Saturday, December 22, 2018

Saturday 9: Happy Holidays!

The Saturday 9  meme is hosted by Sam Winters. Nine questions posted every Saturday — sometimes random, sometimes with a theme. This week, Christmas is the theme and Sam has provided a photo from her past....

1. As you can see, Sam loved giving her annual wish list to Santa. Yet some children are reluctant to climb into Jolly Old St. Nick's lap. Did you enjoy the tradition or were you shy? Or did you by pass it altogether — either because you wrote him a letter or because your family didn't celebrate Christmas?
I liked talking to Santa every year. I would wait in line for hours at one of the big downtown department stores. I think I did it until I was nearly adolescent. Can't prove it, though — there are no photos of me on Santa's lap.
2. Are you currently on the Naughty or Nice list? How did you get there?
I've been pretty good this year. I think I'd definitely make Santa's "Nice" list. Actually, I'm too arthritic to be very naughty. 
3. Did you ship any gifts to friends and family this year? If so, which one traveled the farthest?
We shipped a gift to family in Florida. Wish we could have delivered it in person.
4. Did you buy yourself a gift this year?
This year the hubby and I decided to give ourselves a new big-screen TV for Christmas. Haven't bought it yet (Hubs is still doing his "research"), so it'll be a late gift. Also got ourselves some fitness trackers — an Apple watch for M, a Fitbit for me. 
5. What's your favorite holiday-themed movie? Have you seen it yet this year?
We're a little behind schedule in our Christmas movie watching this year. (Too many Spurs games to watch.) I'm not a huge fan of holiday movies, but M loves them. He has a long, long list of Christmas movies he likes to watch EVERY year. I like some of them more than others. I guess my favorite of the newer movies is National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Of the oldies, I like The Bishop's Wife and Christmas in Connecticut and White Christmas. And even though I see it as more of a horror movie than a holiday movie, I have to see It's a Wonderful Life every year. 
6. Thinking of movies, Christmas is lucrative for Hollywood. Have you ever gone to a movie theater on Christmas Day?
I think so, but not in many years. When we were dating (back in the Pleistocene Era) we used to go to the movies on most holidays. 
7. Have you ever suffered an embarrassing moment at the company Christmas party?
No. Most of the company Christmas parties I attended were pretty tame. Not much of an opportunity for embarrassing moments. Fortunately. 
8. What's your favorite beverage in cold weather?
Starbucks soy cappuccino.
9. Share a memory from last Christmas.
Last Christmas the Hubs and I both had the flu. Not a Christmas I want to remember. So far, we're both well this year. And I'm really hoping that continues.

Happy Saturday, everyone!

And Happy Holidays!

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Thursday, December 13, 2018

(Almost) Wordless on (Almost) Wednesday

Yesterday at lunch. Kept finding little heart-shaped onion slices in my Pho Tom. Cute.

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Saturday, December 1, 2018

Saturday 9: Call Me (Montez, not Blondie)

The Saturday 9  meme is hosted by Sam Winters. Nine questions posted every Saturday — sometimes random, sometimes with a theme. This week, the theme is...

"Call Me" (1965)
by Chris Montez

1. Chris Montez sings that you can always call him, regardless of the hour. Do you believe that it's ever too late to phone someone?
Depends on who's calling and why. I'm usually not comfortable calling anyone after about 8pm unless it's really an emergency. If it's someone calling me — well, I guess the same rule applies. But there are people who can definitely call me at any hour if they need to. (Lookin' at you, Lissy-Lou. Hey I'm a poet!) 
2. He insists that you can depend on him, even when your friends desert you. Who is someone you can trust to have your back, no matter what?
My husband. The most dependable person I've ever known. 
3. Billy Crystal serenades Meg Ryan — via answering machine — with "Call Me" in When Harry Met Sally. Answering machines have been replaced by voice mail. Who most recently left you a voice mail?
Hmmm. Probably CVS letting us know a prescription was ready to be picked up. Or one of those robots telling me that I qualify for much lower rates on something. See how exciting my life is?
4. Chris Montez is a graduate of El Camino College in Torrance, California. The average daytime temperature in November in Torrance is 70º. How is the weather where you are today?
Sunny and warmer than it's been the last few days (writing this on Thursday morning). I think it's supposed to be in the 70s here today, too. The hubby is actually outside right now, tidying the yard a bit. The red cedar is keeping me indoors. 
5. Today Chris actively promotes a healthy lifestyle to children. He was honored for his efforts by the group SOPA (Stop Obesity, Promote Activity). Do you believe you get enough exercise?   
Not really. I do try to exercise everyday, but I could probably use more. We recently bought a new treadmill and I'm trying to use it more. Treadmill walking is boring, but much better than walking outside when it's cold or rainy.
6. Released in late 1965, "Call Me" became a big hit in 1966, reaching #2 on the charts. Even though it sold millions of copies and was certified as a Gold Record, it never hit #1. Is winning, or being the best, important to you?
Sometimes. However, I've never been hugely competitive. If I really care about something, I'll make a big effort, but it has to be really important.
7. In 1966, when this was playing on juke boxes, kids were watching Batman and Star Trek. If you had your choice of watching an episode right now, which would you choose: Star Trek or Batman?
Definitely Star Trek (I've always been a Trekkie).  
But I used to enjoy the old Batman TV show, too. Haven't seen any of the Batman movies because I don't want to spoil my memories of Adam West as the kitschy super hero.  
8. Also in 1966, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay was born. Do you enjoy cooking?
Hate it. Never have liked cooking and never have been any good at it. One goes with the other, I guess. Love to watch other people cook, though. 
9. Random question — You have the opportunity to perform in the circus! Would you rather be shot from a cannon, or put your head in the lion's mouth?
Those are my only choices? I guess I'd pick the cannon since big cats are pretty terrifying. (Remember Roy Horn and the tiger?) But I'd much rather perform on the high wire or trapeze. As a kid, I thought I'd like to join the circus when I grew up. I used to climb up and walk around on the top bar of my swing set in the backyard. Drove my mother crazy, but I was really good at it. And lucky — never broke a bone and I'm still alive to tell the tale. 

