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Entries from September 2018

Sunday Stealing: Identity Crisis

Hey, guys, welcome back! Between my computer continuously shutting off (and not saving my post) halfway through writing this, and not realizing all your beloved Typepad comments were going straight to Spam, I gave up on writing this last night and then forgot I didn't post. So this one will be a rare quickie from me, I think.

Link up here if you'd like to play along with us this week!


1: Favorite style of clothing
I like a nice, flowing boho skirt (I'm wearing a plum-colored one now, actually), and a flowing, loose boho top the best. I think I'd have made a great flower child. ;)

2: Do I ever get “good morning” or “good night ” texts?
Rarely, unless I'm spending the night in the hospital, since everyone I'd get one from is usually right here with me

3: Have I ever kissed the last person I texted?
The last person I texted was Hubs, and we have done quite a lot of kissing. None yet today, though

4: When did I last hold hands?
Hubs and I hold hands whenever we're tooling around in the car anywhere. I'll probably hold his hand when I'm driving us to our family Seton Spot visit in a little while.

5: How long does it take me to get ready in the morning?
I like to start getting ready to go about an hour beforehand. That way I don't have to rush and can take my sweet time, because I tend to get dizzy, lose my balance, and fall. Last time I fell in the shower. I don't wish to repeat that experience!

6: Have I shaved my legs in the past three days?
It was probably three days ago exactly, but yeah.

7: Where am I right now?
I'm sitting on the couch of the living room, watching everyone get ready and the dog bark at the cat who thinks it's a good idea to run through the living room every now and again. This is a mischievous cat; my guess is she does it specifically to get the dog all riled up!

8: Do I have someone of the opposite sex I can tell everything to?
Hubs is really my very best friend. Everything I have to tell, I tell him. There are no secrets.

9: How often do I wear a fake smile?
I'm really horrible at inane small talk, so in a forced interaction like that, I probably do have one.

10: When was the last time I hugged someone?
Last night, Sophia (my 13yo youngest) put me to bed and then came in for a good squeeze. I usually stay up until I'm drop-dead exhausted, and by that point I'm usually well-confused and don't know well enough to get to bed on my own. It's a frustrating existing, but there it is. Anyway, Soph got the last hug.

11: Is there anyone I trust even though I should not?
Probably. I usually trust easily and often until it's obvious I shouldn't have. For a person of my age, I'm still quite naïve.

12: What is something I disliked about today?
I've been in physical therapy for three weeks, and I've now learned from it the reason why I've dealt with all my joints popping in and out of place my whole life: I have hypermobility/extra flexibility, and all those joints are loose. So the PT and I have been working on stabilizing the worst offenders: left shoulder, knees, ankles, and an upslip in my pelvis, and then strengthening those muscles. We've been using a variety of tools, like various stretches, kinesiology tape, cupping, ultrasonic massage, etc. Anyway, long story short is that the left shoulder has been dislocating all weekend, and I've been unable to get it to pop back in long enough to stabilize it with the KT tape.
13: If I could meet anyone on this earth, who would it be?
I'd love to meet be Barack Obama and ask him a billion questions. It would be a pleasure and an honor.
14: What do I think about most?
Oh, God, I don't know. I think about anything and everything under the sun! My mind never stops racing, and then you had mania and caffeine to it - wow!

15: Do I prefer to be behind the camera or in front of it?
It completely depends on how much I weigh, which is sad.

16: Do I prefer talking on the phone or video chatting online?
Oh, God, neither. I'd much rather text or email. Facebook Messenger is fine, too.

17: Do I believe in ghosts? How about aliens?
Both are firmly in the realm of "I'll believe it when I see it" for me.

18: Do I believe in magic?
I don't think so.

19: Do I believe in luck?
I'm not sure. I think I lean toward "we create our own luck."

20: What's the weather like right now?
On this September 30th, it's a clear and sunny 81ºF here in Boise, Idaho.

21: What was the last book I've read?
To be honest, I haven't read a book in ages. I've got all kinds of books - even some I've borrowed and returned to the library without reading! - and my Kindle app is full of them... I just never give myself the permission to relax and read.

22: Do I like the smell of gasoline?
Yeah, I kinda do.

23: What was the worst injury I've ever had?
They're all emotional; I'm working through some deep stuff in therapy right now. Externally, it would probably be either opening up my last C-section incision two weeks later while doing Pilates way too early, or the time I fell through a bunch of mangrove prop roots on a Biology expedition in Miami and blamed it on a shark bite to my friends. It was really bad; some people even believed me!

24: Do I spend money or save it?
I'm very undisciplined when it comes to finances. I'm horrible at saving.

25: Can I touch my nose with my tongue?
Almost but not quite. Sophie can, though.
Thanks for stopping by! I've got to run off to our Seton Spot, now.

Saturday 9: So Into You

Hey there, you! Here I am, trying to write this post for the fourth time, so give me some props for sticktoitiveness, heh? The junction where the power cord meets my laptop is worn, and I've got about eleventy pieces of medical tape holding that baby in for me. Just don't sneeze or anything, or all hope is gone.


Link up here if you want to play along this week!


Saturday 9: So Into You (1977)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here

1) The singer says that he noticed the lady in question as soon as she walked into the room. Tell us about someone who made a powerful first impression on you.

20180927 Chloe Tattoo

Chris, the guy who did Chloë's Harry Potter tattoo in August wearing full makeup, was definitely an interesting fella. I'm pretty sure we saw him in fierce drag at Boise Pride Festival in June - I may even have a picture of him! On Thursday, Chloë's tattoo had to be touched up, and it seemed to be more painful this go-'round. Chris suggested I play some music through his bluetooth speaker to distract her, so I put on one of her favorites. There they were, the two of them, he frowning in concentration and she frowning in pain, when suddenly both their faces lit up and started singing songs from the Hamilton soundtrack. It was kind of epic.

2) He sings that he's so into her, he can't think about other, more mundane things. Do you find you get easily distracted from your daily tasks? Or do you enjoy seeing your everyday chores through completion?

