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Saturday 9: Hurting Each Other

1965 THE CARPENTERS HURTING EACH OTHER SHEET MUSIC PIANO VOCAL GUITAR 1 Day  Ship | eBay

Hello, guys and gals! It's Friday, the 13th of January, which means we're doing a spooky, freaky, scary post. Or no, we're just doing "Hurting Each Other" by The Carpenters, siblings Karen and  - "hey guys? Does the brother have a name, too?" - Richard. I don't believe I'd heard this song before, but I'm listening to it and many other new-to-me Carpenters songs right now and loving them. Thanks, Samantha.

Hope y'all have had a great week. Mine's been interesting, but maybe I'll actually do some separate posts later. ::cough:: yeah,right ::cough::

So, link up here if you're joining us this weekend. Please do! And off we go.

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Saturday 9: Hurting Each Other (1972)

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

1) This week's song was written by Gary Geld and Peter Udell, who also wrote 1962's "Sealed with a Kiss." What was in the last envelope you sealed?

It was a Paper Hug, of which team I am a member in the Mama Dragons. MDs is a wonderful organization that does so much good for mamas of LGBTQ+ youth, and I'm proud to do my part to help. You can learn more about them here, if you'd like.

2) In "Hurting Each Other," Karen Carpenter sings she wishes she and her lover could stop making each other cry. Have you most recently shed a tear in the last week, the last month, or longer ago than that?

Parents say: Making doctor visits and shots easier for your preschooler |  BabyCenter

It was today, actually. My 17-year-old youngest child and I went to Walgreens to get our flu and the latest COVID booster shots. Not too terribly long ago and yet it was also forever and two states of domicile ago, this child required half a dozen people to hold them down in order to get their routine vaccines that were due then, and I was ushered out of the room as I almost fainted while they screamed, "STOP! STOP! PLEASE, YOU'RE TRYING TO KILL ME! YOU'RE KILLING ME, STOP, YOU'RE TRYING TO KILL ME!" over the varicella vax or whatever. Today, they didn't even need to hold my hand, and after I casually mentioned this and thought about it, I started welling up right away and had to look away. What a mom; I'm ridiculous!

3) One of the Carpenters' first records was a cover of the Beatles' "Ticket to Ride." Both Karen and Richard were huge fans and nervous about how the Beatles would react to their version. They were thrilled to learn that Paul McCartney responded by saying Karen had "one of the best female voices in the world." Tell us some news you received recently that brightened your day.

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This may not seem like so much, but, I've been getting Rob a monthly subscription to Bespoke Post since November 2020, and I personally choose which box he gets and often select add-ons for it. Since we're in the cold months now, I thought I'd be cute - last October 2022, that is - and bring the heat. For Christmas, I gave him a silver candle try with matching silver tools: snuffer, wick trimmer, and wick dipper. I gave him a silver electric lighter, as well as a nice set of "masculine" candles. These items, above, were supposed to come for him in his October box, and I was going to steal them before he saw them, to add to the "heat" theme I was running. But it didn't come in October, or November, or December. There was some issue with my account and our bank, so it's not on them, but I finally got word at the end of December that this Bespoke Post package was on its way. Whew! The large gray cement-y looking thing is a personal, portable fireplace. The yellowish thing he set on top is a burner for incense cones, though they refunded me for the cones after I bought them because they were sold out, instead of substituting for one of the other brands they carry. And the hexagonal thing is a cup for wooden matches with a striker on the side. Heat. Get it?

4) Karen died in 1983, but her musical partner and big brother Richard is still with us. He has said he grew up a big fan Top 40 radio, listening every morning as he got ready for school and every afternoon while doing homework. When you were a kid, did you like to study with music or the TV on? Or would you prefer quiet?

Casey Kasem's American Top 40: The 80's | WRQQ-FM

Well I'll be, I'm just like Richard Carpenter. I would study with either the TV on, or the radio (and often it was Casey Kasem's Top 40, also!), and kick ass in school. So I don't want to see any naysaying amongst the lot of ya! Did you naysay? Go back and edit! Smiley Wink Emoji Emoticon Rubber Stamp PNG, Clipart, Area, Black And  White, Circle, Emoji, Emoji Wink

5) Karen and Richard spent their teen years in Downey, California. It has the distinction of being home to the nation's oldest, still-operating McDonald's. It's been on the same site on Lakewood Blvd. since 1953. Tell us about a business in your neighborhood that seems to have always been right there, in that spot.

Free transparent shrug emoji png images, page 1 - pngaaa.com Cancer Emoji Png Blue Crab - free transparent png images - pngaaa.com

I mean, we've only been right here, in this spot, for 16 months. So I don't rightly know. But there is this crab shack kind of place that looks like it might fit the bill. It isn't open year-round and is sort of an open-when-they-want sort of place, so we've never been in there, but we're extremely curious. Maybe next time they open we can have a stop in.

6) The siblings may have had a squeaky clean public image, but Richard did have a brush with the law while in Downey. The Carpenter family lived for a time in an apartment complex, and one of their neighbors -- a policeman -- objected to Richard "banging on the piano" at all hours. When did you most recently interact with an officer of the law?

Pizzeria Uno - What To Know BEFORE You Go | Viator

It was in April 2021, when I was taking Noah, the afore-mentioned 17yo, out of town to the nearest Uno's for their first taste of that delicious deep dish pizza. I was getting eager - I mean, that CRUST is pure magic! - and, as usual, I have a lead foot. And so I got the blue and red lights behind me eventually, but I managed to talk my way out of it andstill  have a special birthday dinner with and for Noah.

7) In 1972, when this song was popular, Mark Spitz was America's premier Olympian, winning seven Gold Medals. A poster of Spitz wearing his red, white and blue swim trunks and all seven medals was a top seller. Can you recall a poster that decorated your bedroom wall when you were a kid?

Nooo, not a single one! I would never have been allowed to put up a poster! My dad would have KILLED me if I'd "ruined" the walls. I was lucky that I was allowed to hang up a calendar!

8) Also in 1972, Liza Minnelli was encouraging us to "come to the cabaret." Without looking it up, do you know who Liza's famous parents were?

Liza Minnelli recalls how Judy Garland helped her cope with stage fright:  'She would calm me down' | Fox News

Well, I know Mom was Judy Garland, of course, but I can't think who her dad was. Is? Did she even have a dad, or did Judy reproduce by budding, like a hydra? Shoot, now I've got to look it up:

TWO Vincente Minnelli Film Retrospectives – Judy Garland News & Events

All right, apparently he was Vincente Minnelli. Nope, I didn't know that, never would've known him. Liza looks a lot like him. She looks like both of them, though.

9) Random question: Are you a better student or teacher?

20 Teacher Memes That Totally Get Your Daily Struggles

I think, in the right circumstances, I am a good teacher. But for the most part, I am a much better student. Sorry, kids.

~*~*~*~*~

That's it. That's the end. There's no more. I know. I'll miss you too. But it's okay. I'll be back and hopefully, so will you. I've got to go work on the budget some and dig myself out from under all these crazy receipts. Be good, be well, be kind.

Fin.


Saturday 9: Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows

Lesley Gore - The Golden Hits Of Lesley Gore - Amazon.com Music

Hey everyone! I was up late doing volunteer work that I do here at home, and I crashed and burned right in the middle of it. So it's after noon on Saturday, now, that I'm getting into S9. As a result, I'm sure I'll be getting dead last. No worries, though; I'll be glad to be getting in at all.

This week we have Lesley Gore teed up for you. I was surprised I know a number of her songs. I mean, I know her name, and I know these songs, but I didn't know these songs were hers. So now I've got YouTube doings its thing and hitting me in the eardrums with the vocal stylings of the late, great Lesley.

If you'd like to join us this weekend, be sure to link up here. Away we go:

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Saturday 9: Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows (1965)
 
Unfamiliar with this week's song? Hear it here.

1. In this song, Lesley Gore sings that sunshine is wonderful. It's hard to argue with that. Is it sunny where you are today?
 
It's sunny as hell, but decidedly not warm.
 
2. Tootsie Roll is the world's #1 manufacturer of lollipops, and cherry is their most popular flavor. Do you have a sweet tooth? If yes, what's your favorite sweet treat?
 
Ferrero Rocher Hazelnut Chocolate Diamond Gift Box 48 Pieces (241-00015) -  Walmart.com Lindt Lindor Peppermint Cookie Milk Chocolate Truffles, 5.1 OZ | Pick Up In  Store TODAY at CVS
 
I always have love for Ferrero Rocher chocolates - who doesn't? - and Lindt chocolate truffles. Recently, we were in Michaels for some supplies, and we discovered these Peppermint Cookie milk chocolate truffles, and they are so amazing. YUM. Big yum. Get yourself some.
 
3. According to myth, you'll find a leprechaun's pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. If you suddenly, unexpectedly came into $100,000, what is the first thing you would buy?
 
Japan travel guide - Lonely Planet | Asia
 
You mean I can't pay bills? Okay, I'd buy some travel plans for Hubs and me. Two of the kids are grown, and one is all-but. I'd schedule the travel for when they're all grown. There. No guilt. I'd love to go to Japan and then more of the Asian continent.
 
4. She feels brighter than a lucky penny. Abraham Lincoln was the first person to appear on a U.S. coin, when the 1909 penny was struck in honor of his 100th birthday. Thomas Jefferson is on the nickel, George Washington is on the quarter, and John F. Kennedy is on the half dollar. Without looking, do you know which President is on the dime?
 
I want to say Jackson? I'm going to have to go look now, b/c I feel like that's wrong. Going to look... Oh, wow. I was way off. Really, FDR? I completely forgot that information. Thanks for making me re-learn! Jackson must be on the tenner then, right? Please say yes. (Answer: No, that would be Hamilton; Jackson is the 20.)

5. Lesley Gore was very popular in the 1960s, with 11 Top Ten hits. Most people don't know that, while she was making records, she was also attending Sarah Lawrence College and graduated with her BA in 1968. What's something most Saturday 9ers would be surprised to know about you?
 
In 2oo4, after an infant loss the year prior, I established a modest non-profit. But the things is, I'm extremely frugal and didn't want to spend the money to have a CPA or a tax attorney do the paperwork for our 501(c)(3) (nontaxable) status with the IRS. So I looked and I learned and I read and I studied, and I did it all (pages and pages, y'all!) myself. We were awarded our 501(c)(3) status right from the beginning! I was so proud of that.
 
6. She performed "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows" in the movie Ski Party. Do you plan to ski this season?
 
6 Awesome Ski Fails | The Ski Monster
 
Ohhh nooooo. I used to be able to cross-country ski. Never downhill. Neither, anymore.
 
7. This song was written by Marvin Hamlisch, who would go on to win three Oscars, four Grammys, three Emmys, a Tony, and a Pulitzer Prize. That's quite an impressive list! But we believe our Sat 9-ers are impressive, too. So give yourself an award this morning. (For example, Crazy Sam is now Meme Mistress of the Year.)
 
MOST BREAKS TAKEN BY A BLOGGERESS: MELANIE PENELOPE
 
8. In 1965, when this song was on the charts, I Dream of Jeannie premiered. This supernatural sitcom, about an astronaut who finds a genie on a beach, competed for viewers with Bewitched, which was about an advertising executive who marries a witch. Do you prefer Bewitched or I Dream of Jeannie?
 
Watch I Dream Of Jeannie - Season 01 | Prime Video
 
I enjoyed them both, but I prefered Jeannie just because I always found Barbara Eden sooo beautiful.

9. Random question -- Which would you rather have, tacos or pizza?
 
Veggie Pizza Recipe
 
Oh, that's an easy one. Nine times out of 10, I'm picking a (vegetarian) pizza.
 
~*~*~*~*~
 
I finished within an hour! That's something of a miracle!
 
Y'all have yourselves a good week now, y'hear?
 
Fin.
 
 

Saturday 9: Yesterday

The Beatles - Yesterday [1 HOUR] - YouTube

Well hello, everyone! I trust you've been well. I just learned that my email (yahoo)'s been tricky about the way it's showing me my messages, and I didn't know several of you had responded to my previous posts. I'm going to try and get around to those after this message tonight. Sorry about that!

If you're looking to join this group of fun Saturday bloggers, look no further than right here.

Gonna jump right in here.

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Saturday 9: Yesterday (1965)

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

{Chosen because June 18 is Paul McCartney's 80th birthday.} 

1) Paul McCartney sings that yesterday all his troubles seemed so far away. Can you recall a time when your life seemed carefree?

Have a More Carefree Life: 5 Ways to Lose Your Daily Woes (2021)

I can say there were pockets of time here and there, or even pockets of time each day where things seemed fancy-free... but I'm not so sure I could claim there were any long stretches.

2) He has always insisted the melody to "Yesterday" came to him in a dream. Did you dream last night?

Bird flight - Wikipedia

Yes, I dreamt for the umpteenth time about all these big birds I didn't know I had suddently flying away from me. It's very disconcerting!

3) The lyrics were inspired, in part, by the death of Paul's mother when he was 14. Thirteen years later, he named his daughter Mary after her. Are you named after anyone? If you're a parent, did you name your children in honor of anyone?

Omg who Would name thEir kid After an anime character?" Has a kid named  after an anime character - Smug Hippo | Meme Generator

No, I was almost named Eleanor after my dad's mother, but while he out of the room, she grabbed the birth certificate paperwork and put in the name I have. We did name our son, Robert Wiliam's, first name after my husband, Rob. My father, another Robert, thought it was for him, but no, man, c'mon with that. That was just a terrible coincidence! William was not for Rob but rather for his late friend, Bill Rose, who was a mentor in fly-fishing and in life. Sadly, that's the kidlet that we lost.

4) Over the years, Paul has performed on bass, acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards and drums, but not the first instrument he owned: the trumpet. A present from his dad for his 14th birthday, he exchanged the trumpet for a guitar because, "you can't sing while playing the trumpet." Have you more recently a) exchanged a gift, b) donated a gift you didn't want to charity or c) regifted?

Gosh, I really can't remember doing any of those lately!

5) Paul grew up seeing how much his dad enjoyed placing a bet and then listening to the horse race from his favorite armchair in the living room, so he took his salary from making the film A Hard Day's Night and surprised his father with a racehorse. After father and son proudly watched Drake's Drum win at Liverpool's Aintree Racecourse, the horse retired to Paul's farm in Scotland. If money were no object, what gift would you give a loved one?

2022 Honda CR-V vs. 2022 Honda HR-V Comparison - Kelley Blue Book

I'd probably gift each of my three kiddos with a car that befits them. Sophie can probably enjoy anything, but for the older - and also much smaller - two, I would need to give them a car made for or adaptable for very short folks. Reaching the pedals, sitting back in the seat while not clinging desperately to the steering wheel, and being able to see out the windshield, are just the beginning goals for them!

6) Paul is considered one of the world's wealthiest entertainers, worth an estimated $1.2 billion. This month, as he approaches his 80th birthday, he is winding up a 16-city North American tour, during which he performs 30+ songs in a 2 hour, 40 minute show. If you had all the money you needed, would you continue to work? Or would you kick back and relax?

Tailor A Disability Plan To Your Client's Needs And Budget –  InsuranceNewsNet

 

Dude, I wish I could work!! I'm not even reliable for working from home or self-employment anymore. I'm sad and it sucks and what was the question, again?

7) Paul first joined the Beatles when he was recruited into the band by John Lennon. They met as teenagers when Paul showed up at a church picnic where John's band was performing. Paul recalls pedaling over on his bike to hear them, his guitar flung over this back. When did you most recently ride a bike? 

That's me, and according to my records, it was May 29, 2014 - before the world (my good health) came crashing down.

8) Paul met his first wife, Linda, at a London club and then again four days later when she was a photographer at a press party for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band. Think about one of your romances. Where did you meet?

At Yale's newest STEM labs, teaching takes a bold step forward | YaleNews

After having several classes together, J and I were not partners, but my partner and I were linked across the table with him and his partner, so we all did a lot of chit-chatting together. Mostly me. We got to know each other better, so sometimes that chattering, between him and me, turned flirtatious. Eventually, he asked to walk me back to my dorm, and... I'm going to stop right there. Heh. 

9) TV journalist Barbara Walters played matchmaker for Paul and his current wife, Nancy. During the summer of 2007, when Paul was vacationing in The Hamptons, Barbara repeatedly and intentionally invited them to the same parties and picnics. Have you had any success in a matchmaking scenario -- as either the matchmaker or one of the dates?

Virtual Matchmaking Events: What makes the format so popular in 2022?

Not that I'm aware of, I can't think of anything I've done or benefited from in that regard!

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Okay, I'm out. Y'all have a fantastic weekend! 

🏳️‍🌈 🏳️‍🌈 🏳️‍🌈
Fin.

