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Saturday 9: Ordinary People

John Legend | Artist | www.grammy.com

John Legend: "Ordinary People"

Hello, hello, y'all. I very nearly missed this week's questionnaire, but I pulled myself up to get it done. We've all been doing this for so long "together," and I don't want to lose that.

Awesome Happy Spring GIF - white spring flowers and glitter

Happy Spring, Northern Hemisphereans! I'm so delighted. #understatement

Not much really happened here this week that I can think of; that is a good thing! Two weeks ago, my lithium levels were way too low, and I was planning on jumping off the nearest tall building. Now that the doctor has raised my dosage, I feel so, so, so much better. It was almost overnight! And I'm so thankful, so grateful to still be here.

Let's get it done. (P.S. I was just about to post this, and then my Chrome died, closing all my windows and not returning all the content I had here. So I'm aggravated now. GAH!)

ORDINARY PEOPLE (2005)

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


1) In this song, John Legend sings that both he and his girl have "room to grow." What about you? In what areas would you like to improve?

Lyme Warrior Poem | Perseverance, Lyme, You are strong

Well, hard to do being here in a small hotel room (for yet another two months! Ugh!), but when we move into our new home I really want to make it a point to get out of bed and at least circulate with the family downstairs, every day. I'm in bed so much, some days I don't see anyone but Hubs. And the dogs are getting entirely too used to cozying up with  me all day. Something's gotta change, and I want to make the effort. I do not want the pain and fatigue from Lyme dictate what I do for the rest of my days.

2) He sings that when he hangs up in anger, she calls him back. Are you quicker to anger, or quicker to forgive?

Both! And quick to apologize, too. If someone apologizes to me, it's done, it's over.

3) "Ordinary People" was John Legend's first big hit. He originally wrote it for The Black Eyed Peas, but -- happily for him -- recorded it himself. Have you ever purchased a gift for someone else but then decided to keep it yourself?

Black Eyed Peas | Members, Music, Songs, & Facts | Britannica

Really? I love the Peas but I can't see them doing this song justice. As for me, I don't think I've ever done that, but I for sure have wished I had enough  money at that moment for a second one. Several times!

4) Ordinary People is also the title of an acclaimed novel by Judith Guest and an Oscar-winning film. Are you familiar with either the movie or the book?

Barbra Streisand, tout sur la chanteuse

Of course, I definitely knew the movie - my mother was a huge fan of Barbra Streisand. I remember that just a couple of months before she died, she took 7-year-old me and 8-year-old  Stacey (my big sister) to the movies to see Yentl. It's one of my last memories with my mom, so I cherish and love Barbra for it, too. As for the book, I don't think I had heard of it, but now it's on my "want to read" list on Goodreads. Thanks!

5) John is married to Chrissy Teigen, who gained fame as a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model. When is the last time you dove in? Were you in a pool, lake, river or sea?

Lucky Peak Dam Photos – Hicken Design

 Atlantic Ocean in August and September when we first got here to Maryland from Idaho, but it was a while before that that I actually got in and swam. In the summer of 2017, I swam with the fam at the Boise reservoir. It was a good day, and we had fun, but then I came down with this horrid bacterial infection that left me wishing for death. I hadn't heard of that particular critter before; I guess it was a big enough deal for the county epidemiologist to call me up and interview me over the phone. Guess I lost my nerve after that!

6) John unexpectedly proposed to Chrissy on vacation, but he was afraid airport security would ruin the surprise when they went through his carry on very thoroughly. He worried she would see the ring box and he'd have to drop down to one knee right there at the airport! Tell us about one of your flights: your first, your most recent or your most memorable.

It was just really odd flying back here to the East Coast this past summer. The jets were sparsely populated instead of overcrowded, and there was no food or drink service, and we were all constantly reminded to pull up our masks here or that way or whatever. It was tense and scary on the one hand, but also just another adventure arrow to stick in our quivers, I guess.

7) John is currently a coach on The Voice. The other coaches are Nick Jonas, Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton. Of those four singers, which is your favorite? 

Kelly Clarkson opens up about suicidal thoughts in her early career

Gotta go with my girl Kelly! I was nursing my first newborn Chloë when Kelly competed on and won the first season of American Idol.

8) In 2005, when this song was popular, Johnny Carson died. After he retired from The Tonight Show in 1993, he traveled extensively and discovered he especially enjoyed photographic safaris in Africa. If time and money were no object, where would you go on vacation?

Pastel-colored Jupiter dazzles in gorgeous Hubble telescope photo | Space

I'd have all the money and the time, you say?! Well sure, I'd visit all the continents in turn, thoroughly and passionately. But I wouldn't stop there. I'd say hello to Moon and then head outward for a glimpse of Mars before I hovered out around my favorite planet, Jupiter. I'll end this story of mine there, though, since it's too far-fetched even for me.

9) Random question -- In your typical day, what's the longest you usually go without saying a word to another person: all day, a few hours, an hour, or five minutes?

03202021 Paco

Right now, maybe about an hour, possibly two hours. But I've always got this little guy and his chonky sister to talk to!

All right, phew, I made it and hopefully will save it in time in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...

Enjoy your Spring beginning, y'all!

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: The Winter Questionnaire

Hey, folks! Welcome back. I'm on my husband's piece of crap Toughbook laptop with the missing "p" key, making all my years-long keyboarding skills basically useless, so I'm trying not to start out this meme already grumpy!

Also - Hey, Bev! Whither the opening Sunday Stealing foto? I had to go back four posts just to copy one! Anyway, link up here if you'd like to play along this weekend!

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How do you get past the gray skies during winter?

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It's actually really bad for me this year. I mean, unspeakably bad. We've moved to this rinky-dink little town in the middle of Idaho with NOTHING to do to take my mind off the misery of being here. I'm not doing well at all. We've recently discussed moving and narrowed it down to Guam or southern Portugal. Money is what stopped us.

Do you like snow? Why or why not?

Image result for syracuse blizzard of 1993

Good lord, no. I grew up mostly in (well, outside of) Syracuse, New York, and was there for the Blizzard of '93, aka "the Storm of the Century" (above). Our house was up atop quite a steep slope. Thing is, once all that beautiful white snow falls, the plows come through. And then the cars, so that it all turns a disgusting brown and black speckled dirty color. And it melts and refreezes and melts and refreezes, turning your entire sloped driveway, and the lawn, and many streets to sheer ice. And let's not even get into how much I despise being cold!

    What are your favorite activities to do during the winter?

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Hibernate and wait for it to be over.

    What does a perfect winter day look like to you?

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This. It looks like this.

    What are your favorite meals/food you enjoy eating during the winter?

I'm actually really not enjoying eating this winter, but lately Rob has been trying to make it work for me. He's been making me the vegan version of this Italian white bean and sun-dried tomato soup, which is really quite good!

    What is your favorite winter holiday and why?

2019Christmastree

Oh, it's definitely Christmas. I love giving gifts I hope they'll love to the people I adore!

    What is your favorite pizza flavor and toppings?

Image result for new york pizzeria pie

Oh, the first thing I have to do when I step out of Grand Central Station onto the streets of Manhattan is get a slice of a local pizzeria pie! Plain cheese is great for me, but I do love some pineapple on my peez, too.

What are some items in your daily bag/backpack?

Well, here are just some of the things I dumped out of my Vera Bradley crossbody purse: Aside from the cash, I see my oft-used asthma inhaler, and the passport that our heavy-chewer doggo, Tapioca, fished out of my purse for a nibble once or twice. There's the bouquet of hair doodles my daughter Chloe gave me for Christmas, knowing the three of us "girls" are always searching for a ponytail holder. I have a small tube of SPF 28 (so random) facial moisturizer from MyChelle Dermaceuticals, one of my favorite skincare companies.

I have some Thieves hand sanitizer and a Savvy Minerals Poppy Seed Lip Scrub, both from Young Living. I have a tiny tube of Cerave moisturizing cream, which works great in the winter! The Hello charcoal-infused floss, which I ordered from Grove Collaborative, really makes my teeth feel clean and refreshenated. (What, it's a word.) I bought the peppermint-infused C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Tint at Bath & Body Works, and this, I love. (I have several others, but I'm not sure where they've gotten to. Maybe Tapi ate those, too?) I've got some Scandaleyes waterproof mascara from Rimmel - the only cosmetics I'm really using these days - and some q-tips to blot my inevitable mistakes. And finally, I keep a variety of my beloved TUL pens handy. Note: I NEVER write in black ink, unless I absolutely have to.

    Your favorite snacks?

Image result for pistachios

I don't do a ton of snacking these days. Maybe a banana, or a handful of Wonderful pistachios.

Some foreign countries that you would like to visit?

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You know, the only things stopping me from visiting every country are the world are money and my poor health. So my answer? All of them.

What things remind you of home?

Fam

Don't you know? I don't really feel like I have a physical home. Home, for me, is wherever these guys are.

If you have one, some items from your Amazon Wishlist?

Outgrowing the Pain: A Book for and About Adults Abused As Children by [Gil, Eliana]

Well, I really want - no, need - this book.

There's this olive oil dispenser I don't remember putting there, but I probably did because I am absolutely EVOO-crazy.

2 PCS Set Cute Animal Hedgehog Shaped Ceramic Cartoon Home Garden Decoration Succulent Cactus Vase Flower Pot

And, there are these disgustingly adorable hedgehog planters, because the girls and I have gone succulent-crazy lately.

What was your favorite Christmas gift?

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I loved everything I received, especially the eco-friendly produce bags Chloe gave me... but I think my absolute favorite was Rob renewing my Mensa membership. I'd gotten it way back 20 years ago and have long since let it lapse. I wanted it mostly for the card to look at when I'm feeling especially dumb, but I'd lost that. I'm thrilled!