Happy Saturday, everyone!
Live long and prosper.

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Saturday, November 24, 2018

Saturday 9: Black Magic Woman

The Saturday 9  meme is hosted by Sam Winters. Nine questions posted every Saturday — sometimes random, sometimes with a theme. This week, the theme is...

"Black Magic Woman" (1970)

1. Black is this week's signature color because Friday, November 23, was "Black Friday," when retailers cut their prices and consumers flock to the stores. Did you score any "Black Friday" bargains?
Well, I'm actually starting this on Thanksgiving while I'm waiting for the turkey to get done. So no Friday anything yet. But it's not likely I'll be going out to do any major shopping on Friday. Too many crowds. Might buy something online.
2. On busy shopping days, carts often litter parking lots. After loading your items into your car, are you careful to return your shopping cart to the store or the designated cart receptacle?
Most of the time. If the weather is really bad or if my knees are giving me trouble, I might not be so conscientious about it. I sort of miss the old days when the stores had people to help you carry your stuff to your car. 
3. Who on your gift list is hardest to buy for?
Everybody. I'm a terrible gift-picker-outer. Never know what to give anyone. 
4. Feasting and football are also popular Thanksgiving weekend pastimes. Do your Thursday-Sunday plans include enjoying leftovers or watching a game?
There will definitely be football watching in our house. The Cowboys play today (Thursday), and the Longhorns have a game tomorrow. As for leftovers — I've tried to plan it so we won't have a LOT of leftovers this year, but the hubby loves eating the leftovers, so there will be SOME. [Update: We forgot to watch the UT game on Friday! Fortunately, they won without our support.]
5. Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade is an annual event. It began in 1924 as a local event in New York. Today it's nationally televised. Did you watch it?
I'm watching it right now. Well, not exactly watching, but it's on. I usually turn it on every year, but I don't really pay strict attention. So far, the Google ads have been more entertaining than the parade.
6. What did you give thanks for on Thanksgiving 2018?
Well, I'm thankful that M and I are both still here and doing pretty well, health-wise. I'm thankful that a couple of health scares this year weren't serious. Thankful for family and friends, and that the weather here isn't as awful as it is in most of the country right now. Actually, for me personally, things are going OK at the moment, so I've got quite a lot to be thankful for. 
7. At the first Thanksgiving, there were no forks. Pilgrims ate with spoons and knives, and forks didn't become popular until the 18th century. Think about your Thanksgiving place setting. Did you have both a salad and a dinner fork?
No. If we were having guests, we might add a salad fork. If we were having salad. Which we're not.
8. Pies are a popular Thanksgiving dessert. What kind of pie did you enjoy? Or did you have ice cream? Or did you skip dessert?
Haven't had dessert yet, but it's going to be pumpkin pie. No ice cream or topping this year. I usually have Cool Whip, but forgot to buy it this year. 
9. This week's featured band, Santana, was named for its founder, Carlos Santana. He was born in Mexico. When at a Mexican restaurant, what do you usually order?
Well, since we live in central Texas, we eat a lot of Mexican food. In some parts of the Austin area, there is literally a Mexican restaurant on every corner. And one in the middle of the block, too. I love it, even though it doesn't always love me. But I don't really have any one item that I always order. I do love tamales, but not every Mexican restaurant has them. I guess the one thing I usually do have is guacamole. Hmmm. Why am I so hungry all of a sudden?

Happy Saturday, everyone!
Have a great weekend.

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Friday, November 16, 2018

Saturday 9: Sentimental Journey

The Saturday 9  meme is hosted by Sam Winters. Nine questions posted every Saturday — sometimes random, sometimes with a theme. This week, the theme is...

"Sentimental Journey" (1945)

