Thursday, October 31, 2019

October Challenge -- Day 31

I'm joining Ms. Kwiz for her October blogging challenge.

Day 31: Favorites for Halloween

My best trick-or-treat memories ...

•  My favorite candy was Mary Janes. My mom couldn't find them in any store -- and, come to think of it, she wasn't one for having candy in the house anyway -- so the only time I got them was trick-or-treating, or at the penny candy store we visited on our way to the little lake house we visited every year. My older sister thought I was a geek for loving Mary Janes, so she willingly traded them for my chocolate. (I thought she was dumb; you can get chocolate any time.)

•  The convent gave popcorn balls wrapped in blue cellophane. That was pretty cool. But even better, after they ran out of popcorn balls they handed out quarters. I could buy a Beatles 45 rpm record for $1 or a copy of 16 magazine for 35¢, so that quarter helped bring me closer to Sir Paul.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

October Challenge -- Day 30

I'm joining Ms. Kwiz for her October blogging challenge.

Day 30: What's in my bag?

Oh, good goobies! How much time do you have?

Wallet, makeup bag, a hairbrush, planner, lotsa pills (anti-diarrhea, Advil for aches, Naproxen for migraines, Xanax for just in case, Vicodin in case my kidney stone suddenly bedevils me again), wipes, prescription glasses, reading glasses, contact lens solution and case, my phone and a thumb drive.

I always carry my train pass, work ID and keys in my pocket. If my purse is stolen, I want to be able to get home or to the office.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019


WWW. WEDNESDAY asks three questions to prompt you to speak bookishly. To participate, and to see how other book lovers responded, click here

1. What are you currently reading? Touched by the Sun: My Friendship with Jackie by Carly Simon. I picked this up eagerly. All my life, JBKO has been my ideal of femininity, independence and indomitability. Carly Simon's lyrics have resonated with me for decades ("The Right Thing to Do" and "Like a River" are two favorites). Now I learn that two women who mean a great deal to me meant a great deal to each other. 

I'm surprised so far by how intimidated Carly was by Jackie. This does not feel like a relationship of equals, and as far as I can tell, that's because of Carly's insecurities. It makes me feel sorry for both women. How could someone as sexy, acclaimed and talented as Carly feel second to anyone? And how could Jacqueline Onassis ever feel anything but isolated, if everyone she met treated her like a queen from the pages of a history book?

2. What did you recently finish reading? The Twist and Shout Murder: A Murder-A-Go-Go Mystery by Rosemary Martin. The cover blurb refers to it as "That Girl meets Mrs. Marple." I suppose that's accurate. It's a murder mystery, set in 1964, and our heroine, Bebe, loves mod clothes and pop music and solves a murder.
It's pretty well plotted and it's great on the atmosphere. I loved reading about her mid-century clothes and furniture and her slang is right on. But it's not as strong on character development. The men, especially, were hard to take seriously or care about. Once I finished it, I gave it away to my aunt.

3.  What will you read next? Michelle Obama's autobiography. Unless I change my mind.

Tuesday 4

Ghostly Tell Tales

1.   Believe in ghosts, spirits, or the supernatural? Not really. I believe in Heaven, and know that the spirits of my loved ones reside there and sometimes I feel them reaching out to me. But I don't consider that "supernatural."

2.   Ever had a supernatural experience? Nope.

3.   Favorite horror film? I saw The Ghost and Mr. Chicken at the movies when I was a little girl, and it truly did scare me. Now I go out of my way to watch it whenever it's on, because it brings back fond memories, and because it's fun to pick out the actors from other sitcoms ("Look! It's the second Darrin from Bewitched!") And the good guys win! (Atta boy, Luther!)

4.   Finish this line: Silently I walk in the moonless night____? Silently I walk in the moonless night, fingering my keys in my coat pocket.

It's Kwizgiver's Birthday

She's a rabid reader, a dedicated teacher and a good blogging buddy. If you don't read her blog, you should. Becoming acquainted with Ms. Kwiz will enrich your cyberlife.

October Challenge -- Day 29/REVISED

I'm joining Ms. Kwiz for her October blogging challenge.

Day 29: What's the best way to celebrate a birthday?

I had originally posted a rather pitiful tale about how no one wants to spend my birthday with me this year. It's close to Thanksgiving ... everyone is busy ... boo hoo. Oh, Gal of little faith!