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Well, Rob and I are back to searching for Lyme-literate MDs near and far, 'cause, y'know, I'm trying not to die. That would be nice. Or would it?

Take care, y'all.

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.

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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)?

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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!

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

Fin.


Saturday 9: No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)

Image result for no more tears enough is enough

Hey, y'all. It's the Saturday before Thanksgiving, and we are sooo not ready. I haven't been around much - either here or in real life - because right now, I'm fighting Lyme more than ever before. It's knocked me down a peg or nine, that's for sure! But enough about that. Let's get on with it! 

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

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Saturday 9: No More Tears (Enough Is Enough) 1979

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

1) These lyrics use weather as metaphor for romance. Here at Saturday 9, we're more literal. How do the skies look where you are this morning?

Right now it's a chilly but very sunny 46ºF. I don't have the blinds open or anything to really see that, though, because I have a migraine. And that sunlight stabs me right in the eyeballs!

2) According to Merriam-Webster, "enough is enough" is what you say when you want something to stop because you "can no longer accept or deal with it." When did you recently say -- out loud or to yourself -- "enough is enough"?

Image result for Devin Nunes

Well, first, I would probably have more likely said the equivalent in Spanish: "No puedo soportar más." And I don't know exactly when it would have been, but certainly regarding the impeachment trials going on in the US right now, maybe regarding this latest news by Lev Parnas implicating Devin Nunes in the Ukraine scandal.

Or maybe it was pain from the Lyme. Yeah, maybe that.

3) Grammy winner Luther Vandross began his career as a background singer and performed on "No More Tears." Tell us about one of your early jobs.

Image result for university of miami alumni relations

I've worked a lot of jobs here and there. For a while, when I was an undergrad at the University of Miami, I worked three jobs while going to school full-time, often taking the max amounts of credits I could take (20 per semester). For my work-study job, I worked in the UM Office of Alumni Relations. Part of my duties included locating alumni (this would have been starting in 1994, so technology didn't make that as easy then as it would be now), making sure we had their current contact information, and then asking them to make a donation when the request came in the mail. I hated that job. So now that I'm on the other end of those phone calls, I try to make it as easy as possible on the poor schmoes who are calling me!

4) Both Donna Summer and Barbra Streisand made slight changes to their first names. Summer was christened "LaDonna," while Streisand's parents spelled her name the more conventional "Barbara." When she was in high school, meme mistress Samantha Winters went from "Sammy" to "Sam." Did you ever make a similar change to your first name?

Image result for meaning of the name Melanie

No. Why would I? That description fits me to a "T." I used to hate it, but now I find it to be a beautiful name and not so common that I personally know 20 other people with the same name. Plus, my mother changed my name from my father's mother's name (Eleanor) to Melanie on my birth certificate when he was out of the room. Love that, too!

People do try to bastardize my name and call me Melodie or Melody, though. It doesn't bother me as much when they misunderstand what I've said, but recently, I honestly quit a writing program important to me wherein someone in my committee read my name, and then wrote back to me, writing "Melody" instead. I was honestly not so much offended by that - because, let's be honest, I'm used to it - as by the ludicrous notion that I would want to be affiliated with a program putting such illiterates in with me. Call me elitist, but you should always strive to get someone's name correct when you're reading it right there in front of you. Am I right?

5) Hair was higher maintenance in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Streisand and Summer are both sporting styles that would require chemical treatment, like a perm or relaxer. Today's looks are less rigidly styled and tend to be smoother or slightly messy. How often do you change your look?

Melanie Piggies

I'm pretty fickle capricious. I change my look a lot. I never look the same at the end of the year as I did at the beginning of the year. (This picture is from January 2019.)

6) In 1979, it seems every kid was asking Santa for Star Wars toys. Some things don't change, since the Star Wars franchise remains popular with children and toymakers after more than 40 years. What book or toy did you love as a child that remains popular today?

Image result for Anne of Green Gables

Oh, lots of things, probably. I was a huge fan of the Nancy Drew books, and I read the Anne of Green Gables series again and again. And now, I feel like reading it again!

7) Thinking of things that endure ... In 1979, the #1 show in the ratings was 60 Minutes. It's still on, every Sunday night, and in the summer of 2019 it came in at #4 in the Nielsen ratings. What's the most recent show you watched? Was it news, sports or entertainment?

Image result for ellen funny

I've been balancing out my news coverage with the latest episodes of Ellen and Jeopardy! Thank goodness for DVR! (BTW, I made Hubs really sad the other night when I told him I don't want to go on Jeopardy! anymore. That's been a life-long Bucket List item since before I had a Bucket List. But now that I'm really sick, and Alex Trebek is really sick... it doesn't look so good for either one of us. If I live long enough to enter remission, he probably won't be the host anymore. But if he is... we'll revisit these thoughts.)

8) In 1979, the price for a dozen eggs averaged 85¢. Today, it's about twice that. Are you more likely to use eggs to prepare a main course (like an omelette or Eggs Benedict) or as part of a recipe (anything from a cake to a meatloaf)?

Image result for beautiful vegan food

Neither - and not just because I'm allergic to eggs (which makes getting some of my vaccines a challenge). #vegan

9) Random question: You’re alone in your car, driving through your neighborhood on a bright, sunny day. You get a flat tire. You have a spare and a jack in your trunk. Would you fix it yourself or call for help?

Image result for changing a tire funny

I know how to change a tire, and I have done it before, but right now I just do not have the strength. Thankfully, we finally now have AAA for that - and we have used them!

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Take care, you guys. I'll be back later for some Sunday Stealing. Y'all in? 

Fin.


Chocolate Chip Cookies For The Soul

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fin.


I Completely Fell Apart Last Night.

 

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

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

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

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

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View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Silly, stupid fucking me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pfft. Nah.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time, America.

Fin.


Saturday 9: I'd Really Love to See You Tonight

Image result for england dan & john ford coley - i'd really love to see you tonight

Welcome back, loves. It's been a while. I think I've posted one thing - a petition - in all of October.🙄

I don't want to bring the whole S9 mood down, so suffice it to say that if you haven't heard it by now elsewhere, I'm currently fighting for my life now that my late-state chronic Lyme disease has further advanced. I am stubborn, though, and I will not go down without a fight. I should've done last week's S9! 🙃😉

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

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I'd Really Love to See You Tonight (1976)

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

1) This song is about a guy who, out of the blue, phones an ex. Have you ever spontaneously phoned or emailed a former lover? Has an ex ever reached out to you?

Yes on both counts. 🤐🤐🤐

2) He suggests walking through the park, taking a drive along the beach, or watching TV. Do any of those suggestions appeal to you right now?

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Memories from Christmas 2013

Definitely, I'd love a drive along the beach (hell no, I'd want to go IN), but I'd love to do all of those things right now!

3) "England Dan" got his nickname because he was a passionate Beatles fan and would affect a British accent when he talked about his favorite group. Are you good at imitating accents?

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I seem to be, but quite unintentionally. I just pick them up talking to people. When I lived in South Carolina for a summer, my BFF Lisa (from NY) called me up and said I sounded like a Southerner. We laughed and laughed, mostly because we both knew how much I hated that! (I do still find "y'all" useful, though.) And when I've lived in Miami and Hispanic people have heard me speaking Spanish, it really throws them off. They study my appearance and just look at me and look at me before finally asking, "WHERE are you FROM?" Because my accent is Castellano (from Spain), I do not "look" Hispanic, and yet there I am. I make them try to guess and have gotten all kinds of responses. Mostly, they think Argentina. 🤣🤣

4) Dan met John Colley when they were high school classmates in Dallas. When they were still kids, they agreed that "John Ford Coley" would be a better stage name. Think back to your high school days. Which of your friends daydreamed along with you?

Shana & Melanie on the autobus

Shana and I on the bus to the Young Living Lavender Farm in June 2017

Oh, we were all full of daydreams, right? But I think my other BFF, Shana, and I did the most daydreaming. Mostly random stuff, but isn't it always?

5) After the duo disbanded, "England Dan" went to Nashville, billed himself by his real name -- Dan Seals -- and recorded country music. Who is your favorite country performer?

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There aren't too many. Mostly it's a song here and there. Right now, I'm kind of digging Maren Morris. Love her song "Girl." 

6) Today John Ford Coley lives in TN. He performs occasionally and raises horses. Have you ever been to TN?

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I have, several times, and even more times through it on the way to somewhere else. I was at a hospital once there (I've been in hospitals everywhere by this point, I swear), outside of Nashville. And I don't mind saying this, now that I'm largely out of the business now, that I once did an evaluation for this resort in Gatlinburg, TN. I evaluated several of their resorts in different states, actually. 

7) In 1975, when this song was popular, Foster Grant Sunglasses had a suggested retail price of $5/pair. Do you buy sunglasses more for fashion or utility?

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I definitely buy them for utility. Mostly, I get wraparound sunglasses (unless they're prescription, which is a whole 'nother story) to try to block as much sun from piercing my eyes as possible while I'm driving. I have let my driver license expire now, though, and I don't drive anymore. So that's kind of a moot point, now.

8) The most popular movie of 1975 was Jaws. Have you seen it?

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I'm a bicentennial baby, but I've seen it several times as it was still popular by the time my awareness of such things developed. Maybe it was a predictor of things to come, but I was always #TeamShark. I always rooted for the shark... always.

9) Random question: Excluding anyone related to you by blood or marriage, what man are you closest to?

