Entries categorized "Raging Environmentalism" Feed

Sunday Stealing: For The Love Of Surveys

Welcome back, my pretty babies! It's still Saturday night here, which means that, at least, I'm starting both Saturday 9 and SS on time. In this time of major health issues for me, that is nothing short of a miracle. But hold your applause until the end of this post - you may change your mind! 😉

So let's get down to business; here is the link if you'd like to join us this weekend!

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If you could build a second house anywhere, where would it be?

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If I were being selfish and only thinking of myself, that house would be built in or near Key West. I miss the culture of the keys and particularly downtown Key West. The random chickens everywhere is quintessentially representative of every trip (of many) I've taken down there. I don't think that place could be duplicated anywhere else. But...

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... if I were thinking of my husband, we'd build a nice lodge in the mountains somewhere, and live off the grid.

What are your favorite articles of clothing?

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I don't have a lot right now that I would consider a favorite of mine, but these "onesie" jammies of Sophie's, which we gave her this past Christmas, are so adorable on her. She's such a goof, too, and wears them out in public occasionally!

The last CD you bought or downloaded?

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I'm not sure which was the last one: The Have It All album by Jason Mraz, or a re-purchase of The Lady Killer by CeeLo Green. {We should totally do one or both of those on Sat9 sometime, Laurie!}


4. What time do you generally wake up in the morning?

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I'm nocturnal, so if I wake up when it's still morning, I consider it put-in-on-the-calendar worthy.

5. What is your favorite kitchen appliance?

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That would be my Candy Apple Red KitchenAid Artisan Design Series 5-quart Stand Mixer. She's a beauty! Hubs gave it to me one year for Valentine's Day, back we still lived in Virginia Beach. And we don't even normally do Valentine's gifts!

6. If you could play an instrument, what would it be?

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In about 1997, I think, I went back to New York to visit friends. One night while there, I watched one of my very best friends, Shana, play electric violin and viola in a gig she and her cover band-mates were playing. She had the electric violin solo in "Ants Marching" by Dave Matthews Band. And she was badass! I've always admired her tremendous musical skill, but that night really made an impression on me. I'd love to learn.

7. What is your favorite color?

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Right where that arrow's point is situated is my favorite color. I describe it fondly as "the middle depths of the sea."

8. Do you believe in the afterlife?

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I have to believe that I will see my mother and my son, both gone far too suddenly and far too soon, again.

9. Your favorite children’s book?

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I loved the Nancy Drew books as well, but I think it would have to be Anne of Green Gables and the following books in the series that I loved the most. Maybe I'll read them again sometime soon. Sooo many good quotes from them, but I had to pick this one because I'd like to believe there are many - maybe? - among you guys whom I could consider kindred spirits.

10. Can you juggle?

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Definitely not. My brother-in-law can; I've seen him pull out the trick a time or two for the kiddos.

11. What’s your favorite day of the week?

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When my husband was still in the Navy, I would say it was any day of the week that he was home. Now that he's out and medical problems abound, I could probably safely say it's any day I'm not in a doctor's office!

12. Which do you prefer, sushi or hamburger?

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I haven't had a hamburger since high school, thank ya very much! And while I am proud of that facth+++, I have to admit defeat in Round Two of my attempt to be - and remain - a vegan. Seems like after being a strict vegan for two months, my body just overcorrected, and I turned into a voracious [pescetarian] carnivore. Hopefully that'll balance back out soon, because the treehugger in me is laying down a huge guilt trip.

13. What is your favorite flower?

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Historically, it has always been the gorgeous tiger lily, the abundance of pulchritude of which I always admired as a kid growing up in Central New York. But now I think that I have bumped it to the Number Two slot for these guys:

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There are several hundred species of hibiscus, and I'm pretty sure I love them in all their ostentatious-bordering-on-meretricious glory.

14. What is your favorite meal?

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First, a little story: after Rob and I eloped, I got pregnant like a minute later. I tried to work, but I had hyperemesis gravidarum and could not. At the same time, I devoted myself to being the best wife and mommy I could be. I started cooking meals I would never eat (#BecauseBeef), and I became a dedicated fan of Martha Stewart's show. We still cook several recipes I loved from that show; Hubs has the Thanksgiving turkey and gravy recipe memorized by now. Anyway, one day, renowned Chef Nobu was on the show, and he taught Martha how to make his new-style salmon sashimi. I made it only a few times, when now-17-year-old Chloë was just a wee baby. I haven't made it since those days; don't really know why. Obviously it left an impression on me, so I think maybe soon it's gonna happen.

15. Describe your ideal weather?

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It would be quite warm and sunny but not blistering hot, with a light breeze. And of course, it almost goes without saying, I'd be on the beach.

16. What is your favorite ice cream?

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No can do on the ice cream anymore. I'll just have cannoli. For me, please make it that the cannoli Hubs and I ate in Sicily that time, at the top of Mount Etna, with the chopped pistachios... so much yum.

17. What is your favorite breakfast?

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Hmm, I don't think I've ever thought about that before. It would probably have to be a giant blueberry muffin, cut in half, with a schmear of good butter, like Président or Kerrygold... I think we have some fresh blueberries. Guess what I'm gonna make?

18. Where did you meet your spouse or significant other?

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We met on the Interwebs and eloped exactly two months later.

Bonus: something you’d like to do that you’ve never done before?

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I'd love to go waterskiing. Hey, if this six-month-old baby can do it...!

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That was fun, Bev - thank you!

And now, I have some muffins to make. Ciao!

Fin.


Sunday Stealing + Bonus: Provoking Thoughts, Part The Second

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

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Saturday 9: The Fool on the Hill (1968)

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

Chosen because Monday is April Fool's Day. 

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

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

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

Georgia Rest Stop March 2017

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

2019 Dodge Journey Collage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also hilarious. I love it.

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

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

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

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

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

CAREPKG Layette

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ABSOLUTELY.

8. What makes you smile?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

16. Which is worse, failing or never trying?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for stopping by!

Fin.


Saturday 9: Young And Beautiful

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie 2

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

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


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

Karen Joyce Collage

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boys' 16th Birthday Collage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Fin. 


Sunday Stealing: Queen!

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Hey! I'm so excited for this post, hosted by Bev of Funny the World, because my family and I are huge fans of the band Queen. And Freddie Mercury, of course. He's one of the greatest! So thank you, Bev, for this post. Link up here if you'd like to play along this week!

So let's get to it!

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Questions from Joe Mazello's bitch.
 
 
Bohemian Rhapsody - What matters to you more than anything in the world?
 
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My family. My husband and my "babies" are my world. They really are. They're growing up so freaking fast, and it's devastating!
 
💔😭💔

Don’t Stop Me Now - What makes you feel unstoppable?
 
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Well, I have Bipolar Disorder. And I have bipolar I, which means I cycle up to the highest highs of "true mania," and I can sink down to the lowest lows of absolutely devastating depression. I also have a rare form of type I, which means I can cycle very rapidly up and down and up and down multiple times in a day if my meds are off. It sucks, but I have to admit, I do love being truly manic. I'm joyful, and I accomplish so much! So when I really get things done, I definitely feel unstoppable then.
 
[Side note: If you are not bipolar, you do not "understand" what being manic is like. It is not really a good thing for me or for anyone. It just feels good at the time.]

Another One Bites The Dust - What one thing would you wipe off the face of the earth?
 
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Just one thing? Oh, that's hard. But plastic. Too much plastic, choking the environment - along with the people who can still, in f**king 2019, toss their trash on the ground, in the water, out their damn windows...!! It can ALL go!

Under Pressure - How stressed are you currently?
 
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I'm always stressed. I thrive on chaos. But not crises. And lately we've been slammed with crises.

We Will Rock You - What was the last concert you went to?
 
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Other than Taylor Swift's 1989 concert in Miami with Chloë in October 2015, I don't think I've paid to go to a concert in a while. I did win two tickets for the Amy Lee (from Evanescence) and Lindsey Stirling concert in Arizona, but we couldn't get there from Idaho at the time. And then I won two tickets to Metallica recently, but I gave those two tickets to my husband and son. So basically I like to watch Red Light Challenge, a local band by the two guys above. They're native Hawaiians, but they live here now for some reason and have gigs all over the place. They're fun!

Somebody To Love - Are you looking for somebody to love?
 
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Nope. I stopped searching on November 1, 2000.

We Are The Champions - What achievement are you most proud of?
 
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Many - too many - times in my life, I've picked up and started over somewhere else as a way of "fixing" my problems. But really, I was just running away from them and making new problems. So I guess I'm proudest of those times when I was afraid, and instead of running way (quitting), I stood up and faced what was scaring me the most. Even in the middle of it, when I knew I was messing up badly, I stayed put and finished. I have to channel that girl right now!

Radio Gaga - What do you think of today’s popular music?
 
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I like most of it. I like a lot of things. Lately I've been going back and forth between Queen and Pavarotti, so it's all good!

I Want To Break Free - If you could move to any part of the world, where would you want to live?
 
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My husband and I would buy a boat and live forever aboard, traveling around the world and back, experiencing all that life and all the different cultures have to offer. That would be amazing.

Love Of My Life - Have you ever had your heart broken?
 
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Oh, God, yes. I mean, I've loved and lost and all that... but my heart broke irreparably when my son died in my arms. Nothing breaks like a heart, right Miley?

Killer Queen - What is your favourite thing about yourself?
 
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I'm not afraid to show my vulnerability.
 
The Show Must Go On - What is something you will never give up?
 
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No matter how much of my voice is taken from me, I'll still sing.

Crazy Little Thing Called Love - Name some of your favourite musicians.
 
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Dear Freddie Mercury, of course;
 
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Whitney Houston;
 
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one of my best friends on the planet, Shana Marie Hobin Stewart (the one with the "fireplace" right behind her); and... let's see, 
 
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Prince.

Who Wants To Live Forever - If you could be immortal, would you?
 
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Oh, God, no. No, no, no. For myriad reasons, not the least of which is that life is too fucking painful!!

Fat Bottomed Girls - What are some traits you look for in a partner?
 
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LOL.
 
First of all, I freaking hate that song, and I hate the title. But these are my biggies: (1) smart as hell, (2) funny as hell, (3) not abusive, (4) impressive in their career maybe, (5) loves me. I think I got all that and a helluva lot more! Some good, some not - but he could definitely say the same!

I Want It 
All - If you could have anything in the world, what would it be?
 
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I would want to know, when I leave this life, that we are taking every necessary and possible step to protect Mother Earth so that our children can feel free and not reluctant to have kids of their own, and so on. And so other species can continue to thrive, even with the overpopulation of mankind. Then I will rest peacefully.
 
~*~*~*~*~
 
Ahhhh. It's 1:37 AM, but it's about to be 3 AM because of Daylight Saving Time. Gah, I hate moving the clocks ahead. I don't get enough sleep at night as it is!
 
So I should rest. Have a happy week, everyone!
 
Fin.

Sunday Stealing: Aesthetics

Welcome back, kids of all ages! I slept well past noon today, thanks to everyone else being out at various things and not waking me up, and also thanks to my new Parkinson's medicine knocking me the F--- out as well. 😴😴 I've only been up an hour, in fact, so my day (Saturday's) just beginning. I feel like, out of all of you and me... that makes one of us.

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Link up here if you'd like to write a fun meme about aesthetics with the rest of us this week. Thanks, Bev, for sending it through the Interwebs!

~*~*~*~*~

Aesthetic themed list

When did you last sing to yourself?

Before Hubs and Sophia came home from her showjumping lesson a few minutes ago, I was belting out "The Schuyler Sisters" from the epic Broadway musical Hamilton. Work, work!

If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about anything, what would you want to know?

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I guess I'd want to know if I'm ever going to recover from the conglomerate of 20+ autoimmune diseases I've been diagnosed with in the last 45 or so months.

What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

My husband and kiddos - #18YearsStrong!

What is the first happy memory that comes to mind, recent or otherwise?

Eloping with Robert Allen Odette 18+ years ago was the most joyful thing I've ever done in my entire life, and to think about it, no matter how often I think about it, brings me a rush of pure joy all over again. The Law of Diminishing Returns definitely does not apply to this situation.

♥ ♥ ♥(If you're interested in any colourful lovey-dovey art by Romero Britto art, perhaps start here...)

If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living?

I'd worry even less about stuff, even more about making memories with my loved ones. Incidentally, these are part of the Valentines the kids made for each other and us parents. Still a work in progress, but I love the results thus far!

Do you feel you had a happy childhood?

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Absolutely, most definitely, NOT.

Would you ever have a deep conversation with a stranger and open up to them?

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OMG yes, all the time! It's weird, since I'm such an introvert, but when someone gets me to talking, I get to talking!

What would you title the autobiography of your life so far?

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It's actually a book I'm writing, and it's a work in progress, so maybe for right now... A Work in Progress??

How do you feel about tattoos and piercings? Explain.

Well, since I've got multiple ear piercings including a trio in each lobe, the left cuff, the right tragus, my right nostril, my septum... and more being considered for down the road, I guess that explains how I feel about piercings. They don't bother me, although I would never do my tongue (too many infections! too much interference with singing and speaking!) or my eyebrow (mostly because OUCH!).

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As for tattoos...

they're fine for other people who want them, I really don't care - in fact, we allowed our then-16-year-old Chloë get a Deathly Hallows tattoo (from the Harry Potter books, for the uninitiated among you) - but I've thought a good long time about whether to get one for myself. Still, the answer is no, but that's because it's permanent and that means it has to be PERFECT. I'd want it to represent my kids and also something very personal to me, like the ocean. So we'll see.

Do you wear a lot of makeup? Why or why not?

Sometimes I do, like here the other day, just because I have a lot of makeup - a lot of Jafra, mostly Young Living Savvy Minerals (which is everything that I've got on in this pic), but I'm starting to think about getting into the very $$$ BeautyCounter everything-free cosmetics... maybe? Have any of you used them and can recommend?

But most days, like here, I just wear mascara so my eyes stand out a little bit from the rest of my face. It's weird, but much of my lashes are blonde, so I need to give them a little colour.

The world is listening. Pick one sentence you would tell them.

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If you are doing nothing to do your part for the planet, then you are doing literally nothing important.

Who in the world would you most like to receive a letter from and what would you want it to say?

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"Dear Melanie, It's Michelle Obama. I'm officially running for President, because I am guaranteed to defeat the current false "President" if he runs for a second term - and another other right-wing nutjob - and I want you to be part of my team! ♥ MO"

(Hey, we have the same initials; it's kismet!) 😂😂

Do you have a desk/workspace and how is it organised/not organised?

This is what it looks like right this second, but it's a constant, constant battle to get and keep things organized!

What’s your starbucks order, and who would you trust to order for you, if anyone?

Java chip

I trust Me, Myself, and I to order myself a Venti Java Chip Frappuccino with coconut milk, no whipped cream, and no chocolate or caramel drizzle. ☕️😋😉

What is the most important thing to you in your life right now?

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Well, first of all see #3 about "greatest accomplishments," but other than those guys, it would be buying a house. I'm beyond eager to start the process... which we have, but we're mostly keeping it under wraps. I hope, and pray, and yearn for it all to fall properly into place!

~*~*~*~*~

So that's that, for now. I hope y'all are having a splendid weekend that only gets more so as the hours progress. See y'all soon!

Fin.


7th Gen Wipes

Recently, the fine folks at Seventh Generation, the makers of all kinds of eco-friendly household goods like cleansers, disinfectant sprays, dish liquid and oodles more good stuff, sent me these three freebie sample packets of their Free & Clear baby wipes. Now, as you might know, my "babies" are all now teenagers (sob 😭), but I did give birth to four of them not all that long ago, so I know a thing or two about such things as diapers (Seventh Generation also makes these) and wipes. I swear.

7th Gen Wipes b

Now, if you can read the package for yourself, you don't need me telling you this, but just in case my site graphics are too much for your device (which is entirely possible if you tend to keep as many screens and apps open at any given time as I do!), I'll reiterate for you.

