Tag: Nature (Page 1 of 2)

Seven Things I Love (6-14-2021)

  1. 1. This Happy Baby Penguin – though I disagree with what the person wrote on the post. I don’t believe that a baby penguin can ever be too excited for cuddles!
  1. 2. This Impersonator – Mary Elizabeth Kelly’s expertise is as a “mouth impersonator.” When you watch the video you’ll see what she means by that. Visit her Instagram – she has so many videos and each one is more amazing and/or hilarious than the next.

3. This Tweet for Pride Month – Genius!

4. This Little Guy – He is going to be famous someday!

5. This Video on How ‘I Spy’ Books Are Made – I’m too old to have enjoyed ‘I Spy’ books as a kid (obviously) but having been a children’s librarian for 12 years I was able to live a second childhood and appreciate many things that most people my age only know about if they had kids (which I suppose most do.)

I’m sure, like me, those familiar with Walter Wick’s work have never given a single thought as to what goes into making one of his books. I had NO IDEA – just wow!

6. This Beaded Art Installation by Liza Lou titled “Kitchen” – “The 168-square-foot installation, a monument to unrecognized women’s labor, started off as a riff on Pop Art, as seen in the razzle-dazzle brand-name cereal boxes and cleaning products scattered throughout the scene. But over the years of making the work, Lou became increasingly activated around feminism and started to see beads as a metaphor for the female experience: ‘small, pretty, diminutive, decorative — those sorts of things that are kind of pejorative that we have around femininity, around women,’ she said.”

It took her five years to complete it. Absolutely gorgeous!

[Found on Hyperallergic]

Liza Lou, “Kitchen” (1991-1996), glass beads, wood, wire, plaster, and artist’s used appliances, 96 x 132 x 168 inches (collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London)
Liza Lou, “Kitchen” (1991-1996), glass beads, wood, wire, plaster, and artist’s used appliances, 96 x 132 x 168 inches (collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, image courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London)
Liza Lou, “Kitchen” (1991-1996) (detail), glass beads, wood, wire, plaster, and artist’s used appliances, 96 x 132 x 168 inches (collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, image courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London)

7. The Statue of Liberty’s “Little Sister” – France is sending us a gift again, a second Statue of Liberty! This one is 1/16th the size of the original, weighs almost half-a-ton, and will stand on Ellis Island opposite her “Big Sister.”

“The statue symbolizes freedom and the light around all the world,” said Olivier Faron, general administrator of the CNAM (Conservatoire national des arts et métiersIn English: National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts). “We want to send a very simple message: Our friendship with the United States is very important, particularly at this moment. We have to conserve and defend our friendship.”

[Found on CNN]

The value of freedom is central to the new Lady Liberty statue. Credit: CMA CGM Group

Word of the Day


Quote of the Day

Seven Things That I Love (5-17-2021)

  1. 1. These New Quarters – Can you believe that these are the first U.S. coins with women on them? Now I know what you’re going to say, you’re going to say, but wait, there was the Susan B. Anthony silver dollar but come on, that wasn’t really a serious coin. How many people use silver dollars? They just did that to placate us.
Coins celebrating the writer and poet Maya Angelou, left, and the astronaut Sally Ride will be issued next year as part of the U.S. Mint’s American Women Quarters Program. Credit: United States Mint

2. This Documentary about Rita Moreno – I’ve always loved Rita Moreno. She reminds me a lot of my Mom’s best friends but I also think her time on The Electric Company, well, she’s one of those celebrities who you feel like is part of your family, do you know what I mean?

I watched this as part of the Milwaukee Film Festival (you could still buy a ticket, it’s virtual and goes until May 20th). There will be several options for you to see it in the future:

  1. On June 19th the film is going to be shown in theaters nationally
  2. PBS is going to be airing it as part of its current (35th) season of American Masters (probably in the fall or early next year)
  3. And it will be available to stream on the PBS app once it airs (the PBS app is free)

So, depending upon how badly you want to see it (and whether you are already vaccinated) you can seen it next month or you will have to wait a little bit but either way I highly recommend seeing it.

