February 3, 2017

Back in the Saddle again

Posted in Blogging, Books, Humor, Just Life at 11:22 am by catsinboxes

boot-449044_960_720I mean figuratively.  —It’s been quite a while since I blogged regularly.  But since I love horses and riding, why not add a picture?

It’s not the start of 2017, it’s not even quite the start of a month.  But I’ve been meaning to blog, so here’s to a start!

I have half an hour before work —one eye half on the clock.  What to write about?

Books.  I’ve started off the year reading quite a lot.  Favorites from January?  Hmm . . . I’d have to say Dianne Wynne Jones’ fantasy has been a new favorite.  I really enjoy her tongue-in-cheek humor and Year of the Griffin was a pleasant fantasy adventure.  In a sentence: a plucky young griffin is off to college to study magic, but the university’s methods are archaic, and she and her friends realize there is much more to magic than they are learning in the classroom.

On audiobook, P. G. Wodehouse remains a favorite.  I met Psmith for the first time, thanks to Leave it to Psmith.  Since I love Wodehouse’s Blandings Castle series, I had to enjoy this one!  Meanwhile, Uneasy Money was great fun to revisit, especially with Nigel Lambert’s excellent narration.  And if you are completely lost now, I apologize.  Remedy the solution by going out and getting The Most of P. G. Wodehouse.  As I wrote a couple years ago,

Combining understatement and literary allusions, slapstick humor and serious butlers, imperious aunts and impoverished aristocracy, The Most of P. G. Wodehouse should provide hours of entertainment to any Anglophile in need of a humorous read.  

On the biography front, I’m loving Ian Murray’s The Life of Martyn Lloyd-Jones.  There is much more I could say, and would like to say, about this book in particular and books in general, but the clock reminds me of my time constraint.  So, I will wrap up for the present.  I know this hasn’t been the most interesting of posts, but one has to start somewhere!


February 20, 2015

When a Book Lover meets a Book Lover

Posted in Books, Humor, Just Life, Singleness tagged , , , at 4:08 pm by catsinboxes


I stepped into a bookstore today.  Being a book lover and also a C. S. Lewis lover, I noticed a C. S. Lewis book in the recent releases and was headed toward it, when an employee distracted me,

“How are you doing?”

“I’m doing well. . . . How are you?”  Polite platitudes.

Then, the unexpected.  “Doing well, doing well . . . living the dream.”

Distracted, I really looked at him: young with a beard that Spurgeon wouldn’t be ashamed of . . . . He was putting some finishing touches on a display area.  (40% off commentaries, or some such theological deal!)

“What?  Working in a bookstore?”

“Yes, I love books!”

“Oh, I love books too, but I’ve never worked in a bookstore.”

He proceeded to say, with enthusiasm, that it was really interesting.  I may, or might not, upon leaving a few moments later have glanced to see if he was wearing a ring.  And on that note, if you’re a book-loving girl, you should definitely see this Instagram page!

November 20, 2013

When in Doubt . . .

Posted in Blogging, Humor, Just Life at 9:50 pm by catsinboxes

About how to get back into blogging . . .


Post a guinea pig picture!

May 24, 2013

Forget Pinterest

Posted in Blogging, Books, Culture, Humor, Just Life at 7:58 pm by catsinboxes

Until two weeks ago, I held aloof.  I watched others get involved with Pinterest.  I chuckled over Facebook laments by husbands who had lost their wives to its charms.  I did sometimes look at it, but the looks never went farther than a few clicks.  Simply put, I didn’t want to get sucked in.  I like my time, thank you, and I already don’t have enough of it!  There might have been a pride factor too, that I hadn’t hopped on that bandwagon.

But, considering I work with a blog –not this one, Redeemed Reader— that is seeking to grow via social media, and because I wouldn’t mind my own blog growing, I thought it would be good to get a little more connected.  So, I first rekindled my Twitter account and then took the plunge for Pinterest.

And you know what?  I haven’t spent much time on it!  Sure, it’s nice.  Sure, it’s full of neat ideas.  But aside from using it to hunt up an occasional image for my blog, I’m not hooked.  Trust me, I like it that way!

Then, today, I discovered something.  It’s not Pinterest, but it’s something else, something that I’ve accessed before, something that I’ve enjoyed.  Occasionally, I thought about getting an account, getting official, but I never got around to it . . . until today.

In a few simple steps, I got an account.  And oh, joy, it was amazing!  I loved every moment of the set-up, I got absorbed in building my profile, I could have spent all morning, but I realized it and conquered the urge.  The laptop was closed and stowed downstairs –beyond temptation’s reach.

