Previous month:
October 2018
Next month:
December 2018

Entries from November 2018

Sunday Stealing: What IS Normal, Anyway?

Hey, pals! So did I tell you my girls and I have started a new premium, eco-conscious candle company?

EWW MacIntosh Apple Pints Smaller

Well, here's a sneak preview of some of our offerings, but like I think I mentioned in Saturday 9 yesterday. we are so not yet ready to launch. The girls and I are sitting around now, assembling wicks, containers, carefully measuring wax and taking its temperature, etc. Mostly the girls are doing that part while I supervise, make the labels, source bee-friendly, wildflower seed-impregnated, plantable paper for the business cards we intend to order, and trying to figure out how to set up our various platforms. We have a Facebook page, our own website, and an Etsy shop, but so far I just haven't made a lot of progress on those. Lots more to do!

Therefore, I feel fully justified in taking a break to do Sunday Stealing right now. Ha! So link up here if you'd like to join us this week!


1. What is your favorite animal?
Image result for mako shark
Look. So I'm a biologist. And therefore, I reserve the right to have a favorite animal for land, sea and air. I will save the reasons for each for another time, so as not to bore you. Anyway, my favorite sea animal is the shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus).
Image result for African elephant
My favorite land animal is the majestic African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana). OMG, they're so beautiful I could cry.
Image result for endangered bats mexico
And, my favorite air animal is the endangered Mexican Long-Nosed Bat (Leptonycteris nivalis). They have a special place in my heart. ♥

2. Your dream vacation?
So. This was a dream vacation I'd actually planned in my mind back in 2002, when newly-ish-wed Rob and I, and 13-month-old Chloë moved to Guam: Once I'd given birth to the twins I was carrying, we'd all fly "space-A" (space available, as in, if there's a seat on a military flight you get to go; if there's not, you don't) to Australia, dive the Great Barrier Reef, and wander around saying and eating weird shit. We'd fly space-A to South Korea, to Japan, to Thailand... everywhere. Then the twin pregnancy became too dangerous for us to continue living on Guam, and then Supertyphoon Pong'sona hit Guam, and ... none of that ever happened. We moved back to CONUS early in 2003. Fifteen-plus years later, I'm finally at a place where I'd honestly really like to go back and try again. Maybe.

3. Last person's house you were in?
Image result for 4-h
Last night, we were at the house of Celia, the leader of Chloë's knitting and sewing 4-H club.

4. Worst injury you've ever had?
Image result for burns from a grease fire
In August 1984, just four months after my mother died, about a month into my dad's new relationship with the woman I was already being forced to call "Mom" - although I call her "the bitch from hell" now - I was not quite eight years old. My dad and tbfh decided it would be a good idea if we all (including 7yo me, 9yo sister, 10yo soon-stepsister, and 12yo soon-stepsister) watched the movie Porky's II on either HBO or Cinemax. Great parenting all around, you see. Anyway, we all wanted pizza except my dad, so tbfh agreed to make him some fried chicken. Only, they got distracted by the soft-core porn we were watching and forgot to watch the stove, so a grease fire started in the kitchen. My numbnuts father decided, since we didn't have baking soda, to throw flour on the fire. That made it explode. He picked up the frying pan and carried it out to the garage to get it out of the house.
Only, his red mint condition 1971 Dodge Challenger convertible was out there, and it was too precious to risk getting damaged, so he turned around and came BACK into the house. Sister and younger stepsister had managed to get out of the way by that point, but older stepsister and I did not. The frying pan handle became too hot for my dad to continue to carry, and he dropped it, splashing burning hot grease all over both of us. Stepsister got attention for her burns because she was not a Christian Scientist, but since father, sister and I were in that f-ing cult, I did not get any attention for the burns scalding both of my legs. Rather, I was screamed at to be quiet and go outside. Stepsis was rushed to the emergency room, while I had to sit in the back of the car and muffle my crying. I still have the scars... Life was like that from then on, until I escaped to college.
5. Last play you saw?
Image result for the jungle book children's theater
Last year we went to a children's theater production of The Jungle Book. It was cute, but my kids have kind of grown up too much for that genre now. <sniff, sniff>

6. Ever go to camp?
 Image result for camp skimino
As a kid, I was sent for two weeks to the Christian Science camp, Crystal Lake Camp, in Pennsylvania, that same summer after my mom died. That's also not a great story. But more fun was Camp Skimino, the Girl Scout camp in Virginia where my girls and I went camping. Much better memories there!

