Sunday, June 30, 2024

An Invitation

My 60th birthday is coming up soon and I am not very happy about the way I feel or look. I'm determined to do something about it. One thing I know I need is accountability. So, I started a new blog to chronicle just my health journey. You can find it here.

There isn't much there yet, but that will come. This is a journey so the blog will develop along the way.

It will probably get messy and be filled with ups, downs, tears, anger, etc., but I hope you will visit and stick with me. Cheer me up when I need it, praise me when I earn it, and kick my behind when I need that, too.

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Saturday 9: People

I don't seem to be able to manage to post more than once or twice a week these days. No excuses. It is what it is. Just saying. Joining in the Saturday 9 seems to be a habit I can't break, so here we go!

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

1) In this song, Barbra Streisand sings that pride can get in the way of happy relationships. Have you found that to be true?  I have and I believe it's a biblical principal. You've heard the saying, "Pride comes before a fall." That comes from Proverbs 16:18, "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before the fall." Plus, I believe pride was the original sin. Jealousy and thinking he was the most beautiful of the heavenly beings and just as good as God is what led Satan to his fall from heaven. Oh, and yes, I have found that those times I am most prideful

2) The photo on the record sleeve was taken on Chicago's Oak Street Beach, as Barbra watches the sun rise over Lake Michigan. Have you been to the beach yet this summer?  Sadly, no.

3) Barbra performed "People" more than 1,350 times when she played Fanny Brice onstage in Funny Girl. She also did it in her Oscar-winning turn as Fanny in the film version. She performed it in her first TV special back in 1964 and in at least 510 concerts since. That's a lot of "People!" Can you think of another performer who has/had a song that is so identified with them you can't imagine seeing them in concert without hearing it? That would be the case for just about any artist I'd go see. I think there's always that one song... Anyway, for me it is specifically Toby Keith, but there are two songs I can't imagine his concerts without, Should Have Been a Cowboy and American Soldier.

4) Barbra got her first pet, a poodle named Sadie, as a gift from the Funny Girl behind-the-scenes crew when she was 23 years old and she's had dogs in her life ever since. Did you have pets when you were growing up?  We always had dogs. Other than a collie, we always had Poodles. I still have a Poodle.

5) Barbra has always taken her Jewish faith seriously, beginning with her days at the Yeshiva of Brooklyn. 70 years later, her old school is still there. How about your grammar school? Does it still stand?  I went to four different ones, but I believe all of them are still standing and all but one are still being used as schools.

6) She tried marijuana a couple times but didn't like it and the only alcohol she drinks is the occasional beer with her Chinese food. Are you like Barbra and generally abstain? Or do you enjoy pot and/or alcohol?  I don't drink a lot, but I do enjoy wine or a mixed (fruity) drink now and then.

7) Barbra's favorite lunch is a bowl of Campbell's condensed tomato soup. If we were to peek into your pantry, would we find any canned soup?  There are a few cans of Campbell's tomato soup and some cream of celery and cream of chicken that I use for cooking. I do like a bowl of tomato soup now and then (always served with grilled cheese sandwiches), but the main canned soup I eat is Progresso's thick and hearty homestyle chicken noodle soup.

8) In 1964, when this song was popular, hats were, too. The Sears Spring/Summer catalog devoted six pages to ladies hats and two pages to mens. Are hats part of your wardrobe?  Only if it's freezing cold, snowing, or I'm mowing the grass and holding off on a shower until afterward.

9) Random question: Which of your personality traits has gotten you in the most trouble?  Procrastination, though sarcasm is a close second.

Friday, June 21, 2024

Saturday 9: I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive

It's been a long, hot week and today (Friday) was the longest and hottest day of them all. Unwinding a bit with Saturday 9 seems like a good plan.

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

1) In this song, Hank Williams sings that his fishing pole is broke and the creek is full of sand. OK, so he can't spend his Saturday fishing. What are your Saturday plans?  Laundry and cleaning then maybe some play time with the grands in the pool.

2) He regrets how shabby his shoes are. Do you shop for shoes online, or do you prefer going to the store and trying them on?  I have weird feet and have lots of pain so I need to try them on, but once I know what size I need in a particular kind of shoe I will order them online in the future. Also, Amazon has Prime Try Before You Buy available for some clothing and shoe items which allows you to try the item at home for a week before Amazon actually charges you.

