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Entries from May 2014

Sunday Stealing: Hey 19! #Meme


Link up here if you're tired of not linking up.

Here we go!...

1 )Where would you retire to? 


Technically, you have to be employed to retire, I think. However, Hubs retired last year from the Navy, and we moved here to Miami. Furthermore, we're looking at houseboating in 2½ years' time, if not sooner. It's our dream to sail around the world, schooling the children as we go in various exotic ports of call, and having an amazing adventure. We shall see how it goes!

2) What are your best physical features? 


My face, except for my teeth, is passably acceptable. Anything below that is a lumpy, bumpy catastrophe.

3) What are your best characteristics? 

I'm a daydream believer. Cheer up!

4) What kind of books do you like to read? 

I'm a fan of most kinds of novels, not too much a non-fiction fan unless it's amusing in some way. I did like Ellen deGeneres' autobiography, My Point, and I Do Have One... way back 20-some years ago. That was a hoot!

5) What are you reading now? 


I haven't read a book in quite some time. Hopefully a year hasn't passed. I get dozens upon dozens of free magazines each week, and it's all I can do to keep up with the ones I have an interest in reading. I'm looking to the latest issue of Family Fun, which came today.

6) Where would you want to retire to? 

Pretty sure we answered this one at the jump...

7) What is your favorite time of the day? 

Anytime I feel like that ^^^ is a good time! I try to get a little of that every day. Lively music helps!

8) Where did you grow up? 


In Zone 4, CNY, outside of Syracuse.

9) How far away from your birthplace do you live now? 

It depends on how you want to measure - time elapsed while driving or walking, or distance in kilometres or inches or...? Anyway, from outside New York City to Miami, however you count it.

10) Are you a morning person or a night owl? 

I don't understand you morning people. Honestly. Right up there with people who run for fun.

11) What inspires you? 

I find inspiration everywhere. I like lots of bright, eye-popping colors. That always gets my juices flowing. 

12) Can you close your eyes and raise your eyebrows? 

Is that a thing? Because who can't do it?!

Do you have pets? 


We have our beloved Maine Coon kitty, Pepper, and another cat of my son's, Muffin, who is not a fan of mine. It's mostly mutual.

14)How many rings before you answer the phone? 

I usually let it go to voicemail... I hate answering the phone. Or the door. I think it's my social anxiety working there.

15) What are some of the different jobs that you have had in your life? 

I was a fisheries biology intern here, in Sarasota, Florida;

 I scooped ice cream and made delicious treats here, in St. Pete Beach, Florida;


I worked in the dive shop, Diver's Paradise of Key Biscayne, Florida, where I was PADI certified back in 1998... amongst others.

16) Any new and exciting things that you would like to share? 


I've been channeling Carmen Miranda?!

17) What is most important in life? 


Family, to me, is the most important thing in the world.

18) Did you dream last night? 


I always have the most vivid dreams.

19) Do you remember your dreams? 


Fairly routinely, I do, but the one that stuck with me from last night is not repeatable in a public forum! 

Welp, that's it for me. I have a $5 Starbucks gift card that needs spending, and the clock's ticking.

Thanks for stopping by!


Saturday 9: The Flintstones Theme

Link up here if you want. I'm not pushy. ;P

"Meet the Flintstones" (The Flintstones Theme) 
(Recommended by Harriet)

Unfamiliar with this week's song? Hear it here.
1) The song promises that, "When you're with the Flintstones, you'll have a yabba-dabba-doo time." So clearly Wilma was one accomplished hostess. What about you? Do you enjoy having company?
No. Not usually; I'm a nervous wreck,

2) Since the lyrics say, "Let's ride with the family down the street/courtesy of Fred's two feet," we're assuming the pedal-powered Flintstone car didn't require much gas. Are you loyal to a particular brand of gas? Or do you fill up with whatever is nearby, or least expensive?
The Racetrac down the road is the cheapest, but it doesn't like our debit card for some reason, so we go just a teensy bit farther - in the opposite direction - to hit up the Exxon that charges the same price. Any farther, and we're hitting either the expensive parts of Miami-Dade County or Monroe County, where the Florida Keys are, so I hate it when I need to fill up anywhere but near home!

3) Clearly a sharp-dressed man in stone-age Bedrock wore a long tunic and no pants. What are you wearing right now, as you answer these questions?
Head to toe: An orange kerchief on my head (bad hair day); two pairs of silver hoop earrings; pink nose ring; Victoria's Secret sports bra; VS undies; VS one-piece swimsuit cover-up, which I attempted to wear into the store tonight and was told by Hubs that I can't; a silver-and-pearl bracelet and an açai one; my wedding and engagement rings; and my leopard-print Crocs flip-flops. Obviously, I don't give a lick if I match!