1. Doris sings that she has her bag packed. Tell us about your luggage. Is your bag easy to spot on the luggage carousel?
Usually. All my luggage is very old and banged up. I've thought about updating with something newer and easier to handle, but mine is so distinctive and stuff-able, I really hate to change.
2. The release of this song coincided with VE Day, and so it meant a great deal to troops returning home from Europe. What song has sentimental value for you? Why?
There are several songs that have very personal meaning for me. But I think the one with the most "sentimental" value is an oldie from my mom's day (just like this one) -- Deep Purple (see a clip of Artie Shaw's orchestra performing it HERE). She always said that she and my father thought of it as their song, and after he was gone (he died at 36, when I was 10), she always got a little emotional whenever she heard it. 
3. As a young girl, Doris was passionate about dance. Concentrating in the studio and performing on stage helped distract her from heartache and embarrassment over her parents' divorce. When you want to escape from what's troubling you, what do you do?
Talk to the hubby. That usually does the trick.
4. Her dancing days came to an end when, at age 15, she was in a car accident and damaged her leg. During her recovery, she discovered how much she enjoyed singing with the radio, and was delighted to find others enjoyed hearing her. Tell us about a time you unexpectedly found happiness or success.
I think I've been pretty lucky in life, and have had quite a lot of happiness so far. (Taking a little break here to knock on wood.) But I guess the most recent time I found unexpected success was when we found the house we're living in now. We leased it almost sight-unseen when we moved from Virginia to Texas a few years ago, and didn't expect to love it so much. But it was such a great house, we decided to buy it after we'd lived in it for a few months. Didn't have to MOVE again. That was REAL happiness. 
5. She moved from singer to actress in the late 1940s and was a major movie star for 25 years. She was paired with the most popular leading men of her time — everyone from Clark Gable to Frank Sinatra to Rock Hudson. If you could share a kiss with any actor or actress, who would you choose?
What a question! Maybe Robert Redford. Or Denzel Washington. Or Sam Elliott. All still very kissable guys even though they're getting older. Or, if he was still with us, Steve McQueen, my all-time fave movie star. 
6. 1968 was a terrible year for Doris. First, she suddenly became a widow. Then she discovered that her late husband and his business partner had squandered her money and she had to file for bankruptcy. Oh, wait! There's more! She also found that, in his role as her manager, her late husband had, without her knowledge, committed her to a weekly TV series. Do you have a 1968? What year you can point to and say, "Wow, I'm glad that's over"?
Well, I was pretty happy to see the end of 2017 — that was one of the most depressing years I've lived through. So far, 2018 has been better than that one, but it's not over yet.
7. After retiring from show business, she became an advocate for animal welfare. She has said we should be more sensitive to the loneliness, sadness and guilt people feel when they lose a pet. Think of a time you were grieving. What words or gestures helped you through? Conversely, what's something no one should ever say to someone who is hurting?
I have no idea how to answer this one. But I do agree with Doris about the loss of a pet. That experience can be just as traumatic as losing a human loved one, and should never be made light of.
8. Doris' only child was her son, record producer Terry Melcher. Terry had a successful, years-long collaboration with The Beach Boys. Do you have a favorite Beach Boys song?
I love ALL the Beach Boys music, but I guess my favorites are Fun Fun Fun and I Get Around — they were some of my favorites in high school and I still love singing along when I hear them today. 
9. Random question: What's one thing you've never done, but have always wanted to try?
I know it's a no-no at my age, but if I were just a little younger I'd love to try ice skating. Even though I really hate the cold, I've always thought it looked like fun.

Happy Saturday, everyone!
Have a great weekend.

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Sunday, October 28, 2018

Sunday Stealing: Sleepy Rambles

Time for a little Sunday Stealing (hosted by Bev Sykes)  -- questions lifted from all over the blogosphere. This week's list was stolen from Sleepy Rambles.

1. What is on your mind right now?
Mostly medical stuff, unfortunately. 
2. Do you know anyone who has attended Harvard University?
3. How many books are in the room you’re in?
I haven't counted them. We've turned a bedroom into a "study" where we keep most of our books. I've tried to keep them out of the living/dining room area (where I am right now), but we ended up putting one bookcase in here, too. Mostly art books. 

4. Do you save at least 15 percent of your income?
No idea. The Hubby is our financial officer. We save, but I don't really know what percentage.
5. When was the last time you had a rainy day spent at home?
Please don't get me started on rainy days. Parts of our area are still underwater from all the flooding we've had lately. But, to answer the question — I try not to go out when it's raining, so I spend most rainy days at home.
6. When was the last time you stayed home from school/work?
N/A — I'm retired.
7. Do you write “yes” or “no” answers to surveys or do you explain more?
Depends on the survey and the mood I'm in.
8. Is there any type of medicine you can’t take? For what reason?
Hmmmm. Strange question.
9. Do you have a favorite pair of pajamas? What do they look like?
I wear nighties. I do have a favorite. It looks just like a nightie.
10. Would you rather have potato or chicken noodle soup if you had to?
That would probably depend on who's making the soup. I like them both.
11. Do you believe that when a person appears in your dreams, that person wants to see you?
12. When’s the last time you saw your mom?
My mother died over 15 years ago. I was with her when she died.
13. What is one food you could eat for a month, straight, and not get sick of?
Pasta. But not for breakfast.
14. Have you ever spray painted something about your love somewhere?
No. The only thing I've ever spray painted was a bunch of pinecones for Christmas one year. I did love the pinecones, though.
15. Do you live in a town where basically everyone knows everyone else?
No. Our community is pretty small, but not that small.


Saturday, October 27, 2018

Saturday 9: Alfred Hitchcock Presents

The Saturday 9  meme is hosted by Sam Winters. Nine questions posted every Saturday — sometimes random, sometimes with a theme. This week, the theme is...

Theme from
"Alfred Hitchcock Presents"

