Wednesday, May 31, 2017

ABC Wednesday: Round 20 - U

This time around, U is for....


The ukulele originated in Hawaii, sometime in the 19th Century. It's related to the lute, and looks like a small guitar. It generally has four strings that can be either gut or nylon. And it's amazing how much music can be generated with just those four strings.

When we visited Honolulu last year, a uke seemed like the perfect souvenir for M to bring home with us. When he plays it, I feel like I'm right back on the beach at Waikiki!

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Our World Tuesday: End of May

It's hard to believe we're already coming up on the end of another month. And with June just around the corner, almost half the year has disappeared (poof!), just like that! How can this be? Weren't we just putting away the Christmas decorations a few weeks ago? And now we're trying on swimsuits.

All I can say is SLOW DOWN!!!!!

Well, things have sort of slowed down around here, actually. May hasn't been quite as hectic as April was. For some reason, M and I managed to have almost all our regular doctor appointments scheduled in April; so we spent much of last month in various waiting/examining rooms. But May has been relatively medical-profession-free. So far, anyway. (Shouldn't speak too soon. As I type, M is out there doing yard work — sharp tools, hot sun, enormous stinging/biting insects. Well, he's always careful, but I worry.)

So, anyway. End of May. Yesterday evening we had the first Margaritas of the year...

...while enjoying the evening out on the front porch. And the mosquitos enjoyed us — I got several bites that are itching like crazy this morning. Bummer.

But the yard and garden are looking very nice after all M's work. Last week he started in on the patio area, and put out a few begonias in pots. They're a lovely shade of red and I'm hoping it won't be too hot for them out there.

Fortunately, the patio is fenced off from the rest of the yard so the deer can't feast on the plants. Our deer seem to eat everything, including all the things they're not "supposed" to like. And they love drinking from our birdbath, even though we keep a tub of water out just for them.

M is constantly chasing them away, but they just wander off and come right back when he's not looking. Very much like cats.

They're definitely a nuisance, but cute too. We've got one mama deer who's been sheltering her baby around the place. For a while, she was leaving it on the steps to our side lot. It blended right in with the background.

But for the last few days, she's been installing it on our front porch.

She drops it off in the morning, and comes and collects it around noon. Like we're the local day care for deer. It sleeps. And it doesn't seem to mind that we're right nearby. I guess it knows us by now.

So, nothing much exciting going on right now. However, summer's coming and things should be heating up in our world. But not too much, I hope.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Unconscious Mutterings: Week 747

Mutterings for the week of May 29th. Unconscious Mutterings is hosted by LunaNiña. And here we go....
  1. Laundry :: piles and piles of... (Don't remind me!)
  2. Stoke :: Jimmy Connors (You'll only understand this if you're a real Jimbo fan.)

  3. Zombie :: Apocalypse 
  4. Parliament :: cigarettes (My grandmother sometimes smoked these. She always bought them in the flip-top box.)

  5. Instilled :: ingrained?
  6. Ache :: tooth (Get away from me with that drill!)
  7. Muscle :: ache (No aching muscles today, but the week is young.)
  8. Sniff :: smell, allergy, red cedar
  9. Crude :: the Prez (I guess money can't buy ya class.)
  10. Effort :: try, attempt, A for...

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sunday Stealing: The Procrastination Questions

What's this all about? All types of questions stolen from every corner of the blogosphere. (Go HERE to find out more.) This week we have The Procrastination Tool Questions.
  1. What is your favorite sit-down restaurant?
  2. Taverna Cretekou in Alexandria, Virginia. Haven't been there in several years though, not since just before we moved back to Texas. If you like Greek food or just amazing seafood, it was definitely the place to go. The people-watching was usually great, too. Around here, my favorite is probably Serranos — there are several of these around the Austin area, and they have pretty tasty Tex-Mex fare.

  3. What food could you eat for 2 weeks straight and not get sick of it?
    For every meal? Or just once a day? Be more specific. Well, I could eat some form of pasta everyday and never tire of it. And for years I ate peanut butter sandwiches for lunch everyday and loved it. I'd still be doing that except for the fact that I seem to have become mildly allergic to peanuts in my old age. Bummer.
  4. Have you ever had anything removed from your body?
    Yes. Several things.
  5. What is the last heavy item you lifted?
    Heavy? Well, there's heavy and there's heavy, you know. I've been having a problem with my right shoulder and arm — pulled a muscle a couple of weeks ago and it's just now getting back to normal. So haven't lifted much of anything lately. I guess the last heavy thing I lifted was the barbell that caused the pulled muscle.
  6. Have you ever been knocked unconscious?
    Hmmm. Only by anesthetics. I've fainted a couple of times. But never been punched or bashed or anything like that.
  7. If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?
    Absolutely not! Get away from me with that crystal ball!!!
  8. If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
    Oh, sweetie — I'm much too old to start thinking about doing anything that majorly traumatic. And anyway, I'm pretty happy with my name just the way it is.
  9. What’s your goal for the year?
    Stay out of the hospital.
  10. Last person you hugged?
    The hubby.
  11. First place you went this morning?
  12. Do you always answer your phone?
    No. Only if I recognize the number/person calling.
  13. It’s four in the morning and you get a text message, who is it?
    I don't really text. Yeah, I know — dinosaur. The only people I get text messages from are the Hubs and a few other close relatives. (And if I got a message from one of them at 4am, I'd panic.)
  14. If you could change your eye color what would it be?
    I like my eye color. Sort of dark turquoise / sapphire. Actually, it's one of the few things about me that I wouldn't want to change.
  15. What’s on your wish list for your birthday?
    I don't really have a wish list right now. My birthday is in September, so I haven't started thinking about it yet.
  16. Does the future make you more nervous or excited?
    Everything makes me nervous.
  17. Do you have any saved texts?
    Yes. Even though (as I said) I don't do a lot of texting. My phone stores them and I never remember to delete.
  18. Ever been in a car wreck?
    I've been in some minor accidents, but no big crashes.
  19. Do you have an accent?
    Probably. I grew up in central Texas, so I'm sure the twang is detectable. But I've had a lot of voice training over the years, so I can ditch the accent when necessary.
  20. What was the last song to make you cry?
    "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" — the hubby played it on piano a lot this past Christmas season. It's one of the songs I used to use in acting classes, as a "sense memory" to make myself cry on demand. I'm tearing up, just thinking about it. Also used to use "Memory" from Cats.

