Sunday, October 19, 2014


Photo by Annisa Lam (former member of Stock.exchng)
Licensed photo DO NOT COPY

Currently I am keeping the following in my thoughts &  prayers:

-----Ebola victims and their loved ones. That anyone who can do so safely helps stop the spread. That the American soldiers who have been sent over to help do not catch this illness. That people and government's work together to eradicate this...less complaining and more eradicating.
-----A friend who is under care at a health rehab. We hope he does not get any further complications/hospitalizations. Things are going well right now. He has been able to walk and can now come home as soon as his house is made handicap-accessible! Our friend has been at this facility for around a year.
-----Friends who were in the desert about twenty minutes from their night's lodging when a person on a cell phone rear-ended them causing a rollover. They were stranded 3,000 miles from home for about a month! Hopefully there is complete healing and they are able to rebuild the careers that were greatly affected. I hope we get to see them soon.
-----My husband is having problems in his smoking cessation.
-----A friend recovering from a broken arm after being bucked from a horse. She needs her arm to heal more so she can return to essential tasks of her business.
-----A friend of mine and his wife...they are in Africa to help children. They are volunteering in one of the countries considered at risk for eventually having Ebola.
-----A friend of ours, a 44-year-old mother of 10, passed away from cancer last month. I am now reading about a Mother of six who defied odds on first prognosis (as my Mother managed to do for almost five years after being admitted with death likely imminent)...this mother's name is Kathy Taylor and she is a mother of 6. I am hoping that targeted therapies continue to develop and continue to help keep the Taylor family together. There is a GoFundMe page listed in the article I linked.
-----All who battle mental illness.
-----A couple I know who would like to afford getting married this year.


This post is in no particular order. Prayer/thought requests just go to the top as I hear more about what is going on. If you can think of a way to help these people, PLEASE do so. This post will be second-from-the-top during the midst of an emergency (such as an Amber Alert).

Note: I would not advise linking to this will wind up with a broken link each time I have to change the post-dating to keep this a Vigil at the Top.

At JPUSA. Summer 2011.


Read-a-Thon Progress

My Shelf Confessions

The goal is to read as much as you can during this time. 10 days...I think I can read a lot!

One of my Mother's books and I am recognizing a lot of the things my parents used to do. This month we are trying out a couple of different baked chicken mixes, making Curried Fried Lamb Chops, baking mixed grain muffins and bread and making our own pancake syrup. Plus a few other adventures from this book and more for next month. I read 158 pages on Day 1 and 7 pages on Day 2.

I get the Fearless Flyer delivered to me. It is what is on sale at Trader Joe's and has several comics in it. I do not find the comics very amusing but I get a lot of ideas of things I can replicate at home. We get to a Trader Joe's about once every year or year-and-a-half. I cheer every time they open a new store because it makes the odds higher that there may one day be a location near me. Unusual thing in this month's flyer...Pumpkin Seed Brittle. I am glad I am reading through this off-and-on today because it reminded me to add a pumpkin for the kids to the grocery list (we do two or three during the season including our annual "Pumpkin of Sorrows" toss). I have skimmed this and mentally formulated plans of what I would like to try making  a copycat recipe for and what I would like to get on our next to get out a pen and start circling things and making lists.

Toddler's book. Each set of pages features a texture to feel (yarn, a bunny's fur, etc.).I read it to her and our Preschooler actually enjoyed it, too. They both liked scratching Dumbo's ears.
We read this on both Day 1 and Day 2 of the read-a-thon. :-)

Our new ice cream maker that we found at the thrift shop. I don't think it was ever used. Gel canister that you get cold and then it electrically mixes your ingredients. We are trying a couple of strawberry ice cream recipes this month.

Zelazny is one of my favorite authors. "Bring Me the Head of Prince Charming" is hilarious. The book above has seen better days (sigh)...but all the stories are still intact. I re-read a short story that is incredibly touching called "Come the Power." I am now reading the second story in the book "For a Breath I Tarry" which is about a computer who becomes enchanted with (extinct) mankind.
I have read 253 pages of this book so far this read-a-thon.

Also read:
-----"Barbie: On Your Toes."  A learning-to-read book about Barbie and the costumes she wears as a ballerina. There was jumping in this book and we followed the reading by bouncing, jumping and "Spinjitsu Spinning" to the song that is both of the children's favorite..."Bounce (Radio Edit)" by Calvin Harris feat Kelis.
-----A Winnie-the-Pooh interactive book about ducklings. There is an interactive game at the end that we played.