4) Pebbles Flintstone grew up with Dino the Dinosaur and Baby Puss the Saber-Tooth Cat. Did you have any pets as you were growing up?
What's this about petting Baby Puss? Sorry, mind in the gutter... Um. Yes, we had a skinny, scaredy-cat, ugly little Terrapoo (poodle terrier mix) named Leo. The lack of admiration was mutual; he hated kids.

5) Mr. Slate is Fred's blustery boss at quarry, and he frequently threatens to fire Fred. Have you ever had a bad-tempered boss?

Have I! Bob Barton, the Store Manager at the Publix where I worked in college, was fearsome. But he liked me. One time, he prank called me, where I worked in the customer service office, from upstairs in his office. He got me so flustered and upset, as he was pretending to be a very irate customer. I almost lost it with him, and then he started chortling, and I knew it was him. Another time, he took my beeper out of my uniform pocket and sent me on a wild goose chase to find it. Oh, good times, good times.
6) It's estimated that during The Flintstones original run (1960-1966), it was viewed by as many adults as kids. Now that you're a grown up, do you still watch cartoons?
We don't have TV, but when we're staying in a hotel or otherwise traveling, sure. The kids watch some on Netflix and have their DVD collection, too, so I sometimes watch.

7) In 1961, The Flintstones was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award as Outstanding Comedy Series. Do you watch awards shows?
If we're traveling... I watched the season finale of Season XXXVIII of American Idol while we were in Orlando last week. I might have been the only one who did!

8) There are at least two Flintstones-themed amusement parks currently in operation. Do you enjoy scary rides?
Nope! Chloë, my beautiful almost-teen daughter, gets her chicken-shittiness from her mama!

9) Flintstones Vitamins are still on store shelves. Do you take a vitamin each morning?
I take my Royal Jelly (JAFRA) and probiotic vitamins at night. Close enough.
Thanks for stopping by! Have a swell day.

Saturday 9: The Star-Spangled Banner

Link up here if you're playing along this weekend!

Memorial Day was introduced to honor the men and women who died while serving the in the United States Armed Forces. We want to make sure that message is not forgotten this weekend.

The Star Spangled Banner 

1) Are you a veteran? Are there veterans in your family? (We are grateful and want to hear about it.)
I'm not, but my husband is a U.S. Navy retiree as of a year ago. My grandfather served in WWII, and my dad and uncle served as well.

2) Memorial Day also kicks off the summer season. What's your favorite picnic food? 

I just like picnics, period. I don't eat hamburgers and hot dogs, so I guess it would have to be good ol' watermelon?!

3) Let's celebrate the Memorial Day holiday with ice cream. What's your favorite flavor?
Chocolate/Peanut Butter, followed closely by Mint Chip...mmmm!
4) This marks the weekend when Americans step up their outdoor activity and do things they may not have been able to do during the winter months. For example, when is the last time you rode a bike?
About 2 weeks ago, one time on my new bike before it was stolen. I've had a replacement bike delivered since then, but it hasn't been put together yet. Hopefully soon.

5) Or went hiking? 

Gosh, I can't remember the last time. Hubs can barely walk, and not without a cane, and he's my hiking partner. It's been a while.
6) Or rode a horse?

Not since my mom was alive, so I had to have been about 5 or 6!
7) Or toasted a marshmallow? 
I don't think we've done that since we moved to Florida, so I guess 2 years ago now.

8) As you answer these questions, is there an air conditioner or window fan on? 
Always; what's Miami without air conditioning! (Wretched, that's what)

9) Crazy Sam needs your help: What song or a performer would you like to see featured in a Saturday 9 this summer?

Have we done Prince? Michael Jackson? What about Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back!"? Hahahah... I think I'm kidding. ;)

Thanks for stopping by!


Wordless Wednesday: Vacation Days

Link up here if you're Wordless today, too!

We're on a getaway in the Orlando-Kissimmee area this week, so here are a few snaps from our trip so far:






(This is a CocoVino wine from Schnebly's Winery in Redlands, near where we live in Miami. It's coconut-flavored and super-delish!)



Fun times!

Thanks for stopping by ;D


Sunday Stealing: Random Twenty Meme


Link up here if you're a latecomer like I always am...!

Random Twenty

1. Last time you had butterflies in your stomach? 

I had to do three "reveal" mystery shops today, wherein I present myself to the manager of the venue where I'm auditing their location, and though I've done dozens of these, it still makes me a little nervous each time.

