More Linky Love For Eggheads: Eat, Drink & Be Merry Edition

NOT MUCH GOING ON HERE TO TELL you about, my gentle readers.  It’s that time in August when everyone who I know is:

  • preparing for back-to-school;  &/OR
  • taking a last-minute vacay before Labor Day;  &/OR
  • hiding inside an air-conditioned building in a futile attempt to avoid ragweed, chenopods and nettle pollen*.

SO INSTEAD OF TWISTING MYSELF INTO KNOTS about not having anything to write about [or anyone around to read what I write], I’m going to share the following fun + informative links with you.

LIKE PIGS WHO FLY I SHALL RETURN in a week or two, presuming something blog-worthy happens in my life.  Until then, enjoy!

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::  Wishing you knew a way to open that darned wine bottle when you are without a corkscrew, but have your shoes?  Go here.

Filed under: “Things To Try… Maybe.”

::  Ever think that there might be a better, more scientific, way to go about cutting a birthday cake?  Go here.

I’m telling ‘ya, you’re doing it wrong.

::  Do you dislike pitchers of warm beer yet lack a simple way to keep the pitcher cold?  Go here.

Now this one seems useful.

::  Looking for ways to make all your pie crusts look pretty?  Go here.

Loving every one of them.

::  Thinking that an expertly mixed martini is what you need right now?  Go here.

Not bad: handsome man, perfect drink.

::  In the mood for a Jell-O ice cream pie prepared by Johnny Carson in 1957?  Go here.

None for me, thanks.

::  Ever wonder if there’s a more difficult, yet mathematically equal, way to slice a bagel in two?  Go here.

Cute, but too tricky for me.

* Find out what pollen is ruining your summer fun at

Facebook Revisited: Like Leonard, I Proposed An Experiment

::  A few weeks ago I joined Facebook again. It had been about 5-6 years since I’d deleted my last account, so I was able to start fresh over there.  I used a different email address even.

No particular incident precipitated my decision to get involved again.  All I can say is that I was curious to see how people who I know are now using it, and how FB has changed over the years.  Re-joining was a bit of an experiment to see if I fit in over there, or not.

::  After years of blogging, my immediate impression of Facebook is, quite simply, it’s cute. Scrolling through all the status updates from my new [old?] FB friends, I feel like I’ve gone back in time to when blogs were brand new and everyone had a blog, even if they didn’t know what to do with the blog.

So far all the FB status updates that I’ve seen have been a few sentences long– &/or involved a photo– &/or shared a link.  They remind me of many early blog posts, before blogging became more focused + polished.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with these updates, but I find it difficult to know what to say about them.

::  In my first status update, I told FB to dazzle me.  And well, while the people who I’ve connected with are delightful, the system as a whole leaves me in mind of The Big Bang Theory episode about Leonard and Leslie’s experimental date kiss.

Which is to say that like Leslie’s evaluation of Leonard’s kiss, I’m finding FB to have: “reasonable technique, no extraneous spittle, but feeling no arousal at all.”  Meaning that it just might be that FB is not the place for me to shine.  And that’s okay by me.

Faced With Irony In The Grocery Store Checkout Lane, I Smile

While standing in the checkout lane at Kroger the shopper in front of me, a 70-something woman, told me and the cashier, a 20-something man, about how she downloaded her coupons onto her smart phone all by herself.  She was very proud of her success, and both the cashier and I congratulated her on doing so.

She was happy. And so were we.

In passing, the chatty cashier mentioned to us that Kroger was using virtual coupons because that was a way to save paper and help the environment.  The 70-something woman said: Oh yes, I’m all about saving paper.  It’s such an important thing to do.  I believe in that.

She was adamant. And we were impressed.

Then she pulled out her checkbook and wrote a [paper] check for her purchases leaving me to glance at the cashier who looked like he was going bust a gut, not saying a word about her incongruous behavior, as he finished the transaction.  Then with a friendly wave to both of us, she pushed her cart through the door and left the store.

She was clueless. And we couldn’t stop smiling.

{ Image Source }

Move Over Proust, Aromatic Advertisements Are The New Madeleines

I DON’T KNOW THAT I can adequately answer the question posed below, but I can tell you about what happened to me yesterday when one of those aromatic advertisements fell out of an Ulta mailing and landed on my lap.Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 11.43.54 AM

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I WAS SITTING ON THE screened-in porch, glancing through the mailing, when an aromatic advertisement for Donna Karan’s newest fragrance, DKNY MYNY, plopped itself down on me.

