Welcome back, kids of all ages! This week I'm coming at you from Salisbury, Maryland, in complete confusion about where I am and where I actually belong. This isn't a bad thing. It's that necessary reset that happens whenever we find ourselves in new surroundings that are at once familiar and completely unknown.
So because of the crazy of the last few days (my girls and I flew in on Wednesday), I totally forgot it was Friday and there were questions to answer. Must get into it. Link up here to play along this week!
1) This is the theme from Mike and Molly, a TV show that ran from 2010 to 2016. Were you a fan?
I wasn't a fan; I wasn't a non-fan. It was the kind of show I call "filler," something I watched if nothing else was on.
2) Molly was played by Melissa McCarthy. Today she's one of Hollywood's best-paid actresses, but when she began her career, she was barely scraping by. She recently recalled the time when, as a struggling actress, she was rejected at the ATM because it only gave out $20s and she didn't have even that much in her checking account. How often do you visit the ATM? Several times a week? Several times a month? Never?
It's probably been close to a year and a half since I've gone to an ATM, but it was monthly or so before that.
3) When she was broke, Melissa couldn't afford blueberries and avocados. Now she savors them. When you're a few bucks ahead, what do you splurge on?
We're not that different. Even my daughters agreed, "food," when I asked them what we splurge on if we can. That may be when I get organic produce, concentrating especially on EWG's Dirty Dozen.
**** INTERMISSION while I fall asleep and then forget I didn't finish this until 2:42 PM EST (oops!) ****
4) Mike was played by Billy Gardell. He was working at a comedy club, cleaning the bathrooms and answering the phone. He used to crack jokes with other employees and finally one of his coworkers dared him to go onstage on "open mic night." A comedy career was born. Tell us about someone who pushed you to make the right move.
Honestly, there aren't many such instances. Maybe people realize that I'm just going to do what I want to do no matter what they say? I don't know. But the one push I needed, after multiple attempts to cut my dad out of my life over the years, came from the man himself. He said, on Facebook, "Oh, just leave me alone!" and I haven't talked to him for a year and a half. It feels great. I don't miss him. WE don't miss him. And we definitely don't need him.
5) On the show, Mike's best friend was his fellow officer, Carl McMillan. Carl was not especially motivated and still lived with his grandmother, well into his 30s. How old were you when you moved out of the house for good?
I was 17 when I finally escaped the hellish torture chamber that was my house in Baldwinsville, New York, for good. I graduated high school one day and moved out of New York the next.
6) Mike's and Molly's mothers are different as night and day and frequently did not get along. Have you ever had in-law trouble?
Things have not always been easy.
7) This week's song was written by Keb Mo. He switches among several different guitars when he works -- electric, acoustic and resonator. Can you play guitar?
No way. I wish!
8) In 2010, when this show premiered, Apple introduced the iPad. Do you use a tablet?
No. I really don't feel the need. I have my celly (Samsung S20 Ultra), my desktop, and now I have a laptop (ASUS VivoBook). The kids each have a Samsung tablet, though. We defected from Apple a while ago.
9) This week's random question gives you an opportunity to brag: What's something you do better than most people?
Oh, I don't know that I could say I do anything better than anybody, but I'm not bad with sticks and string, and I'm a pretty good "hooker," too. I'm trying to get my mojo back. I've been saying that for a while...
Okay. I've been coughing pretty badly lately, but I've got to try to get up and get out of this hotel today. No promises, children (mine, not you guys).
For this week's thievery, Bev went to Upstreamlife to get our questions asked and answered. Looks like fun!
Join us, won't you? And when you do, link up here.
1) Name 5 people you admire and why:
Jimmy Carter - for as old as he is and how often he gets himself badly injured, he's a tremendous humanitarian. More of us should be like Jimmy.
Michelle Obama - She and President Obama endured relentless criticism throughout their eight years in the White House, but she was always poised and full of grace. She's a gorgeous woman inside and out, she don't take no shit from anybody, and her messages have always been uplifting and positive. And she's not done yet!
The Dalai Lama - His messages of compassion for all others in humanity are inspiring millions, and hopefully it's catching!
Bill Gates - who, along with his wife Melinda, is doing amazing philanthropic works for global health and development with their foundation. I'm endlessly impressed.
Simone Biles - She's been through so many things in her life, and yet she continues to push herself further to be the best gymnast in the entire world. And her athletic ability is astounding.
2. When was the last time you did something adventurous?
Well, we're about to do something adventurous. We're going to pack up our stuff here in our amazing house in southern Idaho, list it and sell it, fly across the country to Maryland, and buy a new house where, hopefully, we'll live more than 13 months this time! I've got my eye on this beauty right now. It's amazing.
3. You felt you got older when _______
...I got Lyme disease. Here I am six years ago, with my best friend Lisa, at our 20th high school reunion. This was days before I got my tick bite. Now, I feel like I'm 90 years old, and my life has changed drastically. It's hellish, to be honest.
4. What one thing that could happen today would make you extremely happy?
If I had a complete cure and total reversal of everything Lyme-related, I'd be positively ecstatic.
5. An experience you don’t want to go through again:
I would not like to live through the loss of a child again. Not in a million years.
6. One decision you made that changed your life completely:
I made the decision to listen to a friend and finally put a dating ad on a matching site. I didn't really want to do it, though, so I made sort of a joke listing: in my description, I listed all of my faults. It was a long list! Rob read it and found it hilarious, and here we are, planning our 20th wedding anniversary!
7. How do you participate in saving the earth?
I honestly try to do as much as I can. If you look on the right side of this blog screen, scrolling down, you'll see a number of different organizations I participate in, am a member of, and financially support when I can. I am insanely conscious of the products and materials I use and whether they can be reused, donated, recycled even if they need to be broken down into separate parts, composted, and so on. I'm very diligent about learning everything I can to do more. I know so many people aren't doing their part at all, so I feel like it's incumbent upon me to do extra. I eat mostly vegan whenever I can, and I read ingredients so that I can avoid the ones (like palm oil) that are so harmful and destructive to our global environment and which contribute greatly to ecosystem destruction. I buy organic, and/or local, and/or fair trade, etc., whenever this option is available and affordable at the time. I keep a card in my purse so when I'm at the seafood counter, I can correctly buy this fish that's supposed to be farm-raised and that fish that's supposed to be wild-caught, and leave the ones I shouldn't buy alone entirely. I'm constantly researching how we can modify our home(s) to be more eco-friendly. I'm very outspoken in public and in private about this issue. And so on and so forth. (Hey, you asked!)
8. A gift you would like to get on your next birthday?
I'll be 44 in September. It's not a huge milestone. But it's the first birthday since my daughter Chloë was born that we've spent it apart from each other. (She'll be 19 the day before my birthday.) She's going to stay behind here in Idaho, and we're moving to Maryland quite soon. To be perfectly honest, I'm not handling that well at all, and the birthdays are going to be so difficult for me. I already know. So I'd love some time with my kid.
9. Things you miss about your childhood?
10. The greatest invention:
There are a lot of great inventions listed here, but I think I'm going to go with music. Music can tap deeply into our emotions and make us feel. It brings us joy and empathizes with our pain. All the other things may make life easier, but music makes it worth living.
11. Your favorite super hero:
I've always loved Superman. But not just any Superman. Christopher Reeve as Superman. I was so devastated when he was injured.
12. Your views about veganism:
Don't get me started! I've already addressed that a little bit above, but I will just say: I'm totally for it!
13. If you could be anything else in the world, what would you be?
I think I would be a beautiful butterfly.
14. How did your parents meet?
Ironically, my parents also met via a dating match-up service, but in 1970. They met thirty years earlier than my husband I met on the online dating site.
15. Your morning routine:
Now that I know my mono was reactivated, this makes much more sense. So me!
All right, y'all. You have lovely weeks and, if I don't see you for a while, it's because we're moving. Wish us faith, trust, and pixie dust!
Hidey-ho, neigbors! (Name that TV show.) I took a much-needed nap today to try to sleep off some severe migraine & fibro pain, and when I woke up I had no idea what day or time it was. That seems to be increasingly common for me; so confusing! I hate that. But, it's still Saturday night, which means, based on the numer of times I get distracted and go do other things temporarily... I still have time to post this on Sunday!
Link up here if you want to join the fray today! And we're off...
Have you ever had a great conversation with a complete stranger?
Sure! Once, Rob and I were on a high-end dinner mystery shop in downtown Miami, and when I came out of a stall in the ladies' room, the bathroom attendant and I struck up at least a 10-minute-long conversation that ended in hugs, laughter, and tears. We really connected, and it was so strange to try to write that up in my report without giving myself away.
Where did you go on the very first vacation of your life?
My sperm donor has told me it was to North Carolina, but I definitely don't remember that.
Open the door of your refrigerator. What is the first thing you see?
About half a dozen cartons of the fancy omega-3, pasture-raised, vegetarian-fed, etc. eggs - the only kind I can eat without having a severe allergic reaction.
What is your favorite place in your home?
I don't know yet! It's so big, I feel like I haven't really had time in every place yet. I do love having a three-car garage, though. Maybe hitting that door-open and -close button, like a real grown-up, is my favorite thing! If you had wings to fly about the universe, where is the first place you’d land?
When I was a child, I had constant dreams about being able to fly away, escape, get to safety, etc. I also frequently dreamt I was heading to the moon. Those dreams were so vivid and realistic, I became convinced I actually could fly and had just forgotten how. So... the moon would be the first place I'd land.
What is the first thing you do when you get in your car?
I have OCD, so the first thing my foot does is go on the brake pedal. And it remains there even when the car is turned off for long periods of time, like if I'm sitting in the car waiting for someone. I also jam the parking brake with my left foot, way down, and release it, and then repeat that several times.
What is special about the town you live in?
I posted this on Facebook about it today, actuallly:
What is the last thing you heard about your first love?
He'd won a trip with his wife to Watkins Glen, New York's recent Nascar races, along with all kinds of racing accoutrement. I don't follow Nascar, but it looked like a great time for them to get away, so I was happy for 'em!
If you had created the world in seven days yourself, what would you have created on the First Day?
I'd make empathy and compassion, and make it irrevocable in human beings.
How do you beat the summer heat?
Swimming is my favorite! Did you enjoy your Senior Year in high school?
The home part, no, not at all; the school part, yes, absolutely!
Who is your favorite First Lady of all time?
I've really liked a few, but in my lifetime, I think Michelle Obama takes the trophy.
Post a link to your first blog post.
Well, this post is almost twelve years old, so it seems like ages in the lives of my kiddos! Wow, interesting for me to read - but probably boring for anyone else! (But my first blog post was actually well before that, on MySpace.)
When was the last time you needed First Aid?
My physical therapist has gotten me using cupping as a means to quell my sore muscles from the constant muscle spasms I experience. I've gotten many a blister before, and/or worse, depending on your perspective of it. Really freaks out the kids... but I won't say too much. Don't wanna gross anyone out!
Can you explain what a first down is in football?
Well, my understanding of it is very rudimentary, but without looking it up: The team who has the ball has four downs to make a touchdown. For each down, I think they need to make it ten yards closer to the goal line. I think if they do that, they get another set of four downs (if they haven't made a goal)? If the other team intercepts a pass, or the original team doesn't make their 40-yards over four downs, the ball passes to the other side. I think. Maybe?
Now I have to go look it up for real! ha! I feel silly even trying. I just know those UM fellas look pretty good in their new environmentally-friendly uniforms from Adidas!
I hope you all have a stellar week. Hoping to get around and read everyone's posts today. At least this week. Bear with me!
Welcome back to Saturday 9! Be sure and link up here to join in with the rest of us this week!
Saturday 9: I Forgot to Remember to Forget (1955) Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here. In honor of Elvis' birthday (January 8.)
1) Elvis sings that he thinks about this girl all the time. What person or topic is on your mind this Saturday?
Being vegan. It's Veganuary 2019, and I suddenly find myself on this unexpected mission to do the most good I can for myself, for my family, for my family, for my fellow man, and for our home, planet Earth. I'm in the middle of writing a post about it, but I'm finding it hard to convey the right sense of urgency without an enormous dose of being judgmental.
2) He wants to forget the day he met his girl, but simply can't. Think about someone very important in your life. Did you know right away that they were going to be influential?
This is Victor, a man I went to college with at the University of Miami back in the mid-90s. We lived on the same hall of the same floor of the same dorm for a while and became fast friends. Little did I know, he would be the reason I met my husband of 18 years. Without him, I wouldn't have had our four beautiful children!
Since this week's song is about memories, let's check on how well you recall events in your own life.
3) What was the first concert you ever attended?
I can never remember whether it was Whitney Houston at the New York State Fair (she originally canceled during the fair, I think due to illness, and then we went to the reschedule in October when she performed despite heavy rain) or Bon Jovi, also in Syracuse, New York. Concert ticket images indicate that they may have been the same year.
4) Where did you get your first piercing? (Not only where on your body, but who did the deed and where did they do it?)
All of my piercings are above the neck... so far. ;) First, I got my earlobes pierced, at a place in the mall, probably, for my eighth birthday. Since then, I got a second and third hole pierced at more piercing spots in malls. I then got the cartilage in my left ear pierced at a piercing shop in south Miami-Dade County's Dadeland mall - do not do this! Go to a professional piercing artist, often at a tattoo shop - and after a lot of pain and many infections, I let it close up. I got a fourth hole pierced at that same time in the right ear. When I was 21, my then-roommate and friend Shannon and I skipped work to go get matching nostril piercings at a tattoo parlor near Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida. Finally, two decades later, I have just gotten my septum and right tragus pierced by the piercer, Tatt, at Justin Abel Tattoo in Mountain Home, Idaho. I love them!
5) What's the name of the bank where you had your first checking account?
The evil Bank of America. Horrors!
6) Tell us about your first bicycle.
I remember it had training wheels, streamers, and a basket. I did not want to be stuck on training wheels forever, but I was having a hard time progressing past them. When I was six, we moved from Monroe, New York, to Syracuse, New York; I remember taking off those training wheels and riding around the giant moving truck, holding on to the truck when I needed to and trying not to crash into the mailboxes. That moving truck helped me succeed!
7) Who received the first text you ever sent?
I'm sure it had to have been Rob, in 2003. That's when I got my first cell phone.
8) What had you been drinking when you suffered your first hangover?
Shots of Goldschläger. I was 17.
9) Whose was the first wedding you ever attended?
July 13th, 1985, my father married for the third time, to my stepmother the evil bitch from hell, just over one year after my mother suddenly died. I was eight years old and the youngest person in that wedding. We four girls wore coordinating dresses in pastel blue, pink peach, and lavender. I can't even remember which was mine. I don't want to.
I'm watching old episodes of Three's Company, eating vegan "mozzarella," and debating whether to get in the shower to take Sophie to her riding lesson. I really should. She's got these new breeches that fit beautifully, but I want to see how they perform for her in action!
I just woke up at 1 PM, and only then because my husband woke me up to take my morning pills. Oops! But so far, I have no reason not to be filled with joy, so yeah! Sure!
2. Has it been a rough week?
Some of it has definitely been easier than others. But I'm still plodding along, hoping to get better instead of continually worse!
3. If given the opportunity, would you like to star in a musical?
I was the caterpillar in Alice the Wonderland in 5th grade, and I stole the show! (Not even lyin', it's because of the kick-ass costume my otherwise-evil stepmother handmade for me.) But I've always wanted to belt it out on a stage production of Annie. Maybe not even as Annie! Maybe as Molly!
4. Name one person you’d take a bullet for.
♥ Robert Allen Odette, my husband of 18 years and four days! ♥
5. Did you trip over anything today?
Not yet... but give me time!