Dewey's 24-Read-a-Thon
End of Event Meme

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
About Hour 13 or 14....because I knew I had to sleep. I don't know whether I was asleep or reading for the first few hours of the event...I started the day with a book and I am thankful for days when I can do that.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
-----Something fun/beautiful/sad like Roger Zelazny's "Last Defender of Camelot"...a posthumous collection of his short stories that mainly deal with what it means to be human often from the standpoint of a being who wants to be human or has lost part of their humanity.
-----Douglas Adam's "Hitchhiker's Trilogy"
-----"Bring Me the Head of Prince Charming." A hilarious battle between good and evil. This is the first and best in a series. On a lesser note, I would recommend "If At Faust You Don't Succeed."

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
-----Take musical suggestions and have someone compile a playlist that people can use for background music.

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
The cheerleading was very well organized. The only complaining of lack of support I saw was someone who was not getting support in their home.

5. How many books did you read?
3 children's books, several hundred pages of a Roger Zelazny collection entitled "The Last Defender of Camelot" (beautifully written sci-fi), a page of a recipe book for a curry recipe

6. What were the names of the books you read?
-----Look, Baby (Disney boardbook). Children get to feel different textures. My children enjoyed scratching Dumbo's ears for him.
-----"Barbie: On Your Toes." This was followed by a session of bouncing, jumping and "Spinjistu Spinning" to their favorite song Calvin Harris' "Bounce."
-----Roger Zelazny short stories
"For a Breath I Tarry"- 47 pages
"Engine at Heartspring's Center"- 11 pages
"Halfjack"- 7 pages
"Home is the Hangman"- 82 pages
"Permafrost"-30 pages
"Loki 7281"-9 pages
"Mana from Heaven" -46 pages
-----7 pages of "The Up-With-Wholesome, Down-with-Store-Bought Book of Recipes and Household Formulas." I read 157 pages of this book yesterday and I am using several things in my menus this month. This book belonged to my Mother and I am recognizing a lot of stuff from my childhood.

7. Which book did you enjoy most?
I enjoyed all of them. I had both Me Time and wonderful Family Time.

8. Which did you enjoy least?
There was not a reading that I did not enjoy.

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
Make a gameplan. Make a plan of how to pamper and cheer yourself.

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
I will be participating again. I will do a lot more warming-up and planning next time. I will make a fun exercise plan for next time....probably involving use of some of the books.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Dewey's 24-Hour-Read-a-Thon
Mid-Event Survey

1. What are you reading right now?
I have just finished Roger Zelazny's short stories "Permafrost" and "Loki 7281." Most of the stories in this book, "The Last Defender of Camelot," have been about sentient robots, what it means to be human and the beauty/ugliness of human interactions.

2. How many books have you read so far?
A Disney boardbook for children to feel textures and 176 pages of Zelazny.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
I need to finish Oliver Twist. It is the first story in the Dicken's book I am reading...a total of 850 pages when I am done.

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
Yes, children and the dog. Just our everyday life. :-)

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
Both children took a nap at the same time. I am not getting to flit around the internet as much as I envisioned due to some sort of computer problem that I need to figure out and slow internet service...sigh. I have yet to drink coffee (but intend to soon).

Update: I went to sleep at some point because the kids and I are tired due to allergies...staying up all night was not a good idea for my health.
-----Anyway, I picked back up sometime around hour 22 with 7 pages of a recipe book. I worked out the turkey curry I am making this month.
-----Followed by "Winnie the Pooh:A Good Day for Ducklings with the kids. This is an interactive book with plenty of text. Children press buttons for sounds throughout and then play a number matching game at the end.I did not like that there were suddenly mentions of the Easter Bunny (we do not do this at our house and it is a bit of a touchy spot with relatives who keep giving us subtly Easter Bunny and Santa-themed things because they want us to).
-----Then, in Hour 24, we read "Barbie: On Your Toes" and listened to the children's favorite song because the book mentioned jumping. Preschooler and Toddler's favorite song is "Bounce (Radio Edit)" by Calvin Harris feat Kelis and they jump,bounce or do "Spinjitsu Spins" every time "bounce" comes up in the song.

Dewey's 24-Hour-Read-a-Thon
Hour 9

Pages read today: 147

What I have read:
---A Disney Baby book where the kids can feel the textures. Toddler and Preschooler especially enjoy scratching Dumbo's ear for him. This is the second day in a row we have read this book.
---A re-read of a Roger Zelazny short story called "For a Breath I Tarry." I really like the ending. In this piece, Zelazny reminds me of the way I fact I enjoyed it so much I did a monologue of "The Story of the Ancient Ore-Crusher" while I was at university.
---A Zelazny short story "The Engine at Heartspring's Center." Again, Zelazny reminded me of my writing style...intricate plot twists that involve a way of playing with the words for more impact. I felt bad for the main character.
---A Zelazny piece called "Halfjack." Very short and the ending reminded me a bit of some of the characters that Piers Anthony writes.
---Zelazny's "Home is the Hangman." A sort of Frankenstein tale.