1. The Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, was born in England. Name another pop culture contribution England has made.
First thing that comes to mind has to be the Fab Four — the Beatles! But I suppose Chaucer and Shakespeare were also the "pop culture" kings of their days.
2. This week's song is recognized as the theme to Hitchcock's long-running TV show, but "Funeral March for a Marionnette" is a classic piece written for piano in the late 1870s by Charles Gounod. Do you often listen to classical music?
Not as often as I used to. These days I mostly listen to jazz, which I think of as sort of modern classical.
3. Janet Leigh's shower scene in  Hitchcock's Psycho is considered one of the scariest sequences ever filmed. What's the most frightening movie you've ever seen?
I love scary movies (though not the really gory ones), so I've seen a lot of them. It would be hard to name just one as scariest. I think my all-time favorite is the old Ray Milland film, "The Uninvited" (from 1944). But the ones that probably scared me the most, the first time I saw them, were "The Haunting" (the 1963 original, not any of the remakes) and "The Innocents" (the 1961 film based on Henry James's The Turn of the Screw, with Deborah Kerr as the haunted governess). And one more — "The Changeling" from 1980, with George C. Scott as a composer who moves into a wonderfully scary haunted house after his wife and daughter die in an accident.
4. Hitchcock admitted that he "never trusted birds," and he took that fear and turned it into the movie, The Birds. Is there a member of the animal kingdom that just gives you "the creeps?"
Not sure about animals, but there are quite a few insects that spook me. 
5. Halloween will soon be upon us. Will you carve a jack o'lantern this year?
Not likely. Actually, I don't think I've ever carved a jack o'lantern. 
6. What candy will trick or treaters get at your house?
We don't really get trick or treaters at our house. We live in an area where there just aren't many children. I usually buy a bag of snack-size Kit-Kats or M&Ms or something, just in case. But I always end up eating them myself.... Which is one of the reasons Halloween is my favorite holiday.
7.  When you went trick or treating, did you prefer fantasy costumes (like a storybook character) or scary ones (like a monster)?
Mostly fantasy. I think I did go as a ghost one year. And as a witch, at least once. But other years, I was a clown or a gypsy or a pirate or Peter Pan or Snow White or some other fantasy figure.
8.  Which candy was your favorite? Which one were you disappointed to find in your trick or treat bag?
OK, we're talking a looong time ago, back before all trick-or-treat candy had to be store-bought and hermetically sealed. And back in those bad old days, my favorite things on Halloween were the homemade popcorn balls some people would hand out. Also always loved candy corn and Tootsie Rolls. Can't really think of any candy I would have been disappointed with.
9. Which do you find scarier — cemeteries or haunted houses?
In movies? I'd say haunted houses. In real life — at my age, cemeteries are getting scarier and scarier. 

Happy Saturday, everyone!
Have a great weekend.

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Friday, October 5, 2018

SkyWatch Friday: Dumpling Clouds

I might have mentioned this before -- I am not a fan of rainy weather. And we have had SOOOOO much rain lately. Not nearly as much as some parts of the country, but a lot more than usual for this part of the world. Feel like I've been transported from central Texas to Seattle. (Not that I have anything against Seattle. I hear it's a lovely place.) But if I hear one more person say "Well, we need the rain," I'm gonna scream really loud and for a really long time.

This September was one of the wettest months on record around the Austin area, and even though the weather has been a little better the last few days, we do have more rain predicted for this weekend. Whoopee.

But the rain has produced some really interesting clouds, like these from a week or so ago. I think these are called cirrocumulus clouds, but I always think of them as "dumpling clouds" because when I was a kid, they always reminded me of my Aunt Gussie's chicken and dumplings. Yum.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Unconscious Mutterings: Week 809

Wow, I haven't muttered in months. These Mutterings are for the weeks of September 23rd and 30th (I think). Unconscious Mutterings is hosted by LunaNiña. And here we go....
  1. Secure :: safe, home
  2. Untamed :: free, loose, dangerous
  3. Private :: Benjamin (Remember the old Goldie Hawn movie?)

  4. Blue :: -bonnet, -berry, -tooth
  5. Total :: all, entire, sum
  6. Scrunch :: wrinkle, crumple, compress
  7. Supply :: office, school
  8. Ill-fitting :: most of my wardrobe
  9. Aches :: most of my body
  10. Warranty :: promise

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Saturday 9: She Works Hard for the Money

The Saturday 9  meme is hosted by Sam Winters. Nine questions posted every Saturday — sometimes random, sometimes with a theme. This week, the theme is...

"She Works Hard for the Money" (1983)
by Donna Summer

1. This song is about a woman who works hard as a waitress. What's the hardest job you've ever had?
Well, I spent most of my working life at a desk, behind a typewriter or computer screen — not really what you'd call hard labor. But while we were in college I spent part of one summer helping my husband paint his mother's house. She did pay us, so I suppose it counts as a job (instead of just a mom favor). And that really was hard labor. And it was August in south Texas, so we almost had heat stroke. But we were young and hardy — and stupid.
2. The lyrics tell us she has worked at this job for 28 years. What's the longest you stayed with one employer?
Eleven years. Wanted to quit almost from day one, but the benefits were too good to leave.
3. Donna Summer was inspired to write this song during an awards show. She ducked into the bathroom and met the elderly ladies' room attendant, whose job it was to make sure the room the spotless, the complimentary hairspray and moisturizer was abundant, and there was a hot towel for every celebrity who used the facilities. "Wow," Donna thought, "she works hard for those tips." Who is the last person you tipped?
Hmmm. Haven't really gone anywhere lately. I guess my last tip probably went to the lady who cuts my hair. She works hard for the money, too.
4. Early in her career, Donna was in the touring company of the musical Hair. It played in Munich for so long that she became fluent in German. What's the longest you have ever lived away from home?
Away from home, as in out of this country? Three months — once spent a summer in England. Other than that, I've been away from home for vacations and visits, but never really lived away from home. I even lived at home while I was in college.
Of course, Texans always feel that any time they spend living out of state is away from home — and by that reckoning, I lived away from home more than half my life.
5. Sam's dad is naturally outgoing and enjoys striking up conversations with waitresses, librarians, the checker at the supermarket, etc. Sam is always polite but more private. Are you more like father or daughter?
Daughter. I always try to be pleasant, but I'm not naturally gregarious. The hubby is. I'm trying to be more like him. 
6. A little more than 10% of the American workforce is self-employed. Have you ever been your own boss?
I've done some free-lance editing work. Nothing I could have supported myself with.
7. Labor Day weekend may offer a golden opportunity for napping and sleeping in. Do you snore?
Probably, but not enough to be a problem. 
8. Will you be attending a Labor Day picnic or barbecue?
We haven't made any plans for Labor Day, so I guess we'll be just relaxing at home. Which is pretty much what we do everyday anyway.
9. Labor Day traditionally marks the beginning of the fall. Will you be adding any new fall clothes to your wardrobe?
I'm sure I will, although I haven't really started thinking about that yet. I know I should get out there right now and start putting together that new fall/winter wardrobe, but I just can't bring myself to admit summer is coming to an end. I don't start looking at cool-weather clothes until the cool weather actually gets here. Maybe November or December. By then, of course, the stores will be selling spring clothing. It's a never-ending battle I fight with the retail world.

