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Entries from May 2019

Saturday 9, Memoral Day Version: God Bless America

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Happy weekend, everybody! I hope you've all a wonderful weekend. I'm glad you've found your way here, but if you'd like to see what all the other Sat9ers posted, please go here, too.

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Saturday 9: God Bless America


Unfamiliar with Deanna Durbin's rendition of week's tune? Hear it here.

Memorial Day is the federal holiday designated to honor American service people who died in battle.

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1) Memorial Day was introduced after the Civil War. Originally called Decoration Day, this is when memorials, as well as the graves of veterans, are to be decorated with flags and flowers on this day to show our appreciation. Is there a war memorial in your neighborhood?

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So, not exactly in our neighborhood, but modeled after the Vietnam Memorial in D.C., Boise has Veterans Memorial Park. We haven't been there yet, but we've been to M.K. Nature Center right near it. Maybe on Monday, that park is where you'll find us.
 
2) Andrew Johnson, our 17th President, was in office the first time Memorial/Decoration Day was celebrated. Have you ever met one of our 45 Presidents? 

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I have not. But I would not mind meeting President Obama, of any of them! Or Carter. I think I'd really hit it off with both of them. You know, once they got past my excessive chattiness and my neuroses!
 
3) According to the AAA, more than 30 million Americans will hit the road this weekend and drive more than 50 miles. Will you be traveling far from home this weekend? 

Josephine House
No, not really, because we're closing on this house on June 3rd. We really need to save our pennies for that!
 
4) Memorial Day kicks off the summer season. What's your favorite picnic food? 

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Well, you know what, I couldn't decide between a beautiful, fresh fruit salad, or sandwiches. In the end, I decided to go with some delightful vegetarian finger sandwiches. I love finger sandwiches. Reminds me of the times I had high tea aboard a Princess Cruise while going through the Panama Canal. After we move, I think I've got to elevate our picnic game.
 
5) As you answer these questions, is there an air conditioner or fan on? 

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I think either it's no to both, or the heat may be on low. I can't believe we're still using the heat when it's almost freakin' June! And I think there is still plenty of snow on the mountains. Why did you people let me move to Idaho?!!
 
6) Though she's belting out one of America's best loved patriotic songs, Deanna Durbin was born in Canada. Is there anyone in your family or circle of friends who wasn't born in the USA?
 
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I have friends from all over. Some from living in the multi-cultural epicenter, Miami, for both college and then again from 2013-2017 with my family. Some from being a military wife - although none we've kept in touch with from our four short months in Guam, I do have many from the Philippines and, of course, more places. And yes a few Canadian friends are in the mix, plus some from all over the States. This friend, here, is my girl Kristal from Trinidad and Tobago. We met in Geology class at the University of Miami, where I basically was a class clown and learned to taste rocks and minerals to see if they were a salt, like halite, or something else. (Meanwhile, in every other science class I've had, the rule was: Don't put anything in your mouth!) Kristal eventually came to nickname me "Comic Relief," because we never got a lot done together but always had a ton of laughs.
 
7) No longer a household name, Ms. Durbin was once one of the biggest stars in the country. One of her most popular films was 1937's One Hundred Men and a Girl, which was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. Recommend a movie that you really like, but don't think many Saturday 9ers have seen.
 
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Hmm. Have y'all seen Hidden Figures? Excellent movie. I took my daughters to see it in the theater in 2017, shortly before we moved here to Idaho, and it is one that imprints on the memory. Also, I've never seen The Help, though, but I just watched my first episode of the Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart collab (I forget what the show is called, but it's that cooking show, y'know?), and Octavia Spencer guested on it. Long story short, now I think I'm going to watch The Help on Amazon Prime. (Happy birthday, Octavia! You're the same age as my husband!)
 
8) Back in 1938, Deanna Durbin had her handprints cemented in front of the TCL Chinese Theater on Hollywood Blvd. Have you ever visited that Los Angeles tourist attraction?
 
