbows appear everywhere. The cats love this. I also think the hill often wanders through the space-time continuum. When that happens, who knows what will pop up here.140412 -  - medium-13

I’m an aspiring writer of fantasy and I’m currently enjoying weaving a middle-grade novel. My subtitle of “Writer’s A.D.D.” is truth in advertising as I’m all over the place with random research, joyful discoveries, and whatever flashes into my attention span.

I will segue into what really is a related subject: a group of cats is called a clowder or glaring of cats. I have my own glaring of three very mischievous Bengal cats and somehow their pictures keep infiltrating this blog. Sometimes Arna, our ancient dachshund also makes an appearance.

Seaside, OR

Besides being a bibliophile… I love PICTURES.

Every picture I use in my blogs is one taken either by me or by my very talented husband, Paul Hall. Paul’s Flickr Page

Red Dragon

As a fantasy writer, I wade waist-deep in mythology, linguistics, history and random facts.

Besides long walks on the beach, I travel and explore and take as many diverse classes as I can. I’m looking forward to 2016 being a truly great year.



TLC, Bengal style