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Saturday 9: On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe

On The Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe" | National Museum of American  History

Hello, my lovelies. It's another Saturday morning, and this time we have Judy Garland singing a tune I have not heard before. I'm going into YouTube momentarily to rectify that. You should, too.

Meanwhile, I have had a busy week, medically speaking. Monday had me at a new cardiologist (I liked him, and now I'm wearing a Holter monitor); Tuesday I visited my pain management specialist, who was in rare spirits; Wednesday I missed my primary care appointment out of exhaustion (it's tough being a spoonie, I tell ya); Thursday, I tore something horribly in my right shoulder; and Friday, I saw my psychiatrist, and I scheduled surgery on my left shoulder. And behold, it was good.

It's a thrilling social life I lead. Apart from that nonsense, we have S9. Please link up here if you're joining us today! Let's do it.

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Saturday 9: On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe (1946)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
 
1) In this song, Judy Garland sings about the train whistle and wheels. What sounds make you happy?
 
Children laughing. Especially my children laughing and getting along. I like the sound of happy little birds twittering and tweeting. And I absolutely love the sound of waves crashing on the shore - together with all the other ocean sounds. Be still, my heart.
 
2) She tells us that, since she loves dreaming of train travel, she must have "a little gypsy in her heart." How about you? Do you often dream of visiting faraway places?
 
Absolutely:
 
Family Cruise: on the romantic Rhine and in the heart of the Black  Forest.Experience history and traditions in a Rhine atmosphere.Optional: a  day at Europa Park (port-to-port cruise). by CroisiEurope River Cruises
 
I've got that itch to go see more of the world again, so we've been considering doing something like a Rhine River cruise, or
 
Bermuda cruise passenger count fell 98% in 2020 | seatrade-cruise.com
 
perhaps a trip to Bermuda. Nary a decision has been made at this point.
 
3) Judy sings about a future when she's "old and gray and settled down." At what age do you consider a person is old?
 
When they start acting old, feeling old, and tell me they're old.
 
4) This song is from the movie, The Harvey Girls. Filming was a time of stress for Judy. She was appearing before the cameras by day (she sprained her ankle in a scene where she slips down a hill), recording the soundtrack by night, and dealing with lawyers regarding her divorce from composer David Rose. Yet watching the movie, none of the tension shows. Do you work well under pressure?
 
Pin on Welcome to the chronic games. May the spoons be ever in your favor.
 
These days, with #SpoonieLife, not anymore. But prior to my body deciding it didn't know how to act anymore, yeah, I was great at that.
 
5) Judy relaxed on the set by knitting and would make blankets and caps for the children of crew members. Do you knit?
 
 
It's been a good while since I knit - since before I got too sick. Look at that clavicle! I love it. That's very motivating for me. Oh, and the knitting, too.
 
6) Judy admitted she had a problem with tardiness. Do you strive to be prompt?
 
Yes, I hate being late. Sometimes I am, and I spend a week apologizing (give or take), but I absolutely hate it.
 
7) In 1946, when this song was on the radio, cigarette cases were very popular. Since these metal cases were standard issue in the Army during WWII, many soldiers got into the habit of using them and continued to after the war ended. Women often carried fabric or leather cigarette cases that closed with a clasp like a coin purse. In the 1940s, elegant cigarette cases were a fashionable gift but today, they are largely forgotten. Did you ever carry one? Do you know anyone who did?
 
Amazon.com: Women's Genuine Leather Cigarette Case Coin Purse Double Twist  Clasp Closure Zipper Pocket- Burgundy : Health & Household
 
I never did - never a smoker - but my grandmother always had one. Always. Always. Always. Until she died on oxygen, grandma was a smoker, God rest her soul.
 
8) Also in 1946, bikinis appeared for the first time on runways in Paris. How often did you don swimwear during 2022?
 
 
Not many. Two, three? Fewer than a handful of times and far fewer than what I'd like!

9) Random question: Thinking of your past romantic involvements, were you truly in love with one of them, some of them, or all of them?
 
Some of them. Many of them. But definitely not all of them. And that's a fact.
 
~*~*~*~*~
 
Welp, that's a wrap! Have a spectactular week on purpose, folks.
 
Fin.

Saturday 9: Back In The U.S.A.

Linda Ronstadt - Living In The U.S.A., rock star galleryROCK STAR gallery

Hey, y'all! Can you even believe that half the year is gone now? I cannot. I think this whole last year of my last baby's childhood, I'm going to be trying to snatch the days back like money flying in the wind. 

Typically, Independence Day is my favorite holiday. But, like I read recently online (I know, I know), I think every American woman and girl should take a knee whenever the national anthem is played right now. So sad. I still like those fireworks though, can't lie.

I'm supposed to be working on my grocery list right now, but until Hubs comes back to check my printer's paper jam for me, I'm doing this, haha. Join us over here at Saturday 9 to get in on the action.

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SATURDAY 9: BACK IN THE USA (1978)

Unfamiliar with this week's song? Hear it here.
From the archives, with some tweaks

1) This song lists seven cities -- New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Chattanooga, Baton Rouge and St. Louis -- that Linda just loves. How many have you visited?
 
50 years later, St. Louis's Gateway Arch emerges with a new name and a  skeptical view of western expansion - The Washington Post
 
I have been to New York, LA, Chattanooga, Baton Rouge, and St. Louis. Two more to go, I guess. I still have time. Definitely want to visit Chi-town!

2) The lyrics refer to hamburgers sizzling on the grill. What toppings do you believe make a perfect burger?
 
CLOSED: Elevation Burger - Bangor Maine Restaurant - HappyCow
 
Weeellll. It would be a veggie burger with plant-based cheese (probably Daiya brand), and that's about it. The Elevation Burger veggie burgers (and regular burgers, I'm told) are AMAZING. If you've got one near you, check 'em out.

3) The original recording of this song by Chuck Berry has always been one of Linda Ronstadt's favorites, one she used to enjoy singing along with in the car. What's the most recent song you sang?
 
The 10 Best Chuck Berry Albums – Rock Pasta
 
That's so funny. I think it was just yesterday that I was singing "The Twist" to one or both of the girls (who remembers, these days?!) because they had never heard of it or Chuck Berry. And they still had no idea. I told them to go to a wedding. It's still probably outdated if it's someone their ages, right?

4) Linda performed The National Anthem at Game 3 of the 1977 World Series. The New York Yankees won both that game and the series. How is your baseball team doing this season?
 
Logos and uniforms of the New York Mets - Wikipedia
 
Oh, I haven't paid attention to baseball in mannnnnny years. Hubs' mother's team was the Cubs. And so Hubs gets excited when the Cubs do well. Like when they won the Series a few years ago. And so I get excited when the Cubs do well, too.
 
5) On the sleeve for this record, Linda was photographed on roller skates. Emergency rooms report a spike in wrist injuries, with people falling off skates and skateboards and jamming their wrists catching softballs. Have you recently been to the Emergency Room or Urgent Care? 
 
Hospital IV two weeks ago, bruising still. | BabyCenter
 
{Note: This is not my arm. My arm, in fact, actually bruised much worse, but it always does.} It isn't really about the bruise I have, from a recent, but what lies beneath. Hubs has been wanting to take me to the ER for days. We think I may have a superficial vein thrombosis or something similar. That, the extreme pain when certain things touch certain areas of my arm, and the clotting disorder I have have him very worried. But you all know I'm stubborn, right? So I haven't gone.
 
6) It's July, so summer is in full swing. Bug bites are a big summer annoyance. Are you itching and scratching this morning?
 
Aunt Fannie's - Mosquito Repellent Wipes - view 1
 
No, not at all. {Knock wood.} We've been using these Mosquite Wipes from Aunt Fannie's for the first time, and so far, so good. Even when we've been to the beach, no buggies. They come in individual packs (which I like for venturing out) and big canisters (which I like for just using here). Plus the brand has a TON of other remedies. I buy them Grove Collaborative, which I ADORE. If you haven't tried Grove yet, you can use my link here if you decide to place a small order for the wipes or anything else, and you can get a FREE full-size gift set. I love them.
 
{ CUE LONG, OVERNIGHT INTERMISSION INTO SUNDAY, WHILE I TAKE 3 NAPS, ETC... }
 
Since this is our last Saturday 9 before Independence Day, let's ask some questions related to the holiday. 
 
History of the Invention of Fireworks  Usa Flag Icon PNG, Transparent Usa Flag Icon PNG Image Free Download -  PNGkey History of the Invention of Fireworks
 
6) The Pennsylvania Evening Post was the first newspaper to print the Declaration of Independence. What's the most recent printed media you have read (newspaper, magazine, newsletter, etc.)?
 
12 Timeless Design Ideas from the VERANDA Archives 2022
 
I've had, in my hot little hands, a copy of the May-June 2022 issue of Veranda magazine. And I subscribe to the belief system hinted at on the cover: house as storyteller. Definitely maximalism. I no longer shy away.

7) In high school, Sam was crazy about American history and got good grades. Science was her worst subject. In high school, where did you shine? In what subject were your grades not so hot?
 
science symbol - Google Search | Science symbols, Atom, Physics
 
I really didn't have a not-so-hot subject, but I excelled mostly in science and math. If anything, our subjects were reversed but only because I had to work at Social Studies.

8) The first 4th of July parade each year is held at 12:01 AM in Gatlinberg, TN. Will you attend a parade or fireworks to celebrate the 4th?
 
01/20/2022 | Fireworks To Return To Northside Park This Summer | News Ocean  City MD
 
That's definitely the plan, yes. We'll go to a fireworks show here in our town, which is kind of the biggest little city here on the Delmarva Peninsula. Next year, maybe, we'll brave Ocean City for the fireworks, where I'm sure it's quite amazing. (I'm sure the critters don't think so.)

9) Americans love to celebrate our independence. In fact, there are more than 30 towns all across the US called Independence. There are two in MN alone (one outside Duluth, the other west of Minneapolis). Please google it and let us know: does your state have an Independence?
 
MARYLAND INDEPENDENCE Yacht Photos - Unknown
 
I don't think so; all I could find was a yacht. Hey, can I go?
 
~*~*~*~*~
 
Welp, I'm a day late and a dollar short, so if you stop by, thank you very much, , and if you don't, who could blame ye?
 
Now don't go out there and blow your hand off with some rockets or whatever. Leave the pyrotechnics to the professionals.
 
Fin.

Saturday 9: Let Me Love You Tonight

Let Me Love You Tonight - PURE PRAIRIE LEAGUE ~ from the album "Best Of"  (1995) - YouTube

Hi, everyone! How are you doing? I hope all are well.

Guess what? After nearly two years of living on Maryland's Eastern Shore, I was finally able to get not  just to the beach, but down to the water yesterday! I had my husband and my daughter's assistance, along with that of my new four-footed cane that I bought specifically for the sand, and took rests when I needed to. And then Hubs found this information about free beach wheelchairs posted:

So I probably got up to my knees or so. I would've gone much farther (let's face it, I would've let it envelop me and pull me all the way back to my mermaid family, haha), but the water was too cold for Rob and I wouldn't have wanted to make him have to rescue me in it! So other than being exhausted after, I was elated!

Anyway, let's do it:

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: Let Me Love You Tonight (1980)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
 
 
1) Pure Prairie League was a country rock band signed by Casablanca Records in 1980. The label, known for disco hits, wanted to expand their client roster in case disco died. (Which it did, and Casablanca ultimately went bankrupt.) Disco can be a polarizing topic among music fans. Do you love it or loathe it?
 
Memebase - disco - All Your Memes In Our Base - Funny Memes - Cheezburger
 
I lean heavily toward... neutral. I have no strong feelings either way.
 
2) In this song, lead singer Vince Gill encourages his girl to hold him tight. Who did you most recently hug?
 
Single Continuous Line Drawing Young Mother Stock Vector (Royalty Free)  1691866195 | Shutterstock
 
I  hugged my son Jack. He woke up and came upstairs to greet me and give me a hug. He's 19. I'll take it!
 
3) Vince Gill left The Pure Prairie League in 1982 and went on to be a solo success. Tell us about a job you were glad you left.
 
Publix deploys contactless payment for extra COVID-19 safety | Supermarket  News
 
"Where Shopping is a Pleaure" I probably could've stayed at Publix forever if I'd wanted to, but I'd worked at Publix all through college and now I wanted to put that degree to use. So I got off my duff and did my biology internship, took my GRE which got me into a top lab, started my PhD, and... realized something was missing. Not long into that, I met and eloped with my husband. May some of that could've happened if I'd stayed and worked at Publix, but probably not!
 
4) He says his favorite song is the country classic, "He Stopped Loving Her Today." Do you often listen to country?
 

via GIPHY

 
5) Vince joined The Eagles on tour after the 2016 death of Glenn Frey, taking over Frey's guitar solos. Do you have a favorite Eagles song?
 
EAGLES - Peaceful Easy Feeling - Music
 
I love a lot of their discography, but I think "Peaceful Easy Feeling" might be my favorite.
 
6) Vince met future wife, singer Amy Grant, when she performed on his Christmas TV special. Have you ever had a workplace romance?
 
Yes.
 
7) In 1980, when this song was popular, The Love Boat was a hit. Have you ever taken a cruise? If yes, where did you go?
 
Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Ship - Carnival Cruises Carnival Ecstasy on  iCruise.com
 
I've been on a few. 
 
When I was 14, I went with my family aboard the Carnival Ecstasy, above, to San Juan, PR, to a private island in the Bahamas, to St. Thomas in the USVI.
 
I was very much bitten by the cruising bug at that time!
 
Ahoy from the Coral Reef II - Bahamas Project
 
But I spent an awful lot of time on THIS type of cruise - that R/V stands for "research vessel," and I am thoroughly familiar with the ins and outs of the Coral Reef II, with which the University of Miami and Shedd Aquarium frequently partnered - whilst in college. Don't get me wrong; I loved  these cruises. But I love all cruises.
 
Royal Caribbean cruises from New Orleans to resume on Vision of the Seas
 
And then, between college and grad school, my grandfather took several of us on another -- outrageously beautful --  Christmas cruise. We visited Cozumel, in Mexico. Grandpa knew that I wasn't taking the medications I needed for the acid reflux disease that I was (and still do) suffering from, so he took me to a farmacía in Cozumel and bought me a year's supply of those prescripitions I wasn't taking - over the counter, for far, far below their cost in the States.
 
We also visited Montego Bay in Jamaica, which was beautiful and fun. We stopped in Grand Cayman Island and visited Hell there (yes, partly so I could send postcards marked from there). And we visited a market in Limón, Costa Rica, which was fabulous. I adored that - and so did Grandpa, I think. And then finally, for the pièce de résistance, our ship went through the Panama Canal, Panama. Grandpa was really emotional about that. Shoot, he was born in 1926; was it even fully done then?
 
There were two more cruises after that, and I don't think I'm done!
 
8) 1980 also gave us the Post-It Note. What did you most recently write on a Post-It?
 
Planning the entire week using only sticky notes (52 Planners in 52 Weeks –  Week 28)
 
Oh, yesterday or the day before. I use post-its in my planner pretty frequently.