Joe Mitchell

There aren't many. I have intentionally not cultivated male friendships in the latter years, since my husband is very ... sensitive ... to that. I used to be friends with only guys before I got married; it's weird. I guess I'll say Joe, here. We actually both grew up in the same neighborhood in Central New York, but through different paths, we both ended up here in Idaho. So strange, but interesting. He and his wife Gladys are really good people. 

~*~*~*~*~

I'm glad I was able to participate this week. Thanks, Sam, for the great questions! 

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Deep Thoughts Meme

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

Cheers to all of us thieves!

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These are questions suggested by Markandangel

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

Must-Know Tips for Breastfeeding a Sick Baby

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

What is the most desirable trait another person can possess?

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☼☼☼ kindness ☼☼☼

What are you most grateful for?

Enhance (1)

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

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

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

Is stealing to feed a starving child wrong?

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Is not feeding the starving child wrong?

What do you want most?

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

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

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

What has life taught you recently?

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

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

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

Where do you find inspiration?

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

Can you describe your life in a six word sentence?

I had to come, but stayed.

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

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

What impact do you want to leave on the world?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What lifts your spirits when life gets you down?

Image result for ozzy crazy train gif

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

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

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

Has your greatest fear ever come true?

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

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

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

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

What is your most beloved childhood memory?

Mom and Me1

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

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

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

Fin.


Saturday 9: Shake It Off

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

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

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

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Shake It Off (2014)

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

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

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

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

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

Image result for criticism funny

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DSC_5486
We usually do an artificial tree. It's just easier with all the dogs and cats and their excessive curiosity. At some point, I'd like to put up at least three in this house - but I don't think we'll have the budget for it just yet this year. This white flocked tree was last year's.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Colloquium

Hi, guys! It's 6 PM Mountain Time on Sunday - the first chance I've had to write this - essentially guaranteeing NO ONE will read nor comment on it.

I dare you to prove me wrong?!

Link up here if you want to join in the fray this fine Sunday.

~*~*~*~*~


These are from From Colloquium, which has not published since 2012

Last person you were in a car with?

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We were coming home from an equestrian competition for Sophia, so in addition to the two of us, Rob was driving and Chloë was along for moral support.

Any plans for tomorrow?

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Well, heh, yeah... but we're out of gas and I've 3 dr appts to get to. I don't quite know how I'm going to manage that, yet...

Best friend or close friends?

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Um, both. Duh.

Is tomorrow going to be a good day?

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Oh, I don't know yet; I forgot to turn on my clairvoyance.

Ever thrown up in public?

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Oh yes. How high can you count? Yeah? More than that.

What’s on your mind RIGHT NOW?

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That it's about time for my post-Climate Strike (one of them, anyway) conference call, so 'scuse me while I multitask for a minute...

Who was the last person you talked to?

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Rob. I thanked him for taking away my empty place of cheese enchiladas.

What is the WORST subject they teach at school?

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For those who still teach it, Creationism, especially as the only "science" taught in those schools.

Have you seen anyone lately that you don’t get along with?

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Not lately, I don't think?

What is your favourite color top to wear?

Pass, on the grounds that it's irrelevant.

Have you ever been in a car accident?

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Yes, probably the worst of which was the time I was hit by a drunk driver. Did I ever tell y'all that story??

What’s the closest thing to you that’s green?

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My recycling bin 😉♻️

Where would you like to be right now?

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Anywhere right now not having this migraine

Is anything bugging you right now?

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Second verse, same as the first!

Is life going right for you now?

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It's... going.

Is there someone you care about more than yourself?

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Pretty much everyone... but most of all, these goons.

What made you laugh today?

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⬆ This. ⬆

What was the last movie you watched?

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I don't even know, but I really want to see Hustlers!

What was the last conversation you had about?

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Robert was just begging me not to overdose on the acetaminophen he had just brought home. I said, "No promises." He took it with him... /Endscene

What were you doing at 7:00 this morning?

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With back-to-back things going, I passed out after we left the ACLU Activitists' Academy yesterday and didn't wake up until 9 or 10 this morning. Autoimmune illness will do that to ya.

Do you like your hair long or short?

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I just like it when it looks good, however long it is...

Do you like the rain?

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Sure but, I mean, everything is relative...

~*~*~*~*~

Fin.


Saturday 9: The Candy Man

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

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

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

2) In the movie, this song is sung by Bill, the candy store shopkeeper. Think about the last counter person you dealt with. We know that he or she likely didn't break into song, but did you two engage in conversation?
 
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Yeah. Well. Last night, Chloë and I attended the "Sweater Weather Get-Together" at The Twisted Ewe, a yarn shop up in Boise. I engaged with several of the shop staff, and especially introduced myself to the young woman who runs their social media stuff, because I engage with her frequently, and I'd never met her in person. I also signed up to be a test knitter.

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

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

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

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

Saturday 9: The Sweet Escape

Hi, you guys!! I'm going to get into Saturday 9 in a moment. But first, let me say:

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to this young lady today:

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Can you guys believe it? My kids have practically grown up in front if y'all on Saturday 9 and Sunday Stealing, and here now as of this very day, my firstborn is an adult! I swear, I'm in absolute shock. Happy birthday, Chloë Raine!

Okay. On to Saturday 9. Link up here to play along with us today!

(And I may jump in and do last week's, which I missed due to illness.)

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The Sweet Escape (2006)

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Unfamiliar with this week's song. Hear it here.
 
1) This song begins with, "First of all, let me say I must apologize ..." Who most recently apologized to you?

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Actually, it was this girl. We bumped heads or something, and she immediately apologized. Chloë, like her mother, is an over-apologizer. People ask us to stop, and we just can't! It's annoying for us, too. Just so you know.

2) Gwen Stefani sings that she acted like "sour milk on the floor." Is there milk in your refrigerator right now? What about non-dairy creamer?

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I'm pretty sure there is cow's milk in the fridge for the kids' cereal right now. We do need to pick up some more almond milk for me, though.

3) In the video, Gwen wears several different pairs of stiletto heels. What are you wearing on your feet as you answer these questions?

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Great for those who can and want to wear stilettos, high heels, and all that - but I can't and never really wanted to. I've worn stiletto pumps a few memorable times, but I can rarely find any, let alone a billion pairs, that make me think, "Yeah, I'd rather wear those shoes, put that dent in my wallet, and sacrifice my foot health." It just doesn't happen. So right now, I'm barefoot. I usually am.

4) Mrs. Stefani named her daughter "Gwen" after a stewardess in the book/movie Airport. Who was your favorite character in the book you just read, or movie you most recently watched?

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Okay, so it's neither a book nor a movie, but I'm watching "Dear White People" on Netflix lately, and I adore the Samantha White character. She's sassy and smart - and stunning!

5) Gwen is a distant cousin of Madonna's. Are there any performers in your family?

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Well, Chloë started acting and modeling at 5 years old, but about 10 or 11 years later, she decided she wanted to take an extended break from it to focus on other things. (The rejection is tough!) And Sophia is now in the marching band (percussion) - her first parade is today! - and competes in equestrian events. Jack is nooottttttt the performing type!

6) In high school, she joined the swim team not because she enjoys swimming but because she wanted to lose weight. Are you doing anything (dieting, participating in an exercise regimen) in order to shed a few pounds?

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I want to, but I'm not sure what to do. I've been all over the map weight-wise, and now that I've gained back a fair number of lbs from the medicine I take, I admit, I'm depressed. I decided to try the keto diet in July, to disastrous effects. It really messed up my blood sugar stability, and I had severe hypoglycemia every day. And I'm dealing with gastroparesis now, and all sorts of things, so I just don't know what to do, honestly.

7) Before she became successful, Gwen worked at the makeup counter in a department store. What was the last thing you purchased? Did you buy it online or at a store?

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I bought this pair of shoes for Chloë from Amazon. I didn't really pay for them, though; I get free items as an Ambassador for a company, in exchange for my honest reviews. I hope they fit her!

8) Gwen has gotten a great deal of publicity for her romance with country star, Blake Shelton. What's your favorite Blake Shelton song?

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Gah, they're so cute together, aren't they? I hope they last and stay happy. I love his song, "God's Country," ever since I saw him debut it on The Voice last Spring.

9) Random question: Which of these compliments would make you the happiest: to be called fascinating, or brilliant, or gorgeous?

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Well, I think that, like this sapphire engagement ring from Lauren B Jewelry, it's possible to be all three in the same moment. Likewise, I think all three may last a lifetime or be fleeting and momentary. That being said, if I could only be one, and even if would only last a moment, I would want to be thought of as brilliant. I'd choose that option 10 times out of 10.

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That was fun, Sam, thanks! Might come back later and do some catching up from last week but for right now, I've got some more birthday planning to do! See ya later on the blogiverse.

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Love Me Some Questions Meme

Howdy do, neighbors. I've made it out of bed today, just before 1400, but that's not what counts. It took a lot of effort. If my bladder didn't make it imperative, I might still be in bed. But I digress.

First:

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I finished watching the Season 4 of Netflix's Queer Eye, and now I'm bereft as hell. I literally found myself looking through all the episodes from all the seasons, trying to see if I'd missed one. I hadn't. Boo! 😭😭

But moving along with life. Make sure you link up here if you're joining us this weekend!

~*~*~*~*~

These are from Love Me Some Surveys.

a. Has anyone ever made fun of your taste in music?

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Of course! His taste in music runs with the likes of Bob Dylan, right?

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And this is more my frequency. (Also, that was some shady shit, Whit.)

Ya dig?

b. Is anyone’s birthday coming up?

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Yep. This boy, Robert Allen O, will be 47 in six days!!! 😳🤭🎂🎂 Happy early birthday, baby!

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But that's not all! A week after that, the curly girlie on the left, Chloë Raine O, will be 18! 🎂🎂

I cannot even handle that, y'all! I just cannot.

