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Saturday 9: Ordinary People

John Legend | Artist | www.grammy.com

John Legend: "Ordinary People"

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

Awesome Happy Spring GIF - white spring flowers and glitter

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

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

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

ORDINARY PEOPLE (2005)

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


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

Lyme Warrior Poem | Perseverance, Lyme, You are strong

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Barbra Streisand, tout sur la chanteuse

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

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

Lucky Peak Dam Photos – Hicken Design

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

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

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

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

Kelly Clarkson opens up about suicidal thoughts in her early career

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

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

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

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

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

03202021 Paco

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

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

Enjoy your Spring beginning, y'all!

Fin.


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

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

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

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

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

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

Saturday 9: Just Because

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

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

I had not ever heard this song before.

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

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: Just Because (1956)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

15 TOP Things To Do in Memphis | Attractions & Activities

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

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

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

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

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

Shock Images | Free Vectors, Stock Photos & PSD

No way in hell!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holiday Light Displays | VisitMaryland.org

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

Have a wonderful week on purpose, everybody!

Fin.


Saturday 9: Diamonds

Second Life Marketplace - DG !Pod - Rihanna - Diamonds

Hey, y'all! I'm hopeful I'll get this post all done and on time this week. So many times, last week included, I'll start the post well in advance, get two or three answers written, and then need a nap. By the time I have the energy to come back, Saturday's all but over. Last week, and many times, it's a pain or migraine issue, but more and more lately it's straight-up fatigue.

Anyway, I can't wait to see what questions Rihanna and Crazy Sam have for us. Link up here if you're playing along with us this week.

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: Diamonds (2012)

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

1) In this song, Rihanna sings that when she looks at her lover, she sees the light in his eyes. The internet is filled with makeup tips for making your eyes look brighter. Drugstores sell eye drops that promise to get the red out. Are you bright-eyed this morning?
 
Open photo
 
I suppose, but I do have these eye drops right here on standby. They work great!

2) She likens him to a shooting star. Astronomers tell us that shooting stars aren't that rare at all. They occur when dust, asteroids or comets enter the earth's atmosphere, and are often visible on clear, pollution-free nights. Have you ever seen a shooting star?
 
The History and Evolution of the Three-Point Shot
 
I think I have; I'm sure I have.
 
3) In ancient Rome, shooting stars were considered good luck, especially for those going into battle, while some tribes in East Africa believed shooting stars were a harbinger of doom. Are you superstitious?
 
Fingers Crossed Hoping GIF - Fingers Crossed Hoping I Wish GIFs
 
Maybe, but only mildly. I'll cross my fingers or knock on wood, but I know that what's going to happen is already going to happen.
 
4) The singer of "Diamonds" hosted a lavish Diamond Ball to raise funds for education programs in Malawi, Senegal, and the country of her birth, Barbados. Rhianna named her charity initiative the Clara Lionel Foundation after her grandparents. If you were to name your foundation after your grandparents, what would it be called? What would you ideally like to do in their honor?
 
Employee Well-Being / Smoking Cessation
 
Both of my (maternal; I did not know my paternal) grandparents used tobacco. Grandpa smoked a pipe, but when his dentist told him there were warning signs of cancer, he quit that day and got rid of his entire extensive collection of pipes. Some very valuable.  (And when he had a mega heart attack a few years down the road and was told to lose weight, eat healthier, and get more exercise, that is exactly what he did. He even bought a Sony Walkman so he could listen to Sousa, and he would take that to different parks and do his Sousa march around the various pathways! So cute.) So he was super... "obedient" to doctors' orders when he got bad news.
 
My grandmother, on the other hand, smoked for many years and just could not get out from under that beast. She was told to quit smoking for many years, but she could not. I don't think she tried, but I was very young then, so that probably isn't a fair assessment. But when she was put on oxygen at some point, due to the emphysema, she was still unable to let it go. I remember seeing her pull out the tube and hold it far away with one hand and smoking with the other hand, or hiding a burning cigarette in a closed drawer, and other things. We all held an intervention, but it made no difference.
 
So in their honor, I would do something like, The Art and Ruth Center for Tobacco Use Prevention, Education, and Cessation.
 
5) Rhianna recently had her first baby, a boy. According to the Social Security Administration, the top names for baby boys in 2021 were Liam and Noah. Is there a Liam or Noah in your life?
 
Liam Hemsworth - IMDb
 
No, not currently, but this did give me a chance to look at Liam Hemsworth again, and that ain't bad.
 
6) When she was still in her teens, Rhianna entered a beauty pageant on a dare, and won! Can you recall a time you acted on a dare?
 
Why was the country so obsessed with streaking in the 1970s?
 
Oh. Heh. I've been known to accept a dare or two in my time. I remember once, either right before Chloë was born (she's 20 years old now, will be 21 in September), or right after (so I still had the belly!), I was doing laundry late at night. Maybe 10 PM. But our washer and dryer were in a separate building from our house, maybe 100 or 150 yards and outside the fence, through the gate, down the driveway, and in another door. As soon as I'd put the load of clothes in and gotten back to the house, I realized I still had the clothes I was wearing to put in. Aack!
 
So Hubs dared me to dash out there right away, throw my clothes in, and just streak back. I thought about it for a quick second, looked out there... it's dark, no lights, and I could run pretty fast at the time. So I did it. BUT. When I got up the porch steps to our back door, Rob was there, laughing. And he had turned on the porch light. And he had locked the door on me!
 