9) Random question: You find yourself one of three strangers trapped in an elevator. Would you rather the other two people be a man and a woman, two men, or two women?
 
What would you do if you got stuck in an elevator? - Flavia Bertolini -  Mirror Online
 
I think a man and a woman. We would bring our various strengths and weaknesses and hopefully gtfo of there!
 
~*~*~*~*~
 
All righty. Two and a half hours into the afternoon and I'm finally finished. Y'all steer clear of that COVID-19 and the Monkeypox now, y'hear? (And Lyme, ugh.) Be safe, be well.
 
Fin.

Saturday 9: Vision Of Love

Vision of Love | Mariah Carey Wiki | Fandom

Hey, friends.  I hope you are doing well. We're in something like our 9th week of hotel-living, and I can tell you, we are so over it!!!

But, the sale of our Idaho house is going well, and we should be closing at the end of the month. I'm thrilled it was picked up so quickly. Now, I just hope we can find a new one here in Maryland (or possibly Delaware) at such a great pace!

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

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Saturday 9: Vision of Love (1990)

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

1) The lyrics refer to "sweet destiny." Do you believe in destiny?

IS TRUE LOVE FATE? – Katie L Lindley
 
I don't really know what I believe there. But like this meme here, I tend to think it's some parts chance and some parts making intentional moves.
 
2) This week's artist, Mariah Carey, has something to fall back on. She studied cosmetology and worked as a hair sweeper in a salon. When you get your hair cut, do you socialize with the stylist?
 
10172020 Stacey Purple Hair
At first, as little as possible. I have to be comfortable with someone before I can get chatty; I'm an extroverted introvert. When my sister gets ahold of my hair (she's a stylist in New York; that's her up there in the purple), then of course it's a non-stop chatterfest.
 
3) She isn't likely to turn to cosmetology any time soon. Mariah is currently on the best seller list with her autobiography, The Meaning of Mariah Carey. Was the last book you finished fiction or non-fiction?
 
White Fragility”: Robin DiAngelo answers our questions
 
I've got White Fragility still in my laptop bag, and a few others I really need to get started on.
 
4) So far, more than 800 people have reviewed Mariah's book on Amazon. Do you review products/services online?
 
11 Hilarious and Funniest Yelp Reviews - Vendasta
 
I really don't do that many reviews, and when I do, I find I usually do write more negative ones - the really negative experiences - than positive ones. So I've been working on changing that. I don't know how often I'll get to the middle-of-the-road reviews, though!

5) When she was a high school student, she was nicknamed "Mirage" because she skipped class so often. Did you ever play hooky?
 
The Roosevelt Review | Unreliable People
School and work? Almost never, if not never. I never played "hooky" unless being too sick to go counted. But now that I'm sick, I'm completely unreliable. And I hate it.

6) Mariah doesn't apologize for spoiling her dogs, who have been known to travel by limo. Do you know anyone who treats their pets like people?
 
10012020 Pepper
Oh, yeah. Like, my 19-year-old daughter treats her cat here, Pepper, like her son. He's her absolute baby. She lives for that boy!

7) In 1990, the year this song was popular, Martina Navratilova won the Wimbledon Women's Singles Tournament. How's your tennis game?
 
Poor Depth Perception - TE Koza Optom
 
I liked playing, but I was never very good. I've got poor depth perception. Pretty important for tennis!

8) Also in 1990, Pope John Paul II toured Mexico. Have you ever visited our neighbor south of the border?
 
6 Unlocked Things To Do in Cozumel - This is Cozumel
 
Yes. Twice. The first, time, I was on a cruise, and my grandfather took me aside when we were in Cozumel. I don't remember anything about the location (other than that it was beautiful), because he took me to a pharmacy or two to get cheap drugs. Heh. I was a poor, struggling graduate student then, and Grandpa knew I had no health insurance but needed a lot of  meds. He'd learned that you could get them cheap in Mexico, and so he bought me a year's supply. (He seriously was the greatest.)
 
The second time, Hubs and I were on a retreat to somewhere, shortly after his brain surgery. We had a lot of semi-relaxed fun, drank a lot, and enjoyed each other's company. I know we were in Mexico, but I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the resort or the region!

9) Random question(s): There are Gofundme campaigns for many purposes. Have you ever solicited funds online? Would you?

Keeping Your Mouth Shut | Tricia's Ball of Yarn & Scott Family

Yes. For my kid's art supplies for a great class she was taking, of the Masters. (Hat tip to Sam.) Otherwise... it hasn't always gone well. I'm out of that game.

~*~*~*~*~

Hope you all have a pretty decent weekend! I'm hoping we get to look at a couple houses and maybe take a day trip somewhere. Where will the road take you...?

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Interesting Confusions...

Hey there, guys and dolls! Welcome back to SSA. I've missed you! I'm hoping that by the end of November, we'll finally be in our forever home here on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

And I'm hoping that it will finally feel like home, not just our house.

Ya dig?

Keep your fingers crossed for us, you fine folks, will you?

As I'm sending good vibes to all of you as we work through fires and storms and COVID-19 and head into winter... <sigh>

Link up here to play along this weekend!

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Stolen from various web sites...

1) Can you cry under water?

Crying Under Water - Akira & Anime Background Wallpapers on Desktop Nexus  (Image 1220268)

I'm not sure I could. Underwater = my happiest happy place.

2) What is the fattest thing you’ve ever done?

09072020 Chloë's 19th Birthday Cake

Admittedly, I don't entirely understand the intent of this question, but...

Oh, I definitely have a sweet tooth, so I have had trouble cutting out the sweets since they became a big problem for me. The worst is when any of us have a birthday. Rob likes a plain, unfrosted chocolate cake for his birthdays, but most of the rest of us like Carvel ice cream cakes for ours. Since Chloë's birthday is the 7th of September, and mine is the 8th, we often have... kind of a lot of it. I get sick on it every time, but does it stop me??

3) If you’re going to be arrested, what do you want your crime to be?

Anglican priest chains herself to a tree in protest of Trans Mountain  pipeline expansion in Burnaby | Delta Optimist

I've never been arrested, but I admit, I've sort of half-jokingly put it on my Bucket List. If it happens, I want it to be for some kind of protest, whether it be political or, preferably, an environmental cause.

4) When they say dog food is “new and improved” who tastes it?

How to Keep Your Dog From Eating Cat Food | AvoDerm Natural

Well, first of all, I've always had issues with that phrase, "new and improved." If it's new, then what could have been improved upon if it didn't exist before? If it's improved, then it's something old they made better, so how could it be new? 

Anyway. I figure, if they're going to find out if dog food is better, they'd better ask the experts: dogs!

5) What’s the ugliest thing you’ve ever seen?

Top Ten Evil Stepmothers - IGN

My stepmother was always sarcastic, always sneering, in this unique way that I've only ever seen one other person in my life do. Very much like Cinderella's evil stepmother, here. It was an awful expression that could drain the blood from my face in an instant, because I knew that whatever was coming next would be worse than whatever led up to that point. I don't miss that b**ch.

6.) Why doesn’t glue stick to its bottle?

An Investigation of Polymers

So there you go!

7) What historical event do you wish you’d witnessed?

Kerri Strug GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Oh my gosh, there are so many things I could have thought of, but the first one I thought of was the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta when Kerry Strug did her vault with a broken ankle. That whole Dream Team was amazing. I would love, love, love to attend the Olympics some day!

8) Who has had the best influence on your life?

50 Husband quotes: I Love My Husband Quotes Girlterest – Part 22 Best  Quotes Love – BestQuotes

I've thunk hard on it, and I keep returning to the one inevitable answer: my husband. No one else in this world has made me look inside myself and really try to be better for someone else and not just for my own sake.

9) Would you rather go into space or to Antarctica?

Assassins can fly — Fly me to the moon 🌙 gifs made by me :)

Space! Although I'd always accept a trip anywhere, almost anytime - pandemics excluded.

10) Would you rather sleep with no pillow or no blankets?

Amazon.com: I Am Crazy I Love Crazy Pillow Cases Pillowcase Couples Gift  Bedding Present Funny: Kitchen & Dining

I'd rather live without the pillow. I don't care how hot I am, I need to have certain portions of me covered with a blanket - and I can always use part of it for a pillow!

11) What's your favorite rain memory?

0612011 Sophia's 6th birthday party

Oh, whenever it rained in the summers in Virginia Beach, when Sophia was two, three, four, five years old... we would go out and jump in the puddles! That little bitty was so excited and happy when she was jumping up and down in those puddles. She was just the the picture of pure joy.

12) If you were elected president, what is the first thing you would do?

First thing I would do is declare a moratorium on fossil fuels. No more coal mines, fracking, oil drilling, none of that. Our reliance on fossil fuels has long overstayed its welcome, and it's killing all of us. That shit's got to end.

13) If you had $3 to spend in the dollar store, what would you buy?

TOP 5 Things to Always Purchase at Dollar Tree!

If I have an occasion like a birthday, the supplies there can't be beat for a buck! Ribbons, tissue paper, gift bag? Done!

14) What’s the most annoying sound in the world?

If You Hate The Sound Of People Chewing, Then You're Probably A Genius |  Prodinr

I can't stand to hear other people chewing and smacking their lips while they're eating. I have to tell my son to stop doing it constantly. Drives me crazy!

15) What natural disaster scares you the most?

Think 2020′s disasters are wild? Experts say the worst is yet to come

Fire. We had a fire in the house I grew up in, and I still have scars on my legs from that. I've lived through that, tropical storms and hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes, a supertyphoon... but nothing scares me like fire. I don't want to die that way.

~*~*~*~*~

On that pleasant thought...! I've got some work to do for this nonprofit project I'm working on, and then make a list for some shopping. Maybe I'll even get some knitting accomplished. Not necessarily in that order.

Cheers to all of you and let's hope no one's in any natural disasters today!

Fin.

 


Saturday 9: The Love Boat

The Love Boat TV Show

What's going on, my friends? Anything exciting and new with you?

Here, we have decided to sell the "perfect" dream house and move back to the city. Frankly, it's me. I can't take it out here in the sticks. Small town = small minds. I've always known that, yet I thought I could "handle it." I couldn't. So, our house is officially going up for sale. On the one hand, I hate it, because I absolutely love this house. On the other hand, every time we go into Boise, I get a little giddy inside about coming back, so I know it's the right thing to do.

So let's love us some boat, shall we?

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: The Love Boat (1977)

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

1) The Love Boat ran from 1977 to 1987. It was in the Top 10 for seven of those 10 seasons. Are you familiar with the show? Were you a fan? 

the love boat gifs | WiffleGif

I was young then. I remember it was on, and I remember watching it. I remember very few details from the show, though.

2) Every week, viewers followed The Pacific Princess as she set sail to a glamorous destination. Have you ever taken a cruise? If so, where did you go? 

Five Day Trips for Your Next Mediterranean Cruise | NCL Travel Blog

 I have, and I absolutely love cruising. So far I've done these:

  • In 1991, at 14, I took my cruise with my family on the new Carnival Ecstasy. We went to San Jan, Puerto Rico, Saint Thomas, and the Bahamas.
  • I did a series of scientific cruises - shout out to the Coral Reef II crew - in college and grad school, but I'm thinking those don't count here.
  • Also in grad school, my grandpa took family on a Princess cruise. I went to Mexico, Jamaica, Costa Rica, the Cayman Islands, and Panama.
  • In 2006, Rob and I took the kids to Disney World and then on a short Carnival cruise. We only went to the Bahamas.
  • In 2008, Rob and I went on a Mediterranean Cruise aboard Holland America's ms Zuiderdam. We started in Barcelona and also visited France (Nice and Eze), Monaco, Italy (Lucca, Pisa, Civitavecchia, Rome, Sicily, Venice) three stops in Greece, and Croatia (Dubrovnik), before finally ending up in Madrid, Spain.
  • We were going to go on an Alaskan cruise this September, but the pandemic had other plans!

3) Gavin MacLeod played Captain Steubing. Born Allan See, he came up with the stage name by combining the first name of a fictional character he admired, and the last name of a teacher who influenced him. Using his formula, give yourself a stage name. For example, Sam would be Hermione Hart (Hermione from Harry Potter; Hart for her Kindergarten teacher).

Jennifer Lawrence GIF by The Hunger Games - Find & Share on GIPHY

Alrighty, I'll be Katniss O'Toole.

4) After the series ended, Fred Grandy (aka "Gopher") went on to become a Congressman from Iowa and then CEO of Goodwill Industries. If you had a bag of gently-used items to donate, where would you take them?

Restyle Thrift Store 625 S Vista Ave Boise, ID Clothes Posts - MapQuest

We would absolutely take them to ReStyle thrift shop in Boise, which benefits animal shelters and humans alike. We've donated many times there, and we've shopped many times as well.
 
5) Ted Lange is best known for his role as the ship's bartender, Isaac. But he began his career performing the classics, and appeared at Colorado Shakespearean Festival and London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Let's class up this joint. Give us a little Shakespeare. 

A Midsummer Night's Dream | Palace Opera & Ballet 2019/20 Season

My favorite has always been "A Midsummer Night's Dream," and my favorite character was Puck, that mischievous sprite. I'll say it simply: "Lord, what fools these mortals be!"

6) Bernie Kopell played the ship's doctor, Adam Bricker. Kopell first appeared on TV in 1961 and was a regular on Get Smart and That Girl, and he's still acting today. But Love Boat was, by far, his favorite role. Working on the show was "absolute heaven" because he was paid to travel the world and meet his acting idols, like Oscar winners Greer Garson, Joan Fontaine and Eva Marie Saint, who appeared on the show. When you think of the best job you have ever had, what made it so good: the pay, the location, the people you met, or the work itself?

Jose Canseco joins NBC Sports California's A's TV coverage | NBCS Bay Area

I probably have a definite favorite, but I can't pinpoint it at this moment. I'm extremely shy and introverted until I get to know people, but somehow working in customer service turns me rapidly extroverted, and I love talking to and helping customers. So I think an amalgamation of my customer-oriented jobs would be my "favorite" at the moment. I worked in an ice cream parlor, Larry's Scoop Shop, on St. Pete Beach before I entered graduate school. I think all of the above - the pay, the people, the job itself, and definitely the location - were pretty sweet at this job. I met José Canseco - which I keep forgetting whenever we have one of those "most famous" questions - and, by the way, he was a real asshole and a non-tipper.

7) Lauren Tewes played Cruise Director Julie McCoy. Today she lives in Seattle, appearing in local theater and -- between acting assignments -- working as a chef for a catering service. Have you hosted dinner for more than 8 people? If yes, do you remember what you served?

Dilapidated Colony Resort in Longboat Key slated for demolition

No, I haven't. I'm not really "host"material; I get too flippin' nervous. I really am a pile of neuroses. But I did work in catering - often in a tuxedo, sometimes on a ship - at Longboat Key's now-demolished The Colony Beach & Tennis Resort. It was very high-end and fancy back in the '90s, and then sometime between my working there and my going back years later to show the fam, I found it had been abandoned. But that was a great job, with lots of fancy foods for fancy people.

8) For the first nine seasons, the theme was sung by Jack Jones. The Grammy-winning singer says one of his career highlights playing Sky Masterson onstage in Guys and Dolls. In his late 50s at the time, had had to go outside his comfort zone, dancing and acting as well as singing before a live audience. Tell us about something new you tried recently.

