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Saturday 9: Ordinary People

John Legend | Artist | www.grammy.com

John Legend: "Ordinary People"

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

Awesome Happy Spring GIF - white spring flowers and glitter

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

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

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

ORDINARY PEOPLE (2005)

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


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

Lyme Warrior Poem | Perseverance, Lyme, You are strong

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Barbra Streisand, tout sur la chanteuse

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

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

Lucky Peak Dam Photos – Hicken Design

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

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

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

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

Kelly Clarkson opens up about suicidal thoughts in her early career

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

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

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

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

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

03202021 Paco

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

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

Enjoy your Spring beginning, y'all!

Fin.


Saturday 9: Forever Your Girl

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

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

Saturday 9: Forever Your Girl (1989)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keen Women's Shoes | Dillard's

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

JSport by Jambu Regatta Women's Sneakers

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

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

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

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

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

Why is Billie Eilish so beautiful? - Quora

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

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

Interpreting Slope | Macroeconomics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

Fin.


Saturday 9: This Night Won't Last Forever

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

Hey, folks!

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

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

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

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

Saturday 9: In And Out Of Love

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

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

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

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

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Saturday 9: In and Out of Love (1967)

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

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

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

Photo Shoot With The Goofiest Child

08072020 Sophia Haori a Collage

So, my 15-year-old kiddo, Sophia, is the queen of being a hilarious pain in the ass. I mean, since she was born, we have witnessed this child do the most ridiculous things that you might be inclined to get mad at, but she's so freaking funny, ya just can't. Parenting is tough, you know?

I recently picked up some clothes online on Express, with a gift card I had to use before it expires. I constantly have to be buying clothes for this growin'-like-a-weed kid of mine. Since she was asleep at the time I was buying them, it was a crap shoot as to whether they would fit, and whether she would actually like them. Not the first time.

Showing her the order, with pictures of the clothing, didn't seem too promising. She appeared to like maybe one thing.

Above, at the top, she'd styled her hair with the pretty orange scrunchie, the intricate-looking tights, and a black jumpsuit - all Express. (I had given her the haori she paired with this outfit from Kimonoshi for her birthday.) So to go along with the pop of orange, I'd asked her to snip one of the lilies her dad had given me recently and smell it. I did not expect her to put her nose right into the flower. When she pulled the flower off her face, there was pollen stuck to her nose and cheeks!

It was pretty funny, but not as hilarious as the things she said about it. This... was not fit to print.

So after Sophia got all the flower yuk off her - which took quite some effort - she was not thrilled to participate in any more clothes modeling for me:

08072020 Sophia Jumpsuit a Collage

Decided to lose the haori, too.  She's still adorable and full of spunk (no pun intended), though!

08072020 Sophia Jumpsuit b Collage

It's super cute, right? It's kind of a capri-length jumpsuit, which at almost 5'6", she didn't want, but on her it's adorable! 

08072020 Sophia Olive Shirt Collage

Look at those goofy faces! She didn't like this olive green "Slub Crew Neck Slim Tee" too much at first, because it's a bit more revealing than what she usually wears, but after I made sure to let her know how great it looks on her, I think she came around.

By the way, with that blond hair, styled that way, at that length, and as she gets older... suddenly I'm seeing my mom in her. (Mom died when I was 7; she was very young herself.) I have seen it loads of times in Jack and Chloë their entire lives, but never really Sophie as she takes after my dad and me more. It's very breathtaking when it happens. I find myself staring at her. It must be so weird to be on the kid end of things when that happens, but I almost can't help myself.

08072020 Sophia Red Shirt a Collage

Would you look at this monkey? Dramatic much? (I don't know where she gets that.)

08072020 Sophia Red Shirt b Collage

::snort::

No, not overly dramatic at all. Somehow I managed to buy her two of these red "Crew Neck Easy" t-shirts - but at least it fits, right?

08072020 Sophia White Love Shirt collage

Of course, I had to get her this "Love" tee that was on clearance. She wore it today and yesterday.

08072020 Sophia White Tank collage

And finally, I snagged her this "Slub Ruched Side Tie Easy" tank top in white. Good while there's still some Summertime left.

And then, that mad dash for the door is not just to get away from my lens (although also that). That was the moment she remembered she'd put a pot on to boil downstairs!

Ha. I love that kid, but she's a knucklehead!

6wsButton

I'm so late posting this, but at least it's still Saturday on the Pacific coast!

I participated in Six Word Saturday many years ago when it was on Show My Face, but they decided to retire the gig and now it seems to be run by Debbie over at Travel With Intent. Link up this weekend on this post of hers here, if you wish!

Lots of us break the numeric rule and share many more words, so the key rule now is to have a post title of six words, and then create around that the post that you desire - perhaps in bunches of 6 words if you’re really feeling inspired.

To join the challenge, put a link in your post to the URL of this post. Then go back and leave a comment. (If you have any problems with linking, just put your own URL into the comment.) Feel free to socialize digitally – tweet, instagram, flickr, etc. with the hashtags #SixWordSaturday and #6WS.

Fin.

p.s. I get excited about good deals. You've got to forgive me. I paid $43.03 shipped for over $224 worth of Express clothes!


Saturday 9: Mad About You

Watch: 'Mad About You' Revival Has a First Trailer with Episode Stills |  Anglophenia | BBC America

Welcome back, pals. I hope you've had an interesting week that leans to the good side.

I wish I could say I have. Still waiting impatiently for things to start to budge on the move back East, but we're still languishing in the house. (The house I love so much is still for sale at least, so that's good.) We're constantly up in the air about what to do about sending the two younger kids back to school. And now, I have a particularly bad case of pneumonia. This is frustrating. I'm on tenterhooks about the right moment to go to the ER, but I'm not there yet.

But, I am absolutely delighted to be doing Mad About You this week. I used to watch it weekly back in the day, and both Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser were among my favorite TV actors then. Love it! Link up here if you're joining us this week.

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Saturday 9: Mad About You (1992)

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

1) Mad About You was a sitcom that ran from 1992 to 1999. Are you familiar with the show? Were you a fan?

tumblr miyv3jyE031rtg76ko1 400 - Mad About You Fan Art (40682818) - Fanpop

Yes. And yes!

2) The show was rebooted in 2019/2020 on the Spectrum streaming service. Do you have any streaming services? If so, which ones?

19 Side-Splitting Jokes About Netflix That Will Never Not Be Funny

Yep. We have Netflix and Amazon Prime. We may have more than that; I really don't know. Our Smart TV shows me things I didn't think we owned, so... LOL!

3) The series revolved around Manhattan newlyweds Paul and Jamie Buchman. They met at a newsstand, where they were both purchasing The New York Times. With so many publications online, newsstands are now uncommon. When you want to purchase a printed newspaper or magazine, where do you go?

Japanese newsstand cat (aww x post) : funny

Y'know, I don't think I've ever stopped at a proper newsstand. I have tons and tons of magazine subscriptions across a wide variety of genres, but I didn't pay anything for those. I rarely buy a newspaper anymore to read the news, but I do usually get the Sunday paper for the coupons. Walmart, Albertsons, whatever store has the paper that I'm near to, that's what I do. I know, boring.

4) Paul is played by Paul Reiser. He created the series because he believes marriage is a tough but satisfying adventure. He and real-life wife Paula have been married for more than 30 years. They met when she was a waitress at the comedy club where he was performing. Have you ever waited tables?