Starting Zelazny's "Permafrost." It begins:
High upon the western slope of Mount Kilimanjaro is the dried and frozen carcass of a leopard.
An author is always necessary to explain what it was doing there because stiff leopards don't talk much.

Dewey's Read-a-Thon
Hour 5

Pages read so far today: 96

What I'm Reading: A posthumous collection of short stories by Roger Zelazny entitled "The Last Defender of Camelot." He is one of my favorite authors and co-wrote the very hilarious "Bring Me the Head of Prince Charming." Most of the stories I am reading are beautiful yet sad. The theme that has run throughout so far is humanity...the value of life or what it means to be human.

Feeling: Glad that my reading is taking me away from some thoughts. It is a gloomy day and I am missing things that I had looked forward to.

On the stove: Rice getting ready to brown for Spanish Rice.

How are you doing?

Dewey's 24-Hour-Read-a-Thon
Opening Meme

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
The United States. It is a gloomy day and we are missing a pumpkin patch due to weather and Husband being exhausted from several days of helping friends move. I am reading Roger Zelazny's short stories right now but they are all beautiful yet sad...I need some cheer.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
Getting through 4 Dicken's stories.....850 pages. Well, at least I will finish Oliver Twist. I inherited the bulk of my Mother's books after she my stacks are a little different than most people's....they are literally shelved stacks like they do in old university libraries. There are probably about 8,500 books in our house (5,000 from my mother).

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Muffins. I am the queen of making muffins lately. I am especially experimenting with the different muffins that can be made with rye flour.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
I am a homemaker, editor and writer. I am in charge of most of our preschooler's homeschooling. I am married to a musician and artist. My favorite books are The New Living Translation Study Bible and Douglas Adam' Hitchhiker Trilogy.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
This is my first Dewey's Read-a-thon and I am always happy to have something where my brain is interactive with literature for long/consistent periods.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cooking with Rumble!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Rumble for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

My Newest "Cook-Through" Project!

I just finished working my way through reading what I thought was going to be a “cook-through” here on my blog....a "One-Pot Meal" cookbook that just wasn't my thing for now (especially the monkfish recipes) . I have a couple of huge volumes on my desk that are my current cook-through (along with some of my Mother's other cookbooks...particularly Church cookbooks).

Might as well spice it up with a few viral videos here and there....yes, I think that a website cook-through would be fun and I am enjoying the basic skills demonstrated in cooking videos on I have set up a section in my sidebar to keep track of future Rumble-inspired projects (currently, second section of sidebar) and a few of those that are more immediate interests are below. Enjoy and stay tuned for photos of my efforts. :-)

Source: How to peel and cut a pineapple in one minute by recetteminute on Rumble

Cutting a pineapple has always intimidated my Husband and myself. We have even gotten so far as to buy the pineapple (or have it given to us) and have it go bad. Then there is the matter of having a sharp enough knife (which we don't)....but it is going to happen this month anyway.

The video, unlike many other videos and instructions I have seen, made it so quick and EASY.

-----Husband is a big fan of fresh pineapple. He is used to but sometimes leery of my adventures. I will spring our latest voyage into pineapple chopping on him once we get to the produce aisle.

-----I am planning a Pineapple Upside-Down honor of my father who would have been almost a hundred this year. Next month, I am going to try doing Pineapple Upside-Down Muffins!

-----There are instructions for how to grow a pineapple from its cut off top on several sites online. The procedure involves donning gloves, twisting the pineapple's top off and making sure the whole thing is really clean. Growing a new pineapple can take up to two years!!! I don't know about this in our wacky climate, even with grow lights, but I will aim for at least having a very interesting houseplant. Who knows?...maybe it WILL happen. I once knew of people who successfully grew a palm tree in a Midwest cornfield!)

Source: How to make curry cocktail weenies by TomsTestKitchen on Rumble

-----The video makes me want to try real currywurst! It may not be Berlin, but finding a street cart or truck that offers currywurst will be one of my goals during our next visit to Chicago.

–---In Berlin, there is actually a museum dedicated to currywurst...The Deutsches Currywurst Museum. It is a highly interactive museum complete with spice-sniffing stations and currywurst-themed songs.

-----Let me see how mild I can make this for the husband and kids. There is usually a way without sacrificing flavor.

