5 Things I Loved About Last Week 6/14/14 #celebratelu

celebrate link up

Ruth Ayres hosts a weekly celebration on her blog. I appreciate this invitation to find positives at the end of the week.

1. Books! For the first time in many, many years, I ordered books online from a company other than Amazon. And I realized I am entirely spoiled to Amazon. Receiving a book order in the mail two days after I place it counts as instant gratification when you live in South Dakota. I had to wait a seemingly endless ten days for my book order to arrive from Powell’s. But finally, my books arrived! (And I will say this: excellent customer service from Powell’s, competitive prices, and a significantly better packaging job. So…. if I can manage to forego instant gratification, I would certainly order from Powell’s again.)

new books

One book for me and ten to read aloud to my son. He was thrilled to see so many Dan Santat covers and wanted to start The Lonely Lake Monster right away.

2. Cats in boxes! And we were not the only ones excited by the arrival of a book order. Because a big stack of books comes in a big box. And you know what boxes are for.


Within two seconds of books being removed, Abby had snuggled under the packing paper. She has done very little over the past five days besides sleep in this box. On the rare occasions when she found another place to sleep (because clean, fur-free laundry is clearly in need of a cat to remedy the problem of fur-free),


other cats seized their opportunity:


Everyone has taken a turn in the box, but there is a price to pay when Abby discovers another cat in her space. She leaps on top of them and wrestles until they give up the box. And even the two cats who are twice Abby’s size quickly get out of her way. As my husband says, she may not be our biggest cat, but she’s the one with the biggest fight inside her.

3. A new gardening project! 

garden - Copy

(Apologies for the bad photo but it was raining this morning and I didn’t feel like going outside.) One third of my front yard is already a giant perennial bed:

garden (2)

I have wanted for years to remove the grass (read: weeds) that covered the rest of the front yard and put in more flower beds, but it also seemed like too big of a project. I mean, I can’t even keep up with the number of flower beds I already have, so why make another gigantic one?

But then the stars aligned, and my father-in-law offered to loan me his tiller and my husband offered to till and my mother bought me some perennials that I couldn’t squeeze into my existing beds. So it seemed like an ideal time to go for it. Eventually, there will be some stone paths, a circular herb garden in the middle, and the beginnings of four perennial beds surrounding the herb garden. I like to imagine all that will be firmly in place within a couple of weeks. But that might be some special magical garden thinking. Looking at the yard from inside the house, it seems rather small. But when you’re standing in the middle of it envisioning all the work it’s going to take to turn it into something besides a muddy weed pile, it suddenly seems huge.

4. More reading time! I took two mornings this week to read Sage Blackwood’s wonderful Jinx’s Magic, spent Friday afternoon reading The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs from cover to cover, and spent an hour this morning reading my current book, A Snicker of Magic. I have a tendency to let social media take over large chunks of my reading time, and I do value reading blogs and keeping up on Twitter. But I am much happier when I make more time for reading during my day.

5. NBA Finals! We are huge sports fans, and the two Spurs-Heat games this week have been superb–especially if you’re a Spurs fan. I don’t really have a favorite basketball team, but I do love the way the Spurs play ball, and I’m not sure there’s anything more enjoyable than a Popovich interview between quarters.






7 responses to “5 Things I Loved About Last Week 6/14/14 #celebratelu”

  1. readingtothecore Avatar

    That’s quite a stack of books! I have The Empathy Exams on a list, but doubt I’ll get to it this summer. I’ll be curious to know what you think. I admire your ambitious gardening project. My beds are full of mature perennials that don’t need much attention, but I’d like to spruce them up a bit. Love your cats!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I am finally getting to experience those “mature perennials” myself in some of my other flower beds. So lovely to have beds that don’t require much work. I love reading essay collections, though I have to confess that they rarely stick with me in the way other books do. But that just means they’re good for rereading!

  2. Ramona Avatar

    Cat stories – I love them and love the pics. More reading time – I’m happier, too, when I make time to read books. I recently read Rooftoppers and The Meaning of Maggie.

  3. carriegelson Avatar

    Glad you found a new way to book shop! Sounds like a rewarding experience all around with many felines in agreement. Happy gardening! Great new space! I love getting rid of grass.

  4. jarhartz Avatar

    So many things in this post that make me go, oh yes! I totally get the Amazon love but a Powells book order is worth the wait. Cats in boxes. Removing grass for flowers. A Snicker of Magic! All perfect.

  5. […] celebration of cats in boxes, new garden projects, book orders, and […]

  6. […] Last week, I wrote about how Abby refuses to share her special Powell’s book box with other cats. But there has been A Development. She hopped into the box with Puck and tried to bully him out, but he ignored her. He’s an 18-pounder and so oblivious that he once crawled into my lap while I was holding my thrashing, shrieking, raging, spitting, nearly-puking-with-a-temper-tantrum eight-year-old and settled right down for a nap. There was barely any lap available because, you know, thrashing, shrieking, raging, spitting, nearly puking eight year old. But Puck was undeterred. He saw a small opening and he took it. […]

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