Review: The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club -  ilovecfl.com

Yes, but not in a restaurant, per se. I think I mentioned it last week, I was in catering at a resort in Florida while I did my Mote Marine Lab internship. I worked with a friend doing an internship in the same program, and we had a blast. Made good money, too. I often wore a tuxedo, and it was very ritzy. I did huge company getaways, family reunions, weddings... I loved it so much that later on, about four or five months, when I moved back up there to St. Petersburg, I got a job in catering at the Vinoy Renaissance in St. Pete Beach. My first day on the job there, I had a big tray of soup to serve to guests in for a company luncheon. They were all wearing fine suits. At one gentleman's side, the wrist holding the tray up gave out, and I spilled hot soup all over his new suit. It was god-awful! I ran off and cried as soon as I could, and then I was so embarrassed and upset with myself, I just quit. I think I was 21 then.

5) Helen Hunt won four Emmy Awards as Jamie. Over 10 million people watch the Emmys each year. She also won an Oscar, which has an annual viewership of twice that. Therefore huge audiences witnessed Helen's acceptance speeches. Are you comfortable speaking in public?

PUBLIC SPEAKING CLASS - Cheezburger - Funny Memes | Funny Pictures

Noooooo! I have major glossophobia. I have been known to have panic attacks. Big, ugly ones. And I get the tell-tale beet red flush. So not fun for me!

6) During the opening credits, Paul and Jamie are sharing an ice cream bar. When did you most recently have ice cream?

The Original Chipwich Ice Cream Sandwich | Chocolate chip cookies, Ice  cream sandwich, Ice cream

It was almost today, but I didn't. Rob was out, and I had asked him to get me a Chipwich. I have fond memories of my grandma giving my sister and me money for the ice cream truck, and I'd usually get a Chipwich. But here in Podunk, they have some cheaper knock-off version, which he brought home. I'm a snob, and I didn't eat it, so I gave it to my kid.

7) Paul and Jamie's best friends were another couple, Fran and Mark. Eventually Fran and Mark divorced, and Paul and Jamie worked at being friends with both of them. Have you been friends with a couple who split? Did you manage to stay friends with both of them?

Ashley @a_pfeiffer13 There is a group of women getting on my flight and one has a shirt that says just divorced and the others have shirts that say divorce support group and they are all plastered. Those are the type of friends ev

I can think of several friends we've had who have split up. I can't think of a single case where, if we didn't stay friends with both parties, we stayed friends with the dude. Always stayed friends with the woman. So far...

8) In 1992, when Paul and Jamie were playing New Yorkers, real New Yorkers were following the trial of mobster John Gotti. Mr. Gotti acquired many nicknames, including The Teflon Don, The Dapper Don and Black John. Is there anyone in your life that you call by a pet name or nickname?

John Gotti - Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Okay first of all, one of my best friends knew John Gotti through her grandmother. (They were Italians in New York; go figure.) As for the question, I have nicknames for everybody. Not mean, non-cerebral ones like Trump doles out; more cutesy ones. I have about a thousand nicknames for Rob, and they're all pretty silly. I just call him any other "R" name I can think of. "Rudolph? Rodolfo? Randall?" and so on. I call our eldest, Chloë Raine, a variety of things but "Chloë Rainebow" is probably my most frequent. Jack doesn't get too many now, because he doesn't like it (and since he's got ASD, I don't like to mess with him that way too much), but occasionally I'll just call him Jackson. Sophia gets "Soapy" or "Foofy," which comes from the second Madagascar flick.

Our dog Tapioca gets "Coon Pig" or "Chunky Weiner" (because she's got a racoon mask around her eyes, because she's a little porky, because she's part Dachschund), and our dog Paco gets "Doodle." I have no idea why I named him that. I think a lot of times I call people silly things because I can't think of what I meant to say at that moment!

9) Random question  -- What subject do you wish you knew more about?

Welcome Spring with a Luscious & Beautiful Garden | Better HouseKeeper

Gardening. I have a total black thumb, but I try so hard... I want to KNOW it all already and skip the learning part!

500+ Photographer Pictures [HD] | Download Free Images on Unsplash

Oh, and photography. I really want to get better and better at it. I just really haven't taken the time.

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Well. I just started watching The Wolf of Wall Street on Amazon. Have y'all seen it? I've been meaning to watch it for a while.

See you on the flip side!

Fin.


Saturday 9: The Sweet Escape

Hi, you guys!! I'm going to get into Saturday 9 in a moment. But first, let me say:

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to this young lady today:

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Can you guys believe it? My kids have practically grown up in front if y'all on Saturday 9 and Sunday Stealing, and here now as of this very day, my firstborn is an adult! I swear, I'm in absolute shock. Happy birthday, Chloë Raine!

Okay. On to Saturday 9. Link up here to play along with us today!

(And I may jump in and do last week's, which I missed due to illness.)

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The Sweet Escape (2006)

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Unfamiliar with this week's song. Hear it here.
 
1) This song begins with, "First of all, let me say I must apologize ..." Who most recently apologized to you?

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Actually, it was this girl. We bumped heads or something, and she immediately apologized. Chloë, like her mother, is an over-apologizer. People ask us to stop, and we just can't! It's annoying for us, too. Just so you know.

2) Gwen Stefani sings that she acted like "sour milk on the floor." Is there milk in your refrigerator right now? What about non-dairy creamer?

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I'm pretty sure there is cow's milk in the fridge for the kids' cereal right now. We do need to pick up some more almond milk for me, though.

3) In the video, Gwen wears several different pairs of stiletto heels. What are you wearing on your feet as you answer these questions?

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Great for those who can and want to wear stilettos, high heels, and all that - but I can't and never really wanted to. I've worn stiletto pumps a few memorable times, but I can rarely find any, let alone a billion pairs, that make me think, "Yeah, I'd rather wear those shoes, put that dent in my wallet, and sacrifice my foot health." It just doesn't happen. So right now, I'm barefoot. I usually am.

4) Mrs. Stefani named her daughter "Gwen" after a stewardess in the book/movie Airport. Who was your favorite character in the book you just read, or movie you most recently watched?

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Okay, so it's neither a book nor a movie, but I'm watching "Dear White People" on Netflix lately, and I adore the Samantha White character. She's sassy and smart - and stunning!

5) Gwen is a distant cousin of Madonna's. Are there any performers in your family?

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Well, Chloë started acting and modeling at 5 years old, but about 10 or 11 years later, she decided she wanted to take an extended break from it to focus on other things. (The rejection is tough!) And Sophia is now in the marching band (percussion) - her first parade is today! - and competes in equestrian events. Jack is nooottttttt the performing type!

6) In high school, she joined the swim team not because she enjoys swimming but because she wanted to lose weight. Are you doing anything (dieting, participating in an exercise regimen) in order to shed a few pounds?

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I want to, but I'm not sure what to do. I've been all over the map weight-wise, and now that I've gained back a fair number of lbs from the medicine I take, I admit, I'm depressed. I decided to try the keto diet in July, to disastrous effects. It really messed up my blood sugar stability, and I had severe hypoglycemia every day. And I'm dealing with gastroparesis now, and all sorts of things, so I just don't know what to do, honestly.

7) Before she became successful, Gwen worked at the makeup counter in a department store. What was the last thing you purchased? Did you buy it online or at a store?

CZZPTC Leather Women's Slip-On Sneakers Cushioned Insole Casual Comfortable Loafers Fashion Classic Flat Shoes White

I bought this pair of shoes for Chloë from Amazon. I didn't really pay for them, though; I get free items as an Ambassador for a company, in exchange for my honest reviews. I hope they fit her!

