Friday, February 17, 2017

Rufus: Just Saying: Another cool book for Middle Grade readers! The Horses of Lost Valley

Rufus: Just Saying: Another cool book for Middle Grade readers!    
The Horses of Lost Valley
17 February 2017

Aileen Kilgore Henderson (1921- ) is an award-winning children’s author. Her first novel for children, The Summer of the Bonepile Monster, was published in 1995, when she was 74 years old. She has published three more children's books and two memoirs since that time.

Hi, Ms. Aileen! I hope your winter is as warm as ours! I’m going out to chase squirrels in a while.  My MomPeople says you live in a pretty place with lots of woods, like me. Do you have squirrels? Do you need a professional squirrel chaser? I am Very good.

My MomPeople also tells me you have kitties. I’m sorry.
Oops, Tuck Tuck heard that. I mean cats are cool. I bet you heard I’m outnumbered by the cats in our family. Sigh.

Anyway, my MomPeople says you write great books, and she is crazy about your newest- The Horses of Lost Valley. She says not only that the story is great, but you’re so good at carrying her back to Southern California where she used to live, and where her little sister was born.

MomPeople says there are lots of horses in it. I’m a Fox Hound you know. I’m supposed to hunt something along with horses. I have a picture in my Dawg/Man Cave of Fox hounds and hunter horses. I’m pretty sure they’re not hunting squirrels. But I’m curious about horses. I can hardly wait for her to read the book to me. I can’t read, but she shares books with us.

Is it true your book is based on a true life experience of yours? Could you share a favorite passage from your book?

Aileen K. Henderson: "The Horses of Lost Valley" is based on true life experience.
One of my favorite parts of the book is when he saves his horse from the wildfire.”

Well, MomPeople is going to have to read the book to us NOW! The squirrels can wait!
Thank you, Rufus.

Works by Aileen Kilgore Henderson
The Summer of the Bonepile Monster (1995)
The Monkey Thief (1997)
Treasure of Panther Peak (1999)
"Treeva's Own" in Belles' Letters (1999)
Stateside Soldier: Life in the Women's Army Corps, 1944-1945 (2001)
Tenderfoot Teacher: Letter from the Big Bend 1953-1954 (2002)
Hard Times for Jake Smith (2004)
"Ezell and the Black Speckled Gizzard Stone" in Appalachian Folktales (2010)
Eugene Allen Smith's Alabama: How a Geologist Shaped a State (2011)

The Horses of Lost Valley:

Monday, January 23, 2017

Rufus: Just Saying: CATS!

Rufus: Just Saying: CATS!
 23 January 2017

The snow is gone, but the weather guesser People says maybe more at the end of the week. So I’m writing this really quickly before Tuck Tuck comes back with her ideas of what should go in ‘her’ blog. REALLY!

She really thinks she’s sooo important now. Just because she talked to DadPeople about the leaky shower, and he got the plumber to come fix it. I could have done that. If I wanted to.

Anyway, Never turn your back on cats! They multiply. I go play in the snow and next thing I know there’s ANOTHER little black cat!!  Tuck Tuck’s brother Ratchett was living next door, but that didn’t work out. I have a pretty good idea why from all the stuff that Tuck Tuck and Ratchett crash into chasing each other! Little furry demolition team!

Anyway, Now we have four cats and only one dawg. Is that fair?
Here’s when the four of them first met. Ratchett is on the left, just coming out from under the couch. Nikki, who is in charge no matter what Tuck Tuck says, waited for him. Miss Zoe is under the chair. And Tuck Tuck is killing some toy or another.

This is when Ratchett and Nikki first met. You see what I mean about Cats? They are so stupid. You always sniff a new guy’s butt first! Not their nose. Geesh.

Big sigh. Tuck Tuck taught Ratchett about the Door Monster. Here the little geniuses are trying to catch it. Don’t tell them who the monster on the other side of the door is. I’m betting two ham bones that they never figure it out. NikkiCat won’t bet. He says … he just sighs and takes another nap. He needs lots of naps now a days.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Rufus: Just Saying: Tuck Tuck Work Work

Rufus: Just Saying: Tuck Tuck Work Work
7 Jan 2017

Hi, Tuck Tuck here again. Rufus is having another snow day.  He’s a regular snow dog.

So, like I told you yesterday, there is plenty of work to do around here. Even though I am very good at it, I have to do other things besides pushing ornaments off the Christmas tree. Especially since it went away to the storage room.

