Out with the Old

on January 13, 2023

Kleenex and chocolate

2022 has concluded with a lot of changes for me. Some I embrace, others are not what I want, but they are facts that I must live with. Everyone I know faces this situation. Living is losing those we love and care about. Rotten system, but I didn’t design it.

This Christmas I was laid low by Covid. Sonja Rivera and Maggie Sieck showed up at my door with enough food to feed an army. A ton of people checked up on me. For this Christmas, at least, the roles of life were reversed, and I was the recipient of great kindness. I received gifts of chocolate and tissues from Pam Gray and Shelley Timms. I’m now back to my mean old self with a little help from my friends.


My survival kit: But why could I never find all THREE without a freaking manhunt?


I thought I’d give you an annual update on Good Fortune Farm Refuge and the animals here. Both Eudora Welty and Sorrow are holding their own with the cancer diagnosis. Sorrow is 15 and Eudora is 11. Dick Cheney, despite his senior age, is still a warrior and he seems happy here. The rest of Susan’s animals are doing great. They’ve been in the South almost a year. It’s been a hard, hard transition for them, especially since they were in such sad shape when they got here. But they are loved and adored, even The Dick! Ha ha ha. You can donate easily through Paypal here—GFFR Donation Link (P.S. Tax deductible as we are a 501c3 rescue).


Dick being kind by sharing his bed with Sorrowa Christmas Miracle!

 Ares loves the pink igloo kitty house


The last cat I trapped, a 5-year-old tomcat, Erik, has been released into gen pop. He is roaming the house and very, very loving. He was, of course, neutered and had his vaccinations, but it has taken him time to trust anyone. He acts like someone hit him violently in the head—he ducks and runs when I bend down to pet him, but he is loving the attention when he lets me stroke him. He is slowly coming around. That leaves Rachel, one of my brother’s cats, who is very, very wild. She is in the house but hides in places when I’m trying to catch her. She has some serious skin issues and needs a vet visit. To that end I bought a fishing net to try to gently scoop her up so I can get her some help. I hate doing this, but she’s too smart to go in a kindness trap and too fast for old me to catch with a sheet or towel.

Aleta Boudreaux helps me with the GFFR rescue—she’s the Grand Bay branch. We’ve neutered as many cats and dogs this year as we could afford. We have several very generous people who donate to us, and I want to thank you. Matt Ames, a drama professor and former colleague at USA, did a birthday Go Fund Me for GFFR. We appreciate every single donation. You’ve made a big difference for an animal. Every single penny goes into vet care for these animals. Aleta and I work because we love the animals and want to help them.

On the book front, TELL-TALE BONES is in the queue and ready to be launched May, 2023. I’m writing JAWS BONES for 2024. I am so damn lucky to have book contracts and be able to work to pay for my “animal addiction.” Growing up, I wanted a horse and to be able to solve mysteries and take care of animals. Some may say my dream is small, but to me it’s a big, big dream. Every single day I get to help these animals (I only wish I had a lot of money to help more of them), I have two rescue horses to brush and love, and I solve mysteries! Win-win! Yes, it is a lot of work. But what thing worth doing isn’t a lot of work?

The arrival of little Pumpkin in my life on Thanksgiving night was a true blessing. She stole a piece of my heart, but she is now in Kentucky with her new family, and they adore her and have the time and energy to give her. She has found the home she deserves, and I was honored to play a role in rescuing her and getting her there. Thank you to Dixie Adoptables for giving Pumpkin a ride north. This is the rescue group in my hometown of Lucedale, MS. Like all rescue groups, they run mostly on donations. End 2022—or begin 2023—with a donation to a charity you love. It doesn’t have to be huge—every dollar helps.

Here’s a link to Dixie Adoptables FB page if you would like to donate or learn more: facebook.com/DixieAdoptables.

I hope each one of you had a terrific Christmas and that 2023 is a year that brings health, happiness, and love to you. Take a walk, sing a song, look up at the night sky in wonder, make a resolution to live with compassion and kindness toward people and animals (yeah, that’s a hard one sometimes! Ha ha ha).

Here’s a childhood tune that always makes me smile. A good start to 2023.

Cheers to new beginnings and a fab year from Carolyn and the Critters!


P.S.I had a very good time at the Washington County Public Library. There were plenty of Sarah Booth fans and a local high school literature class also showed up. The Chatom librarians are a ball of fire and made me feel very special. No one got to wear their ugly Christmas sweaters because it was 80 freaking degrees.