2. What was your last alcoholic beverage? 


Friday night, we had some wine from the local winery, Schnebly's, with our organic shrimp orechiette pasta and asparagus. It was an avocado wine and tasted great! The only issue was when Rob got the cork stuck and had to crumble it up IN the wine and then filter it out!

3. Whom can you trust?


Chloë, 12, is proving to be quite a trustworthy almost-teenaged daughter. She's a terrific girl, and I'm super proud of the young woman she's becoming. And Hubs, of course!

4. Where was your first kiss with your current significant other? 


13½ years ago, Hubs stepped off the Greyhound bus from Panama City to meet me where I lived in St. Petersburg, Florida, for the first time. We found each other and smooched up a storm in the parking lot by my car, before heading back to my apartment for more of the same. Woot!

5. Favorite Band?

I'm crushing on Ed Sheeran lately, though he's not really a band. Tough boobies.

6. What is something you've learned about yourself recently? 

My new therapist is full of revelations already, during our lone two visits so far. I declared that I was unlovable, and he asked me, "Do your children love you?" Of course, I know they do, and when I informed him that was a separate case, he said that no, it wasn't. If I was lovable by them, then I was lovable. It was quite an epiphany for me.

7. Do you like anyone?

Dude, I like lots of people, and I'm not 14, so I'm going to pretend you didn't mean it in the "like like" sense!

8. Do you know anyone who is engaged? 

Do these guys count?! Or maybe they've been married by now, I don't know. Other than them, I probably do, but I can't think of anyone specific right at the mo'.

9. What's your favorite number?

From the time I can remember knowing what a number was, it has been 64. I can't think why it was so important to me, but since it's a square (of 8) made up of smaller squares (4s), and I'm mathematically inclined, I tend to want to think I knew something before I knew I knew it!

10. Who was the last person to make you cry?


These three babies, shown at Christmastime 2005, totes made me weep the other day. We were talking about when they go off to college a few years down the road, and each one of them declared that they were going to call me every single day. I was elated, because it means (a) they love me, (b) they want to talk to me every day even when they're grown and out of the house, and (c) they LOVE me! (Lady Redundant Woman here.) When I went to college, I got away from the 'rents as far as possible and couldn't get there fast enough, so this is a new feeling for me. I was so happy!

11. Did you ever go to camp as a kid? 

Sister and I were shipped off to church camp a month or two after our mom suddenly died, and we were put in separate cabins. It was terrifying for me; I felt so alone and abandoned. I peed my bed every night, and I was not typically a bedwetter. NOT a happy experience for me.

12. When was the last time you cried? 


I have no idea why I took a selfie crying in November 2012, but I did. Anyway, the last time I cried, really cried, was last Tuesday in therapy. I went through five tissues. I learned quickly, from the first week, not to wear makeup to therapy. My mascara was all over my face!

13. What is one thing you miss about your past? 

I miss Dr. Lisa, my BFF, and lots of other pals. I'm excited to see many of them at my 20th reunion this summer!!

14. What is one thing you've learned about life? 

My motto has long been, "If you want something done right the first time, you gotta do it yourself!"

15. Are you jealous of anyone? 

I'm jealous of women who look hot in a bikini. To wear a bikini myself will require several thousand dollars' worth of plastic surgery. Post-200lb weight loss, I'm gonna need a full body lift to remove all my saggy, baggy skin. Bikini? No. Not yet. Ugh.

16. Is anyone jealous of you?

They shouldn't be. I dunno.

17. Has a friend ever used you?

Yes, I've been used, but maybe I was using them right back, too. 

18. Has anyone recently told you that they like you more than as a friend?

Um, once again, I'm not 14.

19. Who was the last person you drove with? 

Four separate times this weekend, the rest of Team Odette and I drove to Key Largo. Fortunately, it's only about 30 minutes from home, but man, how inconvenient was that?!

20. What are you looking forward to?


We're heading HERE to a resort in Orlando in about 7½ hours. The kids haven't slept a wink, they're so excited! Neither have I. I can't wait for a week of R&R!

Thanks for stopping by!



Saturday 9: Vacation

Link up here if you want, I'm not pushy.

Vacation (1982)

Unfamiliar with this week's song? Hear it here.

1) Do you know how to water ski?
I have never been water skiing, but it's totes on my bucket list!

2) Do you have 2014 vacation plans? 
Next week, in fact! We'll be in Orlando from Monday-Friday, and the kids are stoked that it's for a "real" vacation and not just a mystery shop. Me too - though I must confess, I'm stocking up on shops to do whilst there.

3) Do you have a passport? 
Yep, but it's expired. When we moved to Guam in 2002, we had to get them in case we needed medical air transport to Japan. Chloë has one, too, but she was a year old then and, well, she no longer looks like that!

