Thursday, May 6, 2021

Five Things Thursday

1. You might remember the skink from last year. It was about a foot long and an inch wide. Unfortunately, I no longer have the picture since I ruthlessly cleaned out my photos!
Well, we were sitting out on the front porch the other night and saw this one. 
We watched as it scampered in to our wall basket. That's where the big one lived too. Maybe this is a baby, but it looks completely different than the brown and rosy colored one from last year. These things creep me out! I try not to freak out by telling myself they eat mosquitoes. I hope that's true.

2. I love fresh flowers. I met the lady that owns White's Creek Flower Farm several years ago at a little farmer's market down the street. I loved buying flowers from her. 
When that farmers market stopped doing business, she moved down to our big farmer's market in Germantown. I never go down there. But, I was on her email list, so have been able to keep up with what she's doing and planting. 

During Covid, she planted more and more flowers. Now she's started a new business. Talk about pivoting! She sends an email out every Sunday. There's a link where you can order a bouquet to be delivered on Thursday or Friday. She charges $25.00.
The bouquets come wrapped in pretty tissue tied up with ribbon. 
Her flowers are always cut fresh that morning. She sells out every week. This was the first time I was able to get one. When she delivered, she remembered me. We had a little chat. She said that she kept adding more bouquets each week and continues to sell out. Luckily, I was able to get another one for this coming week. Right in time for Mother's Day! I'm telling you, for the number and variety of flowers in the bouquet, this is quite a bargain! I'm going to ask her if I can come out to her farm sometime, just to see her garden!

3. I saw this at the grocery store and did a "double take." 
What the heck?? I considered using this as a Monday Mystery, but then I looked closely  and found out it's called "Jack fruit." I have no idea what that is. Can you see how huge it is? Those are regular sized apples next to it. I didn't pick it up to see how heavy it is. Curiosity got the better of me, so I had to find out what it is. 
OMGosh, that looks awful!! It's some sort of tropical fruit. It must be pretty good though, because...
...holy smokes! Check out that price tag!! I'd say people would have to know what this is and what to do with it to pay that much. I'm not gambling 25 bucks on something I've never heard of before! Has anyone had this before?

4. I've had my eye on this needlepoint canvas for a really long, long tine. I think it's stunning. I had never actually seen it finished.
I erased this lady's face because I don't know her. She had posted this picture on Facebook. The pillow is amazing. But, I think it's a little too big for my taste. I thought it would make a beautiful picture, but I don't have room for that. Still, it's a gorgeous piece. 

5. Let's talk about pool days. They are fast approaching. That means, a lot of work to get everything ready: power wash the pool deck, clean all the furniture, clean and blow up the floats. Butch usually does it all. Stephanie came up with the idea that the whole family should pitch in and help. Sooo, Saturday is the day. Everyone is coming. Stephanie has planned something to make it more "game-like." Not sure what that's going to be. How do you turn "work" into a "game?" Prizes! That's how! And food!! I'm getting Corky's barbecue for lunch.

All the work doesn't negate the fact that we're still not happy with what the neighbors behind us have done. It used to look like this:
It was all private---so nice. But now... looks like this. I'm still heartsick about it. I just don't understand it. The neighbors cut down all of the wooded area--granted, it was their property. They are putting in their own pool--OUTSIDE of their fence! I guess they are going to have to put in a new fence. We've planted some fast growing arborvitae. It's supposed to grow 36" a year. I sure hope so. In addition we've put climbing white hydrangeas all along the fence interspersed with clematis. Hopefully by having the fence completely covered, we'll still feel like we have some privacy.

Oh, and we went ahead and bought all the flowers for the patio and pool. We'll enlist the family's help for that too! We're a little worried about the weather, but hopefully we'll be able to get it done. Right in time for Mother's Day. Now that's what I call a great present!

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

What I Buy Wednesday

This is going to be a very different "What I Buy Wednesday" post. Mostly because what I bought was a replacement for---well---you'll see. 

Let's start with the story. 

