Thursday, November 9, 2023

Cat Thursday--Kitty Comics


Welcome to the weekly meme (hosted by Michelle at True Book Addict) that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats!

This is my cat Shadow to a T!

Good to know they train to be lovable jerks rather than barbarians!

This one makes me chuckle!

I sure hope my kitties keep getting their lives reset! ha!

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Cat Thursday--Happy Late Halloween


Welcome to the weekly meme (hosted by Michelle at True Book Addict) that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats!

Happy belated Halloween! Shadow and Nala in their costumes for two seconds while I took the pic...

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Don't mind the hair...I had just exercised!

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Fall, Death, and New Beginnings

Wow, this has been a tough year. My energy to blog and review books and participate in book blogosphere at this time of year as slagged. I'm having a hard time figuring life out right now...lots on the plate this year with moving, new job, and my mother's death; it's been hard to navigate. I'm just grateful for family and friends that are helping...but yeah death is hard.

I've managed to get a few things in this fall. G and I painted a black Halloween cat. We made it out on a fall color hike. We even managed a short trip for fall break this last weekend. 

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Nice fall hike up to Stewart Falls

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We went down south and visited Silver old silver mining ghost town. Ghost towns are really cool. I love hearing about their history and see what they left behind and why the town went under. Silver Reef is particularly interesting because it's only one of two sites in the world where silver has been found in sandstone. The museum curator said Siberia was the other one. 

Silver Reef even had two separate cemeteries: one for Catholics and the other for Protestants. There was a huge Chinese population as well but after the town went under they sent all of the buried back to China so they could be with their ancestors. Fascinating tidbits.

Later that evening we headed to the play Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: The Musical at the outdoor theater Tuacahn. It was a fantastic play! The special effects and the stage sets and all the actors were fantastic.

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The next day we headed to Snow Canyon State Park where we did one hike by the lava tubes. I loved seeing the old lava river rock everywhere. The white and red sandstone along with the black lava rock were breathtaking!

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Currently Reading:

I started Holly, the new book by Stephen King. I loved her character from the TV series Outsider. I haven't read any of the Mr. Mercedes series but I did read the short story from If It Bleeds collection, which was fantastic. I'm also reading through Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig. It's weird so not sure if I'll stick with it... I'm about halfway through Curse of the Reaper by Brian McAuley. It's an ode to slashers and horror and Hollywood. It's better than I thought it would be. And With October I slowed down a bit on my non-fiction books. I'm still working on American Prometheus and the John Adams biography by David McCullough.

Recently Read:

I made it through If It Bleeds by Stephen King, which is a short-story collection. My favorite was the short story with Holly's character from The Outsider. Most weren't scary, necessarily...but they were interesting. I actually like King's short stories better. Some of his novels need a tighter editor.

The Haunting of Maddy Clare
by Simone St. James...I've really enjoyed her recent horror/mystery novels the last few years so I was excited to read one of her first books into the genre. Clare has also written a lot of romance novels so she combined the two in this one to perfection. It was romantic and scary. I was pleasantly surprised!

I've been reading through some of Edgar Allan Poe's short stories due to Halloween and the new Netflix TV series by Mike Flanagan, The Fall of the House of Usher. I really liked The Fall of the House of Usher. It's pretty spooky but makes you think. I also read The was not my favorite. I thought something terrifying was always around the corner and it really just ended suddenly, in my opinion. But maybe I just didn't read with enough focus? I did read it right before bed...

November Reads:

I hope to keep working through American Prometheus, John Adams, and finish Curse of the Reaper. I'll read a bit more in Book of Accidents and make the choice to keep going or try again later...I also want to reread Joan Didion's Year of Magical Thinking. I read it years ago after my brother and friend passed away within a week of each other and found it moving and thought-provoking. I want to revisit it with my mother's passing. Martha Wells' new book in the Murderbot series System Collapse comes out in a couple of weeks so I will definitely read that as soon as it's in my hands! 

I need to plan a bit more...It's just been so chaotic that I haven't had time to think about what my actual reading plans are now.


Lots of horror was watched this last month. The Fall of the House of Usher on Netflix was really well done. Spooky and terrifying in all the right ways. Plus I loved seeing so many of Poe's short stories and poems used as inspiration for each episode. Thus my inspiration to work through some short stories this Halloween season!

 I saw the Five Nights at Freddy's movie with the family on Sunday. I don't follow any of the lore or play any of the video games and I still found it enjoyable. DH said it was too scary but G loved it.

I'm looking forward to All the Light We Cannot See based off the book by Anthony Doerr's award-winning book. It drops on Netflix this week sometime, I think.

Looking forward to:

Feeling better soon. I've had one the worst sinus infections in years. I finally made it to the doctor for some antibiotics and hope I'll feel human again soon.

We plan on getting our Halloween decor down this weekend and I'm looking forward to some Thanksgiving decor for a couple of weeks. I know a lot of people go straight to Christmas decor after Halloween but I need a few weeks to transition! I'm not quite ready right after Halloween.

I'm hoping to get to some crochet projects this month as well...It's been a neglected hobby the last few months.

