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Entries from October 2014

LAB: The Diet Coke And Mentos Experiment!

Intrigued by this drawing of Sophia's from last week:


and the subsequent comments after sharing it on Facebook, we decided to conduct our own such experiment.


But first, we picked up Victoria and went to the beach at nearby Biscayne National Park - free for military members and retirees! The kids had a great time, and we saw lots of fishes. Sophie swore up and down that there was a barracuda in the water, so I got up off my duff and ran into the water to see. Well, sure enough, there was a 2'-long narrow-bodied, slowly-hanging-'round fish, but I could not get a good enough eyeball of it to verify its cuda-ness. 

Also, I had asked Chlo to take a bath the night before we went, but Sophia reminded her that not bathing would grant her a chance at a remora cleaning. Our first time there, 18 months ago, a remora came over and cleaned me. No such luck this time, but she did take that bath, so... Anyway.


On the way home from Remora Beach (our nickname for the park), we picked up some Dominos Pizza and headed home for lunch. When everyone was done, I set up the lab: I had two different kinds of Mentos, "Mint," with a blue wrapper, and Spearmint with green. I had seven different drinks, including two bottles of Diet Coke - one for each type of Mentos.

I asked the Hubs to step up and deposit the first round of blue Mint Mentos into the first bottle of Diet Coke, with the kids standing nearby wearing sunglasses for in lieu of safety goggles. He was happy to oblige.


Hee. He got about five of the eight or 10 mints I gave him into the bottle before it whooshed up into his face, giving him a thorough soaking. Fortunately, he wasn't hurt and laughed it off. The kids, whom I hadn't told anything about what to expect, were in hysterics.

I had asked them for hypotheses beforehand, and their guesses ranged from "nothing" to "the bottle will fall over" to the correct "there will be an explosion, and it will splash all over the place."


Chloe bravely stepped up to insert the Spearmint candies into the second bottle of Diet Coke, but not before I asked for a second round of hypotheses. Everyone thought that the Spearmint would produce an even stronger reaction than the Mint, but they were wrong. It was still pretty impressive, but the plain "Mint" flavor produced a stronger reaction.

{If you're going to replicate this test, I would suggest just sticking with Mint and trying the Fruit flavors as well. They're supposed to work similarly, which I was surprised to read.}


Sophie stepped up to dump the next round of blue Mint Mentos into a bottle of Sierra Mist.

Hypotheses: "No reaction" to "even stronger yet" because of the acidity in the lemon-lime soda (my interpretation of their guesses).


Results: Same reaction as the Diet Coke. Why? My four students guessed it was because of a mix of the sugar in the soda and sugar in the mints. Huh. Interesting.


Sophia, that crazy kook of a kid, ran in to the reaction to get a drink of Sierra Mist. That goose is just like her zany (we'll call it that for today, m'kay?) mother!


Jack was up next. The kids predicted that the green mentos would react in a manner identical to the blue mentos in the Sierra Mist. 

They were wrong! The reaction was much weaker. Why? They guessed it was because there was less sugar. Hmm... Onwards.


Sophia, again, ran into the explosion for a taste. That girl! She got a little scolding for that. Hey, it was ruining my shot! ;)


Finally, it was Victoria's turn to drop some blue Mentos into our next victim: a 2-L bottle of Diet Mountain Dew. (Oh, the sacrifices I'll make for their education.)

Hypotheses: "We have no idea," was the collective response to my query!


Results: There was less reaction than with the Diet Coke, but we used fewer mints. SO we decided more mints might make a stronger reaction, and I privately decided that the controls were all over the map on this "scientific experiment"! Since this was mainly for fun, and I didn't make them do a write-up on it, I cast the concern out of my head and decided to proceed.

The kids thought that maybe the lemon-lime flavors over cola flavors were a factor, but they weren't ready to put a name to the reason.


Chloe stepped up to the plate again, to drop some Spearmint Mentos into the Dr. Pepper.

Hypotheses: "It has the most sugar, so this will be the strongest reaction yet."

Results: Nope, Diet Coke was much stronger. They started to theorize that the fake sugar in the Diet Coke had something to do with the reaction. Interesting.


Seventh, we mixed Mint Mentos with full-sugar Coca-Cola. 

Hypotheses: "This will be stronger than Diet Coke, because it has more sugar."

Hm. Apparently the Dr. Pepper taught us not so much?

Results: A good strong reaction, but much, much weaker than Diet Coke with Mint Mentos. We decided fake sugar must definitely have something to do with this reaction.


Last up, Victoria stepped up to the plate to deposit some Spearmint Mentos into a bottle of Hawaiian Punch - but not before I asked for one last round of guesses.

The kids talked amongst themselves before coming to the unanimous decision that there would be NO reaction. They cast aside the sugar/fake sugar thought for a moment and decided that carbonation would be key here, and since there wasn't any, there couldn't be a reaction.


Victoria stood by as... nothing happened. Nothing at all.

