Cats and Boxes

A tabby cat and black cat laying on different boxes, and a tuxedo cat laying on his back in front of the tabby's box.Our cats have a whole bunch of jingly balls, at least three toy mice, and a whole bunch of other toys.

Their favorites? Old shoelaces and boxes.

Always the boxes.

They feel safe in the boxes. They feel comfortable on top of boxes. They ambush us from the shelter of boxes. They swat at each other from between boxes.

Ah, yes, box obsessed cats.

A tuxedo cat curled up in a Guinness box.So, what does that mean for us? We’re box obsessed humans.

Who’s really in charge here?

I think we all know the answer to that question.

Friday Fictioneers- Reunited, and It Tastes So Good

Happy Friday, all! Today’s Friday Fictioneers is brought to you by a hungry stomach and hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

A discarded chicken costume on a black tile floor.
PHOTO PROMPT © Luther Siler

Genre: Realistic Fiction
Word Count: 96

Reunited, and It Tastes So Good

“I have the sudden craving for fried chicken.”

“Frank, that’s just wrong.”

He shrugged and picked up the costume head. “What? It’s not like this thing could feel being thrown across the stage like that.”

Margie took the head from him and cradled it. “But it just looks so sad lying there with all the feathers…”

“Aw,” the old actor crooned as he stroked the yellow fuzz. “Do you know what would cheer it up?”

Skeptical brown eyes swept her friend’s face. “What?”

“Seeing its buddy, preferably deep fried in batter.”

“You’re terrible.”

“Nah, just hungry.”

The Most Yellow (or often green) Villian of Them All!

2015 has been a rough year. Due to illness, injury, family emergencies and paid work, I’m way behind on my fiction goals. That said, I’ve finally been able to get a little more research and world/character building done for my NaNoWriMo novel for this year.

Of course, I spilled my drink just as I was getting back into the flow of writing, which called an immediate stop to the typing. Once I cleaned that up, I decided to get the laundry started.

I found something unexpected when I got downstairs.

Bananas. Bananas at the foot of the stairway. Naturally, I felt the need to text my husband.

A screenshot of two texts on a background of wooden beams.Two more text messages on a background of wooden planks.Since I don’t think I can fit everything into the alt-text for those of you who use screen readers, here’s what the texts say:

“So, I was going downstairs to get laundry started, and I think I found some fugitive bananas.”

“(There’s a picture of a banana bunch on the floor next to the bottom two steps of a staircase) Why are the bananas hiding? Are they planning an ambush?”

“Are they out to capture us and carry warped banana-y experiments out on us?”


I haven’t gotten a response, but since this year’s story has a distinct pirate bent to it, I’m tempted to name one of them “Bananabosa”.

“Oh, no! It’s the dreaded Bananabosa! Terror of the fruit market! He can give you scurvy JUST BY LOOKING AT YOU!”

That’s how it worked right? Vitamin C deficiency had nothing to do with it.

Not that bananas have much C in them, but…

Well, other fruit does.

Friday Fictioneers – The Masterpiece

Yesterday and today, I’ve spent a fair amount of time cooking. Then doing dishes. Then cooking. Then doing more dishes.

I was reminded repeatedly that hot surfaces are HOT, though. You’d think I’d have caught onto that by now.

Anyway. Friday. Friday Fictioneers. Thanks as always for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting!

As for inspiration for the story…I…just don’t know where this came from. I saw the canoe and it popped into my head.

PHOTO PROMPT – © Jennifer Pendergast
Genre: Humor
Word Count: 100
The Masterpiece
            Frank sighed as he leaned back in the old canoe. “This is the life. A warm day, fishing and my best buddy.”
            Jewel crossed her arms, wondering how she was talked into this. “We’re not gonna catch anything.”
            “That’s no way to talk!”
            “It’s true,” she insisted as a teenager circled them from solid ground with a camera.
            “Fish love this bate!”
            “Frank, we’re in the middle of a swimming pool.”
            The man opposite her shook his head. “Barry needs this to look authentic for his project! At least try to get in character.”
            She groaned. “I’ll never understand art.”


Spam Theater: Bats, Peaches, Jack and Dreams

Ah, spammers. They think they’re so clever.

They’re not, but what the CAN be is amusing. Here are a few choice selections from my latest round of deletions. (Click images to embiggen.)

Why, yes! My post about making a bat mobile out of construction paper will TOTALLY help people build new web pages! I’ll run right to your blog about ionized water to thank you for your gracious compliment.

Awesome! I should fail at baking more often. Those peach muffins actually made me so sick. I’m sure your volunteer driven website about HSV Erasers, whatever those are, will benefit greatly from terrible pastries.

Jack! You jerk! Are you dishonoring that soul by being unfaithful AND insensitive while you usurp authority?! How dare you! I can tell you’re not being the best person you can be.

Wonder how they knew my undying dream was to become an actress who uses Supagard prefabricated concrete to make sure cars keep their showroom shine?