I'm joining up with Deb from Readerbuzz and her Sunday Salon.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Cat Thursday- Halloween Kitties

 Welcome to the weekly meme (hosted by Michelle at True Book Addict) that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats!

I thought I'd scour the interwebs for some cute cat Halloween costume pics...

Saturday, October 7, 2023

The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells

 I read through this series in less than a month and have pre-ordered the next installment. Murderbot forever! This series was a breath of fresh air. Wells introduces us to a world where corporations run the galaxy and robots are their mere servants. It's a world we can fathom but a world so unlike our own.

We begin with Murderbot on assignment with a group of humans on a remote planet. She's the Secbot for the group where she runs security and attempts to keep her humans safe...but they find another group that's been murdered and they barely survive and only with Murderbot's help. The thing that no one realizes is that Murderbot has overridden its governor module, so no one can order it to do anything. And yet it finds itself caring about these humans but does not know how to really socialize or interact with them...I can relate...

The next books take us on various missions of Murderbot as it tries to hide from the company that will take it back and scrap it for junk, as well as figure out why it became Murderbot in the first place...

Excellent series and I can't wait for more. Murderbot is anxious, moody, and depressed, yet it cares and keeps going and doing what needs to be done. Should we all be so lucky to have bots like it in our lives.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Cat Thursday-- Back to School


Welcome to the weekly meme (hosted by Michelle at True Book Addict) that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats!

It has been a really really tough month. I started a new job and three days in my mother passed away unexpectedly, and I got Covid from my son that same day. Needless to say, it has been a very tough few weeks and my posting has been non existent. It was light before with other life stuff (moving) and now it jumped off the cliff. I'm tender and sad but I love the book blogosphere and Cat Thursday makes me laugh and gets me out of my funk.

With the start of a new school year, I figured some cat school memes would be appropriate.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Cat Thursday--Life With Cats...


Welcome to the weekly meme (hosted by Michelle at True Book Addict) that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats!

I've been seeing some funny cat-themed comics floating around the Interwebs, so I thought I'd share a few funny ones today. Bored Panda has a whole post on them.

Check them all out! These are so true of my kitties. I'm dying.

Saturday, August 12, 2023

It's Still Hot but Summer Is Officially Over...

 How time flies...this summer has been a weird one. Moving really messed with our summer rhythm this year. We have been fixing things up, fixing things that have broken, figuring out how the sprinklers work, how to best mow our lawn that's on very big incline...Plus unpacking and decorating...meeting the neighbors...Our AC unit went out during the big heat wave of over 100 degrees for a few days. I love hiking during the summer and between the long spring and moving...yeah, just didn't happen as a family like we usually do. 

But we did make it down to the Shakespearean Festival a few hours south of us with some friends. G performed a shortened version of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in his drama class in May so he was excited to see the full Shakespearean version at the Festival. It was so good. It's the first time any of had been and we weren't disappointed. And we did manage a hike or two while we were down there for the weekend! So one little getaway before G goes back to school...on Monday! He starts high school! 9th did that happen?!

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Trail to Thor's Hideout

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Thor's throne at the end!

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Globe Theater where we saw A Midsummer Night's Dream

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Cedar Breaks National Monument in Southern Utah

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We went for a morning hike by our AirBnb called Thor's Hideout. We went early so the heat wasn't too bad. Then we went to see Cedar Breaks National Monument that was just a bit up the road as well. Gorgeous mountain views! We also saw some local Paiute petroglyphs. There were a ton all along the mountain side. I put up the interpretations from the archaeological side as well as from the Paiute side. Super fascinating to read through these. It was lovely to get away for even a small amount of time this summer.


Books read in July

I read:

  • The Creeping Shadow by Jonathan Stroud (Lockwood & Co. #4)
  • The Empty Grave by Jonathan Stroud (Lockwood & Co. #5)
  • A House With Good Bones by T. Kingfisher
  • Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt
  • Phantoms by Dean Koontz
  • Little Eve by Catriona Ward
I really enjoyed finishing off the Lockwood & Co. series. G finished it off right before I did so once I was done we were able to discuss and wish for more one day! I'm sad Netflix canceled the series. I thought they did a really great job with it.

My neighbor across the street from me loves to read (bonus) and loves horror movies (extra bonus) so we read Dean Koontz' Phantoms together and we discovered a movie was made based off this book in the late 90s! What?! With Ben Affleck!? Peter O'Toole? Why had I never heard of it before? Well, the book was fun and different but the movie was silly...but hey we had fun watching a super young Ben Affleck and Liev Schreiber!

I've been reading mostly horror and mysteries this's been really good for me. "Little Eve" was great and creepy and weird. T. Kingfisher's books never disappoint. Always funny with some weird creepy bits to keep things interesting.

Remarkably Bright Creatures was one that took me a few months to finish. I listened to it and some of the voices didn't quite jive but it was cute and I loved Maurice the Octopus! I wanted more of his story and voice but alas it was a bit trite overall. Not sure why I disagreed with so many who just raved about this book. I didn't particularly like Cameron who was written like he was 16...I kept forgetting how old he actually was in the book. It was really off-putting. Seems like other people who didn't like it as much complained about the same thing. Oh well. 