3. This Rental Property – It’s the home of The Royal Tenenbaums! One of the best of Wes Anderson’s films. $20,000/month is a lot of money but there are six bedrooms so if you got five of your friends to join in, $3333/month for a place like this in NYC would actually be kind of a bargain.

As found on Curbed:

Set on the fictional Archer Avenue (real address: 339 Convent Avenue in Hamilton Heights), the 1899-built Flemish-meets-Romanesque-Revival house was built by Jacob D. Butler (who’s also behind the Neo-Romanesque Lincoln Building in Union Square). It’s roughly 100 feet wide (on the side facing West 144th Street), with large bay windows on one end and a turret on the other. Inside: 6,000 square feet cover five levels (the bottom three of which have elevator access), with six bedrooms, six gas fireplaces, and over 50 windows. Plus an inordinate amount of original character: antechambers, stained-glass transoms, closets with skylights, and ornate mantelpieces carved with urns and flowers. It’s renting furnished for $20,000 a month.

4. This Video for the Song ‘Pretty’ by Ingrid Michaelson – Michaelson is a big fan of the show ‘Stranger Things’ and each of the songs on her album ‘Stranger Songs’ is inspired by something from the show. I think this is (IMHO) the best song and I love the video – so empowering.

5. This Anti-Smoking Sign from 100 years ago – Sadly it shows how difficult it is to fight against major companies who have access to politicians. Think about the fact that there actually were people 100 years ago who knew that tobacco was bad for us (not that you needed a rocket scientist to figure it out) and the tobacco industry and even members of the medical profession would promote smoking as being safe. The first warning labels didn’t show up on cigarettes until 1965 with the “The Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act of 1965.”

6. This Instagram – Illustrator Mauro Gatti believes that positive attitudes are the key to reducing anxiety and good mental health. After the year that we all want to forget he started “The Happy Broadcast.” In addition to his Instagram he has a website and a podcast. Check it out for a daily dose of positivity!

[Found via The Modern Met]

7. This AMAZING Video of a Gorilla Mama Watching a Human Mama Holding Her Baby – I LOVE THIS!!! (The ongoing commentary is both entertaining and annoying… LOL.)

Word of the Day


Quote of the Day


Seven Things I Love (3-1-2021)

Happy Women’s History Month!

  1. 1. This Video on the Accents of All Fifty States – Myself, I know I don’t have an accent. Well, at least I didn’t think I did (except that one time I had a bunch of people stare at me when I ordered a pop instead of a soda but that was more dialect than accent.) But then a few years ago I went to this conference in California. The first day I was there, before I had been introduced to anyone else, before I had even checked in, I was waiting in the lounge with some of the other conference attendees while they slowly checked us in one by one. I was chatting away with several of the people, most of whom were from California.
  2. After about five minutes the woman across from me said, “It’s so to be with someone from Iowa again!” I looked at her and said, “Wait, how did you know I was born in Iowa?” And she replied, “You accent! It’s great hearing that Iowa accent again.” I couldn’t believe it. Not just because I thought I had some sort of universal (and semi-classy) accent but because I had been living in Wisconsin twice as long as I had been living in Iowa. Though I moved to Wisconsin when I was 18 so I guess the accent was already pretty much permanent. You know what they say, people don’t lose an accent unless they move by 16 years of age, at the latest.

2. This Dance Compilation – I’ve seen a lot of compilations like this but when Kevin Bacon, THE Kevin Bacon, posted it on his Facebook page and wrote, “What a compilation! This might be the best of all dance numbers. Feeling inspired to watch one of the greats tonight. Are you with me?” I thought – I need to watch. And he wasn’t kidding. It’s FABULOUS!!!