FDA approves Lundbeck's VYEPTI™ (eptinezumab-jjmr) – the first and only  intravenous preventive treatment for migraine

Really? Are people doing new things right now? I'll be interested to find out. About the only new thing for me was getting an infusion of the latest-and-greatest migraine biologic, Vyepti, on Wednesday. My doctor has great hopes for this for me. So far, I'm not thrilled.

9) Random question  -- Which would you rather receive as a gift: one $500 wristwatch, or five $100 wristwatches?

07242020 Dive Watch

You know, I really had to think about this. I don't ever wear a watch, except for this Seiko dive watch I bought secondhand for twenty bucks back in 1998, after I became a SCUBA diver. It runs on my own motion, so of course, it still runs. So I thought, well, would I like to give five people a decent watch, or would I like to give one person a pretty nice watch? In the end, I decided that one person would appreciate his or her watch a bit more than the five people would combined, and for me, that meant fewer precious resources being used and possibly wasted if those watches don't get worn. So I'll take one if I may gift it, please.

~*~*~*~*~

Yairn

All right, folks. Don't have too much fun quarantined in your bunkers, now. I've gotten some new wool, so I am hoping to get a bit of knitting done this weekend - but don't hold me to it.

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Thursday Thunks On Sonntag

Summer Facebook Cover | Summer facebook cover photos, Summer cover ...

Hey there, Thieves! Welcome back! I couldn't get my post up at all late Saturday afternoon or in the evening because the plague that are migraine headaches, but better late than never, right?

Link up here to play along this week!

~*~*~*~*~

1 If you could be a Muppet, which would you be?

Disney Prepares to Use Its Marketing Magic to Bring Back the ...

I think Hubs and I jointly would be Statler and Waldorf, the two old guys who sit and make dumb jokes about everything around us, cracking ourselves up. I'd be whichever one was cuter!

2 Why is a chicken crossing the road in the first place??

The Southernmost Point: The "Gypsy Chickens" Of Key West

Well, as anyone who has ever kept chickens, as we have, can tell you, these are not the most brilliant animals on the planet. Also as anyone who has been to Key West even once - let alone multiple times - as I have, can tell you, they will go wherever they want to go, often in a hurry, including the middle of the road. So as for why? Clearly, the answer is: because.

3 What's your favorite muscle?

Well, that depends. In babies? I like the glutes. In a guy? I like arms - big biceps!

4 Cheerios or Rice Krispies?

Parenting - rice krispies - Funny Parenting Fails and WINs - crazy ...

I love Rice Krispies. I do not enjoy Cheerios; they smell like baby diarrhea to me. Blechhhh!

5 Is summer ever going to get here?

Global Warming—Really?

I mean, between intense climate change and the coronavirus, what are we really going to do with it? I think Earth deserves to take its time on this one.

6 Have you ever had a utility turned off by mistake or some other reason besides weather or nonpayment?

Oddly Specific - Album on Imgur

No, and like this fortune, that is oddly specific.

7 What was your "last day" of something?

03092020 Chloë L'Oreal Product Review

Hm, let's see. September 6th, 2019, was my last day of not being a parent to an adult child! (This one, that is - I never told Chloë she could grow up!)

8 If you had to be trapped in a TV show for a month, which one would you choose?

The Big Bang Theory No GIF by CBS - Find & Share on GIPHY

I'd love to be stuck on The Big Bang Theory! At least I'd feel like I was where I belonged.

9 Did you have any type of class trip, band trip, etc., in high school? Where did you go, what did you do?

Darien Lake Harvest Festival Weekends

I know there were others, but my favorite class trip was our 9th grade one to Darien Lake, in New York. We did a fundraiser, and I raised the second most, so I got a bonus from that, too!

10 Do your feet smell?

Rofl burGer on Twitter: "SMELLY FEET #meme #funny #lol #rofl http ...

No; they do not have a nose.

11 Do you know how to french braid?

Amazing Braids😍🙆👑 by Fiona Brunka - Musely

Yes, and I can both French-braid and Dutch-braid on my own hair, too. I really want to learn to do the fishtail braid, though!

12 Two guys are walking down the street. One drops his hat and reaches down to pick it up, the other kicks him in the ass. Do you laugh?

Kick Your Ass GIFs | Tenor

That depends; am I "the other"? If not, then hopefully involuntarily at least, but I'm sure I would snort!

13 You wake up one morning and dogs are meowing and cats are barking - what are fish, elephants and crocodiles doing?

Bucketlist » Raise one eyebrow without using a finger (Simon West)

Have we run out of "real" questions, then?

14 You are going to your high school reunion. What award are you going to win?

20200413_150854

Hammiest family!

15 You find yourself stranded on a deserted island. Soon you find a laptop with a lifelong battery & internet connection, then you find a cave with an endless supply of food and a spring of fresh water. A cruise ship comes along to save you - do you get on it?

72 Best Desert island images | Desert island, Island, Cartoon

If I get to take that laptop with me and it's not during the days of COVID, then heck, yes!

16 How many shortcuts do you have on your desktop?

funny desktop wallpapers

Five. But in my defense, it's a new laptop.

17 I offer you a pie... the most delicious pie you have ever seen. You either have to eat the entire thing in one sitting or allow me to slam it into your face, which do you choose?

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RYGB) | UI Health

I guess I'm getting a pie in the face, because I'm working with that gastric pouch on the right!

18 Are you a pen stealer?

Bright, Colorful Pens On A White Background Shot Overhead. Stock ...

Not usually! My pens are all the different colors of the rainbow. Everyone else? Blue or black. ::snooze::

19 A dude from China comes up and offers you German chocolate cake, French fries and a Boston cream pie... what color is your car?

2020 Honda Odyssey First Look | Kelley Blue Book

Black, and her name is Phoenix. But a little birdie told me I might be getting a new car this year, so... I'm game!

20 Sometimes you just have to tap your foot to your favorite song - which TV series season finale are you watching?

Modern Family' Finale Review: It Ends as It Began, Only Less ...

Modern Family is still in the DVR, waiting for me!

~*~*~*~*~

All right, y'all. I've got to get ready for the week ahead. Have a good one!

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: 15 Questions Más

Father's Day 2020: History, significance and celebrations - more ...

Welcome back! Look who's being a team player and coming back two whole days in a row? You're welcome, you're welcome. Shucks.

Mr. winky face - Home

1 If you could spend a day in someone else’s shoes who would it be and why?

Jen Aniston dons thigh-high leather boots and NO pants in sexy new ...

Hmm. Maybe Jennifer Aniston? I don't know. I mean, look at her - rockin' body, gorgeous otherwise, rich and famous, influential, talented... what's not to love? (But she doesn't have a two decade-long marriage and a passel of amazing kids, so in the end I'd rather be me!)

2 Which celebrity gets on your nerves the most, and why?

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Are Having Issues Quarantining Together

Easily these two. Do I really need to explain that?

3 If you were going to bury a time capsule, what would you put in it?

Replacing what was forgotten: Time capsule sealed Monday inside ...

Today's newspaper, a letter to my future self, artifacts that represent me and that represent our Idaho town, and pictures of all of us including our pets.

4 What is your saddest memory?

What is Bereavement? Plus Links to Help and Advice

It's a tie between being a bereaved child when my mama died, and a bereaved mum when my son died.

5 Would you rather be in your pajamas or a suit all day?

15 Funny Swimsuits For Women In 2020

You didn't say what kind of suit!

6 What’s the strangest place you’ve ever gone potty?

A Day Trip to Dry Tortugas National Park - Opal Unpacked

On those reefs somewhere, around the Dry Tortugas, I was doing a reef study when I suddenly got hit with a violently upset stomach. I was snorkling at the time. Ugh.

7 How old were you went you had your first kiss?

Celebs Who Had Their First Kiss On-Screen - PureWow

Five. Back of the school bus. His name was Matthew Buffalo.

8 Do you have any strange or unique phobias?

Mustard | Taste Test | Serious Eats

Mustard. It's so scary.

9 If you could bring back one toy from your childhood, what would it be?

Amazon.com: Basic Fun Pound Puppies Classic Stuffed Animal Plush ...

I loved my Pound Puppies!!

10 If you could be any Disney villain, which would you be?

Ursula (The Little Mermaid) - Wikipedia

I'd be Ursula from Little Mermaid. At least she got to live in the sea!

11 If your life was a novel, what would the title be?#

Auditing Work In Progress | SD Mayer

Actually, it is a work in progress - I have the first chapter done! But I'm not yet ready to divulge the name.

12 What do you need more of in your life?

hot air balloons on the ocean | Hot Air Balloons Ocean Sunset ...

Adventure!

13 What are your top 3 quotes?

When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel... - StatusMind.com

Abraham Lincoln Quote: “Whatever you are, be a good one.” (23 ...

33 Abraham Lincoln Quotes That Still Ring True Today

I'm a big fan of Abe Lincoln.

4 What do you want people to remember about you?

Always Care With All My Heart

I'm an empath. I care and care and care some more.

15 What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made?

Take your power back. | Quotes, Quotes to live by, Words

I gave away far too much of my power for far too many years. Now I am learning that it's okay for me to take it back.

~*~*~*~*~

♥ Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there! I've gotta spend some time lovin' on the one who made me a mom! ♥

Fin.


Saturday 9: Cold As Ice

Image result for foreigner cold as ice

Heyyyyy, err'body! My last post was a little over a month ago, as I took some time off for health and Christmas preparations. But I have missed you guys, and it's good to be back in the fray.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Image result for christmas tree I hope you've all enjoyed your respective holidays with your friends and loved ones,if you've celebrated! Image result for christmas tree

Now, link up here to play along today!

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Saturday 9: Cold as Ice (1977)

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

Our last Saturday 9 of 2019. Thank you for another great year, everyone! {And thank you, Sam!}

1) Look back on 2019 and share a happy moment.

Well... amongst many other wonderful happenings, we adopted a new kitten!

Periwinkle 07182019

2) As 2019 ends, are you making any New Year's resolutions for 2020?

Oh, yeah. I didn't think I'd even make it to see 2020 for a while, there, but now that I'm still here, it's time to decorate this big ol' new house of ours! I definitely want to start with the master bedroom. Here is our design inspo, from HGTV; both Rob and I love this!

3) Tell us about an obstacle or challenge you faced in 2019.

POPFit3

It's been a tough year for me, health-wise. I thought we might finally catch a break when my neurologist in Boise referred me to the Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Research Center in Baltimore, but they turned me down. That was pretty crushing. But I've been picking myself and trying to carry on. I'm in a wheelchair whenever I leave the house pretty much full-time now, and I sleep about 900 hours a day. My immune system has pretty much revolted and shut down, and I have allergic reactions about a dozen times a day. But like I said, it's time to rally. I'm not done here yet.

4) Is it "cold as ice" outside where you are today?

WTForecast 12282019

Nah. My WTForecast app has us at a balmy 26ºF right now!

5) Foreigner is this week's featured artist. The band formed in New York City. If you were to travel to New York City, what would you be sure to see?

lin manuel miranda hamilton GIF by Recording Academy / GRAMMYs

Oh, for sure, the girls and I would have to go see Hamilton on Broadway - and then try hard to see Lin Manuel Miranda backstage! That would be amazing!

6) The band went by the name Trigger. They changed it because their prospective record label was already auditioning a different group named Trigger. They settled on Foreigner because half the members were foreign -- from England. If you received a free, round-trip airline ticket to any foreign country, where would you go?

Image result for fires in australia gif

Well, you know, I've always been torn between wanting to go to Australia and Japan. Right now with the fires burning Down Under, and the way the government is not handling it at all, I can't decide between not wanting to go and running straight to Tokyo, or making like Greta Thunberg and diving in to help and make a big fuss. Now that I think about it, yeah. Australia. There are koalas on fire to rescue!

7) In 1977, when this song was popular, Star Wars was breaking all box office records. The Spy Who Loved Me, a James Bond movie, was also a 1977 hit. Which film series do you prefer: Star Wars or James Bond?

Image result for jabba the hutt gif

Hmm. Well, I have some serious catching up to do on both series, but I think Star Wars has to take this one!

8) In 1977, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak incorporated Apple. Are you answering these 9 questions on an Apple product (PC, laptop, pad or phone)?

80644323_1332614436922090_3717446897955241984_n

Nah, hope I don't disappoint. Current situation: The monitor is HP, the CPU is Dell, and the keyboard is Logitech... it works.

9) Random question: What was the last thing you thought of as you dozed off last night?

DSC_1474

Well, this, actually. What Rob is doing is reading the letter representing the last Christmas present given this year. I saved the best for last for once! In the letter, I am telling him that I am finally taking him on a cruise to see Alaska, where he's always wanted to visit, because I want to make sure I get to see the joy in him doing that before my time runs out. So now time is running out in another way - I've got serious plans to make for that trip!

~*~*~*~*~*~

I hope y'all are doing well! Thanks for having me back! ;)

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Swap-Bot Questionnaire

Welcome, welcome, kids of all ages!

Thanks for all the well wishes about my eardrum rupturing Friday. It definitely wasn't fun, but I've had problems with that ear since we came up from 0' above sea level in Miami to ~2500' above sea level in Boise over two years ago. That ear just did not want to make the trip! The constant Val Salvo maneuver is my life now. When I do it now, the air screams out of that hole in my eardrum so loudly that Rob and the kids can hear, too. It's weird.

Anyway!

Link up here if you want to play along with the rest of us this weekend.

~*~*~*~*~

Swap-Bot asked people to post questions they would like to answer.  Bev copied them all and put together this brief selection.

What do you enjoy about summer?

Image result for carefree summer

I like the carefree, mostly-unscheduled nature of it, the freedom, the warmth, everything. It seems like the most "come as you are" season of the year.

Do you like snow? Why?

Image result for snow memes snow funny

haaaaate snow. I grew up in Syracuse, New York, the lake-effect snow capitol of the world. I've done my time! If that isn't 'nuff said, then also, it means I'll be c-c-c-cold, and being cold causes me intense pain nowadays. Then there's the blackish-brown crap that gets all over everything after the street cleaners come through the place. That's three reasons, but I could go on.

What do you think about dogs?

Related image

I am a dog lover, through and through. (But then, I love all animals!)

Have you ever gotten lost?

Image result for getting lost funny

Oh, I'm the genius who perpetually gets lost outside her own driveway - especially if she tries to "wing it" and turns off Google Maps to get there. I have no sense of direction!!

What are your favorite type of socks?

Image result for hospital socks funny

This is gonna sound like I'm joking, but I promise you I'm not: Most of my socks are hospital socks. I have texture issues, and the socks from the hospital don't bug those at all. In fact, my friend Gwyn sent me a boatload of her husband's old hospital socks upon hearing this, and I love her for it! I always keep my hospital socks when I've been there.

What is your favorite style of shoes?

Crocs.

Angle

I used to wear these Crocs Cypress heels a lot, but I can't wear heels anymore now that falling is a constant risk for me.

