Entries categorized "PSA" Feed

Saturday 9: Work Hard, Play Harder

Gretchen Wilson - Google Search | Gretchen wilson, Miranda lambert bikini,  Miranda lambert

Hello, my friends! I hope this Labor Day weekend finds you well and planning some kind of fun and enjoyment. The girls and I plan to go look at someof the houses we have saved on our list, among other things. Can't wait!

As of now, we're in a hotel in Ocean City, Maryland, so tonight we visited the singular house in OC that we had saved to our list.

Y'all. It is a mansion surrounded by other mansions. It is beautiful.

Could we afford it? Yes, definitely. Could we fit in there? That's a whole 'nother ball of wax.

Plus, my oldest kiddo, Chloë, is turning 19 on Monday, so I'm sure we'll have special fun for that day as well.

As for the present, let's dive into S9, shall we? Link up here to play along this weekend!

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Saturday 9: Work Hard, Play Harder (2009)

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

1) We're celebrating the last holiday of summer by going country. Who is your favorite country music artist?
 
The Dixie Chicks: The Price of Being Genuine | Cover Story | Allure
 
Not a huge country fan, but one band I do love are The Chicks. Listening to their 2020 song "Gastlighter" again right now.

2) Gretchen Wilson sings that on Tuesdays, she gets up before dawn. This morning, did you awaken on your own, or did you need an alarm clock?
 
Night Owl Quotes. QuotesGram
 
Oh no. I didn't wake up this morning, period. I'm  such a night owl. My younger daughter, 15-year-old Sophia, woke me up at around 1 pm to take my "morning" meds. Oops.

3) She tells us that she doesn't waste her time on manicures or spay tans. How about you? Have you recently spent any money at the salon?
 
Itasca, IL - Official Website
 
Oh no, definitely not. Although my daughters may go do some fun spa things for Chloë's birthday if I can find somewhere observing safe enough protocols.

4) She sings that she's the first to clock in at work. Have you ever worked a job that required you to punch a time clock?
 
How to track employee time the mobile way | SimpleConsign
Oh yes, many a time clock in my history.
 
5) Gretchen Wilson says she is a big fan of McDonald's and tries to eat there once a day when she's on tour. In terms of sales, America's 3 most popular fast-food lunch destinations are McDonald's, Starbucks and Subway. If you could choose a gift card to one of those three, which would you select?
 
Cafe Iced Coffee Latte Starbucks - Cup Transparent PNG
 
All three of us girls say Starbucks would be most welcome right now.

6) Gretchen has endorsed Redneck Riviera Whiskey. What's your favorite adult beverage?
 
Best Classic Mai Tai Recipe - How To Make A Mai Tai
 
I like a pretty, well-built mai tai or rum runner with fresh, elaborate garnishes. Piña colada made right is also a good one for me, margarita, strawberry daiquiri, any kind of delicious fruity mixed drinks. Doesn't even matter now that I'm allergic to alcohol and can't drink a lick anymore!

Since this Monday is Labor Day, the holiday established to celebrate the American worker … 
 
7) Approx. 10% of Americans are self employed. Have you ever been your own boss?
 
8 Hilarious Ecards About Self-Employment | SurveyBee.net
 
I spent many years evaluating businesses as an indepedent contractor for various companies, essentially being my own boss and having an EIN. I also audited and merchandised some as well, then. Additionally, I owned myt own cake and dessert baking business.

8) According to Monster.com, 50% of workers have left a job to get away from a boss. Are you one of the 50%?
 
30 Of The Funniest Boss Memes | Bored Panda
 
I don't think so...? I have left a job to get away from another employee, but I don't think I've ever run away from my boss before.

9) Farmers feel the impact of extreme weather events. Have you ever had a job that required you to be outdoors most of the time?
 
Rhodes near Kalithea Bay Beginners Scuba Diving Experience 2020 - Dodecanese
 
(Note: This is not my picture, and I do not own the rights to this photo. Also, I don't know who this woman is, but here's a PSA: you should, never, ever, ever pick up the sea animals when you are SCUBA diving, snorkeling, or the like. Look, but don't touch! Many are very fragile, though they may seem hardy enough to handle. Your body chemistry could ruin theirs, for one thing... /PSA)
 
I've had several mostly-outside jobs. When I worked and did my Fisheries internship at Mote Marine Lab, I was out on the water a lot.  The catering job I worked at during that same period was often outside on the beach. And when I moved back to Miami, I worked at a Keys dive shop that required a lot of time out in or near the water. I'm sure there are more, but that's what's coming to me off the top of my head.
 
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So now it's 5:10 PM on Saturday, and I completely forgot to come finish the last two questions earlier today. OOPS!
 
The girls and I looked at that Ocean City house last night that I thought we were going to rule out, but we have most definitely ruled it in. Also, we visited the house that was at the top of my list a little while ago, and we have most definitely ruled that one out. Surprise, suprise!
 
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and are safe from COVID-19, natural disasters, and being a Trump supporter. Hee.
 
Fin.
 

Saturday 9: The Rain, The Park & Other Things

Cowsills - Rain Park & Other Things - Amazon.com Music

Hello, friends. I trust you're all alive and well, but in this insane year that is 2020, that is certainly nothing to be taken for granted. So tonight, I'd like to take the opportunity to express how much I appreciate each of you, from Crazy Sam who writes the question, to all of you who join in answering them.

Today, on the fourth anniversary of the Pulse massacre in Orlando, 45's administration announced they are further rolling back protections for trans and other LGBTQ+ individuals. They have just announced a change in the date of their Tulsa rally from Juneteenth - chosen during the current Black Lives Matter protests, of all things! - to the next day. At least they are listening to their own constituents of color?! But please vote, vote, vote them out.

On to the quizzionnaire; link up here to play along:

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Saturday 9: The Rain, The Park, and Other Things (1967)

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

1) The Cowsills were a family band who had three hit singles. Can you name another group of popular singing siblings?

I don't know why, but I first thought of the Neville Brothers: Aaron, Art, Charles, Cyril, & Ivan. And I know it wasn't performed as a group act, but the first thing I thought of was Aaron Neville singing, "Don't Know Much" with Linda Ronstadt. Always a classic.

2) This was their first hit, and it reached #2 on the Billboard charts. It was kept out of the #1 slot by the Monkees and "Daydream Believer." What's your favorite Monkees song?

It would probably be either Daydream or the Monkees Theme Song; I remember watching a lot of that on, I think, Mtv in the 80s!

3) After seeing the Cowsill brothers perform with their mother and sister, TV producers were inspired to create the sitcom, The Partridge Family. Did you ever watch it?

Amazon.com: Watch The Partridge Family Season 2 | Prime Video

Uhh, not intentionally, ever. I think that's one of those things that it was on while I was in the room plenty of times, but I never sat down and put it on or kept it on intentionally. One or more of my sisters certainly did, though, and I was bottom of the pecking order so I never had a say.

4) In the song, the narrator takes a flower from a girl in the park. Are there flowers in your home right now?

