Monday, June 15, 2020

Blue Monday: Summer Sky Blues

I haven't posted anything for Blue Monday in a very long time. Actually, I've only just started blogging again after almost letting this blog fade away. I've always wished I could be one of those reliable people who post something everyday, but I'm very lazy. And I live a really boring life, ya'll! Don't get me wrong -- I like it that way! But it doesn't give me much to blog about.

Anyhoo...back to Blue Monday. I know it's not summer yet, officially, but it certainly seems like summer around here. (Yay!) And lately we've been having some gorgeous, deep blue skies. Just like this one....

Also a little boring, I guess; but I love them.

But the other day we had some pretty interesting cloud cover that looked just like feathers. Almost like some giant bird had dropped them overhead. Not sure what caused them, but they hung around long enough for me to get a snap, then wafted away. (Like this blog keeps trying to do!)

Happy Blue Monday, everyone! Hope you have a lovely, colorful week.

Blue Monday is hosted by Magical Mystery Teacher

Ah, Nature!

Apparently June 15th is National Nature Photography Day. So here's a little bit of the nature around our place lately. Our cactus plants started blooming early this year, and kept producing flowers right up until the last week or so. I think we've probably seen the last blooms for this season, but they were a welcome sight while they lasted. The bees and wasps and other buzzy creatures certainly enjoyed them!

. . . . . .

More about today, from the NANPA website:   "Each year, June 15 is designated by the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA) to promote the enjoyment of nature photography, and to explain how images are used to advance the cause of conservation and protect plants, wildlife, and landscapes both locally and globally.
NANPA encourages people everywhere to enjoy the day by using a camera to explore the natural world. A backyard, park, or other place close by can be just right. "

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Sunday Stealing: The Household Meme

Time for a little Sunday Stealing (hosted by Bev Sykes)  — questions lifted from all over the blogosphere.

This week's list is borrowed from MimiWrites.

1. How many gravy boats do you have in your kitchen?
One, I think. It's stored way up on one of the highest shelves in our kitchen, and I can't really even see it without getting on a stepladder. I don't make a lot of gravy.
2. Do the clothes in your laundry basket need ironing?
Well, around here things get ironed as we need them. Otherwise, they just get put away wrinkled.
3. What is the last thing you wallpapered?
I have never wallpapered anything. I was going to put wallpaper in a kitchen once upon a time, and even bought a couple of very expensive rolls of the stuff. Then decided it was too busy for our tiny kitchen (we were living in an apartment at the time), and gave up on the project. So I don't know if I'd be any good at wallpapering. But I'm VERY good at giving up on projects.
4.  Wooden floors or carpet?
I love wood floors and that's mainly what we have, although we do have carpet in a couple of areas. I actually don't mind carpet, and think it's especially nice in bedrooms. But I have asthma and allergies, and carpet is not the best choice for me.
5.  Why do we put out guest towels if no one is supposed to use them?
Well, we don't actually have "guest towels." We have a bathroom that we call the guest bath and we do have some different towels for that room, but mainly just because its color scheme is different from the one in our master bath. So around here, the guests really just get the same towels we use ourselves. I do try not to put out the ones with holes or bleached patches or ragged edges.
6.  If your spatula could talk, what would it say about your duvet?
Probably "where the heck is that duvet?" I don't have a duvet. I do have several spatulas.
7.  Have you replaced the batteries in your smoke alarms this year?
Um, I think so. That's the hubby's job and he's pretty dependable about those sorts of things. So I'm gonna go with Yes.
8. If you could put thyme in a bottle, what is the first thing that you'd like to do?
Thyme? Or time? And could I take them out of the bottle to use them? Thyme is not one of my favorite spices and I don't use it much. Time, on the other hand, is something I'm always happy to have plenty of.
9. Do eggs really crack or do they merely have a nervous breakdown?
I'm not sure what a nervous breakdown in an egg would look like. And can you avoid such a problem by coddling your eggs?
10. Why are you whipping the butter? What did it ever do to you?
Mostly just wrecked my gall bladder. But I don't whip the butter. Just switched to margarine.
11. Do your spoons spoon in the drawer? Have you ever noticed? And more importantly, if wooden spoons spoon do they get splinters?
Actually, yes they do. Get splinters, that is. (They spoon too, but that's OK -- they're spoons.) And they give splinters to the people who use them. And to avoid spoon splinters in the fingers (or, worse, in the tummy) I have purged all drawers of wooden implements and replaced them with acrylics. They don't splinter; they do melt.
12. You hear: "Dumpling, my Dumpling, come hither." The candles are lit, the fondue is dipping, the Godiva is pouring, the scallions are steaming and the music is playing.....but wait, the windows are open.  Why did you close them?
I have absolutely no idea. But if anyone ever called me Dumpling, the fondue would be pouring all over his head.
13. Do you need a recipe to cook or are you a bohemian chef?
I do need a recipe for most things. There are just a few things I'm really good at cooking without a recipe. I make a great meatloaf, and a fantastic pot roast. I'm also pretty good at fried chicken. Unfortunately, those are things we never eat anymore. I never fry anything, and I haven't cooked beef in over twenty years.
14. Is your pot black?
Hmmm. I think I do have a black cast iron skillet, but I have no idea where it might be hiding. Haven't used it in decades.
15. What is the sexiest spice or condiment in your cabinet?  What makes it so? 
No comment on this one, folks. I'm much too old to know what makes anything sexy. Most spices just give me indigestion.