I mean, as with this little vest I knitted awhile back, I'm definitely a little bit of both. Okay, a lot of both. I have both startitis and finishitis. My problem isn't motivation; it's giving myself permission to rest.

3) The band took their name from Georgia's biggest city. Have you ever been to Atlanta?

I've both flown through and driven through Atlanta, but I've never really stayed in Atlanta.

4) The Atlanta Rhythm Section once played the White House. President Carter's son, Chip, was a big fan and invited them to play at his 28th birthday party. How did you celebrate your last birthday?

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Since Rob's birthday is at the very end of August, and Chloë's and mine are at the beginning of September, we're still celebrating our "birthday season" as MIL used to say. You see, there's this huge list of freebies and goodies for birthday boys and girls of all ages, and I love printing out the coupons, or screenshooting them on my phone, and making a big many-page list of all the businesses to hip up for a free piece of cheesecake, or doughnut, or whatever. Also, since some lovely individual stole my old "Co-exist" sticker off our car, Rob bought me this newer and better one for my 42nd. I love it!

5) Studio One, where the band made all their recordings, was torn down and replaced by a parking lot. Can you think of a structure that you missed, after it met with a wrecking ball?

Hm. Maybe not so much a wrecking ball as, y'know, whatever kind of equipment they use to raise all those forests for "development."

6) This song hit #7 on the US pop charts. 7 is the number most often chosen as "a lucky number." How about you? Do you have a lucky number?

I do. It's 64. I picked that when I was, like, still a toddler - I swear. Very young anyway. And I love it all these years later: It's a perfect square, made up of 16x4 - also perfect squares. Love that.

7) Today the Atlanta Rhythm Section reunites with to play at classic rock concerts. What oldies band would you love to see again?

I'm not sure about a band, but I would give my left arm to see Eric Clapton in concert!
8) In 1977, the star of NBC's Chico and the Man, Freddie Prinze, took his own life. Is there a celebrity death you found shocking?

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Kind of all of them. I have this weird relationship with the concepts of finite and infinite, especially as regards to life. The one death that really upset me the most, though, was that of Princess Diana in 1997. 

9) Random question: What word do you always misspell?

Independence - I always want to spell it -dance at the end.


A fun one! Thanks, Crazy Sam! ;)


Ten Years Back

2008 Collage (1)

I just found some fotos from this week in 2008, and wow! The kids have changed so much. Sophia was so blonde - and that cute little button nose! ♥ Jack's teeth were so cute to me - look at that smile! ♥ And Chloë's little coke-bottle glasses and her sweet smile. ♥ I love these kiddos of mine so much, and starting to let go a little is so painful. However, I can't wait to see the adults that these once-tiny miracles turn into. Just a year away 'til the first one's ready to fly the coop!



Where I'm At Right Now

I'm not saying this just to be heard. I'm not saying this because I need attention. I'm saying this because I need some personal, private space to put my thoughts sometimes, and this is my space.

I'm going through kind of a crossroads mentally right now.

I've been through many different therapists across, oh, four different states. But I'm finally at a place here in Boise, at this point in time, where I feel ready to carefully navigate my way through my awful past and maybe come to some sort of terms with it.

Right now, I have a great therapist. She's really amazing. She gets me, she understands me, she's comforting and soothing - she hugs me after a painful session! - and I think she is the one who has the right tools to get me through what I need to do, without completely driving me over the brink of insanity in the process.

Because that could definitely happen.

I've seen my psychiatrist at least a dozen times, probably more, in year and a half we've lived in Idaho. At every single visit, she's changed and tweaked my psychoactive meds, so that they're carefully in tune with what I need. She's still doing that, even just today, so we're treading carefully in my therapy sessions.


As of yesterday, we're using a tool called EMDR, which stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy. 

It varies by therapist, but they basically do something to (with?) you that allows you both to work through some difficult and painful memories and then translate that to a better thought, a better idea in your head, that is much more peaceful to live with than the harmful You can visit that site I linked for a much better understanding, I'm sure, but that's kinda how I describe it.

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My therapist, Terrie, asked me at the beginning of yesterday's EMDR session to tell me what it felt like when my mother had just died. 

I told her that it felt like I was alone in a long, dark, empty corridor, calling for help.

And no one ever came.

They never did. No one ever came to help me, to comfort me, to love me, even to tell me WTF had just happened, to make any kind of sense of things in a way that a 7-year-old kid could begin to understand.

They still haven't come.

So fast-forward to just now. Rob and I were talking about a high school friend of mine, and her parents.

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I realized, through the course of the conversation, that both of her parents - though divorced - always attended every concert in which she performed.

Every. Single. One.

And then I thought back to who came to my concerts.

I remember being dropped off. 

More than once, when I was dropped off, I was very late and blubbering in tears.

And more than once, when I arrived late in tears, my whole chorus was lined up, and sometimes the whole band, and sometimes the whole orchestra too, to go on stage, and everyone would be there watching me arrive late in tears, as I tried to gather myself enough to appear and perform on stage.

Those are miserable memories.

It was embarrassing, and awful, and I would have given anything not to be there at that moment.

But not only that!

I couldn't remember any single concert or event where I was performing, when someone showed up for me

Image result for alice in wonderland caterpillar elementary school play

The last time I had any kind of audience was when I was the Caterpillar in a fifth-grade production of Alice in Wonderland. My stepmother made me my costume, which admittedly was awesome and practically stole the show when I appeared onstage, but I suspect she came to see the costume in action rather than support my performance.

I was in multiple concerts for chorus in 6th grade.

I was in multiple concerts for chorus in 7th grade.

I was in multiple concerts for chorus in 8th grade.

I was in multiple concerts for chorus in 9th grade.

I was in multiple concerts for chorus in 10th grade.

I was in multiple concerts for chorus in 11th grade.

I was in multiple concerts for chorus in 12th grade.

No one ever came for me.

Not once.


It felt exactly like I was calling for help in an empty corridor.

It's a hollow feeling.