Chloë with father and son Bone at iPOP
I have not. Yet. I've been in and out of L.A. a few times (above, in 2008, when my now-17yo daughter Chloë participated in an international acting convention and won several awards), and I've seen the Hollywood sign and the Walk of Fame... but I have not made it here yet. I always leave a "yet," because I decided as a young child that I wanted to visit everywhere in the world before I'm dead. Might have to live forever, though; it's a big world!
 
9) Random question: What food did you hate as a child, but enjoy now?

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Artichokes! Avocados. Beans. Oh, my, it looks like I could go through the whole alphabet with vegetables, here. (It's amazing I've been a vegetarian, or vegan, or pescetarian at least, for over 23 years, seeing as vegetables were not very important to our family when I was growing up!) I have three artichokes in the fridge right now - huge ones! - that have gone brown on the tips. I completely forgot about them, dammit. I'm considering giving one a go right now... but it's 6:18 AM here. Would you?

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Thank you guys for stopping by. I love it when you do. Have a good weekend. A safe weekend. But most importantly, if you're American, please stop and remember those who fought and died while in the military while you're picnicking, swimming, and enjoying the unofficial start to Summer. ✌️

Red poppyFin.


Sundays In My City: Boise Pride Prom

Sundays In My City
So my girl Claudya hosts this fun romp-around on Sundays, so we can all share a bit of our lives in our cities with each other. I love this blog hop! It's a great way to learn about each other and what we all do in our hometowns. Link up here if you'd like to join in (and yes, I know, I'm posting this on a Wednesday; c'est la vie)
I mean, given that Boise is not my hometown. My hometown is in New York, but that was many moons and many moves ago. So many, in fact, that I no longer consider it as having a feeling of "home" for me at all.

Rather, I've come to the more obvious conclusion that home is wherever my family is. Ohana and all, being what it is, is far more important to me than where I came from.
But what the heck?! Somehow I got off on a tangent there. Back to reality:
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Last year, in June 2018, my two girls and I went to Boise Pride for the first time. I got to check something off of my Bucket List and be supportive all at the same time! It was an exhilarating experience.
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So this year, the girls decided to go to the Boise Pride Prom, aka the "Diversity Youth Prom," for ages 14-18 years old. Since they both fit that category, I offered to pay their rather inexpensive (at $10 each) tickets to prom so they could go and have the time of their lives.
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We did the whole prom thing on a budget: I bought Chloë's dress on ThredUp (along with a ton of other amazing finds), and she wore my Crocs. Talk about basic. For both girls' makeup, I made complimentary appointments with makeup artists at the Clinique counter in Dillard's, at the mall in Boise. That was cool; I had no idea that they did that until I called around to find out. Woot!
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Sophia picked out her dress at ReStyle, the bestest most awesome thrift store just down the road from us. I'm still shocked she picked a dress! She had been wanting to wear a floral suit all along, and then she found the dress, which fit perfectly. I did both girls' hair and used the baby's breath and roses from the Mother's Day bouquets I received. Ha! I'm so frugal, I kill me.
So that was an amazing, incredible, exciting experience - oh, and I think the girls had fun, too. ;) Now that we're moving an hour away from Boise, we'll have to trek in to Boise Pride Fest 2019 - and I can't wait to go again!
Take care, y'all. Show us where you live. Or what you do there. Or whatever.
Bye, now!
Fin.

Saturday 9: Doris Day's Secret Love

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Hey, guys! I hope you're all well! As for me, I've turned into a sh***y blogger. I keep meaning to blog this and that during the week, but next thing I know, it's Friday night and time to post another Saturday 9. So, thank you Crazy Sam, for keeping me writing at least a little bit on the weekends! without y'all, I'd probably have wrapped. Link up here if you want to join is this weekend.

So let's let her rip...:

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Secret Love (1953)

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

Rest in peace, Doris Day (1922-2019)

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1) In this song Doris admits she's spoken to the stars, "the way dreamers often do." Do you often daydream?

