Happy Saturday, friends, neighbors, and kids of all ages! I'm getting a lah-haaaate start today. I've battled daily migraines for more than my entire adult life, save for a couple of years around when I had my youngest kiddo, and this last week has brought some of the worst in a long while. Seriously bad. But anyway, whatever; I'm here now, the woman of the hour, and you can all sit down and stop clapping now. Seriously, it's embarrassing.
I jest, I kid, I joke, I josh.
I hope you've all had ridiculously wonderful weeks well worth the wait! And now let's jump into the reason we're all here. Link up here if you're joining us this weekend. Away we go:
1) In this song, Moby sings about a self-involved couple who believes others are fascinated by their glamorous lives. Tell us about the most interesting couple you know.
I know two really interesting couples, but I can't write about them, because of the moderate chances of them seeing this. So I'll write about our very self-absorbed neighbors, instead. We live in a new-build house, on a new-build street, in a new-build neighborhood. You get the picture. So the minute their house gets finished being built and they move in, these yutzes through up their fence and build a pool. Which is fine of course, except they throw pool parties every weekend night until long after midnight, with loud and drunken revelers of which I am not a one, and it makes our loud dog bark her fool head off. At 2 AM every Friday and Saturday night, with police often called to break up the noise situation, hey hey hey? OH, no. Go join a book club, already.
2) This song was inspired by the proliferation of reality shows, where celebrities share their lives on camera. Does the idea of becoming rich and famous in exchange for letting a film crew into your home appeal to you?
Not. Even. A. Little. Bit.
3) "Beautiful" appears in the soundtrack of the movie The Devil Wears Prada, starring Meryl Streep. She was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance, which is no surprise because she has more Oscar nominations than any other actor or actress. Do you have a favorite Meryl Streep movie?
Well, technically this is a movie, right?
But honestly, I think I really liked her best in Mamma Mia!
4) Moby has openly discussed how Christ has influenced his life and art. Do you consider yourself religious or spiritual? If yes, how do your beliefs impact your daily life?
I'm Christian, but rather than particular religiosity, I consider myself spiritual. I personally use my beliefs to help me weigh the effects of my actions wherever I can, whenever I'm able, if it matters. I also have a sort of hierarchy of importance to whom or what those actions would matter to help me choose. I sorta think we all do that.
5) His real name is Richard Melville Hall. His parents began calling him "Moby" almost immediately because they felt "Richard Melville Hall" sounded too big for a baby. When did you most recently hold a baby?
Well, here I am holding my youngest on the day of their birth nearly 18 years ago, but I know it hasn't been that long. It's probably been closer to nine years, though! That's likely a good thing right now, since with massive muscle spasms I'd hate to yeet a baby the way I frequently do my Diet Cokes.
Oh yeah, and I knitted this layette for this wee boy (blanket followed), head to toe, while he was in his mommy's tummy. He's thirteen (fourteen?) now. I loved making this.
6) He began shaving his head when he was in his 30s. It was at the request of a girlfriend, who said she liked bald men. Would you change your appearance to please your lover?
I would. I appreciate feedback.
7) Moby's house was once owned by Marlon Brando and was later rented to The Beatles. What do you know about the previous residents of your home?
No prior owners here, ossifer.
8) In 2005, when "Beautiful" was released, actress Ruth Warrick died. She began her career in radio, made her film debut in Citizen Kane, and she was best known as matriarch Phoebe Tyler on All My Children, a role she played for 35 years. What's the longest you stayed at the same job?
Well that would be Mum to these three knuckleheads, and I'm a good 21 years in now. Wouldn't trade it, except to go out and practice getting eaten by a shark, but they won't hear of it.
9) Random question: Without looking, do you know how much money is in your checking account right now?
I know probably within ten dollars, but not to more exactness than that. I'm happy with the amount, especially after laying out a pretty penny last night for riding gear for Noah's (that youngest baby of mine, above, formerly known as "Sophia") re-beginning of their equestrian lessons. Shh, they don't know yet; don't tell 'em!
Well, that took me a long time, as I was rocking out a little bit to more music than I usually do when I write - and when I have a worst-of-the-worsts migraine. If one can quietly rock out? Y'all have a good - no, great - week ahead and call me to remind me to watch the State of the Union, will you? kthx.
Hello, ladies and gents and maybe those of another bent! How's it going?
I have a bit of news:
The good news: after labs were run of my psych meds and levels were found to be low, things have been adjusted, and I'm already feeling way better.
The better news: after ~7 months of hotel living, this will be coming to an end, finally... in May. We've signed a contract on a yet-to-be-built house here in Salisbury, and we're super happy with the way things turned out (except that it didn't "turn out" in, say, October!)
So cheers to better moods and not being homeless much longer!
Link up here if you want to play along with the S-9ers this weekend.
Saturday 9: Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral (1944)
Selected because this Wednesday is St. Patrick's Day. Unfamiliar with this week's song? Hear it here.
1) Bing Crosby sings that he learned this song from his mother. Can you recall a song from your early childhood?
Well, it's not like a favorite song or anything, but I remember being very little while I sat in my mother's lap. She would sing this hymn, "O Gentle Presence" when I needed calming from a nightmare or some such.
2) Bing was NBC's first choice to play TV's Columbo. He turned down the role because, by that time, he was in his 60s and just didn't feel like working a full week anymore. Peter Falk eventually got the part and played Det. Columbo for 10 seasons. Do you enjoy detective stories, whether on TV, in movies or in books?
Heck yeah! All the iterations of Law & Order were made expressly for me, don'tcha know?
3) Bing could trace his family back to County Cork. While it's said that on St. Patrick's Day everyone is Irish, can you honestly claim Irish heritage?
Well, and this was news and kind of a complete shock to me, according to Ancestry DNA, I can claim about 8% Irish ancestry. Never knew!
4) Other than St. Patrick, what is Ireland famous for?
Castles! the Blarney Stone! the amazing coastline! Guiness! Corned beef and cabbage! all those pubs! Step dancing! ...and soo, so much more. I would love to go someday.
5) "The wearing o' the green" is one way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Will you wear something green in honor of the day?
Eh. Green isn't really my color, and the tradition isn't that important to me. Now, things might be different if I looked as amazing as these fine lassies...
6) Have you ever had green beer?
I have. ONCE. Once was enough. In 1998, when I was 21, my friends Shannon, Melisa, and I went out drinking with some friends from the marine lab where Melisa and I worked. Or maybe they were from the catering gig where we also worked; I forget. I wasn't going to go, because drinking beer and playing isn't really my thing, but I decided to go be a joiner. I'm not even sure I had one full beer, let alone more than one, but man, later I was soooo sick! And then next day, and into the next day, too. So sick. That was enough.
7) Have you ever ordered a Shamrock Shake from McDonald's?
I cannot say for sure, but I do not think so. Maybe once, ages upon ages ago.
8) A four-leaf clover is considered good luck. Do you have a lucky charm?
No. I don't really give much credence to these types of superstitions, although I do find it fun to play along and read the fortune cookie, pick up the penny, and stuff.
9) Speaking of Lucky Charms, they are magically delicious. What brand of cereal is in your kitchen right now?
I think right now, all we have is Cream of Wheat. My son loves that stuff! No one else does, though. Guess I've gotta go shopping.
Okay, y'all have a lovely weekend and cross your fingers my body decides it's up to taking my daughters to Assateague & Chincoteague to try and spot some wild ponies this weekend, as promised!
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?
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! ♥
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?
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?
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?
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?
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 loveCirkul!!!)
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?)
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?
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!
Welcome back, y'all! Well, as you can see I didn't die from my excessively-busy weekend last week (although, as predicted, no comments on my late-entry Sunday Stealing, lol). It's been another busy week as I've kept up and pushed through for the sake of my newfound purpose: Activism. Giving a damn just feels good, you know? Not that I didn't before, of course, but now that I give a damn AND am learning more and better tools to do something about it, it feels really validating.
Anyhoo. My then-14yo daughter Chloë and I saw Taylor Swift perform "Shake It Off" at her 1989 concern in Miami, in October 2015, so this is an exciting one for me. I'd like to think this is a special present to me from Crazy Sam, therefore, but we all know better.
Let's get on with it then, shall we? Link up here if you're a wacky joiner, like we be.
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Shake It Off (2014)
Unfamiliar with this week's song. Hear it here. 1) This song makes Crazy Sam want to dance. What song inspires you to get on your feet?
So, so, so many songs. Back in grad school, it was Lou Bega doing Mambo No. 5. Love that song!
2) Paul McCartney met Taylor Swift at the SNL 40th Anniversary special and told her he really enjoys playing and singing this song. What's the last song you sang along with?
I've been playing Hamilton nonstop for the last several days. I haven't had my singing voice in 2+ years, much, but I still can't help it when it comes to Lin-Manuels words. The girls and I would DIE to be able to go see Hamilton in real life!
3) The lyrics tell us Swift "shakes off" nasty gossip and unfair criticism. What about you? Do you worry about what others think of you?
I've always been one to take to heart - forever and for all my days - the harsh words (and thoughts I imagine) that others have had for me. I turned 43 on 9/8, though, and I feel like this is finally starting to become my time to "shake it off."
4) Her parents are big music fans, and were going to name their baby (boy or girl) "Taylor" after their favorite artist, James Taylor. Can you think of a singer that your mom and/or dad really enjoyed?
This is a painful question for me. When my mother died in 1984, she and my dad had three Ronnie McDowell tapes on pretty heavy rotation in the car. I knew (still know) all the songs. We even went to a Ronnie McDowell/Conway Twitty concert in Syracuse shortly before her death, which I remember pretty clearly for a 7yo.
When I was in college and "home" at my dad's for the first summer, I went snooping through his old pictures and things. I found those three Ronnie McDowell tapes and "liberated" them, 😏 along with a gazillion pictures of my mother.
Then, coming up on one year ago, I happened to find some Ronnie McD songs on... YouTube? Amazon? I don't even know. I gave a listen to them and found myself disgusted by much of the overtly sexist, somewhat predatory lyrics on a song or three. I posted what I thought was a rather innocent update about that on the book of faces, and my dad lost his shit about it, basically about what a liberal treehugger I have become (have always been, hate to break the news to ya, Pops). I told him I was sorry he'd been so foolish to buy into Trump's lies, and he said the immortal words to me, "Just leave me alone."
I haven't spoken to him since. (P.S. No great loss. That narcissistic, abusive, sexist louse is a Trump wannabe through-and-through, and I'm better off not giving a damn what he thinks of me or what he thinks, period.) But intensive therapy ensues.
I5) She grew up on an 11-acre Christmas tree farm. Do you get a fresh tree every year, or do you have an artificial tree, or do you not put up a tree at all?
We usually do an artificial tree. It's just easier with all the dogs and cats and their excessive curiosity. At some point, I'd like to put up at least three in this house - but I don't think we'll have the budget for it just yet this year. This white flocked tree was last year's.
6) Taylor Swift is 5'10". According to the CDC, the average American woman is 5'4" while men are, on average, 5'9". Are you taller or shorter than average?
At 5'1½", I'm shorter than average. But I've got 18-year-old Chloë beat. Like her paternal grandmother, she is maxed out at 4'10".
7) She enjoys good, old fashioned mysteries, especially those by Agatha Christie. Are you currently reading a book for pleasure?
I'm just getting into Holding Up the Universe, by Jennifer Niven. 8) Her brother Austin is a freelance photographer who took the official pictures for her 2008 concert tour. Who took the last photo of you?
