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Saturday 9: Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy

Bette Midler's Divine Collection Goes Up For Auction

Heyyyyyy, everybody! Long time no... read? Type? Meme? Blog? You get the picture.

Happy 2021! Link up here if you aren't already meming along with Crazy Sam and the rest of the gang, and with that, I'm gonna dive right in:

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Saturday 9: Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (1973)

Unfamiliar with this song? Hear it here.

1) Bette Midler sings that the bugle boy wakes up Company B every morning by playing Reveille. What awakened you this morning (phone, alarm clock, sunrise, etc.)? Or did you wake up on your own?
 
No description available.
 
I almost never wake up to an alarm, or on my own, or when the sun shines. It's ridiculous. I'd be Rip van Winkle if I didn't have Hubs here to rouse me. It's really a pain in the neck sometimes - but probably even more for him than for me!

2) This single was produced by Bette's arranger/piano player, who went on to have a successful singing career of his own. Do you have a favorite Barry Manilow song?
 
Barry Manilow - The BarryNet - The Shows - Classic Manilow Frame 38
 
Hmm, I used to be mildly obsessed with "One Voice," that's for sure.

3) Bette was named after Bette Davis. Her sisters, Susan and Judy, were named for Susan Hayward and Judy Garland. So now we know who Mother Midler's favorite actresses were. Who are yours?
 
Winona and another favorite of mine Parker Posey, Turks and Caicos  Screening in NY. My question is---when are they gonna do a movie together?  I'm waiting!
 
I have a lot of favorite actors, including these two: Winona Ryder and Parker Posey. Love!

4) Bette has been married since 1984 to artist Martin von Haselberg. She was 39 years old, already a star, and had never married before. Yet within six weeks of meeting him, she was so sure Martin was "the one" that they tied the knot. Have you found that love takes time, or, like Bette, have you fallen in love quickly?
No description available.
I suppose "quickly" is the answer to this question for me! Two months from the time Hubs and I met online until we eloped... and we just had our 20th anniversary, so it was definitely a case of "when you know, you know"!
 
5) When their daughter Sophie was growing up, it was Martin who taught her to cook. What was the last thing you prepared in your kitchen? Did you use the microwave, stovetop, convection oven, blender, coffee maker ...?
 
Hamilton Beach® Sure-Crisp™ Air Fry Toaster Oven | Montgomery Ward
 
I haven't done any cooking in quite a while, myself, and I miss it like crazy. After five months of hotel-hopping, I just bought us one of these Hamilton Beach air fryer toaster ovens, which the kids broke in with a frozen pizza. Not sure what's next to be cooked. Maybe some Easy Mac? Real haut cuisine, you know?
 
6) Bette says that listening and compromise have been the key to their happy marriage but adds, "Compromise is hardest of all." On what have you compromised recently?

 
Seems like lately it's nothing but, so I'd be hard-pressed to tell you what the latest one was. And I'm in pain, so thinking is out. I'll tell ya later. ;)
 
7) Bette and Martin have a farmhouse in upstate New York. She enjoys feeding the chickens (whom she has jokingly named The Kardashians) and puttering in her garden. Do you have a green thumb?

Some people have a Green Thumb. I have a Black Thumb. | Funny quotes,  Morning humor, I love to laugh

I don't. I really wish I did, but I do not. I'm going to keep trying, though! Mostly with succulents... At least they took longer to die.

8) In 1973, the year this song was popular, actor Neil Patrick Harris was born. He's best known as Barney on How I Met Your Mother, which ran from 2005-2014. Were you a fan?
 
That's So Romantic - HIMYM GIF - Romantic Romance Funny GIFs
 
On and off - casual fan. I wasn't glued to it, and I never did learn how "he" met his mother. (I know "he" wasn't NPH.) But it was entertaining when nothing else was on. 

9) Random question -- How often do you put crackers in your soup: Always, often, seldom or never?

01042020 Vegan White Bean Soup

I would have said "sometimes," but I'll go with "often" as it's one of the choices. That, up there, is some vegan bean soup that Hubs has made for me a few times. Delicious - even better with Nooch It, which is like a vegan Parmesan cheese but made out of cashews. Delish!

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Well, y'all have a great weekend, and hopefully I'll swing through and make the rounds. I have some studying up to do as I'll be lobbying with the Maryland Sierra Club next week, but I'll need downtime as well! 

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Interesting Confusions...

Hey there, guys and dolls! Welcome back to SSA. I've missed you! I'm hoping that by the end of November, we'll finally be in our forever home here on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

And I'm hoping that it will finally feel like home, not just our house.

Ya dig?

Keep your fingers crossed for us, you fine folks, will you?

As I'm sending good vibes to all of you as we work through fires and storms and COVID-19 and head into winter... <sigh>

Link up here to play along this weekend!

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Stolen from various web sites...

1) Can you cry under water?

Crying Under Water - Akira & Anime Background Wallpapers on Desktop Nexus  (Image 1220268)

I'm not sure I could. Underwater = my happiest happy place.

2) What is the fattest thing you’ve ever done?

09072020 Chloë's 19th Birthday Cake

Admittedly, I don't entirely understand the intent of this question, but...

Oh, I definitely have a sweet tooth, so I have had trouble cutting out the sweets since they became a big problem for me. The worst is when any of us have a birthday. Rob likes a plain, unfrosted chocolate cake for his birthdays, but most of the rest of us like Carvel ice cream cakes for ours. Since Chloë's birthday is the 7th of September, and mine is the 8th, we often have... kind of a lot of it. I get sick on it every time, but does it stop me??

3) If you’re going to be arrested, what do you want your crime to be?

Anglican priest chains herself to a tree in protest of Trans Mountain  pipeline expansion in Burnaby | Delta Optimist

I've never been arrested, but I admit, I've sort of half-jokingly put it on my Bucket List. If it happens, I want it to be for some kind of protest, whether it be political or, preferably, an environmental cause.

4) When they say dog food is “new and improved” who tastes it?

How to Keep Your Dog From Eating Cat Food | AvoDerm Natural

Well, first of all, I've always had issues with that phrase, "new and improved." If it's new, then what could have been improved upon if it didn't exist before? If it's improved, then it's something old they made better, so how could it be new? 

Anyway. I figure, if they're going to find out if dog food is better, they'd better ask the experts: dogs!

5) What’s the ugliest thing you’ve ever seen?

Top Ten Evil Stepmothers - IGN

My stepmother was always sarcastic, always sneering, in this unique way that I've only ever seen one other person in my life do. Very much like Cinderella's evil stepmother, here. It was an awful expression that could drain the blood from my face in an instant, because I knew that whatever was coming next would be worse than whatever led up to that point. I don't miss that b**ch.

6.) Why doesn’t glue stick to its bottle?

An Investigation of Polymers

So there you go!

7) What historical event do you wish you’d witnessed?

Kerri Strug GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Oh my gosh, there are so many things I could have thought of, but the first one I thought of was the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta when Kerry Strug did her vault with a broken ankle. That whole Dream Team was amazing. I would love, love, love to attend the Olympics some day!

8) Who has had the best influence on your life?

50 Husband quotes: I Love My Husband Quotes Girlterest – Part 22 Best  Quotes Love – BestQuotes

I've thunk hard on it, and I keep returning to the one inevitable answer: my husband. No one else in this world has made me look inside myself and really try to be better for someone else and not just for my own sake.

9) Would you rather go into space or to Antarctica?

Assassins can fly — Fly me to the moon 🌙 gifs made by me :)

Space! Although I'd always accept a trip anywhere, almost anytime - pandemics excluded.

10) Would you rather sleep with no pillow or no blankets?

Amazon.com: I Am Crazy I Love Crazy Pillow Cases Pillowcase Couples Gift  Bedding Present Funny: Kitchen & Dining

I'd rather live without the pillow. I don't care how hot I am, I need to have certain portions of me covered with a blanket - and I can always use part of it for a pillow!

11) What's your favorite rain memory?

0612011 Sophia's 6th birthday party

Oh, whenever it rained in the summers in Virginia Beach, when Sophia was two, three, four, five years old... we would go out and jump in the puddles! That little bitty was so excited and happy when she was jumping up and down in those puddles. She was just the the picture of pure joy.

12) If you were elected president, what is the first thing you would do?

First thing I would do is declare a moratorium on fossil fuels. No more coal mines, fracking, oil drilling, none of that. Our reliance on fossil fuels has long overstayed its welcome, and it's killing all of us. That shit's got to end.

13) If you had $3 to spend in the dollar store, what would you buy?

TOP 5 Things to Always Purchase at Dollar Tree!

If I have an occasion like a birthday, the supplies there can't be beat for a buck! Ribbons, tissue paper, gift bag? Done!

14) What’s the most annoying sound in the world?

If You Hate The Sound Of People Chewing, Then You're Probably A Genius |  Prodinr

I can't stand to hear other people chewing and smacking their lips while they're eating. I have to tell my son to stop doing it constantly. Drives me crazy!

15) What natural disaster scares you the most?

Think 2020′s disasters are wild? Experts say the worst is yet to come

Fire. We had a fire in the house I grew up in, and I still have scars on my legs from that. I've lived through that, tropical storms and hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes, a supertyphoon... but nothing scares me like fire. I don't want to die that way.

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On that pleasant thought...! I've got some work to do for this nonprofit project I'm working on, and then make a list for some shopping. Maybe I'll even get some knitting accomplished. Not necessarily in that order.

