Entries categorized "Fun Times" Feed

Saturday 9: Forever Your Girl

Hi everyone! First, do we like the new blog design, or no? I'm not so sure. I might let it grow on me for a week or more before I make any decisions. I'm not (ever) happy about summer ending and autumn being here, but this year I decided to just try to let that go and embrace things as much as possible.

Second, I love me some Paula Abdul! I had this album back in the day and still remember most, if not all, of the words. I was soo happy to see her perform at - what? Billboard Music Awards? - a couple years ago. She was fantastic, especially considering her age and physical health. So two thumbs up from me for this week's choice!!

Which gets me to that. Link up here if you're playing along this week, because here. we. go!

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

Saturday 9: Forever Your Girl (1989)

1) In this song, Paula Abdul tells her boyfriend he's got to remember, she's forever his girl. How's your memory? Do you remember things easily or do you leave yourself notes and reminders?

Mnemonics: The Kings and Queens of England | Playing in the World Game

My mind used to be pretty much like the proverbial steel trap, to the delight of many a professor and the chagrin of my husband, because I made heavy use of mnemonics and other memory devices and 'games.' But that is no more. My ability to remember my mnemonics - or even to use them at all - has weakened greatly, and I'm not only forgetting exactly what I needed to remember, but sometimes, that I needed to remember something. I mostly blame the combo of Lyme/fibromyalgia/lupus. They've done some mighty damage.

2) Paula reassures her lover that she can't be swayed by another man, even if he gave her diamonds or pearls. Tell us about a piece of jewelry that means something to you.

Well, Chloë gave me that "mama" bracelet and matching "mama" ring for this past Mother's Day, along with the other bracelet, which she had engraved with sentiments of the occasion. She may have given me the anklet with hearts on it, but - eek! - I can't recall!

3) Paula is best known as one of the original judges of American Idol. Without looking it up, can you recall the men who sat on either side of her?

Sure, but no picture, since I can't look it up: Simon Cowell & Randy Jackson

4) Paula has been dancing since age 8 and moves very well in heels. Tell us about your favorite shoes.

First, I'll tell you what I really want to get - a pair of Keens like these:

Keen Women's Shoes | Dillard's

I do have a similar pair with similar colors from a different brand, and I'd show and tell except that it's downstairs and I can't remember. Of course. So I'll show and tell about the Jambu Jsport Regatta shoes that I have, which are semi-similar and which I wear often and really like:

JSport by Jambu Regatta Women's Sneakers

Really comfortable no matter what I'm doing, easy to put on, and especially convenient if I haven't painted my toenails! ahahaha

5) A lifelong dancer, Paula admits she's not a trained singer. For this record, she worked with producer Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, who won accolades for his work with singers including Madonna, Kelly Clarkson, Toni Braxton and Janet Jackson. Who is your all-time favorite female singer?

 If you had asked me this about 5 years ago, I would have told you:

GRAMMY Rewind: Watch Whitney Houston Win Best Female R&B Vocal Performance  At The 2000 GRAMMYs

But this young human continues her growth in that space, and  I think someone has finally managed to edge out Whitney in that spot for me:

Why is Billie Eilish so beautiful? - Quora

Jewel came very close, too. I don't know, I love a lot of female singers. But I may be borderline #obsessed with Billie Eilish's voice.

6) She advises young girls to "keep the faith and don't lose your gut instinct." How about you? Are you more logical or instinctive?

Interpreting Slope | Macroeconomics

I think with me, they both vie for attention, so there's an equal rise over run, resulting in a 1:1 slope. #mathnerd

7) Paula is excited that Richard Branson has chosen her song, "Straight Up" as the theme for his Virgin Galactic Spaceflight company. Would you like to orbit above the earth?

Hell, yeah, I would!! No qualms there. No ifs, ands, or buts, either. It just occurred to me: if I'm asked to go straight up into space, and I say "hell yeah," there's some irony there, is there not? I know, I'm so clever these days.

8) In 1989, when this song was a hit, the Sears Holiday Wish Book was big on bathrobes. Men and women alike were tempted with brightly colored, belted robes with hoods and patch pockets. Tell us about your bathrobe.

I don't currently have one, although I would love one. So instead, here is 21-year-old Chloë on our recent trip to the Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia, wearing the robe they provided to her in our hotel room. She loved it and said it was so cozy. I thought about buying her one for Christmas, but she must have smelt my wheels churning, because she reminded me she already had one, perhaps two!

9) Random question: What do you consider your best quality?

Stage 1 in the Design Thinking Process: Empathise with Your Users |  Interaction Design Foundation (IxDF)

For better or for worse, I am an extreme empath. And a deep feeler. So when I'm empathizing with someone, it often physically hurts (if what they're feeling are negative emotions). I can't turn that off, so sometimes I have to completely avoid the situation to save myself some "spoons" (see "Spoon Theory," for the uninitiated). I hate doing that, though, because that sends the opposite message. I'd rather be there for someone no matter what it takes from me in the short or long run: it's my superpower.

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Take care folks, and if you're in Florida, I'm sending all my positive vibes, very best throughts, prayers, and good juju your way. Likewise if you've been in the path of Ian in states north of Florida - we're getting some hard rains right now, ourselves. To everyone: be safe, remember what's important to you in the world, and nurture that.

Fin.


Saturday 9: This Night Won't Last Forever

Michael Johnson - This Night Won't Last Forever (LYRICS) FM HORIZONTE 94.3  - YouTube

Hey, folks!

It's been a loooong week for me here; how 'bout you? I hope better than mine.

I confess, I don't know Michael Johnson (other than my estranged brother-in-law) or this song, but the sound is dead on my laptop, so I'll have to give it a listen on my phone or desktop later.

Let's get to it, shall we? Link up here if you're playing along with Saturday 9ers this weekend!

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Saturday 9: This Night Won't Last Forever (1979)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
 
1) This song begins with, "Everybody likes a celebration." Do you have any birthdays or anniversaries coming up on your calendar?
 
No description available. Open photo Open photo
 
Sheesh, not for a while. Look, Rob just turned 50 at the end of August, Chloë just turned 21 at the beginning of September, and I turned... a year older the next day. That's enough! Actually, one of my best friends is having a birthday near the beginning of October. ♥
 
2) The lyrics tell us Michael Johnson is stuck at a party while his heart is breaking. He finds it awkward and painful to pretend there's nothing wrong. Are you adept at "putting a good face on it?" Or is it easy for others to tell how you're feeling?
 
When you need to hide your emotions - Life Marbles
 
It depends where I am, who I'm with. I can hide my emotions from some people, while others get allllll the emotions coming forth. (Lucky them.) I guess it depends on my comfort level.
 
3) Michael feels like this is going to be a long night. Is there a part of your day when time tends to drag? Or when it flies?
 