That would be Christine Vorobieff, one of the other equestrian moms from Sophie's Pony Club, last Sunday.
9) Random question: What's your go-to comfy outfit?
Sweats and a t-shirt, I guess. Now that illness rules the day, I dress for comfort; rarely for "cute."
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Thanks for the fun meme, Ms. Sam o' the Cray. Thanks for all you do for us!
Next steps in tackling the Climate Crisis involve this. Whatever you do, do something.
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?
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?
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?
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?
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.
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?
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?
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?
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?
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.) ♥
And BTW, Happy Birthday to Lori, whose birthday is the 9th!
Happy birthday, Lori!!
What is the most fun thing you have ever done?
I don't think there's been a more fun moment in my whole life than when Rob and I eloped. That moment, running hand in hand together to the courthouse, laughing, hearts pounding... it was absolutely exhilarating!
Are you left-handed or right-handed?
What is the nicest thing someone has ever done for you?
Oh, various things. The specifics don't matter, such as the concept: each of us has, within us, the power and wherewithal to do good, to make this world a better place. Every day, every moment, every interaction is a choice to make that good happen, or not. And then those on the other end will hopefully go forth and do the same.
What is the biggest animal you’ve seen in the wild?
Probably a bear, in the woods, driving through West Virginia on our way from Missouri to Virginia
What is the smallest animal you’ve seen in the wild?
I mean, mosquitos are pretty tiny animals, right? I'll tell you one I wish I'd seen: The deer tick, Ixodes scapularis, that infected me with Lyme Disease. I believe that happened in the summer of 2014 in central New York. I didn't get diagnosed until January 2017. That was plenty of time to do substantial and permanent damage.
Do you ever have funny dreams at night?
Yeah. I dream very vivid, realistic dreams that always confuse the shit out of me when I wake up, too. It always takes me forever to suss out what really happen and what was just a dream.
If you could make a law for your country, what would it be?
Easy: I would ban single-use plastic. But that would just be the beginning.
What would you do if you were invisible for a day?
If I were invisble for a day, I'd go around and cover up and bring warmth to the people who are homeless. I'd steal food if I had to, to feed the hungry. I'd find a way for the light to shine on those who are struggling to feel beautiful and loved. I'd use my day to find a way to let others know that even though their day-to-day lives are a constant struggle, they are not forgotten, and they matter.
If you could be someone else for a day, who would you be?
I'd be Oprah and feel FABULOUS!
What would you like to change about yourself?
I'd go deep inside and tinker with my soul, until whatever is inside me telling me I'm not worthy of love, of joy, of contentment, and that I deserve pain... is gone. I would change that.
What is your daily routine?
I don't have one at the moment. It's kind of depressing!
What would your perfect day be like?
This may sound inane, but I would accomplish everything on my to-do list, precisely the way I'd hoped. I'd get in some yoga and do some poses that I've been working toward. Whatever I'd do, I'd want to impress myself. I haven't impressed myself in a long time.
How old were you when you learned to read?
I learned to read when I was three. I started reading out loud off the back of the cereal box during breakfast one morning, and that's when they realized I could read. Everyone took credit for it, but no one gave it to me. Story of my life.
What is the most interesting thing you know?
Oh, gosh, I don't know. I know when a toddler has been eating and offers you a bite, it's not always of their food...
What makes you nervous?
Uncertainty. And life's full of it! I'm an anxious person. But I don't shy away from it. I jump in with my eyes open quite a lot.
What is your favourite flower?
Bright, surprising bouquets of irises, lilies, and tulips are my favorites. I love the bulb flowers, the monocotyledons. Look at this "Dragonfly" bouquet from the Bouqs! 😍😍
Have you ever ridden on a horse or any other animal?
Well, not like Sophia (my 14yo daughter, here)! But I've ridden on a horse, an elephant, and a camel. And a dog. And a human. 😂😂😂
What time do you go to bed?
I don't even know. Goes along with that 'routine' thing we previously discussed.
What time do you get up?
Whenever I can. As soon as I can. For as long as I can. #spoonielife
What is something that is always in your refrigerator?
A package of tofu. I actually love tofu, really and truly. In fact, tomorrow for my birthday, I think I'm going to forgo any kind of cake and have tofu instead. Not even kidding.
Great. Now I want tofu, and I don't think we actually have any right this second! I don't even know what we do have. I haven't been grocery shopping yet this month... #FeedMeSeymour
Hi, you guys!! I'm going to get into Saturday 9 in a moment. But first, let me say:
to this young lady today:
Can you guys believe it? My kids have practically grown up in front if y'all on Saturday 9 and Sunday Stealing, and here now as of this very day, my firstborn is an adult! I swear, I'm in absolute shock. Happy birthday, Chloë Raine!
Okay. On to Saturday 9. Link up here to play along with us today!
(And I may jump in and do last week's, which I missed due to illness.)
The Sweet Escape (2006)
Unfamiliar with this week's song. Hear it here. 1) This song begins with, "First of all, let me say I must apologize ..." Who most recently apologized to you?
Actually, it was this girl. We bumped heads or something, and she immediately apologized. Chloë, like her mother, is an over-apologizer. People ask us to stop, and we just can't! It's annoying for us, too. Just so you know.
2) Gwen Stefani sings that she acted like "sour milk on the floor." Is there milk in your refrigerator right now? What about non-dairy creamer?
I'm pretty sure there is cow's milk in the fridge for the kids' cereal right now. We do need to pick up some more almond milk for me, though.
3) In the video, Gwen wears several different pairs of stiletto heels. What are you wearing on your feet as you answer these questions?
Great for those who can and want to wear stilettos, high heels, and all that - but I can't and never really wanted to. I've worn stiletto pumps a few memorable times, but I can rarely find any, let alone a billion pairs, that make me think, "Yeah, I'd rather wear those shoes, put that dent in my wallet, and sacrifice my foot health." It just doesn't happen. So right now, I'm barefoot. I usually am.
4) Mrs. Stefani named her daughter "Gwen" after a stewardess in the book/movie Airport. Who was your favorite character in the book you just read, or movie you most recently watched?
Okay, so it's neither a book nor a movie, but I'm watching "Dear White People" on Netflix lately, and I adore the Samantha White character. She's sassy and smart - and stunning!
5) Gwen is a distant cousin of Madonna's. Are there any performers in your family?
Well, Chloë started acting and modeling at 5 years old, but about 10 or 11 years later, she decided she wanted to take an extended break from it to focus on other things. (The rejection is tough!) And Sophia is now in the marching band (percussion) - her first parade is today! - and competes in equestrian events. Jack is nooottttttt the performing type!
6) In high school, she joined the swim team not because she enjoys swimming but because she wanted to lose weight. Are you doing anything (dieting, participating in an exercise regimen) in order to shed a few pounds?
I want to, but I'm not sure what to do. I've been all over the map weight-wise, and now that I've gained back a fair number of lbs from the medicine I take, I admit, I'm depressed. I decided to try the keto diet in July, to disastrous effects. It really messed up my blood sugar stability, and I had severe hypoglycemia every day. And I'm dealing with gastroparesis now, and all sorts of things, so I just don't know what to do, honestly.
7) Before she became successful, Gwen worked at the makeup counter in a department store. What was the last thing you purchased? Did you buy it online or at a store?
I bought this pair of shoes for Chloë from Amazon. I didn't really pay for them, though; I get free items as an Ambassador for a company, in exchange for my honest reviews. I hope they fit her!
8) Gwen has gotten a great deal of publicity for her romance with country star, Blake Shelton. What's your favorite Blake Shelton song?
Gah, they're so cute together, aren't they? I hope they last and stay happy. I love his song, "God's Country," ever since I saw him debut it on The Voice last Spring.
9) Random question: Which of these compliments would make you the happiest: to be called fascinating, or brilliant, or gorgeous?
Well, I think that, like this sapphire engagement ring from Lauren B Jewelry, it's possible to be all three in the same moment. Likewise, I think all three may last a lifetime or be fleeting and momentary. That being said, if I could only be one, and even if would only last a moment, I would want to be thought of as brilliant. I'd choose that option 10 times out of 10.
That was fun, Sam, thanks! Might come back later and do some catching up from last week but for right now, I've got some more birthday planning to do! See ya later on the blogiverse.
(I do know this song and am singing along with Johnny Rivers. And now it led into listening to CCR, which I also love.)
The Part With the Lyrics
There's a man who leads a life of danger To everyone he meets he stays a stranger With every move he makes another chance he takes Odds are he won't live to see tomorrow
Secret agent man, secret agent man They've given you a number and taken away your name
Beware of pretty faces that you find A pretty face can hide an evil mind Ah, be careful what you say Or you'll give yourself away Odds are you won't live to see tomorrow
Secret agent man, secret agent man They've given you a number and taken away your name
Secret agent man, secret agent man They've given you a number and taken away your name
Swingin' on the Riviera one day And then layin' in the Bombay alley next day Oh no, you let the wrong word slip While kissing persuasive lips The odds are you won't live to see tomorrow
Secret agent man, secret agent man They've given you a number and taken away your name
Secret agent man
The Part Where I Apologize
Hey. Persona non grata here. I have a certain amount of contrition over my post last week. I know I ruffled some feathers, but maybe that's not the worst thing in the world if it gets a conversation going, even if I get the ugly bits. I got some pretty supportive responses (both on the blog and directly to me, privately), and I also received some angry <<words muffled and inaudible>> replies. I do want to admit I did not realize quite how much research went into inventing the nine weekly questions, although I could tell it was a fair amount each week. Obviously it never stopped me from answering the questions, when I was able to play, thoughtfully - although some of you thought knowing/not knowing the song/musician never affected one's abililty to do so at all, which is incorrect.
I did do the recent Backstreet Boys, Billy Ray & Miley Cyrus, and Britney Spears editions, so it can't be said I play too infrequently to have noticed those among others. Also, I guess what I am saying to that is that none of those more recent acts are what I personally might consider good, quality music - but that's a conversation for a different day. I could list an exceptionally long list of music that is neither pop nor current, but since I never write about those like I do about my tongue-in-cheek love for pop muzak, y'maybe just don't know. I don't want to lose y'all as my online friends, and there are a good many of you I think I'd love to know in real life, too, so please accept that I have felt nothing but contrition since that post went up last week. Sometimes my real-life stress asserts itself into unrelated online stuff, and because I possess no filter - none at all - I can't always reel it back in. I'm sorry.
The Part Where I Mention a Billie Eilish Song I Love (one of many; cheeky, I know)
1) This is the theme of a TV show that ran on CBS from 1964-1967. The series was produced, and originally aired, in England. The BBC has shared many shows with American audiences over the years. Can you name another?
I never really got into Downton Abbey, but many of my friends were really into it.
2) The show is about John Drake, a special agent dedicated to exposing plots that threaten world peace. A quick check of Netflix and Goodreads reveals that spy stories are just as popular today. Is espionage a genre you enjoy? Do you read books, or watch shows and movies, about spies?
I don't go out of my way to watch spy movies, but I don't avoid them, either. I might be persuaded to see a Bond movie for the first time in ages (I haven't seen any since Pierce Brosnan) if Idris Elba were tapped to play 007, though... ;)
3) The lyrics tell us Drake travels from the Riviera to Bombay. Where were you when you last spent the night away from home? Why were you there (vacation, business, international intrigue)?
Oh, definitely international intrigue, for sure. No doubt about that.
