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Saturday 9: Just Because

Elvis Presley: A First-Time Listener's Guide | Billboard – Billboard

Howdy-ho, neighbors! This weekend's post focuses on this song, Just Because, by Elvis Presley.  This is significant to me because I grew up with a dad who absolutely idolized the man (and, I'm sure, still does) and could do a mean impression of him as well. My dad could sing well, could do the moves, and even had some of the requisite attire to make the whole thing convincing. Of course, I've heard every Elvis song ever, 50,000 times over, backward and forward... right?

I had not ever heard this song before.

So, my friends, link up here if you want to join us this weekend. Read on for my answers. Thank you, Crazy Sam, for dusting this one off for me (okay, us)! Let's hit it:

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Saturday 9: Just Because (1956)

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

1) In this week's song, Elvis complains that his girl has confused him with Santa Claus. This time of year, Santa is prominent. Did you more recently hear Santa referred to in a song, see him in a holiday decoration or ad, watch him in a film or TV show, or maybe even met him in person, ringing a bell or asking kids if they have been naughty or nice?

Christmas Carols for Children | Christmas songs for kids, Christmas carols  for kids, Xmas songs

Yes, we've been listening to a lot of Christmas carols lately as we work through the activities in our Advent calendar. Santa features prominently in these, of course.

2) Finally Elvis just can't take it anymore and breaks up with her, just because. Is there anyone in your life who has a way of pressing your buttons and getting on your nerves?

That's probably true for everyone, I'm guessing.

3) "Just Because" is one of the last songs Elvis recorded at Sun Studio in Memphis. TripAdvisor recommends a Sun Studio tour as one of the top things to do in Memphis. Have you ever been to Memphis? If yes, what did you do?

15 TOP Things To Do in Memphis | Attractions & Activities

I've only ever driven through Memphis, and also Nashville, and also half a dozen times Chattanooga. I have stayed in Gatlinburg. Memphis would be an interesting trip, though.

4) Elvis left Sun for RCA, a much bigger record label. As part of the deal, RCA negotiated for the rights to all his unreleased Sun songs. "Just Because" is one of them, and it was included on Elvis' first RCA album. Have you gotten a good deal on anything lately?

Best Buy: SodaStream Fizzi Sparkling Water Maker Kit Icy Blue 1011711017

I get a good deal on just about everything. Like the SodaStream I got for Chloë for Christmas, I paid nowhere near full price, nor did I pay full price for the flavors for it, nor will I ever! And she'll be so thrilled to have it, so win-win!

5) In 1956, when "Just Because" was released, non-stick cookware was first introduced. Do you have any Teflon in your kitchen right now?

Shock Images | Free Vectors, Stock Photos & PSD

No way in hell!

6) Elvis thought peacocks were beautiful and commissioned stained glass peacock panels for his living room. Do you have any stained glass in your home?

The Most Beautiful Stained Glass in the World | Condé Nast Traveler

No, but I certainly do wish! It's so beautiful.

7) He tried to keep peacocks at Graceland. One of the birds saw its reflection in Elvis' gold Cadillac and started pecking, ruining the car's expensive paint job. Elvis donated the peacocks to the Memphis Zoo. Have you ever had a bird as a pet?

Well not exactly pets, but we used to keep chickens when we lived in Idaho for the eggs, and the five of us each had "our" specific chickens that we felt we belonged to and were particularly attached to. I loved those chickens. Here, we're not allowed to have any because of our HOA rules, even though the town would allow three, which makes me want to be a scofflaw and keep ducks. They don't say anything about ducks.

8) Elvis decorated the long Graceland driveway for the holidays with blue lights. His father teased that with the airport nearby, pilots might confuse their driveway with a runway. What airport is nearest your home?

I believe the nearest major airport is Baltimore International, although we have tons of regional ones between there and here.

9) When Elvis was alive, he kept the holiday lights up until January 9, the day after his birthday. That tradition continues at Graceland today. Conventional etiquette tells us Christmas decorations should go up the day after Thanksgiving and come down before January 6 (the 12th day of Christmas). Do you think it's ever too early, or too late, for Christmas decorations?

Holiday Light Displays | VisitMaryland.org

Well, for stores and other commercial enterprises, yeah, I kinda think there is a limit for too-early/too-late. But for private families and people, I think, who gives a rat's behind? Let people do what makes them happy! So what if Joe Schmoe at the end of the block likes to keep his lights up until the end of March and put them up again after Halloween? What's it to me? I don't pay his light bill and it's honestly kind of pretty. I'm of more of a laissez-faire kind of mind about that for private citizens.

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Welp, that's all folks! Back to wrapping presents with Chloë, my eldest! Seems like the job will never be done, but that's not a complaint! I'm grateful for the abundance, always grateful.

Have a wonderful week on purpose, everybody!

Fin.


Saturday 9: Two Black Cadillacs

Carrie Underwood | iHeart

Welcome, welcome one and all (or is it both?). I've been trying to log in to Typepad for HOURS, but something has stopped that connection. Here I am, finally, at 1513 on Saturday. What a relief.

I don't like much in the way of Country music, but I do like Ms. Underwood, so I'm glad to see this one. And I already knew this song!

Link up here if you're playing along this weekend. Let's go:

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: Two Black Cadillacs (2011)

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

1) This week's song is about two women who share a very dark secret. Are you good at keeping secrets?

Not usually. I have zero filter, pretty much.