4) If you took a 7-night cruise, could you completely unplug -- no phone calls, no texts, no internet?

love cruises, having been on 5 or so. I can't wait 'til my next one. What was the question? Oh. Yeah. I think so, though I would certainly be tempted. Cruising is so all-encompassing, though, that I can manage.
5) Do you own a travel alarm clock?
I don't even own a real alarm clock. Well, that's not entirely true; I have them, I just don't use them!

6) Though the Go-Goes broke up in 1985, they frequently reunite for live performances. What's the last concert you attended?
Hmm. It's been a while. I think the last one was several years ago at the Norfolk Tides stadium in Virginia: we saw John Mellencamp, Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson. It was pretty awesome, as you might expect, but my favorite act was The Wiyos, who opened. I've requested them for my 40th birthday, and Wayne Wiyo said YES!!!

7) Their first hit was "Our Lips Are Sealed."  Can you be trusted with a secret? 
Not really. Yes. Maybe. I don't know?

8) In 1982, when this song was popular, the comedy Tootsie was in theaters. What movie makes you laugh?
I love Tootsie!!What a fun movie. I also love The Toy, with Richard Pryor and Jackie Gleason. Recently, I debated getting a copy of it for my kids, but I think they're still too young for it, though I watched it when I was younger than they are. Thoughts??
9) Sam is chewing on a Tums as she composes these questions. What's the last over-the-counter medication that you took?  
A couple Excedrin the other day when I had a crappy migraine all damn day. I hate my Rx for migraines, so I avoid it until absolutely necessary. Thankfully, the Excedrin actually worked.

How 'Bout A Picture?



Those are Jack's hands on mine; they're tiny, as my hands are small, but how they've grown since he was an itty-bitty 2-lb, 10-oz newborn! On Saturday night, Chloë, Rob and I spent hours looking at Jack's baby book. Of course, as there are numerous references to Robby in the book, it was difficult and caused many tears among us, but it was well worth the unexpected trip down memory lane.


After the hands photo, we mugged for the camera together. Jack rarely does this with me, so such a photo is cause for celebration for his mom! I had to post it on Instagram, even if my face is hormonally broken out at the moment! 


We all got up and went to the 10 AM service on Sunday morning, our second as a full family and my fourth time since moving to Miami. We're having a series on being happy, which is great, as I've renewed my quest for happiness and have re-started my work on Happify, too. I had my second session with my new psychotherapist on Tuesday, so it seems like this is all coming together at once.

(I gotta confess, though, that the thought of losing my Dark Passenger, as Dexter calls it, makes me a little worried that I'll lose the creative spark behind the book I'm writing.)


Chloë wanted to help me make dinner on Monday night, so we dug around in the fridge and freezer and found a goodly portion of organic chicken breasts, organic onions, and organic fava beans to cook. Also, I've mentioned the ubiquitious curbside flower vendors on many a Miami street - most notably Calle Ocho aka Tamiami Trail aka 8th Street - but I neglected to mention that many folks are out there selling fruits, too. I purchased a big bag of limes for two bucks the other day, and with those, a meal was made.


Jack and Sophia were excited for the dinner to be ready, because it smelt so good in our home while cooking. They eagerly cleared and set the table, so we could all sit down as a family together. Rob's junk, school papers, and innumerous other crappola has been piled atop our dining table for a week, making such a thing impossible, to my utter dismay. If I knew that cooking chicken in lime juice and adding organic purple potatoes would get them motivated to do some helping out around here, believe me, I'd have done it ages ago!


Jack and Chloë wanted to help me fix dessert for the rest of the fam, too. I couldn't pick what to make, and they couldn't agree between these strawberry tartlets we made first and the next dessert to be shown - so we made both! This one was a concoction inspired by Jack pulling the leftover phyllo dough out of the freezer (I think I used the rest of it at Thanksgiving, but I can't properly recall now) and a search on AllRecipes for "lime dessert" to make use of those limes. As you can see, no limes were actually harmed in the making of this gelatinized stawberry confection, but that's okay because now we still have some for next time!

The phyllo dough, which I should have photographed before baking and filling, was pinched into little cuplets from flat sheets. They didn't look nearly so pretty after a minute or ten in the oven, but these thingies tasted delectable! So much so, I binged on two of them (and regretted that almost immediately).


The other dessert, for which Chloë pushed, was a chocolate cake for her dad. We couldn't remember if I'd ever made him one for his birthday - it's his standard celebratory cake - but he'd been requesting one for a few months. I had just never gotten 'round to it, so that was the night. We topped it with a glaze I made simply and some sideways-sliced strawberries we'd gotten at Wally earlier in the evening. I dipped my finger in the glaze and decided it was ghastly, but to my surprise, even the frosting-loathing Rob liked it. To each his own.