3. This Nature Photographer, Tim Flach – this guy is a genius.

4. This Interview of Jason Mantzoukas by Seth Meyers – Been watching a lot of the talk shows – Seth Meyers (probably the most religiously), Colbert, Trevor, Drew Barrymore, the two Jimmys (Fallon and Kimmel) and James Corbin (the last three not as regularly as the rest). During the pandemic I’ve seen scads of interviews and I must say I don’t think I’ve seen one as entertaining as this.

5. This Canadian Artist, Tom Thomson – I recently discovered this artist because of a show called the ‘Murdoch Mysteries‘ (which I obsessed with) and now I’m looking for everything I can, not just about his art but about his life too. It turns out there was quite a bit of mystery surrounding his death and that just makes this all the more alluring.

IN THE NORTHLAND, WINTER (1915-1916) by Tom Thomson

6. These InStyle Virtual Elevator “Entrances” for the Golden Globe Awards – you can see more of them here but my favorite was Nicola Coughlan’s (and not only because she was wearing a fairy princess dress):

7. This Photographer, Kristina Makeeva – her work is truly magical. (Trying to only choose a few to highlight was incredibly difficult, you’ll want to look at more of her photos here, trust me!)


Word of the Day


Quote of the Day


Have a LOVELY Week!

Seven Things I Love ( 2-1-2021)

1. This Tap Dance Performance – no words necessary.

2. This Geode that Looks Like Cookie Monster – for some reason I can’t get this Instagram link to post so I’ll just put the link here. It includes an awesome video of the geode!

3. This New Movie on Netflix, The Dig – based on true events, this is exactly the kind of movie I love. When I finish watching a film and become obsessed with reading everything I can find about the event, looking up to see what was real and what was put in for dramatic effect, I know it was good.

And that most definitely happened with The Dig. One site I like to start with for historical movies is History vs. Hollywood. Not only do they review a bunch of questions about a film – did this really happen, was this true, etc., but they show photos side-by-side of the actors compared to the real-life people.

For example, here is one of the main characters, Mr. Basil Brown played by Ralph Fiennes. Mr. Brown would have been around 51 at the time the Sutton Hoo artifacts were discovered in 1939. Ralph Fiennes is currently 58 so he was probably 56 or 57 when this movie was filmed. Seems like they did a pretty good job here with the casting and of course Ralph Fiennes is an exemplary actor.

Here is another main character, Edith Pretty played by Carey Mulligan. Edith Pretty would have been around 56 when the Sutton Hoo artifacts were discovered. Carey Mulligan is currently 35 years old. Carey was excellent in the role but perhaps they should have considered an older actress? I don’t know why they always do this.

Another person I really liked (perhaps because I love the actress who played her) was Peggy Piggott played by Lily James. Mrs. Piggott was actually only 27 when she worked on the Sutton Hoo excavation. She went on to become a renowned archaeologist and prehistorian under the name Margaret Guido (her second husband’s last name.) She had quite the life. I think I’ll be reading more about her. Unfortunately the only photo the website found (below) is clearly not from when she was in her 20s or even her 30s or 40s for that matter. Not ideal for comparison.

Here’s a painting I found of her that is more around the age she would have been in the film:

Griffith, Frank; Mrs Margaret ‘Peggy’ Guido (Mrs Cecily Margaret Piggott); Wiltshire Museum

And here is a photo I managed to dig up that was included in a slide presentation. I had to do a screenshot to get a copy of it. I’m guessing the person who runs the History vs. Hollywood site didn’t want to do that. Plus, she’s not looking at the camera, but I think it would have been a little better for comparison than a photo of a woman who is probably in her 60s or maybe even her 70s.

One last thing, here is some wonderful information from the British Museum on the artifacts, with photos:

https://blog.britishmuseum.org/eighty-years-and-more-of-sutton-hoo/

4. This Incredible Herman Miller and Michael Ford collaboration – the iconic Charles & Ray Eames lounge chair, always one of my favorites, taken to a whole new level. Part of a new series called “Conversations for Change,” Ford intends on inserting more activism into the design world, something this is much needed.