What is it, you ask, that is better than Pinterest?  I would argue right now –and I think into the foreseeable future– that goodreads is much, much better than Pinterest!

As I write, the browser tab is open, and it is calling me.  I’ll probably succumb to a little more by the end of evening.

A picture on Pinterest might be worth a thousand words, but not in my book!

Do you have a favorite social media site –beyond the biggies?  And which would you rather have: Twitter or Facebook?   I love the social connection on Facebook, but as a writer I really like Twitter.  There’s a lot less room for rambling and more opportunity for cleverness.  #andhashtagsaregreat     

May 23, 2013

Hello, I Must Be Going . . .

Posted in Blogging, Culture, Humor, Just Life at 8:32 am by catsinboxes


I know I’m not a slave to my laptop, or the internet, when I lose internet connection for almost a day and do not go insane.  Note, I didn’t say that I did not become annoyed and irritable to the point of –sometimes– snapping.  Maybe that happened, a little.  Mostly, I had to see the humor in how much our culture has become enslaved to technology!  We just can’t function properly without multiple browser tabs running and our iTouch always handy and ready to give us the latest news, weather, FB messages, Twitter feeds, and more.

Now the internet is back –conditionally–, so I’m going to try to post this.  Then I’m going to get off the laptop and write some letters the old fashioned way and clean some dishes the new-fangled way.  –Gotta love dishwashers!–                             


May 20, 2013

Things I Love –and Don’t Love– About Mornings

Posted in Blogging, Cats, Faith, Humor, Just Life at 11:24 am by catsinboxes

Mist in the Morning

Mist in the Morning

Definitely a LOVE here.  It might be the hundreth time, but mist always makes me happy!

The green that follows rain

Green Leaves

It stormed last night, so this morning there is a freshness and greenness everywhere that only follows rain.  And besides all the poetic, natural beauty, there is also the little things to love.

  • Bright-eyed children up at 6:15 and ready to go hunt for bugs
  • A happy golden retriever who’s still dozing & then comes wagging up to greet you
  • Encouraging comment from a FB friend concerning my writing; thank you, Cindy!
  • Birds singing outside (okay, poetic and natural, but whatever, it’s a little thing that I love!)
  • Hungry cats chirruping and petitioning to be fed
  • Happy children –also hungry– back inside to eat and read

What I don’t love:

  • Not being awake until my morning coffee kicks in
  • Being uber-auditory during Bible time:  “STOP shuffling those books in the other room, this instant for my sanity’s sake!!!”
And that’s about it because I really do like mornings, I do!  Even when I’m reading my Bible, and I get to the part in Leviticus 1 where it says –concerning dove and pigeon offerings–
“Bring it to the altar and wing off it’s neck . . .”
I stopped, interested, with a sudden vision of Aaron, dressed in all they made at the end of Exodus, energetically doing-in a pigeon or dove.  Oh, it said “wring off.”  Nevermind . . . I need to finish that cup of coffee.
I love my morning coffee!

I love my morning coffee!

And I love morning blogging, especially with the help of some tea and bagels with Biscoff.
Oh, and I love Twitter, too!

I love Twitter, too!

May 16, 2013

C.S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien on Hobbits, Wizards, and Invisible Cats

Posted in Blogging, Cats, Faith, Favorite Quotes, Humor tagged , , , at 8:08 pm by catsinboxes

As an admitted C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien buff, this post is definitely an indulgence.  Still, I know there’s a lot of us out there, so I hope some of you fellow Lewis and Tolkien lovers enjoy it, too!

Light and trees

If you take nature as a teacher she will teach you exactly the lessons you had already decided to learn; this is only another way of saying that nature does not teach. . . . Nature never taught me that there exists a God of glory and of infinite majesty.  I had to learn that in other ways.  But nature gave the word glory a meaning for me.

In any mind which has a pennyworth of imagination it produces a good attitude towards foreigners.  How can I love my home without coming to realise that other men, no less rightly, love theirs?

Image of a stack of books

The truly wide taste in reading is that which enables a man to find something for his needs on the sixpenny tray outside any secondhand bookshop.  The truly wide taste in humanity will similarly find something to appreciate in the cross-section of humanity whom one has to meet every day.



A belief in invisible cats cannot perhaps be logically disproved, but it tells us a good deal about those who hold it.  Those who cannot conceive Friendship as a substantive love but only as a disguise or elaboration of Eros betray the fact that they have never had a Friend.




Wizards after all are wizards.




And what would you do, if an uninvited dwarf came and hung his things up in your hall without a word of explanation?

John Howe, Bagend

He had a horrible thought that the cakes might run short, and then he –as host he knew his duty and stuck to it however painful– he might have to go without.