Seventh Generation Free & Clear Wipes:

  • are safe for baby, hands and faces
  • {Side note: I don't have a baby tush to clean, but I did use the wipes to wash the makeup off my face, and they were soooo perfect for that! I also washed my dirty feet from walking around outside barefoot - yes, in the winter, because I'm stupid and/or stubborn - with the wipes, and they did a stellar job}
  • are fragrance free

{Side note: I can vouch for this! Definitely no icky artificial scents here!}

  • Contain NO alcohol
  • Contain NO Parabens
  • Contain NO Phenoxyethanol
  • {This is a now commonly-used paraben-alternative used as a preservative in many cosmetic items, the Environmental Working Group states this can be a lung, eye, or skin allergen, can cause harm to immune systems, and can cause non-reproductive organ toxicity. Since I have several immunodeficiencies and autoimmune disorders, I really don't want to encounter much of that!}

This, altogether, means that these wipes are great for sensitive skin which, not surprisingly, I have - and I did not have any kind of irritation or reaction after using them. WIN!

7th Generation Wipes c

Now there is a LOT of information on the back (click the picture to embiggerate if you can, so you can read it more easily) of the wipes package, so I'm just going to highlight some of the goodness here.

The Seventh Generation Free & Clear Wipes:

  • are made from plant-based materials, which as a newly-bornagain vegan, y'all know I adore!
  • are not tested on animals which, duh, big ++++ there!
  • are safe and highly effective (I can vouch for this!)

Now, the ingredient list is on the package, but you can also shoot me a comment and I'll write those down for you, as well.

If you want to contact Seventh Generation on social media, you can find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest! Check out their website, too, for all the great environmentally-friendly products Seventh Generation makes.

"Join us in nurturing the health of the next seven generations."

Full Disclosure: Seventh Generation provided these three packets of Free & Clear baby wipes for me to sample and also share with my friends. I received no payment or any other compensation. In this post, as with all my product reviews, all opinions are and will always be my own honest thoughts on the product.

    ~*~*~*~*~

Speaking of plant-based goods, have you signed up for Veganuary yet? Run over here and sign up to take the pledge and give it a try! It's not too late - it's never too late!

Black Bean and Refried Bean Burritos 01122019

Also, if you want some recipe inspo, be sure and follow my Instagram account for what we're cookin' up now that we're all vegans. Something super tasty is coming up later today!

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Conversation Starters

Howdy ho, y'all! The girls and I are re-watching old episodes of The Big Bang Theory, so I guess since I've seen all these before, it's a good time to answer some fun questions. So let's giddy-up!

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What are some small things that make your day better?

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Silliness and happiness of my kiddos! I love it when my crew are happy!

What shows are you into?

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Well, in addition to TBBT, mentioned in my intro, we of course also love Young Sheldon. We also watch BlackishA Million Little Things, and obviously Jeopardy! Rob and I have had a nightly Jeopardy! date since we first got married 18 years ago. I think funny and definitely smart men are way sexier than anyone else. 😍

What TV channel doesn’t exist but really should?

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An LGBTQ+ network dedicated to the needs, issues faced, and public awareness for this community. We'd watch!

Who has impressed you most with what they’ve accomplished?

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Oh, maybe my 15-year-old son Jack. He's been working at a nearby McDonald's for about 9 months now, and he's just informed me, as of Thursday, that he's gotten a second raise and has been promoted to Crew Trainer! I was shrieking on the phone when he called me up and delivered this news. All of this is so exciting to me because he's on the Autism Spectrum and has learning disabilities. Go, Jack!!

What age do you wish you could permanently be?

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Let's see... maybe about 36, like I was here. I was at my thinnest, and because I was raised to believe that my worth (and therefore my self-worth) were inversely proportional to my weight, my happiest. I would love to get down to that size again, but meanwhile, I'm working on learning to accept and love who I am, whatever size I may be. (And age!)

What TV show or movie do you refuse to watch?

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Real Housewives of Anything

What is something that is considered a luxury, but you don’t think you could live without?

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My phone! I looooove my Samsung Galaxy S9... and I've loved my Galaxy since the S2! Or was my first one the S3? Hmm, I forget. Like it matters! 😂

What’s your claim to fame?

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I'm the only stay-at-home mom marine biologist I know! 😉

What’s something you like to do the old-fashioned way?

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I love to bake homemade bread! Which reminds me, I need to feed the sourdough starter!

What’s your favorite genre of book or movie?

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For movies, I confess, I love a good romcom. I like a lot of different movies genres, though, so that's not all I like. As for books, I love a good novel that really makes me think and feel. I like a book that makes me laugh and makes me sob. That's the best.

How often do you people watch?

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If I'm in public, I'm definitely people-watching!

What have you only recently formed an opinion about?

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I've become more and more strongly convicted about my (family's) decision to go vegan. I hadn't, however, considered the yarn with which I knit. So I've just decided if I'm going to talk the talk, I need to walk the walk: I'll finish whatever projects I've already begun, and then I need to cull the fibers that aren't vegan. Most animal fibers are gained in a much crueler fashion than many people know. So I'll sell the animal fibers and use that money purchase cruelty-free yarns!

What are you interested in that most people haven’t heard of?

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Elasmobranch ecomorphology, I'm guessing...

What’s the farthest you’ve ever been from home?

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I don't really have a distinct, specified "home," per se... I would say "home" is wherever Hubs is, wherever my family is. My home is his heart.

What is the most heartwarming thing you’ve ever seen?

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♥ An old couple in love ♥

What is the most annoying question that people ask you?

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I'm 42 years old, and I still get asked, on the phone, "Can I please speak to your mother?" Bitch, please, I am the mother!  I can't get mad, I mean, I do have a high-pitched baby voice, but it does get annoying. Especially when Rob himself called me up and, thinking I was Chloë, said, "Let me speak to your mother." 😂

What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?

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Parent bereavement and/or Infant Loss

If you were dictator of a small island nation, what crazy dictator stuff would you do?

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I would ban tobacco/nicotine use of any kind, make recycling mandatory, and... all food would be plant-based. 

What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?

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Go scuba diving! It's beautiful down there!

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Well, that was delightful. Thanks, Bev!

Have a great week, y'all.

Fin.


Saturday 9: A Few Of My Favorite Things

Hey, everyone! Right now we're in a big freakin' family argument because my oldest, Chloë, wants to treat everyone to something for dinner... However, I have super-strong, scientifically-backed, non-emotional convictions about eating vegan and will not sway, plus I have had gastric bypass surgery resulting in a teeny-tiny gastric pouch, so the Golden Corral buffet she wants to go to does not make any sense for me. And I don't feel well. So I don't want to go. Some people want Chinese food, some people want pizza - all of which have vegan choices - but nobody agrees. AND I had already bought the ingredients for what I had planned for dinner.

So this is fun.

🙄

Anyway, since nothing is really happening on the dinner end of things, I thought I'd get with the program and get my S9 conquered. So let's do this!

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Saturday 9: My Favorite Things (2018)
 
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) This week's artist, Jennie Abrahamson, is very happy living in Stockholm, but she refers to Paris as "a flirt." She enjoys her time there so much she always wants to return. Is there a place you've visited that tugs at your heart and imagination, tempting you to return?

Oh, yes. I loved every single stop on our 12-day European cruise in 2008, but I think city of Lucca in Italy was exceedingly delightful. I'd go back to any of those ports in a heartbeat, but to meander through Lucca again - even 13 years later with my health - would make me jump for joy!

2) Jennie has said her music has been heavily influenced by 80s pop, which was popular in her early teen years. Are your favorite songs the ones you listened to when you were growing up?

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Oh, nah. I mean, I love my 80s songs for sure, but I love listening to current pop music a ton, too. But I mean, I was listening to Vivaldi and Tchaikovsky and Mozart earlier this afternoon. I think right now I'm most obsessed with the Sweetener and Thank U, Next latest albums from Ariana Grande, especially her song "God is a Woman."

3) "My Favorite Things" is from The Sound of Music. Crazy Sam's high school claim to fame was playing Sister Margaretta in the senior class production. Though not a big part, her performance lives on because relatives love embarrassing her with pictures of her in an especially unflattering nun's habit. Who took an embarrassing photo of you? What were you doing?

Well, damn. There are (approximately) a million embarrassing photos of me, many online. Pick any given one!

4) The lyrics celebrate "brown paper packages tied up in strings." What was in the last box you received in the mail?

January BarkBox

The last package "I" got was really for our puppies, Paco and Tapi. They LOOOOOOOVE getting their monthly BarkBox in the mail, and I swear to God they know what it is when the box hits the porch! (They actually might know the timing, because they start crowding around the door whenever ANY box hits the porch for a day or two before it's supposed to come!) Tapi's been bumped up to the "Super Chewer" level as of this month, because her strong jaws destroy her favorite toys within moments at the regular level. Paco only cares about the treats, so that doesn't matter to him!

5) It mentions doorbells and sleighbells. What's the most recent bell or alarm that you heard?

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[It's now 2:14 PM on Saturday afternoon. I'm just now getting out of bed, because I've got a migraine. Again. Still. Whichever.] Various peoples' work, activity, and medication alarms all day - none of which have helped my head!

6) This song has nice things to say about cold weather, specifically snowflakes and mittens. What do you like about winter?

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When it's over.

7) Dog bites and bee stings are singled out as things that can leave us feeling sad. What's most recently given you the blues?

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I was able to drive out to, and attend, Sophia's lesson for the first time in over a year... and it was not a great lesson for her. Sunny, the Appaloosa she's on there, did not want to cooperate. And Sunny stepped on her at today's lesson, so... :\ Poor kid. She cried, I heard, and it broke the skin.

8) In 2018, when this song was released, Roger Federer won the Australian Open. Are you good with a racket?

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I wasn't bad in high school, despite not having the best depth perception. I haven't really played since then, though.

9) Random question -- Your local zoo announced the hatching of three snowy owlets. All males. You won the honor of naming them. Go ahead.

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Blue, Delta, and Echo... and if you have any guesses as to where I got those ideas, I'd love to hear them! ;)

~*~*~*~*~

Sophia - Van Gogh Unit Starry Night

Before I send this post into the ether, as I'm listening to Chopin's "Noctune op.9 No. 1," I'll leave you with Sophia's latest art project: her take on Vincent van Gogh's "Starry Night," done with oil pastels.

See you for Sunday Stealing!

Fin.


Saturday 9: I Forgot To Remember To Forget

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Welcome back to Saturday 9! Be sure and link up here to join in with the rest of us this week!

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Saturday 9: I Forgot to Remember to Forget (1955)
 
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
In honor of Elvis' birthday (January 8.) 

1) Elvis sings that he thinks about this girl all the time. What person or topic is on your mind this Saturday?

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Being vegan. It's Veganuary 2019, and I suddenly find myself on this unexpected mission to do the most good I can for myself, for my family, for my family, for my fellow man, and for our home, planet Earth. I'm in the middle of writing a post about it, but I'm finding it hard to convey the right sense of urgency without an enormous dose of being judgmental.

2) He wants to forget the day he met his girl, but simply can't. Think about someone very important in your life. Did you know right away that they were going to be influential?

Victor Pareja

This is Victor, a man I went to college with at the University of Miami back in the mid-90s. We lived on the same hall of the same floor of the same dorm for a while and became fast friends. Little did I know, he would be the reason I met my husband of 18 years. Without him, I wouldn't have had our four beautiful children!

Since this week's song is about memories, let's check on how well you recall events in your own life.

3) What was the first concert you ever attended?

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I can never remember whether it was Whitney Houston at the New York State Fair (she originally canceled during the fair, I think due to illness, and then we went to the reschedule in October when she performed despite heavy rain) or Bon Jovi, also in Syracuse, New York. Concert ticket images indicate that they may have been the same year.

4) Where did you get your first piercing? (Not only where on your body, but who did the deed and where did they do it?)

Septum Piercing
Tragus Piercing 

All of my piercings are above the neck... so far. ;) First, I got my earlobes pierced, at a place in the mall, probably, for my eighth birthday. Since then, I got a second and third hole pierced at more piercing spots in malls. I then got the cartilage in my left ear pierced at a piercing shop in south Miami-Dade County's Dadeland mall - do not do this! Go to a professional piercing artist, often at a tattoo shop - and after a lot of pain and many infections, I let it close up. I got a fourth hole pierced at that same time in the right ear. When I was 21, my then-roommate and friend Shannon and I skipped work to go get matching nostril piercings at a tattoo parlor near Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida. Finally, two decades later, I have just gotten my septum and right tragus pierced by the piercer, Tatt, at Justin Abel Tattoo in Mountain Home, Idaho. I love them!

5) What's the name of the bank where you had your first checking account?

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The evil Bank of America. Horrors!

6) Tell us about your first bicycle.

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I remember it had training wheels, streamers, and a basket. I did not want to be stuck on training wheels forever, but I was having a hard time progressing past them. When I was six, we moved from Monroe, New York, to Syracuse, New York; I remember taking off those training wheels and riding around the giant moving truck, holding on to the truck when I needed to and trying not to crash into the mailboxes. That moving truck helped me succeed!

7) Who received the first text you ever sent?

18th anniversary

I'm sure it had to have been Rob, in 2003. That's when I got my first cell phone.

8) What had you been drinking when you suffered your first hangover?

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Shots of Goldschläger. I was 17.

9) Whose was the first wedding you ever attended?

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July 13th, 1985, my father married for the third time, to my stepmother the evil bitch from hell, just over one year after my mother suddenly died. I was eight years old and the youngest person in that wedding. We four girls wore coordinating dresses in pastel blue, pink peach, and lavender. I can't even remember which was mine. I don't want to.

~*~*~*~*~

I'm watching old episodes of Three's Company, eating vegan "mozzarella," and debating whether to get in the shower to take Sophie to her riding lesson. I really should. She's got these new breeches that fit beautifully, but I want to see how they perform for her in action!

01112019 New Breeches Dover and New Helmet Ovation Collage

Have a lovely weekend, e'erbody!

Fin.


Saturday 9: You Make Me Feel Brand New

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Hey, hey, what do ya say? I posted Saturday 9 and Sunday Stealing last week, but I was so late - by a few days - that I didn't get any reads. *sniff, sniff* So if I'm being repetitive it's because I didn't think anyone read it the first time! Heh.

But here we are again, so link up here to play along with the S9ers for this week!

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: You Make Me Feel Brand New (1974)
 
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

Welcome to the first Saturday 9 of 2019!


1) As 2019 kicks off, what are your hopes for the brand new year?

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Well, now that everyone has joined me in veganism, I'm finding it difficult to please all their palates. As a result, there is a lot of grumbling every day about there being "nothing to eat." Completely untrue, but I'm trying! So my hope for 2019 is that, one day at a time, they'll stick it out and give veganism a real shot. Everyone should, IMNSHO.

2) Just because an item isn't brand new doesn't mean it isn't valuable. Have you scored any fabulous finds at a secondhand store or website?

Xlarge bathing suit

I love thrifting! We've gotten two couches, the desk next to me, and tons of clothing for the whole family at the thrift store down the road, ReStyle. But this bathing suit, which I really needed for my physical therapy in the pool, was from ThredUp. I got lots of clothes for the kids and me there recently for a steal. Secondhand is the way to go!

3) This song is sung by The Stylistics, a group from Philadelphia. Have you ever been to Philly?

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Yeah, several times. The first time was with my grandparents in probably 1981 or 1982? They took me to see the liberty bell, and I remember being really bothered by that crack and why they didn't just fix it or get another one - and my grandma having a hearty laugh over that! And I also marveled at the fact that there were hot pretzel and hot dog vendors on the streets, just like in Manhattan. Who knew?

4) This song was co-written by Thom Bell, a Philadelphia-based musician/producer who was born in Kingston, Jamaica. The average daily temp in Kingston in January is 87ºF. Do you have plans to get away this winter and go somewhere warm?