The Next Inclusion Revolution: Disability in Advertising
Because of the nature of my health condition(s), I get tired very, very easily. I'm the person who is perfectly described by Spoon Theory, if you've not heard of that. I am a true spoonie. So by virtue of not just being in a wheelchair (or, occasionally, using my walker or cane), my disabilities require someone to always be with me. Even when I go out driving, it's best if someone who can also drive goes along, on the 50-50 chance I won't be able to get us home. This has happened numerous times. All of this to say, if I'm awake, and especially if I'm home, it drags, because my time does not belong just to me. I'm fully dependent on others, and I dearly miss my independence.
 
4) As bad as he feels right now, he's still hopeful about tomorrow. What are you looking forward to for Sunday?
 
Moon Phases | Moon in Motion – Moon: NASA Science
 
When they say the full moon brings out the "crazies," it's not for nothing. Just like the full moon (and the new moon) affects the pull of the tides, it affects so much else. Ask any ER nurse or attending: the Emergency Department is likely to be loaded with "interesting" cases that night. Every time, at least in populous area of the country. Likewise, my joint and muscle pain comes to a screaming maximum at both the full moon and the new moon, which we'll have on Sunday. So I am only able to do as little as humanly possible then.
 
5) When he was 13, Michael taught himself to play the guitar. He went on to take formal lessons and mastered classical guitar. What's something you would like to learn more about/do better?
 
Design star turned Master Knitter Charles Gandy creates fantastical socks -  Atlanta Magazine
 
I would love to follow in the footsteps of Master Knitter Charles Gandy, here. I actually started the master knitting program back in 2014 or so, but that's when I started to get really sick, and I just couldn't keep going. There are still many knitting skills I still want to learn, so master or not, I would love to learn them eventually.
 
6) For a time he performed with a trio known as Denver, Boise & Johnson. The Denver was John. Do you have a favorite John Denver song?
 
Photo: John Denver 5
 
I'd probably have to say it's "I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane." Love that one.
 
7) He retired to Minneapolis to be near his adult daughter. But he never stopped performing entirely. For years he delighted loyal local fans with an annual holiday concert on December 26 at Orchestra Hall. Is there a performer you've seen in concert more than once?
 
Grateful Dead | Spotify
 
Me, not so lucky, no. But before we met, Hubs was a superfan of the Grateful Dead and saw at least a dozen of their concerts. He had so many Dead t-shirts back then!
 
8) In 1979, when this song was popular, the cable channel ESPN launched. What's the last sporting event that you watched?
 
Iga Swiatek Getty 2022 US Open
 
I peeped a lot of the 2022 US (tennis) Open. It was epic, both mens' and women's tennis, but I especially loved watching Iga Świątek play. She's amazing!

9) Random question: Do you play Wordle?
 
These 21 Tweets About Wordle Are Honestly Just As Good As Playing The Game  Itself
 
I don't, know. I looked at it, but decided I already have my hands full with Words With Friends after playing that for approximately a century, now. I play constantly and am still not bored (since they throw in fun things all the time), so why give up on a good thing? But enjoy your Wordle, everyone. Does seem fun, also.
 
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Well that's it, guys. Have a lovely week, if you so choose!
 
Fin.

Saturday 9: In And Out Of Love

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

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

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

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

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Saturday 9: In and Out of Love (1967)

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

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

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

Saturday 9: No Roots

Stream Alice Merton - No Roots (Vivid & OneBrotherGrimm Rework) FREE  DOWNLOAD by Vivid & OneBrotherGrimm | Listen online for free on SoundCloud

Hey everyone! I'm just back from a whirlwind 3-day trip to Philadelphia with my birthday sorta-twin, my eldest kiddo, Chloë. She turned 21, so yes, there was alcohol. She wanted more cocktails, but that will come in due time, I'm quite sure. Meanwhile, she's 4'9", so I gave her plenty of information on how to make sure she stayed safe while drinking!

I love this week's song and have since it came out. Perhaps because I identify, perhaps the beat, perhaps Merton's voice alone? Maybe everything. I think everything. Link up here if you're joining us today!

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No Roots (2017)

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

1) This song is about a woman who has moved a lot and is always packing boxes. Do you have packing materials (boxes, bubble wrap, packing tape, etc.) in your home right now? Do you have them on hand to ship things, or are you preparing for a move?

Revolving Doors Cartoons and Comics - funny pictures from CartoonStock

Yes to all of that: boxes, bubble wrap, and packing tape (bonus points for wadded-up newspaper?). Also yes to ship things, but mainly these items were from a move. No, moves. Probably at least three: Virginia to Florida, Florida to Idaho, Idaho to Maryland. There will be NO more moves.

2) She sings that she moves from place to place, collecting memories. Would you rather travel light and travel often, or put down roots?

YES.

3) She can recall all the gates and house numbers of all the places she's lived. Does your current residence have a fence and gate? Did your previous one?

Dude! Gnarliest picket fence ever! - Los Angeles Times

The previous one did; the current one does not - yet. It was just built; finishing touches were still being put on it as we completed our final walk-through before moving in as the ink dried a year ago. Can we put in one like this, honey?? ("No." - HOA)

4) This week's artist, Alice Merton, moved often as a child as her father's job took the family from Germany to the US to Canada to England back to Germany ... She wrote this song to help her deal with feelings of loneliness and longing. When you're feeling overwhelmed, how do you work through the feelings?

15 Meme's Military Spouses Relate to - Martinsburg College

They must've been Army. Relatable. We're Navy (were?). 

Feelings. Well, I had a horribly traumatic upbringing with no healthy outlet for feelings, so I have severe mental illnesses (medicated well) like Bipolar 1 Disorder and C-PTSD, etc, and will be in therapy for the rest of my life. Inwardly I cry a lot, so I'd say that's how I work through my feelings, but my meds prevent the crying. So I try to use humor as much as possible. I write, I talk and tell funny stories and try to pester my people as little - or maybe as much - as possible with them, and...  I'll be in therapy for probably the rest of my life.

I hope for a better outcome for my kids, but I also know bipolar disorder can be heritable and that trauma can change one's DNA.

5) Alice is still on the move. Soon she'll be performing throughout Europe. Have you ever had a job that required you to travel? If yes, did you enjoy it?

100+ Hilarious Road Trip Memes & Cartoons - Truth About Family Travel

Yes, I did. I mystery shopped my way from hotel to hotel, resort to resort, high-end restaurant to high-end restaurant (and everywhere in between), in multiple states, back when the kids were much younger. It's tricky navigating that sort of job with three littles, pets, and a husband who usually who has to stay at home, but I did it and was really sought after until I got sick. I love traveling, whether by car, ship, or plane, so I think handling the kid end of things was easier on me.

6) "No Roots" is a favorite of Kelly Clarkson's, who has performed it on tour and on TV. When you think of Kelly, is at as a singer, a judge on The Voice, or as a talk show host?