They were right, by golly!

So, in the end, though we didn't look up and talk about the science behind the Mentos-and-Diet Coke reaction, the kids decided it had something to do with the kind of sugar or sugar substitute that was in the liquid, and the fact that it was carbonated. 

They're right on both counts.

But there is a bit more to it than that. You can read up on the science here, and/or watch the video with which I opened this post. 

The kids want to try again with carbonated water, with Splenda or some other sugar sub added. I think it will be interesting to see what happens.


Poor, lonely, non-reactive Hawaiian Punch

In the end, the kids had a real blast (pun maybe intended?!) and had a good time getting to know each other better, before Victoria joins us full-time on Monday. What a great way to get started!

Thanks for stopping by.


P.S. Kudos to Gus, our property manager, for stopping by after he "saw some kids playing outside during school hours." I quickly explained what we were doing, and that we were homeschoolers. He nodded, said, "Good for you. Go ahead, then," and drove away...


Kiwi Crate Crafts, Part Deux

(Again, this post and that last one were not compensated posts; I just want to share!)

We did the second set of Kiwi Crates today. I had planned to save all six boxes for Advent, but the kids saw them, and that plan went right out the window. Ah, well.


Jack's second Crate was Fun With Flight, which included a rocket craft and a flying kite craft.


I didn't help the kids at all, and perhaps I should have, because there was a bit of difficulty with this. It didn't "rocket" off the base, and he was so pissy bummed about it, he refused to even try the kites activity. Perhaps we can try it another day?


Sophie's Crate was Wild Safari, which included My Safari Jeep and My Safari Search.


The Jeep gave her a bit of trouble at first, but I encouraged her to put it aside and stop thinking about it, going instead to the second activity. By George, it seems to have done the trick!


She had great fun making, arranging, and rearranging her safari animals! She created the stamps herself, and in the blink of an eye, she was finished. I think these critters will be sticking around for a while. 

(Also, she had some Webkinz cats that made an appearance and took a ride around in the Jeep. Or two. Or ten.)


Curls' Crate, Around the World, included a flag banner and a world map game.


The banner was really fun to make, and she did a great job, I think. She's a perfectionist like her mom, though, so she kept complaining about minor flaws in her work. :(


The map craft included a fun game, and all three kids played a kind of geography BINGO together. When Victoria joins us next week, maybe she'll play, too.

Overall, it was a great set of Kiwi Crates - and if you'd like a free $10 toward your first order, click on over here to get it!

Thanks for stopping by!



Wordless Wednesday: Kiwi Crate Crafts

Link up here if you're wordless (or hey, wordful) today!


My kiddos LOVE getting Kiwi Crate projects in the mail. We don't do it regularly anymore, but I got a great deal on some crates, so I bought two for each child. Last night, I got the inevitable "I'm bored" from Sophia, so though I had intended them for Advent activities, I decided to let them each do one. Sophia chose her rainforest crate.


Each crate came with a magazine for extra expansion activities on the topic, and Sophie got started by reading about hers. I could tell she was getting excited to start creating!


Jack came over and wanted to know what we were doing, so I let him pick: he chose the Robot crate.


Chloe (I got a new keyboard and can't figure out how to put the dots over her "e" yet, argh!) wandered over, finally, and decided to get busy on a craft of her own. She chose the Camping crate.


Sophia's Rainforest crate came with a rainstick-making activity, which she loved! I thought she did a great job, and it worked really well.


The crate also came with a frog-launching game, and she built it really well. Her frogs landed right where they were supposed to, in the "pond." Fun!


Chloe's crate came with a camfire-building activity that really lit up. I thought she did a great job, and though the crate was a little young for her, she enjoyed the activity. There was a backpack sunprint activity in the kit, too, but we'll have to do that during sunny hours of course!


Jack's Robot crate was really right up his alley, and you can tell from his look of concentration that he enjoyed it (which is saying quite a lot, if you know this selective kid). I made a video of his paper robot, powered by a wind-up toy, which you can see if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook. Here, his magnetic robot game moves the robot around a maze with, obviously, the power of robots. I could hear him playing with both of these in his room, after we cleaned up the crafts from the living room. Pretty cool!

If you like these and want to check out Kiwi Crate, here's my referral link for $10 off your first order. They have tons more crates available for all ages, and my kids have always enjoyed them. (Note: this post was not compensated; I just wanted to share and get back in the blogosphere game!)

Thanks for stopping by!


Field Trip: Coral Castle


Today has been a really fabulous day. We got up early and knocked out math lessons - in a new book, since we just wrapped up the last book of Math-U-See lessons, woot! - and did a writing prompt. All three kids took their spelling pre-tests, and then we picked up our pal Victoria to go on a field trip to nearby Coral Castle. Ed Leedskalnin, a 5'-tall Latvian man who built the castle in response to being dumped the day before he was to wed his "Sweet Sixteen," Agnes Scuffs. This is the sign posted at the entrance to the castle, by Ed, and it was no lie.