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Goddddddd, I wish!! I was just looking through the photos from when we first moved to Miami in March 2013, reminiscing, maybe getting a little melancholy... I would love to go somewhere tropical and warm. Chloë is going to Guatemala this summer, and though it's not what we Americans consider an exotic getaway, I've gotta admit I'm a bit jealous!

5) The Stylistics took their choreography very seriously. As you can see from the video, they even carefully synchronized their hand movements. Do you use your hands much when you talk?

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Yeah, pretty much. Sophia definitely gets her theatrical nature from her mother!

6) The lyrics tell us that the singer is grateful for a friend who will walk with him along a path that "sometimes bends." Looking back on 2018, tell us about a time that life's path took a bend you didn't quite expect.

February 8 2018a

Oh, the chickens. We had our first flock of 11 in 2017, and these were the beautiful eggs they were laying by early 2018. By summer, all but Athena were slaughtered, probably by a skunk. By September, a predator-proof (well, as much as one can get, I guess) was built in the backyard, and 21 day-old chicks were delivered from a hatchery in Iowa. Now they're all rehomed, and we are vegans. It's all just freakin' weird, man.

7) In 1974, when this song was popular, Chicago's Sears Tower opened and was for years the world's tallest building. Its elevators can carry you to the 103rd floor in approximately a minute. When were you last on an elevator?

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I was on an elevator this past Friday, when Chloë accompanied me to my Speech Pathology appointment. I'm having a bunch of problems with... well, all the stuff on that mug, basically, and getting my thoughts to transform into sensible words and sentences, so I'm there to get some speech therapy to help with it. Gotta admit, I'm kind of anxious about it!

8) Also in 1974, the 55 mph speed limit was imposed nationwide. When you drive, are you careful to stay within the speed limit? Or do you have a lead foot?

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Girl, I got two speeding tickets in 2018 alone! Both were on the same stretch of the same 35 MPH zone. I was probably going at least 60 MPH both times! I think I probably schedule some shit to do that requires us to go East on I-84, just so I can hit the 80 MPH zone and ... go 90+ MPH!

9) Random question -- It's time to pose for your Saturday 9 yearbook picture. Will you show us your right profile, your left profile, or will you look directly into the camera?

December 2018 Selfie Collage

Well, these are from a couple weeks ago now, since it's 0538 right now and I haven't showered yet... so it appears I would be showing you my left! I think that's my "good side," as if I have such a thing. I know that because the nostril piercing is barely visible, and that's on my right. ;)

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Ooh, I liked this quizzy! Thanks Gal, er, Crazy Sam!

Have a great 2019, y'all. Seriously, I mean it.

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: It's The End Of 2018 As We Know It

Welcome back, homeslices! 🤣 I woke up sick as a DAWG today 😞😭🤧😷, so I'm not feeling the (self) love. I know just being "here" with all of y'all will cheer me up, though, so let's bring it! 😍🤩💗💖 Link up here if you'd like to play along with us this weekend, or want to check out all the other amazing thieves among us!

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What did you do last year that you had not done before?

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Boise Pride Festival 2018 020

Well, since two of my kiddos came out late last year as gay or bisexual, the three of us attended the Boise Pride Festival this past summer. It was SO fun, so loving, so joyous, and so inclusive. I loved every moment of it, and I am so proud of my girls for having the strength and courage to embrace their true selves.

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Did you keep your New Year's Resolutions/goals for the year and will you make/set more for next year?  What are they? What are your new ones?

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I'm sure I set some, but I don't remember what they were! I'll probably set more for next year, but I haven't done so yet. I'll keep ya posted! 🙃

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Did anyone you know give birth? Or become pregnant?  Or adopt?

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My good friend Stephanie, who first was my kids' babysitter in Virginia Beach, when they were itty bitty, is pregnant with her fourth son!

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And my high school pal, Lora, gave birth to her second son this year. Her kiddos are so cute! It's the year of boys! (I'm sure there are plenty more, but I'm forgetful.)

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Did anyone you know die? Or have a serious illness/injury?

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Gosh, I can't think of anyone who died - I hope I'm not forgetting! Aside from myself, Hubs was diagnosed with prostate cancer earlier this year and had surgery to remove the prostate. The recovery was heinous for him, and he had another surgery after that to repair the perforated bladder and fix the internal bleeding happening after the first surgery and on and on... it was just terrible for him. 😢

Rob Breast Cancer pin

Also, someone on his side of the family is in a serious breast cancer battle right now, and we are thinking of her all the time, wishing her well.

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What places have you visited?

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Well, the hospital for one - a LOT! heh heh

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We visited the Boise Ronald McDonald House on multiple occasions to make donations and take tours. This is a cause that's near and dear to our hearts (Dammit, Gal, I left it off your annual charity round-up post! DUHHHHHHHH!!) because we stayed in one while Chloë was in the NICU in Pensacola for 10 days. It's an amazing place. Visit one and I guarantee your heart will melt.

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We drove out to Wasatch Sport Horses in Eagle, Idaho, many, many times for Sophia's riding lessons. Our new second home!

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We went to many lessons at Chloë's fencing club, until she decided not to continue at the end of the season.

Listen, y'all, I could go on and on. And on!

Any new pets? Lost a pet?

Yes; critters we've lost this year:

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We lost Rob's gentle giant, Henry, to a suspected sudden asthma attack. It was very sad.

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We lost both of Chloë's beloved guinea pigs, Alexander Sirius and James Theodore, on the same day to unknown causes. She feels devastated and blames herself. 😢

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Jack's old gerbil, Lucy, who lived a good, long, loved life with him, passed away peacefully. She is missed.

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And finally, we lost all but one of our 2017 chickens, our White Silkie Athena, to a predator massacre. I was so crushed!

Critters we've gained this year:

71 September 6 2018

We got 21 new rare-breed chicks in September. There's Athena keeping watch over the new babies. Two of them have since died, so we're at a 2018 flock of 20 chickens, currently.

Fudge 1

Jack adopted this bunny-buns, Fudge, for his 4-H project this year. He's ridiculously soft!

Rocky and Jack 1

And very shortly after that, Jack - an extremely conscientious pet owner - adopted Rocky so that Fudge could have a playmate. The two are still in separate cages, though, awaiting their neutering so they don't fight. Rocky's such a love!

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What would you like to have next year that you lacked this year (doesn't have to be a physical thing i.e. love, job security, peace of mind...)? 

Wishful Thinking House

Well, aside from improved health, obviously, I would love to buy and move into a house of our own once again - like this one!. I yearn for it!

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What date from last year will remain etched in your memory and why?

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April 16th, 2018 - that's the date of Hubs' prostatectomy that sucked big ass. He's still recovering.

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What was your biggest achievement last year?

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I try to keep it lighter in my SS posts, but that's not always possible for me. So to answer this question: I realized and acknowledged that I was raised in a cult. I was an unwilling member for almost 21 years. And I went back to therapy, where I am finally in "intensive care" to undo the effects of the trauma, abuse, and brainwashing I've endured.

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Did you get sick or injured?

Walker

Well, yeah! I have a lot of new diagnoses from this year. Mast Cell Activation Disorder, ME/CFS, and (possible, waiting to be genetically tested) Ehlers Danlos Syndrome among them... and since I'm now stumbly-bumbly all the time, lots of injuries from falling. I rely on my walker or wheelchair most of the time when I'm out of the house now.

What was the best thing you bought?

Pf changs

Well, I don't know! Lots of things, I guess, and I'm sure I'll get this wrong. I won, this week, a photography contest, wherein I was stacked up against several professional photogs, and for the prize I could get a $50 gift card to anywhere. I opted for P.F. Chang's, which we never get. I don't know why. But I snuck a slice of cheesecake in there, and WOW! That shizz was the bomb! And this is coming from a New Yawka who knows her cheesecake. Two thumbs up!

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Oh! And I signed up for Grove Collaborative to get all kinds of good-for-us and good-for-the-earth stuff, and I'm really happy with our membership thus far. Their customer service is outstanding, and the products and prices are great! I'm a huge fan. If you want to sign up here, you'll even get a free 5-piece gift set. I loved mine!

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Where did most of your disposable income go (money leftover after you pay for food, medical care, basic clothing, transportation and shelter)?

Barkbox Dogs

You say that as though there is any disposable income! 😂😂😂 Have you never tried to raise three hungry teenagers, 20 chickens, two dogs, three cats, and two bunny rabbits - not to mention the four score and seven prescription medications I take daily - on an enlisted veteran sailor's pension? BWAHAHAHA! But if so, we tend to spoil the pets. Especially the doggos. I mean, I love to get the chickens toys and chubby mealworms and stuff, watch the cats go insane on new catnip toys, etc., but the dogs! Nothing makes me happier than watching two butt-wiggling pooches get their BarkBoxes in the mail!! And oh, they know that that box is theirs, long before it gets opened. They just know. (I highly recommend it!)

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What song will always remind you of last year?

"Girls Like You" by Maroon 5, featuring Cardi B (Gal, can we please, please, pleeeeeaaase do this song on Sat9 sometime?) is a song my 13yo daughter Sophia and I have played on the radio, YouTube, or whatever umpteen million times over and over. We sing along to every word and then, when Cardi B's part comes on, we blast it even louder and rap along to every word. I don't care how white we are, we rock that $h!t!

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What do you wish you would have done more of?

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My husband! 🤪😂😈

What do you wish you would have done less of?

Tears in Heaven

Crying in pain (this photo is from Friday night, just hours ago, but represents many nights)

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What was your favorite new TV program? Movie? Album/Songs? Or if you didn't pick up any new ones, what are you still watching/listening to? Any recommendations?

Image result for bob's burgers oh my god gif

Well, I've finally really gotten into Bob's Burgers this year, and it's a good thing I did, because that $h!t is fookin' hilarious! I like to pretend I'm just like Linda, which I am, and I do both Linda's and Bob's and sometimes Tina's voices. If you're not watching it yet, why not?! You oughtta be. I DVR every episode. We all love it. Yeah. So.

Untitled (Recovered)
Also, I recommend Ellen De Generes' new stand-up special, Relatable, on Netflix. I love her talk show, so I finally queued it up and am watching it right now. She swears, y'all! That's relatable!

What was the best book you read this year?  How many did you read?

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I'm reading Recipes for Repair right now, which I just started but bought about two years ago, to see if it will help any of my autoimmune disorders. It's hard. I'm having allergic reactions - sometimes anaphylaxis - to every single thing I eat lately, so I've just gotta do something! Plus, my therapist recommended I read something along these lines. I don't think I've read any other books this year! Shocking!

What did you do on your birthday and how old were you? Did you feel differently? 

09082018 Mom's Birthday 01

Well, first of all, I turned 42, and Chloë made me these birthday cupcakes. She baked Hubs' chocolate bundt cake - his favorite - too, and was really excited about doing both. Only, I was looking at these photos recently, and I just don't remember these cupcakes. I mean, I know I was there and must have taken the pictures and blown them out, but I cannot recollect them for the life of me. This is very distressing. My short-term memory has been stolen from me since I became ill in 2015, and I hate it!

091218 FREE Pedicure from Reginald
Also, Hubs gave me a pedicure, which he often did during my pregnancies when I couldn't reach and now often does again since my joints are so stiff and painful. Yeah, he's a keeper. (Also, pssst! Robert! I'm due for another one!)

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Chloë's birthday (9/7) is the day before mine (9/8), so we usually celebrate together by running around collecting all the billions of birthday freebies out there. Here are some from this year:

Birthday Freebies Collage

[click to embiggerate]

I'd list them out for you, but as you can see, um, it's kind of a lot.

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What political or social issue stirred you the most?

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I will always, first and foremost, be an environmental activist. Now, more than ever, it is crucial for denizens of Planet Earth to become acutely aware of what we as people are doing to harm the planet and what we as humans can do to remedy that.

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Additionally, I am a Global Citizen, and I am dedicated to working for the causes of education for all; those that promote equality for women and girls; ending world hunger; and, bettering the health and sanitation practices around the world. I even get points for sharing the information I learn, and I've used those points to enter contests. This year alone, I've won two concerts: Amy Lee (of Evanescence) and Lindsey Sterling, which I'd entered for Chloë's sake - but I ended up winning the one in Phoenix, Arizona, and we could of course not make it there. The other concert was just recently, here in Boise: Metallica, which I sent Rob and our 15yo son Jack to. They had a blast!

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Who was the most interesting new person you met?

Image result for Dr. Alejandro Homaechevarria

Hmm. I don't know; I've met a lot of interesting folks. I'll say my new orthopedist, Dr. Alex Homaecheverria. Not only is this doctor smoking hot (I'm married, but I mean, c'mon! I'm not dead!), but he's relatable. Great bedside manner. And he genuinely seems interested in truly helping me improve.

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What changed at your job?

Pear Flambé Pint Single $22.50 A

Well. For one, Chloë, Sophie, and I started a specialty candle company called Every Wick Way on November 1st! I'm so excited about this! Most of our items are listed in our Etsy shop, but I'm still working on the website for Every Wick Way. Check it out! ;)

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What changed in your home?

Coop Life 25 Sept 2018 (2)

Well, we got those 21 baby chickies from the hatchery, so they would need a place to live, right? After forever and a day (seriously; we're talking over a year), Hubs and another military vet friend got together and built it basically in a day. It's not perfect, but it's pretty great, and so far we've avoided another slaughter. Whew!

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Describe how a relationship changed.

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Well, I'm like this ^^^ so it's completely surreal for me to read things like this. Anyway, I've been distancing myself emotionally from my father more than I ever have in my life. It's been hard. He's noticed, too, and wrote a note to me about it in our Christmas card. Such tomfuckery. I'll not have it!

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Do you think you are still the same person that you were at the beginning of the year?  How so?

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No. Of course not. At the end of every year I hope I have grown and learned so much during that year that I am a completely new and more enlightened person by the end.

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Summarize the year in three words or less. Bonus points for doing it in one word. Explain.

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How have people around you changed?

December 2018 Selfie Collage

Well, I don't know about everyone's internal dialogue or whatnot, but I feel like this year, as I've become even more self-aware and adulty than ever, I feel that people are changing the way they respond to and interact with me. I feel it every day. It seems like some people actually like me, which I never really thought could be true. It's delightful.

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What have you learned throughout the year?

T Rex Cmas Tree

Well, I've definitely learned that I do, in fact, have limitations. And also that getting older sucks, and I do not care for being forty-freakin'-two!

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What was your favorite outfit for warm weather? Cooler weather?

Warm weather:

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Something cool, comfortable, and hopefully, cute!

Cool Weather:

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Anything remotely warm, comfortable, and hopefully cute! ;)

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Did you learn any new crafts or techniques? What was your favorite thing you made?

EWW Etsy Collage

Oh yes, of course! For Every Wick Way, the girls and I jointly learned how to make soy and beeswax candles and melts, and we're taking very explicit notes so that we can duplicate everything that turns out great. And most things do, because we're just amazing like that. ;) I'm always learning something new in the craft world. Every year, I've got a new thing going. I embrace change. Love it. Adore it!

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What changed about your physical appearance? (Hair? Wrinkles? New makeup style? Etc)

Well... Before:

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And now:

Week 48 of 52 Selfie

So let's see... Since the top picture was taken a couple of years ago, I've gained a little (read: not a little) weight, my eyes are getting greener as I get older, I've at least temporarily stopped coloring my hair auburn (which I've been doing since my freshman year of college!), I started growing out my bangs for the first time ever in my live (but just got sick of it and trimmed them back to 'normal' this week, heh), pierced my septum, and pierced my tragus. Dang, when I read it back, it sounds like kind of a lot, no?

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What are your hopes and dreams for the new year?