2) Carrie Underwood's favorite author is Stephen King. In fact, she credits King's Christine as an inspiration for this song. Have you read much Stephen King, or seen movies based on his books?

Some. I'd say I'm a fan, but not, like, a mega-fan.

3) Carrie first came to America's attention when she won on American Idol. Prior to competing on that show, she'd never been on an airplane. Crazy Sam takes at least one round-trip flight every year and pays using the miles she accumulated from credit card purchases throughout the year. Do you try to earn miles, points, or cash back when you make purchases?

Oh, yes. I'm always trying to play the game and earn points here to spend there.

4) Black is this week's signature color because November 25 was Black Friday, when retailers historically have slashed their prices and the holiday shopping season begins. Have you begun your gift shopping?

Yes. I'm welllll into my gift shopping - and wrapping!

5) Black Friday began as a local event initiated by store owners in Philadelphia back in the early 1960s. When you think of Philadelphia, what comes to mind?

Well nowadays, I think of my trip there with Chloë for her 21st birthday, just this past September. Fun times!

6) Black Friday always comes after Thanksgiving, a day of feasting. What was the best dish at your holiday table this year?

I think it was the pies (we had 5). For the first time in years, I was able to come downstairs and help guide the children to make my pie recipes, if I couldn't do it myself. They were wonderful and were devoured quickly. Good job, kids!

7) Thanksgiving is also a big day for watching football. Did you watch any games?

Nyet.

8) What are you thankful for this year?

Oh, I'm soooo thankful for being able to come downstairs, help make those pies, and just generally be with my family for the whole day of Thanksgiving. It was a treasure. And so much more than that, but it would be a very long list. I keep that list in my planner.

9) Random question: You're in a public restroom and have a choice between paper towels and a hot air hand dryer. Which do you choose?

I'd choose the hot air. Why would I use natural resources I don't need to use when there is an alternative right there? Go tree-free. Go more sustainable (because paper just isn't, really). Yes, there is the source of the electricity, but that's more negligible than the processes of getting the paper towel to that bathroom, and using it. No, for me, it's the hot air hand dryer. Good question, Sam.

~*~*~*~*~

Now I'm listening to The National on NPR Tiny Desk Concerts - those are the best; I'm obsessed - which the Carrie Underwood tune moved to after the one by Andrew Bird on YouTube. Give them a listen, if you haven't already!

Happy holiday season, y'all!

fin.


Saturday 9: In And Out Of Love

DIANA ROSS & SUPREMES - in and out of love / i guess i'll always love you -  Amazon.com Music

Hey, party people! What's the haps? It saddens me to say that this will be our last meeting of Summer 2022. It's Bike Fest weekend down at the beach right now; some 100,000+ motorcycles are deafening the wildlife in Ocean City right now, so I'll have to wait until that's over to attempt one last summer beach trip down there. Cross your fingers for me?

One thing I feel like I must address: some of you may have noticed some "off" comments on some of my posts. I'm being cyberstalked, cyberbullied, harrassed, you name it, all of the above. I don't know who the person is, but on many other platforms as well as this one, they are leaving unkind, often lewd messages for me. I unpublish them as soon as I see them, but please don't pay them any mind. I do not know who the person is, and I don't want to give them any more attention than I have to. Thanks!

Moving forward, let's get to today's song, which I just listened to for the first time. Link up here if you're playing along, too!

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Saturday 9: In and Out of Love (1967)

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

1) In this song, Diana Ross is disappointed that she hasn't yet found lasting love. Do you think you can fall out of love? Or do you believe that if you fell out of love, it wasn't true love to begin with?
 
When a broken heart is actually broken - News | UAB
 
I believe for sure you can fall out of love. If you can fall INTO love, you can fall out. Love is something you have to work out, you have to nourish and tend to. But both parties have to commit to doing so, and if one isn't, then it's possible the love will be neglected and wither away.

2) When is the last time you literally fell, tripped, or stumbled?
 
Pin on Running
 
Probably today. I have balance issues, so I fall or nearly fall daily!
 
3) This record was a hit with American Bandstand viewers. For weeks it was voted the song they most wanted to dance to. Did you watch American Bandstand?
 
American Bandstand (Series) - TV Tropes
 
Hmm. My sources tell me it ran until 1989, which would have made me 13, but I can't specifically remember watching it. I was a fan of Dick Clark and know I watched him on Pyramid, listened to his various countdowns on the radio and watched the annual New Year's Eve one, but I can't remember watching Bandstand.
 
4) This is one of the last Supremes songs that featured the most successful hit-making line-up: Diana Ross, Mary Wilson, and Florence Ballard. Florence's great-nephew, Christian Ballard, was a football star at University of Iowa and briefly played pro ball for the Vikings. The 2022-23 NFL season just kicked off. What team do you root for?
 
Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs | National Football League, News, Scores, Highlights,  Injuries, Stats, Standings, and Rumors | Bleacher Report This Patrick Mahomes stat should be the main offseason concern for the  Chiefs
 
I don't really have a horse in the race when it comes to pro foot ball. Everyone knows my team is NCAA level. Soo, I root for the team Hubs roots for: Patrick Mahomes. I mean Kansas City Chiefs. But they're doing pretty well together, so it's fair to say.
 
5) Mary had a connection to sports, too. She donated her time and talent to raising money for Figure Skaters of Harlem, an organization that helps young people train for the Winter Olympics. Tell us about a charity you support.
 