7) While on tour, she likes to sneak out into the audience, just to get the vibe from out there. To disguise herself, Rhianna slips on a black oversized hoodie. Are hoodies a staple of your wardrobe?
 
 
Well, I have my green one right here next to me, but I'm not photo ready quite yet, and I can't find me wearing it anywhere in my photo gallery.  So here are Hubs and Chloë each wearing one.
  
8) In 2012, the year this song topped the charts, London hosted the Olympic Games. If you won a trip to London, what would you like to see?
 
Private London Sightseeing by Luxury Vehicle 2022 - Viator
 
Are we having a raffle here? But me in for 10 tickets. But seriously, I think I would have to be a total tourist if I were to go to London. Double-decker bus, Tower of London, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey... Yes. Everything. But I'm really interested in venturing out and seeing some proper English gardens, too. Very much so.
 
9) Random question: Did either or both your parents go to college?
 
Monroe Community College | Harriman
 
As far as I know, they each did a semester or two of community college there ^ at Harriman Community College, in Monroe, New York (my origin).
 
~*~*~*~*~
 
L00k, I did the whole thing! Add me another ticked to the raffle!
 
Fin.
 

Saturday 9: Let Me Love You Tonight

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

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

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

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

Anyway, let's do it:

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: Let Me Love You Tonight (1980)

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

via GIPHY

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

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

Saturday 9: Rapid Roy

45cat - Jim Croce - Operator (That's Not The Way It Feels) / Rapid Roy (The  Stock Car Boy) - Vertigo - Netherlands - 6073 251

Welcome, welcome, one and all! (all two of you)

I guess I'll just be popping in and out irregularly. Miss y'all, though.

I don't know why I don't know much the music of Jim Croce. I mean, is this the era of James Taylor, Joan Baez, and Carole King, et al.? And if I do know a song, I wouldn't necessarily know to attribute it to him. I'm not even sure how to pronounce his surname. Is it "CRO-chee"?

Anyway, let's go:

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: Rapid Roy (The Stock Car Boy) 1972

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
 
1) The lyrics tell us that every Sunday afternoon we can find Roy at the racetrack. What are your plans for Sunday?
 
Amazon.com: Extra Large Hexagon Floating Shelves Set of 4 - Honeycomb  Shelves - Octagon Shelves Rustic White - Wall Shelves Honeycomb Decor -  Wooden Honey Comb Hexagon Shelf for Wall - Geometric
 
I wanted to go out to a park we haven't visited yet, but it'll be too cold for me tolerate (pain), so we'll stay in. Hopefully I'll paint some and finally convince Hubs to hang at least one shelf. Cross your fingers.
 
2) Roy is fearless behind the wheel of his '57 Chevrolet. But it's just natural to feel fear every now and again. What scares you?
 
Dizziness causes, symptoms and treatments
 
I've got all four of these, and:
 
Vertigo: Overview and More
 
At least half of these.
 
So I'm constantly losing my balance, constantly feel like I'm on a swing or a rocking boat or something, constantly having one or both ears suddenly plug up, followed by a "screaming" tinnitus. I know I now have Neurologic Lyme Disease. And my neurologist has yet to see me for it, respond to my messages about it, acknowledge it at all. She even keeps moving my appointments later in the year. So to answer: I'm afraid my entire brain is going to be claimed by disease before anybody pays attention to my calls for help.
  
3) Roy's been photographed grinning with a toothpick in his mouth. Do you often use toothpicks? If so, do you carry them with you?
 
Buy 3 Pcs Portable Titanium Toothpicks Pocket Toothpick Metal Toothpick  Holder Brass Color Reusable Toothpick for Outdoor Picnic and Camping Online  in Indonesia. B08DXNLVCL
 
I used to use a lot of regular wooden toothpicks. But with everything else, I had an interest in reducing my carbon footprint, finding something reusable, and even saving a few pennies in the process. So I found these, which do the trick. And I clip one onto my purse zipper with that ring, so I always have one.
 
4) Legend has it Roy learned to drive fast when he ran moonshine out of Alabama. Moonshine usually refers to illegally produced whiskey. What was the last alcoholic beverage you drank?
 
Mai Tai Recipe - How To Make A Mai Tai Cocktail
 
I very rarely drink. I had a mai tai from a local restaurant about 9 (?) months ago. It was awful; I  had one sip and gave it to Rob. Usually I love a mai tai, but since I'm not supposed to drink anyway (medication cocktail supersedes alcohol cocktail; boring but eh), not a huge loss.

5) This week's featured artist, Jim Croce, attended Villanova University, where he played in a band that performed at fraternity parties. When his band was chosen to tour Africa as part of a cultural exchange program, he was excited to learn his host countries' customs. Have you ever traveled overseas? What did your trip teach you?
 
100_7191
La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, by Antoni Gaudí
P|C Me, June 2008©
 
Among many other things, I learned that Europe is far more interesting than the United States. So we set up democracy, we have capitalism, and all that. That is not the be-all and end-all of human existence. There is so much life over there. Amazing architecture. Fantastic art. Incredible food. Lovely people, oh my gosh. I could go on and on. We almost moved to Portugal instead of here. That would have been...the be-all.
 
Oh, also, I learned that when we finished our cruise in Madrid and had to get around by ourselves to find a hotel for the night, my Spanish was still pretty sparkly-shiny. I got it done.
 
6) Jim met his future wife, Ingrid, at a party. They discovered that they both loved Joan Baez and Woody Guthrie. Tell us about one of your friends, and what you two bonded over.
 
