How many ways can you say hot cocoa?

Image by stux from Pixabay

I never had an accent until I arrived in the U.S. I got on a plane, and several flights later, BAM! I had an accent.

I grew up in another country and spoke much like everyone else around me. We sounded similar to each other. Then I moved to the States, and suddenly I sounded different from everyone else.

Although I grew up overseas, English was my native tongue. We spoke English at home and had English classes every year in school. Most of our classes and textbooks were in English, not just our English classes.

I read American books…


Captivating captions captured conveniently

Screenshot, taken and edited by author.

Attribution Confusion

“Add attribution to your image”

Have you ever gotten a note like that from an editor?

When you insert an image into your story using the built-in image search tool magnifying glass, the attribution is automatically added for you. But if you upload your image into your story using the camera tool, you have to add the attribution yourself.


Kitty Jump Ball

Photo by Gratisography from Pexels. Cropped by author.

Birds like our house. Not pet birds, but wild birds. Though it’s a mystery to me as to why — don’t they know danger lurks indoors?

And yet birds have gotten into our house three times in the past several weeks. Three different birds, three different times. These bird-brains are going through an awful lot of trouble to get into our house where trouble awaits them — in the form of our three cats.

Kitty Jump Ball

When a bird gets into the house, meow madness ensues. I hear objects shoved around and thud on the floor as the cats clamber up onto…



Photo by Damir Spanic on Unsplash

I recently had a sleep study, and everyone I talked to about it had an unhappy story to tell. It was usually along the lines of: they put a bunch of wires on your head and you don’t get any sleep. The stories were dramatic and sometimes traumatic.

But my experience was different; it was spa-like and therapeutic!

Yes, it was uncomfortable in some ways.

  • I had electrode stickers all over my head and face, some on my chest, and some on my legs. Wires came out of these stickers and plugged into what looked like an electronics project.
  • While…

Memories of a friendly, good-natured cat

Mr. Winks in the cat tree.
Mr. Winks in the cat tree.
Mr. Winks. Photo courtesy of author.

The first I saw of Mr. Winks was his picture on a dating site.

No, it was not his profile! He was in a picture posted on his human’s profile. I noticed him because he looked like my eldest cat, a gray and white Tuxedo with white paws.

I had three cats of my own when I met Mr. Winks and his human. He was only a couple or so years old. (Mr. Winks, not his human.) A few years later, I married Mr. Winks' human.

When we merged our fur-families, it was the kitty equivalent of the Brady Bunch…


It’s a Lockdown Life

Photo by Matt Seymour on Unsplash

Vaccinations are in progress and restrictions are loosening up in some parts of the world. Our MuddyUm humorists have some things to say about all this.

Grab yourself a coffee, rum, or other beverage of choice, then sit back as we unlock the humor of life in and out of lockdown. After all, laughter is the best medicine!

Livin’ La Vida Lockdown

Life in lockdown can be crazy — or drive you crazy!

Pandemic Humor — Laughing to Keep from Crying

by James Knight

Alternatives To Hugging During The Pandemic

by MuddyUm Co-Editor Rachael Ann Sand

Online Meeting Subtitles That Never Got Approved

by Ioana Somi

A Day in the Life of Teaching During Synchronous Learning as a Pirate

by Thomas Camden

One Year Into The Pandemic, There is No Shame in My Zoom Game

by Toni Crowe

Transitioning from Lockdown Life

Take baby steps out of lockdown.

Your Kiss Inside My Fist

by Janie Emaus

An Introvert Hesitantly Speaks Up

by John Werth

I’m Gonna Miss The Pandemic



Our fifth collection of MuddyUm Pet “Tails”

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

The temperature is warming up here in the northern hemisphere and cooling down in the southern hemisphere. It’s great weather for being outdoors, opening the windows, or relaxing on the porch.

Enjoy the crisp, low-humidity breeze while reading our pet and animal stories with your pets on the catio. If you don’t have any pets, turn on Cat TV or Dog TV and enjoy the read!

The story links are ‘friend links’ so you can share them with others who may enjoy these stories, paywall free! …


Our fourth collection of MuddyUm Pet “Tails”

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Spring is in the air and so is the pollen! It’s a good thing it’s been raining quite a bit to wash off all that pollen.

It’s been raining at MuddyUm, too — raining cats and dogs and critters! Pet and animal stories are sprouting all over the MuddyUm landscape like daffodils and tulips!

We’ve herded together these pet “tails” for your reading pleasure. Sit back and relax, perhaps bask in the weather, and enjoy another Pet Palooza collection with your pet pals.

The story links are ‘friend links’ so you can share them with friends who may enjoy these…


I’m still processing

Photo was taken by author’s husband.

Trigger Warning: Contains descriptions of a car crash experience.

Time Slowed Down

Recently, my husband and I were in a car crash. We were driving home from an enjoyable Sunday lunch. I clutched my special prize — pandesal bread rolls from the restaurant. It’s been years since I’ve had any. We were saving it to have with coffee at home.

It was a pleasant day, neither hot nor cold, and we were having a lovely time. As we approached an intersection, a car in the opposing lane pulled out in front of us to make a left turn.

As I noticed the car…


Hit me with your best shot

Photo by Edwin Hooper on Unsplash

Can you believe it’s already been a year? On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. In honor of the first anniversary of the pandemic, we’ve compiled a sampling of MuddyUm’s finest rum — arrh, I mean rum-worthy pandemic humor.

Sit back and enjoy our MuddyUm humorists’ jabs at the expense of the pandemic. After all, laughter is the best medicine!

How About a Good Shot in the Arm?

Now that vaccines are available, everyone’s scrambling to get a dose or two — or at least get in line.

Vaccine Flirting by co-editor Amy Culberg

If you don’t yet qualify to get the vaccine, try this.

This Is How I Feel About the Ongoing Vaccination by David B. Clear

David tries…

Lucia Siochi

Artist at heart, Technologist by trade. Lover of cats, coffee, and life.

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