No, actually, I was supposed to be taking 17yo Chloë with me to Vancouver, B.C., this weekend to a Moms' summit with various companies and grow my 'brand' as an influencer in the mommiverse - or whatever cutesy name is en vogue these days - but I can't afford to go now. Medical bills and the gas from traveling back and forth to Boise for doc appointments has me strapped. I'm super bummed; it promised to be both informative and fun.
So the last time I spent a night away from home was in April, when I took 14yo Sophia to Pocatello, Idaho, for an event with the state's branch of International Pony Club. That's her in the back row, far right end. Blonde. Oh wait, that doesn't help.
4) The refrain states, "They've given you a number and taken away your name." In today's digital world, that could now be said of all of us. Are you good at remembering your computer passwords?
I used to be, before Succubus took my memory away. Now I have to keep a list... somewhere.
5) Patrick McGoohan, who played Agent Drake, went from being a good guy to appearing as a murderer on Columbo four times. Were you a fan of Columbo?
No, but I think it was my grandpa who was. I tried to get into it, with him, but after learning about Peter Falk's false eye, I got squeamish. Same with Sammy Davis, Jr. I'm funny about eyeballs. Ick.
6) Born John Ramistella, this week's featured artist, Johnny Rivers, grew up in Louisiana. He took "Rivers" as his stage name because he grew up along the Mighty Mississippi. If you were to change your last name based on the geography of the area where you grew up, how would you be known?
Hmm. "Melanie Mountains" and "Fingerlakes Mel" sound a bit pornographic. Not the kind of film industry I guess you're talking about? So how about "Melanie Bronx" after my mom's birthplace? 7) In 1966, when this song was popular, Jacqueline Kennedy was the woman most Americans admired. What famous woman do you admire most? (She doesn't have to be American.)
Oh, so many women. Michelle Obama, definitely. 37-year-old Barbara Pierce Bush (Coyne) is really impressing me lately. She's worked both for the Smithsonian Museum and with AIDS patients in Africa. She founded the Global Health Corps, which she spoke about in a TED Talk in Brooklyn. She has spoken out in support of same-sex marriage in New York. And like her twin sister, Jenna, she is an independent thinker: neither is a member of the Republican Party.
8) 1966 also found another Jacqueline was in the news. Jacqueline Susann's first novel, Valley of the Dolls, was atop the best seller lists, even though it was savaged by the critics. What's your guilty pleasure? What book, movie, TV show, or song do you enjoy, even though you know it has little artistic merit?
So I like Nicki Minaj, and "Good Form" is a song - and video - that's not for the faint of heart. Don't say you weren't warned.
9) Random question: Imagine you've been stranded alone in the woods for 10 days. No companionship, no internet or phone or TV. You have been sleeping in the dirt, living on berries and river water. Your rescuers drive you to a hotel. Upon check-in, what's the first thing you do?
Okay, first of all, this guy is hilarious and I'm going to have to start doing this stuff like him when I visit a hotel! And now, to answer your question, I would probably "use the facilities" and then stumble to the bed. Wake me up in two days, y'all. Yeesh!
The Part Where I Finish
Welp, that was a fun one. I enjoyed it whole-heartedly. Now I'm off in search of some coffee. Cheers, y'all!
So this week's song chosen by Crazy Sam is more in my era: "The Perfect Fan," by the Backstreet Boys. However, I still don't know this song! 😂😂😂 Oh well. Once in a while one comes across my interwebs that I know, and that, my friends, is what we call excitement. Hee.
1) In this song, a son thanks his mother for helping him grow up strong and confident. Who is the last person you thanked? What did they do for you?
My 17yo daughter, Chloë, surprised me with a ton of early gifts for Mother's Day last night, after running all over creation with her daddy. I had no idea what they were up to, so I was totally shocked - and she's got more coming! I can't believe it; I don't feel worthy of such things, such love, such delight. I'm still overwhelmed with gratitude. ♥
2) Who was the last person to thank you for something?
Ohh, I don't know. 14yo Sophia is thankful for her horse lessons every time she rides, and she's regularly expressing grateful for that.
3) This is from the Backstreet Boys' album Millennium, recorded and released in 1999. Do you remember where you were and what you were doing when 1999 turned into 2000?
That was when I was phasing out of working on my PhD in the elasmobranch (sharks, skates, and rays) research lab in the Biology Department at the University of South Florida, and into working on my Master's in Science Education in the ed department. It was interesting, but... far less cerebral.
4) This song was written by Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell. Brian voiced himself on an episode of PBS' Arthur. Arthur has been described as an "animated anthropomorphic aardvark" -- which can be difficult to say. Do you easily get tongue tied?
Yes, very easily! I'm especially prone to Spoonerisms, which are so common for me I feel they should be named after me. I do it all.the.time! It can be amusing, but also annoying (for me)! 5) The French word for "mother" is "mère." What other French words do you know?
A lot, judging by how much I should be saying, "Excuse my French"!!😂😂
6) Mother's Day is a big holiday for card shops. So are birthdays, weddings, and St. Patrick's Day. Hallmark sells greetings for everything from "Congratulations on Your New Job" to "Happy Retirement." Who received the most recent card you bought?
That would be my good friend since middle school, Erin, who has a postcard collection. Do postcards count? I send her a random postcard now and then. One just went out, on Thursday. 7) Have you put away your winter clothes yet?
Nope. One moment it's 85ºF outside, the next it's 35ºF. I never know what to wear! 8) Mother Winters used to scold Sam for leaving her dirty dishes in the sink. Sam admits it: as a grown up, she's still a bit of a slob. Do lean toward "neat" or "messy?"
I'm more like... "organised messy." I can't do a lot of cleaning or even picking up around the house very often, because of my massive health issues, and no one in my family seems to see or care about the messes. It's aggravating. I mostly hang out at my desk or in bed, and I have tons of papers all over my desk. It's a little crazy, but I do know where my stuff is! 9) To celebrate Mother's Day, Sam is giving away her mother's favorite: Hershey Bars. Would you prefer classic milk chocolate, dark chocolate or milk chocolate with almonds?
Definitely the latter. Lately I'm ridiculously hooked on Green & Black's Organic Milk Chocolate with Almonds bars. So good. Anything Hersheys is now so inferior, it doesn't deserve to be called "chocolate"! G&B are so yum.
Welp, this is going to be up way early: It's 3:30 AM on Friday! I kinda wish Sunday Stealing would be posted as early as Sam posts Saturday 9, because I tend not to participate if it's not up early. I'm tryin', though!
Hey there, hi there, ho there! I'm comin' at ya from the bustling (heh) town of Pocatello, Idaho, where I'm staying in a Travelodge with my youngest child, 14-year-old Sophia. There's some kind of mariachi swing band playing loudly from the saloon at the other end of this corridor, and it's severely distracting. So if I bust into Spanish halfway through this post, you'll know why.
Link up here if you'd like to play along with us this weekend!
1) This song is about separation. Who is the last person you said goodbye (or maybe just "so long") to?
Well, that would be Sophia, I guess. I tried doing this meme from the hotel room, on my phone, and that was an exercise in frustration. We've got to get up around 5 AM - which means, really, for me that I'm not going to bed at all - so I said good-bye and goodnight. Hopefully she'll get some rest.
2) This week's featured artist, Paul Young, was a gifted athlete during his school days and briefly played professional football (aka soccer). Sam enjoys playing tennis, though her serve doesn't give Serena Williams anything to worry about. What's something you enjoy doing, even if you don't excel?
I love playing badminton, but I haven't done it in ages upon ages!
3) Mr. Young and his wife Stacy were married for 31 years, until her death in 2018. What do you think is the key to a happy marriage?
4) Paul Young's performance of this hit song was one of the highlights of the July 1985 Live Aid Concert. This international benefit raised more than $100 million to alleviate hunger in Ethiopia. Tell us about a charity you support.
Have y'all heard of Global Citizen? You should join! It's totally FREE. For the cost of your time and maybe some clicks, you can support causes like: Female Empowerment, Global Health Initiatives, Environmental Conservation, Fighting World Poverty, World Hunger, the Clean Water problem, and so much more. Just sign up here, and you'll be on your way! You even earn points for completing these actions, and you can use those points for things like entering concerts. I've won two pairs of tickets to two concerts before! The last one was Metallica in November in Boise, and I sent Hubs and our son Jack. Very cool program.
5) This song was written by Daryl Hall, of Hall and Oates. What's your favorite Hall and Oates song?
6) In 1985, when this song was popular, the New Coke was unsuccessfully introduced. What's the last beverage you drank?
I'm drinking the Kroger/Fred Meyer version of a Diet Coke right now. I think Hubs packed, like, three dozen cans in the cooler for this trip, and I'll probably still run out. :/
Melanie? Not to my knowledge... although I've lived through my fair share of storms. To wit, here are some: Blizzard of '93 (Syracuse, NY); Tropical Storm Gordon (in Miami); Hurricane... George or Henry or something, or both (St. Petersburg, FL), Supertyphoon Pongsona (on Guam); Hurricanes Isabel, Sandy, & Irene (all in Virginia Beach)... and much more big weather when we lived back in Miami again. We may have looooong winters here in Idaho, but they are pretty mild, speaking solely of precipitation.
8) 1985 was the year that the Titanic wreckage was discovered. There have been at least 11 movies and TV shows about the fatal voyage. Have you seen any of them?
Yes, the Leo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet version of Titanic came out the Fall after I graduated college. I finally saw it when my excellent friend Shana came down to Miami from New York to visit me over winter break, and we took my roommate Jasper with us to go see it in Coconut Grove's CocoWalk. (Y'all from Miami know the place.) Great movie. I've seen it several more times since then.
9) Random question: Would you rather own and run a coffee shop or a shoe store? Why?
I'd rather run the coffee shop. I wouldn't want to be touching peoples' gnarly, stinky feet all day!! Eww.
Welp. Better go check up on Sophie to make sure she got some sleep - and maybe try, myself!
Howdy! Welcome, welcome. I'm watching the weather news right now, and it's frightening. Time for a little levity: Sunday Stealing! Link up here if you'd like to play along with Bev and the rest of us this holiday weekend!
What Did You Have For Lunch?
Fruit Punch-flavored G2 Gatorade... laced with Miralax 😉
Do You Dance In The Car?
Hell yeah... and it goes a lot like that, Jackie Chan and all.
Always a tough one for me as I like all - no, most - animals. I'm partial to sharks (particularly mako) and elephants (particularly African).
Do You Watch The Olympics?
What Time Do You Usually Go To Bed?
What's this bed you speak of?
Are You Wearing Makeup Right Now?
Only if you count what's leftover from yesterday...
Do You Prefer To Swim In A Pool Or The Ocean?
Definitely the ocean... I want to go to there!
What Was The Last Thing You Ate?
Well, there is no GIF for chewable vitamins... ;)
Bottled Water Or Tap Water?
I don't even like the idea of bottled water... I'll drink tap if I have to, but I usually need to put some lemon or something in it to keep it down.
What Makes You Happy?
Seeing my family happy makes me happy.
Did You Like Swinging As A Child? Do You Still Get Excited When You See A Swing Set?
Heck yes - to both! If I'm at a park, and there are swings available, I'm getting on one.
Do You Work Better With Or Without Music?
Do You Make Your Bed In The Morning?
Rarely anymore. We have a low low low platform bed, and my body just hates it down there!
Do You Like Your Music Loud?
Do You Fear Thunder & Lightning?
Nah, not as an adult. I enjoy it.
Oh! I thought I had lots more to go, but I copied/pasted the quiz twice. Silly.
Thanks for stopping by! Have a happy holiday if you're celebrating!