6. Last time you painted a picture?
Oh, years and years. I'm horrible at painting. Chloë and I bought a Groupon to go out and do a Paint Nite thing together, but it was awful and disorganized, so we left early.
7. Is your favorite color yellow?
I don't hate it, but no, it's about the fourth shade to the right.
8. Were you born in a hospital? Do you know the name of the person that delivered you?
Yes, surprisingly enough, since I never spent a day of my childhood other than that in a doctor's office or hospital, I was born in one. This one: Arden Hill Hospital in Goshen, New York.
9. Have you ever had a friend or relative who was incarcerated?
Not that I know of, no.
10. Do you enjoy romantic movies, even when they’re cliché?
Yeah, I do. Am I such a girl? I don't even care; they're fun and easy to digest. (BTW, I loved this "Thriller" part of 13 Going on 30, with Jennifer Garner.)
11. Would you rather watch a movie or listen to music?
Either one, depending on what I'm also doing at the same time (because it's never just one thing). After 17+ years of motherhood, though, I'm not one of those moms who revels in peace and quiet. I hate it!
12. Ever been to Rhode Island?
13. Can you tell the difference between a Scottish & an Irish accent?
If I said I wasn't too shabby at it, and then was tested, I'd probably fail every time!
14. Can you read music?
I'm not going to lie: that is one thing at which I'm really horrible. I've taken organ/keyboarding/piano lessons. I've sung in several choirs. I've taken years of voice lessons. I've been in the selected women's choir. I've studied music theory. I've been chosen to audition for All-County Choir and NYSSMA (back in high school)... and yet I feel like it's just something I have a learning disability for, or something. It doesn't come naturally to me. Sight-reading, singing solfeggio, during those auditions, was so challenging for me. It's always been very frustrating. One of my very best lifelong friends, Shana Marie, is a violist/violinist, a high school music teacher, gives music lessons at home, can probably play every single instrument ever invented, and has performed in concert with some very famous names. Now she can read some music!
15. Have you been to McDonald’s in the past month?
Well, my son works there, so yeah - but only to bring him to work. I don't eat there. #vegan ;)
Speaking of eating vegan, I just finished a salad Hubs made for me, from a recipe in the book Vegan Cookbook for Beginners. It calls for a cup of halved cherry tomatoes. I have never liked raw tomatoes in my whole life, but I find myself loving them. There is just something about eating more healthy, I think, that makes you just want to do more of it!
I hope 2019 is off to a good start for all of you! Cheers.
Hey, hey, what do ya say? I posted Saturday 9 and Sunday Stealing last week, but I was so late - by a few days - that I didn't get any reads. *sniff, sniff* So if I'm being repetitive it's because I didn't think anyone read it the first time! Heh.
But here we are again, so link up here to play along with the S9ers for this week!
1) As 2019 kicks off, what are your hopes for the brand new year?
Well, now that everyone has joined me in veganism, I'm finding it difficult to please all their palates. As a result, there is a lot of grumbling every day about there being "nothing to eat." Completely untrue, but I'm trying! So my hope for 2019 is that, one day at a time, they'll stick it out and give veganism a real shot. Everyone should, IMNSHO.
2) Just because an item isn't brand new doesn't mean it isn't valuable. Have you scored any fabulous finds at a secondhand store or website?
I love thrifting! We've gotten two couches, the desk next to me, and tons of clothing for the whole family at the thrift store down the road, ReStyle. But this bathing suit, which I really needed for my physical therapy in the pool, was from ThredUp. I got lots of clothes for the kids and me there recently for a steal. Secondhand is the way to go!
3) This song is sung by The Stylistics, a group from Philadelphia. Have you ever been to Philly?
Yeah, several times. The first time was with my grandparents in probably 1981 or 1982? They took me to see the liberty bell, and I remember being really bothered by that crack and why they didn't just fix it or get another one - and my grandma having a hearty laugh over that! And I also marveled at the fact that there were hot pretzel and hot dog vendors on the streets, just like in Manhattan. Who knew?
4) This song was co-written by Thom Bell, a Philadelphia-based musician/producer who was born in Kingston, Jamaica. The average daily temp in Kingston in January is 87ºF. Do you have plans to get away this winter and go somewhere warm?
Goddddddd, I wish!! I was just looking through the photos from when we first moved to Miami in March 2013, reminiscing, maybe getting a little melancholy... I would love to go somewhere tropical and warm. Chloë is going to Guatemala this summer, and though it's not what we Americans consider an exotic getaway, I've gotta admit I'm a bit jealous!
5) The Stylistics took their choreography very seriously. As you can see from the video, they even carefully synchronized their hand movements. Do you use your hands much when you talk?
Yeah, pretty much. Sophia definitely gets her theatrical nature from her mother!
6) The lyrics tell us that the singer is grateful for a friend who will walk with him along a path that "sometimes bends." Looking back on 2018, tell us about a time that life's path took a bend you didn't quite expect.
Oh, the chickens. We had our first flock of 11 in 2017, and these were the beautiful eggs they were laying by early 2018. By summer, all but Athena were slaughtered, probably by a skunk. By September, a predator-proof (well, as much as one can get, I guess) was built in the backyard, and 21 day-old chicks were delivered from a hatchery in Iowa. Now they're all rehomed, and we are vegans. It's all just freakin' weird, man.
7) In 1974, when this song was popular, Chicago's Sears Tower opened and was for years the world's tallest building. Its elevators can carry you to the 103rd floor in approximately a minute. When were you last on an elevator?
I was on an elevator this past Friday, when Chloë accompanied me to my Speech Pathology appointment. I'm having a bunch of problems with... well, all the stuff on that mug, basically, and getting my thoughts to transform into sensible words and sentences, so I'm there to get some speech therapy to help with it. Gotta admit, I'm kind of anxious about it!
8) Also in 1974, the 55 mph speed limit was imposed nationwide. When you drive, are you careful to stay within the speed limit? Or do you have a lead foot?
Girl, I got two speeding tickets in 2018 alone! Both were on the same stretch of the same 35 MPH zone. I was probably going at least 60 MPH both times! I think I probably schedule some shit to do that requires us to go East on I-84, just so I can hit the 80 MPH zone and ... go 90+ MPH!
9) Random question -- It's time to pose for your Saturday 9 yearbook picture. Will you show us your right profile, your left profile, or will you look directly into the camera?
Well, these are from a couple weeks ago now, since it's 0538 right now and I haven't showered yet... so it appears I would be showing you my left! I think that's my "good side," as if I have such a thing. I know that because the nostril piercing is barely visible, and that's on my right. ;)
Ooh, I liked this quizzy! Thanks Gal, er, Crazy Sam!
Howdy, folks! I missed the super amazing fun times this past weekend because I'm having a bunch of anaphylactic episodes due to what my immunologist termed a "full-blown autoimmune assault." So that's fun. I did an undercover assignment for several hours with my younger daughter, Sophia, and reacted there. And everywhere, pretty much. It's not awesome - especially because I missed you guys!
So I'm trying to get these two in under the radar. While eating delicious fruit salad. And watching a marathon of Bob's Burgers with Sophie, Jack, and Hubs. Funny stuff. Do you watch it? Why not?!!
Welcome to the last Saturday 9 of 2018! Thanks for a great year, everyone.
1) This is an unconventional take on an old familiar song. Over the holidays, do you prefer traditional carols? Or do you like to mix it up with with more contemporary fare?
I like to mix it up. Along with old favorites, I love the song "Santa Tell Me" by Ariana Grande along with pretty much everything by the Pentatonix.
2) Now that Christmas is behind us, are you enjoying a relaxing week? Or do you have socializing/celebrating/chores to do?
I think most of the socializing and celebrating is behind us, other than having fun times tonight with the family. I did want us to go downtown here in Boise, where instead of a ball - I shit you not - they drop a potato. A damn potato! But we're all sick, so I think we may end up just staying home and watching it on the local NBC affiliate tonight. Bummer. Also tomorrow, I wanted us to go up to Bogus Basin, where the ski resort is near us, for all kinds of New Year's Day festivities, but the two older kids have to work, which would be no fun.
3) Winter is a time for cocooning. What book or movie did you enjoy in 2018 that you would recommend to your fellow Saturday 9-ers?
I really enjoyed the movie Dumplin' with Danielle MacDonald. We've been watching a lot of movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video lately, but I think that may have been my favourite.
4) Looking back on the past year, what was one of your happiest moments?
Two things: On April 16th, Hubs had surgery for prostate cancer. His recovery was fraught, and I hated every minute of it for him. He ended up having another major surgery and more hospital stays. As for myself, I had surgery on May 22nd, and it was supposed to be far more major than it ended up being. I was honestly scared for my life and, if that ended up being not in jeopardy, then I was scared of being in even more pain than the endless amount I've been suffering for more than 3½ years. In the end, my surgeon decided to close me up early and save the rest of the surgery for another day. So I can honestly say, in 2018, my happiest moment was waking up alive and well, and being still here to torment the rest of Team Odette!
5) What was the smartest thing you did all this past year?
I persevered! It's worth it.
6) As 2018 comes to a close, what are you most grateful for?
♥ Smiles, joy and happiness from my loved ones ♥
7) This week's featured artist is Herb Alpert. Because of the style he popularized and the name of his band, people assume he's Hispanic. Yet his parents were Jewish immigrants from Romania. What's something we'd be surprised to learn about you?
🤦♀️ I dunno anymore; everyone knows everything about me! 🤦♀️
Maybe that I've been varying levels of vegan/vegetarian since August 1995, and as of about a week ago, all five members are now onboard with giving veganism a good go! Why? Get on Netflix or some other streaming service and watch What The Health? and Cowspiracy, and that'll explain a great deal.
8) He performed an instrumental version of "The Star Spangled Banner" at Super Bowl XXII. How did your favorite sports teams do in 2018?
Oh, God. My Miami 'Canes were a disaster! They were up against Wisconsin in a rematch from last year at the Pinstripe Bowl four days ago, and we got totally trounced 35-3. What an embarrassment! Hopefully new head coach Manny Diaz can turn things around for the 2019 program.
9) Random question: When did you last check your social media feed?
I just checked my Instagram notifications a few minutes ago. I'm on it now more than Facebook, although I suppose now that they're both owned by the same people, it doesn't much matter? No, really, I like the quick-speed format of Insta much more, I think.
That was fun. Thanks, Crazy Sam! I'm going to go right into yesterday's Sunday Stealing now, so go take a quick walk around your house or the block or something as an intermission. Then link up here if you want to play along with me and the rest of the thieves, albeit belatedly! ;)
They are if they're a bouquet from Bouqs, like these beautiful calla lilies! I love Bouqs. ☺
2. Do you wear any jewelry?
Yeah, and I like to change it around frequently. I really love Pandora rings (That's why I bought a bunch of inexpensive costume jewelry on eBay recently. I just got this new ring today, and I love it! Except it's scratchy...
3. Have you ever lain in a field of flowers?
I have, but it's been ages, so here's a photo from our April 2015 visit to the Chihuly exhibit at the Fairchild Garden in Miami.
4. Do you like tea?
I like bubble tea. Other tea is okay, as long as it's both caffeinated and flavored. Absolutely no iced tea for me, though!
5. What would you do with a million dollars?
a. Get a good financial advisor and invest wisely, living off the interest as much as possible. b. Buy us a beautiful, elaborate, multi-roomed house like the ones I've been dreaming about my whole life. c. Set up a grantor's trust, so that the kids don't have to struggle any more than we already have and any more than what's necessary for them not to lose their work ethics. and d. Take Hubs on a whirlwind tour of the world, retracing our steps for the last 18 years (our anniversary is on Wednesday!), including here to La Calle Ramblas (with lots of beautiful architecture by Joan Miró) in gorgeous Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. e. And the whole time, I'd have The Barenaked Ladies serenade us with one of our courtship songs, "If I Had a Million Dollars"!
6. What word do you have trouble saying?
Many, many things, but since this is one of Hubs' favorite drinks, I have to attempt to say it a lot: Arnold Palmer. I fail each and every time.
7. Favorite fairytale?
Maybe Little Red Riding Hood, since I have fond memories of my sister and I planning out our skit of it, making props, and then acting it out in front of our grandparents and some of their friends and neighbors.
8. Do you sleep with stuffed animals?
Yes, I sleep with the huge teddy bear Hubs gave me when he gave me my engagement ring.
9. Do you prefer the city or the country?
I am definitely a big city girl at heart!
10. Are you a big fan of makeup?
I used to be, but nowadays I usually keep it simple and just wear mascara and maybe some lip gloss.
11. Favorite drink?
Hands-down, it's Diet Coke! (And for my grandpa, it was "Coke on the rocks!"
12. What’s the longest amount of time you’ve stayed awake?
Several days in a row, once Chloë was out of the NICU. Even when she'd sleep, I had awful insomnia. Man, those were some miserable days for me! (Aside from the beautiful new baby girl, natch.)
13. Have you ever traveled outside of your country?
Beautiful Talofofo Falls on Guam
Yes, many times, but the one I'm most yearning to return to at this point in time isn't even technically outside the United States.
14. Do you like Spring?
I love Spring! It's my second favorite season after Summer. Especially when all the tulips come in around Idaho.
15. Lipstick or lip gloss?
I'll wear lipstick (like my Young Living ones) on the odd occasion, lip gloss (like the lighted mirror-containing one at the back of the picture above) slightly more frequently, but mostly lip balm.
I do! My tastes run eclectic and colorful as hell, like here, which is certainly not for everybody!
18. Do you ever go barefoot when you’re outside?
I love being barefoot! Especially when we're at the beach... nothing like it!
19. Are aliens real?
How the hell should I know?!
20. Does your zodiac sign fit your personality?
I don't really buy into astrology as anything more than entertainment. I find bits of myself in all 12 signs of the zodiac - and some of all the Chinese ones, too. But I do often see a lot of myself in the Virgo horoscope, like above.
21.Favorite sea animal?
I think right now, at this moment in time, it's the Tasselled Wobbegong, Eucrossorhinus dasypogon. Cool looking, right?
22. Are you a nice person?
I try very, very hard to be. I don't always succeed, but I keep trying!
23. Favorite word?
24. Night or day?
Oh, I am a total night owl. Also, science has found that we night owls are: more creative; more intelligent; more productive; and, more successful. However, we are also more likely to be single and die early.
25. What would make you happy right now?
It would thrill the shite out of me if I stopped having allergic reactions to every single thing. I mean it: everything. Every food I eat. Being too hot. Being too cold. Medications. And things are moving quickly in the wrong direction. So yeah, for 2019, which in this time zone (MST) starts in 04:12, I would really like for at least that aspect of my poor health to turn around. I just can't do it anymore!!!
So it's almost 8 PM, and I guess I better figure out the plan for New Year's Eve! Kinda late for that, but meh! Not feeling it this year.
Welcome back, homeslices! 🤣 I woke up sick as a DAWG today 😞😭🤧😷, so I'm not feeling the (self) love. I know just being "here" with all of y'all will cheer me up, though, so let's bring it! 😍🤩💗💖 Link up here if you'd like to play along with us this weekend, or want to check out all the other amazing thieves among us!
What did you do last year that you had not done before?
Well, since two of my kiddos came out late last year as gay or bisexual, the three of us attended the Boise Pride Festival this past summer. It was SO fun, so loving, so joyous, and so inclusive. I loved every moment of it, and I am so proud of my girls for having the strength and courage to embrace their true selves. ♥
Did you keep your New Year's Resolutions/goals for the year and will you make/set more for next year? What are they? What are your new ones?