  21. What did you do last night?
    Watched re-runs of Columbo and The Rockford Files on the COZI-TV network. Then an episode of Midsomer Murders on PBS. Also did some blog reading. Not the most thrilling of Saturday nights.
  22. Have you ever felt like you hit rock bottom?
    Yes. Not recently, fortunately.
  23. Current hate right now?
    Well, hatred is pretty extreme. I agree with Marian Anderson — you lose a lot of time, hating people. So I try not to hate people. But I do hate cruelty, bigotry, selfishness, and willful ignorance. And there's certainly a lot of all that around lately.
  24. Met someone who changed your life?
  25. How did you bring in the New Year?
    This year M and I were on our own — stayed home with no parties or guests. We finished putting together a jigsaw puzzle we'd been working on, and watched a couple of DVDs (Christmas movies we hadn't managed to get to before Christmas). And at midnight we went out onto the front porch and had a look at all the distant fireworks displays.
  26. What song represents you?
    That's a toughie. Maybe "Deep in the Heart of Texas"?

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Saturday 9: Stars and Stripes Forever!

The Saturday 9 ("Just a silly meme on a Saturday!") is hosted by Sam Winters. Nine questions posted every Saturday — sometimes random, sometimes with a theme. This week, the theme is...

Stars and Stripes Forever,
by The Muppets

If you're not familiar with the song, you can listen to it HERE.

Memorial Day is the federal holiday designated to honor American service people who died in battle. Though our song choice is humorous, we honor their sacrifice in our hearts.

This is another song I wasn't familiar with. Well, I'm familiar with the song, just not the Muppets' rendition. I've always loved the Muppets (especially Miss Piggy and Big Bird), but the Hubby goes apoplectic whenever he encounters them. So I don't really get to see/hear all their stuff. Anyhoo....

Here we go.

1. Memorial Day was introduced after the Civil War. War memorials, as well as the graves of veterans, are to be decorated with flags and flowers on this day to show our appreciation. Is there a war memorial in your neighborhood?
Not in our immediate neighborhood. We live in a semi-rural community that's only recently begun to think of itself as a "town." And we haven't yet started putting up memorials or markers or what have you. But one of the other little "towns" a few miles down the road has a Veterans Memorial Park with this bronze statue of a young soldier. It's called "Going Home" and I don't know who the sculptor was.


2. Andrew Johnson, our 17th President, was in office the first time Memorial Day (then called Decoration Day) was celebrated. Have you ever met one of our 45 Presidents?
No. Which is a little strange since M and I both worked in Washington DC for many years, and had enumerable chances to meet politicians. But there aren't many politicians I'd really want to meet. Actually, most of them I wouldn't even want to be in the same room with. (Ooops! Sorry if you or your loved ones are politicians. I'm sure I'd love to be in the same room with you.)

3. According to the AAA, 36 million Americans will hit the road this weekend and drive more than 50 miles. Will you be traveling far from home this weekend?
No, not far. It's possible we might head into Austin for some shopping, but that's a very remote possibility. We usually try to stay off the road on these big holiday weekends. Our community is having a mini music/art/food/boating fest by the lake today, and that was also a possibility. But it looks very much like it might be rained out. Bummer.

4. Memorial Day kicks off the summer season. What's your favorite picnic food?
Hot dogs, if cooking is available. Wine and cheese, if it's not. But I'm not a huge picnic fan, so I don't really do picnics very often.

5. Have you packed away your winter clothes? Or is the weather still so changeable that you still may need something warm?
Probably won't be needing anything really warm for several months now. But I still have winter things in the closet — I don't generally put them away when the warmer weather hits. We have a really big "master" closet and I don't have that many clothes, so I usually just cover up the off-season items and leave them there.

6. As you answer these questions, is there an air conditioner or fan on?
Oh, yeah. By this time of year, in central Texas, you either have the AC running or you melt. (Although we've had a very mild May so far.)

7. This week, we are featuring the Muppets. Jim Henson made the first Muppet out of an old coat, and he used ping pong balls for the eyes. Do you have a talent for do-it-yourself/arts and crafts projects?
No. Even though it pains me to say that. I'm not really artsy/craftsy, but I love to piddle with a/c anyway. The one thing I am pretty good at is sewing, but I haven't done much of that in years. I have a cousin (who blogs HERE) who's an amazing quilter and needlecraft artist, but she got much more of the creative gene than I did.

8. Random question: Think of the last thing you bought. Did you get a good deal?
I'm pretty sure the last thing I bought was an e-book from Amazon, and it cost $1.99. So, yeah, I think I got a very good deal.