Pair

Now I wear almost exclusively Crocs, but it's more like these Patricia sandals, which I have in several colors. I had to give my Navy ones (above) to Sophia, though, because they stretch out over time and were no longer snug enough on my size 5½ feet.

What would you name your boat if you had one?

Image result for Sweet Pea

It would be the Sweet Pea. Didn't even have to think about that one.

What common misconception do you hate to hear repeated as fact?

Image result for theory of evolution

I worked on the concept of "novice theory" for my graduate thesis, especially as it pertains to the Theory of Evolution. Note the caps on the latter presentation of the word, versus the former. And that's the crux of it: Most people don't understand the concept of Scientific Theory vs. the theories we bandy about day-to-day, in our normal, non-scientific lives, and suppose are correct. That of Evolution is well-founded in example after example, able to be observed by the human eye in a short time period, and is well-replicated inside and outside the lab. This is true whether it agrees with our own ideas of what religion should dictate or not. Sorry if you don't like it, Joe Schmo, but that's just the way it is.

What was the last shop you went into and what did you buy?

_DSC0508
I've been a couponer since birth. My mother taught me. After she died, my sister Stacey would cut all the coupons, and I would sort them into their respective categories. I continued doing that as I went to college, and on into adulthood. Now, things have gone high-tech, and I could teach Mom a thing or two! Chloë is a girl after my own heart: she loves to save a buck and cringes when she sees someone needlessly paying full price. I love to give away our haul to battered women's shelters, the families at the Ronald McDonald House, etc. So we thought we'd take $150 and see what we could get from Walgreens, Rite Aid, and CVS. I'm not sure which one was the last one we went into, but we ended up with well over $1,000 worth of merchandise.

What's your favourite thing to do to pass the time?

Image result for reading the classics

Back in the day, I easily could've said "read." Now, I don't know... waste time online? When I was pregnant with Chloë, my aim was to spend the time, having hyperemesis gravidarum, catching up on the classics. Except, I stumbled across Sidney Sheldon works in the library and read all of those books instead. Quite a different thing! Since motherhood, I haven't exactly given myself permission to sit and read. I really need to re-learn how to allow myself that.

What is a way to die that scares you the most?

I would not like to suffocate or drown. The thought terrifies me.

Travel or homebody?

Image result for travel the world

Oh, I may be trapped in my body, but my body is not one to be trapped in Idaho. Plenty of World left for me to see!!

Have you ever gone to a Bingo hall?

Image result for Bingo funny

I have not.

What is the longest plane trip you have taken?

Related image

Listen, you've never flown long-haul until you've moved from Panama City, Florida, to Guam whilst pregnant with twins, with a one-year-old child. And then flown back four months later... 🙄

Do you text more or call more? Why?

Image result for phone anxiety

I much prefer to text over calling. I have severe phone anxiety. So do several other members of my family. It's a thing. If you don't have have it, lucky you, but please don't let that diminish your capacity to understand that others do. (I'm a "yes" to all, btw.)

~*~*~*~*~

Well, on that cheerful note, I'll say buh-bye! LOL Tonight, after all, is the Matador dinner with Hubs, finally, after I felt like shit all day Saturday. Tequila!

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Not 5,000 Questions, Part The First

Welcome back. 🙋‍♀ I am stuffed! I just finished half a small plate of popcorn shrimp, which Chloë made, and shortly before that, a banana that I did not share with Paco (my 5-year-old Chihuahua), much to his chagrin. I had a tofu stir-fry that Rob made for dinner, and then Jack and I went out for more soy sauce (for the leftovers), some school clothes for him, and some other stuff. Upon our return, we ate ice cream cones (I had a chocolate-dipped cone with Talenti pistachio gelato - such an indulgence!). And I had two chocolate croissants from Walmart, which I bought on impulse when I saw them; they're just like smaller versions of the ones Panera used to sell before replacing them with some crappy new thing that I hate. Anyway, my point is, I feel like I have not stopped eating since I got up today.

Sunday Stealing time. Link up here if you're playing along today! So, full belly, dry diaper, here we go: 

~*~*~*~*~

Have you read anything by C.S. Lewis?

Related image

Yes. For my college graduation gift, my BFF Lisa gave me his book Mere Christianity. When I read it, it was a complete 180º from where I was, still heavily stuck in the cult in which I was raised (Christian Science, which I now realize is completely evil). I had epiphany after epiphany whilst reading it, and it was an awakening for me. I think I shall read it again; once I unpack it and find it! And we listened to the audiobooks of the Narnia series when the children were younger and we took lots of road trips.

What is your favorite movie with Jack Nicholson?

Image result for Jack Nicholson in as good as it gets gif

Oh, God. That's a tough one; has he had any roles I don't like?! I think As Good As It Gets, since that's one of my favorite movies of all time anyway.

What rhymes with 'orange'?

Image result for things that rhyme with orange

⬆Welp, there you go!⬆

Have you ever swallowed an object by accident?

Image result for terrare

I'm no Tarrare. I can't think of a single weird thing, save for the occasional piece of eggshell.


Is your eyesight 20/20?

Image result for funny things about vision

Nooooo way. It's about 20/200. I'm very near-sighted, like my mother was.

Have you ever had insomnia?

Image result for insomnia funny

I have chronic insomnia; I've been like this my entire life.

Does it bother you when people touch you?

Image result for fibromyalgia does it bother me to be touched?

Oh yes. Currently, I suffer from at least numbers 2, 3, 4, and 6 above. Sucks!!

Is it better to get too much or too little sleep?

Related image

I don't function well on too little sleep. I'd much rather have too much.

What gets your adrenaline pumping?

Related image

Fear. You know, I grew up in constant terror, and now I don't know how to turn that off. I don't know how to relax. I honestly have no clue how one does it. So my heart rate is consistently at 100 beats per minute, or more.

Do you ever talk about yourself in the third person?

Image result for talking to yourself funny

I talk to myself in second and third person quite frequently. I personally think I'm hilarious, and I always tell my husband, when he's falling asleep and I'm still chattering away, that he's "missing all the gems."

What's your favorite radio station? What kind of music do they play?

Image result for bob fm funny

I don't even know. I listen to a variety of things, although I don't like talk radio and never listen to NPR. I listen to a lot of pop, some classic rock, Bob FM when I don't know what I want to hear, etc. I'm all over the map. I just want it to be something I can sing to; I'm not a huge fan of a lot of instrumentals.

Do you believe there is anyplace still undiscovered in all the world?

Image result for unspoiled nature

I was actually thinking about this earlier today!! I was thinking that there must be some places where people can't get to, and I took joy in that until I realized that if we don't know about it, where it is, what it looks like, and its properties... how will we humans know how to save it when we wreck it?

Ever caught a fish?

Image result for dolphin fish

Yes. As a marine biologist, I've caught plenty. Once, when I was aboard one of the scientific vessels, a lot of the crew and my fellow scientists and students were fishing off the back of the ship, for dinner. Someone caught a large male dolphin (the fish, aka mahi mahi), which everyone but us vegans and vegetarians wanted to eat. They let this majestic creature flop around on deck, struggling to breathe, until they started stopping it in the brain to kill it and put it out of its misery. It was a horiffic scene - and so many of them were laughing about it still being alive! It is a terrible memory of mine. On one of our first dates, I told my husband that story. He hasn't eaten mahi mahi in my presence in the 18 years since!

Were you ever in the first row of a concert?

Image result for black eyed peas concert gif

No. But one of the closest experiences was being within Fergie at a Black Eyed Peas concert in Virginia about ten years ago. She was within reach of me and the two girls I'd taken with me after I won the tickets from a radio show. I was so pumped!

Do you have any autographs?

Image result for Dave Barry funny

Just... somewhere around here, I have an autograph on the Miami Herald column by Dave Barry. He came into the Publix in Coral Gables, at which I worked for a few years while in college. I was a huge fan, since my early childhood when he was published in the Syracuse Herald-Journal on Sundays. He was in the store with his wife Michelle. I saw him and ran and grabbed a Sunday paper, found his column, and started very timidly stalking him around the store, aisle by aisle. Finally, Michelle Barry noticed me and said to Dave, "I think this girl is trying to talk to you." He turned around and signed my paper. I was gushing effusively the entire time, like an idiot. He came in many times after that. One time, he bought about 20 Publix gift certificates for full turkey dinners at Thanksgiving time from me, for some of the junior staffers I'd guess.

~*~*~*~*~

That was fun. Lots of good memories. Except for the fish one. Hey, don't do that. Be a good person this week. Spread kindness!

Fin.


Saturday 9: Brand New Life

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Hey, hey! Welcome back. It's late here; 7:28 PM as I speak, but I've been in bed all day. I'm not feeling too well today. My doc is afraid I'm developing pneumonia, which has hounded me for the last four years or so. She wanted me to go straight to the hospital Thursday to get a chest x-ray and labs, but I have not listened to her because... well, I don't have time to be sick. I figure, if I don't go, they can't diagnose me, and they can't then stick me in a hospital bed. Sounds smart to me! ;)

This week's song is the theme from the 80s sitcom, Who's the Boss? I used to love that show, and the whole cast. I'm excited to see that one! Link up here if you want to play along with the rest of us this weekend.

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: Brand New Life (The Theme from Who's the Boss) (1984)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
 
1) Who's the Boss? is a sitcom that ran from 1984 to 1992. Were you a fan?

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Oh, yes. It was one of my favorite shows. I still love all of those actors, especially Alyssa Milano. I always thought she was so gorgeous, and I still do. And I admire her for her role in the Me Too movement.
 
2) This week's song was composed by the show's producers, two men not known as songwriters. Have you ever tried your hand at songwriting?

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Yes, I have. From 6th grade to the present, one of my best friends' father is a musician who has been famous in mostly the state of New York for decades (Todd Hobin), and he had a recording studio at their house. In our junior year of high school, Shana - a renowned musician in her own right, having shared the stage with Trans Siberian Orchestra, Josh Groban, Michael Bublé, Regina Carter, Jake Shimabakuro - wrote the music and I wrote the lyrics for a song for one of our group's good friends who was moving away. Mr. Hobin was going to let all of us girls record it in his studio. I ended up getting grounded for that entire year of school for a ridiculous reason, and couldn't go to the recording session, but I still remember how it goes!

3) The lyrics tell us that, as we go through life, it's not uncommon to "lose a dream or two." Do you agree? Have you ever had to give up on a dream?

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Sure. I'd always had the goal of being a famous marine biologist. I got my double-bachelor's degree in Biology and in Marine Science from the University of Miami, and then took a year off to study for my GRE (I'd graduated in three years, so I hadn't had time to prepare), do an internship at Mote Marine Lab in Sarasota, and figure out my options. During college, I'd solidified my plans and became a pioneer of the Elasmobranch Club on campus, having decided to study shark behavior. I decided I wanted to go to the University of South Florida for my Ph.D. (skipping the offers to work on my Master's or Ph.D. there at U.M.), so I could join the lab of the world-famous shark expert, Dr. Philip J. Motta. That's the only lab to which I applied (so like me!), and I got in! This was huge; my fellow marine biologist friends were excited for me. After, three semesters, though, I decided this wasn't the plan for me. I wanted to be married and have a family, and I knew that a high number of scientists who spent a half a year, every year, at sea got divorced; that was not something I wanted. At the same time I was once again weighing my options, I'd met my husband of over 18 years. We eloped two months later, and a few weeks later, I found out I was already pregnant with Chloë. I haven't been an active marine biologist ever since, although I admit I miss it tremendously.

4) Who's the Boss? was about a highly-paid executive who hires a housekeeper. In the 1980s, it was unusual because the exec was a woman and the housekeeper was a man. Do you believe a man can be as good at housework as a woman?

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I have no reason to believe otherwise. My husband, who is cooking a double stir-fry right now (tofu for my daughter's girlfriend and me, and chicken for everyone else), and the sicker I've become, the more he's helped around the house and helped guide the kids in their chores. All three - girls and boy - are expected to do the same chores, swapping on a monthly basis, so there is none of that "woman's place," "man's role" nonsense going on here!

5) Though the show's star, Tony Danza, graduated from University of Dubuque and was prepared to be a teacher, he got sidetracked. Back in New York, he boxed and tended bar and fell into acting. He finally did teach in 2010, taking over a 10th grade English class. How many different occupations have you held?

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Let's see. Babysitter. Cashier. Author. Alumni Relations Associate. Marine Biologist. Legal Secretary. Stay-Home Mom. Hoping to reclaim "author" again! (That photo is one one the proofs from my college yearbook!)

6) On the show, his daughter was played by Alyssa Milano. When she was a teenager, she rebelled against the show's producers by cutting off her long hair and wearing a pixie style. Were you a rebellious teen?

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Not even remotely. Maybe more so, now?
 
7) "The Boss" was Judith Light, who had been known to TV audiences from her work on One Life to Live. She met Robert Desiderio on the set of the soap opera and they have been married more than 34 years. Tell us where one of your romances got started.

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When I was in 10th grade, Shana got me to join her for the beginning of the ECOS club in our school, which met at the Junior High. It was there that I met Ben, who was also interested in all things environmental. We started dating November 15th of that year, 1991, and stayed together about a year and a half. We remain friends; that's him at his recent wedding, in the boutonnierre. He's still a Central New York guy.

8) The show -- rebroadcast with subtitles -- was a hit in Italy, where it was known as Casalingo Superpiù (Super Housekeeper). Say something to us in Italian.

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La torre pendente di Pisa è molto più corta di quanto mi aspettassi!

9) Random question -- Have you more recently watched the sun rise or set?

Defintely the sun setting, including last night. Here are a few recents; we've seen lots of rainbows lately!

~*~*~*~*~

All right. Tofu's ready. I mean, stir-fry. Off to family dinner! Ciao, bellas.

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Book Of Questions

Hey, there! Wheeeewwwwww, I'm exhausted.

Rob, Chloë and I spent all day Saturday driving up to get Sophia from camp and then, upon returning to the Boise area, running a billion errands. On our way back to Mountain Home, we stopped and picked up Sophia's girlfriend, another S, who is spending the rest of the weekend with us. I took a nap as soon as we got home, ain't gonna lie, and woke up with an extreme migraine. At the ER, I got pumped full of meds and barely remember anything after that. It's going on 2 PM now; I just woke up. I hope all of you had a more relaxing day than did I on Saturday!

Let's jump in, m'kay? Link up here if you'd like to play along with the rest of us thieves!

~*~*~*~*~

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Questions from The Book of Questions

1. Do you think the world will be a better or worse place 100 years from now?
 
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That depends on your perspective. From a humanistic view, definitely worse, based on our actions today! But for the world as a whole? I think it'll just be different. Things are changing, some irrevocably, and things will once again evolve to a new stasis.

2. Would you accept $1,000,000 to leave the country and never set foot in it again?
 
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I'm the first guy. Yeah? You promise? I'm outta here!!

3. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the body or the mind of a 30 year old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
 
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Oh, geez. I don't like either choice. Must I pick one? (fine: mind)

4. What would constitute a “perfect” evening for you?
 
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I really don't know anymore. I'm sure a nap is involved. (Sometimes I take three naps in a day - and recently, I hit four! ME/CFS can bite my arse.)