8) Gwen has gotten a great deal of publicity for her romance with country star, Blake Shelton. What's your favorite Blake Shelton song?

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Gah, they're so cute together, aren't they? I hope they last and stay happy. I love his song, "God's Country," ever since I saw him debut it on The Voice last Spring.

9) Random question: Which of these compliments would make you the happiest: to be called fascinating, or brilliant, or gorgeous?

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Well, I think that, like this sapphire engagement ring from Lauren B Jewelry, it's possible to be all three in the same moment. Likewise, I think all three may last a lifetime or be fleeting and momentary. That being said, if I could only be one, and even if would only last a moment, I would want to be thought of as brilliant. I'd choose that option 10 times out of 10.

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That was fun, Sam, thanks! Might come back later and do some catching up from last week but for right now, I've got some more birthday planning to do! See ya later on the blogiverse.

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Love Me Some Questions Meme

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

First:

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

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

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These are from Love Me Some Surveys.

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

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

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

Ya dig?

b. Is anyone’s birthday coming up?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mike Amati

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

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

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

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

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

Burned Arm

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

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

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

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

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

f. What are you most excited about right now?

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

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

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

h. Are you somewhat of a perfectionist?

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

f. Do you like sour candy?

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

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

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

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

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I wear 'em whenever I need 'em.

i. Do you wear your shoes around the house?

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

j. What clothes are you most comfortable in?

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

k. Are you good at painting nails?

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

j. Smoothies or slushies?

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

Fin.


Sundays In My City: Sunday Sundaes

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

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

Let’s travel the world together!

 

By Claudya

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Curiosity And The Queen

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

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

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Questions from Durward Discussion

Thanks to Kwizgiver for the suggestion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday Stealing: Book Of Questions

Hey, there! Wheeeewwwwww, I'm exhausted.

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

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

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Questions from The Book of Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday Stealing: Rambling Survey

Hey there, hi there, ho there! Welcome back!

(Let me preface this post by saying I've been gone all day long and haven't had a chance even to see if I have comments - negative or otherwise - on my Sat9 post from yesterday, let alone read them. So I can't answer to those except to say that I'm nervous to read them & truly hope y'all don't hate me.)

So, then. Just gonna jump on into this SS post at the stroke of midnight on Sunday the 14th of July, 2019, and get back to that later. (I'll be gone all day Sunday, too, so I'm not ignoring y'all.) Link up here if you're playing along this weekend!

~*~*~*~*~

Questions from Sad Sleepy Survey Rambles

Have you ever been teased because of the things you like?
 
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Sure, of course. Education was always my passion, and in the regular-ed, non-Honors/AP classes, I stood out and got stomped on in return. I'm a math nerd. I listen excessively to pop music (although, ahem, not only pop music, nor just current music, but also classic rock, folk music, some punk, lots of alternative, some big band - and I love JP Sousa - as well as gasp classical. As in, not even from last century, let alone this millenium. I don't only listen to "current" music. So, um, yeah... side eye ) I've been called a "such a grandma" for knitting. (Like that's an insult?!) and so on...
 
Do you hold grudges?
 
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I'm pretty forgiving if the person genuinely expresses remorse for any wrongs. Likewise, I'm quick to apologize when I realize I've committed some wrong(s).

Were there any classes you enjoyed because of the teacher?
 
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Absolutely. Many of them, actually. In my senior year of high school, my AP Physics teacher was constantly making it entertaining, which was great for me because this particular field of science is most challenging for me. I just don't have a good understanding of spacial relationships, for one thing. And speaking of physics, my Physics II professor at university used to write "WAEFRTGDD" on the chalkboard/whiteboard during each lab and exam. Before starting, he'd point to each letter and remind us, "When All Else Fails, Read The __ __ Directions!" Cracked me up.

Was there a dress code at your school?
 
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No. Which reminds me, I have to find out if there's a dress code at the younger two kids' new high school.

Have you ever been a bad friend?
 
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Yeah...

Has a friend ever replaced you with somebody else?
 
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Yeah, but you know, you've gotta grow up and get past that stuff at some point.

Have you ever disliked something just because it was popular?
 
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Mm-hmm. For instance, I have a bunch of piercings but never did my bellybutton because everybody was piercing their navels for a while and just... I don't like to be trendy. Now that everyone and their brother has their nostril pierced, I'm glad I've got the septum done, too. What next?
 
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I much prefer belly necklaces, but I definitely don't have the body for that!

Have you ever watched a movie just because it starred an actor you liked?
 
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Probably, sure. I think I even saw The Rainmaker in the theater. #BecauseMattDamon

Are there actors/musicians you have met?
 
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Chloë
Well, I mean, sure. I know some. My daughter Chloë is an actor and model and has starred in movies, TV shows, commercials, print ads, stock photos... And one of my best friends is a concert violinist. =) (I'm still so jealous she played first chair for Josh Groban!)

Do you ever judge people based on the music they listen to?
 
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Eh, not really, although I might judge the "music" itself - death metal?!

What about your top five music albums?
 
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Uh, what about it?

Do you remember the first album you ever owned?
 
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LOL... I can't promise it wasn't Milli Vanilli! But one of the first albums that I've owned that became an instant favorite and has remained so for 25+ years was Eric Clapton Unplugged. He's my boyfriend, but he doesn't know it. So is Larry David. (Neither of whom is my generation. Y'know?)

Do you still use an mp3 player, or just your phone?
 
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I actually forgot I ever even owned an MP3 player. How did you know?

Do you like Elton John?
 

Most of his music, I love, and I guess I like him okay as a human? But I wouldn't really miss a few of his songs, like Crocodile RockBennie & The Jets, and maybe Rocket Man? I don't know why; I just don't enjoy those ditties as much.
 
Have any celebrity deaths hit you hard? Which one(s)?
 
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A few, like Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Prince, etc. were really hard for me, Luke Perry I guess, but none hit me anywhere near as much as the death of Princess Diana in 1997. That still affects me to this day. #PTSD
 
~*~*~*~*~
 
And now, it seems I'm on an Elton John kick. What's next for me, Billy Joel?
 
I wish you all a good week. I know I ruffled a few feathers this weekend, and mine were tousled in return, but I do hope there's no bad blood among any of us.
 
Fin.

Wordy Wednesday... With A Wink ;) 071019

Wordy Wednesday With a Wink

Hey, there!! Glad you found us!

So, by way of introduction to this new weekly meme, let me say that the "wink" part is because usually, yes, I know... Wednesday is supposed to be "wordless." However, if you know me, you'll realize that not only am I never without something to say, I cannot even define for you the word "succinct" with anything resembling brevity!

Therefore, yes, I will be posting my photography. One, more, several, a bunch, whatever I feel like. Please, you go ahead and do the same!

Too, whenever the mood strikes me (so always), I'll talk about it. Get it? 'Kay?

Let's go!

Please grab the button for your post, link up below, and visit the other windy winkers! Ha!

2019-07-06 15.52.29

1. So my youngest, Sophie, and I were playing around with my imPress nail manicure, coordinating silver jewelry, and backgrounds. We're undecided about which one we like the best. The final decision is of absolutely no importance whatsoever. 🤣

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2. As Sophia pointed out, the more modern look of the green background shot was countered by the contrast of the rustic wood vs. the modern jewelry. I love that she thought of this!

and,

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3. ...Finally, a li'l Black & White action for good measure. Do you have a favourite?