9. Crazy Sam needs your help: What song or a performer would you like to see featured in a Saturday 9 this summer? You'll begin seeing your suggestions as Saturday 9 themes in mid-June.
Well, I'm a newcomer to the Sat-9 meme, so I'm not really sure what songs/performers have already been featured. (And I'm too lazy right now to go find that out.) But when I think of summer and music, I mostly think about the Beach Boys, or Don Henley's "The Boys of Summer" or the Sgt Pepper album by the Beatles (which was released on May 26, 1967 in England, and in the US on June 2, 1967 — so this year is its 50th anniversary).

Happy Saturday, everyone! Hope you have a lovely, safe holiday weekend.

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Unconscious Mutterings: Week 746

Mutterings for the week of May 22nd. Unconscious Mutterings is hosted by LunaNiña. And here we go....
  1. Corner ::  cabinet  (My grandmother had two in her dining room, and they held all sorts of fascinating and off-limits baubles, trinkets, and goodies.)
  2. Establish ::  start, begin, originate, found
  3. Cartoonish ::  caricature, unreal
  4. Request ::  denied  (I guess I'm more pessimist than optimist.)
  5. Disappointing ::  today's weather  (It's rainy, gray, depressing. I need my sun.)
  6. Recluse ::  me  (Well, not yet. But I've got the recluse gene, and I'm getting closer and closer.)
  7. Anti- ::  negative, against, opposition
  8. Jeans ::  Levis, denim, uniform
  9. Ridiculous ::  ludicrous, silly, pointless (Most of modern life could fit here. Yeah, I did say I'm a pessimist.)
  10. Soul ::  Kia (Preferably in "Alien Green.")
So Cute!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Weekly Ramblings

Some odds and ends from this past week, in no particular order.

🌼 All of a sudden (well, in the last couple of months to be exact) I'm finding it hard or impossible to find a bunch of my long-time favorite products. Don't you hate it when that happens? The manufacturers have either discontinued them or "improved" them or just aren't marketing them right now — pushing new products they want to get going. Can't find the makeup, lip balm, hand soap, hand lotion, body wash, or hair-set gel that I've used for years. They've disappeared from the store shelves, and I can't even find them on Amazon or eBay. I'm very loyal when I find a product I like, and also very picky about some products (especially the ones that go on my body!) — so I tend to buy those same things over and over. Of course I've had favorite products discontinued before, but never so many all at once.

🌼 Been having problems with my shoulder all week. Think I pulled a muscle (or three) when I was working out last weekend. Started my weight training exercises without doing the usual warmup routine, and now I'm paying the price for trying to speed things up. It's my right shoulder, and the soreness makes it very difficult to do anything with my right arm or hand. Unfortunately, I'm very right-handed. It's getting better very slowly, but I'm having to take Ibuprofen for the pain and inflammation — which I don't really like to do.

🌼 Got my hair cut short, in a sort of flapper bob. Hadn't intended to have the hair done this week, but since I can't really hold a blow dryer right now, figured it was better to go have someone else wash and dry it for me. And the shorter length is a lot easier to manage. My selfie technique leaves something to be desired, I know. This shot makes me realize how much I do look like my Aunt Linnie, at times.

🌼 Dropped by the local farmers' market after the haircut. They're only open one afternoon a week, and we've been stopping in for the last few weeks to stock up on "Fredericksburg peaches." The quote marks are because these early peaches are actually grown in Pleasanton, apparently. Well, wherever they come from, they're delish.

🌼 I am having so much fun, following the continuing escapades of our hapless new Chief Exec. Generally, I try to keep politics away from this blog, so I haven't said much about the T.Rump and his minions. And I don't intend to say much now, except that they sure are a hoot to watch. Of course, they'd be even more fun if they weren't so darn scary! But even though I voted for her, I have to admit Hillary definitely would not have been this entertaining.

🌼 The Spurs are not doing well in the playoffs. 😞 Looks like this will not be their year to go all the way. M is very disappointed, but is assuaging his disappointment by playing with his model train display. He has added tiny lights to the platform, and they do look very realistic.

So now his tiny people don't have to stand around in the absolute darkness while waiting to board.

Shadow Shot Sunday: Creepy Crawly in the Shadows

I was out looking for shadows recently, and found this small tarantula lurking in the leafy shadows on the side of the house.

Here's a close-up view (sorry it's a little grainy). Even though he wasn't very big and he (or she?) was way up near the roof, I definitely kept my distance.

Happy Sunday, everyone! And have a wonderful week. And watch out for spiders!