5. Whom do you admire most?  In what way does that person inspire you?
 
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Rob, before tearing up at Chloë's graduation ceremony
 
This may sound really corny, but I think it's Hubs. He's been through entirely too much, both emotionally and physically, and yet he rarely complains. He just gets up, keeps going, keeps trying harder, keeps doing what needs to be done without bitching about it (mostly; I mean, he is human!). He's very much like my grandfather in that regard. With all that I've got going on health-wise these days, he serves as a good role model for how I want to be, at least on the few days my ^&*(() body will even let me. (See? There I go!)

6. Do you prefer being around men or women?  Do your closest friends tend to be men or women?
 
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At least when I was single, I hung around guys more than gals. Most of my friends were male. The scene above was similar to many I had around my college years. That being said, most of my best friends - then and now - are women.

7. If you could use a voodoo doll to hurt anyone you chose, would you?
 
Wait, could it be Trump?
 
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But seriously folks... no. Unless it could be used for kindess. Maybe not like the bridal version seen above, but what about one where I could stick a pin (or whatev) in the place(s) where the person hurts, and it takes away their pains? Yeah. I could get on board with that.

8. What is your most treasured memory?
 
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Well. I have dozens of treasured memories. One that I will treasure forever and ever happened after my son Robby died. I was absolutely devastated, completely heartbroken. There truly are no words to describe my level of despair. My mother-in-law came to visit and help us through it, make the arrangements, etc. I remember during that visit, I went up to take a shower and started sobbing under the water. Hubs told me she'd said to him, "I think your wife needs you right now." He came up and got in the shower with me, probably fully dressed, to hold me while we both cried... But that's not it. During that same visit, in a quiet moment, she gave me the "come here" finger wave and had me sit on the stairs next to her. She pulled out a small box. There was this necklace inside, with a sapphire baby girl represent Chloë, an angel representing Robby, and an aquamarine boy representing his identical twin, Jack (the boys were March babies). It's my most cherished possession; I could not possibly convey the feels I felt in that moment. I just looked at her, started crying, and we hugged. It was our warmest moment together, probably.
 
P.S. After Sophia was born, Mamacita (my MIL) said, "Well, I guess you better give me that necklace back!" And that's when my little diamond girl joined the team.

9. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?  Is there anything you hope to do that is even better?  (Let’s exclude raising children, if you have them)
 
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Hmm, I don't know. There have been a lot, but I worked really hard to get into ^^ this ^^ pretty exclusive lab, and I made it in after much hard work on my part.
 
Even better? I don't know, I have learned that things aren't always "better" or "worse" but more like, just, different. You know? I'd been watinging since my pregnancy and first year with Chloë - who will turn 18 in September - to go to law school when my kids were all grown, but with my brain injury, I don't think that will be possible now. So, author it shall be. eek Fingers crossed!! 🤞🤞🤞
 
10. If you went to a dinner party and were offered a dish you had never tried, would you want to taste it, even if it sounded strange and not very appealing?
 
It totally depends. Three things I would NOT eat, no matter what:
 
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Monkey brains - actual
 
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Balut
 
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... and haggis
 
Three things I have eaten in my non-veg days:
 
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frog legs - on a cruise
 
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escargot - on another cruise, or maybe the same?
 
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sea urchin sushi - in Virginia Beach Town Center
 
By the way, Rob and I ate that sushi on a date for our anniversary one year, and we both agreed it was among the most DISGUSTING things we'd ever eaten!!! Have y'all had it? 
 
11. Do your close friends tend to be older or younger than you?
 
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They're usually the same age or older. I can think of few friends of mine who are younger.
 
12. How do you feel when people sing Happy Birthday to you in a restaurant?
 
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It's not my favorite thing in the world, now that I'm no longer eight years old (!!), but if dessert's involved I'm game. I'd rather it be a plate of fruits or even an extravagant fruta loca, though:
 
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13. When you tell a story, do you often exaggerate or embellish it?  If so, why?
 
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Yes. I do "edit" my tales sometimes. In short, I say, "I do it for the LOLs." For the longer version of that, I'll borrow from a 2014 article I just found on HuffPost:

"Some people are born storytellers. Other people struggle to hold your attention.

"The difference between a boring story and an interesting one usually boils down to three things: emotions, embellishment, and authenticity.

"Boring stories go in a linear fashion. Poor storytellers repeat every fact and detail with no particular emphasis on one element or the other. They tend to focus on getting every single inane detail exactly right.

"The 'one boring fact after another' technique is a favorite of literalists, who typically tell less than stellar stories.

"Great storytellers, on the other hand, provide interpretation. They help you understand what the story means by drawing your attention to the most interesting parts, which sometimes requires a bit of exaggeration.

"Mark Twain once said, 'Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.'

"[I] not only tell stories, [I] embellish them."

14. If a friend were almost always late, would you resent it or simply allow for it? Can you be allowed to be on time?
 
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I grew up needing to be excessively punctual. When I got to college in Miami, I learned what it meant to be "on Cuban time" or various other Caribbean cultures' time. That meant: late. Always, always late, so I became very forgiving of them in a hurry!
 
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As for me, I don't prefer it, but being part of this family necessitates my understanding that, almost always, I will be late!

15. If you could have free, unlimited service for five years from an extremely good cook, chauffeur, housekeeper, or personal secretary, which would you choose?
 
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Rob is an extremely good cook, and I'm not bad. The kids are learning to hold their own (Jack is the best). Neither Rob nor I mind driving; in fact, we generally like it (although it'd be nice if even one of the kids got their license, finally). I enjoy being the personal secretary of the fam. This one was an absolute, hands-down, no-brainer: Housekeeper. I'm really good at cleaning and alla that, but my body no longer permits it. Rob and the kids share the tasks now, but I'm never super thrilled with the job!
 
~*~*~*~*~
 
Welp, it's after 1530 now, meaning I've gotta get to some of that "secretarial" work! I do hope y'all will have a lovely week.
 
Fin.

Sunday Stealing: Would You Rather?

Heya, folks! Welcome back to my corner of Ye Olde Interwebs. Glad to have you back. This week, we're playing a fun round of Would You Rather with Bev over at SunSt. ;) Link up here if you'd like to play along with us this week!

Would you rather be able to detect any lie you hear or get away with any lie you tell?

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Well, hmm. Both would be most useful. ;) I think, as a wife and mother, I'd have to say I'd rather be able to detect any lie I hear. I mean, I know each member of my family's "tells" pretty well, but there are those times...

Would you rather be a hopeless romantic or a hopeless unromantic?

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Oh, I'm a hopeless romantic, and I rather like it that way.

Would you rather have too many friends or too few?

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Um, why would I chose to have too few friends?

Would you rather have no taste buds or be blind?

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Easy: no taste buds. I have already significantly lost my sense of taste & smell, and while boring sometimes, it's not the end of the world. But I literally like to live my life in living color, and all the visual beauty in the world would be so... I'd be devastated if I lost that.

Would you rather never hear music again or lose the ability to read?

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Ooh, that's a tough one. I can't decide. Would I have the ability to re-learn how to read? Hm. If not, then please do one to me and don't tell me which; it'll hurt either way.

Would you rather find true love or be rich?

Appreciate Those Who Don't Give Up On You

If I didn't have true love, I'd never consider myself to be rich. One contributes to happiness; the other contributes to convenience.

Would you rather be the richest person or the smartest?

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I'm pretty fond of being intelligent. Being rich is overrated.

Would you rather create history or delete it?

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I'd much rather create history, especially if it's good stuff. Even bad stuff shouldn't be deleted from history, because well,... Winston Churchill.

Would you rather create a great piece of art and not get credit or get credit for a piece of art you didn’t create?

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I would never want to get credit for something I didn't do, good or bad. That would make me feel rotten. I'd much rather have a secret sort of joy over creating something beautiful that others admired, knowing I gave them something special.

Would you rather age from the neck up, or from the neck down.

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Hands down, neck down!

Would you rather see the world but live in poverty or stay in one place and live rich?

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I'd travel and travel and travel until I dropped.

Would you rather become famous or powerful?

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I'd never want to risk being drunk with power, so I hope I'd be famous for something wonderful!

Would you rather be a creative person or a technical person?

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I like being a creative. There's always something brewing.

Would you rather get a paper cut whenever you touch paper or bite your tongue whenever you eat something?

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I do bite my tongue constantly already, and while it's painful, I guess it wouldn't be any more painful to keep doing it. On the other hand, paper cuts are the worst!!

Would you rather wake up in the morning looking like a giraffe or a kangaroo?

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Does it matter? It's just a silly question. ;) 

Would you rather speak “whale” or read babies’ minds?

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I can already do both. Both worthy abilities under the right circumstances...

Would you rather eat pizza every day or never eat pizza again?

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Hey, now, don't take pizza away from this New Yorker! It didn't say I could only eat pizza, or how much pizza I had to eat, so eating a little a day is much preferable to never eating it again. (P.S. This pizza is what I ate in Dubrovnik, Croatia, while on our Mediterranean cruise in 2008. Such good times!)

Would you rather stay forever at your current age or be 10 years younger?

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Ten times out of ten, I'd want to be a decade younger than I am right now. Getting older is for the birds! Especially now that my health has taken a sharp detour south for the past four years. Hit the rewind button, please!

~*~*~*~*~

Thanks for the fun meme, Bev! Y'all have a good week! Hopefully I'll be here on time next week for S9 & SS. I have to take my daughters to Boise Pride on Friday & Saturday.

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Fin.


Saturday 9: If I Could Turn Back Time

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Hi everyone, and welcome! Yay, a song and an artist I actually know! (Often I don't, but Sam's questions are always thought-provoking for me, which is why I love to join regardless. Thanks, Sam!) Link up here if you want to play along with the rest of us this week!

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: If I Could Turn Back Time (1989)
 
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) The official video for this song was filmed on board the battleship USS Missouri. When is the last time you were on a boat or ship?

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Oh, gosh, it's been a while. Far too long for this sea-going girl; I'm turning into quite the landlubber! It would have to be February 2015, when I was on assignment at the Miami International Boat Show. Lots of nice boats there! We wouldn't mind owning one... 

2) This song was written by Diane Warren. Ms. Warren has written love songs recorded by Celine Dion, Toni Braxton, LeAnn Rimes and more, yet she's never married and has really only had one serious romantic relationship. She acknowledges this makes her an unusual spokeswoman for the glory and pain of love. When you have a relationship problem, who do you go to for advice?

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I'm going through a lot in my psyche right now, so generally I turn to my outstanding therapist.

3) In this song, Cher wishes she could turn back time and have a different conversation with a former lover, changing what she said to him. Here at Saturday 9, we're not so ambitious with our time travel. We're only going back to yesterday. Is there anything you'd do differently?

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Not really. We were quintuply-booked yesterday and even with only one car and two drivers, we managed to get it all done! The one thing I'd change is that I'd insist more strongly that our two fish, Poppy and Sage, get their tanks clean. That will happen today, dadgummit.

4) In 1966, Cher and her then-husband Sonny sang at a private birthday party for Jacqueline Kennedy. At first, Cher didn't want to do it, thinking that performing to a small gathering would be awkward. But it turned out to be a wonderful opportunity for her. That night, she met Diana Vreeland, the editor of Vogue. Vreeland liked Cher's look so much she set up a photo shoot. Cher, who always loved experimenting with hair and makeup, enjoyed the shoot immensely. Tell us about a social gathering where you had an unexpectedly good time.

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I was really nervous to go to my last high school reunion. Drinking more than I probably should have helped, but everyone was so nice, and generally we treated each other as adults, not sophomorically. It was great!

5) At that same party, Cher said she was surprised by how big Jackie's hands were. Do you like your hands?

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Sure, they're all right. (I'm modeling that navy blue druzy ring from Rocksbox in that recent photo.) I have the smallest hands in my house! And I tie 17-year-old Chloë for the smallest feet in the house. I wish I could say that about the rest of me! But alas...

6) One night, before a performance in Detroit, Cher saw a little furry something under one of her tour buses. It was a kitten that that she named Mr. Big, hoping he would grow into the name. He did, and the tomcat was her constant companion for four years until he died of a congenital heart ailment. She has said that she will "never not miss him." Is there a furry companion who has a special place in your memories? 

Tinkerbell ♥

Oh gosh, yes, definitely. Countless furry babies have come in and out of my life, and I miss them all. This one is Tinkerbell, our mama kitty who got out of the house before her spay appointment and ended up needing my help as her kitty-doula (!!) to birth her kittens. We nicknamed them the Seven Dwarves. Tinkerbell was the best, sweetest cat, and I miss her every day. After Rob retired from the Navy and we moved to Miami, we both had trouble finding work, and then almost immediately had that brain tumor drama start. This took two years out of our lives and he's still not recovered; meanwhile, we lost our Virginia Beach house to foreclosure, and several cars were repossessed. It was a tough time in our lives, but the most heartbreaking was having to rehome Tinky-winks and a couple other kitties we had. We just had too many mouths to feed and not enough money to do it at that time, and it was an awful decision that I wish I could change every single day.

7) Cher recently appeared in Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again. It's the second movie based on the music of ABBA. What's your favorite ABBA song?

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It's cliché, but it's gotta be "Dancing Queen."

8) In 1989 - the year this song was popular - Mattel released a series of special "Scarlett O'Hara" Barbie dolls to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Gone with the Wind. Did you enjoy the classic movie? Have you read the book?

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I did like the movie, but I have not read the book. Judging by my current reading happens, I probably never will.

9) Random question - Check your spam folder and tell us one of the subject lines.

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Nothing too interesting, honestly. This is the best I can do: One subject line read, "Please, Melanie." A short scroll down, another subject line was, "Thank you, thank you, thank you!"

I don't know what I did for them, but uh... you're welcome?

~*~*~*~*~

Check me out, it's still only Friday morning at 0630, and I'm done with my Saturday 9 post. I'm nothing if not inconsistent!

Have a good weekend, folks.

Fin.


Saturday 9: Young And Beautiful

First of all, I have not heard of this song before, and I'm kind of out of the loop as far as entertainment news goes, so I had no idea Lana Del Ray was on the soundtrack for The Great Gatsby!! Very cool. It had already piqued my interest, so I think I'll definitely have to read, and then see, it now. Woot!

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{The formatting is so weird for Typepad sometimes. Apologies in advance for anything confusing to read!}

Link up here if you want to play along today. Seems like it should be a fun one!

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: Young and Beautiful (2013)
 
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

***

1) Lana Del Rey wrote this song for the soundtrack of The Great Gatsby. She wanted it to reflect the feelings of Daisy Buchanan. Have you read The Great Gatsby?

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Admittedly, I have not. It's on my must-read list, though. I don't know why I haven't gotten around to it. Maybe because raising three kids has left me too busy to even read a magazine? But one day I will.

2) In the 1970s, Robert Redford portrayed Jay Gatsby. In the 2013 version, Leonardo di Caprio played the part. In real life, both "Gatsbys" have helped raise funds for the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). Are you careful about recycling and conserving water/electricity?