Red Nose Day Ruby

Oh, yeah. My mind is constantly roaming. It's very hard for me to pay attention to stuff, especially stuff that isn't terribly important to me.

2) What's the last secret you kept? (It doesn't have to be romantic.)

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I don't remember - and probably wouldn't share - any recent secrets, but I'm forever agreeing to my kids' requests to "don't say anything, but...," "don't tell Dad, but..." etc.

3) While "Secret Love" was one of Miss Day's best-selling records, and the song won an Oscar, she did not perform it at the Academy Awards Ceremony. She said she was just too nervous to sing it live before an international television audience and an auditorium full of entertainment professionals. When did you last suffer an attack of nerves?

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Well, I have social anxiety, so I get an attack of nerves pretty much every time I leave my house, especially if it's to see a new specialist, or if I'm wearing a new outfit I'm not sure looks good.

4) Doris' well-publicized attack of Oscar stage fright was unexpected because she began her career as a band singer, performing before live audiences every night. But she reportedly did develop more phobias over the years, including a fear of flying. Is there anything that scares you now, as an adult, that didn't frighten you as a child?

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Yeah. Stalkers. Rapists. Gun violence. Modern Republicans...
 
5) Doris Day made 39 movies between 1948 and 1968. She said one of her favorite things about filmmaking was working with costume designers on her wardrobe. Do you enjoy shopping for clothes?

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Back when I still looked like this, I didn't mind as much. Fast-forward a few years to now, when I've been taking meds that cause weight gain that's impossible to undo, and no. Not so much.

6) Doris confessed that when she had to lose weight for a role, she gave up ice cream. If we checked your freezer, would we find any ice cream?

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I think so? I bought several pints of these Magnum flavors last week. The kids have been eating it like there's no tomorrow, which is fine with me. I haven't had any - also fine with me.
 
7) In 1985 she hosted a cable show called Doris Day's Best Friends. She used the show as a platform to promote pet adoptions and animal welfare. Most of the guests were celebrity friends who reportedly donated their salaries for appearing on the show to Doris' pet foundation. Did you more recently ask a friend for a favor, or perform a favor for a friend?

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I think more recently, I asked for the favor.

8) For more than 20 years, Doris co-owned the Cypress Inn in Carmel, CA. The Inn expects to continue on without her, and maintain the pet-friendly policies she introduced. Have you ever traveled with your dog or cat?

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Oh, yes - for sure, many times!

9) Random question: What's the last thing you complained about?

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Oh, definitely being chronically ill. I'm over it. I wake UP over it. I go to bed over it. And I wake up again... but actually, definitely not over it. 

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BUT, I am excited today, because my two girls are going to PROM! I can't wait to see them all gussied, up, share pictures, and hear about it later! :D :D :D

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Say Anything

Happy Mother's Day, thieves and thiefettes! Okay, so it's still Saturday evening here, but maybe by the time you read this that won't be the case. I'm gonna take that gamble! 😉

Link up here if you'd like to check out the rest of the Stealers!

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Do you own your things or do your things own you?

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I hope I can honestly say it's the former. I'd love to be the minimalist type, which I am in theory, but in practice I'm more of a collector. I think I collect collections! I have some of my grandmother's and some of Rob's grandmother's spoons hanging from a display on the wall; I have my yarn, hook and needle collection, of course; I like to collect shot glasses from everywhere I go in the world... but these do not own nor define me. They just remind me of beautiful memories I've made. I'd be just as happy in a shack on the beach if we washed up penniless, though.

Would you rather lose all of your old memories or never be able to make new ones?

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I guess since I actually have this affliction, I'll say: never be able to make new ones. Part of "Succubus," as I call the conglomerate of conditions and disease with which I now find myself afflicted, is that I have lost the ability to translate most short-term memories into my long-term memory. It's depressing. It hurts. I hate it. But forgetting older memories - happy, lovely ones - I think would hurt much more.

How do you deal with someone in a position of power who wants you to fail?