Sunday Stealing: The Q & A Questions

What's this all about? All types of questions stolen from every corner of the blogosphere. (Go HERE to find out more.) This week we have The Q & A Questions.
  1. where is your significant other?
    At the moment he's in the garage, playing with his trains.
  2. your favorite thing?
    Well, if you'd said favorite person, I'd have said the significant other. But favorite thing? I'd have to give that a lot of thought. Hmmm? Maybe my computer?
  3. your dream last night?
    Don't remember the one from last night. I generally dream a lot when I'm anxious. Lately I've been relatively unstressed, so not very memorable dreams.
  4. your goal?
    I'm not really a goal setter. Maybe when I was younger.
  5. your hobby?
    I have many hobbies. Blogging is the biggest time waster.
  6. where do you want to be in 6 years?
    In the land of the living.
  7. where were you last night?
    Here at home.
  8. what you're not?
  9. one of your wish list items?
    Well, I used to say "world peace" when I got this question. But I've become more realistic with age. Now I'll just say another trip to Hawaii. Please.
  10. your pet?
    At present we are pet-less. Or pet-free, depending on how you look at it.
  11. missing someone?
    I miss my mother everyday. She passed away in 2001. I miss a lot of other people too, family and friends all over the country.
  12. your car?
    A six-year-old Ford Escape. Great car.
  13. something you're not wearing?
  14. love someone?
  15. when is the last time you laughed?
    Just a few minutes ago, at something on TV. I laugh a lot.
  16. last time you cried?
    I honestly don't remember. I don't do a lot of crying.
  17. favorite past time?
    We could get into a real grammar brouhaha over this one. But we won't. If we're talking hobbies, I don't really have a favorite. Love to read. Love to play with my toys. Mostly just love to waste time. If we're talking times in the past — I've always been fascinated by the early 20th Century.
  18. are you a hater or a lover?
    A little of both. Not completely either one.
  19. any vices?
    Are you kidding? Too many to even think of listing here.
  20. favorite questions blog other than Sunday Stealing?
    I've been doing the Unconscious Mutterings meme for several years now (not as faithful as I should be). And lately I've discovered a couple of others I'm enjoying: Friday 5 and Saturday 9. I'm not really good about keeping up with such things, though.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Saturday 9: Him or Me?

The Saturday 9 ("Just a silly meme on a Saturday!") is hosted by Sam Winters. Nine questions posted every Saturday — sometimes random, sometimes with a theme. This week, the theme is...

Him or Me? by Paul Revere and the Raiders

If you're not familiar with the song, you can listen to it HERE.

Don't think I've ever heard this song before. Which is surprising since I was sort of a Paul Revere and the Raiders fan back in the day. They were cute and wore those spectacularly silly outfits. And their music was great to dance to. And they wore such tight pants....

OK, moving on.

1. In this song, a man pleads with his girlfriend to make up her mind. Do you consider yourself decisive?
Definitely. Sometimes. Well, yes and no. You know, I'll have to get back to ya on this one.

Since this song is all about either/or, we're using that as our theme this Saturday ...

2. Choose a condiment: Catsup or mustard?  Mustard.

3. Choose a sci-fi series: Star Wars or Star Trek?  Star Trek (I'm a Trekkie. I haven't even seen all the Star Wars movies. But I've seen all the original Star Trek episodes thousands of times.)

4. Choose your spy: James Bond or Jason Bourne?  Bond (although I truly love the Bourne films).

5. Choose your winter sport: Football or hockey? Football (to watch — never really played either of them).

6. Choose your breakfast: Pancakes or waffles?  Love them both, but I'd probably choose waffles as long as we're not talkin' frozen.

7. Choose your side: French fries or potato chips? Potato chips (although I don't really eat either of them anymore).

8. Choose your chore: Washing dishes or doing laundry? You're kidding, right?

9. Choose your nextdoor neighbors: Munsters or Addams Family? Hmmm. This is tough since I never watched either TV show. But I like John Astin (Gomez in the series) and Raul Julia and Tim Curry (Gomez in the movies), so Addams!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday 5 for May 19: Malfunction Junction

...Time for another Friday 5. This week the theme is Malfunction Junction, all about things going wrong.
  1. When have you had a wardrobe malfunction?
    I am female and over 65. I have had many, many (many, many, many, MANY) wardrobe malfunctions down through the ages. In real life, and on stage (I used to do a bit of amateur theater stuff). Once I lost an item of underwear during a big scene in a school production. (Yeah, I know — one of those theater myths, but it does happen sometimes.) I was not center stage, and was able to step over said item, kick it under a sofa, and go on with the show. No one laughed, so I'm assuming no one noticed. If you were there, and did notice, please don't tell me about it.
  2. When did you last have a problem with your alarm clock?
    I have a problem with my alarm clock everyday — the darn thing keeps going off right on time! Seriously, I can't remember any problems. Both M and I are pretty OCD-ish, and if we really need to wake up at a certain time for any reason, we usually have more than one alarm set. Also, M has a weird built-in alarm system and hardly ever oversleeps.
  3. What was most recent computer problem, and what was the fix?
    We recently bought a new iMac. The old one had started behaving oddly and some things just didn't work on it anymore. So I guess the problem was obsolescence and the "fix" was BUY NEW.
  4. What’s something about cars you know specifically because you had to have one repaired?
    OK, I don't know anything "specifically" about cars. Well, not really true — I know how to get in, adjust the seat and mirrors, turn the key in the little key slot, and get on the road. But repairs? Hmmm. The car we have right now is pretty dependable and the only repair work it's required has been caused by other drivers running into us. But some cars we've had in the past have needed a lot more work to keep them going. When we were young marrieds, several eons ago, we had an MG Midget which M worked on all the time. All. The. Time.

    But he seemed to enjoy that. And it was such a cute car, and so much fun to drive and ride around in (and we were young and stupid), we were able to ignore all the trouble. Well, until I had to start helping with the repair work. After I spent several evenings assisting in a brake job that just wouldn't take, the cute car got traded in pretty fast. (Hello, Plymouth Volare!) Not sure if I learned anything specifically about cars from that, though. Maybe just that I wasn't meant to be a mechanic.
  5. Have you had any brain malfunctions this week?
    Hmmm. No more than usual, I guess. Had a dental appointment that I remembered to go to. That's encouraging, right? I've had some physical malfunctions this week, but the brain still seems to be working OK. Thanks for asking.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Unconscious Mutterings: Week 745

Mutterings for the week of May 15th. Unconscious Mutterings is hosted by LunaNiña. And here we go....
  1. Priest :: Catholicism 
  2. Lincoln :: Logs (Always wanted some. Never got them. eBay, here I come.)