Jack, Chloe, Victoria, and Sophia ready and waiting for our tour to start


Tom, our tour guide, was fantastic. He was not only great with adults and kids alike, but he was thoroughly knowledgeable about the site. We really enjoyed his constantly running dialogue and trivia.


Tom pointed out that Ed charged 10-cents' admission to the castle back when he was alive. Ed died in 1951, and there are still people alive who remember him, of course. I think that is so cool, considering the castle, formerly known as "Rock Gate Park," has been compared to Stonehenge and the Egyptian Pyramids.


The girls sitting at Ed's Florida-shaped coral table, on chairs that actually used to rock, but were buried to keep people from getting injured. Each chair weighs about a half-ton each, so imagine if someone's foot got caught under it when it rocked. These aren't really coral structures at all, however, but rather limestone. Close enough, eh?


Chloe looking through the handmade telescope. If one looks through the hole in the wall, up to the pillar with the hole in it, one will find Polaris. There are crosshairs that you can't see up there, and depending on which quarter of the circle Polaris falls into, it tells you what season you're in. Amazing, to me.


Part of Ed's tools, many of which were made by hand


More of Ed's tools


Ed bunked down in this small room on top of the tool shed, so that when he slept, all of Florida's nighttime creepy crawlies didn't climb on him.


Sophia said that Ed's bed actually looked "quite comfortable." As her big sister would say, "I could not agree less!"


The three-ton gate is triangular in shape. There are no gears or bearings in the rotating mechanism. Ed balanced the gate on the axle of a Model T Ford with a Coke bottle neck on the end, through which the axle could be lubricated.


Ed's living room


This rocking chair, up high, was off limits for visitors.


Ed was a Mason, and you can see some of the Masonic symbols around the premises, including here in the throne room. Ed never did find another wife to join him in life and died alone of cancer, after suffering from tuberculosis for many years.


You may remember that we make a wish at every wishing fountain we see - of course, this was no different at Ed's wishing well. Jack said his probably wouldn't come true, so I had to know what he wished for. "LEGO sets!" he said. C'mon, Buddy, wait 'til Christmas at least...


Ed's sundial was so interesting, because it not only told a person the time of day, but also the month and season to boot. I can't tell you how much I wish I had had a chance to meet him! (Incidentally, he died at the hospital where Rob's brain surgery was, and where Victoria told me she was born.)


The second of two rock gates. This one also used to spin on a well-lubricated axle, but natural forces from our local salty climate corroded the metal inside. So engineers came and tried to fix it, but they could not. Imagine that! Ed built this place with his bare hands and no electricity decades ago, but modern technology could not replicate what he did. Wow.


The bedroom Ed built for the family he never had


Ed built this part of the castle in homage to the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.


A little reading nook


This was where Ed did his cooking. The cooker is part oven, part barbecue, and more. The fire is built in the pit; the pipe embedded below serves as a down draft, and the hole in the roof vents the smoke. The cooking pot is the rear end housing of an old Ford and hangs on a pully riding on a rail. Food was placed in the container, which seals itself when taken off the stand and pushed over the fire. It acts as a pressure cookier - another of Ed's hand-made marvels! The tour guide said it holds about a dozen hot dogs, and Ed enjoyed using it for cooking hot dogs for school children on the tour.


I hope you enjoyed this brief tour of something that one must really properly experience in person!


The kids behaved beautifully during our long and long-winded tour. Tom commented on how well they paid attention, and all the adults on the tour were impressed when Jack correctly guessed "gravity" in answer to how some of the rocks were moved. I didn't even know the answer, myself! I bought each of the kids a round of Dippin' Dots before we headed over to the library for our weekly visit.

Stay tuned, as we have LOTS more field trips coming up in future weeks!


Saturday 9: Moon River

Link up here if you're playing along today!

(And dang, those are some white teeth!)

Saturday 9: Moon River (1962)

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

1) This song is featured in a Dove candy bar commercial. What's your favorite way to enjoy chocolate (cookie, candy bar, ice cream, hot cocoa, etc.)?

Chocolate chip cookies or Lindt chocolate truffles are my faaaavorites!

2) It was originally written for the movie, Breakfast at Tiffany's. Where's the best place to eat breakfast in your neighborhood?

IHOP is right down the road. We've been there more than once at 3 AM!

3) Were you able to see the moon last night?

I haven't been out this evening, so I guess I missed it!

4) When Andy Williams' show was first telecast in color, viewers commented on how very blue his eyes were. What's the first thing you notice about a person?


I think I notice their demeanor first.

5) The Andy Williams Show gave the Osmond Brothers their first national exposure. When younger sister Marie joined the act, she made her debut on his show, as well. Let's say you have just been bumped up to first-class for a three hour flight. Which Osmond would you prefer as your seatmate, Donny or Marie?