But wait, there's more! Her mother, the lady on the right (that's me!) is turning 43 (ughhhh) one day later. (Why can no one ever remember it's 9/8/76? Easiest birth date ever, y'all!)

So yup. It's birthday season 'round here!

 c. Do you remember who you liked in grade eight?

Mike Amati

Yup. M was a cutie! He still is... but that picture there is 11 years old. Nowadays, what hair is left is mostly just stubble. Still a cutie. Whatever.

d. When was the last time you burned any part of your body?

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Y'all may remember? I blogged about it back then, in January 2017. I had never cooked a real steak in my life (because making cube steaks for the dogz in my single days totally does not count, you guys), and I have not eaten beef since August 1995. No plans to restart. But my boy likes steak, so for our 15th anniversary, I thought I'd make him a proper one.

It did not go the way I planned, the HOT! oil splattered, and I ended up in the ER instead. In fact, I went in by myself so he could eat his steak, because I refused to ruin his steak dinner any further. 🤣 No lie, mesdames.

Anyway, 2½ years later, right now, it looks like this:

Burned Arm

Honestly, and I would not lie to you for one moment: it did not hurt. It did not hurt one bit, and the scarring isn't bad, is it? Truth: I used a shit-ton of straight Young Living lavender oil on that burn, raw, open, and errrrythang. Like, the whooooole bottle. Because lavender is used in burn salves, and you know what? That shit worked. And then, when it was all closed up, I used Jafra Royal Jelly to heal the skin. 

Not bad. Not too bad at all. I'd do it again.

e. If I gave you ten dollars, what would you spend it on?

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Gas. Seriously. I love our new house. Not gonna lie. Love, love, love our house. But all of my doctors are in Boise, so we're hurting for gas money constantly nowadays. Kinda sucks. Sometimes I have to cancel the week's worth of my appointments - and there are many - because there just isn't any gas to get out there. And then I get angry letters in the mail about my canceled appointments. Really?! Are you putting gas in my tank?

It's hard. I keep re-budgeting and re-budgeting, but when you're two disabled folks living on a retired enlisted veteran's pension... it's a challenge.

f. What are you most excited about right now?

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I'm excited to see what comes next for the adult version of Chloë. I know great things are in her future!

g. Does / did either of your parents serve in the military?

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My  p---y-@$$ sperm donor was in the CG for five or six minutes. He thought because he was "smart" (truth is, he only thinks he's smart, and this is from someone who actually is), he'd be able to get one of his superiors to set him up in OCS. Instead, he swabbed poop deck after poop deck and probably cried about it - literally - the whole time. How long was he in? One blink? Two blinks? Not long. Meanwhile, he tries to square up with my husband, who did 20 full years, some during wartime in the Middle East, in the Navy. And with my beloved grandfather (my mom's dad, mind you), who served in the Navy during WWII in Europe. And my uncle (mom's brother) who served in the Navy. And my FIL, who was a submariner in the Navy during the Cold War. You know? Dad. Ya weren't shit then. You aren't shit now. And ya ain't never gonna be shit.

h. Are you somewhat of a perfectionist?

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Oh, yeah. You could say that. It's taking me years, and it will continue to take many more, but I am trying to learn to accept good enough when that's all I need. It's hard going teaching Chloë this, as well.

f. Do you like sour candy?

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I don't mind it now and then, but I swear it's like one of the major food groups for my kiddos!

g. Are all nighters something you have grown used to?

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I have pretty erratic sleeping habits, so yeah, I've grown accustomed to it.

h. Do you usually wear sunglasses when you’re driving?

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I wear 'em whenever I need 'em.

i. Do you wear your shoes around the house?

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Since I have virtually no immune system, and the next major infection could very well be my last, I try very hard to enforce our strict "no shoes" policy.

j. What clothes are you most comfortable in?

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What this woman has on, I could live in. Now I want it!

k. Are you good at painting nails?

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I have no special skills. My sister's a pro, though.

j. Smoothies or slushies?

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I'm impartial, as long as the slushy contains real fruit and, if must be, a non-sugar sweetener, or if the smoothie contains almond or coconut milk or similar dairy substitute. I'm not being picky. I'm just allergic to life!

~*~*~*~*~

Thanks for another fun questionnario, Bev! Hope you all have a great last week of August 2019. Maaaaaan, this year has flown by!

Fin.


Saturday 9: No One's Here To Sleep

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How ya doin', folks? Welcome back. Click here if you want to join the rest of the Saturday 9 gang this week!

But first, a few things:

First, Viola Davis, go on with yo' fine self.

Second, this is the first time I've been out of bed for any length of time since Sunday night, when I went out to dinner with Hubs. I have a dizzying amount of health issues, and just the simple act of having a birthday dinner (his) out has worn me out that much. I hate it.

Finally, do a Google search for The Wizard of Oz. Then click on the ruby red shoes. And then, click on the tornado. Then come back here. Fun, right?!

Now let's begin:

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: No One's Here to Sleep (2013)

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

1) This song is the theme of How to Get Away with Murder, the legal drama that premiered in 2014 and airs on Thursday nights. Are you a fan?

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I have never watched it. Yet. Should I?

2) The song's refrain says, "I'll never catch up with you." Behind the wheel, do you carefully observe the speed limit? Or do you have a lead foot, making it hard for anyone to catch up with you?

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I definitely have a lead foot - and I have the speeding tickets to prove it! There are a lot of 25 MPH roads here in Mountain Home, Idaho, which has made the transition from Boise (and before that, Miami) particularly difficult for me. It's impossible! So the first thing I do when I leave the house is turn on the cruise control, which fortunately starts at 25 MPH in our vehicle, so that I can't get any (more) tickets here. My current peeve is that the two-lane interstate from here to Boise, or anywhere else for that matter, allows 18-plus-wheelers to pass in the left lane, but they can only go 70 MPH. Except the speed limit is 80 MPH! So we're often stuck rolling our eyes, gnashing our teeth, and gripping the steering wheel in frustration behind those Macks.

3) How to Get Away with Murder is about Annalise Keating, a law professor at a top Philadelphia university. She has a reputation for being tough, demanding and able to turn her students into successful defense attorneys. Tell us about a teacher who helped prepare you for life after graduation.

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I had many great teachers and professors, so it's hard for me to single one out. But I will. At the University of Miami, I took Physics I and II from a gent who used to write "IAEFRTGDI" on the chalkboard before every exam. And then he'd read it aloud, pointing to each letter in turn: "If all else fails, read the g-- d--- instructions!" to remind us that, if we were stuck on a problem, to do exactly that. He'd just pause for the "G-D-" parts, giving us all a giggle. But that was 25 years ago, and I've obviously never forgotten his lesson!

4) The students she feels show the most promise - and are recruited to help her solve murders - are known as The Keating Four. Did you ever sense that you were your teacher's favorite?

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It was always pretty rare for me not to be the teacher's pet.

5) Viola Davis was just nominated for an Emmy for playing Professor Keating. Ms. Davis was born on a farm in SC. Have you spent more of your life in a rural, suburban or urban setting?

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That's Chloë and me on South Beach (Miami) on New Year's Eve, 2015 - I had just started getting sick that year, and that night really took a lot out of me. But I digress. I'm a city girl, through-and-through. Now I live in land-locked Idaho. Or I'm dying here. Either way, I've asked Hubs to take me to the beach at least every couple of years or so. I miss it more than I could ever convey.

6) Next to Annalise Keating, Viola Davis is best known for her Oscar-nominated role as Aibileen in the movie, The Help. Have you seen it?

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I have, and while we (my daughters and I) loved it, I was a bit disappointed because it was historically inaccurate. They could have done a lot more to celebrate and elevate the true stories those black actresses portrayed.

7) In 2014, the year How to Get Away with Murder premiered, we lost two famous comedians: Robin Williams and Joan Rivers. Who was the last person to make you laugh out loud? (This means actually, literally laughing out loud, not just keystroking LOL.)

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I mean, I'm a legit nerd and don't mind it, but yes, all of these (and more) individually and collectively made me laugh aloud. In fact, I wanted to keep looking and enjoying, but then I remembered I had unfinished business here with Sam. ;)

8) The 2014 Olympics were held in Sochi. Have you ever been to Russia? If not, is it a dream destination of yours?

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I want to see the whole world, but the idea of going to Russia draws a great big "meh" out of me. Is it enough that my grandpa went there?

9) Random question: The sign on the railing says, "Wet Paint." Do you touch the railing to see if it's really wet?

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Probably. At least nine times out of 10 I would, anyway. In one of my Animal Behavior lectures, Prof told us of a study - probably by Konrad Lorenz - wherein four different species were suspended in a net that allowed the dangling of one or more legs. Initially, when a leg was dangled, it hit a surface that delivered a painful electric shock. (Ugh, I hate these studies.) Anyway, the animals studied included a cat, a pig, a dog, and a monkey. We students had to guess which animal then exhibited which behavior: one never, ever put down its leg again. Was it smart, having learnt its lesson? One waited awhile and then tried again. Another maybe waited longer? I forget. And the fourth continuously put down that leg, time and time again. Was it stupid, forgetting each time about the shock? Or was it just following its genetic predisposition to test a thing to see if something new and different would happen? I believe that last animal was the cat. (In the first case, I believe it was... the pig! Surprised?) Long story short, I am like the cat. I always need to test everything to see if it's true, or still true. The more data I can collect about Life, the more accurate I'll be, right?

~*~*~*~*~

Y'all have a good weekend. And FFS, please stop confusing your Batesian and Müllerian mimicry, wouldja? So distasteful. ;)

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?

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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?

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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?

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

Have you ever gotten lost?