Happy Saturday, everyone!
Have a great weekend.

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Sunday, August 26, 2018

Sunday Stealing: Misc. Questions

Time for a little Sunday Stealing (hosted by Bev Sykes)  -- questions lifted from all over the blogosphere. This week's list was stolen from Phoenix, the Blogging Mama (private blog).

1. How has your life most benefited from the Internet? Whether it’s meeting people, cutting business overhead, finding rare collectibles, or simply sharing funny cat pictures, share how the web has made life easier.
Wow. Books have been written on this subject. The Internet has made life easier in so many ways, it would be hard to list them here. However, I do not share cat pictures. Well, not anymore.
2. The getaway car is waiting outside – where is it taking you?
Well, obviously away from the scene of the crime. But seriously, I would love to take a trip anywhere. I just hate the planning and packing.
3. Do you reply to comments on your blog? All of them? Or just the really interesting ones?  Do you go back to check if the authors or the blogs you comment on reply to your comments?
I read all comments, and I do try to visit the commenters' blogs (if they have them). And I know it's an awful thing to admit, but no, I don't very often reply to blog comments unless there's some reason to (to answer a question, for instance). And I very rarely go back to check for replies to comments I've made. I'm a bad, bad blogger.
4. On average, how long does it take you to make an important decision?
On average, forever. I'm lucky to have married a guy who makes really good decisions quickly and easily.
5. Do you gather a lot of information prior to making the decision, or do you go with your gut in the heat of the moment?
Depends on the decision I'm having to make. Usually, I do both. Not a very efficient system.
6. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned recently?
Tripping over lamp cords can do a lot of damage to an elderly body.
7. What’s your hidden talent? Are you double-jointed? Can you sneeze the alphabet? Share your unique skill.
I don't have any hidden talents. Well, not any I'd be willing to share with the general public, anyway.
8. Rate the level of intensity you have about wanting to know God – no desire, low priority, curious, great desire, high priority, desperate to learn more. Explain your answer.
I am not religious. I am, however, interested in religions and their attraction.
9. What’s one of your nicknames?  How did you get that nickname?
My family called me Joanie — I'm not really sure how that came about.
10. What do you have to have with you when you travel? Why?
The hubby — he keeps me sane and remembers all the details I'm likely to forget. Dramamine if I'm flying — I tend to get airsick if the flight gets rough. And always, something to read.
11. What do you think about reading books on an electronic reading device? Do you have an electronic reading device? Do you love it? Why? If you don’t love it, why not?
I do have several electronic reading devices and I really love 'em. I was skeptical at first, but I've become a huge fan. I still love reading print books too, but I read much faster on my iPad or Kindle. 
12. Do you prefer writing on paper or a keyboard? Why?
Well, I think I actually prefer writing on paper with a nice pen. Unfortunately, my hands and fingers have become so arthritic, I can't write more than a few sentences without getting really cramped up and sore. So I've been forced into using the computer for just about all my writing.
13. If the shoes make the man (or woman), what do your shoes say about you right now? (Assuming you’re wearing shoes. Although if you’re not, that certainly says something, too.)
They say I like soft, comfy slippers in the morning.
14. Describe your favorite pair of shoes.
A few years ago, I bought a pair of Ralph Lauren ballet flats from Zappos — soft black leather with a little fabric bow on the toes. They were so comfortable, I bought several more pairs. I've really loved them. Wore them just about everyday. The last pair is wearing out now, and I haven't been able to find anything to replace them. Bummer. 
15. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one ability or quality, what would it be?
I've answered this question in a lot of memes, and never been really satisfied with my answers. There are so many possibilities. Right now, I think my answer would be just to be a better, nicer, and more caring person. More other-oriented, not so bitchy. For instance, why am I sitting here playing with my computer when I should be out there volunteering in the community? Hmmm?
BONUS:  When they "cool sculpt" your body, where does the fat go?
What fat?


Saturday, August 11, 2018

Saturday 9: The Nanny

The Saturday 9  meme is hosted by Sam Winters. Nine questions posted every Saturday — sometimes random, sometimes with a theme. This week, the theme is...