I generally prefer mens' company over women's, so I guess Donny? Neither one greatly appeals to me, though.

6) Even though Andy was a millionaire many times over, he was still careful with money, once saying he would never pay more than $50 for a haircut. This leaves Sam shaking her head, because she spares no expense when it comes to her hair. What's something you splurge on?


I tend to splurge for my kids' sakes. I wouldn't say they were spoiled, but... well, maybe a little. ;)

7) Andy's Moon River Theater still draws tourists to Branson, MO. Have you ever been to the Ozarks?

Yes, once. We went to Branson for a resort mystery shop I did several years ago. Hubs is from Missouri, so we visited his mom and brother in the central part of the state while there, too. It was a nice trip.

8) Andy had a discerning eye for Native American art. His collection of Navajo rugs was sold at auction for nearly $1,000,000. Have you ever bid on an auction?

Only online, never in person. The in-person kind is on the bucket list! (Sheesh, that's long; I better get started!)

9) Andy told an interviewer that his earliest memory was hiding from a storm in the cellar of his family's Iowa home. What's your earliest memory?


Not this young, but I remember being a happy baby-ish girl of about three and running around my house squealing with my arms up in the air. I don't remember why; I just remember the joy.

Thanks for stopping by!



Sunday Stealing: Let's Talk Travel


Link up here if you're playing along today!

Ok let’s talk travel, do you like to travel? 

I live to travel. It's my mission in life to see everything I can see before I leave.

Where have you been? 

I can't say I've been to all those places, but I've been around the Caribbean a bunch, and we went on our European cruise in 2008. That was amazing. I lived in Guam and wanted to go to Australia and all around Asia, but alas, we didn't get to stay very long. I've been to Hawai'i, but unless the inside of the Honolulu airport is representative of the whole, then I don't count that. ;)

Next place you want to go? 

In mid-November, we'll be here (assuming I get all our passport stuff in order before then, d'oh!) at the Azul Fives resort on the Mexican Riviera. I'm super stoked!

What is something you MUST take with you when you travel? 

I have GOT to bring my phone with me, everywhere, every time. I can not stand to be that disconnected, but more importantly, I need to be able to be reached if something happens with our kids. This may be the first trip since Europe when we don't bring the laptop with us, though!

How do you like to travel? (mode of transportation)

I don't care how I get there, as long as I go...

With someone, or alone? 

I've actually never traveled by myself, and that is one thing that is not on my bucket list (I have a long list). I prefer companionship, so I can immediately share my experiences with someone and then remember them together down the road.

Do you dance in your car when there are other people with you? 

Of course I do! I have specific car-dancing moves for specific songs, too. Hubs laughs at me... but I think he enjoys my silliness. ;)

If you're quiet what does it mean? 

I'm never quiet when I'm comfortable. So if I'm quiet, it means I'm not.

Favorite scent?

My favorite scents are fruity, especially citrus, but when I smell the sea, it means I am HOME.

Least favorite scents: florals and that God-awful ubiquitous vanilla aroma. *gag*

Favorite store? 

I love any artsy-craftsy store, but Pearl in South Miami is the Bomb dot com! When I took my very last undergrad class at U. Miami, it was Design and Drawing, and I went to Pearl to get my supplies. That was in 1997, and I still get excited when I drive by that store, all these years later.

Say you wanted coffee.. what kind is your favorite?  

Lately, I've been getting the Venti Java Chip Frappuccino Light at Starbucks... and drinking about a third before I pass the rest to Rob or the kidoodles. I can never finish it and always wonder why I don't just get the Tall.

Favorite kind of pizza? 

My favorite pizza was this two-tone cherry tomato and goat cheese rustic pizza I made several months ago, using Martha Stewart magazine's dough recipe. It's a killer recipe, fo'shizzle. However, when I go out for it, I love a good margherita pizza.

I'm a New Yorker, though, so of course the best pizza in the land comes from there and must be folded in half!

Do you get embarrassed easily? 

I blush easily and can't stand being the center of attention - even positive attention makes me nervous. I hate that about me.

Do you mind people asking you personal questions? 

Oh, come now. I am the Queen of TMI. I just don't want to be on center stage when I over-divulge!

You have a tank of gas, $50, and the day off… what do you do? 

I'd probably head for the Florida Keys. I can be in Key Largo in 20 minutes. What do you want to do?

Favorite tv show?


Well, we haven't had TV service in at least 10 years, but if we did it will still be Big Bang Theory. I miss TV!

Song you turn the volume up all the way to listen to? 

"Kiss" by Prince, and yes I sing and dance to it, too! ;)

Something you keep in your car? 

I try to keep Miranda (our new-to-us 2012 Kia Sedona) an oasis of clean, since our house is decidedly not, so not much. Sophia, my 9yo, keeps her baseball stuff in the back, and I would be lost if I didn't keep my car charger in there. Literally. I must have my GPS!

 Highlight of your day? 