Real Touch Flowers Centerpiece-Faux Floral Arrangement image 5

There's not. We rarely have fresh flowers in the house. I did tell my husband I'd rather have live plants growing outside than cut ones displayed inside way back when we got married, but there's another element here. We have so many animal companions in the house, and each species may encounter some danger depending on which plants and flowers we have in the house. The risk of a bad combo along with the time and care we already devote to taking proper care of the animals means that we don't often have the opportunity for plants. I hope to change that soon, and I've been doing my research. In the meantime, this faux tulip bouquet I found in the Etsy shop ACdecorshop, would be really at home here.

5) He isn't sure if the girl was real, or if he dreamed her. Tell us about a recent dream you had.

Astronaut Kathy Sullivan Becomes First Woman to Reach Challenger ...

The PTSD medicine I take, prazosin, keeps me from perceiving my dreams at all - good and bad. So I'll throw a shout-out to former astronaut-cum-oceanographer Kathy Sullivan. She's gone to space and has now recently gone to Challenger Deep, the deepest part of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean (near Guam!). And then these two surfaced and called the ISS! Many exciting firsts for her; that is the real dream.

6) At the height of the Cowsills' popularity, they were hired by the American Dairy Association to promote drinking milk. If we were to peek into your refrigerator right now, would we find any milk?

Got Plant Milk? 9 Dairy-Free Milks to Try - TryVeg

Yes. My teenagers haven't bought into the the whole vegan/vegetarian movement despite my aggressive parenting in that direction, so I usually buy them half a dozen gallons of cow's milk at a time. I usually have a few different kinds of vegan milk - as above - for myself, but what I have been able to eat lately myself is really limited. And that ain't it.

7) After the band stopped performing together, John Cowsill went on to become a back up musician for the Beach Boys. His job has kept him on the road much of the time. When you travel, do you enjoy staying in hotels, or would you rather stay with friends/family?

Ham Yard Hotel: Unexpected Design | JustElite

We've done both many times. I prefer to stay in a hotel, especially since we're usually traveling with kids and sometimes even the dogs. It saves money to stay with friends and family, sure, but when you're tired and want to retreat for a while, you're still there! Sometimes I just need a break from being "on."

8)  In 1967, the year this song was popular, Elvis married Priscilla in Las Vegas. Have you attended any weddings yet this year? Are there any weddings in your future?

Fresh Ideas And Wedding Trends 2020 | Wedding Forward

No weddings. I feel pretty bad for anyone having a wedding or any big milestone event in 2020. Everything is just wrecked. You can only do so much on Zoom.

9) Random question: Are the bottoms of your feet ticklish?

Mehndi designs on the soles of your feet - Simple Craft Ideas

That's the most ticklish spot on my very ticklish body. Shh! Don't tell the kids. And please don't ever henna-tattoo my soles. I can't even tolerate a pedi!

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Thanks for stopping by, y'all.

Now I've got to stop watching "Next in Fashion" on Netflix and help my son choose some new glasses online. This should be fun...

Be kind to each other.

Fin.#


Saturday 9: When Love Goes Wrong, Nothing Goes Right

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

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

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

Let's get busy.

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

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

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

Review: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes - Slant Magazine

In fact, I have not.

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

Zippo Flex Neck Utility Lighter | DudeIWantThat.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Typhoon Pongsona Slams Guam - YouTube

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BlackLivesMatter

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Colloquium

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

I dare you to prove me wrong?!

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

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

Last person you were in a car with?

Image may contain: 1 person

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

Any plans for tomorrow?

Image result for out of gas

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

Best friend or close friends?

Image result for bff funny

Um, both. Duh.

Is tomorrow going to be a good day?

Image result for clairvoyance funny

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

Ever thrown up in public?

Image result for puking funny

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

What’s on your mind RIGHT NOW?

Image result for climate strike

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

Who was the last person you talked to?

_DSC0675

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

What is the WORST subject they teach at school?

Image result for creationism curriculum

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

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

Image result for shaking head no gif

Not lately, I don't think?

What is your favourite color top to wear?

Pass, on the grounds that it's irrelevant.

Have you ever been in a car accident?

Image result for hit by a drunk driver

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

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

Image result for green recycling symbol

My recycling bin 😉♻️

Where would you like to be right now?

Image result for migraine

Anywhere right now not having this migraine

Is anything bugging you right now?

Image result for migraine

Second verse, same as the first!

Is life going right for you now?

Image result for everything is alright

It's... going.

Is there someone you care about more than yourself?

Image may contain: one or more people and night

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

What made you laugh today?

Facebook Graphic #7
⬆ This. ⬆

What was the last movie you watched?

Related image

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

What was the last conversation you had about?

Image result for acetaminophen

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

What were you doing at 7:00 this morning?

Image result for ACLU logo Idaho

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

Do you like your hair long or short?

23316248_10159477102695263_886136052_n

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

Do you like the rain?

Image result for hurricane gif

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

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Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Not 5,000 Questions, Part The First

Welcome back. 🙋‍♀ I am stuffed! I just finished half a small plate of popcorn shrimp, which Chloë made, and shortly before that, a banana that I did not share with Paco (my 5-year-old Chihuahua), much to his chagrin. I had a tofu stir-fry that Rob made for dinner, and then Jack and I went out for more soy sauce (for the leftovers), some school clothes for him, and some other stuff. Upon our return, we ate ice cream cones (I had a chocolate-dipped cone with Talenti pistachio gelato - such an indulgence!). And I had two chocolate croissants from Walmart, which I bought on impulse when I saw them; they're just like smaller versions of the ones Panera used to sell before replacing them with some crappy new thing that I hate. Anyway, my point is, I feel like I have not stopped eating since I got up today.

Sunday Stealing time. Link up here if you're playing along today! So, full belly, dry diaper, here we go: 

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Have you read anything by C.S. Lewis?

Related image

Yes. For my college graduation gift, my BFF Lisa gave me his book Mere Christianity. When I read it, it was a complete 180º from where I was, still heavily stuck in the cult in which I was raised (Christian Science, which I now realize is completely evil). I had epiphany after epiphany whilst reading it, and it was an awakening for me. I think I shall read it again; once I unpack it and find it! And we listened to the audiobooks of the Narnia series when the children were younger and we took lots of road trips.

What is your favorite movie with Jack Nicholson?

Image result for Jack Nicholson in as good as it gets gif

Oh, God. That's a tough one; has he had any roles I don't like?! I think As Good As It Gets, since that's one of my favorite movies of all time anyway.

What rhymes with 'orange'?

Image result for things that rhyme with orange

⬆Welp, there you go!⬆

Have you ever swallowed an object by accident?

Image result for terrare

I'm no Tarrare. I can't think of a single weird thing, save for the occasional piece of eggshell.


Is your eyesight 20/20?

Image result for funny things about vision

Nooooo way. It's about 20/200. I'm very near-sighted, like my mother was.

Have you ever had insomnia?

Image result for insomnia funny

I have chronic insomnia; I've been like this my entire life.

Does it bother you when people touch you?

Image result for fibromyalgia does it bother me to be touched?

Oh yes. Currently, I suffer from at least numbers 2, 3, 4, and 6 above. Sucks!!

