Friday, September 21, 2018

Sundays at Tiffany by James Patterson

I just finished reading "Sundays at Tiffany's" by James Patterson.  After my last read this was a breath of fresh air.  I would say this book was between fantasy
and "The Devil Wore Prada". 

It is about Jane and Michael.  She is a child, he is her imaginary friend.  He leaves her when she reaches age 9 and the rule is she isn't supposed to remember him. 

Well, she does.  And he does.  And he comes back when Jane is grown.  What happens when an imaginary friend comes back when you are an adult?

It is delightful, a little sad, but a very, very happy ending.

I recommend.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Plight of Bert and Ernie -- the Final Word

Yesterday evening the breaking news was the Bert and Ernie MIGHT be a gay couple.

There was a lot of deliberation about it and today at noon the verdict was in.

Bert and Ernie have no sexual orientation.  They are puppets.

I have to laugh --  if it wasn't so disturbing to think about what our society is coming to, it might be funny.

Hopefully Bert and Ernie -- or Bernie -- are out of the limelight now and can go peacefully their own way.


Monday, September 17, 2018

I Don't Believe in Hygge

Last winter I became aware of the concept of "hygge" -- the Danish lifestyle that has no definition but that means cozy, contentment, welcoming.

I did some reading about it and the articles I read did create a picture of some ethereal softness and fuzziness and homey-ness.  I don't think that is a real word.

Well, this is Texas and as summer came on the idea of wool socks, hot chocolate and a roaring fire went right out the window.  Now we are on the cusp of the seasons changing so I decided to do some reading -- again.  This time I was looking for pictures.

Not much out there so I decided to look at some real Danish houses.  I went to some real estate websites and looked for houses for sale in Copenhagen.  And you know what --

I only saw two candles.



I also learned that most countries have something like hygge.  They all have their unique ways of being cozy an welcoming.  Heck, there is even "Texas Hygge" but it is more about getting through the hellish summers and less about being cozy and cuddly in the winter.

So, after exploring some Danish houses I will say -- yes, everything is white.  Danish modern furniture is a real thing.  Everything is very minimal and uncluttered and - well -- Ikea. 

Was it cozy?  Not to me.  Was it warm.  No, but it was bright which I understand is essential during the Danish winters.  Were there lots of little twinkly candles everywhere?  No.  And no furry pillows but I did see one furry throw.

So, I am not sure that I believe in hygge -- I don't think it is any different than what any of the rest of us do during oppressive weather -- it is just a way to make the unpleasant pleasant.

I am going to try burning more candles though.  LED candles -- for safety -- but I am going to see how "cozy" I can get.

Yes, I know -- the houses were staged for sale so the realtor probably told the owners to get those candles all packed up so it wouldn't look cluttered.

I watch HGTV!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

One Week in December by Holly Chamberlaid

I just finished "One Week in December" by Holly Chamberlain.

If you want to read a novel about a really dysfunctional family full of secrets and angst at Christmas time this is the book for you.

I was a bit painful in parts.  It actually invoked tears a couple of times.  It was a tad depressing in parts.

But, it ends well. 

I recommend the book as long as you know going into it that there are painful parts.  It is good, though.  Really.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Saturday 9 -- And I don't know why the type is so large

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Teenage Dream

Welcome to Saturday: 9. What we've committed to our readers is that we will post 9 questions every Saturday. Sometimes the post will have a theme, and at other times the questions will be totally unrelated. Those weeks we do "random questions," so-to-speak. We encourage you to visit other participants posts and leave a comment. Because we don't have any rules, it is your choice. We hate rules. We love memes, however, and here is today's meme!

Saturday 9: Teenage Dream (2010)

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

1) Much of the video for this week's song takes place in a convertible and on the beach. How's the weather where you are? Would you be comfortable riding around with the top down today?
It has cooled down considerably but it is humid and rainy thanks to a tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico
2) This video was filmed all around Katy Perry's hometown of Santa Barbara. Amtrak runs through Santa Barbara via The Pacific Surfliner. Tell us about a memorable train trip.
 In 1961 we went to California on a train.  My dad had some work to do there and my mother wouldn't fly so going by rail was what we did.  It was fun.  My mother didn't agree.