Well, I'd love to say I wanna buy a house (but I said that already) and that I want to lose weight (but when don't I?); however, instead, I hope to bring awareness about and then somewhat defeat the health struggles constantly plaguing me:

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I have multiple Autoimmune Diseases, including: Raynaud's Syndrome, Mast Cell Activation Disorder, Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria, and Anticardiolipin/Antiphospolipid-Antibody Syndrome, for starters - but now I'm blessed with a medical expert in Asthma, Allergies, and Immunology who is doing the right tests and looking at the right things.

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I struggle with Fibromyalgia, but now I'm blessed with a medical expert who brings me in and gives me Trigger Point Injections whenever I call up and say I need them.

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I have Bipolar I with Psychosis, but now I am blessed with an expert psychiatrist who listens to me and knows what to tweak when I tell her what I am experiencing, as well as an incredible therapist who is helping me navigate the intense, childhood-long traumas that (I believe) led to the bipolar, along with severe PTSD, OCPD, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

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I have Chronic Lyme Disease and am daily trying to manage the extreme pain in my bones and joints from that, while trying to explain to every medical professional under that sun that just because I was treated with antibiotics for two weeks after I tested CDC-positive for Lyme, that I am not "cured." Some listen. Much, much more education is needed on this subject, and it is intentionally being squelched. Very frustrating!

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I probably have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, but I'm waiting for genetic testing to rule it in or out, which takes up to a year for the appointment in these parts. I have hypermobility and am constantly having dislocations and subluxations, along with just about every other symptom up there - but fortunately, I am now blessed with a knowledgeable physical therapist and a stellar (and hot - see above) orthopedist who have many tricks up their respective sleeves to try and help a girl out.

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And now, I also have Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, but I'm now blessed with an ME/CFS specialist in Salt Lake City, whom I now see every other month or so, who has made it her life's work to care about those of us with this devastating illness. 

And that's not even my whole list. So when someone (I believe from here, but I'm certainly not going to name names) tells me to "snap out of it," or when I get letters from my fng father telling me not to be a drain on society and make something of myself... well, it kinda breaks me. That is so soul-crushing. So, you guys, just don't do that to chronically ill people, okay? That is just not cool!

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Whew! That took me hours upon hours to do! Well, okay, I watched the Ellen DeGeneres Netflix special Relatable. And then the whole family sat down with me to watch the Netflix documentary What The Health? which everyone should totally watch, and they all - even JACK!!! - decided pretty much on the spot that we're all gonna be vegans now. I'm so excited about that. Okay, and then Chloë and I stayed up all night watching Titanic, and finally the girls and I just wrapped up Crazy Rich Asians, both on Amazon Prime Video. So I was a little distracted... Hee.

See y'all after the happy merry!

Fin.


Saturday 9: We Need A Little Christmas

What's up, bunny rabbits? (Don't ask, I won't know either.) I've been a little manic this week, which is great. Also, it's not so great. I ate some things last night, knowing I'm highly allergic to them already, but I was f-ing HANGRY. So I wolfed it down quickly and had an immediate anaphylaxis. Rob got me in the car, shot me with the Epi-pen® while en route to the hospital, and stuck me in the ER for meds and observation. Two and a half hour later, we were discharged, but... on the way out I had a second phase of anaphylaxis. I wanted to go HOME, though, so I did not, uh... mention this to any medical professionals. Also, later on that evening, I ate even more of the offending food.

Listen, I may be brilliant AF, but I am also stupidly stubborn!

So that happened.

Let's go, y'all! Link up here if you'd like to play along with us this weekend; we don't bite! (Well, that's a complete lie. I totally bite someone daily. Not even exaggerating.)

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Saturday 9: We Need a Little Christmas (2006)

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

1) At the beginning of this recording, Daffy says he hopes all his friends remember his size, style and favorite color. What piece of clothing would you like to add to your wardrobe?

I've always wanted a Burberry trench coat. I'm kind of digging this long black, cashmere one. It's only $3,790. Totally in the budget!

2) His friends are late for Daffy's holiday soirée. Think about the last get-together you attended. Were you early, late or right on time?

I was fashionably late to Sophia's most recent Pony Club meeting at a local pizza joint. I despise being late, so by that I mean fewer than five minutes.

3) It hasn't a snowed a single flurry where Daffy is. Have you had to shovel yet?

I did plenty of snow shoveling growing up in Syracuse, New York! Snow capitol of the world, I swear. I am now physically unable to snow, though I bet I could do it in an emergency, with the right amount of adrenaline. That being said, Boise is actually a desert, so we don't get too much snow.

4) Daffy sings that he's looking forward to fruitcake. How about you? Are you a fruitcake fan?

I could take it or leave it. I think it gets a bad rap. I don't really care for the red and green candied bits, but the rest isn't awful IMO.

5) Daffy is an American Black Duck. Their usual diet doesn't generally include fruitcake (he he he!!!). These ducks more commonly dine on seeds, foliage and bugs. What was your most recent meal?

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My most recent meal consisted of Ahi Tartare from The Cheesecake Factory, and then I snacked on three Lindt Lindor Milk Chocolate Truffles for dessert. I'm kind of addicted to those little balls. (Heh.)

6) The only Christmas card Sam has received so far this year is from her insurance agent. She never sees her agent socially. In fact, she doesn't think she's seen him at all in 2018. Have you received many cards this year? If so, were they from people you feel close to?

So far, I've sent out about 95 Christmas/Holiday (because a number of our family & friends & associates are Jewish or Atheist) cards. It's my favourite Christmas tradition, and I don't care who responds in kind! I've gotten exactly one back from a neighbor, today, along with a plate of homemade cookies. (Yay!) We've also gotten three or four from business, and another from former President Jimmy Carter. That one may be my favourite? I still have plenty more; would you like one? If so, drop me your address info: smellyann at gmail dot com

7) When do you start holiday shopping: Christmas Eve (haha!), Thanksgiving/Black Friday, Halloween?

I've never, ever done the crazy Black Friday gift grab thing, and believe you me, it is definitely not on my Bucket List. I usually shop starting in September or October and put things away here and there. I follow Hip2Save closely, especially during this season, and snag what I can when there's a stellar deal.

8) Sam was recently driven crazy by kids running through store aisles wearing elf hats with bells. Do you have any apparel that makes noise? 

Rose gold jewelry profile pink

Only dangly earrings. I have three (well, technically four, but I rarely use the fourth) piercings in each ear, plus my right tragus, along with my right nostril and septum. When I wear multiple earrings in each ear and swish my head, it can be a bit noisy. But clothing? I don't think so. [Photo is a selfie from 08 December 2018.]

9) This time of year is big for charitable fundraising. Here's your chance to plug a cause or organization that's near and dear to you.

Well, am I making a huge faux pas if I name more than one? Right now I have several that are critically important to me:

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I've mentioned Heifer International in multiple years past. You can read about it here. It's a fantastic organization, and I've fully vetted it; it's legit. This year, we gave a flock of chicks, though I was torn among that, a flock of ducks, or a flock of geese. BTW, when we buy a house, if there's sufficient acreage, I want to add ducklings to our menagerie. ;) (I have not informed Rob of this plan. Heh.)

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Image result for environmental defense fund

Secondly, there are obviously a number of environmentally-conscious projects dedicated to, well, "saving the earth." That may sound like crazy hippie tree-hugger talk, but I absolutely do not care. This should be important to all of us. Those running our country (USA, for those of you who are not American) are hell-bent on destroying this gd planet, and where will that leave future generations?! I have three living kids. Some of them do want to have kids of their own. I aim to make this possible for them, so I support projects like the Environmental Defense Fund, and others.

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The Blue Ribbon Foundation

The third charity I'd like to mention is The Blue Ribbon Foundation. Because I have been diagnosed with ME/CFS by Dr. Lucinda Bateman of The Bateman Horne Center in Salt Lake City, which I visit monthly or so, a horribly misunderstood (especially my the medical community) and under-funded disease, I would love for more awareness to be brought to this cause. I mean, I'm 42 years old and take about 90 medications daily just to function, and I rely heavily on the use of my walker and my wheelchair. I sleep far more hours per day than I care to admit, and I'm still exhausted. My ability to drive is now severely limited, and I'm usually in bed each night, crying out in pain and begging my husband and kids to amputate my arms and legs. In short, it's no picnic!

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Diabetes Research Institute Foundation

And finally, I'd like to call attention to the Diabetes Research Institute. Diabetes research has long been an important cause of mine, ever since my mama died very suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 33 from untreated diabetes. (In my opinion, she was murdered by my father and the Christian Science Church, but that's a story for another day.) I was seven years old and suddenly motherless, and I've been a bereft daughter ever since. During all my pregnancies (and, of course, when not pregnant as well), I've been extremely vigilant about that particular aspect of my health. I am adamantly not going to leave my children motherless, the way I was! No way in hell. So far so good, but my doctor did put me on Metformin just to be on the safe side. I'm fine with that.

~*~*~*~*~

Well, I enjoyed that! Thanks, Crazy Sam for another excellent meme and for the chance to dedicate our posts to those things that are important to each of us. I really appreciate that!

Have a great Saturday, y'all.

Fin.


Saturday 9: The Middle

Hey, folks! Welcome back! I feel like my blogging weeks run from Saturday 9 to Saturday 9 anymore, with very little time enjoyed in between on blogging. I hate that, but life with three teenagers going off in 17 different directions at once is a little more crazy than I think I bargained for! It's fun, though. I hope you all have had a great week.

So let's get started. Link up here if you'd like to join in with Crazy Sam's questions and the rest of us!

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: The Middle (2018)

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

1) This song is about compromise. When did you recently give in a little and meet someone halfway?

You know, my mind is coming up completely blank on this one! I've racked my brain, but I can't answer. I know I have, but it's not coming to me. Is that horrible?

2) She sings that the floors are wet. Are there any floors in your home that could use a good scrub today? If you answered "yes," will those floors get cleaned this weekend?

Week 3 of 52 - Hope

Our two dogs, Paco the 5-lb Chihuahua and Tapioca the Chiweenie, have grown up puppy pad-trained. Nothing we have done has worked to train them to go outside - their bladders and their brains are just too little. ;) So we have pads down everywhere, but there is carpeting in our bedroom, and they often miss. We have bought all kinds of cleaners and desiccants and deodorizers and whatnot, but it's not going well. The last urine cleaner I bought, my son did not read the instructions and completely saturated the rug. Now it will never dry, and it's disgusting to walk on. We should get a rug doctor or something. I don't know. I'm running out of ideas... Help!

3) She also sings that the cabinets are bare. What's currently on your shopping list?

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November is a weird month for us, because so much of our grocery budget is allocated toward Thanksgiving foods, so there's not a lot of "extras" for the remainder of the month! My kids have been struggling, because I have bought plenty of milk for them, but no cereal. They're at a loss, lol. Don't get me wrong - they could cook some eggs, or have oatmeal, or yogurt, or something, but they're acting as though the cupboards are completely bare. Oh, woe is me.

4) You may be familiar with this song from Target's TV commercials. Do you often shop at Target?

I love Target, but my Tarjay shopping has kind of dropped down to a very minimal level. I can't even remember where there was a Target in Virginia Beach; in Miami, it was a good 30-40 minute drive away from us, and here it's not much closer. Most of my Target shopping is done online when I need something I can only get there, and I usually have it shipped to me. It's just too dangerous for me to go into the store unmonitored. I want one of everything!

5) The lead vocal is handled by Maren Morris, a Grammy winner for "My Church," which is all about singing with the car radio. What's the last song you sang along with?

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My daughter Sophia and I are obsessed with both the song and the star-studded video for "Girls Like You," by Maroon 5 & featuring Cardi B. We love to blast it in the radio and sing every word, including the Cardi rap, as loud as we can. Hehe. It's an amazing video, if you haven't seen it yet. Ooh, can we do this song sometime, Gal?

6) This past April, Maren married singer-songwriter Ryan Hurd and they have performed onstage together. Who is the last person you sang along with? 

Sophia Summer 2018

I sing along with Sophia in the car all the time, including last night. But sometimes when the radio is turned up loud and she doesn't feel as self-conscious about singing aloud, I stop my own singing just to listen to her. She has a beautiful voice and doesn't know it. (Though I've told her.)

7) This song was composed by brothers Kyle and Michael Trewartha. With their bleached hair and sunglasses, they look like a pair of surfer dudes -- which they are, having grown up in Huntington Beach, CA. Is there a body of water near your hometown?

Image result for lucky peak reservoir

We're fortunate to have a number of beautiful waterways both in and around Boise. This year we are committed to doing a nature study at Lucky Peak State Park, and its reservoir, and have discovered many beautiful vistas - as well as some that were supposed to be but instead were showing evidence of being ravaged by fires. There are also a lot of hot springs and waterfalls around Idaho, but my health has prevented us from exploring those just yet. Hopefully soon, because I am yearning to go see!

8) January 2018, when this song debuted, we had a total lunar eclipse. When things like that happen in the sky, do you go out of your way to watch?

Image result for 2017 solar eclipse boise

Definitely. In Summer 2017, when the path of the solar eclipse passed right through Boise, Jack and I were at an appointment with his endocrinologist to check on his growth hormones. When the time came, everyone in the office passed out the protective glasses, and we all ran outside to watch. It was beautiful. (The stores were full of - and all sold out of - those glasses!) When things happen in the middle of the night, the kids and I all set alarms on our phone and go out to observe. We're really into it!

9) Random question -- They say we're all young at heart. In what way can you be childlike?

I'm a scientist by training, right? So I've heard my professors and advisors say a million times that the best scientists are the ones who are childlike and ask a billion questions. Why does it do that? How does it accomplish it? What is the mechanism for it? Etc. I am always asking questions of everything I see and feel and hear and learn. I want to know everything!

~*~*~*~*~

Fun questions, Crazy Sam. Thanks for doing it! ♥

P.S. Sam: It's gotten cold here. Take me to Key West with you this winter! Please??!

P.P.S. All: What's your favorite candle scent(s)? Inquiring minds want to know. ;)

Fin.


Saturday 9: Alfred Hitchcock Presents

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Welcome back, S9ers!

Looks like we'll have a fun time this month. Link up  here if you want to play along with us!

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Saturday 9: "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" Theme

This week's song was chosen because this is the last Saturday 9 before Halloween. Are you unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.



1) The Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, was born in England. Name another pop culture contribution England has made.
 
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I got stuck on the Beatles, of course, and my brain wouldn't let go of that thought to let me think of anyone else. But then I jumped to Sir Elton John, and I had to go with him. Boy George, George Michael... I could (now) go on and on.

2) This week's song is recognized as the theme to Hitchcock's long-running TV show, but "Funeral March for a Marionette" is a classic piece written for piano in the late 1870s by Charles Gounod. Do you often listen to classical music?
 
♪♫♪♫♪♫... I've put that on right now. I listen to classical every chance I get. I usually put it on YouTube on my phone and then ChromeCast it to the TV in order to annoy a certain three teenagers. Of course, to annoy is not my point. I learned in 9th grade Biology that playing classical music during any kind of thinking time for students helps encourage broader and higher levels of thought processing in the brain, so I put it on when I feel the kids will least object. I prefer Vivaldi's Four Seasons the best, but lately they've wanted more Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart. And they still always complain. (Now we have Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata playing.)

3) Janet Leigh's shower scene in Hitchcock's Psycho is considered one of the scariest sequences ever filmed. What's the most frightening movie you've ever seen?
 
Image result for children of the corn
 
When I was seven years old, in April, my mother died. My father lost all the parenting sense he probably never had and basically forced me to watch Children of the Corn. That same month, I think if not that week! And later, all the Freddy Krueger movies. And after that, Silence of the Lambs. And more. I do not enjoy that stuff. I have had plenty of scary things happen to me in the dark. I do not like purposefully subjecting myself to more.

4) Hitchcock admitted that he "never trusted birds," and he took that fear and turned it into the movie, The Birds. Is there a member of the animal kingdom that just gives you "the creeps?"
 