Just now, Mindy shot me an email, asking me if I could spend my birthday with her. Could I?

So now I can answer the question as posed. I like spending my birthday often. With friends one-on-one. It gives us a chance to catch up, and it spreads the joy.

Monday, October 28, 2019

October Challenge -- Day 28

I'm joining Ms. Kwiz for her October blogging challenge.

Day 28: How are the yearly goals going?

OK, I guess.

I'm a wee bit ahead on my finances. I've curbed my spending and am thrilled by this bit of financial serendipity: I took out a short-term loan in 2016, which will be paid off in January ... just in time for the building's special assessment to kick in. It's a relief to not have to worry where I'll come up with that extra $95 each month, and a nice lesson in how planning can help me stave off monetary chaos.

I'm feeling better. My right leg is fine. I seldom have hip stiffness, the stabbing pains are gone, and my toes no longer tingle. My chiropractor is a genius!

BUT I'm still not working out regularly, and I must. I've started going back to the gym twice/week, which is a start, but it's not enough increase my endurance (I get winded on stairs) and help lower my blood sugar.

And then there's the clutter. I'm still drowning in stuff.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

The right words at the right time

"Bitter root produces bitter fruit." 

When I got out of the shower, I heard Joel Osteen say that.

I forgot to turn off the bedroom TV before I went into the bathroom, and this is what I just so happened to hear. Only it's so perfect for me, that I don't think it was an accident. I believe God finds a way to find me.

I had a tough week. My boss was an asshole. In my role as condo board secretary, I got beat up by a pair of very noisy unit owners. I'm angry and hurt by the unfairness of it all. So it was the perfect time to be reminded of Hebrews 12:15:

See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. 


Bitter root produces bitter fruit. 

So I have to let go of the anger and the hurt. Otherwise, I'll make myself unhappy. It's more important to dream, to believe and to hope. I hear you, Lord.

I got all this while slathering shea body butter on my legs. God so knows what He's doing when it comes to this old Gal!

Sunday Stealing


1. If you were offered a job in another part of the country, would you take it? What job? What part of the country? I need to know more.
2. If you were in a bank and someone started to hold it up, what would you do? Dial 911. Or, whatever the robber told me to do. I'm not getting shot.  just because I chose not to use the ATM outside.

3. If you found a suitcase filled with $1,000,000 what would you do? Call my lawyer. Who would probably tell me to take it to the police. I just don't want the police to think I stole it.

4. If you had a 25 hour day what would you do with your extra hour? Sleep.

5. If you had the opportunity to be different, what would you change? I wouldn't be so lazy.

6. If you received a lottery ticket as a gift and won a lot of money, would you share with the person who gave you the ticket? Of course.
7. If you spoke two languages and your spouse spoke only one, would you raise your children as bilingual? Yes.

8. If you were candy, which candy would you be? Mary Janes. Not everyone would like me,
but those that did would be loyal fans.

9. If you were a toy, which toy would you be? A plush toy.

10. If you were abducted by aliens, would you tell anyone? Sure. Starting with Diane Sawyer.

11. If you could go to the moon, would you? No. I'm too old, and the idea of space -- infinity going on and on and on forever -- scares the crap out of me.

12. If you had a time machine, where would you go and why? 11/21/63. Let's change that motorcade route.

13. If you saw a robbery, would you report it? Of course!

14. If you were to speak to a graduating class, what would you say? "To thine own self be true." Dude knew what he was talking about.

15. If given the choice between being given great wisdom or great wealth, which would you choose? Wisdom. I assume it would help me be nicer and richer and happier. I'd like to be nicer, and richer and happier.


October Challenge -- Day 27

I'm joining Ms. Kwiz for her October blogging challenge.

Day 27: Current music fave/rave. Lately I've rediscovered Patsy Cline. While watching Judy, the Renee Zellwegger movie about Judy Garland, and it occurred to me that the only other woman* I'd ever heard whose voice literally cuts straight through to my heart is Patsy. I started listening to her again. And, as luck would have it, Lifetime just did a biopic of Patsy! So it seems I'm not the only one enjoying a Cline-aissance.

*Sinatra and, when he's at his best, Elvis can, too ("Kentucky Rain").