Maybe I’m easily amused, but this stuff is just so funny.

Next on Spam Theater? Spam comments on this entry about spam.

Workplace Safety

In addition to blog and fiction writing, I also write a bit of copy as well. This weekend, I was taking care of some rush stuff for a client, while my husband put in our window AC unit.

The topic at hand was OSHA and workplace safety, and as I was proofing the piece, I noticed my husband needed some help with something. So, I got up and…WHAM!

Rammed my knee directly into the (sharp) corner of our coffee table with my full weight.

Ouch, right? So, I helped the hubby out, and noticed it was already starting to swell up.

Shortly after I did it, as I took a break from icing it.

I began icing it as soon as I could, and was legitimately concerned that I had done some nasty damage to it. When I walked, it felt like it wanted to slip out of joint, though there was no pain when I put weight on it.

It was still a little swollen when I woke up this morning, but not as bad as it had been. Pretty colors, though.

Oh, yeah, that’ll be a nice ugly green for the convention next week.

So, let this be a lesson, kids. When writing about workplace safety, follow the advice you’re giving.

As for me, I’m set up in the living room and icing it a little more as I work.

Also thinking about sanding the corners of that stupid table down.

3 Funny Homemade Valentine’s Gift Ideas

My husband and I aren’t really into the whole Valentine’s Day thing.

However, I still enjoy putting together amusing little gifts for the people I care about, when I have the time and energy to do so. Here are some of my favorite ideas for quirky tokens of love that you can give anyone.

Visual Jokes
One of the best gifts you can give someone is one they can laugh at and use, like my computer voo-doo doll pincushion. Valentine’s Day is as good an excuse as any to break out the affection-induced giggles.

After a quick jaunt around the internet, I found a lot of naughty gag gifts, as expected, but I did get a snicker out of the bacon scented massage oil and the anatomically correct giant gummy human heart.

That said, if you’re a baker, you can get creative with the heart motif, and artists can apply quirky pictures to clothing or accessories. Knitters, crocheters and sewers can make goofy toys. Any crafty skill can be used to make fun gifts.

Bad Valentines
I don’t know exactly what it is, but the cornier the joke and worse the pick-up line, the funnier it is to give it to someone. You can find examples all over the internet, like this Breaking Bad inspired one, but you can just as easily make your own. I plan on making one for my husband this year.

Maybe I’ll be able to get a picture of the epic eye-roll.

Coupon Book Gone Wrong
You’re probably already familiar with the idea of putting together a book with “coupons” for favors or outings. It comes up for any gift giving occasion, after all.

Instead of sticking with the generic “one night at the movie” or “one massage”, why not substitute those for activities or common instances you know make the recipient laugh?

For us, it would probably be things along the lines of “Good for one free fall off the couch” (my grace is legendary), “One bungled surprise attack” (last time hubby tried sneaking up on me, he stepped into a bag of cans waiting for recycling), “One new word that makes no sense” (I unintentionally mangle words when speaking) or “One horrible joke” (Hubby collects bad jokes like floors collect dirt).

Take a look at whatever private jokes you share, and slapstick humor in your life for inspiration.

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying Valentine’s Day for its fluffy romance, but if that’s not your thing, you can still turn it into an entertaining day.

Why not have some fun and share a laugh?

Crafting While Cuddling Kitties

Cool weather is upon us, and as any human who has been claimed by a feline knows, this marks the

beginning of snuggle season for the cats in our lives. At least, that’s the way it goes for the cats in my life. Once they’re settled in, it’s a crime to move them, lest they use their Power of Cute to reap revenge.

So, what can we, the crafty, do while our laps are full of warm, fuzzy goodness?

Of course, this is the activity most felines prefer you use your hands for. Scritches, pets and general cuddles are the most important part of ensuring your Feline Overlords/ladies remain happy.

If you do manage to commence with any other activities, you must take frequent breaks to offer suitable homage.

Paper Craft
I’ve discovered that doing things like origami and making custom cards is possible without disturbing the furry master occupying my lap. Paper folding doesn’t require much mobility other than the hands, but custom card making does require a bit of work space organization.

Before getting started, make sure everything you need is within easy reach. The less reaching and twisting you need to do, the fewer disturbances your cat will need to deal with.

I often knit or crochet while acting as a living pillow for our kitties. They actually seem to enjoy when I work on larger projects, because they get an extra layer of warmth the finished expanse rests on them.

Of course, I still need to be careful not to let them catch sight of trailing yarn. There’s something about it that is irresistible to the playful kitty’s paws and mouths. Working with yarn covered in cat slobber is not pleasant, though it does ensure I wash the article once I’m finished with it.

DrawingAs long as you’re not planning on doing anything involving paints, charcoal or other messy mediums, it is possible to work on visual artwork with a cat. In fact, said cat may appreciate acting as model for your artistic endeavors.

Although there’s no reason why you can’t be productive during cuddle season, once the kitty decides they want your attention, they have ways of getting it.

Yes, Your Highness, I get the message.