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Saturday 9: Ordinary People

John Legend | Artist | www.grammy.com

John Legend: "Ordinary People"

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

Awesome Happy Spring GIF - white spring flowers and glitter

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

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

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

ORDINARY PEOPLE (2005)

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


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

Lyme Warrior Poem | Perseverance, Lyme, You are strong

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Barbra Streisand, tout sur la chanteuse

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

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

Lucky Peak Dam Photos – Hicken Design

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

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

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

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

Kelly Clarkson opens up about suicidal thoughts in her early career

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

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

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

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

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

03202021 Paco

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

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

Enjoy your Spring beginning, y'all!

Fin.


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

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

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

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

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

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

Saturday 9: Just Because

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

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

I had not ever heard this song before.

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

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Saturday 9: Just Because (1956)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

15 TOP Things To Do in Memphis | Attractions & Activities

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

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

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

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

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

Shock Images | Free Vectors, Stock Photos & PSD

No way in hell!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holiday Light Displays | VisitMaryland.org

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

Have a wonderful week on purpose, everybody!

Fin.


Saturday 9: Forever Your Girl

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

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

Saturday 9: Forever Your Girl (1989)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keen Women's Shoes | Dillard's

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

JSport by Jambu Regatta Women's Sneakers

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

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

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

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

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

Why is Billie Eilish so beautiful? - Quora

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

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

Interpreting Slope | Macroeconomics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

Fin.


Saturday 9: This Night Won't Last Forever

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

Hey, folks!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday 9: In And Out Of Love

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

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

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

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

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Saturday 9: In and Out of Love (1967)

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

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

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

Saturday 9: No Roots

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

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

No Roots (2017)

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

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

Revolving Doors Cartoons and Comics - funny pictures from CartoonStock

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

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

YES.

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

Dude! Gnarliest picket fence ever! - Los Angeles Times

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

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

15 Meme's Military Spouses Relate to - Martinsburg College

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyway.

No description available.

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

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

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

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

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

Do animals laugh? | HowStuffWorks

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

Fin.Phil


Big, Bad John

Dean, Jimmy - Big Bad John and Other Fabulous Songs and Tales - Amazon.com  Music

Hellew, everyone. I hope you are well. Missed you last week.

Nothing new in my neck of the woods (same ills, same story), so nothing worth reporting. My younger two kids are enjoying the summer visiting friends, with the youngest having a flurry of sleepovers there, here, there, here, so much we've forgotten whether she's coming or going. And our oldest, out in the world, has gotten herself a promotion to crew trainer, and a nice raise. We're so proud of her:

080522 Chloë Crewtrainer shirt

So without further ado, let's jump in:

~*~*~*~*~

August will be devoted to story songs. Here's the first.

Big, Bad John (1961)

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


1) This song tells the story of a stern, enigmatic miner. None of the other miners knew much about him. When people first meet you, do you think they see you more as mysterious or straightforward?

Haha, well, just like here, I'm an open book. Since I have a number piercings above the neck, the biggest mystery for people seems to be whether I have any more.

2) During a serious accident, many of the miners panicked. But not John. Think of your family, friends and acquaintances. Who would be the most dependable in a crisis?

Oh, definitely Rob (Hubs). He's cool and level-headed for that, whereas I am tailor-made to go into full-blown panic mode every.time. Plus, he's extremely well trained for crisis and survival, so if something were to happen, I would absolutely look to him to lead us through it.

3) His heroism allowed 20 miners to escape, but cost John his life. According to the lyrics, there's a marble slab on site of mine that honors him. Is there a memorial to a local hero in your town?

Historical Marker Dedicated in Salisbury, Maryland

Oh, I'm sure there are other memorials here in our newish-adopted home town, but the one I'll mention here is a historical marker put up last year to memorialize three young Black men who were victims of lynching in the 1900s. It was time history paid them their due notice, although one of them is "uknown," sadly.

4) This song was written and performed by Jimmy Dean. He began composing it on a flight from New York to Nashville. How do you amuse yourself while traveling?

Well, it partly depends on how long the flight is, partly on where I'm going and with whom, and partly on what I'm going there to do. Sometimes I'll read a book or magazine. Sometimes I'll watch the in-flight movie. But you know what often entertains me? Reading the Sky magazine (or whichever, whatever) in the back of the seat in front of me. I freakin' love Hammacher Schlemmer!

5) Jimmy Dean hosted a long-running variety show on CBS, which is best-remembered today for introducing Jim Henson's puppets -- especially Rowlf, a dog who sang and told jokes. While Rowlf didn't make it to Sesame Street, he was a recurring character on the Muppet Show. Are you a Muppet fan?

I was a little kid watching the Muppet Show, and I was a huge, huge fan, along with my sister. And then as a young mom, it was fun to see them revived while my kids were little. But now, they've done so many iterations of the show and movies, I feel like it's time for them to step back and take a deep breath.

6) Jimmy found success in business with The Jimmy Dean Sausage Company. He sold the company to Sara Lee in 1984 for $80 million. Today Jimmy Dean breakfast products are still popular in grocery stores all over the country. What's your favorite breakfast?

Hard to say. I eat to keep my blood sugar level more often than not. Sometimes I'll eat frozen waffles with sliced strawberries on them. Sometimes I'll eat Special K Vanilla Almond cereal, with extra sliced almonds and almond milk. Usually it's one of those.

7) In 1961, when this song was popular, Vogue asked if fashion sense is inborn or if could a woman could learn to be chic. What do you think? Do you think style is either something you have, or you don't?

I think one (any gender, any sex) is born with a gene that, if turned on, enables one to learn to be fashionable. It's not really about fashion sense being genetic, though, is it? An eye for color, for texture, for patterns, and so on. I myself do not possess this gene, just so you know.

8) Also in 1961, Ernest Hemingway took his own life. Did you read Hemingway in English class? Can you recall any other novels you read for school?

I'm horrified to report that I never read any Hemingway novels in school, although I did read An Old Man and the Sea in my last semester as an undergrad. I'll have to rectify that. (I have, however, visited Hemingway house at least three times, been back and forth past it at least a dozen or two times and am intimately familiar with the six-toed cats there, and tossed back a drink in Sloppy Joes with Hubs in Key West. Plus, we moved to Idaho. See? This all counts, right?) I can remember countless novels and short stories. No one ever seems to remember reading a short story by Eudora Welty. I think the story was about a path, in the woods? But I'll have to go back later and look this up. My favorite short story, of course, is "The Lottery," by Shirley Jackson. Good stuff. Heh.

But of course, you asked for novels. We definitely read To Kill a Mockingbird. More than once, at least. Night, by Elie Wiesel. (I own that book now; he was a professor at University of South Florida in St. Petersburg, while I lived there and was attending USF, but in Tampa, before he died. I never got to meet him but would have loved to have met this hero.) Lots of Tennessee Williams and Shakespeare, but again, novels, not plays. Let me get back to you! Ha.