Well, I have one good friend, Stephanie, who actually kept our kids for the two weeks or so that we were in Europe way back when. Originally, and for a long time, she was our kids' babysitter when we needed one for my gigs. But she loved our kids, and kids in general, so we bonded over that, firstly. Then I started taking her with me on some of my gigs, then our family started hanging out with Steph and her husband, and eventually, she had a son of her own. And now there are four! She's an amazing mama.
 
7) Early in their marriage, while Jim was working hard to launch his music career, Ingrid helped make ends meet by baking bread and canning fruits and vegetables. Do you have any frugal cooking tips or "cheap eats" recipes to share?
 
13 Frugal Food Tips For Eating Well On A Budget
 
Yes. I would say, if you're going on any kind of road trip, pack a cooler and a dry bag as much you can with food for each person in the car, for however many days you can. You can save so much money over stopping at a trillion convenience stores and fast food restaurants.

8) In 1972, Mark Spitz became a sensation, winning seven Gold Medals for swimming. After making money in endorsements and TV appearances, he settled into a career as a realtor in Los Angeles. Are you contemplating a change in residence anytime soon?
 
Open photo
 
OMG, noooo... We all agree: no more moving! This is the LAST house we buy. (We bought our house on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in August.)

9) Random question: Which of these "top ten" lists would you prefer to be on -- the sexiest, the smartest or the richest?

The world's smartest people of all time revealed | Daily Mail Online

I think I'd prefer to be among their ranks. Ten out of ten times.

~*~*~*~*~

Well, that was fun. Thanks, Sam! Thanks to all who might stop by!

Fin.


Saturday 9: Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral

Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral That's an Irish Lullaby | Shannon, J. R. | V&A  Explore The Collections

Hello, ladies and gents and maybe those of another bent! How's it going?

I have a bit of news:

The good news: after labs were run of my psych meds and levels were found to be low, things have been adjusted, and I'm already feeling way better.

The better news: after ~7 months of hotel living, this will be coming to an end, finally... in May. We've signed a contract on a yet-to-be-built house here in Salisbury, and we're super happy with the way things turned out (except that it didn't "turn out" in, say, October!)

So cheers to better moods and not being homeless much longer!

Link up here if you want to play along with the S-9ers this weekend.

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral (1944)

Selected because this Wednesday is St. Patrick's Day. Unfamiliar with this week's song? Hear it here.
   
1) Bing Crosby sings that he learned this song from his mother. Can you recall a song from your early childhood?
 
Mother's Evening Prayer - Mary Baker Eddy | Evening prayer, Prayers for  healing, Prayers
 
Well, it's not like a favorite song or anything, but I remember being very little while I sat in my mother's lap. She would sing this hymn, "O Gentle Presence" when I needed calming from a nightmare or some such.
 
2) Bing was NBC's first choice to play TV's Columbo. He turned down the role because, by that time, he was in his 60s and just didn't feel like working a full week anymore. Peter Falk eventually got the part and played Det. Columbo for 10 seasons. Do you enjoy detective stories, whether on TV, in movies or in books?
 
Law & Order: SVU - 10 Hilarious Memes That Will Make You Laugh
 
Heck yeah! All the iterations of Law & Order were made expressly for me, don'tcha know?
 
3) Bing could trace his family back to County Cork. While it's said that on St. Patrick's Day everyone is Irish, can you honestly claim Irish heritage?
 
03132021 DNA Origins
Well, and this was news and kind of a complete shock to me, according to Ancestry DNA, I can claim about 8% Irish ancestry. Never knew!
 
4) Other than St. Patrick, what is Ireland famous for?

Ireland is famous for Dublin castle. Kissing the Blarney Stone in Ireland | Blarney stone, Kissing the blarney  stone, St patrick's day quiz Ireland is famous for its cliffs.
17 Things You Didn't Know About Guinness Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe — The Mom 100 Ireland is famous for its pubs
 
dance GIF
 
Castles! the Blarney Stone! the amazing coastline! Guiness! Corned beef and cabbage! all those pubs! Step dancing! ...and soo, so much more. I would love to go someday.
 
5) "The wearing o' the green" is one way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Will you wear something green in honor of the day?
 
St. Patrick's Day: The 10 most gorgeous green dresses on the red carpet
 
Eh. Green isn't really my color, and the tradition isn't that important to me. Now, things might be different if I looked as amazing as these fine lassies...

6) Have you ever had green beer?
 
green beer Blank Template - Imgflip
 
I have. ONCE. Once was enough. In 1998, when I was 21, my friends Shannon, Melisa, and I went out drinking with some friends from the marine lab where Melisa and I worked. Or maybe they were from the catering gig where we also worked; I forget. I wasn't going to go, because drinking beer and playing isn't really my thing, but I decided to go be a joiner. I'm not even sure I had one full beer, let alone more than one, but man, later I was soooo sick! And then next day, and into the next day, too. So sick. That was enough.

7) Have you ever ordered a Shamrock Shake from McDonald's?
 
Here's Everything You Want To Know About The Shamrock Shake. And Some  Things You Don't. | HuffPost Life
 
I cannot say for sure, but I do not think so. Maybe once, ages upon ages ago.

8) A four-leaf clover is considered good luck. Do you have a lucky charm?
 
MaeMae Jewelry | Super Good Luck Bracelet | Charm Bracelet | Affirmation  Carded Jewelry
 
No. I don't really give much credence to these types of superstitions, although I do find it fun to play along and read the fortune cookie, pick up the penny, and stuff.