“In his first piece of furniture, Michael Ford has remixed the popular Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman (ELO) introduced in 1956 by husband and wife, Charles and Ray Eames as a “special refuge from the strains of modern living” with handwritten names of victims of racism in the US as a stark reminder that these Black men, women, and children were not afforded the privilege of refuge – those who died at the hands of racial actions.”

Individuals who wish to have the chair can make donations and those who make donations over $1000 have an opportunity to be awarded the ELO (or Eames Lounge & Ottoman.) There is only one.

Here’s the really cool part – “Donations from the campaign will fund The Boys and Girls Clubs of Dane County and The Hip Hop Architecture Camp both located in The State of Wisconsin. The two organizations will also create a national #TAKEASTAND grant to support organizations taking a stand against social injustices.”

5. This New Version of the Song “Popular” from the Musical “Wicked” – who doesn’t love Kristin Chenoweth? And damn, that woman isn’t aging! [Warning, this song is going to stick in your brain for days.]

6. This Article on the History of Women on Wall Street – the astonishing and frankly appalling efforts by men to keep women from trading on the stock market and the determined and resourceful women who succeeded nevertheless.

7. This Poem called “Earthrise” by Amanda Gorman – from 2018. Because we much protect the earth for future generations like hers.


[BONUS] This Guide to Determine Which GOP Conspiracy You Are….
Mine: Anderson Cooper can shapeshifter into a food stamp on a socialist dare!

Word of the Day


Quote of the Day

Happy birthday Langston Hughes – February 1, 1901


Have a FANTASTIC Week!

Seven Things I Love (1-4-2021)

1. This History of Chestnut Trees – this actually is something to both love and hate. I hate the story behind why we’ve lost the vast majority of the American Chestnut trees in North America (not surprisingly it had to do with some wanker deciding to import a dozen Chinese Chestnut trees to the US from Japan. Because there will always be people who have to have bigger, better, new.) There’s further details on the blight here.

But what I love is history, and the history of the Chestnut tree is fascinating and extensive. These were enormous trees, strong, hearty, and they provided for everyone and everything that lived around them. Another thing I love is that there are people working to bring back the American Chestnut. One organization in particular, the American Chestnut Foundation, leads the show and they are getting close. According to this article from 2019, the final stage/cut should take place this year and then they should be able to start repopulating the Appalachian Forests with blight-resistant American Chestnut trees. Hope!

2. This Article on the Regency Design of Bridgerton – Have you watched Bridgerton yet? If not, get thee to the television and start streaming thy Netflix!

My favorite era in British history has always been the Edwardian era (and I mean design-wise) with the Tudor era in a close second. BUT I must say, this show made me start to wonder if I should rethink that.

3. This Incredible Photograph of the Chicago Skyline – it really does look like flames are shooting up!

4. This Video of Robots Dancing to “Do You Love Me?”Boston Dynamics is one of the most advanced Robotics company in the world. They have a huge following on social media and for good reason – their robots are incredibly impressive. They created this video for their fans for a holiday treat. AMAZING! (full disclosure – I’m a robotics nerd.)

5. This Incredible Bridge – my friend Kathy sent me this photo. It’s the Golden Bridge in Vietnam. We were trying to decide whether we loved it or found it disturbing. Truthfully, it’s both but in the end we decided we loved it much more than we found it disturbing. I think it’s all a matter of your upbringing and how you look at it.

6. These Pandemic Words – Here’s an article that includes an interview with Ben Zimmer who is the chair of the American Dialect Society’s New Words Committee. They discussed not only the winning words – COVID was the word of the year – but also some of the nominees. Here are a few that I liked:

gleethreshing (ph) the opposite of doomscrolling, reading some good news for a change.

oysgezoomt (ph), being Zoomed out. You’re fatigued by being overexposed to Zoom.

Very interesting too about the term BIPAC. Need to read more about that.

Here’s another article on how the newly developed pandemic words are helping people cope.

