Category Archives: Life

A post-Christmas post of ramblings

I should have realized how much Cat’s Forest would take over when I decided to post it almost everyday, in the busiest month of the year.  But I of course I didn’t.  Anyway, I didn’t post about Christmas much, except for my story.  I might do some deeper Christmas posts now, after the fact; but I think this was mostly a year of Catania, and that’s okay.

In the meantime, you should read this post that a fellow blogger of mine posted yesterday:

He’s Here: The Christ Candle ~ Ramblings of a Writer

This authoress has mastered the art of word-craft, and this post is simply beautiful.  The peaceful flow of the words is pleasant and calming, and it paints a crystal clear picture of the starry nightfall of the first Christmas.  You should read it.


Hopping down an unrelated bunny-trail, do y’all know about the whole “elf on a shelf” thing?  Well, my Mother found this, and I couldn’t help but share it:

So awesome, I really have no words.  I lost Santa elves about the time I found Middle Earth. 🙂

Merry Christmas, readers!!  Thanks for reading my rambles.

Catania’s Forest ~ Part Four

So I was making up part of a story, earlier this week, about a warrior coming back to consciousness after being knocked out, and I managed to make myself feel so dizzy I fell down a flight of stairs.  It was special.  Embarrassing definitely, but still rather amusing.

Sometimes, my imagination works altogether too well.

Anyway, tell me what you think of Tyre. *nervous smile*

Catania’s Forest: The Little Drummer-boy in Narnia ~ Part Four


The centaur towered above Catania by more than a head and shoulders. His glossy chestnut sides glistened with sweat in the westering sun, and his velvet shirt was stained with it; he never moved slower than a trot. His course, brown hair splayed across his green-clad shoulders; and his short, dark beard masked the lower half of his sun-tanned face.

“I need your help, Tyre.” They never wasted time on greetings.

The centaur drew himself up to his full height and squared his shoulders. “I don’t have time to help little girls.”

“I have an offer to make you,” Catania corrected herself impatiently, turning to walk back towards his tower beside him. She had to move quickly to keep his pace, but she was accustomed to brisk walking.

They caught up to Jéru and his charge, and moved passed them, Tyre shuffling disgustedly around the swine. The pipe music had begun again. The herd moved slowly, and soon fell away behind them. Catania itched to explain herself, but she could see the centaur had other things in mind.

“Why were you talking to that renegade, Catania?” he finally asked.

Catania was surprised he had had the decency to wait until the swineherd disappeared behind the bend in the road. They had almost reached Tyre’s tower now. Catania had never been inside it. Guessing from the gold embroidery that often curled its way across the centaur’s clothes, it must be a magnificent place.

“Is it a concern of yours if I am polite to him?”

“It’s my concern if you sympathize with cowardly rebels.”

“Look, Tyre, I’m out here risking my life. I’m not their slave. What do you want? I can’t start a revolution. How far would I get? A little elf-girl with a knife and a bow?”

“You would get farther than you’re getting mooning around shooting naught but deer,” Tyre said authoritatively.

“I have to eat,” Catania snapped. “It’s not like you’re laying siege the city either.” She was not one to pick a fight, but something about the arrogant centaur always managed to make her especially snappish. “Now, look. I just shot a deer, and I need you to help me get it back to my kitchen. I’ll give you a third of the meat?”

The centaur hesitated, then shrugged. “Very well, don’t just stand there then. Where did it go down?”

P.S. Make sure you didn’t miss my last Cat’s Forest post!  I’m going to be posting very often to get all the parts in, because I want to post the last one on Christmas Eve.  I’ll have it on the Stories page afterwards, if you would rather read it then at your own pace.


So earlier this week, I finally decided it was time to buckle down and finish Catania’s Forest.

I decided to make up a posting schedule starting next week, hoping that would motivate me to finish writing by the weekend.  And then I figured out I was going to my speech club’s practice tournament tomorrow, and. . . needed to finish my speech.  I decided to go ahead and try to do both, and write myself off a cliff, because I’m just like that sometimes.  I’m happy to say my speech is going fine (and I have the excuse that I just got home from China and am “technically” still jet-lagged, if it goes terribly), and (drum-roll please) Catania’s Forest went to the editors today!!  That sounds awfully official.  It’s really just my parents–but they’re awesome proofreaders.

So, all that to say, I’m done writing Cat’s Forest, and it should make it’s appearance on here. . . soon.  We’ll just play it safe, and not say anything more specific than soon. 🙂

throwing dirt

With all of us in China, I remember wondering if I would ever get a turn to hold my new brother.  If he had even noticed me yet.  (It’s really not my fault that big brothers are more interesting.)  Reason told me that we were his family for good, and there would be time.

But in my heart I knew that we only had for ever, and that would never feel like enough.

