Happy New Year

Yes, I know it is February, but I got sick shortly after New Year’s Eve and have spent the first month of 2024 with the covers over my head and cough drops at the ready. Not COVID 19. Rather, I got the cold-that-never-ends! For weeks I’d go to bed at night thinking I would be better in the morning, only to wake up worse off than the day before.  Apparently, many others have experienced this virus so I can’t even claim to be medically unique.

Some authors would have used time like this to power through their manscript. Sadly, my brain was functioning only at a basic level, i.e. eat, sleep, sneeze. Even my reading was only accomplished in short bursts. I couldn’t even get through my Christmas haul of new books.

In one of those short bursts, I got confirmation of something I have long suspected to be true for myself. I read better on paper. On screen, I tend to skim. For that reason, I pay the big bucks to order my favourite authors in paperback as opposed to e-books. 

I learned a few new words.

  • Trichobezoar is another word for “hairball.” So the next time my cat embarrasses me by barfing in front of company, I can just use the big word and feel better. Kind of like Mary Poppins’ Supercalifragalisticexpialidotious.  I half-watched the movie from my sickbed and marvelled at what a spirit lifter it is.
  • The collective noun for hummingbirds is charm. What a beautiful sentiment. Outside my window is a charm of hummingbirds. In reality, hummingbirds are fierce little beasts who won’t share the feeder. They leave the flowers to fight off invaders. In other words, they’d rather starve than share. Not so charming!
  • Clutter is one of the words used to describe a bunch of cats. If you’ve ever had a couple of cats twisting about your ankles you’ll appreciate the sentiment. A  clutter of cats is digging up my garden.

I also learned that readers enjoy seeing pet pictures on blogs. With that in mind, here are a couple from my “clutter.” 

Now, my weary brain has to rest. I am recovering, but the journey is slow. I hope all my readers are enjoying robust health and gobbling up thier favourite books, whether on screen or on paper.



Views: 240


  1. Diana

    Hope you feel better soon!

    • Alice Valdal

      Thanks, Diana. I think you are in snowy Ontario. Hope the drifts aren’t too high.

  2. Anne Atkinson

    I hope you are on the mend Alice, a long time to feel under the weather.
    I learned a few new words.

    • Alice Valdal

      Thanks, Anne. I thought I was so smart with my flu shot and my COVID boosters, but that sneaky virus got around my “firewall.” 🙂 Hope you are having a good winter.

  3. Laura Langston

    Great post, Alice. And thanks for the informative new words! I especially love the word charm and your correct observation about the lack of charm displayed by hungry (and proprietary!) hummingbirds. Rest up. Hopefully you’ll be feeling 100% soon.

    • Alice Valdal

      Thanks, Laura. As the swallows are returning I looked up their collective noun, too. A whole bunch of swallows are called a “kettle.” So, a kettle of swallows wants to nest in my eaves.

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