Is it better to get too much or too little sleep?

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I don't function well on too little sleep. I'd much rather have too much.

What gets your adrenaline pumping?

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Fear. You know, I grew up in constant terror, and now I don't know how to turn that off. I don't know how to relax. I honestly have no clue how one does it. So my heart rate is consistently at 100 beats per minute, or more.

Do you ever talk about yourself in the third person?

Image result for talking to yourself funny

I talk to myself in second and third person quite frequently. I personally think I'm hilarious, and I always tell my husband, when he's falling asleep and I'm still chattering away, that he's "missing all the gems."

What's your favorite radio station? What kind of music do they play?

Image result for bob fm funny

I don't even know. I listen to a variety of things, although I don't like talk radio and never listen to NPR. I listen to a lot of pop, some classic rock, Bob FM when I don't know what I want to hear, etc. I'm all over the map. I just want it to be something I can sing to; I'm not a huge fan of a lot of instrumentals.

Do you believe there is anyplace still undiscovered in all the world?

Image result for unspoiled nature

I was actually thinking about this earlier today!! I was thinking that there must be some places where people can't get to, and I took joy in that until I realized that if we don't know about it, where it is, what it looks like, and its properties... how will we humans know how to save it when we wreck it?

Ever caught a fish?

Image result for dolphin fish

Yes. As a marine biologist, I've caught plenty. Once, when I was aboard one of the scientific vessels, a lot of the crew and my fellow scientists and students were fishing off the back of the ship, for dinner. Someone caught a large male dolphin (the fish, aka mahi mahi), which everyone but us vegans and vegetarians wanted to eat. They let this majestic creature flop around on deck, struggling to breathe, until they started stopping it in the brain to kill it and put it out of its misery. It was a horiffic scene - and so many of them were laughing about it still being alive! It is a terrible memory of mine. On one of our first dates, I told my husband that story. He hasn't eaten mahi mahi in my presence in the 18 years since!

Were you ever in the first row of a concert?

Image result for black eyed peas concert gif

No. But one of the closest experiences was being within Fergie at a Black Eyed Peas concert in Virginia about ten years ago. She was within reach of me and the two girls I'd taken with me after I won the tickets from a radio show. I was so pumped!

Do you have any autographs?

Image result for Dave Barry funny

Just... somewhere around here, I have an autograph on the Miami Herald column by Dave Barry. He came into the Publix in Coral Gables, at which I worked for a few years while in college. I was a huge fan, since my early childhood when he was published in the Syracuse Herald-Journal on Sundays. He was in the store with his wife Michelle. I saw him and ran and grabbed a Sunday paper, found his column, and started very timidly stalking him around the store, aisle by aisle. Finally, Michelle Barry noticed me and said to Dave, "I think this girl is trying to talk to you." He turned around and signed my paper. I was gushing effusively the entire time, like an idiot. He came in many times after that. One time, he bought about 20 Publix gift certificates for full turkey dinners at Thanksgiving time from me, for some of the junior staffers I'd guess.

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That was fun. Lots of good memories. Except for the fish one. Hey, don't do that. Be a good person this week. Spread kindness!

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.
 
Kelloggs Books IGd
 
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?
 
Image result for napping funny gif
 
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?
 
An Infographic About Teachers Infographic
 
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?
 
Image result for who's the guy who took a knee in the NFL?
 
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?
 
Image result for funny blogging
 
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.

Saturday 9, Memoral Day Version: God Bless America

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

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Saturday 9: God Bless America


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Red poppyFin.


Sunday Stealing: 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!

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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. 😢

Rob Breast Cancer pin

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...)? 

Wishful Thinking House

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?

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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?

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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:

Birthday Freebies Collage

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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!

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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: We Need A Little Christmas

What's up, bunny rabbits? (Don't ask, I won't know either.) I've been a little manic this week, which is great. Also, it's not so great. I ate some things last night, knowing I'm highly allergic to them already, but I was f-ing HANGRY. So I wolfed it down quickly and had an immediate anaphylaxis. Rob got me in the car, shot me with the Epi-pen® while en route to the hospital, and stuck me in the ER for meds and observation. Two and a half hour later, we were discharged, but... on the way out I had a second phase of anaphylaxis. I wanted to go HOME, though, so I did not, uh... mention this to any medical professionals. Also, later on that evening, I ate even more of the offending food.

Listen, I may be brilliant AF, but I am also stupidly stubborn!

So that happened.

Let's go, y'all! Link up here if you'd like to play along with us this weekend; we don't bite! (Well, that's a complete lie. I totally bite someone daily. Not even exaggerating.)

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Saturday 9: We Need a Little Christmas (2006)

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

1) At the beginning of this recording, Daffy says he hopes all his friends remember his size, style and favorite color. What piece of clothing would you like to add to your wardrobe?

I've always wanted a Burberry trench coat. I'm kind of digging this long black, cashmere one. It's only $3,790. Totally in the budget!

2) His friends are late for Daffy's holiday soirée. Think about the last get-together you attended. Were you early, late or right on time?

I was fashionably late to Sophia's most recent Pony Club meeting at a local pizza joint. I despise being late, so by that I mean fewer than five minutes.

3) It hasn't a snowed a single flurry where Daffy is. Have you had to shovel yet?

I did plenty of snow shoveling growing up in Syracuse, New York! Snow capitol of the world, I swear. I am now physically unable to snow, though I bet I could do it in an emergency, with the right amount of adrenaline. That being said, Boise is actually a desert, so we don't get too much snow.

4) Daffy sings that he's looking forward to fruitcake. How about you? Are you a fruitcake fan?

I could take it or leave it. I think it gets a bad rap. I don't really care for the red and green candied bits, but the rest isn't awful IMO.

5) Daffy is an American Black Duck. Their usual diet doesn't generally include fruitcake (he he he!!!). These ducks more commonly dine on seeds, foliage and bugs. What was your most recent meal?

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My most recent meal consisted of Ahi Tartare from The Cheesecake Factory, and then I snacked on three Lindt Lindor Milk Chocolate Truffles for dessert. I'm kind of addicted to those little balls. (Heh.)

6) The only Christmas card Sam has received so far this year is from her insurance agent. She never sees her agent socially. In fact, she doesn't think she's seen him at all in 2018. Have you received many cards this year? If so, were they from people you feel close to?

So far, I've sent out about 95 Christmas/Holiday (because a number of our family & friends & associates are Jewish or Atheist) cards. It's my favourite Christmas tradition, and I don't care who responds in kind! I've gotten exactly one back from a neighbor, today, along with a plate of homemade cookies. (Yay!) We've also gotten three or four from business, and another from former President Jimmy Carter. That one may be my favourite? I still have plenty more; would you like one? If so, drop me your address info: smellyann at gmail dot com

7) When do you start holiday shopping: Christmas Eve (haha!), Thanksgiving/Black Friday, Halloween?

I've never, ever done the crazy Black Friday gift grab thing, and believe you me, it is definitely not on my Bucket List. I usually shop starting in September or October and put things away here and there. I follow Hip2Save closely, especially during this season, and snag what I can when there's a stellar deal.