Kelly Clarkson Through the Years: The Superstar's Life in Photos

I think of her - and love her! - in that order. I watched her win that first American Idol, so it seems natural that way.

7) In 2017, when this song was popular, Faye Dunaway made Oscar history by announcing the wrong winner for the biggest award of the night, Best Picture. It wasn't her fault as she was given the wrong envelope, but she's one who made the on-screen flub seen around the world. Have you recently had an embarrassing moment?

Wait a minute, how come I never heard about that, but I heard plenty about that time a similar thing happened to Steve Harvey, and that was just a beauty pageant? Sketchy.

Anyway.

No description available.

This was me in our hotel in Philly. It's called the Ritz-Carlton, you know it? Well, because of my illness, I usually take baths and not showers. I have issues with balance and fatigue among other things, so it's better for me to do that stuff sort of lying down. Well, my hair is freshly colored, and this brand tends to wash out and wash out until it's just time to dye it again. So I have to take a bath. In that. Which isn't great, but there it is. And then the tub. won't. drain. And we had to have an engineer come to the room and fix the now-pink bathtub. And because of my autoimmune/thyroid issues, I lose a lot of pink hair, too, so how much was in the drain? I don't even know. That wasn't the reason that it wouldn't drain, though, because Chloë and I tried to drain some multiple times before I even got in (it was too hot). Cringe!

8) Wonder Woman was 2017's most popular movie. She was originally introduced in a 1941 DC comic book. Comic books remain a big business. Have you ever been to a comic book store?

Big Bang Theory' Locks Up Kevin Sussman for Season 6 – The Hollywood  Reporter

I actually have not, except as, y'know, transported there in shows such as The Big Bang Theory and other such gems we all ate up over the years. I should, if only because my oldest and youngest are both into manga, but I get most of what I buy for them on the used online book store, Thriftbooks. Check it out, you won't be disappointed. Everything is always in much better condition than I'd even hoped.

9) Random question: Is your skin itchy this morning?

Do animals laugh? | HowStuffWorks

My, that is random, Crazy Sam! No, it's not, but I'll be sure and report back if that status changes!

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Take care and have a lovely Saturday on purpose, y'all!

Fin.Phil


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.

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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).
 
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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:

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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: Moody Blue

Elvis Biography | Graceland

Hello, weekend friends. I deserted you again, yes, for health reasons. Ugh. Let's jump right in. For 9 interesting questions jumping off from Elvis' "Moody Blue," link up with Saturday 9 HERE.

And here we go:

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: Moody Blue (1977)

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

1) This song was recorded in the special studio Elvis had built in the Jungle Room of Graceland. During the pandemic, have you made like Elvis and worked from home?

No longer applicable to me. I used to do various things to have multiple streams of income, but my health has depleted my ability to do any of that now.

2) Elvis sings that his girl is completely unpredictable. Which quality to you find more attractive: spontaneity or dependability?

Oddly enough, I find myself choosing "dependability." I suppose that was always what the answer was all along, but with me being Bipolar 1, when mania struck, I've always begged for a bit of spontaneity from everyone else, too. What, it's 4 in the morning? So? And?

3) He only performed the song once in concert. In February 1977, shortly after the record was released, Elvis sang "Moody Blue" live in Charlotte, NC, but had to rely on lyric sheet. Crazy Sam can sympathize because she seems to forget passwords as soon as she sets them. Do you often struggle with your memory?

I do, and it's killing me. I never did struggle, but now I seem to have no memory at all. Even what should be important things are lost in the ether. When I'm able to pull something out of my memory, even just a word, we cheer.

4) "Moody Blue" was the final hit of Elvis' lifetime, only getting to #31 in the US but reaching #3 in the UK. What's your favorite Elvis song?

Oh, man. That's a HARD one for me. I grew up with a dad who absolutely idolized Elvis. I have several and am finding it impossible to narrow down to one. May I please have two? My dad was always singing "Jailhouse Rock," so that must be a finalist.


And I'm sure "Hound Dog" must have been one of the first songs I learned to sing. With inflection and charisma and all that, even. But not with the hips and other dancing, like my dad.

5) We're focusing on Elvis this week because January 8 would be his 87th birthday. He enjoyed celebrating his birthday by renting the Memphis movie theater and watching the latest movie with an invited group of friends. What's your favorite way to celebrate your birthday?

DeBug All Terrain Chair Rolling Beach Stainless Steel Wheelchair

On my birthdays, four months earlier than Elvis', I love at least dipping my toes in the water - even if it has to happen this way.

8) For his 11th birthday, young Elvis asked for a rifle or a bicycle. His mother deemed the gun too dangerous and the bike too expensive and instead gave her son his first guitar. Tell us about a memorable birthday from your youth.

I actually can't.

7) Elvis loved horses and kept them in the stable at Graceland. His favorite was a palomino named Rising Sun. To honor both horse and rider, Elvis' daughter has always kept a palomino in the stable whose name includes "sun." The current resident is Tuscan Sun. Known as "Tucky," he's lived at Graceland for more than 20 years now and is a favorite of Alene Alexander, who maintains the stable and reports he has "attitude and knows he's prettier than everybody else." Tell us about an animal who holds a place in your heart.

Open photo

Shortly after we bought our house in Idaho, we adopted our kitten and named her Periwinkle. She  loved to play and have fun with the other, grown, cats, but she had such a serious expression all the time! We used to say, "Serious kitten is a serious kitten." Well, as it turns out now that Peri has grown up a bit, "Serious kitten is a serious adult!" But she's sooo soft and sleek, with her extra-large frame and tail to match. Her outer shell is velvety gray, but her inner shell is quite white.

8) Throughout his life, Elvis had trouble sleeping. As a preteen, he was a sleepwalker. As an adult, he battled insomnia. Is sleep an issue for you?

Journal: Insomnia Cure Funny Insomniac Will Not Sleep Black Lined Notebook  Writing Diary - 120 Pages 6 x 9: InGENIUS Publications: 9781087318479:  Amazon.com: Books

It absolutely is. Has always been.

9) Random question: Do you wear your shoes inside your house?

Sunday Stealing: Making A List Meme (Smellyann Strikes Again)

Nope! We have a chest by the front door called the "shoe box," which somehow never actually gets used these days, but no one comes further inside the house than that with their shoes on.

~*~*~*~*~

Hey, look at that! May be ten minutes 'til four (PM), but I finished! Let's have a party.

Have a good week! Get that shot, y'all!

Fin. 


Saturday 9: Livin' La Vida Loca

Who Is Ricky Martin's Husband? Jwan Yosef Is An Accomplished Artist & Proud  Papa

Hey, hey, ladies and gents! Happy Saturday! Thank you, Hostess Sam, for bringing us these questions.