The rest of our lives never feels like enough.  That’s why I believe in dropping “important stuff” and playing.  That’s why I believe in loving like there’s no tomorrow.

That’s why I said yes when Mom asked me to play with Michael today.  That’s why I said yes when Little Brother suggested we go outside.

So what was going to be a lets-relax-and-read-a-story turned into bundling up and going out, hauling chunks of firewood and breaking up dirt with a metal spade.  We built a mouse-house, with logs and dirt.  We dug a hole in the ground and made a roof over it, and filled it with dill from the herb garden for the mice to eat.  Naturally the game ended with Michael deconstructing it.

Brothers are awesome.

Thank you for playing with me, Michael; and being my baby brother, even though you’re so grown up, and you’re probably smarter than me anyway.  And thank you for teaching me how important it is, once in a while, to pretend there’s no such rules as no throwing dirt and don’t run with sticks.


“But his uneasiness wore off, and in the fine weather he forgot his troubles for a while.  The Shire had seldom seen so fair a summer, or so rich an autumn: the trees were laden with apples, honey was dripping in the combs, and the corn was tall and full. (75)
The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

Hooray for September!  (And that’s not just because it includes September 22nd. *cough*)

I’m not looking forward to the busyness of the school year, but I’m looking forward to autumn weather.  (And that’s not just because I can wear my Strider boots without getting hot.)  I never thought I really liked fall, but it’s been growing on me.  Fall suggests everything lovely: fresh fruit; flame-colored leaves; gossamer and big, beautiful spiders (I like those as long as they don’t touch me. . .); crisp autumn mornings; cool breezes; everything pumpkin flavored; pretty scarves and gloves. . .

Happy autumn, y’all!

P.S. I got more info on Catania’s Forest up recently. . . it’s still not much, but you should get a chance to learn more soon.

The Describe Tag

So. . . as you can see, the book reviews are only sort-of happening.  I apologize.  I am planning on doing more reading soon though, so that should help.  In the mean time, I’m going to do a tag instead, because. . . I have a lot of tags I need to get done.

Before we start though, ya’ll need to read the last post on our family’s adoption blog.  I am sooo excited!


Okay, now for the tag: my sweet friend Savannah tagged me on this one, and it looks like all kinds of fun!  Sadly, I can’t link to her post, as her blog is private.  Here’s the description of the tag:

   ‘The basic idea of this tag is to take five characters of your creation, answer the six questions for each of your characters, then describe him/her/it in your own words in a paragraph, posts the answers like I did down below, and then tag 1 person per character.’ 

Okay, sounds good!  Most of my characters are from stories that are not yet written, because all the (good) on-paper stories by yours truly have been posted on here, so you all know the characters already.  I’m starting with the main character from Catania’s Forest, because I’m sure you all want to know about her–and because I need to buy myself time because I’m not getting a description of it up on my stories page as soon as I thought. 😉  Anyway, here goes nothing:

Continue reading The Describe Tag

God Shed His Grace On Thee. . .

I have been brushing up “America the Beautiful” on the piano lately, and of course it has been on my mind today.

Not on my mind enough to convince me to practice piano today 😉 , but I’ve still thought about it.  I first decided i wanted to play it when I read through all the verses; they are so beautiful.

I love all of them, but the last two lines of verse 3 have become a prayer to me.  For my country.

America!  America!  May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness and every gain divine.

Because you don’t have to look too far to see America is losing her roots in God.  Not all that we call “success” today is noble, and not all our gains are Christ-like.  I have been praying for our country for a long time.

But after I read Counted Worthy by Leah E. Good I started praying for more.

I started praying that no matter what happened in America, the church would rise to meet it.  That they would respond in a way that honored the Lord.  No matter what.

Our pastor was speaking recently about common core, and he said that the church often responds in fear or anger, and we must respond in love.

We are the bride of Christ.

We have victory.

We have the last word.

So let us stop responding in fear.  Let us stop venting our anger on those deceived by Satan.  Let us respond in love.

We are more than conquerors in Christ, my friends–if God is for us, who can be against us?

O beautiful for patriot dream that sees, beyond the years,
Thine alabaster cities gleam, undimmed by human tears!
America!  America!  God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea.

***             ★    ***

Have a happy Fourth of July, and go get yourself a copy of Counted Worthy, sweet readers.


** Excerpts from “America the Beautiful” by Katharine Lee Bates

Lauritzen Gardens

I know these have been a long time in coming. . . better late than never, right?  Anyway, I’m very happy with how they turned out!

If you don’t like hundreds of pictures of flowers, feel free to skip this post. 😉  And, believe it or not, this is the narrowed-down version.


I got a lot of good pictures of Little Brother.  I guess he’s just picturesque.




I am so excited about this picture!  My pictures of bugs never turn out this clear!

Continue reading Lauritzen Gardens