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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I have not.

What is the longest plane trip you have taken?

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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?

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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.


Sundays In My City: Justin Abel Tattoo & Piercing

Sundays In My City

Well, hello and good evening. It's 11:17 PM on Sunday night, which means I'm late AF but still on time. How can that be? #BecauseMe, that's why.

Welcome to another edition of Sundays in my City, brought to us by Claudya; link up here if you want to share with us about your corner of the world, too!

Justin Abel selfie

So this is Justin Abel. Here in Mountain Home, Idaho, Justin is doing it all at his academy: Super-high professional tattoos, piercings, hair removal, tattoo removal, CPR/First-Aid Training for the Red Cross, murals, oil and acrylic family portraits, and professional skin care, and micro-needling. I don't know how he's got time and energy for all that, but today he explained that it's mostly mania. As someone with Bipolar I, I get that for sure! But instead of tattooing, I stay up all night and bake everything in the house.  

Justin Abel Kelsey Grammar

This is a portrait of Kelsey Grammar that Justin did. I think he draws them by hand, and apparently he has done some for celebrities by commission. I heard that one did not like hers, because it was so perfect that it revealed her flaws, and she didn't want that!

Justin Abel Seth Meyers

And here's one of Seth Meyers that Justin did. Isn't that amazing? 

Chloe's Tattoo

A year ago, Justin threw an event for first-time customers where he gave everyone, I think, either $50 or $100 in tattoos, tattoo removal, or piercings. It was just before Chloë's 17th birthday then, and she opted to get this Harry Potter tattoo. She's HP-mad, if you didn't know!

Sophia Piercing

And Sophia got her helix double-pierced. I have mine done, too - for over 20 years - and both of us have had issues with getting those to heal! I also had my septum and my right tragus pierced the day Justin gave out free services last year.

Rob's Tattoo

My favorite thing was that Rob finally got to have his separation of service year, 2013, added to the 1993 tattoo (not visible here) he got when he entered Boot Camp.

So fast-forward to today:

08112019 Justin Abel Doughnut Party

On top of everything else Justin does, he threw a big party all day today for the community to raise awareness about a new project he's doing: he bought the place next door from his academy and plans to turn it into either a sliding-scale high-quality sushi restaurant, or as I learned today, a teens' arcade. Hmm. With three teens, and all of us loving sushi, I am soosoosososo torn on which way to vote here! My belleh wants the soosh, but there is literally nothing here for the kids to do, so... gotta go with my Mom Gut on this one, I guess.

08112019 Justin Abel Doughnut Party 2

When we got to the shindig, we found Justin and crew making tons of doughnuts, but they needed help. In short order, Sophia and Chloë had gloved up and stepped in to lend a hand! They went full-tilt, and I can't really be out the in sun too long, so we left them there for a couple hours and went home! Ha. Oh, and the best part? Justin was raffling off $6,000 worth of his services and actual real cash in baskets. I don't know who won yet, but I've got a pair of crossed fingers! Rob wants a lot of tattoos, but that "2013" is the only one he's gotten during our marriage. Money's tight, y'know?

Anyway, I just wanted to give a shout-out to Justin Abel and his arts academy here in Mountain Home, where we now live. It's truly gratifying to see that there are decent people in the world, giving just for the sake of giving.

~*~*~*~*~

I showed you mine, now show me yours!

Share your city/town/suburb/you name it! Think of this as a photography hop that lets you share your part of the world and lets you travel virtually. If you link up, please link back or post the Sundays In My City button either in your post or sidebar to let people know that other bloggers are sharing their communities too. Happy trails!  

Let’s travel the world together!

Fin.

Fin.


Saturday 9: Tossed Salad and Scrambled Eggs

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Hey, y'all - welcome back! I'm in the throes of a full-on, true migraine right now, with visual aura, dizziness and nausea... the whole bit. But sleepiness, unfortunately, is not one of those symptoms, so here I am. All that to say, if my answers are sloppy, that's probably why. (This time; I can't excuse all the other times.)

Link up here if you wanna chit-chat with us about Frasier this week!

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Tossed Salad and Scrambled Eggs (1993)

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

1) This is the theme from Frasier, a TV show that ran  from 1993 to 2004. Were you a fan?

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Definitely! That right there is my jam. Right up my alley.

2) The show is about a radio advice show host, Dr. Frasier Krane. When you listen to the radio, do you tune in for talk or music?

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I'm not really into talk radio. I feel like I'm supposed to be, intellectually speaking, but I just don't want to. I listen for the music.

3) The theme's composer explained that tossed salad and scrambled eggs are both "mixed up," like the people who called Frasier's radio show. Which did you eat more recently, tossed salad or scrambled eggs?

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I did eat eggs today - twice, since they are my main way to get my protein requirements in - but they were sunny-side up, over easy, on toast with a smidge of cheese. I haven't really had scrambled eggs in a long time. Maybe it's just not fancy enough for me? So anyway, probably a salad. Now I want a salad. A funny one, like these.

4) Peri Gilpin played Roz, Frasier's coworker at the radio station. The actress originally cast was Lisa Kudrow, but the show's producers didn't feel she was "right." Being released from Frasier gave her the opportunity to accept a bigger and better part: Phoebe on Friends. Can you think of a time when a setback was really a blessing in disguise?

Sure, like when the 100-year-old house we thought we loved in Kimberly, Idaho, came back with a plethora of safety and repair issues upon inspection, we were sorely disappointed. But that made way for us to find the house we bought instead (some of which I showed, above, and on Instagram). I love this house so much. Love it, love it, love it, love it!!!

5) Dr. Krane shared his home with Martin, his retired dad. Martin's favorite chair was a well-worn recliner, held together in parts with tape. Frasier tried to replace it by giving his father a brand-new, expensive leather chair as a gift. Martin wanted his old recliner back. Tell us about a present you either gave or received that wasn't a hit.

Image result for casio g shock dw 9052

It's actually kind of an inside joke between us now: Rob (Hubs) kept asking for this Casio G-Shock DW9052 watch, when we lived in Miami. For Christmas, year after year after year, I gave him at least one new watch - not that watch, but a different watch or watches that I thought were better, which cost a lot more normally but for which I got incredible deals. He never wore any of them, though. This happened probably three years in a row, yet he kept asking for the Casio G-Shock for Christmas. Finally, the last Christmas before we moved here in 2017, I got him the watch he asked for. He wears it every single day. Heh. (I did get a deal on it, though!)

6) Kelsey Grammer played Dr. Krane on three different series (Cheers, Wings and Frasier) over 20 years. What job have you held the longest?

Image result for college of southern idaho logo

Well, I've been a stay-home mom since I was pregnant with Chloë (lots of complications, so I could not work). She'll be 18 in less than a month! So I guess Mum is my longest-held job, especially considering I home-schooled all three kids for ten years. Now that it looks like Chloë is heading off the CSI in Twin Falls, Idaho, to study nursing soon, and the littles are entering public high school, I'm going to have to start finding new ways to self-identify and validate myself!

7) Before he found success on Cheers, Grammer played bit parts on the daytime dramas Ryan's World and Another World. Have you ever followed a soap opera?

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When I was a kid, I watched Guiding Light, but that was only because my stepsisters did, really. My mom was a fan of All My Children, so sometimes after she died I would watch that, too.

8) In addition to work in front of the camera, Grammer has done voice over work on commercials for Dr. Pepper and Cheerios. Are either of those products in your kitchen right now?

Image result for Cheerios funny

The kids love Cheerios, so I'm willing to bet there are at least two boxes in the pantry right now. I hate it. I can always tell when the kids have been eating it, because I think it smells like baby diarrhea. Blechhh!

9) Random question: You're invited to a party where dinner is served buffet style. There's spaghetti with tomato sauce, barbecue spare ribs and buffalo wings. When the evening is over, how likely are you to have a food stain on your clothes?

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I can normally be pretty messy when I eat, but not in this case, because I wouldn't be able to eat any of those three things: I can't eat spaghetti, because of my gastric bypass surgery; I can't stand barbecue sauce and have never eaten spare ribs in my entire life; and, same thing with wings: I don't do barbecue, and I can't keep chicken down because of the bypass surgery. And since I'm allergic to everything, I'm basically on the ice diet now.

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That was a fun one, Sam! Thanks for taking my mind off the migraine while I completed it. I think I've actually got a moment or two, so for once I'm gonna go 'round and visit y'all. Go me, such the equitable blogger! 🙄

Fin.