Image result for people saving Earth
 
Yeah. Home sapiens. Too damn many of us, making too damn many horrible decisions. Soon, we're going to be using up more Earths than Earth has left to give us. It's scary, and not enough people care.

5) Halloween will soon be upon us. Will you carve a jack o'lantern this year?
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Yeah, but we probably won't even get our pumpkins until Halloween itself this year. I want to do something like this skull one!!
 
 
6) What candy will trick or treaters get at your house? 

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I haven't decided yet. I give out good candy, not like apples or pennies - I got a lot of those as a kid and was not a fan! Ha. Hallowe'en, to me, is (partly) a day for kids to just let loose, have some fun, and eat a shit ton of stuff that's bad for them. Rob and Chloë say we got fewer than a dozen last year, so I really want to give out full-size candy bars this year. In Virginia Beach we got hordes of kids every year and sometimes had to put out a sign that we'd run out. And I bought a LOT of candy to prepare. That's more more fun to me.
 
7)  When you went trick or treating, did you prefer fantasy costumes (like a storybook character) or scary ones (like a monster)?
 
Whatever people wear, I prefer interesting costumes.
 
8)  Which candy was your favorite? Which one were you disappointed to find in your trick or treat bag?
 
Image result for reese's pieces cups
 
Let's just say, if Reese's Pieces Cups had been a thing when I was a kid, I'd be in serious trouble with diabetes right now. I never liked finding pennies and apples, as mentioned above, and I hate(d) Milky Way and 3Musketeers bars. Gross.

9) Which do you find scarier -- cemeteries or haunted houses?
 
Image result for peaceful cemetery
 
I've always found graveyards to be beautiful and peaceful. I never mined being in them. Haunted houses, on the other hand, I don't even like now. I don't like bad things coming out of the dark and grabbing me. It's terrifying to me.
 
~*~*~*~*~
 
And now I think we might watch Children of the Corn. Just to get that memory out of the shadows and out of my worries for good.
 
Fin.

Doing Our Part To #MoveTheDate: Part The First

Hey, peeps! I've always been an avid tree-hugger, and right now is really a time in my life where I want to focus on actions that are good for me, good for my family, and good for our planet. I thought I'd tell you about some of those things.

Eco Post #1 - Amazon Straws

So for our scientific exploration this year at Sweet Pea Academy, we're focusing on Ecology and the Environment. One of our objectives for this class is to take one of the #MoveTheDate pledges from this website each month and, individually and as a family, make it a top priority to implement that pledge in our daily lives. Then we evaluate how we've done at the end of each month. The first month we pledged to #GoVeggie, and although we didn't 100% meet our goal, we definitely made some significant progress.

Also, as a mom, educator, and concerned citizen of the planet, I'm taking every additional step I can think of to contribute and set an example. Reducing packaging and waste is a big push for me. So recently, we ordered this set of 12+2 Cleaner Pieces Reusable Stainless Steel Metal Straws, in four colors: Gold, Silver, Rose Gold & Black - 20 oz & 30 oz Tumblers Straws (Bent). This whole plastic straw mess - as well as all the plastic garbage clogging up our waterways - is killing me! So the straw thing is going well with this set, and 12 seems to be enough for our family of five so far. I recommend them!

Multi-Colored Napkins

I have lots of other eco-friendly goodies on my family wish list, of course, including this colorful 12-pack of cloth napkins for $16.99. At 20x20", they're big enough to cover any number of messes that this team of sometimes-sloppy people can make! Of course, we already have some cloth napkins, but they're always in the laundry, it seems like, so there are never enough. And I have more toned-down neutral colors on that wish list as well, so you can be sure there are plenty of options.

~*~*~*~*~

MyChelle Dermaceuticals Ultra Hyaluronic Eye Gel

So you probably don't know, but for nearly 20 years from age 22 or so until 41, I was a die-hard Jafra skincare fanatic. I mean, Royal Jelly was where it was at, as far as I was concerned, and Jafra could do no wrong. Now, don't get me wrong; the products are great, the benefits are amazing - and they work. But after getting involved with Young Living in 2016 thanks to my great friend Shana, and becoming even more in touch with my hippie flower child Bohemian side, I started thinking long and hard about my connections with Jafra. The ingredients just aren't always the kind I want to smear all over my face and body every day, and not just that, but the business side of things was not something I wanted to be a part of anymore, either. So I unceremoniously ended my longtime relationship with Jafra, cemented it with Young Living, and opened the door for more opportunities to live more wholly wholesome.


MyChelle Dermaceuticals Ultra Hyaluronic Eye Gel 2

Recently, I read about MyChelle Dermaceuticals on a post by Nadia over at Body Unburdened: Healthy Living Made Simple.

Personally, it has always been important to me to use a good eye cream - well, ever since I was introduced to good quality skin care at Jafra, that is. And now that I'm in my early 40s, a well-made eye-plumping product is one of the most important items in my skincare arsenal. I can always, always tell when someone is either not using an eye care product - gasp!! - or isn't using a very good one. I don't want anyone to ever think that about me! So I decided to try the Ultra Hyaluronic Eye Gel Nourish & Moisturize Eye Care from MyChelle Dermaceuticals first.

MyChelle Dermaceuticals Ultra Hyaluronic Eye Gel 3

I love the way the cooling gel feels on my tired ol' eyes in the morning and then again by the end of the night. This gel helps decrease the appearance of fine lines and dark circles - which is key for moi!

About MyChelle Dermaceuticals:

Founded in 2000, MyChelle was the natural industry’s first to use anti-aging peptides, plant stem cells, and clinically proven dermatological ingredients. Their 360º approach to beauty provides clean, conscious, and comprehensive products that are bioactive and ethically sourced. Sounds good to me!

MyChelle Clean Beauty VIP

What's really sweet in addition to the great products at MyChelle, you can use this code to get 30% off your first order total: MYCHELLEBEAUTY2018  - and, what's more, shipping is free, and returns are free on all orders. They have the BEST customer service. I swear.

On top of that, you can earn points toward meaningful discounts for completing simple actions. For instance, I earned 500 points (= $5 off an order!) just for subscribing to their newsletter. I earned 50 points each for sharing my eye gel purchase on both Facebook and Twitter. Subsequently, I earned 100 points each for following the brand on Twitter and liking them on Facebook, and so on and so forth. I was was delightfully surprised when I received this Clean Beauty VIP award in my email inbox, which afforded me extra benefits like bonus points and a free product:

MyChelle Sun Protection SPF 50 Stick

For achieving VIP level, which was exceedingly easy to do, I was given a free MyChelle Sun Protection Sun Shield Clear Stick SPF 50 - worth $12 - absolutely free! I didn't pay one red cent for the product or, of course, shipping. I haven't gotten it yet, but it should be here early next week.

MyChelle Lip Hints Nude

What's more, I was able to redeem $10 in those reward points for a big discount on a $12.50 MyChelle Lip Hints Conditioning Lip Balm in the Nude shade. Counting free shipping, nothing extra for tax, I only paid $2.50 out of pocket. I can't wait to try it, since I am addicted to lippies! Any member of Team Odette will happily verify that for you - I have multiple stashes of lip balms in every conceivable location I encounter in my daily life: my bathroom drawers, my purse, my desk, my car dashboard... everywhere. So I have high hopes for this one!

So maybe give natural beauty products a try and start with MyChelle Dermaceuticals. They work really hard to develop quality products that are safe for you and the environment, and they work even harder to keep your business. I'm quickly becoming a big fan!

~*~*~*~*~

Grove Collaboative 001

And finally, the last new-to-me company I want to fangirl over to y'all is Grove Collaborative. Have you guys heard about them yet? If not, you need to head on over here and get yourself a totally FREE Mrs. Meyer's Cleaning Kit with five full-size products!

Here's what you'll need to do:

Head on over here in order to use my referral code and receive your free gift. You'll need place at least $20 worth of items from Grove Collaborative into your cart, but that's super-easy to do with all the amazing down-to-Earth, good-for-the-Earth products they offer. You can choose from baby and kiddo products, household cleaning items, personal care, and even their own Grove brand of items to help you get even more value from your first delivery.

Grove Collaboative 011

As for me, we needed laundry detergent, and I'd been wanting to try Molly's Suds Laundry Powder forever and a day. So that was $13.99 right off the bat (though valued at $16.99), leaving me only $6.01 worth of goodies I still needed to add to my cart.

Grove Collaboative 003

I liked the Zarbee's Naturals brand already, and we were having some sore throats going around Chez Odette, so I splurged on a $6.99 package of 14 throat lozenges.

Grove Collaboative 008

In return for my $20.98 buy-in with nothing additional for tax or shipping, I received a 12½-ounce bottle of Mrs. Meyer's Honeysuckle hand soap valued at $5.30 for free,

Grove Collaboative 005

a 16-ounce bottle of Mrs. Meyer's Honeysuckle dish liquid valued at $5.30 for free,

Grove Collaboative 010

a 16-ounce bottle of Mrs. Meyer's Lemon Verbena Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner valued at $5.30 for free,

Grove Collaboative 007

a 12-ounce bottle of Method Sweet Water dish liquid valued at $5.40 for free,

Grove Collaboative 004

a lovely Grove Collaborative red-and-white 100% cotton dish towel valued at $5.95 for free, and finally, a set of two Grove Collaborative walnut scrubber sponge valued at 3.95 for free!

Grove Collaboative 012
As if this offer couldn't get any sweeter, I do have to say that I'm a sucker for nice, careful, and thoughtful packaging - and Grove Collaborative definitely did not disappoint. The dispensers were carefully taped to prevent leakage during shipment. The note inside was handwritten. And the packing job inside the box was clearly planned and not just thrown together like so many other packages we've all received, I'm sure. 

You'll love what you get - in product, in service, and in peace of mind - from Grove Collaborative, and if you don't, that's okay, too. Their 100% Happiness Guarantee means you can return anything at any time, and they'll even send you a prepaid shipping label. There's literally no risk - but plenty of risk if y'all keep using those heavy industrial-level commercial cleansers around the kids, pets, and yourselves, y'know?

~*~*~*~*~

So what kind of eco-conscious changes have you and your clan made lately, or are thinking about making? I'd love to hear about 'em!

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Identity Crisis

Hey, guys, welcome back! Between my computer continuously shutting off (and not saving my post) halfway through writing this, and not realizing all your beloved Typepad comments were going straight to Spam, I gave up on writing this last night and then forgot I didn't post. So this one will be a rare quickie from me, I think.

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

~*~*~*~*~


1: Favorite style of clothing
 
I like a nice, flowing boho skirt (I'm wearing a plum-colored one now, actually), and a flowing, loose boho top the best. I think I'd have made a great flower child. ;)
 

2: Do I ever get “good morning” or “good night ” texts?
 
Rarely, unless I'm spending the night in the hospital, since everyone I'd get one from is usually right here with me
 

3: Have I ever kissed the last person I texted?
 
The last person I texted was Hubs, and we have done quite a lot of kissing. None yet today, though
 

4: When did I last hold hands?
 
Hubs and I hold hands whenever we're tooling around in the car anywhere. I'll probably hold his hand when I'm driving us to our family Seton Spot visit in a little while.

5: How long does it take me to get ready in the morning?
 
I like to start getting ready to go about an hour beforehand. That way I don't have to rush and can take my sweet time, because I tend to get dizzy, lose my balance, and fall. Last time I fell in the shower. I don't wish to repeat that experience!
 

6: Have I shaved my legs in the past three days?
 
It was probably three days ago exactly, but yeah.
 

7: Where am I right now?
 
I'm sitting on the couch of the living room, watching everyone get ready and the dog bark at the cat who thinks it's a good idea to run through the living room every now and again. This is a mischievous cat; my guess is she does it specifically to get the dog all riled up!
 

8: Do I have someone of the opposite sex I can tell everything to?
 
Hubs is really my very best friend. Everything I have to tell, I tell him. There are no secrets.
 

9: How often do I wear a fake smile?
 
I'm really horrible at inane small talk, so in a forced interaction like that, I probably do have one.
 

10: When was the last time I hugged someone?
 
Last night, Sophia (my 13yo youngest) put me to bed and then came in for a good squeeze. I usually stay up until I'm drop-dead exhausted, and by that point I'm usually well-confused and don't know well enough to get to bed on my own. It's a frustrating existing, but there it is. Anyway, Soph got the last hug.
 

11: Is there anyone I trust even though I should not?
 
Probably. I usually trust easily and often until it's obvious I shouldn't have. For a person of my age, I'm still quite naïve.
 

12: What is something I disliked about today?
 
I've been in physical therapy for three weeks, and I've now learned from it the reason why I've dealt with all my joints popping in and out of place my whole life: I have hypermobility/extra flexibility, and all those joints are loose. So the PT and I have been working on stabilizing the worst offenders: left shoulder, knees, ankles, and an upslip in my pelvis, and then strengthening those muscles. We've been using a variety of tools, like various stretches, kinesiology tape, cupping, ultrasonic massage, etc. Anyway, long story short is that the left shoulder has been dislocating all weekend, and I've been unable to get it to pop back in long enough to stabilize it with the KT tape.
 
 
13: If I could meet anyone on this earth, who would it be?
 
I'd love to meet be Barack Obama and ask him a billion questions. It would be a pleasure and an honor.
 
 
14: What do I think about most?
 
Oh, God, I don't know. I think about anything and everything under the sun! My mind never stops racing, and then you had mania and caffeine to it - wow!
 

15: Do I prefer to be behind the camera or in front of it?
 
It completely depends on how much I weigh, which is sad.
 
 

16: Do I prefer talking on the phone or video chatting online?
 
Oh, God, neither. I'd much rather text or email. Facebook Messenger is fine, too.
 

17: Do I believe in ghosts? How about aliens?
 
Both are firmly in the realm of "I'll believe it when I see it" for me.
 

18: Do I believe in magic?
 
I don't think so.
 

19: Do I believe in luck?
 
I'm not sure. I think I lean toward "we create our own luck."
 

20: What's the weather like right now?
 
On this September 30th, it's a clear and sunny 81ºF here in Boise, Idaho.
 

21: What was the last book I've read?
 
To be honest, I haven't read a book in ages. I've got all kinds of books - even some I've borrowed and returned to the library without reading! - and my Kindle app is full of them... I just never give myself the permission to relax and read.
 

22: Do I like the smell of gasoline?
 
Yeah, I kinda do.
 

23: What was the worst injury I've ever had?
 
They're all emotional; I'm working through some deep stuff in therapy right now. Externally, it would probably be either opening up my last C-section incision two weeks later while doing Pilates way too early, or the time I fell through a bunch of mangrove prop roots on a Biology expedition in Miami and blamed it on a shark bite to my friends. It was really bad; some people even believed me!
 
 

24: Do I spend money or save it?
 
I'm very undisciplined when it comes to finances. I'm horrible at saving.
 
 

25: Can I touch my nose with my tongue?
 
Almost but not quite. Sophie can, though.
 
~*~*~*~*~
 
Thanks for stopping by! I've got to run off to our Seton Spot, now.
 
Fin.

Sunday Stealing: 65 Questions, Part The First

Welcome back to Sunday Stealing, another fun meme presented for us by Bev Sykes of "Funny the World." Link up here if you want to join us today!

Sorry for my late posting; another migraine is currently kicking my ass. But I can't stay too long away from you crew without missing you to hell and back, and so here I am. ;)

~*~*~*~*~

Here are questions from Savannah at The Rainbow Society
 
 
1. Do you ever doubt the existence of others than you?
 
Image result for alien life form funny
Well, I don't know if you meant other humans or other life forms, but I'm choosing to go with the former and say YES! For my entire life, well since I was six years old and moved from Monroe to Syracuse, New York, I have wondered how other people - even those with whom I've had close personal contact - have continued to exist when I can't be there to see them. And with 7.5 billion people on this planet?!! How can they all be going about the daily minutiae of their lives without my being there to witness it?? It boggles the mind.