I'm excited for this week. Ricky Martin and Livin' La Vida Loca were a huuuuge part of the space between my college years and the doctorate. I loved it and always blasted it in the car. I didn't know Enrique Martín Morales during his Menudo days, but I've loved him ever since La Vida. ♥

Let's go.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: Livin' La Vida Loca (1999)

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

1) Ricky Martin sings that he and the girl dance in the rain. Do you feel like dancing this morning?
 
Sting & Shaggy: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert
 
If dancing from the hips up counts, I already have while sitting here listening to Sting and Shaggy start off with "Englishman in New York" on NPR's Tiny Desk Concert. So fun!

2) The lyrics tell us the girl prefers champagne. When did you last enjoy a glass of the bubbly?
 
Disulfiram-from-xtal-Mercury-3D-bs.png
 
Oh a verrrrry long time. I have three reasons for that: (1) I have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, and I kept having reactions to alcohol, even when I was down to maybe two drinks a year, so that was enough of that (and Sophia asked me to stop since the reactions freaked her out); (2) I take far too many medications that don't play well with medication; and (3) tomorrow, I'm starting disulfiram, aka antabuse, for my Lyme disease. Since it was intented for alcohol abuse, I will get a nasty set of reactions if I touch alcohol - including cough medicine or rubbing alcohol! - and that seals the deal for me.
 
3) When Ricky first heard "Livin' La Vida Loca," he imagined  the subject of the song was a "Bond girl," the glamorous love interest of James Bond in the movies. Since 1962, there have been more than 20 Bond films. Have you seen any/many of them? Do you have a favorite Bond?
 
Famke Janssen Which of these two actors do you think is the most handsome, Pierce Brosnan  (when young) or Brad Pit (when most young)? - Quora
 
I've seen 1983's Octopussy with Roger Moore (I was 7; interesting parenting choice) and 1995's Goldeneye with the sexy-as-hell Pierce Brosnan and his equally stunning co-star, Famke Janssen. I like them okay; I don't know why I haven't seen more of them. Just not a huge priority. I suppose.
 
4) Ricky tells interviewers that when he was very young, he'd sing in the family kitchen, pretending a wooden spoon was his microphone. Crazy Sam admits to lip synching into a black Magic Marker. When you gave imaginary concerts, what did you use as a microphone?
 
Why Kids Love Lip-syncing to Musical.ly - Zift Blog
 
Whatever was available - usually a hairbrush

5) Ricky began working at the tender age of 9, performing in commercials. How old were you when you received your first paycheck?
 
Big M Supermarkets | The official website of Big M Supermarkets
 
I was 15 and working as a cashier at the Big M in "B'ville," in New York.
 
6) Ricky does yoga to stay in shape. Have you ever tried yoga?
 
35 Hard Yoga Poses: The Most Challenging Yoga Poses - YOGA PRACTICE
 
Oh, sure. I had been practicing mostly "gentle" yoga - not these advanced asanas - from high schools until I got really sick, just before we moved to Boise in 2017. I still kept trying, but it became clear that my Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Hypermobile Type, among other issues, was too much for that right now. Everything is dislocating because I can hyperextend everything. I don't stretch to sooth my aching bones and joints and muscles - I hyperextend and hold that for as long as I can. So yoga is now a different animal for me.

7) Ricky is of primarily Spanish descent, with a little French mixed in. When you think of French cuisine, what comes to mind?
 
Chocolate Soufflé by Alain Ducasse – Casserole & Chocolat
 
Oh, lots and lots of things, but lately I have had soufflé on the brain. Yum, yum.
 
8) Ricky once had his own restaurant, Casa Salsa, in Miami Beach. Have you ever worked in food service?
 
 
I have, but not a lot. While I did my fisheries internship, my co-intern and I decided to moonlight in catering at the now-defunct The C0lony Beach and Tennis Resort on Longboat Key, Florida. That lasted 10 weeks, as long as our internship, and we had a blast. I loved it, and I loved the clients. We had a lot of fun! So when I later moved up to St. Petersburg, I secured a job at the expansive Vinoy Renaissance Resort & Golf Club there. Oh, my God, it was beautiful.
 
But on my first day of actual work after orientation, I was serving in a dining room full of businessmen wearing fancy suits. We were delivering bowls of soups to their table. and I approached one particular man. As I was about to set his bowl down, my hand gave out, and I dumped the soup ALL. OVER. HIM. Holy shit. It was mortifying, and that guy stood up, using his napkin, and dressed me up and down, up and down, and up and down once again. I was so embarrassed, my pride so wounded, I went across the hall and let my captain know what happened and promptly quit.
 
9) Random question: What is your best quality?
 
Cognitive vs. Emotional Empathy
 
Empathy. I can say that with absolute certainty.
 
 ~*~*~*~*~
 
Have a swell day, y'all. Namaste. 🙏
 
Fin.

Saturday 9: Vision Of Love

Vision of Love | Mariah Carey Wiki | Fandom

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

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: Vision of Love (1990)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

Fin.


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.


Saturday 9: Flipper

Flipper" TV show Dolphin , Seaquarium , MIAMI , Florida , 1960s ...

Hey hey, whaddaya say? Anyone else hearing the squeaky flipper noises already? Am I the only who tried to emulate that as a much younger person? (Also maybe older, no telling.)

Link up here if you'd like to play along with us this weekend! I had to take a break and skip last weekend; more health-related BS that no one wants to hear.

So let's get on with it, shall we?

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: Flipper (1964)
 
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) Flipper ran for three seasons, from 1964 to 1967. Are you familiar with the show? Were you a fan?

Flipper GIF | Gfycat

My sister and I used to watch it as kids, but I guess it must have been in re-runs, then. I don't remember that being the case, but it must have since I wasn't born until nearly a decade after it ended.

2) Brothers Sandy and Bud consider a bottle-nosed dolphin, named Flipper, their pet. Do you currently share your home with any animals?

Yup! Here are two of our four cats, Pepper and Sugarplum. 

Here's one of our two dogs, Paco, who turned 6 years old on the 11th! ♥

Periwinkle and Benji by Rob

And...  here's one of our two bunnies, Benji, with another of the cats, Periwinkle. Quite a zoo we've got going on here!

3) Bud and Sandy's dad was Chief Warden Porter Ricks of the fictional Coral Key Marine Preserve. In reality, the show was filmed in Miami and Key Biscayne. When were you last in the ocean? Which ocean was it?

263

Last time we were in the ocean was in February 2017, in Key Largo (Atlantic Ocean side), before we moved away from Miami to come here to Idaho. Gawd, I miss my seas!

4) There was no one single "Flipper." In close-ups, the role was played by a dolphin named Susie. While Susie was good at interacting with people, she had trouble with stunts, and sometimes a male dolphin named Clown was brought in for action sequences. Do you consider yourself more social, like Susie? Or are you more athletic, like Clown?

Episode 5 Fox GIF by Paradise Hotel - Find & Share on GIPHY

Welp, I'm not a whole lot of either, but I'm definitely not athletic, so I guess I'd have to be more like Susie!

