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Month: January 2023

A Break and A Favor

Posted in Cat, and Personal

I questioned writing this post because it seemed a bit over the top. But, this is my blog, and I can write about whatever I want.

Also, I could use a chance to write something easy. The recent Athena posts have been exhausting. The posts about her illness and FIP, especially, each required hours of research to turn veterinary and diagnostic reports into something understandable.

FIP – A Straightforward Compendium

Posted in Cat

com·pen·di·um [ kuhm-pen-dee-uhm ], noun: a brief treatment or account of a subject, especially an extensive subject; concise treatise

Like my previous post about Athena’s road to diagnosis, this post will be more technical. I’ve done my best to link to highly technical information — rather than include it in the text — in an attempt to make this more “readable.” Where I’m unable to easily link to the information, or when I have to use medical terms that don’t have a plain language equivalent, I’ve provided explanations through [def] (definition) links.

Review – Mr. Darcy of Longbourn

Posted in Book Blogger

Mr. Darcy of Longbourn

by April Floyd

Genres: Historical British Fiction, Historical Regency Fiction, Regency Historical Romance
Release Date: March 15, 2019
Pages: 262
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★☆☆

What if Darcy and Elizabeth switched places? She would be the wealthy young lady of Pemberley and he the master of Longbourn. Elizabeth’s mother, Lady Fanny Bennet, wishes for all her daughters to marry titled gentlemen. Mr. Bennet agrees to a point, but he also thinks love should play a part in any match. In Hertfordshire, Elizabeth visits Mr. and Miss Bingley at Netherfield Park and meets Mr. Darcy at the Assembly. Get ready for some of your favorite characters to be flipped and flustered by this twist on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice! Lady Catherine is no longer a lady and the Fitzwilliams are in trade. Can gentleman farmer Darcy win the love of the spoilt and willful Elizabeth Bennet? A rose by any other name…

Athena: Awaiting an Answer

Posted in Cat

This is the second installment (chronologically) in Athena’s history. If you haven’t already, I suggest reading the first installment on her life before she got sick.

Before We Begin

Be Aware: This post is rather different than usual as it serves a dual purpose. While I’m hoping that this account of how we got to a Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) diagnosis will be helpful and/or informative to others, I’m also providing this for transparency with regard to our GoFundMe campaign.

To hopefully help others on the road to an FIP diagnosis, I’m including some more technical information alongside my more typical plain language. I’ve done my best to link to the highly technical information for those who are interested, rather than include it in this post. When I have to use medical terms that don’t have a plain language equivalent, I’ve provided explanations through [def] (definition) links.

To address transparency, I’ve added an “accounting” section with an itemized list of the charges for each vet visit to explain the amount we requested. Perhaps that information may also help someone trying to determine if they can cover diagnosis and treatment because it is expensive.

NOTE: We live in the DMV — District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia — area, where the cost of living is rather high. Therefore the prices I include are almost certainly higher than they are in other areas of the United States.

Review – Unmentionable

Posted in Book Blogger

Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady’s Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners

by Therese Oneill

Genres: 19th Century World History, Etiquette, Victorian Era
Release Date: October 25, 2016
Pages: 309
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★★★

Have you ever wished you could live in an earlier, more romantic era? Ladies, welcome to the 19th century, where there’s arsenic in your face cream, a pot of cold pee sits under your bed, and all of your underwear is crotchless. (Why? Shush, dear. A lady doesn’t question.)

Unmentionable is your hilarious, illustrated, scandalously honest (yet never crass) guide to the secrets of Victorian womanhood, giving you detailed advice on: What to wear Where to relieve yourself How to conceal your loathsome addiction to menstruating What to expect on your wedding night How to be the perfect Victorian wife Why masturbating will kill you And more!

Irresistibly charming, laugh-out-loud funny, and featuring nearly 200 images from Victorian publications, Unmentionable will inspire a whole new level of respect for Elizabeth Bennett, Scarlet O’Hara, Jane Eyre, and all of our great, great grandmothers. (And it just might leave you feeling ecstatically grateful to live in an age of pants, super absorbency tampons, epidurals, anti-depressants, and not dying of the syphilis your husband brought home.)

Athena: Who Adopted Whom?

Posted in Cat

Before I get started I want to note that, for the rest of January, Fridays will be “Feline Friday” as I share the Athena posts I have planned. Also, be aware that this post is rather long. It covers from November 2019 when we first met Athena up to October of 2022.

Alright, yes, my title for this post leans toward cliché, but it’s true. Athena definitely adopted us as her humans before we officially adopted her into our family. But, for you to understand, I have to look back a few years, to November of 2019.

We were in our garage when “MEOW! MEOW!”

“Oh, hello little one!” Jim spotted the adorable little furball first. “How are you?”

“MEOW!” The kitten couldn’t have been more than 6 months old. It was all black and puffed up, sitting next to the downspout by the garage door.