3) Katy sings that her boyfriend thinks she's funny, even when she gets the punchline wrong. Do you think you're a better joke-teller or audience? 
Probably teller

4) Her "teenage dream" lover is shown working out with a heavy bag. When is the last time you visited a gym?
Ha! Years and years

5) Katy changes her hair a lot. She's gone from long black hair to cropped blonde hair with stops at red, green and purple. Today, are you having a good hair day? 
I never have  a good hair day

6) Katy thinks dimples are "irresistible" and can't help poking a finger when a dimpled friend smiles. Do you have dimples?
7) Two of Katy's fragrances (Meow and Purr) are sold in cat-shaped bottles. Are you wearing a scent as you answer these questions? 
 I don't wear scent
8)  Katy's favorite dessert is ice cream (specifically Cold Stone Creamery's Birthday Cake Remix). What's the last dessert you ate?  
I broke my diet and at a biscotti last night with a cup of tea

9) Random question: How often do you change your bedsheets?

 Once a week.  Monday is sheet day.  It always has been.  Except when I had babies in a crib -- then everyday was sheet day

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Christmas Fun!

We have a Christmas Village that we put up every year.  We have used various places for it -- originally it was on a bakers rack that belonged to my mother.  Then, we moved it to a window seat. Then, we built risers to make it multi level and this year we were planning on putting it on two folding tables but I ran across the photo above and thought that looked like a real good idea. Maybe even to be used instead of a tree. 

I have a lot of collectible ornaments from my kids, from places we have visited and some with just sentimental value so I don't know about not putting up a tree but how great is this ladder idea?

I might be convinced to even think about Christmas this early with this idea.

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Saturday 9

Time for another Saturday 9.  I don't copy and paste well -- not my strong suit.  Oh well, here we go.


Gotta Travel On

Welcome to Saturday 9. What we've committed to our readers is that we will post 9 questions every Saturday. Sometimes the post will have a theme, and at other times the questions will be totally unrelated. Those weeks we do "random questions," so-to-speak. We encourage you to visit other participants posts and leave a comment. Because we don't have any rules, it is your choice. We hate rules. We love memes, however, and here is today's meme! 

Saturday 9: Gotta Travel On (1959)

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

1) In this song, the Billy Grammer sings that "summer's almost gone, winter's coming on." When you look out your window, do you see any evidence that the seasons are changing?

Not really except that hurricane season is in full bloom and we are getting a lot of rain.

2) He admits he has laid around and played around for too long. Do you consider lazy days to be wasted days?

Sort of.  My husband is retired and our days have sort of morphed into a no-routine hot mess.  I like routine.

3) Billy relaxed by fishing. Tell us about a visit you made to a pier, or a ride you took on a boat, this past year. (Bonus points if you went fishing!)

Zero, zip, nada

4) Born in 1925, Mr. Grammer was the eldest of 13 children. He and his wife Ruth were childless. What do you think is the ideal size for a family? 

Depends on the family.  I am thinking that fielding a team might not be good but since that wasn't my goal, I really can't speak for others.

5) This song was very popular on juke boxes back in 1959. When were you last in a bar or restaurant that had a juke box? Did you play it?

no clue so no I didn't

6) In 1959, movie tickets zoomed up in price to $1.00 and Ben Hur was the big blockbuster. What's the last movie you saw in a theater? Do you remember how much the ticket cost?

We really don't go to movie theaters much and I can't tell you the last time -- maybe to see The Secret Life of Pets.   I did see Ben Hur in the theater in 1959 though -- I remember it well.  That chariot race was grueling.

7) Huckleberry Hound was a hit with the younger audience in 1959. What cartoon did you enjoy as a kid? 

I wasn't a big cartoon fan but I did like comic books

8) In 1959, continuing dramas (soap operas) were still broadcast each day on the radio. When you turn on the radio, do you listen for talk, news, or music?   

I don't listen to the radio much -- my bad -- but I do have an internet radio that I like to listen to BBC4 -- The Archers.  When I was still at home my mother and I would listen to Mystery Theater at night before bed -- I always fell asleep before it was over and never heard the end of one of those programs.  That was in 1972.

9) Random question -- Which competition would you rather judge: The Pillsbury Bake Off, The Miss America Pageant, or Dancing with the Stars? 

Pillsbury Bake Off

Menocore? It IS a Thing

I am not a fashionista.  I don't pretend to be. 