7. Were you an honor roll student in school?
Image result for national honor societyImage result for who's who among american high school students 1993-1994Image result for advanced placementImage result for RSMAS logoImage result for SAT logoRelated imageRelated image Image result for beta beta beta biological honor society Image result for rho rho rho marine science honor societyImage result for GRE logo  Image result for Mensa logo
Yes, I was on the High Honor roll all through school and was inducted into the National Honor Society in high school, where I graduated 3rd in my class and appeared in the 1993-1994 Who's Who Among American High School Students book. I took five AP courses in high school (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Spanish, and Calculus), so I entered college dual-enrolled as both a sophomore and a doctoral student at the Rosenstiel School For Marine & Atmospheric Science, having fairly well aced the SAT. I made both the Dean's List and the President's List at the University of Miami. In college, I was inducted into Golden Key [Inter]National Honor Society, Beta Beta Beta National Biology Honor Society, and UM's Rho Rho Rho Marine Science Honor Society. I then aced the GRE and went directly into the Ph.D. program of my dreams. There, while at the University of South Florida in Tampa, I was accepted into Mensa, which I felt I needed to do to prove my own intelligence to myself, because for the first time in my life I was really being challenged and didn't feel all that intelligent at all. Anyway, all this is not to brag but rather to say, this is why I get so pissed off when medical doctors and other such types diminish the fact that though I am now "just a mom," I, too, possess a freaking brain. Gah.

8. What do you want to know about the future?
Related image
I want to know if I'm ever going to get to see my mother and my son again.

9. Are you wearing any perfume or cologne?
Image result for diffuser necklace
No, not really, but I am wearing some lemon essential oil in my diffuser necklace. Only mine says "Melanie" instead of "Olivia."

10. Are you due sometime this year for a doctor's visit?
Image result for spit take gif
Only about eleventy billion!

11. Where is your best friend?
Image may contain: 1 person, smiling
Absolutely, for sure, tonight on this 18th anniversary of the night Rob came down 11+ hours on a Greyhound bus to get down on one knee and ask me to marry him, just 16 days after meeting online, I can say unequivocally that it's this little hot shot ninja sailor man who is sitting right next to me. I love you, Rob!!! ♥

12. Do you have a tan?
Image result for brunette covered in freckles
Ha! Well, only if you connect all the many, many freckle dots that cover the outer portions of me.

13. What are you listening to right now?
Well, right now it's "Give Me One Reason" by Tracy Chapman. Before that it was "Wonderful Tonight" by, of course, Eric Clapton, and prior to that it was "If I Had a Million Dollars" by Barenaked Ladies. Now up is "Come Sail Away" by Styx, and after that will be "American Girl" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. It's an anniversary night, and 18 years seems like a super long time to both of us, so we're playing the songs of our brief two-month courtship. I love him so.

14. Do you collect anything?
ell, for one, since Rob spent 20 years in the US Navy, and I am a marine biologist, we have a lot of different fish artifacts both big and small all around the house.

15. Who is the biggest gossiper you know?
Image result for shhh
Well, if I told you, wouldn't that make me one?

16. Last time you got stopped by a cop or pulled over?
Image result for hot male cops
I've had a few run-ins lately! In June, I got a speeding ticket. In July, at almost the exact same spot, I got a ticket for following too closely. In October, we were rear-ended in the rain, while I was stopped at a red light, and someone must have called the police because that became this big, whole "thing." And just tonight, Rob was pulled over for improper lane change. Sheesh. We need to quit.

17. What does your last text message say?
Scintillating conversation with my daughter, I know.

18. Do you like hot sauce?
Image result for funny hot sauce names
No, I do not. My husband does. And our son Jack does. I don't think the girls do. Funnily, our Chihuahua and Chi-mix both like jalapeños.

19. Do you need to do laundry?
Image result for funny vicious cycle

20. What is your heritage?
Image result for Island of saba
I'm mostly German, English, and Hungarian. Lots of the family on my dad's side came to the U.S. via the small Caribbean Netherlands-owned island of Saba, which is where my paternal grandfather was born. We were all considered Pennsylvania Dutch. My children have some Bohemian (which is now considered Czech) from their paternal grandmother, and some Basque from their paternal grandfather. Basically we're a bunch of Caucasian mutts.
See ya soon!

Saturday 9: Sentimental Journey

Hey, guys! How're you all doing this fine Friday evening/Saturday morning? I'm doing fairly well, although it has been an eventful week. As are they all. For instance:

Shoulder dislocation

For my entire life, I have been dealing with all of my (first) major and (now) minor joints dislocating all the time, over every minor little move. The worst thing right now is my left shoulder, which my physical therapist and I have had a dickens of a time trying to correct and stabilize with any number of techniques and tools (Kinesiology tape is currently my BFF.) But I finally got in to see the ortho doc this week, and he ordered an MRI of the shoulder to see what's what. I'm also going to be genetically tested for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and since the ortho folks scored me an 8 out of 9 for hypermobility of my joints, the pieces are all starting to fit into place on what's wrong with me...FINALLY! Anyway, if the shoulder cartilage is torn from all these repeated shoulder dislocations and subluxations, then they may go in and do a corrective surgery by shoring up the shoulder joint with extra bone taken from my hip. This idea does not thrill me, not at all, but at least it's an option on the table.