Saturday, October 26, 2019


This evening, as I was juggling the clean laundry to get to my housekey, I saw a cat curled up in a little furball by our side door. When she saw me, she ran away next door and disappeared into the trees and bushes.

It's been raining all day, yet she looked very clean so I suspect she's someone's cat who snuck out. Or maybe they got bored with her and abandoned her. She must be frightened and uncomfortable, and I scared her away from a dry, safe spot.

If I had a bigger place, I'd go downstairs and search for her in the neighbor's bushes, maybe coax her out. But as it is, what could I do with her? She's too big to keep in a cat carrier until I could get her to the local shelter, like I did with little Jeri, the kitten I rescued five years ago.

I couldn't let this cat interact with mine. She may not have had her shots, or she might not get along with other cats. Reynaldo is a senior citizen and Connie has a compromised immune system, and their safety has to be my first priority.

According to the ASPCA, 3.2 million cats enter shelters every year. I can't save them all. I have to remember that.

But I keep seeing her. In my head, I keep seeing her.

October Challenge -- Day 26

I'm joining Ms. Kwiz for her October blogging challenge.

Day 26: Fall bucket list

Before I answer, I'd like to change it to "Fall To-Do List." After all, the term "bucket list" refers to things you want to accomplish before you die ("kick the bucket"). I don't intend to die before year-end, so ...

I want to organize my books. I tore the bookshelves apart back in 2016 and have never put them back together in any real way.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Miss Me More (2018)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
Chosen because October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Learn more and spread the word that help is available.

1) This song is about a girl who ditched her high heels so she wouldn't be taller than her beau. Tell us about the most recent addition to your footwear wardrobe. Do you need to go shoe shopping? The last shoes I bought were Nikes, ordered from Dick's Sporting Goods. I needed new running shoes, and since Nike was getting hassled for supporting spokesman Colin Kaepernick and Dick's was being criticized for refusing to sell guns, I thought, "I'll make myself heard with my wallet." 

And yes, I need new warm, and water-resistant boots to keep me comfy and dry as I tramp through the slush we know is coming. I see a trip to DSW in my future.

Ryka Suzy Snow Boots: Me want

2) She sings that she misses the sheets on the bed she made herself. As you answer these questions, is your bed made? I never make my bed.

3) This video shows her in a ring. Have you ever worn boxing gloves? Not that I recall, but I may have. I was in a long-term relationship with a guy who boxed recreationally and he just dropped them anywhere. I was always moving his gloves so I could sit down, or serve dinner, or pay bills ...

4) This week's featured artist, Kelsea Ballerini, got married on Christmas Day in 2017. That makes their anniversary easy to remember. Are you celebrating any birthdays or anniversaries this month? My nephew's birthday was earlier this month, but we celebrated it during the last weekend in September.

5) Kelsea has been quoted as saying, "Perfect doesn't exist." She worries that we exhaust ourselves "trying to be something that isn't real." How about you? Do you believe your best is good enough? Or do you strive for perfection? I agree that perfect doesn't exist. I'm comfortable walking away once I'm satisfied I've done my best.

6) One of Kelsea's tattoos is a square inside of a circle, aka a square peg in a round hole, on her left wrist. She says it's there to remind her that it's OK to "not fit the mold of what normal might be." Tell us about a time where you felt like a square peg in a round hole. Often! I never fulfilled what was expected of a woman by my family. I'm simply too opinionated, not deferential ...

7) In 2018, when this song was popular, French President Emmanuel Macron lowered fuel taxes. When it's time to fill your tank, do you shop around for the best price? No car

8) Also in 2018, Luxembourg made all public transportation free. When is the last time you rode a bus or train? Every workday. 

9) Random question: When did you most recently say, either out loud or to yourself, "I haven't got a thing to wear?" Every time I prepare for a client presentation. Though my particular version of this is, "Do I have dress slacks big enough to encase my fat ass?"


C'├ętait charmant

Thursday night I saw Paris! The Show. It shines a spotlight on popular post-war French songs. It was all in French, which I don't speak, so I was unable to follow the story. But I enjoyed it all the same. There were songs I recognized: "What Now, My Love?", "My Way," "I Wish You Love," and, of course, "Can Can" and "La Vie En Rose." The dancing was exceptional.