We need to go back to January when a friend of mine from high school contacted me through Facebook. We hadn't seen each other for 50 years. We quickly caught up. She told me that I was her very first friend on the first day of highschool. She had come from California and didn't know a soul. She latched on to me--although I didn't remember that at all! We had all of our classes together and I just liked her. We became friends. I introduced her to all of my other friends and never gave it another thought.

This is where it becomes a little weird. As she told me her story--ob-gyn who has spent her life working for, studying, living and researching women's issues-- suddenly the tables were turned. I might have been put in her life for a reason---so that 50 years later, she would come back in to my life for a reason!

She introduced me to a program---that I admit---seems very "new wavy." It's one of those mind, body, spiritual sort of things. This program explores every aspect of your health--from physical, to mental to spiritual and even financial. Of course I was skeptical, but thought---"hmm, maybe God lead me back to her." Not to get all schmaltzy here, but I'd been praying for something--mostly to help me with my faith--which I felt was waning. 

Now don't get me wrong. I was definitely attracted to the weight loss part of the plan. Let's face it. I'm pretty sure everybody does this program for that! 

Sooo, I've learned a lot about myself. I've looked at things I didn't even realize needed looking at! I'm spending time with my faith and it's helping. Mentally, I'm pretty fine---at least I think so. And we don't have any financial issues. That brings me to the physical aspect. I'm losing weight, consistently. Here's the result:
I spent Sunday morning (we went to Mass on Saturday night--just wanted to throw that in since I've been talking about my faith) cleaning out my closet. All of these hangers represent an article of clothing that is now way too big!! 
That's a lot of clothes. I wound up with 3 boxes for Margarita! It actually felt pretty good. I did not do the entire closet---I just focused on pants and the tops I knew were too big. 

Finally, if you're still hanging in there, on to what I bought! Through my Stitchfix box, I know what pants I like and what fits me lengthwise. Stitchfix has a "buy it again" feature that I like. I bought a few new pairs. 
About 4 of these are actually in my current size. I've bought others the next size down so I'm prepared---AND---to keep me motivated! 

It's all good! And I'm very thankful.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Travel Tuesday

A couple weeks ago, while traveling in Arizona, we were in Sedona. We came across this:
Right away we knew it was a McDonalds. We stopped because we needed to use the restroom. So we got drinks. This sign was posted at the register:
This is the only McDonalds in the world with teal arches rather than the golden ones. I just love little things like that. How many people can say they visited the only McDonald's with teal arches in the world?!!

That's the thing about traveling. You just never know when you are going to come across something so unusual! 

Which reminds me of the place in London called "Bounce"--near the oldest Catholic Church, where we went for Mass. I don't know what it is now, but there was a plaque on the wall that this was where ping pong was first played/invented! 

I know, it's all useless information, but I still love it!

Monday, May 3, 2021

Monday Mystery--Solved!

Okay, let me start with me. I have been having some dizziness for nigh on 3 years now. It was mostly sporadic and only when I looked up--like to hammer a nail or get something off of a high shelf. 2 1/2 years ago, my doctor gave me antibiotics for an inner ear infection. That didn't really work, so basically I forgot about it. 

In recent months, it has gotten worse. I actually went to the doctor for something unrelated, but while filling out all the pages of pre-information, I was reminded of the dizziness. I checked that box. That started it off. Suffice it to say that despite a couple doctors and a little scare along the way, I have finally been diagnosed. 

I have BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo). 

As it turns out, Sandy had this years ago. She told me about it before I even saw the ENT. She said, "Mom, don't you remember? My crystals were out of line?" Honestly, I didn't remember that. She said that she had to do some physical therapy and that fixed it. Well, lo and behold--that's exactly what I had to do. Only one treatment with instructions to do it a couple more times at home has completely solved it! 

It's such a crazy thing. there are these "crystals" (of course there's another medical term a little difficult to pronounce) deep in the inner ear. There are a few things that cause them to get out of whack like a head injury or--my reason--age! 

It's been a pretty simple procedure to get them back in place. I do go back to the doctor in a month where they'll test me again. After that, I've been told that it might never happen again. But if it does, I'll know exactly what to do.

I swear, our bodies are the ultimate mystery of all. Every time I turn around, I hear about something I've never heard of before! 

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Sunday--My Favorite Day to READ!