9) Speaking of Lucky Charms, they are magically delicious.  What brand of cereal is in your kitchen right now?
 
Part Of A Balanced Breakfast - Memebase - Funny Memes
 
I think right now, all we have is Cream of Wheat. My son loves that stuff! No one else does, though. Guess I've gotta go shopping.
 
~*~*~*~*~
 
Okay, y'all have a lovely weekend and cross your fingers my body decides it's up to taking my daughters to Assateague & Chincoteague to try and spot some wild ponies this weekend, as promised!
 
Fin.

Saturday 9: One Night Standards

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

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

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

Hope y'all are doing well. ♥

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

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: One Night Standards (2019)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pistachio Ice Cream Recipe | Southern Living

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

Have a lovely!

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Friday Five Theft

Hiya! Once again, I'm dodging my responsibilities and playing along with Sunday Stealing. Here's today's post, if you're inclined to join us.

Bev Sykes of the blog "Funny the World" is our lovely host. Welcome to the joint! Here, we will steal all types of questions from every corner of the blogosphere. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent questions. Cheers to all of us thieves!

~*~*~*~*~

1) What makes it easy to talk to someone?

Tigger Tails for National Winnie the Pooh Day!! | Pooh quotes, Words,  Winnie the pooh quotes

If  they're interested in what you're saying, and vice-versa, that helps.

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

Talking To Strangers Summary - Four Minute Books

Sure. I remember this one mystery shop I was doing at a very high-end boutique restaurant in Miami. I ended up talking to the women's bathroom attendant for quite a long time. We really bonded. At the end, we hugged and maybe cried a little. I have no idea what we talked about, now, but that women isn't paid enough!

3) Do you like to argue?

Buy Waste No More Time Arguing What a Good Man Should Be. Be One - Marcus  Aurelius: 110 Page 6x9 Wide Ruled Composition Notebook Book Online at Low  Prices in India |

If you mean like the angry, loud kind of conversation, then no, not really. I do like having a really good, constructive discussion about ethical and moral issues and such.

4) Some people like to talk about things, and some people like to do things. Which are you?

Less talking more doing. Maybe it's just because the sun is shining but I'm  excited by most of the things I'm do… | Motivational quotes, Quotes,  Inspirational words

Pre-disabilities, I was both. Say what I was going to do, or wanted to do, and then go get it done. These days I'm more of a delegator.

5) Who is easier to talk to – men or women?

1000+ ideas about Guy Friends on Pinterest | Guy Best Friend, Guy ... |  Psychology quotes, Psychology says, Psychology facts

Historically, I've always had a lot more guy friends than girls. Now that I'm much older, most of my friends are women.

6) What is your favorite place?

Rob and Mel November 2001

My favorite place isn't a geographical spot on any map but rather wherever this guy is, in his arms.

7) What is your favorite place in your home?

Video 13 MASTER BEDROOM_Moment

Probably our master bath. It's so relaxing and luxurious there, and I've spent a lot of time in it. Hopefully our new house in Maryland - or wherever we land - will bring something competitive!

8) Would you most want to live in a city, a suburb or the country?

Trip Trivia

My favorite place is a city by the sea, like here in Split, Croatia. (I haven't been there. I have been to Dubrovnik, but not Split.)

9) What is special about the town you live in?

CRICKETS CRICKETS EVERYWHERE - | Make a Meme

I can't think of anything. And that's why I've gotta leave.

10) How much time do you spend in nature?

The One Nature Challenge - David Suzuki Foundation | Health, Health  benefits, Health guide

Right now? Practically none. I used to spend all my time in nature. I've gotta remedy that.

11) Do you make up a dinner plan for the coming week?

7 DAY VEGAN CHALLENGE MEAL PLAN (Easy, go-to recipes) - YouTube

I really tried to get into doing that, but I found it too restrictive. After we get settled into whatever new house we own, I'm going to try again.

12) Do you make up a grocery shopping list and stick to it when shopping?

RuPaul's Drag Race Tier List (Community Rank) - TierMaker

Oh yes, most definitely. I am the queen of lists... as opposed to this, RuPaul's list of queens.

13) What is one thing that you always buy, but never write down on a list?

Drinking milk probably does not cause breast cancer - The Washington Post

Milk. I'm forever buying milk. My kids drink a ton of it.

14) Is there anything that you always think you are out of and come home with it to discover you already have a year’s supply on hand?

Lots of Rice Menu, Menu for Lots of Rice, Borehamwood, London

Hmm, not really, because of those afore-mentioned lists. Probably one of the things I might be guilty of over-buying is rice. No idea why.

15) Do you get your groceries delivered?

Google's Wing gets first-ever drone delivery license | The Counter

Nope. I mean, we did that once or twice when we lived in Boise, but nothing delivers out here. Nothing.

~*~*~*~*~

All right, y'all, I've got more travel plans to make. Be well!

Fin.


Saturday 9: The Love Boat

The Love Boat TV Show

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

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: The Love Boat (1977)

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

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

the love boat gifs | WiffleGif

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alrighty, I'll be Katniss O'Toole.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dilapidated Colony Resort in Longboat Key slated for demolition

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

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

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

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

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

07242020 Dive Watch

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

~*~*~*~*~

Yairn

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

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: The Winter Questionnaire

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

How do you get past the gray skies during winter?

Image result for winter gray skies

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

Do you like snow? Why or why not?

Image result for syracuse blizzard of 1993

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

    What are your favorite activities to do during the winter?

Image result for hibernation

Hibernate and wait for it to be over.

    What does a perfect winter day look like to you?

