It was important for me to launch my blog on the first day of autumn (if you continue to follow my blog in the future you will find out why.)
I have been thinking about starting a blog for sometime. People are often telling me I should write a book, but I’m not sure I actually have enough of a “story” to do that (or frankly, the discipline.) I have several social media accounts and I use them to discuss a variety of topics, but all of them seem too limiting. Because, the truth is, I’m a talker. If I had a nickel for the number of people who have told me to “try to be succinct” or “keep it brief” or “don’t be so wordy”, well, I’d be a super rich person.
To be honest, it was James Corden’s response to Bill Maher’s fat shaming segment that finally motivated me to get my rear in gear. I was incredibly frustrated that I didn’t have a real platform to discuss that specific issue. I also recently stumbled across a massive amount of information related to menopause and/or weight and I feel the need to share all of it as much as possible.
It was for these reasons that I knew it was time to finally create something where maybe, just maybe I could not only help other women who are going through menopause or starting menopause or wondering about menopause or are scared shitless about the prospect of menopause, but that perhaps I could also help people in general understand about women’s health, weight loss/gain, body issues, fat shaming and the mental health concerns that go along with all of these things.
I am not a medical professional, I am going to say that straight out, but I do hope to get opinions in the future from individuals in that industry. I also will be citing articles, studies, and books that contain legitimate scientific research.
So, there’s my first post. It’s not much, just an introduction really, but I think it might be one of the more difficult posts I will have to make. Because it was tough figuring out exactly why I wanted to do this and what I wanted to accomplish. Let’s see what happens. Are you with me?
Before we get started – hey Wordle fans, have you tried Artle yet? I read about it this morning on Hyperallergic. It was launched by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. I got the second piece of art today. Haven’t a clue what the first one was.
Also, I found a large stash of British coins in a Harrods coin purse I had (much more logical than in with my foreign coin collection because I plan on using these next time I go to the UK.) And there were enough for me to make the shield. COOL! I even had enough for two more shields less one coin each. I have a ridiculous amount of foreign coinage.
Anyway, back to the important stuff!
1. These Toast Plates – Those who know me will understand why I went a little gaga when I saw these and they also know I would never leave the store without having purchased them.
I found these beauties in the gift area of my local grocery store, but if you want them (and why wouldn’t you?!?) I found them online for significantly less than what I paid (about a third of the price.) I’m thinking I may need more than 4! (Especially after I broke one of the glasses I bought in Prague today, glasses that I bought 27 years ago and can’t get any more. It me wish I had bought more than 4.)
Click on the picture below to go to the site.
2. This 13-Year-Old Singing Empty Chairs at Empty Tables – If this doesn’t make your heart ache you had better check your pulse.
3. This Turn-of-the-(Twentieth)-Century French “Influencer” – Cléopâtre-Diane de Mérode was born in 1875 in Paris. Her mother enrolled her in ballet classes at eight years old. Turns out that Cleo was a prodigy, and she debuted with the Paris Ballet when she was only eleven years old.
By sixteen, Cleo had become a teenage trend setter, becoming known for her signature hairstyle (a chignon.) The hairstyle became so popular it caused problems with the Swedish telephone service…
“The Stockholm telephone authorities are finding fault now with the way in which (switchboard operators) do their hair. It appears that of late the Swedish lassies …have adopted the mode of coiffure first initiated by the French dancer Cleo de Merode, in which the hair is drawn over the ears. The subscribers have since found a falling off in the hearing powers of the operators, as the result of which complaints of inefficiency in the service have been made.”
The American telephone journal, Volume 8, 1903
This photo was taken in 1903 and would have been sold as a collectible card/postcard. Didn’t the person who do the restoration/colorizing do an amazing job?
Cléo de Mérode has been referred to as the most beautiful woman in the world.
If you want to read more about her, there is an excellent article here.
4. This Photo – I literally love everything about it. Literally.
5. This British Television Personality’s Laugh – this will make your day. I wish this show was on in the U.S.
7. This History of Why We Decorate Our Nails – This was super interesting. It’s not just about the history of why we paint our nails, but also about the cultural significance of nail art. (Melissa K, you’ll want to watch, obs.)
1. This News Media Source – They had me at their mission statement:
To expose abuses of power and betrayals of the public trust by government, business, and other institutions, using the moral force of investigative journalism to spur reform through the sustained spotlighting of wrongdoing.
These people do old-school investigative reporting. The media bias sites say that PROPUBLICA “leans left” but ProPublica has won FIVE Pulitzers so you judge for yourself. (The most common “criticism” is that ProPublica doesn’t cover issues that are of concern of conservative and/or get conservative perspectives. I think with the way things are right now, there’s a reason for that.)