I'm sure I set some, but I don't remember what they were! I'll probably set more for next year, but I haven't done so yet. I'll keep ya posted! 🙃
Did anyone you know give birth? Or become pregnant? Or adopt?
My good friend Stephanie, who first was my kids' babysitter in Virginia Beach, when they were itty bitty, is pregnant with her fourth son!
And my high school pal, Lora, gave birth to her second son this year. Her kiddos are so cute! It's the year of boys! ♥ (I'm sure there are plenty more, but I'm forgetful.)
Did anyone you know die? Or have a serious illness/injury?
Gosh, I can't think of anyone who died - I hope I'm not forgetting! Aside from myself, Hubs was diagnosed with prostate cancer earlier this year and had surgery to remove the prostate. The recovery was heinous for him, and he had another surgery after that to repair the perforated bladder and fix the internal bleeding happening after the first surgery and on and on... it was just terrible for him. 😢
Also, someone on his side of the family is in a serious breast cancer battle right now, and we are thinking of her all the time, wishing her well.
What places have you visited?
Well, the hospital for one - a LOT! heh heh
We visited the Boise Ronald McDonald House on multiple occasions to make donations and take tours. This is a cause that's near and dear to our hearts (Dammit, Gal, I left it off your annual charity round-up post! DUHHHHHHHH!!) because we stayed in one while Chloë was in the NICU in Pensacola for 10 days. It's an amazing place. Visit one and I guarantee your heart will melt.
We drove out to Wasatch Sport Horses in Eagle, Idaho, many, many times for Sophia's riding lessons. Our new second home!
We went to many lessons at Chloë's fencing club, until she decided not to continue at the end of the season.
Listen, y'all, I could go on and on. And on!
Any new pets? Lost a pet?
Yes; critters we've lost this year:
We lost Rob's gentle giant, Henry, to a suspected sudden asthma attack. It was very sad.
We lost both of Chloë's beloved guinea pigs, Alexander Sirius and James Theodore, on the same day to unknown causes. She feels devastated and blames herself. 😢
Jack's old gerbil, Lucy, who lived a good, long, loved life with him, passed away peacefully. She is missed.
And finally, we lost all but one of our 2017 chickens, our White Silkie Athena, to a predator massacre. I was so crushed!
Critters we've gained this year:
We got 21 new rare-breed chicks in September. There's Athena keeping watch over the new babies. Two of them have since died, so we're at a 2018 flock of 20 chickens, currently.
Jack adopted this bunny-buns, Fudge, for his 4-H project this year. He's ridiculously soft!
And very shortly after that, Jack - an extremely conscientious pet owner - adopted Rocky so that Fudge could have a playmate. The two are still in separate cages, though, awaiting their neutering so they don't fight. Rocky's such a love! ♥
What would you like to have next year that you lacked this year (doesn't have to be a physical thing i.e. love, job security, peace of mind...)?
Well, aside from improved health, obviously, I would love to buy and move into a house of our own once again - like this one!. I yearn for it!
What date from last year will remain etched in your memory and why?
April 16th, 2018 - that's the date of Hubs' prostatectomy that sucked big ass. He's still recovering.
What was your biggest achievement last year?
I try to keep it lighter in my SS posts, but that's not always possible for me. So to answer this question: I realized and acknowledged that I was raised in a cult. I was an unwilling member for almost 21 years. And I went back to therapy, where I am finally in "intensive care" to undo the effects of the trauma, abuse, and brainwashing I've endured.
Did you get sick or injured?
Well, yeah! I have a lot of new diagnoses from this year. Mast Cell Activation Disorder, ME/CFS, and (possible, waiting to be genetically tested) Ehlers Danlos Syndrome among them... and since I'm now stumbly-bumbly all the time, lots of injuries from falling. I rely on my walker or wheelchair most of the time when I'm out of the house now.
What was the best thing you bought?
Well, I don't know! Lots of things, I guess, and I'm sure I'll get this wrong. I won, this week, a photography contest, wherein I was stacked up against several professional photogs, and for the prize I could get a $50 gift card to anywhere. I opted for P.F. Chang's, which we never get. I don't know why. But I snuck a slice of cheesecake in there, and WOW! That shizz was the bomb! And this is coming from a New Yawka who knows her cheesecake. Two thumbs up!
Oh! And I signed up for Grove Collaborative to get all kinds of good-for-us and good-for-the-earth stuff, and I'm really happy with our membership thus far. Their customer service is outstanding, and the products and prices are great! I'm a huge fan. If you want to sign up here, you'll even get a free 5-piece gift set. I loved mine!
Where did most of your disposable income go (money leftover after you pay for food, medical care, basic clothing, transportation and shelter)?
You say that as though there is any disposable income! 😂😂😂 Have you never tried to raise three hungry teenagers, 20 chickens, two dogs, three cats, and two bunny rabbits - not to mention the four score and seven prescription medications I take daily - on an enlisted veteran sailor's pension? BWAHAHAHA! But if so, we tend to spoil the pets. Especially the doggos. I mean, I love to get the chickens toys and chubby mealworms and stuff, watch the cats go insane on new catnip toys, etc., but the dogs! Nothing makes me happier than watching two butt-wiggling pooches get their BarkBoxes in the mail!! And oh, they know that that box is theirs, long before it gets opened. They just know. (I highly recommend it!)
What song will always remind you of last year?
"Girls Like You" by Maroon 5, featuring Cardi B (Gal, can we please, please, pleeeeeaaase do this song on Sat9 sometime?) is a song my 13yo daughter Sophia and I have played on the radio, YouTube, or whatever umpteen million times over and over. We sing along to every word and then, when Cardi B's part comes on, we blast it even louder and rap along to every word. I don't care how white we are, we rock that $h!t!
What do you wish you would have done more of?
My husband! 🤪😂😈
What do you wish you would have done less of?
Crying in pain (this photo is from Friday night, just hours ago, but represents many nights)
What was your favorite new TV program? Movie? Album/Songs? Or if you didn't pick up any new ones, what are you still watching/listening to? Any recommendations?
Well, I've finally really gotten into Bob's Burgers this year, and it's a good thing I did, because that $h!t is fookin' hilarious! I like to pretend I'm just like Linda, which I am, and I do both Linda's and Bob's and sometimes Tina's voices. If you're not watching it yet, why not?! You oughtta be. I DVR every episode. We all love it. Yeah. So.
Also, I recommend Ellen De Generes' new stand-up special, Relatable, on Netflix. I love her talk show, so I finally queued it up and am watching it right now. She swears, y'all! That's relatable!
What was the best book you read this year? How many did you read?
I'm reading Recipes for Repair right now, which I just started but bought about two years ago, to see if it will help any of my autoimmune disorders. It's hard. I'm having allergic reactions - sometimes anaphylaxis - to every single thing I eat lately, so I've just gotta do something! Plus, my therapist recommended I read something along these lines. I don't think I've read any other books this year! Shocking!
What did you do on your birthday and how old were you? Did you feel differently?
Well, first of all, I turned 42, and Chloë made me these birthday cupcakes. She baked Hubs' chocolate bundt cake - his favorite - too, and was really excited about doing both. Only, I was looking at these photos recently, and I just don't remember these cupcakes. I mean, I know I was there and must have taken the pictures and blown them out, but I cannot recollect them for the life of me. This is very distressing. My short-term memory has been stolen from me since I became ill in 2015, and I hate it!
Also, Hubs gave me a pedicure, which he often did during my pregnancies when I couldn't reach and now often does again since my joints are so stiff and painful. Yeah, he's a keeper. (Also, pssst! Robert! I'm due for another one!)
Chloë's birthday (9/7) is the day before mine (9/8), so we usually celebrate together by running around collecting all the billions of birthday freebies out there. Here are some from this year:
[click to embiggerate]
I'd list them out for you, but as you can see, um, it's kind of a lot.
What political or social issue stirred you the most?
I will always, first and foremost, be an environmental activist. Now, more than ever, it is crucial for denizens of Planet Earth to become acutely aware of what we as people are doing to harm the planet and what we as humans can do to remedy that.
Additionally, I am a Global Citizen, and I am dedicated to working for the causes of education for all; those that promote equality for women and girls; ending world hunger; and, bettering the health and sanitation practices around the world. I even get points for sharing the information I learn, and I've used those points to enter contests. This year alone, I've won two concerts: Amy Lee (of Evanescence) and Lindsey Sterling, which I'd entered for Chloë's sake - but I ended up winning the one in Phoenix, Arizona, and we could of course not make it there. The other concert was just recently, here in Boise: Metallica, which I sent Rob and our 15yo son Jack to. They had a blast!
Who was the most interesting new person you met?
Hmm. I don't know; I've met a lot of interesting folks. I'll say my new orthopedist, Dr. Alex Homaecheverria. Not only is this doctor smoking hot (I'm married, but I mean, c'mon! I'm not dead!), but he's relatable. Great bedside manner. And he genuinely seems interested in truly helping me improve.
What changed at your job?
Well. For one, Chloë, Sophie, and I started a specialty candle company called Every Wick Way on November 1st! I'm so excited about this! Most of our items are listed in our Etsy shop, but I'm still working on the website for Every Wick Way. Check it out! ;)
What changed in your home?
Well, we got those 21 baby chickies from the hatchery, so they would need a place to live, right? After forever and a day (seriously; we're talking over a year), Hubs and another military vet friend got together and built it basically in a day. It's not perfect, but it's pretty great, and so far we've avoided another slaughter. Whew!
Describe how a relationship changed.
Well, I'm like this ^^^ so it's completely surreal for me to read things like this. Anyway, I've been distancing myself emotionally from my father more than I ever have in my life. It's been hard. He's noticed, too, and wrote a note to me about it in our Christmas card. Such tomfuckery. I'll not have it!
Do you think you are still the same person that you were at the beginning of the year? How so?
No. Of course not. At the end of every year I hope I have grown and learned so much during that year that I am a completely new and more enlightened person by the end.
Summarize the year in three words or less. Bonus points for doing it in one word. Explain.
How have people around you changed?
Well, I don't know about everyone's internal dialogue or whatnot, but I feel like this year, as I've become even more self-aware and adulty than ever, I feel that people are changing the way they respond to and interact with me. I feel it every day. It seems like some people actually like me, which I never really thought could be true. It's delightful.
What have you learned throughout the year?
Well, I've definitely learned that I do, in fact, have limitations. And also that getting older sucks, and I do not care for being forty-freakin'-two!
What was your favorite outfit for warm weather? Cooler weather?
Something cool, comfortable, and hopefully, cute!
Anything remotely warm, comfortable, and hopefully cute! ;)
Did you learn any new crafts or techniques? What was your favorite thing you made?
Oh yes, of course! For Every Wick Way, the girls and I jointly learned how to make soy and beeswax candles and melts, and we're taking very explicit notes so that we can duplicate everything that turns out great. And most things do, because we're just amazing like that. ;) I'm always learning something new in the craft world. Every year, I've got a new thing going. I embrace change. Love it. Adore it!
What changed about your physical appearance? (Hair? Wrinkles? New makeup style? Etc)
So let's see... Since the top picture was taken a couple of years ago, I've gained a little (read: not a little) weight, my eyes are getting greener as I get older, I've at least temporarily stopped coloring my hair auburn (which I've been doing since my freshman year of college!), I started growing out my bangs for the first time ever in my live (but just got sick of it and trimmed them back to 'normal' this week, heh), pierced my septum, and pierced my tragus. Dang, when I read it back, it sounds like kind of a lot, no?
What are your hopes and dreams for the new year?
Well, I'd love to say I wanna buy a house (but I said that already) and that I want to lose weight (but when don't I?); however, instead, I hope to bring awareness about and then somewhat defeat the health struggles constantly plaguing me:
I have multiple Autoimmune Diseases, including: Raynaud's Syndrome, Mast Cell Activation Disorder, Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria, and Anticardiolipin/Antiphospolipid-Antibody Syndrome, for starters - but now I'm blessed with a medical expert in Asthma, Allergies, and Immunology who is doing the right tests and looking at the right things.
I struggle with Fibromyalgia, but now I'm blessed with a medical expert who brings me in and gives me Trigger Point Injections whenever I call up and say I need them.
I have Bipolar I with Psychosis, but now I am blessed with an expert psychiatrist who listens to me and knows what to tweak when I tell her what I am experiencing, as well as an incredible therapist who is helping me navigate the intense, childhood-long traumas that (I believe) led to the bipolar, along with severe PTSD, OCPD, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
I have Chronic Lyme Disease and am daily trying to manage the extreme pain in my bones and joints from that, while trying to explain to every medical professional under that sun that just because I was treated with antibiotics for two weeks after I tested CDC-positive for Lyme, that I am not "cured." Some listen. Much, much more education is needed on this subject, and it is intentionally being squelched. Very frustrating!
I probably have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, but I'm waiting for genetic testing to rule it in or out, which takes up to a year for the appointment in these parts. I have hypermobility and am constantly having dislocations and subluxations, along with just about every other symptom up there - but fortunately, I am now blessed with a knowledgeable physical therapist and a stellar (and hot - see above) orthopedist who have many tricks up their respective sleeves to try and help a girl out.
And now, I also have Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, but I'm now blessed with an ME/CFS specialist in Salt Lake City, whom I now see every other month or so, who has made it her life's work to care about those of us with this devastating illness.
And that's not even my whole list. So when someone (I believe from here, but I'm certainly not going to name names) tells me to "snap out of it," or when I get letters from my fng father telling me not to be a drain on society and make something of myself... well, it kinda breaks me. That is so soul-crushing. So, you guys, just don't do that to chronically ill people, okay? That is just not cool!
Whew! That took me hours upon hours to do! Well, okay, I watched the Ellen DeGeneres Netflix special Relatable. And then the whole family sat down with me to watch the Netflix documentary What The Health? which everyone should totally watch, and they all - even JACK!!! - decided pretty much on the spot that we're all gonna be vegans now. I'm so excited about that. Okay, and then Chloë and I stayed up all night watching Titanic, and finally the girls and I just wrapped up Crazy Rich Asians, both on Amazon Prime Video. So I was a little distracted... Hee.
Hey, peeps! I've always been an avid tree-hugger, and right now is really a time in my life where I want to focus on actions that are good for me, good for my family, and good for our planet. I thought I'd tell you about some of those things.
So for our scientific exploration this year at Sweet Pea Academy, we're focusing on Ecology and the Environment. One of our objectives for this class is to take one of the #MoveTheDate pledges from this website each month and, individually and as a family, make it a top priority to implement that pledge in our daily lives. Then we evaluate how we've done at the end of each month. The first month we pledged to #GoVeggie, and although we didn't 100% meet our goal, we definitely made some significant progress.
I have lots of other eco-friendly goodies on my family wish list, of course, including this colorful 12-pack of cloth napkins for $16.99. At 20x20", they're big enough to cover any number of messes that this team of sometimes-sloppy people can make! Of course, we already have some cloth napkins, but they're always in the laundry, it seems like, so there are never enough. And I have more toned-down neutral colors on that wish list as well, so you can be sure there are plenty of options.
So you probably don't know, but for nearly 20 years from age 22 or so until 41, I was a die-hard Jafra skincare fanatic. I mean, Royal Jelly was where it was at, as far as I was concerned, and Jafra could do no wrong. Now, don't get me wrong; the products are great, the benefits are amazing - and they work. But after getting involved with Young Living in 2016 thanks to my great friend Shana, and becoming even more in touch with my hippie flower child Bohemian side, I started thinking long and hard about my connections with Jafra. The ingredients just aren't always the kind I want to smear all over my face and body every day, and not just that, but the business side of things was not something I wanted to be a part of anymore, either. So I unceremoniously ended my longtime relationship with Jafra, cemented it with Young Living, and opened the door for more opportunities to live more wholly wholesome.
