Summer Happenings

Valerie Anne Burns
4 min readJul 12, 2023

What is your summer looking like? My patio is full of summer bloom abundance, and it’s been a busy spring into summer season for me. Who knew that being a writer involved a whole lot more than writing? It is all-consuming, never-ending, with reliable rejection, but I am compelled to keep going and grateful for how rewarding it is and for what I’ve accomplished. I joined ResQCats as a volunteer in the spring for kitten season, which continues through October. It is hard work, rewarding, sweet, joyful, and sad. In June, I was surprised by being gifted attendance to the Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference, which was productive and fun to make new friends. Additionally, I decided to become a Compeer (support companion) to a fellow student for the Music Academy Summer Program. My violinist fellow’s name is Della and she is 18-years old. Della began playing at 8-years old, and she is a marvel. It has been such a pleasure to be her Compeer. We meet for coffee and I attend as many performances as I can. Please, my first and fabulous podcast interview link is at the bottom of this blog.

I never knew how much would be involved in running a rescue cat sanctuary. Jeffyne, who runs ResQCats is tireless. She cares for them daily by cleaning, nurturing those who are sick, and provides heated pads for the kittens and mom cats who are less than a year old found as strays and pregnant. Shelters have a 58% increase since the pandemic. There are times when the kittens fail to thrive or a virus takes them. I go home stricken with heartache. The joy is handling and cuddling the kittens so they trust humans to prepare for adoption. My favorite part after the cleaning, is to snuggle and play with the furry cuties.

Volunteering as Della’s Compeer has been so sweet and satisfying. I’ve been learning more about the violin and how Della was accepted into Curtis in Philadelphia when she was 17. The discipline it takes to be the best of the best is astounding. I am looking forward to upcoming performances while Della is at the Music Academy and will follow her as she continues her path in education, adventures, and performance to her career choice. Music is a welcomed departure. I love to learn and cultural pursuits have always been an enormous and exquisite escape for me. If you are in SB, please attend a performance.

I’d be curious to know what your summer is like — What are some of your favorite activities and pursuits to escape the chaotic world we live in? California is enjoying sun after a much-needed good winter to spring rain followed by a lot of fog. Sunshine has been glorious. I hope you are enjoying summer sun the way my Lucia relishes the warmth. She is a good reminder of relaxation for us all. Lucia is my therapy cat and when I am stressed, sad, and/or overwhelmed, her snuggles and purring puts me right again. I adopted Lucia from the Humane Society and the timing in the way that I was able to adopt her was rather miraculous. Definitely, divinely guided. Please do adopt as opposed to shopping for an animal. Think of helping, donating, and adopting through the over run shelters with dogs and cats. All these animals want is to be loved, play, and to feel safe. If you are in Santa Barbara and have a chance to support ResQCats, please do. You can Google or find them on Facebook to donate. It is an amazing place to visit as well.

As you know, animals are a gift to the world and depend on our compassion. 💕

Meanwhile, I’m enclosing a link to my first interview on a podcast led by a terrific team of Dr Kathy Gruver (Phd) and Jason Mefford who provided an engaging interview with me:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWZcdioCE_Y

Keep on swimming through life,

Valerie Anne

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Valerie Anne Burns

Author of Caution: Mermaid Crossing, Voyages of a Motherless Daughter”; Blogger; Breast Cancer Survivor; Hollywood Survivor; Workshop Leader; & Beauty Seeker.