When Hubs worked, I would say it was when he came home. Since he's now a disabled, retired vet, he's always home now. But when he laughs... it makes me smile. Best thing in the world.

 Something you do everyday that you wish you didn’t have to do? 

Since I proclaimed myself the Queen of TMI, I guess it's now time to live up to it: I have a crazy GI tract and have been living in the bathroom especially since I got my gastric bypass surgery nearly six years ago. And our toilet... well, you have to flush it like 20 times to get stuff to go down. I spend a lot of time there, you know what I'm sayin'? (I wish diarrhea upon the idiot who invented low-flow plumbing facilities. GAH!)

 Do you mind if people just show up at your house unannounced? 

When I was in college, and my dorm room was always clean, I loved that. Now that I live with all these people - and animals - who apparently are untrainable in the realm of cleaning up their own crap... I hate it. Please call first. No, text. I don't like to answer my phone, either. :P

What do you do when you disagree with someone? 

I'm always right. The End. (You know that saying, "Would you rather be right or be happy?"? I have to say that to myself a lot... 'cause of course I'd rather be happy!)

Do you enjoy rain? 

I love the rain. I do. Because without it, there would be no rainbows. (It goes without saying that I love the sun shining, too, right?)

Who’s your favorite person in the whole world… besides me?


I love my hubs more than anyone on the planet. He is everything that matters to me, or he helped me create it. Even though he's dain-bramaged now, and different, and stuff... without him, I would be nothing and no one. He's my gift, and I know I got the better end of the deal in this relationship. I'm keeping him forever. Love you, Babe!

Thanks for stopping by!




Saturday 9: The Power Of Love

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

Saturday 9: The Power of Love (1985)

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

1) In this song, Huey explains that you don't need a credit card to find love. What's the last thing you charged? 

Charged? You say that like we have credit cards. (We don't.)

2) This song was written for Back to the Future. At the beginning of the movie, hero Marty McFly traveled around town on his skateboard. Are you good on a skateboard?

Heavens, no. I have never stood on one without holding on desperately to the real owner of the board.

3) Huey sings lead and his backup group is The News. Was the most recent news you heard bad or good?

Good! Very good, actually: I was invited for rock-bottom prices to a happiness seminar on the Mexican Riviera - and we're going, next month! I'm stoked!!

4) Huey's mother, Maria, was born in Poland. Who is the first member of your family to be born in the US of A?

My dad's family was all from the Caribbean island of Saba, and his dad, my grandfather (whom I never got to meet), came here. Pretty cool, IMHO.

5) Brainy Huey got a perfect score on the math portion of the SAT. Did you take the SAT? How did you do?

He did?! I didn't know that. I got a 790 out of 800 on the math portion, so almost perfect, but not quite. And 710/800 on the verbal. Oh wait, that was my GRE for getting into the Ph.D. program... I got a 1300 on the SAT, but I don't remember individual section scores.

6) This song also hit #1 in Australia, where anzac biscuits are popular. To make them (the recipe is here) you need coconut. Do you have any coconut in your home right now?

I don't think so... though I love it. Chocolate coconut patties are my faves!

7) Thinking of dessert, would you rather have cookies, cake, pie, ice cream or frozen yogurt?

None of the above. I'll take authentic Sicilian cannoli instead, please, or in a pinch, Cuban guava and cheese pastelitos.

8) We're definitely into autumn now. What will you remember most about Summer 2014?

My 20th high school reunion happened. That was a pretty great trip.

9) Tell us your superhero name, as determined by the color of your shirt and an item directly to your right. For example, Sam fights crime as The Gold Kleenex Box!

Shimmery Galaxy for me? I'll take it.

Thanks for stopping by! 


P.S. I was serious about the cannoli. Bring two.

Wordless Wednesday: Paco, 4 Months

Link up here if you're Wordless today!


This little guy, who we've named Paco in recognition of his Mexican descent, joined our family on September 11th at 12 weeks old. He's now about 17 weeks, and aside from having a hard time moving from the puppy pads on which he was originally trained to going potty outside, he's absolutely darling. 


He's 4.2 lbs now, but he was a pound lighter when we got him, so he's really chunking up! No, he's not fat at all, I kid. He's actually growing, though he's still so impossibly tiny. He LOVES to play, both with his people and with Pepper:


Pepper, for his part just puts up with Paco to the extreme. He bats back at him, which is hilarious, and then he just trots away when he's had enough. 

I've been wanting a Chihuahua puppy for some 35 years, and Rob let me get him for my 38th birthday. I adore him... and while it's clear he loves me, too, he's chosen Rob as his person. They're two peas in a pod!

Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday Stealing: Random Questions Meme

Link up here if you're playing along today!

  [Random Questions] 

Who were you with yesterday?

Hubs and I visited with Marc, in the wheelchair, and his wife Jenna. We brought them a pizza from a mystery shop I had just done, and we chatted for almost two hours. Paco, our new Chihuahua puppy, came along for the ride. Good times with good folks!