When I was in elementary school I wore lots of tie back dresses in plaids and medallion prints along with cardigan sweaters and penny loafers or saddle oxfords.

In junior high school and high school I wore lots of skirts and sweaters -- Bobbie Brooks -- and lots of a-line dresses -- thank you Lilly Pulitzer.

I grew up and went to work and it all went to hell in a hand basket.  I got married, I gained weight, the styles had changed -- my go-to formula was gone.

I got pregnant -- that was another whole adventure for this non-fashionista.

And here I am.  I am an aging child of the 60's with no idea what she is SUPPOSED to wear but I know what I usually wind up wearing.

I wear jeans a lot -- pull on, elastic waist, fashion no-no jeans.  I wear button down shirts.  I like 'em loose and long.  Most times I am barefoot but I prefer flats -- ballet flats -- Tieks -- even though my feet don't like them.

So, I was roaming around the 'net last night checking to see if Normcore was still a thing and apparently it has morphed into Menocore.


Yes, it is what it sounds like.  It is a look to help along a group of women who are generally overlooked by fashion.  The middle aged group.  It is a fashion trend to celebrate the "age" and help women find themselves if they are a little lost.  It consists of loose, likely linen clothing, bobbed white hair, thinness (Opps, can't identify!) and apparently wealth.

Check it out on Pinterest.  Or the 'net.  Or in Vogue or Bazaar.

Apparently the younger generation isn't waiting to get to be middle aged or beyond to enjoy this new trend, they are doing it now -- dressing like middle aged women.

As a society we are really interesting creatures.

Menocore -- who knew?

Friday, September 07, 2018

MooGoo Revoo-- again

A little while back I did a review on a product called MooGoo Skin Milk Udder Cream.  I didn't give it a very good review and I am here today to fix that.

At the time of the first review, I had exfoliated my face with a microfiber cloth and then applied this.  I think I was a little aggressive with the cloth and perhaps irritated my skin a bit so when I put this on it started itching after a while. 

So, I put it on my list of "itchy" things, stated that in the review, and put it away.  After a few days I decided to try it again.

I absolutely love it.  No itching, no greasiness that takes forever to soak in and it makes a wonderful makeup primer.  The only thing is that the fragrance is, well, not great but it goes away quickly and the after effects are worth it.

I really do love all the First Aid Beauty products I have been using for quite some time now.  They feel posh, they feel comforting, they come in really cute packaging and they cost a bundle. 

I had worked up to using at least six products twice a day with a couple of others for special occasion thrown in.  When you buy it all at the same time, it makes sense that you run out at approximately the same time which means a hefty purchase when you need to replenish. 

So......I have been looking at what I did before FAB came into my life.

I used Dr. Bronner's bar soap on my face -- it is non-drying and it is full of good oils and I never had a problem with it.  I bought a bar of the baby soap at Sprouts yesterday and started using it last night.  It felt fine.

Then, for a toner I used to use rosewater.  So, I picked up a bottle of Heritage Rosewater at Sprouts.  I used it last night and it felt really soothing.

Then, the MooGoo.

Nothing is going to get rid of the little wrinkles and things that I am, now, very aware of.  But, I need products that make my skin comfortable, don't break the bank, and are readily available. 

Have I totally abandoned FAB?  Probably not -- I really like it -- but we will see how the new routine goes.  Sometimes I think you can do too much to your skin as well. 

At least the MooGoo doesn't really make me itch.

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Little Dutch Girl

I am of British ancestry.  I was brought up by a mother that identified herself as British.  My grandfather was first generation American of Welsh/English immigrant parents.  I was told I had beautiful, English skin (whatever that is).

Then why would my grandmother refer to my mother as "my little Dutch girl"?  Towheaded, blue eyed, fair complected little child whose hair flipped up all the way around like -- a little dutch girl of advertising fame -- is that what made her a little Dutch girl?

She wasn't Dutch -- or was she?

Let's go  back  about 30 years ago.  The interest in genealogy reared it's ugly head and I was bitten by the bug.  My mother wasn't a whole lot of help, to be honest, although she tried.  Her mom's family was a bit of a mystery.  Her grandfather was really not a part of her life and she only had snippets of info about him.

His name was Banta.  My aunt swore he was Hispanic.  My mother decided he was Basque.  Clearly they didn't know and were playing the guessing game.  This was before I was involved with anything online so I was guessing right along with them.