Cheers to all of you and let's hope no one's in any natural disasters today!

Fin.

 


Sunday Stealing: Friday Five Theft

Hiya! Once again, I'm dodging my responsibilities and playing along with Sunday Stealing. Here's today's post, if you're inclined to join us.

Bev Sykes of the blog "Funny the World" is our lovely host. Welcome to the joint! Here, we will steal all types of questions from every corner of the blogosphere. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent questions. Cheers to all of us thieves!

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1) What makes it easy to talk to someone?

Tigger Tails for National Winnie the Pooh Day!! | Pooh quotes, Words,  Winnie the pooh quotes

If  they're interested in what you're saying, and vice-versa, that helps.

2) Have you ever had a great conversation with a complete stranger?

Talking To Strangers Summary - Four Minute Books

Sure. I remember this one mystery shop I was doing at a very high-end boutique restaurant in Miami. I ended up talking to the women's bathroom attendant for quite a long time. We really bonded. At the end, we hugged and maybe cried a little. I have no idea what we talked about, now, but that women isn't paid enough!

3) Do you like to argue?

Buy Waste No More Time Arguing What a Good Man Should Be. Be One - Marcus  Aurelius: 110 Page 6x9 Wide Ruled Composition Notebook Book Online at Low  Prices in India |

If you mean like the angry, loud kind of conversation, then no, not really. I do like having a really good, constructive discussion about ethical and moral issues and such.

4) Some people like to talk about things, and some people like to do things. Which are you?

Less talking more doing. Maybe it's just because the sun is shining but I'm  excited by most of the things I'm do… | Motivational quotes, Quotes,  Inspirational words

Pre-disabilities, I was both. Say what I was going to do, or wanted to do, and then go get it done. These days I'm more of a delegator.

5) Who is easier to talk to – men or women?

1000+ ideas about Guy Friends on Pinterest | Guy Best Friend, Guy ... |  Psychology quotes, Psychology says, Psychology facts

Historically, I've always had a lot more guy friends than girls. Now that I'm much older, most of my friends are women.

6) What is your favorite place?

Rob and Mel November 2001

My favorite place isn't a geographical spot on any map but rather wherever this guy is, in his arms.

7) What is your favorite place in your home?

Video 13 MASTER BEDROOM_Moment

Probably our master bath. It's so relaxing and luxurious there, and I've spent a lot of time in it. Hopefully our new house in Maryland - or wherever we land - will bring something competitive!

8) Would you most want to live in a city, a suburb or the country?

Trip Trivia

My favorite place is a city by the sea, like here in Split, Croatia. (I haven't been there. I have been to Dubrovnik, but not Split.)

9) What is special about the town you live in?

CRICKETS CRICKETS EVERYWHERE - | Make a Meme

I can't think of anything. And that's why I've gotta leave.

10) How much time do you spend in nature?

The One Nature Challenge - David Suzuki Foundation | Health, Health  benefits, Health guide

Right now? Practically none. I used to spend all my time in nature. I've gotta remedy that.

11) Do you make up a dinner plan for the coming week?

7 DAY VEGAN CHALLENGE MEAL PLAN (Easy, go-to recipes) - YouTube

I really tried to get into doing that, but I found it too restrictive. After we get settled into whatever new house we own, I'm going to try again.

12) Do you make up a grocery shopping list and stick to it when shopping?

RuPaul's Drag Race Tier List (Community Rank) - TierMaker

Oh yes, most definitely. I am the queen of lists... as opposed to this, RuPaul's list of queens.

13) What is one thing that you always buy, but never write down on a list?

Drinking milk probably does not cause breast cancer - The Washington Post

Milk. I'm forever buying milk. My kids drink a ton of it.

14) Is there anything that you always think you are out of and come home with it to discover you already have a year’s supply on hand?

Lots of Rice Menu, Menu for Lots of Rice, Borehamwood, London

Hmm, not really, because of those afore-mentioned lists. Probably one of the things I might be guilty of over-buying is rice. No idea why.

15) Do you get your groceries delivered?

Google's Wing gets first-ever drone delivery license | The Counter

Nope. I mean, we did that once or twice when we lived in Boise, but nothing delivers out here. Nothing.

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All right, y'all, I've got more travel plans to make. Be well!

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Swimming Upstream

For this week's thievery, Bev went to Upstreamlife to get our questions asked and answered. Looks like fun!

Join us, won't you? And when you do, link up here.

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1) Name 5 people you admire and why:

Jimmy Carter hospitalized after fall at Georgia home

Jimmy Carter - for as old as he is and how often he gets himself badly injured, he's a tremendous humanitarian. More of us should be like Jimmy.

Michelle Obama Covers Vogue | Michelle obama fashion, Michelle obama,  Fashion

Michelle Obama - She and President Obama endured relentless criticism throughout their eight years in the White House, but she was always poised and full of grace. She's a gorgeous woman inside and out, she don't take no shit from anybody, and her messages have always been uplifting and positive. And she's not done yet!

His Holiness the Dalai Lama XIV 85th birthday: Teachings to find inner  strength and happiness - art and culture - Hindustan Times

The Dalai Lama - His messages of compassion for all others in humanity are inspiring millions, and hopefully it's catching!

Who are Bill Gates' kids? | Fox Business

Bill Gates - who, along with his wife Melinda, is doing amazing philanthropic works for global health and development with their foundation. I'm endlessly impressed.

The Fine Line: What Makes Simone Biles the Worlds Best Gymnast simonebiles newyorktimes simone biles gymnastics gymnast video from The New York Times nyti.ms/2aE5vRW GIF

Simone Biles - She's been through so many things in her life, and yet she continues to push herself further to be the best gymnast in the entire world. And her athletic ability is astounding.

2. When was the last time you did something adventurous?

Well, we're about to do something adventurous. We're going to pack up our stuff here in our amazing house in southern Idaho, list it and sell it, fly across the country to Maryland, and buy a new house where, hopefully, we'll live more than 13 months this time! I've got my eye on this beauty right now. It's amazing.

3. You felt you got older when _______

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling

...I got Lyme disease. Here I am six years ago, with my best friend Lisa, at our 20th high school reunion. This was days before I got my tick bite. Now, I feel like I'm 90 years old, and my life has changed drastically. It's hellish, to be honest.

4. What one thing that could happen today would make you extremely happy?

Lyme disease symptoms: How to know if you have Lyme disease - Business  Insider

If I had a complete cure and total reversal of everything Lyme-related, I'd be positively ecstatic.

5. An experience you don’t want to go through again:

Child death | Grief

I would not like to live through the loss of a child again. Not in a million years.

6. One decision you made that changed your life completely:

Random And Hilarious Personal Ads | Fun

WTH?!!!  😂😂😂

I made the decision to listen to a friend and finally put a dating ad on a matching site. I didn't really want to do it, though, so I made sort of a joke listing: in my description, I listed all of my faults. It was a long list! Rob read it and found it hilarious, and here we are, planning our 20th wedding anniversary!

7. How do you participate in saving the earth?

Ways Your Family Can Help Save the Earth | Greenwich, CT Patch

I honestly try to do as much as I can. If you look on the right side of this blog screen, scrolling down, you'll see a number of different organizations I participate in, am a member of, and financially support when I can. I am insanely conscious of the products and materials I use and whether they can be reused, donated, recycled even if they need to be broken down into separate parts, composted, and so on. I'm very diligent about learning everything I can to do more. I know so many people aren't doing their part at all, so I feel like it's incumbent upon me to do extra. I eat mostly vegan whenever I can, and I read ingredients so that I can avoid the ones (like palm oil) that are so harmful and destructive to our global environment and which contribute greatly to ecosystem destruction. I buy organic, and/or local, and/or fair trade, etc., whenever this option is available and affordable at the time. I keep a card in my purse so when I'm at the seafood counter, I can correctly buy this fish that's supposed to be farm-raised and that fish that's supposed to be wild-caught, and leave the ones I shouldn't buy alone  entirely. I'm constantly researching how we can modify our home(s) to be more eco-friendly. I'm very outspoken in public and in private about this issue. And so on and so forth. (Hey, you asked!)

8. A gift you would like to get on your next birthday?

Very Demotivational - thoughtful gift - Very Demotivational Posters - Start  Your Day Wrong - Demotivational Posters | Very Demotivational | Funny  Pictures | Funny Posters | Funny Meme - Cheezburger

I'll be 44 in September. It's not a huge milestone. But it's the first birthday since my daughter Chloë was born that we've spent it apart from each other. (She'll be 19 the day before my birthday.) She's going to stay behind here in Idaho, and we're moving to Maryland quite soon. To be perfectly honest, I'm not handling that well at all, and the birthdays are going to be so difficult for me. I already know. So I'd love some time with my kid.

9. Things you miss about your childhood?

People always say that they want to go back to their childhood..because it  was easier. Not me...my childhood sucked...Ive never had my innocence...if  I could have one thing...I would want my innocence

I don't.

10. The greatest invention:

People Voted for The Mankind's Greatest Invention? | Bar Chart Race |  Shubotube - YouTube

There are a lot of great inventions listed here, but I think I'm going to go with music. Music can tap deeply into our emotions and make us feel. It brings us joy and empathizes with our pain. All the other things may make life easier, but music makes it worth living.

11. Your favorite super hero:

How The Superman Comics Just Paid Tribute To The Christopher Reeve Movie -  CINEMABLEND

I've always loved Superman. But not just any Superman. Christopher Reeve as Superman. I was so devastated when he was injured.