Hey, everyone! Right now we're in a big freakin' family argument because my oldest, Chloë, wants to treat everyone to something for dinner... However, I have super-strong, scientifically-backed, non-emotional convictions about eating vegan and will not sway, plus I have had gastric bypass surgery resulting in a teeny-tiny gastric pouch, so the Golden Corral buffet she wants to go to does not make any sense for me. And I don't feel well. So I don't want to go. Some people want Chinese food, some people want pizza - all of which have vegan choices - but nobody agrees. AND I had already bought the ingredients for what I had planned for dinner.
So this is fun.
Anyway, since nothing is really happening on the dinner end of things, I thought I'd get with the program and get my S9 conquered. So let's do this!
Saturday 9: My Favorite Things (2018) Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
1) This week's artist, Jennie Abrahamson, is very happy living in Stockholm, but she refers to Paris as "a flirt." She enjoys her time there so much she always wants to return. Is there a place you've visited that tugs at your heart and imagination, tempting you to return?
Oh, yes. I loved every single stop on our 12-day European cruise in 2008, but I think city of Lucca in Italy was exceedingly delightful. I'd go back to any of those ports in a heartbeat, but to meander through Lucca again - even 13 years later with my health - would make me jump for joy!
2) Jennie has said her music has been heavily influenced by 80s pop, which was popular in her early teen years. Are your favorite songs the ones you listened to when you were growing up?
Oh, nah. I mean, I love my 80s songs for sure, but I love listening to current pop music a ton, too. But I mean, I was listening to Vivaldi and Tchaikovsky and Mozart earlier this afternoon. I think right now I'm most obsessed with the Sweetener and Thank U, Next latest albums from Ariana Grande, especially her song "God is a Woman."
3) "My Favorite Things" is from The Sound of Music. Crazy Sam's high school claim to fame was playing Sister Margaretta in the senior class production. Though not a big part, her performance lives on because relatives love embarrassing her with pictures of her in an especially unflattering nun's habit. Who took an embarrassing photo of you? What were you doing?
Well, damn. There are (approximately) a million embarrassing photos of me, many online. Pick any given one!
4) The lyrics celebrate "brown paper packages tied up in strings." What was in the last box you received in the mail?
The last package "I" got was really for our puppies, Paco and Tapi. They LOOOOOOOVE getting their monthly BarkBox in the mail, and I swear to God they know what it is when the box hits the porch! (They actually might know the timing, because they start crowding around the door whenever ANY box hits the porch for a day or two before it's supposed to come!) Tapi's been bumped up to the "Super Chewer" level as of this month, because her strong jaws destroy her favorite toys within moments at the regular level. Paco only cares about the treats, so that doesn't matter to him!
5) It mentions doorbells and sleighbells. What's the most recent bell or alarm that you heard?
[It's now 2:14 PM on Saturday afternoon. I'm just now getting out of bed, because I've got a migraine. Again. Still. Whichever.] Various peoples' work, activity, and medication alarms all day - none of which have helped my head!
6) This song has nice things to say about cold weather, specifically snowflakes and mittens. What do you like about winter?
When it's over.
7) Dog bites and bee stings are singled out as things that can leave us feeling sad. What's most recently given you the blues?
I was able to drive out to, and attend, Sophia's lesson for the first time in over a year... and it was not a great lesson for her. Sunny, the Appaloosa she's on there, did not want to cooperate. And Sunny stepped on her at today's lesson, so... :\ Poor kid. She cried, I heard, and it broke the skin.
8) In 2018, when this song was released, Roger Federer won the Australian Open. Are you good with a racket?
I wasn't bad in high school, despite not having the best depth perception. I haven't really played since then, though.
9) Random question -- Your local zoo announced the hatching of three snowy owlets. All males. You won the honor of naming them. Go ahead.
Blue, Delta, and Echo... and if you have any guesses as to where I got those ideas, I'd love to hear them! ;)
Before I send this post into the ether, as I'm listening to Chopin's "Noctune op.9 No. 1," I'll leave you with Sophia's latest art project: her take on Vincent van Gogh's "Starry Night," done with oil pastels.
Welcome back to Saturday 9! Be sure and link up here to join in with the rest of us this week!
Saturday 9: I Forgot to Remember to Forget (1955) Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here. In honor of Elvis' birthday (January 8.)
1) Elvis sings that he thinks about this girl all the time. What person or topic is on your mind this Saturday?
Being vegan. It's Veganuary 2019, and I suddenly find myself on this unexpected mission to do the most good I can for myself, for my family, for my family, for my fellow man, and for our home, planet Earth. I'm in the middle of writing a post about it, but I'm finding it hard to convey the right sense of urgency without an enormous dose of being judgmental.
2) He wants to forget the day he met his girl, but simply can't. Think about someone very important in your life. Did you know right away that they were going to be influential?
This is Victor, a man I went to college with at the University of Miami back in the mid-90s. We lived on the same hall of the same floor of the same dorm for a while and became fast friends. Little did I know, he would be the reason I met my husband of 18 years. Without him, I wouldn't have had our four beautiful children!
Since this week's song is about memories, let's check on how well you recall events in your own life.
3) What was the first concert you ever attended?
I can never remember whether it was Whitney Houston at the New York State Fair (she originally canceled during the fair, I think due to illness, and then we went to the reschedule in October when she performed despite heavy rain) or Bon Jovi, also in Syracuse, New York. Concert ticket images indicate that they may have been the same year.
4) Where did you get your first piercing? (Not only where on your body, but who did the deed and where did they do it?)
All of my piercings are above the neck... so far. ;) First, I got my earlobes pierced, at a place in the mall, probably, for my eighth birthday. Since then, I got a second and third hole pierced at more piercing spots in malls. I then got the cartilage in my left ear pierced at a piercing shop in south Miami-Dade County's Dadeland mall - do not do this! Go to a professional piercing artist, often at a tattoo shop - and after a lot of pain and many infections, I let it close up. I got a fourth hole pierced at that same time in the right ear. When I was 21, my then-roommate and friend Shannon and I skipped work to go get matching nostril piercings at a tattoo parlor near Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida. Finally, two decades later, I have just gotten my septum and right tragus pierced by the piercer, Tatt, at Justin Abel Tattoo in Mountain Home, Idaho. I love them!
5) What's the name of the bank where you had your first checking account?
The evil Bank of America. Horrors!
6) Tell us about your first bicycle.
I remember it had training wheels, streamers, and a basket. I did not want to be stuck on training wheels forever, but I was having a hard time progressing past them. When I was six, we moved from Monroe, New York, to Syracuse, New York; I remember taking off those training wheels and riding around the giant moving truck, holding on to the truck when I needed to and trying not to crash into the mailboxes. That moving truck helped me succeed!
7) Who received the first text you ever sent?
I'm sure it had to have been Rob, in 2003. That's when I got my first cell phone.
8) What had you been drinking when you suffered your first hangover?
Shots of Goldschläger. I was 17.
9) Whose was the first wedding you ever attended?
July 13th, 1985, my father married for the third time, to my stepmother the evil bitch from hell, just over one year after my mother suddenly died. I was eight years old and the youngest person in that wedding. We four girls wore coordinating dresses in pastel blue, pink peach, and lavender. I can't even remember which was mine. I don't want to.
I'm watching old episodes of Three's Company, eating vegan "mozzarella," and debating whether to get in the shower to take Sophie to her riding lesson. I really should. She's got these new breeches that fit beautifully, but I want to see how they perform for her in action!
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?
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?
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?
My good friend Stephanie, who first was my kids' babysitter in Virginia Beach, when they were itty bitty, is pregnant with her fourth son!
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.)
Did anyone you know die? Or have a serious illness/injury?
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. 😢
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?
Well, the hospital for one - a LOT! heh heh
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.
We drove out to Wasatch Sport Horses in Eagle, Idaho, many, many times for Sophia's riding lessons. Our new second home!
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:
We lost Rob's gentle giant, Henry, to a suspected sudden asthma attack. It was very sad.
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. 😢
Jack's old gerbil, Lucy, who lived a good, long, loved life with him, passed away peacefully. She is missed.
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:
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.
Jack adopted this bunny-buns, Fudge, for his 4-H project this year. He's ridiculously soft!
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...)?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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!
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)?
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?
My husband! 🤪😂😈
What do you wish you would have done less of?
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?
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.
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?
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?
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!
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!)
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:
[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?
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.
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?
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?
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?
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.
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?
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.
How have people around you changed?
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?
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!
What was your favorite outfit for warm weather? Cooler weather?
Something cool, comfortable, and hopefully, cute!
Anything remotely warm, comfortable, and hopefully cute! ;)
Did you learn any new crafts or techniques? What was your favorite thing you made?
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!
What changed about your physical appearance? (Hair? Wrinkles? New makeup style? Etc)
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:
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Hey, hey, whaddaya say? I'm glad to be back with you guys for another Sunday Stealing. This time, Bev brings us questions from the Swap-Bot:
Link up here if you want to join in the fun this week. Let's get started, hmm?
1.Where were you 3 hours ago?
You can pretty much find me on the couch lately, whenever I don't need to be somewhere outside the house. With my severe iron deficiency, it's even hard for me to peel myself off the sofa without help, so here I sit. Hope fully when I get those iron infusions in a few weeks, my energy levels will bounce up a bit. I can NOT wait!
2.Have you ever eaten a crayon?
Not to my knowledge, but hey - we were all babies once, right?
3.Is there anything pink within 10 feet of you?
ThisVictoria's Secret striped blanket is just to my left. When I'm cold and/or snoozing on the couch, it's the blanket I use. With my weird sensory issues, it has the perfect texture for me.
4.When is the last time you went to the mall?
Chloë and I went to the mall this past Tuesday to do some mystery shops I found the strength to perform (paid for it later!), and I was so mad at myself when I realized after we got there that I had forgotten my free product & discount coupons for Bath & Body Works. Grr! I hate the mall so much, so I rarely go. Those coupons will probably expire before I get a chance to use them.
5.Are you wearing socks right now?
No, but now I want those ^^^ cuties! I rarely wear socks. Actually, hospital socks have the perfect texture for my tactile issues, so I guess it's fortunate (or not, depending on your perspective) that I've built up quite the collection of them!
6.When was the last time you drove out of town?
Well, technically, we drove out of town to High Desert Station in Star, Idaho, when we ferried Sophia, our 13-year-old equestrian, back and forth to Pony Club camp last month. But in about 10 days, Team Odette is heading to the Bateman Horne Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, so I can get evaluated and possibly treated for ME/CFS. I'm about 1,000% certain that will be my ultimate diagnosis, with multiple triggers leading up to that. And then, a couple weeks after that, Sophie and I will be traveling to Bellevue, Idaho, to the Intermountain Pony Club Camp & Rally, where she'll be a stable manager for another club's team. (Our club isn't participating, but this will be an excellent experience for her.) Both trips will be our first forays into the Airbnb world. Any tips for us from you Airbnb veterans out there? (both links are to our respective upcoming stays)
7.Have you been to the movies in the last 5 days?
I think it's been more than five days, but we recently went to see The Incredibles 2 as a family - minus Jack, who had to work that day. After a 14-year wait for the sequel, I had pretty high expectations. Don't get me wrong, it was an entertaining movie and my girls enjoyed it, but... I felt let down by it. Meh. At least it was a free excursion, thanks to the kids' orthodontist, Dr. Jacob Jarvis!
8.What was the last thing you had to drink?
Dudes. I need a Diet Coke Bong in my life.
9.What are you wearing right now?
I'm slumming it today. I'm completely mismatched.
10.Do you wash your car or let the car wash do it?