5) Without looking it up, do you know the difference between a dolphin and a porpoise?

Narwhal GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Well, I have a degree in marine biology, but I didn't spend a whole lot of time on the marine mammals, so... I'd have to go by memory. I know there is a general size/body proportion difference (I think the dolphins are bigger?), which corresponds to difference in behaviors as well. But what about the  narwhal, y'all? Do you know what that is? ;)

6) Flipper wasn't just a TV pet. He was an industry! During the show's run, Flipper comic books, coloring books and puzzles were very popular. As an adult, do you entertain yourself by reading comics, coloring, or completing jigsaw puzzles?

Well, I haven't been doing a lot of any of that recently. I did by the above jigsaw puzzle at the beginning of this pandemic, around early February, but I have yet to crack open the box.

7) The Flipper lunchbox was also a big seller. It came with a Thermos topped with a red cup. Do you own a Thermos?

Collections

No, not per se. Hubs uses a lot of Nalgene bottles and Coleman "thermoses," but I don't believe we have any actual Thermos products. I could be wrong on that, though. As for me, I'm doing all my hydration via several of these Cirkul bottles nowadays. (Have you tried these? I love Cirkul!!!)
 
8) In 1964, when Flipper premiered, it was up against The Outer Limits and The Jackie Gleason Show. If those were your only viewing choices, would you watch the family show about the dolphin, the sci-fi anthology show, or the comedy-variety show? (Or would you rather flip through a magazine?)

Flipper GIF | Gfycat

I might "flip" (I see what you did there, Crazy Sam!) through a magazine while I watched Flipper. I did love the movie The Toy, but I wasn't a huge fan of Jackie Gleason and have never really been into sci-fi.

9) Random question  -- Which would you be more comfortable explaining: how a car engine works, the current IRS tax brackets, or the rules of baseball?

Finding fun ways to simplify complicated chemistry concepts

Oh, yeesh. D: None of the above, I think I'm gonna have to say! Couldn't I explain something like Calculus, Chemistry (as in Avogadro's Number, described in the song above), or the Carrying Capacity of a given ecosystem? That's more my comfort zone. Now I'm going to have to go learn some things so I don't feel like such an idiot. Hee!

~*~*~*~*~

I hope youse guys have a lovely weekend. It's heading up toward about 98ºF here today, and it's been at, near, or above 100ºF for days now, so I'm staying indoors. Hopefully I'll manage not to pass out at Sophie's equestrian show tomorrow!

Fin.

 


Sunday Stealing: Colloquium

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

I dare you to prove me wrong?!

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

~*~*~*~*~


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

Last person you were in a car with?

Image may contain: 1 person

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

Any plans for tomorrow?

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

Best friend or close friends?

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Um, both. Duh.

Is tomorrow going to be a good day?

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

Ever thrown up in public?

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

What’s on your mind RIGHT NOW?

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

Who was the last person you talked to?

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

What is the WORST subject they teach at school?

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

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

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Not lately, I don't think?

What is your favourite color top to wear?

Pass, on the grounds that it's irrelevant.

Have you ever been in a car accident?

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

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

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My recycling bin 😉♻️

Where would you like to be right now?

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Anywhere right now not having this migraine

Is anything bugging you right now?

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Second verse, same as the first!

Is life going right for you now?

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It's... going.

Is there someone you care about more than yourself?

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

What made you laugh today?

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⬆ This. ⬆

What was the last movie you watched?

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

What was the last conversation you had about?

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

What were you doing at 7:00 this morning?

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

Do you like your hair long or short?

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

Do you like the rain?

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

~*~*~*~*~

Fin.


Saturday 9: The Candy Man

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

IWILLBESTRIKING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sundays In My City: Justin Abel Tattoo & Piercing

Sundays In My City

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

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

Justin Abel selfie

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

Justin Abel Kelsey Grammar

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

Justin Abel Seth Meyers

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

Chloe's Tattoo

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

Sophia Piercing

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

Rob's Tattoo

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

So fast-forward to today:

08112019 Justin Abel Doughnut Party

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

08112019 Justin Abel Doughnut Party 2

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

I showed you mine, now show me yours!

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

Let’s travel the world together!

Fin.

Fin.


Sundays In My City: Sunday Sundaes

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

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

Let’s travel the world together!

 

By Claudya

Fin.


Saturday 9: Brand New Life

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

Fin.


Saturday 9: America, The Beautiful

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

~*~*~*~*~

"America, the Beautiful"

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

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

Image result for easier doesn't mean better

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Hee.

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

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

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

Image may contain: Ursula Petricek, smiling, standing, shoes, tree, outdoor and nature

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

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

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

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

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

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8) Emergency rooms report an increase in wrist injuries in summer, with people falling off bikes and skateboards and jamming their wrists catching hard-hit softballs. Have you been to the ER or Urgent Care during 2019?
 
0702 Migraine cocktail infusion
Yup. Sometimes, between monthly shots of my biologic meds (formerly Aimovig, now switching over to Ajovy), weekly nerve blocks, weekly migraine cocktail infusions (as above), abortive prescriptions such as every triptan on the planet, all the OTCs I'm not supposed to use... sometimes, I still get breakthrough migraine. Okay, so really, it's daily, so I also occasionally have to go to ER and get that cocktail infused there. And sometimes, they even admit me. Sucks. Last month, these intractable migraines cost our health insurance $28,000. (Cost us nothing, thank God, so once again: thank you, honey, for your service to this great nation!)
 
9) New York is home to Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest every year on the 4th. Will hot dogs be consumed in your household this weekend?
 
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Yes. Chloë (curly sue there, on the left) and Sophia had hot dogs. The boys had hamburgers. I had... eggs. (I'm doing keto this month to try and take off some of this weight I've gained from all these new meds, so. Otherwise, I probably would've had hummus. Heh.)
 
~*~*~*~*~
 
So, wherever you are in the world, if you're an American, I hope you enjoyed this past Independence Day 2019! And if you're not American, thanks for joining us in the fracas regardless!
 
Image result for waving flag gif Cheers, y'all. Image result for waving flag gif
 
Fin.

Saturday 9: Ooh La La

Image result for Britney Spears performing

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

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

Anyway.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Just these knuckleheads.

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

Josephine House

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fin.


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.


Sundays In My City: Boise Pride Prom

Sundays In My City
So my girl Claudya hosts this fun romp-around on Sundays, so we can all share a bit of our lives in our cities with each other. I love this blog hop! It's a great way to learn about each other and what we all do in our hometowns. Link up here if you'd like to join in (and yes, I know, I'm posting this on a Wednesday; c'est la vie)
I mean, given that Boise is not my hometown. My hometown is in New York, but that was many moons and many moves ago. So many, in fact, that I no longer consider it as having a feeling of "home" for me at all.