–---I collect curry recipes for the day that our friend gets out of physical therapy (he has been in a facility for about a year now and has just started being able to walk). If you would like to send me any curry recipes, my e-mail address is in my profile on the sidebar....thanks! :-)

-----I am always happy to find another use for my Hungarian paprika.

Source: How to peel a tomato in one minute by recetteminute on Rumble

A kitchen difficulty solved!

-----This will be especially helpful for peeling large batches of tomatoes. That means I can avoid a lot of salt and preservatives (which I rinse off when I can).

On Rumble:

---Signing up is easy. You can create an account or just sign in using Facebook.

---Opening multiple windows of individual videos resulted in a bunch of autoplays. I don't yet know if there is a setting in Rumble to overcome this.

---On Facebook, I found a Rumble app for selling and viewing videos but have not tried it yet (one thing at a time). There are 1,300 users signed up.

---I am following @rumblevideo and @chrispavloski (company CEO) on Twitter. I am cheering for the company to do well!

---There are often more videos than what comes up going through the channels on the sidebar. Look on a profile or search a topic.

---One of the things I want to explore next is the vlogs section. I might even try writing one. Hmmm. Rumble has unlimited video storage and there are several ways to monetize.

---It would be great if there were a way for viewers/bloggers to earn money on this platform. I hope there are future plans. :-)

---The music section is entertaining. I plan to spend a lunchtime or two browsing through. :-) My first viewing will be the video about how Ron Howard is going to direct a Beatles documentary.

---Other topics on Rumble (in order of my interest): News, howto, science, viral videos, travel, technology, gaming, auto and sports.

---It is nice to see videos with everyday people that haven't been bogged down with all sorts of advertising. That's right....there are no ads.

I am excited about Cooking with Rumble!

Labels: recipes, cooking, viral, tomatoes, pineapples, ilovecurry

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Saturday 9 Meme
Theme: Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)

1) Are the majority of your friends married or single?
A mix of both...but a lot of the single people are divorced. I also have one friend who thinks they are both married and single...repeatedly. (disturbing).

2) Rings are one of the items most frequently pawned. Have you ever visited a pawn shop, either to sell or to buy?
Yes, once purchased as a memorial to a loved one, once sold to help a loved one and once sold for some reason I don't remember.

3) Let's say we want to put a ring on it: What's your ring size? 
I would have to get out a ring sizer. If I could afford such, I would buy this as it reminds me of my Mother (and it would be wonderful if I could have bought it for her).
Pre-owned 22.84ctw Rutilated Kunzite Cocktail Ring

4) Beyonce does commercials for Pepsi. What's the last beverage you drank?
Dragon's Breath....warmed mead with mulling spices and rum is our Fall tradition that we did last night. I did not have rum in mine. It's something you sip to stay warm. Medieval.

5) Beyonce also has a clothing line. What are you wearing right now?
Black and red striped pants and a t-shirt with a dragon.

6) Speaking of clothes, Sam was changing hers this morning when she unintentionally flashed her neighbor. She didn't realize he was working along the fence that runs under her bedroom window. Tell us one of your most embarrassing moments.
That kind of thing tends not to linger in my mind. I do have some that would qualify as mortifying in that people did very cruel and taunting things.
Recently, I did discover that the hand lotion I hated on my desk was actually leave-in conditioner.

7)  Rumor has it Beyonce is pregnant again. Coincidentally, Sam needs to check the Babys R Us registry for a shower present. Who will receive the next gift you give?
Taking my oldest son out for some Chicago Style pizza. :-)

8) But Sam doesn't actually want to go to the shower and is trying to come up a good excuse. Tell us a time you fibbed you told to get out of doing something.
About twenty years ago, I said I was sick to avoid a celebration where I knew no one and would likely be spending the day all by myself while surrounded by people. I don't usually tell this type of fib.

9) When did you last go inside the bank and talk to a teller?
Due to some unauthorized charges, I have not had a bank account for several years. Never sign up for Columbia House.


P.S. I wish there were a little more to Beyonce's dress at the top.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

FrightFall Read-a-thon.....goals and progress.

FrightFall Read-a-Thon

For this read-a-thon, you have to read at least one book that is scary. I am reading a Neil Gaiman book, "Anansi Boys," that is said to be both terrifying and lightly humorous. It is the story of a boy (and later man) whose father is a very impish and and hard to deal with god (lowercase g vs. God). The covers hint that the book paints spiders in a positive light. A cross of Stephen King and Douglas that's a good read.