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(Thank you, Hamilton, one of the greatest Broadway musicals I haven't seen yet.)

So when something like this happens to me, I usually go home and privately cry and pout for a minute, and then I get up, figure what I've got to do to meet and beat this challenge... and then I DO it!

What do you have that you cannot live without?

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Well. On June 3rd, we are closing on this big, beautiful house in Mountain Home, Idaho. See, we owned a rather roomy house in Virginia Beach from 2003-2013, but it wasn't quite large enough for our growing family. (We ended up having more kids than we meant to have, hee.) Then we moved to a much smaller townhouse in Miami. We had so much stuff and faaaaaarrrr less room, so the place was cluttered the entire time we lived there. Drove me crazy!! We had to get rid of a lot of things, and since we are all sentimental, losing some of that hurts! Now, we live in a bigger single-family house in Boise, but it's still too small compared to the quantity of belongings we've amassed over the 18+ years of familyness we've created. And now, this new house on Josephine Street is so big, even if we didn't get rid of anything, we'd all fit happily - family AND pets AND schtuff. But the overarching theme of this entire dissertation is "family," and that's my final answer.

When you close your eyes what do you see?

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Nothing. Just like what I usually think of when I'm trying to make a snappy comeback.

What sustains you on a daily basis?

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On this one, I feel like I could wax philosophical about it being my family, my faith... or, as it happens, I'm probably mostly just waiting to find out what will happen next.

What are your top five personal values?

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In no particular order: Optimism, Loyalty, Sensitivity, Innovation, & Environmental Stewardship

Why must you love someone enough to let them go?

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I'm going to PASS on this one; it depends on the circumstances.

Do you ever celebrate the green lights?

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Hey man, I celebrate every chance I get!

What personal prisons have you built out of fears?

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Plenty, but right now, that's between my therapist and me.

What one thing have you not done that you really want to do?

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Collected an advanced degree (or several), written the half-a-dozen or so books meandering around in my brain, traveled to more of the world, gone waterskiing...!

Why are you, you?

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I don't know, because they don't let me be Michelle Obama ever??

If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose?

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I can answer this one honestly: kids. They just don't keep. And since I've been homeschooling them for the last decade or so, I haven't had a whole lot of opportunity to go freely traipsing about, y'know? And now that my health has taken a deep nosedive, there has been even less free time to do some of that stuff. However, now that the younger two kids shall be going to public high school next year, I'm going to take some of that time to work on writing my book(s). That is, of course, if the puppies let me.

What three words would you use to describe the last three months of your life?

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February

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April

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May.... well, today, actually!

Basically... waiting for Spring!

Is it ever right to do the wrong thing?  Is it ever wrong to do the right thing?

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Wait... what? Just kidding. I'm going to defer to my answer for the "if you love someone, let them go" question and say: It depends.

How would you describe ‘freedom’ in your own words?

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Okay, but first, a few quotes:

Freedom is the right to question and change the established way of doing things.

Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes – Mahatma Gandhi

Better to die fighting for freedom then be a prisoner all days of your life.

The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage!

I find that last one to be most provocative, for myself. So I'll say... Freedom is when you allow yourself to be who you are, when both external and/or internal pressures ask you to be something you're not.

What is the most important thing you could do right now in your personal life?

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Well, I've just done a thing: since I really need to go to my most excellent therapist, but often health issues keep me from getting there, we decided to start doing teletherapy for the days I can't get to her office in person. After a lengthy phone chat about it, I realized - oh! - I probably need to get a webcam for this, huh? She confirmed I did, so I got one on Friday. And yes, I looked just like that guy up there.

If you could ask one person, alive or dead, only one question, who would you ask and what would you ask?

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I would ask Beethoven if he was waiting to finish the 9th Symphony and, when he was finally satisfied that it was complete, then decided it was safe for him to give up the ghost. Because it is that perfect.

If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?

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I'd be singing my heart out on a stage, with no mic necessary, night after night after night!