Rather, I've come to the more obvious conclusion that home is wherever my family is. Ohana and all, being what it is, is far more important to me than where I came from.
But what the heck?! Somehow I got off on a tangent there. Back to reality:
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Last year, in June 2018, my two girls and I went to Boise Pride for the first time. I got to check something off of my Bucket List and be supportive all at the same time! It was an exhilarating experience.
Boise Pride Festival 2018 071
So this year, the girls decided to go to the Boise Pride Prom, aka the "Diversity Youth Prom," for ages 14-18 years old. Since they both fit that category, I offered to pay their rather inexpensive (at $10 each) tickets to prom so they could go and have the time of their lives.
Pride Prom Chloë Collage
We did the whole prom thing on a budget: I bought Chloë's dress on ThredUp (along with a ton of other amazing finds), and she wore my Crocs. Talk about basic. For both girls' makeup, I made complimentary appointments with makeup artists at the Clinique counter in Dillard's, at the mall in Boise. That was cool; I had no idea that they did that until I called around to find out. Woot!
Pride Prom Sophia Collage
Sophia picked out her dress at ReStyle, the bestest most awesome thrift store just down the road from us. I'm still shocked she picked a dress! She had been wanting to wear a floral suit all along, and then she found the dress, which fit perfectly. I did both girls' hair and used the baby's breath and roses from the Mother's Day bouquets I received. Ha! I'm so frugal, I kill me.
So that was an amazing, incredible, exciting experience - oh, and I think the girls had fun, too. ;) Now that we're moving an hour away from Boise, we'll have to trek in to Boise Pride Fest 2019 - and I can't wait to go again!
Take care, y'all. Show us where you live. Or what you do there. Or whatever.
Bye, now!
Fin.

Saturday 9: April Love

Hey, guys! Glad you're back, and thank you to Crazy Sam for bringing us another great set of nine! Link up here if you'd like to join us today.

Sophia's First Birthday

🎂 Today, I'm feeling jolly, because it's the day my youngest was born 14 years ago! Happy 14th birthday, Sophia Lorelei! 🎂

Here we go!

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April Love (1957). Unfamiliar with this week's song? Hear it here. 

1) In this song, Pat Boone sings that April love is a wonder reserved for the very young. Do you think the sensation of falling in love changes as we grow older?
 
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Yes, definitely. I think as you grow and mature, maybe you still feel the little flutters and heart flip-flops if you're single, but it's probably more tempered the knowledge that, maybe now, you realize you don't have all the time in the world to make snap decisions. But when you're in a long-term relationship, and it matures with you, then sometimes you fall in and out of love with that person. You never stop the loving, maybe, but being in love changes each time. For me, every time I fall back into love with my husband of 18+ years, it's even more special. I feel lucky, and blessed, that this still happens.

2) "April Love" reached #1 on the charts. Between this song and "Love Letters in the Sand," Pat Boone had a career year. Only one artist sold more records in 1957: Elvis Presley. When you think of Elvis, what's the first song that comes to mind?
 
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Probably the first song I realized was Elvis: "Hound Dog." Followed by "Jailhouse Rock."
  
3) Pat was extremely busy in high school. He wrote for the school paper, ran track, and acted in school plays. Share a memory of your extracurricular activities during high school.
 
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Most of time was filled with academia, but I did sing in the choir from 6-12th grades. I was in a lot of concerts, and I miss it.
 
4) It was his track coach who introduced Pat to the new girl in school, Shirley Foley. Three years later Pat and Shirley married, and remained man and wife for 65 years, until her death earlier this year. Who is the longest married couple you know?
 
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Living? I think that would be Hubs' dad and stepmom, who is battling breast cancer. 🙏
 
5) Pat has lived in the same house for more than 60 years. He once received an offer to sell it for $18,000,000 but turned it down because it's the Boone family home and he simply doesn't want to leave. Do you plan on moving in the foreseeable future?
 

Yup! If all goes well, we are closing on this beautiful house on June 3rd. I'm so excited!!

6) Pat has a warm friendship with his neighbors, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne. Pat has mentioned in interviews that he has enjoyed bike rides around Beverly Hills with Sharon. Tell us about one of your neighbors.
 
Okay, that cracks me up for some reason. I love it!
 
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That ^^^ isn't her, but let me tell you about our neighbor Gladys, who is never without a muumuu. She's the neighborhood watch leader. And she's as kind as can be. She's helped us out multiple times with rides to and from work for the kiddos. When Rob was recovering from his prostate cancer & surgeries, she rushed out and got his meds for him when I could not leave him. I love her. I will miss her when we move and asked Rob today, "Can we bring Gladys with us?"

7) Mr. Boone was very critical of Barack Obama, enthusiastically supports Donald Trump, and has appeared on Fox News to express his views. How do you feel about celebrities talking politics?

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Well, first of all, it makes no difference to me if they are celebrities. Public status or not, every American has the right to express him or herself. I don't have to agree with it. And in this case, not only do I not agree with it, I can't respect anyone who thinks Trump makes a great president. #SorryNotSorry - he needs to GO.
 
8) In 1957, the year this song was popular, Dr. Ian Donald pioneered the use of ultrasound technology. Today ultrasounds are commonly used by doctors in diagnosing conditions affecting the eyes, blood vessels, kidneys, gall bladder and more. Have you ever had an ultrasound?
 
 
(Here I am, 8 months pregnant with Sophia.) Yes, too many to count, with three high-risk pregnancies under my belt. I had a lot of complications with all four babies. I also carry the breast cancer gene (from my maternal grandmother) and have had several breast ultrasounds. And, since they are related and I've had numerous ovarian cysts painfully rupture, and a mass on my left (only remaining) ovary, there, too. Ugh, I won't go on.

9) Random question: You're sitting alone in a restaurant, waiting for a friend. The waiter brings you a drink and the compliments of a member of the opposite sex seated at the bar. What's your reaction? Are you flattered, shocked, embarrassed, intrigued or annoyed?
 
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Who wouldn't be flattered? Of course, I would be. One time, two of my girls and I drove down to Key West from Miami. I was still in college, so I wasn't even legal yet - but nobody there seemed to care because I got wasted. Anyway, there we were in either Margaritavilla or Sloppy Joe's, I forget which, when someone sent over three shots of tequila. Oh, it must have been the latter, because I'd eaten a giant Caesar salad in Margaritaville. I remember that specifically, because as soon as I'd shot back my tequila (first ever), I had to bolt for the bathroom, where I got rid of that salad in a very violent manner. And then we went across the street, where I danced like I was loca and drank the pint of Guiness someone handed me (my first and last).
 
Those were the days.
 
~*~*~*~*~

That was a fun walk down memory lane! Thanks, Sam!
 
Fin.

Sunday Stealing: Conversation Starters

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

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What are some small things that make your day better?

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

What shows are you into?