7. This Short Film ‘Opera Performed by Animals’ – it’s from a few years ago but it makes me as happy now as it did in 2019. And HEDGEHOGS!!!


Word of the Day


Quote of the Day

Have a MARVELOUS week!

Seven (+2) Things I Love (11-30-2020)

1. This Discovery of the Fountain of YouthScientists in Israel claim they have been able to reverse the aging process simply using oxygen. GIMME SOME OF THAT!

2. These Cardamom Cookies from Unna Bakery in New York – I found these locally a while back but couldn’t remember where I bought them. Damned menopausal brain fog. I checked to see if I could order them online and yay, I could! LOVE these cookies. They are my favorite treat to have with a cup of tea in the afternoon. A box contains five packets of two, all individually wrapped, so you don’t have to feel obligated to eat the whole package just to keep them from going stale (which is what I tell myself when I do that.) They are just the right amount of spice and sweet. In my opinion, the perfect cookie. The Swedes do so many things right and baking is on that list to be sure.

There are other flavors to choose from too. I ordered some Coconut Oat Cookies to try and they were different but equally good.

3. This Recipe for Sweet & Sour Brussels Sprouts – thanks to my brother Chuck for sending this to me. I’m a big fan of Camila Styles and I’m subscribed to her e-newsletter, but lately my inbox has been inundated so I’m missing a lot.

This girl (me) can’t get enough Brussels sprouts. Sadly, this girl also is on a blood thinner which means she has to pace herself. Well, you know what Julia Child says, “Everything in moderation.” (FYI, the full quote is, “Everything in moderation… including moderation.”) You can find the recipe by clicking on the photo or here.

4. This Book Review (and Interview) of Henry Winkler’s Newest Book by Master Crocheter Jonah Larson – they are all so damned adorable! Note Henry Winkler’s pillow behind him – love it! And Jonah Larson is a wunderkind! You can read more about him here and here.

5. This Cookware from GreenPan – I’ve bought all my GreenPan Cookware from Food52 but it’s available in many places including World Market, Kohl’s, and Amazon. One of my favorite pieces, which I use ALL the time, is the 12-Inch GreenPan Venice Pro Nonstick Ceramic Everyday Pan (pictured right). It’s no longer available at Food52 but they still have it at World Market. And there is a slightly smaller 11-Inch version called the Chatham Nonstick Ceramic Everyday Pan at Kohl’s for significantly less.

From the GreenPan website:

GreenPan is a Belgian brand with an international reputation. It’s the brainchild of two school friends: Jan Helskens and Wim De Veirman.

Upon discovering that traditional non-stick pans released toxins when overheated and used PFOA during the manufacture of the coating, they set out to create a new alternative.

After a long search, they found the perfect material for their range: a ceramic coating called Thermolon™.

With the biggest challenge out of the way, the duo put an expert team together and had a lot of pleasure in designing cookware that looked beautiful, performed brilliantly and made cooking even more of a joy.

10 years later their pans are loved around the world.

6. This Test Flight – I may not be a fan of Elon Musk (I think he ‘s batshit crazy) BUT I cannot deny he has vision and his company is achieving astonishing things. Besides, my nephew works at SpaceX so as long as he’s there I know that they they must be cool!

7. This Music Video (and tweet) – Daniel Stewart is Patrick Stewart’s son. The music video is awesome!

8. This Virtual Chess Game Against Beth Harmon (at four different ages!) – I ADORED ‘Queen’s Gambit’ (along with everyone else) and now I’m obsessed. Chess.com has developed this clever online experience tied in to the hit Netflix series. I finally got brave enough to try to play 8 year-old Beth. It was a draw because we ran out of moves. I thought my brain was going to explode though it was working so hard.