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Oh, goodness, yes! Very much so. I'm teaching the kids more about the environment and ecology this year in our homeschool, and of course, there are always intersections with each topic and the concepts of conservation, preservation, the five Rs:

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Although the "R"s do vary considerably from site to site. Most say  "Refuse - Reduce - Reuse - Recycle - Rot," but you probably get the point. I am an absolute stickler for reducing waste and for recycling like a maniac. If I find a recyclable item thrown away in the garbage can, I go a little berserk about it. But it's extremely important to me that the kids learn to be the guardians and shepherds of the world they are inheriting, not its destroyers. I think they are learning well. We play a fish game every few months that dramatically explores and explains the concept of conservation. It's really interesting; let me know if you want the (free) link to it!

3) Lana admits that she dropped out of college because she simply could not get the required math credits. When confronted with basic addition, subtraction, multiplication or division, do you do it in your head? Reach for pencil and paper? Or do you take advantage of the calculator that's on your desktop or phone?

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I can most certainly do that all in my head, but sometimes I write down the multiplication or division when it gets out to several place values - but only if I'm too tired to guestimate by rounding. Occasionally I'll use the calculator, but that's very rare and usually only when I am in a hurry and MUST have the exact right answer. Short answer? It depends.

4) She enjoys Kurt Cobain, Eminem, Elvis and Sinatra. Which of those four gentlemen did you listen to most recently?

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Oh, gosh. I've honestly listened to all four of them recently, but I do think that Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was the very last song of one of these fellas that I heard on the radio. Aaaaand... now I'm gonna have that in my head all day!

5) Speaking of Sinatras, she has described her high maintenance look -- big hair, long nails, elaborate eye makeup, full lips -- as "Gangster Nancy Sinatra." How long does it take you, on an average day, to prepare to face the world?

Well, again, that depends. I used to mandate (to myself) that I had to take a shower, do my hair, do my makeup, and generally have matching (and hopefully cute) clothing on before I left the house. Nowadays, NONE of that applies!  I'm lucky to get 3 or 4 showers or baths a week (because of my myriad illnesses), and then I usually just comb out my hair and let it air-dry. If I put on makeup, it's minimal; usually just mascara will suffice for me these days:

Melanie 2

However, the other night 13-year-old Sophia wanted to play with my (expensive, fancy, high-quality) make-up, so I let her. But she wanted to give ME a makeover. Needless to say, I did not leave the house after this one:

Sophia did my makeup
I think I'm pretty much guaranteed not to be America's Next Top Model!


6) She's a big soccer fan, and her favorite team is Liverpool FC. Here in the US, college basketball fans are currently obsessed with March Madness. What's the last sporting event that you watched?

Karen Joyce Collage

I don't really watch sports, per se, but when my Hurricanes are playing (particularly football, basketball, and sometimes baseball), I try to stop and at least pay attention to the scores. I don't have a whole lot of interest in most mainstream team sports; my family and I are not particularly athletic! On the other hand, my beautiful niece Karen, above, is a superstar when it comes to soccer and track! She's now in her freshman year playing on the team at SUNY Fredonia; I don't know if she continues with track, however. She's smart and beautiful, to boot! Her younger sister, Hanna, is just the same. 

7) Her younger sister, Caroline, studied photography and is responsible for some of Lana's publicity pictures. Have you ever gotten a job because of a relative?

Image result for nepotism funny

Nope; I got all of my jobs based on my own merits. Unless you count a babysitting job here and there because an older sister wasn't available; I don't.

8) In 2013, when this song came out, Pope Francis became the first pope from a Latin American country. Latin America generally includes Mexico, most of Central and South America, and in the Caribbean, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. What's the farthest south that you've ever traveled?

This was a tough one for me; I actually had to check the latitude of two places in particular:

Guam 13ºN
When we lived on Guam, part of Micronesia and close to the countries of the Philippines, Japan, Korea, Australia, etc., from October 2002-February 2003, we were about 13ºN of the equator. A lot of the tiny island is beautiful, with its clear blue lagoons (the picture above is where we first stayed before getting into base housing, in Tumon Bay near the capital), waterfalls, and lush green foliage everywhere. Some wasn't, but mostly I feel like I would have had a much more delightful time if I wasn't enormously pregnant with a high-risk twin pregnancy! Hot, damp, huge... not a good combination! 😏

Boys' 16th Birthday Collage

[By the way, shout out to those aforementioned twins: yesterday was Jack and Robby's 16th birthday!]

Holland America Panama Canal 9ºN
However, even closer to the equator, at around 9ºN of the equator, I was on a Princess Cruise with some of my family as we went through the Panama Canal! That was a special memory, definitely. 

I have yet to make it south of the equator. What the hell; I guess I'd better live at least another 42 years so I can do all this traveling that's happening in my mind!

9) Random question -- What button would you prefer your life to have: rewind, fast forward or a pause?

Image result for plead the fifth funny

So that's, like, a completely impossible question for me to answer honestly! I'm in a three-way deadlock with those choices; 33.3333% of the time (mostly my childhood) I would gladly have taken the fast-forward button. Another 33.3333% of the time, I would hit rewind so I could go back and have my babies be actual babies again and not these big-ass teenagers I can't get used to just yet! (My youngest may be turning 14 next month, but I still sit and oooh and ahh in the baby clothing and shoe departments at various stores!) And now that I have so many chronic illnesses which contribute to a massive amount of brain fog, I'd hit that pause button constantly to give myself a chance to pick my words carefully while others don't try to supply them for me. It's so hard to form a cohesive thought sometimes, so I'd need that for the final third of the time!

~*~*~*~*~

Phew! That took me a lot longer than I anticipated! Not Sam's or anyone's fault, really. Between birthday "doings" with Jack last night, my computer giving me the blue screen of death not once but twice in the middle of it, and finding myself getting busy with 1700 other things, it's a wonder I finished at all! But that's not to say I didn't enjoy it - I always do! Crazy Sam, you write some great questions. Sometimes I ponder whether I'd ever be good at this duty if you were to step down, and I always come to the same conclusion: Nope. I could not measure up.

Hope y'all have a great weekend, and I'm delighted to finally be able to wish you all a very happy SPRING!

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Fin. 


So Long 2018, Welcome 2018: Saturday 9 & Sunday Stealing

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Howdy, folks! I missed the super amazing fun times this past weekend because I'm having a bunch of anaphylactic episodes due to what my immunologist termed a "full-blown autoimmune assault." So that's fun. I did an undercover assignment for several hours with my younger daughter, Sophia, and reacted there. And everywhere, pretty much. It's not awesome - especially because I missed you guys!

Fruit Salad

So I'm trying to get these two in under the radar. While eating delicious fruit salad. And watching a marathon of Bob's Burgers with Sophie, Jack, and Hubs. Funny stuff. Do you watch it? Why not?!!

Here goes Saturday 9:

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: Winter Wonderland (1968)

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

Welcome to the last Saturday 9 of 2018! Thanks for a great year, everyone.
 
*
 
1) This is an unconventional take on an old familiar song. Over the holidays, do you prefer traditional carols? Or do you like to mix it up with with more contemporary fare?
 
Image result for ariana grande santa tell me
 
I like to mix it up. Along with old favorites, I love the song "Santa Tell Me" by Ariana Grande along with pretty much everything by the Pentatonix.

2) Now that Christmas is behind us, are you enjoying a relaxing week? Or do you have socializing/celebrating/chores to do?
 
Image result for idaho potato drop 2018
 
I think most of the socializing and celebrating is behind us, other than having fun times tonight with the family. I did want us to go downtown here in Boise, where instead of a ball - I shit you not - they drop a potato. A damn potato! But we're all sick, so I think we may end up just staying home and watching it on the local NBC affiliate tonight. Bummer. Also tomorrow, I wanted us to go up to Bogus Basin, where the ski resort is near us, for all kinds of New Year's Day festivities, but the two older kids have to work, which would be no fun.

3) Winter is a time for cocooning. What book or movie did you enjoy in 2018 that you would recommend to your fellow Saturday 9-ers?
 
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I really enjoyed the movie Dumplin' with Danielle MacDonald. We've been watching a lot of movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video lately, but I think that may have been my favourite.

4) Looking back on the past year, what was one of your happiest moments?
 
Week 21 of 52 -Catching Light
Two things: On April 16th, Hubs had surgery for prostate cancer. His recovery was fraught, and I hated every minute of it for him. He ended up having another major surgery and more hospital stays. As for myself, I had surgery on May 22nd, and it was supposed to be far more major than it ended up being. I was honestly scared for my life and, if that ended up being not in jeopardy, then I was scared of being in even more pain than the endless amount I've been suffering for more than 3½ years. In the end, my surgeon decided to close me up early and save the rest of the surgery for another day. So I can honestly say, in 2018, my happiest moment was waking up alive and well, and being still here to torment the rest of Team Odette!

5) What was the smartest thing you did all this past year?
 
Week 27 of 52 - Leading Lines
I persevered! It's worth it.
 
6) As 2018 comes to a close, what are you most grateful for?
 
DSC_5544
♥ Smiles, joy and happiness from my loved ones ♥

7) This week's featured artist is Herb Alpert. Because of the style he popularized and the name of his band, people assume he's Hispanic. Yet his parents were Jewish immigrants from Romania. What's something we'd be surprised to learn about you?
 
🤦‍♀️ I dunno anymore; everyone knows everything about me! 🤦‍♀️
 
Vegan collage
Maybe that I've been varying levels of vegan/vegetarian since August 1995, and as of about a week ago, all five members are now onboard with giving veganism a good go! Why? Get on Netflix or some other streaming service and watch What The Health? and Cowspiracy, and that'll explain a great deal.
  
8) He performed an instrumental version of "The Star Spangled Banner" at Super Bowl XXII. How did your favorite sports teams do in 2018?
 
Image result for miami hurricanes football
 
Oh, God. My Miami 'Canes were a disaster! They were up against Wisconsin in a rematch from last year at the Pinstripe Bowl four days ago, and we got totally trounced 35-3. What an embarrassment! Hopefully new head coach Manny Diaz can turn things around for the 2019 program.
 
9) Random question: When did you last check your social media feed?
 
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I just checked my Instagram notifications a few minutes ago. I'm on it now more than Facebook, although I suppose now that they're both owned by the same people, it doesn't much matter? No, really, I like the quick-speed format of Insta much more, I think.
 
~*~*~*~*~
 
That was fun. Thanks, Crazy Sam! I'm going to go right into yesterday's Sunday Stealing now, so go take a quick walk around your house or the block or something as an intermission. Then link up here if you want to play along with me and the rest of the thieves, albeit belatedly! ;)
 
 
 
 1. Are flowers a nice gift to give someone?
 
purple and yellow calla lily mix 4
 
They are if they're a bouquet from Bouqs, like these beautiful calla lilies! I love Bouqs.

2. Do you wear any jewelry?
Yeah, and I like to change it around frequently. I really love Pandora rings (That's why I bought a bunch of inexpensive costume jewelry on eBay recently. I just got this new ring today, and I love it! Except it's scratchy...

3. Have you ever lain in a field of flowers?
 
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I have, but it's been ages, so here's a photo from our April 2015 visit to the Chihuly exhibit at the Fairchild Garden in Miami.

4. Do you like tea?
 
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I like bubble tea. Other tea is okay, as long as it's both caffeinated and flavored. Absolutely no iced tea for me, though!

5. What would you do with a million dollars?
 
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a. Get a good financial advisor and invest wisely, living off the interest as much as possible. b. Buy us a beautiful, elaborate, multi-roomed house like the ones I've been dreaming about my whole life. c. Set up a grantor's trust, so that the kids don't have to struggle any more than we already have and any more than what's necessary for them not to lose their work ethics. and d. Take Hubs on a whirlwind tour of the world, retracing our steps for the last 18 years (our anniversary is on Wednesday!), including here to La Calle Ramblas (with lots of beautiful architecture by Joan Miró) in gorgeous Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. e. And the whole time, I'd have The Barenaked Ladies serenade us with one of our courtship songs, "If I Had a Million Dollars"!

6. What word do you have trouble saying?
 
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Many, many things, but since this is one of Hubs' favorite drinks, I have to attempt to say it a lot: Arnold Palmer. I fail each and every time.

7. Favorite fairytale?
 
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Maybe Little Red Riding Hood, since I have fond memories of my sister and I planning out our skit of it, making props, and then acting it out in front of our grandparents and some of their friends and neighbors.

8. Do you sleep with stuffed animals?
 
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Yes, I sleep with the huge teddy bear Hubs gave me when he gave me my engagement ring.

9. Do you prefer the city or the country?
 
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I am definitely a big city girl at heart!

10. Are you a big fan of makeup?
 
IMG_7125
 
I used to be, but nowadays I usually keep it simple and just wear mascara and maybe some lip gloss.

11. Favorite drink?
 
Image result for diet coke funny
 
Hands-down, it's Diet Coke! (And for my grandpa, it was "Coke on the rocks!"

12. What’s the longest amount of time you’ve stayed awake?
 
Newborn Chloë
Several days in a row, once Chloë was out of the NICU. Even when she'd sleep, I had awful insomnia. Man, those were some miserable days for me! (Aside from the beautiful new baby girl, natch.)

13. Have you ever traveled outside of your country?
 
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Beautiful Talofofo Falls on Guam
 
Yes, many times, but the one I'm most yearning to return to at this point in time isn't even technically outside the United States.
 
14. Do you like Spring?
 
Image result for idaho tulips
 
I love Spring! It's my second favorite season after Summer. Especially when all the tulips come in around Idaho.

15. Lipstick or lip gloss?
 
DSC_4946
I'll wear lipstick (like my Young Living ones) on the odd occasion, lip gloss (like the lighted mirror-containing one at the back of the picture above) slightly more frequently, but mostly lip balm.
 
 
I really like this minty one on Grove Collaborative.
 
16. Favorite color?
 
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All the blues in the sea...

17. Do you like to decorate?
 
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I do! My tastes run eclectic and colorful as hell, like here, which is certainly not for everybody!

18. Do you ever go barefoot when you’re outside?
 
Image result for barefoot on the beach
 
I love being barefoot! Especially when we're at the beach... nothing like it!

19. Are aliens real?
 
Image result for alien drinking diet coke
 
How the hell should I know?!

20. Does your zodiac sign fit your personality?
 
Image result for virgo
 
I don't really buy into astrology as anything more than entertainment. I find bits of myself in all 12 signs of the zodiac - and some of all the Chinese ones, too. But I do often see a lot of myself in the Virgo horoscope, like above.

21.Favorite sea animal?
 
Image result for tasselled wobbegong
 
I think right now, at this moment in time, it's the Tasselled Wobbegong, Eucrossorhinus dasypogon. Cool looking, right?

22. Are you a nice person?
 
Image result for practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty water
 
I try very, very hard to be. I don't always succeed, but I keep trying!

23. Favorite word?
 
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FUCK! (hee.)

24. Night or day?
 
Image result for night owls are more intelligent
 
Oh, I am a total night owl. Also, science has found that we night owls are: more creative; more intelligent; more productive; and, more successful. However, we are also more likely to be single and die early.

25. What would make you happy right now?
 
Image result for mast cell activation syndrome
 
It would thrill the shite out of me if I stopped having allergic reactions to every single thing. I mean it: everything. Every food I eat. Being too hot. Being too cold. Medications. And things are moving quickly in the wrong direction. So yeah, for 2019, which in this time zone (MST) starts in 04:12, I would really like for at least that aspect of my poor health to turn around. I just can't do it anymore!!!
 