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

What TV channel doesn’t exist but really should?

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

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

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

What age do you wish you could permanently be?

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

What TV show or movie do you refuse to watch?

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Real Housewives of Anything

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

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

What’s your claim to fame?

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

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

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

What’s your favorite genre of book or movie?

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

How often do you people watch?

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

What have you only recently formed an opinion about?

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

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

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Elasmobranch ecomorphology, I'm guessing...

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

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

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

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♥ An old couple in love ♥

What is the most annoying question that people ask you?

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

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

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Parent bereavement and/or Infant Loss

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

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

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

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Go scuba diving! It's beautiful down there!

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Well, that was delightful. Thanks, Bev!

Have a great week, y'all.

Fin.


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

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

Fruit Salad

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

Here goes Saturday 9:

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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.
 
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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?
 
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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?
 
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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! 🤦‍♀️
 
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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?
 
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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?
 
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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?
 
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I used to be, but nowadays I usually keep it simple and just wear mascara and maybe some lip gloss.

11. Favorite drink?
 
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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?
 
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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?
 
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I love being barefoot! Especially when we're at the beach... nothing like it!

19. Are aliens real?
 
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How the hell should I know?!

20. Does your zodiac sign fit your personality?
 
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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?
 
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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?
 
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I try very, very hard to be. I don't always succeed, but I keep trying!

23. Favorite word?
 
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FUCK! (hee.)

24. Night or day?
 
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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.
 

Decemberists Thus Far... 2018

Chickens Collage

Heyyyyy kids and bigger kids! I figured I'd try to blahg here and there, once in a while, to fill up some cyberspace with my special brand of bizarre.

🐣🐥🐤🐔🐓

We're down to 20 chickens in the backyard coop now, which sounds like a lot for city life, and that's because it is... They have grown SO much - and all 19 that survived this year's September hatching are much bigger than Athena, our only 2017 flock survivor. I'm gladdened and amazed that so many of our n00bs have done so well. Even little Waffle, our runt of the "litter," is thriving! See them up there, barging out the coop door and then peering in the window, when someone forgot to latch the door? Haaaa. Kills me. (And yes, we have more than one feeder; the 20 of them are so dumb, they never realize it.) But they are pigs! They eat a freakin' ton and a half. I need to get a bucket with a lid, because we're going to start giving them fermented feed at least once a week. Good for them and good for the pocketbook!

~*~*~*~*~

Mirror notes

💑

So like, Rob and I are currently in awe of the fact that we've now been together 18 years. We had a whirlwind courtship: We met online on November 1st, 2000, and eloped on January 2nd, 2001. Two months! Throughout November, we put daily (or so) sticky notes on each others' bathroom mirrors to find when, y'know. Bathroom stuff. We took them all off at the end of the month, and now we've started over again for December. It's nice. Romantic, right? We're telling each other all the things we love and are thankful about each other. I'm surprised there are so many things about me that Rob has to say! Delightfully surprised. But I'll run out of Post-Its™ long before I run out of niceties to share with Rob. ♥

Engagement Ring

💎💍💎

We met in person for the first time on November 17th, and by December 8th, at our second tête-à-tête meeting, Rob put a ring on it! At the end of that weekend, I drove all the way back to St. Pete from Panama City Beach, Florida, trying not to crash while I admired the ring on my finger. ♥

Xavier BearPo 

🐻
 

This is "BearPo," aka "Xavier the X-rated Bear" (heh), aka my engagement bear. Robert gave it to me the same night he gave me my engagement ring, but he hadn't had a chance to tie the ring around BearPo's neck 'cause I drove about 100 mph all the way to the Florida Panhandle (aka Lower Alabama). I still sleep with BearPo - and Hubs - every night. Every damn night.

~*~*~*~*~

Rose Gold Collage

Apropos of nothing, I'm really having this rose gold moment. It's weird, because historically, rose gold has been hovering pretty damn close to the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to my favorite metals. (Mercury is probably, y'know, rock bottom.)

In order of love, from greatest to least, here you go [please note, I have never had a relationship with platinum, so don't send me hate mail. I'm a champagne and caviar dream on a beer and silver-plated budget kinda girl, ya dig?]:

Copper, Cu > Silver, Ag > Gold, Au > Rose Gold, umm Rose Au > Cadmium, Cd > Nickel, Ni > Lead, Pb > Mercury, Hg

(Yeah, uhh, Cd and Ni had to be included because they're often the base metals in your cheaper jewelry {ahem from China ahem}, and I am severely allergic to them. So fancy it is, for me!) 😉

Anyhoo, so now that rose gold is having its moment, it kind of pisses me off that I find myself drawn in by it! I usually loathe trendy things! I despise following the trends! I'm the opposite of a fashion-follower, you know? I do my own thing. Now that everyone and their motherfecking brother has pierced their nostrils, I hate it. Hate it!

Rose gold jewelry profile pink

Rose Gold Rings a

So, that prettiful septum ring (not trendy so far, I hope?) is rose gold from here, but I don't love it because it's really poorly balanced and looks crooked AF unless I constantly adjust it. The hibiscus earring from here (yes, it's the same shop) is supposed to be for my tragus piercing, but doesn't freakin' fit in there, because the post is waaaay too short 🤬😠; it's also rose gold. And the two stacked skinny rings from here on my hand are rose gold. All from Etsy. I want more, but the budget says noooo...

👁👁💩
 

Also, my sister says she misses my "shit-brown eyes," because they've been turning greener and greener as I get older (and ahem, I am not old, no matter what all this mail from AARP is trying to tell me!). I like it. She does not, apparently. I think she feels like I'm horning in on her green/blue-eyed genetics?! 😏

~*~*~*~*~

WorldWide Candle Lighting

💔😭💔

On Sunday, December 9th, we observed the annual Compassionate Friends' Worldwide Candle Lighting for all the angel babies. At 7 PM, in every time zone, candles were lit to keep the wave of light going around the world. We were supposed to go to one of the downtown parks to join in communion with other bereaved families, but I was not well enough to make it that night. So Sophia, Rob and I lit candles for Robby, our little boy lost, and all the other babies in the world who are dearly missed. (Chloë and Jack were at the church youth group.)

♥ I miss my son. ♥

~*~*~*~*~

Rob Breast Cancer pin

Right now Rob and I are sporting these beautiful enamel Breast Cancer Awareness pink ribbon pins I bought from Jos. A. Banks, in recognition of a close family member going through this particular trial right now. We are praying and hopeful, but it's been a rough go for her. Additionally, since my grandmother had breast cancer twice, in her 30s and 50s, and my BRCA gene-testing proved to be "indeterminate" thus far, we are forever vigilant. With this and Rob's prostate cancer (with a very strong family history) along with, well, pretty much every other health problem in the books between us, the kids really have NOT won the genetic jackpot! Sorry, kiddos.