It feels pretty shitty, actually.

So there we are.

That's where I am right now.


Sunday Stealing: Provoking Thoughts

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Hey! I thought I had missed last week because I remembered doing a part 1, but it turns out that was last week and I didn't miss a thing. So we're just skipping it, I guess? I don't know but whatever, let's move on.

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


1 When was the last time you tried something new?

Image result for cupping

On Friday, my physical therapist brought out a cupping device for me to try on my back, hips, and pelvis - all of which are severely out of alignment. I'd actually read about it way back whenever it was that Gwyneth Paltrow wrote about it on Goop, which is the first and last time I ever read anything on Goop since it seemed so weird to me then! I actually benefited from the cupping and, at my physical therapist's recommendation, am going to order a set from Amazon soon.

2 Who do you sometimes compare yourself to?


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Forgive the extra picture of young Sophia, but I was looking for a photo of my mother and came across this one. So cute! Anyway, my mum; I compare myself most to what I imagine my mum would have been like.

3 What’s the most sensible thing you’ve ever heard someone say?

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"Don't let anyone else rob you of your joy." Ironic, since the person who said it was the very person doing just that at that moment...

4 What gets you excited about life?

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I get excited about life when I get to witness any of these three excited about life.

5 What life lesson did you learn the hard way?

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Several, but one was that it's important to observe and shadow someone in the career you want, to really make sure that it is what you want to do.

6 What do you wish you spent more time doing five years ago?

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Decluttering our home in Miami, before we ended up bringing it all to Idaho!

7 Do you ask enough questions or do you settle for what you know?

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I never settle, but there is also no such thing as "enough" questions. I'm always asking 15 more before you finished answering the last one!

8 Who do you love and what are you doing about it?

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I love these three impossibly much, which is why I'm doing my damnedest to mother them well.

9 What’s a belief that you hold with which many people disagree?

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Nope! Not stepping into that one! ;)

10 What can you do today that you were not capable of a year ago?

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I don't know, writing a full PowerPoint presentation? Nothing much, really.

11 Do you think crying is a sign of weakness or strength?

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Neither; it's a sign of pain.

12 What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?

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Not a damn thing.

13 - 18


19 If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow this person to be your friend?

Not very long at all...

20 -24


24 When you are 80-years-old, what will matter to you the most?

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Same thing that matters most to me right now: ohana

25 When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards and just do what you know is right?

Right freaking now! Also, when did I become an actuary?


Sorry for the cop-out on at least half of the hours, but lately I've been having this severe, sudden-onset migraine. That just happened, but I didn't want to skip posting again and again and again... so this is what I've got!

Take care, y'all.


Sunday Stealing: 65 Questions, Part The First

Welcome back to Sunday Stealing, another fun meme presented for us by Bev Sykes of "Funny the World." Link up here if you want to join us today!

Sorry for my late posting; another migraine is currently kicking my ass. But I can't stay too long away from you crew without missing you to hell and back, and so here I am. ;)


Here are questions from Savannah at The Rainbow Society
1. Do you ever doubt the existence of others than you?
Image result for alien life form funny
Well, I don't know if you meant other humans or other life forms, but I'm choosing to go with the former and say YES! For my entire life, well since I was six years old and moved from Monroe to Syracuse, New York, I have wondered how other people - even those with whom I've had close personal contact - have continued to exist when I can't be there to see them. And with 7.5 billion people on this planet?!! How can they all be going about the daily minutiae of their lives without my being there to witness it?? It boggles the mind.

2. On a scale of 1-5, how afraid of the dark are you?
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Five. Bad things have happened to me in the dark.

3. The person you would never want to meet?
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The false "president," Donald J. Trump. I struggle to maintain my composure and manners around those whom I loathe so completely.

4. What is your favorite word?
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I struggle with various tics of Tourette's Syndrome, including saying random things out loud without thought, so my favorite word changes every time I spit out something new by accident! However, my long-standing most favorite word is "pupitre," which means "student desk" in Spanish. I just like how it sounds.

5. If you were a type of tree, what would you be?
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I would be the mighty Red Mangrove tree, Rhizophora mangle, with it's millions and millions of prop roots, because:
"...The Red Mangrove belongs to the 'true mangroves'. The Red Mangrove is a strong and tough mangrove. Rhizophora mangle can handle changes in humidity, salinity, air- and water-temperature... Rhizophora mangle definitely is the most dominant mangrove on our planet. Rhizophora mangle was described for the first time in 1753 by Carolus Linnaeus."

6. When you looked in the mirror this morning what was the first thing you thought?
I thought, I wish I still looked like this from a couple two-three years ago:
Instead of migraine- and pain-laden, allergic reaction-having this:
Ugh. I look like absolute hell.

7. What shirt are you wearing?
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I'm wearing a white long-sleeved shirt, because I'm chilled despite the 75ºF-degree temperature outside. It's like a henley, but it's holey and open, but not too open and holey. Basically, it's comfy.

8. What do you label yourself as?
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What Pearl B. said. ;)

9. Bright room or dark room?
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Full brightness, day and night. Like I said, I'm scared of the dark. And I can't see. I'm both a glaucoma suspect and have just learned I've got the beginnings of cataracts in both eyes. AND I have a condition wherein the message of light and brightness are not being accessed by the brain, so I just cannot see unless every light in the house is on. It's really annoying, especially when I get the electric bill...

10. What were you doing at midnight last night?
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I was finally watching the amazing Black Panther movie with my crew (except for Jack, who had to get up early for work today). I loved this movie! Letitia Wright, as Princess Shuri, was my absolute favorite from the cast; I felt she stole every scene she was in and looked forward to more appearances from her. Who has still not seen it? You simply must!

11. Favorite age you’ve been so far?
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Probably 24. I got married to the absolute joy and love and light of my life, and then I met the then-second biggest joy and love and light of my life, Chloë Raine, a month early and the day before I turned 25. Marriage and motherhood are what bring me the most happiness in my life.