Saturday 9: Give A Little Love

Naomi Judd Dead at 76 of Mental Illness | PEOPLE.com

Hello, friends. Well, a sad week is upon us S-9ers, that's for sure. I bet I'm not the only one who could say I grew up with the Judds on the TV now and then. RIP, Naomi.

I've battled this same demon for years and years myself, and so far, I've won every battle. Fingers are crossed I'll win every single one to come, and if any of you are along in the same boat, you'll win yours, too.

If you need help:

NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION HOTLINE: 800.273.8255

or text "STRENGTH" TO 741-741

or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org 

Let's do this. Link up here if you're yakking along with us this week:

    ~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: Give a Little Love (1988)

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

In memory of Naomi Judd (1946-2022)

1) In this week's song, the Judds tell us they aren't impressed by diamonds or foreign travel. If you had your choice, would you prefer a $1,500 diamond pendant or a $1,500 voucher from United Airlines?
 

 

Ten times out of ten, I'd rather go somewhere.
 
2) In the video for this song, the Judds are shown having fun on the beach. Do you have any trips to the beach planned for the upcoming summer months?
 
Toes in the Sand - Cocoa Beach, FL - Picture of Courtyard by Marriott Cocoa  Beach Cape Canaveral - Tripadvisor
 
Most definitely! We only live about 30-40 min from the ocean, so I've been biding my time for the RIGHT time. Sophia (our youngest)  wanted to take me there for her Mother's Day gift to me, but it ended up being cold & rainy, like it was for a whille before then, like it's been ever since... But as soon as the day is right, That's what we'll be doing!
 
3) Early in their career, this mother-daughter duo performed in clubs venues around San Francisco, where they called themselves The Hillbilly Women. Have you recently been to a bar or restaurant with live music?
 
Nah. We did a LOT of that in Miami, I think lastly in Key Largo, but none of that in Idaho and none yet here in Maryland. I hope to. But we left Florida in March 2017, so it would be at least 5 years since we listened to live music.
 
4) They moved to Nashville in 1979 in search of greater success. During the three years it took them to score a record contract, Naomi supported the family as a part-time nurse and occasional model. She enjoyed the flexibility so her schedule could accommodate auditions. Do you like having a pre-planned schedule? Or would you rather keep things loose?
 
Squiggle Box File | Blue Bowl
 
Okay, bear with me on this journey for just a moment. In 7th grade, my English teacher was Mrs. Trainham. And one day, Mrs. Trainham explained that some people were very much like a box in their thinking. In the box, always. They were boxy folks. Others people might be squiggles. Like, you could never pin down, never predict where they might be - maybe even while asking them, such out of the box thinkers they were. And then Mrs. Trainham explained we also can have boxy squiggles and squiggly boxes. I literally have spent my entire adulthood-plus going back and forth on which of those last two I am.
 
So anyway, for some things, for me, pre-planned is absolutely the way to go. But for many others, I love being unscheduled and having the freedom to do what I want. It's perfect... or it would be, if only I had the good health to take advantage of it.
 
5) Wynona sang the Elvis classic "Burning Love" in 2002 Disney movie Lilo and Stitch. What's the most recent Disney movie you've seen?
 
Turning Red': Pixar's taboo-busting period film leaves some men complaining  about representation | Culture | EL PAÍS English Edition
 
Chloë, Hubs, and I watched Turning Red most recently. I want to watch it with Sophia now.
 
6) In 2011, Wynona wrote her first novel, Restless Heart, about a country singer struggling with the price of fame. Have you ever tried your hand at writing fiction?
 
It's funny, I much prefer to read fiction over nonfiction, but I almost always write nonfiction.
 
7) Kid sister Ashley Judd is the only woman in her immediate family to not change her first name. Naomi was born Diana, and Wynona was originally Christina. Do you like your first name?
Glitter Text graphic | Glitter graphics, Glitter text, Melanie
 
I did not, growing up. But as an adult, I have definitely come to love my name. I still don't like my middle name, Ann!
 
8) In 1988, the year this song was popular, Sonny Bono went from entertainer to politician when he was elected Mayor of Palm Springs. Have you met the mayor of your town?
 
 
Pffft. His name is Jake Day of Salisbury, Maryland, and no, I have never met him nor any other mayor of any place I've lived. Should I add it to my Bucket List?
 
9) Random question: Were you a member of the Columbia House Record Club?

Columbia House is back and so is vinyl

Oh, you know I was - at least twice over! So funny. I haven't thought about that in years!

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Have you guys watched "Bling Empire" on Netflix? I'm watching it now - it's great! Totally binge-worthy. Check it out.

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Halloween

Hello, all you ghosts and goblins - or is that your kids and grandkids and nieces and nephews this weekend?

My three kids want to go trick-or-treating this year, all as ghosts. Mind you, they are 16, 18, and 20 years old! I'm hands-off on this one. Other things to worry about and stuff. Actually I'm pretty happy that they're getting along enough to do that together at their ages!

Let's get to it.

~*~*~*~*~

Welcome to Sunday Stealing, with our host Bev Sykes of the blog "Funny the World."
 
Here, we will steal all types of questions from every corner of the blogosphere, with hopes that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent questions. Link up here if you're playing along today! Cheers to all of us thieves!
 
*

Stolen from madame writer blog

 1) Have you ever played with a Ouija Board?

30 Hilarious Letterboard Quotes | The Funny Beaver | Message board quotes,  Letter board, Lettering

I have been present when one has been used/played with. I don't recall be2ing part of the game or whatever you call it.


2) Favorite horror monster or villain?

660 Edward Scissorhands Photos and Premium High Res Pictures - Getty Images

I'm going to flip it on you a little bit, I think, and say Edward Scissorhands.


3) If you were dared to spend the night in a “haunted house”, would you do it?

Haunted House ~ Silly Bunt

 

No, I don't take dares. Like, ever. If I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it anyway and don't need a dare to propel. The converse is also true.

4) Are you superstitious?

Funny Superstition Quotes. QuotesGram

Nah, not really. I'll knock wood, but it's more as a habit than any particular belief system that it's going to do anything.

5) Do you ever see figures in your peripheral vision?

What does this question have to do to with anything?

6) Ever made a potion of any sort?

Pin on Bergamont

I mean, when I was in my full-on Young Living days, I made what I called potions and concoctions all the time. But nothing like what I imagine this is referring to.

7) Do you get scared easily?

Shirley Davis Says, "Let's Define CPTSD" - 501c3.buzz

Oh, yeah. Scream, jump, the whole nine.

8) Have you ever played Bloody Mary?

No. I'd never even heard of that until my daughter Chloë, the one who is now 20, came home from Kindergarten or First or Second grade (sorry I can't remember precisely, honey!) at 6 or 7 years old (?), completely traumatized by it. And she still is to this day, even hearing the name of it. So I don't ever mention it.

9) Would you ever go to a graveyard at night?

Istanbul is expensive even after death | Daily Sabah

Sure, and I have. I find them peaceful and restful. Not this one, though; I believe it's in Istanbul. (Hubs has been in Turkey, but I have not!)

10) Would you rather go to a Halloween party or go trick or treating?

30 Best Wheelchair Costumes 2021 - Adaptive Halloween Costumes for Kids

If Rob could rig up this costume for me in my wheelchair, I'd totally go around the neighborhood. Shoot, what time is it???

11) Whilst watching scary movies, are you the person who yells at the characters, the person with their eyes covered the whole time, or the person who falls asleep?

I don't know, I told you I refuse to watch 'em!

12) Favorite scary book?

Why Kubrick's The Shining Wasn't as Scary as Its Marketing Campaign |  IndieWire

I remember in college, I started to read The Shining. But when I realized I was closing my eyes at all the really scary parts, I tossed it aside. I've never picked up it (or watched it) since. I did read a lot of Dean Koontz back in the day. Best I can do, I think.

13) How old were you when you saw your first horror movie?

Heh. Well.

Yentl (1983) - IMDb

The last movie I saw with my mother before she died was Yentl, at the theater, just the two of us. Mama passed away in April 1984, when I was a little girl. Not too scary, right?

Movie Review – Children of the Corn (1984) – The Revenant Review

Shortly after Mom died, within a month, Dad put Children of the Corn on HBO one night, for the three of us (my big sister, too) to watch during whatever dinner was. I couldn't leave. I had no choice but to sit there and try not to watch and just keep my head down while I ate. I was seven and sufficiently horrified.

How a Cat Inspired Freddy Krueger From 'A Nightmare on Elm Street'

And then... well, let me back up and say that if you told me my dad waited two full months after my mom was put in the ground to start dating, I probably wouldn't believe you. So by the time the first Nightmare on Elm Street came out in July or August 1984, he was already dating his 3rd or 4th woman at least - and the one who unfortunately would become my stepmother. So her two daughters (my future older stepsisters) and my sister and I were sent to the theater to watch Freddy do his thing. I was still seven, mind you. I think that was the movie where Mindy (my oldest future stepsis) put her arm in front of my face for the whole movie, or gave me her hoodie, or something, knowing I was terrified. (See, this is all one big reason why I choose not to scare myself on purpose.)

Porky's II: The Next Day (1983) - YouTube

Okay, I know Porky's II isn't a horror movie (or is it?), but hear me out. Same year. I'm still seven. (!!!) Steps are over at our house. Everyone wants pizza except my father, so that's ordered, and then future stepma starts the process of making him fried chicken. Then they queue up Porky's II on HBO because, again, watching age-appropriate television was totally a huge value for my dad. So they go back and forth between dinner prep and Porky's II. Eventually, they become completely transfixed by Porky's and forget to go back to chicken. Soon, a grease fire starts. Pro tip: If you ever have a grease fire, you should throw baking soda on it, NOT flour. Dad threw a ton of flour on it, which blew it up into huge flames. 

Seeing those flames licking the kitchen cabinets and the ceiling (right above which was my bed, my room), Dad panicked and grabbed that pan to take it outside. Instead of sanely going out the front door, he went through the garage side door, to go out through the garage. But the pan handle started to get too hot for him to hold, and he was afraid that if he dropped it, he might get some of that burning hot grease on his precious classic cars in that garage. So what did Dad do? He turned around and came back in. He made it about three steps before the handle became unbearably hot for him, and then he dropped it. Right where Mindy and I were sitting. (The other two girls managed to escape the worst of it.)

I'll skip the rest of that story for now except to say that I still have the scars from that night. Some are physical.


14) What was your first Halloween costume?

Girls Little Old Lady Costume | Party City

I'm pretty sure I was an old lady. With the curlers. And maybe a cane.

15) If you could have a spooky Halloween pet (black cat, owl, bat, rat, wolf), what would you pick?

 
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I already do! Okay, so technically this little lady, Sugarplum Yogurt Fairy, belongs to 16yo Sophia, but we all love her to pieces! She's full of nonsense, whimsy, troublemaking and mischief, but not spook. And she's soft as a motherfluffer!
 
~*~*~*~*~
 
Look at that, y'all - I did Saturday 9 and Sunday Stealing in the same weekend! I haven't done that in ages. Shouldn't there be some kind of prize? 😆😆😆
 
I hope you all have a delightful Sunday and just the kind of Hallowe'en you're hoping for. Cheerio!
 
Fin.

Sunday Stealing: Clayton Questions

Heyyy, everyone.

I'm late, already afternoon on Sunday, but I've done much worse before! Getting a post in on both Saturday and Sunday in the same weekend? I'm highly impressed with myself. ;)

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

~*~*~*~*~ 

 
 
1. Do you put ketchup on hot dogs?
 
🤷‍♀️ Woman Shrugging Emoji — Meaning, Copy & Paste I don't eat hot dogs.
 
2. How many TVs in your house?
 
We own one TV. It is currently in storage, since we are not in any home of our own. Our hotel room has two.
 
3. Do you put salt on watermelon?
 
Diving into the South's Obsession with Salt on Watermelon | Food & Drink |  postandcourier.com
 
No, I never have. I'm not opposed to it, I would try it, but I just never have.
 
4. Can you swim?
 
Babies Need Swim Lessons! | Houston Swim Club Swim School
 
Yes, I've been swimming since I was a baby, pretty much. I'm not winning any contests, though!
 
5. Are your parents still alive?
 
May be an image of 1 person, standing, sitting and indoor
 
No. My mom died when she was very young. My father is more or less dead to me, so... close enough, I guess?
 
6. First car?
 
1991 Ford Escort LX Wagon 4-Door 1.9L - Classic Ford Escort 1991 for sale
 
In the fall of 1993, when I turned 17, I bought a red '91 Ford Escort wagon. It's a sore subject.

7. Surgeries?
 
At this point I've had so many, I tend to forget some: three Caesarean sections; complete hysterectomy;  Roux-en-y gastric bypass with cholecystectomy; tonsillectomy w/ adenoidectomy; numerous dental surgeries; hiatal hernia repair with removal of a large amount of scar tissue on my lungs (from all the times I've had pneumonia)... and I'm certain I'm leaving something out.
 
8. What do you drink in the morning?
 
Diet Coke 12 Oz Can, HD Png Download , Transparent Png Image - PNGitem
Usually Diet Coke. I usually wake up right when I have to take a fistful of medications, and those go down better for me with something very cold and carbonated.
 
9. Can you do 100 push ups?
 
N O P E
 
10. Can you change a tire?
 
I know how, but at this stage of the game, I'd rather just be there telling someone else what to do if the need arises!
 
11. Tattoos?
 
I don't have any. I don't think they are for me. I do have piercings, though.
 
12. Do you wear sunglasses?
 
STRANGE SUNGLASSES | Unique sunglasses, Sunglasses, Mirrored sunglasses
 
I do. Whenever necessary,

13. Do you have a phobia?
 
Oh, henny. I'm entirely neurotic and full of phobias. Sandpaper and mustard are on that list.

14. Do you have a nickname?
 
I suppose I have a bunch, depending on who is using it, but whenever you visit this site you're using one of them, right?
 
15. Are you a picky eater?
 
Hubs used to say I was "picky." He may still, I don't know. I have valid health reasons for not being able to eat most of what I won't eat, mustard notwithstanding, so I say no.
 
~*~*~*~*~
 
All righty, y'all. Thanks for stopping by! Must get back to work preparing for the week ahead. Toodles!
 
Fin.

Saturday 9: Cry

Image result for johnnie ray cry

Welcome back, S9 friends and the world beyond (since I have such a significant following)! Am I the only one who is shocked we're nearing the end of February already?!!

Link up here if you're joining us this week.

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: Cry (1952)

Unfamiliar with this song? Hear it here.

1) In this song, Johnnie Ray assures us we'll feel better if we cry. Do you agree?
 
Image result for crying
 
 I totally agree! I take meds that usually inhibit my ability to cry, so when I feel like crying, and am not able to, I actually kinda feel worse. Oh, and the other day (Wednesday) would have been my mother's 70th birthday. Since we lost her when she was 33 years old, my mom at 70 is almost unimaginable for me. I was looking at a picture of her:
 
 
... and just thinking thoughts, and the next thing I knew, I was sobbing my wee heart out. It was cathartic.

2) He also mentions waking from a dream, believing it was real. Has that ever happened to you?
 
Image result for dream funny
 
YES! All.The.Time.

3) Because this record was such a massive hit, Johnnie Ray was nicknamed "The Prince of Wails." Without looking it up, do you know who is currently the Prince of Wales?
 
Image result for the princce of wales
 
Oh, yes. No hesitation.

4) To cash in on the success of this single, 20th Century Fox cast Johnnie Ray in a big-budget musical, There's No Business Like Show Business. Today it's best remembered as a Marilyn Monroe movie. Have you seen many of Marilyn's films?
 
Image result for marilyn monroe rare photos
 
Nope. I don't think I have seen a single one. I might have to remedy that. Where should I start?

5) After graduating from high school, Johnnie worked at low-paying jobs, including bus boy and soda jerk. He found he made better tips when he began playing piano in restaurants. Have you ever worked for tips?

This Was Our Servers Shirt
 
 
6) In 1969, Johnnie was in the news a lot again because he performed with Judy Garland during her European tour and was best man at her wedding to Mickey Deans. Tell us what you wore to the most recent wedding you attended.

Image result for silver bridesmaid dresses
 
I haven't been to a wedding since my BFF Lisa got married in 2002! I was in the wedding, and all of us girls wore different style but same maker silver bridesmaid dresses. I was still breastfeeding 9-month-old Chloë then, so I had to take that situation into account when I chose mine!
 
7) In 1952, when this song was a hit, Mr. Potato Head made his debut. It was the first toy advertised on television. What TV commercial have you seen recently?
 
Image result for ashton kutcher mila kunis commercial
 
I really had to think about this one, since I don't really watch much TV, but then I remembered the Cheetos commercial with Mila Kunis, Shaggy, & Ashton at the Super Bowl. I probably wouldn't have watched, except for the Chiefs. Hubs is from  Missouri, so two in a row?! He was lovin' it. (Except, you know, for them not winning this one, and Brady, and all that.)
 
