Gratuitous Cat Pictures and other stories

Last week, George reminded me that there's dubious justification for a Friday post with no gratuitous cat picture. On account of which, I went spelunking under the bed to make sure I got one for today's post. You're welcome.

* * *

There's nothing like lettuce for gratifying the would-be gardener with speed and abundance. I've not been short on salad fixings this week.

We'll say less about the kale.
But I think the potatoes may try and strangle the blueberries
in the dark of some night. They're humongous, and it's not even June.
Also, the first of the peonies opened just a couple of days ago:

...and it's part of this scene:

Someday I should take a picture of the monster dandelions just off stage right in the above shot. And then take a scythe to them. Or perhaps a backhoe, since dandelions will regrow from the tiniest bit of taproot. We're slowly winning the garden back from the weeds, though, and I'm loving that.

* * *

You can learn a lot from fiction, including how to protect yourself if you fall into a river. As a reader and writer, it's a delight to hear a kid saying he responded with the knowledge of a favorite protagonist (in this case, D.J. McHale's Bobby Pendragon) in terrifying circumstances and survived in small part because of that.

As a former whitewater rescue technician, I found the video of the rescue very moving. Water in motion gets very deadly very quickly—six inches can take you off your feet or stall your car, twelve inches can float some cars, and mild little rivers can pin the strongest swimmers to submerged branches or other obstacles, just like spaghetti to the bottom of a colander. Rescue, even with backup safety practices, can be extremely dangerous. I was an emotional disaster after just taking the rescue class, which is why I'm a former WRT and not a current one, but it's good to know what to do. Stay safe around rivers, canals, floods, and the ocean!

* * *

Writers' link of the week: The Opinionator's "The Most Comma Mistakes." Completely awesome.

* * *

Music of the week: I don't link enough opera. Here's Puccini's "Humming Chorus" from Madama Butterfly.

* * *

Random amusement of the week: Thirteen simple steps to get you through a rough day, from Buzzfeed's Matt Stopera. OH MY GOODNESS I NEEDED THIS TODAY. I have cried over everything, including the Swiftwater Rescue video. But after the thirteen simple steps, and coffee, and playing Final Fantasy songs on the piano, and especially the good bawl-it-out chat with my mom, I do actually feel better.

* * *

It also helps that after a very rainy week, the sun has come back. And my house is clean, and Lou should be home soon. And I got a phone chat with my almost-three-year-old niece, who greeted me as follows: "I love you, Aunt Jen! And I love my candy."

Happy weekend!


  1. Your niece said, "I love you, Aunt Jen! And I love my candy." You made it into the top two!! :)

    Thank you also for the gratuitous cat photo. Maia will have her revenge, I'm sure.

    I personally like Dandelions. If it weren't for them & other weeds, Beth & I would hardly have a yard.

    1. I'm in the top two! YESSS.

      Haha, I know what you mean about dandelions. They make good salad, too, especially when the leaves are young. :D

  2. Love me some candy! Oh, and you, too.

    That Maia is planning weapons of mass destruction, I just know it. Look at those baleful eyes.

    Rick and I hadn't neard of the humming chorus. It sounds rather like a lullabye. That is some church.

    Different style guides have different comma rules. It's maddening.

    Sorry you had a weepy day. Stuff happens. Thanks for the humor, we all need it.


    1. Aw, thanks. Love you, too. :)

      Weapons of mass destruction are right up Maia's alley. Especially if they allow her a way into the laundry room or the kitchen cabinets.

      Oh golly, you are SO RIGHT about commas! Just got into that with a new critique partner/friend who apparently serves a different master. It happens. :)

  3. You have a fabulous blog! I’m an author and illustrator and I made some awards to give fellow bloggers whose sites I enjoy. I want to award you with one of my homemade awards: Creative Blog Award. There are no pass along requirements. This is just to reward you for all the hard work you do!

    Go to http://astorybookworld.blogspot.com/p/awards.html and pick up your award.

    1. Thank you, Deirdra! Your artwork is quite lovely. :)


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