9. These Edible Christmas Ornaments for Outdoor Trees – I’m a Hallmark (and now Lifetime too) Christmas movie junkie. This year Hallmark has an incredible number of new movies. One of my favorites is called, Christmas with the Darlings. In addition to the usual christmas cookie making/baking scene that occurs in every Hallmark movie, in this one they made animal-friendly ornaments and I thought it was brilliant. I will definitely be doing this next year! There are two different links. The link on the photo below will take you to a recipe for the birdseed ornaments pictured. The link at the beginning in bold takes you to an article with a variety of ideas and links.


Word of the Day
(is actually the Merriam-Webster Word of the Year for 2020)

If you click on the graphic below it will take you to an analysis of the use and significance of the word pandemic for the year.

Quote of the Day

I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving and stayed safe!

And I don’t want to rub it in so I’ll let Charlie say for me what I can’t say myself….

Seven Things I Love (11-23-2020)

1. This Millennial Explaining Why People Use the Word “Verklempt” So Much(I need to mention this article is two years old. Not that it matters.) Things like this makes one feel old. This young whippersnapper clearly never saw “Coffee Talk with Linda Richman” until she started researching this etymology.

You know, as a Gen-Xer, I know I was/am fairly absorbed in the decades of my salad days. Most people do this. But I think our generation grew up experiencing the pop culture of previous generations more than current gens. I mean, any of you watch the Cisco Kid or Three Stooges or Laurel & Hardy movies on Sunday mornings because the only other alternative was wrestling or religious programming (apparently Saturday & Sunday morning programming was the least expensive.) Where I grew up in Iowa, that is what aired. The major network programming was preempted by devotional television shows.

Of course there was some new shows like the ABC Afterschool Special (usually the topics were rather heavy and sometimes even traumatic or miserable.) This show did not age well and there’s probably a reason why we preferred shows from previous decades…

And there were the shows of Sid and Marty Krofft, Zoom (the amazing thing about watching these intros is you will remember all these kids as if they were friends from grade school), and Clutch Cargo, but overall, kind of slim pickings compared to the today. In fact, when try to find a list of popular kids television shows of the 1970s it will almost always include shows from the 50s and 60s.

(Side note: here’s a wonderful video about a guy who had an original talking candle prop from the Side & Marty Krofft show ‘H.R. Pufnstuf’ that he was trying to sell at auction.)

Myself, I was a big fan of Gilligan’s Island, really, who wasn’t. That show originally aired from 1964-1967. I was only TWO when it ended. The same with Leave it to Beaver, Bonanza, I Love Lucy (by the way, if you haven’t seen the Grace Adler version of Vitameatavegamin, you must), The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, I Dream of Jeannie, The Munsters, even The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle – these were all shows of the 1960s, some even of the 1950s. They were shows we were able to watch in rerun because there wasn’t four bazillion new shows on so we shared in stuff our parents had enjoyed.

Not that every skit that SNL does is worth seeing but there is certainly a huge number of things over the past two decades that have had significant impact on pop culture and it’s kinda sad that millennials will never know the references.

So why did verklempt become such a popular descriptor? Is it because we’re living in the age of rampant millennial hyperbole? Or does verklempt just ring true in many situations? Is its meaning versatile enough to cover everything from Star Wars references to ailing dogs getting free hamburgers?

The origins of verklempt trace back to the Yiddish farklempt, which refers not to any old overwhelming emotion but to a particular one: depression and grief. Farklempt is the past tense of farklemen, which means “to grip, press” and has roots in the German word verklemmen, “to press, squeeze,” which is related to the German verklemmt (“uptight”). And, following verklempt even further back in time, it leads to the Old English word clam or clom, meaning to “bond” or “fetter.”

But it wasn’t until the ‘90s when we started seeing verklempt being used in pop culture. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when it started, but Mike Myers professed his verklempt-ness as Linda Richman in the 1992 Saturday Night Live sketch, Coffee Talk, about — you guessed it — Barbara Streisand.

I mean, how sad is it that generations of people will never see this??? Oy Vey, what a tragedy! What else has this generation missed?