8) Also in 1952, chlorophyll was all the rage for banishing bad breath. Colgate led the way by adding it to their toothpaste. Do you use gum, mints, mouthwash, or breath strips?
 
Food-drink-smelly_food-stinky_breath-bad_breath-perspectives-personal_perspectives-shl111129_low
Very occasionally mints or mouthwash, but rarely even those. Chlorophyll?! I was not aware of that.

9) Random question -- Congratulations! You won a free three night/two day weekend for two in Las Vegas! The weather is predicted to be sunny and 65º each day you're there. It's 12:00 noon on your first day. Are we most likely to find you: a) gambling in the casino or b) having breakfast in bed or c) outside, enjoying the sun and the sights?

Image result for las vegas cirque du soleil

...or d. Taking in a show. I particularly love Cirque du Soleil - saw "O" once, years ago, there. I don't gamble and probably already did (b) by that point. I'll work on (c) after the show.

~*~*~*~*~

Okay, now that I did a thing, I think it's time for my first nap of the day. I hate these damn naps! Be well, y'all.

Fin.


Saturday 9: One Night Standards

Ashley McBryde will stick to the “One Night Standards” on tour in 2020 –  Algona Radio

Hello, y'all. Another weekend has snuck right on up on me. I missed last weekend entirely, seems like.

If I didn't tell you here, we put our Idaho house on the market, and within hours we had an offer for the full amount of our request. So that was exciting. Once we close on that, we can start looking for our new home here on the Eastern shore of Maryland. Woot!

Hope y'all are doing well. ♥

Link up here if you're playing along with us this weekend.

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: One Night Standards (2019)

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

1) The video for this song takes place in a motel and the story is told from the point of view of the desk clerk. Have you ever worked in a hotel, motel, or bed-and-breakfast?

I have not. But I used to have this fantasy of owning and running a boutique bed & breakfast in St. Pete Beach or Sarasota, Florida.

2) Ashley McBryde sings that she's not Cinderella, a reference to the fairy-tale heroine warned to return from the ball before midnight. When did you recently stay up until the wee small hours of the morning?

Today! I can't help it. Try as I might to get myself on a "normal" human, diurnal schedule, my body just won't comply. I always end right back up on a nocturnal schedule, try as I might to fight it.

3) Ashley had been working hard as a singer/songwriter for eleven years before she was discovered and proclaimed one of County's best new artists. What was your life like 11 years ago?

Oh, it was busy! By then I had a 4-year-old daughter, a 6-year-old son, and an 8-year-old daughter. I was a stay-home mom, but we were rarely at home. I think I had started my bakery by then and was getting orders fairly frequently; I was also still running my 501(c)(3) in memory of my living son's twin. Hubs was still Active-Duty Navy, so we mostly scheduled everything around that. I hated our house in Virginia Beach, but I loved living there - it was a great location!

4) Ashley is from Mammoth Springs, AR. One of the most popular stops on Main Street -- for locals and tourists alike -- is Spring Dipper Ice Cream. More than 20 flavors are made right there on the premises, from Jamoca Almond Fudge to French Vanilla. When confronted with such a wide selection, do you tend to order your familiar favorite or try something new?

Pistachio Ice Cream Recipe | Southern Living

It's kind of a toss-up on that.  I love pistachio ice cream, but I rarely find it anymore. So if I see that, I'm probably getting it. If it's not there, I have to look at and evaluate each and every single other flavor to see what there is. I know what I'd like and what I wouldn't. And so I whittle down my choices until I reach my answer: wait a minute! I can't eat ice cream!

5) In 2007, she moved to Nashville to pursue a music career. Have you ever relocated for a job?

Guam | History, Geography, & Points of Interest | Britannica

Well, you didn't specify that it had to be my job (although I have done that, too), so yes: in 2002, we moved to Guam on the other side of the world for Rob's next station in the US Navy. Chloë was a baby, and I was early in my pregnancy with the twins. We had a dog and a cat who flew separately from us and got lost, then were found and had to quarantine for a month or so. This all cost a pretty penny, and seemed like it was soooo much flying with a 13-month-old! So imagine how thrilled we were when we had to do it again and go back to the States four months later! (At that time I was about six months pregnant, but it was twins, and I had the same polyhydramnios - excess amniotic fluid - that I'd had with Chloë, so the flight attendants were eyeing my belly like, "Are you sure you're allowed to be flying right now?!"

6) Whenever Ashley hears a Carpenters song, she thinks of her mother, who loved Karen Carpenter's voice. Tell us a song that reminds you a loved one.

My mother loved the song "Hey There, Georgy Girl" and used to play it, almost daily, on her organ in our house in first Monroe, then Baldwinsville, New York. I just thought of it, and listened to it, now for the first time in years. I could see her so joyfully playing the organ and singing along, smiling, sounding beautiful. She had a lovely voice and was so talented.

7) In 2019, the year this song was recorded, Notre Dame Cathedral was damaged in a fire. Have you ever visited Paris?

Cours Saleya Flower Market | Flower market, Healthy lunches for kids, Fruit  displays

No, not yet. The closest I've come was the flower market in Nice. And on that same 2008 trip, we also went to Eze. Beautiful!

8) Also in 2019, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (aka Harry and Meghan) had a baby boy. Is anyone in your life expecting a baby?

Wow, I don't think so. If anyone I know is pregnant, I do not think I am aware of it yet. Been a long time since I could say that!

9) Random question: Do you always want to hear the truth about yourself?

Fragile Please Handle With Care 5" x 3" Shipping Labels - SCL536

I would like to say yes, but I am afraid that answer is actually no, not always. I'm just too sensitive. I don't know. Can I say "maybe"??

~*~*~*~*~

Well, kids, I'm off to take my brood for a spin in my new wheels. We're going all the way to the post office. Exciting!

Have a lovely!

Fin.


Saturday 9: Buttered Popcorn

🌹TᕼE ᔕᑌᑭᖇEᗰEᔕ🌹

Welcome back, my lovelies! This weekend finds us at a different hotel than where we were during my write-up of last week's Saturday 9; not only that, but we are in our third or fourth room in the current establishment! Things have gotten a little ridiculous with the room-jumping, and we are exhausted. So, we're not too terribly disappointed over the thunder and lightning going on for the past several days, keeping us from the beach. Maybe we'll go tomorrow?

This week, Crazy Sam brings us the Supremes! Little before my time, but I'm a fan nonetheless. Link up here if you're playing along this weekend!

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: Buttered Popcorn (1961)

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

1) This Saturday, the treat's on Sam. Will you have buttered popcorn, caramel corn or cheese popcorn?

Popcorn Shrimp Recipe | Laura in the Kitchen - Internet Cooking Show

I'm not a huge fan of popcorn, actually. Maybe I'll have some popcorn shrimp instead?

2) This record represents the Supremes as they are seldom heard. Florence Ballard is singing lead, with background vocals provided by Mary Wilson, Barbara Martin and Diane Ross. That's right, "Diane." Her parents meant for her to be named "Diane," and that's what old friends and family still call her, but the hospital mistakenly put her name down as "Diana." Motown execs thought "Diana Ross" had a better sound and the rest, as they say, is history. Do you often make typos? Or are you careful and precise at the keyboard?

Newspaper Gets Roasted After Hilarious Typo Mess-Up - FAIL Blog - Funny  Fails

I find myself making far more typos lately than I ever used to. My mind is just going faster than my fingers can keep up - always a problem, has just gotten worse.

3) Barbara Martin left the Supremes in 1962, before they reached stardom, because she was a new mom and wanted to stay home with her baby. Have you ever found yourself in the difficult position of having to choose between your personal and professional lives?

gif Awesome shark ocean sea marine life diving dive scuba sealife blue  shark free dive mermaidtittiezzz •

Certainly. I left the world of marine biology to be a wife and mom, with my husband and I having the fullest intent that I stay home to raise the kids and not miss many - or any - "firsts." It was a tremendous sacrifice for us in many ways, and I still feel the pull of the rip tide out to the sea, but I know we did the right thing for our children. It was worth it.

4) Florence Ballard's cousin, Hank, wrote the famous Chubby Checkers dance record, "The Twist." When did you last get on your feet and dance?

Merengue GIF | Gfycat

I'm not able to do too much of that these days, between balance issues with my left inner ear, and problems with POTS and low blood pressure. But I heard some merengue music in the store yesterday and very slightly moved to the rhythm. I learned to dance the merengue from my many Latinx friends during my college years. Hard to resist!

5) Mary Wilson stayed with the group until it disbanded in 1977. She has said that one of her most memorable moments came in 1968, when the group performed for Princess Margaret. Mary recalled that the Princess loudly asked if Mary's hair was real or a wig. Mary was shocked, expecting better behavior from a royal. Tell us a time when someone's behavior shocked you.

12 Packs "We Believe - Kindness is Everything " SIGNS / SHIP | eBay

I'm a fully-active anti-racist and an ally accomplice to the movements supporting all marginalized and disenfranchised populations. So I've seen and heard a lot - as have we all over the course of this terrible year. Yet every highly-publicized police shooting of a Black person, such as Jake Blake most recently, shocks me again. And then the scumbag 17-year-old kid who crossed state lines with an AR-15 to hunt down peaceful protesters, then subsequently be let walk away by the police, took the cake. I keep thinking, "What else?" and then knocking the hell out of whatever wood is nearby.

Sad Stickers Find Share On Giphy Flaming Heart GIF - LowGif

6) In 1961, when this song was released, the TV show Hazel premiered and was a top 5 hit for NBC. Oscar winner Shirley Booth played the title character, a very capable and lovable maid. If Crazy Sam could have a maid for just a few hours today, she'd love to have her refrigerator cleaned and kitchen cabinets organized. If you could have a pair of helping hands around your house this afternoon, what would you ask the maid to do? 

Inside the Frat Party that Caused $75,000 of Damage at a Ski Resort - ABC  News

Well, living in hotel rooms for the past 10 days with very few belongings, our room can only get so untidy. It feels like the above picture to me, a bit of a neat freak, but in reality looks nothing like that. Housekeeping staff are not allowed in guests' hotel rooms during their stays these days, so we're on our own with fresh towels, emptying garbage, and so on. It's not so bad. Honestly I'd rather say F- it and just take a long nap!

7) Also in 1961, President John F. Kennedy appeared on the cover of Time as their Man of the Year. Are there any magazines in your home right now? If so, who is on the cover?

No description available.

I've got a few magazines in my laptop backpack, including this issue of People with Kelly Ripa and her family on the cover. I've always thought her husband, Mark Consuelos, was soooo hot since way back in the day when they first starred together on All My Children. And that hasn't changed!

8) Ernest Hemingway died in 1961. Have you read any of his works?

hemingwayhome.com | Home

Certainly. I think The Old Man and the Sea was one of my favorite of his writings. I've toured Hemingway House in Key West two or three times, most recently so my feline-crazy kids could admire the six-toed cats.

9) Random question: How many pancakes are in the perfect stack?

SweetStacks Gourmet Pancake & Waffle Mix

Oh, I can only eat about two or three at a time these days, so not very many... but please make it with whatever kind of fruit(s) you've got!

~*~*~*~*~

Okay. I think I may actually take that nap right now. Enjoy your weekend!

Fin.

P.S. My grandfather adored the show Hazel. If it was on, he was watching it!


Photo Shoot With The Goofiest Child

08072020 Sophia Haori a Collage

So, my 15-year-old kiddo, Sophia, is the queen of being a hilarious pain in the ass. I mean, since she was born, we have witnessed this child do the most ridiculous things that you might be inclined to get mad at, but she's so freaking funny, ya just can't. Parenting is tough, you know?

I recently picked up some clothes online on Express, with a gift card I had to use before it expires. I constantly have to be buying clothes for this growin'-like-a-weed kid of mine. Since she was asleep at the time I was buying them, it was a crap shoot as to whether they would fit, and whether she would actually like them. Not the first time.

Showing her the order, with pictures of the clothing, didn't seem too promising. She appeared to like maybe one thing.

Above, at the top, she'd styled her hair with the pretty orange scrunchie, the intricate-looking tights, and a black jumpsuit - all Express. (I had given her the haori she paired with this outfit from Kimonoshi for her birthday.) So to go along with the pop of orange, I'd asked her to snip one of the lilies her dad had given me recently and smell it. I did not expect her to put her nose right into the flower. When she pulled the flower off her face, there was pollen stuck to her nose and cheeks!

It was pretty funny, but not as hilarious as the things she said about it. This... was not fit to print.

So after Sophia got all the flower yuk off her - which took quite some effort - she was not thrilled to participate in any more clothes modeling for me:

08072020 Sophia Jumpsuit a Collage

Decided to lose the haori, too.  She's still adorable and full of spunk (no pun intended), though!

08072020 Sophia Jumpsuit b Collage

It's super cute, right? It's kind of a capri-length jumpsuit, which at almost 5'6", she didn't want, but on her it's adorable! 

08072020 Sophia Olive Shirt Collage

Look at those goofy faces! She didn't like this olive green "Slub Crew Neck Slim Tee" too much at first, because it's a bit more revealing than what she usually wears, but after I made sure to let her know how great it looks on her, I think she came around.

By the way, with that blond hair, styled that way, at that length, and as she gets older... suddenly I'm seeing my mom in her. (Mom died when I was 7; she was very young herself.) I have seen it loads of times in Jack and Chloë their entire lives, but never really Sophie as she takes after my dad and me more. It's very breathtaking when it happens. I find myself staring at her. It must be so weird to be on the kid end of things when that happens, but I almost can't help myself.

08072020 Sophia Red Shirt a Collage

Would you look at this monkey? Dramatic much? (I don't know where she gets that.)

08072020 Sophia Red Shirt b Collage

::snort::

No, not overly dramatic at all. Somehow I managed to buy her two of these red "Crew Neck Easy" t-shirts - but at least it fits, right?

08072020 Sophia White Love Shirt collage

Of course, I had to get her this "Love" tee that was on clearance. She wore it today and yesterday.

08072020 Sophia White Tank collage

And finally, I snagged her this "Slub Ruched Side Tie Easy" tank top in white. Good while there's still some Summertime left.

And then, that mad dash for the door is not just to get away from my lens (although also that). That was the moment she remembered she'd put a pot on to boil downstairs!

Ha. I love that kid, but she's a knucklehead!

6wsButton

I'm so late posting this, but at least it's still Saturday on the Pacific coast!

I participated in Six Word Saturday many years ago when it was on Show My Face, but they decided to retire the gig and now it seems to be run by Debbie over at Travel With Intent. Link up this weekend on this post of hers here, if you wish!

Lots of us break the numeric rule and share many more words, so the key rule now is to have a post title of six words, and then create around that the post that you desire - perhaps in bunches of 6 words if you’re really feeling inspired.

To join the challenge, put a link in your post to the URL of this post. Then go back and leave a comment. (If you have any problems with linking, just put your own URL into the comment.) Feel free to socialize digitally – tweet, instagram, flickr, etc. with the hashtags #SixWordSaturday and #6WS.

Fin.

p.s. I get excited about good deals. You've got to forgive me. I paid $43.03 shipped for over $224 worth of Express clothes!


Sunday Stealing: Swimming Upstream

For this week's thievery, Bev went to Upstreamlife to get our questions asked and answered. Looks like fun!

Join us, won't you? And when you do, link up here.

~*~*~*~*~

1) Name 5 people you admire and why:

Jimmy Carter hospitalized after fall at Georgia home

Jimmy Carter - for as old as he is and how often he gets himself badly injured, he's a tremendous humanitarian. More of us should be like Jimmy.

Michelle Obama Covers Vogue | Michelle obama fashion, Michelle obama,  Fashion

Michelle Obama - She and President Obama endured relentless criticism throughout their eight years in the White House, but she was always poised and full of grace. She's a gorgeous woman inside and out, she don't take no shit from anybody, and her messages have always been uplifting and positive. And she's not done yet!

His Holiness the Dalai Lama XIV 85th birthday: Teachings to find inner  strength and happiness - art and culture - Hindustan Times

The Dalai Lama - His messages of compassion for all others in humanity are inspiring millions, and hopefully it's catching!

Who are Bill Gates' kids? | Fox Business

Bill Gates - who, along with his wife Melinda, is doing amazing philanthropic works for global health and development with their foundation. I'm endlessly impressed.

The Fine Line: What Makes Simone Biles the Worlds Best Gymnast simonebiles newyorktimes simone biles gymnastics gymnast video from The New York Times nyti.ms/2aE5vRW GIF

Simone Biles - She's been through so many things in her life, and yet she continues to push herself further to be the best gymnast in the entire world. And her athletic ability is astounding.