Grandfather Banta is the tall, slender gentleman in the back seat of this "car".  He doesn't look stereotypically Dutch, does he?  That is probably because he takes after his mother, the Choctaw Indian.

I digress.

So, moving right along to DNA testing.  I had mine done.  It was exactly what I expected and then not so much.

The American Indian never showed up unless you do some really in depth searches.  I was looking for possible Jewish links -- again, not there unless you REALLY look.  So, what did it look like?

Europe West46%
Great Britain28%
Ok, yeah, I got it -- All that British connection -- no surprise there!

But, I was ignoring the elephant on the page.  I had 46% Western European DNA connection.  I knew I had a great-great grandmother from Germany on my dad's side but I didn't believe that connection would account for 46% of my ancestry.

So, I started exploring -- oh, it isn't just Germany -- it is, in large part, the Netherlands.  Hmmm......

The Banta's are from the Netherlands.  How could I possess so much DNA from somebody I only knew of but had no connection to? That is a tad creepy to me.

So, I have been doing some reading on The Netherlands.  While I still think of myself as primarily British ancestry, I am totally engrossed in learning about the lifestyle of my Dutch family, my roots.

Is this why my favorite flower is the tulip?  Is this why my hair flips out in that very annoying way -- like my mother's did?

Is this why my grandmother called my mother "her little Dutch girl"?  While my grandmother never knew her father, she must have known his heritage and she must have seen the genes in her daughter.

Oh, yeah, the DNA test also said I have Viking blood.  Could that explain my temper?  Probably.

So, I am going to continue learning about all things Dutch and figure out how much I identify with it.  I doubt I will ever lose the totally ingrained feeling of being British but how much fun are tulips and wooden shoes -- we are from Friesland.  Need to read up on Friesland.

And maybe I shouldn't mind the flippy hair so much.  It has meaning.

Saturday, September 01, 2018

It is time for another Saturday 9!  Hop over to join Sam in the fun.




Thursday, August 30, 2018

She Works Hard for the Money

Welcome to Saturday 9. What we've committed to our readers is that we will post 9 questions every Saturday. Sometimes the post will have a theme, and at other times the questions will be totally unrelated. Those weeks we do "random questions," so-to-speak. We encourage you to visit other participants posts and leave a comment. Because we don't have any rules, it is your choice. We hate rules. We love memes, however, and here is today's meme! 

She Works Hard for the Money (1983) 
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) This song is about a woman who works hard as a waitress. What's the hardest job you've ever had?
The hardest job I have ever had is being a mother and a wife -- and I am still doing it.  As far as a job that I worked at outside of my home and earned money, I was a secretary to one of the assistant superintendents of a school district in my hometown.

2) The lyrics tell us she has worked at this job for 28 years. What's the longest you stayed with one employer? 
I was at the school job for 3 years during which time I got married, got promoted twice, got pregnant and quit for the job I am still doing.

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?  

It would have to be the waiter at a restaurant since I haven't had my hair professionally cut in about a year -- I know, I know,

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?
I have never lived away from home.  I lived in my childhood home until I married and then I lived in our home.  I lived in my hometown until the work transfer and then I moved to my current location and my family, including parents and aunt, moved with me.  I have never lived outside my home state. I am very dull and boring.

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?
I am more like Sam's father -- I never met a stranger I wouldn't talk to -- well, within reason.  I had a lovely conversation with a lady at Half Price Books the other day who sold five boxes of books for $59.  That was pretty good.  Once I sold 117 paperbacks and only got $17.  Rip off.

6) A little more than 10% of the American workforce is self-employed. Have you ever been your own boss?  
I am a wife and mother -- I am truly the boss of everybody.  However, JLSHall is the family matriarch and oddly, I listen to her. 
7) Labor Day weekend may offer a golden opportunity for napping and sleeping in. Do you snore?
Sometimes -- mostly during allergy season.

8) Will you be attending a Labor Day picnic or barbecue? 
No, I will be cleaning out my other house to put it on the market
9) Labor Day traditionally marks the beginning of the fall. Will you be adding any new fall clothes to your wardrobe?
Probably but I tend to buy season neutral clothing anyway so I wear the same thing all the time.  Looking to pick up a couple of cardigans though.  I wish I looked cute in them, like my daughter, but I really just look like an old lady in a sweater but I do find them to be comfortable.