Lately, I've taken a few car wash mystery shops for a local joint, and they do a great job. Next time we have the dough, I want to purchase their $50/month plan where you can get unlimited washes, every day, every week. Idaho is such a dusty, dirty state with little rain, so the car is constantly dirty. I hate a dirty car.
Well, it's after midnight now, so probably the same thing I'm doing now: kind of a Netflix and chill type of deal.
13.Have you bought any clothing items in the last week?
The last clothing I bought was equestrian gear from Dover Saddlery, for Sophia. I got everything on clearance: a white and a midnight blue summer riding shirt, two pairs of riding socks with cute patterns on them, a pair of summer breeches, and for free, she received a Dover saddle pad. Her own tack - her first! Plus I had to throw in the Breyer Turn-Out Set (the toy horse) at her request, but only so I could get to the free shipping tier. Problem is, I forgot to update our shipping address to our Boise home, and everything went to Miami. I had to pay a small bundle to re-route the package to Idaho. Argh!
14.When is the last time you ran?
Who, me? Oh, no. I don't run. I can't run.
15.What's the last sporting event you watched?
I caught some FIFA game, but it was completely by accident. I have no horse in that race.
And now, I have a request for you.
I have started a GoFundMe page (that's the link) for my Sophia's art education. She hasn't had a lot of formal training, but she is very talented. I've purchased a program where she learns from the great Master artists, but the materials are not included. And there are SO many. I also have an Amazon Wishlist (link there) set up for the same supplies. If you would be so kind, would you mind at least sharing the link(s) to help us raise the funds so Sophie can advance her education? We would be so grateful for a few shares.
1) The song is about a woman who is in love with her boyfriend, but still attracted to someone else. Do you believe a woman can be in love with more than one person at a time?
I do believe that, yes.
2) What about the male of the species? Do you believe a man can be in love with more than one person at a time?
I guess it's possible for men, too, but I do think it's a different dynamic and harder for men to manage.
3) These lyrics were by Gerry Goffin and the music by Carole King. Carole was a favorite guest of David Letterman's. When she appeared on his show, he often commented on how impressed he was by her firm handshake. She credited her memorable grip to time spent milking goats on her Idaho farm. Have you poured goat milk on your cereal? Eaten goat milk yogurt or cheese?
We have some Kabrita Whole Goat Milk Powder that we use in a pinch when we're out of regular milk. This is actually beneficial to me, because I'm severely lactose intolerant, but I can manage the goat milk. It's pretty good, actually! Also, Chèvre (goat cheese) is among my favorite cheeses - and I'm a huge cheese fan. Huge! I've eaten my fair share of it - flavored and non. (P.S. I also like a firm handshake.)
4) When it first came out, "Chains" was a favorite of 18-year-old George Harrison. It was at his recommendation that the Beatles added it to their early stage shows and even recorded it on their first album. When you were in high school, what was one of your favorite songs?
5) In 1962, when this song was released, epic movies were popular on the big screen. The Longest Day was three hours long, and Lawrence of Arabia ran more than three hours and a half hours. Today's most popular movies are nowhere near that long. Do you think the average American has a shorter attention span today than he did in 1962?
Absolutely, I do. Definitely.
6) In 1962, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy went on a two-week goodwill tour of India and Pakistan. She received a ceremonial "welcome necklace" in India. Made without jewels or precious metals -- just beads, sequins and paper -- it was valued by the First Lady for its delicate appearance and craftsmanship, and today it's on display at the John F. Kennedy Library. Tell us about a piece of jewelry that means a great deal to you, and why.
One of my most prized possessions is my "babies necklace." It represents my four children, with their sexes and birthstones on display. And our angel son, Robby, is not absent. My mother-in-law gave it to me after Robby died, and then she took it back and added our diamond girl after Sophia was born two Aprils later. I love it.
7) In Pakistan, Mrs. Kennedy made headlines by riding a camel. Have you ever ridden a horse, donkey, camel or elephant?
I've ridden all but a donkey; don't think I've done that. But I exhibited no talent; Sophia is absolutely the rider in the family!
8) Also in 1962, the New York Newspaper Guild went on strike, so the nation's largest city went 114 days without a single daily paper. In 2018, how do you get your news?
Does The Onion count? I get my news from television reporters, the newspaper, and yes, occasionally, Facebook.
9) Random question -- Complete this sentence: Before I go to sleep, I always ___________________________.
.... get my "bear-po." Bear-po is my stuffed teddy bear and my pillow; I can't sleep without either one! ;)
On June 15th, a couple weeks ago, Chloë and I went to check out the haps at Boise Pridefest 2018. Rainbows everywhere!! Following will be a lot of pictures, so go grab a cup of coffee or something while this page takes it's sweet time to load... ;)
Because Rob and I were prepared ahead of time, when two of our kids came out to us as belonging to the LBGQT+ family, I browsed on over to the Rainbow Depot to get some supportive gear for us and the kids. Here's me on Friday the 15th, right before Chloë and I left the house. Forgive me for the crap look; my hair was still wet.
Posing with Chloë on Friday the 15th, at Boise Pridefest downtown near the Capitol Building, we were just about ready to see all the booths
This was the 30th year of Boise Pridefest, and the city was pretty decked out in rainbows. It was awesome to see this in the community.
All of the Idaho counties were represented on the poles as well.
Scenes from the 'fest
I had read about the Diversity Tree on the Pridefest website, and so I was eager to particpate along with Chloë.
Mike's Hard Lemonade was representin', and I got two or three free samples of their flavored drinks. I'd never had Mike's before, so I was a little surprised to catch a quick buzz!
Chloë, of course, could not have drink samples, but she did snag a Mike's Hard Lemonade lip balm!
A shot of the bandstand
This says it all.
I just liked the shirt, y'know?
I was invited to join the Boise Women's Chorus that day. I really want to! I just need to wait for my voice to come completely back; I haven't had it fully since my September 2017 tonsillectomy. Sucks!
Just gathering ideas for next year's festival - so cool!
Planned Parenthood was there, and they made us take water, for necessary hydration, and snacks for energy. Free food? Yes, please! (Also yes to the sentiment.)
Relaxing, listening to the music
Because what's a festival without a guy on stilts?
Hey, free totes from Albertson's!
Lots of vendor booths had wheels to spin for prizes. Chloë and I took full advantage, even if it was just to win a mini candy! We were all-in at Pride, just for the fun of it.
Just a cool tree I saw at the park, I guess ;)
More street views
Ol' Blue Hair happy and cheerful from a successful first day at Boise Pride!
As the sun went down in Boise, we relished the feeling of camaraderie and community support. Now for the lighting up of the Capitol Building and some fireworks! #LoveIsLove
Capitol Building, full moon, Pride... It was a full feeling, being there. One just felt... full.
Nighttime at Pride
Idaho Capitol Building
Chloë wanted one of these pride flags to wear as a cape, like we saw so many doing at Pride. Except, she wanted that one for Sophia and the bisexual one for herself:
Downtown Boise, Idaho
Woot, found the Boise sign! ;)
Heartening to see the bike rental place pretty empty... that means people are using them instead of cars! I love Boise!
Sculptures in Downtown Boise
You can see peeks of Pride in some storefront windows, even.
At home, Chloë was desirous of making her hair even more blue, and we were down with that, so... here it is! So blue. Aaaand, maybe a little bit green.
Sophia hanging out with the butterfly glo stick I won at one of those spin-the-wheel games
Whoo! On Saturday, June 16th, Chloë and I were up and at 'em for the Pride Parade. First, we had to drop Sophie off at Pony Club camp far, far away, so we were a bit tired when the festivities began. However, with all the rainbows and love just pouring out of every face and edifice, it was totally worth it!
YAY! Good times, good times.
Pride wouldn't be pride if... well. You know.
Horses, because...? Who knows. And who cares, it's a parade?!
Rainbows everywhere! I loved it!
I'm a big fan of all the corporate sponsors at Pride. Woot!
Check it out! Chloë scored a Pride flag! There was a wait list on the bi-pride one, though, as they ran out. Still waiting...
We had so many flags by the time all these people giving out flags passed by us! Never mind that there were only two of us. We had plenty!
Sophia, meanwhile, was at Pony Club camp learning and doing so much about horses. But, she ended up being finished earlier than planned, so we raced out to get her and bring her back to experience a little bit of Pride for herself. Here she is, all decked out in the flag "cape" that Chloë got her. Looking FABULOUS, Sophie!
Mm-hmm, work it, girl.
They gave her some balloons from one of the floats, too!
See? I don't even think this was all of those flags! LOL
Look at all that flair! What a fun festival and community to be a part of!
All in all, I'm so glad we went to the 2018 Boise Pride Festival, and I'm so proud of my girls for having the courage to speak up.
Welcome back, everyone! It's still early afternoon Saturday here, so I'm right on time, if not early, yes? This week, Crazy Sam chose "Danny Boy" in honor of St. Patrick's Day today. Haven't heard it before? I lovethis version; we sang it a capella when I was in choir in high school, too, so I love the tune and think it's a fitting choice for the day!
"Danny Boy" was selected in honor of St. Patrick's Day. Unfamiliar with this week's song? Hear it here.
1) This is a sad song of farewell. Who is the last person you said "goodbye" or "so long" to?
Well, I'm sure there are better or more recent examples, but when we left Miami one year + one week ago, we said a lot of good-byes. I think the hardest hit person was our 12yo equestrian, Sophia, who left behind the horses and her people-y friends at Miami International Riding Club. She met her best friend in the entire world, Helaina, there. But the good news is, she's found a new barn (and is riding right this minute, actually), and Helaina and her family also just moved West - to Seattle! It's not the shortest trip in the world, but it's definitely doable. She's so excited!
2) According to the 2000 Census, Massachusetts is the state with the largest percentage of residents of Irish descent. Have you ever been to The Bay State?
I was going to say no, but then I remembered that my mother took me up to Boston when I was very little, maybe four or five years old, on the train. We visited the Mother Church of my then-religion, Christian Science. I don't remember anything about that trip except riding the train and that my mother, who didn't wear a watch, asked a stranger on the sidewalk if he had the time. I had no understanding of what that question meant at that time.
3) "The wearing o' the green" is one way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Will you wear something green in honor of the day?
I was going to wear a green shirt, but it's rainy and 38 degrees out, and that shirt is short-sleeved. I'm already sick. So no. I've got on purples and blues.
4) What color makes you look best?
I insist red is my color.
5) Will you drink something green in honor of the day (like a Shamrock shake or a green beer)?
I think I may have had green beer once in my life before, in Sarasota, Florida, when I was out at a bar with friends for St. Pat's day. I was doing my fisheries internship at Mote Marine Lab there. Anyway, no, I don't see any need to repeat the experience!
6) A four-leaf clover is considered good luck. Do you have a lucky charm?
I'm not very suspicious and don't have any good luck charms, but... I do pick up pennies when I find them. One could always use a little help!
7) Though she's singing an Irish ballad, this week's featured artist, Joni James, is of Italian heritage. Can you think of a song as identified with Italy as "Danny Boy" is with Ireland?
The first song that came to mind was "That's Amore."
8) Soda bread and potato bread are popular in Ireland. Are there any rolls or bread in your kitchen right now?
Are you kidding me? With three teenagers in the house, they'd starve if I didn't keep us well-stocked in milk and cereal, and bread and sammich stuff. There is tons of bread in our kitchen (most of it in the deep freezer).
9) Ireland is known for its whiskey. Do you enjoy Irish coffee (black coffee, whiskey and whipped cream)?