Download
 
One that is near and dear to my heart is the Center for Biological Diversity. Biodiversity on Earth is a critical measurement of how healthy life on Earth, in general, is. So it's critical to support rehabbing those species whose numbers are dwindling and on their way out, as well as those whose numbers are approaching that line. Remember, humans are animals too (yes, we are), and what affects them also affects us.
 
6) There's a children's playground in New York's Central Park named for the last surviving member of this trio, Diana Ross. It has swings, slides, a rope bridge, and a fountain that kids are welcome to splash in. If you were suddenly little again, which would you play on first?
 
No description available.
 
That's Chloë a week ago on our birthdays (hers is on the 7th, mine is on the 8th) in Love Park, in Philadelphia - in the fountain park area. I'm just like her; I'd go for the splash park first, 10 times out of 10, if I was a kid. Hell, if I wasn't in a wheelchair, I still would!
 
7) Diana owns an estate in Greenwich, CT, with lush gardens, a tennis court, and a pool. While the grounds are spectacular, she maintains the house itself is "nothing special" because the kitchen hasn't been renovated in more than three decades. Could your kitchen benefit from a makeover? Or are you fine with it as it is?
 
Edible House Crickets - BBQ Flavour - Tasty healthy snack
 
Heh. crickets. Our kitchen is smallish, and generally untidy. I don't think I've taken a single picture of it since the day we moved in. And since we're STILL unpacking and moving in, kinda, a  lot of the boxes and packing materials end up around it, making things look generally awful. Makeover? I don't know about that. I'm eager to do something to it, once I can see it, maybe.
 
8) In 1967, when this song was popular, the best-selling camera was The Polaroid Swinger. When did you most recently take a photo? What was it of?
 
No description available.
 
On Thursday, I took my son hamster shopping, and there was this one little dude just hunkered in his little habitat, looking chill but also looking at us like, "You wanna piece o' me? Eh? You wanna piece o' me?" So I took a picture because I did not, in fact, want a piece of him.
 
9) Random question: Come clean! Are there dirty dishes in your sink right now?
 
Absolutely. But Rob is actually doing them right now.
 
~*~*~*~*~*~
 
Welp, that's the week that was. And now the water closet is calling my name. See y'all!
 
Fin.

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

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

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

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

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

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SATURDAY 9: BACK IN THE USA (1978)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday 9: Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy

Bette Midler's Divine Collection Goes Up For Auction

Heyyyyyy, everybody! Long time no... read? Type? Meme? Blog? You get the picture.

Happy 2021! Link up here if you aren't already meming along with Crazy Sam and the rest of the gang, and with that, I'm gonna dive right in:

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Saturday 9: Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (1973)

Unfamiliar with this song? Hear it here.

1) Bette Midler sings that the bugle boy wakes up Company B every morning by playing Reveille. What awakened you this morning (phone, alarm clock, sunrise, etc.)? Or did you wake up on your own?
 
No description available.
 
I almost never wake up to an alarm, or on my own, or when the sun shines. It's ridiculous. I'd be Rip van Winkle if I didn't have Hubs here to rouse me. It's really a pain in the neck sometimes - but probably even more for him than for me!

2) This single was produced by Bette's arranger/piano player, who went on to have a successful singing career of his own. Do you have a favorite Barry Manilow song?
 
Barry Manilow - The BarryNet - The Shows - Classic Manilow Frame 38
 
Hmm, I used to be mildly obsessed with "One Voice," that's for sure.

3) Bette was named after Bette Davis. Her sisters, Susan and Judy, were named for Susan Hayward and Judy Garland. So now we know who Mother Midler's favorite actresses were. Who are yours?
 
Winona and another favorite of mine Parker Posey, Turks and Caicos  Screening in NY. My question is---when are they gonna do a movie together?  I'm waiting!
 
I have a lot of favorite actors, including these two: Winona Ryder and Parker Posey. Love!

4) Bette has been married since 1984 to artist Martin von Haselberg. She was 39 years old, already a star, and had never married before. Yet within six weeks of meeting him, she was so sure Martin was "the one" that they tied the knot. Have you found that love takes time, or, like Bette, have you fallen in love quickly?
No description available.
I suppose "quickly" is the answer to this question for me! Two months from the time Hubs and I met online until we eloped... and we just had our 20th anniversary, so it was definitely a case of "when you know, you know"!
 
5) When their daughter Sophie was growing up, it was Martin who taught her to cook. What was the last thing you prepared in your kitchen? Did you use the microwave, stovetop, convection oven, blender, coffee maker ...?
 
Hamilton Beach® Sure-Crisp™ Air Fry Toaster Oven | Montgomery Ward
 
I haven't done any cooking in quite a while, myself, and I miss it like crazy. After five months of hotel-hopping, I just bought us one of these Hamilton Beach air fryer toaster ovens, which the kids broke in with a frozen pizza. Not sure what's next to be cooked. Maybe some Easy Mac? Real haut cuisine, you know?
 
6) Bette says that listening and compromise have been the key to their happy marriage but adds, "Compromise is hardest of all." On what have you compromised recently?

 
Seems like lately it's nothing but, so I'd be hard-pressed to tell you what the latest one was. And I'm in pain, so thinking is out. I'll tell ya later. ;)
 
7) Bette and Martin have a farmhouse in upstate New York. She enjoys feeding the chickens (whom she has jokingly named The Kardashians) and puttering in her garden. Do you have a green thumb?

Some people have a Green Thumb. I have a Black Thumb. | Funny quotes,  Morning humor, I love to laugh

I don't. I really wish I did, but I do not. I'm going to keep trying, though! Mostly with succulents... At least they took longer to die.