  3. Mother :: Father
  4. Board :: certified (obviously, I've been spending too much time with the medical profession)
  5. Surgery :: Yikes!
  6. Barbecue :: Yum!
  7. Marina :: Ahoy!
  8. Squeeze :: Ouch!
  9. Award :: Wow! 
  10. Stopping by :: Hi! 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sunday Stealing: The Getting to Know You Questions

What's this all about? All types of questions stolen from every corner of the blogosphere. (Go HERE to find out more.) This week we have The Getting to Know You Questions.
  1. What is your occupation right now? How long have you been there?
    Retired. For several years now.
  2. Favorite rock band. Ever.
    This is really tough. Probably the Rolling Stones.
  3. What are you listening to right now?
    Right now, like right this minute ? No music. The hubby is watching an interview with Manu Ginobili, and I'm sort of half listening to that. But if you mean what do I listen to, in general —mostly jazz and fusion. Not much rock these days.
  4. Last person you spoke to on the phone. What was it about?
    Our dental hygienist. She was calling about a prescription she forgot to call in for the hubby.
  5. How old are you today? Or make up a question. This one bites.
    I'm a Baby Boomer. A leading-edge Baby Boomer. That's as much as you need to know.
  6. What is your favorite sport to watch on TV?
    Basketball or tennis. I like watching football too, but not as much as I once did.
  7. What is your favorite drink?
    I think I just answered something like this in another Sunday Stealing set of questions. But that's OK. I guess coffee or tea would be my favorite drink. Alcoholic drink would be an icy gin and tonic, or a nice full-bodied red wine. No, wait — maybe a Margarita... rocks, not frozen.
  8. Have you ever dyed your hair?
    Yes. At the moment it's natural, but I've been brunette, blonde and redhead at one time or another.
  9. Favorite food?
    Italian. Just about anything Italian.
  10. What is the last movie you watched?
    "Irrational Man," by Woody Allen (2015). Joaquin Phoenix was excellent, as usual. Unfortunately, the film as a whole was not quite that good.
  11. Favorite day of the year?
    The first day of summer.
  12. How do you vent anger?
    Mostly I just try NOT to get angry. When I do get angry, I have been known to yell and throw things. Not a pretty sight.
  13. What was your favorite toy as a child?
    I had so many toys I loved, it's hard to remember one single favorite. I loved my blue teddy bear —in fact, I've still got him. But I guess my favorites were my Ginny Dolls. Here's a photo I took of one of them back in the day.

  14. Living arrangements? (Of course your pets count. Geez!)
    Just the hubby and me. No kids. No pets at the moment.
  15. What was the last thing that you cried about?
    Honestly can't remember. But it's been quite a while. I don't cry a lot.
  16. Who is the friend you have had the longest?
    Well, probably the Hubby. We've known each other since high school. Haven't really kept in touch with most of the friends of my youth. Hate to admit that, but it's true.
  17. What did you do last night?
    Watched the Woody Allen movie mentioned above.
  18. What are you most afraid of?
    Hmmm. The usual stuff, I guess — terminal illnesses, war, random crime. Being unable to take care of myself. And I've always had a fear of going blind, even though I've never had any major eye problems. Also, since we moved back to Texas, I've developed a real fear of scorpions and hornets. Well, you know, the ones around here are enormous.
  19. In how many areas of your country have you lived? What's your favorite?
    I've lived in the South, the Mid-Atlantic area, and the Midwest. And Texas, which is sort of like living on another planet. I loved Virginia, but just couldn't take those winters.
  20. What is your favorite flower?
    Ah, so nice of you to ask! My favorite flowers have always been yellow roses. But don't send me any — I'm allergic.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Saturday 9: Mama Can't Buy You Love

The Saturday 9 ("Just a silly meme on a Saturday!") is hosted by Sam Winters. Nine questions posted every Saturday — sometimes random, sometimes with a theme. This week, the theme is...

If you're not familiar with the song, you can listen to it HERE.