8) Sam was recently driven crazy by kids running through store aisles wearing elf hats with bells. Do you have any apparel that makes noise? 

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Only dangly earrings. I have three (well, technically four, but I rarely use the fourth) piercings in each ear, plus my right tragus, along with my right nostril and septum. When I wear multiple earrings in each ear and swish my head, it can be a bit noisy. But clothing? I don't think so. [Photo is a selfie from 08 December 2018.]

9) This time of year is big for charitable fundraising. Here's your chance to plug a cause or organization that's near and dear to you.

Well, am I making a huge faux pas if I name more than one? Right now I have several that are critically important to me:

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I've mentioned Heifer International in multiple years past. You can read about it here. It's a fantastic organization, and I've fully vetted it; it's legit. This year, we gave a flock of chicks, though I was torn among that, a flock of ducks, or a flock of geese. BTW, when we buy a house, if there's sufficient acreage, I want to add ducklings to our menagerie. ;) (I have not informed Rob of this plan. Heh.)

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Secondly, there are obviously a number of environmentally-conscious projects dedicated to, well, "saving the earth." That may sound like crazy hippie tree-hugger talk, but I absolutely do not care. This should be important to all of us. Those running our country (USA, for those of you who are not American) are hell-bent on destroying this gd planet, and where will that leave future generations?! I have three living kids. Some of them do want to have kids of their own. I aim to make this possible for them, so I support projects like the Environmental Defense Fund, and others.

*

The Blue Ribbon Foundation

The third charity I'd like to mention is The Blue Ribbon Foundation. Because I have been diagnosed with ME/CFS by Dr. Lucinda Bateman of The Bateman Horne Center in Salt Lake City, which I visit monthly or so, a horribly misunderstood (especially my the medical community) and under-funded disease, I would love for more awareness to be brought to this cause. I mean, I'm 42 years old and take about 90 medications daily just to function, and I rely heavily on the use of my walker and my wheelchair. I sleep far more hours per day than I care to admit, and I'm still exhausted. My ability to drive is now severely limited, and I'm usually in bed each night, crying out in pain and begging my husband and kids to amputate my arms and legs. In short, it's no picnic!

*

Diabetes Research Institute Foundation

And finally, I'd like to call attention to the Diabetes Research Institute. Diabetes research has long been an important cause of mine, ever since my mama died very suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 33 from untreated diabetes. (In my opinion, she was murdered by my father and the Christian Science Church, but that's a story for another day.) I was seven years old and suddenly motherless, and I've been a bereft daughter ever since. During all my pregnancies (and, of course, when not pregnant as well), I've been extremely vigilant about that particular aspect of my health. I am adamantly not going to leave my children motherless, the way I was! No way in hell. So far so good, but my doctor did put me on Metformin just to be on the safe side. I'm fine with that.

~*~*~*~*~

Well, I enjoyed that! Thanks, Crazy Sam for another excellent meme and for the chance to dedicate our posts to those things that are important to each of us. I really appreciate that!

Have a great Saturday, y'all.

Fin.


Saturday 9: The Nanny

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Heyyy! The Nanny! This used to be one of my favorite shows from the '90s. I still know most of the theme song. My favorite lyrics are toward the end: ♪ ♫ "She had style! She had flair! She was there! That's how she became... The Nannyyyyy!" ♫ ♪

Glad to have y'all back again this week. Link up here if you're playing along today!

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Saturday 9: The Nanny (1993)

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

1) This week's song is the theme from a sitcom that originally aired from 1993 to 1999. Were you a fan?

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Oh, yes. I watched it all the time. And I had a huge crush on Mr. Sheffield!

2) The song tells us that Fran once worked in a bridal shop. Have you ever worked in a retail setting?

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Oh, yes. Besides working for a number of years in three or four different successful grocery store chains, along with a stint at a gas station (which sucked), I was the dive shop manager for the dive operation on Key Biscayne, Florida, where I received my Open Water SCUBA certification. I did it all. 

3) The kids in the Sheffield household appreciate their nanny's "joie de vivre," which is defined as "exuberant enjoyment of life." Are you feeling joie de vivre this morning? 

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I'm trying, I'm really trying, but I do have this agonizing tooth pain for which I'm on painkillers and antibiotics. I want them to just pull that eff-er! Hell, pull 'em all and give me dentures! I'm down with it! ;)

4) "The Nanny" is the colorful one, the one who wears red when everyone else wears tan. What color do you think you look best in?

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I definitely feel like I look best in RED, but I think BLACK is my color, too. But I wear all kinds of colors, because life is too short for me to wear bland clothing. :P

5) The TV show, The Nanny, was the brainchild of actress Fran Drescher. She got the idea while visiting an old friend in London. Her friend's pre-teen daughter enjoyed having Fran as a confidante and shopping buddy. Do you enjoy shopping as a leisure activity? Or would you prefer to just dash into a store, grab what you need, and get out and go home?


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I prefer to dash and go, but if I have the money to spend, I don't mind browsing a little. I don't want to be in there looking around all day or anything: BORING!

6) The friend Fran was visiting in London was Twiggy, who was the world's most famous model in the 1960s. Name another famous model.

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Ms. Tyra Banks, for one, is quite lovely to behold.

7) The Nanny: The Complete Series is available on DVD on Amazon. It consists of 19 discs and takes 55 hours to watch, start to finish. What TV show have you recently binge watched?

I'm kind of going back and forth between two shows that I'm binge-watching:

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The always-hilarious Bob's Burgers, and:

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Cake Wars, which, if nothing else, serves to remind me how much talent and skill I did not possess during my stint as a cake shoppe owner! And it makes me hungry for cake. ;)

8) The Nanny theme was sung by Liz Callaway. Her father, the late John Callaway, was a long-time Chicago newscaster. Have you, or has a loved one, ever been on TV?

A Haunting

Yeah, my daugher Chloë has been on a number of things on TV, most notably an episode of A Haunting, which you can rent to watch on Amazon.com if you wish. ;) She's been in lots of other things, and she could probably "hit it big," but she's decided she no longer wants to act.

9) Random question -- Which of these adjectives comes closest to describing you: sexy, sophisticated or down-to-earth?

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In the past, I'd have liked to have said "sexy," but I no longer feel that fits. Definitely not sophisticated. I guess that leaves down-to-earth for me! I think I am pretty approachable...

~*~*~*~*~

Thanks for a fun meme, Crazy Sam!

Fin.

P.S. We have a small GoFundMe account, wherein we are trying to raise the funds for the courses and material supplies for my younger artist daughter, Sophia, for this coming homeschool year. We need just $300 more to purchase everything that's left, including the courses. More information can be found here:

https://www.gofundme.com/ArtEducationSupplies

OR, the Amazon Wish List for the supplies can be found here:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/giftlist/2O3KE65XHFJTJ

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So if you have a look at either, we'd be grateful if you could either donate or share with your followers. Thank you!!


Which publication or website do you visit for parenting advice? #CulturelleClubhouse

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As a Proud Parent in the Culturelle Clubhouse, I care a lot about my tween and teens, and their digestive health. There are thousands of other Proud Parents out there just like me!