2. This Cool (and Clever) Trick with Coins – Those Brits, always doing stuff like this. But I’m bummed, I have a bunch of English coins but most of them are too old! The only new one I have is the one pence (or penny) coin, which is the copper colored one on the left. I’ll need to stock up next time I’m over (if that ever happens.) Anyone need any Euro coins? I have LOADS of those.
3. These Dancing Trees – Linden trees have an amazing history. They’ve been revered by the Egyptians, the Greeks and even the Catholic Church. They’ve provided ingredients for medicinal treatments to the Gauls. And during the French Revolution more than 60,000 Linden trees were planted and the trees were consecrated as “the tree of liberty.”
The Germans came up with a lovely way to use the Linden trees. There you will find Tanzlinden, or dance lindens, throughout the country. A platform is constructed within the trees, and the Lindens are shaped into the form of a structure/building, often with windows. This creates a meeting place where celebrations, which generally includes dancing, are held. Such a lovely tradition and fantastic way to keep connected to nature.
[Found on Present & Correct]
4. This Laundry Tip – Several months ago I decided to switch to more natural cleaning products including laundry detergent and fabric softener. Finding better options for laundry detergent was easier than for fabric softener. The main reason for this is because my laundry machine doesn’t do well with thicker formulas (which aren’t really good for any washers) and most fabric softeners highlight how thick and oozy they are.
But in doing research about natural softeners I came across a lot of articles recommending the use of vinegar as a fabric softener.
Now I’ve used vinegar in my laundry before – like when I’ve accidentally forgot to put my clothes in the dryer and left them in the washer too long and they got that mildew-y smell – vinegar will fix that right up. But I never noticed that it made my clothes softer. But I thought, what the heck, I’ll give it a try.
Damn if it didn’t work! I think the reason I didn’t notice it working previously was because I wasn’t using enough (I wasn’t adding it via the little fabric softener slot.)
In addition to it being a great fabric softener (and household cleaner in general), and being very inexpensive (I buy two gigantic jugs at a time at CostCo), there are other benefits to using vinegar in your laundry:
1. Gets rid of limescale (as I mentioned, I add it via the fabric softener dispenser but you can also clean your entire machine by putting it in your detergent dispenser and running an empty load.)
5. This Role Model – Once again, Giannis Antetokounmpo shows his fans, both young and old, how to behave.
After the Bucks lost the seventh game of the playoffs series (to the Celtics), Antetokounmpo was interviewed and not surprisingly was asked how he felt about the loss. Here’s his response.
At the end of the day, we were playing sports and there’s a winner, there’s a loser.” But at the end of the day, this is a learning curve. Nobody promised you’re going to be in the second round [of the playoffs]. There’s people that have never been in the second round; there’s people that have never been in the NBA finals. So, in my first seven seasons, I’m not viewing it as, ‘I lost.’
It was a learning experience, so hopefully, this moment, instead of thinking that we lost something, we can gain and learn in order for us to put ourselves in a position to win another championship.
6. This Year’s Winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 – UKRAINE winning had much more significance than just having the best song. Some are saying they got the sympathy vote, but I think that a much more accurate way to describe what happened is that Europe showed their support for Ukraine.
In a time of war this may seem like a trivial thing, but for a country that needs to feel a national identity; where even the smallest amount of good cheer is amplified because of their dire situation; this nugget of happiness will most likely give many a necessary boost.
7. This Breakfast – Amalfi Coast. Everything about it.
1. This Outfit for the Met Gala 2022 – People have a lot of strong opinions about the Met Gala. Some say it’s an ostentatious event full of self-absorbed, pretentious individuals who have too much money. (After all, tickets are $35,000* a piece.)
Others say it’s a pretentious event full of ostentatious, self-absorbed individuals who have too much money. (Just kidding.)
They see it as an opportunity to showcase creativity in the areas of fashion and the performing arts.
Whatever side you fall on, you can’t deny, it’s a spectacle.
My interest is dependent upon the theme. This year I was excited about the theme – Gilded Glamour – because I love Victorian and Edwardian era clothing. I expected people to use fashion of the “Gilded Age” as inspiration for their gowns/ensembles. There were a number of incredible designers of that period (Charles Frederick Worth, Paul Poiret, Jeanne Paquin, Madeleine Chériut, and John Redfern to name a few) as well as a few modern designers who use fashion of the era for inspiration (Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Christian Lacroix.)
For the most part I was disappointed.