I really enjoyed the venue, too. The Athenaeum Theater is a big old beauty. Over 100 years old, it was originally part of the neighboring church, St. Alphonsus. Long-ago it was a gym and community center for the neighborhood's German Catholics. Today, it's broken up into four theaters: three that seat less than 90, and a main stage (where we were) for an audience of 1000.

I got the ticket from Joanna. A friend of hers, involved with PR, got a pair of comps and was unable to go. A Francophile who's been to Paris nearly a dozen times, she was seriously into it and her enthusiasm was infectious. During intermission, she told me about spending hours buying a pair of kid gloves from a tiny Parisian boutique ("smaller than my bathroom") on one trip, and returning to the store years later. The owner remembered her -- and the gloves -- and recommended the perfect silk scarf to go with the gloves. It was such a Joanna story! She lives for the aesthetics, things I'm not sure I'd even notice if she didn't point them out.

Before the show, we went to a neighborhood diner. One of those 24/7, breakfast all day places I adore. She told me about her two new beaux -- Sid and "the other guy"* -- that she met through Our Time. What a smitten kitten! It's nice to see her happy.

It was also nice to go to dinner and the theater again. Since my friend Barb moved away/drifted away, I've stopped doing this. I didn't realize how much I missed it until Thursday night.

*She mentioned his name, but Sid is so clearly the favorite that I don't recall it.

October Challenge -- Day 25

I'm joining Ms. Kwiz for her October blogging challenge.

Day 25: I will always have.

I love this quote, because no matter what happens, I'll always have these.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

October Challenge -- Day 24

I'm joining Ms. Kwiz for her October blogging challenge.

Day 24: Staple grocery items.

•  Paper towels. Viva or Bounty. White. Full sheet (I do NOT want to choose a size).

•  Coke. I am loving the smaller 7.5 oz cans.

•  Gerber baby food. Turkey. Perfect for dissolving the powdered supplement Connie has twice/day. There are other flavors (chicken, beef and ham), but they make Connie sad.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

October Challenge -- Day 23

I'm joining Ms. Kwiz for her October blogging challenge.

Day 23: Cooking or eating.


Since I battled c. diff in 2016, I have become more careful about what I eat and I've been preparing more meals at home. My gastrointestinal tract and cholesterol are better for it. But I don't enjoy it.

One of my favorite things to do is still sit in a booth with a good book and enjoy a nice, quiet, coffee house meal.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Tuesday 4

1.   One Movie You'd Watch Over & Over Again? The Way We Were

2.   One Book You'd Read Over & Over Again? This one is harder, because my to-be-read pile is so high with books I haven't read yet but want to. But I'll go with this one.

Reckless Youth takes John Kennedy from birth to his first run for office at age 29. It introduces us to a gifted, charming young man who demonstrates great courage at times and an incredible appetite for risk at others.

It also portrays him as damaged -- by phenomenal health challenges and a very complicated family dynamic. At the end of the book, he's already overcome a great deal, and only has about 15 years left to live.

I learned a lot about life from reading this book. For, while he appeared to have it all (wealth, looks, big family, hero's war record), he suffered a great deal. No matter how a life looks from the outside, you don't know how it feels from the inside.

3.   One TV Series You'd Watch Over & Over Again? Law & Order

4.   One Song You'd Listen To Over & Over Again? Here it is the very first time I heard it.

October Challenge -- Day 22

I'm joining Ms. Kwiz for her October blogging challenge.

Day 22: Modern or Traditional.


I like reading old school. Words on paper. I read magazines and books and the newspaper.

On the other hand, I prefer Uber to taxis. Ride shares make it so easy.

I messed up

As condo board secretary, it's my responsibility to send updates to all the owners. Right after I hit "send," I realized that I cc'd instead of bcc-ing. Which means I inadvertently shared everyone's email address with everyone else.

I hate me right now.

Maybe no one will notice. Or maybe I'll have to apologize 24 times over.

Monday, October 21, 2019

October Challenge -- Day 21

I'm joining Ms. Kwiz for her October blogging challenge.

Day 21: My favorite shopping spots.

This one makes me a little sad, because my favorite shopping spots are gone. I loved shopping at Marshall Field's on State Street. It's a beautiful building, and it had higher-quality merchandise than the other department stores. Shopping there was an experience. The windows! The fitting rooms! The restaurants!

