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Saturday 9: Two Black Cadillacs

Carrie Underwood | iHeart

Welcome, welcome one and all (or is it both?). I've been trying to log in to Typepad for HOURS, but something has stopped that connection. Here I am, finally, at 1513 on Saturday. What a relief.

I don't like much in the way of Country music, but I do like Ms. Underwood, so I'm glad to see this one. And I already knew this song!

Link up here if you're playing along this weekend. Let's go:

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Saturday 9: Two Black Cadillacs (2011)

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

1) This week's song is about two women who share a very dark secret. Are you good at keeping secrets?

Not usually. I have zero filter, pretty much.

2) Carrie Underwood's favorite author is Stephen King. In fact, she credits King's Christine as an inspiration for this song. Have you read much Stephen King, or seen movies based on his books?

Some. I'd say I'm a fan, but not, like, a mega-fan.

3) Carrie first came to America's attention when she won on American Idol. Prior to competing on that show, she'd never been on an airplane. Crazy Sam takes at least one round-trip flight every year and pays using the miles she accumulated from credit card purchases throughout the year. Do you try to earn miles, points, or cash back when you make purchases?

Oh, yes. I'm always trying to play the game and earn points here to spend there.

4) Black is this week's signature color because November 25 was Black Friday, when retailers historically have slashed their prices and the holiday shopping season begins. Have you begun your gift shopping?

Yes. I'm welllll into my gift shopping - and wrapping!

5) Black Friday began as a local event initiated by store owners in Philadelphia back in the early 1960s. When you think of Philadelphia, what comes to mind?

Well nowadays, I think of my trip there with Chloë for her 21st birthday, just this past September. Fun times!

6) Black Friday always comes after Thanksgiving, a day of feasting. What was the best dish at your holiday table this year?

I think it was the pies (we had 5). For the first time in years, I was able to come downstairs and help guide the children to make my pie recipes, if I couldn't do it myself. They were wonderful and were devoured quickly. Good job, kids!

7) Thanksgiving is also a big day for watching football. Did you watch any games?

Nyet.

8) What are you thankful for this year?

Oh, I'm soooo thankful for being able to come downstairs, help make those pies, and just generally be with my family for the whole day of Thanksgiving. It was a treasure. And so much more than that, but it would be a very long list. I keep that list in my planner.

9) Random question: You're in a public restroom and have a choice between paper towels and a hot air hand dryer. Which do you choose?

I'd choose the hot air. Why would I use natural resources I don't need to use when there is an alternative right there? Go tree-free. Go more sustainable (because paper just isn't, really). Yes, there is the source of the electricity, but that's more negligible than the processes of getting the paper towel to that bathroom, and using it. No, for me, it's the hot air hand dryer. Good question, Sam.

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Now I'm listening to The National on NPR Tiny Desk Concerts - those are the best; I'm obsessed - which the Carrie Underwood tune moved to after the one by Andrew Bird on YouTube. Give them a listen, if you haven't already!

Happy holiday season, y'all!

fin.


Big, Bad John

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

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

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

080522 Chloë Crewtrainer shirt

So without further ado, let's jump in:

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

Big, Bad John (1961)

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


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

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

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

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

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

Historical Marker Dedicated in Salisbury, Maryland

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fin.

 


Saturday 9: Vision Of Love

Vision of Love | Mariah Carey Wiki | Fandom

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

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

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

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Saturday 9: Vision of Love (1990)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fin.


Saturday 9: Buttered Popcorn

🌹TᕼE ᔕᑌᑭᖇEᗰEᔕ🌹

Welcome back, my lovelies! This weekend finds us at a different hotel than where we were during my write-up of last week's Saturday 9; not only that, but we are in our third or fourth room in the current establishment! Things have gotten a little ridiculous with the room-jumping, and we are exhausted. So, we're not too terribly disappointed over the thunder and lightning going on for the past several days, keeping us from the beach. Maybe we'll go tomorrow?

This week, Crazy Sam brings us the Supremes! Little before my time, but I'm a fan nonetheless. Link up here if you're playing along this weekend!

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Saturday 9: Buttered Popcorn (1961)

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

1) This Saturday, the treat's on Sam. Will you have buttered popcorn, caramel corn or cheese popcorn?

Popcorn Shrimp Recipe | Laura in the Kitchen - Internet Cooking Show

I'm not a huge fan of popcorn, actually. Maybe I'll have some popcorn shrimp instead?

2) This record represents the Supremes as they are seldom heard. Florence Ballard is singing lead, with background vocals provided by Mary Wilson, Barbara Martin and Diane Ross. That's right, "Diane." Her parents meant for her to be named "Diane," and that's what old friends and family still call her, but the hospital mistakenly put her name down as "Diana." Motown execs thought "Diana Ross" had a better sound and the rest, as they say, is history. Do you often make typos? Or are you careful and precise at the keyboard?

Newspaper Gets Roasted After Hilarious Typo Mess-Up - FAIL Blog - Funny  Fails

I find myself making far more typos lately than I ever used to. My mind is just going faster than my fingers can keep up - always a problem, has just gotten worse.

3) Barbara Martin left the Supremes in 1962, before they reached stardom, because she was a new mom and wanted to stay home with her baby. Have you ever found yourself in the difficult position of having to choose between your personal and professional lives?

gif Awesome shark ocean sea marine life diving dive scuba sealife blue  shark free dive mermaidtittiezzz •

Certainly. I left the world of marine biology to be a wife and mom, with my husband and I having the fullest intent that I stay home to raise the kids and not miss many - or any - "firsts." It was a tremendous sacrifice for us in many ways, and I still feel the pull of the rip tide out to the sea, but I know we did the right thing for our children. It was worth it.

4) Florence Ballard's cousin, Hank, wrote the famous Chubby Checkers dance record, "The Twist." When did you last get on your feet and dance?

Merengue GIF | Gfycat

I'm not able to do too much of that these days, between balance issues with my left inner ear, and problems with POTS and low blood pressure. But I heard some merengue music in the store yesterday and very slightly moved to the rhythm. I learned to dance the merengue from my many Latinx friends during my college years. Hard to resist!

5) Mary Wilson stayed with the group until it disbanded in 1977. She has said that one of her most memorable moments came in 1968, when the group performed for Princess Margaret. Mary recalled that the Princess loudly asked if Mary's hair was real or a wig. Mary was shocked, expecting better behavior from a royal. Tell us a time when someone's behavior shocked you.

12 Packs "We Believe - Kindness is Everything " SIGNS / SHIP | eBay

I'm a fully-active anti-racist and an ally accomplice to the movements supporting all marginalized and disenfranchised populations. So I've seen and heard a lot - as have we all over the course of this terrible year. Yet every highly-publicized police shooting of a Black person, such as Jake Blake most recently, shocks me again. And then the scumbag 17-year-old kid who crossed state lines with an AR-15 to hunt down peaceful protesters, then subsequently be let walk away by the police, took the cake. I keep thinking, "What else?" and then knocking the hell out of whatever wood is nearby.

Sad Stickers Find Share On Giphy Flaming Heart GIF - LowGif

6) In 1961, when this song was released, the TV show Hazel premiered and was a top 5 hit for NBC. Oscar winner Shirley Booth played the title character, a very capable and lovable maid. If Crazy Sam could have a maid for just a few hours today, she'd love to have her refrigerator cleaned and kitchen cabinets organized. If you could have a pair of helping hands around your house this afternoon, what would you ask the maid to do? 

Inside the Frat Party that Caused $75,000 of Damage at a Ski Resort - ABC  News

Well, living in hotel rooms for the past 10 days with very few belongings, our room can only get so untidy. It feels like the above picture to me, a bit of a neat freak, but in reality looks nothing like that. Housekeeping staff are not allowed in guests' hotel rooms during their stays these days, so we're on our own with fresh towels, emptying garbage, and so on. It's not so bad. Honestly I'd rather say F- it and just take a long nap!

7) Also in 1961, President John F. Kennedy appeared on the cover of Time as their Man of the Year. Are there any magazines in your home right now? If so, who is on the cover?

No description available.

I've got a few magazines in my laptop backpack, including this issue of People with Kelly Ripa and her family on the cover. I've always thought her husband, Mark Consuelos, was soooo hot since way back in the day when they first starred together on All My Children. And that hasn't changed!

8) Ernest Hemingway died in 1961. Have you read any of his works?

hemingwayhome.com | Home

Certainly. I think The Old Man and the Sea was one of my favorite of his writings. I've toured Hemingway House in Key West two or three times, most recently so my feline-crazy kids could admire the six-toed cats.

9) Random question: How many pancakes are in the perfect stack?

SweetStacks Gourmet Pancake & Waffle Mix

Oh, I can only eat about two or three at a time these days, so not very many... but please make it with whatever kind of fruit(s) you've got!

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Okay. I think I may actually take that nap right now. Enjoy your weekend!

Fin.

P.S. My grandfather adored the show Hazel. If it was on, he was watching it!


Sunday Stealing: 15 Questions Más

Father's Day 2020: History, significance and celebrations - more ...

Welcome back! Look who's being a team player and coming back two whole days in a row? You're welcome, you're welcome. Shucks.

Mr. winky face - Home

1 If you could spend a day in someone else’s shoes who would it be and why?

Jen Aniston dons thigh-high leather boots and NO pants in sexy new ...

Hmm. Maybe Jennifer Aniston? I don't know. I mean, look at her - rockin' body, gorgeous otherwise, rich and famous, influential, talented... what's not to love? (But she doesn't have a two decade-long marriage and a passel of amazing kids, so in the end I'd rather be me!)

2 Which celebrity gets on your nerves the most, and why?

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Are Having Issues Quarantining Together

Easily these two. Do I really need to explain that?

3 If you were going to bury a time capsule, what would you put in it?

Replacing what was forgotten: Time capsule sealed Monday inside ...

Today's newspaper, a letter to my future self, artifacts that represent me and that represent our Idaho town, and pictures of all of us including our pets.

4 What is your saddest memory?

What is Bereavement? Plus Links to Help and Advice

It's a tie between being a bereaved child when my mama died, and a bereaved mum when my son died.

5 Would you rather be in your pajamas or a suit all day?

15 Funny Swimsuits For Women In 2020

You didn't say what kind of suit!

6 What’s the strangest place you’ve ever gone potty?

A Day Trip to Dry Tortugas National Park - Opal Unpacked

On those reefs somewhere, around the Dry Tortugas, I was doing a reef study when I suddenly got hit with a violently upset stomach. I was snorkling at the time. Ugh.

7 How old were you went you had your first kiss?

Celebs Who Had Their First Kiss On-Screen - PureWow

Five. Back of the school bus. His name was Matthew Buffalo.

8 Do you have any strange or unique phobias?

Mustard | Taste Test | Serious Eats

Mustard. It's so scary.

9 If you could bring back one toy from your childhood, what would it be?

Amazon.com: Basic Fun Pound Puppies Classic Stuffed Animal Plush ...

I loved my Pound Puppies!!