But then I saw Emma Corrin, wearing this outfit by Miu Miu, and, well, at least the Met Gala gave us this. Corrin did her homework (or her designer did her homework) and IMHO she won the Met Gala.
Emma’s outfit is a modern take on one worn by Mr. Evander Berry, known as “The King of the Dudes,” in 1888. He was a Gilded Age fashion icon and once changed his clothes FORTY times between breakfast and lunch. (You can click on his photo below to read more.)
There were three other dresses that I think did the theme justice – Nicola Coughlan, Cardi B., and Billie Eilish.
2. This Barbie Doll – It’s sold out, but if you click on the photo below you’ll be sent to the Mattel page with all the close-up photos. The amount of detail is incredible. The original cost was $75. They’re already selling on eBay for $200-$500.
Part of a quartet of Star Wars Barbies. In addition to C-3PO Barbie I also love Stormtrooper Barbie but honestly, they’re all fabulous. They were released in 2020. At that time they cost $100 each. Amazingly you can actually still find them. C-3PO appears to be the one most available. It currently costs around $150. Stormtrooper Barbie is harder to find and is priced between $225 and $450. Chewbacca is running minimally for $500. And Rey is $200+.
3. This Guy, Perfectly Copying How Specific Actors Run – no words necessary.
[Found by my “little” bro, Chuck. Thanks Charlie!]
4. This Amazon Commercial – I abhor Jeff Bezos which means, by association, I hate all things Amazon. I stopped my Amazon Prime membership from renewing and I only order from Amazon when I absolutely have to. (I always try to buy from small, local businesses.)
Having said that, even greedy corporations can do good things once in a while. And I think that is the case with the all-female delivery services they have set up in South India. Giving women employment opportunities in Kerala, Chennai, Kadi, and Gujarat is a big deal.
One thing I’ve learned in my years of supporting charities that help women: when you help women there is a much higher chance for success (i.e personal growth & advancement, health & education of their children, safety & security, etc.)
(If the video isn’t showing above click on the image below to go to YouTube.)
5. This Shel Silverstein Stamp – I don’t think that there are many people in the U.S. under the age of 60 who aren’t, at the very least, familiar with Mr. Silverstein’s book The Giving Tree, or who haven’t chuckled while reading/hearing one of his poems from Where the Sidewalk Ends.
I, along with so many other GenXers, have been a huge fan, so when I saw these stamps I knew that I had to get some. And I did, three sheets.
Being a children’s librarian for twelve years (before becoming a library director for another dozen years) I’ve read more Silverstein than the average person.
One poem that I (and pretty much every other librarian in the world) really love is his poem “Overdues” from ‘A Light in the Attic.’ Course as most libraries are now eliminating fines, some day it will be completely “dated.” Still, probably not in my lifetime, so I’m not going to worry about it!
But it seems that more people are now seeing the message of ‘The Giving Tree’ as being negative. I sort of get that. As a kid ‘The Giving Tree’ wasn’t one of my favorite books. I didn’t like that the kid used up every little bit of the tree. I thought the kid should have let the tree thrive and grow. (My favorite book was actually Mrs. Twiggley’s Tree.)
Still, the majority of Silverstein’s iconic books were only in black and white. I’m sure they wanted a picture that everyone would recognize but that also had color.
6. This Perfectly Aligned Telescope – If you click on the picture below you can get all the scientific details but ultimately you can see, the photo on the left is the normal shot they’ve gotten in the past, and the photo on the right is with the new perfectly aligned telescope. MAGNIFICENT!
7. This Frank Lloyd Wright “Preserve” – When FLW designed homes he took every little detail into consideration. This is why most of the homes he designed included FLW furniture made especially for the house. He also was very aware of environment, making sure that whatever he constructed blended well and since he often used nature for inspiration his homes were located in green, woodsy spaces.
A couple who were trying to sell their FLW house couldn’t find a buyer. Urban creep was threatening to overtaken one of FLW’s creations. So a very remarkable solution was found.
Hoping all those who celebrate had a blessed Eid al-Fitr
1. This Method for Poaching Eggs – I’m an egg junkie (also a toast and salmon junkie.) One of my favorite things to make – smoked salmon and cream cheese on toast with capers and an egg on top – YUM!
I used to fry the egg even though I always knew that poached would be the better option. But I didn’t think I could do poached eggs – didn’t even try. Then I found this trick. It’s so flippin’ easy!
You will probably need to test this out to see how it works with your microwave. Microwaves can vary depending upon wattage or how old they are. It may work better to start with room temp water if the egg doesn’t cook through enough. Or you may need to cook it longer. You can try out different tweaks.