Personally, it has always been important to me to use a good eye cream - well, ever since I was introduced to good quality skin care at Jafra, that is. And now that I'm in my early 40s, a well-made eye-plumping product is one of the most important items in my skincare arsenal. I can always, always tell when someone is either not using an eye care product - gasp!! - or isn't using a very good one. I don't want anyone to ever think that about me! So I decided to try the Ultra Hyaluronic Eye Gel Nourish & Moisturize Eye Care from MyChelle Dermaceuticals first.
I love the way the cooling gel feels on my tired ol' eyes in the morning and then again by the end of the night. This gel helps decrease the appearance of fine lines and dark circles - which is key for moi!
About MyChelle Dermaceuticals:
Founded in 2000, MyChelle was the natural industry’s first to use anti-aging peptides, plant stem cells, and clinically proven dermatological ingredients. Their 360º approach to beauty provides clean, conscious, and comprehensive products that are bioactive and ethically sourced. Sounds good to me!
What's really sweet in addition to the great products at MyChelle, you can use this code to get 30% off your first order total: MYCHELLEBEAUTY2018 - and, what's more, shipping is free, and returns are free on all orders. They have the BEST customer service. I swear.
On top of that, you can earn points toward meaningful discounts for completing simple actions. For instance, I earned 500 points (= $5 off an order!) just for subscribing to their newsletter. I earned 50 points each for sharing my eye gel purchase on both Facebook and Twitter. Subsequently, I earned 100 points each for following the brand on Twitter and liking them on Facebook, and so on and so forth. I was was delightfully surprised when I received this Clean Beauty VIP award in my email inbox, which afforded me extra benefits like bonus points and a free product:
For achieving VIP level, which was exceedingly easy to do, I was given a free MyChelle Sun Protection Sun Shield Clear Stick SPF 50 - worth $12 - absolutely free! I didn't pay one red cent for the product or, of course, shipping. I haven't gotten it yet, but it should be here early next week.
What's more, I was able to redeem $10 in those reward points for a big discount on a $12.50 MyChelle Lip Hints Conditioning Lip Balm in the Nude shade. Counting free shipping, nothing extra for tax, I only paid $2.50 out of pocket. I can't wait to try it, since I am addicted to lippies! Any member of Team Odette will happily verify that for you - I have multiple stashes of lip balms in every conceivable location I encounter in my daily life: my bathroom drawers, my purse, my desk, my car dashboard... everywhere. So I have high hopes for this one!
So maybe give natural beauty products a try and start with MyChelle Dermaceuticals. They work really hard to develop quality products that are safe for you and the environment, and they work even harder to keep your business. I'm quickly becoming a big fan!
And finally, the last new-to-me company I want to fangirl over to y'all is Grove Collaborative. Have you guys heard about them yet? If not, you need to head on over here and get yourself a totally FREE Mrs. Meyer's Cleaning Kit with five full-size products!
Here's what you'll need to do:
Head on over here in order to use my referral code and receive your free gift. You'll need place at least $20 worth of items from Grove Collaborative into your cart, but that's super-easy to do with all the amazing down-to-Earth, good-for-the-Earth products they offer. You can choose from baby and kiddo products, household cleaning items, personal care, and even their own Grove brand of items to help you get even more value from your first delivery.
As for me, we needed laundry detergent, and I'd been wanting to try Molly's Suds Laundry Powder forever and a day. So that was $13.99 right off the bat (though valued at $16.99), leaving me only $6.01 worth of goodies I still needed to add to my cart.
I liked the Zarbee's Naturals brand already, and we were having some sore throats going around Chez Odette, so I splurged on a $6.99 package of 14 throat lozenges.
In return for my $20.98 buy-in with nothing additional for tax or shipping, I received a 12½-ounce bottle of Mrs. Meyer's Honeysuckle hand soap valued at $5.30 for free,
a 16-ounce bottle of Mrs. Meyer's Honeysuckle dish liquid valued at $5.30 for free,
a 16-ounce bottle of Mrs. Meyer's Lemon Verbena Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner valued at $5.30 for free,
a 12-ounce bottle of Method Sweet Water dish liquid valued at $5.40 for free,
As if this offer couldn't get any sweeter, I do have to say that I'm a sucker for nice, careful, and thoughtful packaging - and Grove Collaborative definitely did not disappoint. The dispensers were carefully taped to prevent leakage during shipment. The note inside was handwritten. And the packing job inside the box was clearly planned and not just thrown together like so many other packages we've all received, I'm sure.
You'll love what you get - in product, in service, and in peace of mind - from Grove Collaborative, and if you don't, that's okay, too. Their 100% Happiness Guarantee means you can return anything at any time, and they'll even send you a prepaid shipping label. There's literally no risk - but plenty of risk if y'all keep using those heavy industrial-level commercial cleansers around the kids, pets, and yourselves, y'know?
So what kind of eco-conscious changes have you and your clan made lately, or are thinking about making? I'd love to hear about 'em!
1. Do you ever doubt the existence of others than you?
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?
Five. Bad things have happened to me in the dark.
3. The person you would never want to meet?
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?
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?
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 manglecan handle changes in humidity, salinity, air- and water-temperature... Rhizophora mangle definitely is the most dominant mangrove on our planet. Rhizophoramangle 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:
Instead of migraine- and pain-laden, allergic reaction-having this:
Ugh. I look like absolute hell.
7. What shirt 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?
What Pearl B. said. ;)
9. Bright room or dark 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?
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?
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?
This knucklehead, modeling his Navy issued pea coat, pretend-smoking the Meerschaum pipe he brought home from Turkey.
13. Your worst enemy?
You're looking at her. I am my own worst enemy, I'm afraid.
14. What is your current desktop picture?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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)
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?
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?
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?
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.
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?
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?
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.
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?
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?
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?
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.
I have four hospital admissions recently: two in December, and two in January. All for different reasons! So it was with great joy when I came home from our own hens just starting to produce eggs in brown, a pale brownish-green colour, and bluish-green to a greater production of eggs. (We have some silkies and a few other varieties, like a Rhode Island Red, which is why we have such variation in our egg colours.)
Now look at these beauties! I really need to step up my egg-eating game! We have so many eggs now that we can't keep up with our layers! Actually, we don't even have enough room in our fridge (Rob insists on washing them after they are laid, so we have to refrigerate them rather than keep them on the countertop as I'd prefer) anymore for all these eggs. The other day, Chloë went around our cul-de-sac offering our neighbors our own organic eggs. Most were delighted and took several! (The rest weren't home yet.)
Each time I have been admitted into the hospital, I am on some sort of special diet. I am always restricted from eggs or any egg-containing food, because I am technically allergic to eggs. However, there is some difference between regular, ordinary store-bought eggs and our own pasture-raised, organically-fed chickens' eggs. I can eat those with zero reaction. So it's always with great joy that I come home and Rob makes me a delicious omelet with cheese and sautéed onions. (He's such a great Hubs; no complaints there!)
So when I've been home, I like to cook. I'm not always up to it, but I do love to make a nice meal with a pretty presentation for my family - especially the Husbeast. The kids don't always appreciate the gourmet meals I prefer to cook, so Rob usually does the more day-to-day, mac-and-cheese sort of stuff, while I like to really go wild. It's for that reason that I'm fond of the various meal subscription services that have come into play in recent years. I've tried Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, and one or two others; now I'm into Sun Basket.
I like the meal delivery services because it's a chance to expand my cooking knowledge, expand my food awareness, and also because I can be picky about what foods come in my meal selections. This meal, above, is Turkish Lamb Köfte with Tahini Sauce and Smashed Cucumber Salad and was obviously chosen only for my carnivorous (well, omnivorous, really). He seemed to enjoy it quite well, and I liked preparing it. I got a little heavy handed with the black pepper, though. Oops! Sorry, Rob.
Here are some of the ingredients for the next recipe I created. You can click to embiggerate the pictures, if you're impatient to read the book and don't want to scroll down to see what it was!
This delicious beauty was Tuscan Vegetable Soup with Ciabatta Croutons. So much yum in this dish. Everyone in the house tried it, which is a rare thing for one of these meal delivery service recipes. The kids usually turn up their noses at it. I think everyone pretty much enjoyed it, but Rob and I loved it. Unfortunately, I can't really eat a lot of soup (thanks to my gastric bypass surgery), so in the end, Rob ended up with four bowls of soup to down. Honestly, though, it was delicious!
The day after I cooked the Tuscan Soup, I was back at it with the third and final Sun Basket meal in that week's delivery. (I usually only get it one week per month, because it's spendy.) Here's some minced garlic and chopped onions.
Beautiful, rinsed red lentils
Sliced limes - yummy!
The finished product: Red Lentil and Chickpea Dal with Butternut Squash and Pita. It was scrumptious! I ate every bite of mine. Rob thought it was "all right," but he's not much for showing enthusiasm. (Trust me; for 17 years, I've urged him to show more emotion, give me more "oomph" about something I felt he should feel strongly about, but he just... doesn't. It's so frustrating for an over-emoter like me! Haha!) I especially liked the added touch of Coconut Milk poured over the whole thing, once it was in the bowl. Mmm... delish.
One thing I really like about Sun Basket is that, unlike the other services we've tried, they include a full recipe book of all the recipes they've shipped out, to us and everyone else, whether we chose those meals or not. So if I was torn between adding two dishes to our shipment, I could still make both if I wanted to. I think this is a fantastic way to let us try way more than just those for which they've sent us the ingredients.
Wait 'til you see what we're getting this Wednesday! Everything looks so scrummy!
I was a knitting/crocheting mentor for a while. I even have a pin to show for it. I've attempted to teach dozens of students. Some are still doing it and improving their skills; I'm proud of everyone who tries it!
2. What current trend makes no sense to you?
A year into his atrocious and disastrous first (and hopefully last, if not foreshortened) term as PUSA, there are still Trump apologists. I don't understand these people; I just don't. I know some of them, and they just refuse to listen to reason. Some are educated, rather intelligent people, too. WTF?!!
3. I saw a cartoon on Facebook highlighting a few 'weird' things that make you happy as an adult. The list included-writing with a nice pen, having plans cancelled, freshly cleaned sheets, eating the corner brownie, cleaning the dryer lint screen, and sipping coffee in that brief time before anyone else wakes up. Of the 'weird' things listed which one makes you happiest? What is one more 'weird' thing you'd add to the list?
I love writing with a nice pen that writes smoothly with no gaps or scratchy marks. I'm favoring BiC Gel-ocity pens at the moment - especially since they write in many colors. I love colorful pens and try not to use black at all unless there is no other choice. I don't like the corny brownie - I'd rather have the center one! Canceled plans usually irritate me; freshly clean sheets are nice but not a dealbreaker unless I'm in a hotel, and I rarely drink coffee. My caffeinated beverage of choice is still Diet Coke. The kids do the laundry, so I don't clean out the lint trap anymore. To add to the list, I'd have to explain that I have a ridiculously, enormously large bladder capacity, so taking a weewee takes up about five minutes for me. That's very satisfying. ;)
4. What's the last good thing you ate?
I don't eat a lot these days, but the last satifying thing I had was a tasty omelet from our own hens' organic eggs, with plenty of cheese and sautéed onions. Hubs makes them for me, and they're so good!
5. Describe life in your 20's in one sentence.
In my naïve 20s, I eloped with my husband two months after we met, and we immediately started our family of four kids.
6. It's that time of year again...time for Lake Superior University to present a list of words (or phrases) they'd like to see banished (for over-use, mis-use, or general uselessness) in 2018. This year's top vote getters are -- unpack, dish (as in dish out the latest rumor), pre-owned, onboarding/offboarding, nothingburger, let that sink in, let me ask you this, impactful, Covfefe, drill down, fake news, hot water heater (hot water doesn't need to be heated), and gig economy
Which of these words/phrases would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why? Is there a word not on the list you'd like to add?
I would like to add "basic," as in, describing someone as basic if they do or don't do certain maybe unsophisticated things. I hate this usage.
7. What's something you need to get rid of in the new year?
This yellow, flowered couch. I like it, even though it's not my normal style. And it's comfortable as hell. However, Tapioca (our half-rabid Chiweenie), has eaten large portions of it, so it's now an eyesore. I'd like to replace it ASAP, but first I have to buy Jack a new bed. He's been sleeping on the floor for nearly a year!
8. Where do you feel stuck?
I feel stuck physically. Healthwise, I am on my fourth TENS unit, having burned through my first three and having spent hundreds of dollars on those. I haven't tried the new one yet, but it's got good reviews on Amazon, so I'm crossing my fingers that it'll help all the leg and wrist pain I experience daily from my "Fibromyalgia" (it's really Chronic Lyme Disease). I tried to get a job, but I ended up with my 8th pneumonia within a year. Months later, I'm stuck inside much of the time, I use a wheelchair and handicap parking placard occasionally, and I take a shit ton of medications to manage my illnesses. I would really like to be freer physically. At 41 years old, I don't feel like I should have to live this way. :(
9. January is National Soup Month. When did you last have a bowl of soup? Was it made from scratch or from a can? Your favorite canned soup? Your favorite soup to make from scratch on a cold winter's day?
It's difficult for me to have soup, because with my gastric bypass surgery, I'm not supposed to have solids and liquids at the same time. I have to drink broth now, though, because I'm not getting enough sodium content and was recently in the hospital to boost my super-low sodium levels. And I try to eat as little chicken and seafoods as possible, but I consider myself pescetarian because my protein needs are so high, so... I usually, by myself, will eat cream of chicken soup out of the can when I need a protein and calorie boost. If Rob makes his famous chicken and dumplings soup, I'm all over that. It's so good.
10. Tell us one thing you're looking forward to in 2018.
Trump's impeachment. Need I say more?!
Thanks for stopping by, y'all! I hope to get to everyone's tonight or tomorrow!
We have eggs, y'all! We haven't figured out which of our now-eight hens are laying, but we're sure it's more than one. We're thinking Daisy and my Athena (our white Silky), but that's all we know so far.
The eggs are so tiny! They're about half the size of a store-bought Large egg. I don't know what that translates to in official terms, but they're really small. Do chicken eggs grow as the chickens grow? I should probably find out - or I guess I will, that is.
So far we've collected 8 eggs, I think. Which is good, because since I've had a tonsillectomy just 6 days ago, I haven't been able to eat much beside the omelettes Rob has been making for me. They taste delicious, and I feel good knowing we've been feeding them the best food and treats available (shout out to Zamzows on Federal Way!) and nothing that isn't the best for them - and us.
So other than my major medical issues going on right now, that's about it from Team Odette at the moment. Every morning is at least one new egg, which is so fun. Sophia is usually the one who finds them. She comes in victoriously with the egg, joy written all over her face.
Hey, guys. So you may or may not know, I have been a distributor for Young Living for just over a year, having been introduced to some pain-relieving oils of theirs by my awesome friend, Shana. Shana knew I was suffering daily with pain from what we didn't know (at the time), and she desperately wanted to help me.
Since that time, after being helped tremendously by the little kit Shana put together for me, she signed me up as a Distributor for Young Living so that I could reap the full benefits of the products. I've been gung-ho ever since, but never more so than I have since the 2017 International Grand Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, this past June.
After Convention, my fervor was renewed, as well as my desire to branch out and try more of our many products aside from the oils I have been mostly concentrating [pun intended] on buying and trying. Plus, we've had so many new products come out this year, I was eager to broaden my horizons and give some of them a try.