"The Nanny" (1993)

1. This week's song is the theme from a sitcom that originally aired from 1993 to 1999. Were you a fan?
No. I think I saw a few of the shows, but mostly just by accident.
2. The song tells us that Fran once worked in a bridal shop. Have you ever worked in a retail setting?
Yes, I have. But many, many years ago, right after high school and during my first year of college. I had an aunt who was a head buyer in one of the local department stores and she got me several part-time jobs in the store. I enjoyed working in retail and thought about making a career there. Eventually changed my mind, but I think I might have been very happy as a "saleslady.
3. The kids in the Sheffield household appreciate their nanny's "joie de vivre," which is defined as "exuberant enjoyment of life." Are you feeling joie de vivre this morning?
Right now, I'm just happy for another day of la vie. The joie will show up sometime after I've had my coffee.
4. "The Nanny" is the colorful one, the one who wears red when everyone else wears tan. What color do you think you look best in?
Hmmm. I think I've answered this before. Maybe some other meme. Anyway, I actually look best in pastels, pales and neutrals. But I like bright colors too, and do wear them once in a while, even though they're not my best choice. Also wear a lot of black and navy blue, which are not supposed to be "my" colors. Pink is a good color for me, but I'm just not a pinkish person.
5. The TV show, The Nanny, was the brainchild of actress Fran Drescher. She got the idea while visiting an old friend in London. Her friend's pre-teen daughter enjoyed having Fran as a confidante and shopping buddy. Do you enjoy shopping as a leisure activity? Or would you prefer to just dash into a store, grab what you need, and get out and go home?
It's funny — shopping is something I used to enjoy a lot. In fact, it was one of my favorite activities. But these days I don't do that much physical shopping (well, except for grocery-buying trips) in real stores. I do most of my shopping online. I enjoy some of it, but some of it is just a chore. I definitely wouldn't call it a leisure activity. 
6. The friend Fran was visiting in London was Twiggy, who was the world's most famous model in the 1960s. Name another famous model.
Jean Shrimpton. Also a famous model from the '60s. Current crop? I have no idea.
7. The Nanny: The Complete Series is available on DVD on Amazon. It consists of 19 discs and takes 55 hours to watch, start to finish. What TV show have you recently binge watched?
I'm not really a fan of "binge watching." My attention span just isn't long enough for marathon TV watching anymore. But recently the hubby and I discovered Person of Interest, which we had never watched when it was actually being shown. We streamed the first couple of seasons over several evenings, and then just sort of ... lost interest. 
8. The Nanny theme was sung by Liz Callaway. Her father, the late John Callaway, was a long-time Chicago newscaster. Have you, or has a loved one, ever been on TV?
Well, I had an uncle who was a news anchorman on local TV back in the 1950s and '60s. I used to love watching him deliver the news every evening. I think I've been on TV twice — once in high school, I was in a group who staged a short scene from a play for some sort of local-interest show, and once in college I did something on one of the  educational channels, but I honestly cannot remember what it was. 
9. Random question — Which of these adjectives comes closest to describing you: sexy, sophisticated or down-to-earth?
Well, definitely not sexy — that train left the station thirty years ago and ain't never comin' back. I think I'm pretty down-to-earth, but I can be a little sophisticated when I need to be. So, maybe a down-to-earth sophisticate — how's that?

Happy Saturday, everyone!
Have a great weekend.

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Saturday, August 4, 2018

Saturday 9: Along Comes a Friend

The Saturday 9  meme is hosted by Sam Winters. Nine questions posted every Saturday — sometimes random, sometimes with a theme. This week, the theme is...

"Along Comes A Friend"
Theme from KATE & ALLIE (1984)

1. This week's song is the theme from Kate and Allie, a sitcom that ran from 1984 to 1989. Were you a fan?
I was. Watched it every week. I've always been a fan of Jane Curtin, and I like Susan St. James, too.
2. The show was about two divorced women who live and raise their children together. Were you ever a single parent? Were you raised by a single parent?
I was never any kind of parent (no kids -- just pets). I guess my mother was technically a single parent after my father died when I was ten. But we moved in with my grandparents, so she didn't have to go it alone. Of course, I was a perfect angel, so I didn't need a lot of tending. 
3. Allie is proud that she can make a perfect cup of coffee: "Just the essence of the bean. No acidity." Kate is proud that she can belch the alphabet. What are you proud of?
Well, I've never been in jail. That's a feather in my cap, right?
4. Kate and Allie share half of a duplex in Greenwich Village. Many episodes had them doing laundry in the basement. Where are your washer and dryer?
In this house, we have a dedicated laundry room which is absolutely wonderful. Before this place, we lived in an apartment with the washer/dryer in the kitchen and that was absolutely awful. But it was certainly much better than having them in the basement (been there, too). 
5. Kate was played by Susan St. James. She was familiar to viewers as the "wife" in McMillan and Wife. Without looking it up, do you know who played McMillan?
Rock Hudson. Another one of my favorite shows back then.
6. Allie was played by Jane Curtin. She was one of three women in the original Saturday Night Live cast. Without looking it up, can you name the other two?
Gilda Radner and Laraine Newman. Another favorite show. But I sort of lost interest in it after that original cast started leaving. 
7. On the set, Jane Curtin ran a poker game for the cast and crew. Do you think winning at poker takes more luck or skill?
Probably a mix of both, but I think skill is definitely involved. I've never been able to play poker -- can't remember all the different categories ( or hands?). I used to play a mean game of gin rummy, but I haven't played in years. 
8. The Kate & Allie theme was cowritten and sung by John Lefler. Years later, Mr. Lefler wrote the theme for the Pokemon show. Is anyone in your life into Pokemon?
No. Well, not that I know of, anyway. I never really understood exactly what Pokemon was. Still don't.
9. Random question: What's the last thing you whispered?
I honestly can't remember. I mumble a lot, but I don't do much whispering.

Happy Saturday, everyone!
Have a great weekend.