10 If you could be any Disney villain, which would you be?

Ursula (The Little Mermaid) - Wikipedia

I'd be Ursula from Little Mermaid. At least she got to live in the sea!

11 If your life was a novel, what would the title be?#

Auditing Work In Progress | SD Mayer

Actually, it is a work in progress - I have the first chapter done! But I'm not yet ready to divulge the name.

12 What do you need more of in your life?

hot air balloons on the ocean | Hot Air Balloons Ocean Sunset ...

Adventure!

13 What are your top 3 quotes?

When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel... - StatusMind.com

Abraham Lincoln Quote: “Whatever you are, be a good one.” (23 ...

33 Abraham Lincoln Quotes That Still Ring True Today

I'm a big fan of Abe Lincoln.

4 What do you want people to remember about you?

Always Care With All My Heart

I'm an empath. I care and care and care some more.

15 What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made?

Take your power back. | Quotes, Quotes to live by, Words

I gave away far too much of my power for far too many years. Now I am learning that it's okay for me to take it back.

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♥ Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there! I've gotta spend some time lovin' on the one who made me a mom! ♥

Fin.


Saturday 9: Always Remember Us This Way

Hey, everyone. Bit of a somber mood here in the Odette household, as my father-in-law passed away yesterday. I wasn't going to join in at all this weekend, but then I decided my mind could use a short respite. 

I hope you'll all kink link(!) up here if you're joining us this weekend.

And now:

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Always Remember Us This Way (2018)

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

1) In this song, Lady Gaga sings about the Arizona sky and California gold. Have you visited many of our western states?

Yes, well. We live in Idaho now, so there's that. I've been in and out of Utah, California, Oregon, and Washington several times. This is Chloë hailing a cab in downtown Hollywood, in the middle of an acting convention we were out there for her. I have been to Vegas. But I have not yet been to Arizona or New Mexico.

2) She sings that she's overwhelmed and can't find the words to express herself. Do you find it easier to share your feelings verbally or in writing?

Three Bites of a Cherry: Malapropisms and Spoonerisms

Oh, definitely in writing. I am very like the Oxford professor William Archibald Spooner, constantly, absent-mindedly, and unintentionally mixing up the consonant sounds in a phrase or sentence to make rubbish. This is also like Shel Silverstein and other comic writers, although theirs were intentional.

3) Her real name is Stefani Germanotta. She took her stage name from the Queen song, Radio Gaga. Do you have a favorite Queen song?

Oh, I love Queen and enjoy, I think, their entire catalog, so it's very hard to pick! I do remember one of my BFFs, Shana and I were in her family's canoe on the Seneca River, and we were just kind of drifting along and using the oars to do the three-beat riff of "We Will Rock You." That's always been a fun memory. Probably not for the fish.

4) Her dad is Joe Germanotta, president of GuestWifi, a company that enables hotels and restaurants to offer high-speed wifi to their customers. Do you consider yourself tech savvy?

5-funny-tech-support-made-easy-cartoon | PMSLweb

I read something recently that said those of us in Generation X (that's me!) were probably the best-prepared to handle tech issues, as a general rule. That's because older generations often don't want any of it and refused to be bothered with it - now, mind you I'm saying some, not all, and just reporting on what I read. And the younger generations never had a time in their lives when there wasn't an internet, and everything has been easier and easier for them as time went along. Think "smartphones." But my generation, we grew up largely without computers and the internet, and so in order to function online, we had to rely on ourselves a lot - and yes, sometimes those maddening IT phone calls - to figure things out. I would say for myself and those I know personally, this is pretty accurate.

5) Early in her career, Lady Gaga performed songs for a children's audio book called The Portal in the Park. Tell us about the last book you finished -- did you listen to an audiobook, or read a download to an electronic device or a bound book with pages?

Review: Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult | Books, Music, and All ...

I've been listening, here and there, to the audiobook of Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, but honestly it's slow-going for me. I never, never could stand to be read to in my entire life, and so over and over, I've tried and failed to get into the trendy audiobook thing. I think I'm just going to abort and read the bound book instead. I can't handle it.

[Speaking of books, I read Wally Lamb's book I Know This Much is True somewhere between doing my bachelor's and my doctoral degree. It's a humongous book, with over a thousand pages, but I dove in and loved every minute of it. I just saw in Us Weekly that there was to be a miniseries based on the book on HBO on Sunday - this past Sunday. It's last week's issue of Us. Aw, mannnn! I hope it's being replayed, so I can watch it. It would be a must-see for me.]
 
6) She prefers dogs to cats and tea to coffee. Do you agree with her?

Baby Animal Lover, Surrounded By Dog, Cat, Fish, Bird, Turtle ...

Largely I do, I think yes. I mean, I'm an extreme animal lover, married to another animal lover, and we've raised a houseful of more animal lovers. I honestly do love them all - with ticks and mosquitoes possibly loved the least. And I do prefer tea to coffee, though I rarely drink either. Of animals, I'm a dog person first, but I'm hard-pressed to turn down any animal. The zoo we've had over the years... it's ridiculous.

7) Back in 2015, she appeared at the Academy Awards, performing a medley to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Sound of Music. The movie's star, Julie Andrews, graciously came onstage to thank Gaga for her showstopping performance. Whom did you most recently thank?

I think maybe it was this girl, Sophia, now 15. She brought me my medicine earlier.

8) In 2018, when this song was first released, retailer Toys R Us closed all its stores and went out of business. What's the last toy you purchased?

SmartyKat Skitter Critter Cat Toy Reviewed – PetCompared

I bought two packs of these cat-nip filled mice "Skitter Critters" from SmartyKat, for our four cats. They were on sale for less than half-price, and felines everywhere give them rave reviews. That counts, right?

9) Random question: How has social media made your life better?

The History of Social Media - Where did it all start?

Well, in multiple ways, I've benefitted from social. I was a young newlywed of 24 when I really started getting going on message boards. I started out on the one for now-defunct Jane magazine, formerly called Sassy when I was reading it in high school. Those were not my community, so I left after being told how to make my own hummus. Then I joined the Twins e-List when I was pregnant with our twins, after our older daughter was born. When we were living on Guam, I asked the TwinsList a million and one questions during my pregnancy. Once we moved to Virginia Beach, I kept them posted here and there. My last post was to say good-bye to the list after they were born and one twin passed away; staying and hearing all about what their twins were doing was far too painful. I stayed friends with one of the moms, though, and met her and her kids in Norfolk, Virginia. We're friends on Facebook to this day. I joined the message board for Parents magazine a year after the twins were born and stayed through trying to conceive our younger daughter, that pregnancy, and maybe half of her first year. Eventually I joined MySpace when it was new, before skipping over to Facebook. I'm all over now; such a social media whore darling.

So one thing I gained from all of that was the power to be more discerning about who my "real friends" were. Through the ups and downs of our roller coaster life, people have come and people have gone. The ones that have gone, sometimes that hurt. Sometimes. But I did become, I think, more resilient because of that and figuring out how to "act" online. It's hard for me, both online and in real life, since I have absolutely NO filter. And people don't always want or need to hear my every thought!

~*~*~*~*~

Thanks Sam/Gal. I appreciated this week's questions immensely, and like I thought, they provided a stellar diversion.

♥ RIP, Allen B. Odette ♥

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: The Winter Questionnaire

Hey, folks! Welcome back. I'm on my husband's piece of crap Toughbook laptop with the missing "p" key, making all my years-long keyboarding skills basically useless, so I'm trying not to start out this meme already grumpy!

Also - Hey, Bev! Whither the opening Sunday Stealing foto? I had to go back four posts just to copy one! Anyway, link up here if you'd like to play along this weekend!

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How do you get past the gray skies during winter?

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It's actually really bad for me this year. I mean, unspeakably bad. We've moved to this rinky-dink little town in the middle of Idaho with NOTHING to do to take my mind off the misery of being here. I'm not doing well at all. We've recently discussed moving and narrowed it down to Guam or southern Portugal. Money is what stopped us.

Do you like snow? Why or why not?

Image result for syracuse blizzard of 1993

Good lord, no. I grew up mostly in (well, outside of) Syracuse, New York, and was there for the Blizzard of '93, aka "the Storm of the Century" (above). Our house was up atop quite a steep slope. Thing is, once all that beautiful white snow falls, the plows come through. And then the cars, so that it all turns a disgusting brown and black speckled dirty color. And it melts and refreezes and melts and refreezes, turning your entire sloped driveway, and the lawn, and many streets to sheer ice. And let's not even get into how much I despise being cold!

    What are your favorite activities to do during the winter?

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Hibernate and wait for it to be over.

    What does a perfect winter day look like to you?

Image result for gorgeous summer day

This. It looks like this.

    What are your favorite meals/food you enjoy eating during the winter?

I'm actually really not enjoying eating this winter, but lately Rob has been trying to make it work for me. He's been making me the vegan version of this Italian white bean and sun-dried tomato soup, which is really quite good!

    What is your favorite winter holiday and why?

2019Christmastree

Oh, it's definitely Christmas. I love giving gifts I hope they'll love to the people I adore!

    What is your favorite pizza flavor and toppings?

Image result for new york pizzeria pie

Oh, the first thing I have to do when I step out of Grand Central Station onto the streets of Manhattan is get a slice of a local pizzeria pie! Plain cheese is great for me, but I do love some pineapple on my peez, too.

What are some items in your daily bag/backpack?

Well, here are just some of the things I dumped out of my Vera Bradley crossbody purse: Aside from the cash, I see my oft-used asthma inhaler, and the passport that our heavy-chewer doggo, Tapioca, fished out of my purse for a nibble once or twice. There's the bouquet of hair doodles my daughter Chloe gave me for Christmas, knowing the three of us "girls" are always searching for a ponytail holder. I have a small tube of SPF 28 (so random) facial moisturizer from MyChelle Dermaceuticals, one of my favorite skincare companies.

I have some Thieves hand sanitizer and a Savvy Minerals Poppy Seed Lip Scrub, both from Young Living. I have a tiny tube of Cerave moisturizing cream, which works great in the winter! The Hello charcoal-infused floss, which I ordered from Grove Collaborative, really makes my teeth feel clean and refreshenated. (What, it's a word.) I bought the peppermint-infused C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Tint at Bath & Body Works, and this, I love. (I have several others, but I'm not sure where they've gotten to. Maybe Tapi ate those, too?) I've got some Scandaleyes waterproof mascara from Rimmel - the only cosmetics I'm really using these days - and some q-tips to blot my inevitable mistakes. And finally, I keep a variety of my beloved TUL pens handy. Note: I NEVER write in black ink, unless I absolutely have to.

    Your favorite snacks?

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I don't do a ton of snacking these days. Maybe a banana, or a handful of Wonderful pistachios.

Some foreign countries that you would like to visit?

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You know, the only things stopping me from visiting every country are the world are money and my poor health. So my answer? All of them.

What things remind you of home?

Fam

Don't you know? I don't really feel like I have a physical home. Home, for me, is wherever these guys are.

If you have one, some items from your Amazon Wishlist?