On Tuesday and Wednesday, amidst many a Math-U-See lesson and writing letters to family, I worked on the collection sheets for Sweet Pea Academy's Spring Labels for Education submission. We've amassed over 5,000 points this year, which I don't know but I think is great for a small homeschooling family. The kids helped me collect, trim, and bank them, so I let them help me pick what to get, as usual: a pair of binoculars for each of them, a Lemon Twist something-or-other set (from the "Athletics" section, it's the doo-hickey that has a ring on one end for going around an ankle whilst the wearer jumps over the attached cord and ball), and a microphone. Something for Arts, something for Athletics, and something for Academics. I like it!

This has been a long week of nothing scheduled but schooling, and it's been a productive one. I've been rethinking putting them in public school next year. I think, at this moment anyway, we shall keep at it. And I'm joyed by this thought.


Girly Girls And Other Stuff


It seems kind of silly to start a post about being girly with a bowl of food glop, but hey, I like to go in chronological order of the pictures as much as possible, so deal.

Thursday, I got back in the kitchen after spending some time away from it, to mix up this "Green Power Dip." I'd seen the recipe in Prevention magazine, and I adapted it to fit what I had in the refrigerator. Right into the food processor, zip zip, went half an avocado, juice from half a fresh lime, and more green stuff I can no longer remember. It was rilly, rilly good. (Oh, a bunch of fresh parsley went in, I recall now.)

For the second batch - because all FIVE of us (yes! even picky Jack!) wolfed the first batch right down - I changed things up to fit my taste buds. I threw in a whole avocado, sure, and the juice from the other half of the lime (along with plenty of pulp, because pulp is yummo and fiber-y). I added a hunk of cheddar cheese and some canned, diced tomatoes, and I forget if I added anything else. Now that whip-up was oh, so good. Delishamus. We all agreed it was far better, if less "Power Dippy" than the first batch. Seriously good. Try it.


A selfie - an ussie, maybe? - with my kiddos. We did a lot of math that day, and a bunch of writing, and generally got a bunch of good schoolin' in. Days like this make me think we will stay in homeschooling next year, so now I'm completely on the fence. I think, if I can swing it into the budget to join the Y and get the kids really involved with activities outside the house, to be more physically active and more social with kids their own ages, then we may... just... continue...!


Sophia wanted her hair braided after we finished up school for the day, and I wanted to try my hand at a fishtail, so this was our first attempt. Not perfect, but I've done it several times now and am getting the hang of it.


Far from being a girly-girl, or any kind of girl, Jack gets a mention in this post because he asked me to cut the hair over his ears. It was really bothering him. Of course, I wasn't going to leave it at that, so I started hacking away with my good shears, and then I cleaned him up with Rob's clippers. Not half bad, I guess. Not bad at all for FREE, amiright?!


I'm not a shoe person, and definitely not a heels person, but I'm including these $2-grand shoes in this post because I saw them and instantly drooled. Like, literally, the spit escaped from my mouth and onto the magazine page. Are they not... the BOMB?!


Chloë wanted a fishtail braid like her sister's, too, but her super-curly hair isn't conducive to fishtailing. It's better for straight or wavy hair, but not good for ringlets like she has. (BOING!) So, I had her hang her head upside-down and French braided it that-a-way. The bun on top was just to keep the ponytail I topped it off with out of the way for the picture, else it woulda just been silly. She was happy, so I was happy.


Once school was over for the day, except for Jack who was still writing, the girls and I decided to tap into our truly girly sides and go full-on makeup. I don't mind if they play, but I insist on doing it myself it they're going to use my good JAFRA makeup. Of which I have a ton, as you can see. What can I say, it's an excellent product line, and even this sometime-hippie chick likes to glam up now and then!


I did 12½-year-old Chloë first. Oh, my gosh. Ordinarily, I wouldn't find it hard to admit I think she's the most beautiful creature on the planet, but holy smokes! She was stunning. Just stunning. If she weren't so itsy-bitsy-teeny-tiny, maybe she could've passed for much older than twelve?! I don't know, because she is so diminutive, and right now I'm kinda thankful for that.


Sophia is the one who really surprised me, though. She's only 9 years old, but here? Well, she still looks nine, but to me, she's also a stunner. I don't think of her as classically pretty, but she is absolutely beautiful in my book. She's not sad or angry here; I told her to just try and look expressionless so you could see her face for what it is. When she smiles or does anything else, it changes her eyes, and they didn't photograph well. She loved the look, actually!


After that, we took another "ussie" for fun, just the three of us chicky-babies. Apparently not a good hair day for me...