Full Disclosure: This post includes links to my personal Young Living Distributor page. I have not received ANY compensation from YLEOs for writing this post. All opinions expressed herein are, as always, 100% my own.
Instead of JAFRA, which has been my mainstay in skincare since I first signed up with them in, like, 1999, I've decided to give some of the Young Living skincare items a try. I've been using them for about a week now, and here are my impressions (left to right, as shown above):
Satin Facial Scrub Mint; 2 ounces and retails for $21.38, or you can also sign up under me as a wholesale distributor and get it for $16.25
From the website: "Satin Facial Scrub™, Mint is a water-based exfoliant. It contains jojoba oil, mango butter, MSM [Dimethyl Sulfone], aloe, and Peppermintessential oil to minimize the appearance of pores and invigorate dull skin."
My take on it: Oh, my gosh, I love this scrub. The minty aroma really wakens up my face as well as me for the day, so I am ready to go as soon as I use it. Just don't get it in your eyes, like I have - eek! It really works well to slough off dead skin, leaving my face soft and touchable. I can definitely recommend this.
From the website: "This gentle, soap-free facial wash cleanses the skin without stripping natural oils. It contains MSM [Dimethyl Sulfone] for softening and Lavender essential oil to soothe skin."
My take: Well, at $41 my cost, it's quite a bit pricier than I'd like to spend. However, the orange scent is plenty and also, it's highly concentrated so I only need to use a tiny amount per shower. I just started using it, so I don't know how long it'll last me, but I'm guessing at least two months. That softens the blow of the high price a bit. It does not leave a residue, leaving my face squeaky clean, so I do like it. I just wish it weren't so costly.
From the website: "An advanced formula powered by a sophisticated, proprietary blend of alpine botanicals and pure essential oils, Sheerlumé™ will visibly brighten and balance skin tone."
My take: Well, at $68 (my price), this was another big chunk of moolah that I wasn't quite ready to spend, but since I'm running low on my (also spendy) Jafra Royal Jelly skincare, I decided to bite the bullet and get the Sheerlumé™. It is very rich and creamy, and again, highly concentrated. I barely need more than a fingertip's dollop to cover my whole face and neck, and then I need to let that air-dry before I put my moisturize on top of that. I absolutely abhor dry skin with a passion, so I'm delighted with the moisturizing properties of Sheerlumé™ and the next item, and my skin actually does seem brighter and more balanced. If blotchy/spotty/irregular skin tone is an issue for you (I have lots of scar tissue on the sides of my cheeks from allergy booboos, tons of freckles, and what-have-you), then I would say you should give this a try!
From the website: "Add Young Living’s moisturizing cream, ART® Intensive Moisturizer, to your daily skin care and discover the perfect way to pamper yourself. This deep, ultra-hydrating lotion recaptures the qualities of younger-looking skin by reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and helping skin feel smoother and more pliable.
"Made completely from naturally derived ingredients, ART Intensive Moisturizer nourishes the skin with ingredients such as pracaxi seed oil and blue bird hibiscus leaf extract to even skin tone and promote hydration. We also add five premium essential oils to create a light floral scent and luxurious experience that leaves your skin feeling soft, refreshed, and radiant. Clinically tested and non-irritating, ART Intensive Moisturizer is sure to be a welcomed addition to your morning or evening routine!"
My take: Well, since I am admittedly vain about my facial appearance and just turned 41 this past Friday, fine lines and tiny wrinkles have become a BIG DEAL for me. I don't have many, but I do have some. Fortunately, since I have taken good care of my skin over the last 20 years, my wrinkles aren't so bad compared to some of my same-aged peers, but I do see crow's feet and smile lines when I, y'know, smile! I haven't been using the ART line long enough to notice any difference other than while it's actually being applied, and then I really do notice a less papery, more hydrated texture that makes making those lines harder to see.
If super-dry skin, or being in your 40s is not yet an issue for you (you pooper), then maybe the light moisturizer would be the way for you to go. If aging and/or fine lines and wrinkles are an issue, though, go for the Intensive. I really like it, but I will warn you that with this and many other YL products, the scent takes some getting used to. It's a natural, botanically-based aroma, obviously, not lab-created, and so you may not be accustomed to a natural fragrance such as these products provide. Take some time to get used to it; I think you'll be glad you did.
From the website: "Wolfberry Eye Cream is a natural, water-based moisturizer. Containing the anti-aging and skin-conditioning properties of wolfberry seed oil, this cream soothes tired eyes and minimizes the appearance of fine lines."
My take: Well, maybe like some others who are kind of, erm, obsessive about skincare and vanity, I tend to take notice of people - women especially - who are getting up there in years and whether they are using a (good or not) eye cream. So many people don't, and since this is the one area of the body that shows the first signs of aging, it mystifies me that people don't! Believe me, we can tell; it's altogether too obvious. I don't mean that to be bitchy, but rather to convince you to get one! Whether it's from Young Living, JAFRA, or some entirely different brand, just make sure to get one. As far as this wolfberry cream goes, I LOVE it! I sleep for crap lately - okay, I always have - and it shows up in my puffy, tired eyes. Using this cream makes an enormous difference! Also highly concentrated, it packs a punch in just a tiny, fingertip-sized portion and will last at least two months also. Blending into the lower lids - more like on the cheekbone and upward, and on the browbone down with the ring fingers for the lightest touch is what works best. This is a MUST-HAVE item!
From the website: "Rose Ointment™ is a deeply nourishing blend for dry skin. Rose essential oil improves skin texture, while Tea Tree (Melaleuca Alternifolia) works to soothe rough, irritated skin."
My take on it: Now, this isn't really a facial skincare item per se, but I'm including it here because it does, well, get applied to the skin. I use it on my dry heels and the rest of my feet, my elbows, sometimes even my lips and hands. I have sensory issues and hate the feel of touching paper if my hands aren't exceedingly well moisturized. This Rose Ointment solves that problem well! Just a tiny amount is all that's needed to coat a large surface area. I put it on my feet and then wear socks, and my feet stay nice and cozy and well-moisturized for a long time. Love it!!
From the website: "Young Living’s Essential Beauty™ Serum for dry skin contains essential oils like Blue Cypress and Lavender, known for their ability to restore the skin’s natural moisture balance."
My take: Well, you either add a few drops to your moisturizer or spot-treat it without adding it to anything, for difficult to treat dry spots. i have been adding it to my Intensive Moisturizer, and that kind of seems like overkill. Especially when I add the Sheerlumé™ into the morning's regimen! So definitely be picking and choosing what your needs are and then you'll find it's not necessary to use each and every one of these items - unless, like me, you really love having a lot of choices and want to switch up your routine from morning to morning.
From the website: "Promote healthy skin with LavaDerm™, Young Living’s refreshing Lavender spray. It’s made with skin-loving ingredients such as aloe, Lavender, Northern Lights Black Spruce, and Helichrysum to gently support healthy-looking skin. Its mild and gentle formula lightly moisturizes while also soothing and rejuvenating skin. Incorporate its refreshing feel and calming aroma into your nighttime routine or use it as needed throughout the day. The compact and convenient design of this skin moisturizer spray makes it easy to store wherever you need it, whether in your purse, travel bag, bedside table, or office desk."
My take: Well, I had a hysterectomy in April 2008, which threw me into semi-menopause at 31, so hot flashes are definitely a THING for me. I keep my LavaDerm Cooling Mist in the fridge, so that when a hot flash hits, I am ready for that puppy. A spritz or two here and there is all I need, keeping my skin hydrated and better yet, cooled down! The price isn't bad for how well it works, either. LOVE THIS!!
YL Lip Balm Trio; Retails for ?? $5.26 or wholesale $4 per lip balm. It's not letting me see the price for the whole Trio at this time, for some reason. Shenanigans! It's a good deal, though.
From the website: "Give your lips the best with this set of three lip balm varieties—Cinnamint, Lavender, and Grapefruit. Each with their own unique blend of essential oils and other nourishing botanicals, these hydrating lip balms seal in moisture for smooth, soft lips."
My take: Well, I'm addicted to lip balms, so I have the Lavender one stashed in my purse, the Grapefruit one in my bathroom, and I've yet to use the Cinnamint since I'm still finishing up my Dr. Bronner's Naked Organic Lip Balm (which I also like) here at the desk. These are great, since they work well and combine with my beloved Young Living Essential Oils! If you're also an EO fanatic, like I am, these are also a MUST GET.
(Excuse the damn hair.) So here I am, at the ripe old age of 41, having just used all of the above products, and some of the cosmetics which I'll get to in the next post. Not too bad, I guess; I did get my ID checked the other day when buying beer for the Hubs!! lol. That made my day.
So if you're interested in becoming a Distributor for Young Living, or have more interest and questions about the products, please shoot me a comment (form below) or visit my personal web page for details.
Next up in this Review series: cosmetics and a few new-to-met oils!
I'm not sure, but I think the last time I took to the casino or anything like that was in October 2006, when we were on a cruise with some of our extended family. I dropped about ten bucks on chips and played the slot machine. I quickly lost that and took my leave!
3) There's a major football game this weekend. Will you be watching? Do you have any money riding on the outcome?
We're going to a Super Bowl party at our church tonight to watch the game. I'm excited! I've never actually been to any game-watch party, let alone the Super Bowl! Maybe I'm a loser? Anyway, I hope it'll be way fun. Much less stressful than, and a great break from, all the political BS coming out of D.C. lately...
4) The composer of this song, Jeff Fortgang, is an interesting guy who's had two disparate careers: first pop musician, then Yale-educated clinical psychologist. It's possible that many of the patients who see him for help with anxiety or depression have no idea that he wrote this song. What's something your coworkers (or, if you're not working, casual friends) would be surprised to know about you?
Well, I'm an over-sharer on social media (I try to contain myself but have no real filter, so it's hard), so there would not be much. However, I do think some people would be shocked about how much I don't share. They probably think it's none, but it's way more than lots. ;)
5) Similarly, fans are often surprised to learn that this week's featured artist, Rod Stewart, is a history buff who loves reading about WWII. Is there a period of time or historic event that has captured your interest?
I'd love to go back to the '50s and dance in a good, old-fashioned sock hop. What fun!
6) Rod met his current wife as the result of a dare. Penny Lancaster, then in her 20s, spotted the decades-older celebrity in a bar and only approached him because her friends bet her she didn't have the guts to talk to him. Are you, like Penny, vulnerable to peer pressure? Can your friends talk you into doing things you might not otherwise do?
Usually not. On the other hand, if I'm comfortable with the group I'm in, I ofted get amped up enough to go do shit on my own - with or without my friends' daring me to do it!
7) Rod vividly recalls being 11 years old and going to see Little Richard perform in a film comedy called The Girl Can't Help It. When you were a kid, did you enjoy going to the movies? What do you recall seeing?
Oh, I have fantastic memories of going to the drive-in movies with mom and dad! The first two movies, which I still love, that I can remember seeing were E.T. The Extra Terrestrial and Bambi. Stacey (sister) and I would sit in the back of the car eating M&Ms and other snacks, and when my parents thought we'd fallen asleep, they started smooching. Haha!
8) The lyrics tell of when Rod's car overheats and he calls a friend, who doesn't come through. Tell us about a time recently when you were there and helped a buddy out.
Note: This not the actual cake, but she'll get one similar to it.
My good friend, Domenica, doesn't have a car, and she needed to order a 4th birthday cake for her daughter, Emma. She was going to walk the nearest Publix and does that all the time, no problem. But she's pregnant and having some issues with that, so Chloë and I drove over to pick them up. Domenica and Emma ran with us to our local, organic CSA share farm and then to Publix to order the cake. Also:
Domenica and Chloë glommed onto the cupcake display case at the bakery and could not resist getting a couple of tasty treats for themselves! (And yes, I 'stole' a bit of Chloë's delicious cupcake, despite the fact that I can not have anything in it! Delicioso!)
9) The lyrics mention that "some guys do nothing but complain." Who do you know who is like that? Do you have a friend, relative or coworker who just always seems to find fault?
If I had a friend like that, always finding fault, they probably would not be my friend in the first place. I had enough of that growing up with my wicked stepmother. I complain, but honestly I just do it to hear myself talk! ha! I'm like my grandpa that way.
Thanks for stopping by! Have a great Super Bowl Sunday.
Do you play video games? If so, do you have a favorite video game series?
No, I don't. However, my teenage son is currently obsessed with our XBOX One S, which we gave him for Christmas. Particularly, he is consumed with playing Fallout 4, and will do chores to earn time for playing. Yo, I do not feel guilty for milking this system for all it's worth!
3. Any unpopular opinions on anything?
Sure. I mean, doesn't everyone have them? And yes, tacos bore me. I mean... *sniff*
4. Do you have a favorite gem? If yes, has anyone ever bought you jewelry with that gem?
My favorite gemstone is the sapphire, which is my (September) birth stone. When I was 12, my dad gave me a small ring with one, and I loved it. I wore it all the time, but the band was thin, and eventually it wore through. I lost it.
Later, Hubs found several pretty loose sapphires on eBay and purchased them. He had them set especially for me by a professional jeweler and gave them to me for an early anniversary present.
5. Favorite story genres?
I prefer mystery thrillers the most. However, I saved a few books out of my packing boxes for the Idaho move and none of them are stories. One is Carschooling by Diane Flynn Keith, and another is Just One Thing by Rick Hanson, Ph.D. I am motivated now to read both.
6. What was once a secret that you can now share?
I support the women's rights movement, The Pussyhat Project, because I had to terminate my first pregnancy following a home-invasion rape. It was my first of two rapes that summer. F- you, Donald Trump, and those who support the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the cutting off of funds to Planned Parenthood. F- you, all day long!!! That procedure saved my life. I do not for one moment regret it, and I never have. NEVER.
For more information on the project, click the link. I can't march in Washington, D.C. on Inauguration Day, but I plan to go to the one here in Miami the following day, wearing my Pussyhat. Who's with me?
7. Do you like reading?
I adore it. I haven't made enough time for it in the past few years, but I plan to get back to it. Books open a whole new world unto the reader, and I am happy to be a book nerd.
8. What time is it for you now, and what are you usually doing at this time of the day?
It's actually 4:20 PM EST. I don't smoke weed, though. ;) I'm thinking about starting to manage my pain! Maybe when we're passing through Colorado en route to Idaho...? This time of day I'm... I don't know. Managing my household. Washing dishes, doing laundry, yelling at the kids to go outside. So exciting, my life.
9. What character on TV or in film is most similar to you? You can go with looks or personality. Or you can make a quip and go to the next question.
I've been told I look like Molly Ringwald. I don't necessarily see it, because I always wanted to look like Kristy McNichol and be like her Empty Nest character.
10. What's something weird you wanna do?
Number one sounds like something I would totally do. Let's go with that!
11. Have you ever accomplished a New Years Resolution?
Yes, I lost 205 lbs, from January 2009 to January 2011. Granted, I had surgery as a tool to help me do it, but it has been hardwork keeping that weight off, y'all. My "surgiversary" is coming up on the 26th, and I will post pictures to show you whether I've accomplished that. Um, more or less, you know?
Is there any music artist you look up to?
I look up to Lady Gaga. I really do. She battles mental health issues and fibromyalgia, like I do, and she is still out there with those amazing pipes (girl can SING) and acting on AHS. She lives her truth, however weird it may be from day-to-day, and I respect that.
13. Are you allergic to anything? If yes, what?
Yup. Lots: Percocet, Ansef (an antiobiotic that I never remember how to spell), Depakote, Buspiron. Non-organic, non-cage-free eggs. I'm lactose-intolerant. I'm gluten-intolerant. I don't eat meat. I have to get a lot of protein. I have to eat low carb, low sugar foods. I'm basically on the ice diet.