Mom's New Wheeled Walker

I am now the proud new owner of a wheeled walker with a seat. As you can see, it's blue; I wish I'd gotten a red one. <sniff> Just kidding. I actually kind of like it. It really helps me. So I have a wheelchair for when I absolutely cannot go on my own steam, and now I have this for when I can go part way. As happened today at the hospital. I'd gone in, pushing the walker, to get my lumbar x-ray, but getting back proved more than I could do. Hubs was with me, so I sat on the seat and let him push me out to the car like a little baby. I was amused.

Bugs Bunny

The kids are all now involved in the 4-H program for the first time. Chloë's project is going to be knitting, Sophia is doing a poultry project with our chickens, and Jack... has gone 'round and 'round with what he wants to do. Finally, today, an opportunity presented itself for him to take possession of a bunny who couldn't stay with with his first family, so Jack went and adopted Bugs Bunny. Now Bugs (God, I hope they change that, ahem, lame name...) is acclimating to his new digs in Jack's room and will be the perfect 4-H project for him!

Dell PC

And finally, my old HP desktop bit the dust in early summer or so, and I have been stuck on a dreaded laptop. I haaaate laptops, for various reasons. Especially since this particular laptop's cord/charging assemblage was worn out, and it wouldn't charge the computer, and so actually using the laptop was this delicate, precarious adventure for all these months. I've hated it. Well! Today, Chloë got her biweekly paycheck and spent the entire thing on a new desktop for me! ♥ What have I done to deserve such great kids? I don't know, but I am so thankful. (And I LOVE it!)

SO! Anyhoo. Let's get on with Saturday 9, shall we? Link up here if you want to play along with us today!

Saturday 9: Sentimental Journey (1945)

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

1) Doris sings that she has her bag packed. Tell us about your luggage. Is your bag easy to spot on the luggage carousel?

Well, it's kind of easy. We had a nice red luggage set, but (a) red was starting to be ubiquitous on the luggage carousel, and (b) it started to wear out, so we replaced it a few years ago. I bought these dark purple-plum-colored Samsonite spinner suitcases, and I like them. They're pretty easy to spot.

2) The release of this song coincided with VE Day, and so it meant a great deal to troops returning home from Europe. What song has sentimental value for you? Why?


Ohhh, so many songs. So many. But Jewel's "Morning Song" is one I've often sung to Hubs over the past 18 years. (Yes! EIGHTEEN! In fact, today, 11/17/18, is the anniversary of the first time we met in person, and he took the bus down from Panama City Beach to St. Petersburg, found me, walked over to my car, and got down on his knee to propose. I'd known from his first email to me 16 days earlier that I was going to marry this man, so of course I accepted his proposal! ♥

3) As a young girl, Doris was passionate about dance. Concentrating in the studio and performing on stage helped distract her from heartache and embarrassment over her parents' divorce. When you want to escape from what's troubling you, what do you do?

I retreat. I hide. I put myself in time-out. And in the past, when I needed serenity, I would knit. Wish my fingers would cooperate enough for me to take that up again.

4) Her dancing days came to an end when, at age 15, she was in a car accident and damaged her leg. During her recovery, she discovered how much she enjoyed singing with the radio, and was delighted to find others enjoyed hearing her. Tell us about a time you unexpectedly found happiness or success.

DSC_5299 smaller
Well, being disabled as I now am, I've either become unable to or lost interest in those things that excited me the most before - like creating. Knitting, especially, but other arts, too. Until two weeks ago. I decided I wanted to start a business make premium, super eco-friendly scented candles that were not only awesome in their own right but were even cooler than, y'know, "just a candle." So ultimately - hopefully by 2019 - our labels and packaging will all be made with wildflower-impregnated, bee-friendly seed paper. We're not using any artificial ingredients like dyes and additives, and definitely no paraffin. The girls quickly decided to go into business with me, and now Every Wick Way has been born. We will have a soft opening at a holiday bazaar on December 1st and hope to be fully functional by January 1st. Yay!
5) She moved from singer to actress in the late 1940s and was a major movie star for 25 years. She was paired with the most popular leading men of her time -- everyone from Clark Gable to Frank Sinatra to Rock Hudson. If you could share a kiss with any actor or actress, who would you choose?

Image result for adorable matt damon

C'mon now. Matt Damon? Of course Matt Damon.

6) 1968 was a terrible year for Doris. First, she suddenly became a widow. Then she discovered that her late husband and his business partner had squandered her money and she had to file for bankruptcy. Oh, wait! There's more! She also found that, in his role as her manager, her late husband had, without her knowledge, committed her to a weekly TV series. Do you have a 1968? What year you can point to and say, "Wow, I'm glad that's over"?