2. When was the last time you did something adventurous?

Well, we're about to do something adventurous. We're going to pack up our stuff here in our amazing house in southern Idaho, list it and sell it, fly across the country to Maryland, and buy a new house where, hopefully, we'll live more than 13 months this time! I've got my eye on this beauty right now. It's amazing.

3. You felt you got older when _______

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling

...I got Lyme disease. Here I am six years ago, with my best friend Lisa, at our 20th high school reunion. This was days before I got my tick bite. Now, I feel like I'm 90 years old, and my life has changed drastically. It's hellish, to be honest.

4. What one thing that could happen today would make you extremely happy?

Lyme disease symptoms: How to know if you have Lyme disease - Business  Insider

If I had a complete cure and total reversal of everything Lyme-related, I'd be positively ecstatic.

5. An experience you don’t want to go through again:

Child death | Grief

I would not like to live through the loss of a child again. Not in a million years.

6. One decision you made that changed your life completely:

Random And Hilarious Personal Ads | Fun

WTH?!!!  😂😂😂

I made the decision to listen to a friend and finally put a dating ad on a matching site. I didn't really want to do it, though, so I made sort of a joke listing: in my description, I listed all of my faults. It was a long list! Rob read it and found it hilarious, and here we are, planning our 20th wedding anniversary!

7. How do you participate in saving the earth?

Ways Your Family Can Help Save the Earth | Greenwich, CT Patch

I honestly try to do as much as I can. If you look on the right side of this blog screen, scrolling down, you'll see a number of different organizations I participate in, am a member of, and financially support when I can. I am insanely conscious of the products and materials I use and whether they can be reused, donated, recycled even if they need to be broken down into separate parts, composted, and so on. I'm very diligent about learning everything I can to do more. I know so many people aren't doing their part at all, so I feel like it's incumbent upon me to do extra. I eat mostly vegan whenever I can, and I read ingredients so that I can avoid the ones (like palm oil) that are so harmful and destructive to our global environment and which contribute greatly to ecosystem destruction. I buy organic, and/or local, and/or fair trade, etc., whenever this option is available and affordable at the time. I keep a card in my purse so when I'm at the seafood counter, I can correctly buy this fish that's supposed to be farm-raised and that fish that's supposed to be wild-caught, and leave the ones I shouldn't buy alone  entirely. I'm constantly researching how we can modify our home(s) to be more eco-friendly. I'm very outspoken in public and in private about this issue. And so on and so forth. (Hey, you asked!)

8. A gift you would like to get on your next birthday?

Very Demotivational - thoughtful gift - Very Demotivational Posters - Start  Your Day Wrong - Demotivational Posters | Very Demotivational | Funny  Pictures | Funny Posters | Funny Meme - Cheezburger

I'll be 44 in September. It's not a huge milestone. But it's the first birthday since my daughter Chloë was born that we've spent it apart from each other. (She'll be 19 the day before my birthday.) She's going to stay behind here in Idaho, and we're moving to Maryland quite soon. To be perfectly honest, I'm not handling that well at all, and the birthdays are going to be so difficult for me. I already know. So I'd love some time with my kid.

9. Things you miss about your childhood?

People always say that they want to go back to their childhood..because it  was easier. Not me...my childhood sucked...Ive never had my innocence...if  I could have one thing...I would want my innocence

I don't.

10. The greatest invention:

People Voted for The Mankind's Greatest Invention? | Bar Chart Race |  Shubotube - YouTube

There are a lot of great inventions listed here, but I think I'm going to go with music. Music can tap deeply into our emotions and make us feel. It brings us joy and empathizes with our pain. All the other things may make life easier, but music makes it worth living.

11. Your favorite super hero:

How The Superman Comics Just Paid Tribute To The Christopher Reeve Movie -  CINEMABLEND

I've always loved Superman. But not just any Superman. Christopher Reeve as Superman. I was so devastated when he was injured.

12. Your views about veganism:

Mercy For Animals Shows How Vegan Diet Saves Animals and The Environment -  Helping Abused Animals

Don't get me started! I've already addressed that a little bit above, but I will just say: I'm totally for it!

13. If you could be anything else in the world, what would you be?

Beautiful Butterfly

I think I would be a beautiful butterfly.

14. How did your parents meet?

Dating or Waiting?. - ppt video online download

Ironically, my  parents also met via a dating match-up service, but in 1970. They met thirty years earlier than my husband I met on the online dating site. 

15. Your morning routine:

70 Most Awesome Sleep Memes

Now that I know my mono was reactivated, this makes much more sense. So me!

~*~*~*~*~

All right, y'all. You have lovely weeks and, if I don't see you for a while,  it's because we're moving. Wish us faith, trust, and pixie dust!

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Keeping The Conversation Going

SpaceX Lifts NASA Astronauts to Orbit, Launching New Era of ...

Hey there, hi there, ho there!

If you were anything like us on Saturday, you were transfixed by the NASA astronauts' launch into space by the SpaceX rocket, Dragon. I swear I held my breath for a very long time (by an asthmatic's standard's, I suppose), thinking of the Challenger and the Columbia. I've always wanted to go to space. What an exciting day!

Link up here if you want to join up with the rest of us thieves this weekend!

~*~*~*~*~

Stolen from Two Drifters

1) What do you think is the greatest television show of all time?

Oh, I couldn't say that. People like what they like. I myself like something one day in one mood and an entirely different thing the next day, maybe. But I tend to lean toward more subtle, cerebral humor. I've long called Larry David from "Curb Your Enthusiasm" my 'boyfriend,' if that's any indicator!

2) Would you rather win a Nobel Prize or an Academy Award?

A Fisherman in September: Thoughts on The Old Man and the Sea ...

Oh, I would absolutely love to win a Nobel. I use to imagine that I would win one in science by age 30. I was foolish, haha! But I guess it's not too late. Maybe I could win for Literature, and join the ranks of Pearl Buck, Ernest Hemingway, and Bob Dylan, to name a few.

3) What one food would you banish from this earth if you could?

I mean, there's haggis, there's foie gras, balut... you name it! If you want to look at more disgusting foods, have a look here or here.

4) What’s the scariest story you’ve ever heard?

Speech: Donald Trump wins 2016 presidential election - YouTube

Area Triangle Tree Font, Up Arrow Available In Different Size ... Area Triangle Tree Font, Up Arrow Available In Different Size ... This one! Area Triangle Tree Font, Up Arrow Available In Different Size ... Area Triangle Tree Font, Up Arrow Available In Different Size ...

5) Who is the most famous person you have ever met?

Boom (2009) - IMDb

Well, I typically say Dave Barry, but this time I'm going to say my daughter Chloë. She's seen here in the short SAG film, Boom, and has acted on TV, modeled in national ads, and so on.

6) What’s something you’ve done that most people wouldn’t know or guess about you?

When I was nine, I started dance lessons in central New York. After my first year, I was invited to attend Dance Olympus in New York City for training from some famous, international choreographers. Janet Jackson and Paula Abdul were supposed to be there that summer, but both had family matters keeping them from going. But I did get some great training from Jimmy Locust, who was my favorite choreographer there. Lots of fun!

7) You’re strapped in a rocket ship about to go to the moon. Are you thrilled? Or terrified?

Oh, I'd be thrilled. I wouldn't need to accomplish anything else. That's the ultimate.

8) What is the correct way for toilet paper to sit on the roll?

The Correct "The Right Way And The Wrong Way To Hang Toilet Paper ...

Hubs and I both agree it's the way on the left, above. I think we're in a very small minority of couples who agree on that!

9) Talk about a mistake you made, or something you regret.

Bimini Scuba Center | Hammerhead Shark Diving

Um, well, I guess I don't know that I truly believe a "mistake" is a mistake unless you learn nothing from it. But after I got my bachelor's degree,  I was recruited by a researcher at RSMAS to do a Master's degree on copepods, but after a few weeks in her lab I rejected the idea because I'd always planned to skip the Master's and go right for the doctoral, and I wasn't ready to give up that goal. And then, I wanted to do my internship at Mote in shark fisheries, but they were pushing hard for me to do the internship in chemistry. I have a strong chemistry background (that was my minor), but I just couldn't see myself being a chemist for life. I held out, and I got a fisheries internship. Sometimes my bullheaded, stubborn persistence has paid off, and sometimes my insane, rash, spontaneity has paid off. And sometimes they haven't. I've tried to learn which way to be in which situations.

10) What would be the best gift I could give you?

Meditation | Wall Street International Magazine

Inner Peace

11) What makes you feel better when you’re sad or stressed?

_DSC0639

These guys. They're it. They're everything.

12) What is the most romantic movie you’ve ever seen?

Disney Censors “Splash” with Digital Fur To Make It Family ...

Oh, there's so many. One of the first rom-coms that has really stayed with me all my life is Splash. I love those two!

13) What is the worst date you’ve ever been on?

clipart thumbs down - thumb signal PNG image with transparent ...

Back in Miami (the first time, not the second time with my family), I went on a blind date in Coconut Grove with a guy who was really weird, really not my "type" appearance-wise, and then he told me he was a devil worshipper. No second date, obvi.

14) What is the glue that keeps couples together?

50 Relationship Quotes to Strengthen Your Relationship - TheLoveBits

Communication is absolute key.

15) What was your first crush?

Matt Dillon | The outsiders, Dallas winston, Young matt dillon

When I was really young, about five years old, I had the biggest crush on Matt Dillon. I think my parents were watching The Outsiders, and I saw him and was just in love. Ha! Then much later on, I saw him in an interview with Dave Letterman, and he sounded like such an idiot. Illusion shattered.

16) When did your parents talk to you about the birds and the bees?

Autocowrecks - birds and the bees - Funny Auto-correct Fails ...

They did not. Ever.

17) What is your greatest achievement?

Squalor Holler: Strong at the broken places

Still being alive. Still being married. Having all my children truly love me as a mother. I've been knocked around, taken a lot of shit in my life, wanted to be dead many times, self-sabotaged a lot of things that were good for me... and yet I'm still here, things are still clicking, and it's hard.

18) Were you close to your parents growing up?

First Church of Christ, Scientist, Englewood, Florida

I was raised in a cult. "A cult for the cultured," they called it. So, no. No, I was not.

19) What was the most life-changing event you’ve ever experienced?

The tragedy of miscarriage and abortion 'rights' | Opinion | LifeSite

There have been a lot of, like, BIG things in my life that I could pick, and I wish that I could say something else... but it was when my son died. That was pivotal. And it was definitely what kicked the bipolar disorder into becoming clearly evident, I believe.

20) Have you ever had a falling out with a friend? What happened?

Linux - Wikipedia

Oh, of course. I'm hot-headed, I have a fiery temper, and I do a lot of really stupid things without thinking first. This one time in 1994, when I was a freshman at Miami and when my BFF Lisa was a freshman at SUNY Geneseo, we were both getting into and getting used to email and the internet for the first time. Her school used LINUX, and mine used something else. I don't even remember what else... but they were completely different systems. We were trying to describe and explain to each other over email what our systems looked like, and I didn't understand hers - and all our other friends who had also stayed in New York and had LINUX-based email systems - at all.  So they teased me and dared me to try to hack into her account and read her email, because I "couldn't do it." Only, she and I had some code words, and I got right in and figured things out. She and everyone were so pissed at me, but I was only fulfilling a dare! I still feel bad about it to this day. Silly way to end the post, right?

~*~*~*~*~

It's 0522 on Sunday morning, the last day of May. I can't believe we're entering the 6th day of 2020 tomorrow. This has been the strangest year...! Can we maybe have a redo?

Enjoy your Sundays. I hope it's sunny and warm where you are!

Fin.


Saturday 9: Battle Hymn Of The Republic

T.V. Variety Shows (Judy Garland)

Hey, guys. Welcome back! I hope you're all still healthy and semi-sane, at least. What more could you hope for?

I'm currently engrossed in the Netflix documentary "I Am A Killer," which has had me transfixed for several nights in a row, now. Have y'all seen it?

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

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: Battle Hymn of the Republic (1963)

Unfamiliar with Judy Garland's rendition of this week's tune? Hear it here.

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

1) On May 30, 1868, President Grant presided over the Memorial Day observance at Arlington National Cemetery. Have you ever visited Arlington Cemetery?

11202004 Arlington Tomb of the Unknown

Yes. We went in November of 2004, when I was pregnant with our youngest child. It was a moving experience through and through.

2) On Memorial Day, it is customary to fly the flag at half-staff until noon and then raise it to the top of the staff until sunset. Will you be flying the flag at your home this weekend?

Gov. DeWine orders half-staff flags after Virginia Beach shooting

Probably. My husband was in the Honor Guard in the Navy, and that is totally his domain. I defer to him.

3) Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day, because flowers and ribbons were left on graves of soldiers.  Do you find solace in visiting cemeteries?

George Washington Memorial Park in Paramus, New Jersey - Find A ...

I don't, really. I feel deeply about death, and seeing and reading about all the names and dates of the folks buried there whom I haven't even met, alone, sometimes breaks me. This picture, here, is of George Washington Memorial Park in Paramus, New Jersey. My mother and grandparents are buried there. I started visiting my mother there in 1984, when I was seven years old. It was definitely not a moment of solace.

4) The lyrics to this week's song were written by Julia Ward Howe in 1861. Her inspiration was a White House visit with Abraham Lincoln. In 2020, under normal circumstances, public tours of the White House are available but you must request your ticket in advance from your Member of Congress (House or Senate). When you travel, do you plan your trip weeks before you go? Or do you decide how your days will unfold once you reach your destination?

Planned Spontaneity: Twitter's New Advertising Program

I'm definitely a whole lotta both!

5) Judy Garland performed this week's song before a live audience as a tribute to President Kennedy, who had been assassinated just weeks before. She knew Kennedy personally and considered this a farewell to a friend. While the performance was difficult for her -- at one point she flubs the lyrics -- she believed it was important, and could perhaps help the country heal. Tell us about a song that reminds you of someone you loved who is no longer with us.

This Josh Groban album came out in 2002 or so, before we moved to Guam or maybe while we were there, and I'm a big fan. So I played it a lot while I drove Chloë and me around the island to various errands and appointments, as my belly grew bigger and bigger with the twins. I continued playing it in Virginia when we had to move back. And then I had - and lost - one of the twins, and I was hospitalized along with them for a while. When I got out, I wanted to play it, but I couldn't. I was in grief therapy, which helped a great deal. But man... when I finally played this song again, I realized just how much I could cry during one song.

6) John F. Kennedy served in WWII and was awarded a Navy and Marine Corps medal and a Purple Heart. His brother Joe also served and was awarded the Navy Cross, but he received his citation posthumously, having died during a flying mission over East Suffolk, England. Here at Saturday 9, we consider everyone who serves a hero and want to hear about the veterans and active military members in your life.

  091976 Rob and Al

My grandfather served in the Navy in WWII. Pictured here are my father-in-law and my husband in September 1976 - around when I was being born, incidentally. Rob's dad was a submariner in the Navy, and of course Rob did a full career in the Navy.

7) Memorial Day is considered the beginning of the summer season. Will you be enjoying warm weather this weekend?

I mean, it'll be okay... But not my idea of warm!

8) Berries are especially popular in summer. Which is your favorite: strawberries, blueberries, blackberries or raspberries?

Oh, I'm like our youngest kiddo, Sophia, in that I'm a sucker for a strawberry! (I'll forgive you for not recognizing my hand from June 2014.)

9) If you could attend a Memorial Day picnic with any fictional character, which would you choose?

Anne of Green Gables (@anneofgreengabl) | Twitter

Oh, I'd love to sit down with Anne Shirley (of Green Gables). And I've wanted to visit Prince Edward Island my entire life!

~*~*~*~*~

Well, I'mma head back into another episode of "I Am a Killer" on Netflix again. It draws me in! And email. Back in with the forever emails...

Ta-ta.

Fin.


Saturday 9: Always Remember Us This Way

Hey, everyone. Bit of a somber mood here in the Odette household, as my father-in-law passed away yesterday. I wasn't going to join in at all this weekend, but then I decided my mind could use a short respite. 

I hope you'll all kink link(!) up here if you're joining us this weekend.

And now:

~*~*~*~*~

Always Remember Us This Way (2018)

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

1) In this song, Lady Gaga sings about the Arizona sky and California gold. Have you visited many of our western states?

Yes, well. We live in Idaho now, so there's that. I've been in and out of Utah, California, Oregon, and Washington several times. This is Chloë hailing a cab in downtown Hollywood, in the middle of an acting convention we were out there for her. I have been to Vegas. But I have not yet been to Arizona or New Mexico.

2) She sings that she's overwhelmed and can't find the words to express herself. Do you find it easier to share your feelings verbally or in writing?