3) This was the last Hank Williams song to be released during his lifetime. Though he was only 29 when he died, he left an enduring mark on American music and is considered one of country music's greatest singer/songwriters. Who is your favorite country music performer?  It was Toby Keith. Since he's passed I guess my living favorite is George Strait.

4) Elvis was a big fan and his favorite Hank Williams song was "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry." What's your favorite Elvis song?  

5) Johnny Cash was a big Hank Williams fan, too. He performed Hank's gospel song, "I Saw the Light" often in concert and during his guest starring role in a 1974 episode of Columbo. Did you watch Columbo, or do you stream it or catch it in reruns?  I don't remember watching Columbo when it was originally on, but Tim and I are big fans now and watch him nearly every weekend.

6) Hank was a prolific songwriter, composing songs on his guitar and then printing the lyrics by hand on notepaper. He never learned to read music. Can you read music?  No, but I have zero musical talent. My son who plays more than one instrument can't read music, either. He plays by ear.

7) When he was a teen, Hank sang and played his guitar on the sidewalk in front of a local radio station, making a little money and hoping to be discovered. His plan worked and he was occasionally invited in to play with the radio station's house band. Were you a hard-working teen?  I worked one summer for the Youth Conservation Corps and did some babysitting, but that's it. Unless you want to count the ton of chores I had to do at home.

8) Hank suffered from a congenital spinal condition and began self-medicating with alcohol during his teen years. He was warned against this early on by country superstar Ray Acuff, but Hank was unable to deal with the pain without liquor. Can you recall wise advise you wish you'd taken, but didn't?  I'm drawing a blank.

9) Random question: What's your favorite Mexican food?

Monday, June 17, 2024


The weather... 76 degrees and humid at 9:15 pm. A little warm for this time of year, but an improvement over this afternoon's 94 degrees. We are going through a heat wave this week with temperatures over 90 every day...possibly pushing 100 degrees a couple of days.

Reading... Marguerite, Misty, and Me: A Horse Lover's Hunt for the Hidden History of Marguerite Henry and Her Chincoteague Pony. I was a horsey girl growing up and I loved Marguerite Henry's books, especially Misty of Chincoteague. After learning Chincoteague was a real place, it became what you could call my "holy grail." At this point in life I've been to Chincoteague Island several times and it is my happy place. So a chance to learn more about the woman and the pony who gave me that gift is wonderful!

Watching... a lot of the mysteries on the Hallmark Mysteries channel.

Thinking about... Tim's health. Most of you know he's not really felt well for several years but all tests have shown nothing wrong beyond, perhaps, a vitamin deficiency. Recently, however, he's been experiencing shortness of breath with any exertion. That prompted him to call the doctor I've been seeing and get an appointment. They sent him for blood work, chest x-rays, and a stress test. 

The results are not great, but we do feel we are finally making progress. The blood work showed he is anemic and his sugar is elevated. The x-rays showed his heart is "slightly" enlarged. The stress test was fine. Sort of. It didn't show anything but he couldn't catch his breath during it. So now he has to go for cardiopulmonary testing. That will be on July 17. In the meantime, he goes to work but at home does nothing but sleep or watch TV. He just doesn't have any energy. I'm pretty sure that pure stubbornness is all that gets him through the work day.

Feeling... a bit discouraged.

Looking forward... to the weekend and having no plans.

That's it for now. Have a great week and be careful if you're in this heatwave, too!

Friday, June 14, 2024

Saturday 9: Wait Till You See Him

This song was chosen in honor of Father's Day. Hear it here.

1) This is Nancy Sinatra's celebration of her father, Frank. She singles out the sound of his laugh as something special. Do you know anyone who has a great laugh?  A couple of my clients at work came to mind first. Their laughs are actually kind of goofy, but they are completely unselfconscious so they just let it rip. Hearing them always makes me smile.

2) Frank Sinatra recorded this song himself a decade earlier. It was one of more then 1,400 recordings he made over his career. When you think of him, what song comes to mind?  I'm not really a Sinatra fan, but when I worked at the nursing home several of the ladies were and they always wanted to hear Come Fly With Me so that's what I think of.

3) Nancy always called her famous father "Daddy," while her younger sister Tina referred to him as "Pop." How did/do you call your father?  I called my adoptive father, the man who raised me, Dad. I call my step-father, who didn't step into that title until I was in my late 30's, by his first name. I call my biological father, who entered my life when I was 55, by his nickname, Skip.