Fill a mug or a small bowl with about 8 ounces of cold water. Make sure to leave about an inch at the top so it doesn’t boil over.
Take the egg, crack it open, and carefully slide the egg into the water. Make sure you don’t break the yolk. Toss the shells into the compost bin.
Using a toothpick, poke a small hole in the egg yolk. You really won’t be able to see the hole. Make sure that the yolk stays intact and doesn’t “bleed” into the water.
Cover the cup/bowl with a small plate (or one of these handy-dandy silicone lids from Food52) and microwave it for 60 seconds.
Remove from the water with a slotted spoon.
If it is overcooked or undercooked reduce or increase cooking time in 10 second increments.
My preference is a slightly runny egg so 60 seconds works perfectly for me. Also, just as an FYI, this won’t look like the typical poached eggs you get in restaurants (or that your Mom makes.) They are more spherical. Still, they taste the same and no pans to wash.
2.This Twitter Account – It’s the Count’s Twitter account. I’ve removed myself from Twitter but that doesn’t mean I still won’t be snooping around. Frankly, I think it’s going to turn into an even bigger shit show soon but I (and many others) may be proven wrong. Only time will tell.
I will say, it’s nice not getting all those notices.
Anyway, this made me smile (and also brought me the warm fuzzies.)
3. This Chemistry Teacher – Bill Nye, the Science Guy, Magic School Bus, Beakman’s World, Emily’s Wonder Lab, and Chem Teacher Phil! I could watch his video shorts all day. Hooray for Science! GO STEM!!!
4. This Book about Women Over Fifty – Ellen Warner, the photographer responsible for this publication, started it all the way back in 2003! Filled with inspiring photographic portraits of women, aged 53 to 107.
5. This Deodorant – Last year I decided to switch to a natural deodorant. I have been using Secret deodorant since college but then I saw this video. Although I didn’t verify her information, I knew it couldn’t hurt to switch so I tried a few out. I have a lot of friends who use natural deodorants and they said I should make sure I use one that doesn’t cause rashes.
So I read about a dozen articles. I ended up trying four:
ALL of them caused me to have a terrible red rash under my arms. As you can see, one of them is Native, Cotton & Lily scent.
After the fourth I decided to give up. It was getting expensive and frankly painful. I went back to my Secret.
THEN I watched the documentary limited series, Not So Pretty on HBO. If you haven’t seen it yet, you absolutely should. (Besides this show there are many others on HBO including Julia, Starstruck, Minx, and Our Flag Means Death, just to name a few. It would be worth subscribing IMHO.)
That’s how I found out about all the crap in our beauty products. YIKES! I already knew that the U.S. allows manufacturers to use thousands of ingredients and additives that are banned in the EU and other countries but I guess I didn’t know how bad it really was. (Seriously, you should watch ‘Not So Pretty.’)
One ingredient that is truly problematic is talc. You may have heard about the Johnson & Johnson lawsuits regarding their talcum powder – I never realized how many other products contain talc, like D-E-O-D-O-R-A-N-T. Guess what deodorant contains talc….. Secret. Ugh.
I stopped using it the next day. But then I had to find a natural deodorant, and fast, and on a weekend. In desperation I picked up Native Sensitive at Target. I figured I’d try it again (not realizing I hadn’t tried the sensitive version the first time) Bam, it works! No redness, and it last pretty much all day unless I work out.
I went back and looked at the original articles and see now that they recommended the sensitive version of Native. Sigh. Guess I didn’t notice the little purple stripe (they should really make the regular and sensitive packages look more different) and none of the articles made it clear that there were two different types of Cotton & Lily. At least I finally figured it out.
6. This Online Trivia Game – If you think that the ultimate trivia game is Jeopardy, than you will definitely love this well maintained site of the archive of all the Jeopardy games. Enjoy.
1. This Little Known Fact about Bea Arthur – or maybe it isn’t a little known fact and I simply never knew about it (or more likely, I just forgot.)
So, did any of you know that the woman who brought us Maude Findlay and Dorothy Zbornak was in the U.S. Marines at the tender age of 21?
Honestly, I didn’t even know the Marines let in women during WWII. Apparently it was the last service branch to do so. This was due to reservations held by Corps Commandant General Thomas Holcomb.
The primary reason for allowing women into the armed services was to free up men from non-combative positions. so they could be sent to the front. Holcomb eventually conceded and allowed women to join in 1943.