Goodbye then, and really good-bye!” said Gandalf, and he turned his horse and rode down into the West.  But he could not resist the temptation to have the last word.  Before he had passed quite out of hearing he turned and put his hands to his mouth and called to them.  They heard his voice come faintly:  “Good-bye!  Be good, take care of yourselves –and DON’T LEAVE THE PATH!”

May 14, 2013

Some of us are morning people

Posted in Humor, Just Life at 8:39 am by catsinboxes

Latte. . . and some of us are not.


February 18, 2013

Happy Cat

Posted in Cats, Humor, Just Life at 9:18 am by catsinboxes

Enough said!

Enough said!

August 30, 2012

On Catching Snakes and Kissing Frogs

Posted in Humor, Just Life, Wildlife tagged , , at 8:21 pm by catsinboxes

I like snakes, and if you can’t tell by the picture, I like catching them.  We don’t have any poisonous snakes in this area, so unlike    some people, I didn’t have a fear of snakes instilled during my growing up years.  I did learn “red to yellow, kill a fellow . . .”.  I enjoyed looking at venomous snakes and giant constrictors when they were one side of a glass panel at the zoo, and I was safely on the other.  I loved hearing stories about my mother’s encounters with rattlesnakes when she was a camp counselor in North Carolina.  All that to say, I like snakes, and depending on their size, I like catching them.  I draw a line with big garter snakes, they just wiggle too much and it makes me squeamish, but I digress.

At camp this summer, during counselor training, we all visited a bog.  It was a fun nature walk, and right in the middle of the bog what should we find but a snake!  A couple people had spotted one, and then I saw it.  Call me competitive, accuse me of trying to prove myself, and you do have a point.  But hey, I like snakes!  I saw that snake, and within moments, I caught that snake.  It wriggled frantically, but it wasn’t big enough to affect me.  Someone said, “grab its head”, but I didn’t pay much attention.  And then, then that nasty little bog-dwelling garter snake whipped his head around and bit me twice on my knuckle!  I put that snake down dropped that snake pretty quickly!  It was a neat battle wound, and I still have a tiny mark.  I even have a picture of it, but I’ll spare you my bloody knuckle.  Lesson learned: snakes that live in bogs are bad tempered.

All right, so that’s a little about catching snakes.  But kissing frogs?  I didn’t grow up doing that.  I was introduced to it by a friend two years ago.  Over the course of the summer, I did do it on occasion.  I kissed frogs and toads of various sizes.  It was a slight competition; I made it my mission to pass the number 5 since that was the record held by another counselor.  Once I reached 6 I was done, or so I thought.  A few weeks ago, I told my Bible class of 5-7 year olds that I had kissed frogs.  They were awed, disgusted, incredulous.  And that, I thought, was the end of that.  Little did I know . . . A few evenings later, the class was on the playground, when one of our 7 year-olds showed me a frog he had caught.  Frog doesn’t do it justice, that was one of the BIGGEST green frogs I have seen all summer.  He grabbed it, held it up to me, and said, “Kiss it!  You said you kissed frogs; kiss it!”  Well, what could I do?  How could I explain that a friend had enlightened me to the fact that some frogs and toads can carry salmonella.  I prayed a silent prayer, “Lord, I’m doing this for you!”  I picked up the frog, and I kissed it.  Oh, the reaction.  “SHE’S KISSING A FROG, SHE’S KISSING A FROG, LOOK EVERYBODY!!!”  A throng of my 5-7 year olds came hurrying over.  I held the frog aloft and announced I would do it one more time, just once.  And I did.  If you want to impress/make a lasting impression on 5, 6, and 7 year-olds, cheerfully kiss a frog . . . It works.

Back to snakes, I met one other snake at camp.  It was so little, I thought I’d try again.  I started to pick it up, and what do you know?  That little stinker did his best to bite me.  I put him down, and rather than fleeing, or I should say, slithering to safety, he coiled himself up and proceeded to glower at me and strike whenever my hand came remotely within striking distance.  I laughed and named him Rosencrantz.  That name seemed to fit him perfectly.

After those experiences, catching snakes became a hazardous occupation in my book.  As to kissing frogs, it was doable but too fraught with bacterial danger to be worth it.  And then, last night, my confidence in catching snakes was restored.   Walking down the road, my path crossed that of a small garter snake.  With encouragement, I was prevailed upon to pick it up.  And though it slithered around, it didn’t dream of biting me.  We have well-mannered snakes at our house.

And that is all I have to say, just talk of snakes and frogs,

So heed my warning and beware, of snakes that live in bogs!

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