2. On a scale of 1-5, how afraid of the dark are you?
 
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Five. Bad things have happened to me in the dark.

3. The person you would never want to meet?
 
Image result for Donald Trump gif
 
The false "president," Donald J. Trump. I struggle to maintain my composure and manners around those whom I loathe so completely.

4. What is your favorite word?
 
Image result for the word pupitre
 
I struggle with various tics of Tourette's Syndrome, including saying random things out loud without thought, so my favorite word changes every time I spit out something new by accident! However, my long-standing most favorite word is "pupitre," which means "student desk" in Spanish. I just like how it sounds.

5. If you were a type of tree, what would you be?
 
Image result for beautiful red mangrove
 
I would be the mighty Red Mangrove tree, Rhizophora mangle, with it's millions and millions of prop roots, because:
 
"...The Red Mangrove belongs to the 'true mangroves'. The Red Mangrove is a strong and tough mangrove. Rhizophora mangle can handle changes in humidity, salinity, air- and water-temperature... Rhizophora mangle definitely is the most dominant mangrove on our planet. Rhizophora mangle was described for the first time in 1753 by Carolus Linnaeus."

6. When you looked in the mirror this morning what was the first thing you thought?
 
I thought, I wish I still looked like this from a couple two-three years ago:
 
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Instead of migraine- and pain-laden, allergic reaction-having this:
 
 
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Ugh. I look like absolute hell.

7. What shirt are you wearing?
 
Image result for hey baby what are you wearing
 
I'm wearing a white long-sleeved shirt, because I'm chilled despite the 75ºF-degree temperature outside. It's like a henley, but it's holey and open, but not too open and holey. Basically, it's comfy.

8. What do you label yourself as?
 
Image result for I hate labels
 
What Pearl B. said. ;)

9. Bright room or dark room?
 
Image result for funky bright room
 
Full brightness, day and night. Like I said, I'm scared of the dark. And I can't see. I'm both a glaucoma suspect and have just learned I've got the beginnings of cataracts in both eyes. AND I have a condition wherein the message of light and brightness are not being accessed by the brain, so I just cannot see unless every light in the house is on. It's really annoying, especially when I get the electric bill...

10. What were you doing at midnight last night?
 
Image result for black panther gif
 
I was finally watching the amazing Black Panther movie with my crew (except for Jack, who had to get up early for work today). I loved this movie! Letitia Wright, as Princess Shuri, was my absolute favorite from the cast; I felt she stole every scene she was in and looked forward to more appearances from her. Who has still not seen it? You simply must!

11. Favorite age you’ve been so far?
 
Mary Kay makeover
 
Probably 24. I got married to the absolute joy and love and light of my life, and then I met the then-second biggest joy and love and light of my life, Chloë Raine, a month early and the day before I turned 25. Marriage and motherhood are what bring me the most happiness in my life.

12. Who told you they loved you last?
 
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This knucklehead, modeling his Navy issued pea coat, pretend-smoking the Meerschaum pipe he brought home from Turkey. 

13. Your worst enemy?
 
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You're looking at her. I am my own worst enemy, I'm afraid.

14. What is your current desktop picture?
 
Week 37 of 52 - Weird
I have this capture, taken for me by Chloë, of some of our 20 newly-hatched chicks. At that time, they were being kept in a kiddie pool in our living room and learning to drink and eat from waterers and feeders. Now they've graduated to the outdoor pen. I can't wait to see what this mixed run of rare and super-rare breeds turn out to be!

15. Do you like someone?
 
Collage School Pix
I'm pretty fond of this crew. I am, however, not fond of their growing up entirely too rapidly. It makes my eyes wet.

16. The last song you listened to?
 
Image result for vivaldi four seasons
 
Right now I'm streaming "The Four Seasons" composed by Vivaldi via YouTube on the telly via Chromecast. Ah, technology. Before that, I was streaming a Vocal Jazz medley, but after a chorus of complaints, I switched from Jazz to Classical. There are still complaints. I am not surprised.

17. You can press a button that will make any one person explode. Who would you blow up?
 
Image result for green eggs and ham
 
I would not, could not, do that to a soul, tot... or not.

18. Who would you really like to just punch in the face?
 
Image result for throat punch donald trump gif
 
I'd really like to throat-punch this devilish duo.

19. If anyone could be your slave for a day, who would it be and what would they have to do?
 
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I don't need a slave, I have these minions. And it's not just for a day, it's for LIFE. ha.

20. What is your best physical attribute? (showing said attribute is optional)
 
IMG_20161118_203647
 
I think it depends on what my current weight is. When I'm thin, I adore my shoulders and clavicle. When I'm a bit heavier, it's my nose and eyes. I think they're okay.

21. If you were the opposite sex for one day, what would you look like and what would you do?
 
Image result for change is good meme
 
I don't even know what I'd do or look like. I guess I'd go out and get more respect at a car dealership or anywhere else considered a "man's world." And I would be pissed about it, too!

22. Do you have a secret talent? If yes, what is it?
 
Image result for bending the first knuckle of your fingers
 
Hmm, I don't know. But I can do this ^^^ on each finger of both hands. I've been doing it since I was 7 years old. I read about it just now. Apparently it's called "Swan Neck Deformity" and can be a symptom of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Both of those are concerns I might have. I guess it's better than having polydactyly, though.

23. What is one unique thing you’re afraid of?
 
Image result for fancy mustard
 
Mustard. Specifically, the smell of mustard and, even more frightening, the chance of it touching me. I just cannot even. And I make Rob watch his face and brush his teeth before he can kiss me.

24. You can only have one kind of sandwich. Every sandwich ingredient known to humankind is at your disposal.
 
Image result for hummus and pita
 
It would be a pita full of pine nut-filled hummus, sundried tomatoes, sprouts, and cucumbers. Mmm-mmm good.

25. You just found $100! How are you going to spend it?
 
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I'd spend 100% of the $100 on healthy, nutritious, preferably locally-sourced and organically-grown groceries for my family.

26. You just got a free plane ticket to anywhere in the world, but you have to leave immediately. Where are you going to go?
 
Image result for beautiful australia
 
Oh, I'd head straight for Australia, mate! It's long been a dream of mine and it's on the top of my Bucket List to go there.

27. An angel appears out of Heaven and offers you a lifetime supply of the alcoholic beverage of your choice. “Be brand-specific” it says.
 
Image result for endless mai tais
 
Okay, that's just weird, but I'll play along: I'd have endless Mai Tais. Mmm, so delish. I think I like them even better than piña coladas, which is surely saying something! The first time I remember having a Mai Tai was in a dive bar near the beach, when we lived in Virginia Beach. I forget what it was called, but it was for a mystery shop. Rob probably had a Colorado Bulldog, and I decided to order a Mai Tai. The bartender served it with a wedge of orange, pineapple, and a red, yellow, and orange cherry. I was hooked from there.

28. You discover a beautiful island upon which you may build your own society. You make the rules. What is the first rule you put into place? 
 
Image result for ban on smoking
Of course, I would ban all smoking of any kind, including vaping. No one can smoke anything. My island, my rules! ;)

29. What is your favorite expletive?
 
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Probably "fuck," although I have a pretty good curse-word lexicon, and I'm not afraid to use it. People may think that exhibits my stupidity, but I know intelligence has nothing to do with cursing.

30. Your house is on fire. You have just enough time to run in there and grab ONE inanimate object. Don’t worry, your loved ones and pets have already made it out safely. So what’s the one thing you’re going to save from that blazing inferno?
 
Image result for pretty laptop
 
Well, this sounds like I'm coming home from somewhere to find this fire, so I know I would already have my purse and phone with me. I always do. So... I guess I'd grab my laptop. Lots of info on there I wouldn't want to lose.
 
~*~*~*~*~
 
Well, phew! That was quite a long one and took me a long time to answer! But it was fun; thanks, Bev.
 
Hope y'all have a great week.
 
Fin.

Saturday 9: Gotta Travel On

Image result for gotta travel on

Hey everybody! I'm gracing y'all with my presence on my 42nd birthday - and my older daughter Chloë's 17th - so here I am wondering where all this time has gone. I'm eager to jump in and get started. Link up here if you're playing along today!

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: Gotta Travel On (1959)

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

1) In this song, the Billy Grammer sings that "summer's almost gone, winter's coming on." When you look out your window, do you see any evidence that the seasons are changing?

Image result for beginning of autumn boise idaho

See? Not really, but I guess there are signs downtown here in the City of Trees. But now that were down to temperatures (at least overnight) in the 60s instead of the 100s, it's definitely feeling more like Autumn. wahhh!

2) He admits he has laid around and played around for too long. Do you consider lazy days to be wasted days?

Image result for lazy day funny

On the one hand yes, because I have always felt the need to be busy, busy, busy. But on the other hand, no, because I think my inability to (learn to) relax has significantly contributed to many of my health issues.

3) Billy relaxed by fishing. Tell us about a visit you made to a pier, or a ride you took on a boat, this past year. (Bonus points if you went fishing!)

Lucky Peak
Well, we haven't done any boating or fishing yet here in Idaho, but we have made this area, Lucky Peak State Park, our official destination for our Seton Spots this school year. We go twice a month, usually, for nature journaling and observations. The kids seem to be really into it!

4) Born in 1925, Mr. Grammer was the eldest of 13 children. He and his wife Ruth were childless. What do you think is the ideal size for a family?

Over-population

 Ideally, I think that there should be a 1:1 replacement of adults by their children. In other words, each couple should have or adopt no more than two children. That being said, many people (us included) end up having more than two in our family to feel complete, while some others feel that having zero children is what's right for them. But overall, the ultimate goal for the planet should be population reduction.

5) This song was very popular on jukeboxes back in 1959. When were you last in a bar or restaurant that had a jukebox? Did you play it?

I grew up with a jukebox and a dance floor in our finished basement, but I think really the last time I was in a restaurant with one was in August 2014, at the B'ville Diner in Baldwinsville, New York. I was there for my 20th high school reunion.

6) In 1959, movie tickets zoomed up in price to $1.00 and Ben Hur was the big blockbuster. What's the last movie you saw in a theater? Do you remember how much the ticket cost?

Image result for incredibles 2

The last movie we saw in the theater was The Incredibles 2, and the price was FREE! Our kids' orthodontist rented the theater for all their patients/clients.

7) Huckleberry Hound was a hit with the younger audience in 1959. What cartoon did you enjoy as a kid? 

Image result for smurfs gif

I think mine was probably the Smurfs.

8) In 1959, continuing dramas (soap operas) were still broadcast each day on the radio. When you turn on the radio, do you listen for talk, news, or music?

I listen for music. Anything I can sing along to is great. Right now I'm digging on "Have It All" by Jason Mraz. Love it!

9) Random question -- Which competition would you rather judge: The Pillsbury Bake Off, The Miss America Pageant, or Dancing with the Stars? 

I think I'd most like to judge Dancing With the Stars, simply because that's really what I enjoy most.

~*~*~*~*~

Time to get back to work! Thanks for paying me a visit.

Fin.

 


Saturday/Sunday Mash-Up

Eggs

Hey kids, what are we all talking about in here? Can I join?

Well, if you came to read Sunday Stealing, you've come to the right place. Aaaaand... because I forgot what day it was yesterday, Saturday 9 is here, too. I've missed a couple weeks, I think.

We've had a lot of wildfires this summer, and my asthma was horiblé. Now that weather conditions have improved, I'm breathing easier again. (Rob totally brought me to the ER because I couldn't breathe and thought I had pneumonia, but it was an asthma attack! I felt so dumb. But in my defense, something I've had my whole life didn't get properly diagnosed until last year!)

Time to get started with this week's Saturday 9.

~*~*~*~*~

She Works Hard for the Money (1983) 

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


1) This song is about a woman who works hard as a waitress. What's the hardest job you've ever had?

After thinking about this for a minute, I'd have to say teaching freshman biology while I was working on my PhD at USF. That was really the first time I truly had to confront my weaknesses in academia. I found out quickly that teaching was hard. Like, hard hard. It was a totally new kind of challenge for me.

2) The lyrics tell us she has worked at this job for 28 years. What's the longest you stayed with one employer?

Other than motherhood (It'll be 17 years this Friday!), it would have to be working at various Publix supermarkets in Florida. Three different ones: in Coral Gables, in St. Petersburg, and then again in Panama City Beach. I liked it more than teaching! Heh.

3) Donna Summer was inspired to write this song during an awards show. She ducked into the bathroom and met the elderly ladies' room attendant, whose job it was to make sure the room the spotless, the complimentary hairspray and moisturizer was abundant, and there was a hot towel for every celebrity who used the facilities. "Wow," Donna thought, "she works hard for those tips." Who is the last person you tipped?

I feel like it's been kind of a while. Maybe it was the pizza delivery guy from Pie Hole? I think so. We'll go with that.

4) Early in her career, Donna was in the touring company of the musical Hair. It played in Munich for so long that she became fluent in German. What's the longest you have ever lived away from home?

Guam-map-0

Well, that's hard to say. I've never had a home that I've wanted to go back to after I left! I have no parents' house to return to when I'm sad or down and out or anything, so... I guess I'll use this concept a little loosely. When Rob and I got married, and Chloë was a wee babe, we moved to Guam for four months. Just four months!
  
5) Sam's dad is naturally outgoing and enjoys striking up conversations with waitresses, librarians, the checker at the supermarket, etc. Sam is always polite but more private. Are you more like father or daughter?

Image may contain: Bob Simmons, closeup

Look at this guy, blowing a kiss! That's actually his Facebook profile picture! That's my dad. He strikes up conversations with everybody, too - and this lecherous old man also flirts - hard - with any cute young thing. Ugh. I'm an extroverted (but not much) introvert, so I'm more like daughter.

6) A little more than 10% of the American workforce is self-employed. Have you ever been your own boss?

I've done various things over the years. Like... back when we lived in Virginia Beach, I had a dessert business. However, I quickly learned that rather than something like this:

Image result for delicious cakes

I'm better at smaller desserts more like this:

Image result for beautiful petit fours

And now I want to make some petit fours! Too bad I sold off almost all of my baking tools when we moved to Miami and becoming broke was no joke!

7) Labor Day weekend may offer a golden opportunity for napping and sleeping in. Do you snore?

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I love how it's always the women complaining about their husbands snoring! Why is that a thing? LOL... Yes, I snore; my hubs rarely does!

8) Will you be attending a Labor Day picnic or barbecue? 

Image result for Japan celebration

Y'know, I don't think so? But we will be going down to celebrate Japan Day at the local Basque Center (just trust me), so that will be fun. I hadn't even thought about what to do after that!

9) Labor Day traditionally marks the beginning of the fall. Will you be adding any new fall clothes to your wardrobe?

Image result for Restyle thrift store boise

I'm sure I will. Every season we all (except Jack; he just wants me to pick out his clothes for him) go to the local ReStyle Animal Rescue Thrift Store. It's like this: they have a punch card. For every 5 donations AND 5 $10 in purchases, you get 50% off your entire next order. And every day, their great quality but already-low prices go even further down, with a different color tag being some percentage off for that day. And on top of that, we get a military discount! So I the girls shop 'til we drop and then come home and show the boys our goods. It's fun!

~*~*~*~*~

Well that was a good one, Sam! Thanks for the fun! I've been distracted by watching Chip and Joanna Gaines on Fixer Upper this morning. I'm very new (like, as of this summer) to their show, but it didn't take long for me to fall in love with them! He's so cute to her.

Anyway.

Time for some Sunday Stealing, which this week is oddly named Freaky Poptart! (Click the links to see other players' answers.)

~*~*~*~*~

What is one thing that you would change about yourself if you could?

Image result for temper tantrum gif

There is not a lot about me I'd keep! I'm not my own biggest fan. But I would definitely change my temper. I'd love to be more mild-mannered than I am.