Full Disclosure: I received a sample of Culturelle Probiotics for Kids for my children to try, in exchange for my participation in this Clubhouse. This occasionally results in posts like these, to help open the dialogue among parents regarding a wide variety of topics. No other compensation has been given or received and, as always, all opinions expressed in this post are my own.

January's Discussion Question is: Which publication or website do you visit for parenting advice?

My absolute favorite parenting website for about the past 7½ years or so is Positive Parenting Solutions, run by Amy McCready.

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"About Amy McCready

and Positive Parenting Solutions, Inc.

"Parenting educator and TODAY Show contributor, Amy McCready is a ‘former yeller’ – she’s been in your shoes. So she understands what it is like to feel disappointed and even defeated at times trying to raise positive, happy, well-behaved children. Now, she’s trained more than 60,000 parents in over 21 countries, on 6 continents to transform themselves from YELLERS to calm and cool parents with the tools and strategies to solve the stress, and start to ENJOY their most important job: Raising terrific kids."

Sounds good, right?

When I first purchased access to the website, I was very hopeful that my chaotic household would become tame and more organized. Mostly, I hoped for less yelling. Well, as it turns out, we kind of run on chaos here at Casa de Odette, but the yelling and crying quickly ceased as we started employing the tools in the toolbox we gained from PPS. I heartily recommend the site for anyone who has trouble with yelling and wants to end the, as Amy says, cycle of "blame, shame, and pain" in our parenting encounters.

Now that the kids are older, I'm still employing these techniques as well as new ones that have become more relevant with their changes in ages, as well as the changing times. (How DO we get our kids off the 24/7 desire to be engrossed in technology?!)

Register Now

I highly recommend that you check out this webinar, if your homelife is struggling or you just want to bone-up on some excellent parenting techniques and tools for your family's peace.

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So check out the Culturelle Probiotics Clubhouse, and if you're game, Positive Parenting Solutions as well! You won't regret you did.

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: 17 Meme

 

Hie thee here and link up thusly if you're playing along today!

 

17 Meme

Stolen from: Survey Haven
 
Are you a jealous person? 
 
 

Rarely. It's not a "yes" or "no" question for me, because normally I am not jealous of much. However, there have been a few instances in my life when the green-eyed monster came out and surprised me. I'm more jealous of my children getting attached to someone other than Mommy than of, say, Hubs checking out a hot chick!

When is the next time you’re traveling out of state? 

We left Miami last night and spent the night in Palm Beach, which is practically like leaving the country - does that count?

Can you write your name in a foreign language? 

"your name in a foreign language"

Yup, just did it. 

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My name is my Melanie, regardless of what language I'm speaking. it doesn't change from that to something else when I'm speaking another language - or writing it. However, I can't read, like, cuneiform, so maybe it would be something else in a language with other characters than English?

When you’re getting ready for something, do you listen to music? 

There are two times when I will stop listening to music: When the telly is on, and I don't want to compete with that, or when I'm listening to "IRIS" (my Samsung Galaxy S5's voice) navigate me around parts unknown.

What is your favorite day of the week? 

I'm a stay-at-homeschooling mom, and my husband is retired. One day really just blends riiiiight into the next. I often don't know which one it currently is.

What is something you did yesterday and wish you could have done today? 

Hubs and I went to a swanky French restaurant in West Palm Beach for a mystery shop last night. It was pretty amazing. I had a stellar companion, excellent service, and beautifully presented plating of our food. I would repeat that experience tonight if I could... but I would whisper in my own ear to order the gnocchi instead of the sheepshead (fish)!

If you woke up tomorrow and knew/spoke a different language, which language would you want it to be? 

All of them. I'd be a walking Altavista Babelfish.

What did you last order online? 

After I took the children to see Big Hero 6 at the theater, I immediately went home and pre-ordered the blu-ray/DVD combo pack from Amazon. It finally arrived yesterday. Woot! Such a good flick. I was extremely gratified when it won the Oscar last week.

Do you have any specific hobbies? 

Read my tagline: I blog. I knit. I crochet. I scrap. And sometimes I even parent my three young children. (Not necessarily in order of importance)

What’s a song you recently discovered that you want to tell everyone about? 

 I'm really loving "Bills" by LunchMoney Lewis. I haven't listened to this version before now, just the radio edit.

Favorite fall or winter accessory? 

 

I live in Miami. Your normal calendar seasons don't really apply. So I pick my nose rings, of which I have a full wardrobe. If it's the monsoon season (June through November), maybe Wellies?

What did you last eat? 

 

I had an onion bagel with whippity cream cheese. I put entirely too much cream cheese on it, but I like it that way. And no, that isn't a gastric bypass-friendly food choice, but I was about to eat myself, I was so hungry!

Look to your left. What’s there? 

That's about the size and shape of the morass that is my desk at the moment. Eleventy-billion things are on my left. How much time do you have?

How long does it take you to fall asleep? 

I drink about 19 gallons of Diet Coke per diem. It rarely affects me anymore if I drink 'em, so you may be surprised to find that lately, I've been falling asleep at the drop of a hat and sleeping many hours. (Note to self: ask doctor for results of B12 and iron levels from last week's blood draw...)

Is there a TV in the room you are in? 

There is one television set in our abode and yes, it is in this room. It is considerably smaller than the hole in the entertainment center, which drives my OCD-having self bonkers.

What comes to your mind when I say "red"? 

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"Lips," but if you said it to Chloë, 13yo daughter, she'd probably think of the album by T-Swizzle (a.k.a. Taylor Swift).

Name something you think is pointless?

 

I couldn't think of anything at the moment other than the turn signals on the cars of most Miami drivers (hey, I use mine, and I even told the kids earlier that when they learn to drive and see that most people here neglect theirs, they should use them anyway), so I polled the room. Here are the responses:

Hubs: Cummerbunds (I disagree)

Sophia, 9: Haz-mat suits (I disagree)

Chloë: Thin socks (I kind of agree!)

* * *

Well, that was fun. Thanks for stopping by!

Fin.


Friday Fragments, Version 4.11.14

Half-Past Kissin' Time

Hey folks! I haven't fragged in a long, long time, since I've been such a horribly inconsistent blahgger during this past Year of the Brain Drama. So, welcome back, if you're visiting here from Half Past Kissin' Time and, somehow, still remember who I am. If not, welcome! Stick around, I'll be posting here again soon. Like, within a month, I swear. ;)

Link up here if you're playing along today - and read the post to see how you can win some cool prizes, too!

It was the weirdest thing, y'all: I got stung by a pissed-off bee? Wasp? Hornet? I don't know. Some kind of flying black insect with a nasty sting and a bad attitude. He dropped dead shortly after injecting me right below my left eye with his venom, and part of me cheered his demise while the biologist in me felt bad for helping to hasten it.

ANYWAY... it hurt like hell, but by the time I finished the drive home from Tampa to Miami, the swelling had gone down and it didn't hurt a bit. So it was with my surprise that I realized, the next morning, that the swelling had not only returned, but my left cheek was numb as well. This went away, and returned, and went away, and returned, repeatedly over the next few days, until Monday afternoon when my friends insisted I go to Urgent Care and get it checked out. Steph (of Stim fame) urged me to go immediately, and so I went.