4) Nancy went on to have two daughters of her own. The girls recall that their grandfather was loving and supportive, even when they went through a punk rock phase with spiky hair, lots of leather, and studs. Frank defended their extreme choices as a healthy means of self-expression. Did you have arguments with your parents over your clothes or hair? If you're a parent yourself, have you always approved of your kids' fashion choices?  I had nothing but arguments with my dad over clothes. He was a lot older than my mom and felt jeans weren't fit for anything but play and chores. It was the 70's and 80's...I highly disagreed. We fought a lot until I turned 18 and then he stopped trying to control it. When it came to my kids, I never fought them about their personal style unless it was completely inappropriate. There were too many other battles that were more important.

5) Back when our own Crazy Sam was in high school, her father gave her driving lessons. What grade would you give your driving today?  I'd give myself an A. Years of driving a school bus and having to retake my driving test every 4 years has made me a darn good driver.

6) For family barbecues, Sam's dad dons his "Kiss the Chef" apron and mans the Weber. What's the last thing you grilled?  Maple and cracked black pepper salmon on cedar planks.

7) Because he takes his grilling so seriously, Sam once invested in a pair of forged steel tongs for Father's Day. Does anyone on your gift list have a passion that makes them easy to shop for?  Not really.

8) Traditionally the most popular Father's Day gift have been ties, wallets and belts. However experiences -- like tickets to a concert or a sporting event -- are gaining in popularity. Which would you prefer to receive: something to own and hold or an experience to remember?  Something to remember. I don't need more stuff in my life. I have too much now.

9) Random question: Have you recently mistakenly called someone by the wrong name?  Ha. I do this daily.

Thanks to Crazy Sam for the music and questions!

If you enjoyed this you can play along here.

Friday, June 7, 2024

Saturday 9: Footloose

**Sorry for the coloring of the post. For some reason, Blogger won't allow me to change the color of anything I've copied and pasted. It's been going on for a few weeks. Just me, or are the gremlins bothering anyone else?**

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

1) In this week's song, Kenny Loggins encourages everyone to lose their blues by dancing. What reliably shakes you out of a funk?  Prayer, my grandkids, and music.

2) To cut footloose, he has to kick off his "Sunday shoes." What's on your feet as you answer these 9 questions?  Nothing. Not even socks. When I get up from the chair, though, I will slip my feet into my Vionic recovery sandals.

3) This is the title song of the popular 1984 movie of the same name. It's so well-identified with the film that the AFI named it #96 of the top 100 movie songs of the last 100 years. Have you seen Footloose?  Seeing it in the theater was one of the first dates Tim and I went on so I've always associated it with that time in my life. I've seen it many times. In fact, I just watched it earlier this week.

4) The title of his 2022 memoir, Still Alright, was inspired by "I'm Alright," the song he wrote for the raucous golf comedy, Caddyshack. Do you play golf? (Yes, putt-putt miniature golf counts!) Do you watch it on TV?  A long, long time ago I took lessons at a local club and I took golf as one of my gym classes in college. I was fairly good back then but haven't played anything but miniature golf since. I don't watch it. I find it boring to watch.

5) Thinking of movies, Kenny says watching Yankee Doodle Dandy when he was just 7 years old made him think performing looked like fun and says, "I knew deep inside this is something I could do." Do you recall when you set off on your chosen career?  I chose journalism and went to school to study it, but I never finished my degree or did anything with the skills I'd learned. These days I find myself wishing I had found working with those who have either dementia or intellectual disabilities when I was much younger. It feels like where I should have been all along.

5) Kenny grew up in Everett, Washington, north of Seattle and 84 miles from the Canadian border. Have you ever visited Canada? If yes, where did you go?  We stayed on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls for one of our anniversaries and drove around a bit, but not too far.

6) In 1977 Kenny struck up a friendship with Stevie Nicks, who was a source of encouragement and would sing with him on one of his biggest hits, "Whenever I Call You Friend." Tell us about when you met one of your best friends.  We met more than once at events at my sister-in-law's home, but never really connected and became friends until we began attending the same church. We bonded the first time my son stopped talking to us. She had gone through it with one of her sons and her support and advice really helped me.

7) In 1984, when this song was a hit, Angela Lansbury premiered in Murder, She Wrote, a show still seen in reruns today. Were/are you a fan?  I enjoyed it then and I still get a kick out of it now.

8) Let's tweak your memory about something else that happened in 1984. Without looking it up, can you recall why Michael Jackson's Pepsi commercial made headlines the world over?  Didn't he get burned or set his hair on fire or something?

9) Random question -- Think of your last professionally prepared meal. Did you dine in, carry out, or have it delivered?  Tim picked it up on his way home from work the other night.