Women had already joined the army, navy, and airforce a year earlier. Each branch had come up with a name for the female sector of their branch. The army called theirs the Women’s Auxillary Army Corps (WAAC), the navy had the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) and the airborn division had the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS). Once the Marines opened up to women the suggestions came in, including Glamarines and Femarines. Fortunately, Holcomb felt that Marines were Marines and he nixed the use of a separate group name.
2. This County Clare (Ireland) Artist’s Work – sigh.
Here is his website (though it’s extremely slow but definitely worth the visit,)
3. This Speech by Michigan State Senator Mallory McMorrow – Democrats/liberals/progressives need to start pushing back in this culture war.
4. This 3-D Virtual Tour of the Crystal Palace in London – created during the pandemic, the 3-D virtual tour of the Crystal Palace (which you can access here) is super cool though I’ll admit I had difficulty navigating at first, which is why you may want to check out the video below (or this shorter video) before trying it out.
5. This Recycling Symbol That Doesn’t Require a Magnifying Glass To Read – This is from a giant container of CostCo blueberries (about two very generous pints in one container.) I’m telling you the size to give a better idea of how large the symbol (actually called Resin Identification Code or RIC) really is. No squinting required.
I don’t understand why companies make the recycling symbols so damned small on the bottom of packages.
Does it take away from the package aesthetics? No, it’s the bottom of the GD package.
Is there not enough room? No, 99% of the time there is tons of space around a teeny-tiny little recycling symbol.
Does it cost more to make the symbol bigger? I honestly don’t know. But I can’t imagine it does. I suppose the extra amount of plastic multiplied by the thousands of packages a company produced could result in a minimal cost but Jeez Louise, is it really that much of a savings?
More companies need to follow FamilyTree Farms’ example.
6. This Toast Art – The Kiss by Gustav Klimt is one of my all-time favorite paintings. Toast is on of my all-time favorite foods. Need I say more…
[Found on Facebook]
7. This Biker Jacket – There may be cooler biker jackets but none that warm my heart nearly as much.
1. This Shower “Tool” – I’ve used a loofah/pouf for decades. Originally I used natural sponge loofahs but I stopped after reading they were breeding grounds for bacteria. I switched to nylon poufs, which are a little easier to keep clean, but always felt guilty about the environmental impact, especially because they are so big and they need to be replaced every few months since they stretch out so much.
When I read about LuvScrub exfoliating scrubs, which have been used in West Africa for decades, they sounded like a potential compromise.
And they are. They may not be made out of a natural material but they are made out significantly less nylon than poufs. And there are other reasons why they are better than both loofahs and poufs.
They make may skin feel wonderful. It’s much smoother and softer. I feel it does a better job exfoliating than my pouf. Not sure why, it’s kind of the same material, but it does.
I love that you can stretch it, like you would a towel, to scrub your back. I had been using a separate brush with a long handle, now I only have the one thing in my shower.
This thing is going to be awesome if I ever get to travel again (which may never happen now that that dumb-ass Florida judge got rid of the travel mask mandate. I hope to god that get appealed, and quickly.) It’s small and compact and will be so easy to pack and it dries quickly.
Fantailed Goldfish Hot Water Bottle Cover – created by MimiCodd (knitting), Mimi wrote that it’s going to be a Christmas gift for someone, “probably” (that made me smile). I would totally keep it. When I was in India in 2019 we stayed in an inn that gave the guests hot water bottles. It was heaven. Americans should use them more.
Horse Sculpture – created by Psyche-dog (crochet) and many, MANY others for the National Waterways Museum. “500 – 4” granny squares were made by the museum crochet group plus yards of curly braid for mane and tail. All stitched to topiary frame by me. Made to celebrate the value of horses in the history of England’s canals. The horse will be displayed at the National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, UK from the end of June 2017 for a few years, hopefully.” EPIC.
Chair Cover – created by Ponnekeblom (crochet) for their daughter using loads of leftover yarn. Why pay hundreds of dollars for a reupholsterer?
“Knit” Apple Pie – created by Knitsforlife (knitting), technically it’s the top crust. This person is one dedicated knitter.
Flashdance Chair Sock/Legwarmers – created by The KnittyStew. Gotta love people who have a sense of humor! I’m thinking these might have people sliding around but that might not be such a bad thing. At least they’ll protect the floors for a bit.
3. This Basic Income Program for Artists in Ireland – 2000 artists will be chosen to receive €325 (about $355) per week with no restrictions. Ireland wants to make the idea of the “starving artist” a thing of the past (though I’m not sure how far $350/week will go). Still, it’s a start. They will be trying this out for three years.