Edit: I also own To Kill a Mockingbird. Didn't want Harper Lee over there feeling left out.

9) Random question: Think about the last "white lie" you told. Was it to make your own day easier or spare someone's feelings?

Maybe it was both? I don't know?? My short-term memory is pretty obliterated as a result of everything I've got going on, so I have an extremely hard time remembering day-to-day conversations. Maybe I can find something in a text. Stay put...

...I couldn't discover anything of this nature, and Rob was no help in telling me what was the last white lie I told. Imagine. I'm going to go out on a limb and say it was probably to easy-on-up my own day. Those are rough enough, and I probably needed it. But don't get me wrong, I'm a strong empath and would do what I could for someone's feelings in a New York Minute.

~*~*~*~*~

Well, I got done here right on the dot of noon o'clock. Taking out all the pictures and illustrations was definitely faster, but also -- weird! I miss it.

Raining cats and dogs here, folks; how's by you?

Fin.

 


Saturday 9: Yesterday

The Beatles - Yesterday [1 HOUR] - YouTube

Well hello, everyone! I trust you've been well. I just learned that my email (yahoo)'s been tricky about the way it's showing me my messages, and I didn't know several of you had responded to my previous posts. I'm going to try and get around to those after this message tonight. Sorry about that!

If you're looking to join this group of fun Saturday bloggers, look no further than right here.

Gonna jump right in here.

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: Yesterday (1965)

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

{Chosen because June 18 is Paul McCartney's 80th birthday.} 

1) Paul McCartney sings that yesterday all his troubles seemed so far away. Can you recall a time when your life seemed carefree?

Have a More Carefree Life: 5 Ways to Lose Your Daily Woes (2021)

I can say there were pockets of time here and there, or even pockets of time each day where things seemed fancy-free... but I'm not so sure I could claim there were any long stretches.

2) He has always insisted the melody to "Yesterday" came to him in a dream. Did you dream last night?

Bird flight - Wikipedia

Yes, I dreamt for the umpteenth time about all these big birds I didn't know I had suddently flying away from me. It's very disconcerting!

3) The lyrics were inspired, in part, by the death of Paul's mother when he was 14. Thirteen years later, he named his daughter Mary after her. Are you named after anyone? If you're a parent, did you name your children in honor of anyone?

Omg who Would name thEir kid After an anime character?" Has a kid named  after an anime character - Smug Hippo | Meme Generator

No, I was almost named Eleanor after my dad's mother, but while he out of the room, she grabbed the birth certificate paperwork and put in the name I have. We did name our son, Robert Wiliam's, first name after my husband, Rob. My father, another Robert, thought it was for him, but no, man, c'mon with that. That was just a terrible coincidence! William was not for Rob but rather for his late friend, Bill Rose, who was a mentor in fly-fishing and in life. Sadly, that's the kidlet that we lost.

4) Over the years, Paul has performed on bass, acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards and drums, but not the first instrument he owned: the trumpet. A present from his dad for his 14th birthday, he exchanged the trumpet for a guitar because, "you can't sing while playing the trumpet." Have you more recently a) exchanged a gift, b) donated a gift you didn't want to charity or c) regifted?

Gosh, I really can't remember doing any of those lately!

5) Paul grew up seeing how much his dad enjoyed placing a bet and then listening to the horse race from his favorite armchair in the living room, so he took his salary from making the film A Hard Day's Night and surprised his father with a racehorse. After father and son proudly watched Drake's Drum win at Liverpool's Aintree Racecourse, the horse retired to Paul's farm in Scotland. If money were no object, what gift would you give a loved one?

2022 Honda CR-V vs. 2022 Honda HR-V Comparison - Kelley Blue Book

I'd probably gift each of my three kiddos with a car that befits them. Sophie can probably enjoy anything, but for the older - and also much smaller - two, I would need to give them a car made for or adaptable for very short folks. Reaching the pedals, sitting back in the seat while not clinging desperately to the steering wheel, and being able to see out the windshield, are just the beginning goals for them!

6) Paul is considered one of the world's wealthiest entertainers, worth an estimated $1.2 billion. This month, as he approaches his 80th birthday, he is winding up a 16-city North American tour, during which he performs 30+ songs in a 2 hour, 40 minute show. If you had all the money you needed, would you continue to work? Or would you kick back and relax?

Tailor A Disability Plan To Your Client's Needs And Budget –  InsuranceNewsNet

 

Dude, I wish I could work!! I'm not even reliable for working from home or self-employment anymore. I'm sad and it sucks and what was the question, again?

7) Paul first joined the Beatles when he was recruited into the band by John Lennon. They met as teenagers when Paul showed up at a church picnic where John's band was performing. Paul recalls pedaling over on his bike to hear them, his guitar flung over this back. When did you most recently ride a bike? 

That's me, and according to my records, it was May 29, 2014 - before the world (my good health) came crashing down.

8) Paul met his first wife, Linda, at a London club and then again four days later when she was a photographer at a press party for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band. Think about one of your romances. Where did you meet?

At Yale's newest STEM labs, teaching takes a bold step forward | YaleNews

After having several classes together, J and I were not partners, but my partner and I were linked across the table with him and his partner, so we all did a lot of chit-chatting together. Mostly me. We got to know each other better, so sometimes that chattering, between him and me, turned flirtatious. Eventually, he asked to walk me back to my dorm, and... I'm going to stop right there. Heh. 

9) TV journalist Barbara Walters played matchmaker for Paul and his current wife, Nancy. During the summer of 2007, when Paul was vacationing in The Hamptons, Barbara repeatedly and intentionally invited them to the same parties and picnics. Have you had any success in a matchmaking scenario -- as either the matchmaker or one of the dates?

Virtual Matchmaking Events: What makes the format so popular in 2022?

Not that I'm aware of, I can't think of anything I've done or benefited from in that regard!

~*~*~*~*~

Okay, I'm out. Y'all have a fantastic weekend! 

🏳️‍🌈 🏳️‍🌈 🏳️‍🌈
Fin.

Saturday 9: Let Me Love You Tonight

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

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

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

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

Anyway, let's do it:

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: Let Me Love You Tonight (1980)

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

via GIPHY

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

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

Saturday 9: Good For You

Selena Gomez torches her good girl image once and for all in new music  video for latest single Come and Get It | Daily Mail Online

I'm a fan of this song - are you? I haven't always been a fan of Selena Gomez', but when I like her, I like her. 

Link up here with Crazy Sam and the rest of us if you want to share your feelings on this Saturday, too.

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: Good for You (2015)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
 
1) In this song, Selena Gomez sings about how eager she is to look good for her lover. What color do you look best in?
 
Well, before, it was definitely true that red was my color, but now that I have blue hair, I'm still figuring that one out!
 
2) She compares herself to a diamond, which is the birthstone of people born in April. Do you know your birthstone? Is it a gem you often wear?
 