8) In 1973, the year this song was popular, actor Neil Patrick Harris was born. He's best known as Barney on How I Met Your Mother, which ran from 2005-2014. Were you a fan?
 
That's So Romantic - HIMYM GIF - Romantic Romance Funny GIFs
 
On and off - casual fan. I wasn't glued to it, and I never did learn how "he" met his mother. (I know "he" wasn't NPH.) But it was entertaining when nothing else was on. 

9) Random question -- How often do you put crackers in your soup: Always, often, seldom or never?

01042020 Vegan White Bean Soup

I would have said "sometimes," but I'll go with "often" as it's one of the choices. That, up there, is some vegan bean soup that Hubs has made for me a few times. Delicious - even better with Nooch It, which is like a vegan Parmesan cheese but made out of cashews. Delish!

~*~*~*~*~

Well, y'all have a great weekend, and hopefully I'll swing through and make the rounds. I have some studying up to do as I'll be lobbying with the Maryland Sierra Club next week, but I'll need downtime as well! 

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Interesting Confusions...

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

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

Ya dig?

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

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

Link up here to play along this weekend!

~*~*~*~*~

Stolen from various web sites...

1) Can you cry under water?

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

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

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

09072020 Chloë's 19th Birthday Cake

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Top Ten Evil Stepmothers - IGN

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

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

An Investigation of Polymers

So there you go!

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

Kerri Strug GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

11) What's your favorite rain memory?

0612011 Sophia's 6th birthday party

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

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

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

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

TOP 5 Things to Always Purchase at Dollar Tree!

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

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

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

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

15) What natural disaster scares you the most?

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

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

Fin.

 


Saturday 9: Buttered Popcorn

🌹TᕼE ᔕᑌᑭᖇEᗰEᔕ🌹

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: Buttered Popcorn (1961)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Merengue GIF | Gfycat

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

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

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

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

Sad Stickers Find Share On Giphy Flaming Heart GIF - LowGif

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

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

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

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

No description available.

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

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

hemingwayhome.com | Home

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

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

SweetStacks Gourmet Pancake & Waffle Mix

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

Fin.

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


Sunday Stealing: Swimming Upstream

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

1) Name 5 people you admire and why:

Jimmy Carter hospitalized after fall at Georgia home

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

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

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

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

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

Who are Bill Gates' kids? | Fox Business

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

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

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

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

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

3. You felt you got older when _______

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling

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

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

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

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

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

Child death | Grief

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

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

Random And Hilarious Personal Ads | Fun

WTH?!!!  😂😂😂

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

7. How do you participate in saving the earth?

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

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

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

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

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

9. Things you miss about your childhood?

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

I don't.

10. The greatest invention:

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

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

11. Your favorite super hero:

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

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

12. Your views about veganism:

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

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

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

Beautiful Butterfly

I think I would be a beautiful butterfly.

14. How did your parents meet?

Dating or Waiting?. - ppt video online download

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

15. Your morning routine:

70 Most Awesome Sleep Memes

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

Fin.


Saturday 9: The Love Boat

The Love Boat TV Show

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

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: The Love Boat (1977)

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

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

the love boat gifs | WiffleGif

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alrighty, I'll be Katniss O'Toole.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dilapidated Colony Resort in Longboat Key slated for demolition

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

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

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

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

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

07242020 Dive Watch

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

~*~*~*~*~

Yairn

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

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Thursday Thunks On Sonntag

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

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

Link up here to play along this week!

~*~*~*~*~

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

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

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

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

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

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

3 What's your favorite muscle?

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

4 Cheerios or Rice Krispies?

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

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

5 Is summer ever going to get here?

Global Warming—Really?

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

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

Oddly Specific - Album on Imgur

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

7 What was your "last day" of something?

03092020 Chloë L'Oreal Product Review

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

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

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

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

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

Darien Lake Harvest Festival Weekends

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

10 Do your feet smell?

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

No; they do not have a nose.

11 Do you know how to french braid?

Amazing Braids😍🙆👑 by Fiona Brunka - Musely

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

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

Kick Your Ass GIFs | Tenor

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

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

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

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

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

20200413_150854

Hammiest family!

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

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

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

16 How many shortcuts do you have on your desktop?

funny desktop wallpapers

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

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

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

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

18 Are you a pen stealer?

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

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

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

2020 Honda Odyssey First Look | Kelley Blue Book

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

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

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

Fin.


Saturday 9: Beautiful People

Ed Sheeran – Beautiful People |

Howdy, folks. Here we are, another Saturday, another 9 questions thunk up by our gracious hostess with the mostess.

I've had a pretty tough week and am on my 11th day of an intractable migraine with everything under the sun thrown at it, but I'm plugging away. I had a televisit with my Lyme doctor yesterday, and I love him so much for being willing and able to help me. So there is hope.

As usual, I hope you all are still well and avoiding COVID-19.

Link up here to play along this weekend! I love the two artists highlighted, as well as this song.

And let us begin:

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: Beautiful People (2019)

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


1) This song is about the fantasy of being one of the "beautiful people," but how hollow the reality can be. Do you often find yourself envying others for what they have?

Maybe not what people have, but I'm a bit jelly of what some can do.  I want to travel the world and see everything there is to see, but money (and children, of course) are an issue. I'm fortunate to have done some traveling, but not nearly enough. I'm hoping to get more stamps on my passport before this one expires - reckon it's still going to be accepted now that my dog has snagged it from my purse and used it for a chew toy?!