Thanks to Crazy Sam for the music and questions!

Enjoy the game? Play along here.

Wednesday, June 5, 2024


The weather... At 9:45 pm, it's a comfortable 70 degrees. It's a bit humid, but nothing like this morning's soupiness of 94% humidity. After setting a new record high yesterday temperature yesterday, we are looking at at least a week of cooler temps (of course we are...we've opened the pool).

Reading... Funny Story by Emily Henry. I have become a real fan of Ms. Henry's. She writes in a fresh and FUNNY style about contemporary romances. I'm also reading Broken Bayou by Jennifer Moorhead on the Kindle app on my phone. It's one of the free monthly Kindle downloads for Prime members. It's a thriller/mystery type book, I'm thinking so far, and there might be a bit of a comedy element.

Watching... Gutfeld on FOX News channel.

Listening... Today it was songs with types of weather featured in the lyrics because I taught about weather. The consumers loved it.

Feeling... At this point in my day? Tired. 

Thinking... About tomorrow. After work I have to come home, shower, and change into something nicer than what I wear to work. I'm picking up the gentleman I do companion work with at 6:00 and taking him to the Lion's Club meeting at the country club. I get to stay and we'll be having dinner there.

Celebrating... A successful one-on-one outing yesterday during regular work hours. The consumer I took is a sweetheart most of the time. He is around 30 and autistic, but mentally and in his own mind he's about 6 years old. What do little kids do when they are frustrated? They act out and throw tantrums. Anyway, we've just started to take him out. I'm so happy he did great!

Looking forward to... Used book sales with my mom this weekend and babysitting the grands on Saturday.

Giggling at...

My cousin's an insurance agent and he posted this:

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Sunday Stealing

Today's Sunday Stealing is stolen from Swap-bot.

1. If you like art, who is your favorite artist and why?  I like art, but I don't have a favorite artist. As with music, my tastes tend to be a bit eclectic and all over the place. I like what I like, what touches something in me.

2. If you were able to learn any three skills or talents instantly and with success, what would they be?  If we could do something about my horrible singing voice, singing would be my first choice. Next, I'd like to be one of those cooks who just whips up fabulous, creative meals without recipes. Lastly, I'd like to be able to create the kind of gorgeous garden spaces you see in magazines or online.

3. If you were to live in Ancient Times, where-in what country-would you want to live in?  I have no desire to live in ancient times. Books and movies can romanticize them, but the truth is they were hard and life could be quite brutal. Not to mention short.

4. What is something you're embarrassed to admit to liking? Whether it be a guilty pleasure show, or unusual hobby, etc.  I can't think of a thing. I've always been a bit of a nerd, doing my own thing so I'm not embarrassed by much and it's grown less as I grow older.

5. What is the worst job you've ever had?  Working at a nursing home. Not because of the work, but because of the rotten boss I had.

6. What is something you wanted to do as a child that you'd still like to do now?  Visit Plymouth, Salem, and Braintree in Massachusetts to research more deeply into my family tree and see the places where my ancestors lived.

7. What do you hate being judged for more than anything else?  My weight.

8. What is your life's mission?  To live showing others the kind of love Jesus showed.

9. If everyone walked around wearing warning labels, what would yours say?  Warning: Introvert on board. Excessive people-ing will send introvert into hiding.

10. At what age did you first feel like you were an adult?  Maybe when my kids came along, so early 20's...but it's not a constant feeling. I still have lots of days when I feel like a big kid.

11. When did you not speak up, but wish you had?  The only thing that comes to mind right now is not something I want to share.

12. What is something that makes your skin crawl?  Snakes.

13. What is the last thing to give you butterflies in your stomach?  I don't remember anything else, so it was probably a time in the past when I had to speak publicly.

14. What's your favorite type of media to work with? (Paint, clay, pens, etc.)  Given the things I do at work, I'm going to say construction paper and glue. Ha!

15. What question do you hate answering?  I hate answering questions related to getting my husband's commitment to something because he will always say "sure," but when push comes to shove, if he feels something at work is more important he will choose work and blow off the other commitment. He has missed birthdays, family dinners, holidays, so much with the kids growing up, and even more with friends. I'm stuck making explanations and apologies.

Enjoy the questions?

You can play along here.

Saturday 9: Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer

Playing along with Crazy Sam and the gang over at Saturday 9 . Unfamiliar with this week's song? Hear it  here . 1) In this song, Nat Ki...