 

Like I said, there is nothing depending on the outcome. This is a completely superficial question, but as someone who struggles with severe anxiety, depression, PTSD, and bipolar I disorder, a little midweek levity does the ol' noggin some good.

What about you? What are you thinking about today?

 

*****

So that's my show for now. Gotta get some "real" work done: helping my oldest, Chloë, narrow down some college choices and look for scholarships. Heavy-duty work!

See you next week, yes?

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Questions Are My Favorite!

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

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

Do you drink enough water?

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

When was the last time you ate at Burger King?

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I never eat at Burger King. Ever.

Do you prefer the beach or the mountains?

Lucky Peak Beach 009

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

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

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

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

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

When was the last time you wore high heeled shoes?

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

Vodka or wine? 

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

How often do you cry?

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

Ever had a crush on a teacher?

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Well, yes...

Can you wire a plug?

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No. No, I cannot.

Do you wear socks to bed?

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

What is currently bugging you?

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

Can you change a car tire?

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

Have you met more than ten celebrities?

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Do I look like Jimmy Fallon?

Do you sleep naked?

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

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

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

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

Rob in Greece

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

Who is someone who has changed your life positively?

Señora O'Toole

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

Favourite city?

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I'm most partial to Manhattan.

Can you drive?

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Yes. Fast. Very, very fast.

Cigarettes or alcohol?

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

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

Favourite and least favourite accents?

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

Did you play Red Rover when you were a child?

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I surely did!

Do you like 1980s fashion?

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

Have a lovely week, y'all.

Fin.


Saturday Snapshot: Pink Roses

Hi, folks. I'm new to this meme/carnival/bloghop/whatever these things are. I never know. I'm here because I needed more to do on my Saturday morning. 😂😂

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda at A Web of Stories. Link up here if you want to show what's goin' on with you lately.

We just moved, ostensibly for the last time, to our final home in Mountain Home, Idaho, from Boise. We've lived all over: Panama City Beach, Florida; Guam; Virginia Beach; Miami; here... And let me tell you, folks: having done some of these moves completely on the government's dime and some of these moves sans help, post-retirement from the Navy, and being in our early- to mid-40s, let's just say... that's enough. The house is beautiful, Idaho is beautiful...

And the kids are growing up. We have a graduating senior right now, and two more in high school. They need a permanent place where they'll always be able to find us; no more bouncing around, thank-you-very-much!

That being said, I'll miss the tulips that pop up every Spring in the front of the house in Boise, along with these pink roses that sprouted late on the bush this year. In fact, if we didn't have a few infrequently-known gullywashers of late, I'm not sure they'd have popped up at all!

Since we live in relatively new construction, there aren't any flowers planted on our property. I already have some bulbs! Too early for that, and without enough gardening knowledge under my belt, I'm not doing anything just yet. But it will come. It will come.

Image result for tiny waving pride flag gif Thanks for stopping by, y'all! Image result for tiny waving pride flag gif

Fin.


Saturday 9: I'm Moving On

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Welcome, welcome, my friends. I'm comin' at you from our new home in Mountain Home, Idaho. I hadn't actually been to our house before we closed on Monday, and I'm happily surprised to find that it's even better than I had imagined it would be. Hubs and the realtor checked it out in person, but the kiddos and I had only seen all the pictures and specs online. So I have to say to the Hubs, well done, dearest. Well done.

Link up here if you'd like to play along with us today!

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: I'm Moving On (1965)
 
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

(I personally hadn't heard it before, but I'm listening to it right now on YouTube. I did already know the flipside, "It Had to Be You" - although, admittedly, I did not know who already sang the original from my high school's vocal jazz group.)

1) In this song, Chyvonne Scott sings that she's sick of her lover's "conniving." Tell us about a time you felt deceived. (It doesn't have to involve romance.)

Growing up, my oldest (step)sister, "M," and I were pretty close. We were the M&Ms, etc. We were both pretty brutally (mostly emotionally, but not just) by my stepmother - her mother, although she didn't get anything like that from my dad. We stuck together; she was four years older and often took a protective role toward me. So when we were both being yelled at for something completely inane - likely something we didn't even do - she filpped o 

2) She realizes it's time to move on to another love. What's your favorite love song? Is it about a relationship that's running smoothly? Or is it like "I'm Moving On," about an unhappy love affair?

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I don't know about favorites, but I love "Groovy Kind of Love" by Phil Collins (that version, anyway). It's a beautiful song, and also, he sings it in the exact key that hits the sweet spot (or the "pocket," as they say) for almost my entire vocal range. That's hard to do.

3) Though Chyvonne Scott enjoyed only limited success as a recording artist, she was very popular in New York clubs. When did you most recently listen to music performed live?

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Well, I'll tell you what: On Tuesday night (three nights ago), Sophia and I were supposed to go to the NKOTB: Mixtape Tour in Boise. However, because of the shenanigans of moving, we missed it completely. I tried to give our tickets away at least, but it was so last-minute, we weren't able to do that, either, and they went to waste. And yes, I was a sourpuss the rest of the night. And then...

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... I won tickets to the Train/Goo Goo Dolls concert in Ridgefield, Washington, for Saturday night. We toyed with the idea of actually going, but the traveling expenses were just not there after buying the house. At least though, I was able to find takers for those tickets. So the last concert I attended was Taylor Swift's 1989 concert in Miami, when Chloë was 14 (she's 17 now). There was always live music - usually salsa or merengue - breaking out somewhere in Miami, so I don't know if you want that as my answer. If so, that. ;)

4) In 2017, this song appeared on a Samsung commercial that poked fun at rival iPhone. Is your cell phone an Apple or Android? How did you choose your phone?

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Sometime when we lived in Miami, Hubs and I switched from the iPhone to the Samsung Galaxy. That was probably in 2014. I didn't know what I really wanted, but I knew that there were features the iPhone didn't have, which limited my ability to perform some functions I wanted to do that I felt should have been easy. I basically walked into the AT&T store and said, "I have an iPhone, but I'm thinking of switching to Android. Tell me what I really want and convince me to get it." I walked out with the Galaxy and loved it thoroughly; Hubs played with mine awhile and soon went into AT&T himself to trade in his iDevice for Samsung. We haven't looked back.

5) Chyvonne is an unusual name. In 1965, when this song was first released, the most popular baby names in the US were Michael and Lisa. Do you have any Michaels or Lisas in your life?

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Several of each; the first two that came to mind were my BFF Lisa, whom I've known for 31 years, and my brother-in-law Michael, whom I've known even longer.

6) Also in 1965, Winston Churchill died. In researching this week's Sat. 9, Sam discovered a Churchill quote that's new to her: "I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught." Share something interesting that you recently learned.

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Hmm. I definitely strive to learn something new every day - and I usually do - but often I forget what that thing was when on the spot. Something recent but not today? When we lived in Portsmouth, Virginia, our house was broken into and my Nikon DSLR was stolen. I was devastated. In Miami, probably in 2014, I was able to get a new Nikon DSLR. However, I didn't know that I still had the adapter that meant all the older lenses I had, which weren't stolen, could actually fit on the new one. I'd been trying for years until Hubs picked it up and played with all of it! Sheesh.

7) In 1965, one of the most successful movies ever made, The Sound of Music, was released. Have you ever seen it?

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Only about a billion times! ♥

8) Lava lamps were already popular in England and Brussels, but in 1965 they were introduced in the US. Do you think lava lamps are cool? 

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Hell yeah! I had a red one, but it must've gotten left behind in some move or other. Now I want another!

