May You Be Happy: 8 Interesting Links To Share On A Tuesday

ADVICE, IT’S EVERYWHERE

I’ve been asked to explain why I sometimes write posts that are filled with links. You see…

A long time ago I read an article, written by a marketing professional, about personal blogging. This article had advice about how to ensure that your personal blog had a balanced mix of content that’d appeal to a variety of readers.

Quite simply, the article said that to be perceived as interesting you need to write: 1/3rd of your posts about research, ideas, or professional topics; 1/3rd of your posts about updates in your personal life and how you feel about what is going on; and 1/3rd of your posts about hobbies or adventures.

While I don’t adhere strictly to this advice, I keep it in mind. It has influenced me over the years.

Thus as an example of the first of the three categories mentioned above, I give you, my gentle readers, the following list of 8 random links that I’ve stumbled over whilst flitting about online.

Enjoy!

EIGHT INTERESTING LINKS TO SHARE

• Apparently in France it’s called piscine. I’ve no problem with it, but some people are peeved.

Mine is green. Take a quiz to discover your aura’s color.  UPDATED: Mine is now blue. Take a different quiz to discover your aura’s color.

• I’m not sure I *try* to be nice, but I take this point…

• We don’t have a dog, but the mid-century aesthetic of this kibble dispenser caught my eye.

• Your doctor is talking about you. And it might not be in a flattering way.

• Watch and be entertained. Earworm to follow….

• I want to know the answer to this, too. Why is it so difficult to find normal sleeves?

• You can guess why Karen and Brandon are no longer popular baby names, but do you know which names are popular now? Meet Olivia and Liam— and all their little friends.

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

Do you think the personal blogging advice shared in the first part of this post is wise or wacky? That is, would you say it’s AMAZEBALLS or WEAKSAUCE?

Any comments, insightful or otherwise, about any of the links above? That is, would you say any one link in particular is AMAZEBALLS or WEAKSAUCE?

Do you like using slang when you write your blog posts? How about in real life when you talk with people, do you use slang then?

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In The Mood For Fig Newtons And Scotch, Maybe

Image from @thepresentpsychologist on Instagram

So it’s still January. I feel like this has been the longest January* on record. Somehow a few extra days got tossed into this one, I am beyond bored.

Do you feel it too, my little ice cubes?

In fact, referring to The Mood Meter image above, not that I want it that way but I’d say I’m currently in the lower lefthand quadrant at DRAINED on a fast train to DESOLATE, hoping to not end up at DESPAIR.

I started this year in the upper righthand quadrant at OPTIMISTIC and ENERGIZED. But blah cold weather combined with incessant anti-vax gibberish**, plus a realization that many  longtime bloggy friends have stopped posting altogether, well– this has left me feeling oddly RESTLESS.

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Image from @thefabstory on Instagram

I usually like January, look forward to it even. But somehow this year, maybe because of the endless anxiety associated with the pandemic, I’m feeling a different vibe within myself and about the world around me.

When it comes to self-care, referring to the Routines To Try image above, I don’t know if I need to be more PRODUCTIVE or focus on being CALMER.

And ain’t that a pip!

Anyhoo that’s where I find myself this wintry morning, wondering if there might be some restorative power in Colonel Sherman T. Potter’s remedy for feeling low.  The clip below explains what to do with your Fig Newtons and Scotch*** and why.  Cheers!

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* Okay I’m wrong about this being the longest January on record: In the Roman calendar only 10 months had formal names. Winter (January and February) was simply known as the “dead period” [Source here]

** We’re both fully vaccinated and wear our masks when out in public, where we rarely go because of the people who are not fully vaccinated and do not wear their masks out in public.

*** In the spirit of transparency I feel obliged to tell you that should I follow through on Colonel Potter’s advice, the Fig Newton will be a Chocolate Chip cookie and the Scotch will be Bourbon.

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SO TELL ME, HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY? WHAT’S YOUR MOOD?

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On The Nose: Contemplating My Goals & Word Of The Year For 2022

Tigger under the Christmas tree. He has nothing specifically to do with this post but cute pink nose, eh?

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Bill at A Silly Place wrote a post, a challenge really, that got me thinking about what I’ll be doing next year. Thank you, Bill. You can read his post here and join his challenge if you so choose.

Consider yourself tagged.

Bill’s challenge is to forget about traditional formal New Year Resolutions, which I’ll admit have always seemed a bit overblown and idealistic to me.

Instead you commit to a few specific Goals that you monitor as the year goes along. It’s not as highbrow as declaring New Year Resolutions, but probably more doable because more pragmatic.

At least in my estimation.

While I usually shy away from anything that involves numbers, preferring to go with the wordy flow rather than mess with any dodgy numbers, I’m going to try this challenge because I am open-minded & curious.

My modest Goals are:

  • go for a walk five days a week;
  • cook four vegetarian meals each month;
  • donate three boxes of unwanted stuff to charity each month;
  • go on two vacations somewhere that is not here; and
  • read one book that is currently on our bookshelves each month.

But wait there’s more.  

In keeping with my longstanding habit of deciding on a Word of the Year, while I pursue these numerically-based Goals I’ll implement my 2022 Word of the Year. It is how I shall do these things.

My word is ENJOY.

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Do you make New Year Resolutions?

Do you think that setting Goals, as opposed to making New Year Resolutions, is an intriguing way to state your intentions?