Outgrowing the Pain: A Book for and About Adults Abused As Children by [Gil, Eliana]

Well, I really want - no, need - this book.

There's this olive oil dispenser I don't remember putting there, but I probably did because I am absolutely EVOO-crazy.

2 PCS Set Cute Animal Hedgehog Shaped Ceramic Cartoon Home Garden Decoration Succulent Cactus Vase Flower Pot

And, there are these disgustingly adorable hedgehog planters, because the girls and I have gone succulent-crazy lately.

What was your favorite Christmas gift?

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I loved everything I received, especially the eco-friendly produce bags Chloe gave me... but I think my absolute favorite was Rob renewing my Mensa membership. I'd gotten it way back 20 years ago and have long since let it lapse. I wanted it mostly for the card to look at when I'm feeling especially dumb, but I'd lost that. I'm thrilled!

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Well, Rob and I are back to searching for Lyme-literate MDs near and far, 'cause, y'know, I'm trying not to die. That would be nice. Or would it?

Take care, y'all.

Fin.


Saturday 9: Go Where Baby Lives

Image result for go where baby lives strollers

Heya! Welcome back. I'm listening to the very Big Band-sounding (to me; am I right?) selection by Crazy Sam this week right now in enjoyment. My grandfather was a big fan of Big Band. And also marches, specifically John Philip Sousa. I remember after he had his sextuple heart attack and his doctors told him how to change his habits to survive after that, he got a walkman, and he'd listen to Sousa and march around the park or just their condominium neighborhood. Sometimes, when I was visiting, I'd march along with him. I couldn't hear the music, but I just liked being with him.

Getting off track much? Oops. Let's begin.

P.S. Sam: I like this ditty!

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Go Where Baby Lives (1957)

Unfamiliar with this week's song. Hear it here

1) The lyrics tell us that the girl of his dreams lives up on a hill. Is there a hill near your home? Or is the terrain pretty flat where you are?

Image result for mountain home idaho

I mean... this is the town in Idaho where I live, so I don't know about hills, but it's definitely not flatland! Mountains are everywhere you look.

2) Another clue to her whereabouts is that she's about a mile from town. Will you be staying close to home this weekend, or will you be traveling a mile or more?

Image result for neurological lyme disease

Not this weekend. Last weekend, I took my daughter Sophia and several of her friends to Boise an hour away, to the ice rink there. (They had fun, but there was a bit of trouble at first when Sophie's ex-girlfriend, who is a figure skater, entered the ice to practice at the same time as her group of friends. There were tears. We handled it. One of her friends held her hand as they made their way back to the rink. I thought it was sweet.)

Anyway, an outing as seemingly simple as that does me in for a week, as evidenced by the fact that this is my first time out of bed since that adventure. It sucks, but such is life with late-stage neurological Lyme.

3) Sam admits she's crazy about the sax solo. Is there a particular musical instrument that you love to listen to?

 Well, not just because one of my best friends, Shana, is a concert violinist/violist (and now a conductor), but I've always enjoyed electric violin. I'm a really big fan of Lindsey Stirling, such as here in "Shatter Me" with Lzzy Hale. Very cool artist.

4) This is the only record The Strollers made for States, a company based out of Chicago. States was only in existence for five years (1952-57) and this was the 63rd or 64 records released before they went out of business. Tell us about a business in your neighborhood that recently closed their doors.

Image result for I have no idea

I have no idea. We haven't lived here long enough, and I haven't been able to venture out enough, to find out! Anyway, there is already like, literally, nothing here. My soul is dying here. I hate it.

5) More than 60 years after its initial release, this song enjoyed new popularity when Xfinity used it in commercials for their wifi. What company is your internet service provider? Are you happy with it?

Image result for Centurylink

Ugh, no way. Our service out here in the boonies is nonexistent. I'm using a hotspot to use the internet on my computer as we speak. We're about to switch to Zito.

6) In researching this week's song, Sam googled "strollers" and was surprised to discover how many different types of baby buggies are available today. When did you most recently push a child in a stroller?

Well, I searched for an hour, and the latest photographic proof I can come up with - without spending all weekend - was on my birthday in 2007, of 2½-year-old Sophia in an umbrella stroller. We were celebrating Chloë's 6th birthday at the bowling alley, actually; her birthday is the day before mine.

7) In 1957, the year this song was released, President Eisenhower celebrated his second inaugural with a parade featuring more than 50 marching bands. The mercury never quite reached 45ºF that day. How's the weather outside your front door?

LOL. WTForecast kills me every time. What does that even mean?! Anyway, looks like were at a balmy 39ºF here in the mountains. Yay.

8) One of the best-selling books of 1957 was Peyton Place. This steamy saga of small town life launched two films, two television series, and several made-for-tv movies. Is there a book that you enjoyed that was successfully turned to a movie?

Image result for JUrassic Park

I read Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park in 8th grade or so, and I've loved that whole series of movies. What about you guys?

9) A Peyton Place-inspired question: Can a man be physically unfaithful to a woman, but still love her?

Image result for i vote yes

Definitely, yes. I can say this with surety.

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Welp, I must eat. Nothing sounds good and I don't want a damn thing, but I haven't eaten all day and my finger sticks support that!

Have a lovely week, y'all.

Fin.

 


Saturday 9: No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)

Image result for no more tears enough is enough

Hey, y'all. It's the Saturday before Thanksgiving, and we are sooo not ready. I haven't been around much - either here or in real life - because right now, I'm fighting Lyme more than ever before. It's knocked me down a peg or nine, that's for sure! But enough about that. Let's get on with it! 

Link up here if you're playing along this week.

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Saturday 9: No More Tears (Enough Is Enough) 1979

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

1) These lyrics use weather as metaphor for romance. Here at Saturday 9, we're more literal. How do the skies look where you are this morning?

Right now it's a chilly but very sunny 46ºF. I don't have the blinds open or anything to really see that, though, because I have a migraine. And that sunlight stabs me right in the eyeballs!

2) According to Merriam-Webster, "enough is enough" is what you say when you want something to stop because you "can no longer accept or deal with it." When did you recently say -- out loud or to yourself -- "enough is enough"?

Image result for Devin Nunes

Well, first, I would probably have more likely said the equivalent in Spanish: "No puedo soportar más." And I don't know exactly when it would have been, but certainly regarding the impeachment trials going on in the US right now, maybe regarding this latest news by Lev Parnas implicating Devin Nunes in the Ukraine scandal.

Or maybe it was pain from the Lyme. Yeah, maybe that.

3) Grammy winner Luther Vandross began his career as a background singer and performed on "No More Tears." Tell us about one of your early jobs.

Image result for university of miami alumni relations

I've worked a lot of jobs here and there. For a while, when I was an undergrad at the University of Miami, I worked three jobs while going to school full-time, often taking the max amounts of credits I could take (20 per semester). For my work-study job, I worked in the UM Office of Alumni Relations. Part of my duties included locating alumni (this would have been starting in 1994, so technology didn't make that as easy then as it would be now), making sure we had their current contact information, and then asking them to make a donation when the request came in the mail. I hated that job. So now that I'm on the other end of those phone calls, I try to make it as easy as possible on the poor schmoes who are calling me!

4) Both Donna Summer and Barbra Streisand made slight changes to their first names. Summer was christened "LaDonna," while Streisand's parents spelled her name the more conventional "Barbara." When she was in high school, meme mistress Samantha Winters went from "Sammy" to "Sam." Did you ever make a similar change to your first name?

Image result for meaning of the name Melanie

No. Why would I? That description fits me to a "T." I used to hate it, but now I find it to be a beautiful name and not so common that I personally know 20 other people with the same name. Plus, my mother changed my name from my father's mother's name (Eleanor) to Melanie on my birth certificate when he was out of the room. Love that, too!

People do try to bastardize my name and call me Melodie or Melody, though. It doesn't bother me as much when they misunderstand what I've said, but recently, I honestly quit a writing program important to me wherein someone in my committee read my name, and then wrote back to me, writing "Melody" instead. I was honestly not so much offended by that - because, let's be honest, I'm used to it - as by the ludicrous notion that I would want to be affiliated with a program putting such illiterates in with me. Call me elitist, but you should always strive to get someone's name correct when you're reading it right there in front of you. Am I right?

5) Hair was higher maintenance in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Streisand and Summer are both sporting styles that would require chemical treatment, like a perm or relaxer. Today's looks are less rigidly styled and tend to be smoother or slightly messy. How often do you change your look?

Melanie Piggies

I'm pretty fickle capricious. I change my look a lot. I never look the same at the end of the year as I did at the beginning of the year. (This picture is from January 2019.)

6) In 1979, it seems every kid was asking Santa for Star Wars toys. Some things don't change, since the Star Wars franchise remains popular with children and toymakers after more than 40 years. What book or toy did you love as a child that remains popular today?

Image result for Anne of Green Gables

Oh, lots of things, probably. I was a huge fan of the Nancy Drew books, and I read the Anne of Green Gables series again and again. And now, I feel like reading it again!

7) Thinking of things that endure ... In 1979, the #1 show in the ratings was 60 Minutes. It's still on, every Sunday night, and in the summer of 2019 it came in at #4 in the Nielsen ratings. What's the most recent show you watched? Was it news, sports or entertainment?

Image result for ellen funny

I've been balancing out my news coverage with the latest episodes of Ellen and Jeopardy! Thank goodness for DVR! (BTW, I made Hubs really sad the other night when I told him I don't want to go on Jeopardy! anymore. That's been a life-long Bucket List item since before I had a Bucket List. But now that I'm really sick, and Alex Trebek is really sick... it doesn't look so good for either one of us. If I live long enough to enter remission, he probably won't be the host anymore. But if he is... we'll revisit these thoughts.)

8) In 1979, the price for a dozen eggs averaged 85¢. Today, it's about twice that. Are you more likely to use eggs to prepare a main course (like an omelette or Eggs Benedict) or as part of a recipe (anything from a cake to a meatloaf)?

Image result for beautiful vegan food

Neither - and not just because I'm allergic to eggs (which makes getting some of my vaccines a challenge). #vegan

9) Random question: You’re alone in your car, driving through your neighborhood on a bright, sunny day. You get a flat tire. You have a spare and a jack in your trunk. Would you fix it yourself or call for help?

Image result for changing a tire funny

I know how to change a tire, and I have done it before, but right now I just do not have the strength. Thankfully, we finally now have AAA for that - and we have used them!

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Take care, you guys. I'll be back later for some Sunday Stealing. Y'all in? 

Fin.


Saturday 9: Shake It Off

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Welcome back, y'all! Well, as you can see I didn't die from my excessively-busy weekend last week (although, as predicted, no comments on my late-entry Sunday Stealing, lol). It's been another busy week as I've kept up and pushed through for the sake of my newfound purpose: Activism. Giving a damn just feels good, you know? Not that I didn't before, of course, but now that I give a damn AND am learning more and better tools to do something about it, it feels really validating.