Three Bites of a Cherry: Malapropisms and Spoonerisms

Oh, definitely in writing. I am very like the Oxford professor William Archibald Spooner, constantly, absent-mindedly, and unintentionally mixing up the consonant sounds in a phrase or sentence to make rubbish. This is also like Shel Silverstein and other comic writers, although theirs were intentional.

3) Her real name is Stefani Germanotta. She took her stage name from the Queen song, Radio Gaga. Do you have a favorite Queen song?

Oh, I love Queen and enjoy, I think, their entire catalog, so it's very hard to pick! I do remember one of my BFFs, Shana and I were in her family's canoe on the Seneca River, and we were just kind of drifting along and using the oars to do the three-beat riff of "We Will Rock You." That's always been a fun memory. Probably not for the fish.

4) Her dad is Joe Germanotta, president of GuestWifi, a company that enables hotels and restaurants to offer high-speed wifi to their customers. Do you consider yourself tech savvy?

5-funny-tech-support-made-easy-cartoon | PMSLweb

I read something recently that said those of us in Generation X (that's me!) were probably the best-prepared to handle tech issues, as a general rule. That's because older generations often don't want any of it and refused to be bothered with it - now, mind you I'm saying some, not all, and just reporting on what I read. And the younger generations never had a time in their lives when there wasn't an internet, and everything has been easier and easier for them as time went along. Think "smartphones." But my generation, we grew up largely without computers and the internet, and so in order to function online, we had to rely on ourselves a lot - and yes, sometimes those maddening IT phone calls - to figure things out. I would say for myself and those I know personally, this is pretty accurate.

5) Early in her career, Lady Gaga performed songs for a children's audio book called The Portal in the Park. Tell us about the last book you finished -- did you listen to an audiobook, or read a download to an electronic device or a bound book with pages?

Review: Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult | Books, Music, and All ...

I've been listening, here and there, to the audiobook of Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, but honestly it's slow-going for me. I never, never could stand to be read to in my entire life, and so over and over, I've tried and failed to get into the trendy audiobook thing. I think I'm just going to abort and read the bound book instead. I can't handle it.

[Speaking of books, I read Wally Lamb's book I Know This Much is True somewhere between doing my bachelor's and my doctoral degree. It's a humongous book, with over a thousand pages, but I dove in and loved every minute of it. I just saw in Us Weekly that there was to be a miniseries based on the book on HBO on Sunday - this past Sunday. It's last week's issue of Us. Aw, mannnn! I hope it's being replayed, so I can watch it. It would be a must-see for me.]
 
6) She prefers dogs to cats and tea to coffee. Do you agree with her?

Baby Animal Lover, Surrounded By Dog, Cat, Fish, Bird, Turtle ...

Largely I do, I think yes. I mean, I'm an extreme animal lover, married to another animal lover, and we've raised a houseful of more animal lovers. I honestly do love them all - with ticks and mosquitoes possibly loved the least. And I do prefer tea to coffee, though I rarely drink either. Of animals, I'm a dog person first, but I'm hard-pressed to turn down any animal. The zoo we've had over the years... it's ridiculous.

7) Back in 2015, she appeared at the Academy Awards, performing a medley to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Sound of Music. The movie's star, Julie Andrews, graciously came onstage to thank Gaga for her showstopping performance. Whom did you most recently thank?

I think maybe it was this girl, Sophia, now 15. She brought me my medicine earlier.

8) In 2018, when this song was first released, retailer Toys R Us closed all its stores and went out of business. What's the last toy you purchased?

SmartyKat Skitter Critter Cat Toy Reviewed – PetCompared

I bought two packs of these cat-nip filled mice "Skitter Critters" from SmartyKat, for our four cats. They were on sale for less than half-price, and felines everywhere give them rave reviews. That counts, right?

9) Random question: How has social media made your life better?

The History of Social Media - Where did it all start?

Well, in multiple ways, I've benefitted from social. I was a young newlywed of 24 when I really started getting going on message boards. I started out on the one for now-defunct Jane magazine, formerly called Sassy when I was reading it in high school. Those were not my community, so I left after being told how to make my own hummus. Then I joined the Twins e-List when I was pregnant with our twins, after our older daughter was born. When we were living on Guam, I asked the TwinsList a million and one questions during my pregnancy. Once we moved to Virginia Beach, I kept them posted here and there. My last post was to say good-bye to the list after they were born and one twin passed away; staying and hearing all about what their twins were doing was far too painful. I stayed friends with one of the moms, though, and met her and her kids in Norfolk, Virginia. We're friends on Facebook to this day. I joined the message board for Parents magazine a year after the twins were born and stayed through trying to conceive our younger daughter, that pregnancy, and maybe half of her first year. Eventually I joined MySpace when it was new, before skipping over to Facebook. I'm all over now; such a social media whore darling.

So one thing I gained from all of that was the power to be more discerning about who my "real friends" were. Through the ups and downs of our roller coaster life, people have come and people have gone. The ones that have gone, sometimes that hurt. Sometimes. But I did become, I think, more resilient because of that and figuring out how to "act" online. It's hard for me, both online and in real life, since I have absolutely NO filter. And people don't always want or need to hear my every thought!

~*~*~*~*~

Thanks Sam/Gal. I appreciated this week's questions immensely, and like I thought, they provided a stellar diversion.

♥ RIP, Allen B. Odette ♥

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Gratitude

Sunday Stealing

Hey there. Nice to see you. Welcome back. Pull up a chair and let's get into our feelings of gratitude and thankfulness, shall we?

Link up here if you're thieving along with the rest of us this week!

~*~*~*~*~

Stolen from Gratitude Journal on Pinterest

Name a highlight of your day:

BeFunky-collage (1)

Sophia grew out her bangs several years back and suddenly decided yesterday (Saturday) to cut bangs again on a whim. I think she looks so cute!

What made you smile today?

Shh, It's a Secret {Sakura Haruno FanFic} - RainDropS - Wattpad

Some of the little gifts I ordered for Sophie's 15th birthday next week came in the mail; I really hope she loves them!

What made you laugh today?

20200306_112428

This dog. We get monthly PupBoxes and BarkBoxes for our two pooches, our tiny Chihuahua, Paco (above), and his somewhat bigger Chiweenie sister, Tapi. Because of that, they have a ton of puppy toys. Tapi, the younger of the pair, loves all her toys and regularly makes the rounds amongst them all, choosing a new favorite seemingly every hour or so. Paco, on the other hand, is loyal to just two or three, so when he finds one that he has previously tucked away for safe-keeping, he goes completely from nearly-six-year-old dog to puppy in an instant. And when we tease him by trying to pull the toy away to throw for him to retrieve, he fiercely guards it. It's pretty adorable!

Recall a time when you needed encouragement:

Pin on abuso emocional

As I've gone through my healing journey from the many horrors I experienced as a child, my husband and, now that they're older, my children have been very supportive as I go through therapy and begin the process of writing my book about my story.
They've really been great.

What is a luxury you are thankful for?

Josephine House

Oh, gosh, so many things. So many. One is this house that we bought in June last year. It's absolutely a dream come true, even if it is in a tiny town that I don't love... so far! I'm thankful for it every single day. But I have been fortunately on many levels.

Favorite childhood memory:

Mom and Me1

Well, there aren't a lot of good ones. Before my mother died, she used to put my hair up in curlers every now and then. I remember crying in the nights from the curlers and the net she wrapped around them, since they pressed into my head as I slept. But I loved the time spent with my beautiful mom, just sitting on her lap and listening to her beautiful voice.

Favorite song – and why?

Cee Lo Green GIF

Well, I don't usually do well with these types of questions, because I'm so capricious that I can never actually decide on a favorite even in any given instant. But since I just went back a few years and re-listened to Cee Lo Green's The Lady Killer album, which I've always loved, I'll say that for right now it's maybe "Love Gun." Very sing-along-able!

Where is your favorite place? Why?

University of Miami conference brings sports industry leaders to ...

There are so many places in the world that I adore, but one my absolute favorites is the University of Miami campus. That's where I lived for three-plus years after I finally escaped the house of horrors I grew up in, and it was just the balm I needed. My time there was incredible, and I absolutely cherish those memories.

What is your favorite scent?

The 12 Best Citrus Perfumes to Try This Summer

My favorite scents are the fruity ones, and I absolutely adore any of the citrus ones. Mmmm.

What is your favorite topic to talk about?

8x10 Dads Day Photo for Rob

My kids! Typical mother.

What do you like doing so much that you lose track of time?

The best nap memes :) Memedroid

Lots of things... although lately, it's just naps!

If you had 5 minutes and the whole world was forced to listen, what would you say?

Greta Thunberg es la Persona del Año 2019 según la revista Time

I wouldn't need the whole five minutes. I would just have to tell people to listen to Sweden's 17-year-old Greta Thunberg on the human-driven climate crisis, because she's absolutely right; the kids from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting/March For Our Lives on gun control, because they're absolutely right, and so on. Adults! Listen to the kids. They know and understand more than we think they do - and a lot of times, more than we do.

Whose life do you envy the most, and why?

noreliabletest-infographic

I don't envy anyone's life, but there may be certain aspects of some people's lives that I do envy: kids who grew up in a loving, nurturing environment; moms and dads who never experienced the loss of a child; and currently, as I'm nearing six years in suffering with Lyme Disease, people who enjoy relatively good health. But I know everyone has their cross to bear, so I'm a "be careful what you wish for" type!

What would you different with your education if you got a chance to start over?

Jellyfish GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I would follow my own advice, which I regularly give to my own kids and others who'll soon be striking out on their own: Whatever it is you think you want to do with your life, try to shadow somebody who already has that job. For as long as you can, in as many different situations as possible. This gives a great opportunity to really discern whether this is the "right" job for that person. Wish I'd thought to do that earlier! (In the end, though, it worked out: I've been a stay-home mom pretty much since I eloped with my husband, because I got pregnant almost instantaneously 🤣🤣 and difficult and high-risk pregnancies. I wouldn't change that!)

What would you do with your life if you had no fear?

World's Best Cliff Diving: Drop it Like it's Hot

I would listen far more to my own instincts and desires and far less to others' expectations of me. I would let go of that nagging voice in my head that worries too much about what other people think of me and stop dwelling on things I've said or done for a million years after they've happened. Oh, and I would go cliff diving.

~*~*~*~*~

That was fun; thanks, Bev!

Everyone: I hope you are healthy and keeping the covids away! Stay safe: stay home and help flatten that curve!

Fin.


Saturday 9: Could've Been

My six best albums with Tiffany Darwish | Music | Entertainment ...

Heyyy, everyone! Welcome back. This song was one of my favorites when it came out; I was a YUGE Tiffany fan back in the day. So obviously, I'm wicked excited for this one!

Link up here if you're playing along with us this weekend.

And now, I bring you:

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: Could've Been (1987)

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

1) This wistful song is about a love affair that ended. What song reminds you of a long-ago love?
 
When I See You Smile / Rockin' Horse by Bad English (Single, AOR ...
 
I used to sing this song, "When I See You Smile" by Bad English, on the phone often at the end of my conversations with my high school boyfriend, Ben. Always brings me back!

2) It was written by Lois Blaisch, a singer-songwriter who performs at clubs around Los Angeles and has sung outdoors at Disneyland. Would you prefer to attend a concert indoors, or outside under the stars?
 
Summer Concert Series in Panama City Beach | View Schedule & Info
 
I'd rather be outdoors. When Chloë was an infant (she's 18 now), we lived in Panama City, Florida, and regularly attended outdoor concerts and things. I know she was far too young to remember, but we've always tried to expose our kids to different cultural things as much as possible. And early.

3) This week's featured artist, Tiffany, appeared on the TV talent show Star Search when she was just 14. She came in second. Though she was disappointed, she admits she learned from it. She studied the singer who won and says it made her a better performer. Can you recall a time when you weathered a tough time and came through stronger?
 
 
Oh yes, lots of times - my whole life! Recently, we celebrated our twin boys' 17th birthday. Losing Robby was one of those times for me. I was definitely broken - but stronger for it now.

4) Early in her career, she toured Alaska, opening for country legend George Jones. Have you ever visited our 50th state?
 
Readers' photos worth a thousand words | Anchorage alaska, North ...
 
Not yet. I was going to take Rob and the kids on an Alaskan cruise later this year, but of course we canceled that now.

5) Tiffany provided the voice of Judy Jetson in 1990's Jetsons: The Movie. Which cartoon did you enjoy more: the space-age Jetsons or the pre-historic Flintstones?

The Flintstones' Is Actually A Post-Apocalyptic Future And Here's Why

I didn't know that! Oh, man... I liked both shows. Maybe The Jetsons had just a slight edge, because I've always wanted to be out in space.

6) In 2007, she appeared on VH1's Celebrity Fit Club and lost 28 lbs. Are you making an effort to stay fit during this stay-at-home period?

Funny Fitness Quote | Quote Number 678814 | Picture Quotes

No. Not at all. I can barely walk around so... I'm gaining weight and hating every ounce.

7) In 1987, when this song was popular, Aretha Franklin became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. What's your favorite Aretha song?

15 Best Aretha Franklin Quotes To Inspire Your Inner Diva | YourTango

hate being cliché, but it really is "RESPECT."

8) Also in 1987, third-generation race car driver Marco Andretti was born. Are you a race fan?

RECALCULATING DIYLOLCOM NASCAR Memes? | Racing Forums | Meme on ME.ME

No, not at all. I don't understand why anybody cares about this.

9) Random question: Do you find it easy to sit still, or are you fidgety?

Do you think you're sitting still right now? | Space facts

Oh, I fidget constantly. I'm pretty good at it, so why stop now?

~*~*~*~*~

I do hope you're all safe and sound and remaining covid-free! Thinking of you all in this mixed-up, crazy world we're in!

Fin.


Chocolate Chip Cookies For The Soul

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The other night, I was having a late-night conversation with Chloë and Rob. Now that she has graduated from high school but is taking a gap year before heading to college, this happens frequently. Especially now that she's 18 years old🍪

At some point in the conversation, Chloë - who was wearing high-heeled black booties with dark red roses on them - stood up, took off a shoe, and jokingly drew it back as if to throw it at her father. Something I either cannot or will not name in that motion, her demeanor, her expression caused me - lying in bed, on my back - to pull my arms up around my head as a shield. I shut my eyes as tightly as humanly possible and involuntarily protected myself fully from harm that was never going to come. This time. This time, it was only in jest. 🍪

Eventually, they realized I was not fooling around and that this was a completely involuntary response to stimulus. I could not pull my arms away from my head. They had to do it. I was shaking uncontrollably. I was sort of quietly sobbing, if you can call it that, but you only have my permission to do so if you've experienced this same unwanted bodily reaction to a reminder of some prior horror. 🍪

It was the most epic panic attack I've had since September 2003, when Hurricane Isabel struck Virginia Beach and tore it up, provoking in me even more PTSD related to everything that had happened nine months earlier with Supertyphoon Ponson'a on Guam; Isabel hit 6 months after our twins were born, after the one-minute-older of those boys had unexpectedly died in the NICU. The last one that big happened during a voice lesson in high school. Understandably, anxiety this big comes from painful memories and makes new ones when it strikes. 🍪

Obviously, Chloë was shook. Beyond horrified. Beyond contrite. It's challenging to explain and assure that she did not cause that and had no control over that, because her own eyes were trying to convince her of something else. Sometimes, the truth lies deep beneath the outer façade🍪

Now, I am a stress eater. No arguing there. We've all watched my weight go way up and way down in response to stress over the years. I bet if one plotted my BMI against the course of my life experiences, the results would support many hypotheses. For example, if you compared all the photographs of me before April 9th, 1984, I went from kind of a skinny little runt to... not so much.
That's the day Mom died. She was an angel in disguise. When we lost her, many of us were immediately broken. Ruined... maybe not. But definitely broken. 🍪

{Something just occurred to me. I absolutely hate it when people complain about the words "died" and "dead," and try to force me into saying things like "passed away" instead. Those words remind me of a feather drifting down from the sky, lighly floating this way and that, and then coming to a soft landing at the end. No. I'm sorry if I'm the first one to inform you "pass away" people of this, but not everybody does that. Some people go too early, too fast, forced against their own will, violently, roughly, painfully. No passing away there, no feathery-floating with a soft, pillowy landing. You might like to think it always goes that way, but I don't even want that for myself. I've said for million years that I want to get killed being eaten by a rogue shark, but I'm sitting here in Idaho, so that probably won't happen, either. My mother died. She is dead. My son died. He is dead. Cold? No. Simple facts. Hurts me, too, but there is nothing I can do to change it. I've tried everything. 🍪}

 So, anyway, in my house I was absolutely taught - both implicitly and explicitly - that my weight was inherently tied to my worth. So when I'm feeling bad about myself, I eat. Then my weight goes up. Then I feel worse about myself. Then I struggle to get thin again, so that I can regain some sense of value. IT's funny, because they're the ones who taught me to eat when stressed in the first place. "What's wrong, Mellie-Ann? What happened? Do you want run over to Dunkin' Donuts?" 🍪

This relationship between value and physical appeal to someone to whom I may not actually want to appeal was so firmly cemented that I've subjected myself to numerous medical and surgical interventions in order to lose weight. We joke about it in this house, but I've had so many organs altered or removed over the years that we actually sometimes forget which ones I still have. My GI tract is no longer recognizable. Additionally, I've succumbed and allowed myself to be physically and sexually abused because of that, so that I could feel valued, so many times it took me until this many years old to finally realize how many more times than just the ones I've counted (two; now add maybe a couple hundred to be in the ballpark?) to finally realize it and allow myself to start forgiving myself for throwing myself away. Here. That's all I'm worth? Have at it. Take it. Whatever. I was numb to it, after all. 🍪

Right now, I'm listening to the entire discography of Nirvana. I completely, sadly understand why Kurt Cobain ended his life. I fully understand that the more you care about the world around you, the more you bear the weight of it on your shoulders. Sometimes, that weight is more than we can continue to bear.