 What woke you up this morning?

Nothing. I got up at the crack of 2 PM after suffering through 'til then with an awful migraine. It seems to be on its way out now, finally...

 Where are you?

Down there in Homestead. I'm sitting at my desk with nary a stitch of clothing on. Not a pretty picture; please don't knock on the door right now! ;)

 Is tomorrow going to be a good day?


It should be pretty good, I hope. Teaching the kiddos, a few errands, and baseball practice for Sophia. I've really come to enjoy going to baseball - probably more than she does - because I've become good friends with several of the parents. I look forward to it!

What’s on your mind RIGHT NOW?

GEICO is on my mind right now. Hubs is talking to them to negotiate our new car insurance, and because of my accident in July, it's not going to be a great quote. Gah.

Do you listen to music every day?

Every. Single. Day.

 Are you a fast typer?

Typing alone Funny pictures

I am, but like in the comic, I get nervous when people are watching me! I'm normally about 70+WPM.

 Whats your favorite type of soda?

You know, I used to visit the nearby 7-Eleven about eight times a day to fill up my giant keg with Diet Coke or Diet Mt. Dew, but they messed it up, and I won't go there anymore: They put regular Mt. Dew in the Diet (hello, have they never heard of diabetics and the rest of us who can't have real sugar?!!?), and I got super sick. And they put Coke Zero in with the Diet Coke, which tastes like absolute badness. From now on, I'll just buy it in cans and bottles like regular folk. Bah.

Have you ever won an award?

I should get this one; I never answer my phone and am hard to pin down. Heh. But yes, I have. I've mentioned it here before; my favorite award was for Class Giggler in 3rd Grade. I think I still have the certificate!

 Are you listening to music right now?

Nope, because between Hubs' "shh-shhing" everyone while he's on the phone with GEICO, and my migraine, I dare not.

 How long ’till your birthday?

A LOOONG time. I just turned 38 in September. My birthday is 9/8/76. Don't forget. ;)

 Do you use eBay to buy or sell?

Occasionally, but not on the regular or anything. I do both - buy & sell.

 Who makes you mad?

Slow drivers, especially: (1) Those who take eighty years to make that right turn in front of me, (2) Those driving 15 MPH under the speed limit, and (3) Those driving 15 MPH under the speed limit in the LEFT LANE on the highway. GAH!!! (No road rage here, nope!)

 What do you do when you’re mad?

I have a foul mouth. I say a lot of bad words. I'm trying to quit... kinda.

 Do certain songs make you cry?

It takes a LOT to make me cry. My meds for bipolar disorder usually take away that ability. It has to be something pretty epic.

 Are you usually a happy person?

I was born quite happy, yes. My dad's nickname for me as a kid was "Joyous." But now... when I'm manic, sure. I'm jolly then.

 What makes you the happiest?

My family makes me happiest, particularly when they're enjoying themselves. And giving. I love to give. It gives me true joy.

 Do you believe in yourself?


No, not really. It's not my strong suit. :\


Thanks for stopping by! Have a great week! 



Saturday 9: Put A Ring On It

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Saturday 9: Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) (2008)

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

1) Are the majority of your friends married or single?

Most of my friends are married with children.

2) Rings are one of the items most frequently pawned. Have you ever visited a pawn shop, either to sell or to buy?

It's on my bucket list; I haven't been yet. (Dang, I have a lot on that list.)

3) Let's say we want to put a ring on it: What's your ring size? 

It's about a six. When we got married, I got a size 8 ring, and I had to stop wearing it when I ballooned up so huge. When I lost all the weight, we had to get it sized down. It's a problem; now my finger swell up a lot when I'm hot, and shrink when I'm cold, so I'm forever taking the dang things off... #TheStruggleIsReal

4) Beyonce does commercials for Pepsi. What's the last beverage you drank?

I'm drinking Diet Coke on the rocks right now.

5) Beyonce also has a clothing line. What are you wearing right now?

I'm wearing one of about six or eight wrap skirts/dresses/tied shirts I got from Key West (though they're made in India of silk) on various trips down to Duval Street over the past 18 months, and a shirt to match. This particular outfit is reminiscent of the sea, in shades of blues and greens (my favorite).

6) Speaking of clothes, Sam was changing hers this morning when she unintentionally flashed her neighbor. She didn't realize he was working along the fence that runs under her bedroom window. Tell us one of your most embarrassing moments.

Oh gosh, I have so many. I am sure it's far from my most embarrassing, but after I had Sophia, our youngest, I had terrible hemmorhoids. I eventually went to the doctor for it, but before that, I went to the store to get some Preparation H or something like that. I told Chloe, our oldest who was 3.5yo at the time, that we had to go get Mommy some "butt medicine." So when we got to the store and I picked it up off the shelf, sure enough, Chloe said loudly enough for plenty of people to hear, "Is that your butt medicine, Mommy??!!!" Yes. Yes, it was. I learned not to tell Chlo everything at home after that...