9) Random question -- You have to buy something very personal that you find embarrassing. Would you rather pay cash for it, so your identity would be unknown but you'd have to face the cashier? Or order it online, where you could avoid looking anyone in the eye, but you have to share your name and address?

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Duh! I'd definitely order it online. I'm soooo shy IRL. However, I have done some very embarrassing purchases in person, and I didn't die. I thought I might. I order everything I can online, though. I don't care about sharing that info at all.

~*~*~*~*~

Fun one, Ms. Sam! I nearly forgot it was the weekend, so y'all are welcome that I remembered and graced you with my presence.

Image result for tiny waving pride flag gif Love yas! Image result for tiny waving pride flag gif

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Say Anything

Happy Mother's Day, thieves and thiefettes! Okay, so it's still Saturday evening here, but maybe by the time you read this that won't be the case. I'm gonna take that gamble! 😉

Link up here if you'd like to check out the rest of the Stealers!

~*~*~*~*~

Do you own your things or do your things own you?

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I hope I can honestly say it's the former. I'd love to be the minimalist type, which I am in theory, but in practice I'm more of a collector. I think I collect collections! I have some of my grandmother's and some of Rob's grandmother's spoons hanging from a display on the wall; I have my yarn, hook and needle collection, of course; I like to collect shot glasses from everywhere I go in the world... but these do not own nor define me. They just remind me of beautiful memories I've made. I'd be just as happy in a shack on the beach if we washed up penniless, though.

Would you rather lose all of your old memories or never be able to make new ones?

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I guess since I actually have this affliction, I'll say: never be able to make new ones. Part of "Succubus," as I call the conglomerate of conditions and disease with which I now find myself afflicted, is that I have lost the ability to translate most short-term memories into my long-term memory. It's depressing. It hurts. I hate it. But forgetting older memories - happy, lovely ones - I think would hurt much more.

How do you deal with someone in a position of power who wants you to fail?

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(Thank you, Hamilton, one of the greatest Broadway musicals I haven't seen yet.)

So when something like this happens to me, I usually go home and privately cry and pout for a minute, and then I get up, figure what I've got to do to meet and beat this challenge... and then I DO it!

What do you have that you cannot live without?

Josephine House

Well. On June 3rd, we are closing on this big, beautiful house in Mountain Home, Idaho. See, we owned a rather roomy house in Virginia Beach from 2003-2013, but it wasn't quite large enough for our growing family. (We ended up having more kids than we meant to have, hee.) Then we moved to a much smaller townhouse in Miami. We had so much stuff and faaaaaarrrr less room, so the place was cluttered the entire time we lived there. Drove me crazy!! We had to get rid of a lot of things, and since we are all sentimental, losing some of that hurts! Now, we live in a bigger single-family house in Boise, but it's still too small compared to the quantity of belongings we've amassed over the 18+ years of familyness we've created. And now, this new house on Josephine Street is so big, even if we didn't get rid of anything, we'd all fit happily - family AND pets AND schtuff. But the overarching theme of this entire dissertation is "family," and that's my final answer.

When you close your eyes what do you see?

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Nothing. Just like what I usually think of when I'm trying to make a snappy comeback.

What sustains you on a daily basis?

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On this one, I feel like I could wax philosophical about it being my family, my faith... or, as it happens, I'm probably mostly just waiting to find out what will happen next.

What are your top five personal values?

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In no particular order: Optimism, Loyalty, Sensitivity, Innovation, & Environmental Stewardship

Why must you love someone enough to let them go?

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I'm going to PASS on this one; it depends on the circumstances.

Do you ever celebrate the green lights?

👨🏾💃🏾

Hey man, I celebrate every chance I get!

What personal prisons have you built out of fears?

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Plenty, but right now, that's between my therapist and me.

What one thing have you not done that you really want to do?

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Collected an advanced degree (or several), written the half-a-dozen or so books meandering around in my brain, traveled to more of the world, gone waterskiing...!

Why are you, you?

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I don't know, because they don't let me be Michelle Obama ever??

If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose?

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I can answer this one honestly: kids. They just don't keep. And since I've been homeschooling them for the last decade or so, I haven't had a whole lot of opportunity to go freely traipsing about, y'know? And now that my health has taken a deep nosedive, there has been even less free time to do some of that stuff. However, now that the younger two kids shall be going to public high school next year, I'm going to take some of that time to work on writing my book(s). That is, of course, if the puppies let me.

What three words would you use to describe the last three months of your life?

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February

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April

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May.... well, today, actually!

Basically... waiting for Spring!

Is it ever right to do the wrong thing?  Is it ever wrong to do the right thing?

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Wait... what? Just kidding. I'm going to defer to my answer for the "if you love someone, let them go" question and say: It depends.

How would you describe ‘freedom’ in your own words?

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Okay, but first, a few quotes:

Freedom is the right to question and change the established way of doing things.

Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes – Mahatma Gandhi

Better to die fighting for freedom then be a prisoner all days of your life.

The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage!

I find that last one to be most provocative, for myself. So I'll say... Freedom is when you allow yourself to be who you are, when both external and/or internal pressures ask you to be something you're not.

What is the most important thing you could do right now in your personal life?

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Well, I've just done a thing: since I really need to go to my most excellent therapist, but often health issues keep me from getting there, we decided to start doing teletherapy for the days I can't get to her office in person. After a lengthy phone chat about it, I realized - oh! - I probably need to get a webcam for this, huh? She confirmed I did, so I got one on Friday. And yes, I looked just like that guy up there.

If you could ask one person, alive or dead, only one question, who would you ask and what would you ask?

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I would ask Beethoven if he was waiting to finish the 9th Symphony and, when he was finally satisfied that it was complete, then decided it was safe for him to give up the ghost. Because it is that perfect.

If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?

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I'd be singing my heart out on a stage, with no mic necessary, night after night after night!

~*~*~*~*~

Well, it's 10:21 AM on Sunday, and I'm finally done! I slept overnight in the middle. Seems like I do that a lot. Heh.

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... to all you moms out there!

Fin.


Scenes From Easter Sunday

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🥚 Happy Easter 2019! 🥚

This year, our egg situation was a process. I got about 5 dozen eggs, many of which were eaten ahead of time, so things got mathy. By the time the Paas kits I ordered were delivered, it was Saturday night. We all got involved: I did all the planning. Rob did all the hard-boiling (all but the nine pink eggs on top). And the kids did the timing and the dyeing, according to my oft-yelled instructions. 😏 And then Chloë arranged the eggs. I think they look loverly!

Easter Basket Collage

After church, and some rest, and some food... we eventually got around to doing the Easter baskets. Lately, now that the kids are pretty grown up, Chloë has been helping me assemble them. And I've been making one for Rob, albeit a much smaller one. P.S. I had him lose the tie, unbutton a shirt button, and roll up his sleeves. I think he looks much better like that! 😍

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Regardless, these goofballs dug into their bowls - er, baskets - with vigor. I made a list of things I might include and had each kid check off (in different color ink, natch) what interested them. I got most of it!

Chloë: 

  • A small piece of jewelry
  • swim goggles
  • lip balms
  • nail polish
  • candy, of course
  • lots and lots of kid-friendly coupons redeemable by Mom & Dad
  • hair accessories
  • socks

Etc. Sophia chose a similar list, except no jewelry but add a PopSocket. No nail polish, but she got a Koosh. Similarly for Jack, except obviously no jewelry or nail polish, and neither did he want a PopSocket nor Koosh. He did get sunglasses, a Yo-yo (oh, as did Soph), and plain black socks instead of rainbow ones like the girls'!