I can't remember what website it was off the top of my head, but I'd gotten a heads-up about an awesome deal on dresses from Collin over at Hip2Save. I scored six new dresses - my latest fashion obsession, if ever I had one - for less than $25, including shipping! Nice. Chloë wanted me to try them on, so I totes vamped it up for her in a couple of them. Here's one. Apparently I look okay? I think I look chubby here, but my Facebook friends seemed to think otherwise. You decide.


Here's another one, wherein I reveal myself for the pale creature I truly am. I'm not sure how I feel about (how I look in) this one. Thoughts?


After that, it was time to take off the ladies' makeup and return them to the little girls they really still are. Fresh-faced and still beauties!


So that was Thursday. Friday, I felt unwell all day and curled up in bed in the fetal position until well after dark. Saturday, we went and gave out begonias or some such to people with our church folks, and that was a great deal of fun. Even grumpy Jack agreed it was. WIN! 

I'm not sure what the fam has planned for our Mother's Day, but I'm hoping it involves the beach after we go to church! Here's hoping. As for the rest of you who are mothers or fill the role as mother, cheers to you!


Sunday Stealing: A Movie Meme

Link up here if you're a thief today, even as we celebrate moms! ;)

A Movie Meme

1. What is your all-time favorite "costume" movie or period piece?


Ahhh, this movie. I love it in book form, I love it in audiobook form, I love the movie... *sigh*

2. What classic film would you nominate for a remake?  

Casablanca is ripe for a do-over, I think.

3. Name your favorite femme fatale.

Jessica Rabbit

4. Name the best movie with the word "heaven" in its title.  

Really, I don't know. A Google search reveals I haven't seen any such movies, it would appear. Shocker!

5. Describe the worst performance by a child actor that you’ve ever seen. 
I really can't think of any, but I was just thinking last night that I don't think Julia Stiles is a terribly good actor. Sorry, Jules.

6. Who gets your vote for most tragic movie monster?  
I would have to actually go for Charlize Theron in Monster, which probably isn't what was meant, but I know from real-life monsters...

7. What is the one Western that you would recommend to anybody?
It's just not my genre, sorry!

8. Who is your ideal movie-viewing partner? 
That would be Hubs, my partner in life!

9. Has a film ever made you want to change your life? If so, what was the film?
I always wish I could go Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and undo some of the things that have happened to me, and unknow some of the people in my life.

10. Think of one performer that you truly love. Now think of one scene/movie/performance of theirs that is too uncomfortable for you to watch.  
I can't think of anything that makes me uncomfortable by itself, but it was uncomfy to watch Thelma and Louise with my dad, because he kept saying things about Geena Davis having "good BJ lips," and gross stuff like that. I was 18, for heaven's sake, and it was just the two of us!

11. On the flip side, think of one really good scene/performance/movie from a performer that you truly loathe. 
I'm not a fan of Jennifer Lopez in general, nor as an actress, nor as a singer, but I thought she was decent in Enough.

12. What movie has the best soundtrack? 
I sing songs from it all the time! Just the other night I was singing "It's Raining on Prom Night," a lesser known track from the flick.

13. Favorite actor with a mustache?
I mean, come ON. Of course.

14. Shadowy film noir from the 1940's or splashy colorful musicals from the 1950's?  
I'll take the musicals any day. Film noir is okay for some, and I like it at times, but I have already had enough darkness, you know?

15. Favorite classic Disney?

That would have to be Peter Pan. The flying inspires me, and I don't want to grow up, either!

Thanks for stopping by!


P.S. For Kwizgiver, an updated shot of the knitting I'm doing, with just the sleeves left to go:


Saturday 9: Your Mama Don't Dance




Link up here if you're playing along today!

Your Mama Don't Dance (1972)