There’s good reason to support the arts – it has a positive impact on society and communities that have strong arts programs thrive. And, though this isn’t necessarily good for the artists themselves, it has been discovered that as public art goes up so do property values.
Meanwhile, over in Dublin, a legal battle over street art is brewing.
4. These New York Libraries Giving Access Nationally to Fight Censorship –
Books for All – The New York Public Library is giving anyone who wants to sign up free access to a variety of commonly censored titles through their free reading app, SimpleE. You can download the app on your iOS or Android device and read the “unbanned books” through May 31st (must be 13 years of age.) There is no wait time!
Books UnBanned – Brooklyn Public Library is doing one better. They are offering cards to any young adult in the country, age 13 to 21, for an entire year. The service is meant to be used to supplement and fill the gaps of what YAs can’t get in their own communities. Additionally (and this is super cool) “Those 13 to 21, who access the free eCard from BPL, will be able to connect with their peers in Brooklyn, including members of BPL’s Intellectual Freedom Teen Council,to help one another with information and resources to fight censorship, book recommendations and the defense of freedom to read.”
If I were a teen right now I would totally be doing this. (BPL also has a collection of frequently censored titles with no wait times.)
To apply for the card, teens can send a note to BooksUnbanned@bklynlibrary.org, or via the Library’s s teen-run Instagram account, @bklynfuture. The $50 fee normally associated with out-of-state cards will be waived.
5. This Iris Apfel Ring – Sigh. Ms. Apfel teamed up with H&M and put out a fantastic collection that was also affordable. It became available in the U.S. last Thursday and SOLD OUT in hours – before I even had a chance to read the Refinery29 article. UNFAIR! There are many things I would have loved to have bought but this ring is the one thing I really, REALLY wanted.
6. This Bio-Series – Bio-series, I think that’s what this would be called – so many different names for the various types of television series nowadays.
This new show, on HBOMax, is about Julia Child as she works through the first year of her cooking show being on the air. Overall it’s fairly historically accurate but of course nobody knows exactly what people say or do in private, so the writers extrapolated some of it using biographies, articles, documents, letters, recordings, and even Wikipedia. And a few things they made up but it totally works.
It’s simply called Julia and that is a perfect title. I LOVE THIS SHOW! It’s exactly what I think people need right now – upbeat, cheerful, funny, and hopeful. After all, we all know that she’s going to succeed.
If you don’t have HBOMax you may want to get it just for this, or at least get the 7-day trial and watch it (though if you do that, wait until May 5th since that is when the last episode will be airing.)
7. This Man, Who Won the Lottery and Used the Winnings to Start an Environmental Foundation – This is what I’ve said I always wanted to do if I ever won the lottery! If you don’t believe me I have multiple friends you can ask – there’s a group of us who all want to do the same thing.
A retiree in France won the second highest lottery in French history €200 million ($217 million) and used the money to start a foundation that concentrates on revitalizing forests, and preserving and regenerating biodiversity. He also has money set aside for supporting family caregivers, which is amazing. You can read more if you click on the image below.
2. These Easter Bonnets – You know what they say, GO BIG OR GO HOME!
3. These Cookies – Too cute to eat! I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E! (But did she sterilize that date stamper?)
[Found by Ann L. – thanks Ann!]
4. This Lip Balm – I had been using the same lip balm (Sugar Advanced Therapy Treatment Lip Balm) for some time but found that whenever I carried it in places where it could get warm it got melty. Kiehl’s has a similar product that is better but I’m not sure they are making it anymore. I haven’t been able to find it for a while and their website shows it is out of stock in all colors (though they do have a “notify me” option on the page.)
They both lasted longer than most lip balms I had found but I still have to re-apply throughout the day. That is when I found this product. Well, technically I found this first, but it’s a bit pricey. So I looked for something similar that wasn’t going to break the bank AND that was an all natural product.
6. This Banned Book – Which resulted in a non-fiction graphic book about its banning to be published in fall of 2023.
Jarrett Dapier was a library science graduate student in 2013 when he filed a Freedom of Information Act request that resulted in his uncovering a Chicago school district’s attempt to remove Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi without following the formal book challenge process. Once the information became public there was an outcry from both students and parents.
The book, called Wake Now In The Fire, is written by Dapier and illustrated by AJ Dungo, and tells the story of a group of high school students who are trying to push back against censorship at their own school.
1. This Artist – I read about the Sir John Soane Museum on Atlas Obscura and have wanted to go ever since. I mean, any museum choked full of memorabilia and curiosities is in my wheelhouse. But despite my desire and numerous trips to London, I have yet to managed to visit.
