Bumbledore: A Continuous Joy

Two years ago, we adopted our rescue cat, Bumbledore. Last year, I shared his story, including how far he’d come, especially since the start of pandemic telework. Now, another year later, he’s continued to improve by leaps and bounds.

Any of you who follow me on Instagram already know he’s become a cuddle monster. Every morning, he sits on my lap anywhere from 10-30 minutes, just enjoying my company and some pets. I make sure to post a photo to my story each day. I often joke that Bumbledore pays rent through cuddles and social media content.

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A Warning to the Pen Curious

“Hi Mrs. Smith!”

“Oh, hello, Jen. How many times have I told you to just call me Barb?”

“I couldn’t do that, Mrs. Smith, you’re around my mom’s age, and that just doesn’t seem right.”

“Well, the invitation is there, Jen. You’re in your 30s, it’s OK to call me Barb if you want.”

“I’ll think about it Mrs. Smith. By the way, you know about fountain pens, don’t you?”

“I do, I grew up with them. Why do you ask?”

“A friend of mine uses them, and I’m kind of curious.”

Mrs. Smith sighs and gestures to the chair next to her, inviting Jen to sit. “So you’re interested in pens, are you? Be warned, that’s dangerous territory, dear, dangerous indeed.” Jen’s eyes pop wide, and Mrs. Smith waves away her obvious fear. “Oh, perhaps not necessarily dangerous to your life, but to your wallet, to your interests!

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Making Life Colorful

I’ve wanted to paint my stair risers in a rainbow for about a year now, and for the last 4-5 months, I’ve been thinking of painting the kitchen cabinets as well.

With our financial situation back in hand by the end of March, we went out to choose and buy paint. I’ve been industrially painting ever since.

Now that I’m done, I’m delighted with the results. It’s almost hard to believe we had a bland kitchen for so long.

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A Surprising Joy

It’s not often I write a pen review — let’s be honest, it’s almost never — mostly because there are so many reviewers out there. However, in this particular case, I feel impelled to share my thoughts.

About a month ago, I realized that I no longer had an orange pen in my “Under $250” category. I can’t have a pen rainbow without orange. To try to fix that issue, I solicited some suggestions from my lovely local peeps in the DC Metro Pen Crew.

I received a lot of suggestions, and the Pilot Custom 74 is the one I ultimately decided on. By sheer coincidence, I had a birthday coupon for Pen Chalet, so that’s who I ordered from.

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to love it. I thought it would be perfectly adequate, and fill a void. Perhaps a pen to rotate out at a later date once I found a truly spectacular orange pen.

Pilot Custom 74 in its box.
A fairly plain pen, but that cap hides a real delight.

However, once it arrived and I’d inked it — with Diamine Pansy — I was pleasantly surprised. And with each consecutive use, I like it better. I have it with a Fine nib, and it glides across paper in the most delightful way. It approaches TWSBI 580 nibs in wetness.

I even found myself reluctant to clean it out at the end of the week. I wanted to keep it inked, to keep using it, which almost never happens. I’m usually happy enough to use whatever pens I have for the next week that I don’t mind putting away my pens from the previous week. It’s a testament to how much I enjoy using the Custom 74.

If you like feedbacky nibs, the Custom 74 is not for you. But if you like buttery smooth nibs, I highly recommend it. And this is coming from someone who prioritizes pen appearance over function. While the Custom 74 isn’t the most beautiful pen in the world, its function makes it divine. I’m definitely happy I bought it. I wouldn’t even rule out the possibility of another in the future, maybe with an Extra Fine nib.

Review – Mrs. Perivale and the Blue Fire Crystal

Mrs. Perivale and the Blue Fire Crystal

by Dash Hoffman

Mrs. Perivale and the Blue Fire Crystal

Series: Mrs. Perivale
Genres: Fantasy
Release Date: March 1, 2017
Pages: 335
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

“People your age belong at home.” 73 year old Mrs. Perivale is told when she tries to volunteer. With her son grown and gone, and her community turning their backs on her, the gravity of no longer being needed sinks her spirits deeply. She wonders if she has outlived her usefulness until a mystical little creature sneaks into Alice Perivale’s home and begs her to come with him; there is a prophecy about her, and she must help save his world!

Finding herself in a magical place she had no idea existed, committed to a dangerous mission far more vital than helping out in her neighborhood, Alice dusts off her courage and bravery, rediscovering the feisty, sassy, powerhouse woman she is deep inside. She is determined to find the stolen Blue Fire Crystal before the imbalance between elements destroys all of the magical land of Corevé. Together with her extraordinary family of six cats and her skeptical-yet-devoted butler Henderson, she takes on the tremendous challenge.

With time running out and the world falling to pieces, Alice’s precious companions are pulled away from her, and she is faced with impossible choices. Does she choose what she wants most of all, does she rescue her family, or does she save the world that will not survive without her?

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My Perfect Assassin’s Creed Game

Alright, this should be my last Assassin’s Creed (AC) post for a while. Should as in I don’t have any other ones planned.

We’re five months out from Valhalla‘s release date, and the rumor mill is working overtime on “leaks” and theories of varying degrees of believability for the next entry in the series. While I have precisely zero insight into the next AC game, I do have several — *cough* many *cough* — ideas about what I’d like to see in a future game.

And so, I give you the elements that would make up my perfect AC game. Be aware, this post doesn’t take into account the likelihood of any of this actually happening.

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Review – Mistaken


by Jessie Lewis

Mistaken Book Cover

Genres: Romance, Regency, Pride and Prejudice Variation, Historical Romance
Release Date: February 10, 2019
Pages: 585
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆

A tempestuous acquaintance and disastrous marriage proposal make it unlikely Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet will ever reconcile. Despairing of their own reunion, they attend with great energy to salvaging that of Darcy’s friend Mr Bingley and Elizabeth’s sister Jane. People are rarely so easily manoeuvred in and out of love, however, and there follows a series of misunderstandings, both wilful and unwitting, that complicates the path to happiness for all four star-crossed lovers more than ever before. Re-edited with new and extended scenes for 2019 publication.

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Monday Munchies: Cucumber & Lime Agua Fresca

I found this one on Cooking Con Claudia’s YouTube channel. You’ll likely be seeing her channel mentioned several times, as I really like her recipes. The recipe is slightly modified from her video How To Make A Refreshing Cucumber Water With Lime.

For those unfamiliar with Agua Fresca, think of it like lemonade but with other fruits. You mix the fruit juice(s) with water to get a refreshing drink.

Cucumber & Lime Agua Fresca

What You Need

  • 4 cucumbers
  • ⅓ cup fresh squeezed lime juice (takes 3-4 limes)
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup + 2½ cups + 2½ cups water
  • Blender
  • Small pot
  • Nut milk bags -OR- fine mesh strainer
  • Pitcher or container for storage
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