2. This Animated History of the Lego Company – truly fascinating and the animation is fabulous.

I love the creativity of the fans of LEGO. For example, this creation done by LEGO artist Ochre Jelly

3. This Music Video from Naughty Boys and Beyonce – before I even saw the video I loved this song but then I watched it and I was blown away. It stars two free divers named Alice Modolo and Guillaume Néry underwater for the entire video. It’s amazing, you have to see it to believe it.

4. This Animal: Leaf Sheep – the only animal that can photosynthesize. I mean, how freaking cute is this???

5. This Illustrator’s List About Why She Misses Going to the Public Library – First, thanks Meta! Second, you will want to be sure to click on post so it takes you to Instagram because there are NINE items on her list and to see them all you have to be able to scroll.

6. This Reboot of Animaniacs (on Hulu) – I’m not a child of the 90s but I still loved this show (probably because I’ve always been a child at heart.) And this reboot is NOT a disappointment.

7. This Photo of Flowers as Bees & Butterflies would see them...

Because I’m always a little skeptical nowadays (as one should be, especially about things found on the internet) I wanted to make sure that the above photo had some scientific verification or at least find a reliable source that verified that insects see UV light. And I found something on PBS, which I deem a reliable source.

[Bonus] This Season Finale by John Oliver – I mean, the ending is amazing and Adam Driver is AWESOME!!! Fuck you 2020!

[And one more BONUS for Fans of The Crown]
This Series of Impressions of All the Characters from Season 4….


Word of the Day


Have a MARVELOUS week

Seven Things I Love (8-31-2020)

I meant to post this last night but I wanted to proof-read it and it got too late. You see, yesterday I had to straighten up my house because I have my cleaning person coming back after being away for almost eight months. I’m so excited!

It’s kind of a long story but when I moved four years ago into my “Golden Girls Dream House” I knew that this was going to be the last house I lived in until I died (or went into a home). I figured I needed to make it exactly what I wanted it to be and that meant it had to be big enough for my family and friends to visit and to have parties. That also meant that I had a fairly large house for one person and cleaning it by myself wasn’t an option.

Enter my amazing cleaning people. Course when the pandemic hit they could no longer come so I’ve been doing everything myself. I asked them, back in June, to restart cleaning but unfortunately they are short a person. I’ve been waiting until they could get me in. Last week we worked it out that they could come less frequently and only clean the kitchen and the bathroom. Originally I was told Friday but then yesterday I got a text and was asked if it was okay if they could come this morning instead. Heck yes! Knowing their situation I have to be flexible.

I remember when I was a kid my Mom would always spend nearly a day straightening up before our cleaning person came over. I used to think she was nuts. But now that I have a cleaning person myself I totally get it. You don’t want them wasting their time straightening up, you want them to be able to focus on the cleaning part. Sadly, after months of isolation there was a bit more straightening to do than usual.

And so my friends, that is why my “Seven Things I Love” post is a day late.

  1. This Meme Comparing Generations – Eerily accurate. I fall on the cusp of GenX and Boomer. Though I most definitely identify as GenX, lately my Boomer side has been starting to show. Maybe I need more gin. Nah, fewer attacks on democracy would be better.

2. The Dole Fr*it B*wls Commercials – I’m not sure if these ads will become as popular as the Geiko ones but some of them are pretty clever. I really love this one in particular – with the two Moms showing what real-life families are like and then asking, was it your idea to have kids or mine? The expressions on their faces is what really makes it so wonderful, it captures so much – love for one another, resignation, and exasperation. (Side note, this commercial aired over and over again a week ago Sunday on the Hallmark Channel during a Jane Doe Mysteries marathon. Hallmark seems to be on board with the LBGTQ thing. They aren’t stupid.)