7)  Rumor has it Beyonce is pregnant again. Coincidentally, Sam needs to check the Babies R Us registry for a shower present. Who will receive the next gift you give?

I love giving gifts! Today is my BFF, Dr. Lisa's birthday. I sent her flowers; she actually got them yesterday and was thrilled. She said it made her day, which in turn made mine.

8) But Sam doesn't actually want to go to the shower and is trying to come up a good excuse. Tell us a time you fibbed you told to get out of doing something.

Let's just say that it's pretty convenient to suffer from frequent migraines when everybody knows it... ;)

9) When did you last go inside the bank and talk to a teller?

In May or June, we got a check that had to be taken to the bank to be cashed. We use USAA, which doesn't really have physical locations, so going to the bank is quite a rarity 'round these parts!

Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday Stealing: Random 20 Meme

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Random 20

1. Have you had an argument with anyone recently? If so, do you still have issues with that person?


I haven't had any arguments with anyone in a while, which is kind of unusual since I'm the annoying, argumentative type. Woot.

2. Are you talking to anyone while filling this in? How about texting/chatting on Facebook

Sophia's been up for the past hour, keeping me company while I work on my  mystery shop reports and now this. She's been entertaining our new puppy, Paco, and is now playing Minecraft on her Kindle. For some reason, all of our three kids, who love Minecraft, feel the need to tell me every detail of what they're doing in the game. I am not a fan of this, but I play along anyway in an attempt to make them feel like their interests are important to me, too!

3. Have you done something recently that helped someone else, in any way? 

Yeah, I guess: Marcos, who runs Sophia's extraordinary baseball league, is a huge fan of Coke. I'm always lugging my giant "keg" of Diet Coke around from 7-Eleven, and he was super impressed when he first saw it, sharing his love of the brand with me. So I bring him one every time we go to baseball. On Monday, we were headed over for practice, when the sky opened up and a deluge hit. It's a 45-minute drive for us, so I checked my email, and sure enough, practice was canceled. However, I was almost at the ball park and knew Marcos would be there helping out anyway. I dashed out in the rain, gave him his Coke, smiled and left with him going, "What is WRONG with you?!!" Hahaha. I enjoyed that.

4. Who was the last person to pay you a compliment? 

I took my daughter, Chloe, and my son, Jack, to me for mystery shops up to Boca Raton yesterday afternoon and evening. Sophia and Hubs weren't feeling well, so they stayed home. Anyway, the shops were tons of fun, and we had a really good time, just the three of us. Jack, who has been notoriously grumpy since the day he was born, actually admitted to having had fun on the way home. He told me, "You're a fun mom," which I think literally made my heart melt a wee bitty bit.

 5. Is there anything that’s happened in the past month, that you wish you could go back in time and change? 

Absolutely! But it's nothing I did, for once. ;) My great friends, Marc - who has always been like a big brother to me for the nearly-2o years I've known him - and his family are struggling greatly. You can read about parts of their struggle here on this fundraiser I started for them. Their current wheelchair-accesible van is currently nearly inoperable, and the family is really having a hard time and totally stressed out because of it. I wish I could undo this latest step in the struggle for them, I really do.

 6. What colour is your purse/wallet? 

 I wear a black cross-over satchel from my favorite bag band, thirty-one. I have a brown one, too, but it's missing in action since we came back from New York. Goodness knows what I left in it, so I hope it turns up sooner rather than later!

7. What’s the closest item to you that’s black? 

My behemoth of a printer, the HP Officejet Pro 8620 I replaced my old Officejet Pieceocrap with. It's huge and takes up an enormous amount of space, but so far I love it. I just wish I could use it with HP's Instant Ink program, but alas, we can't have everything, can we? 

8. Think about what you looked like 5 years ago. How did you look different, compared to the way you look now? 

I am more than five years, 8 months out from my banded gastric bypass surgery, so I'm not quite as dramatically different-looking than I was six years ago, but I was still quite a bit away from my goal weight. Hopefully, a year from today, I will be looking even better, since a trip to Mexico to have extensive plastic surgery is in the plans for our next tax refund... Hey, when you rapidly shed over 200 lbs, thinks look pretty ghastly in there.

 9. Before Facebook became popular, did you use any other social networking site, like Bebo or Myspace?  

I don't know what a Bebo is. I used to have a MySpace; I wonder if I could still log in. I don't care to try, though.

10. Has someone of the opposite sex ever sung to you? If so, how did you respond to it? 


When I was in my senior year of high school and first two years of college, my then-boyfriend Michael used to sing to me all the time. He wasn't quite as good as he thought he was, and one time I accidentally let out a giggle. He never sung to me again after that.  I rather enjoyed it, even though he was no Bruno Mars.

11. When did you last hug someone of the opposite sex? 


Does hugging this cutie, Paco, our Chihuahua puppy, count? Because if so, I gave him plenty of loving just a few minutes ago. He's a mush; I can't stand how adorable he is! 