Yes, and yes. My older daaughter and I are both sapphires, and we both love to wear them. (She was born the day before my birthday.) My younger daughter is a diamond. Either way, if I die tomorrow, they both stand to inherit! ;)
  
3) Selena Gomez is a successful singer who has appeared on the Billboard charts more than 30 times. She also has her own cooking show on HBO Max. In each episode, Selena invites a chef to help her master a new recipe. She says that, off camera, the dish she enjoys making most is spicy miso ramen soup. What's your favorite soup?  
 
I have a hard time not getting addicted to Panera's cheddar broccoli soup! 
 
4) She was recently nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in the Hulu miniseries Only Murders in the Building. Have you streamed anything interesting lately that you would like to recommend to Sat 9ers?
 
New Girl Reunion With Zooey Deschanel? The Creator Has Thoughts |  Cinemablend
 
I mostly stream things I call "background music" or "busy work" to keep me from being in deafening noise while I work on the volunteer work I'm doing. Otherwise, I'd probably have a ton of recommendations for you! But I will say this one - New Girl, now on Netflix - is smart, funny, and both the hubs and me are enjoying it - is worth watching!
 
5) Selena Gomez provides the voice for Mavis Dracula, daughter of the Count, in the animated Hotel Transylvania movie and its sequels. In these family movies, Dracula and his family run a luxury hotel where monsters can vacation and get away from it all. The tone is similar to The Munsters and The Addams Family, TV shows from nearly 60 years ago. Caspar the Friendly Ghost has been entertaining children for generations. When you were a child, were you fascinated by ghosts, goblins, monsters and other such creatures?
 
No, not really. I watched those shows on syndication, and I read comics with Caspar, but I didn't go out of my way for them or, certainly, anything scarier than that!

6) Selena's busy schedule is especially impressive when you realize that she lives with lupus, a chronic condition that can affect the skin, joints and kidneys. She credits "diet, routine and medication" for helping her avoid flare-ups. Do you have any tips that might help us increase our productivity and efficiency?
 
I might have to call Ms. Gomez and ask her for some tips! I was just tested for lupus for, like, the fourth time - even though we know that there is other (additional?) stuff going on. The results probably won't surprise me either way. Other than that: organization, organization, organization!

7) In 2015, when this week's song was popular, Leonard Nimoy died. Without looking it up, do you know why he was famous?
 
Well, yeah. I'm sure he had other projects, but he was massively famous for StarTrekI don't know what role, though. Spock??
 
8) Also in 2015, NASA announced that water had been found on Mars. Do you follow news about science and space?
 
Has it been that long already?! I do, I try to, definitely. Might be important for species to know someday...

9) Random question: What was the best year of your life?
 
That would be 2001, the first year of our marriage, when everything was nonstop giddiness, unhibited love and finally waiting for, then having, our first baby, Chloë. 
 
~*~*~*~*~
 
Thanks for stopping by!
Fin.

Saturday 9: Rapid Roy

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

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

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

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

Anyway, let's go:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

Fin.


Saturday 9: Birthday

Katy Perry By Katy Perry GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Hello, cyber friends of mine! I'm glad I 'made it' this week, because I adore this song, "Birthday," by Katy Perry. In fact, it made the short list of songs I played as a soundtrack for Hubs' birthday in...  must have been 2019?

And I love Katy. What's not to love?

So if you're ready to join us this week, you'll find the link here. Wouldn't it be fun if li'l ol me brought someone new into the mix? Sure it would! Go 'head, c'mon, join us!

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BIRTHDAY (2014)

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

1) In this song, Katy Perry sings that she wants to give her lover something good to celebrate every day. What is making you happy this fine Saturday?

8tracks radio | Smile, Sun is shining (12 songs) | free and music playlist

Well, the sun is shining, so that makes it a great start! I live for sunshine. It rained much of the last fortnight.

2) The video is all about baking a birthday cake. When did you most recently enjoy something home baked? Were you the baker?

01022021 20th Anniversary Smith Island cake b (1)

I think it would have had to be the beginning of January, when one of the things I gifted Hubs for our 20th wedding anniversary was a local favorite here: Smith Island Cake. I didn't bake it, of course, since we have entered our 7th month of living in a hotel (GAH!), but it was a local baker who did, not some chain. If that counts.

3) Tell us a memory from one of your birthdays.

03052021 Chloë with HP Hallmark minifigs

Hmm, well, let's see. For some reason I don't know, I wanted to be 25 before I had my first child. And then Hubs and I discovered we were gonna have a wedding night baby, according to my OB and her charts and calculations. She was due October 2nd. But she didn't want to be an October baby. She wanted to damn-near-share with Mom for her birthday. And so Chloë arrived by emergency C-section on September 7th - the day before I turned 25. Little stinker! I'd wanted to go swimming that day - and I asked during the C-section, but the surgeon just laughed and said I couldn't. Wah!

4) This week's song shares nothing but the title with a Beatles song. (Here's a video of Paul McCartney performing it live.) Can you think of another title that's been used by more than one song?

Kris Kross - Jump on Make a GIF

How about "Jump" by both van Halen and Kriss Kross?

5) Similarly, this week's featured artist was born Kathryn Hudson and called Katy Hudson until she changed her name to Katy Perry to avoid confusion with the actress Kate Hudson. Have you ever met anyone else with your same name?

Melanie Logo | Name Logo Generator - Smoothie, Summer, Birthday, Kiddo,  Colors Style

 

Just about, yes! Of course, I've run into my share of "Melanie"s over the years, but as a kid, one of my stepsisters had a friend (who is now also my friend), whose mother was Melanie Simons - exactly mine, minus a second "m" in the surname.

6) Katy and actor Orlando Bloom became parents to a baby girl in 2020. Bloom is best known for his work in the Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Are you a fan of either of those film series?

Katy Perry Says Orlando Bloom Is Giving Her Space During Quarantine |  Glamour

They're so cute together. I hope they make it. But no, I haven't seen any of the movies in either of those franchises.

7) In 2014, the year this song was popular, Prince William toured the United States and attended his first NBA game (Nets vs. Cavaliers). What's the most recent sporting event that you watched?

Patrick Mahomes' typical workout and eating habits

That would have to be the Super Bowl match-up between the Chiefs (again! Woot!) and the Buccaneers. That damn Brady, y'know?

This all kinda makes me wonder: when was the last time a brand-new team sport was invented?

8) Also in 2014, Joan Rivers died. While best-known for making us laugh, she was a very successful entrepreneur, selling jewelry on QVC. Have you ever ordered anything from TV?

03062021 M earrings

Off the TV? No. But I did buy these earrings (just the ones in the lobes) from a website - which also hawks stuff on TV - as part of a mystery shop I did recently.

9) Random question -- Have you ever been told you talk too much?

02282021 Chloë pigtails

Ohhhh, yes. I am definitely the loquacious one! Garrulous. A chatterbox. And I have absolutely gotten in trouble for it. I remember being in 11th grade, in our AP Chemistry class, and our teacher gave us what basically amounted to busy work while he went to his office in a back room. He came out multiple times to shush us. And then he came out and demanded: "Miss Simmons, WHY is your voice the only one I ever hear???"