Review – In Default of Heirs Male

Posted in Book Blogger

In Default of Heirs Male

by Jann Rowland

Genres: Classic Romance, Historical Regency Fiction, Regency Historical Romance
Release Date: May 19, 2021
Pages: 366
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★★☆

Longbourn estate in Hertfordshire, home of the Bennet family, is entailed. Armed with this unfortunate knowledge, the females of the family have long lived with the threat of eviction from their beloved home should Mr. Bennet pass away before his time.

When the unthinkable happens, the Bennet ladies prepare to leave their home as the heir arrives to take control of his inheritance. Salvation comes, however, by the most surprising of news: Mrs. Bennet is with child.

While waiting for the child to be born, Elizabeth takes control over the estate, determined to save as much as possible in the brief season she has been given. Fortunately, the Netherfield party arrives, and the attentions of the new master of the estate bring them all to hope that Jane, at least, will achieve her heart’s desire.

But little does Elizabeth know she is also the subject of a gentleman’s interest, for Mr. Darcy sees her as an excellent woman who is eager to uphold the trust with which her father favored her. Despite his feelings, Elizabeth is slow to understand the love that might be within her grasp, as she struggles with her duty under the specter of the heir, who believes the Bennets have cheated him of his inheritance and will do whatever he can to ensure he gets what he believes is his.

Pen Porn: Benu Talisman Ice and Snow

Posted in Fountain Pens

Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for pen envy or impulse purchases resulting from viewing this post.

Per usual, you can click on the images to view them larger. I do my best to provide you with high-quality pen porn. 😉

I stumbled upon the Ice and Snow on Instagram. Although I thought I had finished with pen purchases for 2022, I had to have it. Between my love of winter and collecting the Talisman series pens that have shaped confetti — like the Wild Rose, Shooting Star, and Four Leaf Clover — there was no way I wasn’t going to pick one up.

As with other Talisman model pens, the Ice and Snow has its inspiration added to the material of the pen. This time, it’s Snow Quartz. According to the pamphlet that came with it, “snow quartz has an uplifting and kind energy and is typically used during challenging moments in life, when everything seems dark and grim.”

Benu Talisman Ice and Snow

2022 Goodreads Reading Challenge

Posted in Book Blogger

While I’ve meant to, I’ve never actually written a post about my Goodreads Reading Challenge activity. I’ve actively taken part in the challenge every year since 2018. Generally, I’ve been conservative with my goal. In 2022, I went fairly easy on myself, setting a goal of only 36 books.

Since I haven’t looked back at my reading in previous years — on my blog, at least — I want to provide a brief overview of the previous years’ challenges, too. After all, while I know many of my readers are here for the fountain pen posts, 32% of my blog content is related to books.

If you’re interested in what I thought of the books I read, you can take a look at my book review posts, or my Reviewed list on Goodreads. I don’t always review the books I read, and, even for those I do, they aren’t guaranteed to make it on here.

Pen Resolutions Tag 2023

Posted in Fountain Pens

I had a lot of fun with the Pen Resolutions Tag last year, so I’m doing it again this year. I’m also revisiting the resolutions I made last year to see how I did.

This idea was originally adapted from Theresa is Dead’s video: OH 2021… | BEAUTY RESOLUTIONS TAG video. The Beauty Resolutions Tag originated with Mel Thompson.

I’ll definitely revisit this again in 2024.

1. What is something you do regularly in your pen routine that you will try to stop?

Answer from 2022: Stop putting off pen cleaning. Did I do better? Nope. I keep forgetting to add it to my weekly spread in my notebook. And, if it’s not there, it doesn’t get done.

Answer for 2023: Since remembering to add pen cleaning to my weekly to-do list would get me to clean my pens, I need to get better at doing that. This is, at its core the same resolution I made last year, but I’m taking a different approach to see if I have more success.

My Current Pen Wish List — Jan. 2023

Posted in Fountain Pens

Once again, it’s time to revisit my wish list. I’ve bought some pens, decided against others, and found new pens I want.

I’ve kept the two-tier list structure: “Tier One” that I’m actively looking to acquire, and “Tier Two” that I’d pick up if there’s a good deal, or if the stars align perfectly.

Reviewing My 2022 Purchasing Habits

Posted in Fountain Pens

As should have been obvious in my Pen Collection post, 2022 did not go as I’d planned. My stated goal was to limit my pen purchases to 24 pens. I failed in that. Miserably.

However, I sold 17 pens last year, and none of them was purchased in 2022. So at least I’m keeping up my streak of zero same-year sales.

While I disposed of more pens in 2022 than 2021 (14), my purchasing skyrocketed from 42 in 2021 to 54 in 2022. That puts last year as the second highest purchasing rate since I started collecting. It also had the second highest net collection increase : 37.

Athena: First Week of Treatment

Posted in Cat

When I wrote in my fundraiser post that I’m planning some posts on Athena’s story up to her diagnosis, and updates on her progress, I intended to start with her life before her illness. However, given the timing, it seemed prudent to provide an update on her first week of treatment. My next post will be about her life pre-diagnosis. If you’re interested in that, subscribe to my blog (link below) or bookmark her tag page.