I did not remember the gifts I gave away until they were returned

The afghan knitted by Cat’s grandma on the couch she purchased upon returning to New England. Photo by author.

It was 4 years before I could attend a family reunion. Four years of selling everything and moving across the country to attend tech school. Then, Covid and an end to all gatherings.

Those years were painful. I started from scratch, without friends or furniture I slogged through school to…

A woman standing near water outside, smiling
Photo of the author, used by permission.

I have gotten old too darn fast.

I spent a good portion of my life raising four children (in what I describe as my conservative Christian period) only to get divorced.

I had to re-invent myself.

Change is the only constant.

I embraced it fully in 2017.

I learned to say “Yes!” to new things and since that time I have had…

ThisTravel. Central America.

My Trip from Florida to the Bahamas on a Sailboat.

One of two vessels spotted on the open seas during our passage. Photo credit Cat Stravino

I had only started sailing in the previous 6 months, helping the real Sailor move his Cheoy Lee designed sailboat, Blown Away from Rhode Island to Florida on weekends, a good way to social distance and be outside, although a tad cold. I still confused “port” with “starboard.”

If I…

An adventure in history, culture and travel

The author shows her appreciation for art, seafood and Belfast on the Maritime Mile. Photo by D.Barna used with permission.

If dark misery, grey weather and a helping of mediocre food is your idea of Belfast, U.K. — think again.

I found amazing seafood, strong appreciation for culture and a living history with a flight across the Atlantic. Belfast is a vibrant and provocative visit.

I blame it all on a book.

I always do. Books have…

And do not miss it

A black and white television with antenna
Photo by Bruna Araujo on Unsplash

I moved out of a house I lived in for 15 years raising a family. In the process, I sold or gave away numerous television sets. Nielsen estimates Americans own 120.6 television sets as of 2020, thus my au revoir to t.v. …

They hope the French drop in at night and pluck a murderer from their midst, a feat the Irish system could not perform

Police in France guard a gate
Photo by Stephanie LeBlanc on Unsplash

Much of Ireland expects the French to infiltrate the remote hamlet of Cork at any moment, and pluck from its midst the narcissist who reigns in terror even as his abilities diminish with age, perhaps especially as his languishes physically yet continues to parry on Twitter with a vengeance against…

Boost your mental health and improve the air quality in your house

The pandemic has forced many people to stay home and inside, while creating concern about the air we are breathing. Is it true that houseplants can clean the air?

I hope so, since I have a plethora.

The spider plant makes the list of air cleaning plants. Photo by author.

Unfortunately, the truth is more difficult than the original NASA study suggests.


Photo by Evie S. on Unsplash

Sweetheart, at night
I roast and rest, roast and rest,
the mattress soaked with red wine.

Thick lips of Bacchus
lying at the gate,
unable to mouth

the small arch of the neck and peck, peck.
The flask whines.
The endemic touch

of simmering garlic!
Heat, heat the musk fogs
the kitchen…


A photo (and video) essay about moving a sailboat along the Eastern seaboard of the United States

A sunset off the coast of New Jersey from the water.
Sunset off Ocean Grove, New Jersey as taken from the sailboat by the author.

Personally, I was hoping for some sun as I volunteered to help run a sailboat to the Bahamas along the Eastern seaboard. It is 1,200 miles from Connecticut to Florida and I have driven it, but sailing? …

Cat Stravino

Yogi. Wordsmith. Hutch Pup. Diagnosed with I.O. (idiotic optimism) since an early age.

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