Sundays In My City: Sunday Sundaes

Sundays In My CityBy Claudya
Hey, guys! Welcome to another edition of Claudya M's Sundays in my City, Smellyann-style. Be sure and link up here when you've posted yours for this week, too!
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So currently, my daughter's girlfriend is spending two nights this weekend at our house, because her parents have gone of out town. I happened to know that Sydney loves ice cream, and I wanted to make sure she enjoys her stay, so I suggested we have sundaes on Sunday. Naturally, everyone jumped on that idea! We haven't done a sundae bar in yeaaaaaars.
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My 16yo son Jack had the brilliant idea of putting a chocolate-dipped cone upside-down on his sundae, which everyone wanted to then copy. But brilliant move, Jack, because then there was only one cone left, and no way that was going to be joyfully split amongst five more of us! He relished it with gusto, too.
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Here's my non-traditional banana split. Having worked at the sundae shop Larry's on St. Pete Beach, Florida, back in the day, I know full well that this ain't right. But it looked and sounded delicious, which is all that truly mattered to me! Being the glutton that I am, I put a small scoop of Talenti pistachio gelato on one end, chocolate ice cream in the middle, and a scoop of Talenti mint chip gelato on the other end, atop half a split banana. The chocolate was topped with peanut butter sauce, while the gelati were topped with chocolate sauce. A generous helping of juiced strawberries, more than enough whipped cream, and a smattering of chopped nuts finished the job, with the requisite cherry on the summit.
It was a diabetic's worst nightmare. Seriously: My blood sugar was already at 96 right before I dug in; we checked. One scoop of gelato (and associated toppings) in, and we checked again: 192! That didn't stop me, as I still knew that deliciousness awaited me. But I didn't get very much further before I started to feel awful. Just awful. We checked it again: 220!! I was full by then, so Rob agreed to take on the burden of eating mine, too, if someone would stick it in the freezer. I passed out shortly after that.
Lesson learned? I doubt it.
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17yo Chloë followed suit, sharing the other half of my split banana. She used three maraschino cherries on her alternative banana split. Maaaaaan. I should've done that. Mmm-mm. Who doesn't love those things?
I remember doing a mystery shop at a bar called... BJs or something? ... on Virginia Beach's Rudy's Inlet. A little locals' dive bar. This one bartendress made me a tequila sunrise with three cherries: one red, one orange, and one beautiful. That was years ago, and I still remember it as one of the best sunrises of my drinking career. Those cherries must've had some impact!
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14yo Sophia continued the banana sundae trend, making this ... monstrosity. I don't know what to call it, but she enjoyed it - after mixing everything UP - so I guess that's all we care about. Mixing it up, though?! What the deuce? I want to be able to see all my ingredients.
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Here's Sophie's adorable 15yo girlfriend, Sydney, who also had some kind of banana sundae. I'm such the trendsetter.
The girls met this past May. Both of my girls came out around December of 2017 or January of 2018, which didn't faze me in the least: Sophia as a lesbian, Chloë as bisexual. As you may know, we lived in Boise, Idaho, at the time, which is the most liberal of this very red state. Meaning, it's difficult to be gay for anyone in the state of Idaho, let alone a teenager. Last year, Pride 2018, was our first time attending this event. I was so excited to finally be able to go to Pride "legitimately," as an Ally, and feel somewhat like I belonged to this cool and unusual crowd. I hope my daughters felt the same way.
And then in May, I urged them to go to the Pride Prom. Sophia was going to wear a jumpsuit, but she ended up finding a dress she loved at the thrift store we frequent. Shocked the shit out of me! But she kept to her usual Sophie self by pairing it with a matching set of high-top Chuck Taylors:
Pride Prom Sophia's Dress c 0518219
Chloë looked beautious, too:
Pride Prom Chloë's Dress e 0518219
Anyway, so toward the end of the night at the prom, Sophia spotted this young girl standing alone, and went over to talk to her. I like that about my girls; inclusivity is the name of the game. And that, my friends, was the start of a beautiful relationship:
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Do I digress much? Enough? I think so. I think so. But anyway....
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So while Sundae Fun-day was great and all (before I passed out and then Rob and the teenagers played Guesstimation without me), I just did want to say that, yes, it's hard to be gay in Idaho. It's all well and good behind closed doors, safe in our loving and accepting home, but Sydney tells me that she gets bullied mercilessly at school about it. Now that Jack and Sophia are going into public high school, I'm afraid for Soph, too. And she's a brawler! Eek. 
I mean, in a state where - even in "liberal" Boise - I get my "COEXIST" and "Blue Girl in a Red State" stickers ripped off my car, I worry about my kids' sense of self in coming out to the world. About their safety, too. About being hurt physically and emotionally by people who call themselves Christian yet commit bad acts against them. It's a tough world. So I'm proud they've taken this step. As I say...:
K
Amen. So cheers to you, Sydney, and Chloë, and Sophia, for being your authentic selves. Maybe someday instead of sundaes in Idaho, we'll be toasting with tequila sunrises in Virginia Beach!  🍹🍹
~*~*~*~*~
I showed you mine, now show me yours.

Share your city/town/suburb/you name it! Think of this as a photography hop that lets you share your part of the world and lets you travel virtually. If you link up, please link back or post the Sundays In My City button either in your post or sidebar to let people know that other bloggers are sharing their communities too. Happy trails!  

Let’s travel the world together!

 

By Claudya

Fin.


Saturday 9: Brand New Life

Image result for who's the boss cast

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.

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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?

Image result for who's the boss cast

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.

Image may contain: 11 people, including Ben Peterson, people smiling, people standing, wedding and outdoor

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!

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

Fin.


Saturday 9: Secret Agent Man

(I do know this song and am singing along with Johnny Rivers. And now it led into listening to CCR, which I also love.)

The Part With the Lyrics
 
There's a man who leads a life of danger
To everyone he meets he stays a stranger
With every move he makes another chance he takes
Odds are he won't live to see tomorrow
Secret agent man, secret agent man
They've given you a number and taken away your name
Beware of pretty faces that you find
A pretty face can hide an evil mind
Ah, be careful what you say
Or you'll give yourself away
Odds are you won't live to see tomorrow
Secret agent man, secret agent man
They've given you a number and taken away your name
Secret agent man, secret agent man
They've given you a number and taken away your name
Swingin' on the Riviera one day
And then layin' in the Bombay alley next day
Oh no, you let the wrong word slip
While kissing persuasive lips
The odds are you won't live to see tomorrow
Secret agent man, secret agent man
They've given you a number and taken away your name
Secret agent man
 
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The Part Where I Apologize
 
Hey. Persona non grata here. I have a certain amount of contrition over my post last week. I know I ruffled some feathers, but maybe that's not the worst thing in the world if it gets a conversation going, even if I get the ugly bits. I got some pretty supportive responses (both on the blog and directly to me, privately), and I also received some angry <<words muffled and inaudible>> replies. I do want to admit I did not realize quite how much research went into inventing the nine weekly questions, although I could tell it was a fair amount each week. Obviously it never stopped me from answering the questions, when I was able to play, thoughtfully - although some of you thought knowing/not knowing the song/musician never affected one's abililty to do so at all, which is incorrect.
 
I did do the recent Backstreet Boys, Billy Ray & Miley Cyrus, and Britney Spears editions, so it can't be said I play too infrequently to have noticed those among others. Also, I guess what I am saying to that is that none of those more recent acts are what I personally might consider good, quality music - but that's a conversation for a different day. I could list an exceptionally long list of music that is neither pop nor current, but since I never write about those like I do about my tongue-in-cheek love for pop muzak, y'maybe just don't know. I don't want to lose y'all as my online friends, and there are a good many of you I think I'd love to know in real life, too, so please accept that I have felt nothing but contrition since that post went up last week. Sometimes my real-life stress asserts itself into unrelated online stuff, and because I possess no filter - none at all - I can't always reel it back in. I'm sorry.
 
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The Part Where I Mention a Billie Eilish Song I Love (one of many; cheeky, I know)
 
wish you were gay:
 

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The Part Where I Finally Answer the Questions:

Secret Agent Man (1966)

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

1) This is the theme of a TV show that ran on CBS from 1964-1967. The series was produced, and originally aired, in England. The BBC has shared many shows with American audiences over the years. Can you name another?

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I never really got into Downton Abbey, but many of my friends were really into it.

2) The show is about John Drake, a special agent dedicated to exposing plots that threaten world peace. A quick check of Netflix and Goodreads reveals that spy stories are just as popular today. Is espionage a genre you enjoy? Do you read books, or watch shows and movies, about spies?

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I don't go out of my way to watch spy movies, but I don't avoid them, either. I might be persuaded to see a Bond movie for the first time in ages (I haven't seen any since Pierce Brosnan) if Idris Elba were tapped to play 007, though... ;)

3) The lyrics tell us Drake travels from the Riviera to Bombay. Where were you when you last spent the night away from home? Why were you there (vacation, business, international intrigue)?

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Oh, definitely international intrigue, for sure. No doubt about that.

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No, actually, I was supposed to be taking 17yo Chloë with me to Vancouver, B.C., this weekend to a Moms' summit with various companies and grow my 'brand' as an influencer in the mommiverse - or whatever cutesy name is en vogue these days - but I can't afford to go now. Medical bills and the gas from traveling back and forth to Boise for doc appointments has me strapped. I'm super bummed; it promised to be both informative and fun.

Quiz - Owyhee Pony Club
So the last time I spent a night away from home was in April, when I took 14yo Sophia to Pocatello, Idaho, for an event with the state's branch of International Pony Club. That's her in the back row, far right end. Blonde. Oh wait, that doesn't help.

4) The refrain states, "They've given you a number and taken away your name." In today's digital world, that could now be said of all of us. Are you good at remembering your computer passwords?

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I used to be, before Succubus took my memory away. Now I have to keep a list... somewhere.

5) Patrick McGoohan, who played Agent Drake, went from being a good guy to appearing as a murderer on Columbo four times. Were you a fan of Columbo?

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No, but I think it was my grandpa who was. I tried to get into it, with him, but after learning about Peter Falk's false eye, I got squeamish. Same with Sammy Davis, Jr. I'm funny about eyeballs. Ick.

6) Born John Ramistella, this week's featured artist, Johnny Rivers, grew up in Louisiana. He took "Rivers" as his stage name because he grew up along the Mighty Mississippi. If you were to change your last name based on the geography of the area where you grew up, how would you be known?

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Hmm. "Melanie Mountains" and "Fingerlakes Mel" sound a bit pornographic. Not the kind of film industry I guess you're talking about? So how about "Melanie Bronx" after my mom's birthplace?
 
7) In 1966, when this song was popular, Jacqueline Kennedy was the woman most Americans admired. What famous woman do you admire most? (She doesn't have to be American.)