14. When was the last time you took a swim? Who else was with you?
I haven't swum since August 2013. I have autoimmune disorders that require me to stay out of the sun. My favorite place is the beach; I love to swim and jump in the waves. Alas...
Would you rather have the ability to sleep for as long as you want, or have the ability to never have to sleep?
My "luxurious" lifestyle allows me to sleep as long as I want right now. I would rather never need to sleep; I hate it and fight it constantly.
So many things running through my mind. Does anyone care anymore now that my dear Mamacita (Mother-in-Law, for my uninitiated pals) has departed us? I feel like she was my only audience who gave a rat's patoot, and now I should shaddup.
Of course, I won't, and then I remember my lovely teenage daughter, Chloë, loves to read my posts when she has time. The old ones about herself, especially. And so, for my beautiful curly girl, I will continue. (And I love you, Toots!)
So on January 2nd of this year, Rob and I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary. I'm guessing no one who knows us personally thought we would hit this mark. There were times over the past decade-and-six that make me think I'm not sure how we did it, myself. But here we are, still kicking away at this marriage thing sixteen years in, and not I'm thinking we'll go far longer than we all anticipated. I love this guy an immense amount, and he loves me an immense amount, and that's pretty much kept us going. It's enough, y'all.
Now, let's discuss something which I rarely talk about: FASHION. (I know, right? Me.)
I know nothing about fashion, other than I'm no good at it and don't really mind that. So this should really be: CLOTHES MY KIDS WEAR.
First, there's this awesome boho shirt Chloë splurged her gift card money from my sister, Aunt Stacey, on. She got a couple pairs of leggings and a pair of cute socks to round out the total, and I had a coupon and a military discount, and it was after Christmas clearance time, so she did quite well. (Wherever the photo of Chloë actually showing us what it looks like, instead of, you know, a ton of curls... I can't find it. Oh, well.)
Next up, Señorita Wet Head is showing off her new LuLaRoe leggings and dress (Carly? I have no recollection which model). She loves these, and they look so awesome and feel so comfortable on her, I may have snagged a couple pairs myself.
I had no intention of getting in on the LLR craze. I really did not. But then I had an awesome friend, Summer from Virginia Beach (where from I did not meet her until a year or two after we moved away from there, which is crazy but awesome) gift Chloë with these two beauts following a Facebook conversation.
Not only do they look and feel great, Chloë and I both share nearly identical sensory issues with fabrics, and I find they will work for me, too. Here are the ones I've demanded requested from Summer:
(because I love to cook and bake, duh)
because these just sing to me. Aren't they nice? I love 'em, can't wait to get 'em.
Speaking (constantly, at least in real life) of Idaho - oh, we weren't? - I've been collecting sales for cold-weather gear. They all now have snow pants that will grow with them, boots that will (well, who knows with the ever-growing Sophia?) fit awhile, and winter coats! Chloë is dying to go downhill skiing. I am not a skier, but maybe I'll take lessons with her if I can brace against the cold long enough. I've gone cross-country skiing, which I enjoyed, but a lot chicken about the other kind. On the other hand, Chloë is afraid of the ski lift, and I can't wait to go on that!
Sophia wants to go snow boarding, and Jack just wants to play in the snow, I guess. I don't know what he'll end up doing. I suspect I'll be nursing hot cocoa next to him in the lodge while the others frolic in the cold and snow, most of the time!
And now for another topic that is omnipresent lately: COOKING.
I don't always fail when it comes to cooking. I don't remember this so much, but I made a lot of it from the CSA share we get weekly, and none of it got thrown away! (I don't remember it because of my Fibromyalgia Fog that is making me dafter and derpier than even my usual self. It's muy frustrating.)
(If you're in the Homestead area of Miami, by any chance, check out this CSA. We get ours from Bee Heaven Farm, and the foods are organic, sustainably-raised produce. This year, we also get a small Mediterranean food share from one of the CSA-connected farms. I've enjoyed that a bunch. We have gotten Rachel's eggs from there and have even sought out more such foods at the Pinecrest Farmer's Market on Sundays. Pretty awesome stuff.)
Anyway, so sometimes I make decent stuff, and I don't get injured in the process.
And then, last Sunday night was different. As a semi-vegetarian (sometime-pescetarian here), I haven't had a steak in over 20 years. I don't know how to cook one! But I bought these sirloin steaks from Publix on the hunch that maybe extremely-picky (and tiny!) Jack would eat it and like it. In 16 years of marriage, I had never cooked Rob a steak, so I was all equipped with my Interwebs knowlij and ready to make it.
Fail. Fail, fail, fail.
Sure, I was able to 'gram the above photo of Rob's plate (that sourdough from Publix was amazeballs, btw). But then he cut into it, and that was not Pinterest-worthy. It wasn't done nearly enough. So I threw the steaks back in the searing-hot pan and started cooking it more thoroughly.
I ended up burned and bandaged when I grabbed the hot pan a little too hastily and splashed the tiny bit of hot EVOO I was using so as not to burn the steak. That was after the apartment filled up with smoke and all five detectors starting screaming and rioting. Oh, my gosh, it's funny now, but at the time I was not laughing!
Here's how it looks a few days later (scroll past quickly if you're squeamish or cranky about boo-boo pictures):
The amazingly miraculous thing was, I used my Young Living lavender essential oil on the burn, as I had read was a THING, and you guys, it totally took away the pain. I had zero pain after that, none after the bandages came off, none ever. It blows my MIND.
(I haven't even talked much about my Young Living oils on this blahg, because I don't want to be coming off as the scientist who lost her marbles, but I am totally having an epic experience with the essential oils. I don't even care if it's a placebo effect but they help me. I lurve them.)
So yeah. Good lavender oil on a burn is a thing. Who knew?
I used two 13-oz (I think) packages of Hillshire Farms Turkey Sausage instead of ground Italian sausage.
I had no celery, so I just put in extra diced onions. Why not?
I didn't have the Great Northern beans, so I put in small red beans and red kidney beans as requested.
I didn't put in dry pasta, because we had leftover orecchiette in the fridge. It turned out far paste al dente, of course, but it was fine for this time.
I had no chicken broth, so I put in water and some Lipton onion soup mix. Maybe don't do that, but it was fine.
I didn't have Parmesan, so I grated fresh Romano on it, instead.
I had mixed results with the kids, but Rob loved it and had eaten the whole pot (and it was a bigg'un!) by lunchtime the following day. I'll try this one again sometime, for sure.
Meanwhile, I had ordered some $90' worth of Harry & David Royal Riviera Pears (not having paid nearly that much, but still) after Christmas that arrived looking less than regal. The replacements are being sent out to us, but in the meantime, that's a whole lotta sweet pears to use up!
Since they had been frozen in shipment sometime and were wrinkly and um, subdued, I decided to cook with them.
Jack and I decided to try the Crockpot Pear Sauce recipe from the Pretty Hungry blog. Jack did all the work himself, while I just called out steps to him to do from the computer screen. We pretty much followed the directions verbatim, and it was a good one. This recipe is, to me, perfection. We loved it. Speaking of this, I think I'll go have some more after we wrap this post!
A few final Saturday morning fragments:
Rob and I had a good short visit with Anne-Marie from Miami International Riding Club, where Sophia took lessons until breaking her wrist following a fall (her mistake) this past July 1st. (Sophia misses horses and riding desperately and will continue after we move to Idaho.) I had made horse show bows for one of Anne-Marie's young equestrian students, and she came by to pick them up. Lovely girl. Too bad Sophie was already in bed and missed her. We'll go say our good-byes before we go, of course.
Our foster-fail Chiweenie puppy, Tapioca, is just a few months shy of a year old now. She was rescued by That Black Dog Rescue, Inc. after a tough start with a litter-eating mama and too-early weaning from her bottle by the initial rescuers. She's done well except for her major chewing problem, and now she's starting to exhibit more aggression toward Rob and Jack. We'll probably end up getting her doggy therapy in Idaho. Poor thing.
And finally, I'm going to miss my subtropical South Florida flowers and balmy winter weather after we move! This photo was from earlier this month.
However, I am excited for our look forward now that moving date is just over a month and a half away! Packing has not yet begun here at Chez Odette, but we will soon start in earnest. I plan to jettison a lot of my belongings to which I am no longer feeling a strong emotional attachment. A fresh start is just what the doctor ordered.
Well, if you read this far, thanks for sticking with me through it all! I hope to keep up more regularly and redevelop my readership and my blogging mojo. Famous last words from me, but I'm gonna try.
Sophia pulled down the 2nd day's Advent treat baggie, and passed it to ...
Jack! We continued doing that for oh... one more day? Maybe? Before I decided to have the same person do all the things, out of frustration with remembering who did what the two days prior.
The 2nd day's treats were Christmas tree lollipops or, as Robert and half the country calls them, "suckers."
That day, a Friday, our Advent activity was supposed to be to go down the road to the Homestead Miami Speedway, where the kids could watch Daddy drive a racecar around the track for a few laps. However, because of his brain tumor surgery, Rob didn't feel comfortable driving, and no one wanted to go and just watch a bunch of strangers drive. So... we opted for Mom's back-up plan: Head to downtown Homestead for the tree-lighting ceremony.
Only, we're going to call this plan a Fail, for three reasons:
We were late, and the tree was already lit when we got there,
This lady's rather voluminous arse was bent down in front of the tree for so many minutes, I finally gave up and took the picture anyway... and the photo was blurry, and
The event was otherwise lame.
Oh well, can't win 'em all, right?
Except for Rob. He won it, because I gave him a bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey (and also a bottle of spiked eggnog). He stumbled into bed that night (morning??) at God-knows-what hour and woke me up, whispering all kinds of filth into my ear. It's funny now, but at the time, I wanted to slug him! Ha!
On Saturday last week, Chloë pulled down the third day of Advent's baggie.
The treat of the day was blueberry candy canes for all the kids, and I'll get to the activity in a moment. But first...
So this wasn't part of our Advent, but it happened that day, so I'm including it. Chloë, my frequent traveling companion, and I went out to Bee Heaven Farm here in the Redlands Farming area of Homestead. We get a weekly Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) share from Bee Heaven, and it's always wonderful. The food is organically produced, and fresh food is always needed 'round this house! We also get, besides our small share of veggies, a Mediterranean share. The first year it was Lebanese ful, which was delicious, and this week it was hummus. Also amazing, but I ate it before I took the photo. Oops!!
Back to Advent: The night before, Rob and I snuck out to the store to pick up some salami, a cheese log, and Triscuit crackers (two of the kids' favorite!), along with a bottle of sparkling grape juice. After the farm trip, I set it up while no one was paying attention to me (what else is new?!) and then called them over to partake of it.
They loved it!! The kids said a toast to Christmas and Advent and each other first. We even let them use the good wedding crystal from our friends Lisa and Faris. That was a bonus. Lucky duckers.
This was me today: SLEEPY. I don't know why; it's been a very sleepy week for me since last weekend. Hoping to rev up tomorrow!
Have you ever been so happy you felt invincible?
Actually, yes: The day Hubs and I eloped, nothing could stop us. That's the reason for this blahg's link byline: You and Me Against The World. Unfortunately, it only shows up as "...wo," and I can't change it, or I'd lose all my connecting link-ups!
Would you ever refer to something as ‘bitter sweet’?
Aside from these candy hearts? Actually, yes. I will be posting about this more next month, but giving birth to two beautiful, identical baby boys and then losing one twin was absolutely a bittersweet time for me. #Understatement
Is there a person in this world you don’t think you could ever figure out?
Probably, but it's not my job to try to figure people out. I either like them or I don't.
When was the last time you were freaked out?
The last time I was freaked out was a little embarrassing: We were at the horse farm where my daughter Sophia takes showjumping lessons. Her horse was lame, so she was walking him around the pasture to eat grass. I parked myself under a nearby tree for the time being. Right after I sat down, a black-and-white lizard came up out of the grass and bolted toward me, and then behind me, and then crawled up my right arm from the back! I was wiggling and screaming, and people were watching me! I couldn't help but laugh at myself after that!
Do you learn from ‘every’ mistake you make?
I make a ton of mistakes. Sometimes, more than once, sometimes even bigger than the first time, and then I learn the lesson. So... maybe?
Do you sometimes think that you’re too nice?
Absolutely. At home, I'm not at all, but out in public, I can be a bit of a doormat. I get accused of this all the time. But when I feel I am wronged, then I speak out, in a BIG way.
Is there something you’re dying to tell someone?
Yes, but referring back to the previous question, I will never tell ______ that he is truly an asshole. I just may not mourn terribly when he dies.
Do you think you have a unique name?
Ha. Melanie? Not so much, but people seem to have a devil of a time either pronouncing it when they read it, or spelling it when they ask for it!
Do you usually try to find the good in people?
Absolutely. That is my whole MO, my quest in this life: Find the good - and BE the good - in everything. Sometimes I fail, but I try again. Always.
Do you look back on embarrassing moments and laugh about them?
Generally, yes, unless there was something hurtful about it.
Have you ever laughed just to save yourself from humiliation?
I do try, but as Hubs can attest, I dwell on those things for the next 20 years.
What are you doing in 2 hours?
Hopefully, by then, I'll have cooked an amazing vegetarian meal. And so, eating??
What is the last thing you ate?
We received some more beautiful kohlrabi from our local organic farm, in our latest CSA share, so I bugged Hubs to make chips out of it. I ate them ALL. Every last one. In my belly.
Do you love your job?
Mom to these three S'mores-munchin' knuckleheads? I LOVE it! ♥
When is the last time you showered?
I took a bath yesterday, so Friday, I guess. I'm due.
Who is the last person you texted?
Sophie's riding instructor at the farm, Dani, to let her know we'd be there yesterday. Oops, she was supposed to be there again today, but I forgot! :O
When is the last time you were in a hospital?
Last week, on Wednesday, I took a friend to the ER. She was deadly sick. Turns out, she has the flu. Now I'm trying to come down with it, or so it seems. Nooo... I don't have time for The Sick!
The last time you went out to eat, what did you order?
The last time we had food out, I ordered a bean burrito from Taco Bell. Does that count?
Do you tend to have a lot of those moments where you forget something that you wanted to say?
ALL. THE. TIME. I am the queen of saying jacked-up things. Ask Hubs. It's a longstanding family joke.
How long have you known the last person you text messaged?
Well, since that was the afore-mentioned fluishly sick friend, I guess about a year. She's still sick, poor thing.
Will this week be a good one?
Definitely. I intend to make it so.
Anything happen to you within the past month that made you really happy?
It's been a slow news month, but the kids have been in the kitchen doing a serious amount of cooking and baking for the family. It brings me great joy that they are learning so much from their dad and me about not just academic subjects, but also how to take care of themselves at home and in the world around them.
Do you prefer to take showers at night or in the morning?
Whatever time I wake up, I prefer to shower. Except today. Today, I haven't.
Have you been to New York City?
I was born near NYC, and my whole family is from NYC (both sides), so I have spent a great deal of time there, actually. Mostly Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Less time in Brooklyn and Queens, but I've been there, too.
Black-and-white portrait of the man I love, Robert Allen Odette
So, I haven't blogged as much this infant year as I had planned, because I became even sicker than I had been all throughout the latter half-plus of 2015. That sucked. Basically, I had my iron infusion chemotherapy on December 21st and 28th, and I did not react well to it. I had a semi-kinda-fake-it-'til-you-make-it rally on New Year's Eve, when we went to South Beach for the big par-tay. And then I rested a whole bunch on New Year's Day, before we drove up to Orlando on the 2nd of January to celebrate Rob's and my 15th wedding anniversary.