Image result for gorgeous summer day

This. It looks like this.

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

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

    What is your favorite winter holiday and why?

2019Christmastree

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

    What is your favorite pizza flavor and toppings?

Image result for new york pizzeria pie

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

What are some items in your daily bag/backpack?

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

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

    Your favorite snacks?

Image result for pistachios

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

Some foreign countries that you would like to visit?

Image result for beautiful world

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

What things remind you of home?

Fam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What was your favorite Christmas gift?

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

Take care, y'all.

Fin.


Saturday 9: Brand New Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Would You Rather?

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

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

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

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

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

Would you rather have too many friends or too few?

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

Would you rather have no taste buds or be blind?

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

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

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

Would you rather find true love or be rich?

Appreciate Those Who Don't Give Up On You

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

Would you rather be the richest person or the smartest?

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

Would you rather create history or delete it?

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

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

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

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

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Hands down, neck down!

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

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

Would you rather become famous or powerful?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image result for tiny waving pride flag gif Cheers! Image result for tiny waving pride flag gif

Fin.


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?

Weather meme

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...!

~*~*~*~*~

That was fun, Bev - thank you!

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

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Thoughts Provoked, Part The First

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

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

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

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

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

Did I mention I'm excited?!!

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

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These are from a site called Thought Provoking Questions..

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

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

2. Who do you sometimes compare yourself to?

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

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

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

Well, this one amuses me:

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

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

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

4. What gets you excited about life?

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

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

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

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

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

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The Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy

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

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

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

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

Also, this is a good lesson to learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  • I love these kids!! And...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

13. Do you celebrate the things you do have?

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

14. What is the difference between living and existing?

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

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15. If not now, then when?

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Now. Definitely, now.

16. Have you done anything lately worth remembering?

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

17. What does your joy look like today?

Puppies!!

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

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

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Of course it is.

19. If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow this person to be your friend?

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

20. Which activities make you lose track of time?

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

Fin.


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.

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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?

Image result for ariana grande god is a woman

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?

2019-01-24 18.52.42
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.

Image result for three snowy owls

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.


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

Image result for winter wonderland herb alpert

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

Fruit Salad

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

Here goes Saturday 9:

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: Winter Wonderland (1968)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

23. Favorite word?
 
Image result for fuck!
 
FUCK! (hee.)

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

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

Sunday Stealing: Art Historic

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

~*~*~*~*~

This [meme is] from Art Historic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday 9: It Must Be Him

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: It Must Be Him (1967)

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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:

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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? 

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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: 

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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:

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And yes, I still talk to both.

Whose wedding did you attend the FIRST time?

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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)?

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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?

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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:

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 He's so cheerful!

What were the first lessons you ever took and why? 

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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: Never Been Asked Meme

Welcome back! I'm hoping to get this post written before my migraine comes back, because it is a doozy. And I know it's coming back by its aura, which I'm getting because I just don't have enough health problems going on right now... :P

Anyway, link up here to play along today!

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  1. First thing you wash in the shower?
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  3. I have a set routine, and I always shampoo my hair first.

    2. What color is your favorite hoodie?

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It's brown!

3. Would you kiss the last person you kissed again?

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Sure, I guess I'd kiss Hubs again. ;)

4. Do you plan outfits?

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Not usually, no.

5. How are you feeling RIGHT now?

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Well, I've got this new kind of intractable migraine since a few months ago, even landing myself in the hospital for it this past Monday, and nothing helps. I've had three rounds of Botox to no avail, so I'm now considered a non-responder to that. And pretty much everything else. There's a new injection drug called Aimovig that I've just signed the paperwork to get, so I'm waiting to see if our insurance will approve it since it nears $10K a month. And I might get my tragus pierced. SOMEthing has got to help!

6. What’s the closest thing to you that's red?

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Currently, that would be the giant bottle of Tylenol that I keep nearby at all times. Kinda makes sense, eh?

7. Tell me about the last dream you remember having?

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I can't remember the reason, but my 13yo daughter Sophia was sorely pissed at me. She's hardly ever angry with me, and I felt fearful to see if she really was when I woke up! (She wasn't.)

8. Did you meet anybody new today?

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Nah, not really. Wait, do cashiers and Customer Service reps count? Chloë and I went to PetSmart to get dog food, cat food, puppy pads (our two itty bitty doggos are pad-trained), and two NylaBones on clearance. Then we went to Kohl's to pick up an online order (I got a brand-new bra, three pairs of undies, and four bra hooks - to tighten the straps of my girls' brassieres - for under $23! Plus I bought a new set of measuring cups, since we lose some every time we move, on sale AND they gave me an additional military discount, AND I got $5 Kohl's Cash back for picking up the internet order. Sweet! And then we drove across the street to pick up two Target internet orders I placed a few days ago. It was the hardware for our window treatments. We've been here 17 months and still don't have proper curtains up! Until now.

9. What are you craving right now?

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Cheap chocolate. Specifically, Reese's Pieces Peanut Butter Cups - best chocolate under a dollar!

10. Do you floss?

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Sometimes. I floss a lot more now that I've lost a filling. Gotta get that thing replaced!

11. What comes to mind when I say cabbage?

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I think of the cabbage soup diet! One of my BFFs from high school, Shana, introduced it to me in the mid-to-late 90s. I used it during my internship at Mote Marine Lab after college. Back then, the diet included lots of red meat - and I ate vegan then, so maybe that's why I failed? I loved the soup, though; it really was delicious!

