• Kathleen Burnard

Day 11: What Brings Me Joy

Finally! I get to tell you about something nice! Strap in, this is gonna be fun (that might be the first time I've said those words and meant them sincerely).


What brings me joy, you ask? Oh, I'll tell you what brings me joy.


  • This goofy furry monster. This is Monkey. Look at him.

Look at this cat.

Look at his ridiculous face.

In this one, he'd just seen a squirrel for the first time.

He wants your food.

He does not care that it is not for kitties.

All food is for kitties.

All. Food. Is. For. Kitties.

ALL OF IT.

Okay, one more picture, because he is wonderful.


  • This sneaky weasel. Her name is Pinter Paws and she is very talented at rolling, crime, and being very tiny.

She's named after Harold Pinter and the eponymous Pinter Pause (except, you know, Paws, because kitty). Mostly because it's cute, but also because she barely makes any noise. She occasionally squeaks, and when she's very unhappy she has the tiniest most pitiful meow you've ever heard. Maximum guilt inducing. But other than that, she's pretty much silent.



  • Puzzles! I have completed an average of one puzzle every other month since the pandemic began. I use them for dexterity work, but it's also just relaxation time. They're usually 1,000 pieces, but the latest one was this 250 piece all black puzzle from Blue Kazoo. It took forever. My eyes are really not great right now, y'all. It's a problem. Know how I know that puzzles bring me joy? Despite all of the obstacles, putting that puzzle together was SO MUCH FUN.

It's getting framed (that is, if I can keep Pinter from one of her favorite hobbies- puzzle piece thievery).

  • Baking. Have you seen my baking blog? I have a baking blog. As my MCAS progressed, I developed an allergy to gluten, which put a real strain on my baked good consumption quota. It became clear that if I wanted high quality cakes, etc. I was going to have to learn to make them myself, minus the gluten. I enjoyed baking before! But experimenting with the absence of gluten gave me an opportunity to discover new joy in the kitchen. It also gave me an opportunity to examine kitchen accessibility (or lack thereof). And so The Spoon Variable was born. It's a baking blog totally free of gluten (most of the time dairy and nut free or optional), with options for ingredient substitutions, geared toward other people with disabilities, chronic illnesses, and/or dietary restrictions. I try to rate every recipe on a three-spoon-scale. One spoon means few ingredients or pieces of equipment, not many steps, not much cleanup, not much energy needed, not much baking knowledge needed, etc. Three spoons means....the opposite of that. And if there are multiple components to a project, then it's pretty much automatically three spoons, and I grade each separate component on the spoon scale. It's fun! It's not a huge thing and it's not like tons of people read it, but it gives me a sense of purpose. And especially with the lack of other kinds of art in my life now, it affords me some artistic expression that wouldn't be there otherwise.


  • Alright, class, say "hi, Boyfriend!" (Hi, Boyfriend!) Kyle brings me a lot of joy. I'm not going to say too much because I don't want to make him uncomfy, I just want to show everyone this beautiful person. He doesn't love compliments, so I'll just say that he's lovely and I hope you get a chance to meet him someday because I'm pretty sure you'll agree.

Plus he lives with Monkey, soooo...

I mean, come on.



Feast you eyes upon our glorious love affair! Or 8 photos' worth, anyway, I had to draw the line somewhere. We go all the way back to 2003-ish, that's a whole lot of photos.



I think that's probably enough joy for one day. At least it's enough photos of my life forced in front of your eyeballs. I'd apologize, but I'm not even a little bit sorry. After the last two posts, it's important to acknowledge the fun stuff, you know?