Well. That sucked. That was actually for a mystery shopping assignment and fun though it was, I almost did not make it home. I had to stop and rest several times along the way, once for several hours, because I was in excruciating pain again. I never did complete that report. That was a Sunday.
By Tuesday, I was calling my father and my BFF, "Dr. Lisa," to say my good-byes. No, I did not call my sister yet at that time, because I knew she would rush down if I told her that I needed her to come help with the kids and Rob after my demise, and I was hoping for a Hail Mary.
Well, obviously, I got my Hail Mary! We still aren't sure what happened yet, because my ER lab results and my primary care doctor are calling it iron toxicity from an overdose of the chemo, but my hem/oncologist swears that I received the correct dose. So, I have no idea, other than that my death definitely seemed imminent but was clearly averted.
I spent a ridiculous amount of time lying on the couch recovering from that episode. I felt like I got NOTHING accomplished for the whole month other than recuperating. I did, however, manage to take a bunch of pictures of stuff, and lo and behold, as I discovered last night, that means I actually did stuff worthy (at least to me, so, good enough folks!) of that photography. I'm going to share it all here because, uh, that's kinda the purpose of this interwebular space, amirite?
Black-and-white profile of my sleeping beauty, Sophia Lorelei
This is from the 8th of January, when Sophia was feeling poorly from a yucky cold virus, and I was feeling poorly from all the aforementioned whatever-the-feck. We were lying together on Rob's lap, if you can discern his camouflage trousers in my sepia tones. A selfie? I asked. Of course, she responded. Snap
I rarely wear jeans, and never wear boots - certainly not leather ones - so when Rob pulled out my man-made pleather knee-highs from the depths of our closet, I decided to go for it and rock the cowgirl look at one of Sophia's showjumping lessons. Or something. No stetson atop my head, though. The big accomplishment here, though, is that I was up and about, ready to attend her lessons again!
That night, I felt like crap again and learned that my recovery would not come all at once but in slow bursts and small backslides each day and night. I rested and kvetched about how miserable I was... so much so that my awesome hubs asked what he could do to make my awful night better. Five minutes later, he was giving me his first pedicure. Not a bad job, either! ♥
Puppy love from Otterbox (Otto von Dieter) and the Doodle (Paco)
Rob and I, starting our 16th year of wedding bliss, are connecting on a whole 'nother level lately. Our marriage has had some really high highs and some really low lows, but right now we are absolutely soaring. It takes work, every day, absolutely. But we are both crazier about each other now than when we first began this story of true love.
Rob and Jack both received NERF guns from Grandpa Al & Grandma Denise (thanks, y'all!) for Christmas, and Jack received several more from Ye Olde Maw an' Paw, so the boys were thirsting for an old-fashioned (water) gun fight! Okay, so that wasn't truly an accomplishment of mine, per se, but at least I got up off my duff and out the door to take some piccies!
On Wednesday, my neighbor drove Sophia and me to see my hem/oncologist. Sophia had a lesson right afterward, and I could not drive. The visit went well, I had blood drawn, blah blah blah. Afterward, our vecino, Frank, insisted us taking to the Sports Grille next door for a bite to eat before her lesson. Selfie time for me and Sophie!
And here's that neighbor, Frank, with me watching Sophia's lesson that day. He absolutely loved watching her ride Buddy. Frank clapped and cheered, and he called her a champion! It was really fun watching it through his fresh eyes, and it's true. On Wednesday, Sophie really did an amazing job!
Sophia walking Buddy to get saddled up
Buddy doesn't like to get his riding gear on, and he gets a little nippy. Once ridden, though, he's a gentle giant. He loves Sophia, though - and that might be due in no small part to her bringing him a treat at the beginning and end of each lesson!
Sophia had achievements in January, too. She and buddy jumped together for the first time, and she got up to a canter, too! Way to go, kiddo!
It looks so freeing...
This is the only picture I have gotten of Sophie and Buddy jumping so far, but there been many perfect jumps since then. Gosh, I'm so proud of how far she's come in just four short months!
Sweet sign made by one of the other 'horsey moms'
Craftiness happened this month, too. I was bound and determined not to let the extreme pain in all my joints stop me from doing what I really love and find so calming: knitting. So... I started with this top for myself (and yes, some champagne might have been involved in a few mishaps there):
But, they're fixable.
I'm pretty happy with it, even though I would do a Small instead of a Medium next time, and extend the belly ribbing so it covers more of my, uh, mommy pooch... lol. But it's good. I might even wear it out one day?!
All the kids got onboard with Mommy knitting again, and all have asked for projects for themselves. We had a bit of a cold snap there, and Sophie already loves gloves and mittens, so together we picked out a pattern that's a combo of both.
Meet Tatiana. Yes, there are booboos and it's a bit tight, but my fingers are out of practice and frankly, my eyes just don't see as well anymore! But Sophie is happy and that's what matters. Now to work on the bottom halves some...
Speaking of craftiness, Jack and Sophia received their Tinker and Doodle Crates for the month, respectively. Their arrival is always a fun day.
For Jack's project, he had to build a gravity game. He really enjoys doing the Tinker Crates along with the YouTube videos for each one, so his tablet was trotted out for the assist.
I told Jack that if he could get the ball into the 50-point hole at the end, he could have a day off from Math work. Guess who had the next day off from Math?!
Sophia's project was about Watercolor Painting, which is something she knows and loves.
She had to learn about color gradients, which was new and challenging for her. And then she painted some dishes, including my FiestaWare, which, um... was NOT okay with me!!! (But now I can laugh. A bit.)
For a bit more craftiness, Sophia fashioned these awesome sandals out of fallen palm fronds. I got a kick out of it!
I needed a lot of help to get out to Bee Heaven Farm this month, which is where we get our weekly CSA shares, but Rob, Sophia, and Frank were happy to help me get there and get our box of fresh, local, organic goods!
You know what fresh food means? Cooking. This first dish, I went pretty simple: Salad. I wilted the kale first and did a stir-fry with some watermelon radish, some kind of pepper I forget the name of, and then just threw it together with pecans and shredded Colby Jack. Meh, it was all right, but Rob had to finish my dose portion.
A made-up dish: fried egg with (also-fried) French Couscous, topped with a conglomerate of stir-fried veggies from Bee Heaven Farm. And Spanish peanuts. I guess I was going for a whole fusion thing? I dunno, but it was tasty.
Kitchen Sink Mashed Potatoes
I don't think any of this was comfort food fare was from the farm, but that's okay. During my recuperation from the chemo debacle, I ate and ate and ate like a mofo! I've never eaten so much in the seven years post-op. And I still lost weight! It was cray-cray. Anyway, I used to make this in my poverty-ridden days as a vegetarian college student: loaded mashed potatoes. I add corn, sautéed Vidalia onions, cheese (I loves me some cheesy goodness), garlic... and all kindsa' salt, pepper, milk and butter. Mmm. So. Freaking. Good!
I made Ethiopian food for the first time ever! This vegan Gomen Wat was soooo good, I ate like five platefuls. Okay, maybe six? I'm definitely going to make it again. And no, I didn't serve it on a beautious bed of injera, because... um. Because and that's why.
Southwestern Chili Mac
Chloë wanted to hone her cooking chops in the kitchen with me one night when I was too manic to cook, so I somewhat crazily guided her through the recipe from Hello Fresh for Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto with Feta and Pepitas. She somehow, despite my sabotage, managed to pull off a stellar dish! Rob and I inhaled the goodness she made. Way to go, Chlo!
Sophia wanted to join her sister in preparing a meal the kids would actually eat, and she lovingly put together a vermicelli and sauce dinner for the three of them. (There was supposed to be garlic bread too, but Mom forgot to keep reminding her to check the oven and, well, I'm just glad we didn't burn the house down.) Well done, ladies! ♥
I baked a scrummy loaf of bread, nothing fancy but tasty as all-get-out.
Jack and the girls pal around with the neighborhood kids, so one day while they held yet another NERF gun fight, I baked them up some peanut butter cookies to share with their friends. That plate came back EMPTY. Go, Mom. (Yes, I did diligently check for allergies first.)
I had never fried plantains before, in all my years of living in South Florida, though I sure have enjoyed eating my share of them! We did a quickie grocery trip to Publix and talked about making our own, at which point I just thought, Why not now? Some super-green plantains, a bunch of kosher salt, and a healthy squeeze of lemon, et voilá! Talk about tasty. I'll definitely be doing that again!
One week, our CSA box came with two of the most beautiful, juicy red grapefruits you ever wished to have. Oh. Em. Gee. (NO accomplishment here, I just wanted to drool over it some more. Moving on...)
I had planned on making these Honeyed Butternut Squashes from the CSA box myself, but after chopping up two good-sized gourds, I was petered out. Rob had to finish the cooking for me himself, and he did an amazeballs job. They ended up too sweet for my grumpy pouch, Oscar, and I experienced a lot of Dumping Syndrome. But I swear, I would've eaten them all if I could have!
And lastly - but surely not least - on the cooking front, I made some of my favorite Artisanal Rustic Pizzas. The dough recipe comes from a back issue of Martha Stewart Living but the toppings are my creation. The kids don't like my fanciful ideas, so I made them a plain cheese-and sauce one. Only, we only had cheddar in the house and no sauce, so I had to improvise and make some sauce from scratch. Jack didn't care for it - he's no cheese fan (tha' heck?!) - but the girls devoured every last piece of Pizza #1.
Pizza #2 was the same but with a bunch of roasted organic scallions from the BHF CSA box on top. I unvented a different homemade sauce for that one. Rob is lucky he had any of that one, because I snatched up every last piece after he had his share!
Pizza #3 was way more unconventional: a third different homemade sauce, using torn-up fresh organo from the CSA box. Cheddar cheese, natch. And for toppers? I threw on chopped walnuts, pea sprouts from BHF, capers, and a drizzle of honey. I didn't think I would like that. My scale says the opposite! (Rob loved it, also.)
Whew. Now I'm getting hungry!
Random January blooms in the neighborhood
Rob and I were startled to find Jack, Sophia, and a neighborhood boy carrying a box with this "abandoned" duckling in it one day. They insisted its mother had left it and gone swimming with the rest of her brood. Of course, I had my camera with me. They took the ducky out of its box, I snapped a picture or two, and then... he waddled off, like a bat out of hell! Ahaha. So much for being helpless.
Here, leezard, leezard...
Just an anole visitor who ran away from me at the horse farm after I let out a belly-bursting sneeze
Lest you were thinking you'd get away from me without sharing some puppy pix... heeeeere's PACO! ♥
Otterbox is really a beautiful GSD, but he's hard to photograph well sometimes. Anyway, this month, Robert declared that he has chosen ME as "his person," which about blew my heart up with joy. Our previous German Shepherd, Tiger Lily, was supposed to be my dog, but she chose Rob for her person. The exact opposite happened this time. And I love Otty-bot soooo much. He was a bit of trouble at first, but now he is just the most fun, loving, sweet thing, and I'm glad he is a part of our wackadoodle family!
And that's about it for the round-up! Here's another cookie, if you read the whole danged thing.
Buy more groceries and make sure we use up these ^^^ veggies & tilapia from the farm where we get our weekly CSA shares!
What color are your pants?
They're a bit more red than in this picture, but cherry red not tomato red, on top, and black on the rest.
Favorite motivational quote:
I have this posted on my wall, here in my little office area of the living room. Whenever I'm feeling like poo, I look up at it and remind myself to BE the good, etc.
When was the last time you drank coffee?
Last night, Chloë and I made a run to Starbucks. She ordered a Java Chip Frappuccino, I ordered an Egg Nog Frapp "Light" with Coconut Milk (minimal dairy for me), and I brought home a Café Mocha for Rob. Technically, I don't think there was any coffee in mine, but I probably had some earlier in the day... maybe?
What was the last thing you ate?
I've been eating a lot of ice chips lately, so that was the last solid "food" I consumed. I'm not eating much else aside from the ice! It took me a few days to realize I probably have Pica from being extremely anemic. :\
So, my favorite overall animal is of the sea: Shortfin Mako Shark.
My favorite land animal is the African Elephant.
And my favorite animal of flight is the soaring Bald Eagle.
"Near You Always" by Jewel - though I adore that entire album!
Last movie you watched?
Well, I rented five movies (for FREE!) from the Redbox last night, but we only managed to get two watched (Paper Towns and Shaun The Sheep), but the one I'm really looking forward to watching today is the newer Vacation movie! Yes, I'm totally allowing my kids to watch it. C'mon, it'll be fun..! ;)
Nicole nailed it - in that order, too!
Arrogance, lack of sense of humor, and stupidity are my major turn-offs.
Gabourey Sidibe in Precious really meant a lot to me.
The two most important people in your life right now?
No. I cannot do just two. It's these four folks: Rob, Jack, Chloë, and Sophia. They are my life!
What are 3 things you want for Christmas?
I really, really want the Cards Against Humanity game!
THIS new printer, which Rob already gave me, because I desperately needed it, and
OF COURSE I want peace on Earth. Please, please, please, let there be peace.
When was the last time you read a good book?
These are the five books I just purchased from Audible. I hope I have time to listen to all of them in the next few months!
What was the last thing you studied?
I studied the ecological and functional morphology of the pharyngeal jaw apparatus of elasmobranch fishes, with this guy:
Dr. Philip J. Motta, at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
Do you have any nicknames?
Aside from Smellyann? It's pretty much "Mom," or "Honey."
Favorite kind of perfume?
It changes. Right now, I'm really digging my JAFRA blends, which have some fruity elements, a little bit of floral, and a little bit of ... allure. I can mix and match which one(s) I use, depending on my mood. Love them!
Do you have any international friends / friends who live out of state?
Yes, of course I have tons of friends (and family) from out-of-state, but I also have lots of international friends. Some of them, I have never even met. I'm hoping to meet Pammy, here, in the next few months. I have "known" her since 2004. She lives in Canada; I shall have to pack warm!
20. What is something unique that you do every single day?
I'm in a lot of pain these days, so I am trying to do gentle yoga as much as possible. Sometimes, it's a simple stretch or two. Other times, when I'm having a better day, I get more active. But I have a ways to go before I look this beautiful whilst doing it!
If there was a movie based on your life, what would it be called?
It would be called Does That Make Me Crazy?
When was the last time you bought a gift for someone?
I bought a drift fishing trip for Rob and Jack for Christmas, last. Shhh, don't tell Jack!
Are you a shopaholic?
In-store, not so much, but online... I have to be careful!
What are some songs that always make you feel better?
The #1 song to get me in a good mood, up and dancing on my feet is "Kiss" by Prince. Guaranteed.
♫ "Another day, another dollar, another war, another tower went up where the homeless had their homes..." ♫
Oh, hi, there! Sorry, I guess a little Jewel needed to bust out of me instead of what I meant to write. That ever happen to you?
Anyway, here we are at Friday again. TGIF! Though, when you are a stay-at-homeschooling mom of a retired husband, all the days kinda blend together, and it doesn't make a lick of difference much whether it's Tuesday or Saturday. At least some weeks. And this is one of those weeks.
(Oh, look, it would appear I'm in full-on babble mode today...awesome.)
Link up here with Mrs. 4444 if you're fragmented today, folks. If not, just leave a comment so I know you were here. I ♥ comments!