12. Your views about veganism:

Mercy For Animals Shows How Vegan Diet Saves Animals and The Environment -  Helping Abused Animals

Don't get me started! I've already addressed that a little bit above, but I will just say: I'm totally for it!

13. If you could be anything else in the world, what would you be?

Beautiful Butterfly

I think I would be a beautiful butterfly.

14. How did your parents meet?

Dating or Waiting?. - ppt video online download

Ironically, my  parents also met via a dating match-up service, but in 1970. They met thirty years earlier than my husband I met on the online dating site. 

15. Your morning routine:

70 Most Awesome Sleep Memes

Now that I know my mono was reactivated, this makes much more sense. So me!

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All right, y'all. You have lovely weeks and, if I don't see you for a while,  it's because we're moving. Wish us faith, trust, and pixie dust!

Fin.


Saturday 9: The Rain, The Park & Other Things

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Real Touch Flowers Centerpiece-Faux Floral Arrangement image 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ham Yard Hotel: Unexpected Design | JustElite

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

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

Fresh Ideas And Wedding Trends 2020 | Wedding Forward

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

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

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

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

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Thanks for stopping by, y'all.

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

Be kind to each other.

Fin.#


Sunday Stealing: Fill In The Blanks

Sunday Stealing

Howdy, y'all. Welcome back.

Make sure you link up here if you're playing along with the rest of us this weekend!

This week, Bev's got us doing some fill-ins, so prepare yourself. I have played a lot of Mad Libs as a kid. (Wait, what? It's not supposed to be as ridiculous as possible? Well then, you've probably come to the wrong blahg.)

Let 'er rip.

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Stolen from Friday Fill-ins

Welcome to iHeartRadio | iHeartRadio

1) Right now I'm listening to iHeartRadio, and I gave a rare thumbs-down to the last track. Not a fan.

Over Apologizing for Everything? 5 Ways to Stop Saying Sorry Too Much

2) Apologizing for everything, constantly is my well known quirk. I'm working on it!

Meme: "Are you serious?" - All Templates - Meme-arsenal.com

3) "Are you serious?" (I didn't know what to do with this one, exactly, so I chose to make it be something I say ALL. THE. TIME.)

I Has A Hotdog - brush your teeth - Funny Dog Pictures | Dog Memes ...

4) Brush your teeth first, then come say good-night to me! (I swear, I will be telling my kids this until I'm in the grave!)

Post C-Section Workouts To Strengthen Your Core

5) Okay, kids, listen to Aunt Melanie on this one! I had emergency c-sections with ALL my kids; they were all high-risk pregnancies. After the last kiddo (the afore-mentioned Sophia), I was raring to go to lose a bunch of weight. You're supposed to weight SIX FULL WEEKS to exercise or get frisky. I felt like pfft, been there, done that, and I feel fine. So I started doing yoga and pilates after about ten days. I felt great! (Not so with that first slice-and-dice operation, omg.) Well. After about four days - so two weeks post-partum - I stopped in the middle to use the bathroom. When I pulled my pants down, my guts came with it. I had split my incision right the F open! That's why you wait the six weeks. Ahh, so.

Confederate flag debate ends sale of 'Dukes of Hazzard ...

6) The Dukes of Hazzard is (was) one of my favorite tv shows ever! Picture my 5-year-old self having a crush on Bo!

Men" who allow women to tip the waitress! | Lipstick Alley

7) (BET meme used because um, it is Sunday.) And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to (pass, it's already Sunday), tomorrow my plans include (pass, it's already Sunday), and Sunday, I want to organize everyone's comings and goings in my planner for the coming week & make sure I'm set for payday Friday!

About Old Faithful, Yellowstone's Famous Geyser - My Yellowstone Park

8) If I could go anywhere on a road trip, I'd go to Yellowstone National Park. Some of it's in Idaho, but I'd want to venture into Montana to get to see Old Faithful. Google Maps tells me it's only 6 hours' drive from here.

These Toys Can Make Gender Differences in Spatial Relations ...

9) Spatial relations is something I don't understand. (Well, that's not entirely accurate; I understand it. I just really struggle with applying it!)

7 of the Most Beautiful Apple Desserts You've Ever Seen | Rainier ...

10) Thanksgiving makes me think of pie. Specifically, apple pie.

Farhaan's creativity - Enjoy the holiday !

11) Lying in a hammock on the beach in the Caribbean is the best way to relax! (I first did this on Blue Lagoon Island at age 14, and I knew I had found my bliss. I've since done it with Rob & the kids on various beaches in Miami, and with Rob in Mexico. Obviously not enough!)

The Best Places To Experience Autumn In Australia | Webjet

12) It looks like Autumn in Australia. Wait, right?

Baked Green Pea Falafel – small eats

13) Pea falafel is one of my favorite healthy snacks. (OMG, I seriously love it!)

Amazon.com: Standard Viking Meerschaum Pipes: Health & Personal Care

14) The smell of tobacco - NOT cigarette smoking, but like a pouch of tobacco -  makes me think of my grandfather. Grandma smoked More cigs, but Grandpa smoked a pipe. And he had many pipes, including some Turkey Meerschaum ones like this one. One day, he went to the dentist, who told him he was "working on the big C," in Grandpa's words. He quit smoking his pipe that day and threw away all those pipes. I think that was even before his major heart attack requiring a sextuple bypass, so I must have been 11 or 12, but whenever I catch a whiff of that sweet tobacco, I think of him immediately.

What do you say about the people who are lazy? - Quora

15) (Actually, that's really genius, Bill Gates!) When I am feeling lazy I edit photos or read email. If I'm lazy and tired, I nap.

Messy Planner desk

16) When I look to the left, I see far too many Erin Condren accessories that are meant to get me organized; clearly I haven't really started yet!


17) The girls' bedrooms & all the downstairs rooms are the ones that have the best view in my home.

Image may contain: 2 people, including Melanie Odette, people smiling, people standing and outdoor

18) Our wedding (both the elopement and, later, this little one on the beach with family) was done dirt cheap!

2020 United States of America Presidential Election banner ...

19) Voting is a responsibility that all qualified citizens must share. (For the love of GOD, please vote!)

Tylenol (brand) - Wikipedia

 

20) If you have any Tylenol, feel free to share it with me. These headaches are endless.

~*~*~*~*~

Whee, look at me! I got 'er done on the right day. Y'all should be so proud of me.

Have a great week, everybody!

Fin.


Saturday 9: Sultans Of Swing

Hey there, friends! Happy new year (from me, since I started last weekend's post but wasn't up to finishing). It's 2020, wow!

Sam: Last week, you asked about our favorite sweaters. Here's mine, which I went into the other room to photograph, but then I saw the bed, and, well... I get tired a lot!

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

~*~*~*~*~

Sultans of Swing (1978)

Unfamiliar with this week's song. Hear it here

1) The song begins by mentioning how it feels to shiver on a rainy night. As you answer these questions, is it chilly ... or rainy ... or dark?

01102020 WTForecast

It's pretty chilly, and there is snow on the ground, but at least no new snow is falling!

2) The lyrics describe a bar at closing time, when the owner announces, "Goodnight, now, it's time to go home." Can you recall a time when you lingered until you closed the joint?

Image result for a bar off duval street in key west

A remember a few specific times, maybe a couple in a little bar off Duval Street in Key West, maybe another in Coconut Grove (or three)... ah, Florida. Who needs Vegas?

3) This song was written years before it was recorded, back in the days before Dire Straits was a success. Composer/lead singer/lead guitarist Mark Knopfler recalls that, when he was working on "Sultans of Swing," he was worried about paying his gas bill. Is anything troubling you this Saturday?

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Oh, yes, always. Life has been very, very stressful here in Idaho. It was supposed to be the opposite of that.
 
4) When this song was popular, Sam often played it on the jukebox because, well, who doesn't like Dire Straits? 40 years later, both that  jukebox and the bar it was in are gone. Have you recently been in a restaurant or bar that has a jukebox?

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No. I can't remember when the last time we went out to eat - period - was. It's been a while. But we had a big, giant jukebox in the basement of our house in Syracuse, growing up. We were always in the basement, playing music.

5) In 1978, the year "Sultans of Swing" topped the charts, Garfield first appeared in newspapers all around the United States. Over the years, it was revealed that the cartoon cat loved lasagna and hated raisins. What's a food you love? What's one that you hate?

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Everybody knows that I am a major fan of New York-style margherita pizza. It is hard to be vegan when you know that is a thing that exists, so I have just resigned myself to doing the best that I can! But don't put ANY meat on my pizza! Or mushrooms! Or especially any jalapeño peppers - I'm allergic!

6) One of People magazine's top-selling issues of 1978 featured Carrie Fisher and Darth Vader on the cover. The article celebrated the theatrical re-release of Star Wars and announced that the cast was on board for a sequel. How many Star Wars movies have you seen?

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To be totally honest with you, I think I've seen the middle three movies, Episodes 4-6, but I don't think I've seen any beyond that. And no Star Trek, definitely. Sci-Fi is just not my genre!

7) The most popular movie of 1978 was Grease. What's your favorite song from the Grease soundtrack?

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I love the entire soundtrack, but I did many, many solos of "Hopelessly Devoted" when I was alone - the last time was not even that long ago, probably!