12. Are you emotional?

Funny Still Emotional :)

Uh, you could say that. Just... slightly. ;)

13. Have you ever counted to 1,000?

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Definitely in Roman numerals...

14. Do you bite into your ice cream or just lick it?

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Usually, I lick. I prefer to savor.

15. Do you like your hair?

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Not currently. It's too short to put up in a proper ponytail, and with 100°F heat, that's pretty annoying! But it's not as bad as Donald Trump's... thing... on his head, so yay!

16. Do you like yourself?

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I find it difficult, but I do try to hold onto those things I do like about myself.

17. Would you go out to eat with George W. Bush?

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Yeah, I probably would. I wasn't a fan of his presidency, but the guy himself seems like he'd make an amiable dinner companion. He'd probably crack a lot of jokes. And I am proud of what his daughter Barbara has become, and I really enjoy watching her sororal twin Jenna on the Today show in the mornings, so yeah. Hey Dubya, call me!

18.What are you listening to right now?

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I'm listening to - and watching - my 15yo son Jack play the Titan Fall II on the Xbox directly in front of me, and to my right, I'm also listening to our Chiweenie Tapioca chew on her new sirloin-infused Nylabone. She's going to town on it!

19. Are your parents strict?

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I have no idea what parenting style my mom would have employed, but my dad and evil stepmother were at times Authoritarian and at times Uninvolved (which was called "Neglectful" instead, during studies of Child Development in college). I was raised in a completely different environment than the one in which I was raised. I try to be very Authoritative, with the occasional Permissiveness in between.

20. Would you go sky diving?

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Not even if you paid me.

21. Do you like cottage cheese?

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Yeah, but only the 4% kind. I like to indulge now and then.

22. Have you ever met a celebrity?

Image result for Jose Canseco

Yeah, but not any huge A-listers. I helped Dave Barry, the humor columnist, numerous times when I worked at Publix all throughout college. Really nice guy. And I served ice cream to José Canseco and his lady friend once, when I worked at a gourmet ice cream shop before entering graduate school. Really not a nice guy - total douche!

23. Do you rent movies often?

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Almost never. We have Amazon Prime, Netflix, and frequent freebie codes for the Redbox - and I almost never use any of them! What a shame.

24. Is there anything sparkly in the room you're in?

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I had a hard time finding something sparkly instead of shiny - plenty of shiny! - until I looked down at my engagement ring. There we go! (Boy, do those rings need polishing!)

25. How many countries have you visited? 

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I've been to the USVI {St. Thomas only}, Puerto Rico, and Guam, but do those technically count, since they're US territories? I've also been to Canada multiple times as a kid; Mexico twice; Bahamas twice; Jamaica; Costa Rica; Panama; Cayman Islands; Spain; France; Monaco; Italy; Greece; and, Croatia. I think that's all of them. Not nearly as many as Hubs, though!

26. Have you ever made a prank phone call?

Image result for horse manure

That may be the first (and only?) time I've posted a picture of actual feces on this blahg. I've made a prank or 17 in my day, but Hubs makes them to this day. We'll be driving along, whether around town or on long road trips, when we'll see a sign or the side of a van or something that inspires us. He manages to last quite a long time while I'm cracking up in the background. Maintains serious composure! One of the more memorable pranks was when he called different Home Depot stores around the country to ask if they sold, specifically, "horse shit." We were trying to find the most polite store, but somehow our quest got lost in the giggles!

27. Ever been on a train?

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Numerous times! Both long-distance and also around big cities like Miami and Washington, DC. On one of the more memorable trips, my friend "Jenny From the Block" and I took our combined five kids from Virginia Beach to Richmond, Virginia, by train and back. That was pretty awesome. I would love to do a trip cross-country.

28. Brown or white eggs?

Eggs
May I please have a combination? These are our very own eggs; I'm sure there's a more vibrant picture somewhere, but this was the first one I came across. We have five hens laying eggs at present, but I'm planning to add more to our flock in September. Of the five we have now: one lays nearly-white eggs, two lay brown eggs, and two are olive layers. I'm enamored of this whole chicken-keeping business! When I order a flat of chicks in September, I'm really hoping to get a rare layer of blue eggs. That would be so cool!

29.Do you have a cell-phone? 

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Of course - who doesn't nowadays?! All three kids and I acquired new Samsung Galaxy S9 smartphones in June; Hubs has the Galaxy S8 Active. I'm still learning all the tricks and secrets my phone possesses, but I'm already enamored of it!

30. Do you use chap stick?

Image result for stash of lip balms

Not necessarily the Chapstick™ brand, but I am an absolute lip balm fanatic! I always have at least one in the following locations: my purse, the dashboard pocket opening in the car, and my bathroom drawer (I probably have eleven in there). I've tried just about every kind. My very favorite is the kind that the St. Luke's hospital gives out to their patients. It's the best! But a very, very close runner-up are the three kinds from Young Living: Cinnamint, Lavendar, and Grapefruit. I love that last one!

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Phew! Finally finished that long one! Just in time. In addition to the headache, I'm nauseated, have blinding double vision, and heart palpitations. Good Lord, please help me and take this da** thing away!! :( :( 

Sorry for the accidental lapse in self-control, there. Forgive me? I hope you'll all have a wonderful week. Forgive me if I'm physically unable to read your posts right now. I can barely see to write my own!

TTFN. ;)

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Art History Meme

Welcome back to Sunday Stealing! Link up here if you want to play along today!

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Classical: If you were an Olympian god, what would you be known for?

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I would absolutely be the goddess of the sea!