2) Ed Sheeran sings that he and his girl don't fit in well because they're "just ourselves." Who among your close friends do you find it easiest to be "just yourself?"

I'm happiest when I'm being myself, and I'm myself when I'm with ...

Well, aside from my husband and kids, probably my BFF Lisa. Unfortunately, she's clear across the country from me, so we don't get to visit in person too often. Fortunately, since we graduated high school in 1994, whenever we do manage to get together we manage to click right back into place.

3) The lyrics refer to Hummers and Lamborghinis. What's your dream ride?

WoodMac: Volkswagen Will Be World's Biggest Electric Car Maker By ...

Well, it depends. Ideally, it would be an all-electric, zero-fossil fuels-consuming vehicle that can seat my whole family, plus some gear, and probably plus the dogs. Maybe the Volkswagen EV Microbus would fill that need?

Tesla opens orders for the Model X in China with "Signature Red ...

However, now that the kids are pretty far grown, a Tesla Model X would do the trick?

Miata Hair, Don't Care: 2020 Mazda Miata RF Review - A Girls Guide ...

Honestly, though, I've had a crush on the red Mazda Miata convertibles for a looooong-ass time. Decades, even.

4) Ed believes in giving back. One cause he supports is No Cold Homes, which helps ensure that everyone in the English city of Bristol has the fuel needed to keep their homes safe and comfortable. Here in the United States, he's raised funds for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Is there a cause that's near and dear to your heart?

Power the Future

As a marine biologist, I've known all about biological diversity and how critical it is to survival of our own race and the species within it that we care about the most. It's important to protect the species that humans don't care about, too, because by losing them we'd lose important parts of our climate, ecosystem, food chain... and things could easily collapse. So I've recently changed my Amazon Smile designation, which gives a percentage of every order you place through http://smile.amazon.com/ to the vetted non-profit of your choice, from Heifer International to the Center for Biological Diversity. If you head to that Smile link, you can pick something near and dear to your heart, too, and it won't even cost you anything extra.

5) Ed's arms are covered in tattoos, so clearly he doesn't suffer from trypanophobia, or a fear of needles. How about you? Do you look away when the doctor gives you a shot?

03062019 Childhood Vaccines g

Oh, yes. See? Look at what a weeny I am: I've recently gotten my third round of the standard American childhood vaccines, because I didn't get them then. I also have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, which causes me to have odd reactions to anything and everything all the time, so every two weeks, I get infusions of  Xolair to support my failing immune system. I have certain chronic vitamin deficiencies, so Hubs injects me with Vitamin B-12 every month. I have intractable migraines that don't respond to ... pretty much anything lately ... so Rob gives me Sumatriptan injections fairly frequently.

Additionally, I get frequent migraine cocktail infusions at my neurology office, and will get the new biologic migraine med Vyepti there on Wednesday. Cross your fingers for me! Plus, I suffer from hypoglycemia, so I get finger pricks all the time to check my blood sugar. I'm probably forgetting some things, which is crazy, but yes! I always HAVE to look away for shots and IVs. Total wuss here!

6) One of Ed's tattoos is a bottle of Heinz Ketchup. What condiments would we find if we peeked into your refrigerator this morning?

Condiments Collage

Here's what's currently taking up space in the doors, but I'm betting there would probably be more if you looked on shelves in the main compartment.

7) Ed is a natural redhead, a trait he shares with only 2% of the population. Does red hair run in your family?

My daughter Chloë and I have kind of dark brownish/auburn hair (hers is very curly, like her Dad's; mine is stick-straight). My younger kids Jack and Sophia are straight-haired blondes (well, except right now Sophie is more purple & blue).  Rob's hair is a curly medium-dark brown (well, and white; very, very white). But our niece Hanna, the younger of my sister's two soccer-playing daughters - this one's a goalie -  has naturally red hair from her daddy. So pretty!

8)  In 2019, when this song was released, the FDA recommended the approval of a drug for treating peanut allergies in children. Do you suffer from any food allergies, or sensitivities?

Ceviche

Oh, yes, yes, yes. Like I said, I have a lot of reactions from my Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. Sometimes they're mild, sometimes they're not. I had to use my Epi-Pen three times in the last three weeks, even with the Xolair (and so, so many others I can take at home) I'd mentioned. Having that many anaphylactic or near-ana events is pretty crazy. I learned in Miami that the trifecta of shellfish, any tomato-based foods, and wine is the perfect storm for me. That's how I later ended up getting the MCAS diagnosed finally, here in Idaho!

My allergy/asthma/immunology specialist wanted me to get blood tests in order to do that, but the key was, I had to go in the middle of a reaction. Two weeks went by (this was a couple of years ago) without a reaction, so I finally decided to "force" one with some wine and shrimp cocktail. Guess what? Nailed it.

9) Random question: What of these do you think is the biggest contributing factor to success -- hard work, luck or talent?

sport-fishing - Yacht Charters Puerto Vallarta

I would say lots of hard work combined with heavy doses of enthusiasm, and I know this for sure from personal experience and observation.

~*~*~*~*~

After I played this week's song on YouTube, I eventually was led to listen to more "Tiny Desk Concerts" from NPR on that platform, including one by Khalid. Do you guys ever watch/listen to these? They're fantastic. I just finished the one by Steve Martin and his Steep Canyon Rangers, and now I'm on the one by Natalie Merchant. I've love them all, even the acts I'd never heard of. Give them a listen, won't you?