After hearing my tale and seeing my left-side-droopy face, they sent me to the Emergency Department at the nearby hospital. The PA there diagnosed me with Bell's Palsy, completely unrelated to the sting, and ordered blood tests and a CT scan.

While I was getting my blood drawn, the lab techs informed me that my room was ready. "Room? What room?" I asked, puzzled. Long story short, my bloodwork was fine except for dehydration, but my CT showed a lesion in my left temporal lobe. What? Seriously? The doctor said it could be anything from nothing at all to an old infarction (a stroke? a temporary ischemic attack? Who knows?) to a tumor. They ordered an MRI for the next day and told me to sleep. 

Short story long, and I suppose this is now about three fragments too long for this post, they cut me loose the next day and told me to have an MRI as an outpatient. I'm getting it next week. I wasn't worried until I started losing some of my memory and partial sight in my left eye tonight, but I'm still not too terribly panicked. Hubs and I can't both have brain tumors, amIright? That would just be insane.

Having had a craniotomy to remove his tumor on February 5th, Rob is doing, well, not much better. He still uses a cane and, sometimes, even needs to revert to his walker. He sleeps all the time. However, we can carry on a semi-normal conversation now, and he can still make me laugh like nobody else. I guess when they remove mineralized bits of your brain and dig around inside your skull, it's pretty amazing to think you should have been all better by now (had it not been for last year's Cyberknife procedures). I won't rush him.

You know what I hate? When the po-po are out cruising on the Turnpike and going 5 MPH under the speed limit. Are they playing games with us, or what? Of course, everyone stays behind the police car for fear of getting a ticket... everyone except me. Ain't nobody got time for that! I always pass the officer, going no more than 5 MPH over the speed limit, yet keeping a careful eye on my mirror. I mean, I've only gotten *mumble, mumble* speeding tickets in the last 20 years. #scofflaw

Speaking of the Turnpike and weird things happening, guess what? I live in Miami, right? One of the biggest, busiest, most heavily-trafficked cities in the nation? So imagine how much I laughed when I had to divert my path off the Turnpike today because several cows - yes, cows, like, moo-moo - were wandering around, blocking the cars. HEE-larious.

I had this conversation with 11-year-old Jack and 12-year-old Chloë today:

Chloë: "Mom, I stubbed my toe on that levitated thing between the bathroom and the bedroom. It hurts!"

Mel: "I'm sorry. But, 'levitated' means floating in the air...'

C: "Oh, so what should I say? 'Elevated' is the right word, right?"

M: "You could say that. I would just say 'raised'..." (I always trail off, it seems.)

Jack: "Wait, what was levitating?"

C: "Nothing was!"

J: "No really, what was levitating?!"

C: "UFOs, geez!"

M: **laughs**

{End scene.}

Wednesday was the 30th anniversary of my mom's death at age 33 from untreated diabetes. I was seven years old. It was the worst thing that has ever happened to me in my entire life, and mine have not been an easy 37 years. So you'd think, after three decades of asking my sister and me on the phone, "Do you know what today is?" my dad would get the clue that no, we will not ever forget the day.

(Get yourself checked out regularly, folks. Senseless deaths like hers ... sigh.)

Mama

So, tomorrow we drive back down to Key West. I have lots of work to do down there. It's great because, hey, money... but I have no jobs to do on the way down or back, and it's a good three hours each way. And it always rains on the way back. Never fails.

Thanks for stopping by! Maybe, just maybe, I'll see you again here next week for more fragments. (My grandma always told me the road to hell was paved with good intentions, which I never really understood as a kid because I thought she was telling me I should have bad intentions!)

Fin.


Happify

For a few months now, I've been on a website called Happify. The founders contacted me through my blog, asking me to help them start the site, and I've been there since just about the beginning. It's wonderful.

On the site, you learn how add more happiness to your life.

Sounds simple, right?

But there's a science behind it. Really! It's a skill you can control, and like exercise, the more activities you do to build this skill, the happier you can become.

Happify uses a scientific framework, STAGE, to help you master the five essential happiness skills. STAGE stands for:

S - Savor

T - Thank

A - Aspire

G - Give

E - Empathize

and each skill has specific activities designed to help you learn to improve your happiness level.

Honestly, I love this site, and it works. Every two weeks, the site prompts you take a happiness test to see how you're doing on the spectrum, and I've noticed a marked increase in my score since starting on Happify. Sure, I go up and down like everybody else, but overall I think the skills and activities have helped me achieve a more positive outlook and a mindfulness about being happy that I might not have reached alone.

So join me on Happify if you think this would help you. You can find me here, so be sure and "follow" me, and I'll follow you back. Oh, that's another thing. You can click and comment on each others' activities (or keep yours private) to help cheer each other on! I think that's a fabulous asset, as we don't normally give ourselves those much-needed pats on the back. (At least I don't.)

Disclosure: I'm a member of Happify, but I have received nothing in exchange for this post. I have received no compensation or incentive; I just love this website and want to share with you! Oh - I did get a t-shirt, but that was just because I asked.☺

Fin.


Product Review: McCormick Grill Mates® Grill Ambassadors Party!

Disclosure: I was provided a kit containing various McCormick Grill Mates® products, an apron, and recipe booklet from the brand and CrowdTap in order to hold a fun tasting party with my friends. No monetary exchange took place. All opinions are and will always be my own.

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Check out all this yumminess we received! BBQ Sauce, Marinade, a Rub, and two bottles of Seasoning. Awesomesauce - literally!

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As the more experienced Man of the Charcoals, I gave Rob the title of Grillmaster for our party on Saturday evening. He worked really hard making sure that our chicken, pork, and steak were perfectly marinated and/or seasoned, properly cooked, and entirely devoured by our hungry guests. Thanks, Hubs! ♥

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Before the party, Hubs had marinated all of the chicken in the Spiced Brandy & Herb Marinade from McCormick GrillMates. I think the chicken was the biggest hit amongst all of us; EVERYbody enjoyed it, and many went back for seconds. Some of my friends had this to say:

Saritah: "The chicken with the spiced brandy and herb marinade was fantastic! So flavorful! My (1 year old) daughter and I gobbled it up! I can't wait to make it at home for my family!"

Alodeuri: "The chicken marinade was religious [sic?], will definitely be purchasing that and preparing for dinner in our house.  It was tangy and had a kick to it without being too spicy or salty."

Gotcha: "The chicken with Spiced Brandy & Herb marinade was delicious.  It was very moist and tender. I will definitely be trying that out for our next barbeque!"

And you can bet that Team Odette, too, will be snatching this up again for future meals - it was sooo delish!

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The steaks and pork chops were each given the royal treatment, all being prepared, respectively, with the Brown Sugar Bourbon BBQ Sauce, Memphis Pit BBQ Rub, and the Montreal Steak & Molasses Bacon Seasonings. (You can find the full line of Grill Mates® products here.) This produced mixed results amongst our guests, but some of the feedback I received was:

(**Saritah pretty much stuck to the chicken, she loved it so much!)