I came across this list and decided to test myself. I was pretty certain that I read more than 6 of them. I'm pretty sure you can give me just about any book list and I will have read quite a few. In fact, when Jordan and Morgan were little, I used to love to take them to the bookstore or the book section at Target and say, "I read that one and that one and that one and that one! It's sort of like a little game I play with myself--even now. I belong to a couple book groups on Facebook. When people show a bookshelf or a stack of books, I ALWAYS blow up the picture and count how many I've read! I even quizzed myself with the mug my friend, Nancy A. gave our book club for Christmas. It had quotes all over it. I read them and guessed which books they came from. Then I spent the time looking up every*single*one--on the internet to find out which book the quote came from. Little did I know that the list was on the bottom of the mug! Duh!!

When I came across this list, I just couldn't resist. I've highlighted the ones I've read. I've read 47 of them. Many were in high school, but that still counts. Still my favorite book of all time is Wuthering Heights!

The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books here. (I don't know if the BBC really thinks people only read 6 of these.)

1 Pride and Prejudice- Jane Austen 

2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien

3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte 

4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling

5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee 

6 The Bible - 

7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte 

8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell

9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman

10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens 

11 Little Women - Louisa May Alcott 

12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy 

13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller 

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare 

15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier 

16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulkes

18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger

19 The Time Traveler's Wife-Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch - George Eliot 

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell 

22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald

23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens 

24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy 

25 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck 

29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll 

30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame 

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens 

33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis

34 Emma - Jane Austen 

35 Persuasion - Jane Austen 

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis 

37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres

39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne 

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell

42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown 

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving

45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins 

46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery

47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy 

48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding 

50 Atonement - Ian McEwan

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel

52 Dune - Frank Herbert

53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen 

55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens 

58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley 

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime - Mark Haddon

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck 

62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov 

63 The Secret History - Donna Tart

64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding

69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville 

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens 

72 Dracula - Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson

75 Ulysses - James Joyce

76 The Inferno - Dante 

77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome 

78 Germinal - Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray

80 Possession - AS Byatt

81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell-

83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker

84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte's Web - EB White 

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 

90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Eupery

93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

94 Watership Down - Richard Adams 

95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute 

97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas 

98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare 

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl 

100 Gaudy Night - Dorothy Sayers

Saturday, May 1, 2021

It's All About Animals

1. This is the journey of an eagle during its 20 year lifespan. That's a lot of miles!

2. An Image Of GPS tracking of multiple wolves In six different packs around Voyageurs National Park shows how much the wolf packs avoid each other’s range. Pretty amazing!

3. While we were at the beach last week with Matt and Sharon, we sat out every night. It was so beautiful.
All of a sudden, this "thing" flew past my face. Butch said, it's just a frog! We had been hearing them for a few days, but I had never actually seen one. Of course I had to snap a picture. I was shocked to see this:
It was green!! It looked black. I'm impressed that my phone flash showed that it was green. When I looked at the picture, it was a fun surprise! I'm easily entertained!

4. We have lizards or whatever they are called---I still don't know the difference between them and skinks, geckos, etc. The ones we see ALL the time--you cannot sit outside without seeing them--are brownish-gray. But one day, we saw this one for the very first time.
We had never seen a lime green one. The ones we see all the time also have that red thing on their neck--which we think only happens during mating season (as if we know anything). This little guy was quite a surprise. Sharon called it a chameleon. I guess a rose is a rose or something like that.

5. This one is only slightly animal related. Basically, Butch is a workhorse! (I know, it's a stretch, but there it is). He cannot sit still. You go to the beach to relax. He's always walking up and down the beach--not just once like most people, but 2 or three times. He cannot sit for more than about 10 minutes. Well, the first time we went down to the beach on this trip, he noticed (because he had to help me) that there was a step missing. 
The next thing I knew, I looked over and he had found a bucket and was filling it with sand to fill in the space. He found a couple boards and fashioned another step. It was still quite a step up for me, but certainly better than no step at all. 

Unlike Butch, I have no trouble relaxing!!