Anyhoo. My then-14yo daughter Chloë and I saw Taylor Swift perform "Shake It Off" at her 1989 concern in Miami, in October 2015, so this is an exciting one for me. I'd like to think this is a special present to me from Crazy Sam, therefore, but we all know better.

Let's get on with it then, shall we? Link up here if you're a wacky joiner, like we be.

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Shake It Off (2014)

Unfamiliar with this week's song. Hear it here.
 
1) This song makes Crazy Sam want to dance. What song inspires you to get on your feet?

Image result for lou bega mambo no 5 gif

So, so, so many songs. Back in grad school, it was Lou Bega doing Mambo No. 5. Love that song!

2) Paul McCartney met Taylor Swift at the SNL 40th Anniversary special and told her he really enjoys playing and singing this song. What's the last song you sang along with?

Related image

I've been playing Hamilton nonstop for the last several days. I haven't had my singing voice in 2+ years, much, but I still can't help it when it comes to Lin-Manuels words. The girls and I would DIE to be able to go see Hamilton in real life!

3) The lyrics tell us Swift "shakes off" nasty gossip and unfair criticism. What about you? Do you worry about what others think of you?

Image result for criticism funny

I've always been one to take to heart - forever and for all my days - the harsh words (and thoughts I imagine) that others have had for me. I turned 43 on 9/8, though, and I feel like this is finally starting to become my time to "shake it off." 

4) Her parents are big music fans, and were going to name their baby (boy or girl) "Taylor" after their favorite artist, James Taylor. Can you think of a singer that your mom and/or dad really enjoyed?

Image result for Ronnie McDowell

This is a painful question for me. When my mother died in 1984, she and my dad had three Ronnie McDowell tapes on pretty heavy rotation in the car. I knew (still know) all the songs. We even went to a Ronnie McDowell/Conway Twitty concert in Syracuse shortly before her death, which I remember pretty clearly for a 7yo.

When I was in college and "home" at my dad's for the first summer, I went snooping through his old pictures and things. I found those three Ronnie McDowell tapes and "liberated" them, 😏 along with a gazillion pictures of my mother.

Then, coming up on one year ago, I happened to find some Ronnie McD songs on... YouTube? Amazon? I don't even know. I gave a listen to them and found myself disgusted by much of the overtly sexist, somewhat predatory lyrics on a song or three. I posted what I thought was a rather innocent update about that on the book of faces, and my dad lost his shit about it, basically about what a liberal treehugger I have become (have always been, hate to break the news to ya, Pops). I told him I was sorry he'd been so foolish to buy into Trump's lies, and he said the immortal words to me, "Just leave me alone."

I haven't spoken to him since. (P.S. No great loss. That narcissistic, abusive, sexist louse is a Trump wannabe through-and-through, and I'm better off not giving a damn what he thinks of me or what he thinks, period.) But intensive therapy ensues.

I5) She grew up on an 11-acre Christmas tree farm. Do you get a fresh tree every year, or do you have an artificial tree, or do you not put up a tree at all?

DSC_5486
We usually do an artificial tree. It's just easier with all the dogs and cats and their excessive curiosity. At some point, I'd like to put up at least three in this house - but I don't think we'll have the budget for it just yet this year. This white flocked tree was last year's.


6) Taylor Swift is 5'10". According to the CDC, the average American woman is 5'4" while men are, on average, 5'9". Are you taller or shorter than average?

20190916_185639
At 5'1½", I'm shorter than average. But I've got 18-year-old Chloë beat. Like her paternal grandmother, she is maxed out at 4'10".

7) She enjoys good, old fashioned mysteries, especially those by Agatha Christie. Are you currently reading a book for pleasure?

Image result for quotes from holding up the universe

I'm just getting into Holding Up the Universe, by Jennifer Niven.
 
8) Her brother Austin is a freelance photographer who took the official pictures for her 2008 concert tour. Who took the last photo of you?

20190922_145700 (1)

That would be Christine Vorobieff, one of the other equestrian moms from Sophie's Pony Club, last Sunday.

9) Random question: What's your go-to comfy outfit?

Image result for comfy clothes quotes

Sweats and a t-shirt, I guess. Now that illness rules the day, I dress for comfort; rarely for "cute."

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Thanks for the fun meme, Ms. Sam o' the Cray. Thanks for all you do for us!

Next steps in tackling the Climate Crisis involve this. Whatever you do, do something.

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Swap-Bot Questionnaire

Welcome, welcome, kids of all ages!

Thanks for all the well wishes about my eardrum rupturing Friday. It definitely wasn't fun, but I've had problems with that ear since we came up from 0' above sea level in Miami to ~2500' above sea level in Boise over two years ago. That ear just did not want to make the trip! The constant Val Salvo maneuver is my life now. When I do it now, the air screams out of that hole in my eardrum so loudly that Rob and the kids can hear, too. It's weird.

Anyway!

Link up here if you want to play along with the rest of us this weekend.

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Swap-Bot asked people to post questions they would like to answer.  Bev copied them all and put together this brief selection.

What do you enjoy about summer?

Image result for carefree summer

I like the carefree, mostly-unscheduled nature of it, the freedom, the warmth, everything. It seems like the most "come as you are" season of the year.

Do you like snow? Why?

Image result for snow memes snow funny

haaaaate snow. I grew up in Syracuse, New York, the lake-effect snow capitol of the world. I've done my time! If that isn't 'nuff said, then also, it means I'll be c-c-c-cold, and being cold causes me intense pain nowadays. Then there's the blackish-brown crap that gets all over everything after the street cleaners come through the place. That's three reasons, but I could go on.

What do you think about dogs?

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I am a dog lover, through and through. (But then, I love all animals!)

Have you ever gotten lost?

Image result for getting lost funny

Oh, I'm the genius who perpetually gets lost outside her own driveway - especially if she tries to "wing it" and turns off Google Maps to get there. I have no sense of direction!!

What are your favorite type of socks?

Image result for hospital socks funny

This is gonna sound like I'm joking, but I promise you I'm not: Most of my socks are hospital socks. I have texture issues, and the socks from the hospital don't bug those at all. In fact, my friend Gwyn sent me a boatload of her husband's old hospital socks upon hearing this, and I love her for it! I always keep my hospital socks when I've been there.

What is your favorite style of shoes?

Crocs.

Angle

I used to wear these Crocs Cypress heels a lot, but I can't wear heels anymore now that falling is a constant risk for me.

Pair

Now I wear almost exclusively Crocs, but it's more like these Patricia sandals, which I have in several colors. I had to give my Navy ones (above) to Sophia, though, because they stretch out over time and were no longer snug enough on my size 5½ feet.

What would you name your boat if you had one?

Image result for Sweet Pea

It would be the Sweet Pea. Didn't even have to think about that one.

What common misconception do you hate to hear repeated as fact?

Image result for theory of evolution

I worked on the concept of "novice theory" for my graduate thesis, especially as it pertains to the Theory of Evolution. Note the caps on the latter presentation of the word, versus the former. And that's the crux of it: Most people don't understand the concept of Scientific Theory vs. the theories we bandy about day-to-day, in our normal, non-scientific lives, and suppose are correct. That of Evolution is well-founded in example after example, able to be observed by the human eye in a short time period, and is well-replicated inside and outside the lab. This is true whether it agrees with our own ideas of what religion should dictate or not. Sorry if you don't like it, Joe Schmo, but that's just the way it is.

What was the last shop you went into and what did you buy?

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I've been a couponer since birth. My mother taught me. After she died, my sister Stacey would cut all the coupons, and I would sort them into their respective categories. I continued doing that as I went to college, and on into adulthood. Now, things have gone high-tech, and I could teach Mom a thing or two! Chloë is a girl after my own heart: she loves to save a buck and cringes when she sees someone needlessly paying full price. I love to give away our haul to battered women's shelters, the families at the Ronald McDonald House, etc. So we thought we'd take $150 and see what we could get from Walgreens, Rite Aid, and CVS. I'm not sure which one was the last one we went into, but we ended up with well over $1,000 worth of merchandise.

What's your favourite thing to do to pass the time?

Image result for reading the classics

Back in the day, I easily could've said "read." Now, I don't know... waste time online? When I was pregnant with Chloë, my aim was to spend the time, having hyperemesis gravidarum, catching up on the classics. Except, I stumbled across Sidney Sheldon works in the library and read all of those books instead. Quite a different thing! Since motherhood, I haven't exactly given myself permission to sit and read. I really need to re-learn how to allow myself that.

What is a way to die that scares you the most?

I would not like to suffocate or drown. The thought terrifies me.

Travel or homebody?

Image result for travel the world

Oh, I may be trapped in my body, but my body is not one to be trapped in Idaho. Plenty of World left for me to see!!

Have you ever gone to a Bingo hall?

Image result for Bingo funny

I have not.

What is the longest plane trip you have taken?

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Listen, you've never flown long-haul until you've moved from Panama City, Florida, to Guam whilst pregnant with twins, with a one-year-old child. And then flown back four months later... 🙄

Do you text more or call more? Why?

Image result for phone anxiety

I much prefer to text over calling. I have severe phone anxiety. So do several other members of my family. It's a thing. If you don't have have it, lucky you, but please don't let that diminish your capacity to understand that others do. (I'm a "yes" to all, btw.)

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Well, on that cheerful note, I'll say buh-bye! LOL Tonight, after all, is the Matador dinner with Hubs, finally, after I felt like shit all day Saturday. Tequila!

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?
 
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Does naptime count? If so, then I just woke up an hour or two ago...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday Stealing: Would You Rather?

Heya, folks! Welcome back to my corner of Ye Olde Interwebs. Glad to have you back. This week, we're playing a fun round of Would You Rather with Bev over at SunSt. ;) Link up here if you'd like to play along with us this week!

Would you rather be able to detect any lie you hear or get away with any lie you tell?

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Well, hmm. Both would be most useful. ;) I think, as a wife and mother, I'd have to say I'd rather be able to detect any lie I hear. I mean, I know each member of my family's "tells" pretty well, but there are those times...

Would you rather be a hopeless romantic or a hopeless unromantic?

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Oh, I'm a hopeless romantic, and I rather like it that way.

Would you rather have too many friends or too few?

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Um, why would I chose to have too few friends?

Would you rather have no taste buds or be blind?

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Easy: no taste buds. I have already significantly lost my sense of taste & smell, and while boring sometimes, it's not the end of the world. But I literally like to live my life in living color, and all the visual beauty in the world would be so... I'd be devastated if I lost that.

Would you rather never hear music again or lose the ability to read?

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Ooh, that's a tough one. I can't decide. Would I have the ability to re-learn how to read? Hm. If not, then please do one to me and don't tell me which; it'll hurt either way.

Would you rather find true love or be rich?

Appreciate Those Who Don't Give Up On You

If I didn't have true love, I'd never consider myself to be rich. One contributes to happiness; the other contributes to convenience.

Would you rather be the richest person or the smartest?

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I'm pretty fond of being intelligent. Being rich is overrated.

Would you rather create history or delete it?

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I'd much rather create history, especially if it's good stuff. Even bad stuff shouldn't be deleted from history, because well,... Winston Churchill.