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Well, it's 10:21 AM on Sunday, and I'm finally done! I slept overnight in the middle. Seems like I do that a lot. Heh.

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... to all you moms out there!

Fin.


Saturday 9: The Perfect Fan

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So this week's song chosen by Crazy Sam is more in my era: "The Perfect Fan," by the Backstreet Boys. However, I still don't know this song! 😂😂😂 Oh well. Once in a while one comes across my interwebs that I know, and that, my friends, is what we call excitement. Hee.

Make sure you link up here if you want to play along today!

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THE PERFECT FAN (1999)
 
Unfamiliar with this week's song? Hear it here.
 
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1) In this song, a son thanks his mother for helping him grow up strong and confident. Who is the last person you thanked? What did they do for you?
 
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My 17yo daughter, Chloë, surprised me with a ton of early gifts for Mother's Day last night, after running all over creation with her daddy. I had no idea what they were up to, so I was totally shocked - and she's got more coming! I can't believe it; I don't feel worthy of such things, such love, such delight. I'm still overwhelmed with gratitude.
  
2) Who was the last person to thank you for something?
 
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Ohh, I don't know. 14yo Sophia is thankful for her horse lessons every time she rides, and she's regularly expressing grateful for that.
 
3) This is from the Backstreet Boys' album Millennium, recorded and released in 1999. Do you remember where you were and what you were doing when 1999 turned into 2000?

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That was when I was phasing out of working on my PhD in the elasmobranch (sharks, skates, and rays) research lab in the Biology Department at the University of South Florida, and into working on my Master's in Science Education in the ed department. It was interesting, but... far less cerebral.
 
4) This song was written by Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell. Brian voiced himself on an episode of PBS' Arthur. Arthur has been described as an "animated anthropomorphic aardvark" -- which can be difficult to say. Do you easily get tongue tied?
 
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Yes, very easily! I'm especially prone to Spoonerisms, which are so common for me I feel they should be named after me. I do it all.the.time! It can be amusing, but also annoying (for me)!
  
5) The French word for "mother" is "mère." What other French words do you know?
 
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A lot, judging by how much I should be saying, "Excuse my French"!! 😂😂

6) Mother's Day is a big holiday for card shops. So are birthdays, weddings, and St. Patrick's Day. Hallmark sells greetings for everything from "Congratulations on Your New Job" to "Happy Retirement." Who received the most recent card you bought? 
 
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That would be my good friend since middle school, Erin, who has a postcard collection. Do postcards count? I send her a random postcard now and then. One just went out, on Thursday.
  
7) Have you put away your winter clothes yet?
 
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Nope. One moment it's 85ºF outside, the next it's 35ºF. I never know what to wear!
  
8) Mother Winters used to scold Sam for leaving her dirty dishes in the sink. Sam admits it: as a grown up, she's still a bit of a slob. Do lean toward "neat" or "messy?"
 
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I'm more like... "organised messy." I can't do a lot of cleaning or even picking up around the house very often, because of my massive health issues, and no one in my family seems to see or care about the messes. It's aggravating. I mostly hang out at my desk or in bed, and I have tons of papers all over my desk. It's a little crazy, but I do know where my stuff is!
  
9) To celebrate Mother's Day, Sam is giving away her mother's favorite: Hershey Bars. Would you prefer classic milk chocolate, dark chocolate or milk chocolate with almonds?

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Definitely the latter. Lately I'm ridiculously hooked on Green & Black's Organic Milk Chocolate with Almonds bars. So good. Anything Hersheys is now so inferior, it doesn't deserve to be called "chocolate"!  G&B are so yum. 

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Welp, this is going to be up way early: It's 3:30 AM on Friday! I kinda wish Sunday Stealing would be posted as early as Sam posts Saturday 9, because I tend not to participate if it's not up early. I'm tryin', though!

Y'all have a great weekend.

Fin.