12. Who told you they loved you last?
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This knucklehead, modeling his Navy issued pea coat, pretend-smoking the Meerschaum pipe he brought home from Turkey. 

13. Your worst enemy?
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You're looking at her. I am my own worst enemy, I'm afraid.

14. What is your current desktop picture?
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I have this capture, taken for me by Chloë, of some of our 20 newly-hatched chicks. At that time, they were being kept in a kiddie pool in our living room and learning to drink and eat from waterers and feeders. Now they've graduated to the outdoor pen. I can't wait to see what this mixed run of rare and super-rare breeds turn out to be!

15. Do you like someone?
Collage School Pix
I'm pretty fond of this crew. I am, however, not fond of their growing up entirely too rapidly. It makes my eyes wet.

16. The last song you listened to?
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Right now I'm streaming "The Four Seasons" composed by Vivaldi via YouTube on the telly via Chromecast. Ah, technology. Before that, I was streaming a Vocal Jazz medley, but after a chorus of complaints, I switched from Jazz to Classical. There are still complaints. I am not surprised.

17. You can press a button that will make any one person explode. Who would you blow up?
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I would not, could not, do that to a soul, tot... or not.

18. Who would you really like to just punch in the face?
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I'd really like to throat-punch this devilish duo.

19. If anyone could be your slave for a day, who would it be and what would they have to do?
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I don't need a slave, I have these minions. And it's not just for a day, it's for LIFE. ha.

20. What is your best physical attribute? (showing said attribute is optional)
I think it depends on what my current weight is. When I'm thin, I adore my shoulders and clavicle. When I'm a bit heavier, it's my nose and eyes. I think they're okay.

21. If you were the opposite sex for one day, what would you look like and what would you do?
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I don't even know what I'd do or look like. I guess I'd go out and get more respect at a car dealership or anywhere else considered a "man's world." And I would be pissed about it, too!

22. Do you have a secret talent? If yes, what is it?
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Hmm, I don't know. But I can do this ^^^ on each finger of both hands. I've been doing it since I was 7 years old. I read about it just now. Apparently it's called "Swan Neck Deformity" and can be a symptom of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Both of those are concerns I might have. I guess it's better than having polydactyly, though.

23. What is one unique thing you’re afraid of?
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Mustard. Specifically, the smell of mustard and, even more frightening, the chance of it touching me. I just cannot even. And I make Rob watch his face and brush his teeth before he can kiss me.

24. You can only have one kind of sandwich. Every sandwich ingredient known to humankind is at your disposal.
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It would be a pita full of pine nut-filled hummus, sundried tomatoes, sprouts, and cucumbers. Mmm-mmm good.

25. You just found $100! How are you going to spend it?
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I'd spend 100% of the $100 on healthy, nutritious, preferably locally-sourced and organically-grown groceries for my family.

26. You just got a free plane ticket to anywhere in the world, but you have to leave immediately. Where are you going to go?
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Oh, I'd head straight for Australia, mate! It's long been a dream of mine and it's on the top of my Bucket List to go there.

27. An angel appears out of Heaven and offers you a lifetime supply of the alcoholic beverage of your choice. “Be brand-specific” it says.
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Okay, that's just weird, but I'll play along: I'd have endless Mai Tais. Mmm, so delish. I think I like them even better than piña coladas, which is surely saying something! The first time I remember having a Mai Tai was in a dive bar near the beach, when we lived in Virginia Beach. I forget what it was called, but it was for a mystery shop. Rob probably had a Colorado Bulldog, and I decided to order a Mai Tai. The bartender served it with a wedge of orange, pineapple, and a red, yellow, and orange cherry. I was hooked from there.

28. You discover a beautiful island upon which you may build your own society. You make the rules. What is the first rule you put into place? 
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Of course, I would ban all smoking of any kind, including vaping. No one can smoke anything. My island, my rules! ;)

29. What is your favorite expletive?
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Probably "fuck," although I have a pretty good curse-word lexicon, and I'm not afraid to use it. People may think that exhibits my stupidity, but I know intelligence has nothing to do with cursing.

30. Your house is on fire. You have just enough time to run in there and grab ONE inanimate object. Don’t worry, your loved ones and pets have already made it out safely. So what’s the one thing you’re going to save from that blazing inferno?
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Well, this sounds like I'm coming home from somewhere to find this fire, so I know I would already have my purse and phone with me. I always do. So... I guess I'd grab my laptop. Lots of info on there I wouldn't want to lose.
Well, phew! That was quite a long one and took me a long time to answer! But it was fun; thanks, Bev.
Hope y'all have a great week.

Saturday 9: Teenage Dream

Guten Morgen Klasse! What's the haps? I woke up around 0545 and, after using the facilities and finding a blanket (I'm insulted by the 59ºF temperature despite it being STILL SUMMER!!!), the first thing I did was queue up "Have It All" by Jason Mraz (love, love, love it) and come to write this week's edition of S9.

So welcome back! I hope you've all had a great week. Link up here if you want to join in the fun!


Saturday 9: Teenage Dream (2010)

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

1) Much of the video for this week's song takes place in a convertible and on the beach. How's the weather where you are? Would you be comfortable riding around with the top down today?
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This is funny. I was just talking about this with my 17- (!!!) year-old daughter, Chloë, yesterday. She's got thick, ringleted curly hair; I have straight, fine hair. Somehow we got on the topic of riding around in a convertible with the top down. Growing up, my dad always had at least six cars - one of them being a '71 Dodge Challenger convertible in mint condition. White, with red racing stripes. We drove around constantly, on the weekends, just for the sake of riding around with the top down. No seat belts, wind whipping my hair around so it stabbed me in the eyes, and I loved every minute of it. Loved it. I insisted she'd end up with dreadlocks in her hair after a ride like that, but she disagreed. I know I'm right, but there's only one way to prove it, and we don't have a convertible. Anyway, yes, unless there was snow on the ground, I'd be comfortable with it! It'll get up to 73ºF by 1400, and that's when I plan to steal a convertible - red Mazda Miata for me, please - to do just that. ;)

2) This video was filmed all around Katy Perry's hometown of Santa Barbara. Amtrak runs through Santa Barbara via The Pacific Surfliner. Tell us about a memorable train trip.
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When I was in my middle year of college (never know what to call it, since I graduated in three years), one of my two best friends, Shana, came down to the University of Miami from New York to see me for Spring Break. One day, we wanted to go out to South Beach, but I didn't have a car yet at that point. So we first jumped on the MetroRail to get from Coral Gables to the end of that track, in Hialeah. Then we rode the Tri-Rail from Hialeah toward South Beach. Finally, we hopped on the local bus to get down to the beach. We had a great time in the sun and surf that day, and then we did the same thing in reverse to get back to UM. The whole trip took four hours round-trip, but it was worth it, because I'll never forget that day with my girl!