8) In 1978, Yves St. Laurent made fashion news by putting his female runway models in menswear-inspired suits, complete with neckties and pocket squares. Do you know how to tie a windsor knot? Can you fold a handkerchief into a pocket square?

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No, I do not. And the rare time I wear a scarf, I have to Google what to do with that, too. Fashion is also not my forte.

9) Random question: You're visiting a friend. He graciously offers you the use of his super-expensive, brand-new luxury sedan for the duration of your stay. Do you take him up on it? Or do you rent a car instead?

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Hell YES, I would take him up on it!!! I've driven a pricey car or two, and those are a nice ride. And Lamborghini's are my favorite "sexy" car, but I've never been in a Rolls-Royce. Take a look at that 2020 Phantom. Smooth...

~*~*~*~*~

Man, now I'm thinking about driving around in Miami in a cool ride, shutting down bars. Those were the days!

Thanks for another fun one, Sam.

Fin.


Saturday 9: No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)

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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.

~*~*~*~*~

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.

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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)?

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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?

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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!

~*~*~*~*~

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

Fin.


Saturday 9: The Candy Man

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Hey there, swell people!! What's the haps?

IWILLBESTRIKING

I'm still coming down from the high off of organizing - and attending - the #ClimateStrike here in Mountain Home, Idaho. What a moment this is! Did you go? Did you strike? If not, WHY NOT?

And now back to our regular questions, brought by the lovely Crazy Sam:

~*~*~*~*~

THE CANDY MAN (1972)
Unfamiliar with this week's song? Hear it here.

1) This song is from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, starring Gene Wilder. The movie was remade as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka. Which Wonka did you prefer?
 
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I guess I'm old-school on this one. I love the inimitable Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka!

2) In the movie, this song is sung by Bill, the candy store shopkeeper. Think about the last counter person you dealt with. We know that he or she likely didn't break into song, but did you two engage in conversation?
 
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Yeah. Well. Last night, Chloë and I attended the "Sweater Weather Get-Together" at The Twisted Ewe, a yarn shop up in Boise. I engaged with several of the shop staff, and especially introduced myself to the young woman who runs their social media stuff, because I engage with her frequently, and I'd never met her in person. I also signed up to be a test knitter.

3) The lyrics tell us that The Candy Man can make the world taste good. What's the last thing you ate? Was it delicious, or just OK?
 
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I ate oatmeal with raisins. As you can probably guess, it was just okay. This morning I had oatmeal with flax and chia seeds. That was actually better - even though it was cold by the time I ate it.
 
4) The most popular recording of this song was by Sammy Davis, Jr. Sammy was in a horrific car accident when he was 29 years old. His cheek and nose were broken and he lost an eye. That he survived at all left him reflective and after his hospitalization, he converted to Judaism. Do you still worship in the faith you were raised in? 

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No. Not only no, but hell no. No, no, no, no, no.
 
5) Sammy was proud of the honorary college degrees he received because he never formally attended school. As a child, he performed on the road with his father and uncle. In addition to depriving him of an education, that lifestyle kept him from kids his own age. He would later describe his childhood as, "in a word, 'lonely.'" Give us a one-word description of your childhood.
 
Image result for teenage girl bent over crying
 
T R A U M A T I C
 
6) Because he spent so much of his youth on the road, living on buses, trains and hotel rooms, he loved eventually having his own kitchen and being able to cook his own meals. This weekend, will you spend much time in the kitchen?
 
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Probably not. Chloë and I are going to be in Boise all day tomorrow at the ACLU's Activist Academy, and then on Sunday we'll be watching Sophia at an equestrian competition. So maybe we'll have time to cash in on some more birthday freebies (like these delicious chocolate-covered strawberries from The Melting Pot) while we're out and about!

 7) Sammy enjoyed experimenting with clothes and jewelry. What about you? Do you consider yourself conservative in dress or are you fashion forward?
 
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Eh. Neither, maybe? I'm just me.

8) When he died, Sammy was in debt to the IRS. Do you handle your own taxes, or do you use the services of an accountant?
 
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I do 'em. Not worth much since Rob retired, though!
  
9) Random question: If you had to tell nothing but the truth (not even the tiniest white lie) for 24 hours, do you think you'd get yourself in trouble?
 
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Very much so, yes. Who wouldn't?
 
~*~*~*~*~
 
Arrright. I gotta prepare for the next thing. And then the next. Gotta remind myself of what my physical therapist, Susan, tells me: "Pacing, Melanie. Remember to pace yourself."
 
I'm not good at it, y'all!!!
 
♥ Take time for yourselves, and thank your hostess, Gal - er, Sam - she works hard for us. (I'm still sorry.) (P.S. I did know the song, of course, but I clicked the link and listened again, and then more of Sammy, and then on to some other stuff. Really light-hearted comedy and Adam Sandler and things I just truly, honestly needed right at this moment in time.) ♥
 
Fin.

Sunday Stealing: Compassion Meme

Hello, hello! I don't have a lot of pre-meme prattling for you today, so link up here if you're playing along this weekend, and then let's jump right into it!

~*~*~*~*~

These are questions suggested by Compassion, Int'l

And BTW, Happy Birthday to Lori, whose birthday is the 9th!


    Happy birthday, Lori!!
    

What is the most fun thing you have ever done?

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I don't think there's been a more fun moment in my whole life than when Rob and I eloped. That moment, running hand in hand together to the courthouse, laughing, hearts pounding... it was absolutely exhilarating!

Are you left-handed or right-handed?

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Yes.

What is the nicest thing someone has ever done for you?

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Oh, various things. The specifics don't matter, such as the concept: each of us has, within us, the power and wherewithal to do good, to make this world a better place. Every day, every moment, every interaction is a choice to make that good happen, or not. And then those on the other end will hopefully go forth and do the same.

What is the biggest animal you’ve seen in the wild?

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Probably a bear, in the woods, driving through West Virginia on our way from Missouri to Virginia

What is the smallest animal you’ve seen in the wild?

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I mean, mosquitos are pretty tiny animals, right? I'll tell you one I wish I'd seen: The deer tick, Ixodes scapularis, that infected me with Lyme Disease. I believe that happened in the summer of 2014 in central New York. I didn't get diagnosed until January 2017. That was plenty of time to do substantial and permanent damage.

Do you ever have funny dreams at night?

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Yeah. I dream very vivid, realistic dreams that always confuse the shit out of me when I wake up, too. It always takes me forever to suss out what really happen and what was just a dream.

If you could make a law for your country, what would it be?

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Easy: I would ban single-use plastic. But that would just be the beginning.

What would you do if you were invisible for a day?

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If I were invisble for a day, I'd go around and cover up and bring warmth to the people who are homeless. I'd steal food if I had to, to feed the hungry. I'd find a way for the light to shine on those who are struggling to feel beautiful and loved. I'd use my day to find a way to let others know that even though their day-to-day lives are a constant struggle, they are not forgotten, and they matter.

If you could be someone else for a day, who would you be?

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I'd be Oprah and feel FABULOUS!

What would you like to change about yourself?

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I'd go deep inside and tinker with my soul, until whatever is inside me telling me I'm not worthy of love, of joy, of contentment, and that I deserve pain... is gone. I would change that.

What is your daily routine?

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I don't have one at the moment. It's kind of depressing!

What would your perfect day be like?

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This may sound inane, but I would accomplish everything on my to-do list, precisely the way I'd hoped. I'd get in some yoga and do some poses that I've been working toward. Whatever I'd do, I'd want to impress myself. I haven't impressed myself in a long time.

How old were you when you learned to read?

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I learned to read when I was three. I started reading out loud off the back of the cereal box during breakfast one morning, and that's when they realized I could read. Everyone took credit for it, but no one gave it to me. Story of my life.

What is the most interesting thing you know?

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Oh, gosh, I don't know. I know when a toddler has been eating and offers you a bite, it's not always of their food...

What makes you nervous?

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Uncertainty. And life's full of it! I'm an anxious person. But I don't shy away from it. I jump in with my eyes open quite a lot. 

What is your favourite flower?

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Bright, surprising bouquets of irises, lilies, and tulips are my favorites. I love the bulb flowers, the monocotyledons. Look at this "Dragonfly" bouquet from the Bouqs! 😍😍

Have you ever ridden on a horse or any other animal?

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Well, not like Sophia (my 14yo daughter, here)! But I've ridden on a horse, an elephant, and a camel. And a dog. And a human. 😂😂😂

What time do you go to bed?

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I don't even know. Goes along with that 'routine' thing we previously discussed.

What time do you get up?

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Whenever I can. As soon as I can. For as long as I can. #spoonielife

What is something that is always in your refrigerator?

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A package of tofu. I actually love tofu, really and truly. In fact, tomorrow for my birthday, I think I'm going to forgo any kind of cake and have tofu instead. Not even kidding.

~*~*~*~*~

Great. Now I want tofu, and I don't think we actually have any right this second! I don't even know what we do have. I haven't been grocery shopping yet this month... #FeedMeSeymour

Have a great week, y'all!

Fin.


Saturday 9: The Sweet Escape

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

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to this young lady today:

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

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

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

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The Sweet Escape (2006)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: Love Me Some Questions Meme

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

First:

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

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

~*~*~*~*~

These are from Love Me Some Surveys.

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

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

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

Ya dig?

b. Is anyone’s birthday coming up?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mike Amati

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

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

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

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

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

Burned Arm

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

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

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

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

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

f. What are you most excited about right now?