Would you rather create a great piece of art and not get credit or get credit for a piece of art you didn’t create?

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I would never want to get credit for something I didn't do, good or bad. That would make me feel rotten. I'd much rather have a secret sort of joy over creating something beautiful that others admired, knowing I gave them something special.

Would you rather age from the neck up, or from the neck down.

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Hands down, neck down!

Would you rather see the world but live in poverty or stay in one place and live rich?

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I'd travel and travel and travel until I dropped.

Would you rather become famous or powerful?

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I'd never want to risk being drunk with power, so I hope I'd be famous for something wonderful!

Would you rather be a creative person or a technical person?

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I like being a creative. There's always something brewing.

Would you rather get a paper cut whenever you touch paper or bite your tongue whenever you eat something?

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I do bite my tongue constantly already, and while it's painful, I guess it wouldn't be any more painful to keep doing it. On the other hand, paper cuts are the worst!!

Would you rather wake up in the morning looking like a giraffe or a kangaroo?

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Does it matter? It's just a silly question. ;) 

Would you rather speak “whale” or read babies’ minds?

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I can already do both. Both worthy abilities under the right circumstances...

Would you rather eat pizza every day or never eat pizza again?

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Hey, now, don't take pizza away from this New Yorker! It didn't say I could only eat pizza, or how much pizza I had to eat, so eating a little a day is much preferable to never eating it again. (P.S. This pizza is what I ate in Dubrovnik, Croatia, while on our Mediterranean cruise in 2008. Such good times!)

Would you rather stay forever at your current age or be 10 years younger?

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Ten times out of ten, I'd want to be a decade younger than I am right now. Getting older is for the birds! Especially now that my health has taken a sharp detour south for the past four years. Hit the rewind button, please!

~*~*~*~*~

Thanks for the fun meme, Bev! Y'all have a good week! Hopefully I'll be here on time next week for S9 & SS. I have to take my daughters to Boise Pride on Friday & Saturday.

Image result for tiny waving pride flag gif Cheers! Image result for tiny waving pride flag gif

Fin.


Saturday 9: It's Late

(First of all, let me just say that it sure is: it's 0339 on Saturday, July 1st, 2019. Heh. Okay, okay, that aside...

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Welcome back, party people! My 14yo daughter Sophie and I are up late watching, currently, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs. The kids used to watch this over and over when they were littler. Sophia was shocked to find out a little earlier that I'd never sat down and watched it with them. I'd only heard it a billion times from the front seat of the minivan while they played it in the onboard DVD player! So she had to queue it up on Netflix.

Anyhoo.

Link up here if you'd like to play along with the S9ers today!

~*~*~*~*~

It's Late (1959)

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

(Personally, I'd never heard it, although I do know the other from my pic up top there.)

1) Ricky Nelson laments that he should have been home hours ago. When is the last time you stayed up later than you should have? What were you doing?

Looking up master bedroom inspo for the house we're closing on first thing Monday morning. (EEEEEEKKKKK!!!) Hubs and I agree we both like this one the best.

2) Compounding Ricky's problem is that he's nearly out of gas. How is your gas tank right now? When did you most recently fill 'er up?

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Welp,  yesterday was payday, so we filled 'er up first thing in the morning.

3) It gets worse! He can't call home because he doesn't have a dime for the pay phone. Have you recently been in a situation where you've been glad you had your cell phone handy?

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Only all the time! Yesterday, I had back-to-back-to-back medical appointments (I'm being evaluated for MS now), and I am not the most patient person ever. Good thing I had my phone to keep me busy! And my charger. And... hubs. Who brought his block. I always forget mine. Heh. (For the record, my first phone was like #9 or #10, above.)

4) The video for this song is from an episode of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. Ozzie Nelson, Ricky's father, was in charge of the show and made the rules. One was that no one was allowed to smoke on the set... except his wife, Harriet. Do you smoke? Have you ever lived with a smoker?

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I do not smoke, I have never smoked, and I will never smoke. Yes, I have lived with a smoker; I do not think it is entirely a leap (especially based on modern medical evidence) that this might help explain why I've had lifelong asthma and migraine issues. This is also why I do not smoke, have never smoked, and will not ever smoke - and neither should you. (And yes, in this regard, I judge.)

5) Life magazine coined the phrase "teen idol" to describe Ricky's popularity. According to Tiger Beat, today's teen idols include Johnny Orlando and Ruby Jay. Johnny was born in 2003, Ruby in 2004. Sam admits that before today, she had no idea who these young people are. How about you?

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Nope. Never heard of these two!

6) While Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan have posthumously praised Ricky Nelson's music, 1950s music critics dismissed him as a lightweight. What's the last review you read? Was it written by a professional critic, or was it contributed by a consumer to a site like Amazon or Yelp?

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Earlier, I was just flipping through People magazine, and the last review I read in it was for the book The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary. Looks interesting.

7) At the height of his popularity, Ricky tried his hand at movies, appearing in the western Rio Bravo with John Wayne. He turned 18 during the filming, and Wayne celebrated by playfully throwing Ricky into a sack of horse manure. Do you think pranks and practical jokes are funny?

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Some things, sure; I don't think I'd like to be thrown into a sack of shit, though!

8) In 1959, when this song was popular, the St. Lawrence Seaway was completed. It connects Canada to our Great Lakes. Without looking it up, can you name all 5 Great Lakes?

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Oh, yeah. I've been to Erie and Ontario multiple times, having grown up near Syracuse, New York. I haven't been to the others yet, though.

9) Random question – You drive past a local motel and see the car of a very married friend right there in the lot. Would you ask her about it?

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NOPE! Not my circus; not my monkeys.

~*~*~*~*~

So now back to Cloudy... they're at the Jell-O scene. Awww... (I'm alone here, aren't I?)

Image result for tiny waving pride flag gif Thanks for stopping by! Image result for tiny waving pride flag gif

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: For The Love Of Surveys

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

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

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

What are your favorite articles of clothing?

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

The last CD you bought or downloaded?

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


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

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

5. What is your favorite kitchen appliance?

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

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

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

7. What is your favorite color?

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

8. Do you believe in the afterlife?

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

9. Your favorite children’s book?

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

10. Can you juggle?

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

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

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

12. Which do you prefer, sushi or hamburger?

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

13. What is your favorite flower?

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

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

14. What is your favorite meal?

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

15. Describe your ideal weather?

Weather meme

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

16. What is your favorite ice cream?

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

17. What is your favorite breakfast?

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

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

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

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

That was fun, Bev - thank you!

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

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Bookish

This week's SS is all about books, my least favorite meme topic. That, coupled with the fact that I've just had a huge argument with my husband, may mean this isn't my most fun post. However, I'm gonna give it a go, just the same.

Link up here if you'd like to play along this week!

~*~*~*~*~*~

This is a set of book questions I found a long time ago on A Striped Armchair, which had not posted since 2015.

Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?

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  2. My therapist from years ago recommended I read Just One Thing by Dr. Rick Hanson, and I bought it right away... but I haven't really read much of it at all. I just can't seem to 'force' myself to keep reading it, since I don't want to... I don't know, not benefit from it and fail my therapist, maybe?

    If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be?
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  4. The Mad Hatter - because what an interesting and fun dude he'd make for all of that!
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  6. Willy Wonka - because of all of the above AND hey, candy!
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  8. And hey, how 'bout Grindelwald, because who doesn't like a bad boy now and then? ;)

    You are told you can't die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for awhile, eventually you realize it's past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave?
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  10. I expect I'd find Tolstoy's War and Peace dreadfully boring.

    Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you've read, when in fact you've been nowhere near it?
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  12. I don't lie about silly things like that.

    As an addition to the last question, has there been a book that you really thought you had read, only to realize when you read a review about it/go to 'reread' it that you haven't? Which book?
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  14. Still a big fat NOPE!

    You've been appointed Book Advisor to a VIP (who's not a big reader). What's the first book you'd recommend and why?
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  16. Hmm. I've read The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, and Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. All were amazing; I'd recommend any of them!

    A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with?
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  18. Maybe Greek? I'd really like to be fluent in every language, but let's start there!

    A mischievous fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick?
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  20. Definitely Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams - everyone should read it!

    9. What's one bookish thing you 'discovered' from book blogging (maybe a new genre, or author, or new appreciation for cover art-anything)?
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  22. I'm not a book blogger and really have no desire to be... ;)

    That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she's granting you your dream library! Describe it. Is everything leather-bound? Is it full of first edition hardcovers? Pristine trade paperbacks? Perhaps a few favorite authors have inscribed their works? Go ahead-let your imagination run free.

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Absolutely NO leather-bound books for me, please (#Vegan)! First edition hardcovers would be amazing, though. Signed by all the authors, of course.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Welp, that was... fun? But at least it's done. Heh! Thanks, Bev.

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Conversation Starters

Howdy ho, y'all! The girls and I are re-watching old episodes of The Big Bang Theory, so I guess since I've seen all these before, it's a good time to answer some fun questions. So let's giddy-up!

~*~*~*~*~

What are some small things that make your day better?

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Silliness and happiness of my kiddos! I love it when my crew are happy!

What shows are you into?

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Well, in addition to TBBT, mentioned in my intro, we of course also love Young Sheldon. We also watch BlackishA Million Little Things, and obviously Jeopardy! Rob and I have had a nightly Jeopardy! date since we first got married 18 years ago. I think funny and definitely smart men are way sexier than anyone else. 😍

What TV channel doesn’t exist but really should?

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An LGBTQ+ network dedicated to the needs, issues faced, and public awareness for this community. We'd watch!

Who has impressed you most with what they’ve accomplished?

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Oh, maybe my 15-year-old son Jack. He's been working at a nearby McDonald's for about 9 months now, and he's just informed me, as of Thursday, that he's gotten a second raise and has been promoted to Crew Trainer! I was shrieking on the phone when he called me up and delivered this news. All of this is so exciting to me because he's on the Autism Spectrum and has learning disabilities. Go, Jack!!

What age do you wish you could permanently be?

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Let's see... maybe about 36, like I was here. I was at my thinnest, and because I was raised to believe that my worth (and therefore my self-worth) were inversely proportional to my weight, my happiest. I would love to get down to that size again, but meanwhile, I'm working on learning to accept and love who I am, whatever size I may be. (And age!)

What TV show or movie do you refuse to watch?

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Real Housewives of Anything

What is something that is considered a luxury, but you don’t think you could live without?

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My phone! I looooove my Samsung Galaxy S9... and I've loved my Galaxy since the S2! Or was my first one the S3? Hmm, I forget. Like it matters! 😂

What’s your claim to fame?

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I'm the only stay-at-home mom marine biologist I know! 😉

What’s something you like to do the old-fashioned way?

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I love to bake homemade bread! Which reminds me, I need to feed the sourdough starter!

What’s your favorite genre of book or movie?

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For movies, I confess, I love a good romcom. I like a lot of different movies genres, though, so that's not all I like. As for books, I love a good novel that really makes me think and feel. I like a book that makes me laugh and makes me sob. That's the best.