Before I even knew that one of Gretchen Scherer’s paintings was a room in the Soane Museum, I was drawn to her work. I would love to see them in person – according to the Hyperallergic article, even though she has meticulously recreated the room down to minute details, she added a few details to get across personal messages. Those need to be seen in larger versions of the image to be visible.
Still, they are lovely. The square piece in the slideshow below is called “Sir John Soane’s Museum, Library and Dining Room” and it is the largest piece in her exhibit at Monya Rowe Gallery.
2. This Hero – The Soldier who told the Russian warship to “Go Fuck Yourself” and then was captured along with a dozen of his fellow Ukrainian Soldiers has been released and received a medal for his bravery.
3. This Tea – a friend of mine brought me some of this tea when she came over for lunch last week – WOW!!! I have been looking for a herbal tea that I can drink that wouldn’t require me to add a ton of sweetener. And since I’m not using artificial sweetener anymore that basically means honey or raw sugar or agave nectar.
This fits the bill, in fact you won’t need any sweetener at all. And when it says it’s naturally sweet it’s completely true. There is no fake sugar in here and yet it’s still rather sweet. Well, sweet and spicy.
I still love a good cuppa (black tea with milk and sugar) but it’s really nice to have a second option now.
[Found by my friend Edell – thanks E!]
4. This Drug Disposal Program – When I first ran across this (can’t remember when or where) I decided to request the free pouch just for the heck of it.
I used to not have to worry at all about drug disposal because the municipality where I worked had a drop box right in the village hall where you could drop off meds (both prescription and OTC.)
I think a lot of people don’t realize how bad it is to toss medications. It’s obviously really, REALLY bad to put them down the drain or in the toilet, but it’s also bad to put them in the garbage. Eventually the containers could break open or decompose and the medications could get into the groundwater – it’s really no different than putting them down the drain/toilet.
That is why proper disposal is so important. I got rid of most of my extra meds right before I retired but over the past three years I’ve managed to accumulate some expired pharmaceuticals. When I decided I finally had enough I ripped open the package I received from Deterra.
I had thought that the package was going to be a pouch where you could mail in your meds for disposal. Oh no. This was SO EASY. All you need to do is take all the medications out of the bottles, rip open the top of the pouch, drop them all in, fill the pouch about half full with water, water 30 seconds, close the pouch (shake it a little to get the water/stuff inside to mix up with all the pills) and then TOSS IT IN THE TRASH!
The stuff in the pouch makes the pills safe for the environment. You can read more about it and order a free pouch here.
5. This Seinfeld Clip – This is from 1995. Ukrainians have always been bad ass.
6. This Career – I want to be a personal librarian! I suppose to do this you have to live in a place where there are a lot of rich people.
These Chicken Sweaters – They’re just too freaking cute for words.
I read this article about these adorable sweater-wearing chickens. Ann and Nicola Congdon, a mother and daughter team in CORNWALL rescue hens raised in captivity that are kept only indoors. Hens confined indoors sometimes don’t grow enough feathers to keep them warm in colder outdoor weather. Thus the tiny sweaters.
The photos of the brightly-colored knit creations on their clucking friends went viral and farmers from around the world started requesting to buy them. Instead of trying to make a profit, the Congdons donate the money to an AIDS orphanage in South Africa. Could these two be better role models?
And if you’d like to see some wonderful photographs of non-sweater-clad poultry, check these out.
2. This Graphic – I love this graphic because it’s very close to how I tell a story. I don’t think I go off on as many tangents. And there’s a reason I like to include a lot of details (and it has to do with my wanting to make stories both entertaining and informative. Still, I feel better knowing I’m not alone. Frankly, I’m tired of being told I’m too wordy.
3. This Promo – Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeak. Mark your calendars – June 28th can’t come soon enough!!!
If you haven’t seen ‘Only Murders in the Building’ yet, you are missing something truly wonderful. It would be worth subscribing to Hulu just for this show. Subscribe for a month, watch it and then unsubscribe. You will not be disappointed.
4. These Synchronized “Swimmers” – this is GENIUS and the boys nail it.
This is still my favorite synchronized swimming scene though,
5. This Scottish Paper Artist – Located in Edinburgh, Charles Young creates marvelous miniature buildings and other miscellaneous items (such as fountains, vehicles and rides for a circus) to go in the small towns he manufactures.
His design style tends to lean toward the first half of the 20th century with the exception of his recreation of a few historic landmarks. His work reminds me a lot of a Wes Anderson movie set. What do you think?