~*~*~*~*~
 
So it's almost 8 PM, and I guess I better figure out the plan for New Year's Eve! Kinda late for that, but meh! Not feeling it this year.
 
Image result for new year's eve 2019
 
So, Happy New Year 2019, y'all!!!
 
Fin.
 

Sunday Stealing: Art Historic

Hey, guys! It's been a hectic couple of weeks since I (think I) last posted, so I've missed y'all. I'm just going to jump into it today, before the busyness picks up again, lest I miss out. Link up here if you'd like to join us today!

~*~*~*~*~

This [meme is] from Art Historic

Classical: If you were an Olympian god, what would you be known for?
 
Image result for goddess of love
 
I would be the goddess of the sea, love, and peace.

Byzantine: Do you prefer gold or silver accessories?
Week 48 of 52 Selfie
I'm particular.
 
In order of preference, I like copper, then silver, then gold jewelry. Which means it makes no sense that I'm currently awaiting the arrival of a new septum ring and tragus ring, as well as two actual finger rings, in rose gold from Etsy.

Medieval: Are you religious?
 
Image result for religious
 
I would say more "spiritual."

Gothic: What is your favourite historic building?
 
 
I've always been obsessed with the leaning tower of Pisa, so I guess it's that. I'm still surprised by how big it was when we were actually there in 2008, compared with how it had always looked to me in pictures. Super short!

Renaissance: Have you ever had a time in your life when you felt enlightened or changed?
 
Image result for enlightenment
I've had moments when I've felt that way, yes, which is why it's truly odd to me right now that I can't think of what, exactly, they were and what happened. But of course, I think, there is always a higher plane one can reach.
 
Baroque: Do you enjoy the finer things in life?
 
Image result for champagne taste and caviar dreams
 
Oh, you know, champagne taste and caviar dreams... beer budget... that whole thing.

Rococo: Is your bedroom full or trinkets and pictures? If so, which pictures adorn your walls?
 
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This is not it, but I have some koi art that my sister-in-law gave me years ago. I love it. It is not actually on our walls at the moment. No pictures and trinkets, either. Our room has our bed, a little bit of other furniture - very little - and a shit ton of boxes. Still. Ugh. We haven't decided whether we're buying a house yet or staying put for the time being.

Neoclassicism: If something came back into fashion, what do you hope it would be?
 
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Kindness

Romanticism: Do you often see things in a positive light?
 
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I really try. And when I can't, I get there with the help of my therapist and EMDR. ;)

Pre-Raphaelite: Which book would you like to see turned into a film?
 
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I know they've already done My Sister's Keeper, but I'm still annoyed by their treatment of it... and now I've gotten Chloë (my 17yo) to join me in that annoyedness! I'd love for them to redo it and do it right.

Impressionism: Do you look for details or take everything in at once?
 
Image result for the devil is in the details
 
I'm trained to take in all the details, but I prefer to be a "bigger picture" kind of person, so... both.

Art Nouveau: When were you last at the theatre?
 
Image result for crazy rich asians
 
I don't know. It's been a while. This probably wasn't even meant as the movie theater, but that was definitely the last type of theater in which I was. I've been trying to get out on a date with the hubs for weeks - months, maybe - to see Crazy Rich Asians, but even now that it's been at the dollar theater for a month, I haven't felt well enough to go. Maybe this week...

Surrealism: Why does the porcupine think it's a duck?
 
Image result for porcupine duck
 
I dunno, who are we to judge?

Pop Art: Do you enjoy pop culture?
 
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I'm not embarrassed to say I do. Okay, maybe a little sometimes...

Contemporary: What did you do today?
 
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Well, I did a lot on Friday, came home and went out and did a lot more on Friday night, then stayed up all night and did a lot more on Saturday... so I'm not afraid to say I went to bed early (by force, people) last night and slept in past noon today with my doggos. I've been catching up on email, business-y stuff, doing this, and watching The Big Bang Theory, Bob's Burgers, and Young Sheldon ever since. I really should buy some groceries, though...
 
~*~*~*~*~
 
So about those groceries...!
 
Fin.
 

Sunday Stealing: What IS Normal, Anyway?

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

EWW MacIntosh Apple Pints Smaller

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

2. Your dream vacation?
 
Mappacificislandsandaustralia-510x330
So. This was a dream vacation I'd actually planned in my mind back in 2002, when newly-ish-wed Rob and I, and 13-month-old Chloë moved to Guam: Once I'd given birth to the twins I was carrying, we'd all fly "space-A" (space available, as in, if there's a seat on a military flight you get to go; if there's not, you don't) to Australia, dive the Great Barrier Reef, and wander around saying and eating weird shit. We'd fly space-A to South Korea, to Japan, to Thailand... everywhere. Then the twin pregnancy became too dangerous for us to continue living on Guam, and then Supertyphoon Pong'sona hit Guam, and ... none of that ever happened. We moved back to CONUS early in 2003. Fifteen-plus years later, I'm finally at a place where I'd honestly really like to go back and try again. Maybe.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

12. Do you have a tan?
 
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Ha! Well, only if you connect all the many, many freckle dots that cover the outer portions of me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

19. Do you need to do laundry?
 
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Duh.

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

Saturday 9: It Must Be Him

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: It Must Be Him (1967)

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday Stealing: Friday Questions On A Sunday

Hi kids! Welcome back! I had grand intentions this weekend of doing both Saturday 9 and Sunday Stealing on time, if not early. But then I got this awful migraine, and Hubs has been plowing me with nauseating migraine medicine, medicine to control that nausea, and Benadryl to round out the cocktail. The result? Five naps this weekend. Doesn't much make for promptness! But I'm here now, and that's what counts.

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

~*~*~*~*~


1. Have you ever tried to learn (or re-learn) a foreign language as an adult? Which one? What worked for you?
 
Image result for funny latin class
Funny you should ask. Just this past August, my two daughters and I started learning Latin. It's going really well! I love learning languages.

2. Do you donate blood? Do you know your blood type?
 
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I'm type O-negative, the universal donor. I try to donate as much as possible, but that's been on hold as long as I've been unwell (since May 2015), because we don't know exactly what's wrong with me. Better safe than sorry.

3. Have you ever been in a play or musical?
 
Image result for alice in wonderland caterpillar funny
 
I was in a few plays in elementary school, including the scene-stealing Caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland I recently mentioned, but my stepmother intentionally took my confidence away after that. I've never performed since.

4. Do you use certain text or ring tones for specific people? Who gets their own? Or do you just use the default on your phone?
 
Hubs and each of the kids have their own ringtones, and then the default ringtone is a silly song with my name in it. I got a new phone in June and have yet to work on assigning a different text tone to each person, though.

5. When did you get your first digital camera? Do you still shoot on actual film, or all digital now?
 
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My first digital camera was a Kodak EasyShare dinosaur, in about 2003. I don't do film anymore; I like to take far too many snaps with my Nikon. It'd be extremely expensive to develop all those only to have a tenth turn out the way I'd want!

6. What do you think someone else would say the most daring thing you’ve done is?
 
Rings
Everybody I know thought I was insane to run off and elope with a guy who I'd just met two months earlier on the internet! That was just about 18 years ago, and here we still are! Ha. Hubs and I still joke about my sister calling him an axe murderer.

7. Do you talk with your hands?
 
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More than if I were deaf and Italian.

8. Given the choice in a restaurant – would you go with a booth or table (or bar!!!) for seating?
 
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I like sitting belly up to the bar when I'm with Hubs or a friend, since you tend to get much more personalized service. Unless it's super crowded, and then that shit sucks. I hate sitting at a booth unless I have to, though, because I like to be able to adjust my chair to the perfect distance from the table. Y'all know.

9. What kind of milk did you drink, growing up? And now?
 
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I don't know, whole milk as a kid? No clue. My three teenagers all still drink whole milk. The ortho doc said that probably paid a big part in why Sophia's badly broken wrist healed so beautifully that it didn't looked like it had never even been broken a few years ago. Now I'm extremely lactose intolerant. Bad things happen if I drink milk. Bad things!

10. How do you keep track of all your passwords? Do you make your passwords super complicated and change them often, or use the same ones over and over?
 
I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.

11. Are you a note taker?
 
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Duh. I'm Type-A, so I think it's the law.

12. Do you remember what your first social media posting (or status update) was on Facebook or Twitter – without looking it up? What was it?
 
No, I do not. I was on MySpace first, and then joined Facebook as soon as I heard about it. My husband thought both were silly and used to call it "MyFace." Hehe.

13. Do you have a “power” song?
 
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I don't know that one would call it a "power song," but I can't hear "Kiss" by Prince without having to get up and perform like a damn diva.

14. Do you have an eclectic mug collection, or is your stuff all matchy-matchy?
 
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We have a few eclectic mugs in our collection, but a lot of what we have is from my FiestaWare. It's like a Homer Laughlin warehouse in here!

15. Do you have a junk drawer in your house/garage/at work/wherever?
 
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Of course! It's the drawer next to the fridge.

16. Do you ever get the urge to watch a favorite scene from a movie, and watch just that scene?
 
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Nope. Okay, maybe...

17. Have you ever woken up and felt guilty from a dream you had, or, mad at someone else for something they did in the dream?
 
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Oh yeah. I wake up angry at my husband for something my dream husband did, all the time! At least once a week. My dreams are so vivid, so when something odd happens, I wake up extremely confused.

18.  How old were you when you took your first commercial flight? To where did you fly?
 
Image result for children flying solo
 
I was five years old when I took my first solo flight, from Newark, New Jersey, to Syracuse, New York. I don't remember my first flight. I was raised both swimming and flying. Odd for me to think that not everyone did those things as kids.

19. Are you good at keeping track of your things – or do you easily misplace them? Do you ever leave anything behind when you travel?
 
Image result for losing things funny
 
I can keep track of my belongings really well. It's when one of the four other people walk away with my things and don't remember to return them that things go downhill. I do, however, tend to always forget things when I leave the house and/or leave my belongings behind when I travel. Hate that!

20. Is there any place you go where time seems to stand still? What is it about that place that makes it that way?
 
Image result for beautiful mermaid
 
When I step onto a beach, especially one with big waves, it's like I'm transported back in time to my childhood. I grew up on the giant, tumbling waves at the Jersey Shore, and it's like I'm still a kid whenever I get the chance to dig my toes in the sand and splash in the waves. Being in the water from time to time is vital for me. I think I was a mermaid in a past life.
 
~*~*~*~*~
 
Well, that was fun, but now I've got to get back into my lesson planning for the upcoming school week. See you soon!
 
Fin.

Sunday Stealing: Blazing Stars Meme

Welcome back, Guys and Dolls! I'm glad you made it. Link up here if you want to play along today; otherwise, let's jump right in:

~*~*~*~*~

 You’re in a tattoo parlor about to get inked. What are you getting done?

Image result for phoenix rising from water

I'd get something like this: a Phoenix rising not from ashes per se, but from water. This tattoo would have multiple meanings for me, having survived so many traumas and also having water as such a significant impact on that survival.

2 - If you could be any character, from any literary work, who would you choose to be?

Image result for puck from midsummer night's dream

I'm rather Puckish myself, so I think I'd opt to be Puck from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Oh, the fun I'd have!

3 - You’re given $10,000…under one condition: you cannot keep the money for yourself. Who would you give it to?

Image result for environmental defense fund

I think I'd give it to the Environmental Defense Fund, a cause near and dear to my heart. They're looking out for all of us.

4 - If you had to go back in time and change one thing, what would it be?

Image result for university of miami logo  Image result for florida institute of technology logo

Instead of posting something sad about saving my mom or my son, I'm going to go a different route with this one: I went to the University of Miami for my undergrad degree, though I only received a half-ride there. FIT offered me a full, 100% paid ride to get my bachelor's degree there, but I went for the prestige (among other things) of going to U Miami. In hindsight, I'd like to think I'd opt for the more sensible option and go to FIT.

5 - If you had to delete one year of your life completely, which would it be?

Image result for eternal sunshine of the spotless mind

I don't think I would choose to do that. There are times I wish I could do an Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind type dealy on my brain, but ultimately, it's every experience, good and bad, that has shaped the person I am right now. And am still becoming, moment by moment. I don't really want to lose any one year of that.

6 - You’re an Action Movie Hero. What’s your weapon of choice and the line you scream when defeating your arch enemy?

Image result for rainbow heart

My whole thing is non-violence, so my weapon of choice would be LOVE. And while I would not want to scream it, exactly, I would shout, "Love is love is love!" while defeating my arch-enemy: hatred.

7 - What is the first curse word that comes to mind?

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8 - Would you rather be stranded on a desert island with someone you love for ten years or someone you hate for a month? Explain why.

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I've always said I'd live anywhere, at any time - for any length of time - with Rob and our family. A deserted island would be no sweat, because Hubs is so handy, he'd have that fixed up for us in no time. I've already lived for ten years with someone I hated - or rather, who hated me - and wouldn't want to spend another minute on that!

9 - 5 things within touching distance:

Item3

The first "thing" is my puppy-dog, Paco, our teeny-weeny 5-lb Chihuahua. He never leaves my side. If I get up to go to the bathroom, Paco comes with me and acts like he hasn't seen me in years. Same story when we get back to the couch. His memory is non-existent, but his heart is huge!

Item1

The second thing is this awesome Chamorro-made bowl made from local wood, which we bought when we realized we were going to be leaving Guam soon. It was always our goal to travel the world and pick up artifacts from each place along the way, so this was one of the things we bought in Guam. I love it. And that base? All from one interlocking carving of one piece of wood. So cool.

Item2

For number three, I have this Young Living Thieves dental floss, which came in my Young Living travel toiletries set. Except it doesn't live in the set right now, it lives in the table next to me, ever since I lost a filling and have to floss like 8 billion times a day. I've gone through SO MUCH floss since that happened, and this is the best. I'm relieved to finally be getting into the dentist's office this week!

Item4

The fourth thing is this small bottle of Kiehl's Creme de Corps (lotion). Now that I'm no longer representing - or using - Jafra, I'm branching out and trying new things. I got a hot deal on a bag of mini Kiehl's toiletries, and I love everything I've tried so far. Including this lotion. So thick and creamy!

Item5

And finally, I have this tube of Tom's of Maine Coconut Lavender deodorant. I'm test-driving it for a Tom's campaign, and so far I really like it. It works well, and I really enjoy the scent. So when I'm on ahem day three of no shower (hey, when you're dizzy and falling and hitting your head every day, the necessity of a shower becomes more of a luxury. Don't judge), it seems to really hold up well.

10 - What are you supposed to be doing right now?

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At current writing, I have 852 unread emails - not counting the 29 in my gmail account - and I'm betting at least one of them is important to be read. So that's where I'll go next... maybe... probably.

11 - Currently wanting to see anyone?

