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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: No Roots

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

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

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

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No Roots (2017)

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

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

Revolving Doors Cartoons and Comics - funny pictures from CartoonStock

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

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

YES.

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

Dude! Gnarliest picket fence ever! - Los Angeles Times

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

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

15 Meme's Military Spouses Relate to - Martinsburg College

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyway.

No description available.

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

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

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

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

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

Do animals laugh? | HowStuffWorks

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

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

Fin.Phil


Saturday 9: One Night Standards

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

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

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

Hope y'all are doing well. ♥

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

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Saturday 9: One Night Standards (2019)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pistachio Ice Cream Recipe | Southern Living

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a lovely!

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: League Of Extraordinary Penpals

Hey there, hi there, ho there, thieves! I'm watching the documentary series "Diagnosis" on Netflix right now - and of course, now my husband and I are going, "You need to get on that!" regarding all of my health issues - so forgive me if my answers become disjointed from distraction. I have a habit of going back later and finding I've done that!

I trust you are all well.

Link up here if you want to steal some shhhh--- today! Let's go:

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1 What are your plans for August?

Josephine House

Well, August is kind of a big month. We bought this big, beautiful, modern house last June. It's in a very small town in nowheresville, Idaho. I love the house. I do. I love my freakin' house. But I hate where it is. I've tried for 14 months to just be okay here for the sake of everybody else, but I just cannot do it anymore. I've got to GTFO of this state.

So, four of us are moving into an extended-stay hotel in Boise on Monday. Chloë, who will be 19 next month, is moving out into a place of her own and staying here. (Not gonna lie, I'm having a very hard time with that.) Rob's hiring movers that will come in and pack us up, then we'll have a move-out cleaning, and then the realtor who sold us the house is going to put it back on the market for us.

The average time for a home in our area to be on the market is 9 days, so I'm crossing my fingers for good luck like that. (Please cross yours, too!)

As soon as that happens, we're paying off the remainder of our car loan and gifting the car to Chloë. Then we'll hop a plane to Maryland.

Watch for what happens next...

2 Review the first half of 2020:

40 Memes That Sum Up 2020 So Far | Bored Panda

🔼🔼 There you go. 🔼🔼

2020 is a dumpster fire: These memes nail exactly how we're feeling – Film  Daily

3 A place you’d go if money were no object:

The history of manned space flight [infographic] | OUPblog

Oh, I'd definitely go on a space flight and realize my childhood dreams.

4 Who was your childhood best friend?

7 Reasons Why Your Childhood Best Friend Will Always Be Irreplaceable

Well, it seemed like in elementary school I had a different best friend every year. Victoria... Thea... Shannon.... Ellie... different Shannon...

But from 6th grade on, I had a group of friends that pretty much stayed together. I count two of them (Lisa & Shana) as my best friends to this day. I'm lucky to have them.

5 The city or town you love most?

Types Of Palm Trees | Labels: Too Many Palms | Tropical garden, University  of miami hurricanes, Palm trees

Can I just say the entire Miami-Dade County? There are soooo many things there that I love, I couldn't pick just one municipality! Of course, I love my alma mater in Coral Gables. Then there's South Beach, of course. Then Coconut Grove... the quick drive to the Keys. I love everything about Miami!

6 How do you spend hot days?

Best Beaches in Miami | WPH South Beach

That depends... am I still in Miami, or am I stuck in Idaho? Is it a COVID year, or just an El Niño year? Given my druthers, I'd be at the beach every day, all day.

7 Are you a skilled cook or baker?

DSC_1458

Well, I'm no expert, but I do all right. I used to have a baking business when we lived in Virginia Beach, but after one exceedingly frustrating disappointment on an order I worked terribly hard on, I kinda just... stopped.

8 One thing you wish you could currently do:

King Neptune | A frozen King Neptune at sunrise. Virginia Be… | Flickr

Hmm... Speaking of Virginia Beach, I wish I could go to the Oceanfront there right NOW! Where's King Neptune when you need him?

9 A time when you learned your lesson:

Oh, I definitely learned my lesson from buying this house here in Mountain Home: no matter how much you love the house, if you hate the town, it's not the perfect house. There are some things you just can't compromise on. So now I have my eye on this house (center, foreground) in Maryland...

10 What consistently makes you laugh?

Pin on funny

My husband, an old sailor, has an endless supply of filthy jokes. I try to act shocked, but he knows I'm amused.

11 Routines that bring you calm and peace:

Campbell River SAR rescue injured hiker in Strathcona Provincial Park - My  Comox Valley Now

Communing with nature

12 Who annoys you the most?

091419 Old Navy Rob's shirt

It's definitely this husband of mine - but I'm sure it's mutual!!

13 Describe some of your favorite household items.

04272020 Treasures 01

Last September, we drove up to Washington to visit Great Wolf Lodge for Chloë's 18th birthday. Here are our three kids' wristbands from their first visit to Great Wolf Lodge - in Williamsburg, Virginia - over a decade earlier. ♥ (Our orally-fixated pup, Tapioca, has since eaten one of them.)

04272020 Treasures 02

Here are all the pet tags from all the dogs and cats we've had who are no longer with us. ♥

04272020 Treasures 03

Here is the tape of "Wonderful Tonight" that my friends from graduate school, Heather and Mason, rearranged and did on guitar and vocals. They gave it to us at our wedding reception. I have got to get it re-recorded digitally! ♥

04272020 Treasures 05

And finally, here is just a small fraction of the pennies we've pressed over the years. We press pennies everywhere we go and have many books full of them! ♥

14 What have you gotten better at?

I believe in self improvement. For you, that is. - Lolcats - lol | cat memes  | funny cats | funny cat pictures with words on them | funny pictures | lol  cat memes | lol cats

I mean, what was the starting line? I've gotten a whole lot better at walking and talking since I started about 43 years ago, I'll you that much!

15 Share a random memory.

Camel Drinking Coke Funny Picture

When I was very young, probably under three years old, my family visited a zoo of some sort. We stopped at a kiosk somewhere, and my mother bought herself a drink. She was carrying me on her hip, so when she took a sip, I begged for a sip, too. It was delicious!!! Today I might describe it as sort of a virgin piña colada. When Mom got near the bottom of the cup, she said I could have the rest of her drink. I was so excited. Then, as soon as I had the cup in hand, Mom pivoted away from the camel pen we were standing right next to. I had the cup in my hand, and then suddenly it was snatched away from me! I looked back in shock to see the camel not only finishing my drink, but eating the cup to boot! Oh, how I sobbed. That is the only thing I remember from that day.

16 How many pairs of shoes do you have?

Crocs shoes, Lovable or Horrible? | Fashion Conscious

Oh, maybe about a dozen, give or take. I'm really not sure. I do know that more than half of those are Crocs, though!

(I need those green and turquoise pairs!)

17 Who do you go to for encouragement?

boop of encouragement | /r/wholesomememes | Wholesome Memes | Know Your Meme

It depends on what I need encouragement for. I have a team!

18 References you make that others don’t get.

Michael Scott Inside Joke GIF - MichaelScott InsideJoke TheOffice -  Discover & Share GIFs

Well, if I told you about them, you would get it, and then they wouldn't really be inside jokes anymore, right?

19 What are 10 things you consider essential for you?

08092020 Whats In My Bag

a Erin Condren Lifeplanner

b colorful Tul pens

c Versace prescription glasses

d Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

e Mint & Argan lip balm from Grove Collaborative (it's seriously the best)

f inhaler, definitely

g lotion, always gotta have lotion

h hairbrush, especially now that Sophia's making me grow it out long

i some kind of hard candy, because I go hypoglycemic fairly often

j jewelry - always have a necklace and hoops of some sort on at least!

20 Is there any accent you wish you had?

As an Aussie I have actually said this exact sentence before - FunSubstance  | Funny aussie, Australia funny, Funny australian

Australian. I tend to pick up accents and languages fairly easily, but I cannot for the life of me do an Australian accent. I just can't!

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Okay, I'm posting this really late because I was at the ER all morning, so no one will probably read it. But if ya did, thank you and have a great week!

Fin.

 


Saturday 9: When Love Goes Wrong, Nothing Goes Right

Marilyn Monroe Jane Russell red dresses with lots of thigh in ...

Heyyy, there. I don't know about you, but here in the US, we've been watching and/or participating in the many protests around the nation, precipitated by the murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd. It's been frustrating to me to once again be physically unable to join in person, where I feel I need to be. I don't want to be just a keyboard warrior. But as that is where I am able to be right now, so I must act.

I'll be compiling a list of links to read, to donate to, to act on, in the coming days. Whether you read it or not, please don't ignore this very important fight.

Let's get busy.

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Saturday 9: When Love Goes Wrong (Nothing Goes Right) 1953

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

1) This is from the movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Have you seen it?

Review: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes - Slant Magazine

In fact, I have not.

2) The lyrics tell us that, when love goes wrong, "a match won't light." When did you most recently light a match?

Zippo Flex Neck Utility Lighter | DudeIWantThat.com

Oh, recently enough, I'm sure, as our son and younger daughter both recently had birthdays. Matches suck, though, so I ended up buying this Zippo flex lighter for their cakes. Ah, much better.

3) The duet is performed at a French sidewalk cafe, where Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe are (literally) sharing a cup of coffee. With whom did you most recently have coffee?

Java Chip Frappuccino | Martin's Specialty Store Order Online ...

I don't really drink much coffee, much less with someone. When we lived in Miami, though, we discovered the girls and I shared a fondness for Starbucks Java Chip Frappuccinos, so now it's like, I'll go get a grande or vente one for me to "share" with them, and then often just hand it over with even taking a sip for myself. This holds true even though they like the way I have it made - with coconut or almond milk and other such subs.

4) The tune was written by prolific composer Hoagy Carmichael. He was influenced by his mother, who earned extra money for the family playing piano during silent movies. Who in your life influenced your career choices?

Interesting Facts About Charles Darwin Gregor Mendel: the 'father of genetics' | John Innes Centre

I can't say that anyone I've personally known influenced me to go into biology as a career. But I fell in love with the work of Gregor Mendel and Charles Darwin as I learned about them, and more than anyone, I'd say the two of them provided that influence.

5) Jane and Marilyn shared something beyond movie stardom. They were both married to Hall of Famers. Marilyn Monroe was married to Joe DiMaggio, who was inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame in 1955. Jane was married to quarterback Bob Waterfield, inducted into the football Hall of Fame in 1965. Which sport would you rather watch: baseball or football?

Breaking down the Miami Hurricanes' 2019 football schedule - South ...

It depends on who is playing, to be completely honest.

6) Jane and Bob Waterfield were high school sweethearts at Van Nuys High. The Southern California school was used as a set for the 1982 movie, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Tell us something about your high school.

Eagle News Online – Baker Class of '79 to host 40-year reunion Oct ...

Well, speaking to current events, I went to a very upper-class school in an excellent school district, and I graduated very near the top of my class. But it was not a diverse district, and I think I graduated with probably fewer than five minority students. I didn't even know that there were so many Black people in nearby Syracuse, New York, until I met someone from there. I was astounded. So I was very sheltered, very naïve. I think that has changed considerably.