So, this sucks, and I haaaaate even writing about it, but I'm gonna anyway: Our van was towed away in the middle of the night yesterday. I am not sure where it is or why it got towed, but I suspect being behind on the payments by a couple of months is to blame. Heh. (It's not entirely my fault. Our bank account is messed up, like, permanently, and our online bill payment function is currently disabled. I tried to pay the bill, but I was unsuccessful.) Instead of staying on top of it, though, I put it in my "I'll get to that...later" file, and later never came. So I do take most of the blame. Either way, it completely sucks butt, and I am terribly disappointed right now. I'm going to get Miranda (the van) back, but it might be a couple of weeks. In the meantime, I tried to rent a car yesterday, and let's just say that was a big FAIL. I'm trying again today. Oh, and Enterprise? You are dead to me. ☼I can't get this post off italics, and it's driving me crazy. Try to ignore it.☼While we were waiting for our new couch to arrive - our last one bit the dust utterly and completely - the girls broke out my old college Organic Chemistry model set and started building molecules. My oldest kid, Chloë (in the purple, on the left), actually said to me, "Mom, I wish you hadn't lost the book. I want to learn more!" About Orgo, people. I love that. LOVE. (And not just 'cause I have a minor in Chemistry...)☼There was much cheering and joy happening in Casa de Odette when the couch of newness was delivered. We were sick of sitting on a mattress on the floor, y'all. I had three criteria: No leather (being pescetarian, it wouldn't do), easy to clean, and cheap-but-nice.Welp, two out of three will have to do, because it's a leather blend. It was on sale, the price was right, and hey, we needed a damn couch. We aren't Moroccan, after all. Floor pillows are cool... for like, a day. After that, it just hurts your tushy.(And yes, it's I-hate-it beige, but I figured that would be more easy to accessorize than the University of Miami-orange I very nearly chose instead of this one. I mean, we didn't *all* go to UM, after all. Sad to say.)☼Remind me to tell you how "Turnt Up!" became my catchphrase for a night, last year. That's a post for another day. I'd get turnt up just talking about it, right now!Anyway, I did a mystery shop this week at a national retailer's local outlet, and when I spotted this shot glass, I knew it would have to be what I made for my required purchase item. I have an extensive shot glass collection, I'm turnt up all the dang time, and here she is at home. What a beaut!☼Pepper, our Maine Coon kitteh-kitteh-cat, has grown quite large of late. At 2.5 years old, he still has some growing to do (this breed is considered full-grown at about three years of age), but man! He is, as Jack says, "one large cat."To remind you, this was Pepper when we found him wandering the middle of the road in October of 2012:He'd just had a bath, obviously, because he was ravaged with fleas and nearly died from flea anemia. We thought he'd be sickly for life. Boy, were we wrong! He is quite healthy now, strong as an ox! I bet he's pushing 15 pounds. And still room to grow...? Oof!In other kitty news, Sophie's kitten, Sugarplum, is adjusting to life without her littermate, Spike. Pepper has taken to her, and he bathes and snuggles with her. It's quite sweet.☼This is my home pharmacy right now. Kind of ridiculous. What's even more so is that I have all these meds at my disposal, and I'm in pretty much near-constant pain. My entire skeleton throbs and aches, 24/7. It sucks. I'm resigned to the fact that yet another thing is wrong with me, and I'm pretty sure it's an autoimmune issue. Once Hubs is done with the daily in-home nursing care, and his surgery wound is all healed up, I'm going to make an appointment to get a referral to a rheumatologist. What's the opposite of thrilled? That's what I am.☼To kind of have a chill evening, after the stress of Miranda being "stolen" from us, Chloë and I walked to Publix nearby and rented a couple of movies. The girls didn't last through the end of The Book of Life (which has an awesome soundtrack, by the by), and Jack was passed out there on the floor well before the end of The Boxtrolls. We opted to turn it off and finish watching it another time, when they're, y'know, awake and stuff.☼I would be remiss if I let the month go by without mentioning that May is Brain Tumor Awareness Month. Since Hubs' cerebellar cavernous hemangioma and the subsequent craniotomy to remove it - and bits of surrounding, healthy brain tissue along with it - in February 2015 have set the tone for the past two years, I've made this my Facebook profile pic for the remainder of the month.Go Gray for May! #BTAM☼So this week was not without some good - no, really, really great - news. A random post on a blog I read mentioned that this organic mushroom farm by the spectacular company Back to the Roots (which was new to me at the time) was on sale on Amazon. Since environmentalistm, local/organic/sustainable eating and living are big passions for me and somewhat for the rest of Team Odette, I did some poking around on their website.Long story short, they were looking for Regional Brand Ambassadors for diferent parts of the country, with Florida as its own "region" on the list. They asked for résumés and cover letters from interested applicants. I bucked the trend and just shot them an email instead, with all of my reasons for why I'd be great as their Florida RBA.Well, days went by. Then weeks. And then, almost a month later, this week, I received an email back, stating that I sounded absolutely PERFECT to represent Back to the Roots for Florida. I don't want to jump the gun and congratulate myself just yet, since they'll be talking to me more when they expand into Florida this summer, but I was crazy excited when I got that message! Woot woot!!!☼And that, my friends, is that for this week. Have a lovely!Fin.
Silly as it may seem, this might just be my favorite thing from our field trip to the Gold Coast Railroad Museum on Wednesday. If you missed it (and you know you did), you can read more about that here.
I hear it snowed all over parts north of here today. Well, yesterday. On April 23rd. Yes, I live south of Miami, Florida, but my attitude is more of dismay and sympathy than nanny-nanny-boo-boo. And seeing as I was raised in Central New York, I have experienced this phenomenon myself. It sucks. I know. So sorry, y'all.
For Earth Day, after the railroad museum, we made a couple of stops here and there. One stop was at local Disney Store to get our free Disneynature Monkey Kingdom reusable tote bags. I love a tote bag. Save the planet, and all, you know; that's me.
Anyway, that there is 12-year-old, itty-bitty Jack piggybacking on 10-year-old baby sister, Sophia. Nope, that's not a camera trick; he really is that small! And the Yoda hat? Totally works for him.
Miguel, the Castmember at the Disney Store, was all about the enthusiasm for my camera, when I asked him to pose with my freebie tote bag. I loved it. (Not a bad looking young man, either, huh?) And, he let me make two small purchases and get two bags. I loved that, also.
We also received our free milkshakes and fruitshakes from EVOS, which serves AirbakedTM food instead of deep-fried, much of it organic. I had not heard of it before Earth Day, so this was a great marketing ploy to get us in the door and come back for more. We didn't buy anything Wednesday, but we do plan to come back soon, probably on a Kids-Eat-Free Sunday. (I love a deal, y'know?) Since they're a lot closer to Homestead than our beloved Elevation Burger, we're anxious to try EVOS food and compare the two restaurants. Have you been to either one?
(Note: It's not McDonald's. You won't be paying Mickey D's prices.)
We attempted to use our $60 Groupon for Color Me Mine, for "ceramics and sitting fees" for four people that day, but lo and behold, it doesn't actually cover all the costs, only some of the costs, and there is pretty much nothing ceramical that would have cost little enough so as not to have required me to fork out any additional money. Can you say, disappointment? We were all bummed.
Except Jack. As Jack says, "I hate Art!"
So we'll go back sometime between payday and May 1st, when the Groupon expires... but I was pretty upset that we couldn't get our Arts and Crafts on that day. Stay tuned to see what ceramics everyone ends up picking out!
I had a mystery shop at a semi-local movie theater to do that night, so in honor of Earth Day yet again, we opted to go as a family to see Disneynature's Monkey Kingdom. I cannot say for sure whether I've seen any other Disneynature films before this, but maybe Oceans...? In any event, I absolutely lovedMonkey Kingdom. It was fascinating to me as a Biologist, but heart-tugging to me as a mother. Definitely a show worth watching.
(And, I thought Tina Fey did an excellent job narrating it. What is she, some kind of professional?!)
Two thumbs up, all the way around!
P.S. I adore that Disneynature films donates money to the programs and communities shown in the feature, in honor of each moviegoer who sees it opening week. Yay for Team Odette and the monkeys! Have you seen it yet?
After watching the Toque Macaques' antics for the last hour and a half, my monkeys were all amped up and silly-goosing around when let loose outside the theater. Good reminder how influential screen time can be, yo.
Welp, that's it for me this week. Thanks for stopping by!
Link up here if you're (any degree of) Wordless today!
We've become quite the locavores lately, shopping at the nearby fishmonger's shop and stopping at various side-of-the-road barely-speaking-English produce stands in recent weeks. I love it! Here are some things we've cooked up from our delicious, healthy, local scores:
I made homemade sesame seed buns to go with the turkey sliders I made into patties, along with yummy skin-on baby red potato salad and cilantro pickles that weren't so bad, but not nearly as good as the dill pickles I made the following week!
These silicone cupcake holders are so convenient, and they cut back on waste, which I love! I used them recently to make all kinds of tasty pumpkin and various fruit muffins.
Rob's decided, again, to join me in not eating meat that rainforests are destroyed to bring to us carnivorous Americans, but we had to use up the beef and pork in the deep freezer first. He made these barbecued ribs for himself and Jack last week.
Okay, so I didn't make these VEEV VitaFrute margaritas, but they are organic, so they'll do for this post! I got "perked" on Klout to try these out, and whoo! They are good but extremely strong. Couldn't drive for the rest of the day, for sure!
I had all kindsa plans for the fruits and veggies from the roadside stand, but Chloë saw it all in front of her and declared she wanted to make a salad. Well, who was I to stop her? I did try to convince her to squeeze some lemon juice on it so it wouldn't brown, but she was bound and determined to eat it all before that happened. You and I both know that the next day, there was plenty left, and it had all turned so brown that no one would eat it. Big bummer. :\
I served up this oatmeal, apple and I-forget-what crisp with vanilla ice cream to Rob the night I made it. Heh, I couldn't find the ice cream scooper, so I had to melonball the ice cream. Silliness.
All the organic eggs from the chickens at the produce stand gave us humongous double-yolk eggs, so they were worth the price I paid for them. This week, they're chintzy in comparison, so I'm a little disappointed to have paid the same amount. Not terribly so, though, because they're still quite yummish - and I know who laid them!
I meant to make clams with linguini, but what I really ended up with was mussels and angel hair spaghetti. Oh well, close enough!
I was inspired by a recent issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine to make some rustic, artisanal pizzas, including this heart-shaped one with fresh mozzarella. It was definitely a winner, so I've got more dough rising for another round as we 'speak'!
Another of the artisan pizzas used zucchini, red onions, garlic and cilantro - all locally sourced. I loved it, but it was a bit dry, so I dipped it in an olive oil and marinara mixture to make it go down more easily. Mmmm!
The third pizza of that batch was for dessert, and Rob really liked it. I used fresh slices of lemon, along with minced dried apricots atop a pineapple base. Really good.
Chloë and I picked up all the ingredients for these shrimp egg rolls, but I messed up a little bit. I forgot the water chestnuts entirely! I burned the oil and therefore one batch of the rolls! And I did not enjoy the shrimp in them. Oh, and I pureed the carrots and bean sprouts together, which turned them into what my dad would call "La Mush." Next time, I'll know better what to do. Egads.
Tuesday night's dinner was helped along by a food delivery from Hello Fresh and turned out to be superb: Roasted Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad with Avocado... only, my pouch rejected the quinoa, and I couldn't eat but a few measly bites. Darn!
Sophia helped me make this delicious Creme Brûlée, topped with blackberries, for dessert. I couldn't find my ramekins, so we had to run to Goodwill and spend $2 on "new" ones. Guess I better make it a few more times to get my money's worth, huh? If the kids get their way, I will - soon.
Link up here if you're a latecomer like I always am...!
1. Last time you had butterflies in your stomach?
I had to do three "reveal" mystery shops today, wherein I present myself to the manager of the venue where I'm auditing their location, and though I've done dozens of these, it still makes me a little nervous each time.
2. What was your last alcoholic beverage?
Friday night, we had some wine from the local winery, Schnebly's, with our organic shrimp orechiette pasta and asparagus. It was an avocado wine and tasted great! The only issue was when Rob got the cork stuck and had to crumble it up IN the wine and then filter it out!
3. Whom can you trust?
Chloë, 12, is proving to be quite a trustworthy almost-teenaged daughter. She's a terrific girl, and I'm super proud of the young woman she's becoming. And Hubs, of course!
4. Where was your first kiss with your current significant other?
13½ years ago, Hubs stepped off the Greyhound bus from Panama City to meet me where I lived in St. Petersburg, Florida, for the first time. We found each other and smooched up a storm in the parking lot by my car, before heading back to my apartment for more of the same. Woot!
5. Favorite Band?
I'm crushing on Ed Sheeran lately, though he's not really a band. Tough boobies.
6. What is something you've learned about yourself recently?
My new therapist is full of revelations already, during our lone two visits so far. I declared that I was unlovable, and he asked me, "Do your children love you?" Of course, I know they do, and when I informed him that was a separate case, he said that no, it wasn't. If I was lovable by them, then I was lovable. It was quite an epiphany for me.
7. Do you like anyone?
Dude, I like lots of people, and I'm not 14, so I'm going to pretend you didn't mean it in the "like like" sense!
8. Do you know anyone who is engaged?
Do these guys count?! Or maybe they've been married by now, I don't know. Other than them, I probably do, but I can't think of anyone specific right at the mo'.
9. What's your favorite number?
From the time I can remember knowing what a number was, it has been 64. I can't think why it was so important to me, but since it's a square (of 8) made up of smaller squares (4s), and I'm mathematically inclined, I tend to want to think I knew something before I knew I knew it!
10. Who was the last person to make you cry?
These three babies, shown at Christmastime 2005, totes made me weep the other day. We were talking about when they go off to college a few years down the road, and each one of them declared that they were going to call me every single day. I was elated, because it means (a) they love me, (b) they want to talk to me every day even when they're grown and out of the house, and (c) they LOVE me! (Lady Redundant Woman here.) When I went to college, I got away from the 'rents as far as possible and couldn't get there fast enough, so this is a new feeling for me. I was so happy!
11. Did you ever go to camp as a kid?
Sister and I were shipped off to church camp a month or two after our mom suddenly died, and we were put in separate cabins. It was terrifying for me; I felt so alone and abandoned. I peed my bed every night, and I was not typically a bedwetter. NOT a happy experience for me.
12. When was the last time you cried?
I have no idea why I took a selfie crying in November 2012, but I did. Anyway, the last time I cried, really cried, was last Tuesday in therapy. I went through five tissues. I learned quickly, from the first week, not to wear makeup to therapy. My mascara was all over my face!
13. What is one thing you miss about your past?
I miss Dr. Lisa, my BFF, and lots of other pals. I'm excited to see many of them at my 20th reunion this summer!!
14. What is one thing you've learned about life?
My motto has long been, "If you want something done right the first time, you gotta do it yourself!"
15. Are you jealous of anyone?
I'm jealous of women who look hot in a bikini. To wear a bikini myself will require several thousand dollars' worth of plastic surgery. Post-200lb weight loss, I'm gonna need a full body lift to remove all my saggy, baggy skin. Bikini? No. Not yet. Ugh.
16. Is anyone jealous of you?
They shouldn't be. I dunno.
17. Has a friend ever used you?
Yes, I've been used, but maybe I was using them right back, too.
18. Has anyone recently told you that they like you more than as a friend?
Um, once again, I'm not 14.
19. Who was the last person you drove with?
Four separate times this weekend, the rest of Team Odette and I drove to Key Largo. Fortunately, it's only about 30 minutes from home, but man, how inconvenient was that?!
20. What are you looking forward to?
We're heading HERE to a resort in Orlando in about 7½ hours. The kids haven't slept a wink, they're so excited! Neither have I. I can't wait for a week of R&R!