And that's not an isolated incident, by any means, just one I vividly remember.

Also, this little bambina, the same Chloë mentioned in my answer to #3, has gotten the gift of gab from her mother. The two of us can talk back and forth so fast sometimes, the others don't aways know what we've said. And since I now have neuro deficits from Lyme disease, Chloë now acts as my interpreter when I can't get my messages across! Love that kiddo. ♥

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And now, I think I need a nap. Wow, I got this posted by noon! Look at me go.

Fin,


Saturday 9: Vision Of Love

Vision of Love | Mariah Carey Wiki | Fandom

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

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

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

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Saturday 9: Vision of Love (1990)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Swimming Upstream

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

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

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1) Name 5 people you admire and why:

Jimmy Carter hospitalized after fall at Georgia home

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

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

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

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

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

Who are Bill Gates' kids? | Fox Business

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

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

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

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

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

3. You felt you got older when _______

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling

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

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

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

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

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

Child death | Grief

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

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

Random And Hilarious Personal Ads | Fun

WTH?!!!  😂😂😂

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

7. How do you participate in saving the earth?

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

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

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

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

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

9. Things you miss about your childhood?

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

I don't.

10. The greatest invention:

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

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

11. Your favorite super hero:

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

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

12. Your views about veganism:

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

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

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

Beautiful Butterfly

I think I would be a beautiful butterfly.

14. How did your parents meet?

Dating or Waiting?. - ppt video online download

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

15. Your morning routine:

70 Most Awesome Sleep Memes

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

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

Fin.


Saturday 9: Moonlighting

Two Characters Yelling at Each Other': Inside Bruce Willis and Cybill  Shepherd's Feud

Moonlighting | TV fanart | fanart.tv

Welcome back, ladies and gents! What a week. What a week!

Forget about what's going on in this crazy country.  Some women (myself included) may have had an online countdown to their baby's due date. Or to their wedding date (not guilty; eloped). And so on. I'm sure I'm not the only one counting down the seconds until election day. Amirite?!

Personally, even more upheaval than I talked about last week. Last time, I said we were going to sell the "perfect house" in the country and get back to the city (aka Boise). Now, we're going to sell the house in the country, the eldest child is going to stay here and carry on with her live, the rest of us are going to move back to the East Coast, and we're going to buy another house. It's crazy town.

Meanwhile, with all of my myriad health problems going on for the last several years, my doc has run a bunch of blood tests and determined, among other swell bits of news, that the mononucleosis I had back as a freshman in college has been reactivated. Which explains why I need a nap every day just to recover from the nap I just had. And then maybe another nap.

Everyone's in a tizzy about moving and packing and house-selling and house-buying, and my sleepy-@$$ is of absolutely no use to anyone. I'm doing what I do best: I'm making a whole lot of lists.

So, let's get on with things. You didn't really come here to listen to my life. Link up here to play along!

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Saturday 9: Moonlighting (1985)

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

1) Moonlighting was an award-winning comedy-drama that ran from 1985 to 1989. Are you familiar with the show? Were you a fan?

10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Moonlighting

I watched from time to time. I would have been 9-13 years old then. It wasn't a huge priority, but if it was on and nothing else was, I might've watched. I'm not a huge fan of Cybill Shepherd.

2) The series revolved around The Blue Moon Detective Agency in Los Angeles. There have been countless TV shows and movies about detectives and their cases, yet Crazy Sam doesn't know anyone who has ever hired a private investigator. How about you? Have you ever had anything or anyone investigated?

First day as a private investigator] *Forgets to turn off camera shutter  sound *Gets murdered | Funny Tweeter

^^^ That would be me. I haven't hired a PI, but I have called the police to file a report a few times. I can quickly think of at least three. Fortunately for me in these situations, I'm white, so I didn't get murdered.

3) The agency was named Blue Moon because one of the owners, Maddie Hayes, was a model known as The Blue Moon Girl, famous for promoting Blue Moon Shampoo. If we were to rename their detective agency based on the shampoo you most recently used, what would it be called?

SoapBox Soaps Review + Discount Code — Writings & Worship

Well, I guess it would be the Soapbox Detective Agency. I love my Soapbox shampoos and conditioners, which I get from Grove Collaborative. (If you use that link, you'll get a free gift set.) Soapbox is great for so many reasons, from being environmentally-responsible to being philanthropic: for every product purchased, they donate a bar of soap to someone in need, either state-side or internationally. Aside from all that, it works great on my thin, baby-fine hair!

4) Cybill Shepherd played Maddie Hayes. Cybill believes we can all find romance many times and said she considers the concept of one true love as "dramatic treacle." Do you agree?

True Love : funny

I do agree with her. I think any given person can have many different soulmates throughout their life. I never subscribed to the idea that a person only found ONE "the one" in their life, and that was it.

5) David Addison was played by Bruce Willis. At the beginning of his career he couldn't support himself as a actor and held down part-time jobs as a security guard, shuttle bus driver and bartender. How many different occupations have you had?

Dude. I think I've had just about every part-time job there is. When I got my first full-time job, as a legal secretary, I finally felt all grown up! Of course, my status has been "stay-home mom/homemaker" for the better part of the last 20 years, so it's almost time to shake it up again there, too.

6) The Moonlighting theme was co-written and performed by Al Jarreau. While in college, Al planned on being a career counselor. Yet once he began performing with a jazz trio, he knew that music was where his heart was. Tell us about a time you found joy from an unexpected source.

Pressed Flower Bookmark 2

Oh, I find simple pleasures all around, all the time. I have to, maybe, as a self-preservation mechanism or else I'd go insane! ...Lately, I've been making these bookmarks to include in cards I'm sending as part of a program of support for LGBT youth. A lot of the others involved in this program have raved about how beautiful they are and have asked for one/some. I never expected that and got a nice dose of warm fuzzies out of it.

7) Moonlighting was created by Glenn Gordon Caron. ABC gave him the opportunity based on his work on Remington Steele and Taxi. Of these three shows -- Moonlighting, Remington Steele and Taxi -- which would you prefer to binge watch?

REMINGTON STEELE PIERCE BROSNAN FUTURE JAMES BOND GREAT PHOTO | eBay

Need I say more? I mean, Pierce Brosnan. SEXY!
 
8) In 1985, the year Moonlighting premiered, Coca Cola introduced The New Coke. It was not successful and disappeared from store shelves quickly. What's the most recent beverage you drank?

Trial | Cirkul

I'm still loving and sucking down my Cirkul water! (That link will get you $5 off your purchase.) They have a ton of tasty flavors, many different lines/formulations, and just something for everyone! I'm so happy Cirkul has helped me kick WAY back on my Diet Coke habit.

9) Random question  -- Each day, do you put more time into improving your mind or your appearance?