7) Marilyn and Joe DiMaggio met on a blind date at a Hollywood restaurant called Villa Nova. Have you ever arranged a blind date? If so, did the couple hit it off and end up dating?

Love Is Blind' Reunion Revelations: Gigi and Damian Together, More

I don't remember setting up anyone else on a blind date, ever, even though I myself have been on several (and married one of those). Speaking of blind dates, I just finished binge-watching Netflix's Love is Blind when I needed a mental escape from the pain and heartbreak our chaotic nation is experiencing right now. What a continuous roller coaster!

8) In 1953, when Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was released, a tornado did severe damage to Waco, TX. Tell us about a major weather event that you endured (tornado, hurricane, flood, blizzard, heat wave, etc.).

Typhoon Pongsona Slams Guam - YouTube

Oh geez. I've been through several hurricanes, the Blizzard of '92 in Central New York, earthquakes, and so on - but the one natural disaster that really stands out to me is Supertyphoon Pongson'a, which hit Guam (where we were living) on December 8th, 2002. I was pregnant with the twins and also had a 15-month-old daughter. The supertyphoon, which was the worst on record at the time, didn't stop with just the storm. This really high-lighted what a third world island this US territory was and still is.

Super Typhoon Pongsona Guam | IMAGES OF PAST TYPHOONS | Guam ...

Not only was there no electricity, but the ports were all on fire and so gas was also extremely limited. We once stayed in a line of cars for 4+ hours (husband, pregnant wife, and tiny toddler) to try and fill up our car. We couldn't cook. We had no refrigeration. We had no ability to do laundry. We had to take ice-cold showers and baths. We were fortunate enough to be able to afford a generator eventually, but many were not. Electricity was not restored for months unless you were lucky enough to live on base. It was really a rough time, though we were some of the lucky ones.

9) Random question: You see a filthy puddle. Floating on top are cigarette butts, a leaf, and a $1 bill. Would you bend over and rescue the dollar?

3,600 seconds in an hour, that means if you don't make $36 per ...

Of course. I wouldn't waste a penny! And I'd probably through away those butts, too. Eww.

~*~*~*~*~

Arrighty, I'm watching Queer Eye Season 5 while I write my Paper Hugs, and so I must get back to it.

BlackLivesMatter

Fin.


Saturday 9: Battle Hymn Of The Republic

T.V. Variety Shows (Judy Garland)

Hey, guys. Welcome back! I hope you're all still healthy and semi-sane, at least. What more could you hope for?

I'm currently engrossed in the Netflix documentary "I Am A Killer," which has had me transfixed for several nights in a row, now. Have y'all seen it?

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

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: Battle Hymn of the Republic (1963)

Unfamiliar with Judy Garland's rendition of this week's tune? Hear it here.

Memorial Day is the federal holiday designated to honor American service people who died in battle. 

1) On May 30, 1868, President Grant presided over the Memorial Day observance at Arlington National Cemetery. Have you ever visited Arlington Cemetery?

11202004 Arlington Tomb of the Unknown

Yes. We went in November of 2004, when I was pregnant with our youngest child. It was a moving experience through and through.

2) On Memorial Day, it is customary to fly the flag at half-staff until noon and then raise it to the top of the staff until sunset. Will you be flying the flag at your home this weekend?

Gov. DeWine orders half-staff flags after Virginia Beach shooting

Probably. My husband was in the Honor Guard in the Navy, and that is totally his domain. I defer to him.

3) Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day, because flowers and ribbons were left on graves of soldiers.  Do you find solace in visiting cemeteries?

George Washington Memorial Park in Paramus, New Jersey - Find A ...

I don't, really. I feel deeply about death, and seeing and reading about all the names and dates of the folks buried there whom I haven't even met, alone, sometimes breaks me. This picture, here, is of George Washington Memorial Park in Paramus, New Jersey. My mother and grandparents are buried there. I started visiting my mother there in 1984, when I was seven years old. It was definitely not a moment of solace.

4) The lyrics to this week's song were written by Julia Ward Howe in 1861. Her inspiration was a White House visit with Abraham Lincoln. In 2020, under normal circumstances, public tours of the White House are available but you must request your ticket in advance from your Member of Congress (House or Senate). When you travel, do you plan your trip weeks before you go? Or do you decide how your days will unfold once you reach your destination?

Planned Spontaneity: Twitter's New Advertising Program

I'm definitely a whole lotta both!

5) Judy Garland performed this week's song before a live audience as a tribute to President Kennedy, who had been assassinated just weeks before. She knew Kennedy personally and considered this a farewell to a friend. While the performance was difficult for her -- at one point she flubs the lyrics -- she believed it was important, and could perhaps help the country heal. Tell us about a song that reminds you of someone you loved who is no longer with us.

This Josh Groban album came out in 2002 or so, before we moved to Guam or maybe while we were there, and I'm a big fan. So I played it a lot while I drove Chloë and me around the island to various errands and appointments, as my belly grew bigger and bigger with the twins. I continued playing it in Virginia when we had to move back. And then I had - and lost - one of the twins, and I was hospitalized along with them for a while. When I got out, I wanted to play it, but I couldn't. I was in grief therapy, which helped a great deal. But man... when I finally played this song again, I realized just how much I could cry during one song.

6) John F. Kennedy served in WWII and was awarded a Navy and Marine Corps medal and a Purple Heart. His brother Joe also served and was awarded the Navy Cross, but he received his citation posthumously, having died during a flying mission over East Suffolk, England. Here at Saturday 9, we consider everyone who serves a hero and want to hear about the veterans and active military members in your life.

  091976 Rob and Al

My grandfather served in the Navy in WWII. Pictured here are my father-in-law and my husband in September 1976 - around when I was being born, incidentally. Rob's dad was a submariner in the Navy, and of course Rob did a full career in the Navy.

7) Memorial Day is considered the beginning of the summer season. Will you be enjoying warm weather this weekend?

I mean, it'll be okay... But not my idea of warm!

8) Berries are especially popular in summer. Which is your favorite: strawberries, blueberries, blackberries or raspberries?

Oh, I'm like our youngest kiddo, Sophia, in that I'm a sucker for a strawberry! (I'll forgive you for not recognizing my hand from June 2014.)

9) If you could attend a Memorial Day picnic with any fictional character, which would you choose?

Anne of Green Gables (@anneofgreengabl) | Twitter

Oh, I'd love to sit down with Anne Shirley (of Green Gables). And I've wanted to visit Prince Edward Island my entire life!

~*~*~*~*~

Well, I'mma head back into another episode of "I Am a Killer" on Netflix again. It draws me in! And email. Back in with the forever emails...

Ta-ta.

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: The Queen's Meme

Hi everyone! Welcome back. I'm seriously not feeling well right now, so it's anyone's guess whether I'll be able to finish this post. Worth giving it a shot!

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

~*~*~*~*~


Stolen from The Queen's Meme

January usually has ample amounts of snowfall in parts of the world. Did you ever make snow cream as a kid?

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The only time I ever did was in my senior year of high school, when we made it one day in my AP Biology class (must have been right before Christmas break, or something). I've made it with my kids, too, while we were homeschooling.

January is one of the months with 31 days. What are you going to do with that extra day?

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I've never really considered that an extra day. That day is payday, so I'll be looking at the budget and checking off boxes that day, I guess.

What is your favorite magazine?

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Growing up, my grandmother had a stash of Reader's Digest back issues here, there, and everywhere. Eventually, I think I read them all during visits. I think I have the current issue on my night table right now. She also bought the Star, Enquirer, and I think a third tabloid every week, too, and People - all of which I also read when I was there. I still read People, but Martha Stewart Living is currently my favorite. I love her!
 
If you live to be 99 years old, what would you like your life to be like in that last decade??

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With Lyme, I really don't think I'll live that long. But if I do, I'd like my mental faculties to be intact, and I would like to be free of this constant, agonizing pain.

The great world of Wikipedia tells me that scientists claim 99% of all documented species are extinct. Which remaining species in the 1% category would you really like to see extinct?  And which species in the 99% category would you like to bring back?

Image result for the far side mammoth

I would love for ticks and mosquitos to be eradicated - but that would also be a bad thing (at least the skeeters). I would love to see a mammoth! (Also I had the The Far Side book this particular cartoon was in; and also, I had the weiner dog one. So funny!)

On January 14, 1986 motorists were required for the first time to wear seat belts? Do you always buckle up? Why or why not?

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Man, I remember when that changed. My father pitched a fit - and he still doesn't wear them! I always wear them, and if I'm driving, the car doesn't go until everyone is buckled up. Why? Because I appreciate their purpose and also the data that backs up the fact that they save lives.

Why did the cow jump over the moon?

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I don't know - to get to the other side?

Have you said anything in the last 24 hours that you regret?

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Not this time! Ask me tomorrow.
 
Have you ever written anything on your blog that you wish you could take back?

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No... There have been some interesting moments after a few things I've posted, but I wouldn't take any of it back. All of the past stuff has been mostly written and forgotten. When we lived in Miami and Chloë started reading it, she would exclaim over this or that that I wrote. It was fun reliving some things!

Are you the blabber or the blabbee? Tell us your most embarrassing blabbermouth moment.

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Oh, I'm definitely a blabbermouth with NO filter. I've had a ton of "oops, I shouldn't have said that" moments. Probably a lot of them happened with my mother-in-law. I've always been certain that our baby, Sophia, who looks just like me and nothing like Rob - unlike Chloë, Jack, and presumably Robby (Jack's identical twin) - has been suspected of having a different father by my in-laws. I've always wanted them to request a DNA test, because I KNOW he is the father. No one else could be. Once, on the phone with my MIL, I joked, "Just do a DNA test! I have no fears! Besides, she's the wrong color if she did have a different dad!" ...crickets...

How important is a cell phone in your life?

Image result for cell phone culture

Once upon a time, there were no cell phones... Yeah, I depend on it pretty hard. Right now my phone isn't holding a charge, and I can't get it above 8% or so. It's frustrating because most of what I do is on that phone! I've got to trade up PDQ, I guess.
 
A "cuisine" is typically influenced by and named after geographical regions and cultures. Pretend your blog is a country. What is the name of your cuisine?

Image result for Crazy Fusion

Crazy Fusion cuisine

You are the Blog Paparazzi! Which blogger's real photograph are you most interested in getting?

Janice and Susan

Hmm. Well, all of you, since we've been doing this thing together for so many years, but I think I've been following the blog 5 Minutes for Mom the absolute longest. I'm "friends" with Janice and Susan on Facebook, and Janice and I have chatted a few times. Maybe when we sail out of Vancouver, B.C. for our Alaskan cruise in September, she'll meet me at the airport for a selfie?!

Are you always on time or just a tad late?

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I'm usually early. Before I got married I was always very prompt. I still abhor being late. In the Navy (and I presume with every other branch of the military), being 15 minutes early is "on time," and being on time is considered late. So with that in mind, and having four kids in 3½ years, we learned to s.c.r.a.m.b.l.e. for appointments!!

Can you think of a time when you were late for something and it was REALLY a big deal?

Image result for teenage girl crying

Well, yeah. Lots of times. For choir, we obviously had to be at the school - or wherever our performance was - dressed and ready to go well before showtime. My stepmother made it a point to screw with me, trying to destroy everything in my life that was important to me. She screamed at me every single day for something - even things she had to invent if there was nothing she could see. On concert days, she screamed about three times as long, to make sure I not only walked in extremely late, but I'd be a mess from crying, and everyone was staring at me. And I hated attention.