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Oh, so many women. Michelle Obama, definitely. 37-year-old Barbara Pierce Bush (Coyne) is really impressing me lately. She's worked both for the Smithsonian Museum and with AIDS patients in Africa. She founded the Global Health Corps, which she spoke about in a TED Talk in Brooklyn. She has spoken out in support of same-sex marriage in New York. And like her twin sister, Jenna, she is an independent thinker: neither is a member of the Republican Party.

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8) 1966 also found another Jacqueline was in the news. Jacqueline Susann's first novel, Valley of the Dolls, was atop the best seller lists, even though it was savaged by the critics. What's your guilty pleasure? What book, movie, TV show, or song do you enjoy, even though you know it has little artistic merit?

So I like Nicki Minaj, and "Good Form" is a song - and video - that's not for the faint of heart. Don't say you weren't warned.

9) Random question: Imagine you've been stranded alone in the woods for 10 days. No companionship, no internet or phone or TV. You have been sleeping in the dirt, living on berries and river water. Your rescuers drive you to a hotel. Upon check-in, what's the first thing you do?

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Okay, first of all, this guy is hilarious and I'm going to have to start doing this stuff like him when I visit a hotel! And now, to answer your question, I would probably "use the facilities" and then stumble to the bed. Wake me up in two days, y'all. Yeesh!

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The Part Where I Finish

Welp, that was a fun one. I enjoyed it whole-heartedly. Now I'm off in search of some coffee. Cheers, y'all!

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Rambling Survey

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

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

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

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Questions from Sad Sleepy Survey Rambles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you like Elton John?
 

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

Saturday 9: America, The Beautiful

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Welcome, welcome. Step into my lair. I'm just going to jump right into this one, because Sophia is waiting for me to watch Seasons 1-3 of the Netflix show Stranger Things with her. (Break time. I'd never seen it before; now we've watched Season 1, Episode 1. I think I'm hooked!) Link up here if you'd like to play along with us this week!

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"America, the Beautiful"

Unfamiliar with Frank Sinatra's 1945 version of this song? Hear it here.

1) In 2016, a group recommended that this week's song replace "The Star Spangled Banner" as our national anthem. They maintain it's just as beautiful but easier to sing. How do you feel about this?

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Hmm. I don't have a super strong opinion either way, but I do love our current National Anthem. I just feel like, if something is easier to sing, does that mean we should choose it to represent our entire country and her patriotism? 🤷‍♀️

2) Katharine L. Bates said her lyrics were inspired by a trip to Pike's Peak. What's the most beautiful American spot you've ever visited?

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Oh, gosh. This was a tough one for me. I've been to Tumon Bay in Guam, which is gorgeous. I've been from Key West to Niagara Falls. I've been from the Outer Banks of North Carolina to the Santa Monica Pier. I have seen a lot, but there is still a lot yet to see (Grand Canyon, I'm coming for you!). However, the one spot I would return to 10 times out of 10, given the chance, is the Jersey Shore. I love watching those huge waves - taller than I am - of the Atlantic Ocean crashing over and over on the beach. So fierce! So cold! So beautiful.

3) The music was written by organist Samuel Augustus Ward. Both Bates and Ward were very formal when signing their names professionally - she including her middle initial and he with his full middle name. How about you? When you sign checks or documents, do you use your middle name or initial?

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Well, my signature is no longer really legible, but I do use my middle initial. Also, you can see here on the watermark that I do use the "A."

4) In 1945, when this version of the song was recorded, America lost Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Frank Sinatra said, "I lost a hero." What late, great American hero from our past would you like to honor today? 

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Hee.

So, in consideration of this question, I first considered Abraham Lincoln, because - duh, the Emancipation Proclamation, abolishment of slavery, etc., were all quite huge. But then I thought of Frederick Douglass. And then I thought of more and more Black Americans who deserve the honor. There are so many. I finally decided on Maya Angelou, because she was alive in my lifetime and made such an impact on my life with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, amongst other writings of hers. RIP, Ms. Angelou.

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"You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise."

5) Also in 1945, a 19-year-old "hoofer" waited outside the Los Angeles radio station where Sinatra was being interviewed. That was the beginning of the friendship between Sammy Davis, Jr., and Frank Sinatra. Tell us about your oldest friend.

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That should probably be Ursula, whose very Irish mum, Olive, was my sister's and my babysitter from early on until we moved from Monroe to Syracuse, New York. Ursula has the very NYC accent that I still slip into now and then. We three had a lot of great times together. And it was at their house that I learned my love for PB&J sandwiches with chocolate chip cookies on the side...

6) The Fourth of July means we're in the middle of summer. Are you careful about applying sunscreen?

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Oh, hell yes. I hate it, but I'm extremely fair-skinned. I've had enough major sunburns in my life to know I'm fer sure going to get skin cancer. I have zero doubts.

7) Mosquito bites can be a major summer annoyance. Are you scratching any itches right now?

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Not at the moment. Phew!! I hate mosquito bites.

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8) Emergency rooms report an increase in wrist injuries in summer, with people falling off bikes and skateboards and jamming their wrists catching hard-hit softballs. Have you been to the ER or Urgent Care during 2019?
 
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Yup. Sometimes, between monthly shots of my biologic meds (formerly Aimovig, now switching over to Ajovy), weekly nerve blocks, weekly migraine cocktail infusions (as above), abortive prescriptions such as every triptan on the planet, all the OTCs I'm not supposed to use... sometimes, I still get breakthrough migraine. Okay, so really, it's daily, so I also occasionally have to go to ER and get that cocktail infused there. And sometimes, they even admit me. Sucks. Last month, these intractable migraines cost our health insurance $28,000. (Cost us nothing, thank God, so once again: thank you, honey, for your service to this great nation!)
 
9) New York is home to Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest every year on the 4th. Will hot dogs be consumed in your household this weekend?
 
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Yes. Chloë (curly sue there, on the left) and Sophia had hot dogs. The boys had hamburgers. I had... eggs. (I'm doing keto this month to try and take off some of this weight I've gained from all these new meds, so. Otherwise, I probably would've had hummus. Heh.)
 
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So, wherever you are in the world, if you're an American, I hope you enjoyed this past Independence Day 2019! And if you're not American, thanks for joining us in the fracas regardless!
 
Image result for waving flag gif Cheers, y'all. Image result for waving flag gif
 
Fin.

Saturday 9: Ooh La La

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Well, well, well. As she says, "It's Britney, bitch."

Welcome back, playas. It's Friday, just after 1800 MST. (Speaking of which, we've lived in Idaho over two years, and I still forget about the time change. My East Coast pals, of which I have many, are not always amused by this!)

Anyway.

Let's get started. Link up here if you want to link up with Crazy Sam and the rest of the gang this week for another fun round of Saturday 9. Sam never disappoints.

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Saturday 9: Ooh La La (2013)
 
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.


1) "Ooh la la" is defined as an interjection said when you think someone or something is "surprising, unusual or attractive." Looking back over this week, did you come across anything that deserves an "ooh la la?"

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I guess? Kinda? I just learned last night that Ravelry, the fiber arts (think knitting, crochet, etc.) community of which I have been a member since October 2007, has banned all support for POTUS #45. Their statement reads:

"We are banning support of Donald Trump and his administration on Ravelry. We cannot provide a space that is inclusive of all and also allow support for open white supremacy. Support of the Trump administration is unambiguously support for white supremacy. For more details, read this document: https://ravelry.com/content/no-trump"

I love this!  Personally, I'm with them, but the rest of the fiber community (and yes, it is immense, for those of you not in the know), is all unraveling over it. My interest in this whole situation is certainly piqued.

2) In this song, Britney Spears sings that she's eager to accompany you, even if you're not a millionaire. But let's say you suddenly become really rich. What's the first leisure trip you would take with your new funds? Who would you bring along?

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I would want to head to Japan with hubs. We'd probably want to spend at least 10 days to two weeks, right? There's so much diversity; I'd want to see everything! B-t-dubbs, the photo above is my inspiration for how I want to decorate this office. Hubs is all, "It's your office, do what you want, but..." LOL but it's going to be great. I promise.

3) Britney is eager to dance with you, even if you don't wear designer clothes. Let's say you need to add a blouse (or shirt) to your wardrobe. Where's your go-to for clothes shopping?

Thredup
Have you guys tried thredup yet? OMG. I've gotten amazing clothing from there for myself, my kids, and Hubs. I've saved - no exaggeration - thousands of dollars on some really sweet great-condition, designer clothes for all of us. I've paid pennies on the dollar and almost never been disappointed. We love thredup!!

4) The video begins with Britney at the movies with her two young sons. Will you be seeing any family members this weekend?

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Just these knuckleheads.

5) This is a theme from the movie Smurfs 2. A Smurf is a little blue creature who lives in a mushroom-shaped house in the forest. Assuming that your home is not shaped like a mushroom and isn't in the forest, how would you describe your abode? (Mansion, ranch house, farm house, high-rise, igloo ...)

Josephine House

In a word, our new house is immense. It's a two-story house in the middle of Idaho (so nowhere), but it's our dream house, so I accept the trade-off. I it. I truly do. (Also, I just looked back up to the question and saw "igloo" for the first time. 😂😂)

6) Britney admits to smoking and biting her nails. What bad habit do you wish you could break?

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Y'all know I'm addicted to Coca Dieta. I gotta quit.

7) In 2013, when this song was popular, Pope Benedict resigned. Thinking over your working life, have you been more nervous on your first day of a job, or the last one?