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I DIDN’T THINK A THING about it.  I grabbed the aromatic advertisement intending to put it on the table beside me, but I stopped mid-movement when the scent immediately reminded me of being a little girl.

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I WAS PULLED BACK TO decades ago when my family lived in an urban apartment above my father’s medical practice.  At that time, my mother always wore one particular perfume, Ma Griffe, which– oddly enough– I remember as smelling like this new Donna Karan fragrance.

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SO I BEGAN TO WONDER what was in the new perfume that reminded me of my mother’s perfume.  A quick check of the two fragrances at basenotes gave me my answer: both scents have Galbanum top notes [a fresh, natural "green" scent];  Jasmine middle notes [a sweet, intense "calming" scent];  and Vanilla base notes [a warm, boozy "comforting" scent].  Now how trippy is that?  Hmmm?

Hello August, You Cheerful Colorful Month

Our flower garden has become a magical swirl of color…


from the salmon-colored roses that catch your eye…


to the purple petunias that help a pig take flight…


to the bright pink roses that keep the bees buzzing…


to a hand-painted pot of orange zinnias that add some love.


In other words, our garden today looks nothing like it did on a cold February day six months ago.  *brrr*  The transformation is amazing.

Rambling Thoughts About Having The House Painted, Again

Decades ago we painted the exterior of our first home together.  That is something that a married couple does once, if they want to stay married.  So late last summer, knowing that it was time to re-paint this house, I began the task of trying to find a painter who would:

  1. take my call;
  2. be available this spring/summer/fall to paint our house;
  3. have decent references [or no outstanding warrants];
  4. show up;  &
  5. actually know how to paint.

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This is not the first time we’ve hired professional painters to paint the outside of a house that we owned.  Happily, our first experience was good, albeit noisy and chaotic.  The crew of 12 men swarmed the house like ants to a picnic, but after a hectic 2 days the house looked nice.

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About 70% of our house is brick.  The brick has some bluish-greenish gray in it which softens the bricky color and allows the house to blend into nature year round.  The mortar between the bricks is a soft tan/gray color which provides a small contrast with the brick.  Nothing too dramatic.

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Our second experience with a professional painting company was difficult and frustrating.  I don’t think that the painters used the correct color on the house and the whole mess ended with Z-D, Esq, applying a bit of legal pressure to make certain that the yokels painters fulfilled the conditions of the contract.  When this bunch finished painting the house, it did not look so wonderful.

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For the 30% of the house that is painted we chose Sherwin-Williams 7029 Agreeable Gray.  I would describe it as a more warm than cool light gray shade that is about as neutral as our mortar, but doesn’t look dreary at all.  In fact, we painted a test of it on two side of the house last fall, then watched to see how it looked during the winter & spring.  It’s pretty.

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This, our third experience with professional house painters, has been the best to date– that is, if this man and his on-again off-again crew ever finish.  We’re into week 5 now, so this has been slow project.  Fortunately this bunch is tidy, polite and show up when they say they will + they are doing a wonderful precise job, so however long it takes is fine by me.

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The shutters will be re-painted Sherwin-Williams 6216 Jasper.  It’s the same dark green color that they’ve been since we had the house built.  I like this color because there is a definite contrast with the brick and when there is only grayness outside during the winter, this subtle green shade cheers my soul.

Deconstructing A Delightful Comment From A Dubious Source

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WP tells me that this comment is spam, but it’s so uplifting that I had to share it with you, my gentle readers.  Despite its tarnished origins, I think that it might be one of the best comments that I’ve received in 10+ years of blogging.  Let’s see if we can learn from it, shall we?

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• Sentence #1 – a nice simple greeting.

You can never go wrong with direct and pleasant.   

•  Sentence #2 - flattery.

Oh yes, I like it.  More praise please. 

•  Sentence #3 - a glance backwards.

Isn’t it sweet when someone shares a piece of his life with you? 

•  Sentence #4 - more reminiscence.

I feel like I’ve found a kindred spirit here.      

•  Sentence #5 – action intended to create friendship.

Please do, I’m sure that he’s as charming as you are.  

•  Sentence #6 - flattery again.

Oh sir, I blush thinking about how much you like what I wrote here.  

•  Sentence #7 - expression of gratitude.

What better way to end a comment, I ask you?  ‘Tis perfect.  

Tales of a Free Spirit in Suburbia