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

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

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

h. Are you somewhat of a perfectionist?

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

f. Do you like sour candy?

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

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

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

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

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I wear 'em whenever I need 'em.

i. Do you wear your shoes around the house?

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

j. What clothes are you most comfortable in?

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

k. Are you good at painting nails?

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

j. Smoothies or slushies?

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

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

Fin.


Saturday 9: Where You Lead

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Hey there, Sat9 fam! What's the haps?

My younger two kiddos started public high school this week, the first time they've ridden a bus or been to public school in about a decade! This did not come without anxiety and trepidation - and, when it started, many tears over not knowing what to do - but they've handled it, and I think we're on the right path. My baby, Sophie, even decided to take up Percussion in Marching Band! Little did I know that this would be an every-single-day committment! Hopefully she's up for it.

This week's theme, brought to us by the plucky Sam, is from the theme of The Gilmore Girls. Did you watch it back in the day? I used to be so addicted to it, but I have not yet watched the reboot. I keep meaning to, though it hasn't happened. Link up here if you want to play along with the rest of us!

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Where You Lead (1971)

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

1) This is the theme of The Gilmore Girls, a TV show that ran  from 2000 to 2007. It recently enjoyed renewed popularity as a reboot. Were you a fan?

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Very much so. Actually, you wanna know a not-so-secret little secret? Our daughter Sophia's (born in 2005) middle name is Lorelei, and yes, I chose it after the two main characters. I looooooved that name as much as the show and Rory and Lorelai! (I'm about 2/3 German, though, so I kept the spelling of the German siren, instead.)

2) The show is about thirtysomething Lorelai Gilmore, her teenage daughter Rory, and her parents, Richard and Emily. The four of them had dinner together every Friday night. Who did you have dinner with on Friday? What was on the menu?

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Actually, I didn't have dinner on Friday night. Rob and I were supposed to go out for his early birthday dinner - and tequila cocktails! - to The Matador in Boise on Friday night, but after my eardrum ruptured, I just wanted to go home and lie down. And I crashed. So we're going on Saturday night, instead. I think I"m going to have the vegan Beyond burrito. I had a Beyond burger at Carls Jr. for free recently, and that was actually really good. It didn't have vegan cheese on it, though, which is a concept I don't get...

3) Lorelai is outgoing and talkative. How about you? Are you seldom at a loss for words?

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I'm very shy with new people at first. But when I get comfortable, I straight up babble. Nobody can ever get a word in edgewise.

4) Rory dreamed of going to an Ivy League school and then becoming a broadcast journalist. When you were in high school, what were your ambitions?

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I wanted to follow in the footsteps of Eugenie Clark and become a famous female marine biologist. I didn't know then that I was going to study shark behavior, so it was apt that I did.

5) Rory's grandfather (and Lorelai's dad) went to Yale and performed with the Whiffenpoofs, Yale's famous a cappella group. Have you ever sung in front of an audience?

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Oh yes, including a capella. I played the part of Caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland - in a wildly popular costume - in 5th grade. That solo was nervewracking until I could see that the audience loved it, and then that fed my energy level. From 6th through 12th grades, I was in all the school choirs, including the girls' choir. I took voice lessons in high school. I was going to continue on in college, but somewhere along the way, I lost my nerve and skipped the audition.

6) Rory's grandmother (and Lorelai's mother) Emily was very active in civic organizations and worked hard on the Hartford Zoological Society's Annual Silent Auction. Have you ever attended an auction?

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I have not! I want to, though. It's on my Bucket List. We stayed in the RMH in Pensacola, Florida, when Chloë was in the NICU there, and we have been active supporters of RMH ever since. I know the one here, in Boise, has annual silent auctions. One year, I plan to attend. 

7) Alexis Bledel, who played Rory, went on to appear in Mad Men and The Handmaid's Tale. Of these three shows -- Gilmore Girls, Mad Men and The Handmaid's Tale -- which would you prefer to binge watch?

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Actually, Chloë and I were supposed to go over and start binge-watching The Handmaid's Tale, starting from Season One, Episode 1, on Thursday. But then I wasn't feeling well, so we decided to take a raincheck. I've been wanting to see it, but we don't have Hulu!

8) Carole King originally wrote this week's song, "Where You Lead," for her Tapestry album. Do you have a favorite Carole King song?

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It's hard not to love "You've Got a Friend," isn't it? I also love "Natural Woman."
 
9) Random question: If zoo animals could talk, which animal do you imagine would be the rudest?

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100% of the time, it would still be the humans.

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All righty. Time for me to get to bed. YEET!

Fin.


Saturday 9: Tossed Salad and Scrambled Eggs

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Hey, y'all - welcome back! I'm in the throes of a full-on, true migraine right now, with visual aura, dizziness and nausea... the whole bit. But sleepiness, unfortunately, is not one of those symptoms, so here I am. All that to say, if my answers are sloppy, that's probably why. (This time; I can't excuse all the other times.)

Link up here if you wanna chit-chat with us about Frasier this week!

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Tossed Salad and Scrambled Eggs (1993)

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

1) This is the theme from Frasier, a TV show that ran  from 1993 to 2004. Were you a fan?

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Definitely! That right there is my jam. Right up my alley.

2) The show is about a radio advice show host, Dr. Frasier Krane. When you listen to the radio, do you tune in for talk or music?

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I'm not really into talk radio. I feel like I'm supposed to be, intellectually speaking, but I just don't want to. I listen for the music.

3) The theme's composer explained that tossed salad and scrambled eggs are both "mixed up," like the people who called Frasier's radio show. Which did you eat more recently, tossed salad or scrambled eggs?

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I did eat eggs today - twice, since they are my main way to get my protein requirements in - but they were sunny-side up, over easy, on toast with a smidge of cheese. I haven't really had scrambled eggs in a long time. Maybe it's just not fancy enough for me? So anyway, probably a salad. Now I want a salad. A funny one, like these.

4) Peri Gilpin played Roz, Frasier's coworker at the radio station. The actress originally cast was Lisa Kudrow, but the show's producers didn't feel she was "right." Being released from Frasier gave her the opportunity to accept a bigger and better part: Phoebe on Friends. Can you think of a time when a setback was really a blessing in disguise?

Sure, like when the 100-year-old house we thought we loved in Kimberly, Idaho, came back with a plethora of safety and repair issues upon inspection, we were sorely disappointed. But that made way for us to find the house we bought instead (some of which I showed, above, and on Instagram). I love this house so much. Love it, love it, love it, love it!!!

5) Dr. Krane shared his home with Martin, his retired dad. Martin's favorite chair was a well-worn recliner, held together in parts with tape. Frasier tried to replace it by giving his father a brand-new, expensive leather chair as a gift. Martin wanted his old recliner back. Tell us about a present you either gave or received that wasn't a hit.

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It's actually kind of an inside joke between us now: Rob (Hubs) kept asking for this Casio G-Shock DW9052 watch, when we lived in Miami. For Christmas, year after year after year, I gave him at least one new watch - not that watch, but a different watch or watches that I thought were better, which cost a lot more normally but for which I got incredible deals. He never wore any of them, though. This happened probably three years in a row, yet he kept asking for the Casio G-Shock for Christmas. Finally, the last Christmas before we moved here in 2017, I got him the watch he asked for. He wears it every single day. Heh. (I did get a deal on it, though!)

6) Kelsey Grammer played Dr. Krane on three different series (Cheers, Wings and Frasier) over 20 years. What job have you held the longest?

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Well, I've been a stay-home mom since I was pregnant with Chloë (lots of complications, so I could not work). She'll be 18 in less than a month! So I guess Mum is my longest-held job, especially considering I home-schooled all three kids for ten years. Now that it looks like Chloë is heading off the CSI in Twin Falls, Idaho, to study nursing soon, and the littles are entering public high school, I'm going to have to start finding new ways to self-identify and validate myself!

7) Before he found success on Cheers, Grammer played bit parts on the daytime dramas Ryan's World and Another World. Have you ever followed a soap opera?

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When I was a kid, I watched Guiding Light, but that was only because my stepsisters did, really. My mom was a fan of All My Children, so sometimes after she died I would watch that, too.

8) In addition to work in front of the camera, Grammer has done voice over work on commercials for Dr. Pepper and Cheerios. Are either of those products in your kitchen right now?

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The kids love Cheerios, so I'm willing to bet there are at least two boxes in the pantry right now. I hate it. I can always tell when the kids have been eating it, because I think it smells like baby diarrhea. Blechhh!

9) Random question: You're invited to a party where dinner is served buffet style. There's spaghetti with tomato sauce, barbecue spare ribs and buffalo wings. When the evening is over, how likely are you to have a food stain on your clothes?

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I can normally be pretty messy when I eat, but not in this case, because I wouldn't be able to eat any of those three things: I can't eat spaghetti, because of my gastric bypass surgery; I can't stand barbecue sauce and have never eaten spare ribs in my entire life; and, same thing with wings: I don't do barbecue, and I can't keep chicken down because of the bypass surgery. And since I'm allergic to everything, I'm basically on the ice diet now.

~*~*~*~*~

That was a fun one, Sam! Thanks for taking my mind off the migraine while I completed it. I think I've actually got a moment or two, so for once I'm gonna go 'round and visit y'all. Go me, such the equitable blogger! 🙄

Fin.


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

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

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

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Have you read anything by C.S. Lewis?

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

What is your favorite movie with Jack Nicholson?