Saturday, June 13, 2020

Saturday 9: The Rain, The Park and Other Things

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 Rain, The Park & Other Things"
by The Cowsills (1967)

1. The Cowsills were a family band who had three hit singles. Can you name another group of popular singing siblings?
The Osmonds, Jackson Five, Everly Brothers, Beach Boys (or were they cousins?), Pointer Sisters, Isley Brothers, Lennon Sisters, Bee Gees. I could go on, but they'd all be "vintage" groups — I haven't really kept up with more recent singing groups.
2. This was their first hit, and it reached #2 on the Billboard charts. It was kept out of the #1 slot by the Monkees and "Daydream Believer." What's your favorite Monkees song?
I like both of their "believer" songs — "Daydream Believer" and "I'm a Believer." But my favorite has always been "Listen to the Band," written by Michael Nesmith (hear it). I believe it was the first time they got to perform music actually written by one of the group. I was never really a Monkees fan, but they had some very good people writing their music — Neil Diamond, John Stewart, Carole King, Boyce & Hart, Paul Williams, and Nesmith himself. And even though they took a lot of flack for not being a "real" group, they were genuinely four very talented guys.
3. After seeing the Cowsill brothers perform with their mother and sister, TV producers were inspired to create the sitcom, The Partridge Family. Did you ever watch it?
No. I've seen clips from it over the years, but never saw a whole episode.
4. In the song, the narrator takes a flower from a girl in the park. Are there flowers in your home right now?
Not inside the house. I'm allergic to most flowers.
5. He isn't sure if the girl was real, or if he dreamed her. Tell us about a recent dream you had.
I don't really remember how recently I've dreamed it, but one of my most frequent recurring dreams is the one about being out somewhere and needing to make a phone call and discovering that my phone doesn't work, or I've forgotten how to use it (!), or I've left it somewhere. They tell me it's an anxiety dream and very common. Wouldn't be so scary if there were still any pay-phones around. Remember phone booths? I used to love phone booths.
6. At the height of the Cowsills' popularity, they were hired by the American Dairy Association to promote drinking milk. If we were to peek into your refrigerator right now, would we find any milk?
Only soy milk. The hubby and I are both slightly lactose intolerant.
7. After the band stopped performing together, John Cowsill went on to become a back up musician for the Beach Boys. His job has kept him on the road much of the time. When you travel, do you enjoy staying in hotels, or would you rather stay with friends/family?
I enjoy both, but I'm really not a great traveler, no matter where I'm staying. Don't think I'll be doing any traveling anytime soon, though.
8. In 1967, the year this song was popular, Elvis married Priscilla in Las Vegas. Have you attended any weddings yet this year? Are there any weddings in your future?
No weddings, for several years now. None coming up this year, that I know about. Which is just as well. I probably would not be eager to attend any big gatherings at the moment.
9. Random question: Are the bottoms of your feet ticklish?
Hmmm. I think so. Anyway they used to be. Nobody's tickled me lately. And isn't that just a little sad?