"Such a charming man," she said wistfully. "What does he do?
"I told you. He says it's the miracle of the loaves and the fishes."
She stared at him blankly, and he felt stupid. When his father said it, people would laugh. "Um. Like in the Bible. The miracle of the loaves and the fishes. Dad used to say that he loafs and fishes, and it's a miracle that he still makes money. It was a sort of joke." 

I am having fun considering whether to make some of the dishes mentioned:
-----Jamaican Stew Peas and Rice
-----Sweet Potato Pudding
-----Jerk Pork
-----Curry Goat
-----Curry Chicken
-----Fried Plantains (I like these.)
-----Pickled Cow Foot (Okay, I am NOT considering this one.)
-----Falafel-Sashimi Ball (appetizer). I am not at all into anything with raw meat or fish...sashimi. I am happily looking at Falafel Ball recipes.
-----Fried Flying Fish.These were mentioned more than once.
-----Chicken Korma
-----Rum Cake. I definitely need more variations of this.
-----Drambuie on Ice
-----Jaffa Cakes
-----Pineapple-Upside-Down Cake. My father loved this. :-)
-----Island Rice Pudding
-----Spicy Cabbage
-----Battered Saveloy. Pretty sure this is a fish fish and chips.
-----Homemade Ginger Beer
-----Oxtail and Rice...well that would be brave of me....but maybe.

Status Update: I finished this book on October 3rd. :-)

Okay, yes I am including Oliver Twist as actually being scary. I am 30-some pages into the 850 of this book that belonged to my Mother. If you really put yourself in the place of the main character, the book definitely has a horrifying element to it. What could possibly happen to poor Oliver next?!
-The goal for this read-a-thon is for me to read 65 pages more.


The last goal, thus far, for this read-a-thon is for me to finish reading a All-in-one-Pot cookbook that my brother and his wife gave me for Christmas several years ago. I am on page 95 and I am passing all useful recipes on to a couple who are friends of mine....the wife just started teaching again and the husband is home doing the dinner cooking.

UPDATE: I have finished the cookbook! The only thing I found in it that I want to make is a Garlic and Chicken recipe. I did not find anything for my friends' cooking level or interest. Beautiful book though and I bet that if I read it again I will find some techniques to try (cookbooks are like that). One more reading goal to go for this challenge!!!

What are you reading?

Thursday, September 04, 2014

-----Awesome moment...a video of a mother with Alzheimer's recognizing her daughter for a bit.
-----CVS changes its name and stops tobacco sales! My Husband is going to start stopping smoking this month.
-----Preschooler wants the detailed Hubble Space Telescope kit if Lego decides to make one. The Hubble's 25th Anniversary is next year.


I have started going through an Advanced Reader Copy of "Philosphy Bites Again" (coming out in December). The bite-sized topics in the book are a selection of interviews from a popular podcast...popular meaning 20 MILLION downloads and listeners around the globe. The podcast started in 2007 and the hosts are David Edmonds and Nigel Warburton.

Topics (in order of my interest):
Free Will
The Meaning of Life
The Afterlife
Consciousness and the self

Friday, August 29, 2014

Marc Martel is A Canadian Christian rock musician...and, yes, he has performed with Queen. :-)

The Breast Cancer Site has this awesome hoodie back in stock. :-)

-----California's Yes Means Yes Sexual Assault Bill
-----Sadly, there was not funding for a crossing guard where one was needed...this retired Marine took care of that.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Saturday 9: I Got You, Babe

1) Popular music has produced almost countless groups, but not that many duos. Besides Sonny & Cher, can you name another?
Captain & Tennille. Hall and Oates. Simon and Garfunkel. Pet Shop Boys. Eurythmics. Pink Floyd (in its current lineup). Depeche Mode (my favorite of my answers).
Wikipedia lists 168 Rock Music Duos.

2) Hearing this recording from his clock radio is how Bill Murray woke up every morning in Groundhog Day. What woke you up this morning?
Sinuses....they are kicking my but. I can't take most sinus medicine due to thyroid issues. Ibuprofen is helping some tonight with various stuff but not much. I hate that there has been so many weather changes.

3) When she was growing up, Cher practiced her autograph for when she became a star. Is your signature legible? Or is it more of a scrawl?
Legible. My everyday writing is not pretty no matter how much I try though. I am good at calligraphy but haven't really been able to translate that to my handwriting. It really bugs me that a lot of the schools are eliminating cursive!

4) In addition to show biz, Sonny & Cher had many careers: Sonny was a restauranteur and politician, Cher is an interior designer. Would you like to try your hand at any of those professions?
I used to REALLY want to be an interior and the criticism of others has zapped a lot of that inclination out of me or made me suppress it. When, I eventually have a coffee haus, the menu will be much like that of a restaurant.
---I really liked Cher's "Sanctuary" line when she had that and used to get the catalog. There was a lot of stuff that was medieval-looking.