If you were on your way to work and had five minutes to get there, would you stop in the road to rescue a crossing turtle?

Image result for gopher turtle Florida

Sure, and I have done this many times - especially in Tampa when I was on my way to one of my grad classes or teaching the lab.

When you are having a really good day, what usually makes it good?

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Hmm. Usually it's a productive day, with many things crossed off my to-do list. (By the way, here's the rest of that list, above; it's worth a read.) Maybe I got a nice compliment that carried me through the day. Or maybe a good package came in the mail. But productivity is pretty key!

What is the most annoying Christmas song?

Image result for Grandma got run over by a reindeer

Growing up, my dad always got a big kick out of "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer." Now I hate it.

You are Snow White. Which dwarf is your favorite and why?

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I hate to be cliché, but I think Dopey. He's sweet, and he tries really hard!

~*~*~*~*~

Well, y'all, speaking of productivity, I have a few things I'd like to do before my brain shuts down and tells me it's time for the first nap of the day.

I hope you're all having a great weekend!

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Love Me Some Questions Meme

Howdy do, neighbors. I've made it out of bed today, just before 1400, but that's not what counts. It took a lot of effort. If my bladder didn't make it imperative, I might still be in bed. But I digress.

First:

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I finished watching the Season 4 of Netflix's Queer Eye, and now I'm bereft as hell. I literally found myself looking through all the episodes from all the seasons, trying to see if I'd missed one. I hadn't. Boo! 😭😭

But moving along with life. Make sure you link up here if you're joining us this weekend!

~*~*~*~*~

These are from Love Me Some Surveys.

a. Has anyone ever made fun of your taste in music?

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Of course! His taste in music runs with the likes of Bob Dylan, right?

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And this is more my frequency. (Also, that was some shady shit, Whit.)

Ya dig?

b. Is anyone’s birthday coming up?

Enhance
Yep. This boy, Robert Allen O, will be 47 in six days!!! 😳🤭🎂🎂 Happy early birthday, baby!

20151231_211704
But that's not all! A week after that, the curly girlie on the left, Chloë Raine O, will be 18! 🎂🎂

I cannot even handle that, y'all! I just cannot.

But wait, there's more! Her mother, the lady on the right (that's me!) is turning 43 (ughhhh) one day later. (Why can no one ever remember it's 9/8/76? Easiest birth date ever, y'all!)

So yup. It's birthday season 'round here!

 c. Do you remember who you liked in grade eight?

Mike Amati

Yup. M was a cutie! He still is... but that picture there is 11 years old. Nowadays, what hair is left is mostly just stubble. Still a cutie. Whatever.

d. When was the last time you burned any part of your body?

20170112_000949

Y'all may remember? I blogged about it back then, in January 2017. I had never cooked a real steak in my life (because making cube steaks for the dogz in my single days totally does not count, you guys), and I have not eaten beef since August 1995. No plans to restart. But my boy likes steak, so for our 15th anniversary, I thought I'd make him a proper one.

It did not go the way I planned, the HOT! oil splattered, and I ended up in the ER instead. In fact, I went in by myself so he could eat his steak, because I refused to ruin his steak dinner any further. 🤣 No lie, mesdames.

Anyway, 2½ years later, right now, it looks like this:

Burned Arm

Honestly, and I would not lie to you for one moment: it did not hurt. It did not hurt one bit, and the scarring isn't bad, is it? Truth: I used a shit-ton of straight Young Living lavender oil on that burn, raw, open, and errrrythang. Like, the whooooole bottle. Because lavender is used in burn salves, and you know what? That shit worked. And then, when it was all closed up, I used Jafra Royal Jelly to heal the skin. 

Not bad. Not too bad at all. I'd do it again.

e. If I gave you ten dollars, what would you spend it on?

Image result for car driving gif

Gas. Seriously. I love our new house. Not gonna lie. Love, love, love our house. But all of my doctors are in Boise, so we're hurting for gas money constantly nowadays. Kinda sucks. Sometimes I have to cancel the week's worth of my appointments - and there are many - because there just isn't any gas to get out there. And then I get angry letters in the mail about my canceled appointments. Really?! Are you putting gas in my tank?

It's hard. I keep re-budgeting and re-budgeting, but when you're two disabled folks living on a retired enlisted veteran's pension... it's a challenge.

f. What are you most excited about right now?

2019-08-25 00.14.37

I'm excited to see what comes next for the adult version of Chloë. I know great things are in her future!

g. Does / did either of your parents serve in the military?

Image result for Coast Guard funny

My  p---y-@$$ sperm donor was in the CG for five or six minutes. He thought because he was "smart" (truth is, he only thinks he's smart, and this is from someone who actually is), he'd be able to get one of his superiors to set him up in OCS. Instead, he swabbed poop deck after poop deck and probably cried about it - literally - the whole time. How long was he in? One blink? Two blinks? Not long. Meanwhile, he tries to square up with my husband, who did 20 full years, some during wartime in the Middle East, in the Navy. And with my beloved grandfather (my mom's dad, mind you), who served in the Navy during WWII in Europe. And my uncle (mom's brother) who served in the Navy. And my FIL, who was a submariner in the Navy during the Cold War. You know? Dad. Ya weren't shit then. You aren't shit now. And ya ain't never gonna be shit.

h. Are you somewhat of a perfectionist?

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Oh, yeah. You could say that. It's taking me years, and it will continue to take many more, but I am trying to learn to accept good enough when that's all I need. It's hard going teaching Chloë this, as well.

f. Do you like sour candy?

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I don't mind it now and then, but I swear it's like one of the major food groups for my kiddos!

g. Are all nighters something you have grown used to?

Image result for burning the midnight oil funny

I have pretty erratic sleeping habits, so yeah, I've grown accustomed to it.

h. Do you usually wear sunglasses when you’re driving?

Image result for babies with sunglasses

I wear 'em whenever I need 'em.

i. Do you wear your shoes around the house?

Image result for No shoes in the house

Since I have virtually no immune system, and the next major infection could very well be my last, I try very hard to enforce our strict "no shoes" policy.

j. What clothes are you most comfortable in?

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What this woman has on, I could live in. Now I want it!

k. Are you good at painting nails?

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I have no special skills. My sister's a pro, though.

j. Smoothies or slushies?

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I'm impartial, as long as the slushy contains real fruit and, if must be, a non-sugar sweetener, or if the smoothie contains almond or coconut milk or similar dairy substitute. I'm not being picky. I'm just allergic to life!

~*~*~*~*~

Thanks for another fun questionnario, Bev! Hope you all have a great last week of August 2019. Maaaaaan, this year has flown by!

Fin.


Saturday 9: America, The Beautiful

Image result for frank sinatra singing gif

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

~*~*~*~*~

"America, the Beautiful"

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

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

Image result for easier doesn't mean better

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

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

Image result for jERSEY SHORE WAVES breaking gif

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.

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

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

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

Image result for fair skin sunburn funny

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

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

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

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

Saturday 9: Venus In Blue Jeans

Good morning, good day, good afternoon, & good evening, y'all! I know you guys may be all over the place (geographically and in time) when and if you read this, so I'm being as inclusive as I can. Y'know?

I have never heard of this song, nor of Jimmy Clanton, but I love Sat9, I love Crazy Sam and the gang, and it's a great way to start another crazy day in what has been a very busy and occasionally chaotic week! Link up here if you'd like to play along with us this week.

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: Venus in Blue Jeans (1962)

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

1) Like the dream girl described in this song, Sam is wearing jeans as she composes this Saturday 9. Is there a lot of denim in your wardrobe?

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No, because after four kids including a set of twins in the middle, I definitely have the kind of mom-jeans figure that mom jeans were created for, and I know I wouldn't look good.

2) Jimmy Clanton likens this girl to the Venus de Milo, the ancient Greek sculpture made of marble and now on display at the Louvre. Is there any marble in your home?

Image result for jar of marbles

I don't think so (I should probably know by now, eh?), unless you count the jar of marbles sitting right next to me.

3) He refers to his girl as "Mona Lisa with a pony tail." The Mona Lisa is also at the Louvre. What's the last museum you visited?

Idaho Military History Museum 005

It's been a while, because my illness keeps progressing. Geez, I think the last museum we visited was the Idaho Military History Museum, for a field trip I'd set up with some other Boise homeschooling families. Hubs was definitely in his element!

4) This girl is so awesome, she's the 8th Wonder of the World! Without looking it up, could you name the other 7?

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Nope. I don't even know if these are the seven you meant, since I thought the 7 Wonders where natural wonders of the world. I know there are some listed that way and some manmade ones, but anyway. I have seen the Colosseum in Rome, Italy, and near the Mexican pyramids. I'd love to see the rest, especially the Taj Mahal in India and the Great Wall of China.

5) Jimmy Clanton spent his entire professional life behind a microphone. After he quit selling records, he began spinning them as a DJ. Do you consider the sound of your voice one of your better qualities?

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It used to be, but repeated severe respiratory infections have ruined my voice. My girls have lovely singing voices, though, and Chloë actually wants to audition for The Voice someday.

6) At age 80, Mr. Clanton still performs. He averaged an appearance/month in 2018. Some of his fans were surprised that he has let his pompadour go completely white. Do you color your hair?

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Yeah, I do. I started coloring my hair auburn - at my roommate's urging - near the end of my first year in college. Rarely have I stopped, except while pregnant and breastfeeding. Recently I decided to dye it black for the second time. I've since grown tired of it and have tried dying it back to my natural (I think?!) medium brown, and bleaching it, and over-dyeing it with a dark auburn... but only my roots show any of these changes. I'm frustrated and ready (finally) to ask for professional advice. LOL!

7) In 1962, when this song was popular, Americans were reading about 5-year-old First Daughter, Caroline Kennedy, and her pony, Macaroni. Tell us about a pet you had when you were very young.

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In 5th grade, I had an orange-and-white pet rat named Barkley. The classroom next to ours had had a pregnant pet mama rat who birthed about a trillion (give or take) babies at the end of the school year. I persuaded my parents (miracle of miracles) to let me adopt one, get a cage and all that. I loved him! Barkley was wicked smart, too. I tried all kinds of things to keep him in his cage when I wasn't giving him free-roaming time, but he outwitted me every singled time! Barkley loved to chew rubber and ruined the buttons on several small gaming devices I had, along with several watch bands and probably more I'm forgetting. My favorite thing was putting him on my sleeping father's head or shoulder and watching him freak out when that woke him up!

8) Decades later, Caroline Kennedy was the first woman to serve as US Ambassador to Japan. Have you ever been to Asia?

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Not yet, but I want to! The closest I've come was living on Guam for four months over late 2002 and into 2003.

9) Random question: When talking among themselves, who do you think is more open and honest about sex -- men or women?

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Neither. It's Dr. Ruth. Just... Dr. Ruth.

~*~*~*~*~

That was fun! Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go rescue a cat who is meowing her heart out to be rescued from absolutely nothing but wanting people to wake up and give her attention (it's just 6 AM here). 