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Thursday, August 2, 2018

National Coloring Book Day

Today, August 2nd, is National Coloring Book Day! Or so the Dover Publications people tell me. I know it's really just an advertising gimmick, but I love coloring books, so I'm definitely in favor of a national holiday to celebrate them.

I've always loved to color, and kept a stash of coloring books long before the hobby became a national craze. Over the years I've collected quite a pile of them, so I thought I'd show off a few.

I think probably the oldest book in my collection is this Children's Hour Painting Book for Little Folks, published by M.A. Donohue & Co.

It's from 1913 and was a Christmas gift to "Wm-Cecil Walker" from his Aunt Nellie.

I believe it's actually meant for watercolor painting, but would also be perfect for crayons. It has some very sweet nursery rhyme type illustrations.

And many of the pictures include duplicate colored images, to serve as examples.

Most of these pages are untouched, so I guess this wasn't very popular with Wm-Cecil. But as you can see, he (or someone) did attempt a few of these.

One of my favorites in the collection is this Super Market Coloring Contest book from the early 1950s. Don't you love the way the original owner "decorated" the cover image?

The pictures in these books usually were tie-ins with products the stores sold, and this one is no exception.

Inside they always had the rules and some sort of entry form to fill out:

This entry was started by Mario Lewis, but apparently Mario didn't end up entering the contest after all. I used to love these things, but like Mario I never entered any of the contests. And that was a shame because look at all the cool prizes I could have won!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Saturday 9: Love Is All Around

The Saturday 9  meme is hosted by Sam Winters. Nine questions posted every Saturday — sometimes random, sometimes with a theme. This week, the theme is...

"Love Is All Around" (1970)
Theme from The Mary Tyler Moore Show

1. This week's song is the theme from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, a sitcom that originally aired from 1970 to 1977. Were you a fan?
Yes. Watched it every week. 
2. The song tells us that Mary Richards can turn the world on with her smile. Yet the real-life Mary Tyler Moore said she was uncomfortable with her "wide mouth." If you could improve on one of your facial features, which would you choose?
Do ears count? I've always hated my ears — they're too big and they stick out. I usually try to keep them covered by my hair. Other than that, I think my facial features are mostly sort of OK.
3. We also hear that Mary can "take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile." What do you think makes a day "a nothing day?"
Hmmm. Probably what I'm doing right now — sitting around, staring at a computer screen. Why am I not out and about, doing something wildly entertaining? I am so boring.
4. Mary works in the newsroom at WJM. Her desk is neat as a pin. Are you neat? Or do you lean to the sloppy side?
Definitely leaning toward sloppy, I'm afraid. I do try to be neat and I do admire neatness, but it's hard to achieve.
5. Mary's best friend, Rhoda, worked as a window dresser at Hempel's department store. What department store did you most recently shop at? What did you buy?
Ah yes, Rhoda! I really liked her more than Mary, even though Mary was probably more like me, personality-wise. Actually, my favorite character on the show was Sue Ann Nivens (played by Betty White) — she was such a delightfully nasty piece of work. 
But I digress. 
So, back to the question. Like so many of us, these days I do most of my shopping online. So it's kind of hard for me to remember the last time I was actually in a department store. And when you say department store, are you talking about the classic, traditional sort of department store like Macy's? Or do discount and "big box" stores count? I guess the last brick-and-mortar store I shopped in (aside from grocery stores) was probably Walmart or Target. Or maybe Kohl's. Can't remember exactly what I bought — most likely cosmetics, toiletries and housewares. 
6. Mary Richards lived in Minneapolis. What city is nearest to where you are right now?
Austin is the biggest city near us. There are a few smaller towns, too.
7. Originally the part of Mary Richards was written as a divorcee, but in 1970, there were no TV shows that centered around a divorced woman. Think about the women in your life. Are most of them married, divorced, single or widowed?
Married. Although a couple have also been divorced.
8. The MTM production company logo featured a mewing kitten. The cat was found in a Minneapolis shelter, and, after her sequence was shot, she was adopted by a crew member who named her Mimsie. What's the name of the last cat — or dog or hamster or rabbit — that you petted?
The last animal I actually petted was a cat named Billie. She belongs to a neighbor and has wandered onto our property a time or two. 
9. Random question — Would you rather have a job that kept you seated on your fanny or standing on your feet?
I would rather not have a job. I'm very happy being retired, thank you very much. But, if I really had to choose, I guess I'd prefer seated rather than standing. I'm not sure my arthritic knees would make it through a whole workday of standing up.

Happy Saturday, everyone!
Have a great weekend.

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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Sunday Stealing: Food, Glorious Food!

Time for a little Sunday Stealing (hosted by Bev Sykes)  -- questions lifted from all over the blogosphere. This week's list was stolen from Swap Bot.