3) Katy sings that her boyfriend thinks she's funny, even when she gets the punchline wrong. Do you think you're a better joke-teller or audience?
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Oh, I'm a much better audience. I suck at remembering jokes, much less telling them correctly the first time; I'm much better at making my own one-liners on the spot. Rob, on the other hand (seen here giving me a pedicure for my birthday the other day), is a master at telling jokes. He constantly has me in stitches. Occasionally, he'll tell me a story, to which I'm trying to listen intently, and it'll end up being a complete set-up for a joke he's heard. It'll take me a few beats to realize the whole thing was a joke, and I'll end up jabbing him in the ribs in disgust. But he amuses me nonetheless.

4) Her "teenage dream" lover is shown working out with a heavy bag. When is the last time you visited a gym?
Image result for gym funny quotes
I'm not one to spend much time at the gym. I just hate it. An hour on the treadmill on the gym sounds dreadful to me; I'd much rather be going somewhere, seeing new scenery, having new interactions and encounters... anyway, technically I was at the gym Friday afternoon with my physical therapist, learning new exercises to help get my pelvis back in alignment. Does that count?

5) Katy changes her hair a lot. She's gone from long black hair to cropped blonde hair with stops at red, green and purple. Today, are you having a good hair day?
Target Beauty Box
Well, I just woke up, so not currently. Up there, in the top right, is the new Dry Shampoo by OGX, which I just received yesterday in the latest Target Beauty Box. I used it yesterday, not being up to taking a shower, and it smells soooo good! It also helps extend my shampoo out another day (or, ahem, two), so I can skip the shower and look halfway presentable for being seen in public. Have y'all ever used a dry shampoo? Which one do you like?

6) Katy thinks dimples are "irresistible" and can't help poking a finger when a dimpled friend smiles. Do you have dimples?

Mel dimples selfie
I do have dimples. A few of the kids inherited them from me.
7) Two of Katy's fragrances (Meow and Purr) are sold in cat-shaped bottles. Are you wearing a scent as you answer these questions?
Charcoal + Magnesium Deodorant Stick
Not really, but I am wearing Schmidt's Charcoal + Magnesium Mineral Deodorant (also a new thing for me, from the Tar-jay Beauty Box) at the moment, and I find the scent of it delightful.
8)  Katy's favorite dessert is ice cream (specifically Cold Stone Creamery's Birthday Cake Remix). What's the last dessert you ate?

091318 FREE Cheesecake & Drink from Chili's (2)
I had some of this free cheesecake from Chili's as part of our Birthday Freebies Tour (ongoing), Thursday night. It was delicious!
9) Random question: How often do you change your bedsheets?
Ideally, every week, especially since our two pups, Tapioca and Paco, sleep under the covers with us each night... but we don't get to stick to that schedule very often. Our laundry is forever goingN nonstop...! If I had more opulent sheets like these, I might be more motivated to wash them on the optimal schedule. Now where can I find these...?
That was a fun one! Thanks, Gal... er, I mean, Crazy Sam! ;) Always good a good cuestionario from you. Hope all of you have a great weekend!

Sunday Stealing: More Food Meme

Hey folks! Welcome back! Link up here if you want to join in the fray today. Let's get started:


Ever had ramen noodles? How do you fix yours? Do you add anything to them?

Image result for gourmet ramen noodles

Sure, I've eaten it a billion times! I've always wanted to try it in a gourmet style, but since I can't even eat ramen at all anymore... I haven't tried.


  1. Do you like spicy foods?
  2. Image result for spicy food funny
  3. No, not really. I can't handle spiciness at ALL. Doctor's orders, actually.
  4. Crispy or grilled chicken on your salad?
  5. Image result for chicken caesar salad

Well, really, I prefer no meat on my Caesar salad, but if I had to pick, then grilled.

  1. Do you like corn on the cob?
  2. Image result for corn on the cob funny
  1.  Honestly, not really. I mean, don't get me wrong - I actually love it - I just hate the way it gets stuck in my teeth.
  2. Pumpkin or apple pie?

Image result for apple cream pie

  1. I like both, but I prefer apple pie. Specifically, Dutch Apple Cream Pie. It is seriously the best.

  2. Dinner rolls or crescent rolls?
  3. Image result for hawaiian rolls

King's Hawaiian rolls, if I get to pick! So scrummy.

  1. 7.   How do you like your eggs?
  2. February 8 2018
  3. I'm allergic to all but our own eggs, which are very high quality because we raise our chickens free-ranging and organic, and I'm happy with them any kind of way: Omelet, scrambled, sunny-side-up fried, boiled... It's all good.

  4. 8.   Most expensive meal you have ever eaten?
  5. Image result for capital grille lobster
  6. Years ago, Rob and I went out to dinner at The Capital Grille in Miami, Florida. This was when we still lived in Virginia Beach, but we were down in Florida to visit my grandfather and family. My cousins babysat the kids. Anyway, I ordered the lobster at market price. I had no idea that $300+ later, we'd get that huge bill! Eek...
  7. Do you like stir fry?
  8. Image result for veggie stir fry

love stir fry! So versatile. Our wok gets a lot of good use.