Unfamiliar with this week's song? Hear it here.
1) This song is about how the older generation often doesn't understand what the younger generation is up to. Do you keep up with trends?
Woman, I am the trends! Okay, not really, but I would say I do. I'm only 37, FPS, not old enough to be the "older generation," but obviously too old to be the "younger generation." I'm fine in the middle, but I would say I much more identify with what the kids are doing.
2) This song was in the top 10 in 1972, which is also the year HBO was introduced. Do you have any premium cable channels?
Netflix is our only TV service, so no. And speaking of Netflix, I have a date with Dexter after this and getting through all my emails. I'm going to binge-watch Season 6 while I knit the rest of this adorbs baby sweater for an acquaintance who is literally fittin' to pop!
3) Mother Winters taught Sam how to kill the lingering food smells in her microwave (take a bowl of water, add a few drops of vanilla extract, and heat it in the microwave). Do you have any useful household hints to pass along?  
I'm gonna try that, thanks, Sam! My useful hint for keeping a house spotless at all times? Don't get married and have a boatload of children. Husbands and kids are MESSY.
4) The French word for "mother" is "mère." What other French words do you know?  
I know a lot of French words, and some Creole, too, so I can greet and chat with the Haitian people I encounter here in Miami. I love learning new languages and can speak bits and pieces of more than a dozen. New research shows that speaking more than one language staves off the onset of Alzheimer's, and since I'm always concerned with my mental health, I'm all about it!
5) Flowers and plants are popular on Mother's Day. How is your yard or garden? Is it green and/or blooming?
Oh, God, no. Since Hubs has had all these issues with his brain tumor and surgery to remove it in February, and I do not know how to mow the lawn (never got taught), our yard hasn't been mowed a single time since we moved in here a year ago. I just got us a new electric Black & Decker mower off Listia, though, so that beastly yard will soon be tamed by one or the other of us. As far as gardening? Surely you jest. I have the blackest thumb possible.

6) Mother's Day is a big holiday for card shops. So are birthdays, weddings, and St. Patrick's Day. Hallmark sells greetings for everything from "Congratulations on Your New Job" to "Happy Retirement." Who received the most recent card you bought?  
I don't buy cards; I make my own. Unless you want to count gift cards, and then that would probaby be my niece, Hanna Leigh. She's soon to have another birthday, next week, so she'll probably gain another one from me, too! As for store-bought cards, I just got one for Mother's Day myself, from my dad, and the sentiment was so touching it actually made me tear up. Way to go, Dad!
7) Have you put away your winter clothes yet?
Have I mentioned we moved to Miami? I'm still working on unpacking and getting rid of things we no longer need, but winter clothes were among the first things to be given away! (Which was kind of a shot in the foot when we recently visited freezing-cold Virginia back in early March. All our friends were scrambling to clothe the five of us - but they did it!)
8) Mother Winters used to scold Sam for leaving her dirty dishes in the sink. Sam admits it: as a grown up, she's still a bit of a slob. Do lean toward "neat" or "messy?"
I lean toward being a neat mess. I compartmentalize wonderfully, and as for chores, I get around to them when I get around to them. I'm more messy than my upbringing would have dictated, but I'm far neater than any of the rest of the slobs I live with, and that drives my anxiety through the roof.
9) To celebrate Mother's Day, Sam is giving away candy bars. Would you prefer classic milk chocolate, dark chocolate or milk chocolate with almonds?
Well, as you read, I like to keep up with the latest research, and that dictates that an ounce or so of the darkest chocolate every day is good or many aspects of one's health. However, since it's Mother's Day, and I'm a mother four times over, I'm going to pick out on an entire milk chocolate with almonds bar, please and thanks!
Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday 9: Blues In the Night


Link up here if you're playing along today!

Saturday 9: Blues in the Night (1952)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) Was last night a good night for you? Or were you singing the blues?

Last night was pretty good. I finally saw the neurosurgeon, who said the lesion in my brain was probably a birth defect, a cyst that developed while I was a fetus, and nothing to worry about. I have to get it re-checked with another MRI in six months, but he didn't expect any changes. PHEW! I was so happy and relieved to hear that, and it set the tone for the rest of the day.

2) In this song, Rosemary Clooney sings about hearing "big talk" she didn't quite believe. What's the last fib, tall tale or out-and-out lie you heard?

It was probably one I told, and that's all I can or will say about that! ;)

3) Rosemary Clooney has a well-known nephew -- George, the Oscar winner and frequent People magazine cover story. Do you have any nieces or nephews?

I have several. I have two nieces from my sister, and one of each from both Hubs' brother and half-sister. They're all wonderful and beautiful kiddos!

4) Ms. Clooney married the same man twice. They married, had five children and divorced. Then three years later, they tried again ... and divorced again. Have you ever been tempted to give it another try with one of your former loves?

Sure I have. My high school boyfriend, Benji, and I tried again while I was in college. It wasn't meant to be; we're just two very different people. We are still friends, though.

5) Singers as diverse as Linda Ronstadt, Bette Midler and Amy Winehouse have said they admired and were influenced by Rosemary Clooney. If you could meet any artist (singer, writer, actor, director, painter, musician ...), who would it be?

I'm gonna list one for each of those listed categories:

Singer - Right now, I'm crushing on Ed Sheeran, not necessarily (just?) for looks but for his artistic bent.

Writer - Not only because of proximity to his beloved Key West, I'd go with Ernest Hemingway.