 12. Have you ever seen the film Casablanca? Did you like it? 


I often quote lines from the movie when they make little sense to anyone but Hubs and me, since we're on the same wavelength like that. And I'm not a big movie-line-quoter at all. So yeah; I liked it.

13. Do you have a relative whose name begins with ‘L’? Tell me about him/her. 

Other than that ^^^ former stepmother of mine, I can only thing of middle names of relatives with an "L" out front. And that doesn't count, right?!

 14. Are you a secretive person? 

My sister rightfully called me the "Queen of TMI" yesterday, which is my self-appointment nickname. Me? Secretive? Uh, noooo.

 15. When did you last eat? 

I had a piece of leftover Papa Johns' pineapple pizza when I woke up before five this morning. Not much is better than cold pizza for breakfast, says I. 

16. If you were going to buy a present for a special person, what would you generally choose? 

Hubs had one request on our last visit to Key West a week and a half ago: a necklace with a hei matau (above) on it. It's supposed to be a good luck charm for fishermen and sailors, he says. Try asking sales people for that when you can neither remember the words nor pronounce them properly when you can. Nevertheless, I actually found one in the traditional bone color he requested at a kiosk on Duval street. SCORE! He was beaming for the rest of the trip.

 17. If I’m going to buy you a box of chocolates, which kind should I definitely NOT get? 

Stay away from anything white "chocolate," because eww. Do you like that crap? I can't relate. My favorite chocolate, which I can never find except in actual Lindt stores to which I rarely go, is Lindor Peanut Butter truffles. Hello, and get in my belly.

 18. Is there something you generally always ask for help with? 

Thank God for my friends Stephanie and Tim, because Tim is a total computer geek who actually likes (or so Steph says) helping me with my billion-and-one computer tech problems. He helped me pick out my new HP Envy, which is awesome, compared to the eMachine Pieceofcrap I replaced. That one is at Best Buy getting wiped for data, and then they can drop-kick the beast off the roof for all I care!

 19. If you had to give up your phone or your computer, which would it be? 


I would hate to give up either one - hey, I love to be constantly connected - but I guess it would have to be my PC, since my awesome, amazing Samsung Galaxy S5 technically can do everything that my PC can do. Except I can't figure out how to print from it, which is my only issue. There's probably an app for that; Tim???

 20. Has anyone called you gorgeous/beautiful today?


It's not even daylight yet, and I've been working on mystery shop reports for two hours. I'm not exactly looking gorgeous yet today. I'll keep you posted on that one! ;P

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Thanks for stopping by! Have a great week, y'all.


Saturday 9: Rubber Ducky

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Saturday 9: Rubber Ducky (1970)

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

1) This song is sung by Muppet Ernie. Who's your favorite Muppet?

Swedish Chef! (And I have to say, it cracks me up that this is this week's song. Hee.)

2) Ernie became famous on PBS's Sesame Street. What public television shows do you watch?

I don't watch any TV unless we're at someone's house with tv, or in a hotel or something. We don't get tv service at home.

3) When you were a little kid, what was your favorite TV show?

The Dukes of Hazzard

4) On Sesame Street, Ernie frequently teases his best friend Bert by stealing his nose. Do you enjoy practical jokes?

I enjoy being teased by my husband. It cracks me up immensely, and I'm grateful that, despite his many difficulties, he's still able to do this. As for practical jokes, I haven't had too many played on me. I have a feeling I'd act like a total ass if something happened to me!!

5) Sesame Street creators developed carefree Ernie and serious Bert to show children that different types of people can be good friends. Think about your closest friend. Tell us how you two differ. 

Dr. Lisa is a good, moral, upstanding Christian who rarely swears and doesn't say "wrong" things. I try to be like that, but I fail on the regular.

6) Bert and Ernie share a basement apartment on Sesame Street. Tell us about the basement of the building you're in right now. 

We live in Miami-Dade County. I haven't seen a basement in Florida in... ever.

7) Ernie and Bert were created by Jim Henson. In addition to being an accomplished puppeteer, Mr. Henson was also a talented cartoonist. Can you draw?  

I do okay, but I'm not fabulous at it. My daughter, Sophia, is really emerging as an excellent cartoonist and drawist (drawer??); I try to encourage that by supplying her with all the paper she can handle!

8) Jim Henson made his first puppets himself using felt, foam rubber, string and rods -- all items that can be purchased at an arts and crafts store. When is the last time you shopped in an arts and crafts store? 

A month or so ago, at Michael's. We bought a shark costume for my daughter Chloe's pet cat, but it turned out Pepper was WAAAAY too big for the costume, and I had to take it back. He's not fat. He's just... fluffy.

9) When is the last time you took a bath (as opposed to a shower)? 

Two days ago. I take baths regularly because I'm anemic and always cold, and the baths help warm me up, albeit temporarily.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great weekend.