For one thing, if you want to sleep on a bed, you have make sure the People make it up right. Sometimes you have to do that from under the blankets, which makes MomPeople say, “Where’s Tuck Tuck?”, and then silly MomPeople pats the blanket from on top, and I have to kick kick, and bite from underneath. And then I have to run out from under the blankets. And, sigh, then I have to get back up and make sure the pillows are plumped just right. See!

After my nap, there’s work to do in the bathroom. Showers. Did you know they have water in them? Not drinking bowl water, although it tastes pretty good. Not as good as bird bath water, but there isn’t any of that in our house. Anyway, showers have to be inspected. Sometimes close up. This is very important, because my family likes to be green. Not green like grass, or the plants in the pots that I chew on. (Don’t tell MomPeople.) Green like the People want to not waste water, power, all kinds of things. I do the same with litter. I make sure I pee on it as much of it as … never mind. I discovered that the shower was dripping. I showed MomPeople, who I think fixed it. But if it weren’t for me …

I am thinking about a new job. What do you think? I think I could be a TV star. Here I am on TV.

Tuck Tuck for Rufus 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Rufus: Just Saying: Tuck Tuck Time 6 January 2017

Rufus: Just Saying: Tuck Tuck Time
6 January 2017

Hi There!! I’m Tuck Tuck. I’m a kitten. A very busy kitten, but I said yes when Rufus asked me to write this blog. I don’t know how to type, but Rufus said that’s not a problem. MomPeople is in charge of that. So here I go.

By the way, Rufus is taking a day off, because it snowed!  Rufus loves snow!

I never saw snow before. I watched it come down yesterday.

But watching snow is not my favorite thing to do. And there a LOT of things to do in my forever home.

Like when the Christmas tree was up. ZoeMom and I climbed it and pushed ornaments out onto the floor. We had to keep doing that over and over, because MomPeople kept picking up the ornaments and putting them back on the tree. She wasn’t nearly as happy with our work as you’d think. Then the tree went away. Which leaves more time for all the other very important things I do around here.

Today I will tell you about my bags, balls, and tissue paper work. MomPeople dropped a bag on the floor, and then tissue paper, and THEN a ball of foil.

I checked with ZoeMom and NikkiCat, about what we should do. Like I thought, the paper, bag, and ball are very dangerous and must be played with until they are exhausted.

 I volunteered to be in charge of tissue, bag, the foil ball, and pushing the scatter rugs around. 

It turned out that the bag was very interesting!

Hiding in it!

And hiding stuff in it! Like the foil ball. Which is a very fun toy.

But maybe the tissue paper is the BEST toy. You can push it, catch it in the air, and sit on it!

All this blogging makes me tired. I checked what the MomPeople typed and got a drink. She did okay. But I have a lot more to say, maybe tomorrow.

For now I’m nap/watching out the window.

Tuck Tuck for Rufus

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Rufus: Just Saying: Tuck Tuck and the Door Monster!

Rufus: Just Saying: Tuck Tuck and the Door Monster!
7 December 2016

I love playing in the leaves. Hiding in them, running into them. Hiding my toys in them. But sometimes there are even better games.

I may or may not have told Tuck Tuck there was a door monster. Okay, maybe I did. Really. It’s too easy to fool a kitten.

Tuck Tuck battles the door monster every time the front door opens.

 First thing Tuck Tuck does when the door opens is look at herself in the kick plate. Which is like a mirror when you’re that short. Yeah. She’s cute. And she knows it.

But it doesn’t take long before Tuck Tuck remembers the door monster. Tuck Tuck says a door monster can steal pretty reflections, so you have to get it!

According to Tuck Tuck, the door monster hides on the other side, so you have to stick a paw under and swipe and swipe. The door monster if very big and ugly and looks like an elephant and a wolf and a hippopotamus combined. According to Tuck Tuck.

But pretty soon Tuck Tuck wins, and the monster goes away. Tuck Tuck says, Mom, Zoe comes to make sure you’re okay and hear all about how you scared away the monster.

Got to love brave little Tuck Tuck. I might take her out to play in the leaves. She might like to hear about the leaves monster, which may or may not look like a chipmunk. Maybe.

[All photos used in are the sole property of Kath Marsh. Not for public use. Not to be reprinted.]

Monday, December 5, 2016

Rufus: Just Saying: Time Travel with C M. Huddleston!