5) In 1965, when this song topped the charts, Sonny and Cher were as famous for their wardrobe as for their music. Sonny was fond of tall, heavy-heeled boots while Cher often paired granny dresses with bare feet. What's on your feet right now?
Fresh socks as I was cleaning a dish and made water go on the floor (and, of course, stepped in it).

6) By 1968, their career crashed. Cher's early attempts as a movie actress failed, their records stopped selling and the IRS came after them for back taxes. Have you ever been audited?
No. I (paranoidly) worry about it every time a filing is difficult to figure out. The only time we made a mistake though, the IRS sent us a refund of the money we cheated ourselves.

7) In 1971 they were on top again with their TV show. But their marriage was coming apart. Sonny said, "For the last 5 years I worried about our career, not about us." Have you ever been guilty of putting career before relationship?
Probably at times before we were married, as I had many big projects and priorities and did not get to see my (then)boyfriend much.

8) By 1972 they were living separate lives -- in the same house. For the sake of The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, they pretended to be happily married another year and a half. Tell us about a time when you pretended to be happy, but weren't.
I had children who picked on me in elementary school and high school. Ignoring it, being cheerful with life and occasionally extremely insulting their lack of intelligence was my strategy. Somehow, no matter how happy, nice or insulting I was to certain people...I was like their addictive cat toy to bat at.

9) While their separation and divorce were bitter, they resumed their friendship when Cher showed up at the opening of his restaurant in 1976. Have you ever made the first move in repairing a relationship?
Yes, but it has only worked temporarily...a few complex family relationships and dramatic people. I keep having to remind myself that just because someone is supposed to be your family or friend, it doesn't mean they will act as such. I hate drama.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Reading Bingo 2014

I am starting to participate in Random House of Canada's Reading Bingo Challenge 2014. :-)
I plan to fill the whole card...of course, I would start with reading a book that is over 500 pages. :-)

My first reading choice is 850 pages. A friend says you should have your children read they can read something with morality. I am reading a big Barnes & Noble book that belonged to my Mother...Oliver Twist (which my Mother loved), A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations and A Christmas Carol. I suppose most would argue this is four books...but this is the one I want to read. :-)

From A Tale of Two Cities (and the back cover of the book):
"In the black prison of the Conciergerie, the doomed of the day awaited their fate. They were in number as the weeks of the year. Fifty-two were to roll that afternoon on the life-tide of the city to the boundless ending sea. Before their cells were quit of them, new occupants were appointed; before their blood ran into the blood spilled yesterday, the blood that was to mingle with theirs tomorrow was already set apart."

Will Charles Dickens inspire me to think more about morality? I will let you know 850 pages from now.
If you have read these stories, around what age did you first read each? Other authors you would recommend for homeschooling PreK-12?
(Book Number 13,122 in my Mother's books...yes, you read that right).

I have the "casebound" edition (a normal hardback). 
There was also a leatherbound edition published the same year.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Saturday 9 Meme

I thought I had not heard this song before...until I realized it was a cover.
This is the original by Willie "Sugar Billy" Garner.

Well, for some reason, I got the wrong questions.
I will leave these Billy Joel answers up....and put the Joss Stone answers below.
*shakes head at my mistake* :-)

1) This song begins with the story of a man who moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a comic. What comedian always makes you laugh?
I don't really watch any comedians consistently. The authors Douglas Adams and Roger Zelazny can always make me laugh.

2) The lyrics say, "You don't need to worry about me 'cause I'm alright." Tell us about a time when you had to reassure your family or friends.
Honestly, there hasn't been one to the extent that there should have been. All the people I have been around handle grief/tragedy in a pretty stoic manner and expect me to do the same. :-(

3) This song was the original theme of the Tom Hanks sitcom Bosom Buddies. Tom Hanks is a direct descendant of Nancy Hanks, Abraham Lincoln's mother. Is there anyone noteworthy, celebrated or infamous in your family tree?
Dictator, boxer, baseball player, painter.

4) Before going solo, Billy Joel was in bands called The Echoes, The Emeralds, The Hassles and Attila. What do you think would be a good name for a band?
The Baby Hugs....because my daughter just got done giving me sweet little hugs.

5) Billy Joel wrote one of his most famous songs, "Just the Way You Are," for his first wife, Elizabeth. Even though they divorced more than 30 years ago, fans still demand he perform the song in concert. Do you go out of your way to listen to songs that remind you of a long-ago lost love? Or do you avoid them?
I avoid the songs other than once or twice a year. There is one that I avoid totally as I don't really want to learn the lyrics...the song helped me through a tough time but would make me bitter now.