I've never had it. I don't guess I probably will; with all the medications I'm on now, I strongly limit my alcohol intake. However...
...when the (MIRC) horsey moms and I went out to Coconut Grove to watch the movie Bad Moms came out, we all went out drinking afterward. Someone gave me a shot of Jack Daniel's Black whiskey. I liked it so much, I had another. That was my first and only experience with whiskey thus far. So you never know about the coffee. ;)
That's it for me. Thanks for stopping by, and happy St. Paddy's Day if you're celebrating! Please be safe out there.
Oh, my gosh, how is it Friday again already?! I keep meaning to write and blog, blog and write, but the weeks are passing away from me way too quick-like these days (years)! But here we are, Friday night, which means it's time to post another Saturday 9. Link up here if you want to play along this week!
On and On (1977) Unfamiliar with this week's song. Hear it here.
1) This song describes the plight of "poor ol' Jimmy," who caught his girlfriend kissing someone else. Have you ever spied on a romantic partner?
A little bit on occasion, sure, but not that much, I don't think. I'm just truly not a very jealous person.
2) In this song, Stephen Bishop sings that he "smiles when he feels like dying." When did you recently put on a happy face, even though you really weren't all that happy?
This is my life ^^^ right here, so ... this happens to me on a daily basis.
3) Stephen Bishop always wanted to be a musician, and as a child he began playing the clarinet. Did you take lessons -- dance, art, music -- as a child? If yes, did you take them because you enjoyed them, or because your parents made you take them?
I took voice lessons and sang for years, but I had a panic attack as a college freshman and didn't attend my choir audition there. I've always regretted that. I took electric organ lessons as a kid, because my mother played beautifully, and after she died I wanted to keep enjoying her legacy that way. I took tap, jazz, and ballet lessons for several years and was good enough to be invited to Dance Olympus in Manhattan after just one year of lessons at 11 years old, when most people had to be 12 or older and have danced for three years. I'm a semi-decent artist, but I wouldn't claim to be great at it. On the other hand, my youngest kiddo, Sophia, is quite talented in both drawing and digital art. That's one of her "self-portraits" up there. I love it.
4) When he was 12, inspired by The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, he switched to the guitar and began writing songs. Tell us about someone or something that influenced your career path.
Which career would that be? My stay-at-homeschooling mum career? Or the Elasmobranch Behavioral Research Scientist career I began but didn't see to fruition? We'll go with that one. In my second year of college as a Marine Science & Biology major, I took the actual class named "Marine Science" for those of us with that major. There is sooo much one could cover about live things in a marine environment, you could fill a big city's main library with books on the subject, so we didn't discuss sharks, skates, and rays much. But we had one lecture about them that had me riveted, hanging on my professor's every last word. Every fact, big and small, was intriguing and amazing to me. I couldn't get enough. (Shown above: Madison Stewart demonstrating tonic immobility in a silky shark.) That's when I knew, this was the field for me.
5) Stephen Bishop attended Will C. Crawford High School in San Diego. This school requires students complete 20 hours of community service every year. Tell us about an organization, cause or campaign you volunteered for, either as a student or an adult.
This set above isn't mine, but I've made similar: When one of Hubs' and my identical twin sons, Robby, died in 2003, I was devastated. Completely, utterly, ripped apart. For a year (well, truthfully, for the past 15 years), I struggled to make some sense out of it, to find what meaning other people told me there must have been in this experience. (Fuck you people who say "all things happen for a reason" or "God doesn't give us more than we can handle" or shit like that, by the way. Those words cause immense pain to the people you're dropping such knowledge on.) Anyway. I needed to find some way to parent the son I only got to hold once, for less than an hour. I decided to take my newly-acquired knitting skills, add to them crochet skills (thank you to my late mother-in-law for re-teaching me at that point), and start a 501(c)(3) non-profit in Robby's name. I had a few volunteers help me - most notably my MIL - and some yarn companies made donations, but for the most part, it was a one-woman operation borne out of love and loss. I made tons and tons of layettes, including a hat or bonnet, a sweater or gown, booties, and blanket, and called them CARE Packages ("Calling All Robby's Elves"), which I then donated to area hospitals with NICUs. If people emailed or wrote to me about a loss, I also mailed these out. Each Package included a laminated card. One side explained who we were and what we did; the other side included a list of suggested things that parents could do with their infant before saying that final good-bye. Most of those things, I did not get to do and wished I could have or had thought of. I ran this charity for seven years, until I just needed to re-focus my efforts on raising my three surviving children.
6) In 1977, when this song was popular, Seattle Slew won racing's Triple Crown. Sam's mother has always been afraid of horses. Is there an animal you're uncomfortable with?
Well, I played with sharks, so not too many, no... but I do require that any flying animals have my expression written permission before touching me, or I will freak the F out! ... from the surprise, of course, from the surprise. ;) Anyway, here is a gratuitous pic of Sophia on a horse, Bing, during a recent lesson. (Not the best picture, but my computer is dead in the water at the moment, and I didn't feel like scrolling thru Facebook albums to find a great one.)
7) Also in 1977, moviegoers waited in line for hours to see Star Wars. What's the longest line you waited in recently?
So, Hubs gets paid his pension and other monies just once per month, on the first of each month. Once it's gone, it's gone. (Every last week of the month SUCKS.) Therefore, I have to shop for a full month's worth of groceries at once or we go hungry. I usually have to take someone with me, because I fill up at least two huge carts with food, and I can barely push one full cart anymore, let alone two or more. This past payday, a week or so ago, Sophie and I spent over an hour getting all our groceries, including about 8 or 10 cartons of ice cream. I was none so thrilled at the humongous lines we then encountered while my ice cream suffered! Fortunately, none leaked. Whew!
8) The mini-series Roots first aired in 1977. Today Americans are spending more time and money than ever to research ancestry. How far back can you trace your family tree?
My dad's Aunt Amy was into genealogy, and she wrote a book about my father's side of the family. On my mom's side, I know I am German and Hungarian. On my dad's side, I know I am German/Pennsylvania Dutch, and English. Aunt Amy's book tells all about how our family emigrated from Europe and settled on the then-mostly uninhabitable Caribbean island of Saba. They were all sea-going folks, like ship captains and such. (See, that's how you know the ocean is in my blood!) The island is full of Simmonses (Simmons being my maiden name) and others from our line. My grandfather was born there. Does that make me a second-generation American?
9) Random question: It's often said that nobody's perfect. How about you? What quality keeps you from being perfect?
LOL. I have a ton of faults, so I turned to Hubs and ask him which one was my worst one. He said, "You're not very patient..." I literally say what this meme guy is saying at least once every day, so of course I had to pick this one!!
Well, that was fun. Thanks, Crazy Sam! Time to go enjoy the amazing dinner Chloë has prepared for the third night in a row. Yum, yum, here I come.
Hey, y'all, welcome back! I'm glad you could join me. If you'd like to play along today, don't forget to link up with the rest of the Sat 9ers here. So, let's go!
The Love Club (2013) Unfamiliar with this week's song. Hear it here.
1) Lorde has said this song is about a time when she fell into "a bad crowd." Her high-maintenance new friends were all about their romantic dramas and it overwhelmed her. Have you ever had a friend who was just too much work?
I have had a couple actually, but generally, I think that friend is me. I am a high-maintenance person, I admit.
2) She sings that she longs to be alone. Where do you go when you want peace and quiet?
If I weren't landlocked now in Boise, Idaho, I would say, "to the beach!" One time, way back when I was still in college in Coral Gables, Florida, I decided that I needed a bit of soul time convening with my first love, the ocean. I drove out to Bill Bass State Park at the end of Key Biscayne early on a Sunday morning, and I sat on the beach and stared out at the water. I was having a bit of trouble with this and that, and so after a while, I decided to pray. I prayed about all of the struggles in my life at the time, and I prayed for guidance. After I finished, I looked back up at the water, and at that moment, for the first time, I saw a manta ray breach. It was one of the most beautiful, most glorious things I had ever seen in my entire life. So now that I can no longer just wake up and go straight to the ocean, I will say, "to nature." I always have to be alone and outside to be one with Mother Nature.
3) Lorde credits her mother for encouraging her verbal skills. "Mum" let her join a theater class when she was just 5 and was always giving her books. Tell us about an encouraging, understanding adult who assisted you when you were growing up.
That would be my Middle, Junior High, and High School (not straight through) Spanish teacher, then known as Señora O'Toole. A lot of times, I didn't talk to her directly, but through my written work in Spanish. I didn't know it until much, much later - when I didn't even remember writing that stuff - when all of Team Odette went up to the Syracuse area in 2014 for my 20th high school reunion. My family and I had breakfast with Doctora O'Toole (as she's now known, on the faculty of SUNY Oswego) one morning, at her house. She told me about how those journal entries in Spanish used to break her heart. We talked sometimes, when I was still in school, about what was going on, but I never shared too much for fear of over-sharing. (Another Spanish teacher, Sra. Nevid, had seen bruises all over my arms once, CPS was called, it was a huge deal of course, and I got in big trouble at home for it.) However, it was good to know that Sra. O'Toole, and others, cared. ♥
4) Lorde is not the only celebrity from her class at Belmont School in Auckland, New Zealand. Olympian Eliza McCartney was a classmate who went on to win a bronze medal in Rio for the pole vault. Did you participate in any sports in high school?
I really didn't. I'm not terribly athletic, unlike my equestrian daughter, Sophia. (Speaking of the Olympics, Sophie has such aspirations. She'll be 13 in April; we tell her about 54-year-old Beezie Madden and remind Sophie that she has plenty of time..!) I danced for several years and was quite good at that, though.
6) Lorde wrote music for one of the Hunger Games soundtracks. Have you seen any of the Hunger Gamesmovies, or read any of the books?
I tried to read the books, but never got very far into the first one. We have, however, seen all four movies. SO GOOD!! I love this series!
7) Her favorite candy is Peanut M&Ms. Do you prefer Milk Chocolate, Peanut, Almond, Mint or Crispy M&Ms?
None of the above! It's got to be Peanut Butter. Have you not tried them?! Oh, but you must.
8) When Lorde was on stage at Lollapalooza, a sudden storm interrupted her set. The music festival was evacuated and her performance was cancelled. Can you think of a time when the weather had a major impact on your plans?
I lived in South Florida from 1994-2001, and then moved back to Miami from 2013-2017, so I can think of many times! The first time, I was a freshman/sophomore (I technically came in as a sophomore, but never mind that) at UM when Tropical Storm Gordon hit. That was in the 1994 hurricane season, my first experience with one. Classes were canceled for days! I had to wade through thigh-high water to go anywhere, for about a week after the wind and rains stopped. I ruined so many pairs of shoes from the humidity, too. When we moved back in 2013, I warned my kids about that over and over! I don't think we lost one shoe to mold from being caught in the rains. #ILearnedSomethingInCollege ;)
9) Random question: Please complete this sentence -- Before I leave the house, I always __________________________.
... fill up my cups. I usually bring two: one with water, and one with the Fred Meyer version of Diet Coke (which isn't half bad and a helluva lot cheaper). I get really dehydrated super-fast, so I always bring both if I'm going to be gone any length of time. It's really annoying. I normally drink 8-10 L of H2O/diet soda/whatever per day, and I have been hospitalized with hyponatremia three times that I can think of. My sodium goes so low, it really messes with my neurological system, among other things, and my potassium, chloride, and other electrolytes get messed up, too. The last time I was admitted for it, in January, they limited me to an intake of 1.5 L per day. Oh, my God, I struggled!! I have really tried to cut back since then.