The "Portsmouth house" year, as we call it, was pretty rough. From May 2012 - March 2013, we all had a pretty miserable time with one damn thing after another. I don't even like thinking about it now!

7) After retiring from show business, she became an advocate for animal welfare. She has said we should be more sensitive to the loneliness, sadness and guilt people feel when they lose a pet. Think of a time you were grieving. What words or gestures helped you through? Conversely, what's something no one should ever say to someone who is hurting?

As far as helping someone through grief, the right things to say are those such as, "I'm sorry for your loss. I'm thinking of you. If you need anything, I'm right here for you," - and then actually mean that last thing. Don't hesitate to talk to the grieving person and let them know they're in your thoughts, because trust me, the grieving person has not stopped thinking about their loss for one moment.

Conversely, there are plenty of wrong things to say to a grieving person. For me, going through losing one of our twin boys, those things included, "Well, at least you still have Jack (our other twin)," or "Everything happens for a reason." Stuff like that is the very opposite of helpful. Like, what could possibly be a good reason why ... ah, never mind. I'd go on a right rant right now if I got started! ;)

8) Doris' only child was her son, record producer Terry Melcher. Terry had a successful, years-long collaboration with The Beach Boys. Do you have a favorite Beach Boys song?

Image result for beach boys california girls

I'm not sure I do, but if I did, it might be "California Girls."

9) Random question: What's one thing you've never done, but have always wanted to try?

Image result for water skiing gif

I've always, always, always wanted to go water skiing. I would probably not be as good at as this dang squirrel, but it would be so much fun!!


Well, I enjoyed that. Thanks for the fun as usual, Crazy Sam! 


Sunday Stealing: Australian Style

G'day! We're flipping things Down Under today to see how the other half lives. Pandora of Australia wrote us 'Mericans a list of questions - checked amongst her friends for accuracy - to see what we'd be able to answer. Now, I have never been to Australia (though it's on the top of my Bucket List, we never made it during our time living on Guam) - but Hubs has! So I might test him, too. 

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


  1. Where do you land on the subject of vegemite? What is the optimum butter/vegemite ratio? Do you also eat Promite or Marmite or do you see these yeast spreads as something akin to treason?
  2. I have no idea, technically, what exactly vegemite is, but I do know that it doesn't sound like something I want to eat. You mix it with BUTTER?!!! I've never heard of Promite, but Hubs has heard of Marmite, which he thinks is British. Either way, can I say "no thanks" to all?!!

  3. 2. Who was your favourite Prime Minister of the last ten years? (There have been five – choose wisely)
  4. Neither Hubs nor I know any of them. Um.... Justin Trudeau? Image result for lol emoji

  5. 3.  Are you a Monarchist or a Republican? Why?
  6. Well, Hubs is an American Republican, but I don't think that's your sort. And I like reading about the English royals in People magazine, but I don't think that qualifies me as a Monarchist. Hell, I don't know!
  7. 4.  What do you think of our current head of state?
  8. Malcolm Turnbull? I have no real impression of him right now, other than that I don't think he cares much for our "President" Donald Trump, and neither do I, so, you know... "The enemy of my enemy is my friend."
  1. 5.  What are your feelings on compulsory voting?
  2. Do Australians have to vote? I think it's a good idea. I definitely wish more Americans felt obligated to vote. Not nearly enough do; many of whom I know personally, and I actually feel like it's kind of pathetic.

  3. 6.  What is your favourite footy food?
  4. Hubs says they call soccer/football "footy," so hmm. I have no idea what is served at a footy match. Beer and pretzels? LOL (Just please no vegemite on them.)

  5. 7.   Your Nana is having her 80th catered for by the CWA. What CWA standards are you looking forward to at the spread? The Victoria Sponge? Yoyos? Asparagus Rolls? Brandy Snaps?
  6. Both Hubs and I agree that our answer is, "Ummm... What the fuck?"

  7. 8.  What do you do on ANZAC Day?
  8. Hubs says ANZAC Day is Australia and New Zealand's equivalent of either Veteran's Day or Memorial Day; he can't remember. So we're not sure what to do, other than honor and remember Aussie and Kiwi war heroes. ♥

  9. 9.  Discuss the merits of budgie smugglers.
  10. Hahaha! We thought it was people who steal tropical birds, but then I Google Imaged a search and... no. That is not it at all. LMAO!

  11. 10. What is outside your back door? Gumboots or thongs?
  12. Hubs immediately says, "Thongs!" because your weather is usually nice and sunny, and you wear flip-flops a lot. Gumboots are for cold, wet weather. Was he right??

