Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Ch..ch..changes

Folks, it's been a wild ride.

This blog started out as a mommy-ish blog when my kiddos were babies, and then it became a book blog.  I have read so many amazing novels and chatted with so many readers and I don't regret a minute of it.  But two things happened.

First, the world of book blogging became too much for me.  I felt like everything was a drive to read more and review it.  Couple this with my book clubs and, frankly, I never got to read anything just for fun...and I began to resent it.

Secondly, something started to change with me and my focus shifted.  I realized that there was a different path I felt called to take.

This is not goodbye, not really.  While I no longer consider myself a book blogger, I am still a blogger.  

This is, instead, a change of address.  You can now find me at A Web of Stories.  Soon, my Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter will be changing as well (it's crazy and the end of the year, so my focus was only on the blog).  While I won't be doing book reviews (although I do foresee the book recommendations now and then), I still feel that I am at least bookish-adjacent.  I will also continue Saturday Snapshot, but at my new address. 

So, to quote Porky Pig,  th-th-that's all folks!

Friday, December 28, 2018

Saturday Snapshot - December 29

To participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky below. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

I always plan to have Christmas pictures for this first Saturday Snapshot after Christmas.  But, like so many years past, I was so busy Christmas-ing that I didn't take very many pictures!

So, I'd like to go back in time 2 days to when my kids were in the church Christmas pageant.  This was our first Christmas at this church, but the second pageant for my daughter (last year, she visited as an angel).  This year, my daughter was Mary and my son, who had refused to participate last year, was a scene-stealer as Herod.

Note: I didn't take these pictures.  Someone at our church did, but as they are of my kids...




This year, it was my daughter's friend's turn to play visiting pageant player and she played Joseph with aplomb!
As of 2019, I will have a new blogging home.  Instead of moving this blog, this one will remain as is and I will be setting up shop in a new location.  More details will come as we get closer to 2019.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Saturday Snapshot - December 22

To participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky below. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

Here are a couple of pictures from this week as the kids prepared for Christmas celebrations at school

This first one is one of those parental embarrassment moments that we just can't help but share (and, one day, our kids will hate us for it).  This is the first (not delivered!) card that my 2nd-grade son made for his teacher.  Do you see the problem with it?


And this one was from just this morning...as you can tell, it was ugly sweater day at school.




As of 2019, I will have a new blogging home.  Instead of moving this blog, this one will remain as is and I will be setting up shop in a new location.  More details will come as we get closer to 2019!


Friday, December 14, 2018

Saturday Snapshot - December 15

To participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky below. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

The kids have been busy with holiday celebrations at school and I've been fortunate (or crazy?) enough to go in and help whenever I can.

This past week, my son's second-grade class made their own gingerbread houses (technically graham cracker houses, but you know what I mean!).  I was amazed--there is no way I would have the patience to do this myself, much less teach kids how to do it.  But my son's teacher is amazing and it all worked out perfectly!





Alas, his creation did not last long. As soon as we got home, both kids got to work on devouring it!

As of 2019, I will have a new blogging home.  Instead of moving this blog, this one will remain as is and I will be setting up shop in a new location.  More details will come as we get closer to 2019!


Friday, December 7, 2018

Saturday Snapshot - December 8

To participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky below. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

I still have a number of pictures from outings in the summer and fall, but now that we're in the holiday season, I think I'll stick with some more timely pictures!

Last Sunday, we went to the Oregon Zoo for their annual Zoo Lights festival.  We try to go every year, but sometimes the weather thwarts us.  Since we had a clear night, we decided to take our chance!


Sometimes it is hard to get a good picture at Zoo Lights, but I like how this one didn't turn out!

A memorial to Lily

These lion sculptures are great, but they are frequently roped off as they get hot in the sun.  So, when we can actually get to them, we always have to take THIS picture of my son.

One of the lionesses decided to get up close and personal

I'm not sure why this eagle was here, but it's the best eagle picture I've gotten yet at the zoo!
As of 2019, I will have a new blogging home.  Instead of moving this blog, this one will remain as is and I will be setting up shop in a new location.  More details will come as we get closer to 2019!


Friday, November 30, 2018

Saturday Snapshot - December 1

To participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky below. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

Today was a sad day in the Portland area.  Lily, the almost 6-year-old elephant who was born and lived at the Oregon Zoo, died unexpectedly.  I won't go into the details, but you can read about it here.  

Lily was quite the celebrity in our area and my daughter adored her because they shared the same name (albeit different spellings).  When I heard the news, I went to find a picture of Lillie and Lily and, man, it was hard to find.  I think I spent an hour going through every picture in our archive but I *finally* found one.  It's not the greatest of Lily (the elephant), but it's the best I can do.

RIP Lily.


As of 2019, I will have a new blogging home.  Instead of moving this blog, this one will remain as is and I will be setting up shop in a new location.  More details will come as we get closer to 2019!