  1. 10.  What kind of pots and pans do you use?
  2. Image result for copper bottom pan

We use copper-bottom pots and pans... not sure what else is wanted here.

  1. Do you like Brussel sprouts?

Image result for brussel sprouts funny

Yeah, I actually do.

  1. Canned or fresh tomatoes?
  2. Image result for beautiful tomatoes

I definitely prefer fresh anything over canned, and I love colorful heirloom tomatoes the most!

BBQ Chicken or Ribs?

Image result for bbq chicken funny

I've never had BBQ ribs - and never gonna - and I don't really like BBQ chicken. Or BBQ anything else, really. Just not a fan.

Do you like coffee?

Image result for mcdonalds chocolate chip frappe

I do like coffee - preferably iced, preferably in the form of a chocolate chip frappé from McDonald's. But I'm not really supposed to drink that anymore, so I rarely indulge.

Cupcakes or ice cream cake?

09072018 Chloe's 17th birthday 09

It's traditional in our house for me to get ice cream cake on my birthday. But since my daughter Chloë's 17th birthday was on Friday, she wanted ice cream cake this year. On Saturday (yesterday), I asked for cupcakes, which Chloë made for my birthday.

Hot dogs or polish sausage?

Image result for no hot dogs

No. Neither.

Do you like cinnamon toast?

Image result for cinnamon toast funny

Sure! Who doesn't?

Do you eat dinner at the table or in front of the TV?

Image result for tv dinner funny

I prefer for us to eat as a family at the table, but since I have the contents of my desk strewn all over the table right now while I try to reorganize, that's an impossibility right now.

Do you like to BBQ?

Image result for big fat nope

We covered that already. Still no.

Do you like cold cuts?

Image result for turkey pastrami

I like turkey pastrami. I'll eat that when I'm needing more protein than I usually get. Otherwise, I stick with cheese from the deli.

Do you like rice?

Image result for rice funny

Used to. Can't eat it anymore now.

Macaroni and cheese?

Image result for macaroni and cheese

Who doesn't like macaroni and cheese? Even though I can't technically eat that anymore either, I still love it.

Key Lime Pie?

Image result for authentic key lime pie

Huge fan - especially when it's authentically made (and eaten) in the Florida Keys.

Favorite Fair/Carnival Food?

Related image

Cheesy curly fries! Hold the bacon, add vinegar = perfection!

What kind of gravy do you like?

Image result for vegetarian gravy

The only time I'll eat gravy that is not vegetarian is around Thanksgiving, when Rob makes the turkey and the gravy. He does an amazing job. We've been using that recipe - from my beloved Martha Stewart - for our entire marriage.

26.   Jalapeño Poppers?

Image result for delicious jalapeno poppers

Welp, still a 'no' because of the spicy, so...

Broccoli/Chicken Alfredo?

Image result for broccoli alfredo

Mmm, yes please! Except I can't eat the pasta, so no?

Do you like cottage cheese?

Image result for breakstone's 4% cottage cheese

Yes. Specifically, Breakstone's 4% small curd cottage cheese. I mean, go big or go home!

Do you like lasagna?

Image result for lasagna funny

I love it!

Do you like hard boiled eggs?

Image result for hard boiled eggs funny

Yes! I eat them a lot. Not penguin, though...


Thanks for stopping by!


Saturday 9: Gotta Travel On

Image result for gotta travel on

Hey everybody! I'm gracing y'all with my presence on my 42nd birthday - and my older daughter Chloë's 17th - so here I am wondering where all this time has gone. I'm eager to jump in and get started. Link up here if you're playing along today!


Saturday 9: Gotta Travel On (1959)

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

1) In this song, the Billy Grammer sings that "summer's almost gone, winter's coming on." When you look out your window, do you see any evidence that the seasons are changing?

Image result for beginning of autumn boise idaho

See? Not really, but I guess there are signs downtown here in the City of Trees. But now that were down to temperatures (at least overnight) in the 60s instead of the 100s, it's definitely feeling more like Autumn. wahhh!

2) He admits he has laid around and played around for too long. Do you consider lazy days to be wasted days?

Image result for lazy day funny

On the one hand yes, because I have always felt the need to be busy, busy, busy. But on the other hand, no, because I think my inability to (learn to) relax has significantly contributed to many of my health issues.

3) Billy relaxed by fishing. Tell us about a visit you made to a pier, or a ride you took on a boat, this past year. (Bonus points if you went fishing!)

Lucky Peak
Well, we haven't done any boating or fishing yet here in Idaho, but we have made this area, Lucky Peak State Park, our official destination for our Seton Spots this school year. We go twice a month, usually, for nature journaling and observations. The kids seem to be really into it!

4) Born in 1925, Mr. Grammer was the eldest of 13 children. He and his wife Ruth were childless. What do you think is the ideal size for a family?


 Ideally, I think that there should be a 1:1 replacement of adults by their children. In other words, each couple should have or adopt no more than two children. That being said, many people (us included) end up having more than two in our family to feel complete, while some others feel that having zero children is what's right for them. But overall, the ultimate goal for the planet should be population reduction.

5) This song was very popular on jukeboxes back in 1959. When were you last in a bar or restaurant that had a jukebox? Did you play it?

I grew up with a jukebox and a dance floor in our finished basement, but I think really the last time I was in a restaurant with one was in August 2014, at the B'ville Diner in Baldwinsville, New York. I was there for my 20th high school reunion.

6) In 1959, movie tickets zoomed up in price to $1.00 and Ben Hur was the big blockbuster. What's the last movie you saw in a theater? Do you remember how much the ticket cost?

Image result for incredibles 2

The last movie we saw in the theater was The Incredibles 2, and the price was FREE! Our kids' orthodontist rented the theater for all their patients/clients.

7) Huckleberry Hound was a hit with the younger audience in 1959. What cartoon did you enjoy as a kid? 

Image result for smurfs gif

I think mine was probably the Smurfs.

8) In 1959, continuing dramas (soap operas) were still broadcast each day on the radio. When you turn on the radio, do you listen for talk, news, or music?