Take care, my friends.

Fin.


Saturday 9: I'll Always Love My Mama

Buy Tickets to 70's Soul with The Intruders in Santa Ana on Jul 26 ...

Welcome back, y'all! It's a royal ball, with hip-hop clubs and concert halls! (Sorry. Every once in a while my mind belts out that old 90s rap lyric.)

Hope you guys are still hanging in there and not going absolutely stir-crazy. I'm gonna jump right in here and get going, so make sure you link up here if you're playing along with us this weekend - and we hope you do!

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: I'll Always Love My Mama (1973)

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

1) This week's featured artists, The Intruders, sing that they don't know how their mama made it through the week without ever getting a good night's sleep. How did you sleep last night?
 
Perpetually Curious: Perpetually Tired
 
I had a few hours. My sleep schedule is so erratic, I never know whether I'll get any at all - or more than 12 at a time. It's ridonk.

2) The Intruders performed this song on Soul Train, a syndicated show that ran for more than 3 decades. What show do you try never to miss?
 
The Big Bang Theory Intro GIF by CBS - Find & Share on GIPHY
 
I don't watch much TV at all these days, now that The Big Bang Theory has ended its run. I have about a billion episodes of dozens of shows recorded on the DVR right now, but I never just sit down to watch!
 
3) On Soul Train, the Intruders wore solid black shirts beneath their brightly colored jackets. Black, white, khaki, navy and gray are considered neutral colors, because they go with everything. If we were to check your closet, which would we find you wear most often: black, white, khaki, navy or gray?
 
Outfit ideas. Denim shirt. White jeans. Red bag. Infinity scarf ...
 
I probably wear equal parts black and navy as my neutrals. And now that I've just upgraded to a big, bold, bright red purse kinda like this one, I foresee even more neutrals in my future!

4) Especially for Mother's Day: Access Hollywood named Carol Brady of The Brady Bunch TV's #1 mom. Who is your favorite TV mom?
 
Sophia Petrillo | Golden girls quotes, Golden girls, Girl quotes
 
Ohhh, I think Sophia Petrillo of The Golden Girls could give Carol a run for her money!

5) Mother Winters always gave Sam peppermint tea to calm her stomach. Do you have any tried-and-true home remedies to share?
 
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I'm pretty sure I shared this photo in January 2017, when I had badly burned my left hand and arm while cooking.  I had just recently learned that lavender oil would take the pain out of a burn injury, so I was grateful I had some on hand to put it to the test - and it worked! Once I doused this wound with liberal amounts of lavender oil, the entire thing was completely painless. It's something my family and I have since put to the test many times, always with excellent results.

6) Sam's mother always tips 15% in restaurants. Sam has worked in food service and is more judgmental, tipping between 10% and 25%, depending on the quality of the service. What's your tipping policy? Are you more like Sam or her mother? How do you handle tips for carry out or delivery during this Covid-19 crisis?
 
12 Cleverest Tip Jars - tip jar, funny tips - Oddee
 
I'm definitely more like Sam in this regard. As for tipping during COVID-19, well, I guess it's pretty much been a non-issue. I don't think we've ordered food since it began.

7) When the tip of her shoelace becomes frayed, Sam's mother snips off the end and then paints the tip with clear nail polish. Good as new! Sam thinks that's crazy because you can just buy new laces for less than $2. Are you more frugal like mother or spendthrift like daughter?
 
32 Best frugal comics images | Comics, Frugal, Cartoon
 
I'm somewhere in the middle. I absolutely despise waste, but I also don't mind spending money for good, new things if they're worth it.

8) Mother Winters loves how french vanilla smells and burns her Yankee Candles all year around. Do you use scented candles or air fresheners?
 
Parsley Lime Flame Candle $20 C
I would rather burn candles - but only non-petroleum based ones. And never vanilla; it's a migraine trigger for me. My girls and I started an eco-conscious candle company about a year and a half ago, with only soy and beeswax candles, natural fragrances, organic cotton wicks, and so on - but it didn't catch on fast enough for the girls' liking, and so we folded altogether too quickly.
 
9) Sam is celebrating Mother's Day with her mother's favorite, Hershey Bars. Would you prefer classic milk chocolate, dark chocolate or chocolate with almonds?
 
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I'd eat any of it - just no white chocolate, please! That's too much of an oxymoron for me (and also, it's yucky). I prefer Green & Black's Organic Milk Chocolate with Almonds bars, but they don't seem to be sold anywhere here in our podunk little town, so I can only get them when we go into Boise - where I invariably forget about them. Sigh...
 
~*~*~*~*~
All righty. Now I'm off to see what chocolate we DO have in this house, and assuming I'll come up empty-handed, I think I shall take a nap. Have a great weekend, y'all!
 
Fin.

Sunday Stealing: Gratitude

Sunday Stealing

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

Stolen from Gratitude Journal on Pinterest

Name a highlight of your day:

BeFunky-collage (1)

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

What made you smile today?

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

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

What made you laugh today?

20200306_112428

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

Recall a time when you needed encouragement:

Pin on abuso emocional

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

What is a luxury you are thankful for?

Josephine House

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

Favorite childhood memory:

Mom and Me1

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

Favorite song – and why?

Cee Lo Green GIF

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

Where is your favorite place? Why?

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

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

What is your favorite scent?

The 12 Best Citrus Perfumes to Try This Summer

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

What is your favorite topic to talk about?

8x10 Dads Day Photo for Rob

My kids! Typical mother.