🍪

So, when Rob asked me what he could do for me the other night after the panic attack, all I could think to say was, "I want a cookie." My being was entirely focused upon that concept. There were several problems with that:

1. What was an immediate need did not have an immediate solution.

2. Rob offered to go get me some Grandma's Cookies (eww) to stave off that need, but this was a Nestlé Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookie kind of need.

3. We all know Nestlé is a pretty evil company, whilst I am currently on a personal Know Better, Do Better campaign. Nevertheless, this need persisted.

4. The need dictated that these NTCCCs be the ones baked my me. I try not to pat myself on the back too much when it comes to the kitchen. (That was my mother-in-law's domain; when I had a question, I called/texted/emailed her. I miss that.) But we've all mutually agreed here that the ones I bake are the ultimate. However, I am not physically up to kitchen duty at the moment.

5. I have not baked these cookies since we lived in Miami, before we moved. I remember the occasion. I had learned that the two young men, Thomas and Kyle - my favorite kids who worked there - at the nearby Racetrac station were also motherless, and no one had ever baked cookies for them. Whaaaa? I immediately went into nurture mode. They were jump-up-and-down ecstatic when Chloë and I brought them two heaping plates of cookies just for them. There may have been tears. There were definitely smiles. I never baked them when we lived in Boise. And I have no experience with our oven here in Mountain Home.

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6. We didn't have the ingredients on hand, either the eponymous ones or the brown sugary ones. And we really didn't have the funds to allocate to acquiring them.

7. I'm trying my damnedest to strictly adhere to my vegan lifestyle, but NTCCCs are definitely not vegan. And so on... 🍪

And so I went to sleep, once I fully calmed down. When I woke up, there were brown sugar and chocolate chips on the kitchen island. A stick of butter was softening on the counter. Prep work had been done. My heart softened along with the butter. 🍪

When Jack woke up and saw that yellow bag of goodness, he offered to - no, asked if he could - bake the cookies. He's actually pretty badass in the kitchen. It must be in the genes. His uncle, my brother-in-law, is a renowned chef in Columbia, Missouri, and beyond. 🍪

Pictured in the photo at the top are cookies from Jack's first tray in the oven. One of the many things I love about this kid is that, despite having Noonan Syndrome and being on the Autism Spectrum, he still invites me into his thoughts as we discuss how to do this or that and how to analyze what went well, what didn't go well, and adjust accordingly. So he kept tweaking the baking time after deciding these were a little crispier than he wanted them to be. He's not stupid. He thinks he is, and some people who don't know him very well treat him as though he is, he's definitely not. I blame the sugar for the crispiness of this batch, though I absolutely believe him that he followed the recipe, down to the molecule. 🍪

Despite never having made chocolate chip cookies by himself (he and I, just the two of us, had done them together numerous times in Miami - and also in Virginia Beach), these were OUTSTANDING. ' Nuff said. 🍪

Rob had bought a 24oz bag of chocolate chips. The experienced bakers among us will immediately recognize that as enough for a double batch. So, all told, Rob found a way and went out to get the ingredients for the thing my id said I needed, but which my superego tried to hush. Realistically, thankfully, my ego allowed me to be thankful and gratefully eat - sharing far more than I took myself, like a "good girl" - those cookies, no matter what my sense of morals dictated. Chloë and I chatted about that in a way, all while we were continuing our discussion of the way people whom we don't know yet begin to engage us online. She'll be going out in the world where I can't protect her soon, so it's very important that she be guarded and careful, as we enjoyed Round One of Jack's cookies. And for Round Two, after she'd finally awakened and come downstairs, Sophia baked the cookies for which Jack had created the dough. 🍪

I've learned many painful lessons in my life, but I've also been fortunate enough to recognize (albeit not always immediately) that I've learned some very beneficial ones along the way. One of those is to accept it when others love you and show that through kindnesses like these. Accepting that is extremely challenging for me; I struggle with it. But here, Rob and our children reinforced that lesson. My inner being, which thought I needed cookies, learned that what I really need is to be able to accept the love of others that I probably don't deserve. Phew, that's painful for me to even write! 🍪

My takeaway: angels don't always have wings. Heroes don't always wear capes. 💞

Fin.


I Completely Fell Apart Last Night.

 

God! You know, at my age, I still feel like such a child, a complete idiot, for not being able to just "get over" things that hurt me to my core, even if it's been years and years since the thing happened.

Everyone, especially those from the Boomer generation (is it offensive to you if it's true?), scoffs and says that to me about everything that still hurts me. These are the people - the scoffers, not all Boomers - who know nothing about child development, of course. Deep wounds that are cut early sometimes never heal.

But, like lovely Jewel, I'm sensitive, and I'd like to stay that way.

Last night, I was doing some research for a so-far-secret new project and was peeping at an Instagram account I didn't even know I was following. (By the way, I mean no harm or negativity to or about the people involved, whom I will mention momentarily, but as it's the current vogue trend to say, I was absolutely "triggered."

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DESERT DAD MODE: UNLOCKED. ✅🔥🙌🏼 This is the second night in a row that I’ve spent the night shift with my little prince @taztripp. 🌙 I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not known for my ability to burn the proverbial midnight oil, I’ve definitely always been a “I need to get at least 8 hours” type of guy, and leading up to Taz’s birth we were unsure how I’d be able to handle having a little party animal that keeps us up at night. Well, in the past two days since we’ve been home with our little man, I’ve wanted to break my sleep weakness and care for Taz so @sassyredlipstick can get much needed and well deserved sleep. After all, just days ago she pushed this nearly 9 pound, broad-shouldered boss baby out of her body unmedicated and is still healing from that, not to mention she’s breastfeeding this little guy like twenty times a day because he’s got the appetite of a champion and I think it goes without saying that her nips are more than a little tender... you get the picture. Mothers are the ones with all the difficult responsibilities so I’m very intent on taking as much off her plate as possible in this new venture as parents. 💙🙏🏼 The first night I stayed up with a crying Taz was scary and a little frustrating trying to decipher what he needed. But even just 24 hours later we’re starting to get the hang of what this little guy needs. 😌 So in the wee hours of this morning, Sarah spent an hour breastfeeding Taz in our bedroom until she couldn’t keep her eyes open. I took him into the nursery and he did the same thing as last night, crying until 3am. But this time I did not panic. I changed his diaper, I swaddled him tight just like @sassyredlipstick and @shan.tripp taught me, then I went into the kitchen and prepared a bottle of Sarah’s liquid gold breast milk that she had pumped earlier in the day using the luxury, state-of-the-art @willowpump that literally looks like a pair of robot breasts from the future. After testing out the temperature on my wrist like I see the nice moms do on TV, I fed my beautiful boy until he drifted off to sleep with the cutest, milk drunk smile. (Swipe to see the video.) 🍼🥰 What a wonderful night. 💙 #TazTripp #DesertDad

A post shared by ROBBIE TRIPP™ (@tripp) on

So, like I said, I wasn't aware I was even following this verified blue-checked (for whatever that's worth) @Tripp dude on the 'gram, and I know virtually nothing about him, but I probably got there by going down yet another rabbit hole. (Probably, my arse. I just figured it out, but never mind.) Irrelevant. I was doing that research and landed on this particular post about his second night up with his new son @TazTripp, who is darling, of course, so that Mr. Tripp could let his wife Sarah aka @sassyredlipstick (whom I now also follow out of temporary heightened curiosity to see whether I like or am not fond of their overall presence on the platform. I'm leaning toward the latter, but like I said, it isn't personal, just research) rest from giving birth.

Kudos to him for that. Hands-on daddies are the best. I know this because I watched Rob do it multiple times, and yes he was definitely the best.

[Can you follow all my punctuation plot-changes? Because I've always done that. I've also always had to re-read each thing 30 times to make sure it made sense, at least in that instant. My mind is so annoying.]

Okay, that's great! I'm all about babies; I've said endlessly over the years that I would have had a hundred more if I could have, and just spent all my days picking up one and loving on him or her, then putting that babe down and picking up the next one, and so on. Sarah's breastfeeding, and I'm 100% supportive of that, too. Full-on love affair with breastfeeding, nature's perfect mammal baby food. She's also curvy, confident, and they're both very body-positive, which is still incredible even as we head into 2020. So I mean, while I don't get their "desert fortune" vibe even a little bit, just from what I've seen after a somewhat brief perusing is genuine, sweet, true love. And I applaud them for that.

But this was n.o.t. really about the Tripp family at all.

In the post above, when I got to the line where Tripp writes, " just days ago she pushed this nearly 9 pound, broad-shouldered boss baby out of her body unmedicated and is still healing from that," I was suddenly hit with an emotional grenade. My lungs suddenly forgot how to breathe, and I don't think I was aware of anything my five senses were doing at the moment, either. I remember I got up out of my chair in the office here, brought something that needed to go downstairs out to the ledge in the hallway, and then I just didn't move.

Or couldn't move, I really don't know.

And then I became aware that I was about to start sobbing the cries of a woman who desperately wanted this thing, this one thing in her whole damn life, to go even remotely according to her plan... and it didn't resemble that plan at all. Not the first time. Not the second time. Not the third.

It was so long ago now - after all, Sophia is 14½ years old now! - that I didn't want anyone to hear me. I didn't want to have to explain that yes, I am yet again crying over something from the past.

Silly, stupid fucking me.

Except, I'm the only one in this house who feels that way. Why? Because I've let so many elders in my life get inside my head and tell me that that's how I'm supposed to feel. Ashamed of my pain, dumb for not being able to just grin and bear everything. Boy, for being part-English, I did not ever have that stiff upper lip.

So, I stood there and hurt without making a sound. I don't know for how long. Maybe it was 45 seconds, or maybe it was five minutes, but for me it didn't matter because once again, time had stopped. I felt the sobs coming from the core of my being, so deep inside there that the origin isn't even really substance or matter but rather an energy of pain and the most profound disappointment one can imagine.  I could feel myself shaking, but it was still early enough in the evening and the rest of Team Odette were still up and about, so I kept it in.

Sometimes, my private pain is just that. Meant only for me to pick up and feel and then be able to put down for a while.

Except, irony is the master mother here, and as I should have expected if it wouldn't have made that oxymoronical, that isn't what happened.

Just as I was trying to gather myself, go back in the office, get my tissues to dry my face and blow my nose, and sit back down to do more research... I don't know. I must have lagged one split-second too long.

Just then, Rob came walking up the stairs at the precise moment Chloë came out of the bathroom right behind me.

I was not in my usual location, I wasn't in a usual position, and I knew the jig was up.

I kept absolutely still - except maybe those silently quaking sobs - while I tried to think real fast to come up with a lie. A quick, harmless story about what I was doing, what might be wrong beside what actually was wrong, and then back out of the situation.

Pfft. Nah.

These people, these two, do know me best in the world, after all. One lived in me; the other put her there. Ha! Sorry. Even in sadness, my mind is half in the gutter...

They both asked, "Honey/Mom? What's wrong?" at the same moment, and all hope for an easy exit was out the door the way I wish I was.

I turned around and then the hopeless, helpless blubbering began. I rushed into the office to get my tissues.

I didn't know what to say. I didn't know where to start! It's become quite the cliché to say, "I have all the feels" or whatever, but that's legitimately what I had right then. ALL the feels, none of the words. (Shocking for me, I'm aware.)

Where do I start? When do I start? What do I say?

I sat there and poured my heart out for a good long while, unable to stop the competing flows of words and tears, as Rob and Chloë sat next to me on the floor and empathized with what I was seeing, reliving in my mind as I tried to explain why I was crying.

And maybe tomorrow, or... maybe in my book that I'm starting on November 1st for NaNoWriMo 2019, I'll try to explain it to you, too.

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For now, though, the takeaway is: I'm keenly aware that while my heart has been broken into smithereens a thousand times over the span of four-plus decades, and I've experienced sorrows I may never share with another soul, I'm also beyond fortunate to have the love that I do in my life - Rob and the kids, and some other family, and my friends, and my tribe - here to put it back together again a thousand and one times.

Call me lucky, call me blessed, call me whatever you want, but I am, and I know it, and when that pain is eased by their love and caring, it can't possibly compare with the amount of gratitude I feel when it happens - and long after.

Until next time, America.

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Deep Thoughts Meme

Hey, all. Welcome back. Quiet weekend here in Idaho - and COLD - so I'mma hunker down and get started here. Join us here if you'd like, wouldja?

Cheers to all of us thieves!

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These are questions suggested by Markandangel

If you could instill one piece of advice in a newborn baby’s mind, what advice would you give?

Must-Know Tips for Breastfeeding a Sick Baby

I'd whisper into her ear, "Hey, little baby. If you could drop the nipple and let mama sleep once in a while, I promise you she'll be a much happier mama." (At least it was true for me!)

What is the most desirable trait another person can possess?

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☼☼☼ kindness ☼☼☼

What are you most grateful for?

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When our son Robby died, suddenly and unexpectedly, in 2003, I was lost. Like, my mind was completely elsewhere. It was gone for three years. For those who haven't heard this story before, I liken it to this: When I was a small child, we spent summers at the Jersey Shore. My parents, in large part, were neglectful. If you've ever been to the Shore, you know those waves get humongous, and they will knock a toddler down in nothing flat. For many long seconds - a full minute, maybe - I would roll along the bottom of the seafloor, tumbling and tumbling along underwater, until the ocean finally saw fit to spit me out up on the shore. (No parent of mine ever came running.)

For those three years after Robby died, that's what I felt like. Just underwater, tumbling, not coming up for air. Somehow I managed to mother Chloë, who was 18 months when the twins were born; and Jack, who was Robby's identical twin (this was perhaps the hardest aspect); and Sophia, who we decided we needed to complete our family and fill the hole left by her older brother.

But it was on this day, pictured above, that woke me up. It was the exact day of Sophia's 1st birthday. She was playing and tumbling around with the four bigger kids where we were, but when it was time to do the cake, I dressed her in her very special birthday dress that I'd bought off of a friend of mine. And when I was done, I stepped back and looked at her. And seeing her, I don't know what it was about that scene, woke me up. The ocean finally spat me out on shore. And I'm so thankful.

Is stealing to feed a starving child wrong?

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Is not feeding the starving child wrong?

What do you want most?

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I want to live to see the future for my kids, maybe their kids, the world... perhaps not suffering in agony every second of it.

Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?

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I'm usually equally worried about both things, with some variety in there for things of greater or lesser import.

What has life taught you recently?

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Life has taught me to DO SOMETHING about those things that have mattered to me - and about which I've been vocal but less active - my entire life. Age and health issues have taught me that I'm running out of time, so that time is NOW.

What is the one thing you would most like to change about the world?

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So, humans have fucked up the world. Everything we did in the name of money, greed, and power, has fucked the world. Everything we've tried to do to unfuck the previously-fucked things has fucked the world. Now we're on a desperate timeline. What would I do? I would drastically slow down that timeline so that the right people can do the right things to try to help fix it.

Where do you find inspiration?

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Right now it's her, and youth like her the world around. Including my own.

Can you describe your life in a six word sentence?

I had to come, but stayed.

If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?

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I think a lot of that comes from the fear of criticism, whether from within or without.

What impact do you want to leave on the world?

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I used to want to be known - like, Nobel Prize-known - for some great scientific discovery. Now, if I'm remembered at all, I'd like to be remembered for giving a big enough damn to make as big a difference for the future as I could, sick, in constant pain, and in a wheelchair and all.

What is the most defining moment of your life thus far?

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Oh, that's always an easy one. Running tail-over-teakettle to get to the courthouse in time to elope with a guy I'd known for two months, laughing the whole way... that's the moment. That takes the proverbial cake.

In the haste of your daily life, what are you not seeing?

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Bruh. I have late-stage Chronic Lyme Disease - amongst other debilities. There is no "haste of my life" anymore.