I listen for music. Anything I can sing along to is great. Right now I'm digging on "Have It All" by Jason Mraz. Love it!

9) Random question -- Which competition would you rather judge: The Pillsbury Bake Off, The Miss America Pageant, or Dancing with the Stars? 

I think I'd most like to judge Dancing With the Stars, simply because that's really what I enjoy most.


Time to get back to work! Thanks for paying me a visit.



Saturday/Sunday Mash-Up


Hey kids, what are we all talking about in here? Can I join?

Well, if you came to read Sunday Stealing, you've come to the right place. Aaaaand... because I forgot what day it was yesterday, Saturday 9 is here, too. I've missed a couple weeks, I think.

We've had a lot of wildfires this summer, and my asthma was horiblé. Now that weather conditions have improved, I'm breathing easier again. (Rob totally brought me to the ER because I couldn't breathe and thought I had pneumonia, but it was an asthma attack! I felt so dumb. But in my defense, something I've had my whole life didn't get properly diagnosed until last year!)

Time to get started with this week's Saturday 9.


She Works Hard for the Money (1983) 

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

1) This song is about a woman who works hard as a waitress. What's the hardest job you've ever had?

After thinking about this for a minute, I'd have to say teaching freshman biology while I was working on my PhD at USF. That was really the first time I truly had to confront my weaknesses in academia. I found out quickly that teaching was hard. Like, hard hard. It was a totally new kind of challenge for me.

2) The lyrics tell us she has worked at this job for 28 years. What's the longest you stayed with one employer?

Other than motherhood (It'll be 17 years this Friday!), it would have to be working at various Publix supermarkets in Florida. Three different ones: in Coral Gables, in St. Petersburg, and then again in Panama City Beach. I liked it more than teaching! Heh.

3) Donna Summer was inspired to write this song during an awards show. She ducked into the bathroom and met the elderly ladies' room attendant, whose job it was to make sure the room the spotless, the complimentary hairspray and moisturizer was abundant, and there was a hot towel for every celebrity who used the facilities. "Wow," Donna thought, "she works hard for those tips." Who is the last person you tipped?

I feel like it's been kind of a while. Maybe it was the pizza delivery guy from Pie Hole? I think so. We'll go with that.

4) Early in her career, Donna was in the touring company of the musical Hair. It played in Munich for so long that she became fluent in German. What's the longest you have ever lived away from home?


Well, that's hard to say. I've never had a home that I've wanted to go back to after I left! I have no parents' house to return to when I'm sad or down and out or anything, so... I guess I'll use this concept a little loosely. When Rob and I got married, and Chloë was a wee babe, we moved to Guam for four months. Just four months!
5) Sam's dad is naturally outgoing and enjoys striking up conversations with waitresses, librarians, the checker at the supermarket, etc. Sam is always polite but more private. Are you more like father or daughter?

Image may contain: Bob Simmons, closeup

Look at this guy, blowing a kiss! That's actually his Facebook profile picture! That's my dad. He strikes up conversations with everybody, too - and this lecherous old man also flirts - hard - with any cute young thing. Ugh. I'm an extroverted (but not much) introvert, so I'm more like daughter.

6) A little more than 10% of the American workforce is self-employed. Have you ever been your own boss?

I've done various things over the years. Like... back when we lived in Virginia Beach, I had a dessert business. However, I quickly learned that rather than something like this:

Image result for delicious cakes

I'm better at smaller desserts more like this:

Image result for beautiful petit fours

And now I want to make some petit fours! Too bad I sold off almost all of my baking tools when we moved to Miami and becoming broke was no joke!

7) Labor Day weekend may offer a golden opportunity for napping and sleeping in. Do you snore?

Image result for snore

I love how it's always the women complaining about their husbands snoring! Why is that a thing? LOL... Yes, I snore; my hubs rarely does!

8) Will you be attending a Labor Day picnic or barbecue? 

Image result for Japan celebration

Y'know, I don't think so? But we will be going down to celebrate Japan Day at the local Basque Center (just trust me), so that will be fun. I hadn't even thought about what to do after that!

9) Labor Day traditionally marks the beginning of the fall. Will you be adding any new fall clothes to your wardrobe?

Image result for Restyle thrift store boise

I'm sure I will. Every season we all (except Jack; he just wants me to pick out his clothes for him) go to the local ReStyle Animal Rescue Thrift Store. It's like this: they have a punch card. For every 5 donations AND 5 $10 in purchases, you get 50% off your entire next order. And every day, their great quality but already-low prices go even further down, with a different color tag being some percentage off for that day. And on top of that, we get a military discount! So I the girls shop 'til we drop and then come home and show the boys our goods. It's fun!


Well that was a good one, Sam! Thanks for the fun! I've been distracted by watching Chip and Joanna Gaines on Fixer Upper this morning. I'm very new (like, as of this summer) to their show, but it didn't take long for me to fall in love with them! He's so cute to her.


Time for some Sunday Stealing, which this week is oddly named Freaky Poptart! (Click the links to see other players' answers.)


What is one thing that you would change about yourself if you could?

Image result for temper tantrum gif

There is not a lot about me I'd keep! I'm not my own biggest fan. But I would definitely change my temper. I'd love to be more mild-mannered than I am.

Name three exotic countries you would like to visit:

Image result for Japan Image result for Australia Image result for argentina

I would visit Japan, Australia, and Argentina! Oh, hell, I'll go anywhere 'long as you're buyin'!

What do you think the secret to life is?

Image result for BE THE JOY

I think the secret really is that you have to bring joy to others. The more joy you give out, the more joy that ;,; ,mcomes back to you. It's the good kind of vicious-cycle. I try to develop that sense of joy in each of my kids. (Although it's pretty hard for Jack.)

Best concert: 

Image result for bob dylan baseball concert norfolk virginia

I'd have to say it was the Bob Dylan * John Mellencamp * Willie Nelson concert at the Norfolk Tides' baseball field back in Virginia. Bob Dylan is a huge favorite of Rob's, and he really wanted to go see them play. I was so thrilled to be able to take him, and he had a great time. I even liked their opening act, The Wiyos!