Alodeuri: "The bbq sauce was perfect for grilled meats and was savory and left you wanting to put it on everything.  Delish!"

Gotcha: "My 1 year old (with many food allergies) enjoyed the Montreal Steak seasoning on the steak and gobbled it up! I love that it was free of his allergens and he could actually enjoy some flavor! 

"The Molasses Bacon steak was another great find, I will definitely try that out with my own family as well!"

We came home with very little meat left, because everyone had seconds and, in some cases, thirds and more! The Grill Mates® products were a major hit, and everyone raved about that chicken, especially! People loved the meats so much, we almost forgot to eat the sides people had brought. Hee.

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Everyone had a great time and enjoyed their grub!

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Even the babies got in on the tasting, and boy, did one little tiny girly (not visible in front of her Mama, here) but a dent in that chicken, the star of the show!

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Here's one of the kiddos who wolfed down several helpings - he loved EVERYTHING he tried (which was everything), he said.

So way to go, McCormick Grill Mates® and CrowdTap for helping us put on this awesome cookout - and letting me get to share my birthday with some great friends, too!   Let me know if you try anything mentioned here, or something else, too - I'd love to hear your feedback!

Fin.


Friday Fragments

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Link up here if you've got bits and pieces to string together for Mrs. 4444 and the gang tonight!

*~*~*~*~*

It's certainly been an up-and-down week for us here at Chez Odette, but I'd like to start off this post with one major announcement:

After SIX (originally typed "SUX," which would also have been appropriate!) WEEKS, THE LICE ARE GONE, THE LICE ARE GONE, THANK GOD ALMIGHTY, THE LICE ARE GONE!!!!

Now, I had to totally chop off ALL of Chloe's long, luscious curls to do it, but desperate times call for desperate measures, y'know? Thankfully, her hair grows back wicked fast, like her dad's and Jack's. It'll be back before we know it.

*~*~*~*~*

Downpoint:

Two weeks ago, my CPU died. We replaced it. Last week, my monitor died. Can't afford to replace that, too, just yet... UGH! I'm stuck using the laptop. I hate laptops. Can't say why; I just do.

Plus, this one doesn't have a number pad, which is why I can't do my special ALT characters. Bah.

*~*~*~*~*

Upside:

(SPOILER ALERT if you haven't seen the Olympics yet tonight)

Gabby Douglas, Virginia Native who trained at Excalibur, where Chloe will start next month in rhythmic gymnastics after a switch from another gym that doesn't offer rhythmic, won All-Around Gold tonight! The first African-American to do so. I'm SO super proud of her and her teammates! USA, USA, USA!!!

*~*~*~*~*

Downswing:

My boys, Hubs and Son, are at Webelos (Cub Scouts) camp all week. They were supposed to get there on Sunday, but we messed up and thought it was supposed to be Monday. On Monday, we didn't get paid, like we thought we would, and so they still couldn't go until Tuesday. Suck! But the main point is, I miss them so much!!! I can't WAIT to pick them up tomorrow (today) morning and hear all about their adventures!

*~*~*~*~*

Upside:

My dad and I had a major falling out several months ago. I mean, MAJOR. I thought we'd never speak again.  We've made a lot of progress through emails, however, and finally, I called him on his 70th birthday on Tuesday. There was no awkwardness whatsoever, which was a huge relief to me. I don't do confrontation - especially with my father - well at all, and there just wasn't any. Very anti-climactic, and I'm glad for it.

*~*~*~*~*

Downbeat:

Today, my toilet overflowed all OVER the bathroom, and indeed, it still IS. I cannot seem to plunge that da*n low-flow piece of crap for the life of me, and so it waits until Rob gets home from camp tomorrow. Not a fun time. To top things off, I broke a jelly jar pulling something else out of the fridge tonight, got glass lodged in my foot, and can't find the foxtail and dustpan anywhere. So that mess will be waiting for Rob, too. Unless I can find some paper towels somewhere... and yes, I'll put on some shoes. Oy.

*~*~*~*~*

Upside:

I had multiple sales in my Etsy shop, I was commissioned to do knitting for another WAHM's Waldorf-inspired mini-dolls, my blog post about Virginia Beach was featured on a national travel blog, and I was invited to submit a chapter in a textbook. I'm not sure I'll do that last one - who has the time?! - but I might give it a go. Either way, cool. I do want to write my own book at some point, so it would be good practice if I did it.

*~*~*~*~*

Down-another-thing:

My wrist, which I unwittingly somehow injured at the end of May, is still not even remotely healed. I think there is nerve damage, since the fracture we thought was there seems not to be, judging from later x-rays.  I'm in a hella lot of pain, and I refuse to take pain medication on an ongoing basis for it.  Back to the doc I go, I guess...

*~*~*~*~*

Upside:

I had a LOT of me-time this week, with the boys away and my friend Saritah taking the girls along with her kids to Vacation Bible School - up to four hours a night! SWEET. I took advantage of it, because my migraines have been plaguing me lately, and did a whole lotta nothin'. That's difficult for me to do, but between the wrist and the brain-pain, not so hard at the mome.

*~*~*~*~*

Guess that's all I feel like jabbering about for the time being, though I feel I could go on for another half-hour or more!  I'm going to try REALLY hard and visit other Fragmenters this weekend; a rarity for me with all the chaos our lifestyle brings.

*~*~*~*~*

Take it easy, peeps, and, you know, stay away from Chick-Fil-A and stuff... ;)

Fin.


Huggies® MomInspired™ Grant

Logo

Huggies recognizes that there is a dynamic and talented community of moms who strive to make life as a parent easier and more enjoyable every day.  Now in its third year, the Huggies® MomInspired™ grant program celebrates the natural creativity of moms, who solve real parenting challenges every day in innovative ways.

  • Grant recipients will receive $15,000 in seed capital as well as business resources to help turn innovative ideas into real-life inventions.
  • Applications for the 2012 Huggies MomInspired grant program are currently being accepted through July 31, 2012.
  • Moms can learn more and submit original, innovative and viable new business and product ideas now at HuggiesMomInspired.com.
  • Grants will be announced and awarded in fall 2012. 

By visiting the website www.HuggiesMomInspired.com you can also read about the stories of past grant recipients and their product ideas.

 

So what are you waiting for? If you're a mompreneur, get your grant application in now!

 

Fin.


Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments

Link up with Mrs. 4444 if you're playing along this week!

TGIF!

That's all I have to say.  Not, you know I have more.

So, you may or, more likely, may not have noticed I haven't fragmented again in a few weeks. Our lives are always, well, let's be honest, chaotic at their calmest, but things have been even crazier lately. For example, this week:

Monday: Rob had the day off, and I was exhausted, so I slept much of the day away. Nothing newsworthy there. But...

Tuesday: We decided to move.

Wednesday: I hunted around and found a potential place.

Thursday: I met the landlord inside the house with the kids, decided to go for it, signed the lease, paid the rent and security deposit, and got the keys.

Friday (today): We can move in.

