me vs. our cats

In the Cat Who books by Lillian Braun, the photographer (Bushy) is determined that he is going to gets pictures of Quilleran’s two siamese cats, Koko and Yum Yum.    They keep getting into wonderfully photogenic poses until he brings out the camera at which point they promptly do things like start to wash up their nether regions.   He is determined to someday succeed in photographing them.

Lately our two rascals have taken to hopping into one of our bathtubs to wash themselves up.   I would love to get a picture (or even better a video) of them doing so but they continue to either

  1. do so when I don’t bring my cell phone (i.e. camera) into the bathroom
  2. not do so whenever I do bring it in.

Last night, after missing yet another opportunity to get the picture, I gave up and went out into the living room to clean the litter mats.     Night followed me and before I could get to the mats, promptly went over and sat down on one of them.  She just sat there looking at me …

I wanted to clean the litter mat, so Night promptly went over and sat on it.
I wanted to clean the litter mat, so Night promptly went over and sat on it.

No, she really is not a demon cat.  Jamey just had the flash on when he took her picture.  (Does make for a great picture of her at Halloween though.)

So how do things stand now?

I am determined but Johnny tells me to keep dreaming
I am determined but Johnny tells me to keep dreaming


So what am I grateful for today?  Two cats who make sure our life never gets boring.



Yesterday, I came across a blog post discussing “Glasses – or lack thereof – in books.”  While reading it, I found myself thinking “I never thought about that before” several times.  


Why don't time travelers have problems with their eyesight?

For example, I love to read books about time travel but never previously considered the fact that generally people who need vision aids in the present often suddenly seem to have perfect vision when they travel back in time.


Why do so few people wear glasses on the cover of books?

This is yet another thing that I had never really considered despite the fact that I have worn glasses since I was 7  years old – other than a brief period of time when I tried contact lenses.   It is an excellent point.   Will putting glasses on someone on the cover of a book reduce the sales of a book?


Why is it that no one seems to need to save up money for vision checkups and new glasses in books?

Another very good point.  Why did I never notice things like that when reading before?   In the Harry Potter books, we are told that

Harry had a thin face, knobbly knees, black hair, and bright green eyes. He wore round glasses held together with a lot of Scotch tape because of all the times Dudley had punched him on the nose.

Yet we never hear anything about him going to an eye doctor.   The Dursleys must have taken him or how else did he end up wearing glasses? Why don’t we ever hear Uncle Vernon complaining about the cost of having to provide glasses for Harry?

These are just some of the questions that came to me as I read the post from Fadwa at Word Wonders.    I very much enjoy reading things that make me think.    I not only thought about the points she raised in her blog but also about my own vision and glasses.



Jamey and I have both worn glasses since childhood, so our vision is not something we take for granted.
Jamey and I have both worn glasses since childhood, so our vision is not something we take for granted.


And that became the topic for today’s gratitude post as Jamey and I are both very grateful for our vision.   We are avid readers and use our computers and other electronic devices regularly.    So much that is a part of our daily lives would be much more difficult if we did not have our vision.    

(Note:  I am trying to keep this blog assisted reader friendly for those who are unable to read it directly.  That is why I have forgone many of the visual bells and whistles that some of the WordPress themes offer.)


Here Be Dragons

Jamey wrote a post on unicorns Sunday, so I am doing one on dragons as one of the things we have in common is a love of  fantasy  (even those stories that don’t include dragons or unicorns such as Nathan Lowell’s Tanyth Fairport Adventures) and whimsy.

I have long loved dragons and am grateful to the authors and artists who make them come alive for us.
I have long loved dragons and am grateful to the authors and artists who make them come alive for us.


Dragonriders of Pern

I love Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series.  My favorite in the series is All the Weyrs of Pern.   I have listened to the audiobook so many times that I know chunks of it almost by heart.


Dragon Fanfic

Jamey is an avid fanfic reader.   A few years ago, he introduced me to one that he thought I would enjoy as it combined the dragons of Anne McCaffrey’s Pern universe with characters from Harry Potter.      We followed the installments for as long as they were written but sadly the author died.

Since then I have had an eye out for another dragon series to follow.   If you are wondering why it took me so long to find one, given how much fiction about dragon exists, it is because I prefer my fantasy to be g-rated, no more than pg, with little to no violence and some humor.   Equally important is that the dragons be recognizable individuals with human friends that they can communicate with.   Once you restrict it that much, it is not quite as easy.


Beaufort Scales

I am thankful to say that I recently found a writer whose dragon stories meet those qualifications:  Kim M. Watt and her tales of  Beaufort Scales.    It was pure serendipity that I stumbled upon her site where her banner caught my attention immediately:  “Here be dragons. And cats, and other stuff.”