  13. 11. As a kid you were given 20 cents for pick and mix. What will be in your bag? Teeth? Spearmint leaves? Gobstoppers? Freckles?
  14. Uhhh, teeth? WTH? I pick Freckles. I love those little nonpareil-covered chocolate drops. Mmmm.

  15. 12.  Redbacks or Huntsmen?
  16. Hubs says they're both spiders, like your version of Black Widows and the other, ?  Do we have to pick either? No, thank you!

  17. 13.   The Mullet. Discuss.
  18. If your Mullet is the same version as our Mullet (the hairstyle), then Hubs and I both agree it has no redeeming qualities. Just no.

  19. 14.   Kath or Kim?
  20. I get that it looks to be a TV show of some sort, but since I really haven't seen it yet, I reserve the right to decide later.

  21. 15.   Cricket – which code do you follow? Why? Do you think that 20/20 games are sacrilege?
  22. I don't follow either code. I don't know a whole lot about cricket, but I do know that Rajesh Koothrappali of The Big Bang Theory is a huge fan. Doesn't that count for anything?
  23. 16.   Football. Which code do you follow? Do you have an opinion about Collingwood or Essendon?
  24. Dude. I don't watch American Football, other than occasionally following my own alma mater, the U. of Miami Hurricanes. Or American Soccer. Or the rest of the world's football. So I pass on this question.

  25. 17.   Do you agree that the lyrics to Khe Sahn should be on the citizenship test? Do you know the words to Khe Sahn?
  26. This appears to be an Anti-Vietnam War song, and so... ah! I don't know! Maybe?
  27. 18. What is your favourite public holiday? If you're in Victoria, which do you prefer? The day off before the AFL Grand Final or Melbourne Cup Day?
  28. Given that my favorite American holiday is Independence Day on July 4th each year, I think maybe my favourite Australian holiday would be Australian Day on February 26th. What do we do?

  29. 19.   What do you do at Christmas? Ham sandwich on the beach? Seafood and salad next to the pool? Endure a full English roast with all the trimmings when the thermometer is pushing 35 degrees centigrade outside?
  30. Can I do seafood and salad on the beach? I think that would be my favourite!

  31. 20.   Ford or Holden?
  32. I have no idea.

  33. 21.   What is the best Australian invention ever? (And yes, the Hills Hoist can be mentioned)
  34. Image result for Australian boomerang
  35. The boomerang! 

  36. 22.   Describe the following:
  37. Fairy bread - It looks interesting. And pretty. I see it can be made with Nutella. Can I try that?
  38. Lamingtons - Oooh, these look really yummy, too! But can they be made with Nutella? ;)

  39. Chiko rolls - Mmm. As long as they're like our spring rolls and made without meat, I'm in. No meat for me, please. Or Nutella.

  40. Snot blocks - Well now, that's descriptive! But it looks really delicious. Can we change the name?
    23.   What are the following traditional items found in all Australian homes?

    Dead horse - It took some searching, but apparently this means ketchup.
    Hills Hoist - This is a rotary clothes dryer. I want one!
    A slab - I'm not sure. Everything looks like it is the foundation on which the house is built, but that seems too obvious. What is it really?
    A ute - A utility vehicle, like a truck
    24.   Who is your all time Australian hero?
  41. Image result for crocodile dundee

Can I pick Crocodile Dundee? No? But he's so hot! Okay, let me go look around. Wait, no. I pick Steve Irwin, because I am a biologist. Not many of us get killed in the line of duty.

  1. 25.   Translate the following: “Strewth! Nev was going flat out like a lizard drinking. But he had a nana nap and he's raring. Told him to get here pronto by not to miss the gate cos it’s impossible to chuck a u-ey for miles. Told him to bring a slab. We’ll have a barby. The kiddies can have snags. Joe the Pom will moan about everything. Jeez, he’s a bastard. Yeah…nah… no flies on him.“
  2. Uh, something about Nev was drinking a lot and then slept it off and is now raring to go again. So he's supposed to come over right away... but I don't have a clue what "chuck a u-ey for miles" means. He's supposed to bring a slab - of meat, then? Not the house foundation? LOL - so we can have a barbecue. The kids can have some sort of thing to eat or drink, I don't know, and Joe will bitch and complain no matter what. Am I close?
  3. 26.   What is your favourite Australian holiday spot?
  4. Image result for The Great Barrier REef
  5. Well, the reason visiting Australia is on the top of my Bucket List is because I want to dive the Great Barrier Reef. Can I pick that? (I feel like there are so many rules and I might be breaking all of them today!)

  6. 27.   Do you eat the coat of arms?

Like, the kangaroo and the emu? No, I would not eat those!

  1. 28.   You are stuck in a lift with the following: Karl Stefanovic, Peter Dutton and Alan Jones. Who do you kill last?
  2. Why do I have to kill people just because we are stuck in an elevator?! I'm not killing anyone!