How often do you people watch?

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If I'm in public, I'm definitely people-watching!

What have you only recently formed an opinion about?

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I've become more and more strongly convicted about my (family's) decision to go vegan. I hadn't, however, considered the yarn with which I knit. So I've just decided if I'm going to talk the talk, I need to walk the walk: I'll finish whatever projects I've already begun, and then I need to cull the fibers that aren't vegan. Most animal fibers are gained in a much crueler fashion than many people know. So I'll sell the animal fibers and use that money purchase cruelty-free yarns!

What are you interested in that most people haven’t heard of?

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Elasmobranch ecomorphology, I'm guessing...

What’s the farthest you’ve ever been from home?

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I don't really have a distinct, specified "home," per se... I would say "home" is wherever Hubs is, wherever my family is. My home is his heart.

What is the most heartwarming thing you’ve ever seen?

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♥ An old couple in love ♥

What is the most annoying question that people ask you?

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I'm 42 years old, and I still get asked, on the phone, "Can I please speak to your mother?" Bitch, please, I am the mother!  I can't get mad, I mean, I do have a high-pitched baby voice, but it does get annoying. Especially when Rob himself called me up and, thinking I was Chloë, said, "Let me speak to your mother." 😂

What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?

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Parent bereavement and/or Infant Loss

If you were dictator of a small island nation, what crazy dictator stuff would you do?

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I would ban tobacco/nicotine use of any kind, make recycling mandatory, and... all food would be plant-based. 

What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?

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Go scuba diving! It's beautiful down there!

~*~*~*~*~

Well, that was delightful. Thanks, Bev!

Have a great week, y'all.

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: ID Questions

Hey, you guys! You came back! Wanna hear something crazy? I had what, in these uncertain times of my health going from bad to worse regularly, I would consider a pretty decent day Saturday. I spent a couple of hours just {yes, I know} browsing Bed, Bath & Beyond with Chloë, getting absolutely nothing, and then getting a few "deals and steals" at Walgreens after that (hey, six free toothpastes ain't a bad haul, for starters), and she and I just get along famously when we're out and about together like that. And that set the tone for the remainder of my day, with multiple laughing-'til-I-cried experiences with the rest of the family after that. Yeah, I'm not talking about my physical difficulties, but that's because regardless of those, if I have a good outward day, I can ignore that stuff for a while. So I did. :)

But anyway.

I'm happy you're here for Sunday Stealing (I almost wrote "Saturday Sunday," because they're enmeshed in my brain). Link up here if you're playing along today!

~*~*~*~*~

1: Three Fears ~

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a: nightmares (last night's was about scary dancing pandas - weird!); b: dying before my children are grown; and, c: of my dogs running out into traffic


2: Three things I love ~

Chloe 12th Grade 1

a: Chloë, who will be 17 in under three weeks;

Jack 10th Grade

b: Jack, 15; and,

Sophia 8th Grade

c: Sophia, who is 13 going on 19!


3: Four turns on ~

four?!! Hmm...

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a: Rob, obviously, who (since we're giving away ages here) will be 46 on the 30th;

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b: good yarn; in this case, it's Madeline Tosh merino wool in "Light Turquoise";

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c: Singing to good music turned up loud in the car with the windows down; and,

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d: Pure happiness and joy

4: Four turns off ~

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a: Smoking;

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b: Child abuse;

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c: sloooooow drivers; and,

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d: careless people who litter - & its effects on wildlife

5: My best friend ~

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I am fortunate enough to have two, both of whom I met in 6th grade and went all through the rest of middle, junior, and high school with: Lisa Joy & Shana Marie, both of whom I love with all my heart and definitely don't feel like I deserve!

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{Photo of Lisa & me in a photo booth at CocoWalk, in Coconut Grove, Florida, during Lisa's Spring Break, circa April 1997}

6: My favorite book ~

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I haven't read nearly all of these book by Jodi Picoult, but I have read My Sister's KeeperThe Tenth CircleNineteen Minutes, and Songs of the Humpback Whale (maybe others??), and I feel like all of them plus any more of her oeuvre that I'm going to read are my favorites, so can I make it her entire body of work?!

7: My best first date ~ 

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Well, obviously I think, I would have to say that was my first date with Rob! In mid-November 2000, he came down to St. Petersburg, FL, from Panama City Beach, FL, to meet me in person after an odd first acquaintanceship (is that a word?!) online. We went to a Chinese take-out/eat-in restaurant for lunch and spent a long, long time there getting to know each other. We were the only customers who were dining in, so the staff were paying us a lot of curious attention, but I don't think either of us cared. Fast-forward to a year later, and we were already married and parents of a tiny baby, Chloë Raine - with three more to soon follow! Yup, I think there was romance in my vegetable lo mein...

8: How tall am I ~

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At 5'1½", I think I'm short enough. However, my tiny little pixie girl, Chloë Rainebow, is maxed out at 4'9½" and is super cute to boot!


9: What do I miss ~ 

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Now that Chloë nearing 17 and in her senior year of high school, Jack has a job, and Sophie towers over me at 5'4" with no end in sight, I've been missing their younger years something fierce lately!

10: What time was I born ~

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Oh, I don't know, on time I guess?? ;) Since my DOB is 9/8/76, though, I like to joke that I was also born at 5:43:21 PM!

11: Favorite color ~

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Something like this would be my idea color palette, with the middle color being my favoritest fave


12: Do I have a crush ~

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Honestly? This may sound corny but after almost 18 years together, seeing Rob persevere through prostate cancer and numerous serious complications in recent months has me crushing on him all over again. Weird circumstance, but I love him with my whole heart and entire soul, and that's that.

13: Favorite quote ~

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I'm really not good at remembering quotes and jokes and whatnot, but I've always remembered this one from Dirty Dancing!

14: Favorite place ~

Totally Bamboo&reg; Idaho Destination Cutting Board

Gosh, I'm getting really cheesy again, but it's wherever my family members are. So right now, that's Idaho. (And P.S. If I had a spare $30, I'd totally be getting myself this State of Idaho cutting board. Love it!)

15: Favorite food ~

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New York-style pizzeria pizza - yummo!

16: Do I use sarcasm?

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What do you think?

17: What am I listening to right now?

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I'm watching a new-to-me rerun of Fixer Upper, a show I just starting getting into, like, yesterday.

18: First thing I notice in a new person ~

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Whether they just smile with their mouths, or if it reaches their eyes to show it's genuine

19: Eye color ~

Week 32 of 52 - JUST FOR ME

They used to be dark brown, but as I'm getting older, they're getting lighter brown with a ring of green around each iris

20: Hair color ~ 

See above; it's auburn, but I'm getting ready to dye it darker brown probably later this week.

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That was a super fun meme! Thanks for the great thievery, Bev! And thanks to y'all for reading along with me!

Fin.


Saturday 9: There's No Gettin' Over Me

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Howdy-ho, neighbors! Once again, I didn't get my planned blogging done during the week, but here I am hoping to make up for some of that a little bit! Link up here if you're playing along this week with the rest of us. Let's go!

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Saturday 9: (There's) No Gettin' Over Me (1981)
 
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.


1) Ronnie Milsap sings about how worrisome it can be when you realize you forgot to pay a bill. It's happened to all of us, hasn't it? Tell about about a time you accidentally missed a payment.

Whenever I do specifically write out a to-the-penny monthly budget, I invariably forgot some important thing or other. This can have catastrophic results!

2) He also references a dream that keeps him awake. Do you have any recurring dreams?

Lately, as in, since we moved to Idaho, I've been having a lot of bad dreams. Usually it's something getting ruined.

3) He sings about the face you see in the crowd. Tell us about someone you see regularly, but don't really know.

Several of our neighbors; we know quite a few now, but there are still some that very much keep to themselves.

4) He mentions the book that you just can't put down. What's the last book that you finished?

I just returned George Orwell's 1984. . . okay, I didn't really read it at all. I suck at picking up a book lately.

5) Ronnie Milsap is a big fan of new technology, and believes the advancements make both his professional and personal lives easier. What about you? Do you embrace new technology? Or do you long for the good old days, when we weren't so connected to personal devices? 

A little bit of both for me. I LOVE new tech, but the simpler, more carefree days could be a lot more fun.

6) As a child, Ronnie used to surreptitiously listen to late night radio, especially gospel broadcasts. When you were a kid, what rule did you break again and again?

I would read my books when I was supposed to be cleaning.

7) Country star Blake Shelton says Ronnie Milsap was a big influence on his music. Do you watch Blake on The Voice?

Sort of. I watched the beginning of this past season, but I didn't really keep up with it.

8) In May, Ronnie appeared at the Choctaw Casino in Grant, OK. Do you enjoy games of chance?

No. I'm not a gambler.

9) Random question -- When did you last "do it yourself" and repair something around the house or yard?

Oh, I don't know. I'm a DIY-er in theory, but in practice I leave things up to him.

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Short and sweet! Have a great Saturday, y'all!

Fin.


Saturday 9: Easter Parade #DoubleHeader

Hi, everyone! I'm going to do this week's and last week's Sat9s together, so bear with me. I wasn't able to participate last week because I was again in the hospital with pneumonia, and I missed you guys! But I'll do the current week's edition first. Link up here if you want to play along this week!

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Saturday 9: Easter Parade ("In Your Easter Bonnet") (1948)

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

1) This song is about a special Easter hat to be worn with your "Sunday best." Will you be getting dressed up this weekend?
 
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Throwback to Easter 2015 or 2016 in Miami, Florida - when I could still get away with dressing the kids like that! ;)
 
We'll probably dress up, but not too fancily. Our church is pretty casual, but I still want to look nice for this major holiday in our religion. No more matchy-matchy for the kids, though. Fifteen-year-old Jack would never wear a bowtie for me again, and forget about dresses on Sophia! I might see if we can cook up some fun duds from our awesome local thrift shop, ReStyle, on Friday or Saturday.

2) Judy Garland's partner in this movie was supposed to be Gene Kelly, but he was unavailable because he broke his ankle playing volleyball. Have you ever lost a big opportunity because of a medical issue?
 
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A lot, actually. Most recently, while I was stuck in the hospital desperately wanting to be at Sophia's first Idaho showjumping entry, her dad was there taking care of everything for her. It broke my heart not being there for my kid. That's my job!! I cried a lot that day in the hospital, and I cried again tonight editing the pictures Rob took from it. 
 
3) Garland later confessed that, at first, she would have preferred Kelly because she knew him well and was intimidated by Fred Astaire. By the end of filming, she found she enjoyed Astaire a great deal. Can you think of a friend with whom you had a rocky relationship at the beginning?
 
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Several! When my son Jack turned a year old, I joined a community of moms online at what we now affectionately call "p.com." I hit it off with a bunch of the moms right away, but with many others, of course, we rubbed each other the wrong way. Fast-forward 14 years, and I'm still friends with quite a number of moms in both camps on Facebook. And I've met a few in real life, too.
 
4) This song was inspired by New York City's Easter Parade. Does your community host a similar event?
 