Welp, y'all, I appreciate the visit! I hope your weekend is amazing! I have a busy one full of taking care of 3 sick teenagers. Yay, me. Hopefully, yours will be more exciting!
Hey, y'all! Welcome back. I'm thrilled to be back after missing the last few weeks due to illness. Glue me down, because hopefully I'll be sticking around for a while. Link up here if you want to play along this week. Let's go!
End of Year Questions
1. What did you do last year that you had not done before?
I moved out West! Rob and I packed up our three kids, two dogs, four cats, two gerbils, one guinea pig, and as much of our stuff that we could fit in the remainder of our little crossover SUV, and high-tailed it cross-country from Miami to Boise in four days. It was a crazy, amazing adventure and aside from a few misadventures, I think we kind of had the time of our lives!
2. 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?
I always make New Year's Resolutions. However, I honestly don't remember now what I resolved for 2017, so I can't say whether I kept it or not. Probably some konmari decluttering, in which case... sort of. For 2018, I'm not making any resolutions. I just aim and hope to live a healthier life from here on out, much more so than the way I disastrously ended 2017!
3. Did anyone you know give birth? Or become pregnant? Or adopt?
My friend got married and had a baby boy, named Aaron! Sadly for me, I left Miami before she gave birth, so I haven't met the little love. Domenica asked me to crochet or knit something for her baby, but I've been in so much pain and stuff, I haven't had the ability to do it, yet. I think this year, I resolve to knit and crochet more again. Gotta put all the good yarn I own to good use, right? I'll make her baby something to keep him warn soon, especially now that freezing iguanas are falling all over the sidewalk in South Florida.
My brilliant mind fails me now, so I can't remember who is pregnant at the moment. Oh, my friend Lisa Keeney is expect #6, I think. But I am positive I don't know anyone who adopted last year.
4. Did anyone you know die? Or have a serious illness/injury?
I don't think anyone I know personally died last year? I hope I'm not forgetting somewhat, sheesh. As far as having a serious illness or injury, that would be me. I wrote all about it in my last post. If you care, I detailed that experience here. I know there are lots of typos in the post, but I'm just not in the mood to go fix them right now, sorry!
5. What places have you visited?
We were invited to hang out with new friends at Lucky Peak Reservoir here in Boise, Idaho. It was intensely beautiful, just like everywhere we've gone in Idaho. I can't wait to go back again this summer and see more of it.
6. Any new pets? Lost a pet?
We gained 12 chickens, but after a few runaways and a couple of deaths, we're down to half that.
Chloë also adopted a new guinea pig buddy, Alex, for her first little guy, James. Those two are SO noisy!
7. What would you like to have next year that you lacked this year?
I will continue my pursuit of this grand idea of Contentment, rather than Happiness. I am often content, but those moments are often overpowered by thoughts of "now what? what's next? what else?" and I want to learn to be satisfied with the right here and now.
8. What date from last year will remain etched in your memory and why?
Probably January 20-21, 2017. Not-my-President Trump was inaugurated (ugh! puke! barf!) and my family and I all participated in the Women's March to protest. I made three pussyhats, for my girls and me, and I was proud to wear them and represent.
9. What was your biggest achievement last year?
We struggled a lot in Miami after Rob retired from the US Navy, and our financial picture changed drastically for the worse. It was really hard to find housing to rent here in Boise, from Miami, and I worked tirelessly for months to do so. Home after home after home slipped through our fingers due to the three-digit credit scores of ours that, frankly, aren't so pretty right now. But we're rebuilding, and I saw this home online right after it was listed. I jumped on it, and asked to speak the Lessor by phone, rather by email or text. He agreed and ended up talking on the phone to Rob when the time came, because I had to leave for some reason I now forget. Anyway, we landed the house, and it has been perfect for us. Such a blessing, and for it I am most grateful.
10. Did you get sick or injured?
Oops, I already answered that in #4. Scroll up if you forgot?
11. What was the best thing you bought?
We've had a very NERF Christmas here at Casa de Odette. Except for me, everyone received some NERF hyper-powered weapons (these things take lots of batteries now?!). We finally received all of our household goods from the Miami move on the Monday before Thanksgiving, and boxes and boxes were piled everywhere. While I was trying to work on unpacking and clearing the chaos out of our house (it's still here, by the way), the rest of Team Odette were busy ambushing each other with NERF wars. Micro-teams were built, alliances were formed, people were trying to wheedle each other's secrets out of me... these people were/are intense! And crazy. They all asked for more NERF weapons for Christmas, and Mum delivered. Even Hubs has been involved. It's been a daily thing. I'm not a fan of war and weapons and fighting and stuff, but this is actually good, silly fun. I don't participate - I can't participate, because of my Fibro or whatever - but I have to admit I enjoy this nonsense.
12. Where did most of your disposable income go (money leftover after you pay for food, medical care, basic clothing, transportation and shelter)?
Generally it goes to having experiences and creating memories. A large part of that is Sophia's showjumping lessons, which she used to do at Miami International Riding Club back in Florida, and now does at Wasatch Sport Horses here in Eagle, Idaho. I'm trying to get the other kids more involved in things, too, because it's important. Jack wants to go go-karting, so we'll do that again very soon, and Chloë wants to take self-defense classes (we are starting with a class at the local Krav Maga studio) and get involved in archery. All are coming up, but at a more relaxed pace then the frenetic one I've tried to keep up until now.
13. What song will always remind you of last year?
I think both the songs "Woman" and "Praying" by the new-and-improved Kesha will be my girls' and my anthems for 2017. Jack doesn't really listen to music much (except for his obsession with the Imagine Dragons), and Rob listens more to Classic Rock than anything else. The girls seem to have captured my affinity for current Pop, and the three of us are all fairly decent singers. "Praying" really spoke to me, and "Woman," despite the cursing involved, really struck a cord with me increasingly independent 16-year-old Chloë and always independent 12-year-old Sophia. And me. I've been pretty much a wimp my whole life, but I have stood up for myself in 2017 in ways that I have never done before. Kinda proud of that.
14. What do you wish you would have done more of?
I really wish my health had been strong enough to go hiking and exploring more in our new Idahome. I am going to build it up, slowly but surely, so that when warmer weather returns, I can do exactly that in 2018.
15. What do you wish you would have done less of?
Getting sick, dammit! This shit is for the birds. Sirrusleh.
16. 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?
We saw a number of movies - some I slept through - in the theater in 2017, but Despicable Me 3 and The Secret Life of Pets were my favorites. Yeah, yeah, we still watch a lot of movies geared more toward a younger audience, and I actually like those a lot. I like more adultish movies, too, but I'm a kid at heart and frequently love the animated ones just as much.
17. What was the best book you read this year? How many did you read?
I honestly didn't read any books last year. I read some of some books, but I didn't go from cover to cover on anything. Not proud of that. Used to be such a bookworm; what happened to me?! I'm still not making any resolutions, but I plan to change that abysmal record in 2018. ;)
18. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you? Did you feel differently?
I turned 41 in September, and neither Rob nor I can remember what we did on or around that occasion. Must have have been a real big whoopty-doo.
19. What political or social issue stirred you the most?
The #MeToo movement was a pretty powerful one, obviously, both publicly and personally for me. It stirred up some things that have happened to me, which I've never dealt with. I now realize that I need to, because they're coming out and looking to be dealt with whether I want them to or not.
20. Who was the most interesting new person you met?
Our neighbor a few houses down on the cul-de-sac, Gladys, is pretty interesting. She's elderly, has more facial hair than my husband, talks herself blue in the face, is part Native American, converted to Mormonism, and is never at a loss for words for something interesting to say. I love her. It's hard not to stare at her beard (please, God, let me have the sense to pluck that shit if I get to be 75 and that happens to me), but I love her. She brings us treats now and then, has invited us to this luau and the Christmas party at her LDS church, is just an all-around good soul.
21. Describe how a relationship changed.
My relationship with Hubs and the kids is ever-evolving the longer we're all together, of course. Now that Chloë is 16, she's maturing and more and more, developing a mind of her own. Unlike me at that age, she is not afraid to stick up for herself when she feels like she's been wronged. I admire her for that, and I encourage her to do it when she has a valid point. We had a tough time when she had a major depressive episode in mid-November, but it brought us more closely together as a family. And we're already a close-knit family. I think she'll be just fine. I think we all will.
22. Do you think you are still the same person that you were at the beginning of the year? How so?
Definitely not. I have moved my family from the East Coast to almost the West Coast. Life is completely different here; we risked everything for it, and it panned out. It was complete culture shock coming to Boise, Idaho, from Miami, Florida, but in a good way. I planned on not getting sick anymore, but as soon as I attempted to get a job and started working, boom! I got hit with Pneumonia #7 in a year's time. I've had two more and more severe cases of pneumonia since then, and I could have died from this latest bout from which I'm still recuperating. I've learned that my daughter and I are both immunoglobulin A deficient, and while most people with this somewhat common genetic defect (lol) are asymptomatic, Chloë and I get sick quickly, frequently, and seriously. I will need to get IgA infusions, and she may, too. I've been sick my whole life, and this is the year - I hope - that I figure out all the pieces of that puzzle. Oh, and ICYMI, I stood up for myself and set boundaries with my father - something I have never in my life done. I'm proud of that.
24. How have people around you changed?
We all change, everyone does, every year... or so I imagine. However, I feel like I ought to shine a light on 12-year-old Sophie for this one. As the baby of the family, she's really not used to being in charge of something or someone, and she has a habit of being, I don't know, a little passive when it comes to riding. That doesn't always work with the more strong-willed horses she's ridden, and in August 2016, she badly broke her wrist after her horse, Lacey, threw her when she dodged a jump. That led to over a year's break in riding, during with both she and I suffered from a lack of confidence when we finally found her current showjumping barn, Wasatch Sport Horses.
She's ridden a couple of strong-willed mares, Sunny and Daisy, up 'til today when she rode this beautiful boy, Bing. I didn't take her; Rob did, but Sophie described Bing as being "very jumpy," with a sly smile on her face. I talked to her, and she revealed he has quite the playful personality when being tacked up and down, too, like he has a secret song in his head! Anyway, my point is, she regained her confidence and got back on the horse's back this past Fall. She didn't let the broken wrist keep her down, and she has managed to figure out - with her coaches' help - how to show dominance over both mares in order to get them jumping and following her lead, not their own. Ultimately, she and Connie (her current coach) agree that Bing is a better fit at 17.1 hands high for those long legs of hers. And she fits well with his silly, "jumpy" personality. I hope she'll get a few more tries on Bing soon, and then we may consider leasing him for her to ride whenever she wants. I'm so proud of her!
25. What have you learned throughout the year?
I've learned that I have boundaries and how to set them and stick with that. What? Who knew?!
26. Did you learn any new crafts or techniques? What was your favorite thing you made?
Nope, I didn't learn anything new that was crafty. No new techniques on the old ones, either, unless you count a new cast-on technique in knitting that I didn't know before. Maybe that counts. Chloë and I want to go take a glass-blowing class soon. I keep seeing Groupon deals come up for it here in town, but I haven't jumped on it yet. I think that'll happen this spring.