Image result for tiny waving pride flag gif Ciao, todos! Image result for tiny waving pride flag gif

Fin.


Saturday 9, Memoral Day Version: God Bless America

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Happy weekend, everybody! I hope you've all a wonderful weekend. I'm glad you've found your way here, but if you'd like to see what all the other Sat9ers posted, please go here, too.

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: God Bless America


Unfamiliar with Deanna Durbin's rendition of week's tune? Hear it here.

Memorial Day is the federal holiday designated to honor American service people who died in battle.

*

1) Memorial Day was introduced after the Civil War. Originally called Decoration Day, this is when memorials, as well as the graves of veterans, are to be decorated with flags and flowers on this day to show our appreciation. Is there a war memorial in your neighborhood?

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So, not exactly in our neighborhood, but modeled after the Vietnam Memorial in D.C., Boise has Veterans Memorial Park. We haven't been there yet, but we've been to M.K. Nature Center right near it. Maybe on Monday, that park is where you'll find us.
 
2) Andrew Johnson, our 17th President, was in office the first time Memorial/Decoration Day was celebrated. Have you ever met one of our 45 Presidents? 

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I have not. But I would not mind meeting President Obama, of any of them! Or Carter. I think I'd really hit it off with both of them. You know, once they got past my excessive chattiness and my neuroses!
 
3) According to the AAA, more than 30 million Americans will hit the road this weekend and drive more than 50 miles. Will you be traveling far from home this weekend? 

Josephine House
No, not really, because we're closing on this house on June 3rd. We really need to save our pennies for that!
 
4) Memorial Day kicks off the summer season. What's your favorite picnic food? 

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Well, you know what, I couldn't decide between a beautiful, fresh fruit salad, or sandwiches. In the end, I decided to go with some delightful vegetarian finger sandwiches. I love finger sandwiches. Reminds me of the times I had high tea aboard a Princess Cruise while going through the Panama Canal. After we move, I think I've got to elevate our picnic game.
 
5) As you answer these questions, is there an air conditioner or fan on? 

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I think either it's no to both, or the heat may be on low. I can't believe we're still using the heat when it's almost freakin' June! And I think there is still plenty of snow on the mountains. Why did you people let me move to Idaho?!!
 
6) Though she's belting out one of America's best loved patriotic songs, Deanna Durbin was born in Canada. Is there anyone in your family or circle of friends who wasn't born in the USA?
 
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I have friends from all over. Some from living in the multi-cultural epicenter, Miami, for both college and then again from 2013-2017 with my family. Some from being a military wife - although none we've kept in touch with from our four short months in Guam, I do have many from the Philippines and, of course, more places. And yes a few Canadian friends are in the mix, plus some from all over the States. This friend, here, is my girl Kristal from Trinidad and Tobago. We met in Geology class at the University of Miami, where I basically was a class clown and learned to taste rocks and minerals to see if they were a salt, like halite, or something else. (Meanwhile, in every other science class I've had, the rule was: Don't put anything in your mouth!) Kristal eventually came to nickname me "Comic Relief," because we never got a lot done together but always had a ton of laughs.
 
7) No longer a household name, Ms. Durbin was once one of the biggest stars in the country. One of her most popular films was 1937's One Hundred Men and a Girl, which was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. Recommend a movie that you really like, but don't think many Saturday 9ers have seen.
 
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Hmm. Have y'all seen Hidden Figures? Excellent movie. I took my daughters to see it in the theater in 2017, shortly before we moved here to Idaho, and it is one that imprints on the memory. Also, I've never seen The Help, though, but I just watched my first episode of the Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart collab (I forget what the show is called, but it's that cooking show, y'know?), and Octavia Spencer guested on it. Long story short, now I think I'm going to watch The Help on Amazon Prime. (Happy birthday, Octavia! You're the same age as my husband!)
 
8) Back in 1938, Deanna Durbin had her handprints cemented in front of the TCL Chinese Theater on Hollywood Blvd. Have you ever visited that Los Angeles tourist attraction?
 
Chloë with father and son Bone at iPOP
I have not. Yet. I've been in and out of L.A. a few times (above, in 2008, when my now-17yo daughter Chloë participated in an international acting convention and won several awards), and I've seen the Hollywood sign and the Walk of Fame... but I have not made it here yet. I always leave a "yet," because I decided as a young child that I wanted to visit everywhere in the world before I'm dead. Might have to live forever, though; it's a big world!
 
9) Random question: What food did you hate as a child, but enjoy now?

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Artichokes! Avocados. Beans. Oh, my, it looks like I could go through the whole alphabet with vegetables, here. (It's amazing I've been a vegetarian, or vegan, or pescetarian at least, for over 23 years, seeing as vegetables were not very important to our family when I was growing up!) I have three artichokes in the fridge right now - huge ones! - that have gone brown on the tips. I completely forgot about them, dammit. I'm considering giving one a go right now... but it's 6:18 AM here. Would you?

~*~*~*~*~

Thank you guys for stopping by. I love it when you do. Have a good weekend. A safe weekend. But most importantly, if you're American, please stop and remember those who fought and died while in the military while you're picnicking, swimming, and enjoying the unofficial start to Summer. ✌️

Red poppyFin.


Sunday Stealing: For The Love Of Surveys

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

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

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

What are your favorite articles of clothing?

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

The last CD you bought or downloaded?

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


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

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

5. What is your favorite kitchen appliance?

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

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

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

7. What is your favorite color?

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

8. Do you believe in the afterlife?

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

9. Your favorite children’s book?

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

10. Can you juggle?

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

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

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

12. Which do you prefer, sushi or hamburger?

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

13. What is your favorite flower?

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

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

14. What is your favorite meal?

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

15. Describe your ideal weather?

Weather meme

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

16. What is your favorite ice cream?

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

17. What is your favorite breakfast?

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

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

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

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

That was fun, Bev - thank you!

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

Fin.


Saturday 9: Young And Beautiful

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

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melanie 2

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

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


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

Karen Joyce Collage

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boys' 16th Birthday Collage

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

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

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

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

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

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Fin. 


Saturday 9: We're Gluing The Christmas Tree!

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Hey, y'all. Pretty interesting week here for me.

Long ago, after we first moved to Idaho in March 2017, I read that a lot of people with Lyme disease and autoimmune diseases - as I have both - find that their pain is the worst when there is a full moon. I have since found this to be true for me. But I have not kept track of the moon cycles or the rising tides since then... ;) I do keep track of my Good vs. Bad (and everywhere in between, including extremes) on Patients Like Me, and for the first time in eons, I've had three "good" days!! So I was thinking about that in the shower tonight, when I had a thought. "JACK!" I yelled to my son, the only other person home. I asked him to ask his phone ("Okay, Google...") what phase the moon is in right now. He told me it was the new moon. "I KNEW IT!" I shouted. So, there's that.

Link up here if you want to play along today.

Let's begin:

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: I'm Gonna Put Some Glue 'Round the Christmas Tree (So Santa Will Stick Around All Year) (1954)
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) This week's featured songstress, Peggy King, sings that she'd like to extend the Christmas season all year. How about you? Do you wish the season was longer? Shorter? Or do you think things are fine as they are?

I think things are definitely fine right now. Our tree is up, but it's a new artificial one, and the branches haven't been completely "floofed" yet, as I say. The girls have tried lighting it, but it's all a big fail. For Team Odette, Christmas decorations can't go up until Thanksgiving is OVER, and I like them down by New Year's Day.

2) She specifically mentions toys. Have you purchased/will you purchase any toys as holiday gifts this year?

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Well, since my kids are all teenagers, I thought we were kinda past the toy phase. But 13yo Sophia, who sold and/or gave away here entire (huge) Littlest Pet Shop collection in Miami, came to me recently and said she wanted to start collecting them again. Sheesh!! Kids! (She'll get a few.)

3) Search for "glue" on The Home Depot's website and you'll get more than 3,000 results. There's heavy-duty adhesives, all-purpose glue, clear epoxy, wood glue, and more. Do you currently have glue in your home? If yes, how many kinds?

We have about 50 Elmer's glue sticks, probably some Office Depot glue sticks, a couple bottles of regular Elmer's white glue, maybe some purple Elmer's glitter glue (crafty house, lol), some glue sticks (both big and small and for both warm and super-hot use), and several cans of spray adhesive. No "man glue," according to Rob.

4) What's the last thing you used glue for?

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Personally, I used the spray adhesive in Miami for some art projects the girls and I did for our homeschool, Sweet Pea Academy. But the girls use it all the time. I could've sworn we had Gorilla Glue, but Rob still says no. lol

5) This week's featured artist, Peggy King, was a TV staple in the 1950s. With her perpetually upbeat persona, she was known as "Pretty, Perky Peggy King." Do you consider yourself upbeat, aka "perky?"

I mean... I have diagnoses including rapid-cycling Bipolar I with Psychosis, PTSD, OCPD, and severe Anxiety Disorder. So, I'm nothing and everything all at once?

 6) Ms. King got her start singing radio jingles for Hunt's tomato sauce. Prepared tomato sauce, properly stored, can safely be kept in the refrigerator for days. Do you have any leftovers in your refrigerator right now?

Oh, gosh, yes. There are always leftovers in there. Speaking of which, I have to yell at Rob for not repackaging the two family-size things of chicken legs and several other packages of meat and freezing them. It's happened before that he's left them in the fridge too long, and they went bad. Gah!

7) Her biggest movie role was in Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955). Do you watch scary movies and shows all year around? Only at Halloween? Or not at all?

Not at all! I hate scary movies. My kids love them. They have to wait until I'm not home or sleeping to watch, though. ha!

8) In 1954, the year this record was released, President Eisenhower dedicated the Marine Corps. Iwo Jima Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, just outside of Washington DC. If you were to play tourist in our nation's capital, what site would you be certain to visit?

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When we lived in Virginia Beach, we visited Washington, D.C. multiple times. The first time I went, I was extremely pregnant with Sophia, and we did all kinds of touristy things. Chloë was 3½ years old, and Jack was 2, so they don't remember all that. My favorite thing was visiting Arlington National Cemetery, and the most meaningful moments there for me were when we sat for a while and watched the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Such incredible meaning goes into that whole monument.

9) Random question: Which of these common household items would you miss most if it suddenly went on the fritz -- your bedside lamp or your hair dryer?

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I don't even know the last time I've used the hair dryer. It's probably in the girls' bathroom right now. Of course, I don't have a bedside lamp right now, either. The above lamp, from Target, is in the living room currently. I have no night table, either. Hate it!

~*~*~*~*~

So that's it for tonight. I'm watching Bob from Bob's Burgers fight with Jimmy Pesto right now, so forgive my crappy answers. I'm distracted! Blame the kids again. ;)

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: What IS Normal, Anyway?

Hey, pals! So did I tell you my girls and I have started a new premium, eco-conscious candle company?

EWW MacIntosh Apple Pints Smaller

Well, here's a sneak preview of some of our offerings, but like I think I mentioned in Saturday 9 yesterday. we are so not yet ready to launch. The girls and I are sitting around now, assembling wicks, containers, carefully measuring wax and taking its temperature, etc. Mostly the girls are doing that part while I supervise, make the labels, source bee-friendly, wildflower seed-impregnated, plantable paper for the business cards we intend to order, and trying to figure out how to set up our various platforms. We have a Facebook page, our own website, and an Etsy shop, but so far I just haven't made a lot of progress on those. Lots more to do!