 Rare Breed Special

Well, technically you didn't say it had to be a person, so I'll say I'm really looking forward to meeting our new chicks come mid-September! I've ordered 15 Rare Breeds (of their choosing) and 5 standard White Rocks, all double-vaccinated against Marek's Disease and Coccidiosis, and they gave us one free Rarest of the Rare chick to boot. I can't wait to see our little hatchlings and figure out what breed everyone is! Squeeee!

12 - Would you go against your moral code for money?

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I would like to say that I would not. As tough as times can get sometimes, I feel like my ethical code is something on which I cannot waiver.

13 - What’s more important to you: strength of the body or strength of the mind?

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I've never had strength of body, but I've always prided myself on my strength of mind. The Biblical Proverb says that "pride goeth before the fall," and now that I feel like I'm losing my mind, my memory, and stuff... this is my fall. It's very humbling. And defeating. :'(

14 - How important you think education is?

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I find it's critically important. Hubs, who did not go past high school, and I, who went to graduate school, have long been in this education vs. experience debate. The answer? (at least in my opinion) They both matter. You cannot fully know a thing until you have formally studied it in whatever type of study it requires, but you can also not fully know a thing until you have used it, manipulated it in your hands, and seen hands-on what it's about.  

So my answer to this question, now that I have a high-school Senior who wants to go to college next year, is that education is crucial.

15 - If you were the president, what would you do?

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I would focus on the environment. This current administration is not only not focusing on our global ecology, but it is doing things that are damaging to it. We cannot continue to ensure the survival of our species if we continue in this direction.  If I were President, I would make it my number one priority.

 

~*~*~*~*~

So that was fun. I'm late because I fell asleep while doing it Saturday night and didn't wake up until, like, almost 2 PM today. So I hope I get some visitors nevertheless!

Thanks for stopping by!

Fin.

P.S. I'd really like to plug my artist daughter Sophie's GoFundMe fundraiser. We got a new donor yesterday, and I'm not sure from where, but every single dollar helps. Sophie possesses innate artistic talent, and I know she will do well with this Masters Art education. Here it is:

https://www.gofundme.com/ArtEducationSupplies

 


Saturday 9: High Noon

Howdy! Welcome back, neighbors. ;) I'm so MAD at myself for getting hardly any blogging done when there has been plenty about which to blog, but... life and illness keep getting in the way. But not this time! I'm here to have fun and hope you'll stick around awhile...

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: High Noon (1952)

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

1) What will you be (or were you) doing at high noon on Saturday?

Well, there are choices! First, I haven't slept tonight, so I may actually be taking a snooze. Hoping that doesn't happen. Second, the weekly Farmer's Market meets downtown from 0900-1300, so I'm hoping to visit it for a little while to see who has what, even if I don't buy anything. There's a grilling event at Cabela's that we'll probably skip since Jack has to work at McDonald's tomorrow. And finally, the Boise HempFest is from 1000-2200 Saturday, and I'd love to check it out!

2) In this song, Tex Ritter sings he doesn't know what fate awaits him. How strong is your sense of intuition? Tell us about a time you knew what would happen before it occurred.

The Ring

My sense of intuition is strong when I listen to it, and not my constant worries about everything. When I  first met my husband online, quite by accident, I thought to myself, "I'm going to marry that man." And two months later, we did just that!

3) This song was the theme of a hit movie western by the same name. It starred Gary Cooper as a small-town sheriff. When did you last interact with a member of law enforcement? 

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Two months ago-ish. I have a lead foot when I'm driving. I had to go an hour away to another town for an oil change mystery shop. When I reached the town, I was still driving interstate speeds and not small town speed. Oops. An officer pulled me over and gently, politely asked me to please slow down in town, informing me of the speed limit and when and where it changed throughout my route. He was kind and not at all like all the rogue officers portrayed in the news lately. He then let me go. I thanked him and then sped off - just kidding!

4) Grace Kelly co-starred as the "fair-haired beauty" mentioned in this song. Four years later, she gave up films to become Her Serene Highness, Princess Grace of Monaco. Which job seems like more fun -- movie star or royal?

Papa John's

I think I'd enjoy the royal life more, maybe. It seems like there's an awful lot of protocol to learn! Maybe being an island princess would be right for me... Yeah, Princess Melania.

5) Though he cultivated a "just plain folk" persona, this week's featured artist, Tex Ritter, was really cosmopolitan and highly educated, earning a degree in economics from the University of Texas before going on to study pre-law at Northwestern. Do you think the "real you" is consistent with the image you convey?

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I think I'm pretty honest about who I am. I'm an open book; I just can't hide the real me.

6) Tex Ritter was the father of Emmy-winning comedic actor, John Ritter. John is remembered fondly as the voice of Clifford, the Big Red Dog. Clifford appeals to children because he is "gentle, friendly, loyal, lovable and clumsy." Do any of those adjectives apply to you?

Image result for clifford the big red dog funny gif

I would like to think they all do, but like all folks, I stumble sometimes and am not always all of those things. But those are definitely attributes I strive to portray.

7) Tex is also the grandfather of Jason Ritter, star of ABC-TV's Kevin (Probably) Saves the World. If you followed one of your grandparents into their line of work, what would you be doing?

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I used to go to my grandpa's work with him, when he had to go in after hours for this or that, and admire all the giant factory equipment there. He was an industrial laundry facility installer. I didn't really understand it then, but now I know that he was so strong because of his job. That man was like steel! But sweet as they come.

8) In 1952, the year "High Noon" was popular, Stopette, the first antiperspirant deodorant spray, was introduced. Do you use a deodorant spray, stick or roll on?

Image result for Young Living Mountain Mint deodorant

I use Young Living Mountain Mint (stick) Deodorant, because it's aluminum-free and therefore less dangerous to me and mine. It's not perfect (ie, the stick part starts falling out towards the end of the stick, which is annoying), but it works and is safe, lol. 

9) Random question: What's something you have always wanted to own, but never have?

Image result for liveaboard boats

Oh, it's still a pipe dream of ours to buy a boat and live aboard twelve months of the year. We're in our 40s now; it could still happen, right?

~*~*~*~*~

It's 0747 now; I started about five or six hours ago and kept falling asleep and walking up to do bits of blog before falling asleep again. Weird night, but fun post. Thanks, Sam! And thank you to all of you who have stopped by!

Fin.


Saturday 9: Is There Life Out There?

Oops, I almost totally forgot about Saturday 9! :O The horror! Anyway, here I am at 8:30 PM, so all is well. ;)

Let's begin. Link up here if you're playing along today!

~*~*~*~*~

Is There Life Out There? (1992)
   
Unfamiliar with this week's song. Hear it here.

1) This song is about a woman who married at 20. It's estimated that the average American groom is 2.5 years older than his bride. Why do you suppose that is?

Image result for men are children

Because men at any age are super-immature, maybe? I don't know. My husband is just a nudge over four years my senior, and he acts like he's 12 years old most of the time.

2) A 2014 study shows the bigger the age gap in a marriage, the more likely the couple is to divorce. What do you think is the reason for most divorces?

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They say it's usually money. I guess that might be true. Hubs and I, on the other hand, argue plenty - plenty! - but never about money. I don't know why; we just never do.

3) Reba's second marriage recently ended. Statistics show that second marriages are more likely than first marriages to wind up in divorce. Why do you suppose that is?

Image result for the perfect man

I really don't know, but maybe it's because people seem to have this pre-conceived notion that there is someone (or someones) out there who are just perfect for them. And that will never be the case, although I personally hold that there are tons of good matches out there for everyone, and you either marry the right guy who comes along at the right time, or the first one, or ... you don't. My dad is currently looking for (I think) his seventh wife right now. Goodness knows how many engagement rings that man has purchased. Plenty.

4) This week's featured artist, Reba McEntire, was discovered when she sang The National Anthem at an Oklahoma City rodeo. Have you ever been to the rodeo?

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Nope, and you will never, ever, ever catch me at one. Not ever. It's on my anti-Bucket List. (And along that same line, my kids have never been taken to the circus, either.)

5) Reba dropped out of Southeastern Oklahoma State University to go to Nashville and pursue a recording career. In that way, she's like the woman she sings about in this week's song. "She's done what she should, should she do what she dares?" Do you ever regret a risk or opportunity you didn't take?

Image result for shark research

Certainly. I have taken a lot of risks in my life, and I walked away from my Ph.D. program to marry Hubs. I miss shark research a ton, and I often get pangs of regret for not sticking with it. I think I did the right thing, but my heart and soul are always there in the ocean.

6) Reba's heroine is "dying to try something foolish, do something crazy, or just get away." Does that sound like you? What would you do, just for yourself, if time and money were no object?

Image result for M.S. Zuiderdam

I would cruise around the world for the rest of my life. God, I wish I could! In my mind, I'm always traveling. (That ship, the ms Zuiderdam, is the actual ship Hubs and I were on for our Mediterranean cruise in 2008. So beautiful.)

7) Reba recently became a spokesperson for Kentucky Fried Chicken. Whose chicken do you eat most often: Popeye's, Church's, Chick-fil-A or KFC?

Image result for KFC chicken meme

I prefer KFC, but I can't eat chicken now. Maybe that will change after my surgery. (Which is scheduled for March 20th, btw, and I'll be in the hospital over a week. Which of you is going to come visit me and hold my hand? I admit: I'm scared.)

8) In 2001, Reba starred in her own sitcom. On the show, her character is first an administrative assistant and then a real estate agent. Have you ever tried your hand at either of those occupations? If not, which do you think you would be a better fit for you?

Image result for Reba meme

I could never be a successful realtor, because I don't "ask for the sale" when I'm in any kind of sales position. I'm horrible at it; I don't have it in me. I would be an excellent administrative assistant, though, because I'm good at making plans and schedules and organizing things. I have sort of been that before, but not with that title.

9) Random question: Which of these super powers would you rather have -- extraordinary strength or invisibility?

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I don't care about strength, except the inner kind. But being invisible would be very useful in many circumstances, so I choose that one!

~*~*~*~*~

That's it, and I'm done before 2100. Thanks for stopping by!

Fin.


Saturday 9: Baby Love

So it's late for this posting, I understand. 10:45 PM Mountain Standard Time, to be exact. But I can explain: I spent several wee hours this morning in the hospital again, which then caused me to sleep the day away. After that, I tried to participate, but the Typepad platform was down. Finally, it's back, so here I am. I'm sure you relished that story. Anyway, link up here if you'd like to participate this weekend, and then let's go:

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: Baby Love (1964)

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

 1) When this song was popular, the Supremes were known for their elaborate hairstyles, make up and full-length gowns. When was the last time you got dressed up?
 
Image result for ruth's chris meme
 
I guess it was when we went to Ruth's Chris here in Boise was the singular time I've gussied up much since we moved to Idaho, maybe? That was back in November.

2) "The girls," as they were known to the engineers and executives at Motown Records, were Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson and Diana Ross. They began singing together when they were high school classmates. Are you still in touch with any friends from your high school days?
 
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Of course! Many of them, actually. Thank you, Facebook.

3) Mary Wilson was born in Mississippi and her family moved a great deal before settling in Detroit, where she fatefully met Florence and Diana. Were you uprooted often when you were a child? Or did you spend your school years in the same neighborhood?
 
Image result for Central New York meme
 
When I was six years old, we moved from close to NYC up to Central New York. That decision on my dad's part sucked, by the way. As a city girl, I much preferred the routine trips into Manhattan; those became less-than-annual after that move. In comparison, my children have moved far more times.

4) The Supremes began as a quartet called the Primettes. In addition to Mary, Flo and Diana, there was Betty McGlown. In 1960, Betty left the group to get married and was replaced by Barbara Martin. In 1962, Barbara left the group to have a baby. They quit trying to replace the fourth voice, soldiered on as a trio, and made pop history. Have you ever found yourself in a position similar to Betty's or Barbara's, where you had to make a difficult decision and choose between your personal life and your career?
 
Scan_20160902 (2)
Sure I have. Twice. The first time, in 1998, I stopped working at Mote Marine Lab in Sarasota, Florida, to help out a former friend back in Miami. Not a wise decision, but it's moot now. The second time, in 2000, I realized I did not have the passion for shark research that I thought I did and left my doctoral program to consider my options. That's when I met Hubs and decided to elope with him shortly afterward. If I hadn't made that decision, I surely wouldn't have these nutaroons, above, and that would be awful. I consider that decision the best one of my life. Today, by the by, is the 17th anniversary of our sunset beach wedding. (We eloped at the courthouse on January 2nd, but we had the beach wedding on my mom's birthdate, February 17th, in order to have my then-pastor perform a ceremony in front of a few close loved ones.)

5) Thinking of babies and "baby love," is anyone in your life expecting a baby in 2018?
 
Image result for pregnant duchess kate
 
Does reading about Duchess Kate's third pregnancy in People count as someone in my life? Because I am having a complete brain fart and can't think of anyone I know personally. Wish it was me!

6) With twelve #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, The Supremes remain America's most commercially successfully recording group, and this song (along with "Stop! In the Name of Love") is one of the most popular karaoke songs. If we handed you the mic this morning and absolutely insisted you perform, what song would you choose (any song, any genre)? 
 
Image result for four non blondes
 
I have never done karaoke. I would have to be completely smashed to do it... anyway, I would choose "What's Up?" by 4 Non-Blondes. The radio definitely gets turned up when that song comes on Bob FM in the car!

7) Original group member Florence Ballard left the group in 1967. She died of cardiac arrest in 1976 at the age of 32. Since February is National Heart Month, it seems appropriate to ask: Is anyone in your life battling heart disease?
 
Image result for noonan syndrome
 
Well, probably. But right now, I'm concerned with my two teenagers, Chloë and Jack. We learned in April last year that they have inherited Noonan Syndrome from their dad. (Sophia, our youngest, may have a few of the features - since I think they said five different genes control the Syndrome - but she's definitely not as affected as the older two.) Since it can cause heart defects, among many other things, Chloë had a full cardio evaluation last year. Everything, so far, looked perfect. Phew! Jack will be next, but the Genetics Clinic 'round these parts is extremely overwhelmed and difficult to get into, appointment-wise...

8) Florence Ballard's brother, Hank, wrote Chubby Checker's famous dance song, "The Twist." When did you last dance?
 
Image result for macarena gif
 
Hm. There was a Macarena question on Jeopardy! the other night, so I might have busted a quick move on the couch... haha. But the pain I'm in is so constantly severe now that it's rare I do a full-on dance sesh.

9) Random question: Close your eyes and visualize the most beautiful place you've ever been. Now describe it to us.
 
 
I've been fortunate to see many beautiful places; almost all of the ones near the top of my list are by the sea. (Not surprising.) But oddly, the place that popped out in my mind first was Dubrovnik, Croatia. I wrote all about that here after we got back from our Mediterranean cruise in 2008. Having been to Greece, Italy, Spain, France, Jamaica... this surprises me and makes me wonder. I think, maybe, it's because it's both so close to the beautiful water with which I connect so deeply, and because it's also a city. I do love a pretty city. Dubrovnik did not disappoint, and those narrow streets were filled with fascinations beyond my imagination. I don't know what to tell you about our experience there that I didn't cover already in that post I just linked up to, so go read it if you're really interested!
 
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This was really fun to write. I'm glad Typepad let me in to participate tonight. Thanks, Samantha! :)
 
Fin.