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I printed dozens and dozens of coupons I selected - and accidentally printed in triplicate. Eventually, all three kids had to get involved in the cutting thereof! Took forever.

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As Rob munched on Peanut M&Ms, Paco snuggled in tightly behind him, as a Chihuahua is wont to do...

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Soon, he was fast asleep. ♥

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Sophia was pretty goofy today, quite "on." I had an awful lot more photos of her at the end of this session, since Chloë took to opening her goodies behind her bowl, and Jack generally shuns the camera anyway.

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All three kiddos received a couple of KinderEggs each; here are a few of the toys from them. Sophia got an ostrich in hers, which was adorable, but I had put the camera away by then.

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Apropos of nothing, Sophia is always tossing her hair around. When we're listening to the radio in the car and a jammin' song comes on, she gets all punk rock with it. I love that.

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Rob cracked me up: He was opening egg after egg, dumping the confectionary contents into his mouth before moving on to the next. Like a four-year-old. I loved it.

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These are not the lip balms Sophia really wanted, but I couldn't find them where I was shopping. So she'll get these for now and those will just pop into her life at some mysterious, magical point in time.

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Oh, by the way: We get dozens of beautiful tulips in our yard - and all around Boise - this time of year. It's my favorite time. This year, I couldn't resist asking Sophie to make me a small bouquet of some of the blooms to bring some of the beauty inside.

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Sophie showing off some of the goods in her basket o' joy.

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Back to those tulips: Look how much they've enjoyed being in here! They've really just shown off their stellar color and silky petals this year!

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I'll leave you with this imagery of Sophie devouring a chocolate tulip. And no, they were not solid. Bah!

Happy Easter, everyone. I hope you were able to enjoy the weekend, whatever it is you chose to do.

Fin.


Saturday 9: A Few Of My Favorite Things

Hey, everyone! Right now we're in a big freakin' family argument because my oldest, Chloë, wants to treat everyone to something for dinner... However, I have super-strong, scientifically-backed, non-emotional convictions about eating vegan and will not sway, plus I have had gastric bypass surgery resulting in a teeny-tiny gastric pouch, so the Golden Corral buffet she wants to go to does not make any sense for me. And I don't feel well. So I don't want to go. Some people want Chinese food, some people want pizza - all of which have vegan choices - but nobody agrees. AND I had already bought the ingredients for what I had planned for dinner.

So this is fun.

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Anyway, since nothing is really happening on the dinner end of things, I thought I'd get with the program and get my S9 conquered. So let's do this!

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: My Favorite Things (2018)
 
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) This week's artist, Jennie Abrahamson, is very happy living in Stockholm, but she refers to Paris as "a flirt." She enjoys her time there so much she always wants to return. Is there a place you've visited that tugs at your heart and imagination, tempting you to return?

Oh, yes. I loved every single stop on our 12-day European cruise in 2008, but I think city of Lucca in Italy was exceedingly delightful. I'd go back to any of those ports in a heartbeat, but to meander through Lucca again - even 13 years later with my health - would make me jump for joy!

2) Jennie has said her music has been heavily influenced by 80s pop, which was popular in her early teen years. Are your favorite songs the ones you listened to when you were growing up?

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Oh, nah. I mean, I love my 80s songs for sure, but I love listening to current pop music a ton, too. But I mean, I was listening to Vivaldi and Tchaikovsky and Mozart earlier this afternoon. I think right now I'm most obsessed with the Sweetener and Thank U, Next latest albums from Ariana Grande, especially her song "God is a Woman."

3) "My Favorite Things" is from The Sound of Music. Crazy Sam's high school claim to fame was playing Sister Margaretta in the senior class production. Though not a big part, her performance lives on because relatives love embarrassing her with pictures of her in an especially unflattering nun's habit. Who took an embarrassing photo of you? What were you doing?

Well, damn. There are (approximately) a million embarrassing photos of me, many online. Pick any given one!

4) The lyrics celebrate "brown paper packages tied up in strings." What was in the last box you received in the mail?

January BarkBox

The last package "I" got was really for our puppies, Paco and Tapi. They LOOOOOOOVE getting their monthly BarkBox in the mail, and I swear to God they know what it is when the box hits the porch! (They actually might know the timing, because they start crowding around the door whenever ANY box hits the porch for a day or two before it's supposed to come!) Tapi's been bumped up to the "Super Chewer" level as of this month, because her strong jaws destroy her favorite toys within moments at the regular level. Paco only cares about the treats, so that doesn't matter to him!

5) It mentions doorbells and sleighbells. What's the most recent bell or alarm that you heard?

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[It's now 2:14 PM on Saturday afternoon. I'm just now getting out of bed, because I've got a migraine. Again. Still. Whichever.] Various peoples' work, activity, and medication alarms all day - none of which have helped my head!

6) This song has nice things to say about cold weather, specifically snowflakes and mittens. What do you like about winter?

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When it's over.

7) Dog bites and bee stings are singled out as things that can leave us feeling sad. What's most recently given you the blues?

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I was able to drive out to, and attend, Sophia's lesson for the first time in over a year... and it was not a great lesson for her. Sunny, the Appaloosa she's on there, did not want to cooperate. And Sunny stepped on her at today's lesson, so... :\ Poor kid. She cried, I heard, and it broke the skin.

8) In 2018, when this song was released, Roger Federer won the Australian Open. Are you good with a racket?

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I wasn't bad in high school, despite not having the best depth perception. I haven't really played since then, though.

9) Random question -- Your local zoo announced the hatching of three snowy owlets. All males. You won the honor of naming them. Go ahead.

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Blue, Delta, and Echo... and if you have any guesses as to where I got those ideas, I'd love to hear them! ;)

~*~*~*~*~

Sophia - Van Gogh Unit Starry Night

Before I send this post into the ether, as I'm listening to Chopin's "Noctune op.9 No. 1," I'll leave you with Sophia's latest art project: her take on Vincent van Gogh's "Starry Night," done with oil pastels.

See you for Sunday Stealing!

Fin.


Not A Creature Was Stirring...

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Well. Except the chickens. The chickens want to be fed. The sun was up, after all, and roosters and hennies do not keep quiet.

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Foraging while impatiently waiting for their Christmas breakfast

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Ahh, Chloë to the rescue with Fine Dining First Course: Leftover noodles

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Look at them. She's got it, they want it. She's like the damned Pied Piper of Hungry Chickens.

Also, which of you kids left the %^&* hose out?!!

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Fine Dining Main Course is out: cooked beans, good for a little protein and fat for cold, hungry birdies.

{And don't judge; we just ran out of our usual 'spensive oranic [chicken] layer feed. Nobody told me we were getting low. It's Christmas and our feed stores are closed. And it's not bad for them. So :P}

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Twenty feathered dinosaurs, all in a row...

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A few chickees started foraging again, and Chloë still had beans for them, so she pulled out her trump card: She started singing the "Happy Birthday" song, which is our associative cue to the chickens to come to us. We sing it when we feed them and they're coming running, so even when we're not feeding them, if we sing it, they come running. #BecausePsychology

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Watch how it works.

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And here they come! PFM: Pure F*****g Magic!

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{Tin Type is my favourite editing effect of the moment.}

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Oh, what'd you say? You want a little more? I got you.

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Hard to believe how quickly our chicks, hatched September 4th, have grown into big, beautiful chickens! sniff

Well, Merry Christmas, y'all! Now I gotta get back to editing my hyoomin photos! ;)

Fin.