Byzantine: Do you prefer gold or silver accessories?

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I actually much prefer copper jewelry, but since it's rarely an option, I go for silver. I'm not into gold, but my wedding & engagement rings, and the "baby" necklace I'm wearing from my mother-in-law, are gold. I don't care; I combine my metals.

Medieval: Are you religious?

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I don't consider myself to be religious. I am spiritual.

Gothic: What is your favorite historic building?

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La Sagrada Familia, the giant work-in-progress cathedral in Barcelona. Hubs and I visited it in person in 2008, when we went to Spain on our cruise. It was mentioned on TV the other day, and my developmentally-delayed 15yo son saw it with me. I was so impressed when he knew everything about it. Love when that happens!

Renaissance: Have you ever had a time in your life when you felt enlightened or changed?

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Many times. The first time I truly realized it happening was when I was about to turn 21 and read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. My best friend Lisa gave it to me for a college graduation present, but I had put off reading it for a few months for fear of boredom. It was not boring at all. I actually had a breakdown from it changing me mentally so thoroughly, and I ran away from home for a fortnight to collect myself. I keep meaning to read it again, now that it's 20 years later, but I have yet to do so.

Baroque: Do you enjoy the finer things in life?

110317 Chandlers Food Collage

Our food from the Boise Chandler's in late 2017

110317 Chandlers Drinks Collage

Our Chandler's drinks

Oh, absolutely. I am definitely a fancy dinner and high-end hotel kind of girl. I mean, I can get by just fine with a cheap motel and Taco Bell (ugh) if I have to, but I feel much more comfortable living the high life. I grew up fairly well-off; maybe that's why? We can't always afford such a life, because kids, but that is part of why I mystery shop. It affords me the opportunity, and I get reimbursed. Win-win!

Rococo: Is your bedroom full of trinkets and pictures? If so, which pictures adorn your walls?

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It's really just full of boxes at the moment, since we still have a ton of unpacking to do. My health has made that low on the list of priorities at the moment. I'll have some pictures, including a koi print my sister-in-law gave me, and my shot glass collection, for starters. For now, though, here is a shot of some pretty paper lucky stars I made for a friend once.

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

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I'm not really into fashion. At all. I'm into comfort. So, I don't care much, but I think I'd like one of these sumo suits.

Romanticism: Do you often see things in a positive light?

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I try to do this. Sometimes I need a little help, and sometimes I just need a little time and separation from an issue.

Pre-Raphaelite: Which book would you like to see turned into a film?

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Anything by Jodi Picoult that hasn't already been made into one. Her books are the best!

Impressionism: Do you look for details or take everything in at once?

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A little bit of both. I think I first take in the whole deal, and then when I have time to soak it in, I absorb as many details as possible.

Art Nouveau: When were you last at the theater?

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I think it was when I took my two daughters to see Pitch Perfect 3. We all love the PP franchise. Especially Fat Amy; she makes me laugh my guts out!

Surrealism: Why does the porcupine think it's a duck?

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It doesn't. You're thinking of the platypus.

Pop Art: Do you enjoy pop culture?

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I'm pretty mainstream in a lot of ways, I admit. But I'm alternative in many other regards, so... it evens out.

Contemporary: What did you do today?

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I woke up early. Took a nap. Woke up again hours later. Almost immediately took another nap. (Welcome to my life). Got myself up just in time to take the family to dinner for a work assignment. Met a couple friends afterward. Came home to sit here and blog memes while amping up the intensity of my TENS machine on my knees and ankles. I need another one to handle back, neck, and wrists at the same time. I call this my "electroshock therapy." Freaks people out.

~*~*~*~*~

Thanks for stopping by!

Fin.


Saturday 9: Is There Life Out There?

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image result for the perfect man

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image result for KFC chicken meme

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fin.


Saturday 9: Baby Love

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

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: Baby Love (1964)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday 9: My Funny Valentine

Hello, hello! Welcome back to the fray. Make sure you link up here to play along this week, and let's jump right into the fray!

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Saturday 9: My Funny Valentine (1991)
 
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) In this song, Ms. Kitt sings that her lover is her favorite work of art. Tell us about a piece of artwork you can see from where you're sitting now. (Yes, that crayon drawing created by your 5-year-old nephew counts.)
 
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So, I normally write about the Britto, but I'll mention this one instead (which happens to be just to the left of the big Britto, currently.)  We bought this fish rack hook rack from an antiques shop shortly after we bought our house in Virginia Beach, VA, in 2003. I hang my keys an extra keychain or two on there; Hubs hangs a carabiner or seven with various and sundry things on them on his hook, and we then we hang the dog leashes on the third hook. We have a pretty fish-themed style going on, and I love this piece!

2) She asks him to not change his hair. When will you next find yourself in the stylist's chair?
 
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I was supposed to go last week, but the care and upkeep of Chloë's long curls came to a head (heh heh) this month, costing so much I had to scrap my plans for a trim. I cut my own bangs and called it a day.

3) Ms. Kitt always wanted to be a performer and attended the New York School of Performing Arts (aka the "Fame" school). Think back to your high school self. In what ways would you be surprised by how your life turned out?
 
 
Ha, well, by this point I figured I'd be a world-renowned marine scientist with a Nobel prize (for what?! I don't know) under my belt. I actually thought that! I had no doubts. I certainly didn't think that at 41, I'd be looking at raising three teenagers. And I most definitely didn't plan on homeschooling them even after they came along! Life is so weird.