~*~*~*~*~

018

🎄

Now that it's December, of course Christmas is on my mind. Here's a little blast from the past, part of our Christmas 2013 photo shoot. Hard to believe it's been five years - but these kids have changed so incredibly much since then, I guess I have to believe!

~*~*~*~*~

Presents are now present! (We used to do a present here and there along the month of December, as part of our Advent calendar activities and stuff, but we didn't plan on doing that this year. We failed.):

Jack's Bike from Vineyard

🚲

Jack's been wanting to buy himself a mountain bike so he could get himself back and forth to work when Rob and I aren't able. Sometimes, he works, Chloë works, and Sophia needs to be in Eagle (a 40+ minute drive) for horse lessons. With one car and, currently, one driver much of the time while I'm down and out, the kids find themselves waiting and waiting. Jack HATES that, and I get it. So since he's on the autism spectrum, one characteristic of note is that he obsesses. He gets an idea, and he obsesses and dwells and talks and talks about it. (It's kind of annoying, but I'm used to it.) 

Anyway, he talked up his desire to buy a good mountain bike at church, too, so imagine my surprise when his church youth group leader, S, called me up to say they'd just bought him one and wanted to bring it by the house! He was so extremely delighted, it was fabulous. Yay, Jack! And thank you, Vineyard Boise! ♥

12102018 Christmas 4

Robert, so far, has gotten a new Farberware Stockpot. I had to give it to him early, so he could cook me some shizz. And the rest of the family, but whatever. He loves it! (I think; he's not the most emotive sonofagun.)

Emirates 2
Emirates 2

As for me, if Rob doesn't get me this artified Emirates diamond-encrusted private jet, I'm frankly not interested. Wait... Lindt chocolate truffles, you say? All right, let's talk.

12102018 Christmas 14

This year, we decided to put up a white Christmas tree. Chloë and I both agreed that we wanted a white tree, and I couldn't decide whether to do pink lights or teal lights. In the end, we decided on teal, but the fates did not allow. So we have... this. But I love it! I think it's so pretty. ♥ The kids decorated the entire thing themselves.

Eeyore Collage

This year, I've partnered with BSM Media to promote their Original #PillowPets campaign, and in exchange for this adorable Eeyore Pillow Pet (which I pretty much wanted for myself, but that would be super selfish, and I'm trying to avoid that ugly trait), I am sharing him with y'all and my other social media channels. [I received no other compensation. All opinions are, as always, honest and my own.] Because Jack is our resident grump (hehe), I decided to gift Eeyore to him. I wouldn't call Jack depressed nor friendless, but you get the point. Ho-hum, y'know? I think he liked it. He seems to have gotten the joke. I just hope his two bunnies don't decide to snack on it! (P.S. It now belongs to Muffin, his cat, who quickly adopted it for its softness.)

Chloë's HP Books Collage

Chloë's grandmother (Rob's mom) was always interested in making sure my kids were reading. She always wanted to know what their annual book lists were for school (we homeschool: Sweet Pea Academy is our domain). In 2014, Grandma gave Chloë, knowing I'd given the kids Kindles for school, all seven of the Harry Potter e-books for her Kindle. Oh, mah gaw! This kid devoured book after book after book, and then we bought her all the movies, and she is now berserkezoid crazy about all things Potter. So finally, after years of yearning, we've given her the book set so she can hold them, turn the pages, and feel the stories. She was ecstatic! (I had Sophia wrap them, taking each book individually out of the case and wrapping it. Hee!)

Sophie Chloë Present Massage

Sophia got a new pastel oils set that night, for her masters art class that she's doing this year. She's doing beautiful work, y'all!

~*~*~*~*~

Okay, that's it for this post. I'm going maybe chop Christmas 2018 up some, for brevity's sake. Yeah, 'cause I'm brief. I've never been succinct a day in my life.

Happy Chrismakkwanzah, y'all! ;)

Fin.


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

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

Boise Pride Festival 2018 011
Boise Pride Festival 2018 020

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

*

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

Image result for silly resolutions

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

*

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

Image may contain: 5 people, including Timothy Goetsch, people smiling, people sitting

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

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

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

DSC_5528

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

Rob Breast Cancer pin

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

*

What places have you visited?

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

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

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

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

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

Any new pets? Lost a pet?

Yes; critters we've lost this year:

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

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

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

04 June 30 2017
And finally, we lost all but one of our 2017 chickens, our White Silkie Athena, to a predator massacre. I was so crushed!

Critters we've gained this year:

71 September 6 2018

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

Fudge 1

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

Rocky and Jack 1

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

*

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

Wishful Thinking House

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

*

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

003

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

*

What was your biggest achievement last year?

Image result for Christian Science Cult

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

*

Did you get sick or injured?

Walker

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

What was the best thing you bought?

Pf changs

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

DSC_5050
Oh! And I signed up for Grove Collaborative to get all kinds of good-for-us and good-for-the-earth stuff, and I'm really happy with our membership thus far. Their customer service is outstanding, and the products and prices are great! I'm a huge fan. If you want to sign up here, you'll even get a free 5-piece gift set. I loved mine!

*

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

Barkbox Dogs

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

*

What song will always remind you of last year?

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

*

What do you wish you would have done more of?

Clamps1a

My husband! 🤪😂😈

What do you wish you would have done less of?

Tears in Heaven

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

*

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

Image result for bob's burgers oh my god gif

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

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

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

Image result for recipes for repair

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

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

09082018 Mom's Birthday 01

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

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

09072018 Chloe's 17th birthday 01
Chloë's birthday (9/7) is the day before mine (9/8), so we usually celebrate together by running around collecting all the billions of birthday freebies out there. Here are some from this year:

Birthday Freebies Collage

[click to embiggerate]

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

*

What political or social issue stirred you the most?

Image result for environmentalism

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

Image result for Global Citizen

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

*

Who was the most interesting new person you met?

Image result for Dr. Alejandro Homaechevarria

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

*

What changed at your job?

Pear Flambé Pint Single $22.50 A

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

*

What changed in your home?

Coop Life 25 Sept 2018 (2)

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

*

Describe how a relationship changed.

Image result for growing up in an abusive household

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

*

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

20161114_083006

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

*

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

Image result for the word interesting

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How have people around you changed?

December 2018 Selfie Collage

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

*

What have you learned throughout the year?

T Rex Cmas Tree

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

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

Warm weather:

DSC_0001

Something cool, comfortable, and hopefully, cute!

Cool Weather:

Profile Pic Ground Control
Anything remotely warm, comfortable, and hopefully cute! ;)

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

EWW Etsy Collage

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

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

Well... Before:

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And now:

Week 48 of 52 Selfie

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

*

What are your hopes and dreams for the new year?

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

Image result for autoimmune disease

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

Image result for fibromyalgia

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

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

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

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

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

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

~*~*~*~*~*~

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

See y'all after the happy merry!

Fin.