1.  Do you like pie?
I love it. There are some kinds I can't eat, but I love those too.
2.  Italian or Mexican?
Italian, although Mexican runs a close second.
3.  Can you bake? If so, what are your favorite things to bake?
I'm actually a pretty good baker even though I'm a terrible cook in general. Haven't really done any baking in quite a while because the hubby is diabetic and doesn't eat sweets. When I did bake, I liked baking Bundt cakes and brownies best.
4.  Do you use cook books or do you try to find recipes online?
Both. Lately I mostly look for online recipes and I've found a few that are very good and work even for those of us who are not champs in the kitchen.
5.  Do you own a kitchen aid mixer?
No. At the moment I don't own any kind of mixer. My old Sunbeam Mixmaster died a number of years ago and I just never replaced it.
6.  Ever cooked a meal for more than 15 people at one time? 
Hmmm. Not that I remember. Not a WHOLE meal, anyway.
7.  Do you like hospital food?
I don't like anything about hospitals.
8.  Favorite fast food restaurant?
Does Panera count? We don't really go to fast food restaurants anymore.
9.  Any picky eaters in your family?
Yeah. Me.
10.  Soda or Tea?
11.  Hot chocolate?
I love any form of chocolate. Don't really drink much hot chocolate, though.
12.  Favorite holiday dish?
Depends on the holiday. And whether I'm just eating, or doing the cooking.
13.  What is the most tasteful strangest looking thing you have ever tasted? 
I don't eat strange looking things.
14.  Fries or tater tots?
15.  Do you like cheese? If so what kind?
Love it. All kinds. Have to be careful about my fat and lactose intake, though. Used to love doing baked Brie as an appetizer, but that would probably kill me now.
16.  Home made or can soup?
I like either, if it's tasty. I don't make much soup from scratch anymore — we eat a lot of Amy's soups, especially the minestrone and the vegetable-barley and the lentil.
17.  Do you like to eat out?
I do. We don't do it as much as we used to.
18.  What kind of food is popular where you are? (Like in Alaska it is seafood)
Texas? Barbecue and Tex-Mex. Also, German food in my hometown of San Antonio.
19.  Do you like cotton candy?
Not really. I liked it when I was a child. But even then, I thought it never tasted as good as it looked like it should.
20.  Turkey or Chicken?
Not crazy about turkey. I like chicken, but get tired of it very quickly.
21.  Hamburger or tuna helper?
Neither. I never used any of the "helper" mixes. And we're almost completely vegetarian now.
22.  Raw or cooked veggies?
Well, I like a nice green salad. Otherwise, I prefer my veggies cooked.
23.  Do you like salad? If so, what is your favorite kind of salad?
Love salad. Green salads, fruit salads, potato salads, pasta salads, tuna, salmon, shrimp, chicken. Just about any kind really. (Why am I getting so hungry all of a sudden?)
24.  Favorite pizza topping?
Cheese, mushrooms, olives, peppers. (Okay — time for a little snack.)
25.  Do you like meat loaf?
I do. And I make a great meat loaf. Actually, I make several different kinds of great meat loaf. It's one of the few things I can really cook. Unfortunately, we haven't eaten meat loaf in at least 30 years.


Saturday, July 21, 2018

Saturday 9: The Theme from Gidget

The Saturday 9  meme is hosted by Sam Winters. Nine questions posted every Saturday — sometimes random, sometimes with a theme. This week, the theme is...

The Theme from "Gidget" (1965)

1. Gidget was a sitcom that ran only one season. Have you ever seen it?
Yes, it was one of my favorite shows when I was a teenager. I watched it as much as possible, but that was a really busy period in my life and I'm sure I didn't see every episode. I've always loved Sally Field. (Have to admit, though — I really didn't remember this theme song.)
2. Gidget is a high school student who is more interested in surfing and boys than in the books. When you were Gidget's age, was your top priority getting good grades? Or were you more involved in the social side of student life?
I'd have to say both. I was always focused on getting good grades, but I was pretty social too. 
3. Gidget's father was nearly always unflappable when it came to his daughter's high-spirited shenanigans. Who is the coolest, calmest person you know?
That's a tough one. I know lots of "cool" people, but none of them are especially calm these days. Strange times, y'know?
4. Gidget spends as much time as she can at the beach, hanging out with her best friend Larue. Fair-skinned Larue doesn't share Gidget's passion for surfing and prefers to stay on the beach blanket, wearing a floppy hat that protects her from the sun. Are you a sun worshipper? Or, like Larue, are you careful about your exposure to the sun?
Again, both. I love being in the sun, but I definitely try to limit my time out there. (Larue is an interesting name. I once worked with a girl named Larue. She hated her name.)
5. Gidget, the quintessential California girl, was created by Freidrich Kohner, an Austrian-born screenwriter. Can you think of another Austrian import?
Well, there's Ah-nuld — Arnold Schwarzenegger is originally from Austria. And my great-grandfather was born in Austria (and died in Texas, 84 years later).
6. Howard Greenfield and Jack Keller wrote this week's Gidget theme. They also wrote the 1960 hit song, "Everybody's Somebody's Fool." When is the last time you felt foolish?
Hey, I'm sitting here in my jammies, playing with an almost defunct blog that hardly anyone reads, answering questions about a sitcom that no one has seen in over 50 years. So don't get me started on "feeling foolish."
7. This is the show that introduced Sally Field. She went on to win two Oscars and four Emmy Awards. When you think of Sally, what role comes to mind?
As I said, I'm a real fan of Sally Field. I've always found her very easy to identify with — we're the same age, we're both "petite," and we have similar hair (mine's a little lighter). And she's funny. I think she's a very good actress, and she's been in some of my favorite movies. So I don't really associate her with any one role. But if I had to pick one, I'd probably say the reporter she plays in "Absence of Malice" was my favorite.
8. Today Gidget is a grandmother. Sally reports that her grandchildren especially enjoy "sleepovers at Granny's." Where were you the last time you spent the night away from home?
Hmmm. We haven't gone anywhere this year, so I guess the last time I was away from home overnight would be last September when we went to Hawaii. We need to get out more. 
9. Random question -- Describe your perfect lazy afternoon.
At home with the hubby. A good book to read. Sunshine, no emergencies, no errands, no plans. And somebody else does the cooking.

Happy Saturday, everyone!
Have a great weekend.

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