I don't remember ever hearing this song before, even though I've always been a fan of Elton's. And apparently it was a big hit. It's very disco, isn't it? Well, anyway — here we go....
  1. This week's artist, Elton John, was made an Office of Arts and Letters -- one of France's highest honors for people who have contributed significantly to the arts. What's the most recent compliment you received?
    Hmmm. That's a toughie. Well, just today the hubby told me he liked my haircut. I told him I liked his, too.
  2. In 2013, Elton had to cancel an international concert tour because he had an appendectomy. Do you still have your appendix?
    Nope. Had it removed 25 years ago. I had to have a hysterectomy, and the doc said the appendix might as well go too. I haven't missed it.
  3. In 1979, Elton John was the first Western rock star to tour the Soviet Union. Would you like to visit Russia?
    Uh. Maybe. Definitely not in winter, of course. But things are a little iffy between the US and Russia right now, aren't they? Return of the Cold War and all that. I'd probably wait and see what the next few months bring in that area.
  4. Elton and his mother hadn't spoken in years but he reached out to her and healed their breach in honor of her 90th birthday in 2015. Who is the oldest person you know?
    Lately, I feel like I'm the oldest person in the world. But my hubs is older than I am, so I guess I'm not really the oldest. But that's not answering the question. The oldest person I know personally would be hard to figure out. I know a LOT of old people. We live in a community that has a lot of retired people. I have many older relatives, and so does M. The one that comes to mind is an uncle-in-law who's 86.
  5. Flowers and plants are popular on Mother's Day. How is your yard or garden? Is it green and/or blooming?
    Our yard is lovely — it's as green and blooming as it's possible to be in this part of Texas at this time of year. M has been working on it constantly for the last few weeks. (He's out there working on it right now.) Fortunately, he loves working in the yard and gardening (or so he says). If it were left up to me, it would definitely not look this good. I would probably let it go wild.
  6. Mother's Day is a big holiday for card shops. So are birthdays, weddings, and St. Patrick's Day. Hallmark sells greetings for everything from "Congratulations on Your New Job" to "Happy Retirement." Who received the most recent card you bought?
    Well, oddly enough, the 86-year-old uncle-in-law. He had a birthday in March. I don't send as many cards as I used to. Not printed cards, anyway. These days, a lot of my greetings go via Facebook or email. Not really happy about that. I love sending/receiving "real" cards.
  7. Sam's mother is very careful when she unwraps presents because she likes to save money by to reusing wrapping paper and gift bags. Tell us one way that you economize.
    I'm not really good at economizing. But I do try to buy in bulk, when possible. Hello, Costco!
  8. Mother Winters used to scold Crazy Sam for leaving her dirty dishes in the sink. Sam admits it: as a grown up, she still leaves dirty dishes in the sink. How about you? Is your sink or dishwasher empty?
    At the moment, my dishwasher is running and there are no dirty dishes in my sink. However, I usually do pile the dishes in the sink during the day and then load them into the dishwasher in the evening, after dinner. I know that would probably disqualify me for the Model Housewife Award, but I don't like having to rearrange the dishes once they're loaded.
  9. RANDOM QUESTION: What size mattress do you sleep on -- twin, full, queen or king?

Friday, May 12, 2017

Unconscious Mutterings: Week 744

Mutterings for the week of May 8th. Unconscious Mutterings is hosted by LunaNiña. And here we go....
  1. Climbing :: mountain (Something I definitely will not be doing. Scary.)
  2. Unpack :: travel (Also scary sometimes, but I don't mind a moderate amount of it.)
  3. Emotionally :: turmoil
  4. Scatter :: seeds, ashes
  5. Worm :: book...
  6. Graduate :: Mrs. Robinson
  7. Slide :: Will Rogers Elementary School, San Antonio TX, ca. 1955 (Tallest slide in the neighborhood. Scary good.)
  8. Pinch :: ...of this, pinch of that (How I was taught to cook.)
  9. Debated :: high school (Somehow I managed to end up on the debate team. We never won.)
  10. Show :: stage, theater, musical, Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland ("Hey, kids! We could put on a SHOW!!!")

Friday 5 for May 12: Guestimation

Time for another Friday 5. This week the theme is Guestimation, all about traveling and being away from home.
  1. How well do you adjust to sleeping in an unfamiliar place?
    Depends. I'm usually OK in hotel rooms. And when we're on the road, I'm generally so exhausted by the end of the day, it's not hard to just crash. But if I'm staying in someone's home, I can have trouble getting settled down.
  2. When were you recently someone’s guest, and when were you recently someone’s host?
    Actually, it's been a really long time since I stayed with anyone. In all the traveling I've done recently, I've stayed in hotels. Most recently, I was a guest of the Sheraton folks. (They were lovely hosts.) Our most recent hosting job was last summer when we had a bunch of old friends staying with us for a group reunion/birthday bash. (We were lovely hosts.) Spent most of one day trying to take a group photo to commemorate the occasion. Old people are so adorable, aren't they?
  3. What’s the ickiest place where you’ve ever showered or bathed?
    Gee, I don't want to step on any toes here. And the hotels we stay in always have clean baths or we don't stay there. But many years ago, the Hubs and I were staying in one of the Oxford University colleges (long story — Hubby had a summer teaching gig at the University), and the (shared) bathrooms were pretty grubby. Had to do a thorough cleaning on the tub before using it. Can't really remember any other icky places. If it's disturbingly icky, I just stay unwashed. Ooh, that sounds pretty icky, too!
  4. What’s something you don’t need but insist on taking when you travel?
    My travel doll, Kayla. Here she is on a train from Chicago to Washington DC:

    And enjoying the view from a high spot in Shenandoah National Park:

  5. Who’s got a comfy couch?
    Me, me, me! In fact my couch is so comfy I frequently fall asleep on it at night and then wake up in the wee hours wondering what the heck happened. Bad habits are very hard to break.

So long for this week!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Sunday Stealing: The Chicago Crazy Questions

Time for another batch of stolen questions. (Go HERE to find out what it's all about.)
  1. What was your dream growing up?
    Fame, fortune, immortality. The usual dream stuff.
  2. What talent do you wish you had?
    Never learned to play a musical instrument, and I've always wished I had. But they tell me it's never too late.
  3. If I bought you a drink what would it be?
    Alcoholic drink? Tanqueray and tonic. Twist of lime. Easy on the ice.
  4. What was the last book you read?
    Anything Is Possible, by Elizabeth Strout.
  5. Worst Habit?
    Putting things off.
  6. If you saw me walking down the street would you offer me a ride?
    Probably not if I didn't know you. Sad, but true.
  7. What is your favorite sport?
    I don't really do sports, myself. But I love watching them. Favorites are tennis and basketball. (Go, Spurs!!!)
  8. What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator with me?
  9. Worst thing to ever happen to you?
    The deaths of my parents.
  10. Tell me one weird fact about you.
    I've seen a ghost. More than once. (Not the same ghost.)
  11. What if I showed up at your house unexpectedly?
    Please don't. No, seriously — I'd welcome you with some good ol' Texas house-pitality.
  12. If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be?
    I'd be taller.
  13. Would you be my crime partner or my conscience?
    Depends on the crime.
  14. Ever been arrested?
  15. If you won $10,000 today, what would you do with it?
    Find a worthy cause and donate it (fast, before the hubby banks it).
  16. Favorite thing to do in your spare time?
    I usually say "reading," but in reality I mostly just surf the 'net. Sad, but true.
  17. Biggest pet peeve?
    Oh, sweetie, I've got so many of those — some really frivolous, some more serious. And they change from day to day. I couldn't possibly pick a biggest. Maybe... people with too many pet peeves?
  18. In one word, how would you describe yourself?
  19. Do you believe in/appreciate romance?
    Definitely. Doesn't everyone?