If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?

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I suspect the former question has to do with the snowball effect. Take the road less traveled.

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Well, of course I can't answer for everybody, but for me, not doing so many things I love to do (read: travel) comes down to not having enough money to do it.

What lifts your spirits when life gets you down?

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Family, obviously. Beauty in nature. And music. Right now I'm blasting Ozzy's "Crazy Train." Bet you didn't expect that from me...

Have you ever regretted something you did not say or do?

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Of course. But right now, I don't have the energy to dwell on them.

Has your greatest fear ever come true?

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Yes. My child, my son, one of my identical twins, died after three days. Every time I hear the word "twin" - even if it's about beds!! - or every time I see paperwork listing him as having been "stillborn" (he was not) or that Jack was the twin who died... and understand, I could go on and on... I go back under those waves for just a moment.

And it's a fucking wonder I didn't murder all the people who told me, "Everything happens for a reason." I swear to God.

Why do we think of others the most when they’re gone?

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Well, of course, I can't speak for you, and I don't want to. My mother died at age 33 (I was 7). I'm a motherless daughter, and my mother never got to see her grandchildren. And I'm a bereaved mother. I have some very empty arms. Mostly, over the years since Robby died, I've wondered if he stayed an infant as an angel, or if he grew up like his twin brother Jack. And I wonder if my mother rocked her grandson when I couldn't. And if she helped him toddle in heaven. And if, when he was a young kid, she held his hands while the explored. Stuff like that...💔

What is your most beloved childhood memory?

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I don't have very many good memories from my childhood. And I have very few memories of my mother at all. I cherish every detail I can remember about Mom, even this one. She was putting curlers in my hair for me to sleep on that night. I hated those curlers; sleeping was impossible. But did I look adorable in my First Grade picture the next day? Yes. Yes, I did. 😍

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Welp, you can probably guess this post took a lot out of me. There have been tears. But remembering is good. It means I can still do it. Sometimes I can't!

Thank you, Bev, for running this thievery. Love to you.

Fin.


Saturday 9: Shake It Off

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Welcome back, y'all! Well, as you can see I didn't die from my excessively-busy weekend last week (although, as predicted, no comments on my late-entry Sunday Stealing, lol). It's been another busy week as I've kept up and pushed through for the sake of my newfound purpose: Activism. Giving a damn just feels good, you know? Not that I didn't before, of course, but now that I give a damn AND am learning more and better tools to do something about it, it feels really validating.

Anyhoo. My then-14yo daughter Chloë and I saw Taylor Swift perform "Shake It Off" at her 1989 concern in Miami, in October 2015, so this is an exciting one for me. I'd like to think this is a special present to me from Crazy Sam, therefore, but we all know better.

Let's get on with it then, shall we? Link up here if you're a wacky joiner, like we be.

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Shake It Off (2014)

Unfamiliar with this week's song. Hear it here.
 
1) This song makes Crazy Sam want to dance. What song inspires you to get on your feet?

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So, so, so many songs. Back in grad school, it was Lou Bega doing Mambo No. 5. Love that song!

2) Paul McCartney met Taylor Swift at the SNL 40th Anniversary special and told her he really enjoys playing and singing this song. What's the last song you sang along with?

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I've been playing Hamilton nonstop for the last several days. I haven't had my singing voice in 2+ years, much, but I still can't help it when it comes to Lin-Manuels words. The girls and I would DIE to be able to go see Hamilton in real life!

3) The lyrics tell us Swift "shakes off" nasty gossip and unfair criticism. What about you? Do you worry about what others think of you?

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I've always been one to take to heart - forever and for all my days - the harsh words (and thoughts I imagine) that others have had for me. I turned 43 on 9/8, though, and I feel like this is finally starting to become my time to "shake it off." 

4) Her parents are big music fans, and were going to name their baby (boy or girl) "Taylor" after their favorite artist, James Taylor. Can you think of a singer that your mom and/or dad really enjoyed?

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This is a painful question for me. When my mother died in 1984, she and my dad had three Ronnie McDowell tapes on pretty heavy rotation in the car. I knew (still know) all the songs. We even went to a Ronnie McDowell/Conway Twitty concert in Syracuse shortly before her death, which I remember pretty clearly for a 7yo.

When I was in college and "home" at my dad's for the first summer, I went snooping through his old pictures and things. I found those three Ronnie McDowell tapes and "liberated" them, 😏 along with a gazillion pictures of my mother.

Then, coming up on one year ago, I happened to find some Ronnie McD songs on... YouTube? Amazon? I don't even know. I gave a listen to them and found myself disgusted by much of the overtly sexist, somewhat predatory lyrics on a song or three. I posted what I thought was a rather innocent update about that on the book of faces, and my dad lost his shit about it, basically about what a liberal treehugger I have become (have always been, hate to break the news to ya, Pops). I told him I was sorry he'd been so foolish to buy into Trump's lies, and he said the immortal words to me, "Just leave me alone."

I haven't spoken to him since. (P.S. No great loss. That narcissistic, abusive, sexist louse is a Trump wannabe through-and-through, and I'm better off not giving a damn what he thinks of me or what he thinks, period.) But intensive therapy ensues.

I5) She grew up on an 11-acre Christmas tree farm. Do you get a fresh tree every year, or do you have an artificial tree, or do you not put up a tree at all?

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We usually do an artificial tree. It's just easier with all the dogs and cats and their excessive curiosity. At some point, I'd like to put up at least three in this house - but I don't think we'll have the budget for it just yet this year. This white flocked tree was last year's.


6) Taylor Swift is 5'10". According to the CDC, the average American woman is 5'4" while men are, on average, 5'9". Are you taller or shorter than average?

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At 5'1½", I'm shorter than average. But I've got 18-year-old Chloë beat. Like her paternal grandmother, she is maxed out at 4'10".

7) She enjoys good, old fashioned mysteries, especially those by Agatha Christie. Are you currently reading a book for pleasure?

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I'm just getting into Holding Up the Universe, by Jennifer Niven.
 
8) Her brother Austin is a freelance photographer who took the official pictures for her 2008 concert tour. Who took the last photo of you?

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That would be Christine Vorobieff, one of the other equestrian moms from Sophie's Pony Club, last Sunday.

9) Random question: What's your go-to comfy outfit?

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Sweats and a t-shirt, I guess. Now that illness rules the day, I dress for comfort; rarely for "cute."

><> * ><> * ><> * ><> * ><>

Thanks for the fun meme, Ms. Sam o' the Cray. Thanks for all you do for us!

Next steps in tackling the Climate Crisis involve this. Whatever you do, do something.

Fin.


Saturday 9: The Candy Man

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Hey there, swell people!! What's the haps?

IWILLBESTRIKING

I'm still coming down from the high off of organizing - and attending - the #ClimateStrike here in Mountain Home, Idaho. What a moment this is! Did you go? Did you strike? If not, WHY NOT?

And now back to our regular questions, brought by the lovely Crazy Sam:

~*~*~*~*~

THE CANDY MAN (1972)
Unfamiliar with this week's song? Hear it here.

1) This song is from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, starring Gene Wilder. The movie was remade as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka. Which Wonka did you prefer?
 
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I guess I'm old-school on this one. I love the inimitable Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka!

2) In the movie, this song is sung by Bill, the candy store shopkeeper. Think about the last counter person you dealt with. We know that he or she likely didn't break into song, but did you two engage in conversation?
 
09192019 Twisted Ewe event

Yeah. Well. Last night, Chloë and I attended the "Sweater Weather Get-Together" at The Twisted Ewe, a yarn shop up in Boise. I engaged with several of the shop staff, and especially introduced myself to the young woman who runs their social media stuff, because I engage with her frequently, and I'd never met her in person. I also signed up to be a test knitter.

3) The lyrics tell us that The Candy Man can make the world taste good. What's the last thing you ate? Was it delicious, or just OK?
 
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I ate oatmeal with raisins. As you can probably guess, it was just okay. This morning I had oatmeal with flax and chia seeds. That was actually better - even though it was cold by the time I ate it.
 
4) The most popular recording of this song was by Sammy Davis, Jr. Sammy was in a horrific car accident when he was 29 years old. His cheek and nose were broken and he lost an eye. That he survived at all left him reflective and after his hospitalization, he converted to Judaism. Do you still worship in the faith you were raised in? 

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No. Not only no, but hell no. No, no, no, no, no.
 
5) Sammy was proud of the honorary college degrees he received because he never formally attended school. As a child, he performed on the road with his father and uncle. In addition to depriving him of an education, that lifestyle kept him from kids his own age. He would later describe his childhood as, "in a word, 'lonely.'" Give us a one-word description of your childhood.
 
Image result for teenage girl bent over crying
 
T R A U M A T I C
 
6) Because he spent so much of his youth on the road, living on buses, trains and hotel rooms, he loved eventually having his own kitchen and being able to cook his own meals. This weekend, will you spend much time in the kitchen?
 
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Probably not. Chloë and I are going to be in Boise all day tomorrow at the ACLU's Activist Academy, and then on Sunday we'll be watching Sophia at an equestrian competition. So maybe we'll have time to cash in on some more birthday freebies (like these delicious chocolate-covered strawberries from The Melting Pot) while we're out and about!

 7) Sammy enjoyed experimenting with clothes and jewelry. What about you? Do you consider yourself conservative in dress or are you fashion forward?
 
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Eh. Neither, maybe? I'm just me.

8) When he died, Sammy was in debt to the IRS. Do you handle your own taxes, or do you use the services of an accountant?
 
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I do 'em. Not worth much since Rob retired, though!
  
9) Random question: If you had to tell nothing but the truth (not even the tiniest white lie) for 24 hours, do you think you'd get yourself in trouble?
 
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Very much so, yes. Who wouldn't?
 
~*~*~*~*~
 
Arrright. I gotta prepare for the next thing. And then the next. Gotta remind myself of what my physical therapist, Susan, tells me: "Pacing, Melanie. Remember to pace yourself."
 
I'm not good at it, y'all!!!
 
♥ Take time for yourselves, and thank your hostess, Gal - er, Sam - she works hard for us. (I'm still sorry.) (P.S. I did know the song, of course, but I clicked the link and listened again, and then more of Sammy, and then on to some other stuff. Really light-hearted comedy and Adam Sandler and things I just truly, honestly needed right at this moment in time.) ♥
 
Fin.

Sunday Stealing: Rambling Survey

Hey there, hi there, ho there! Welcome back!

(Let me preface this post by saying I've been gone all day long and haven't had a chance even to see if I have comments - negative or otherwise - on my Sat9 post from yesterday, let alone read them. So I can't answer to those except to say that I'm nervous to read them & truly hope y'all don't hate me.)

So, then. Just gonna jump on into this SS post at the stroke of midnight on Sunday the 14th of July, 2019, and get back to that later. (I'll be gone all day Sunday, too, so I'm not ignoring y'all.) Link up here if you're playing along this weekend!

~*~*~*~*~

Questions from Sad Sleepy Survey Rambles

Have you ever been teased because of the things you like?
 
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Sure, of course. Education was always my passion, and in the regular-ed, non-Honors/AP classes, I stood out and got stomped on in return. I'm a math nerd. I listen excessively to pop music (although, ahem, not only pop music, nor just current music, but also classic rock, folk music, some punk, lots of alternative, some big band - and I love JP Sousa - as well as gasp classical. As in, not even from last century, let alone this millenium. I don't only listen to "current" music. So, um, yeah... side eye ) I've been called a "such a grandma" for knitting. (Like that's an insult?!) and so on...
 
Do you hold grudges?
 
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I'm pretty forgiving if the person genuinely expresses remorse for any wrongs. Likewise, I'm quick to apologize when I realize I've committed some wrong(s).

Were there any classes you enjoyed because of the teacher?
 
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Absolutely. Many of them, actually. In my senior year of high school, my AP Physics teacher was constantly making it entertaining, which was great for me because this particular field of science is most challenging for me. I just don't have a good understanding of spacial relationships, for one thing. And speaking of physics, my Physics II professor at university used to write "WAEFRTGDD" on the chalkboard/whiteboard during each lab and exam. Before starting, he'd point to each letter and remind us, "When All Else Fails, Read The __ __ Directions!" Cracked me up.

Was there a dress code at your school?
 
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No. Which reminds me, I have to find out if there's a dress code at the younger two kids' new high school.

Have you ever been a bad friend?
 
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Yeah...

Has a friend ever replaced you with somebody else?
 
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Yeah, but you know, you've gotta grow up and get past that stuff at some point.

Have you ever disliked something just because it was popular?
 
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Mm-hmm. For instance, I have a bunch of piercings but never did my bellybutton because everybody was piercing their navels for a while and just... I don't like to be trendy. Now that everyone and their brother has their nostril pierced, I'm glad I've got the septum done, too. What next?
 
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I much prefer belly necklaces, but I definitely don't have the body for that!

Have you ever watched a movie just because it starred an actor you liked?
 
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Probably, sure. I think I even saw The Rainmaker in the theater. #BecauseMattDamon

Are there actors/musicians you have met?
 
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Chloë
Well, I mean, sure. I know some. My daughter Chloë is an actor and model and has starred in movies, TV shows, commercials, print ads, stock photos... And one of my best friends is a concert violinist. =) (I'm still so jealous she played first chair for Josh Groban!)

Do you ever judge people based on the music they listen to?
 
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Eh, not really, although I might judge the "music" itself - death metal?!

What about your top five music albums?
 
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Uh, what about it?

Do you remember the first album you ever owned?
 
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LOL... I can't promise it wasn't Milli Vanilli! But one of the first albums that I've owned that became an instant favorite and has remained so for 25+ years was Eric Clapton Unplugged. He's my boyfriend, but he doesn't know it. So is Larry David. (Neither of whom is my generation. Y'know?)

Do you still use an mp3 player, or just your phone?
 
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I actually forgot I ever even owned an MP3 player. How did you know?

Do you like Elton John?
 

Most of his music, I love, and I guess I like him okay as a human? But I wouldn't really miss a few of his songs, like Crocodile RockBennie & The Jets, and maybe Rocket Man? I don't know why; I just don't enjoy those ditties as much.
 
Have any celebrity deaths hit you hard? Which one(s)?
 
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A few, like Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Prince, etc. were really hard for me, Luke Perry I guess, but none hit me anywhere near as much as the death of Princess Diana in 1997. That still affects me to this day. #PTSD
 
~*~*~*~*~
 
And now, it seems I'm on an Elton John kick. What's next for me, Billy Joel?
 
I wish you all a good week. I know I ruffled a few feathers this weekend, and mine were tousled in return, but I do hope there's no bad blood among any of us.
 
Fin.

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.

~*~*~*~*~

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.

*

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? 

Image result for vegetarian finger sandwiches
 
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?

~*~*~*~*~

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.


Sunday Stealing + Bonus: Provoking Thoughts, Part The Second

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Hey guys and dolls! I didn't participate in Saturday 9 yesterday because I've had another bit of health issues going on, but that's okay because I'mma jump into it right now. Here's the link if you want(ed) to join, but my little April Fools' trick is to pull out an S9 before I get into SS. 'Kay?

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: The Fool on the Hill (1968)

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

Chosen because Monday is April Fool's Day. 

1) As an April Fool's prank, Taco Bell once announced they had purchased The Liberty Bell and renamed it The Taco Liberty Bell. Describe your perfect taco.

Chloë Taco Bell 03302019

Well, first of all, since Chloë jumped ship from Subway to Taco Bell a couple weeks ago, she's my favorite little bean burrito right here! 😉 Honestly, though, I don't like tacos. The crunch, the falling apart, everything all over the plate or your lap... no. Too messy for me. I do like a bean burrito, though. That 69¢ bit of wonder from Taco Bell is really what I need.

2) Similarly, as an April Fool's prank, the Ford Motor Co. was supposed to wipe out the national deficit by purchasing the naming rites to a beloved monument, renaming it the Ford Lincoln Mercury Memorial. What model car do you drive? 

Georgia Rest Stop March 2017

Here's our little workhouse 2012 Dodge Journey two years ago, on our voyage from Miami to Boise.

2019 Dodge Journey Collage

And here it is now, with all the stickers and magnets and stuff. Yup. So us. If you notice nothing else, see the "Blue Girl, Red State" sticker (me); the "PERSIST" sticker (my girls and me); and the Pride sticker on the side (my girls - and their parents, as Allies). Very us. 😉

3) In 1998, Burger King got in on the April Fool's Day fun by promoting a special "Left-Handed Whopper," designed to be easier for a leftie to hold. Describe your perfect burger.

I think I remember that. That's hilarious. Here's mine:

Image result for elevation burger veggie burger

The veggie burger at Elevation Burger is the BOMB. If you don't have an Elevation Burger near you (we don't, but we did in Miami), you're missing out. According to Hubs and the kids, the "regular" beef burgers are epic, too. But those veggie burgers... man. Making my mouth water right now!