4) Ms. Kitt took over the role of Catwoman on TV's Batman. Name another Batman villain.

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The Penguin!
 
5) Ms. Kitt enjoyed tremendous success performing in Parisian nightclubs. Have you ever been to Paris? 
 
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Not yet! Chloë wants to get engaged there (currently there is no suitor, haha)! I have been to Nice, and Eze, in France... but not Paris. I'd love to go with Hubs sometimes and stroll the Champs-élysées and of course, smooch atop the Eiffel Tower. One day.
  
This is the last Saturday  9 before Valentine's Day and so this morning we shall focus on the upcoming holiday. 

6) The holiday is also known as The Feast of St. Valentine. Do you have a special meal planned for next Wednesday?
 
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I might have a little something up my sleeve (which I can't yet divulge, since certain family members read these posts), but definitely no feast. I'm not one to go all out - or expect anything - for Valentine's Day.

7) The phrase "wear your heart on your sleeve" began in medieval times. On Valentine's Day, men would celebrate the holiday by displaying their lady love's name on their sleeves. If you were going to adopt this custom, whose name would you wear?

Week 552
Well, I'm not a man, but I would wear Rob's name on my sleeve. He has a piece of my heart, for sure. Having just celebrated the fourth anniversary of his brain surgery, he has just received a cancer diagnosis (not of the brain). I'm trying not to just fall apart... I love him so.
 
8) Women buy and send more Valentines than men do. What's the last greeting card you received?
 
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The last ones we've received were for Christmas. I plan on giving out a few on Valentine's Day, myself.
  
9) Men buy and send more roses at Valentine's Day than women do. What's your favorite flower?
 
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Tiger lilies are absolutely my favorite flowers, so much so that we named our first German Shepherd Dog after them:
 
 
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If they must be roses, however, then my favorites are yellow.
 
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Fun questionnaire this week, Crazy Sam! Thanks for doing this!
 
Fin.

Sunday Stealing: The Monday Morning Meme

Hello! I neglected Saturday 9 yesterday because I had no computer available. We have finally received all of our belongings from Miami! Hallelujah! Anyway, now I'm back on my old computer (and happily so), so here I am: participating.

Link up here if you'd like to join in the fray!

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We stole this from Phoenix the Blogging Mama , who stole it from Karen, who made up the questions herself.

 1. How has your life most benefitted from the Internet?

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I met my husband on the Internet! We're almost to the 17-year wedding anniversary, so I'd say we're doing all right!

2. How do you deal with negative comments on your blog?

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They generally sting, I dwell on them, and then I usually delete them. Whatever. I ain't got time for that!

3. There’s never enough time, is there? What would you do with an extra three hours today?

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Unpacking. I would be unpacking. I missed our stuff these past 9 months, but I did not miss the amount of that stuff!

4. The getaway car is waiting outside – where is it taking you?

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Back to Miami - to the beach! ;)

5. Who was your "arch enemy" in high school? Do you have any enemies today?

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I don't really "do" the whole enemy thing nowadays, and I can't name my "arch enemy" from high school, because I'm now FB friends with her. And I actually quite like her!

6. You’re giving the keynote address to the graduating seniors of a high school today. What’s your advice to them?

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SO I'm not really great at giving advice. I would say, fix the effing planet already! This world is yours to inherit, so take care of it. And whatever matters right now, if it's not going to matter in five years, it probably really doesn't matter now, either.

7. Thinking of words of wisdom: What's the worst advice you've ever received?

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Hmm. It probably came from inside my own mind, whatever it was. Or from my sperm donor's mouth. He's given me a number of gems on which to, um, reflect, over the past four + decades. "Maybe your body wasn't put together right to have children." "If you lost weight you'd find more friends." On my first time behind the wheel to learn to drive, with him, "Okay, turn it on. Now go," with no other instruction given. And so on and so forth...

8. Tell us about the best summer vacation you EVER had.

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That would be the two-week Mediterranean cruise that Hubs and I took aboard Holland America's MS Zuiderdam in 2008. That was an utterly epic vacation, and I loved almost every second of it. You can read all about it here.

9. What do you have to have with you when you travel? Why?

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Besides obvious things? I don't know, everything I need seems obvious to me! I have to have Diet Coke available. I have to have my phone and its charger. My crossbody purse is essential, with at least 1 pair of working nail clippers in it and a good lip balm. Good facial skin care goes along, as well as an excellent lotion.  Snacks. Comfy shoes, usually Crocs. I don't know what else, but that's for starters! The rest depends on where I'm going, for how long, and with whom.

10. Would you accept $1,000,000 tax free, if it meant you had to leave the country and never come back?

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Hm. I don't know. A million dollars is not what it used to be. Maybe not!

11. Do you believe the world will be a better, or worse, place 100 years from now?

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For whom? For people? I believe it will be much worse. We may not exist then! But for organisms that can adapt, survive, evolve, reproduce, et. cetera... It may not be so bad. I don't know. It's a scary thought for me.

12. Do you expect to buy a new winter coat this year?

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Not unless I can have THAT one!! Not for me, anyway. For Sophia, the kid who actually grows, probably!

13. If you could spend one year in perfect happiness but afterward would remember nothing of the experience, would you do so?

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I would totally go all Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind for a year and then, if I have to, forget it all. Yes, I would. But preferably not where I lose any memories of wonderful things about or with my children. Even then, yes I would do it.

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Welp, that was fun! Maybe later I'll do yesterday's Saturday 9, because I love it, and because I want to. We'll see. Unpacking boxes calls, though...

See y'all!