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Saturday 9: The Tide Is High

The Saturday 9 ("Just a silly meme on a Saturday!") is hosted by Sam Winters. Nine questions posted every Saturday — sometimes random, sometimes with a theme. This week, the theme is...

Not familiar with the song? You can listen to it HERE.

1. This song was originally performed in 1966 by a Jamaican band called The Paragons. Jamaica is the most popular vacation destination in the Caribbean. What's your ideal vacation? (Relaxing on the beach, sightseeing in a new city, skiing the slopes, spending time with family, etc.)
Oooh, I've always wanted to go to the Caribbean. Well, I love sightseeing in a new city, but I think my ideal vacation definitely involves a beach. Last year we visited Hawaii for the first time. Stayed in Honolulu in a hotel right on Waikiki Beach. The ocean in one direction, high-end shopping in the other. Lots of gorgeous scenery all over the place. For me, that was pretty much as close to ideal as I'm likely to get.

2. In this song, Debbie Harry sings that she's not the kind of girl who gives up easily. How about you? Do you hang on stubbornly? Or do you know when to say "when?"
Well, I'm pretty stubborn about some things. And I really don't do well with change. (M and I are both like that — if we do something the same way twice, it becomes a tradition and must be continued.) So I'm not usually one to give up without a fight. But yeah, I do know when to say "when."

3. Blondie is a group that took its name from the lead singer's most identifiable characteristic, her hair. If your band was named after your hair, what would it be called?

4. Before her career as a singer took off, Debbie supported herself as a waitress. She even served drinks while wearing bunny ears and tail at The Playboy Club. Have you ever worked in food service? 
No, fortunately (or maybe unfortunately) I learned to type and take shorthand in school. So I could always manage to support myself with an office job. That got both the hubby and me through college. The jobs were boring, but dependable.

5. Debbie points to David Bowie as a major influence on her music and career. What's your favorite Bowie song?
It would be a toss-up between Space Oddity and Changes.

6. In 1980, when this song was popular, the best selling issue of Rolling Stone featured Robert Redford on the cover. Who is your all-time favorite actor?
Movie actor? All-time favorite? That's tough. Probably Humphrey Bogart. Or maybe Steve McQueen. Talking about living actors? Hard to choose. Maybe Morgan Freeman — he's always great, even in throw-away roles. (Robert Redford would be a good choice, too.)

7. In 1980, Ted Turner revolutionized how we watch TV when he introduced CNN. Do you have any subscriptions services in addition to cable -- like Hulu, Amazon Prime or Netflix?
We have a Netflix subscription that we use a lot. And I guess my Amazon Prime account does give me access to movies, but I've never tried it out.

8. John Lennon was murdered in 1980. Today there's a specially landscaped section of Central Park called Strawberry Fields in his honor. If you had a day to spend in New York, what would you want to see?
I think it would depend on the time of year and the weather. I've been to NYC many times, but not very recently. If I had only one day, I'd probably spend it just walking around, taking it all in. Or maybe head for the Metropolitan Museum — it's been quite a while since I visited there, and I'd love to see the Temple of Dendur again. And a stroll through Central Park would be nice too, especially in the spring or fall. But my favorite time to visit New York was always around Christmas time, so I could look at all those amazing holiday window decorations.

9. We're going shopping! Which do you need to add to your wardrobe: underwear, shoes or a swimsuit?
Well, I bought several new swimsuits last year, and I'm pretty sure they still fit — so I don't really need to shop for any more. And underwear? Actually, I'm pretty well stocked in that area, too. Now shoes — I always need to shop for shoes. Even though my closet is already crowded with dozens of pairs I hardly ever wear. (I'm a bit of an addict when it comes to shoe shopping.) You know, now that you mention it, I should probably head on over to Zappos and order a couple of pairs right now!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Unconscious Mutterings: Week 743

Mutterings for the week of April 30th. Unconscious Mutterings is hosted by LunaNiña. And here we go....
  1. Wax :: candles, paper, ear (Eeewww! Sorry about that!)
  2. 50% :: half full / half empty
  3. Speaker :: ...of the House (watching the evening news while writing this)
  4. Robot :: Robbie the...
  5. Nail :: polish
  6. Contour :: plowing (but I'm a CITY girl — must be some sort of genetic memory)
  7. Pin :: Pinterest (I spend WAY too much time over there)
  8. Sex :: ...and the City (Why would I think of this? I never watched a single show. Hmmm.)
  9. Batteries :: ...not included
  10. Echo :: chamber 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Photo for Wednesday: Rock Squirrel

Doing his best Meerkat

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Linking up with:

Monday, May 1, 2017

Sunday Stealing: The Unknown Author Questions

This is a new meme for me — Sunday Stealing. Just discovered it over the weekend. I'm not linking up because I'm very late getting it posted (maybe next week). But it looked like fun, so here we go....
  1. if someone wanted to really understand you, what would they read, watch, and listen to?
    Read... My blogs, naturally. But I've got several, and they go back years.
    Watch... Seinfeld
    Listen to... Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt, John Prine, Elvis, Rolling Stones, Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Sade, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, John Klemmer, George Benson, Frank Sinatra... I have pretty eclectic tastes in music
  2. have you ever found a blogger who thinks just like you? if so, who?
    Well, I'm pretty sure no one thinks just like me. Not even M, who's as close to me as it's possible to get. Wait, is this a trick question?
  3. list your fandoms and one character from each that you identify with.
    OK, I actually had to go google fandom to be sure I knew what we're talking about here. But I guess my primary "fandoms" and characters (at least the ones I can come up right now) would be...
    TV --
    Star Trek - Mr. Spock
    Star Trek Next Gen - Lwaxana Troi
    Doctor Who - I don't really identify with any of the characters, but my favorite Doctor was Tom Baker, and my favorite companion was Sarah Jane Smith
    Seinfeld - love all the characters
    The X-Files - love Mulder and Scully, but my real faves were the Lone Gunmen
    Big Bang Theory - Amy Farah Fowler
    Grace and Frankie - wanna-be Grace, but really more like Frankie
    Movies --
    The Back to the Future trilogy - favorite character is Doc Brown
    Books --
    The Mrs Malory novels by Hazel Holt - Sheila Malory
    Comics (never got into the Super Heroes, but once read lots of Disney, Looney Tunes, and other "funny" books) --
    Little Lulu - identified with Lulu, naturally
  4. do you like your name? is there another name you think would fit you better?
    Yeah, I'm OK with it. Now. Didn't like it much when I was much younger. It's a hard name for many Texans to pronounce, and sometimes ends up sounding like "Joey" or "Jaw-y." Or even more often, just Joyce. Used to drive me crazy. As a child, I always wanted to be called Laura or Brenda or Lorraine or Michelle. Which is a little weird, since I grew up to marry a boy named Michael whose mother was named Lorraine.
  5. do you think of yourself as a human being or a human doing? do you identify yourself by the things you do?
    Human being. But then, these days I don't really do much of anything.
  6. are you religious/spiritual?
    Not at all religious. Don't know about spiritual — I'm never actually entirely sure of what people mean when they say something/someone is spiritual.
  7. do you care about your ethnicity?
    Um. Dangerous question. I don't know that I really care about it, but it does interest me. I think most humans are interested in where/what they come from.
  8. what musical artists have you most felt connected to over your lifetime?
    Well, I've lived amongst musical artists most of my adult life, so I feel connected to quite a few. Most of them non-professionals, though. I guess the closest would be my hubby who is a very talented musician.
  9. are you an artist?
    From time to time.
  10. do you have a creed?
    Live and let live. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And (as Ellen always says) be kind to one another.
  11. describe your ideal day.
    Spending time with M. Lots of sunshine, no rain. No doctor or dentist appointments. No emergencies. Hours and hours of doing not much of anything, with my favorite guy.
  12. dog person or cat person?
    Both. But I live with a cat-loving guy who really doesn't like dogs. So....
  13. inside or outdoors?
    I love the outdoors, but it doesn't love me. Asthma. Lots of allergies. So I don't spend a lot of time outside. But I can sit and watch it out the window for HOURS at a time.
  14. are you a musician?
    No. And I regret that.
  15. five most influential books over your lifetime.
    Hmmm. I could come up with favorites. But influential? That would be hard, and the list would probably be different if you asked me tomorrow. Maybe:
    Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
    Be Here Now, by Ram Dass
    An Actor Prepares, by Konstantin Stanislavski
    1984, by George Orwell
    The Diary of Anne Frank
  16. if you’d grown up in a different environment, do you think you’d have turned out the same?
    No, not exactly the same.
  17. would you say your tumblr is a fair representation of the “real you”?
    I do have a tumblr account, but I've never done anything with it. So it doesn't really represent much of anything.
  18. what’s your patron-us?
    I have no idea what that is.
  19. which Harry Potter house would you be in? or are you a muggle?
    Another hard question. I've only read the first HP book, and have only seen a few of the movies. I have a feeling I'm a definite muggle.
  20. would you rather be in Middle Earth, Narnia, Hogwarts, or somewhere else?
  21. do you love easily?
    Easily? No. But I'm loyal.
  22. list the top five things you spend the most time doing, in order.
    • Playing with my computer, blogging, 'net surfing, etc.
    • Watching TV
    • Reading
    • Doing housekeeping-type stuff
    • Shopping
  23. how often would you want to see your family every year?
    Another trick question.
  24. have you ever felt like you had a “mind-meld” with someone?
  25. could you live as a hermit?
    No. Well, maybe if the internet connection was fast enough.
  26. how would you describe your gender/sexuality?
    I'm too old to even understand this question.
  27. do you feel like your outside appearance is a fair representation of the “real you”?
    Yes. Which is sort of disturbing.
  28. on a scale from 1 to 10, how hard is it for someone to get under your skin?
    I'm think I'm pretty even-tempered. But I dislike stupidity, and people who do bad things to other people or to animals. Cruelty and ignorance can piss me off very quickly. (I also don't like rating things.)
  29. three songs that you connect with right now.
    Not really "connecting" with anything at the moment. I've been humming "April in Paris" today because M has been playing it on the piano lately.
  30. pick one of your favorite quotes.
    "Don't look back. You're not going that way."