Her site includes

  • an introduction to Beaufort Scales page which includes a list of links to everything she has written about him so far
  • 3 short stories about him
  • a 5 part cozy about him

If you enjoy the type of dragon stories that I do, I encourage you to check out Kim Watt’s Beaufort Scales.    I have read everything she has written about him thus far and am looking forward to future installments in the series.

If you find you enjoy her stories, ramble around on her site for a bit and you will find plenty of links to her other stories.


Here Be Dragons

I have long loved the phrase “Here be dragons” (or “Here there be dragons”) that was supposedly written on uncharted areas of old European maps to depict unknown dangers.    I usually love to learn new things but was sad to find out that is one of those things that everybody knows but is not completely true. Nonetheless, I still get pleasure from the phrase.


Today's gratitude goes to
  • Anne McCaffrey for the many, many hours of pleasure her writings have given to me
  • to Bobmin for Beneath Sovereign Skies (the Pern/Potter fanfic crossover)
  • to Kim Watt for Beaufort Scales
  • and to the folks at MapHist, the Map History Forum, for setting me straight on the history of the phrase “here be dragons.”

If you love dragons, do you have a favorite author/series that you would like to recommend?


Little Free Sharing (Library and Food Pantry)

So, Doreen normally does these “We Are Grateful For” posts, but all along, she’s wanted me to do some of these.

So, I’m doing one today.


Something I am grateful for:

The small ideas, shared over the Internet that can have a huge impact if repeated and implemented often enough.


Two cases in point:

The Little Free Libraries.  These are little boxes scattered around towns (we have three of them that I’ve found here where we live) that hold books free for the taking.  Of course, if everyone takes, they empty out quickly – so a lot of people simply put more books in.  Perhaps they put in books they bought and read and enjoyed, and want others to enjoy, perhaps they simply return ones they took and find new ones to take.  Either way, people share, and I find something that tells me that people actually aren’t nearly as bad as is painted in the news today.


Little Free Library
Little Free Library


The Little Free Pantries.  Again, little boxes scattered around towns, but this time, people put canned food, diapers, and other necessities free for anyone to take.  Again, of course someone has to put stuff in – sometimes, it’s churches, sometimes it’s people who had to take stuff at one point and are paying it forward, sometimes it’s just people who feel like doing it.  We just got one of these in our town – it’s a converted outdoor newspaper machine, with the coin box cut off and painted up nicely.  Apparently, according to the lady who put it up (who I know personally), it’s been doing nicely so far.


Little Free Pantry

    A Little Free Community Cupboard


Gratitude and Optimism

These kinds of things give me hope for the future.  They say to me that people really do care, people do share, and people will be there.  And I am so grateful for that, instead of all the negative news it is so easy for people to immerse themselves in.


Thank you, Nathan Lowell

Ravenwood by Nathan Lowell
Ravenwood, my favorite book by Nathan Lowell, is the first book in his Tanyth Fairport Adventures fantasy trilogy. The heroine is a strong, independent woman who has traveled for twenty winters to learn all she can about herbs and medicinal plants. She is a woman of integrity and compassion and that guides her actions in all of her adventures from when she first stops to help a village in need of a healer and on into Zypheria’s Call and The Hermit of Lammas Woods.

I was struggling with adding a RSS feed to our gratitude blog last night so Jamey suggested that I ask Nathan Lowell as he uses it regularly for his podcasts. Even though he was working on his current book Suicide Run (the follow-up to Milk Run) in his Smugglers Tales series, Nathan took the time to work through with me the issues I was having and even researching the link that I needed to get things working.   I have added a RSS Feeder Info page to our blog to try to assist others who may be having similar issues.

If you are not familiar with Nathan’s work, he is the author of one of my favorite series – The Tanyth Fairport Adventures in addition to the space opera series The Golden Age of the Solar Clipper.     If you have read and enjoyed any of his books in the latter series, he does have an active Facebook group devoted to it.    Those who join get their own sponge number and become part of a group of intelligent and sometimes quirky Nathan Lowell fans who post regularly on various topics related to his Solar Clipper series.  

Thank you again, Nathan, for taking the time to help Jamey and me figure out what we were missing on our RSS feed.  Your help was greatly appreciated.

Note:  While many of our gratitude posts will be on what we appreciate about our cats who are an integral part of our daily lives, another common topic will be things that make life easier or more enjoyable for us.  Since Jamey and I are both avid readers, from time to time we will write about favorite authors and books as we are very grateful indeed to the authors who have given us so many hours of reading pleasure.