4) In 1962, when color TV was still new, a Swedish station pranked viewers by telling them they could convert their black/white sets to color by cutting up a nylon stocking and stretching it across the screen. Of course, in 1962, more women wore nylons and screens were smaller. How big is your TV? Are there any nylon stockings in your home?

Samsung - 43" Class - LED - NU6900 Series - 2160p - Smart - 4K UHD TV with HDR - Front_Zoom. 1 of 6 Images & Videos. Swipe left for next.

I recently bought a new TV from Best Buy (ugh, like my least favorite store in the world), but I had to go back and look at the specs. It's a 43" Samsung Smart TV. It's really nice. It's got probably way more functionality that I don't know how to use yet, but I'm still learning. 

As for nylons, I've been getting rid of tights and stockings and stuff little by little now. I used to wear them a lot in Miami, but I don't know why. Many of us, including Chloë and me, have sensory issues with nylon. So they're exiting the building.

5) In 1957, the BBC ran an April Fool's story about how the Swiss were enjoying a "bumper spaghetti crop," with spaghetti literally growing on trees. Viewers who called the station, asking how to grow a spaghetti tree of their own, were told to place a sprig of spaghetti in a can of tomato sauce and hope for the best. Have you ever fallen for an April Fool's prank?

Also hilarious. I love it.

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Yes, I have. When I was in high school in Syracuse, New York, the main station I listened to was 93Q. They started announcing, months before April 1st, that they were switching over to a smooth music, kind of classical vibe. Everybody was talking about it; we were crushed. On April Fools' Day, they started playing "Feelings" over and over and over. By the 10th time or so, I finally figured it out. What a huge joke! The next day, they were back to normal. I felt so duped!

6) When Crazy Sam was growing up, her mother would surprise her on April Fool's Day by slipping a rubber worm or plastic spider in her lunch box. When you were in school, did you more frequently brown bag it or buy your lunch in the cafeteria line?

I love that, Sam. I missed out on that.

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I really don't know how to answer this one, honestly. I did make myself a bagged lunch to bring every day, but I really wasn't allowed to put anything in there that I wanted to eat. A lot of the time it was a big slab of greasy ham from the previous night (or several nights prior) dinner... and I have never not hated ham. So that got thrown away. I'd eat a little of the apple, maybe, and throw that away. I don't remember being allowed to have a drink. Or money. I started mooching food off my friends' trays or paper bags, which I'm sure they sort of hated and resented, until I got a job at 15. Then I could go up and buy myself a damn chocolate milk or something, if I got thirsty. That whole situation kind of sucked.

7) This week's song was an international hit for Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66. Because of the song's bossa nova arrangement, everyone assumed the lead singer, Lani Hall, was Brazilian. She was a folk singer from Chicago. Sergio Mendes discovered her at a charity benefit. Can you think of a time when doing good really paid off for you?

CAREPKG Layette

Sure. After my son died after three days in NICU, I began a 501(c)(3) nonprofit called CARE Package. I wanted to make layettes, such as this one, for other babies who didn't survive, as well as give out information in those same packages for the parents. I needed to give them ideas for things they could do with their their baby before giving him/her over to the people to prepare for the next stage. We didn't get to do any of that, because we were rushed, and nobody thought to tell us, "Hey, you can bathe him." "Hey, you can change his diaper and dress him." And the kicker for me, "You can get his twin brother in here and get a picture of them together." That still really stabs me in the heart. But the good thing is, I have gotten tons of letters and emails from parents and hospital staff who had received all those CARE Packages. And one day, I went in and was part of a panel at that hospital - Naval Medical Center Portsmouth - to sit with doctors and surgeons and nurses and other support staff and really, truly get to the heart of telling them how to take care of bereaved parents. Those initial steps in the bereavement process are so crucial, and NMCP did it all wrong. To have the floor in front of these people, and have them really listen to me about how to fix that problem, meant a lot for me. More importantly, I hope it was fixed for those to come after me experiencing similar things.

8) In 1968, when this record was popular, Pierre Trudeau became Prime Minister of Canada. Today his son holds that office. When did you most recently visit our neighbor to the north?

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I've been to Canada several times, but not since I was a kid. Under the age of 10 or so, we visited Ottawa last. We were walking back to our hotel from a fancy dinner, and then a street fight broke out in front of us. One guy pushed another into a store front, and they broke through the glass, which shattered everywhere. I was terrified.

9) Random question: Name three websites you visit every day.

1.Image result for befunky logo

I like to take and edit photos, so I'm always on BeFunky - it's my favorite editing site.

2. Image result for excel logo

I do my grocery lists, our budget, my current medications and specialists, etc., all on Excel. So that's always open.

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And Homeschool Planet, our planner/calendar/organizer, is always open. Since we homeschool, our schedule is not a Monday-Friday 8-3 type deal. We school whenever, wherever, so I've always got to have it ready to go.

~*~*~*~*~

So that was fun! Thanks, Sam! Let's skip on into Sunday Stealing with Bev now. Link up here if you want to play along!

~*~*~*~*~

If you had to teach something, what would you teach?

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I'm not usually big on these word map thingies, but this really kind of sums it up for me. I would teach about the Environment and being responsible for the ecology where one is, locally, and also nationally and globally - and we're just not doing that as a whole.

2. What would you regret not fully doing, being or having in your life?

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Doing: I would love to get an advanced degree in something. I was thinking Law, but I'm not sure anymore. Being: I would love to be at peace with myself and feel like I am valuable. Having: I would love to have memories full of joy, new experiences, and laughter, far more than anything else.

3. Are you holding onto something that you need to let go of?

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Yes. Constant fear and terror. I have literally lived in constant terror for my entire life. Every minute. I have to learn to accept that if I relax, everything will be okay.

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

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I want to have multiple generations of our family love to come "home" to us and hang with us, and just be full of joy together.

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

I'm not sure I'm fully capable of answering this question - pass!

6. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

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Probably between 80 or 90 years old. With all the meds I take, and all my chronic physical and mental health conditions... I definitely feel way older than I am right now.

7. Would you break the law to save a loved one?

ABSOLUTELY.

8. What makes you smile?

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Seeing all of my kids getting along and having a good time makes me smile!

9. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

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I want to learn to say "no" more. It's hard for me. I always want to take on way too much.

10. If you had the opportunity to get a message across to a large group of people, what would your message be?

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It's important to me for people to realize that the global climate change we are facing is largely man-made, and it will be catastrophic. However, I also want people to know there are small steps each and every one of us can do to rein it in and bring things back more into alignment with the way things should be. I would give them those steps and teach them where to find the how-tos. We owe it to ourselves and our children, and their children.

11. If the average human lifespan was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?

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I'd be tempted to seize the day a whole lot more, which tells me that I should be seizing the day a whole lot more!

12. What do we all have in common besides our genes that makes us human?

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I think a lot of it has to do with what we care about, and how we feel about those things. And also, that we care how others perceive us. But it's so complex; a pat answer won't do.

13. If you could choose one book as a mandatory read for all high school students, which book would you choose?

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First, I'd ask each student to read the short story "The Lottery," by Shirley Jackson. It would invite a lot of really interesting discussions among students and teachers.

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And then, it may seem cliché, but I think To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee should be required reading for every American student. There is still such a long way to go with race relations in this country, so every conversation we can have about it can help.

14. Would you rather have less work or more work you actually enjoy doing?

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I'm not going to ask for more work, but regardless, I'd want to enjoy doing it!

15. What is important enough to go to war over?

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Call me naïve or maybe even sexist, but I feel like most men are far too eager to fight over things than to sit down and have a conversation - or 20 - to come to a point of understanding and compromise. I honestly can't think of many things worth an actual war.

16. Which is worse, failing or never trying?

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Never trying is much sadder than trying and failing. I've got to remind myself of this often. I don't have a fear of failure. I have a fear of succeeding.

17. When was the last time you listened to the sound of your own breathing?

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Today, actually. My asthma is pretty out-of-control lately, and I'm wary of another bout of pneumonia (it's been over a year since I had it, y'all! WOOT!), so I listen for wheezing whenever I'm lying down quietly.

18. What’s something you know you do differently than most people?

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I think differently. I mean, I know everyone thinks differently - supposedly - but when I was in graduate school and we would have discussions on 30-page reports of scientific studies and experiments, my contributions were always so different than everyone else's. I became afraid to contribute to the class, but then when I finally did speak up, everyone was like, "ohhh, I never thought of that." It's weird and cool and scary all at once.

19. What does ‘The American Dream’ mean to you?

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I think this graph really sums up well how I feel about it. It's not about wealth or acquiring stuff. It's about freedom and opportunity.

20. Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?

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I don't know. I've never been a simpleton... but I sure would like to be joyful more often!

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So it's almost 5 AM here on Sunday now (I had a long overnight snooze in the middle of this). Better late than never eh?

Thanks for stopping by!

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Thoughts Provoked, Part The First

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Aloha and welcome back! I just woke up from a much-needed nap, so maybe my post won't ramble all over the place as is my usual custom! 

Here's some news: as of late Friday afternoon, Team Odette is (are?) officially under contract to buy a house! It's big, beautiful and really sprawling. Plenty of room for us and our abundance of freakin' STUFF. Wanna see a couple quick previews? 'Kay:

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This is part of the outside of lovely house-to-be in Kimberly, Idaho, just outside of Twin Falls.

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Here is one view of the kitchen about which I am supremely ecstatic.

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And that's the opposite view of the kitchen and dining room, with a glimpse at one of THREE fireplaces in the home. Squeeeee!!

Did I mention I'm excited?!!

Okay. I'll stop there and move along to Sunday Stealing. Sorry! Link up here if you'd like to join us today!

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These are from a site called Thought Provoking Questions..

1. When was the last time you tried something new?

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Well, the other day we used a Groupon for a new restaurant, Mount Everest Momo Café. They serve Himalayan, Nepali, Tibetan, and Indian cuisine. Rob went and picked out what we ate: the Momo special, which had two momo (dumpling-like foods) each of vegetarian, chicken, pork, and yak. I ate the first four listed, and he ate the yak and pork. We also got a side order of naan, which was out of this world! Fortunately, I have another Groupon for the same place, so we'll get something a little different next time. I can't wait!

2. Who do you sometimes compare yourself to?

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Well, I do find I compare myself to both my late mother and to my teenage daughters the most, although I am a competitive person and compare myself to pretty much everyone. I've always put my mother on a pedestal since she died early in my childhood, but only now through therapy am I realizing that she was perfectly human, and therefore perfectly imperfect, and I can stop judging myself for not living up to the standard I've felt she set for me.

As for my daughters, they are vastly different in personality, like night and day. Chloë and I feel each others' feels so completely, and we have a very deep bond. Sophia and I, as well as Jack and I, also have that bond, but it's different for each kid. So I kind of compare the relationships more than myself with each kid. Does that make sense, or was it a whole lot of mumbo-jumbo? 😂

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

Well, this one amuses me:

"Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, you'll be a mile from them, and you'll have their shoes." - Jack Handey

But I'm also tickled by this one (and many others):

“If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.” - W C Fields

4. What gets you excited about life?

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When my five natural senses are titillated, I find myself thoroughly exhilarated. Like this gorgeous black and white calla lily display, for instance, or for that matter any bouquet from The Bouqs. I'd buy flowers from them weekly if I could afford it! (Have you heard of them? I won a $50 bouquet from them once, and it was stunning. I'm thinking of starting a once-a-month flower subscription to The Bouqs when we get settled into the new house!)

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... or the smell I love the most, citrus fruits! ♥ Mmm, so fantastic and fresh!

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... or what about beautiful and classical, or fun and lively, or any other kind of music that moves us? Sometimes music can be so electrifying, amirite?!

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... Furthermore, what about all of the gustatorial pleasures of the earth? For instance, I pulled a few pictures of some of the decadent food and drink we had on our European cruise (which you can read about here), and it gives me a bit of a thrill, even now that it's more than a decade later, to imagine the tastes of these again. I had the sangria in Barcelona, Spain; the "Sprite" was from Nàfplio, Greece; the pizza was eaten in Dubrovnik, Croatia; and the pistachio-spiked cannoli were eaten at a restaurant on the top of Mt. Etna in Sicily!

Wisp collage

...And as for the sense of touch, I could say something like the physical connection with my husband or hugging my kids, of course, but I feel like that's a gimme. Instead, this one of our five sense invokes the sensuous experience of knitting with the fine cashmere yarn produced by Iris Schreier of Artyarns, a luxurious fiber art company and probably among the top of my faves! I used their #3 cashmere in the fuschia colorway for the "Wisp" scarf, above, that I made myself just over 11 years ago. So soft and delicious! When the kids and I drove up from Virginia Beach to Jamestown, New York, the following winter to visit my sister and her family, Stacey was gushing about how much she loved it when she saw it (and felt it!) on me. So I took it right off and gave it to her. Now that I'm writing about it again, I'm feeling the itch to make myself another one! That idea certainly gets my juices flowing. 😉

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The Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy

I could name a plethora of other things that make life worth living for me, so maybe I'll just list a few but without the graphics: falling in love; traveling and seeing ancient architecture like Rome's fountains and the Colosseum; standing in holy places like Vatican City (even if it doesn't align with my own spiritual journey); meeting people from all over the world and getting a wide-eyed view of the United States from them as well as direct insight into their cultures; skipping and laughing with one or more of my children...

Oh. Apparently I could go on and on about this question! And that is a good thing, really - at least for me if not for you - so I can refer to this when I'm sinking down into the deep depressive states of my bipolar disorder. I'll just have to pull up this post and remember all the things, such as these, that bring me joy. ♥

5. What life lesson did you learn the hard way?

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It's only recently that I've realized my usual "fight or flight" response is flight, and so I end up running away from my problems all over again. Thinking back, I've been doing this since at least the age of 15 or 16. Thankfully, I'm working on my life history in intense therapy with a highly-qualified therapist, so I'm aiming for the heart of the beast now. Finally.

Also, this is a good lesson to learn:

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

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Laughing!! We were smack-dab in the middle of when Hubs was going through his brain tumor & surgery stuff, and that was definitely not a fun time.

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

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Enough questions? Are we discounting the idea of too many questions? I've been told by several teachers and professors that I was going into the right line of work, as a scientist, because I have the natural inquisitiveness of a child. I'm always asking questions. I laugh and say, "Sorry, I'm just nosy," when I feel like I'm doing it too much, but honestly I just really like finding things out. People, things, events, facts... they interest me!

8. Whom do you love and what are you doing about it?

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In addition to a mighty bunch of great friends, I love these kiddos of mine (gratuitous photo of them as much younger kiddos below) - 

Christmas 2008

  • I love these kids!! And...

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...and, I'm pretty much cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs for this silly man!

What I'm doing about it is working on improving myself more and more, physically, mentally, and emotionally, so that I can be the best mom, wife, and friend I can be!

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

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I'm not touching that with a 10' pole! No way.

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

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I can see and understand a lot more things about myself that I just couldn't see this time last year - or maybe ever?

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

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Neither; it's a sign of being human. Of being alive. Of being a sentient creature.

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

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I'd express my sillier, goofier side more in public.

13. Do you celebrate the things you do have?

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Oh, most definitely! I've talked about many of my rich blessings already on this post. Plus I have loads of delicious yarns with which to knit, and occasionally crochet. I do try to keep the positive perspective!

14. What is the difference between living and existing?

I seem to be a bit of a Meme Queen, so that's how I'll sum up my feelings on the matter:

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15. If not now, then when?

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Now. Definitely, now.

16. Have you done anything lately worth remembering?

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Well, we celebrated our twin boys' 16th birthday two days ago, the same day our offer was accepted on a new house, so yeah! I guess so!

17. What does your joy look like today?

Puppies!!

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Pretty calm, quiet day. My body let me sleep in today, well past noon. We're all sitting around, relaxing, binge-watching NCIS: Los Angeles, and canoodling with our various pets. Paco and Tapi (our puppies, above) are going back and forth between Sophia and me. Chloë is petting her gorgeous cat, Pepper (also above). And Jack is cuddling with his Rex rabbit, Mocha, who is crazy-soft. He feels like velvet!

18. Is it possible to lie without saying a word?

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Of course it is.

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?

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Hopefully not very long. I'm very hard on myself, all the time. Cruel, even. I'm working on that.

20. Which activities make you lose track of time?

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Many things, but most of all, communing with nature. If I didn't have to live in a house, I wouldn't. I guess technically, I could do without a house, but none of the rest of Team Odette would go along with that!

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That was fun. But long! Phew! I'm glad y'all stopped by. I actually wrote it down on my "To-Do" list to come around and visit all of you, but it may take me the full week. I hope I accomplish it, because I miss doing that!

Fin.