Saturday 9: Don't Envy Me

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Hello, all! Okay, first of all, I had no idea that George Hamilton ever made a record. So there, I learned my something new for today. Thanks for that, Gal. I mean, uh, Crazy Sam! 😉 When Chloë and Jack are off to work later, and Rob takes Sophia to her horseriding lesson, I'll be all alone at home. Well, just me and the dogs. And the cats. And the rabbits. And, well, the fish. Anyway, it'll be quiet enough for me to listen to this one then!

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

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Saturday 9: Don't Envy Me (1963)
 
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) What is it about you that you believe your friends and acquaintances envy?

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Hopefully nothing! I don't want anyone to feel envious of me at all.

2) Do you have a friend or acquaintance that you envy?

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Hmm, no, not really. I wouldn't say that

3) This song was not a hit, even though it was written and produced by the supersuccessful team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Tell us about a project you had great confidence in at the beginning, but didn't turn out as well as you'd hoped.

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Okay, first of all, I want this reef scene for my bedroom in the new house. Which one if you is going to come visit me in Idaho to help me achieve this?! 😂 Hm, let's see. In our house in Virginia Beach, I wanted to paint my office a dark burgundy. There was wallpaper in there before we bought it, but I couldn't get it off, so I painted over it. It took three coats, and it was still streaky. And then, on top of that, I tried to decoupage Fleur-de-lis shaped gold leaf emblems just above the chair rail, around the room. Let's just say that flopped, too. The whole effect was awful, and though we lived there for 10 years, I never fixed it.

4) George Hamilton is better known as an actor. He is proud of his performance in the 1960 movie Light in the Piazza. He played an Italian who romances an American girl on holiday in Florence. Did you ever find love while vacationing?

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Yes, more than once. When I was 14, my family took a Caribbean cruise and met several members of the Capó family, which owns the humongous furniture chain in Florida, El Dorado Furniture. My love interest on the ship was then-19yo Luis, the oldest son. We had a great time onboard; he has a bubbly, infectious laugh that I loved. The following Valentine's Day, he sent me a bouquet of cookie hearts. Then, when I moved into my dorm in Miami, Luisito sent me an enormous bouquet of peach-colored roses. They were gorgeous. He was my date to my first dance on campus, actually, but it was then that the attraction fizzled. I realized that, somewhere along the way, I'd lost interest.

5) George had a small part in Godfather III. How many of the Godfather movies have you seen? Have you read the book?

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I have not read any of it. When we lived on Guam, in 2002, I decided to visit the base library. They didn't have much, but they had the Godfather movies, which I'd never seen. So, with 15-month-old Chloë and fully pregnant with twins, I watched them then.

6) He's gotten a lot of publicity over the years for his personal life, including his 1966 romance with First Daughter Lynda Bird Johnson. At the time, she was living in the White House. Tell us about a memorable experience you had "meeting the parents."

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It wasn't the first time I'd met Ben's parents, but one time, they invited me over for dinner. His whole family was already at the table when I'd arrived. Halfway through dinner, I realized that their sweet black cow, Afro, wasn't out front when I'd gotten there. "Where's Afro?" I asked. They all started laughing. Ben replied, with a smirk, "You're eating her." I was so upset!!

7) George is also known for his year-round tan. Have you ever used a tanning bed? Or self tanner?

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I know far too much about the dangers of the sun - firsthand, no less - to ever have intentionally tanned on the beach or in a bed. Nope! I have done sunless tanner once or twice. I did not like either the effect or the smell, so that was it for me. I'll just be pale-ass-white.

8) In 1963, when this record was released, President Kennedy made a historic trip to Ireland. Have you ever visited the land of your ancestors?

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Not yet!

9) Random question -- The last of a batch of delicious chocolate chip cookies just fell on your kitchen floor. Would you eat it?

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I mean, yeah! Chocolate chip?! Of course.

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🍪🍪🍪 And now I want cookies. 🍪🍪🍪

Thanks for stopping by, y'all! Have a ferociously good weekend!

Fin.