Rufus: Just Saying: Time Travel with C M. Huddleston!
5 December 2016

Hello. Ms. Huddleston! My MomPeople tells me you are a Registered Professional Archaeologist! I don’t know exactly what that means.  I hope that means you dig up cool things. I do that too. Do you want me to share any of the stuff I dig up?

Rufus, I think anything you dig up might be gross and smelly. Also they might be quite recent burials. As a Registered Professional Archaeologists, I only dig up things buried long ago, as in thousands of years ago. I don’t use my nose to find them, but instead use my education. I have degrees in History and historic preservation and worked in the field of archaeology for about 25 years.

Could you tell me what an archaeologist really does?

Wow, you do ask hard questions! Archaeologists explore the human past by excavating (digging up) things man left behind in the soil.  We use scientific methods to determine where and how humans once lived and to interpret what we find. For example, on a site where American Indians once lived we might find bits of pottery, projectile points (arrowheads and spear points), the remains of a fire, and even sometimes burials.  On an historic site we often find bits of glass, pottery, bricks, buttons, coins, foundations, roads, sidewalks, etc. . . .

The only history I know is about White Hall Historical site (Green and Cassius Clay’s home) where I found my People one morning when they came to walk around the pond.
MomPeople says you write really good books about history. I’m going to have her read your book Greg’s First Adventure in Time to me. How did you get so interested in history?

Well, I learned about history by reading. The more I read the more I wanted to know.  So I read more books. I own over 300 books and most of them are about history!  I also studied history in college and worked for several years helping to preserve and interpret historic sites.

You’ve written lots of books. Could you tell me the titles?

Adult books: Mittie & Thee: An 1853 Roosevelt Romance and Between the Wedding & the War: The Bulloch/Roosevelt Letters 1854-1860 These two books contain the letters between members of the Bulloch family in Georgia and the Roosevelt family in New York.  Mittie Bulloch and Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. were the parents of President Theodore Roosevelt. There will be one more book in the series.

My three children’s books are Greg’s First Adventure in Time, Greg’s Second Adventure in Time, and Greg’s Third Adventure in Time, which was just released. As you can see, I’m pretty stuck on that title – keeps me from having to come up with a new one! 

Could you give us a blurb from your favorite, and an excerpt?

“So, nothing else to do, I decided to research time travel theories. I mean I have done it—twice—time travel that is, not research it. Once back 3,000 years and then forward to my own time. But I have no idea how.” From Greg’s Second Adventure in Time
Rufus, I chose this excerpt because it has a dog in it!  My dog!
Katy Huddleston!