  • American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird. I've been wanting to read this for awhile but especially once the movie came out. It's really really interesting. Bird is a great writer who keeps us engaged and keeps Oppenheimer's story going.
  • John Adams by David McCullough. Who knew John Adams was so down-to-earth? I had no clue. McCullough brings his story to life. It's huge. Hopefully I can get it done before September is over...
  • The Mistress of Bhatia House (Perveen Mistry #4) by Sujata Massey.
  • Fire (Graceling #2) by Kristin Cashore. Reading this one with G at's weird. It's not our favorite, especially since Graceling was so fantastic, but we have more books in this series to get to so onward and upward!

We saw Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny in the theater...It was fine but the CGI was terrible. But it was a nice send off to the character of Indy.

Polite Society
was really fun! It premiered at Sundance and I think I saw it on Peacock but it is well worth a watch.

Aftersun was a beautiful little film. Also highly recommend seeing that one.

Insidious: The Red Door. Saw this one in the theater twice! The first two movies were the best in the series. It then went of the rails a bit but this one brings the first two to a close. Lots of great jump scares, too. Definitely worth it if you have enjoyed the series.

We also introduced G to Tommy Boy for the first time! He really enjoyed it, which makes me happy. It's one of my favorite comedies of the 90s. Win!


I've been catching up on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Joe Pickett, and The Lincoln Lawyer. Only Murders in the Building's new season just started as well. With the writer's and actor's strike, looks like I'll have more time to catch up this Fall... DH and I still need to catch up on Ted Lasso, Barry, What We Do in the Shadows, and The Witcher. 

I'm joining up with Deb from Readerbuzz and her Sunday Salon.

Monday, July 10, 2023

Happy 4th!

 We had a really great time on the 4th of July. We did some yardwork in the morning and met some neighbors we hadn't met yet! Dan and Adam showed us the sweet spot behind our houses in the hills where we could see all the fireworks across the valley. It was a beautiful sight and we didn't have to spend a dime!

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I convinced G to go on a little walk behind our house and up the hills! It gets steep fairly quickly but we got some fantastic views.
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Our weekend was spent on the yard and planning ways to flip our parking strip, getting the sprinkler system figured out, and relaxing with a drink or two. The sun dips behind the mountain a little after 7 PM and that means we can have a little time in the backyard just relaxing without a hot sun on us. After all the craziness of moving in and unpacking, it's been nice enjoying a bit of having our own backyard and relaxing in the evenings.


I've been reading The Lockwood & Co. by Jonathan Stroud series with G. I'm two books behind but am catching up quickly. I read The Screaming Staircase, The Whispering Skull, and The Hollow Boy. I'm almost done with The Creeping Shadow and then on to final book. Netflix made a series out of it and combined the first two books in one season. I think they did a really good job but unfortunately they canceled it after one season.
Stroud is a British author and the series does read quite a bit different from an American one. Lockwood, Lucy, and George are teens who live in a world where ghosts have broken free and basically terrorize the world at night. The Problem, as it's called, has been around for at least 50 years or so. And only kids and teens can see the ghosts so it's up to them to take care of them. Lockwood is good at Sight, Lucy at Touch and Listening, and George is mediocre in all of them but exceptional at research. They are the only independent agency in London. The other agencies are all run by adults and supervise the children on all jobs.
It's a very strange world and the first book to a minute to grasp the world and the people in it but it picks up halfway through and we're hooked. We see the world through Lucy but she's a very unreliable narrator since she's a kid and doesn't know how to process the world quite yet. How did the Problem begin, how to reverse it? Who's conspiring with whom? Lots of pieces to the overall mystery get solved through the books and we see the rag-tag team grow with each book.
Stroud writes a fine line between actually writing a world with kids acting like adults and having the adults feel put upon for having to rely on kids to keep them safe. It almost reminds be a bit of Roald Dahl where the adults are useless and it's up to the kids to get it right!
Also, there are some genuinely creep parts in the books. So if you're up for some mild horror and mystery this is a great series.

I also started John Adams by David McCullough. I am surprised at how readable it is. I'm really enjoying it so far. I'm hoping to finish it by the end of summer.

I also finished of Graceling by Kristin Cashore with G. It's my third read with this book. Still holds up. Now we're reading Fire together. It doesn't quite flow as well as Graceling but it's still interesting.

TV and Movies

I've been catching up on Yellowjackets on Paramount+. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is back on for its second season. And I finally caught up on the latest Mandalorian season on Disney+. DH and I are slowly catching up with the final season of Ted Lasso as well.

Movies have been a bit slower. We haven't seen anything in the theaters for a bit. We watched Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Last Ark with G. That movie is still pretty good even after all these years.

We're heading down to a Shakespearian Festival at the end of the month to see A Midsummer Night's Dream. We've been wanting to go down every year for awhile now but we're actually doing it this summer. Wahoo! G did a shortened version of it for drama class in April so he is excited to see the full version and in the proper Shakespearean English. It'll probably be the only big thing we do this summer so I'm pretty excited.

I'm linking up with Deb from Readerbuzz for Sunday Salon.