  3. 29.   What is the NBN?
  4. That appears to be Australia's broadband network.

  5. 30.   “Where
     the bloody hell are you?” Discuss.
  6. I'm right here on my bloody couch. Is there more to it than that?

  7. 31. Complete the following sayings.

        Am I ever going to see your face again? ..................................................
        You're terrible, ...........................!
        Coupla days, ...............................
  8. I honestly have no ideas.

    32. Potato scallops or potato cakes?
  9. They both look pretty similar in the Google Image search, so I'm not sure what the difference is other than I WANT both - right now!!

  10. 33. Provide three uses for cane toads.
  11. Image result for Australian cane toads

Really, there are uses for an abundance of toxic amphibians? I have no idea what those might be.

  1. 34. If you give a politician a koala to cuddle, what is the likely outcome?
  2. Well, first of all, y'all are weird. And amusing. This is the strangest questionnaire I've ever done. It's legal in Queensland to cuddle a koala, as well as the Taronga Zoo in Sydney. I don't understand what any of that has to do with politicians, though.
  3. 35. Bagpipes are perfectly at home in rock songs. Discuss.
  4. I love bagpiping! Great idea.
    36. What is a Tim Tam Slam?
  5. Oooh! I've actually read about this one! I know that it involves those yummy chocolate cookies - no, "biscuits," (which we can now get here at Target, yay!) and drinking up your coffee through them. This link describes it really well. I think I need to do this before the year is out.

  6. 37. If I ask for a FruChoc, where am I from? What are FruChocs?


They're these little chocolate balls with apricot or peach (or both?) in the center. They sound good; send me some!


Well, that was one of the most interesting filler-outers I've done in a long time, although I now feel like I need a lot more education on the subject of other cultures!

Thanks for the fun, Bev and Pandora!


Sunday Stealing 11/4: Pop Tarts

Hiya! So this is last week's SS, but I didn't get a chance to participate, and I'm in a blogging mood right now, so here we go. Link up here if you want to play along last week! (heh. I know what I did there.)

Let's go!


This is stolen from Freaky PopTart


1. What's the coldest temp you've experienced?
Image result for syracuse blizzard of 1993
I survived the Syracuse blizzard of 1993! There are still people there, and from there, who talk about it - and you can easily pull up a jillion images from it on Google. That was my last year in Baldwile (a suburb of Syracuse) before college, and it got down to -53ºF during that blizzard. It completely cemented my decision to go to the University of Miami for college!
2. What's for dinner tonight?
Image result for dinnertime funny meme
Damned if I know. It's 7:34 AM on Saturday, and I haven't even begun to think about it. I took out some ground turkey a few days ago for sliders, but we never cooked it. It's probably gone bad by now...

3. Would you consider moving to Australia?
Image result for australia funny meme
Hell yeah, I would! In fact, I told my family I was moving there if Donald Trump was elected in 2016. And he was, but we're still here. In freakin' Idaho instead. Uprooting ourselves and moving around the world proved not to be cost-effective for the time being. Bleh.
4. What was your favorite subject in high school?
Image result for calculus funny meme
Biology, obviously, but I also loved Calculus. Math is one of my favorite subjects, and I absorbed Calc like a sponge. Bring it! #Nerd

5. How many hours a day is your tv on?
Image result for useless shit in 2018
Zero, currently. :\ Stupid disposable technology! We have a fairly new, big-screen Samsung smart TV and... it just went dead. Completely dead. No picture, no sound. And it's out of warranty. And we are on a DirecTV contract that is going to waste, so I hope we can do something about this soon. I didn't even get to watch the Midterm election coverage! Or the new episodes of The Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon. Oy vey. #FirstWorldProblems

6. Have you ever received an award?
Image result for silly class awards
I've won all kinds of academic awards, and some others, but my absolute favorite award was winning "Class Giggler" in third grade. I still have that certificate!

7. Whats your mouse pad look like?
Image result for funny mouse pad
I do not use a mouse pad, currently. I'm on a bamboo lap desk on my laptop, and I use the little thumb controller thingy. I  miss my desktop computer!!! Wah.
8. How many browser tabs do you have open right now?
Open tabs
All of those (sorry for the blurry screenshot), plus two more in a separate window for my music streaming and my super-secret Christmas lists for everyone. Oops, not so secret now! So that makes what, 20?

9. If you are a parent, have you or did you ever put Vicks VapoRub on your children under the age of 2?
Image result for vicks vaporub funny
It's possible? But I can't specifically remember, sorry. I like my Puffs Plus Vicks tissues, but nobody else in the house does, so I hear a lot of wanking about that...