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Book Review: "The Secret Language of Cats" by Susanne Schotz

The Secret Language of Cats Susanne Schotz
Published: November 1, 2018
ISBN: 9781335013897
Genre: Non-Fiction
Source: TLC Book Tours

Summary:
Cats do not meow randomly, nor do they growl or hiss because they have nothing better to do. Cat sounds have a purpose, and they can carry important messages, whether for us or other cats.

Susanne Schštz is hard at work on breaking the cat code. She is a professor at Lund University in Sweden, where a long-standing research program is proving that cats do actually use vocal communication—with each other and with their human caretakers. Understanding the vocal strategies used in human-cat communication will have profound implications for how we communicate with our pets and has the potential to improve the relationship between animals and humans within several fields, including animal therapy, veterinary medicine, and animal sheltering.


In The Secret Language of Cats, Schštz offers a crash course in the phonetic study of cat sounds. She introduces us to the full range of feline vocalizations and explains what they can mean in different situations, and she gives practical tips to help us understand our cats better.

My Thoughts:
I have a long-standing mystery in my house, and that mystery's name is Alice. 



Alice is, of course, our feline family member who came to live with us 5 years ago and has been mystifying us ever since.  I've had cats my entire life and considered myself pretty knowledgeable about kitties, but Alice has stumped me.  I simply cannot figure out what is going on with her.

Enter Susanne Schotz.  I had actually heard of Dr. Schotz through a viral video where she explained her linguistic theory for cats.   When I found out about this book, I thought I had found the key to understanding Alice.

Maybe...or maybe not.

The first thing I realized about this book is that it was not one that I would sit down and read through, cover to cover.  This is much more of a reference book, the sort of work where you look up the information that you need, as you need it.  Fortunately, the book is well-organized and I was able to find what I was looking for.

While this book concerns itself mostly with the sounds that cats make, Schotz does include body language, which I found very helpful.  She also has practical tips that give concrete suggestions about how to handle certain behavioral issues.

My one complaint, or perhaps it is more of a caution, about this book is that it goes deep into the study of linguistics.  Honestly, a lot of it was just too far over my head for me to follow.  However, if you really wanted to know more about that, Schotz does give a lot of examples and has an extensive appendix to help.  There are a couple of issues Schotz addresses, namely inappropriate elimination (or peeing everywhere!) and not getting along with other cats, that don't apply to Alice, but I think would be very useful for a human who is dealing with one or the other with their cats.

So, how did this work?  I'll be honest, Alice is still a mystery.  Much of what I read only supported what I had already suspected--that Alice just doesn't like many people, except when she does and then you'd be prepared to accept her affection, or else!  That being said, though, I at least knew that my theories about her weren't crazy.

This is definitely a book that I would recommend as a reference to cat owners.  I don't think there is another cat book that is quite like this one.  Even if it is a little too erudite at times, I still think there is a substantial amount of useful information included that would make this a good book to have on hand

I was given a copy of this book in return for an honest review.  I received no other compensation for this post.

If you would like to read more about this title, please check out some of the other stops on the blog tour

Friday, November 23, 2018

Saturday Snapshot - November 24

To participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky below. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

Happy Thanksgiving weekend everyone!

Every year, I have great plans to take beautiful Thanksgiving pictures and every year I'm too busy cooking dinner!  So, I don't have quite the pictures I would have wanted, but I do have a few random pictures from the weekend (so far!)

One of the big things that happened was that we discovered that my daughter's hair was finally long enough to donate!  We were both *very* happy for her to get that haircut!

This is as close as I got to a family Thanksgiving picture

And, of course, we need an Alice picture.  She was strangely playful on Thanksgiving night.  I apparently paid too much attention to cooking and not enough to her, because she wouldn't leave my side!

As of 2019, I will have a new blogging home.  Instead of moving this blog, this one will remain as is and I will be setting up shop in a new location.  More details will come as we get closer to 2019!


Friday, November 16, 2018

Saturday Snapshot - November 17

To participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky below. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.

My daughter's Girl Scout troop has been trying to do an outdoor activity every month (although I don't think it is going to happen in November or December--it's just too busy!) and, in October, we took a hike in Portland's Forest Park on the Macleay Trail to the Witch's Castle.  

It was an easy hike, as well as very popular!  I think every dog in Portland was there that day.  The girls loved it--I think they ended up spending about 45 minutes just exploring the building.  




It isn't an Oregon hike until you spot a Banana Slug!



A lovely view of North Portland as we left the park.  The trailhead is below us.

As of 2019, I will have a new blogging home.  Instead of moving this blog, this one will remain as is and I will be setting up shop in a new location.  More details will come as we get closer to 2019!


Friday, November 9, 2018

Saturday Snapshot - November 10

To participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky below. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online.
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Well, I'm having some technical difficulties with what I had hoped to post today (and I'm in the midst of Nanowrimo, so I don't have much time to figure it out at the moment), so her is a picture of Alice.  Hopefully the intended pictures will show up next week!