Keeping Your Mind Fit: Improving Memory as you Age | Regions

Ha! When you're as sick as I've gotten, your appearance is generally an afterthought. I rarely have the energy to care about that. I do, however, experience brain fog and memory deficits, so I'm always working on improving that. I rely so heavily on this brain; can't have it crapping out on me!

~*~*~*~*~

Well, I hope you all have the day ahead that you're hoping to have. When things go according to plan - or better than we imagined - that's just the best feeling, isn't it? I wish that for you today.

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Deep Thoughts Meme

Hey, all. Welcome back. Quiet weekend here in Idaho - and COLD - so I'mma hunker down and get started here. Join us here if you'd like, wouldja?

Cheers to all of us thieves!

><> *  ><> * ><> * ><> * ><>

 

These are questions suggested by Markandangel

If you could instill one piece of advice in a newborn baby’s mind, what advice would you give?

Must-Know Tips for Breastfeeding a Sick Baby

I'd whisper into her ear, "Hey, little baby. If you could drop the nipple and let mama sleep once in a while, I promise you she'll be a much happier mama." (At least it was true for me!)

What is the most desirable trait another person can possess?

Image result for kindness

☼☼☼ kindness ☼☼☼

What are you most grateful for?

Enhance (1)

When our son Robby died, suddenly and unexpectedly, in 2003, I was lost. Like, my mind was completely elsewhere. It was gone for three years. For those who haven't heard this story before, I liken it to this: When I was a small child, we spent summers at the Jersey Shore. My parents, in large part, were neglectful. If you've ever been to the Shore, you know those waves get humongous, and they will knock a toddler down in nothing flat. For many long seconds - a full minute, maybe - I would roll along the bottom of the seafloor, tumbling and tumbling along underwater, until the ocean finally saw fit to spit me out up on the shore. (No parent of mine ever came running.)

For those three years after Robby died, that's what I felt like. Just underwater, tumbling, not coming up for air. Somehow I managed to mother Chloë, who was 18 months when the twins were born; and Jack, who was Robby's identical twin (this was perhaps the hardest aspect); and Sophia, who we decided we needed to complete our family and fill the hole left by her older brother.

But it was on this day, pictured above, that woke me up. It was the exact day of Sophia's 1st birthday. She was playing and tumbling around with the four bigger kids where we were, but when it was time to do the cake, I dressed her in her very special birthday dress that I'd bought off of a friend of mine. And when I was done, I stepped back and looked at her. And seeing her, I don't know what it was about that scene, woke me up. The ocean finally spat me out on shore. And I'm so thankful.

Is stealing to feed a starving child wrong?

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Is not feeding the starving child wrong?

What do you want most?

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I want to live to see the future for my kids, maybe their kids, the world... perhaps not suffering in agony every second of it.

Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?

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I'm usually equally worried about both things, with some variety in there for things of greater or lesser import.

What has life taught you recently?

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Life has taught me to DO SOMETHING about those things that have mattered to me - and about which I've been vocal but less active - my entire life. Age and health issues have taught me that I'm running out of time, so that time is NOW.

What is the one thing you would most like to change about the world?

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So, humans have fucked up the world. Everything we did in the name of money, greed, and power, has fucked the world. Everything we've tried to do to unfuck the previously-fucked things has fucked the world. Now we're on a desperate timeline. What would I do? I would drastically slow down that timeline so that the right people can do the right things to try to help fix it.

Where do you find inspiration?

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Right now it's her, and youth like her the world around. Including my own.

Can you describe your life in a six word sentence?

I had to come, but stayed.

If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?

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I think a lot of that comes from the fear of criticism, whether from within or without.

What impact do you want to leave on the world?

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I used to want to be known - like, Nobel Prize-known - for some great scientific discovery. Now, if I'm remembered at all, I'd like to be remembered for giving a big enough damn to make as big a difference for the future as I could, sick, in constant pain, and in a wheelchair and all.

What is the most defining moment of your life thus far?

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Oh, that's always an easy one. Running tail-over-teakettle to get to the courthouse in time to elope with a guy I'd known for two months, laughing the whole way... that's the moment. That takes the proverbial cake.

In the haste of your daily life, what are you not seeing?

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Bruh. I have late-stage Chronic Lyme Disease - amongst other debilities. There is no "haste of my life" anymore.

If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?

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

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

What lifts your spirits when life gets you down?

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

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

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

Has your greatest fear ever come true?

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

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

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

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

What is your most beloved childhood memory?

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I don't have very many good memories from my childhood. And I have very few memories of my mother at all. I cherish every detail I can remember about Mom, even this one. She was putting curlers in my hair for me to sleep on that night. I hated those curlers; sleeping was impossible. But did I look adorable in my First Grade picture the next day? Yes. Yes, I did. 😍

><> *  ><> * ><> * ><> * ><>

Welp, you can probably guess this post took a lot out of me. There have been tears. But remembering is good. It means I can still do it. Sometimes I can't!

Thank you, Bev, for running this thievery. Love to you.

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Colloquium

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

I dare you to prove me wrong?!

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

~*~*~*~*~


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

Last person you were in a car with?

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

Any plans for tomorrow?

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

Best friend or close friends?

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Um, both. Duh.

Is tomorrow going to be a good day?

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

Ever thrown up in public?

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

What’s on your mind RIGHT NOW?

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

Who was the last person you talked to?

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

What is the WORST subject they teach at school?

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

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

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Not lately, I don't think?

What is your favourite color top to wear?

Pass, on the grounds that it's irrelevant.

Have you ever been in a car accident?

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

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

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My recycling bin 😉♻️

Where would you like to be right now?

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Anywhere right now not having this migraine

Is anything bugging you right now?

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Second verse, same as the first!

Is life going right for you now?

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It's... going.

Is there someone you care about more than yourself?

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

What made you laugh today?

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⬆ This. ⬆

What was the last movie you watched?

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

What was the last conversation you had about?

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

What were you doing at 7:00 this morning?

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

Do you like your hair long or short?

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

Do you like the rain?

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

~*~*~*~*~

Fin.


Saturday 9: The Candy Man

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

IWILLBESTRIKING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday Stealing: Compassion Meme

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

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These are questions suggested by Compassion, Int'l

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


    Happy birthday, Lori!!
    

What is the most fun thing you have ever done?

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

Are you left-handed or right-handed?

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Yes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you ever have funny dreams at night?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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I'd be Oprah and feel FABULOUS!

What would you like to change about yourself?

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

What is your daily routine?

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

What would your perfect day be like?

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

How old were you when you learned to read?

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

What is the most interesting thing you know?

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

What makes you nervous?

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

What is your favourite flower?

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

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

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

What time do you go to bed?

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

What time do you get up?

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

What is something that is always in your refrigerator?

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

Have a great week, y'all!

Fin.


Saturday 9: No One's Here To Sleep

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How ya doin', folks? Welcome back. Click here if you want to join the rest of the Saturday 9 gang this week!