Song you can listen to over and over and not get tired of: 

Image result for maroon 5

That changes all the time, but lately it has been "Girls Like You" by Maroon 5; I even like the Cardi B bit, and I'm not a huge Cardi B fan. It's catchy!

Worst movie music soundtrack or score: 

Image result for shrug gif

My mind is a blank on this one.

A song you wish wouldn't get stuck in your head but always does: 

Image result for wayfair logo

Have you heard the Wayfair jingle on their commercials? There's a ton of them every commercial break on HGTV, it's so annoying... but also catchy.

Who was your FIRST date?

Image result for first kiss

It was this guy, Ken, who was a year ahead of me in school. We went to the movies. I don't remember what we saw. Soon after that, we met up at this mall near my house, which was a total ghost town by that point... my first kiss. Now I know he is the biggest a-hole, but eh. You gotta know what bad is before you can realize how good good is, right?

Image result for heart And Rob is GOOD. Image result for heart

Do you still talk to your FIRST love?

Image may contain: 2 people, including Ben Peterson, people smiling, outdoor

Yeah, Ben and I are still Facebook friends... although I guess I've been asleep at that wheel, because it appears he just got married?!! I'm so shocked!

What was your FIRST alcoholic drink?

Image result for shots of goldschlager

In my Senior year of high school, my older friends from work used to take me out a lot wherever they went - including to bars. I mean, I was only 17, so their trick was to get me drunk on shots of Goldschläger at one of their homes before going out to drink some more. We had a lot of fun times, and we made a lot of memories, but I obviously don't recommend that! I have more than one Goldschläger story. So, I don't like the smell of cinnamon much anymore! Image result for winky face

What was your FIRST job?

Image result for first job funny

I did a lot of babysitting first, but my first actual paycheck was from BigM market in Baldwinsville, New York. Fun times; I loved it and, for a while, my best friend Lisa worked in the deli while I ran the cash register. (I've worked in a lot of grocery stores! Winn-Dixie, too, in South Carolina - oh and also, for two days, Fred Meyer here in Boise!)

What was your FIRST car?

Image result for 1991 ford escort wagon red

This picture almost makes me cry. I bought a red 1991 Ford Escort wagon in September 1993, when I was starting Senior year. My father basically stole it from me. It's not a happy memory.

Where did you go on your FIRST ride on an airplane?

Image result for New Jersey

Hm. I've been flying since birth practically, so I don't even really know! When we moved to Syracuse from Monroe, New York, we started flying back and forth to my mom's parents in New Jersey a lot. But I think we I had to have flown since I was knee-high to a grasshopper.

Who was your FIRST best friend & do you still talk?

My first two best friends were my sister Stacey our babysitter's daughter, Ursula. This is my sister with her (now about grown) daughters:

Image may contain: 4 people, including Karen Johnson and Stacey Johnson, people smiling, people standing, sky, cloud and outdoor

and this is my friend Ursula with her beautiful family:

Image may contain: 5 people, including Ursula Petricek, people smiling, people standing, child, stripes and outdoor

And yes, I still talk to both.

Whose wedding did you attend the FIRST time?

Image result for little girl in pink bridesmaid dress

It was my dad's to his new (now ex-) wife a year after my mother died. (They started dating three months after Mom died, and he still says my mom was his real true love, etc. Right, right.) My dress was pink; I think Stacey's was peach, Aarin (younger step-sister) had a blue one, and Mindy (older step-sister) wore purple. All matching but different pastel colors. Gag me. (Maybe that's why I hate pastel so much!)

Tell us about your FIRST roommate.

Image result for rochester

That would be Jen from Rochester, when we were freshman dorm-mates at the University of Miami. We hit it off right away and had a lot of fun. We are not still friends.

If you had one wish, what would it be (other than more wishes)?

Image result for coexist


I wish I didn't have to live in a world where my neighbors didn't keep taking the COEXIST sticker off my car! Because, y'know, they're the people that need to read it and heed it. (And then I wish we had a house of our own, again.)

Back of car

What is something you would learn if you had the chance?

Image result for Latin

The girls and I are learning Latin together this year. I thought I would have a disadvantage over them because of speaking Spanish, but I really don't! In fact, Chloe is beating both of us, and Sophie is neck-and-neck with me. If I could, I would learn every language spoken in this world.

Did you marry the FIRST person you were in love with?

Nope, I married this dork:

Image may contain: 1 person

 He's so cheerful!

What were the first lessons you ever took and why? 

Image result for organ lessons

These probably weren't my first lessons but the first ones I remember. After my mom died, she left her electric organ, like this one, behind. I couldn't bear to see it and let it just go to waste, so to help me keep my mother alive in my heart, I begged my dad to let me take lessons and use it. I did for a couple of years, but I never got terribly good at it. Then my stepmother came along, decided she didn't want it around anymore, and bought a sleek baby grand piano to put there instead. And she couldn't even play! F**k her.

What is the first thing you do when you get home? 

Front entry

The first thing I do when I walk in is hang up my keys on "the fish." See that arrow? Same thing, every time. On the other hand, when Rob drives, he never hangs up the keys, and they are often missing after that. Also, that fish is supposed to be for keys. Not multiple baseball hats, not multiple dog leashes, but keys. Although now that I have one of my girls' leis from Boise Pride hanging on my hook, I guess I can't say too much!


Ahhh, finally done. That was fun, but because I'm distracted by Fixer Upper, it's taken me forever! Man, I wish we could afford a fixer upper. And Chip and Joanna Gaines, of course.



Shout out of thanks! It was so unexpected when something from our daughter's Amazon wishlist, for her spendy Art program this year, showed up in the mail from you! I was moved to tears, so touched I was. Sophia was shocked, too. Thank you so much for doing that! Our fundraiser has kind of stalled out at $50 donated, and we still have several supplies and about $200 for the course left to go, so we were absolutely grateful for the help. You know who you are - you rock!