Therefore, I feel fully justified in taking a break to do Sunday Stealing right now. Ha! So link up here if you'd like to join us this week!

~*~*~*~*~

1. What is your favorite animal?
 
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Look. So I'm a biologist. And therefore, I reserve the right to have a favorite animal for land, sea and air. I will save the reasons for each for another time, so as not to bore you. Anyway, my favorite sea animal is the shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus).
 
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My favorite land animal is the majestic African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana). OMG, they're so beautiful I could cry.
 
 
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And, my favorite air animal is the endangered Mexican Long-Nosed Bat (Leptonycteris nivalis). They have a special place in my heart. ♥

2. Your dream vacation?
 
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So. This was a dream vacation I'd actually planned in my mind back in 2002, when newly-ish-wed Rob and I, and 13-month-old Chloë moved to Guam: Once I'd given birth to the twins I was carrying, we'd all fly "space-A" (space available, as in, if there's a seat on a military flight you get to go; if there's not, you don't) to Australia, dive the Great Barrier Reef, and wander around saying and eating weird shit. We'd fly space-A to South Korea, to Japan, to Thailand... everywhere. Then the twin pregnancy became too dangerous for us to continue living on Guam, and then Supertyphoon Pong'sona hit Guam, and ... none of that ever happened. We moved back to CONUS early in 2003. Fifteen-plus years later, I'm finally at a place where I'd honestly really like to go back and try again. Maybe.

3. Last person's house you were in?
 
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Last night, we were at the house of Celia, the leader of Chloë's knitting and sewing 4-H club.

4. Worst injury you've ever had?
 
Image result for burns from a grease fire
 
In August 1984, just four months after my mother died, about a month into my dad's new relationship with the woman I was already being forced to call "Mom" - although I call her "the bitch from hell" now - I was not quite eight years old. My dad and tbfh decided it would be a good idea if we all (including 7yo me, 9yo sister, 10yo soon-stepsister, and 12yo soon-stepsister) watched the movie Porky's II on either HBO or Cinemax. Great parenting all around, you see. Anyway, we all wanted pizza except my dad, so tbfh agreed to make him some fried chicken. Only, they got distracted by the soft-core porn we were watching and forgot to watch the stove, so a grease fire started in the kitchen. My numbnuts father decided, since we didn't have baking soda, to throw flour on the fire. That made it explode. He picked up the frying pan and carried it out to the garage to get it out of the house.
 
Only, his red mint condition 1971 Dodge Challenger convertible was out there, and it was too precious to risk getting damaged, so he turned around and came BACK into the house. Sister and younger stepsister had managed to get out of the way by that point, but older stepsister and I did not. The frying pan handle became too hot for my dad to continue to carry, and he dropped it, splashing burning hot grease all over both of us. Stepsister got attention for her burns because she was not a Christian Scientist, but since father, sister and I were in that f-ing cult, I did not get any attention for the burns scalding both of my legs. Rather, I was screamed at to be quiet and go outside. Stepsis was rushed to the emergency room, while I had to sit in the back of the car and muffle my crying. I still have the scars... Life was like that from then on, until I escaped to college.
 
5. Last play you saw?
 
Image result for the jungle book children's theater
 
Last year we went to a children's theater production of The Jungle Book. It was cute, but my kids have kind of grown up too much for that genre now. <sniff, sniff>

6. Ever go to camp?
 
 Image result for camp skimino
 
As a kid, I was sent for two weeks to the Christian Science camp, Crystal Lake Camp, in Pennsylvania, that same summer after my mom died. That's also not a great story. But more fun was Camp Skimino, the Girl Scout camp in Virginia where my girls and I went camping. Much better memories there!

7. Were you an honor roll student in school?
Image result for national honor societyImage result for who's who among american high school students 1993-1994Image result for advanced placementImage result for RSMAS logoImage result for SAT logoRelated imageRelated image Image result for beta beta beta biological honor society Image result for rho rho rho marine science honor societyImage result for GRE logo  Image result for Mensa logo
 
Yes, I was on the High Honor roll all through school and was inducted into the National Honor Society in high school, where I graduated 3rd in my class and appeared in the 1993-1994 Who's Who Among American High School Students book. I took five AP courses in high school (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Spanish, and Calculus), so I entered college dual-enrolled as both a sophomore and a doctoral student at the Rosenstiel School For Marine & Atmospheric Science, having fairly well aced the SAT. I made both the Dean's List and the President's List at the University of Miami. In college, I was inducted into Golden Key [Inter]National Honor Society, Beta Beta Beta National Biology Honor Society, and UM's Rho Rho Rho Marine Science Honor Society. I then aced the GRE and went directly into the Ph.D. program of my dreams. There, while at the University of South Florida in Tampa, I was accepted into Mensa, which I felt I needed to do to prove my own intelligence to myself, because for the first time in my life I was really being challenged and didn't feel all that intelligent at all. Anyway, all this is not to brag but rather to say, this is why I get so pissed off when medical doctors and other such types diminish the fact that though I am now "just a mom," I, too, possess a freaking brain. Gah.

8. What do you want to know about the future?
 
Related image
 
I want to know if I'm ever going to get to see my mother and my son again.

9. Are you wearing any perfume or cologne?
 
Image result for diffuser necklace
 
No, not really, but I am wearing some lemon essential oil in my diffuser necklace. Only mine says "Melanie" instead of "Olivia."

10. Are you due sometime this year for a doctor's visit?
 
Image result for spit take gif
 
Only about eleventy billion!

11. Where is your best friend?
 
Image may contain: 1 person, smiling
 
Absolutely, for sure, tonight on this 18th anniversary of the night Rob came down 11+ hours on a Greyhound bus to get down on one knee and ask me to marry him, just 16 days after meeting online, I can say unequivocally that it's this little hot shot ninja sailor man who is sitting right next to me. I love you, Rob!!! ♥

12. Do you have a tan?
 
Image result for brunette covered in freckles
 
Ha! Well, only if you connect all the many, many freckle dots that cover the outer portions of me.

13. What are you listening to right now?
 
 
Well, right now it's "Give Me One Reason" by Tracy Chapman. Before that it was "Wonderful Tonight" by, of course, Eric Clapton, and prior to that it was "If I Had a Million Dollars" by Barenaked Ladies. Now up is "Come Sail Away" by Styx, and after that will be "American Girl" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. It's an anniversary night, and 18 years seems like a super long time to both of us, so we're playing the songs of our brief two-month courtship. I love him so.

14. Do you collect anything?
 
Fishy
ell, for one, since Rob spent 20 years in the US Navy, and I am a marine biologist, we have a lot of different fish artifacts both big and small all around the house.

15. Who is the biggest gossiper you know?
 
Image result for shhh
 
Well, if I told you, wouldn't that make me one?

16. Last time you got stopped by a cop or pulled over?
 
Image result for hot male cops
 
I've had a few run-ins lately! In June, I got a speeding ticket. In July, at almost the exact same spot, I got a ticket for following too closely. In October, we were rear-ended in the rain, while I was stopped at a red light, and someone must have called the police because that became this big, whole "thing." And just tonight, Rob was pulled over for improper lane change. Sheesh. We need to quit.

17. What does your last text message say?
 
 
Scintillating conversation with my daughter, I know.

18. Do you like hot sauce?
 
Image result for funny hot sauce names
 
No, I do not. My husband does. And our son Jack does. I don't think the girls do. Funnily, our Chihuahua and Chi-mix both like jalapeños.

19. Do you need to do laundry?
 
Image result for funny vicious cycle
 
Duh.

20. What is your heritage?
 
Image result for Island of saba
 
I'm mostly German, English, and Hungarian. Lots of the family on my dad's side came to the U.S. via the small Caribbean Netherlands-owned island of Saba, which is where my paternal grandfather was born. We were all considered Pennsylvania Dutch. My children have some Bohemian (which is now considered Czech) from their paternal grandmother, and some Basque from their paternal grandfather. Basically we're a bunch of Caucasian mutts.
 
~*~*~*~*~
 
See ya soon!
 
Fin.

Sunday Stealing: 65 Questions, Part The First

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

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

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

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

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

6. When you looked in the mirror this morning what was the first thing you thought?
 
I thought, I wish I still looked like this from a couple two-three years ago:
 
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Instead of migraine- and pain-laden, allergic reaction-having this:
 
 
20180125_214009
Ugh. I look like absolute hell.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday/Sunday Mash-Up

Eggs

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

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

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

She Works Hard for the Money (1983) 

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guam-map-0

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

Image may contain: Bob Simmons, closeup

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

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

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

Image result for delicious cakes

I'm better at smaller desserts more like this:

Image result for beautiful petit fours

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

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

Image result for snore

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

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

Image result for Japan celebration

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

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

Image result for Restyle thrift store boise

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

Anyway.

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

Image result for temper tantrum gif

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

Name three exotic countries you would like to visit:

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

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

What do you think the secret to life is?

Image result for BE THE JOY

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

Best concert: 

Image result for bob dylan baseball concert norfolk virginia

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

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

Image result for maroon 5

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

Worst movie music soundtrack or score: 

Image result for shrug gif

My mind is a blank on this one.

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

Image result for wayfair logo

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

Who was your FIRST date?

Image result for first kiss

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

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

Do you still talk to your FIRST love?

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

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

What was your FIRST alcoholic drink?

Image result for shots of goldschlager

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

What was your FIRST job?

Image result for first job funny

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

What was your FIRST car?

Image result for 1991 ford escort wagon red

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

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

Image result for New Jersey

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

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

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

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

and this is my friend Ursula with her beautiful family:

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

And yes, I still talk to both.

Whose wedding did you attend the FIRST time?

Image result for little girl in pink bridesmaid dress

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

Tell us about your FIRST roommate.

Image result for rochester

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

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

Image result for coexist

 

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

Back of car

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

Image result for Latin

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

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

Nope, I married this dork:

Image may contain: 1 person

 He's so cheerful!

What were the first lessons you ever took and why? 

Image result for organ lessons

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

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

Front entry

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

P.S. 

Drawing

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

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Curious As A Cat

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

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

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

2) I wish I had enough money to ________.

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

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

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

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

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

5) Peanut or plain?

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

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

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

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

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This kind of hypocrisy

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

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

9) I wish I could see ________ because _________.

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

10) Tell us your favorite children's story.

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

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

12) Describe your perfect, rainy afternoon.

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

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

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

14) What parts of nature do you like best?

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

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

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

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Thanks for stopping by!

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Happy New Year

Hey, y'all! Welcome back. I'm thrilled to be back after missing the last few weeks due to illness. Glue me down, because hopefully I'll be sticking around for a while. Link up here if you want to play along this week. Let's go!

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End of Year Questions

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

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I moved out West! Rob and I packed up our three kids, two dogs, four cats, two gerbils, one guinea pig, and as much of our stuff that we could fit in the remainder of our little crossover SUV, and high-tailed it cross-country from Miami to Boise in four days. It was a crazy, amazing adventure and aside from a few misadventures, I think we kind of had the time of our lives!