6) In 2008 Billy Joel had to return a $3,000,000 advance for his memoirs because he didn't finish them. Have you ever read a celebrity tell-all?
The one I remember is Priscilla's "Elvis and Me." I am not interested in these types of books.

7) Billy Joel was in a motorcycle accident and did irreparable damage to his left thumb. Are you comfortable on a motorcycle?
If there is a sissy bar and the driver is a veteran motorcycle rider. In some cities, I would not want to be on one at all...due to bad automobile drivers.

8) In addition to riding cycles, Billy enjoys sailing in Oyster Bay. Do your summer plans include time on a boat?
I wish. I am hoping that we get to do a cruise up the Mississippi next year. We are definitely planning a train trip this year.

9) Billy Joel is a popular college commencement speaker. If you were asked advice from the Class of 2014, what would you say?


1) The lyrics say, "I'm as proud as a girl can be." Tell us about something you're proud of.
I am proud of the fact that I am brushing up on my Spanish. I have been making rapid progress via Duolingo and I think I will be fully ready in a year for teaching the kids Spanish as a part of our homeschooling.

2) This song is from her first CD, The Soul Sessions. She's told interviewers that the first CD she ever owned was by Aretha Franklin: Greatest Hits. So while we're talking firsts, do you remember your first CD (or tape or record)?
The first thing I can remember listening to that was sort of mine was a book/record of "The Hobbit."

3) Last year, two men were convicted of plotting to kill Joss Stone. Even though she had (fortunately!) never even met the men, she still had to testify during their trial. Have you ever had to speak to a judge?
Yes. Oddly, I am now having a flashback of speaking to one at a traffic or housing court or something like that...a vague memory of something that was a big deal to me at the time. I remember how quickly everyone's "case" was handled. It bothers me how quickly a "speedy trial" can be over and how profoundly snap judgments can financially effect people.    

4) Joss is frequently in the British press because of her friendship with Princes William and Harry. Who among your friends leads the most exciting life?
 I guess different people for different reasons. I find myself being the trendsetter a lot....I both mind that flattering and draining. Sometimes, I have friends who constantly claim my ideas as their own and I don't get over that very easily.

5) Because of dyslexia, Joss had trouble in school and dropped out when she was 16. What's the last grade you completed?
Well, that is a complex one. Let us just say I have gotten much farther in actual credits and studies than on paper. Long story. Anyway, my highest degree will eventually be a Phd. in Environmental Engineering.

6) She provided the voice of the villainness for the James Bond video game, Blood Stone. Do you have a Playstation or Xbox?
We have an XBox and XBox 360.

7) Sam is especially crazy this morning because she can't find her phone. What's the last thing you misplaced?
My class ring. I thought it was lost because people were being careless but I had put it safely away because I noticed people were being careless. I was very relieved when I found it and a ring that Husband gave me which had dropped.

8) After composing this Saturday 9, Sam is off to Lowe's to pick up some heavy duty indoor/outdoor trash bags. Will you be in any stores this weekend?
No but I get to go spice shopping soon! That is exciting to me as spices are ridiculously priced in our city....5 dollars for things that are normally 99-cents.

9) Do you consider yourself more book smart, or street smart?
Book...but I am so much more street smart than I used to be.

Monday, July 28, 2014


1) What do you think of 3D movies?
I would love to see them but I only see in 2D due to true alternating exotropia. I can't look at HD TVs for too long and I think the movies would probably give me headaches.

2) If you could learn one extreme sport for free, what would it be?
I would like to Zorb...I know this would not require skill and many wouldn't consider this extreme but it is what I would like to do.

3) What nearby museums, galleries, or theaters are your favorites?
There re pretty much none nearby. we have to go out of town for such. I like The art Institute of Chicago.

4) Show and Tell. What comes to mind first when you see this picture? Or, tell a story if it reminds you of one.
Well, the fact that I like lepidoptera, of course...especially blue lepidoptera. :-)


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Unconscious Mutterings...a word association meme.

Pescado...I have been brushing up on my Spanish lately. I was collecting Algerian fish recipes for a while...they seem good at making yummy fish dishes in Algeria. I miss having tropical fish...I do have a lot of the supplies still...when Toddler and Preschooler are bigger. The game "Go Fish."
"Fishin' in the Dark" by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
Here are the and make a political point.
Moxy Früvous were awesome.

California Dreaming...on a Winter's day. There is a lot in California that I would like my life to be full of.

Martha Stewart Living. To every time their is a season...turn, turn, turn.