But first, a few things:

First, Viola Davis, go on with yo' fine self.

Second, this is the first time I've been out of bed for any length of time since Sunday night, when I went out to dinner with Hubs. I have a dizzying amount of health issues, and just the simple act of having a birthday dinner (his) out has worn me out that much. I hate it.

Finally, do a Google search for The Wizard of Oz. Then click on the ruby red shoes. And then, click on the tornado. Then come back here. Fun, right?!

Now let's begin:

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: No One's Here to Sleep (2013)

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

1) This song is the theme of How to Get Away with Murder, the legal drama that premiered in 2014 and airs on Thursday nights. Are you a fan?

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I have never watched it. Yet. Should I?

2) The song's refrain says, "I'll never catch up with you." Behind the wheel, do you carefully observe the speed limit? Or do you have a lead foot, making it hard for anyone to catch up with you?

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I definitely have a lead foot - and I have the speeding tickets to prove it! There are a lot of 25 MPH roads here in Mountain Home, Idaho, which has made the transition from Boise (and before that, Miami) particularly difficult for me. It's impossible! So the first thing I do when I leave the house is turn on the cruise control, which fortunately starts at 25 MPH in our vehicle, so that I can't get any (more) tickets here. My current peeve is that the two-lane interstate from here to Boise, or anywhere else for that matter, allows 18-plus-wheelers to pass in the left lane, but they can only go 70 MPH. Except the speed limit is 80 MPH! So we're often stuck rolling our eyes, gnashing our teeth, and gripping the steering wheel in frustration behind those Macks.

3) How to Get Away with Murder is about Annalise Keating, a law professor at a top Philadelphia university. She has a reputation for being tough, demanding and able to turn her students into successful defense attorneys. Tell us about a teacher who helped prepare you for life after graduation.

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I had many great teachers and professors, so it's hard for me to single one out. But I will. At the University of Miami, I took Physics I and II from a gent who used to write "IAEFRTGDI" on the chalkboard before every exam. And then he'd read it aloud, pointing to each letter in turn: "If all else fails, read the g-- d--- instructions!" to remind us that, if we were stuck on a problem, to do exactly that. He'd just pause for the "G-D-" parts, giving us all a giggle. But that was 25 years ago, and I've obviously never forgotten his lesson!

4) The students she feels show the most promise - and are recruited to help her solve murders - are known as The Keating Four. Did you ever sense that you were your teacher's favorite?

Melanie Ann 6yo

It was always pretty rare for me not to be the teacher's pet.

5) Viola Davis was just nominated for an Emmy for playing Professor Keating. Ms. Davis was born on a farm in SC. Have you spent more of your life in a rural, suburban or urban setting?

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That's Chloë and me on South Beach (Miami) on New Year's Eve, 2015 - I had just started getting sick that year, and that night really took a lot out of me. But I digress. I'm a city girl, through-and-through. Now I live in land-locked Idaho. Or I'm dying here. Either way, I've asked Hubs to take me to the beach at least every couple of years or so. I miss it more than I could ever convey.

6) Next to Annalise Keating, Viola Davis is best known for her Oscar-nominated role as Aibileen in the movie, The Help. Have you seen it?

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I have, and while we (my daughters and I) loved it, I was a bit disappointed because it was historically inaccurate. They could have done a lot more to celebrate and elevate the true stories those black actresses portrayed.

7) In 2014, the year How to Get Away with Murder premiered, we lost two famous comedians: Robin Williams and Joan Rivers. Who was the last person to make you laugh out loud? (This means actually, literally laughing out loud, not just keystroking LOL.)

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I mean, I'm a legit nerd and don't mind it, but yes, all of these (and more) individually and collectively made me laugh aloud. In fact, I wanted to keep looking and enjoying, but then I remembered I had unfinished business here with Sam. ;)

8) The 2014 Olympics were held in Sochi. Have you ever been to Russia? If not, is it a dream destination of yours?

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I want to see the whole world, but the idea of going to Russia draws a great big "meh" out of me. Is it enough that my grandpa went there?

9) Random question: The sign on the railing says, "Wet Paint." Do you touch the railing to see if it's really wet?

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Probably. At least nine times out of 10 I would, anyway. In one of my Animal Behavior lectures, Prof told us of a study - probably by Konrad Lorenz - wherein four different species were suspended in a net that allowed the dangling of one or more legs. Initially, when a leg was dangled, it hit a surface that delivered a painful electric shock. (Ugh, I hate these studies.) Anyway, the animals studied included a cat, a pig, a dog, and a monkey. We students had to guess which animal then exhibited which behavior: one never, ever put down its leg again. Was it smart, having learnt its lesson? One waited awhile and then tried again. Another maybe waited longer? I forget. And the fourth continuously put down that leg, time and time again. Was it stupid, forgetting each time about the shock? Or was it just following its genetic predisposition to test a thing to see if something new and different would happen? I believe that last animal was the cat. (In the first case, I believe it was... the pig! Surprised?) Long story short, I am like the cat. I always need to test everything to see if it's true, or still true. The more data I can collect about Life, the more accurate I'll be, right?

~*~*~*~*~

Y'all have a good weekend. And FFS, please stop confusing your Batesian and Müllerian mimicry, wouldja? So distasteful. ;)

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Curiosity And The Queen

Welcome back! I saw a few of you guys left comments, but I haven't had a chance to read most of them yet because of being suuuuuper tired. I was already dealing with exhaustion, and then I had to go the ER for pain relief last night. We got home as the sun was coming up! Needless to say, I'm hitting the sack early(er) tonight!

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

~*~*~*~*~

Questions from Durward Discussion

Thanks to Kwizgiver for the suggestion.

 
 
1. What is the nearest book to you?  Your Kindle does not count.
 
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These are the latest ten books we received for free from Kellogg's "Feeding Reading" program this month. I have the book Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven next to me, atop the printer. I've already ordered Book #11 and can't wait to get all 20!

2. When was the last time you took a "me" vacation?
 
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Does naptime count? If so, then I just woke up an hour or two ago...

3. How many telephone numbers do you have?
 
 
Me, personally? I just have one. But with five people in the house, each with a separate cell phone number, and then individual phone numbers for each of the kids' tablets... we have eight.

4. If you could fix one thing in the public school system, what is the one thing you would do immediately?
 
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There are so many big things that need fixing with our educational system, but I think the number one thing is money. I would pour it in, to raise the annual teacher salaries and to buy excellent curriculum. There is no reason in the world why the U.S. shouldn't have the best educational system one could find.
 
5. Are you a big tipper?
 
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I tip appropriately.

6. Do you watch reality shows?
 
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Nowhere near as much as I used to be, but I did watch the entire latest season of The Voice, and I picked Maelyn Jarmon (shown with the legendary Sara McLachlan) out as the one who had to win during her first appearance, in the Blinds. If you don't watch, treat yourself to a screening of her singing Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" in the finale, or Fields of Gold in her blind audition. I could watch and listen all day long. And, she's deaf!

