as told to Sheila Webster Boneham
Good morning! Oh my, I’m so honored to be here. I mean, how did you even get my name? Oh, wait, I’m sure Janet gave it to you, yes? Or maybe Tom? But let me back up a step. I just wasn’t prepared for this, and look at me, I’m a mess. I’ve been out in the garden since before dawn. Like to beat the heat, you know. Here, have a glass of mint-basil iced tea. All fresh from the garden, except, of course, the tea. I order that from Charleston Tea Plantation. Did you know that it’s the only place in the U.S. that grows tea? Mmmm, that hits the spot. It’s their green tea with my own fresh basil and mints, pepper and spear. Made it this morning.
Okay, well, about that step back. I’m Goldie. Golden Sunshine on my various papers, but just Goldie to my friends. You found your way here, so you know that I live next door to my best friend, Janet MacPhail. Such a lovely person, and a talented photographer. When we’ve finished our tea I’ll show you some of the wonderful macro photos she’s taken in my garden. I have several framed in the living room. Most of her photos are of animals, of course. Most of her life is about animals! I think it’s great, and I adore her critters.
And then there’s Janet’s dog, Jay. He’s just the most handsome, smart, funny, lovely Australian Shepherd. If I see he’s outside in the morning when I’m making my toast I always make him a piece, too. I bake my own bread, you know, so the toast isn’t like store-bought toast, well, you know, toasted store-bought bread. I think Jay especially likes my sunflower seed whole grain with homemade cinnamon clove butter. It’s one of my favorites, too. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like it. Except Totem. Janet begs me not to bring her any because she’s trying to lose a few pounds. Has been ever since she met Tom, although I don’t think he really cares.
|The Money Bird|
Maybe one of these days I'll get a dog, too. We shall see.
Hang on a minute while I take the cookies out of the oven. Ooooh, they smell pretty good, don’t they? Ha! I’m experimenting again. You can tell me whether they work. I like to put edibles from my garden into my cooking, and not just the usual suspects, either. These are lemon with bits of home grown rose hips and violets. I didn't grow the lemons, of course, but the flowers are fresh from the backyard. Here you go. Don’t burn yourself!
|Drop Dead on Recall|
Here, take some cookies with you. They’ll be good to munch while you read about Janet and Jay’s latest adventure. And let me show you those photos in the other room.
Sheila Webster Boneham the Animals in Focus Mystery series. She is also the author of seventeen nonfiction books about animals, including the highly regarded Rescue Matters!How to Find, Foster, and Rehome Companion Animals. Her work has appeared in literary and commercial magazines and anthologies, including the forthcoming 2015 Best Science and Nature Writing anthology edited by Rebecca Skloot. Sheila’s work has won numerous honors, including the Prime Number Magazine Creative Nonfiction Award and multiple Maxwell and MUSE awards in fiction and nonfiction. Sheila also writes narrative nonfiction and poetry, teaches writing workshops, and, yes, competes with her dogs. Learn more at www.sheilaboneham.com, or keep up with Sheila’s latest news on Facebook or at Sheila”s_Blog .
Sheila's books are available from retail and online booksellers. You can support independent bookselling and get your personally autographed copies of Sheila’s books from Pomegranate Books – information here: http://www.sheilaboneham.com/autographedbooks.html
*A slightly different version of this piece appeared in August 2013 at dru's book musings.