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

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I always make New Year's Resolutions. However, I honestly don't remember now what I resolved for 2017, so I can't say whether I kept it or not. Probably some konmari decluttering, in which case... sort of. For 2018, I'm not making any resolutions. I just aim and hope to live a healthier life from here on out, much more so than the way I disastrously ended 2017!

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

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My friend got married and had a baby boy, named Aaron! Sadly for me, I left Miami before she gave birth, so I haven't met the little love. Domenica asked me to crochet or knit something for her baby, but I've been in so much pain and stuff, I haven't had the ability to do it, yet. I think this year, I resolve to knit and crochet more again. Gotta put all the good yarn I own to good use, right? I'll make her baby something to keep him warn soon, especially now that freezing iguanas are falling all over the sidewalk in South Florida.

My brilliant mind fails me now, so I can't remember who is pregnant at the moment. Oh, my friend Lisa Keeney is expect #6, I think. But I am positive I don't know anyone who adopted last year.

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

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I don't think anyone I know personally died last year? I hope I'm not forgetting somewhat, sheesh. As far as having a serious illness or injury, that would be me. I wrote all about it in my last post. If you care, I detailed that experience here. I know there are lots of typos in the post, but I'm just not in the mood to go fix them right now, sorry!

5. What places have you visited? 

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We were invited to hang out with new friends at Lucky Peak Reservoir here in Boise, Idaho. It was intensely beautiful, just like everywhere we've gone in Idaho. I can't wait to go back again this summer and see more of it. 

6. Any new pets? Lost a pet?

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We gained 12 chickens, but after a few runaways and a couple of deaths, we're down to half that.

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Chloë also adopted a new guinea pig buddy, Alex, for her first little guy, James. Those two are SO noisy!

7. What would you like to have next year that you lacked this year?

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I will continue my pursuit of this grand idea of Contentment, rather than Happiness. I am often content, but those moments are often overpowered by thoughts of "now what? what's next? what else?" and I want to learn to be satisfied with the right here and now.

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

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Probably January 20-21, 2017. Not-my-President Trump was inaugurated (ugh! puke! barf!) and my family and I all participated in the Women's March to protest. I made three pussyhats, for my girls and me, and I was proud to wear them and represent. 

9. What was your biggest achievement last year?

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We struggled a lot in Miami after Rob retired from the US Navy, and our financial picture changed drastically for the worse. It was really hard to find housing to rent here in Boise, from Miami, and I worked tirelessly for months to do so. Home after home after home slipped through our fingers due to the three-digit credit scores of ours that, frankly, aren't so pretty right now. But we're rebuilding, and I saw this home online right after it was listed. I jumped on it, and asked to speak the Lessor by phone, rather by email or text. He agreed and ended up talking on the phone to Rob when the time came, because I had to leave for some reason I now forget. Anyway, we landed the house, and it has been perfect for us. Such a blessing, and for it I am most grateful.

10. Did you get sick or injured?

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Oops, I already answered that in #4. Scroll up if you forgot?

11. What was the best thing you bought?

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We've had a very NERF Christmas here at Casa de Odette. Except for me, everyone received some NERF hyper-powered weapons (these things take lots of batteries now?!). We finally received all of our household goods from the Miami move on the Monday before Thanksgiving, and boxes and boxes were piled everywhere. While I was trying to work on unpacking and clearing the chaos out of our house (it's still here, by the way), the rest of Team Odette were busy ambushing each other with NERF wars. Micro-teams were built, alliances were formed, people were trying to wheedle each other's secrets out of me... these people were/are intense! And crazy. They all asked for more NERF weapons for Christmas, and Mum delivered. Even Hubs has been involved. It's been a daily thing. I'm not a fan of war and weapons and fighting and stuff, but this is actually good, silly fun. I don't participate - I can't participate, because of my Fibro or whatever - but I have to admit I enjoy this nonsense.

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

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Generally it goes to having experiences and creating memories. A large part of that is Sophia's showjumping lessons, which she used to do at Miami International Riding Club back in Florida, and now does at Wasatch Sport Horses here in Eagle, Idaho. I'm trying to get the other kids more involved in things, too, because it's important. Jack wants to go go-karting, so we'll do that again very soon, and Chloë wants to take self-defense classes (we are starting with a class at the local Krav Maga studio) and get involved in archery. All are coming up, but at a more relaxed pace then the frenetic one I've tried to keep up until now. 

13. What song will always remind you of last year?

I think both the songs "Woman" and "Praying" by the new-and-improved Kesha will be my girls' and my anthems for 2017. Jack doesn't really listen to music much (except for his obsession with the Imagine Dragons), and Rob listens more to Classic Rock than anything else. The girls seem to have captured my affinity for current Pop, and the three of us are all fairly decent singers. "Praying" really spoke to me, and "Woman," despite the cursing involved, really struck a cord with me increasingly independent 16-year-old Chloë and always independent 12-year-old Sophia. And me. I've been pretty much a wimp my whole life, but I have stood up for myself in 2017 in ways that I have never done before. Kinda proud of that.

14. What do you wish you would have done more of?

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I really wish my health had been strong enough to go hiking and exploring more in our new Idahome. I am going to build it up, slowly but surely, so that when warmer weather returns, I can do exactly that in 2018.

15. What do you wish you would have done less of?

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Getting sick, dammit! This shit is for the birds. Sirrusleh.

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

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We saw a number of movies - some I slept through - in the theater in 2017, but Despicable Me 3 and The Secret Life of Pets were my favorites. Yeah, yeah, we still watch a lot of movies geared more toward a younger audience, and I actually like those a lot. I like more adultish movies, too, but I'm a kid at heart and frequently love the animated ones just as much.

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

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I honestly didn't read any books last year. I read some of some books, but I didn't go from cover to cover on anything. Not proud of that. Used to be such a bookworm; what happened to me?! I'm still not making any resolutions, but I plan to change that abysmal record in 2018. ;)

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

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I turned 41 in September, and neither Rob nor I can remember what we did on or around that occasion. Must have have been a real big whoopty-doo.

19. What political or social issue stirred you the most? 

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The #MeToo movement was a pretty powerful one, obviously, both publicly and personally for me. It stirred up some things that have happened to me, which I've never dealt with. I now realize that I need to, because they're coming out and looking to be dealt with whether I want them to or not.

20. Who was the most interesting new person you met?

Our neighbor a few houses down on the cul-de-sac, Gladys, is pretty interesting. She's elderly, has more facial hair than my husband, talks herself blue in the face, is part Native American, converted to Mormonism, and is never at a loss for words for something interesting to say. I love her. It's hard not to stare at her beard (please, God, let me have the sense to pluck that shit if I get to be 75 and that happens to me), but I love her. She brings us treats now and then, has invited us to this luau and the Christmas party at her LDS church, is just an all-around good soul. 

21. Describe how a relationship changed.

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My relationship with Hubs and the kids is ever-evolving the longer we're all together, of course. Now that Chloë is 16, she's maturing and more and more, developing a mind of her own. Unlike me at that age, she is not afraid to stick up for herself when she feels like she's been wronged. I admire her for that, and I encourage her to do it when she has a valid point. We had a tough time when she had a major depressive episode in mid-November, but it brought us more closely together as a family. And we're already a close-knit family. I think she'll be just fine. I think we all will.

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

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Definitely not. I have moved my family from the East Coast to almost the West Coast. Life is completely different here; we risked everything for it, and it panned out. It was complete culture shock coming to Boise, Idaho, from Miami, Florida, but in a good way. I planned on not getting sick anymore, but as soon as I attempted to get a job and started working, boom! I got hit with Pneumonia #7 in a year's time. I've had two more and more severe cases of pneumonia since then, and I could have died from this latest bout from which I'm still recuperating. I've learned that my daughter and I are both immunoglobulin A deficient, and while most people with this somewhat common genetic defect (lol) are asymptomatic, Chloë and I get sick quickly, frequently, and seriously. I will need to get IgA infusions, and she may, too. I've been sick my whole life, and this is the year - I hope - that I figure out all the pieces of that puzzle. Oh, and ICYMI, I stood up for myself and set boundaries with my father - something I have never in my life done. I'm proud of that.

24. How have people around you changed?

Sophia and Bing

 We all change, everyone does, every year... or so I imagine. However, I feel like I ought to shine a light on 12-year-old Sophie for this one. As the baby of the family, she's really not used to being in charge of something or someone, and she has a habit of being, I don't know, a little passive when it comes to riding. That doesn't always work with the more strong-willed horses she's ridden, and in August 2016, she badly broke her wrist after her horse, Lacey, threw her when she dodged a jump. That led to over a year's break in riding, during with both she and I suffered from a lack of confidence when we finally found her current showjumping barn, Wasatch Sport Horses.

She's ridden a couple of strong-willed mares, Sunny and Daisy, up 'til today when she rode this beautiful boy, Bing. I didn't take her; Rob did, but Sophie described Bing as being "very jumpy," with a sly smile on her face. I talked to her, and she revealed he has quite the playful personality when being tacked up and down, too, like he has a secret song in his head! Anyway, my point is, she regained her confidence and got back on the horse's back this past Fall. She didn't let the broken wrist keep her down, and she has managed to figure out - with her coaches' help - how to show dominance over both mares in order to get them jumping and following her lead, not their own. Ultimately, she and Connie (her current coach) agree that Bing is a better fit at 17.1 hands high for those long legs of hers. And she fits well with his silly, "jumpy" personality. I hope she'll get a few more tries on Bing soon, and then we may consider leasing him for her to ride whenever she wants. I'm so proud of her!

25. What have you learned throughout the year?

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I've learned that I have boundaries and how to set them and stick with that. What? Who knew?!

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

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Nope, I didn't learn anything new that was crafty. No new techniques on the old ones, either, unless you count a new cast-on technique in knitting that I didn't know before. Maybe that counts. Chloë and I want to go take a glass-blowing class soon. I keep seeing Groupon deals come up for it here in town, but I haven't jumped on it yet. I think that'll happen this spring.

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

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Well, you know how I've been peddling JAFRA cosmetics for the past 20 years or so? (Well, now you do.) I started using Young Living Essential Oils at one of my BFF Shana's urging. I've gotten a lot of benefit from my YLEOs, so when they came out with the (admittedly pricey) line Savvy Minerals cosmetics, I eventually decided to come around and give it a try. Little by little, I've accumulated more Savvy Minerals items, and I've come to love them. So much so, in fact, that I have decided to end my two-decades-long relationship with JAFRA and focus my efforts (whatever little they may be) on Young Living. I have a shit ton of JAFRA makeup that I'm selling off little by little, in order to buy more Savvy Minerals. They're perfect. They feel so clean and healthy on my skin, and I know that Young Living doesn't sacrifice quality for profits.

As for hair, I'm growing it out and have been auditioning different hair colors in the brown-auburn ranges. Regarding wrinkles, not so much, but I am getting BOTOX for my migraines on the 23rd of this month. I'm pretty vain, so I don't mind dropping a pretty penny on my various and sundry creams and serums, but not so much so that I would get BOTOX to feed that vanity. I've been offered this migraine treatment more than once in the past, but I was so self-conscious about the idea that someone might think I'm using it for anti-aging purposes, I haven't gone forward with it. By this point in time, however, my various neurologists over the past 20+ years have tried every single headache/migraine medicine on the market, and nothing stops the daily onslaught. It's BOTOX time, y'all.