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

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

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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.

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

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I'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! 🙃

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

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

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

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

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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. 😢

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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.

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What places have you visited?

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

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

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

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

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

Any new pets? Lost a pet?

Yes; critters we've lost this year:

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

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

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

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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:

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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.

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

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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!

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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...)? 

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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!

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

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

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What was your biggest achievement last year?

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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.

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Did you get sick or injured?

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

What was the best thing you bought?

Pf changs

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

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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!

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

Barkbox Dogs

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

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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!

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What do you wish you would have done more of?

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My husband! 🤪😂😈

What do you wish you would have done less of?

Tears in Heaven

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

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

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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.

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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?

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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? 

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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!

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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!)

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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:

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

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What political or social issue stirred you the most?

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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.

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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!

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Who was the most interesting new person you met?

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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.

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What changed at your job?

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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! ;)

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What changed in your home?

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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!

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Describe how a relationship changed.

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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!

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

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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.

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

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How have people around you changed?

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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.

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What have you learned throughout the year?

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

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

Warm weather:

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Something cool, comfortable, and hopefully, cute!

Cool Weather:

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Anything remotely warm, comfortable, and hopefully cute! ;)

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

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

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

Well... Before:

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And now:

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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?

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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:

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

~*~*~*~*~*~

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

See y'all after the happy merry!

Fin.


Saturday 9: Unbreak My Heart

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Hey, folks, welcome back! I'm going "basic bitch" by, yes, writing this post in Comic Sans. I'm just in the mood for it. Live and let live.

My grandmother used to tell me, when I'd forgotten to call or write her a thank you note or similar, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." I think of my grandmother telling me that every time I fail to do something that I had truly meant to do. In this case, my road to hell comes courtesy of my failing to post midweek instead of just doing Saturday 9 and Sunday Stealing on the weekends.

I try; I really do try, but life gets so busy in the middle of the week. We're chock-full of doctor appointments every weekday, I swear, so when it comes to that and trying to get all of our homeschool lessons in for the day, I'm exhausted at the end of it. 

But I'm not giving up. It's important to me to document my kids' lives, and I'm failing miserably. Giving up has never been an option for me, though, so watch this space.

In the meantime, link up here if you'd like to play along today!

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: Unbreak My Heart (1996)

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

1) Songs like this are enduringly popular in part because each of us has had our heart broken. Give us the name of a heartbreaker from your own life.

Michael, the first black man I dated and my first fiancé. That's a very long story, though. I don't even know whether he's still alive. It's quite possible he's not.


2) Toni Braxton sings that "
nights are so unkind." What did you do last night?

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I don't even really remember last night, because I went from busy to snoring in half a second, but the night before that, I rented us Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom from Amazon Prime. I saw approximately the first 14 minutes of it before, again, I passed out exhausted.

3) While this song has Toni singing the blues, in real life her love life is happier. Now aged 50, she's engaged and has been sporting a diamond on her left hand. Do you believe that a bride is ever too old to have a big wedding?

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No! Of course not. If a couple want to have a big wedding, and they can afford it, then they should do whatever they want. There aren't any rules on that, are there?

4) Growing up, Toni Braxton's parents severely restricted how much TV their children could watch each day. Ironically, today Toni and her sisters participate in a reality TV show on the WE-TV network, so TV cameras are a big part of their daily adult lives. What TV show do you try not to miss?

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There are three shows that my family all gather around to watch together, come hell or high water: (1) Jeopardy! (2) The Big Bang Theory (3) Young Sheldon (that Iain Armitage is incredible in this role!!!); however, we are quickly adding (4) Bob's Burgers and (5) Fixer Upper to our must-see-TV repertoire.

5) She is prone to dry skin and applies Kiehl's Hand Salve to her hands and arms throughout the day. Tell us about a product you're brand loyal to.

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I'm kind of a product whore when it comes to trying new brands all the time, but that's probably because of a combination of: (1) couponing for the best deals, no matter the brand; (2) mystery shopping and therefore getting to try a plethora of new-to-me brands; and (3) blog- or follower-related campaigns to which I'm invited, so I get to try new things all the time. However - and I suppose this isn't the sort of thing you meant - I am pretty choosy when it comes to my technology. Both of my DSLR cameras have been Nikons; I would choose an HP over any other computer/printer/other peripheral any day of the week; and I lurve my Samsung Galaxy phones abundantly much. ;) 

I suppose if there were an opposite thing to "loyalty," that would be how I approach the Dyson brand... Dyson. Ugh. It's awful.

6) Toni admits to being "a bit of a germaphobe," and always maintains a supply of hand sanitizer and wipes. What is always on your shopping list?

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Toilet paper. With three teenagers and, well, me, we go through our Cottonelle like water. It's a little absurd.

7) While she is not shy about her body, and has worn revealing outfits on the red carpet, Toni Braxton refused a 2011 offer from Hugh Hefner and Playboy to pose nude. What's the last thing you said "no" to?

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I don't say 'no' very often.  I guess I said no on Friday when my physical therapist's office called to say she had two openings yesterday, but with my shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles constantly dislocating, I declined making another appointment. I've just frankly been in too much pain to even shower for a few days. 

8) In 1996, the year this song was popular, Mattel introduced a Star Trek Barbie and Ken set. Have you ever fantasized about space travel? 

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Oh, yes. For as long as I can remember, as a kid, I frequently dreamed about both having the ability to fly, soaring through the skies and in and out of buildings and other obstacles, as well as going into outer space and visiting the Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and even beyond. Here I am, decades later, and I can still say I have those dreams. I'd give anything!!

9) Random question -- Would you (or did you) invite an ex to your wedding?

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No I did not, and no, I don't believe I would. Hm, I don't know now. One of my exes, Faris, invited me to his wedding, and I went - with Hubs and nine-month-old Chloë. But then again, his bride was one of my very best friends, Lisa, so I would have gone no matter whom she married. And Faris and I get along just fine these days.

~*~*~*~*~

Fun questions once again this week, Sam! Thanks for keeping us entertained(ing)!

Fin.


Ten Years Back

2008 Collage (1)

I just found some fotos from this week in 2008, and wow! The kids have changed so much. Sophia was so blonde - and that cute little button nose! ♥ Jack's teeth were so cute to me - look at that smile! ♥ And Chloë's little coke-bottle glasses and her sweet smile. ♥ I love these kiddos of mine so much, and starting to let go a little is so painful. However, I can't wait to see the adults that these once-tiny miracles turn into. Just a year away 'til the first one's ready to fly the coop!

Wahhh...

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: 65 Questions, Part The First

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

Here are questions from Savannah at The Rainbow Society
 
 
1. Do you ever doubt the existence of others than you?
 
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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?
 
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Five. Bad things have happened to me in the dark.

3. The person you would never want to meet?
 
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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?
 
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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?
 
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I would be the mighty Red Mangrove tree, Rhizophora mangle, with it's millions and millions of prop roots, because:
 
"...The Red Mangrove belongs to the 'true mangroves'. The Red Mangrove is a strong and tough mangrove. Rhizophora mangle can handle changes in humidity, salinity, air- and water-temperature... Rhizophora mangle definitely is the most dominant mangrove on our planet. Rhizophora mangle was described for the first time in 1753 by Carolus Linnaeus."

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

7. What shirt are you wearing?
 
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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?
 
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What Pearl B. said. ;)

9. Bright room or dark room?
 
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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?
 
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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?
 