6. These Sisters – Meet 100-year-old Frances Kompus, 102-year-old Lucy Pochop and 104-year-old Julia Kopriva. These three sisters recently celebrated youngest sister Frances’s centennial birthday. It’s rare enough for a person to celebrate their 100th birthday (though it’s becoming a little less common) but it’s extremely rare for someone to be able to share the celebration with their elder siblings!
7. This Unofficial Guide Dog – Sterling, a Siberian Husky, was diagnosed with glaucoma nearly in 2018. His family tried to delay it by getting him special goggles to protect his eyes, but he’s pretty much lost all his eyesight.
Walker, an Alaskan Malamute was adopted by the family around the same time as Sterling (about a year apart) and the two dogs have become extremely close. So, as Sterling began needing more help, Walker started stepping in to help. Amazing!
2. This GoFundMe – Mila Kunis was born in Chernivtsi, Ukraine. Even though she’s lived most of her life in America and is now an America citizen, her Ukrainian heritage is near and dear to her heart. So when the war broke out, Kunis and her husband Ashton Kutcher knew that they had to do something to help. They started a GoFundMe with the plan that they would match up to $3,000,000. Never did they expect the fundraiser to reach $35 million (the current amount)!
This is the message of thanks they posted.
They also have been working with Airbnb to find housing for the refugees.
3. These Pep Talks – An art teacher at West Side Elementary in Healdsburg, California thought it would be a fun project for her class to create a hotline with the kids offering upbeat and happy messages. She figured they’d get a few calls, mostly from friends and family members.
In her wildest dreams she didn’t expect this. It’s grown from a few hundred calls a day to over ten thousand calls AN HOUR. They too have done a GoFundMe to raise money to keep the hotline running.
If you don’t think that it has value, give it a call – 707-998-8410. You’ll be a believer in no time.
4. This Southeast Wisconsin Creamery – I love goat milk products – goat cheese, goat butter, goat.. well, that’s pretty much it. I was at this lovely little boucherie (butcher)/cafe in the Third Ward (Milwaukee) called Bavette’s a month or so ago and after having a yummy lunch I picked up a few things from the shop area. One of them was this goat cheese. It was the best damned goat cheese I’ve ever had!
Now, it’s not really that far for me to get down to the Third Ward, about 15 minutes maybe, but finding parking down there can be a bugger and honestly, trying to do all that rigamarole for a container of goat cheese is a bit much. I looked up the Blakesville Creamery to see if maybe their products were carried someplace a little closer to my house and discovered (a) they are located in Port Washington (which is almost the same distance as the Third Ward) but (b) they SHIP!!! I ordered my first package of cheeses and I’m in heaven.
The great thing is that their cheeses have a shelf life of about 4 to 6 weeks, so you can really stock up. And they don’t have to stay completely cold either – they age them in 55 degrees.
I say try it, you’ll like it!
5. This Comedian – I saw Catherine Cohen on Late Night with Seth Meyers last week and thought she was a hoot. She was promoting her new comedy special on Netflix and so I thought to myself, I need to make a mental note to watch that. Now normally when I make a “mental note” the likelihood that the task/idea/whatever will ever be followed up on is nearly zero but for some reason this one stuck. I not only managed to remember her name but I remembered that it was on Netflix as well. I watched it and, for the most part, I give it two energetic thumbs up. The songs are most definitely my favorite parts.
6. This To-Do List – The Feminist To-Do List is bi-weekly e-newsletter from the United States of Women. It includes small tasks you can do in the fight for equality, information about feminist achievements, and things that the USOW generally thinks that we feminists would find interesting. It’s just the right amount of info and frequency. You can sign up for it here.
The United States of Women has a second newsletter you can sign up for at the same time called ‘Joy is Resistance.’ This newsletter is sent out weekly to honor and uplift during Heritage Months (periods within the year that are designated to celebrate and acknowledge various ethnic and marginalized groups.)
[Found by my good friend Ann L.]
7. These New Quarters– I got my first proof set! The first quarters with American women. Aren’t they gorgeous?
Top Row – Maya Angelou (American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist), Dr. Sally Ride (Astronaut and physicist, first American woman in space), Anna May Wong (Actress, first Chinese American Hollywood movie star)
Bottom Row – Nina Otero-Warren (Woman’s Suffrage Movement Leader, educator, and politician), Wilma Mankiller (Native American activist, social worker, community developer and the first woman elected to serve as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation)
They chose the five women from over 11,000 names submitted via a portal set up by the National Women’s History Museum. The plan is to release up to 5 coins each year through 2025. I signed up to automatically receive new American Women Quarters proof sets from the U.S. Mint.