28. What are your hopes and dreams for the new year?  (Some suggestions: family, travel, work, lifestyle, hobbies, pets, appearance)

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I want to be cleared from this freakin' MRSA pneumonia that totally kicked my ass all around the block last month and now, and get and stay healthier. I want to be consistent with getting the healthcare I'm supposed to get, and not be procrastinating or postponing the things I haven't wanted to "bother" with because they just didn't seem so important at the time. I want to explore more of our new home state of Idaho, and hopefully get up into a road trip up North to Coeur d'Alene, into Canada and over West to Vancouver, B.C., and south into a Seattle, Washington, and then Portland, Oregon, before coming back East to Boise. I really hope this happens.

Chloë wants to visit Niagara Falls - on both sides of the border - so maybe we'll attempt that trip, too. The childrens' passports will need to be obtained, clearly! I want to pick up my knitting habit again and learn more techniques such as entrelac. I'd like for Rob to finish building our chicken habitat - an injury to his hand caused a setback, and then snow fell, and, well, it sits incomplete in our backyard at the mo' - so we can double our six-pack of chicky babies by Summer. And I'd like to shed at least 30 of the pounds I've put on in the past two years, thanks to medication changes and complications with my 9-year-old gastric bypass procedure. Lots to look forward to!

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Welp, that's mah post, you guys. Hope you enjoyed! Or at least stayed awake... ;)


Sunday Stealing: Crush Meme

Hi again! Link up here if you're playing along this weekend.

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What do you find hilarious, but most people don’t find funny?

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Potty humor

2. What was the best year of your life so far?

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Probably 2001, since that's when this crazy family began!

3. What’s your favorite thing to do on the Internet?

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I go from window to window to window... not true multi-tasking, since I don't believe that's truly a thing, but close enough!

4. What fad have you held on to even tho it isn’t popular any more?

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I try not to give into fads much, so I don't know of any?

5. What do you spend most of your time doing?

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Hubs calls me the nucleus of the family, so I guess I spend most of my time nucleating!

6. What do you spend way too much money on?

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Um, I have three teen-aged children. FOOD.

7. What event, large or small, has changed the course of your life most?

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Losing my mom at the age of 7

8. Whom do you have a hard time taking seriously?

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This guy

9. What do you judge people for most often?

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Voting for this guy - if they did...

10. What was the most beautiful view you have ever experienced?

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I've seen some pretty stuff in my life, but Tumon Bay, Guam, where we stayed in 2002, ranked high up there!

11. What is something you read or heard that has stuck with you for a long time?

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I have long been a proponent of saving the Earth's various ecologies... but especially the rainforests. So in college, when I learned that Americans are the primary consumers of the beef and other livestock that the rainforests are being destroyed to raise, I quit eating meat then and there. That was in 2005.

12. What’s your favorite thing to shop for?  Why?

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Y'all know I love my yarns. I could shop for yarn every day of my life and never get tired of it!

13. What’s the best compliment someone can receive?

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I think it varies for each person. For me personally, I think it would be that my kids have turned out to be great human beings. Let's hope!

14. What’s something people go on and on about and you just can’t stand sitting through?

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I'm just not into finance or insurance stuff - I really don't have the head for it, and I'm okay with that - so when people talk about it, my eyes gloss over and I tune out immediately.

15. What’s something you can do that most people can’t?

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I have genuine Bipolar I Disorder - the kind with honest-to-goodness, REAL mania - not the kind far too many people insensitively joke that they or someone they know have, so I can spend all night cooking and baking everything in the house and then completely function the next day... and repeat! (Or whatever my craze of the moment is)

16. When was the last time you tried to look cool and ended in embarrassment?

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I could never pull off trying to look cool, so I don't even bother!

17. What is the most ridiculous rule you have to follow?

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Well, just the societal norms, now... but shortly after we were married, again on Guam, I took our pets to the Air Force base vet. Well, something (I don't remember what) went wrong, and I was pissed and acted like it. Shortly after that, both my husband (mostly him) and I were reprimanded for my bad behavior. It was then that I learned that as a Navy wife, my actions reflected completely on him, and I had to learn to control my outbursts. Heh. I'm pretty good at outbursts, y'all. (Goes with the aforementioned Bipolar...)

18. What country do you not know the location of, even though you should?

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I honestly have no earthly idea where Tahiti or Bora Bora are.

19. What do you have a hard time with but most people find quite easy?

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I have the hardest time getting coherent thoughts out of my brain and off my tongue. I just cannot speak well. I think the part of my brain that controls speech melted, or something...

20. What’s the most impressive skill you have?

I guess I knit and crochet pretty well. I should probably do some more of it!

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That's the end. Thanks for stopping by!

Fin.


Saturday 9: Brokenhearted

Hey, everyone! I'm late, but better late than never, amirite?

Link up here if you want to play along with this weekend's quiz.

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Saturday 9: Brokenhearted (2012)

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

1) This song is about a girl who is eager and anxious for her new lover to call. Do you owe anyone a call? An email? A text?

I owe my sister a call. At least, to her thinking, I am about a thousand calls behind. What she doesn't understand (and really, nor do I), is that I have extreme telephone anxiety these days. Unless it's me calling to bitch at my husband for not answering my multiple texts - which usually means he's fallen asleep and I'm stuck somewhere waiting on him - I don't call people or answer my phone. Sorry, Sis, but it's nothing personal. The only calls I make these days are usually to schedule one of multiple doctors' appointments.

2) The lyrics are peppered with the informal English exclamation, "cheerio!" What pops into your head when you close your eyes and think of England?

In my mind, when I think of England, three scenes pop into my head. First is this:

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Big Ben and a double-decker bus, in quintessential London architectural scenery; next is this:

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The changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace; and finally, this:

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English cottage gardens. However, when I think of the English people, this scene is forever etched in my mind:

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Princes William, Harry, and Charles at Princess Diana's funeral:*(

3) This week's artist, Karmin, is a husband/wife duo who met at college, and that meeting changed the course of their lives and careers. Think of someone who has had a huge impact on your life. Did you know, as soon as you met, that this was going to be a life-changing relationship?

Well, of course I first thing of my husband of 16+ years, Robert. We first met via an online dating site another friend of mine Victor, talked me into joining against my strongest desires. I had just violently (and painfully) come out of a long-term relationship and was not looking to jump into another one. So I finally agreed to Victor's relentless pestering to post an "ad" on the site, but I listed all of my faults and shortcomings on the post. Rob apparently thought this was hilarious and adorable, and so he coughed up the $40 or so to respond to my ad. I received his response via email, and after I read that first email, I thought to myself, "I'm going to marry this guy!" And two months later, we eloped! I was 24 then, and he was 28 and eight years into a 20-year US Navy career. ♥

4) Though she sings about consuming tequila, the female side of Karmin, Amy, is a big proponent of healthy eating. She recommends organic foods that are free of pesticides, hormones, food coloring and added sugar. Think about your most recent meal. Was it a good example of "healthy eating?"

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Oh yes! It's not exactly gluten-free, which is what I need, but I needed some carbs, man! I put some slivers of cheddar cheese, very fresh, ripe avocado, organic, locally-grown sprouts, and locally-produced tabbouleh on a whole wheat pita for Hubs and me. The kids wouldn't eat it - their loss - but the Mister and I chowed down. It was delish!

5) Husband Nick has his own Twitter account (@NickKarmin), but he doesn't use it often. His last tweet was back in August. What's the last thing you posted to social media? (No, your blog doesn't count.)

I tweeted this a few hours ago:

Tweet

6) Karmin performed "Brokenhearted" live on Dancing With the Stars. DWTS is very big business for ABC-TV. So many people vote for their favorite couples each week that their phone and text systems often overload. Have you ever voted for a contestant on American Idol, DWTS, The Voice, etc.?

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Way back in the day, at least a dozen years ago I think, I believe I called in my support for Clay Aiken on American Idol. He lost to Ruben Studdard. I think that was about the end of it for me. (Clay was robbed!!!) ;)

7)  In 2012, the year"Brokenhearted" was popular, the average cost for a gallon of gas was $3.91. In 2016, it had dropped to $2.40. When it's time to fill up your tank, do you shop around for the lowest price/gal.? Are you brand loyal and always return to the same station, regardless of price? Or do you just buy gas from the nearest station when you're running low?

I usually go to either the closest Racetrac, which is right down the road, or the Mobil just a block further. Both have about equal prices, which are the lowest in my area despite being right off the Florida Turnpike (Exit 2 for you Google Mappers out there). ;) If I'm paying cash, I go to Racetrac and use the loyalty app for points on my phone. If I'm paying with my PayPal or other debit card, I go to the Mobil so I can use my Plenti card and rack up points toward a couple bucks or so off another fill-up there, later. I'm all about those points, baby!

8) In 2012, the Space Shuttle Endeavor was retired and placed on permanent display at the California Science Center, a Los Angeles museum dedicated to encouraging excitement and enthusiasm about air and space travel. Let's say you had a long weekend to spend in Los Angeles. Would you go out of your way to see The Endeavor? What else would you like to do during your time in the City of Angels?

I was in Los Angeles with this cutie, my daughter Chloë, back in January, 2008. So that was, what, nine years ago now? I guess she would have been six years old there. She was competing as an actress in several categories, including Monologue, Dialogue, and I forget what else, as well as modeling on the runway. She was so nervous on the first day of performing, that she was getting sick with nerves and ended up dehydrated and in the emergency room for fluids. My poor dear! But amazingly enough, those nerves turned to steel the next day, and she went in and performed her heart out. This girl took home about 11 awards that trip and has acted and modeled in several commercial and national roles. I was so proud of her then, and I'm proud of her now. She's going to get back into acting, after a four-year hiatus, when we move to Idaho.

9) While we're thinking about aviation, statistics show that it's still a predominantly male field, and less than 10% of commercial pilots are women. Would you be nervous flying with a woman pilot?

Not at all. In fact, I'd love to do it myself! My son Jack wants to get his pilot's license. That's another thing I'm going to look into after the move. These kids are growing up on me!

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Well, that was another fun questionnaire, thanks to our lovely Sam. Hope you comment, and I'll return to your posts later this evening or else tomorrow afternoon, when I'm able.

Thanks for stopping by!

Fin.


All Gave Some; Some Gave All

Memorial-Day-

I'm just going to put the words my husband, 20-year veteran of the United States Navy, posted on Facebook regarding Memorial Day, for food for thought:

Rob Odette: "'On behalf of the Secretary of the Navy, and a grateful nation, I present this flag in honor of your loved one's dedicated service.'

"I've said those words maybe twenty or thirty times. I folded many flags before I presented the first flag. When I noticed an obviously distressed woman in her early thirties, I asked the funeral director if that was the deceased's widow, his next-of-kin, the normal recipient of the flag. He said it was, but the man who's remains we were laying to rest had made a special request that his flag was to be presented to his son, a boy about twelve years old. My first time presenting was to be to a child who no longer had a father.