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

The best nap memes :) Memedroid

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

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

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

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

Whose life do you envy the most, and why?

noreliabletest-infographic

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

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

Jellyfish GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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

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

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

That was fun; thanks, Bev!

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

Fin.


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!

~*~*~*~*~

How do you get past the gray skies during winter?

Image result for winter gray skies

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?

Image result for hibernation

Hibernate and wait for it to be over.

    What does a perfect winter day look like to you?

Image result for gorgeous summer day

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?

Image result for beautiful world

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!

~*~*~*~*~

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.

~*~*~*~*~*~

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!

~*~*~*~*~

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!

~*~*~*~*~*~

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

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!

><> *  ><> * ><> * ><> * ><>

 

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?

Image result for kindness

☼☼☼ 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?

Image result for starving child

Is not feeding the starving child wrong?

What do you want most?

Image result for Lyme disease facts

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?

Image result for may the odds be ever in your favor gif

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?

Image result for we are the ones we've been waiting for

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?

Image result for unfuck the world

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?

Image result for greta thunberg

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?

Image result for criticism

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?

Related image

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?

Image result for fun elopement pictures

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?

Image result for sick from late-stage chronic Lyme Disease

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?

Image result for snowball effect meme

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

Image result for the almighty dollar

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

What lifts your spirits when life gets you down?

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

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

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

Has your greatest fear ever come true?

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

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

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

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

What is your most beloved childhood memory?

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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:

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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.

Sunday Stealing: Compassion Meme

Hello, hello! I don't have a lot of pre-meme prattling for you today, so link up here if you're playing along this weekend, and then let's jump right into it!

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These are questions suggested by Compassion, Int'l

And BTW, Happy Birthday to Lori, whose birthday is the 9th!


    Happy birthday, Lori!!
    

What is the most fun thing you have ever done?

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I don't think there's been a more fun moment in my whole life than when Rob and I eloped. That moment, running hand in hand together to the courthouse, laughing, hearts pounding... it was absolutely exhilarating!

Are you left-handed or right-handed?

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Yes.

What is the nicest thing someone has ever done for you?

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Oh, various things. The specifics don't matter, such as the concept: each of us has, within us, the power and wherewithal to do good, to make this world a better place. Every day, every moment, every interaction is a choice to make that good happen, or not. And then those on the other end will hopefully go forth and do the same.

What is the biggest animal you’ve seen in the wild?

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Probably a bear, in the woods, driving through West Virginia on our way from Missouri to Virginia

What is the smallest animal you’ve seen in the wild?

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I mean, mosquitos are pretty tiny animals, right? I'll tell you one I wish I'd seen: The deer tick, Ixodes scapularis, that infected me with Lyme Disease. I believe that happened in the summer of 2014 in central New York. I didn't get diagnosed until January 2017. That was plenty of time to do substantial and permanent damage.

Do you ever have funny dreams at night?

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Yeah. I dream very vivid, realistic dreams that always confuse the shit out of me when I wake up, too. It always takes me forever to suss out what really happen and what was just a dream.

If you could make a law for your country, what would it be?

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Easy: I would ban single-use plastic. But that would just be the beginning.

What would you do if you were invisible for a day?

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If I were invisble for a day, I'd go around and cover up and bring warmth to the people who are homeless. I'd steal food if I had to, to feed the hungry. I'd find a way for the light to shine on those who are struggling to feel beautiful and loved. I'd use my day to find a way to let others know that even though their day-to-day lives are a constant struggle, they are not forgotten, and they matter.

If you could be someone else for a day, who would you be?

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I'd be Oprah and feel FABULOUS!

What would you like to change about yourself?

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I'd go deep inside and tinker with my soul, until whatever is inside me telling me I'm not worthy of love, of joy, of contentment, and that I deserve pain... is gone. I would change that.

What is your daily routine?

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I don't have one at the moment. It's kind of depressing!

What would your perfect day be like?

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This may sound inane, but I would accomplish everything on my to-do list, precisely the way I'd hoped. I'd get in some yoga and do some poses that I've been working toward. Whatever I'd do, I'd want to impress myself. I haven't impressed myself in a long time.

How old were you when you learned to read?

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I learned to read when I was three. I started reading out loud off the back of the cereal box during breakfast one morning, and that's when they realized I could read. Everyone took credit for it, but no one gave it to me. Story of my life.

What is the most interesting thing you know?

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Oh, gosh, I don't know. I know when a toddler has been eating and offers you a bite, it's not always of their food...

What makes you nervous?

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Uncertainty. And life's full of it! I'm an anxious person. But I don't shy away from it. I jump in with my eyes open quite a lot. 

What is your favourite flower?

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Bright, surprising bouquets of irises, lilies, and tulips are my favorites. I love the bulb flowers, the monocotyledons. Look at this "Dragonfly" bouquet from the Bouqs! 😍😍

Have you ever ridden on a horse or any other animal?

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Well, not like Sophia (my 14yo daughter, here)! But I've ridden on a horse, an elephant, and a camel. And a dog. And a human. 😂😂😂

What time do you go to bed?

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I don't even know. Goes along with that 'routine' thing we previously discussed.

What time do you get up?

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Whenever I can. As soon as I can. For as long as I can. #spoonielife

What is something that is always in your refrigerator?

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A package of tofu. I actually love tofu, really and truly. In fact, tomorrow for my birthday, I think I'm going to forgo any kind of cake and have tofu instead. Not even kidding.