Do you pick a Word of the Year?

Keeping my 2022 Word of the Year in mind, what do you think of the *Christmas* music video below?

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This will be my last post of 2021. Happy Holidays everyone. See you next year.

Slow Down Hippy Child: The One About The Haircut That Wasn’t

Plans change. Often.

When I became fully vaccinated [Moderna] in late May, I made an appointment to get my hair cut. My last real haircut was February 2020, with a fast trim in August 2020.

The upshot of not getting my hair cut every few months is that I’ve got hippy hair now. It’s long and frizzy and curly. The texture looks similar to Carole King on the cover of Tapestry.

“My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue.” Her life, my hair. Of course in my case the royal hues are mostly dishwater blonde and gray, but you get my point.

My appointment was for late June, yesterday in fact.

HOWEVER a few weeks ago I got a text telling me my appointment had been cancelled. Not postponed, mind you. Cancelled.

Bummer, said I.

Then I went to check my email because I thought that Janelle, the stylist who has cut my hair for over 20 years, might have sent me an email explaining what was going on. And she had.

Come to find out Janelle was having hip replacement surgery, immediately. She didn’t say why she was having this surgery stat so I can’t explain the backstory, but she said that she’d be back to work by late July.

To me this seems a little too soon after surgery. Of course I know nothing about hip replacement surgery so maybe it’s okay, but I’m not scheduling another appointment until late August. That’d be one year after my last trim.

I figure I’ve got a good hippy vibe going on now and I’ve come to like wearing my hair in a plump curly ponytail. Bring me those colorful elastics, I can make this work.

The thing is that over the years I’ve spent time and money to keep my hair looking blonde and professional, *neat* as my late mother would have said. So the oddest part of having long unruly hair is that I’m not upset about looking like a hippy child.

MAYBE this who I am meant to be in my later years as I head into my dotage. That could be the message here.

Be that as it may or may not, in the meantime, I think we can all agree that plans change. And if the pandemic has taught me anything it’s you gotta make the best of whatever comes your way, whether it be Covid-19 vaccine availability or delayed haircut appointments.

Yes, with a hat tip to Simon & Garfunkel’s famous song ‘Feelin’ Groovy’ I’m slowing down, talking to lampposts, and living hippy for two more months.

Why not, huh?

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QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

You’ve made plans, which ones did not happen?

What did the pandemic teach you about making plans?

Are you feeling groovy?

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A Glimpse Into The Time Before Morsels: A Recipe, A Realization, A Research Project

Maybe you know this already and I’m the last to know, but I’m going to tell you my story anyhow.

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I HAPPENED UPON A WRAPPER from a Nestlé Semi-Sweet chocolate product [see photo immediately above].

I found it among the recipes that my mother had saved, filed loosely in an old notebook. The recipes, ranging from the 1940s to the 1990s, are from her mother and newspapers clippings and friends and packaging. No rhyme or reason to them, just saved.

My best guess is the wrapper is from the early 1940s. It intrigued me.

After glancing at the front I looked on the back at the recipe. I skimmed the recipe and it initially looked about the same as any chocolate chip cookie recipe you’d see today.

The copy on the wrapper states that it’s THE ORIGINAL Toll House Chocolate Cookie recipe created by Ruth Wakefield of Whitman, MA. And it could be. However the current Nestlé website says that this recipe, a recipe that differs in one significant way, is the original Toll House Cookie Recipe.

You see, it wasn’t until I turned the package over again and looked closely at the front that I realized this WASN’T a package for Nestlé semi-sweet chocolate morsels [chips] that we have today. It WAS for a bar of chocolate that was to be cut into “pieces the size of a pea” by the person making the cookies.

As in if you want chips of chocolate in your cookies, do it yourself, darling [see photo immediately below].

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I HAD A DUH! MOMENT because I’d no idea that chocolate chips had not always existed, which is a rather lame thing to say. Obviously someone invented them. They don’t fall from the heavens above fully formed, now do they?

After a bit of research I discovered that chocolate chips were originally a kind of molasses chocolate-coated candy made popular in the early 1890s by Kauffmanns of Pittsburgh, PA. In 1897 a court case involving the use of the trademarked name “Trowbridge Chocolate Chips” also described chocolate chips as being molasses chocolate-coated candy.

However by the 1930s as Wakefield’s recipe grew in popularity the term *chocolate chip* morphed from being a kind of candy into being an ingredient in cookies, so much so that by the early 1940s Toll House cookies were often referred to as chocolate chip cookies.

Seeing an opportunity for increased sales, in 1940 Nestlé started making and selling manufactured chocolate chips that they called ‘morsels.’ This was in addition to the semi-sweet chocolate bars for which they were known.

So with that short history lesson on what I’d call the primary ingredient in Toll House Cookies, I’ll end this post by asking you:

Did you know there was a time when you created your own chocolate chips [aka morsels] to put in your cookies?

What do you call cookies that have chocolate chips [aka morsels] in them: Toll House Cookies or Chocolate Chip Cookies?

And more to the point, made any of them lately?

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SOURCES:

A Brief History of the Chocolate Chip via Mental Floss

Chocolate Chip Cookies Chip versus Morsel via New England Recipes

The First “Chocolate Chip” Was a Molasses Candy via Smithsonian Magazine

Who Baked the First Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie? via Chowhound