"The last time I presented was to a WWII Veteran's widow, an old woman in a wheelchair who clutched my hands while I presented the flag and wouldn't let go. She just kept wailing 'Thank you! Thank you so much! God bless you!' before I could pull away as gently as I could to render a final salute. It was the greatest honor I had in my twenty years of service, and the duty I will remember the most vividly.

"Please have a burger and a beer. Please enjoy your weekend, but please pause for just a moment and remember the fallen this weekend."

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Easter Meme

Happy Easter!! Link up here if you're playing along today!

Easter Meme

Stolen from: The Archives
 
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1. Five Things I have A Passion For (not necessarily in any order): 

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a. My children

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b. My husband and our marriage (you're welcome for the gratuitous additions of Chloë & Otto)

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c. Food: cooking, baking, eating...

Knit & Crochet

d. Fiber arts: all things yarny, knitty, and as I did here, crochet-y ;)

e. Environmentalism

2. Five Things I'd like to Learn Before I Die: 

a. Another language, aside from English and Spanish

b. How to spin my own yarn from raw fibers

c. Patience in all things

d. Giving up being a control freak

e. The secret to successfully growing plants - I have the blackest thumbs ever!

3. Five Things I say A Lot: 

a. "WTF?!" or "I don't know WTF you're talking about," often to Hubs, who speaks in esoteric military terms after serving 20 years in the US Navy! ;)

b. "LOL." As in, I actually say it like, "lollll." It amuses me to see my teen and tween kids roll their eyes when I do that.

c. Be "nice, kind, sweet, and loving!" is the mantra I preach to my kids, having tried over the years to instill the practice of the Golden Rule in them.

d. "Whatever." Just, whatever, dude.

e. "I love you." I say it all the time, to my kids and Hubs. ALL. The. Time.

4. Five Books and/or magazines I have Read Lately (we'll go with magazines, since books are a far reach for me lately): 

a. Martha Stewart Living magazine is my favorite!!!

b. Family Fun, which I used to devour as readily as Martha Stewart's mag; I do it a little less so now that the kids are older...

c. I really like Prevention; it's easy to read, with lots of short little blurbs that I find helpful in my daily life.

d. Reader's Digest has been my old standby favorite since I found dozens of issues in my grandparents' condo as a wee lassie.

e. People is my semi-guilty pleasure, though I haven't made as much time for it lately.

5. Five Favorite Movies: 

a. Grease, tied for first with:

b. Dirty Dancing

c. Finding Nemo, because I am sooo Dory; I cannot wait until Finding Dory comes out! I am SO there.

d. Ferris Bueller's Day Off is always a fun one.

e. I loooove Steel Magnolias.

6. Five Places I would like to Travel To:

a. Australia

b. Japan

c. Venezuela... and really, all over South America

d. Hawaii, since all I've seen of it is the Honolulu airport

e. The Galapagos Islands

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Well, that was fun. I hope you enjoyed the visuals!

Fin.


Throwback Thursday: 15 Years Hence #TBT

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The other day, Rob told me that he considers the time from our engagement on December 8th, 2000, through our elopement on January 2, 2001, and beyond to our second wedding on the beach on February 17th of that same year, to be our whole "anniversary season." I thought that was rather sweet. So... my throwback for today is of him in his working blues (now US Navy, Retired) shortly after our marriage. It was difficult for me to call the uniform that, though, as these are clearly black! And back and forth we would go...

What are you thinking back to, today?

Fin.


Saturday 9: Sleigh Ride

Playing along this weekend? Link up here to join the rest of the Saturday 9ers! It won't hurt a bit...

Saturday 9: Sleigh Ride (1993)

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

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1) Have you ever ridden in a sleigh?

A sled, yes; an actual sleigh, no... not yet.

2) This recording is from Harry Connick Jr.'s best-selling CD, When My Heart Finds Christmas. This year, did you add any new holiday songs to your personal collection?

I did! I added Kelly Clarkson's 2013 Christmas-themed album, Wrapped in Red. I love it! I love her. Beautiful voice.

3) Harry was born and raised in New Orleans, a city that seldom sees snow. Have you had enough snow to shovel so far this winter?

I hear it has been pretty mild in northern parts of the US this winter, so maybe thanks to El Niño, everyone will answer "no." It has not snowed in Miami since the mid-70s, and I was there then. Well, okay, I was visiting in Fort Lauderdale at the time, but I was down here and remember the snow! If we did get snow this winter, it would certainly be major (bad) news.

4) Speaking of weather, Harry hosted a mini-series on The Weather Channel called 100 Biggest Weather Moments. Do you frequently check The Weather Channel?

Uhhh, oops! Nope, but I do have the app sending me constant "It's going to rain in 3 minutes" warnings. Which is pretty stupid, being that it rains every three minutes here, but at the same time it amuses me. And so I keep the app notifications going...

5) Harry's mother was a very impressive woman - a lawyer, judge and Louisiana Supreme Court justice. Tell us about someone in your family of whom you're very proud.

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I'm proud of my husband, Robert. He spent his entire younger adult working life - 20 years - serving in the United States Navy, getting married and raising an oft-challenging little family, and then retiring only to get the worst retirement gift ever: a brain tumor that had to be surgically removed. His recovery progress has been slow at times and faster at others, but he has not ever given up. He's amazing to me, and today we celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary together. I love him!

6) Happy New Year! Now that Christmas is over, are you done with holiday music and decorations? Or are you sad to see the holidays end?

I am ready to move forward. That's done; let's GO, 2016!

7) The New Year's Eve fireworks celebration in Sydney, Australia is famous for coordinating pyrotechnics and music. Have you ever welcomed the New Year in another country?

No, but Chloë wants to visit Paris sometime soon. Maybe this is the way to do it, so thanks for the idea!

8)  Do you have any New Year's Resolutions for 2016?

YES. I kind of make them up as I go, actually. I mean, a resolution I made yesterday may not be relevant in a month. And something that wasn't relevant to me a month ago may be crucial stuff to me right now. So I make, keep, quit, or change them as necessary. One that I am adopting for 2016 is decluttering the Konmari way. I hope it works for us - and sticks!

9) Looking back on 2015, what surprised you?

All throughout my 30s, I hoped to stop caring so much what other people think of me. For 39 years, I have put way too much emphasis in my mind on peoples' words, opinions, and judgments about me. Now that I'll be turning 40 later this year, I carried into New Year's Eve a sudden new change in perspective. It may have taken until the last quarter of the last day of the 2015, but I have decided that you know what? I just don't give a damn anymore. The only people whose opinions of me matter live in this house. And it feels so GOOD!

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Thanks for stopping by!

Fin.

 


Sunday Stealing: Would You Rather Meme

Are you stealing today, too? If you want to join in with us, the link is here!

Cheers to all of us thieves!!!  

Would You Rather Meme

Stolen from: Would Your Rather

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Would you rather be stuck on an island alone or with someone who talks incessantly?

I am that person, and I drive myself crazy. I would rather be alone if the other person talks as much as I do!

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Would you rather be too hot or too cold? 

I'm rarely warm enough, thanks to my internal thermostat being broken after my Gastric Bypass Surgery in '09. I would SO much rather be too warm, but alas, I am always, always cold.

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Would you rather have a cook or a maid? 

I love to cook, but I hate to clean. That maid is a no-brainer!

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Would you rather be the youngest or the oldest sibling?

I don't know. I am the youngest of two, four, or five, depending on how you count the offspring from my childhood. I feel like I wish I was the oldest, because I have no backbone whatsoever, and I can be selfish and petty and spoiled like a baby. But, I am what I am, and it can't be changed other than to address it head-on! (Which I do try.)

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Would you rather get rich through hard work or through winning the lottery? 

Gotta play to win it big, and I don't play.

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Would you rather have a 10-hour dinner with a headstrong politician from an opposing party, or attend a 10-hour concert for a music group you detest?

What, like Donald Trump? Or Ben Carson? Or Marco Rubio? Or the league of other guys - and Carly Fiorina - vying to become POTUS? I couldn't handle a 2-hour dinner, let alone ten of them. No, I'd rather go to a country music concert or something else I detest. #DontGetMeStarted

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Would you rather be an Olympic gold medalist or a Nobel Peace Prize winner?

I would obviously rather win the Nobel Peace Prize. I would have done something good for humanity. Being an Olympian - gold or otherwise - does not preclude that, but it doesn't guarantee it, either.

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Would you rather have a desk job or an outdoor job?

I have had both. The desk job, for me, was a snooze-fest all day, every day, week in and week out. No, I need to be out in the field, communing with nature, breathing in fresh air... ahh. Yes.

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Would you rather live at the top of a tall NYC apartment building or at the top of a mountain?

I must be a stay-home mom (I am), because my first thought was, "Either way, think of the groceries I'll have to lug up there!" Ha! Living in NYC for a year is on my Bucket List; living at the top of a mountain is not, so I'll go with the Big Apple.

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Would you rather have Rambo or The Terminator on your side?

I don't really know enough about either one; not my genre. I can't comment on it. Sorreh!

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Would you rather be proposed to in private or in front of family and friends? 

I was proposed to privately, and it was exactly the way it should have been - for me. And then we eloped and, to get married in front of family and friends and God, we had a small, calm, quiet wedding on the beach. I wore a $17 slip nightgown from Kmart and was barefoot; hubs wore his Navy dress blues. I had an inexpensive grocery store bouquet, and my friends sang and played guitar for the music. It was very tasteful, very small, and very us. I loved it. I would not have wanted it any other way.

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Would you rather have to sew all your clothes or grow your own food?

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 I'm a beginner at both, but I love both ideas. I could knit much of our clothes better than sew, and I'm not the best gardener, but I find both ideas very appealing. This photo shows what I just picked up yesterday from the farm that hosts our local CSA. We joined our first one this year, and I'm SO excited! I used a bit of the mizuna and some of the garlic chives to make homemade sauce last night, and it was outstanding!

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 Would you rather hear the good news or the bad news first?

I would rather hear whichever one is the bottom line last, so that I can act appropriately.

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Would you rather be your own boss or work for someone else?

Wouldn't everyone rather be their own boss? Actually, I don't mind working for someone else, as long as the job is right. It's a bit of a trade-off for me.

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Would you rather have nosy neighbors or noisy neighbors? 

I would rather have noisy neighbors, which we do, over nosy ones, which we also do. Both are annoying, but at least the noisy ones leave us the hell alone! Gahhh, I can't wait until we move...

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Would you rather be on a survival reality show or dating game show?

I don't know... I think I'd rather be on Survivor, because at least I will have gone somewhere really cool and not lived out my dating drama publicly.

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Would you rather be too busy or be bored?

Only boring people get bored. I am never bored. I am often too busy, but I definitely prefer that over being bored. I can't remember the last time I wasn't actively - or even passively - doing something.

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 Would you rather watch the big game at home or live at the stadium?

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 I'd rather be there, where the action is! We went to our (U. Miami) homecoming game this year, and we won! That was epic. (Sorry, Country Dew...)

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Would you rather spend the day with your favorite athlete or you favorite movie star?

You're offering me Matt Damon or...what again?? ::drool::

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Would you rather live where it is constantly winter or where it is constantly summer?

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I took this picture earlier this month. I have lived in Syracuse, New York, and I have lived in Miami in the past. I only went back to Miami. It's a no-brainer for me!

Thanks for stopping by!

Fin.