7. Who is your favorite sports team player?
 
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Maybe Steph Curry or, here, Colin Kaepernick, who wasn't afraid to take a stand (sorry) on a desperately important issue when he took a knee. #BlackLivesMatter

8. If you could travel in a spaceship to any planet, which planet would you like to visit and why?
 
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After I quick detour to Jupiter to reassure him that he's still my favorite, I'd head to Pluto. Gotta show the little guy some big love.

9. When was the last time you sat in a church?
 
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Probably Easter, if not the candlelight service on Christmas Eve. Can't miss that! I hate that we've turned into "holiday Christians," but if we can't find an LGBTQIA-accepting church here in Mountain Home, then that's the way it's going to have to be right now. Hurts.
 
10. Are there any aspects of blogging that annoy you?
 
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Two things, mostly: one, when I write up something really meaningful to me, and there are crickets. Two, my own ability to make/find/have time to comment back on an your lovely pages with any kind of frequency.

11. When someone follows you on their blog or subscribes to your Facebook page, do you automatically follow and subscribe back?
 
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Hee. This actually applies to me more on Instagram and Twitter. I try to be descriminate and not follow back anyone whose stuff I really don't want to see, but most of the time that doesn't happen, and I do. One thing that drives me away: the inane "ItWorks" products and their proponents. Just a waste of time, space, and energy for me!
 
~*~*~*~*~
 
All right. And now back to working on our August 2019 budget. Whoopty-do!! (Thanks, Bev & Kwizzy!)
 
Fin.

Sunday Stealing: Book Of Questions

Hey, there! Wheeeewwwwww, I'm exhausted.

Rob, Chloë and I spent all day Saturday driving up to get Sophia from camp and then, upon returning to the Boise area, running a billion errands. On our way back to Mountain Home, we stopped and picked up Sophia's girlfriend, another S, who is spending the rest of the weekend with us. I took a nap as soon as we got home, ain't gonna lie, and woke up with an extreme migraine. At the ER, I got pumped full of meds and barely remember anything after that. It's going on 2 PM now; I just woke up. I hope all of you had a more relaxing day than did I on Saturday!

Let's jump in, m'kay? Link up here if you'd like to play along with the rest of us thieves!

~*~*~*~*~

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Questions from The Book of Questions

1. Do you think the world will be a better or worse place 100 years from now?
 
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That depends on your perspective. From a humanistic view, definitely worse, based on our actions today! But for the world as a whole? I think it'll just be different. Things are changing, some irrevocably, and things will once again evolve to a new stasis.

2. Would you accept $1,000,000 to leave the country and never set foot in it again?
 
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I'm the first guy. Yeah? You promise? I'm outta here!!

3. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the body or the mind of a 30 year old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
 
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Oh, geez. I don't like either choice. Must I pick one? (fine: mind)

4. What would constitute a “perfect” evening for you?
 
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I really don't know anymore. I'm sure a nap is involved. (Sometimes I take three naps in a day - and recently, I hit four! ME/CFS can bite my arse.)

5. Whom do you admire most?  In what way does that person inspire you?
 
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Rob, before tearing up at Chloë's graduation ceremony
 
This may sound really corny, but I think it's Hubs. He's been through entirely too much, both emotionally and physically, and yet he rarely complains. He just gets up, keeps going, keeps trying harder, keeps doing what needs to be done without bitching about it (mostly; I mean, he is human!). He's very much like my grandfather in that regard. With all that I've got going on health-wise these days, he serves as a good role model for how I want to be, at least on the few days my ^&*(() body will even let me. (See? There I go!)

6. Do you prefer being around men or women?  Do your closest friends tend to be men or women?
 
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At least when I was single, I hung around guys more than gals. Most of my friends were male. The scene above was similar to many I had around my college years. That being said, most of my best friends - then and now - are women.

7. If you could use a voodoo doll to hurt anyone you chose, would you?
 
Wait, could it be Trump?
 
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But seriously folks... no. Unless it could be used for kindess. Maybe not like the bridal version seen above, but what about one where I could stick a pin (or whatev) in the place(s) where the person hurts, and it takes away their pains? Yeah. I could get on board with that.

8. What is your most treasured memory?
 
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Well. I have dozens of treasured memories. One that I will treasure forever and ever happened after my son Robby died. I was absolutely devastated, completely heartbroken. There truly are no words to describe my level of despair. My mother-in-law came to visit and help us through it, make the arrangements, etc. I remember during that visit, I went up to take a shower and started sobbing under the water. Hubs told me she'd said to him, "I think your wife needs you right now." He came up and got in the shower with me, probably fully dressed, to hold me while we both cried... But that's not it. During that same visit, in a quiet moment, she gave me the "come here" finger wave and had me sit on the stairs next to her. She pulled out a small box. There was this necklace inside, with a sapphire baby girl represent Chloë, an angel representing Robby, and an aquamarine boy representing his identical twin, Jack (the boys were March babies). It's my most cherished possession; I could not possibly convey the feels I felt in that moment. I just looked at her, started crying, and we hugged. It was our warmest moment together, probably.
 
P.S. After Sophia was born, Mamacita (my MIL) said, "Well, I guess you better give me that necklace back!" And that's when my little diamond girl joined the team.

9. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?  Is there anything you hope to do that is even better?  (Let’s exclude raising children, if you have them)
 
PhD choppy choppy
 
Hmm, I don't know. There have been a lot, but I worked really hard to get into ^^ this ^^ pretty exclusive lab, and I made it in after much hard work on my part.
 
Even better? I don't know, I have learned that things aren't always "better" or "worse" but more like, just, different. You know? I'd been watinging since my pregnancy and first year with Chloë - who will turn 18 in September - to go to law school when my kids were all grown, but with my brain injury, I don't think that will be possible now. So, author it shall be. eek Fingers crossed!! 🤞🤞🤞
 
10. If you went to a dinner party and were offered a dish you had never tried, would you want to taste it, even if it sounded strange and not very appealing?
 
It totally depends. Three things I would NOT eat, no matter what:
 
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Monkey brains - actual
 
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Balut
 
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... and haggis
 
Three things I have eaten in my non-veg days:
 
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frog legs - on a cruise
 
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escargot - on another cruise, or maybe the same?
 
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sea urchin sushi - in Virginia Beach Town Center
 
By the way, Rob and I ate that sushi on a date for our anniversary one year, and we both agreed it was among the most DISGUSTING things we'd ever eaten!!! Have y'all had it? 
 
11. Do your close friends tend to be older or younger than you?
 
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They're usually the same age or older. I can think of few friends of mine who are younger.
 
12. How do you feel when people sing Happy Birthday to you in a restaurant?
 
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It's not my favorite thing in the world, now that I'm no longer eight years old (!!), but if dessert's involved I'm game. I'd rather it be a plate of fruits or even an extravagant fruta loca, though:
 
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13. When you tell a story, do you often exaggerate or embellish it?  If so, why?
 