Name three exotic countries you would like to visit:

Image result for Japan Image result for Australia Image result for argentina

I would visit Japan, Australia, and Argentina! Oh, hell, I'll go anywhere 'long as you're buyin'!

What do you think the secret to life is?

Image result for BE THE JOY

I think the secret really is that you have to bring joy to others. The more joy you give out, the more joy that ;,; ,mcomes back to you. It's the good kind of vicious-cycle. I try to develop that sense of joy in each of my kids. (Although it's pretty hard for Jack.)

Best concert: 

Image result for bob dylan baseball concert norfolk virginia

I'd have to say it was the Bob Dylan * John Mellencamp * Willie Nelson concert at the Norfolk Tides' baseball field back in Virginia. Bob Dylan is a huge favorite of Rob's, and he really wanted to go see them play. I was so thrilled to be able to take him, and he had a great time. I even liked their opening act, The Wiyos!

Song you can listen to over and over and not get tired of: 

Image result for maroon 5

That changes all the time, but lately it has been "Girls Like You" by Maroon 5; I even like the Cardi B bit, and I'm not a huge Cardi B fan. It's catchy!

Worst movie music soundtrack or score: 

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My mind is a blank on this one.

A song you wish wouldn't get stuck in your head but always does: 

Image result for wayfair logo

Have you heard the Wayfair jingle on their commercials? There's a ton of them every commercial break on HGTV, it's so annoying... but also catchy.

Who was your FIRST date?

Image result for first kiss

It was this guy, Ken, who was a year ahead of me in school. We went to the movies. I don't remember what we saw. Soon after that, we met up at this mall near my house, which was a total ghost town by that point... my first kiss. Now I know he is the biggest a-hole, but eh. You gotta know what bad is before you can realize how good good is, right?

Image result for heart And Rob is GOOD. Image result for heart

Do you still talk to your FIRST love?

Image may contain: 2 people, including Ben Peterson, people smiling, outdoor

Yeah, Ben and I are still Facebook friends... although I guess I've been asleep at that wheel, because it appears he just got married?!! I'm so shocked!

What was your FIRST alcoholic drink?

Image result for shots of goldschlager

In my Senior year of high school, my older friends from work used to take me out a lot wherever they went - including to bars. I mean, I was only 17, so their trick was to get me drunk on shots of Goldschläger at one of their homes before going out to drink some more. We had a lot of fun times, and we made a lot of memories, but I obviously don't recommend that! I have more than one Goldschläger story. So, I don't like the smell of cinnamon much anymore! Image result for winky face

What was your FIRST job?

Image result for first job funny

I did a lot of babysitting first, but my first actual paycheck was from BigM market in Baldwinsville, New York. Fun times; I loved it and, for a while, my best friend Lisa worked in the deli while I ran the cash register. (I've worked in a lot of grocery stores! Winn-Dixie, too, in South Carolina - oh and also, for two days, Fred Meyer here in Boise!)

What was your FIRST car?

Image result for 1991 ford escort wagon red

This picture almost makes me cry. I bought a red 1991 Ford Escort wagon in September 1993, when I was starting Senior year. My father basically stole it from me. It's not a happy memory.

Where did you go on your FIRST ride on an airplane?

Image result for New Jersey

Hm. I've been flying since birth practically, so I don't even really know! When we moved to Syracuse from Monroe, New York, we started flying back and forth to my mom's parents in New Jersey a lot. But I think we I had to have flown since I was knee-high to a grasshopper.

Who was your FIRST best friend & do you still talk?

My first two best friends were my sister Stacey our babysitter's daughter, Ursula. This is my sister with her (now about grown) daughters:

Image may contain: 4 people, including Karen Johnson and Stacey Johnson, people smiling, people standing, sky, cloud and outdoor

and this is my friend Ursula with her beautiful family:

Image may contain: 5 people, including Ursula Petricek, people smiling, people standing, child, stripes and outdoor

And yes, I still talk to both.

Whose wedding did you attend the FIRST time?

Image result for little girl in pink bridesmaid dress

It was my dad's to his new (now ex-) wife a year after my mother died. (They started dating three months after Mom died, and he still says my mom was his real true love, etc. Right, right.) My dress was pink; I think Stacey's was peach, Aarin (younger step-sister) had a blue one, and Mindy (older step-sister) wore purple. All matching but different pastel colors. Gag me. (Maybe that's why I hate pastel so much!)

Tell us about your FIRST roommate.

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That would be Jen from Rochester, when we were freshman dorm-mates at the University of Miami. We hit it off right away and had a lot of fun. We are not still friends.

If you had one wish, what would it be (other than more wishes)?

Image result for coexist

 

I wish I didn't have to live in a world where my neighbors didn't keep taking the COEXIST sticker off my car! Because, y'know, they're the people that need to read it and heed it. (And then I wish we had a house of our own, again.)

Back of car

What is something you would learn if you had the chance?

Image result for Latin

The girls and I are learning Latin together this year. I thought I would have a disadvantage over them because of speaking Spanish, but I really don't! In fact, Chloe is beating both of us, and Sophie is neck-and-neck with me. If I could, I would learn every language spoken in this world.

Did you marry the FIRST person you were in love with?

Nope, I married this dork:

Image may contain: 1 person

 He's so cheerful!

What were the first lessons you ever took and why? 

Image result for organ lessons

These probably weren't my first lessons but the first ones I remember. After my mom died, she left her electric organ, like this one, behind. I couldn't bear to see it and let it just go to waste, so to help me keep my mother alive in my heart, I begged my dad to let me take lessons and use it. I did for a couple of years, but I never got terribly good at it. Then my stepmother came along, decided she didn't want it around anymore, and bought a sleek baby grand piano to put there instead. And she couldn't even play! F**k her.

What is the first thing you do when you get home? 

Front entry

The first thing I do when I walk in is hang up my keys on "the fish." See that arrow? Same thing, every time. On the other hand, when Rob drives, he never hangs up the keys, and they are often missing after that. Also, that fish is supposed to be for keys. Not multiple baseball hats, not multiple dog leashes, but keys. Although now that I have one of my girls' leis from Boise Pride hanging on my hook, I guess I can't say too much!

~*~*~*~*~

Ahhh, finally done. That was fun, but because I'm distracted by Fixer Upper, it's taken me forever! Man, I wish we could afford a fixer upper. And Chip and Joanna Gaines, of course.

P.S. 

Drawing

Shout out of thanks! It was so unexpected when something from our daughter's Amazon wishlist, for her spendy Art program this year, showed up in the mail from you! I was moved to tears, so touched I was. Sophia was shocked, too. Thank you so much for doing that! Our fundraiser has kind of stalled out at $50 donated, and we still have several supplies and about $200 for the course left to go, so we were absolutely grateful for the help. You know who you are - you rock!

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: ID Questions

Hey, you guys! You came back! Wanna hear something crazy? I had what, in these uncertain times of my health going from bad to worse regularly, I would consider a pretty decent day Saturday. I spent a couple of hours just {yes, I know} browsing Bed, Bath & Beyond with Chloë, getting absolutely nothing, and then getting a few "deals and steals" at Walgreens after that (hey, six free toothpastes ain't a bad haul, for starters), and she and I just get along famously when we're out and about together like that. And that set the tone for the remainder of my day, with multiple laughing-'til-I-cried experiences with the rest of the family after that. Yeah, I'm not talking about my physical difficulties, but that's because regardless of those, if I have a good outward day, I can ignore that stuff for a while. So I did. :)

But anyway.

I'm happy you're here for Sunday Stealing (I almost wrote "Saturday Sunday," because they're enmeshed in my brain). Link up here if you're playing along today!

~*~*~*~*~

1: Three Fears ~

Image result for scary dancing pandas

a: nightmares (last night's was about scary dancing pandas - weird!); b: dying before my children are grown; and, c: of my dogs running out into traffic


2: Three things I love ~

Chloe 12th Grade 1

a: Chloë, who will be 17 in under three weeks;

Jack 10th Grade

b: Jack, 15; and,

Sophia 8th Grade

c: Sophia, who is 13 going on 19!


3: Four turns on ~

four?!! Hmm...

DSC_2712

a: Rob, obviously, who (since we're giving away ages here) will be 46 on the 30th;

Image result for turquoise merino

b: good yarn; in this case, it's Madeline Tosh merino wool in "Light Turquoise";

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c: Singing to good music turned up loud in the car with the windows down; and,

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d: Pure happiness and joy

4: Four turns off ~

Image result for smoking cigarettes

a: Smoking;

Image result for mistreating children

b: Child abuse;

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c: sloooooow drivers; and,

Image result for wildlife hurt by littering

d: careless people who litter - & its effects on wildlife

5: My best friend ~

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I am fortunate enough to have two, both of whom I met in 6th grade and went all through the rest of middle, junior, and high school with: Lisa Joy & Shana Marie, both of whom I love with all my heart and definitely don't feel like I deserve!

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{Photo of Lisa & me in a photo booth at CocoWalk, in Coconut Grove, Florida, during Lisa's Spring Break, circa April 1997}

6: My favorite book ~

Image result for jodi picoult songs of the humpback whale

I haven't read nearly all of these book by Jodi Picoult, but I have read My Sister's KeeperThe Tenth CircleNineteen Minutes, and Songs of the Humpback Whale (maybe others??), and I feel like all of them plus any more of her oeuvre that I'm going to read are my favorites, so can I make it her entire body of work?!

7: My best first date ~ 

Scan_20161123 (4)

Well, obviously I think, I would have to say that was my first date with Rob! In mid-November 2000, he came down to St. Petersburg, FL, from Panama City Beach, FL, to meet me in person after an odd first acquaintanceship (is that a word?!) online. We went to a Chinese take-out/eat-in restaurant for lunch and spent a long, long time there getting to know each other. We were the only customers who were dining in, so the staff were paying us a lot of curious attention, but I don't think either of us cared. Fast-forward to a year later, and we were already married and parents of a tiny baby, Chloë Raine - with three more to soon follow! Yup, I think there was romance in my vegetable lo mein...

8: How tall am I ~

Image result for i'm not short i'm just compact and ridiculously adorable

At 5'1½", I think I'm short enough. However, my tiny little pixie girl, Chloë Rainebow, is maxed out at 4'9½" and is super cute to boot!


9: What do I miss ~ 

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Now that Chloë nearing 17 and in her senior year of high school, Jack has a job, and Sophie towers over me at 5'4" with no end in sight, I've been missing their younger years something fierce lately!

10: What time was I born ~

Image result for september 8 1976

Oh, I don't know, on time I guess?? ;) Since my DOB is 9/8/76, though, I like to joke that I was also born at 5:43:21 PM!

11: Favorite color ~

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Something like this would be my idea color palette, with the middle color being my favoritest fave


12: Do I have a crush ~

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Honestly? This may sound corny but after almost 18 years together, seeing Rob persevere through prostate cancer and numerous serious complications in recent months has me crushing on him all over again. Weird circumstance, but I love him with my whole heart and entire soul, and that's that.

13: Favorite quote ~

Image result for dirty dancing quote pickle on the plate

I'm really not good at remembering quotes and jokes and whatnot, but I've always remembered this one from Dirty Dancing!

14: Favorite place ~

Totally Bamboo® Idaho Destination Cutting Board

Gosh, I'm getting really cheesy again, but it's wherever my family members are. So right now, that's Idaho. (And P.S. If I had a spare $30, I'd totally be getting myself this State of Idaho cutting board. Love it!)

15: Favorite food ~

Image result for new york pizzeria pizza

New York-style pizzeria pizza - yummo!

16: Do I use sarcasm?

Image result for sarcasm meme

What do you think?

17: What am I listening to right now?

Image result for fixer upper

I'm watching a new-to-me rerun of Fixer Upper, a show I just starting getting into, like, yesterday.

18: First thing I notice in a new person ~

Image result for smile with your eyes

Whether they just smile with their mouths, or if it reaches their eyes to show it's genuine

19: Eye color ~

Week 32 of 52 - JUST FOR ME

They used to be dark brown, but as I'm getting older, they're getting lighter brown with a ring of green around each iris

20: Hair color ~ 

See above; it's auburn, but I'm getting ready to dye it darker brown probably later this week.

~*~*~*~*~

That was a super fun meme! Thanks for the great thievery, Bev! And thanks to y'all for reading along with me!

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Blazing Stars Meme

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

Image result for phoenix rising from water

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

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

Image result for puck from midsummer night's dream

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

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

Image result for environmental defense fund

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

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

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

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

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

Image result for eternal sunshine of the spotless mind

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

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

Image result for rainbow heart

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

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

Image result for fuck

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

Image result for desert island with someone I love

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

9 - 5 things within touching distance:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

11 - Currently wanting to see anyone?

 Rare Breed Special

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

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

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

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

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

14 - How important you think education is?

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

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

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

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

 

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

Thanks for stopping by!

Fin.

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

https://www.gofundme.com/ArtEducationSupplies

 


Sunday Stealing: Curious As A Cat

I'm here this week! Woot! I had a 4-day migraine and didn't think I'd be back at all, but it finally broke this morning. Phew! On to business: Link up here if you'd like to play along with us this week!

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1) Do you think you’d be a good writer? What kind of writer would you like to be (fiction, children’s books, magazine, etc.)?

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I plan to write novels and a few non-fiction books, but I can't seem to get over the hump of this chronic illness I've been lumped with in order to get much of it even started. Very frustrating to have it all going on in my head but not be able to put it down in writing. :\

2) I wish I had enough money to ________.

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... help my college-bound kids go to the school of their choice(s) and then travel the world!

3) If you had to enter a competition for the "Most Uselessly Unique Talent," what would your talent be?

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Uhhh, I guess that I can do this with my fingers, too? LOL

4) When it might hurt their feelings, how do you feel about telling your friends the truth?

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I get really shy about things like that. It's hard for me...

5) Peanut or plain?

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I like both. I also like the almond ones, the peanut butter ones, and pretty much all but the weird, new flavored ones. Coffee M&Ms? No thanks!

6) Is there someone you would like to take your place in life for one day? Who and why?

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Maybe my dad, and anyone else who doesn't understand what it is that I go through on a daily basis just to do the bare minimum of functioning, let alone actually accomplish things like schooling the kids, etc. But especially my dad. Then he can f- off. ;)

7) What do you think is the ugliest thing or event on Earth?

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This kind of hypocrisy

8) What is your least favorite of your personality traits or quirks?

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I like to plan and carefully lay out what we/I am going to do and when, how, etc. But then, sometimes I have this spontaneous, impulsive need to go 180º off-plan. Sometimes it has worked out really well; often, it has not.

9) I wish I could see ________ because _________.

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My mother, because she was the most important person in my life for the 7½ years I was able to know her, and she has remained so since. And because I would love to just sit and relate to her, adult to adult, woman to woman, and see how she would be with my kids, my family... This Monday will mark 34 years since she left this Earth.

10) Tell us your favorite children's story.

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I have this weird obsession with Rikki-Tikki-Tavi by Rudyard Kipling, ever since it was read to us in the library when I was 8 years old or so.
                           
11) What do you keep in the trunk of your car?

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We have a minivan, so not a true "trunk," per se... but in the back we keep car stuff and... my hated wheelchair. I don't use it as much as I probably should, because I hate having to use it and not being able to walk. It's a thorn in my side.

12) Describe your perfect, rainy afternoon.

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Rainy days are made for napping - and looking for rainbows near the end; this is key. I was born for finding rainbows! If I'm up to it, I'll be cooking an Instagram-worthy meal (yeah, I'm into that, so?). Reading a book. That's about it.

13) Tell us about your favorite way to get lost in a simple activity — running, chopping vegetables, folding laundry, whatever. What’s it like when you’re in "the zone"?

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I try to stay out of "the zone" these days, because I get in that trance state, which leads to me falling asleep very quickly. If I'm not completely alert, I could put myself and maybe others in some danger. Seriously, the thought of being "in the zone" while chopping vegetables scares the shit out of me right now. My poor fingers!