But then, in 2006, it became Macy's. It's fine, I suppose. But I don't get enthusiastic about Macy's like I did Marshall Field's.

And then there was Carson's. Twice a year -- spring and fall -- I shopped their Goodwill Sale. Every item I donated to Goodwill through their store got me a 20% coupon. I stocked up on skincare, sunglasses, clothes and an umbrella. (I'm always losing or breaking umbrellas.) It closed for good more than a year ago.
The empty Clinique counter at Carson's, days before the store closed for good.

But that was then and this is now. I find myself at Kohl's and the aforementioned Macy's. Target opened just blocks away from my home, and that's nice. There's an independent bookseller here, too, and that beckons to me.

But I'm shopping a lot more resale these days. A couple times a month, there's a fundraiser in a fabulous old Victorian and I always find something (a cardigan, a t-shirt) there. Last year I got a terrific find -- a like-new belted, hooded trench from Nordstrom that I got for $14. It's nice to shop there because it benefits local charities. And ThredUp is fun. It's the hunt, you know.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Sunday Stealing


1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought? That the new lightbulb is working out well. The fixture takes three bulbs, but only the one on the far right burned out. I was afraid just changing the one wouldn't look the same. It's fine.

2. Where did you go on the very first vacation of your life? Duck Lake. My parents and grandparents took a clapboard cottage up there. I was 4 or 5. My grandfather took my sister and I out in a row boat and I caught my only fish. I felt terrible when I watched him take the hook out of its mouth. It was such a tiny fish, the hook did damage. I've never gone fishing again.

3. Open the door of your refrigerator. What is the first thing you see? Cans of Dr. Pepper. I usually buy Coke, but Dr. Pepper was on sale.

4. Tell us about your first kiss OR your last first date. His name was Jim. Two years older than I. He barely knew me. I was in line, waiting for my order at Jack-in-the-Box, and he and his friend (I forget his name) came barrelling in, singing The Four Tops "Ain't No Woman Like the One I Got." They each grabbed a girl in line, kissed her, laughed and ran. I'm sure he doesn't remember it, but it was a big moment for me. MY FIRST KISS!

5. If you had wings to fly about the universe, where is the first place you’d land? Hesperia, California. My oldest friend lives there, and I could use an afternoon of laughter with her.

6. What is the first thing you do when you get in your car? No car

7. What is the first thing you ever said to your firstborn? No kid

8. What is the last thing you heard about your first love? That his mom had died. I sent a white orchid plant to the funeral home. I haven't seen/spoken to him in decades, but his mother had remained a good friend to my late mother, and I felt my mother would have wanted me to make the gesture.

9. If you had created the world in seven days yourself, what would you have created on the First Day? Oh, no you don't. You're not going to get me to second guess the Lord.

10. What is the first song in your IPOD or song list? "If I Had a Million Dollars" by The Barenaked Ladies.

11. What is the first tangible thing you lost that you could never find again? My virginity. While it could never be recaptured, I know exactly how I lost it.

12. Who is your favorite First Lady of all time? JBK. She's my ultimate hero. Did you know she's the only First Lady to have won an Emmy Award? In 1962 she hosted a televised tour of The White House. She did the whole thing without notes, answering questions about the People's House and the origin of the items in each pubic room. She used to joke privately that no one thought there was "a brain under the pillbox hat." There certainly was!

13. Post a link to your first blog post. Why? I imagine if you want to read it, you can figure out how to find it.

14. When was the last time you needed First Aid? Two weeks ago I wore a Band Aid after my flu shot.

15. Can you explain what a first down is in football? The first time the offense gains 10 yards. But I don't really like football, so instead I'll concentrate on the ground rule double at my beloved Wrigley Field. Ivy covers the outfield walls. If the ball gets trapped in the green leaves, the outfielder must raise his arms immediately, before he tries to retrieve the ball, and the hitter is awarded second base.

BTW, congrats to the Astros, the best in the game, 2019

October Challenge -- Day 20

I'm joining Ms. Kwiz for her October blogging challenge.

Day 20: Good habits I'd like to have.

I'd like to be more disciplined. When I'm engaged, I can be successful. But I'm so lazy and I waste so much time.