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Yes. I do "edit" my tales sometimes. In short, I say, "I do it for the LOLs." For the longer version of that, I'll borrow from a 2014 article I just found on HuffPost:

"Some people are born storytellers. Other people struggle to hold your attention.

"The difference between a boring story and an interesting one usually boils down to three things: emotions, embellishment, and authenticity.

"Boring stories go in a linear fashion. Poor storytellers repeat every fact and detail with no particular emphasis on one element or the other. They tend to focus on getting every single inane detail exactly right.

"The 'one boring fact after another' technique is a favorite of literalists, who typically tell less than stellar stories.

"Great storytellers, on the other hand, provide interpretation. They help you understand what the story means by drawing your attention to the most interesting parts, which sometimes requires a bit of exaggeration.

"Mark Twain once said, 'Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.'

"[I] not only tell stories, [I] embellish them."

14. If a friend were almost always late, would you resent it or simply allow for it? Can you be allowed to be on time?
 
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I grew up needing to be excessively punctual. When I got to college in Miami, I learned what it meant to be "on Cuban time" or various other Caribbean cultures' time. That meant: late. Always, always late, so I became very forgiving of them in a hurry!
 
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As for me, I don't prefer it, but being part of this family necessitates my understanding that, almost always, I will be late!

15. If you could have free, unlimited service for five years from an extremely good cook, chauffeur, housekeeper, or personal secretary, which would you choose?
 
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Rob is an extremely good cook, and I'm not bad. The kids are learning to hold their own (Jack is the best). Neither Rob nor I mind driving; in fact, we generally like it (although it'd be nice if even one of the kids got their license, finally). I enjoy being the personal secretary of the fam. This one was an absolute, hands-down, no-brainer: Housekeeper. I'm really good at cleaning and alla that, but my body no longer permits it. Rob and the kids share the tasks now, but I'm never super thrilled with the job!
 
~*~*~*~*~
 
Welp, it's after 1530 now, meaning I've gotta get to some of that "secretarial" work! I do hope y'all will have a lovely week.
 
Fin.

Saturday 9: Secret Agent Man

(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)
 
wish you were gay:
 

*

The Part Where I Finally Answer the Questions:

Secret Agent Man (1966)

Unfamiliar with this week's song. Hear it here.

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?

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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?

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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)?

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Oh, definitely international intrigue, for sure. No doubt about that.

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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.

Quiz - Owyhee Pony Club
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?

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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?

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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?

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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.)

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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.

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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?

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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!

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Questions Are My Favorite!

Welcome back, y'all! I'm glad you're here. Today we're joining Bev & the gang for a series of questions stolen from elsewhere on the Interwebs. Link up here if you'd like to join us today!

~*~*~*~*~

Are you satisfied with the way your life is right now?

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I would want to change my health situation, but otherwise, things I would want to change are minor and insignificant.

Do you drink enough water?

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I'm actually so well hydrated that I've been hospitalized a half-dozen or so times for hyponatremia.

When was the last time you ate at Burger King?

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I never eat at Burger King. Ever.

Do you prefer the beach or the mountains?

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Well, nowadays we can go to the beach in the mountains... but if I had to pick one or the other, it'd be the beach all. day. long.

How do you usually feel when you wake up in the morning?

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Like it's some kind of cruel joke, because I swear I'd just fallen asleep...

Would you rather take someone on a date, or be taken on a date?

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Call me old-fashioned, but I'd love to be taken out on a date.

When was the last time you wore high heeled shoes?

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My illness struck in May 2015, and it hit hard. Nevertheless, when we went out to South Beach (Miami) for New Year's Eve that December 31st, I was bound and determined to wear my spiked 5" red heels to match this (I think) smokin' hot dress. I don't wear heels that often; I have weak ankles. I learned my lesson! If the immense crowd hadn't been constantly pressed up against me while we waded our way through the human ocean on Ocean Drive, I definitely would've fallen about sixteen times. I don't think I've worn heels since that day; I don't even own that pair anymore.

Vodka or wine? 

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I actually prefer vodka, but Hubs really had a bad experience with it, so I try to avoid it at home. At a bar/club, though, anything's game!

How often do you cry?

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Oh, I'm extremely emotional. Here, speaking at my daughter Chloë's high school graduation a couple weeks ago, I was a wreck!

Ever had a crush on a teacher?

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Well, yes...

Can you wire a plug?

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No. No, I cannot.

Do you wear socks to bed?

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NO! No socks in bed. (I'm particular about my sock habits.) (It's a sensory issue thing.)

What is currently bugging you?

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Oh, nothing much. Really the only thing (other than jaw pain from my root canal on Wednesday) is that I was playing around, taking these superficial photos on Saturday, and I can't decide which I like best. Family is no help; we're evenly split (and Jack just does not care). #FirstWorldProblems

Can you change a car tire?

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I've learned, but I'm not strong enough now to do it myself.

Have you met more than ten celebrities?

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Do I look like Jimmy Fallon?

Do you sleep naked?

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No, I don't like it. Hubs prefers it, but I just can't get comfortable that way.

What was the best music gig you’ve ever attended?

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All of them were great in their own way. Blue Man Group was probably the coolest...

Have you ever had sexual feelings for anyone you follow online?

Rob in Greece

Well. I married this guy I met online, so I guess I can't say no to that!

Who is someone who has changed your life positively?

Señora O'Toole

This adorable woman, Señora - no, now she's Doctora - O'Txxxx, was my Spanish teacher off and on from 7th through 12th grade. She taught me more than a new language, though. And 25 years later, she is still teaching me lessons. (We're friends on Facebook, and also she had my family over for brunch when we were in New York for my 20th high school reunion in 2014.) I adore her.

Favourite city?

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I'm most partial to Manhattan.

Can you drive?

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Yes. Fast. Very, very fast.

Cigarettes or alcohol?

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I have nothing good to say about anything even remotely related to tobacco products. I get an instant migraine from someone smoking cigarettes around me, and it hits even before the smell registers or I see the person. That's probably the worst part of it for me. When people smoke right at the entrance to medical facilities or dining establishments, I truly feel like I could go apeshit on them.

That being said, alcohol - but even that, very rarely.

Favourite and least favourite accents?

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I love all most accents. I adore every international accent I've ever heard. I do not prefer accents from the American South.

Did you play Red Rover when you were a child?

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I surely did!

Do you like 1980s fashion?

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It was maybe fun at the time, but... I don't miss it.

~*~*~*~*~

All righty. I've gotta go grab Sophie and watch Season 1, Episode 3 of Stranger Things. Meanwhile, Chloë has already finished Season 3! Can you say "binge watch"?!

Have a lovely week, y'all.

Fin.


Saturday 9: America, The Beautiful

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

~*~*~*~*~

"America, the Beautiful"

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

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

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

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

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

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

07052019 Melanie SelfieB

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

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

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Hee.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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