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Probably 24. I got married to the absolute joy and love and light of my life, and then I met the then-second biggest joy and love and light of my life, Chloë Raine, a month early and the day before I turned 25. Marriage and motherhood are what bring me the most happiness in my life.

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

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

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

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

16. The last song you listened to?
 
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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?
 
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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?
 
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I'd really like to throat-punch this devilish duo.

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

20. What is your best physical attribute? (showing said attribute is optional)
 
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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?
 
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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?
 
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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?
 
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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.
 
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It would be a pita full of pine nut-filled hummus, sundried tomatoes, sprouts, and cucumbers. Mmm-mmm good.

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

26. You just got a free plane ticket to anywhere in the world, but you have to leave immediately. Where are you going to go?
 
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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.
 
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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? 
 
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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?
 
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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?
 
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Well, this sounds like I'm coming home from somewhere to find this fire, so I know I would already have my purse and phone with me. I always do. So... I guess I'd grab my laptop. Lots of info on there I wouldn't want to lose.
 
~*~*~*~*~
 
Well, phew! That was quite a long one and took me a long time to answer! But it was fun; thanks, Bev.
 
Hope y'all have a great week.
 
Fin.

Independence Day Foto Album

Okay, so maybe this post is about a month late, but that's about how my life is running these days. And okay, so, maybe I hardly even remember the Fourth of July this year, but my best-laid plans had to be abruptly changed at the last minute when Jack ended up having to work that whole day, and my short-term memory is all but gone lately. All this to say, forgive me for making this mostly Show and not a lot of Tell. I'm including some out-takes just for funsies:

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Sophia, 13; Jack, 15; and Chloë, 16

002

Yes, yes, Sophia is getting tall. She really is that tall. I don't know how it's happened. I ask her damned near every day!

003

Silliness.

004 There I am. Hiding.

005

Lookit us, all matchy-matchy. Independence Day is my favourite day of the year, and if I can't have things go the way I planned, at least I can make people dress in red, white, and blue for one day. Thankfully, my people humor me.

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No, that is not a real smile. Not even a good fake one. But it's not a scowl, so close enough. ;)

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She even humored me on the pigtails. I think it'll be the last time. That's a LOT of hair!

009

Ahhh, three teenagers... make it stop! Dear Father Time: SLOW. DOWN.

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Mom and Dad. Husband and Wife. 

012

It was a super hot day in Boise that day, and with my illness (aka Succubus), I don't handle the heat well. Mostly, I just sat under a shady tree (I in my wheelchair? But I truly don't remember) while the kids ran around in the fountain. Here they are leaving. See 'em?

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It looked very refreshing, no?!

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Hi, girlies!

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I so wanted to join them, but... I did not feel like being soaked. And frankly, I didn't want to get my camera wet, either!

017

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Chloë and Sophia yet again. Jack was harder to nail down in one place, but he's out there. Somewhere.

 

020

THERE he is. My trio. My group. My babies. 

Fun by the fountain

023

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Jack doesn't like it when I tell him he's gotten pretty buff. But, um, he has gotten pretty buff!

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There's my guy!   He's been channeling Bob Ross lately with that curly mop!

030

The beautiful, hot day soon turned into a beautiful, hot evening. We should do this more often. You know, without the crowds. And the food trucks.

033

Soon, my favorite part of my favorite day began. With a bang. Duh.

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Boom. Boom. Pop! BOOM! Yeah, yeah, you know how it goes.

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Fireworks Show

The show was okay, and there was of course the obligatory patriotic music, but overall I felt like the fireworks show was kind of a let down. If you're an American and you want to know where to find a really fantastic fireworks show on July 4th, I'll tell you the best I've seen: Hands down, it was in downtown Panama City, Florida. So good. 

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Once the show was over, we grabbed our gear and headed out of Ann Morrison Park for home. As usual, I'd bought little poppers and firecrackers for the kids to do at home (nothing that would blow off a finger or anything), so the kids and Rob spent some time outside making noise at far too late for (I'm guessing) our neighbors' liking! Oh, well.

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So that was it! Good day, good evening, and good night! (Literally.)

Fin.


Saturday 9: My Funny Valentine

Hello, hello! Welcome back to the fray. Make sure you link up here to play along this week, and let's jump right into the fray!

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: My Funny Valentine (1991)
 
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) In this song, Ms. Kitt sings that her lover is her favorite work of art. Tell us about a piece of artwork you can see from where you're sitting now. (Yes, that crayon drawing created by your 5-year-old nephew counts.)
 
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So, I normally write about the Britto, but I'll mention this one instead (which happens to be just to the left of the big Britto, currently.)  We bought this fish rack hook rack from an antiques shop shortly after we bought our house in Virginia Beach, VA, in 2003. I hang my keys an extra keychain or two on there; Hubs hangs a carabiner or seven with various and sundry things on them on his hook, and we then we hang the dog leashes on the third hook. We have a pretty fish-themed style going on, and I love this piece!

2) She asks him to not change his hair. When will you next find yourself in the stylist's chair?
 
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I was supposed to go last week, but the care and upkeep of Chloë's long curls came to a head (heh heh) this month, costing so much I had to scrap my plans for a trim. I cut my own bangs and called it a day.

3) Ms. Kitt always wanted to be a performer and attended the New York School of Performing Arts (aka the "Fame" school). Think back to your high school self. In what ways would you be surprised by how your life turned out?
 
 
Ha, well, by this point I figured I'd be a world-renowned marine scientist with a Nobel prize (for what?! I don't know) under my belt. I actually thought that! I had no doubts. I certainly didn't think that at 41, I'd be looking at raising three teenagers. And I most definitely didn't plan on homeschooling them even after they came along! Life is so weird.

4) Ms. Kitt took over the role of Catwoman on TV's Batman. Name another Batman villain.

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The Penguin!
 
5) Ms. Kitt enjoyed tremendous success performing in Parisian nightclubs. Have you ever been to Paris? 
 
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Not yet! Chloë wants to get engaged there (currently there is no suitor, haha)! I have been to Nice, and Eze, in France... but not Paris. I'd love to go with Hubs sometimes and stroll the Champs-élysées and of course, smooch atop the Eiffel Tower. One day.
  
This is the last Saturday  9 before Valentine's Day and so this morning we shall focus on the upcoming holiday. 

6) The holiday is also known as The Feast of St. Valentine. Do you have a special meal planned for next Wednesday?
 
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I might have a little something up my sleeve (which I can't yet divulge, since certain family members read these posts), but definitely no feast. I'm not one to go all out - or expect anything - for Valentine's Day.

7) The phrase "wear your heart on your sleeve" began in medieval times. On Valentine's Day, men would celebrate the holiday by displaying their lady love's name on their sleeves. If you were going to adopt this custom, whose name would you wear?

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Well, I'm not a man, but I would wear Rob's name on my sleeve. He has a piece of my heart, for sure. Having just celebrated the fourth anniversary of his brain surgery, he has just received a cancer diagnosis (not of the brain). I'm trying not to just fall apart... I love him so.
 
8) Women buy and send more Valentines than men do. What's the last greeting card you received?
 
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The last ones we've received were for Christmas. I plan on giving out a few on Valentine's Day, myself.
  
9) Men buy and send more roses at Valentine's Day than women do. What's your favorite flower?
 
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Tiger lilies are absolutely my favorite flowers, so much so that we named our first German Shepherd Dog after them:
 
 
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If they must be roses, however, then my favorites are yellow.
 
~*~*~*~*~
Fun questionnaire this week, Crazy Sam! Thanks for doing this!
 
Fin.