Great Expectations...which I have only read a bit of and should fix that.

One of my favorite mugs is the coffee mug we bought my mother...inherited back...I use it often.

The jackets that the Century 21 salespeople wore. Letterman's jacket. Yellow Jackets and their nasty bites.

Bowling. Bowl of Ramen. The band Bowling for Soup. The Rose Bowl...I would love to see the parade and Pasadena (especially the places associated with Julia Child).

Catholic Confessional.

My feet are cold in my socks right now.

Tanktop. Tank Girl. Fish tank. Dunk tank....a friend's pool contractor did such a BAD job that I pictured the falling apart pool being used as a giant dunk tank for a few of the people in that company.

July 23, 2014

This Fall, I want to make feather dance fans with our Preschooler. Like American Indians use for dance (and prayer) but with no religious symbolism. I have been doing some research and I know to cut the feathers across the top. I know that peacock and ostrich feathers are usually used by the Navajo. We will likely be using turkey feathers and collecting decorations from nature, thrift shops and dollar stores. I want to encourage Preschooler to imitate movements...he has very little interest in this other than jumping and things that super heroes do.
Speaking of super heroes...our friend's socks. :-)

Something very cool by The Chicago Chalk Champ.

Mrs. Kravitz decided to report us instead of coming to knock on the door....we could have told her that the guard on the lawn mower blade broke and that Husband had driven out-of-town to get another mower.I hate the American lawn and I am not very fond of Mrs. Kravitz (no idea of her real name but she was sitting on her front lawn watching us earlier as if she were a queen and all she surveyed needed to obey her wishes..she takes real glee in her havoc). I guess pulling every weed down to the tiniest over the next week will help our landscaping efforts.

Toddler said "raffe" (giraffe) a couple of times and "goat" while we were doing Preeschooler's sticker book and video for the letter G. I asked her if she could say "guh" and she said it many times throughout the video. The first time Toddler said guh was the best though...a little voice and little eyes just looking sweetly at Preschooler and I. Toddler may learn letters,etc. at a pretty early age...she is there every time we are working on them. When done, we ate the last of the guh-grapes.
---I like that these alphabet videos feature a gesture to help children remember each letter. :-)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

July 22, 2014

Got a picture of Toddler after she had eaten a chocolate chip cookie today. Messy. :-)
She was wearing a cute little sleeveless denim romper today as it was very hot out.
It got cold enough last night that I had pain from Reynaud's Phenomenon but we woke up to hotness.
Some wild flowers that got transplanted in heat did not make it when they had to tolerate this heat, too...
so, back to the drawing board with a border there.
Maybe a few of the wild flowers will make it.  

Dinner from the supermarket for an evening when I was wishing for KFC.
After eating a few bites, we established Toddler does not like coleslaw. She started dramatically spitting it.
Mommy: You don't like that?
Toddler: Uck.
Me: (handing her a bite of something she did like) This is good?
Toddler: (nods head) Good.

As far as smaller quantities of Sioux City sodas, we pay $2.26 for a four-pack at a local supermarket that carries specialty items.

Toddler did a really good job of eating the meat off his chicken legs....that's an accomplishment for a little boy. :-)
We enjoyed some Del Monte organic bananas and I noticed they smelled a lot better than the non-organic bananas we normally get. :-)
When Daddy went to get a prescription, he found Preschooler a Nerf gun for a dollar...Preschooler is so pleased and has decorated it with the big sticker that was on top of the bananas.

I found a really versatile recipe for "Chocolate Banana Buttermilk Bread" that I will make in some form(s) next month.

---I saw a photo of a cos-play that I thought was pretty cool. Of course, people online were criticizing this group (I think from last year's Comic-Con). This kind of thing makes me angry. People tell (semi-famous) musicians that their music was mediocre or criticize something like people who went through a lot of trouble to make something like a costume....yet the critics likely will never attempt anything on that level of craftsmanship. I wish people would please take the time to learn something of what they were talking about before they damage self-esteem.
---I saw several photos of a passive solar home. I am very interested in this (though the expense looks to be great...or, at least, two much for us). Placement of windows is important in this and maybe I can work on modifying our windows a little in this respect....hmmm.

I saw a cool old photo of Michael Jackson skateboarding the other day that was captioned "Blame It On the Boogie."

Husband and I watched this performance of "Slave to the Rhythm" today and were amazed at the "Pepper's Ghost" illusion. A lot of people online think this is a holgram (or CGI or an impersonator).

Almost all of the singing done by Eddie Vedder...epic.

:-) 2009-06-11 daily 0.5 2009-06-11 daily 0.5