10. As an adult, do you like the scent of Vicks VapoRub?
Image result for vicks vaporub funny
I don't mind it. I have allergies, asthma, and all kinds of autoimmune issues, so I get congested a lot. Vicks helps.
11. If you had to pick one insect to infest your house for 1 day and after that day they would just suddenly vanish, which insect infestation would you pick?
Yeesh, that's a complicated one for me. As someone with chronic Lyme Disease, I hate deer ticks and the other creatures that carry the Lyme-causing spirochete with a passion. I'd love to  have them eradicated from the earth, but... can we leave our house for that one day it's full of deer ticks? And then they're gone when we come back? I'm down with that - as long as the entire ecosystem doesn't fall apart from their sudden disappearance.

12. What color is your underwear that you are wearing right at this moment?
Image result for red undies
I'm wearing red undies, but they look nothing like those, and my body looks nothing like that model's. And I'm okay with that!
That was fun. Now I should probably check the 600+ emails I've been neglecting and then get back to a project that is currently under wraps. I can't wait to talk about it, though!

Saturday 9: The Middle

Hey, folks! Welcome back! I feel like my blogging weeks run from Saturday 9 to Saturday 9 anymore, with very little time enjoyed in between on blogging. I hate that, but life with three teenagers going off in 17 different directions at once is a little more crazy than I think I bargained for! It's fun, though. I hope you all have had a great week.

So let's get started. Link up here if you'd like to join in with Crazy Sam's questions and the rest of us!


Saturday 9: The Middle (2018)

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

1) This song is about compromise. When did you recently give in a little and meet someone halfway?

You know, my mind is coming up completely blank on this one! I've racked my brain, but I can't answer. I know I have, but it's not coming to me. Is that horrible?

2) She sings that the floors are wet. Are there any floors in your home that could use a good scrub today? If you answered "yes," will those floors get cleaned this weekend?

Week 3 of 52 - Hope

Our two dogs, Paco the 5-lb Chihuahua and Tapioca the Chiweenie, have grown up puppy pad-trained. Nothing we have done has worked to train them to go outside - their bladders and their brains are just too little. ;) So we have pads down everywhere, but there is carpeting in our bedroom, and they often miss. We have bought all kinds of cleaners and desiccants and deodorizers and whatnot, but it's not going well. The last urine cleaner I bought, my son did not read the instructions and completely saturated the rug. Now it will never dry, and it's disgusting to walk on. We should get a rug doctor or something. I don't know. I'm running out of ideas... Help!

3) She also sings that the cabinets are bare. What's currently on your shopping list?

Image result for Thanksgiving dinner gif

November is a weird month for us, because so much of our grocery budget is allocated toward Thanksgiving foods, so there's not a lot of "extras" for the remainder of the month! My kids have been struggling, because I have bought plenty of milk for them, but no cereal. They're at a loss, lol. Don't get me wrong - they could cook some eggs, or have oatmeal, or yogurt, or something, but they're acting as though the cupboards are completely bare. Oh, woe is me.

4) You may be familiar with this song from Target's TV commercials. Do you often shop at Target?

I love Target, but my Tarjay shopping has kind of dropped down to a very minimal level. I can't even remember where there was a Target in Virginia Beach; in Miami, it was a good 30-40 minute drive away from us, and here it's not much closer. Most of my Target shopping is done online when I need something I can only get there, and I usually have it shipped to me. It's just too dangerous for me to go into the store unmonitored. I want one of everything!

5) The lead vocal is handled by Maren Morris, a Grammy winner for "My Church," which is all about singing with the car radio. What's the last song you sang along with?

Related image

My daughter Sophia and I are obsessed with both the song and the star-studded video for "Girls Like You," by Maroon 5 & featuring Cardi B. We love to blast it in the radio and sing every word, including the Cardi rap, as loud as we can. Hehe. It's an amazing video, if you haven't seen it yet. Ooh, can we do this song sometime, Gal?

6) This past April, Maren married singer-songwriter Ryan Hurd and they have performed onstage together. Who is the last person you sang along with? 

Sophia Summer 2018

I sing along with Sophia in the car all the time, including last night. But sometimes when the radio is turned up loud and she doesn't feel as self-conscious about singing aloud, I stop my own singing just to listen to her. She has a beautiful voice and doesn't know it. (Though I've told her.)

7) This song was composed by brothers Kyle and Michael Trewartha. With their bleached hair and sunglasses, they look like a pair of surfer dudes -- which they are, having grown up in Huntington Beach, CA. Is there a body of water near your hometown?

Image result for lucky peak reservoir

We're fortunate to have a number of beautiful waterways both in and around Boise. This year we are committed to doing a nature study at Lucky Peak State Park, and its reservoir, and have discovered many beautiful vistas - as well as some that were supposed to be but instead were showing evidence of being ravaged by fires. There are also a lot of hot springs and waterfalls around Idaho, but my health has prevented us from exploring those just yet. Hopefully soon, because I am yearning to go see!