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Hmm, a little bit of both, probably. Definitely the first day. I worked at the law firm in St. Pete on and off for three years, and on my last day, I left a little early to grab the bus (my car was in the shop) to the nearest stop to the courthouse. There, my love (who had also hopped a separate bus from my apartment to the courthouse stop), found me, and we ran, hand in hand and laughing and smiling, as fast as we could to the JOP to be married before close of business. We made it! But not before Hubs remembered his pocketknife and stuffed it under a potted plant outside before we went in. Best day ever! But yes, I was nervous that day. Not sure whether it was about getting married or about leaving my job... hmm, what do you think?

8) Also in 2013, golfer Phil Mickelson won the British Open. When did you most recently golf?

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Oh, gosh. Not for years. My pain, my body won't allow it. In December last year, I took Sophia for some fun at this place in Meridian, Idaho (technically, I was ahem working), and there was miniature golf. Alas, she had to play alone, since I could not join her. Sucks. Speaking of golf, though, how about Tiger Woods? It's weird, but I'm so proud of him, y'all!!

9) Random question -- On what part of your body was the last itch you scratched?

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I was actually scratching my forehead as I read that question. My bangs keep getting caught by the blowing air from the AC, and it tickles my forehead. Annoying.

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Much fun as always, Samantha! Thanks for running this show!

Fin.


Saturday 9: I Learned From You

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Happy Father's Day weekend, y'all! Things are going well here in the new house, and Hubs took the girls to Boise Pride both yesterday and today, and we had a sleepover last night, and we have lots of fun gifts for my main squeeze tomorrow, and... <pant, pant, pant> we have Chloë's high school graduation tomorrow afternoon! No one is coming so we decided to forgo the party and, as usual, have it just be the five of us. That's fine...

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Link up here if you want to join the rest of us Saturday 9ers (yes, it's late and probably well after dark for some of you already!)...

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Saturday 9: I Learned from You (2007)
... Because it's Father's Day weekend.
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
 


1) This song is a duet by the father/daughter team, Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus. Is your family musically inclined?
 
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Partially; my sister, parents, daughters, and I can/could all sing well. My grandfather used to sing in church a lot, and he sang at my sister's wedding, too (I'd forgotten that!). My husband... can not carry a tune in a bucket.

2) This song is about life lessons. Who has been a major influence on your life?
 
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OMG, that's hilarious. Umm, I couldn't limit that down to just a handful of people if I tried! So I'm going to say that I've been influenced by everyone I've known, people I've only heard about but don't know personally, and everyone else in the entire world.

3) Miley's given name is "Destiny." Her nickname as a baby was "Smiley," which is where Miley came from. What's something that can always be depended upon to make you smile?
 
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This child. Sophia, now 14, has been making us burst out laughing her entire life.
 
4) Miley's father, country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, has 5 children in addition to Miley (6 in all). Are you the oldest, the middle or the youngest sibling? Or are you an only child?
 
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I was the youngest of 2/3/4/5, depending on how you want to slice that cake.

5) Sam's own father often traveled for business, and always remembered to bring her the little complimentary soaps, shampoos or body lotion he got from the hotel. Tell us about an inexpensive but treasured souvenir from a trip you've taken.
 
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I get a shot glass from everywhere I go. But I rarely use them.

6) Back when Sam was in high school, it was her father who gave her driving lessons. Are you patient when teaching someone something new?
 
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It really depends on both subject and student.

7) Sam's father is easy to buy for: every year he wants a new pair of loafers, so every year for Father's Day she gives him a DSW gift card. Is there anyone on your gift list that you find it easy to buy for?
 
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Penny loafers? I generally find it easy to shop for those in my immediately family and super-hard for anyone who doesn't live with me!

8) For family barbecues, Sam's dad dons his "Kiss the Chef" apron and mans the Weber. What's the last thing you cooked on the grill?
 
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I generally don't like grilled food, but I enjoy making meals en papillote from time to time. I used to do that a lot years ago, when we first got married. SO easy!

9) Sam's father satisfies his afternoon sugar craving with an almost endless stream of Butter Rum Lifesavers. When you crave a snack, do you usually reach for something sweet or salty?
 
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Oh, it varies for me from hour to hour. ;) Sometimes I want something totally junky; other times, it's gotta be a banana or something. Doesn't it vary for everyone? I just had Chloë bring me home a Caramello after craving one for days. It was disappointing. Don't you hate that?!
 
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That was fun; thanks, Sam! Hopefully I'll be much more prompt when it comes to Sunday Stealing! ;)
 
Image result for tiny waving pride flag gif Cheers, y'all. Image result for tiny waving pride flag gif
 
Fin.

Saturday 9: I'm Moving On

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Welcome, welcome, my friends. I'm comin' at you from our new home in Mountain Home, Idaho. I hadn't actually been to our house before we closed on Monday, and I'm happily surprised to find that it's even better than I had imagined it would be. Hubs and the realtor checked it out in person, but the kiddos and I had only seen all the pictures and specs online. So I have to say to the Hubs, well done, dearest. Well done.

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

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Saturday 9: I'm Moving On (1965)
 
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

(I personally hadn't heard it before, but I'm listening to it right now on YouTube. I did already know the flipside, "It Had to Be You" - although, admittedly, I did not know who already sang the original from my high school's vocal jazz group.)

1) In this song, Chyvonne Scott sings that she's sick of her lover's "conniving." Tell us about a time you felt deceived. (It doesn't have to involve romance.)

Growing up, my oldest (step)sister, "M," and I were pretty close. We were the M&Ms, etc. We were both pretty brutally (mostly emotionally, but not just) by my stepmother - her mother, although she didn't get anything like that from my dad. We stuck together; she was four years older and often took a protective role toward me. So when we were both being yelled at for something completely inane - likely something we didn't even do - she filpped o 

2) She realizes it's time to move on to another love. What's your favorite love song? Is it about a relationship that's running smoothly? Or is it like "I'm Moving On," about an unhappy love affair?

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I don't know about favorites, but I love "Groovy Kind of Love" by Phil Collins (that version, anyway). It's a beautiful song, and also, he sings it in the exact key that hits the sweet spot (or the "pocket," as they say) for almost my entire vocal range. That's hard to do.

3) Though Chyvonne Scott enjoyed only limited success as a recording artist, she was very popular in New York clubs. When did you most recently listen to music performed live?

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Well, I'll tell you what: On Tuesday night (three nights ago), Sophia and I were supposed to go to the NKOTB: Mixtape Tour in Boise. However, because of the shenanigans of moving, we missed it completely. I tried to give our tickets away at least, but it was so last-minute, we weren't able to do that, either, and they went to waste. And yes, I was a sourpuss the rest of the night. And then...

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... I won tickets to the Train/Goo Goo Dolls concert in Ridgefield, Washington, for Saturday night. We toyed with the idea of actually going, but the traveling expenses were just not there after buying the house. At least though, I was able to find takers for those tickets. So the last concert I attended was Taylor Swift's 1989 concert in Miami, when Chloë was 14 (she's 17 now). There was always live music - usually salsa or merengue - breaking out somewhere in Miami, so I don't know if you want that as my answer. If so, that. ;)

4) In 2017, this song appeared on a Samsung commercial that poked fun at rival iPhone. Is your cell phone an Apple or Android? How did you choose your phone?

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Sometime when we lived in Miami, Hubs and I switched from the iPhone to the Samsung Galaxy. That was probably in 2014. I didn't know what I really wanted, but I knew that there were features the iPhone didn't have, which limited my ability to perform some functions I wanted to do that I felt should have been easy. I basically walked into the AT&T store and said, "I have an iPhone, but I'm thinking of switching to Android. Tell me what I really want and convince me to get it." I walked out with the Galaxy and loved it thoroughly; Hubs played with mine awhile and soon went into AT&T himself to trade in his iDevice for Samsung. We haven't looked back.

5) Chyvonne is an unusual name. In 1965, when this song was first released, the most popular baby names in the US were Michael and Lisa. Do you have any Michaels or Lisas in your life?

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Several of each; the first two that came to mind were my BFF Lisa, whom I've known for 31 years, and my brother-in-law Michael, whom I've known even longer.

6) Also in 1965, Winston Churchill died. In researching this week's Sat. 9, Sam discovered a Churchill quote that's new to her: "I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught." Share something interesting that you recently learned.

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Hmm. I definitely strive to learn something new every day - and I usually do - but often I forget what that thing was when on the spot. Something recent but not today? When we lived in Portsmouth, Virginia, our house was broken into and my Nikon DSLR was stolen. I was devastated. In Miami, probably in 2014, I was able to get a new Nikon DSLR. However, I didn't know that I still had the adapter that meant all the older lenses I had, which weren't stolen, could actually fit on the new one. I'd been trying for years until Hubs picked it up and played with all of it! Sheesh.

7) In 1965, one of the most successful movies ever made, The Sound of Music, was released. Have you ever seen it?

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Only about a billion times! ♥

8) Lava lamps were already popular in England and Brussels, but in 1965 they were introduced in the US. Do you think lava lamps are cool? 

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Hell yeah! I had a red one, but it must've gotten left behind in some move or other. Now I want another!

9) Random question -- You have to buy something very personal that you find embarrassing. Would you rather pay cash for it, so your identity would be unknown but you'd have to face the cashier? Or order it online, where you could avoid looking anyone in the eye, but you have to share your name and address?

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Duh! I'd definitely order it online. I'm soooo shy IRL. However, I have done some very embarrassing purchases in person, and I didn't die. I thought I might. I order everything I can online, though. I don't care about sharing that info at all.

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Fun one, Ms. Sam! I nearly forgot it was the weekend, so y'all are welcome that I remembered and graced you with my presence.

Image result for tiny waving pride flag gif Love yas! Image result for tiny waving pride flag gif

Fin.


Saturday 9, Memoral Day Version: God Bless America

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

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Saturday 9: God Bless America


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Red poppyFin.