14) What parts of nature do you like best?

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All of nature is stunningly beautiful to me. All of it. I think right now I'm digging on waterfalls, though. We'll have to find the closest doable hike for one near Boise soon!

15) What's the kindest act you have ever seen done (either to/by you or another)?

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Practicing Random Acts of Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty = something I have made a priority ever since this mind-state became known to me in grade school. I don't like to call attention to those I have done, so I will mention one done to me. When we lived in Miami, and we were in the poorest state we've ever found ourselves, right after Rob retired from the Navy and then his brain tumor issues started. Neither of us had jobs, and his disability stuff hadn't kicked in; his retirement pension paid our rent and not much more, so thankfully at least we weren't homeless! Anyway, I'd taken enough money (so I thought) to walk to the store for some groceries for the next few days, and I had both of my daughters with me. Naturally, I had coupons for everything I possibly could, 'cause that's how I roll. I get to the checkout, everything is rung up, and the coupons are taken off, but I ended up several dollars short. I was trying to count out a bunch of change to see what I could cover. The very patient, older lady behind me took out her wallet and said to both the cashier and me, "Hey, I've been in this situation before. Don't worry; I'll cover it. Just pay it forward." She paid for the whole thing. I cried all the way home out of gratitude. And fortunately, I can say I have been able to pay it forward and forward and forward. ♥

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Thanks for stopping by!

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: HodgePodge

Welcome back, party people. Link up here to play along this weekend. Let's get started!

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  1. January was National Mentoring Month. Have you ever had a mentor? Been a mentor? How would you rate the experience?
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  3. I was a knitting/crocheting mentor for a while. I even have a pin to show for it. I've attempted to teach dozens of students. Some are still doing it and improving their skills; I'm proud of everyone who tries it!

    2. What current trend makes no sense to you?
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  5. A year into his atrocious and disastrous first (and hopefully last, if not foreshortened) term as PUSA, there are still Trump apologists. I don't understand these people; I just don't. I know some of them, and they just refuse to listen to reason. Some are educated, rather intelligent people, too. WTF?!!

    3. I saw a cartoon on Facebook highlighting a few 'weird' things that make you happy as an adult. The list included-writing with a nice pen, having plans cancelled, freshly cleaned sheets, eating the corner brownie, cleaning the dryer lint screen, and sipping coffee in that brief time before anyone else wakes up. Of the 'weird' things listed which one makes you happiest? What is one more 'weird' thing you'd add to the list?
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  7. I love writing with a nice pen that writes smoothly with no gaps or scratchy marks. I'm favoring BiC Gel-ocity pens at the moment - especially since they write in many colors. I love colorful pens and try not to use black at all unless there is no other choice. I don't like the corny brownie - I'd rather have the center one! Canceled plans usually irritate me; freshly clean sheets are nice but not a dealbreaker unless I'm in a hotel, and I rarely drink coffee. My caffeinated beverage of choice is still Diet Coke. The kids do the laundry, so I don't clean out the lint trap anymore. To add to the list, I'd have to explain that I have a ridiculously, enormously large bladder capacity, so taking a weewee takes up about five minutes for me. That's very satisfying. ;)

  8. 4. What's the last good thing you ate?
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  11. I don't eat a lot these days, but the last satifying thing I had was a tasty omelet from our own hens' organic eggs, with plenty of cheese and sautéed onions. Hubs makes them for me, and they're so good!

    5. Describe life in your 20's in one sentence.
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  13. In my naïve 20s, I eloped with my husband two months after we met, and we immediately started our family of four kids. 

    6. It's that time of year again...time for Lake Superior University to present a list of words (or phrases) they'd like to see banished (for over-use, mis-use, or general uselessness) in 2018. This year's top vote getters are -- unpack, dish (as in dish out the latest rumor), pre-owned, onboarding/offboarding, nothingburger, let that sink in, let me ask you this, impactful, Covfefe, drill down, fake news, hot water heater (hot water doesn't need to be heated), and gig economy

    Which of these words/phrases would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why? Is there a word not on the list you'd like to add?
  14. Image result for covfefe meme
  15. I would like to add "basic," as in, describing someone as basic if they do or don't do certain maybe unsophisticated things. I hate this usage.

    7. What's something you need to get rid of in the new year?
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  17. This yellow, flowered couch. I like it, even though it's not my normal style. And it's comfortable as hell. However, Tapioca (our half-rabid Chiweenie), has eaten large portions of it, so it's now an eyesore. I'd like to replace it ASAP, but first I have to buy Jack a new bed. He's been sleeping on the floor for nearly a year!

    8. Where do you feel stuck?
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I feel stuck physically. Healthwise, I am on my fourth TENS unit, having burned through my first three and having spent hundreds of dollars on those. I haven't tried the new one yet, but it's got good reviews on Amazon, so I'm crossing my fingers that it'll help all the leg and wrist pain I experience daily from my "Fibromyalgia" (it's really Chronic Lyme Disease). I tried to get a job, but I ended up with my 8th pneumonia within a year. Months later, I'm stuck inside much of the time, I use a wheelchair and handicap parking placard occasionally, and I take a shit ton of medications to manage my illnesses. I would really like to be freer physically. At 41 years old, I don't feel like I should have to live this way. :(

  1. 9. January is National Soup Month. When did you last have a bowl of soup? Was it made from scratch or from a can? Your favorite canned soup? Your favorite soup to make from scratch on a cold winter's day?
  2. Image result for Chicken and dumplings soup
  3. It's difficult for me to have soup, because with my gastric bypass surgery, I'm not supposed to have solids and liquids at the same time. I have to drink broth now, though, because I'm not getting enough sodium content and was recently in the hospital to boost my super-low sodium levels. And I try to eat as little chicken and seafoods as possible, but I consider myself pescetarian because my protein needs are so high, so... I usually, by myself, will eat cream of chicken soup out of the can when I need a protein and calorie boost. If Rob makes his famous chicken and dumplings soup, I'm all over that. It's so good.

    10. Tell us one thing you're looking forward to in 2018.

Image result for Impeachment 2018

 

Trump's impeachment. Need I say more?!

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Thanks for stopping by, y'all! I hope to get to everyone's tonight or tomorrow!


Sunday Stealing: Conversation Starters

Welcome back, folks! Link up here if you want to play along today! I'm in the mood to just jump in, so let's go!

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Cheers to all of us thieves!
 

Here are some conversation starters, stolen from Conversation Starters

1. What are some small things that make your day better?

Image result for lotion funny

For the past 17 years of our marriage, Hubs rubs washes my feet and puts lotion (and sometimes socks, if I'm going to get up again) on my feet. It's so sweet and loving and romantic, and he does it whenever I ask without complaining. It's not quite a daily thing, but it's frequent enough. And of course I love him madly for doing it.

2. What shows are you into?

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Big Bang Theory is a favorite...

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...as is, of course, Jeopardy! (Yeah, I'm a total nerdy-nerd)...

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... and we are starting to get into This Is Us. We've only watched S1E1 so far, but I think we'll watch more tonight.

3. What TV channel doesn’t exist but really should?

Image result for goofy family gif

We're pretty goofy. And funny (IMNSHO). I think we should have our own channel. All Team Odette, all the time. Wait, on second thought... maybe not. ;) 

4. Who has impressed you most with what they’ve accomplished?

Image result for genius kid funny

Kids, especially ones who grow up poor with single mothers or some shit like that, who go on to do great things impress me. The examples, though kind of rare, come out frequently enough to make me believe that humanity is not inherently bad. I love these stories and will actually sit up and listen, take notice, when one comes across my frequency. Go Brainiacs!

5. What age do you wish you could permanently be?

Image result for fountain of youth funny

I think 35. I was at a pretty good place, both physically and mentally (ish), at 35. But I really don't want to be permanently stuck at any age. Stuck is stuck, and it's never good.

6. What TV show or movie do you refuse to watch?

Image result for game of thrones funny gif

Sorry, Game of Thrones, I'm just not that into you. (I'm not a bandwagoneer, either.)

7. What is something that is considered a luxury, but you don’t think you could live without?

Image result for losing the internet funny

I go berserkasoid when the Internet goes down. Ask my husband. I cannot DEAL!

8. What’s your claim to fame?

Image result for nobel peace prize funny

I was the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Oh wait, that was a teen-aged fantasy I used to harbor. I guess nothing, then.

9. What’s something you like to do the old-fashioned way?

Image result for slamming the phone down gif

Dude, I wish I could still angrily slam the phone down on people...! Hmm, let's see. When the floor needs to be washed, I still like to get down on my hands and knees and scrub that sucker. Of course, now that I have my minions kids, I don't clean the floors, like, ever.

10. What’s your favorite genre of book or movie?

Image result for Fat Amy gif

That would be comedy. I love to laugh. There is so much BS in this world, I just need to laaaaugh and laaaaaugh to escape it, sometimes. BTW, for this reason, I completely recommend the Pitch Perfect movies. My girls and I went to see Pitch Perfect 3 the other day, and I laughed my ass off the entire time. So hilarious.

11. How often do you people watch?

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Oh, I'm all about it, Dude. Every time I'm in public, I'm doing that.

12. What have you only recently formed an opinion about?

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Well, it's still forming, but since people are now clamoring "Oprah Winfrey for President 2020!" I'm having thoughts about that.

13. What are you interested in that most people haven’t heard of?

Image result for steeking a sweater gif

I've never done it, mostly because it scares the shit out of me to think about intentionally cutting through my hard, beautiful hand-knit work, but I'm intensely fascinated by the idea of steeking a sweater. It's on my Knitting Bucket List.

14. What’s the farthest you’ve ever been from home?

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I mean, Guam was pretty far from the mainland United States, but it was our home for those four months. So does that really count?

15. What is the most heartwarming thing you’ve ever seen?

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A dad cuddling his baby melts me every time. Every single damn time.

16. What is the most annoying question that people ask you?

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"Can I speak to your mom, please?" when I answer my phone. I have a bit of a high-pitched, squeaky voice, so lots of times people think I'm a little kid.

17. What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?

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Forty minutes is all I have to talk about all things Marine Life?!!! ::gasp::

18. If you were dictator of a small island nation, what crazy dictator stuff would you do?

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I'd make practicing Random Acts of Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty a law. Recycling would be mandatory. No smoking tobacco would be allowed, whatsoever. All the food would be organic and healthful. And Trump would not be allowed in. Or on. Whatever.

19. What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?

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Go SCUBA diving! Somewhere tropical, of course. It's the most amazing thing ever. I have always wanted to dive in the Marianas, and I just missed that chance because I was pregnant with twins when we were out there. It's the most amazing diving on the planet, though, so I insisted newishly-certified Rob go take that dive. And behold, it was good.

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Why are there only 19 questions? It's a prime number. Not a nice, whole, round, symmetrical number. That agitates me.

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Oh well, I'm over it. ;) Have a great weekend, y'all!


Sunday Stealing: Thanksgiving Thoughts

Hey, y'all. So, it's early in the wee hours of Monday morning, which is officially late for participating in Sunday Stealing. But, as my daughter has been in the hospital since Wednesday afternoon and I have been one big bundle of scattered brains, I feel like I have a decent excuse. However, I missed you guys and still want to participate, and here I am. So there!

Let's begin.

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1.  What made you feel patriotic this year?

Earth Day march

Well, while it may not seem to fit the standard definition of patriotism, I felt that way when my daughters and I participated in the Women's March (in Miami) and the Earth Day March and March for Science (here in Boise) this year. I felt so united for a good cause or two with my fellow Americans, and in that mood of solidarity, there was definitely and uplifting of good feeling toward my country.


2 . What do you value most about your life?

Image result for my family means the world to me

This little family of mine is my whole, entire everything.


3.  What do you appreciate about your friendships?

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Among other things: Loyalty, Honesty, and the Ability to Share our Senses of Inappropriate Humor ;)


4.  Name one person who can make you laugh, even months later. Why?

Image result for my husband is the best funny

That honor belongs to Hubs. He's ridiculously funny. I can't even stand it. When I am pissed at him, and the last thing I want to do is laugh, he cracks me up. I hate that!!

5.  What is the funniest thing you remember about a Thanksgiving past?

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My husband loves to tease me about the fact that, every single year I make a pumpkin pie or two for Thanksgiving, and every single year I leave out a different ingredient. Without fail. Ugh!

6.  Do you have any unusual traditions, rituals or habits around Thanksgiving?

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I don't think we do anything unusual for Thanksgiving. I do like to go all out with the big feast, starting from a full breakfast (or brunch if you're going by the clock, since we sleep the morning away), to snacky things for lunch and throughout the day, until the giant spread for dinner. Hubs and I usually have something sparkly to drink for dinner, so I typically pick up a couple bottles of sparkling grape juice for the kiddos. It really matters to them; they always look forward to that!

7.  Name one ancestor that you think about on Thanksgiving and tell us why.

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I always think about my grandparents, especially when I break out the can of black olives, and my kids put them on each of their fingertips. My sister and I always did that at Thanksgiving. Grandma made sure to stock up just for that. Hee!


8.  Is there a family heirloom at the Thanksgiving table? What its story?

 
Image result for Beautiful Fiestaware 
 
Not an old family heirloom, but maybe a new one is beginning: I collect Fiestaware, and my collection always adorns the Thanksgiving dinner table. I love ALL the colors, so we have quite the rainbow going. So pretty! There is really no story there. In Miami, we had hard tile floors and we are all klutzes. There were quite a few dropsies and smashed Fiestas during our tenure there. But that's okay... it gave me the excuse to buy more!

9.  What is your favorite part about Thanksgiving Day?

Image result for macy's thanksgiving day parade 2017

I'm hoping to get TV service in time to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade! I've always loved it. Even went to Manhattan one year and froze my tuckus off watching it with the snow falling everywhere! Such fun.

10. What random act of kindness did you perform or that was done to you this year that makes you feel grateful?

Image result for fun care packages

I don't like to point out my own RAOKs, and I know several happened to us this year for which I'm grateful, but I'm drawing a complete blank. However, right now with Chloë in the hospital, I know several of my friends are planning on sending her some fun mail to cheer up her day(s) there. And I truly appreciate them for that.

11. What do you appreciate about the change of seasons?

Image result for Idaho fall colors

Here in Idaho, the Autumn colors are beautiful enough to rival any of Vermont's, all day long. I've turned into quite the leaf peeper!

12. Name five things that make you happy about today.

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  1. I got to speak to Chloë on the phone and hear how she's doing!
  2. I picked up some stuff for ice cream sundaes for Jack & Sophia, who were ridiculously excited about it.
  3. Sophia and I went to the grocery store together and acted like complete, idiotic goofballs, and instead of being annoyed by us, the cashier thought we were hysterical. He said we were entertaining and brightened his shift.
  4. Rob's migraine went away (thank you, caffeine).
  5. The dinner I made turned out to be super yummy.

13. How has the celebration of Thanksgiving today changed from when you were little?

Image result for extended family funny

For me, personally, Thanksgiving changed from having my entire extended family over for the day to it just being our little nuclear family. We've only had one Thanksgiving in our marriage where it was more than just us. And you know what? I don't mind.

14. If you could share Thanksgiving dinner today with one person in history who would it be? Why? (Note: it can be a relative)

Mama

Of course, now that I'm feeling all sappy and reminiscent, I'm gonna say me mum. She was a great cook and a lovely hostess. But all that is beside the point; she was just a fabulous mom and person in general, and I miss the crap out of her.

15. What is one wish you have for the next generation as they begin to establish their own Thanksgiving traditions?

For my kids, I am hoping that they will continue to love and express that love for each other and for each of their own families when the time comes. When I depart this world, I want to know that Sophia, Jack, and Chloë are taking care of each other and keeping the Team Odette love going...

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Welp, that's it from me! It's not yet 0500, so I'm going to go'head and visit y'all, too.

Happy week!