~*~*~*~*~

Great. Now I want tofu, and I don't think we actually have any right this second! I don't even know what we do have. I haven't been grocery shopping yet this month... #FeedMeSeymour

Have a great week, y'all!

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Friday Five Meme

Hidey-ho, neigbors! (Name that TV show.) I took a much-needed nap today to try to sleep off some severe migraine & fibro pain, and when I woke up I had no idea what day or time it was. That seems to be increasingly common for me; so confusing! I hate that. But, it's still Saturday night, which means, based on the numer of times I get distracted and go do other things temporarily... I still have time to post this on Sunday! 😂

Link up here if you want to join the fray today! And we're off...

~*~*~*~*~

Questions from taken from Friday Five

Have you ever had a great conversation with a complete stranger?

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Sure! Once, Rob and I were on a high-end dinner mystery shop in downtown Miami, and when I came out of a stall in the ladies' room, the bathroom attendant and I struck up at least a 10-minute-long conversation that ended in hugs, laughter, and tears. We really connected, and it was so strange to try to write that up in my report without giving myself away.

Where did you go on the very first vacation of your life?

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My sperm donor has told me it was to North Carolina, but I definitely don't remember that.

Open the door of your refrigerator. What is the first thing you see?

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About half a dozen cartons of the fancy omega-3, pasture-raised, vegetarian-fed, etc. eggs - the only kind I can eat without having a severe allergic reaction.

What is your favorite place in your home?

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I don't know yet! It's so big, I feel like I haven't really had time in every place yet. I do love having a three-car garage, though. Maybe hitting that door-open and -close button, like a real grown-up, is my favorite thing!

If you had wings to fly about the universe, where is the first place you’d land?

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When I was a child, I had constant dreams about being able to fly away, escape, get to safety, etc. I also frequently dreamt I was heading to the moon. Those dreams were so vivid and realistic, I became convinced I actually could fly and had just forgotten how. So... the moon would be the first place I'd land.

What is the first thing you do when you get in your car?

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I have OCD, so the first thing my foot does is go on the brake pedal. And it remains there even when the car is turned off for long periods of time, like if I'm sitting in the car waiting for someone. I also jam the parking brake with my left foot, way down, and release it, and then repeat that several times.

What is special about the town you live in?

I posted this on Facebook about it today, actuallly:

Neighbors
What is the last thing you heard about your first love?

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He'd won a trip with his wife to Watkins Glen, New York's recent Nascar races, along with all kinds of racing accoutrement. I don't follow Nascar, but it looked like a great time for them to get away, so I was happy for 'em!

If you had created the world in seven days yourself, what would you have created on the First Day?

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I'd make empathy and compassion, and make it irrevocable in human beings.

How do you beat the summer heat?

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Swimming is my favorite!

Did you enjoy your Senior Year in high school?

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The home part, no, not at all; the school part, yes, absolutely!

Who is your favorite First Lady of all time?

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I've really liked a few, but in my lifetime, I think Michelle Obama takes the trophy.

Post a link to your first blog post.

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Well, this post is almost twelve years old, so it seems like ages in the lives of my kiddos! Wow, interesting for me to read - but probably boring for anyone else! (But my first blog post was actually well before that, on MySpace.)

When was the last time you needed First Aid?

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My physical therapist has gotten me using cupping as a means to quell my sore muscles from the constant muscle spasms I experience. I've gotten many a blister before, and/or worse, depending on your perspective of it. Really freaks out the kids... but I won't say too much. Don't wanna gross anyone out!

Can you explain what a first down is in football?

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Well, my understanding of it is very rudimentary, but without looking it up: The team who has the ball has four downs to make a touchdown. For each down, I think they need to make it ten yards closer to the goal line. I think if they do that, they get another set of four downs (if they haven't made a goal)? If the other team intercepts a pass, or the original team doesn't make their 40-yards over four downs, the ball passes to the other side. I think. Maybe?

~*~*~*~*~

Now I have to go look it up for real! ha! I feel silly even trying. I just know those UM fellas look pretty good in their new environmentally-friendly uniforms from Adidas!

I hope you all have a stellar week. Hoping to get around and read everyone's posts today. At least this week. Bear with me!

Cheers!

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:
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Chloë looked beautious, too:
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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!  🍹🍹
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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.


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

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

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

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Have you read anything by C.S. Lewis?

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

What is your favorite movie with Jack Nicholson?

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

What rhymes with 'orange'?

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⬆Welp, there you go!⬆

Have you ever swallowed an object by accident?

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


Is your eyesight 20/20?

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

Have you ever had insomnia?

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

Does it bother you when people touch you?

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

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

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

What gets your adrenaline pumping?

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

Do you ever talk about yourself in the third person?

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

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

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

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

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

Ever caught a fish?

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

Were you ever in the first row of a concert?

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

Do you have any autographs?

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

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

Fin.


Saturday 9: Brand New Life

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

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

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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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Say Anything

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What do you have that you cannot live without?

Josephine House

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

When you close your eyes what do you see?

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

What sustains you on a daily basis?

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

What are your top five personal values?

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

Why must you love someone enough to let them go?

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

Do you ever celebrate the green lights?

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Hey man, I celebrate every chance I get!

What personal prisons have you built out of fears?

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

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

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

Why are you, you?

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

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

Puppies

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

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

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February

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April

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May.... well, today, actually!

Basically... waiting for Spring!

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

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

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

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Okay, but first, a few quotes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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... to all you moms out there!

Fin.