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I wish, just so I could have a good excuse to rock a kick-ass bonnet like this one! ;) But there are a number of Easter egg hunts to attend, and one is a night-time flashlight egg hunt geared just for the teenagers. Oh yeah, you know I'm dragging my three teens there!

5) The biggest chocolate Easter egg was made in Italy, measured 34 feet tall and weighed a staggering 15,000 lbs. Do you thinks it's possible to have too much chocolate?
 
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Pre-gastric bypass nine years ago, I would have said "no way" to the idea of too much chocolate. Now, however, I have just gotten sick off eating a Nestlé and, well, also a Nestlé 100 Grand bar in quick succession. Was it worth it? Hard to say. Maybe not. But if it were one of the now-extinct Lindt Peanut Butter Lindor Truffles, I'd eat them by the fistful. Damn shame they discontinued those delicious confections. Yesterday, I discovered the Dove® Peanut Butter Eggs are a satisfying substitute. I ate the whole bag. Sorry, kids. At least I saved one more bag for their Easter baskets. And yes, I do still make Easter baskets for my teenagers. So? :p
 
6) Jelly beans are also popular this time of year. A 2013 poll tells us that red is by far the favorite jelly bean color, with yellow a distant second. Do you have a preference?
 
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I have never, ever in my entire life been a fan of jelly beans. I do, however, enjoy the various flavor names of Jelly Belly® jelly beans!
 
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And have you ever heard of the game BeanBoozled by Jelly Belly®? It's so funny: you divvy up a box of mystery jelly beans and then, long story short, when it's your turn to eat one, you don't know if it'll be yummy or a gross flavor! We've played it as a family twice. I think I actually sat it out both times to play shutterbug, but I remember one of the yucky flavors was "Dead Fish," and another was "Stinky Socks"!!! How nasty is that?! Ha. So funny. Would probably be a good drinking game, too... ;)

7) We've been talking a lot about sweets this morning. The only holiday that generates more candy sales is Halloween. When do you eat more candy: Easter or Halloween?


8) Easter is considered the season of rebirth. What makes you feel refreshed or rejuvenated?
 
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A good nap. And nowadays, I take one nearly every day. Sometimes two. Occasionally three. Eating generally makes me tired. It's supremely annoying.

9)  This year, April Fool's Day happens to coincide with Easter Sunday. Do you expect to fall victim to any pranks this weekend?
 
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Probably. I have three naughty kiddos and an even naughtier husband, so I don't expect to get away from Sunday unscathed by pranks. I have, however, cooked up what I hope is a humorous scheme to be carried out by my two daughters. More on that after Sunday...!
 
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And now, since I missed last week's fun due to being stuck in the f*****g hospital once again, I'm gonna do it now. And you will read it, and ye shall enjoy. The link is here if you're wanting to make a late entrance to that party with me, too.
 
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Sweet Disaster (2016)

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

1) This video begins outside a convenience store with a sign advertising beer, produce, lotto and an ATM. Will you buy beer, produce or a lotto ticket this weekend? Will you visit an ATM?
 
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I will be visiting an ATM this morning, or Saturday morning at the latest, for sure. I might buy some beer for Hubs' Easter basket (I'm making him one for the first time this year, because I'm fun, weird, and random like that). I'll definitely buy a ton of produce, since it's time for my monthly grocery shopping haul time, and being semi-vegetarian, produce is kinda required! Hubs likes lotto scratch-off tickets, so there may be some of that going on, too. Haven't decided yet.

2) As the video progresses, fountain drinks and donuts are consumed. When you stop for a snack during a road trip, what do you usually grab?
 
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For me, there will definitely be a Diet Coke® involved. (If you're into these, have you tried the new special flavors yet? I've obviously had the regular kind, and I've also tried Twisted Mango and Zesty Blood Orange. They were yummy, and I don't normally like mango anything! I'm still getting around to the Ginger Lime and Feisty Cherry varieties. Anyway...) It may actually involve either a ginormous fountain Diet Coke, or if that's not available, about four 20-oz bottles of Diet Coke®. I sip constantly and don't like stopping every 20 minutes, y'know? As far as snacks go, that can vary widely for me but now that Sabra has those hummus and pretzel cups, I might get one of those and or a couple of mozzarella cheese sticks. That was a pretty involved answer, so I'll spare you what the other four members of Team Odette might get! (Except to say that for Jack, Pepperidge Farm® Cheddar Goldfish® crackers are a given.)

3) The lyrics reference "a river of champagne." When did you last enjoy a spot of the bubbly?
 
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Well, I bought two bottles of champagne for Christmas, but I was in the hospital for that day. So then I decided we should have it on New Year's Eve instead, right? But I was back in the hospital for that day, too. Finally, on Take Three, we had our champagne on our 17th anniversary: January 2nd, 2018. Must have been in the cards! I think that was the last time I have imbibed in any way.

4) The end of the video features sci-fi/horror images. Is that a genre you enjoy? If not, what kind of books do you read most often?
 
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That's a flat-out "no." I don't like either sci-fi very much or, especially horror. I loathe it. Jodi Picoult is my favorite author, but I'm behind on reading her books. Maybe I'll hit up the library this weekend and rent one I haven't read before. My mother-in-law turned me on to Jodi years ago (first-name basis because we're cool like that), and I'm so glad she did!

5) The trio that makes up The Dreamers are dyed-in-the-wool New Yorkers. If you could live in any city or village in the world, would you move or stay right where you are?
 
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When I was in my late teens and early 20s, before I got married and became a mom, it was absolutely on my Bucket List to live in a chic Manhattan apartment for at least a year. That'll probably never happen now.  I don't know if I'd move from Boise without very good reason right now, but there are still plenty of cities I would want to visit for a lengthy run. Tokyo, Paris, Sydney, Prague... just a few names that come to mind. I love frequent changes of scenery!

6) The Dreamers describe themselves as "impractical."  What about you? Do you consider yourself practical or impractical?
 
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I'm maybe an even mixture of both. And I'm a proud idealist, much more so than a realist. I'm an optimist by nature, rarely a pessimist except when my Bipolar Disorder leads me to a more depressed side (specifically, lately, when it comes to my health). But rose-colored glasses? I'll take all the pairs.

7) They also won't "listen to those who doubt" them. Sometimes we find the ones who doubt us most are ourselves. What about you? Are you confident, or do you suffer from self-doubt?
 
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I've been very self-conscious my whole life. It's irritating. I've been in therapy for a number of years and still haven't found the key to building up my own confidence. Not that I'll give up; I'm just not there yet, frustratingly enough...


8) Do you often remember your dreams?
 
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I remember certain dreams more than others; usually the recurrent ones stick with me. I often dream about flying; I have my whole life. Those are usually my favorite, except for the ones where I'm flying away from something to escape a scary situation. Often, though, I'll forget the dream but remember the impact on my mindset for the entire day.
 
9) Random question: Would you rather get $100 today, or $250 on this date a year from now?
 
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Circumstances exist that lead me to go for the instant-gratification answer. Gimme the $100 bucks, por favor!
 
~*~*~*~*~
So, that was fun, and now I'm done. More later; I have so many posts I'm behind on and never get to for one reason or another. Tonight, though, I am determined!
 
Fin.
 
 

Sunday Stealing: Happy New Year

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

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End of Year Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. What places have you visited? 

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

6. Any new pets? Lost a pet?

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. What was your biggest achievement last year?

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

10. Did you get sick or injured?

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

11. What was the best thing you bought?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

21. Describe how a relationship changed.

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

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

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

24. How have people around you changed?

Sophia and Bing

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

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

25. What have you learned throughout the year?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Sunday Stealing: Book Meme

Welcome back, peeps! Today we went to Zoo Boise for a "freebie" day, which was our 2nd day of Advent activity. To be quite honest, it was probably the lamest zoo we've been to, and we've seen a few. Maybe it's nicer in the summertime? I don't know, but at least it was something to do that I didn't have to pay for!

Let's get into the fray; link up here if you'd like to join in the fun today!

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This was stolen from designindigo, a site which no longer seems to be live.  But we all seem to be readers, so I thought this was fun to do.

 

  1. Do you prefer hardcover, paperback, or Kindle...and why?
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  3. I prefer a hardcover book, but a paperback will do if that's all I have. I hate reading on my Kindle; my girls love it. When using a smart device, I have to have the screen on super brightness, or I'm not able to see it to read. But that gives me a headache. And the battery dies when I read on the Kindle, usually with no access to a charger, so... I just love the feel of holding a weighty tome in my hands, turning the pages, smelling the paper, etc. The book experience is incomparable, in my opinion.

    2. If I were to own a book shop I would call it ...
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  5. Uh, I don't know. I'm absolutely horrible at naming things! "Pay My Wages, Read These Pages!" Heh.

    3. My favorite quote from a book Moby Dick is ..
    .
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  7. "Call me Ishmael." It's such a great, simple opening to such a great, complex tale.

    4. The author (alive or dead) I would love to have lunch with would be ...
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  9. Definitely Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) - such a thinker, that one!

    5. If I was going to a deserted island and could only bring one book, except for the SAS survival guide, it would be ...
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  11. When I was a single woman, about 20 years ago (holy shit), I drove up to Georgia from Florida, where my sister was living at the time. She's not a big reader, but she was going through this autobiography-reading phase at the time. I'm a big reader, so I read all the books she had lying around the house at the time. Ellen DeGeneres' book, My Point... And I Do Have One had me in stitches the whole way through. I'm not a big re-reader, but I think if I were stuck on a deserted island, I'd be pretty miserable and could use a hearty laugh or two!

    6. I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that ...
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  13. You know what would be great? How about a floating book holder that could position the book wherever it was comfiest for me to read it, turn the pages for me, and have a light on it for when it's otherwise too dark to see? Yeah, that is what I want. Get on it, Gates!

    7. The smell of an old book reminds me of ...
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  15. I was gifted a set of my Great-Aunt Amy's old translational books from Spanish-English, French-English, and German-English. They were yellowed and literally falling apart at the seams. The pages were so old and unprotected, they were brittle and flaking away whenever handled. I don't even know where they are at this moment (in a box, somewhere in this house), but old books instantly remind me of Aunt Amy. She was the best.

    8. If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title), it would be...
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  17. Wendy Darling, from Peter Pan by James M. Barrie... Maybe a creepy kinda book, but I would love to be able to magically fly at whim and still be innocent and childlike about life...

    9. The most over-rated book of all time is...
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  19. I have to agree with Stephen King. Both of my daughters have read all the Harry Potter books and watched all the movies, and Chloë has even read the whole series three times! It took me a long time to actually get on board with HP, but now I find them ingenious and love that the girls love them so much. On the other hand, I tried to read Twilight and just could never get into the first book, let alone the rest or the movies. Meh. Just not my cup of tea, maybe?

    10. I hate it when a book....

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... is in a "choose your own adventure" series. I always loathed those books. So stupid! If I wanted to choose my own ending, I'd have written the damn book myself. No. So lame.