8) January 2018, when this song debuted, we had a total lunar eclipse. When things like that happen in the sky, do you go out of your way to watch?

Image result for 2017 solar eclipse boise

Definitely. In Summer 2017, when the path of the solar eclipse passed right through Boise, Jack and I were at an appointment with his endocrinologist to check on his growth hormones. When the time came, everyone in the office passed out the protective glasses, and we all ran outside to watch. It was beautiful. (The stores were full of - and all sold out of - those glasses!) When things happen in the middle of the night, the kids and I all set alarms on our phone and go out to observe. We're really into it!

9) Random question -- They say we're all young at heart. In what way can you be childlike?

I'm a scientist by training, right? So I've heard my professors and advisors say a million times that the best scientists are the ones who are childlike and ask a billion questions. Why does it do that? How does it accomplish it? What is the mechanism for it? Etc. I am always asking questions of everything I see and feel and hear and learn. I want to know everything!


Fun questions, Crazy Sam. Thanks for doing it! ♥

P.S. Sam: It's gotten cold here. Take me to Key West with you this winter! Please??!

P.P.S. All: What's your favorite candle scent(s)? Inquiring minds want to know. ;)


Saturday 9: It Must Be Him

Hey, y'all. Welcome back. My youngest, Sophia, and I drove 5 hours down to Salt Lake City from Boise yesterday (and back at night), for an appointment with my ME/CFS specialist, and on the way back we were treated with the most glorious sunset I have ever seen in my entire life. We were in awe the entire time, I still am. It was breathtaking.

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


Saturday 9: It Must Be Him (1967)

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

1) This song is about a woman waiting impatiently for a phone call. Do you consider yourself patient?
Image result for laughing emoji
Decidedly not!!

2) Other women (most notably Shirley Bassey and Dottie West) have recorded this song. Harry James and Doc Severinson did instrumental versions. But there's no record of a male singing "Oh dear God! It must be her! Or I shall die!" Do you think that's because waiting for the phone to ring is more "a chick thing," and men simply don't do it?
Having roomed with a few guys during my summer breaks from college, I know for sure that is not just a thing girls do. Guys do it, too. Maybe women are just more willing to show that vulnerability in song.

3) This recording enjoyed a sudden surge of popularity after 20 years when it was included on the soundtrack of Moonstruck, the 1987 film that won Cher an Oscar. Have you seen Moonstruck?
Yeah, but I remember virtually none of it. I'm really bad at remembering movies.

4) This week's featured artist, Vikki Carr, was born in El Paso, TX. El Paso can proudly proclaim itself one of America's safest cities. What can your hometown be proud of?
Boise is The City of Trees, and there really are a lot of them. Autumn is brilliant here. And the people here are the nicest of anywhere I've lived.

5) She was a staple on Jerry Lewis' Labor Day Telethon, raising funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association by performing this song. Is your TV on right now? If so, what are you watching?

Image result for angry emoji
No. It's not. I wish it was. On Wednesday night, our 4-year-old TV went out. Rob called Samsung while I was in Salt Lake, and they said that it was out of warranty and not their problem. So now we have this fancy smart TV that is basically just taking up space on our wall, a cable contract, and no budget to replace the tube just now because it's Christmas. And it's the last season of Big Bang. Wah!
6) In 1971, Vikki fulfilled a dream of hers by establishing the Vikki Carr Scholarship Foundation. Every year the foundation awards Hispanic American students money to use toward higher education. She says it's her way of returning "the support and encouragement she received from others" early in her career. If you could establish a charitable foundation, what cause would you like it to benefit?

Image result for planned parenthood logo
A friend of my girls' and mine is raising money for Planned Parenthood this month. I donated $5 for each of us wimmens!
Image result for heifer international logo
Also, I am still figuring out whether to donate a flock of chicks, geese, or ducks to a project family through Heifer International. I love this great organization. I donate to them through Amazon Smile, too.
7)  In 1967, when this song was popular, Dr. Christiaan Barnard performed the first heart transplant. Today, one of the most common surgeries performed in the United States is the coronary artery bypass surgery. Have you had any surgeries?

Three Caesarian sections, gastric bypass surgery, gall bladder removal, hysterectomy, tonsillectomy, hiatal hernia repair, and several dental surgeries. So a few.
8)  Also in 1967, the RMS Queen Mary was retired after 31 years of service. Have you ever traveled by cruise ship? 

Image result for ms zuiderdam
I've been on two or three Carnival cruises, a Princess cruise, and of course, our Mediterranean Holland America cruise. It's my favorite way to travel! I'd go again tomorrow if possible.
9) Random question: Who is your oldest living relative?
My father, who is 76
And now I shall eat a salad. I am on a salad kick lately. So yum.