Excerpt from Greg’s Second Adventure in Time
Saturday, 13 June 2015
I remember waking up to Mom’s cell phone ringing somewhere in the house and wondering if it was Dad. I hadn’t talked to him in weeks. He had to call soon, right? Mom didn’t seem the least bit worried he hadn’t called. I turned over to catch a few more minutes of sleep.
Before I could doze off again, Mom knocked on my door and told me to wake up and get dressed as we had to make a stop before we went to the dig site. Some kind of “archaeology emergency.” That usually means someone has uncovered a skeleton. Part of Mom’s job included checking out such finds. People report them to local sheriffs or police. They call the Office of State Archaeology at the University of Kentucky, and they send an archaeologist to check it out.
I could tell the day was going to be a hot one, and here I was dressing in wool trousers! Mom had purchased an authentic leather knapsack, which I filled with my pocket knife, compass, sneakers, the Daniel Boone book, and a few Cookies & Creme candy bars, my favorite. I always plan ahead where food is concerned. I put some other things in my pockets, just in case I might need them. Besides, I always carry my cell phone.
At the last minute, I tied the sleeves of the costume’s jacket around the straps of the knapsack. I doubted I would need a jacket but Mom worked so hard on it. I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. Also, the volunteers planned a barbeque for the end of the re-enactment. Sometimes it turned cool in the evening.
Mom and I drove to a place about three miles north east of the Martin’s Station excavations. Sure enough, I was right. There stood a sheriff’s car, a farm truck which held an irate Australian Shepherd dog, and a couple of large tractors. The sheriff, several men, and a boy, a little older than I, stood in a group near a grove of trees along a rock-bottomed creek filled with slowly running water. Mom and I walked toward the men as they approached. We listened to their story about how the skeleton had been uncovered.
Using a cultivator pulled by a tractor, they had been working to turn over the rich soil near the banks of the Hinkston’s Fork. They planned a late corn crop for this bit of bottom land. The farmer’s son had been driving the tractor and had glanced along the creek as he was driving. I think driving a tractor around in circles must be pretty boring. That’s when he saw the dog pulling the jaw bone out of the creek bank.
I stopped as we neared the truck to pet the dog, actually a half-grown pup. She was a beauty, a red-tricolor named Katy according to the tag on her collar. She vigorously wagged her  backside—Aussies don’t have tails—as I approached the truck. The boy yelled up that she was friendly, but not to let her out. It seemed she had run all over the field with her treasure before they had managed to catch her and take it away. She was still panting heavily, drooling all over the seats and my hand. She had a bowl of water with her on the truck’s seat, but didn’t seem interested in drinking. I guess she wanted to explore for more bones. I didn’t dare open the truck door since she would have tried to escape, so I petted her through a half-open window.
After a short while, Mom yelled for me to bring her equipment pack. It always contains her favorite trowels, a camera, measuring tapes, levels, maps, note pads and pencils, Sharpies, bug spray, and artifact bags. Figuring we would be here awhile and not having had much breakfast, I grabbed my knapsack as well and slung it over my shoulder. I guess I looked kind of funny dressed as I was, because the sheriff, the men, and the boy all stared. So, I swept my arm out to the side and bowed from the waist. My hat fell off. Darn.
Mom proceeded to shoo them all away from the discovery and carefully went to work. Mom is not trained as a physical anthropologist, but she can recognize an old skeleton and tell it from a more recent burial. This one had an arrowhead buried in the right shoulder and one in the breastbone—a dead give away (pun intended) it was an ancient burial. Not many people are shot with Indian arrows nowadays!
Mom photographed the entire site before drawing a sketch map and marking the site on a quadrangle map that showed we were on Hinkston’s Fork of the South Fork of the Licking River. She took a GPS reading with her phone and marked the info on the map as well. Next, she would call the State Archaeologist’s office and report the find so it could be examined more thoroughly. Maybe she would excavate here next. Who knows?
Meanwhile, I took some pictures to send to Rose and Dad with my camera phone, waded barefoot in the creek, ate a candy bar, and tried to skip rocks. The water wasn’t very deep. Basically, I was bored. I had just picked up my shoes and finished lacing them back on when I noticed what I thought was a deer hide sticking out of the bank near the skeleton. I walked over to point it out to Mom. She continued to be distracted by her maps and the skeleton and paid me no mind. So I reached down to brush off some of the dirt and rotted leaves. I bent lower to examine my find and had just touched the hide when it happened.
I time traveled - AGAIN

Wow! That’s very cool. Katy is very cool, beautiful! Thank you, Ms. Huddleston! Rufus

C. M. Huddleston
Award-winning Author
host of Monday Morning Indie at

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Rufus: Just Saying: Santa’s NOT Coming?

Rufus: Just Saying: Santa’s NOT Coming?
3 December 2016


Zoe and Tuck Tuck
Santa is going to come to me. I hope. I’ve been a Very Good Dawg. Like when I alerted the Mom and DadPeople to the little mom cat Zoe and her kittens Tuck Tuck and Ratchet. They are no longer homeless because of me! Ratchet lives next door with CoreyDawg and his People. And, sigh, Zoe and Tuck Tuck live with NikkiCat and me.

Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to help out Zoe and Tuck Tuck. They are very naughty! And I don’t think I should  be blamed for that. I am very good down in my Dawg/Man cave. Especially now that it’s football season and DadPeople and I watch football on the big TV. 

Nikki Cat watching.
But NikkiCat says the two new cats give him a headache, and they are very naughty. 
They scratch on the furniture. 

They get into the potted plants that have to live indoors during the winter.
They knocked over two lamps and one clock, took the door off the dollhouse.(I think Tuck Tuck got inside it.)


And then there’s the upstairs Christmas tree. I am very good with mine down in DadPeople and my Dawg/Man Cave. I don’t pee on it or anything. MomPeople got a little tree to test to see if Tuck Tuck would behave. Tuck Tuck is tricky. She took a swipe then ignored it. So myPeople put up the big tree. AND THEN ….

Tuck Tuck started climbing up the tree!  That’s very bad! DadPeople asks MomPeople every morning if the tree is still standing upright.
Santa might not come because of naughty cats, and NikkiCat says it’s all my fault!


[All photos used in are the sole property of Kath Marsh. Not for public use. Not to be reprinted.]