Happy Saturday, everyone!

For more Saturday 9 Q&A, just click on this button:

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Saturday 9: When Love Goes Wrong, Nothing Goes Right

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...

"When Love Goes Wrong,
Nothing Goes Right" (1953)

1. This is from the movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Have you seen it?
Yes, I have, on TV many years ago. 
2. The lyrics tell us that, when love goes wrong, "a match won't light." When did you most recently light a match?
Probably the last time I lit a candle. And I haven't done that in the last couple of weeks.
3. The duet is performed at a French sidewalk cafe, where Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe are (literally) sharing a cup of coffee. With whom did you most recently have coffee?
The hubby, this morning.
4. The tune was written by prolific composer Hoagy Carmichael. He was influenced by his mother, who earned extra money for the family playing piano during silent movies. Who in your life influenced your career choices?
This is sort of a sensitive subject for me. I always say I didn't really have a career -- I mostly just had jobs. I was more influenced by circumstances than by any one person. 
5. Jane and Marilyn shared something beyond movie stardom. They were both married to Hall of Famers. Marilyn Monroe was married to Joe DiMaggio, who was inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame in 1955. Jane was married to quarterback Bob Waterfield, inducted into the football Hall of Fame in 1965. Which sport would you rather watch: baseball or football?
Football. I'm not much of a baseball fan. 
6. Jane and Bob Waterfield were high school sweethearts at Van Nuys High. The Southern California school was used as a set for the 1982 movie, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Tell us something about your high school.
I went to the same high school my parents went to, although it had been relocated to a different part of town by the time I was a student there. It still exists, but it's been almost completely reconstructed over the last few years and really doesn't look the same. As far as I know, there have never been any movies filmed there. 
7. Marilyn and Joe DiMaggio met on a blind date at a Hollywood restaurant called Villa Nova. Have you ever arranged a blind date? If so, did the couple hit it off and end up dating?
My husband and I once tried getting a couple of our friends together. They seemed to have lots in common and we thought they'd be the perfect couple. They met once, for lunch, and couldn't stand each other. Not something I'd ever do again.
8. In 1953, when Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was released, a tornado did severe damage to Waco, TX. Tell us about a major weather event that you endured (tornado, hurricane, flood, blizzard, heat wave, etc.).
Here we go. Actually, I'm sort of a magnet for bad weather. We were living in Chicago during the big blizzard in the winter of 1979-1980. It was the coldest, snowy-est winter they'd had in the 20th Century, and there were snowdrifts up to the rooftops of houses everywhere. The city couldn't do any snow removal because there was no place to remove it to. No traffic moved. We never knew how long the electricity would stay on. There was only one grocery store that stayed open in our neighborhood, and a trek there and back home could take all day. That experience was not fun and did not improve my opinion of snow. (But I loved Chicago, in spite of the dreadful weather.)
I've been around a couple of tornados — one in Louisiana, and one in Virginia that was actually pretty deadly. Fortunately, I've always been on the edge of the storms — close enough to see and feel them, but away from the major damage. I've also been through a couple of earthquakes — one in Mexico City and one while we lived in Alexandria, Virginia. The Virginia earthquake lasted for almost a minute plus several aftershocks. It was really very scary, especially since we were living in a highrise at the time. When you're several stories up in a building and the ground starts shifting underneath you, it's definitely terrifying. 
9. Random question: You see a filthy puddle. Floating on top are cigarette butts, a leaf, and a $1 bill. Would you bend over and rescue the dollar?
Sorry, I stopped reading after "filthy puddle." 

Happy Saturday, everyone!

For more Saturday 9 Q&A, just click on this button:

Wednesday, June 3, 2020