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

What rhymes with 'orange'?

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⬆Welp, there you go!⬆

Have you ever swallowed an object by accident?

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


Is your eyesight 20/20?

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

Have you ever had insomnia?

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

Does it bother you when people touch you?

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

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

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

What gets your adrenaline pumping?

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

Do you ever talk about yourself in the third person?

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

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

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

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

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

Ever caught a fish?

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

Were you ever in the first row of a concert?

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

Do you have any autographs?

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

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

Fin.


Saturday 9: Brand New Life

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Hey, hey! Welcome back. It's late here; 7:28 PM as I speak, but I've been in bed all day. I'm not feeling too well today. My doc is afraid I'm developing pneumonia, which has hounded me for the last four years or so. She wanted me to go straight to the hospital Thursday to get a chest x-ray and labs, but I have not listened to her because... well, I don't have time to be sick. I figure, if I don't go, they can't diagnose me, and they can't then stick me in a hospital bed. Sounds smart to me! ;)

This week's song is the theme from the 80s sitcom, Who's the Boss? I used to love that show, and the whole cast. I'm excited to see that one! Link up here if you want to play along with the rest of us this weekend.

~*~*~*~*~

Saturday 9: Brand New Life (The Theme from Who's the Boss) (1984)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
 
1) Who's the Boss? is a sitcom that ran from 1984 to 1992. Were you a fan?

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Oh, yes. It was one of my favorite shows. I still love all of those actors, especially Alyssa Milano. I always thought she was so gorgeous, and I still do. And I admire her for her role in the Me Too movement.
 
2) This week's song was composed by the show's producers, two men not known as songwriters. Have you ever tried your hand at songwriting?

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Yes, I have. From 6th grade to the present, one of my best friends' father is a musician who has been famous in mostly the state of New York for decades (Todd Hobin), and he had a recording studio at their house. In our junior year of high school, Shana - a renowned musician in her own right, having shared the stage with Trans Siberian Orchestra, Josh Groban, Michael Bublé, Regina Carter, Jake Shimabakuro - wrote the music and I wrote the lyrics for a song for one of our group's good friends who was moving away. Mr. Hobin was going to let all of us girls record it in his studio. I ended up getting grounded for that entire year of school for a ridiculous reason, and couldn't go to the recording session, but I still remember how it goes!

3) The lyrics tell us that, as we go through life, it's not uncommon to "lose a dream or two." Do you agree? Have you ever had to give up on a dream?

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Sure. I'd always had the goal of being a famous marine biologist. I got my double-bachelor's degree in Biology and in Marine Science from the University of Miami, and then took a year off to study for my GRE (I'd graduated in three years, so I hadn't had time to prepare), do an internship at Mote Marine Lab in Sarasota, and figure out my options. During college, I'd solidified my plans and became a pioneer of the Elasmobranch Club on campus, having decided to study shark behavior. I decided I wanted to go to the University of South Florida for my Ph.D. (skipping the offers to work on my Master's or Ph.D. there at U.M.), so I could join the lab of the world-famous shark expert, Dr. Philip J. Motta. That's the only lab to which I applied (so like me!), and I got in! This was huge; my fellow marine biologist friends were excited for me. After, three semesters, though, I decided this wasn't the plan for me. I wanted to be married and have a family, and I knew that a high number of scientists who spent a half a year, every year, at sea got divorced; that was not something I wanted. At the same time I was once again weighing my options, I'd met my husband of over 18 years. We eloped two months later, and a few weeks later, I found out I was already pregnant with Chloë. I haven't been an active marine biologist ever since, although I admit I miss it tremendously.

4) Who's the Boss? was about a highly-paid executive who hires a housekeeper. In the 1980s, it was unusual because the exec was a woman and the housekeeper was a man. Do you believe a man can be as good at housework as a woman?

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I have no reason to believe otherwise. My husband, who is cooking a double stir-fry right now (tofu for my daughter's girlfriend and me, and chicken for everyone else), and the sicker I've become, the more he's helped around the house and helped guide the kids in their chores. All three - girls and boy - are expected to do the same chores, swapping on a monthly basis, so there is none of that "woman's place," "man's role" nonsense going on here!

5) Though the show's star, Tony Danza, graduated from University of Dubuque and was prepared to be a teacher, he got sidetracked. Back in New York, he boxed and tended bar and fell into acting. He finally did teach in 2010, taking over a 10th grade English class. How many different occupations have you held?

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Let's see. Babysitter. Cashier. Author. Alumni Relations Associate. Marine Biologist. Legal Secretary. Stay-Home Mom. Hoping to reclaim "author" again! (That photo is one one the proofs from my college yearbook!)

6) On the show, his daughter was played by Alyssa Milano. When she was a teenager, she rebelled against the show's producers by cutting off her long hair and wearing a pixie style. Were you a rebellious teen?

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Not even remotely. Maybe more so, now?
 
7) "The Boss" was Judith Light, who had been known to TV audiences from her work on One Life to Live. She met Robert Desiderio on the set of the soap opera and they have been married more than 34 years. Tell us where one of your romances got started.

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When I was in 10th grade, Shana got me to join her for the beginning of the ECOS club in our school, which met at the Junior High. It was there that I met Ben, who was also interested in all things environmental. We started dating November 15th of that year, 1991, and stayed together about a year and a half. We remain friends; that's him at his recent wedding, in the boutonnierre. He's still a Central New York guy.

8) The show -- rebroadcast with subtitles -- was a hit in Italy, where it was known as Casalingo Superpiù (Super Housekeeper). Say something to us in Italian.

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La torre pendente di Pisa è molto più corta di quanto mi aspettassi!

9) Random question -- Have you more recently watched the sun rise or set?

Defintely the sun setting, including last night. Here are a few recents; we've seen lots of rainbows lately!

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All right. Tofu's ready. I mean, stir-fry. Off to family dinner! Ciao, bellas.

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!

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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: Aesthetics

Welcome back, kids of all ages! I slept well past noon today, thanks to everyone else being out at various things and not waking me up, and also thanks to my new Parkinson's medicine knocking me the F--- out as well. 😴😴 I've only been up an hour, in fact, so my day (Saturday's) just beginning. I feel like, out of all of you and me... that makes one of us.

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Link up here if you'd like to write a fun meme about aesthetics with the rest of us this week. Thanks, Bev, for sending it through the Interwebs!

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Aesthetic themed list

When did you last sing to yourself?

Before Hubs and Sophia came home from her showjumping lesson a few minutes ago, I was belting out "The Schuyler Sisters" from the epic Broadway musical Hamilton. Work, work!

If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about anything, what would you want to know?

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I guess I'd want to know if I'm ever going to recover from the conglomerate of 20+ autoimmune diseases I've been diagnosed with in the last 45 or so months.

What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

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My husband and kiddos - #18YearsStrong!

What is the first happy memory that comes to mind, recent or otherwise?

Eloping with Robert Allen Odette 18+ years ago was the most joyful thing I've ever done in my entire life, and to think about it, no matter how often I think about it, brings me a rush of pure joy all over again. The Law of Diminishing Returns definitely does not apply to this situation.

♥ ♥ ♥(If you're interested in any colourful lovey-dovey art by Romero Britto art, perhaps start here...)

If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living?

I'd worry even less about stuff, even more about making memories with my loved ones. Incidentally, these are part of the Valentines the kids made for each other and us parents. Still a work in progress, but I love the results thus far!

Do you feel you had a happy childhood?

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Absolutely, most definitely, NOT.

Would you ever have a deep conversation with a stranger and open up to them?

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OMG yes, all the time! It's weird, since I'm such an introvert, but when someone gets me to talking, I get to talking!

What would you title the autobiography of your life so far?

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It's actually a book I'm writing, and it's a work in progress, so maybe for right now... A Work in Progress??

How do you feel about tattoos and piercings? Explain.

Well, since I've got multiple ear piercings including a trio in each lobe, the left cuff, the right tragus, my right nostril, my septum... and more being considered for down the road, I guess that explains how I feel about piercings. They don't bother me, although I would never do my tongue (too many infections! too much interference with singing and speaking!) or my eyebrow (mostly because OUCH!).

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As for tattoos...

they're fine for other people who want them, I really don't care - in fact, we allowed our then-16-year-old Chloë get a Deathly Hallows tattoo (from the Harry Potter books, for the uninitiated among you) - but I've thought a good long time about whether to get one for myself. Still, the answer is no, but that's because it's permanent and that means it has to be PERFECT. I'd want it to represent my kids and also something very personal to me, like the ocean. So we'll see.

Do you wear a lot of makeup? Why or why not?

Sometimes I do, like here the other day, just because I have a lot of makeup - a lot of Jafra, mostly Young Living Savvy Minerals (which is everything that I've got on in this pic), but I'm starting to think about getting into the very $$$ BeautyCounter everything-free cosmetics... maybe? Have any of you used them and can recommend?

But most days, like here, I just wear mascara so my eyes stand out a little bit from the rest of my face. It's weird, but much of my lashes are blonde, so I need to give them a little colour.

The world is listening. Pick one sentence you would tell them.

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If you are doing nothing to do your part for the planet, then you are doing literally nothing important.

Who in the world would you most like to receive a letter from and what would you want it to say?

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"Dear Melanie, It's Michelle Obama. I'm officially running for President, because I am guaranteed to defeat the current false "President" if he runs for a second term - and another other right-wing nutjob - and I want you to be part of my team! ♥ MO"

(Hey, we have the same initials; it's kismet!) 😂😂

Do you have a desk/workspace and how is it organised/not organised?