I'm a little dizzy, but that's how we roll. Well, that's how I roll, anyway. Hubs is a tad bit freaked out by the whole thing, but we'll be aiight.

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I'm still on Project Vanity Plate, and this is today's find. Hopefully they're talking about God and aren't egomaniacs! If you missed it, I posted a whole bunch of them on Wednesday here.

Today, in addition to checking out the house and stuff, was total nutballs. I took Rob to work at the buttcrack of dawn, and then I was supposed to take the daughters o' mine to the dentist, but I ended up konking out on migraine medicine and missing that appointment. Gah! I woke up just in time to shower and go meet our new lord of the land.

After the new house visit, I stopped to get the kids a semi-celebratory lunch (thank you, Wendy's Dollar Menu), zoomed home to update Chloë's résumé and grab her new headshots, and then dropped Sophie and Jack off at Jenny From the Block's house before racing to Chlo's audition. I didn't get to watch the actual audition, but I'm still tremendously proud of her. I was a nervous wreck for her, shaking and trembling, but she was confident and relaxed. How?! I don't know; she didn't inherit that from me, but hopefully her nurturing has had something to do with that poise.

Anyhoo, it's for an episode of a TV show I can't name at the moment, but we'll find out Wednesday if she got the part. Fingers, toes and eyes crossed! She really wants the role. I'm highly biased, but I think she was the cutest kid there, and she did great practicing her scenes for me. Stay tuned!

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After the audition, I raced to pick up the Littles before heading to pick up Rob, two hours late, from work. We headed over to the BMW place to pick up his supposedly 'fixed' motorcycle, a month after it was put in for repairs. After a freakin' MONTH, you'd think it'd be in excellent shape, right? Ha. More on that in a mome.

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We went straight to a Thai restaurant for a semi-celebratory dinner (not really; we just have not much food in the house currently, and we had a gift certificate to use there). Aren't these roses so cute? They were the straw wrappers atop each of our drink straws. Love!

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We ordered family-style. This was my dinner. Well, that and a wee Spring roll. It may not seem like a lot, but apparently it was too much for me, because I didn't keep a single bit of it down, dang it. Um. It tasted better the first time. I probably could've kept it down, but I had the Jasmine rice with cashews, and, stupid me, I should've known better. I can never eat rice. It just looked so good. Anyway....

All was well and good after dinner. Rob hopped on his motorbike, the kids and I buckled into the van, and off we went toward home. Only, I zipped into a 7-11 on the way home to refill my giant keg of Diet Dew and, well, hurl, and he followed me into the parking lot. By the time I restarted the van, his bike was smoking and leaking more fluids than a ... ah, skip that. Every metaphor I can think up is gross and graphic. Awesome. So not only was the BMW not fixed, but a freakin' panel was missing off the side, too! Really?! I'm way disenchanted with the place that had it for so long. They can bite me hard, right on my hindquarters.

So, short story long, we sat there for an hour while Rob yapped on the phone to our insurance company, who basically solved nothing, and then watched him make the necessary repairs himself. I've dated some pretty useless guys before, and lemme tell you single ladies this: Marry a handy guy. I don't care what else you like about him, you will appreciate this advice. The other day, our toilet handle broke, and My Guy fished one out of his "pile of crap," as I not-so-tenderly call it, and fixed it on the spot. Pretty good. Back to the bike. While he was working, I went back into the 7-11 and bought a big bag of White Cheddar Popcorn. The kids pretended they were watching a movie while they ate it - and Dad was the show. I don't know how he felt about that, but I was entertained, and that's what counts, y'all.

I don't know what else to tell ya. I have a million and one anecdotes I could share, but (a) you probably don't care, and (b) I should probably start packing. To move. Because we're doing that. Eek.

Have a fab weekend, folks!

Fin.


Information About Eyecare & Contact Lenses: Zeiss

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If you have vision-correction needs and would like more information about getting the most out of your next eyecare visit, please click here to find out more from Zeiss about the right questions to ask, what to expect, and how to get the best contact lenses to regain sharp vision. As someone who has worn glasses and/or contacts for the past 23 years, I found the information helpful and valuable, and I hope you will, too.

Some key points for Individualized Vision:

  •  Every eye is just as unique as a fingerprint. More than any other sensory organ, our eyes allow us to experience and perceive our environment. Carl Zeiss Vision understands the importance of taking individuality into account when rendering consulting and diagnostic services to people who wear glasses and of course, when producing lenses for them.    

  • ZEISS spent years developing cutting edge technology to improve the experience of eyeglass wearers with Zeiss Individual®. It is the first progressive lens to integrate how your frames, face and prescription work together to create a one-of-a-kind lens that is precisely personalized for the wearer.

 

  • i.Profilerplus®  by ZEISS is a diagnostic tool that analyzes the performance of eyes to a level of detail far beyond traditional methods. These measurements are used to create a customized i.Scription® lens that meets the unique vision needs of the individual more accurately than any previous technology. The result is sharper vision with better contrast and color perception.
  • Lens performance is also influenced by the accuracy of fitting within the chosen frame and on one’s unique face. The i.Terminal® by ZEISS measures such dimensions as pupillary distance, vision height of the eye, tilt of the eye glasses frame, distance between the eye and lens and the frame wrap to ensure that you receive the best possible visual experience from the ZEISS lenses.

 

Thanks for reading!

Disclaimer: In exchange for this post, I received a Target gift card and Zeiss lens cleaning kit. All opinions expressed are, and will always be, my own.

Fin.


LIFE's "Insure Your Love" Picture Mosaic

Dear Readers,

 

As moms, we do everything we can to provide our children with a good life, filled with happiness and lots of opportunities. But when was the last time you stopped to think about how your family would manage without you? It's not a pleasant thought to ponder, but if your family depends on you, it's a topic you can't afford to ignore.

 

September is Life Insurance Awareness Month, making it the perfect time to think about protecting the most important people in our lives. The nonprofit LIFE Foundation sponsors Life Insurance Awareness Month in response to the growing problem of too many families not having adequate life insurance protection. According to the industry research group LIMRA, 11 million U.S. households with children under age 18 have no coverage.  Those families are just one illness or accident away from a financial crisis, and something needs to be done about it. That's why LIFE has created the "Insure Your Love Picture Mosaic" in support of Life Insurance Awareness Month.

 

The "Insure Your Love Picture Mosaic" is designed to recognize and celebrate those who have made the responsible decision to protect their loved ones by owning life insurance, while also introducing them to a larger community of others who have made the same choice. People are encouraged to upload up to 20 photos of their loved ones, whose financial future has been safeguarded by their decision to purchase life insurance.  

 

By adding your photos to the mosaic, you will also be helping out a great cause. For each photo uploaded, $1 will be donated to the LIFE Lessons Scholarship Program, which provides tuition assistance to students who have lost a parent and are struggling to achieve their dream of a college education. You can add your photo(s) here. For more information, go here.

 

So please, consider going and adding a photo or three of your own to the mosaic, to help with this worthy cause. It doesn't cost you a thing but your time, and it will help do a world of good for these students.

 

Please note: I received a gift card as part of a promotional program with the LIFE Foundation and MomSelect for this post.