27. What changed about your physical appearance? (Hair? Wrinkles? New makeup style? Etc.)
Well, you know how I've been peddling JAFRA cosmetics for the past 20 years or so? (Well, now you do.) I started using Young Living Essential Oils at one of my BFF Shana's urging. I've gotten a lot of benefit from my YLEOs, so when they came out with the (admittedly pricey) line Savvy Minerals cosmetics, I eventually decided to come around and give it a try. Little by little, I've accumulated more Savvy Minerals items, and I've come to love them. So much so, in fact, that I have decided to end my two-decades-long relationship with JAFRA and focus my efforts (whatever little they may be) on Young Living. I have a shit ton of JAFRA makeup that I'm selling off little by little, in order to buy more Savvy Minerals. They're perfect. They feel so clean and healthy on my skin, and I know that Young Living doesn't sacrifice quality for profits.
As for hair, I'm growing it out and have been auditioning different hair colors in the brown-auburn ranges. Regarding wrinkles, not so much, but I am getting BOTOX for my migraines on the 23rd of this month. I'm pretty vain, so I don't mind dropping a pretty penny on my various and sundry creams and serums, but not so much so that I would get BOTOX to feed that vanity. I've been offered this migraine treatment more than once in the past, but I was so self-conscious about the idea that someone might think I'm using it for anti-aging purposes, I haven't gone forward with it. By this point in time, however, my various neurologists over the past 20+ years have tried every single headache/migraine medicine on the market, and nothing stops the daily onslaught. It's BOTOX time, y'all.
28. What are your hopes and dreams for the new year? (Some suggestions: family, travel, work, lifestyle, hobbies, pets, appearance)
I want to be cleared from this freakin' MRSA pneumonia that totally kicked my ass all around the block last month and now, and get and stay healthier. I want to be consistent with getting the healthcare I'm supposed to get, and not be procrastinating or postponing the things I haven't wanted to "bother" with because they just didn't seem so important at the time. I want to explore more of our new home state of Idaho, and hopefully get up into a road trip up North to Coeur d'Alene, into Canada and over West to Vancouver, B.C., and south into a Seattle, Washington, and then Portland, Oregon, before coming back East to Boise. I really hope this happens.
Chloë wants to visit Niagara Falls - on both sides of the border - so maybe we'll attempt that trip, too. The childrens' passports will need to be obtained, clearly! I want to pick up my knitting habit again and learn more techniques such as entrelac. I'd like for Rob to finish building our chicken habitat - an injury to his hand caused a setback, and then snow fell, and, well, it sits incomplete in our backyard at the mo' - so we can double our six-pack of chicky babies by Summer. And I'd like to shed at least 30 of the pounds I've put on in the past two years, thanks to medication changes and complications with my 9-year-old gastric bypass procedure. Lots to look forward to!
Welp, that's mah post, you guys. Hope you enjoyed! Or at least stayed awake... ;)
I feel like I haven't blogged in ages, thanks to our move to Idaho (we're leaving in 3.5 days!), but I needed to post something - anything - tonight. Here we are! Link up HERE if you're playing along today.
1) This 1980 video depicts Olivia Newton-John as a performer in small club. For the past few years, she's been performing regularly at the Flamingo in Las Vegas. Have you ever been to Las Vegas?
I went a long time ago once, in December 1998 I believe, with a long-ago friend. We're no longer on good terms and so that's all I want to think about that!
2) Many tourists who want to get away from the glitz of Vegas travel less than 20 miles to visit Red Rock Canyon. This national park is known for its hiking trails, which provide a view of the desert flora and red rock peaks. Tell us about a time you were impressed by natural beauty.
My phone photos of the moon never turn out well, but one thing I will miss about living in Miami is seeing the moon or the sun shine against the tallest palm trees. I try to witness and take the time for noticing the beauty of the world in every opportunity, but maybe that's more a function of my naive nature than an intentional act...
3) One of the best-reviewed restaurants in Las Vegas is Andiamo Italian Steak House. When you order a steak, how do you request it be cooked: rare, medium rare, medium, medium well or well done?
I can't really answer this now, because I haven't had a steak since early in 1995, but when I did eat it back in the day I liked it so rare it was nearly mooing!
4) Olivia Newton-John's father was an officer in MI5, the UK's secret service. Sam's most recent encounter with the law didn't have much drama or intrigue: she asked a cop for directions to the highway. Tell us about the last time you spoke to an officer of the law.
Despite my attempts to quit, I am still addicted to Diet Coke, so I see the same cluster of local officers several times a week among my multiple hops into either Racetrac or 7-11. Funny, though, I never learned any of their names.
5) ONJ was awarded the OBE -- Order of the British Empire -- by Queen Elizabeth in honor of her contributions to the arts. Here's your opportunity to boast. What is something you've done lately that you received praise for?
Not myself, since pretty much all I've done lately is sit in the middle, of this chaotic apartment life directing traffic, but my younger daughter Sophia. She hadn't ridden a horse since her Lacey bucked her off and she landed with a broken wrist last July 1st. Last night, Hubs took her for her final ride on Lacey before we leave town, and she did so well (I hear)! Her instructor told me she was "Amazing!!!" and did better than anyone expected with no problems. Sophie couldn't stop grinning and hugging me when she got back from the farm. She half-whispered to me, "Mom, I still remembered what to do." I can't wait to get her installed at a farm in Idaho to pick back up her showjumping skills!
6) A breast cancer survivor, Olivia helped found a cancer center in her hometown of Melbourne, Australia. When you think of Australia, what comes to mind?
Visiting Australia is my Number One Bucket List item, so I think of many things: diving the Great Barrier Reef (if any is left by the time I get to go), the Sydney Opera House, the Outback, marsupials and... this is stupid... Crocodile Dundee! haha! ;)
7) "Magic" was one of the top-selling records of 1980. Also that year, Post-It notes debuted. Do you enjoy shopping for office supplies, or do you consider it a chore?
Goodess, gracious me! I love shopping for office and school supplies so much, I got a little tingle of excitement just answering this question! I'm a complete nerd, because I get a real charge about using a brand-new pen or pencil, opening a fresh pack of paper, using a new binder with dividers and labels... what's not to love?
8) In 1980, the NASA space probe returned the first photos of Saturn back to earth. Do you believe intelligent life forms from other planets are trying to learn more about us?
I'm firmly in the I'll-Believe-It-When-I-See-It camp, but of course I do believe Earth is not the only planet capable of having intelligent life forms in the universe.whether they're trying to learn about Team Earth or not is a different matter altogether, one I'd decide by observation instead of hypothesizing.
9) Random question: Are you more confident in your looks or your intelligence?
I'm not very confident in either! I feel like whatever I had in the past is rapidly disappearing since I turned 40 last September. It's probably psychological, but it I feel like my wrinkles are having wrinkles, and I don't mean in a good, cerebral way! Rob and I have talked about the possibility of my having the start of what will turn out to be some form of dementia, actually. It's scary knowing or even thinking that. As for my looks, eh. Every year past age 33 is Bonus Round time for me, so I don't care too much about aging. That's a total lie; I'm as van as Snow White's stepmother!
I'm going to close abruptly since Hubs' laptop keeps shutting down in the middle of this post. Thanks for stopping by!! Sayonara, in case I don't get a chance to post for a while..!
That would be Hubs last night while I was, yet again, in the ER for pain meds.
Are you loud, outgoing or shy?
I'm definitely extremely shy.
Who are you looking forward to seeing?
This is more of a "what" than a "who," but I'm sticking with it anyway: I'm looking forward to our next visit down to Key West, where we'll visit The Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory. I'm really looking forward to it!
Are you easy to get along with?
Nope. I'm definitely a difficult person to love. :(
Have you ever given up on someone, only to let them back into your lives? Why?
Of course I have. Why? I don't know. Part of it was that I was lonely, I guess. Another part was that I needed help paying the rent at that time. I'm not proud. :\
If you were ill, which TV doctor or nurse would you want to take care of you?
I am, and I've said a billion times I need Dr. House to diagnose my illness!
Does talking about sex make you uncomfortable?
NOPE! My kids could tell you that! ;)
Who was the last person that you had serious conversation with?
That would be a four-way conversation with Hubs, our showjumping daughter, Sophia, and her trainer, Dani. More to come in the near future about that talk! ;)
What was the last text message you received about?
Hubs was asking me to let him into the back in the ER last night, so he could accompany me to Task, aka the lab.
Do you believe in luck and/or miracles?
Yes. I believe in miracles, and I believe in luck - though I do also have to say I believe you make your own luck.
What good thing happened this summer?
Sophia's broken wrist healed so well, the bone was stronger than before and it was as if the break had never even happened! I credit the massive amounts of milk she consumes.
Also, we worked with Carvana to get a new-to-us Crossover SUV/minvan, which I completely love!
Convince us why we should or should not believe in life on other planets?
Who was your first crush on?
Matt Dillon in The Outsiders - and I was very young.
Favorite part of your daily routine?
Every morning when he wakes up, Jack will come out of his room and immediately come straight to me and give me a hug and kiss, saying, "Good morning, Mom." He's normally my grumpy, hard-to-please kid, so it's a very warm spot in my day when he's being so sweet.
Do you like your neighbors?
We live in a townhouse community for now, so some yes and some definitely not!
What’s your worst feature?
I don't know, but I apologize way too much and annoy the hell out of people with it. I can't stop, though! I'm kind of a Nervous Nelly, and I hate it. I have no confidence and am always afraid to piss people off. Ah, well. #issues
Have you ever had trust issues?
Yup. That's exactly my trust issue ^^^ I trust too easily, and it frequently backfires.
Link up here if you're feeling wordless today, too! (Or not, like I who am almost never speechless...)
All of the following happened on Monday, August 1st, which was an AWESOME day for Team Odette:
Sophia, who was bucked off her horse Lacy on July 1st, had the cast taken off on August 1st. The break, which the pediatric sports orthopedist called "pretty nasty," healed rapidly beautifully and beautifully rapidly! There was even more and more widely distributed new bone growth than was expected on Monday, which the doc said may have been attributable to the immense quantity of milk Sophia consumes on a regular basis. Either way, YAY! When the signature-laden cast was taken off, Doc asked Sophie whether she was keeping it or not. Sophia gave a disgusted look and said, "Please. Throw it AWAY!" She hated that thing more than anything else on Earth. Three more weeks of taking it easy with the now-castless wrist until she can start truly riding Lacy again. Squee!
Secondly, Tapioca the Chiweenie pup whom we were supposedly "temporarily" fostering for That Black Dog Rescue since May 14th... was adopted. BY US! We fell in love with her very quickly (immediately in my case), and we realized there would just not be any giving Tapi back to the rescue. So now, she is truly a member of Team Odette. We all adore her quirky, silly little self. Even Paco. Unless he's having a snack, and then paws off!
And finally, we got a new-to-us car! Our prior car, a 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse, was traded in to Carvana, which is the company through which we purchased "Phoenix." Sprocket, the Eclipse, was so completely sucktastic that we plotted his demise every which way to Sunday and attempted to convince the Carvana delivery folks on Monday to carry at least one of them out, so who knows? Hee. But Phoenix is a 180º-difference from Sprocket, and all of Team Odette are excited beyond words to have her. Even Jack, who just abhors being photographed, trust me.
Oh, and one more thing happened: Since our new dental insurance kicked in that same day (it was a crazy one to be sure), we all had our first dentist appointments in, well, a year. All five of us have notoriously bad teeth, genetically speaking, so it was not a huge shocker when, one-by-one, we each went back and, one-by-one, came back with an abysmal report and astronomically expensive treatment plan. Chloë went last, and when the pediatric dentist came to me and told me that she had a great visit with NO CAVITIES and only needed sealants added, which would cost us $0 out of pocket, Oh, my gosh, you guys. I high-fived everyone right up to God himself. WOOT WOOT!!!
So that's what's new with us this week. What's new with y'all?