This is what it looks like right this second, but it's a constant, constant battle to get and keep things organized!

What’s your starbucks order, and who would you trust to order for you, if anyone?

Java chip

I trust Me, Myself, and I to order myself a Venti Java Chip Frappuccino with coconut milk, no whipped cream, and no chocolate or caramel drizzle. ☕️😋😉

What is the most important thing to you in your life right now?

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Well, first of all see #3 about "greatest accomplishments," but other than those guys, it would be buying a house. I'm beyond eager to start the process... which we have, but we're mostly keeping it under wraps. I hope, and pray, and yearn for it all to fall properly into place!

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So that's that, for now. I hope y'all are having a splendid weekend that only gets more so as the hours progress. See y'all soon!

Fin.


Saturday 9: Valentine

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Hey there, hi there, ho there! Happy day after day after Valentine's Day, y'all! What better way to celebrate than to, y'know, fill out a questionnaire by Crazy Sam and hang out with my InterBuds?

Link up here if you'd like to play along today.

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Saturday 9: Valentine (1993)
 
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

This song was specially chosen for the Saturday 9 closest to Valentine's Day.

1) This is a love song written by Willie Nelson for his young son. Have you sent any Valentines this year to someone you love who isn't a romantic partner?

Guitar Pick Keyring

Well, not this year, but I've often given Valentines to my kiddos in previous years; does that count? Sure it does, if it counts for Willie! As for this picture, it's still a work in progress, but it's part of a Valentine my 13yo Sophia made for 15yo Jack. He just bought himself this electric guitar kit, so she made him a handmade guitar pick and guitar keyring to go along with it. There's more, but I think this alone is pretty cool!

2) Today that little boy, Lukas, is a singer/songwriter who wrote eight of the songs for the 2018 A Star Is Born soundtrack. Have you seen the Bradley Cooper/Lady Gaga big screen romance?

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Not yet! I'm waiting for next Tuesday, the 19th, when it comes out on Netflix. Can't wait!!! Right now, I'm watching Bohemian Rhapsody, another movie I've been truly looking forward to watching.

3) On Valentine's Day in 1876, Alexander Graham Bell patented the first telephone. Whom did you most recently speak to on the phone?

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I spoke to the receptionist at a dermatologist's office. Got a few spots on my back that are concerning.

4) Penicillin was also introduced on Valentine's Day (in 1929). When you get a shot, do you look away when the needle touches your skin?

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I sure do! I'm as chickenshit as they come.

5) According to legend, a gift of red roses signifies love and romance. When did you last purchase flowers or plants? Did you buy them for yourself, or someone else?

Succulents A 2019-02-07

So we're having the kids learn about gardening as part of a study of plants this year in our homeschool, Sweet Pea Academy, so Hubs and I just bought them some succulents from Trader Joe's to start off their little personal gardens. Some are taking better care of them than others!

I want to get them this collection of succulents eventually, and a bunch of cute pots like maybe a few of these:

OR  

OR maybe even these cuties:

... but when we can afford it. 😏

6) This week's artist, Willie Nelson, can trace his family tree back to the Revolutionary War. Captain John Nelson served with the Minutemen back in 1776. If you could go back in time to witness any great moment in American history, which would you choose?

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I wish I'd borne witness to Abraham Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg Address.

7) Before he became a musical success, Willie was a door-to-door salesman, peddling first Bibles, then vacuum cleaners. INC magazine tells us that the traits of successful salespeople include resilience and good listening skills. Do you think you'd make a good sales person?

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No way in hell. I've tried, and I'm terrible at it!

8) In 1993, when this song came out, Saved by the Bell aired its series finale. Crazy Sam likes to tease her brother because he once admitted to her that he has seen all 86 episodes of this teen sitcom. Is there a show that you believe you've seen every episode?

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I'm pretty sure I've seen all of The Big Bang Theory, but that doesn't stop me from watching the syndicated reruns on 

9) Random question - We're having milkshakes! What's your favorite flavor?

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No milk for me. Lately we've been drinking a lot of different vegan smoothies, so experimentation is the name of the game. I haven't gotten around to making any milkshakes with plant-based milks yet, although we've got all kinds of those milks (cashew, almond, soy, pea - unflavored, flavored, etc.) in the fridge right now!

~*~*~*~*~

So I'm still in the middle of my big Queen moment, watching the movie, adoring Freddie Mercury, and constantly listening to "Don't Stop Me Now" and others on my Beats.

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Love Queen! Such a damn shame... 😭🎤🎧🎹

Anyway, y'all, have a lovely weekend! 

Fin.


Saturday 9: Backfield In Motion

Hey, everybody! I hope you've all had a fantastic week. Mine hasn't been so bad, but it's been pretty exhausting! Tomorrow I get to sleep as long as I want, and I cannot wait!! So let's get started with this wonderful questionnaire provided by the lovely Gal herself, Crazy Sam! ;) Link up here if you'd like to play along this weekend!

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Saturday 9: Backfield in Motion (1969)

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


1) This week's Saturday 9 has a football theme because there's a big game Sunday. Will you be watching?

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I might DVR it. I can't watch it live, because I'm taking my son on a fun assignment on Sunday. I don't care about the teams, though; I just want to see the commercials and the half-time show.

2) The Super Bowl is the second-largest day for food consumption in the US, second only to Thanksgiving. What's on your menu this weekend?

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Honestly, I'm craving tofu. I haven't even started my grocery list for our monthly shopping, so I have no idea what it'll be, but definitely all vegan. Hubs made a tofu stir-fry the other night, and I loved it. I even picked out and ate all the tofu in it!

3) Super Bowl Sunday is the #1 day for consuming guacamole. When did you most recently eat something with avocado in it?

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I was super hungry about a week ago, so I just took an avocado out, sliced in half, popped out the seed, and then spooned the good stuff out of the shell. Or skin. Whatever, it was good!

4) The Pro Football Hall of Fame is in Canton, OH. Have you ever visited Canton, or any other city in Ohio?

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I think my dad took me to Ohio on a business trip once, but I honestly don't remember anything else about it or where we went. So memorable, that Ohio.

5) This song mentions different moves that football players -- and, it seems, girlfriends -- can make that will result in penalties. What's the last rule you broke? What were the consequences?

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My younger daughter Sophia, aged 13, and I drove the 5-hour trip down to Salt Lake City, Utah, on Thursday. I had an appointment with my specialist there. Then we drove the 5-hour trip home. (So, out the door at 6:45 AM and home by 8:20 PM! Long day.) I was speeding the entire way. No real consequences this time, other than Sophie looking over at my speedometer one time and exclaiming, "No, Mom! Don't go over 100!"

6) In 1969, the year this song was popular, the Colts lost to the New York Jets in Super Bowl III. The game is famous because of all the hype leading up to it, including Joe Namath "guaranteeing" his underdog Jets would win. Tell us about a time when you felt like an underdog.

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I can't really think of anything except graduate school! That's not recent at all. LOL But I was trying to get into a super-competitive doctoral program, and I was up against some tough men and women to get in. It was an extremely stressful time in my life.

7) This week's featured duo, Mel and Tim, are cousins from Mississippi. Tell us about one of your cousins.

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So, I have three cousins from Florida who have all grown up into such amazing women, with graduate degrees, families (for the two older ones) and spouses who are great to/for them, and a deep sense of caring for their community and the world. I'm proud of them. (This one here, Laura, was just born when I moved to Miami for college!!)

8) The song is about a man who catches his girl cheating and he just won't put up with it. In romance, do you find it easy to forgive and forget?

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I mean, yeah, as long as that person genuinely apologizes and feels remorse, it comes easily to me.

9) Random question: You've collected a box of gently-used items to donate to a second hand store. What would it be most likely to contain: clothes, housewares, or books/video/music?

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Probably clothes, since I still have growing kids who need to discard and upsize their wardrobes!

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Well, that was fun. Back to writing my reports! Thanks for the fun quizzionaire, Sam. 

Toodle-loo, y'all.

Fin.


7th Gen Wipes

Recently, the fine folks at Seventh Generation, the makers of all kinds of eco-friendly household goods like cleansers, disinfectant sprays, dish liquid and oodles more good stuff, sent me these three freebie sample packets of their Free & Clear baby wipes. Now, as you might know, my "babies" are all now teenagers (sob 😭), but I did give birth to four of them not all that long ago, so I know a thing or two about such things as diapers (Seventh Generation also makes these) and wipes. I swear.

7th Gen Wipes b

Now, if you can read the package for yourself, you don't need me telling you this, but just in case my site graphics are too much for your device (which is entirely possible if you tend to keep as many screens and apps open at any given time as I do!), I'll reiterate for you.

Seventh Generation Free & Clear Wipes:

  • are safe for baby, hands and faces
  • {Side note: I don't have a baby tush to clean, but I did use the wipes to wash the makeup off my face, and they were soooo perfect for that! I also washed my dirty feet from walking around outside barefoot - yes, in the winter, because I'm stupid and/or stubborn - with the wipes, and they did a stellar job}
  • are fragrance free

{Side note: I can vouch for this! Definitely no icky artificial scents here!}

  • Contain NO alcohol
  • Contain NO Parabens
  • Contain NO Phenoxyethanol
  • {This is a now commonly-used paraben-alternative used as a preservative in many cosmetic items, the Environmental Working Group states this can be a lung, eye, or skin allergen, can cause harm to immune systems, and can cause non-reproductive organ toxicity. Since I have several immunodeficiencies and autoimmune disorders, I really don't want to encounter much of that!}

This, altogether, means that these wipes are great for sensitive skin which, not surprisingly, I have - and I did not have any kind of irritation or reaction after using them. WIN!

