In Which I Answer Five Brilliant Questions, Outstandingly

I’ve received the Outstanding Blogger Award from Laura Bruno Lilly who asked some great questions. I don’t usually do awards, but like Laura said doing this award is a good way to break out of a blogging rut & I’ve felt like I’ve been in one lately. Thus I’m answering these five brilliant questions to the best of my free-spirited ability.

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LAURA’S QUESTIONS FOR ME

What’s the first thing (or two) you’ll do once you ‘get your shot’ and/or the world otherwise opens back up after the Pandemic?

I have two things. I’m tired of my hippy hair so I’ll get it cut, but I’m keeping it longer than before. Who knew it was easier to have longer layered curly hair than a short stacked bob? The second thing is I want to go to a local restaurant, order a pear martini, crab cakes, and their house salad. Maybe two martinis now that I think about it. 

What makes you break into your ‘happy dance’?

Pots and pots of flowers around the outside of the house. I like geraniums and petunias and coleus and zinnias and dipladenia and impatiens and marigolds and whatever else will grow. I’m not fussy about what’s in the pots, I just want pretty. 

What was your favorite subject when you were in school?

I liked English class. No surprise, huh?

Which of your blog posts is your favorite and why? Please provide a link.

After ten years of blogging I can’t just offer one post so I’m going to answer with three posts. If you like funny, read this: Fun With Pedicures: Conning Mr. Man, If Only For A Moment. If you like melancholy, read this: Strange Days Indeed. If you like badassery, read this: Good Morning To Everyone Except WordPress, My Frenemy.

Coffee, tea or ????

Yes. Coffee, tea, seltzer, beer, wine, aperol & soda, margaritas, vodka martinis, a shot of whiskey even– but never anything with rum in it. *bleech* 

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Now it’s my turn to nominate and to ask questions. Considering everyone who reads this blog is outstanding I nominate anyone who wants to do this. You may do this in the comments below or on your blog.

There’s no obligation to take up the challenge, but if you do then please answer the following questions. If you do this on your blog then you may nominate [5 or however many] other bloggers, and then compile a set of your own 5 questions. 

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MY QUESTIONS FOR YOU

Q1 – What’s your favorite movie?

Q2 – When trying to buy shoes, what’s your biggest problem?

Q3 – Ice cream cone or cupcake?

Q4 – What’s one good thing you have learned about yourself during this pandemic?

Q5 – Any eccentric people in your family? Discuss.

A March Mélange: Googly Eyes, Passing Grades, and Snazzy Socks

I bugged out of blogging last week.

I didn’t mean to neglect you, my gentle readers, but it was a spontaneous decision on Monday morning. I wanted to finish my online self-directed college class and decided to just do it, get all the reading, research, and writing over with. It took me a few hours every day causing my eyes to blur and spin in my head, but I finished the class a few weeks early, earning a passing grade of 93%.

And that, as they say, is that.

It was fascinating to see lectures, read assignments, do homework, and write a research paper again. It took me outside of my usual thinking patterns, so the mental challenge was a good one. For winter. During a pandemic.

Was it worth it? Will I do it again? That is, take another online university class with homework?

Welp, I’m going to say probably NO.

I didn’t hate being a student, but I didn’t love it either. Fortunately I understood the subject matter [history learned through the interconnections among antique objects and academic disciplines in a museum] but I vehemently disliked the computer user interface for this online course. It was clunky and awkward, visually cluttered– and there were typos and inconsistencies that bothered me, a writer.

The mediocre system made every assignment a struggle and as such sucked the fun out of this whole adventure in higher education. No matter really. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

In fact, continuing on with the idea of something gained, much to my delight while in the process of researching my final paper I stumbled on the word SNAZZY used in an advertisement in the current Vermont Country Store catalogue. Don’t ask how I ended up there, but I did and it was worth it.

Yes siree kids, it’s my all-time favorite word spotted in the wild.

In this case the best word ever is used to describe mild-compression support socks. Granted the topic of socks had nothing to do with the project I was working on and I don’t think I need these particular ones, but I am getting older so maybe I do and just don’t know it yet.

Anyhoo, that’s where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing. And you? Whatcha been doing?

Spill the beans in the comments below. Missed ‘ya. Mean it.

In Which I Wash My Mouth Out With Soap Because I Did Not Think Ahead

It’s not that I swear all the time.

I only do so when the situation calls for it, according to my own moral compass. Thus when I tell you that I let out a string of curse words you may be assured it was necessary.

Here’s what happened. It’s a one thing leads to another scenario.