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That was fun, Bev! Thanks for the meme!


Sunday Stealing: First Things First

Well hello there, you sexy thang! Thanks for stopping by! Time for some Sunday Stealing, yes? Link up here if you want to play along with the rest of us Thieves this week! Let's go!

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{1} First thing you would do/buy if you won the lottery:

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Welp, of course I'd finish paying off my student loans and our other debts, but then I think I'd fly out to Maui and hunt down this gorgeous beach house to buy. Sorry, kids, but I desperately miss my beach life! ;)

{2} First person you call when you get amazing news:

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It depends on the circumstances! If Hubs isn't with me, then of course he is the guy. If not, either my sister or my best friend Lisa, probably. I'm all about the texting now, though. I loathe talking on the phone!

{3} First thing you do when you've had a bad day:

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I have my little (big ol') hissy fit, say a lot of bad words, maybe throw something unbreakable in no one's direction, then cry and take a nap. Or something.

{4} First movie you went to without your parents:

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A Nightmare on Elm Street, with my sister and two stepsisters. I was maybe eight years old. I am still scared of Freddy Kreuger!

{5} First sport you played (Little League-style or in school):

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I didn't go out for sports, but I was a dancer: Tap, Jazz, & Ballet. I was pretty damn good, too. I was invited to dance in Dance Olympus in Manhattan after only one year, much earlier and younger than most dancers from my studio were asked or allowed. I loved every minute of dancing.

{6} First major injury:

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My first C-section, immediately post-surgery, was probably the first horrible wounding I'd ever experienced. And this meme, posted above, is the most recent. I'd like to shout out a big "fuck you!" to whomever created it! For the record, I had three emergency, slice-and-dice, terrifying operations because I had severe pre-eclampsia for all three pregnancies, and my babies and I were in grave danger. Not to mention, the first kid and the twins, second, were all premature. Additionally, Chloë, Baby #1, had an abrupted placenta inside me, which caused one, long, torturous, protracted contraction when labor started, and I had extreme polyhydramnios, the likes of which none of the doctors or nurses at the teaching hospital had ever witnessed. So, yeah. I'm a little pissed off that this meme, and those who think this way, exist. GAH!

{7} First product I use in the shower:

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Um... water?

{8} First apartment or house on your own (away from your parents!):

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Does my first dorm room count? I was 17 when I moved into Pearson Residential College at the University of Miami, in August 1994. Loved it!

{9} First Roommate(s):

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Not in the dorm, but in the summer house where I lived in South Miami for two years in a row, it was this guy - now known as Dr. Jasper Lament. He was working on his doctorate at UM at the time.

{10} First Time Living Away from Home: 

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Again, Miami, beginning in 1994. And I never went home again.

{11} First magazine subscription:

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My girlfriend Shana read Sassy magazine, so she bought me my own subscription for several years running. And I totally remember this cover!

{12} First real piece of jewelry you owned:

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When I was 12 years old, my dad and stepmother gave me a sapphire ring, much like this one, for my birthday. I loved it; my birthstone.

{13} First time staying home alone:

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Eh, I was a latchkey kid from the time my mother died when I was 7, on. No one cared when I came home or if I even did, it seemed. I did my homework, some housework, and watched TV. No biggie.

{14} First thing I reach for in the fridge:

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Hummus. If there's hummus. Speaking of which, I need some hummus!

{15} First car accident or traffic violation:

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Downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, circa 1998, age 22. I was looking for an address and was hopelessly lost. I accidentally made a sudden right turn down a side street, but I was in the middle lane. Of course, there was a car coming, and going straight, in the right lane. BAM! I learnt my lesson straightaway from that episode.

Bonus:  Toilet paper, over or under? 

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I'm an "under" person, and this is precisely why: we have cats!

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That was fun. Thanks, Bev! Have a lovely week, y'all!


Saturday 9: Da Doo Ron Ron

Hey, party people! Welcome back! I'm in Week Two of Tonsillectomy recovery, which, let me tell you folks: At 41 years old, as excited as I was when the ENT told me I needed those mofos out, I'll be waaaaaay more excited when I'm fully recovered, can swallow regular food and my pills again, and have a freakin' voice that doesn't sound like that lady in Throw Mama From the Train!! Remember her? OMG.

Anyway, let's get to it:

Saturday 9: Da Doo Ron Ron (1977)

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


1) This song begins by stating that he met her on a Monday and his heart stood still. How did your past week start? It may be a lot to expect you to report that you met someone who made your heart stand still, but did anything noteworthy occur? 
 
My week as a homeschooling mother of three teenagers started with me, recovering already, getting aspiration pneumonitis to boot. So we skipped church because I was coughing too much that I'd be disruptive, and my girls went off to play Quidditch with their team, the Lap Giraffes, instead. Weird enough, right?

2) While making hit records, Shaun Cassidy also starred as Joe Hardy on the Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries. The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books have been popular with generations of American kids. Were you a fan?

Oh, my gosh, yes. I had alllll the Nancy Drew books as a kid. My girls have read a few, and my son has read a couple of the Hardy Boys books on a recommendation from their grandmother. 

3) Shaun went to Beverly Hills High School. Over the decades, BHHS has had many good football teams. Do you remember what sports your school excelled at?
 
Pretty much all of them, as I recall: Football, soccer, lacrosse, gymnastics... Baker High School in Baldwinsville, New York, had many athletic trophies in the case. They were always in the morning announcements at school. I was not among them. Not an athletic bone in my body.

4) Shaun followed his older half-brother, David Cassidy, into TV/records/teen stardom. Do you have siblings? If yes, what career paths did they follow?
 
I had an older half-sister I'd never met, whom my dad just found after decades - 4.5 of them! - of no contact. She's in a home for adults somewhere in NYC. He knows; I forget, but I think it's in Staten Island. I really want to meet her someday; she's my blood. (She is mentally disabled.) My older whole-blood sister, Stacey, is a hair and nail stylist in Jamestown, NY. I had two older stepsisters, Mindy and Aarin, for 10 years; I flew the coop and left all the step-nonsense behind at 17, so I honestly have no idea what they do.

5) His middle name is Paul, after his maternal grandfather. Tell us something about one of your grandparents.
 
I never met my paternal grandparents, both of whom died before I was born. My maternal grandparents were everything that did NOT suck about my childhood, and I loved them with my whole heart. Grandpa was in Russia during WWII and came back learning only the two phrases, "Do you speak Russian?" and "What time do you get off work, baby?" He taught me those when I was a kid, haha! He had a massive heart attack and a sextuple bypass in his 60s, and he was supposed to be in one of the twin towers on 9/11/01 but was called off that day, thank God. He died a few years back at the ripe old age of 81, and I miss him terribly.

6) Shaun's mother, actress Shirley Jones, reports that he was more than 3 weeks late and born by Cesarean. Have you heard family legends about your arrival into the world?
 
I had a heart defect when I was born. My parents were told that I would die if I did not have surgery to correct it, but they refused it because of their "religion," Christian Science. My grandparents freaked out my whole life whenever I did anything exertive, and they hit the roof when I became a SCUBA diver! I recently saw a cardiologist and went through the whole 30-day monitoring, stress test, etc. rigmarole and was deemed "abnormal" (duh) but with nothing to do at the moment. Rest easy, Grandma.
 
7) "Da Doo Ron Ron" was originally recorded by The Crystals. Can you think of another song that has been a hit by more than one artist?
 
First thing I thought of was "The Locomotion," made famous by Little Eva, Grand Funk Railroad, and the one I know best, Kyle Minogue. 
 
8) In 1977, when this version of "Da Doo Ron Ron" was popular, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak incorporated Apple. Are you Mac or Android?

We had iGadgets at first, including several generations of the iPhone, before we jumped ship to Samsung Galaxies. They are everything I wanted my iPhone to do, but it wouldn't/couldn't. I lurve it.

9) Random Question: You're exhausted. You collapse into bed and are about to drift into slumber when you hear the drip-drip-drip of the bathroom faucet. Would you kick off the covers and go turn it off? Or would you stay in bed, letting it drip until morning?

If I couldn't nudge Hubs awake to do it and didn't fall asleep first, I'd have to go turn it off. The waste!

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Great fun this week, Crazy Sam! Thanks for the quizzy!


Saturday 9: Love Yourself

Hey, everyone. Yes, I'm late again. Been looking for a house in Idaho and trying to pack up this one here in Miami. The going is slow on both counts, and I am mopey. So forgive me if the mood isn't so super in this post... Here we go:

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Saturday 9: Love Yourself (2015)
 
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) In this song, Justin sings that he doesn't like to admit he's wrong. When did you most recently cop to a mistake?

I have no problem admitting when I'm wrong (I just never am). Just kidding! I admitted I was wrong for eating cheese last night/this morning when I was up all night paying for it!

2) He also complains that his girl doesn't like his friends. Who is someone that you've met recently and liked?

We haven't been to the horse farm where Sophie used to take lessons in a while, but we did go to their last Halloween party. I struck up a conversation with one of the other moms who didn't seem remotely friendly the first time I encountered her. Surprisingly, we had a great chat, and I really like her. Who knew?!

3) Justin first performed this song live on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Who is your favorite talk show host?

That would probably be Ellen! I love her, though I hardly ever watch telly nowadays.

4) Young Mr. Bieber recently had his credit card rejected ... at a Subway Sandwich Shop. Think about your last trip to a fast food restaurant. Did you pay with cash or plastic or your phone?

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I went to Little Caesar's (pizza! pizza!) to pick up some food for the kiddos. I paid cash.  

Even though we're featuring a lack-of-love song, this is the last Saturday  9 before Valentine's Day and so this morning we shall focus on the upcoming holiday. 

5) In Victorian England, it was considered bad luck to sign a Valentine. Have you ever received an anonymous card from a secret admirer?
 
I received a bouquet of red roses, a few collectibles in the style I used to keep, and more from a "secret admirer," aka a stalker! No thanks!

6) Retailers report that approximately 3% of pet owners buy Valentines for their furry friends. Have you ever purchased a gift for a pet on a special occasion? 

Christmas and maybe birthdays, that's all. I mean, c'mon.
 
7) It was once believed that if a maiden ate a heavy meal before bed on February 13, her dreams that night would reveal the identity of the man she would eventually marry. Do you find that eating too close to bedtime disrupts your sleep?

Last night I dreamed (when I could actually sleep) that I had to do the dishes and the laundry by hand - in the bathtub. That was strange. Er, uh, what was the question?
 
8) The postmaster in Verona, Italy, reports that Shakespeare's Juliet Capulet still receives love letters. Without looking it up, can you give us a quote from Romeo and Juliet?
 
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I'm making my 15-year-old Chloë answer this one, since she just recently finished reading it: "But soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun." 
  
9) Necco's Sweethearts -- those little candy hearts that say things like "Be Mine" -- are Valentine Day's top-selling confection. Sam never could stand eating these candies. Do you like them?
 
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Not really. But I do like the moms' version better!! Heh heh.
 
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Thanks for stopping by, even if I am a day late!
 
Fin.