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Now there is a LOT of information on the back (click the picture to embiggerate if you can, so you can read it more easily) of the wipes package, so I'm just going to highlight some of the goodness here.

The Seventh Generation Free & Clear Wipes:

  • are made from plant-based materials, which as a newly-bornagain vegan, y'all know I adore!
  • are not tested on animals which, duh, big ++++ there!
  • are safe and highly effective (I can vouch for this!)

Now, the ingredient list is on the package, but you can also shoot me a comment and I'll write those down for you, as well.

If you want to contact Seventh Generation on social media, you can find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest! Check out their website, too, for all the great environmentally-friendly products Seventh Generation makes.

"Join us in nurturing the health of the next seven generations."

Full Disclosure: Seventh Generation provided these three packets of Free & Clear baby wipes for me to sample and also share with my friends. I received no payment or any other compensation. In this post, as with all my product reviews, all opinions are and will always be my own honest thoughts on the product.

    ~*~*~*~*~

Speaking of plant-based goods, have you signed up for Veganuary yet? Run over here and sign up to take the pledge and give it a try! It's not too late - it's never too late!

Black Bean and Refried Bean Burritos 01122019

Also, if you want some recipe inspo, be sure and follow my Instagram account for what we're cookin' up now that we're all vegans. Something super tasty is coming up later today!

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!

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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!

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Well, that was delightful. Thanks, Bev!

Have a great week, y'all.

Fin.


Saturday 9: A Few Of My Favorite Things

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

So this is fun.

🙄

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

~*~*~*~*~

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

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

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

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

Image result for ariana grande god is a woman

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

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

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

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

January BarkBox

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

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

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

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

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When it's over.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sophia - Van Gogh Unit Starry Night

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

See you for Sunday Stealing!

Fin.


Sunday Stealing: The Ask Game

Hey, everyone. I missed Saturday 9, because I was weak and tired and in bed all day, but maybe I'll add it to the end of this post just to add in the fun. ;) It's 2:57 AM on Sunday now, so we'll have to see if the little bit of energy I have holds out 'til then. I hope y'all are well!

Let's begin:

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Do you have a passion project? What is it?

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Well, we've kind of stepped back from our candle business a slight bit, now that the holiday season rush is over, but I guess kinda-sorta still that. When my newborn son died in 2003 - Robby, who was the identical twin of our Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome survivor, Jack - I started a nonprofit to knit and crochet layettes (blankets, booties, hats, and a gown or sweater) to give to other bereaved parents experiencing infant loss. Our charity, CARE Package, Inc., received handmade donations from all over the US, and sometimes international donations came in, too. After about 7 years, I wound down the charity to concentrate on other things; namely, homeschooling Chloë, Jack, and Sophia. We're still doing that; I'd love to be knitting all the time still, but my body is rebelling, and I just can't.

How many languages can you speak? 

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I speak Spanish, although I'm not quite fluent, and I'm learning Latin with my girls this year. I speak bits and pieces of several other languages, including French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese... and I'm forgetting some.

What was the last book you read?

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I'm still into Recipes for Repair, which promises to help those who have Lyme Disease. I'm not far into it yet, so I'm hoping it will do what it says it will!

Where in the world would you most like to visit?

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Hands down, I want to visit the Great Barrier Reef the most. I just hope it's not too late, by the time I can get there!

Top 5 fictional characters?

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Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, Caesar Flickerman, Effie Trinket, and Haymitch Abernathy - all right, I admit I have a bit of a love for The Hunger Games series!

Something you miss from your childhood?

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I miss my grandparents something awful! They were among the very few good things about my childhood - no, they were the best!

(P.S. It's 6:25 AM now, and I just woke up. Again. So much for my energy holding out!)

What skill do you wish you had?

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I wish I could really belt it out when I sing. I mean, I can sing well, carry a tune, and all that, but I don't have a lot of power behind my voice. Maybe from being sick a lot as a kid, but I just don't have a voice that can carry to the back of an auditorium without a microphone, y'know? Beyond that, I wish I were an incredible gymnast!

Tell us an interesting fact.

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I don't know if you meant about me or not, but my head immediately goes to sharks - still! Like many animals (Hubs likes doing it to our dogs and cats), sharks - even Great Whites! - will go into a state called "tonic immobility" if you turn them upside down. They are vulnerable and helpless in this state. As they age and grow, they move up to the top of the food chain, just below Orcas and the greatest enemy of all animals: mankind. Some Orcas have developed an ability to put these adult Great Whites into tonic immobility, so that they can feast on only their highly-nutritious livers.

What was your favorite subject in school?

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All sciences, of course, but since I am a biologist, it's gotta be Biology. But I loved school. All school. Even Social Studies... although, I did not and do not like learning about war.

Favorite planet?

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Big, beautiful Jupiter, with it's giant red spot and dozens of moons...

Which historical figure fascinates you and why?

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Mahatma Gandhi, because with his peaceful protests and non-violent resistance, he was on the forefront of changing prejudicial and unjust laws without military might. I admire that.

Favorite mythical creature?

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I love mermaids. In fact, I even admitted in my article on LinkedIn that I think I was one in a past life! ;)

Do you believe in any conspiracy theories?

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No.

What is your favorite word?

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That one. Oh, I thought for some reason you said favorite curse word. hahaha! I really did. Well, maybe for me it's the same? Even though I have an extensive vocabulary, I do find the word f*ck so very useful.

Do you have any obsessions right now?

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Yeah. I'm obsessed with Bob's Burgers, and I've got it on my DVR so I can catch up on as many past episodes as possible. If you're not watching, and you like to laugh, you should totally start.

Do you play any instruments?

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I play a mean harmonica! I took lessons playing the organ my mom played and can do a little keyboarding/piano still, but not much. I'm just horrible at sight-reading music; it doesn't come naturally to me.

What’s your worst habit?

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I stay up long past the state of exhaustion and then can't bring myself to bed. When I eventually do get to bed, I'm so tired I can't get up when it's time. I completely collapse. This habit started in college, where I quickly learned that you either got great grades - or you slept. Now that I have this capricious illness that lets my body either slightly function or not function at all, I take those functional days and don't want to let them goooooo!

Do you have a collection of anything?

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I have a pretty big shot glass collection from all over. I also collect magnets. I have part of my grandmother's spoon collection and part of my mother-in-law's spoon collection, which I love. I used to collect interesting keychains from my travels, too, but I've stopped now that I see how useless they were to me. Just heavy!

What’s your biggest ‘what if’?

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That would probably be "what if" I hadn't abruptly quit my Ph.D. program at the University of South Florida and, instead of taking a little time off to think about my goals in life, eloped with a guy I'd just met off the Interwebs and then quickly found myself pregnant with our first little girl... What if that hadn't all transpired? But it doesn't matter to me to think about these things, because there is nothing I would change about what I did do!

What is your favorite fairy tale?

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Is it any wonder that The Little Mermaid is my favorite fairy tale - Disney-fied or not?!

Have you ever dyed your hair? Is there a color you’d like to dye it?

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I have dyed my hair black (once), and I have died it various shades of auburn for years and years... but right now it's undyed. Now I'm seeing all kinds of gray - no, actually, they're pretty shiny silver - but I call them "extra blonde" hairs, even in my eyebrows and lashes!, and I am not really loving it. I'm trying to decide whether and what to dye it next. This, in the foto, is my younger daughter, Sophia. She has just died her naturally-blonde hair this interesting shade of blue. I love it! She has also dyed it turquoise and fuschia in the past. I wish I had her guts!

If you could learn one language overnight, which would you choose?

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Italian. In a heartbeat. So I could go live there and eat my way through the country. You know, in a vegan way, so... cucina povera-style.

What’s the most useless thing you know how to do?

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I can think of a lot of things I can do, but I can't think of any I would term 'useless'! Even cooking meat- and dairy-based dishes is useful to me now, in vegan cooking, because I can take what I have learned and transform my favorite recipes (and new ones!) into something vegan. So... I don't know?

What’s the most important change that should be made to your country’s education system?

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(First of all, look at this graph. It makes me proud of my origin state, New York, because they know what's up! It does make me sad for many of the other states. I have lived around the country enough to know that spending dollars = higher achievement for students. So c'mon, United States! Get with the damn program, already!) Anyway, the most important change I think the US needs to make for the educational system is to PAY EDUCATORS MORE! I think there is fear that if we grant educators a higher salary, we'll be stuck paying higher wages to the same (and I'm absolutely not saying that all current educators are) mediocre teachers. I know the exact opposite will happen. The good teachers, the ones who care and bring knowledge of how to reach our kids, are getting burnt-out and leaving the profession for, often, something that pays more. Mediocrity is what gets left behind. A higher wage will attract better teachers who are able to provide our students with a more robust education. It will. There is no doubt. It just needs to happen. (And we need to get rid of the idiotic Betsy DeVos!)

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That was interesting. And long for me. Hopefully it made sense, since my pain and fatigue levels are off the charts! Ugh.

Have a great week, y'all.

Fin.