Actor - I have a thing for Matt Damon, so he'd be my choice. He lives near here, too, but I shan't stalk him, don't worry! ;)

Director - I'd love to pick the brain of Sofia Coppola.

Painter - It would be great to get to really know, as if anyone could do that, the great Vincent van Gogh, because we are similar in personality. I won't cut off my own ear anytime soon, but we have the same Personality Type. I'm self-sabotaging and am doing my damnedest not to die the same way he did.

Musician - Eric Clapton, hands down, whom I've loved for a couple decades now.

I'll add Romero Britto, my favorite fine artist, who ALSO can be found 'round these parts. He's probably the one I stand the best chance of actually meeting one day, too! Wish me luck and stuff.

6) 1952, the year this record was a hit, is also the year the "Big Bang Theory" was introduced by physicists Ralph Alpher and George Gamow. That is too lofty a topic for this humble meme, so instead we'll just ask: Do you watch the TV show of the same name? 

Hahaha... I was all getting ready to discuss the theory, too. BAZINGA! The show is (was) my favorite and what I miss terribly about not having television service for the past four or five years. I'll have to catch up online one day, I suppose. Right now, though, I'm binge-watching Dexter, and I'm on Season 6. I really connect with Dexter and have my own dark passenger, but this one doesn't want to harm anyone but my own self. :\

7) Sam Winters just broke her right thumbnail. While she won't go so far as saying it has her singing the blues, she must admit it bugs her. What little annoyances are you dealing with today?

My chin is breaking out, and it's driving me crazy. Not just because I'm 37, but hello, I've always had great skin. I don't want to start dealing with that crap now, FPS.

8) The house next door to Sam's has a FOR SALE on the lawn. Are you contemplating a move?

We just moved a year ago, so no plans anytime soon for another move. Hubs and I still retain our pipe dream of living on a boat, though. He'll have to get much better healthwise, though, before that can happen... and so will our bank account! ;)

9) What's your search engine of choice: Google, Bing, Yahoo or Ask? 

None of the above. I always use Swagbucks, so that I can get money back from my searches. I get about $10 in gift cards each month, which helps!

Thanks for stopping by!


Friday Fragments, Version 5.2.14

Half-Past Kissin' Time

Link up here if you've got some brain gems to deposit on us this morning!

So today's the day. I'm headed to the neurosurgeon, CT and MRI images from the last month in hand, to discuss what this means for Ye Olde-Fashioned Cerebrum. I'm nervous, as the lesion that I have can explain some of my symptoms of psychosis, which we've been explaining away as part of my Bipolar I diagnosis. Plus, the vain part of me just doesn't want to shave my head - again! 

I'm on the fence, and this morning's neuro visit may help me make the decision, but I'm strongly considering putting the kids back in public school in the fall. It kind of breaks my heart a little bit, but I feel like, especially as they age up (Chloë will be 13 {!!!!} then), they need more than I am able to give them. I want to give them the best possible chance at success - however they may choose to define it - in life, and deep down, I feel like homeschooling is letting them down in that regard. I don't know. No need to weigh in with your thoughts on this one; I don't really want outside input at this point.

Why do they ruin awesome songs by overplaying them? It's no secret I'm a Top 40 pop music fan, so of course all the songs I listen to are generally overplayed, but it seems like every other song on the radio is John Legend's "All of Me." I adore it, but I'm ready for it to fade out a little bit.

Our washing machine is on the fritz, and we're out of clean towels. Rob has tried, unsuccesfully, to repair it, which sucks. I do not relish the idea of hitting up a laundromat while we wait for a repair!

I've stalled on writing my book. I've written out the whole outline and know pretty much exactly what the whole book will say. It's just a matter of taking the time to get the words out of my head and into print. With due diligence, though, I just know it can be great. 

I did something quite naughty on Facebook a couple of days ago. I tagged my childhood tormentor in one of her own pictures as "The Face of Evil." Of course, she will have to - and won't - approve it, but in the moment, I felt better. Now, I just wish I hadn't put myself out there like that.

I got a new bike! It's adorable:


I'm having fun riding it around the nabe. I hadn't ridden a bike in about 17 years, so I'm a bit wobbly and have wiped out once, but it's good times!

Team Odette went out to Miami Beach last night for a dinner mystery shop. I was supposed to stage a complaint; I didn't have to fake one, though, as there were copious problems along the way. And Rob thought the staff were all condescending hipsters, whereas I thought... they were pretty cool. We often have widely disparate perceptions of such things, which I find interesting. Also, for the amount of money people pay to live and visit South Beach, you'd think the roads wouldn't be so completely sucktastic! Anyway, here's a selfie the lady babies and I took while there:


Have a great day, you guys. Thanks for stopping by!