Winter arrived. My skin got dry and itchy so I stopped using Dial bar soap in the shower, switching to a gentler bar of soap that isn’t so intense. But because I’m a frugal woman I put the partially used bar of soap in a drawer in the bathroom cabinet near the sink.

This drawer houses items I use to make myself presentable– including, for instance, a tub of moisturizing cream and a few bottles of leave-in hair conditioner and a razor or three.

Also in the drawer there’s a box of Arm & Hammer baking soda that I occasionally use instead of toothpaste. I use the baking soda every few days so the box is open (with the little cardboard lid thingie sort of closed) in the drawer. It’s a throwback to my childhood when people sometimes used baking soda for the cleaning of teeth. [Don’t judge.]

And this is where the trouble began.

As I’m sure you know baking soda is often used in refrigerators as a way of absorbing odors in them. Very effective, good stuff. BUT did you know that if you put an open box of it in a drawer with an unwrapped partially used bar of heavily scented soap, the baking soda will absorb the scent, the flavor, the essence of that soap?

Of course thinking on it now you do, but I was not so wise. I didn’t anticipate the consequences of storing Arm & Hammer baking soda and Dial bar soap, side-by-side, in a closed bathroom drawer.

Hence it came to be that one morning I reached for the now Dial-soap-scent-infused Arm & Hammer baking soda and used the baking soda to brush my teeth, not knowing what had happened to it in the drawer. From this experience I learned can confirm that Dial soap tastes awful, rating high on the yuck-o-meter, if there is such a thing.

Also I can confirm that while I don’t swear often, it’s a skill you never forget, like riding a bike. I know this to be true because between rinsing my mouth out with water multiple times, I used words of the sort not meant for a PG-13 family blog like this one. Thus I’ll paraphrase what I said using The Good Place’s Eleanor Shellstrop‘s sanitized curse words instead of my own.

Holy mother forking shirt balls! BLEECH!

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Happy Weekend, everyone. Try to keep it clean.

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On A Pretty November Day Chatting About Outdoor Furniture While We Wait*

AFTER A WET and thoroughly disappointing October, we’ve finally gotten to the pretty days of autumn.

The sky is clear blue with a few white puffy clouds, the leaves on the trees are gloriously colorful shades of gold and rust, and the daytime temps are in the 60s F.

I like everything about this scenario, so color me relaxed and happy in spite of what is going on in the world.

Nothing has been as I anticipated it would be this year, so why not have a delayed autumn? Maybe even a late winter, too? 

• • •

WE’VE BEGUN TO carry some of the outdoor furniture inside, storing it in the basement like we do.  Instead of taking one day to move all the outside furniture inside, we’ll do it in dribs and drabs.  Rather like the way in which leaves drop from the trees in the fall.

We’re also talking about taking the bold step of ordering some new outdoor chairs and a rocker to add to our outdoor furniture collection.

I only mention that we’re thinking about doing this because the estimated delivery time for this type of composite Adirondack-style furniture is 3 months [or more].  Therefore, if we want these items by next spring [or summer], we must order them soon.

In other words there will be waiting involved;  and isn’t waiting the subtext of 2020? And today?

• • •

* It’s up to you, my gentle readers, to decide whether the wait mentioned in the title of this post is for furniture delivery OR for the polls to close today ending [I hope] this dreadful presidential election. Comment as you see fit.

The One About The Deck Stairs Betraying Us [No One Was Hurt]

CLOSED FOR REPAIRS… hopefully sometime in the next year, but who knows?

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Our deck is 21 years old and we need to replace it.  To wit the top section of the wooden stairs have fallen apart.

Dramatically, in fact.

You see, the top section of the wooden stairs gave out as Zen-Den started to walk down the stairs to join me on the terrace below.

I saw it happen.

Fortunately Z-D is fast on his feet which is kind of amazing for a chubby older fellow, but there you have it.  He didn’t get hurt.  He used to be athletically-inclined, played team sports, so maybe those experiences helped him in the moment.

Still, unnerving.

  • Did I mention that the deck is 8-9 feet above the ground below?
  • That Mr. Man jumped about 6 feet down to the ground as the stairs gave way underneath him?
  • And that the look of amazement on his face was one for the ages?

Like I said no one was hurt, but now the long tedious process of finding someone reliable to replace the steps, and the deck, has begun.  Spring 2021 seems to be the earliest anyone can get to us.

Of course it is.

Nothing more to say here except stay safe, kids.  When things fall apart may you land securely on your own two feet.

• • •

Questions of the Day: Does anyone have any experience with OR advice about having a deck replaced?  Did you go with wood OR composite?  Did you go with a dark stain/color OR a lighter one?  Did you pick metal posts OR wood or composite?  How did you decide who would build the deck?