3. This biopic about Harriet, Tubman of course – this biographical film is amazing. What I liked most – though it spends a good amount of time showing the atrocities inflicted upon the people kept as slaves, it spends an equal amount of time showing Harriet’s success with emancipating others after she herself has escaped slavery. It’s tremendous. So many films like this would spend the entire thing on just her journey to freedom and then would go to a black screen with a message that would say something like,

Harriet Tubman made 13 total trips to Maryland, saving 70 people on her missions. She continued to be known as the “Moses of her people.” She served as a scout, spy, guerrilla soldier, and nurse for the Union Army during the Civil War. She died at the age of 93 surrounded by her family and friends and was buried with military honors at Fort Hill Cemetery.

But we wouldn’t get to experience the joy of seeing the rescues – that is the gift of this movie. I know that a lot of our heroes suffered and even shed blood for causes that meant so much to the world today but we need to see more films that show both the good and the bad.

(I will say this though, with what has been going on this past week, these past several months, when you do watch this movie, you will find yourself horrified that things haven’t come so much further in 170 years.)

4. This Cartoonist, Jackie Ormes – who was the first female African American cartoonist popular in the 30s, 40s, and 50s

She is being honored in the September 1st Google Doodle and it’s really wonderful. Take a look.

5. This article (which is excerpted from a book) on How to Identify Pebbles on Britain’s Beaches – what drew me to this initially was the drawings (by one of my favorite artists, Eleanor Crow) but the idea that someone would actually try to identify the various types of pebbles was fascinating to me. I would have thought that pebbles were as unique as snowflakes, but apparently not. The original book, The Pebbles on the Beach, was written by Clarence Ellis in 1954. Studying rocks and beaches is something that people, particularly Brits, have done for a very long time. There is a new film coming out called Ammonite, starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan, about British Palaeontologist Mary Anning and her romantic relationship with Charlotte Murchison. It looks like a must-see film. Mary Anning definitely knew that there were different types of pebbles on the English beaches.

6. This Last tweet from Chadwick Boseman’s twitter account, posted by his family, announcing his passing. It has become the most-liked tweet in Twitter history. So a propos for a regal man and the King of Wakanda.

7. This Evian Commercial: Baby Reflection – just so damned cute. (I’ve always had a thing for commercials, so you know. I think some of them are like mini-films/works of art and some are so damned funny so don’t be surprised if I include them.)


Have a HAPPY and HEALTHY week!

Seven Things I Love (8-24-2020)

1. Olive Oil Dispensers – I’ve been cooking more lately, especially since I signed up for Hello Fresh (will talk about that some time.) And a lot of what I am doing requires using a splash of olive oil. I buy my olive oil in a larger container (usually from CostCo) but those huge containers are a pain in the buttootie when you want to use it sparingly in salads or to saute. I found this great article in the Chicago Tribune (from last October) that reviewed olive oil dispensers. It was very informative and had some good options. I ordered choice number three – Aozita’s Glass Olive Oil Bottle Set. My primary reason for choosing this one was the mini-funnel to help fill the bottle up. As a menopausal broad, I found that most appealing.

2. These Cockatoos – which of these two cockatoos are you? I think it’s fairly easy to figure out which one I am as I sit here nodding my head listening to the video while I type.

3. John Mulaney’s SNL Musicals – I don’t know what made me think of these skits recently but man, am I glad I did because I actually missed the last one! It aired right after I came back from India and I must have been too jet lagged or something. Anyway, here they are, chronologically…

Diner Lobster (April, 2018)

Bodega Bathroom (March, 2019)

Airport Sushi (February, 2020)

4. This 11-year-old Nigerian ballet dancer – simply amazing.

5. This Tribute to Eugene Levy – On the occasion of his winning the Newport Beach Film Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award his friends, family and fellow Schitt’s Creek cast members all let Eugene know how much they love him, shared wonderful memories, told him how much influence he had on their lives, and of course it’s all done with a lot of humor…

6. This Mommy & Me photo – it’s just so wonderful, the little girl is adorable and her mom is stunning. It went viral. Maybe she’ll become famous.

7. A Virtual Tour of Museo Frida Kahlo – La Casa Azul (or the “Blue House”) is where Frida was born in 1907. She spent most of her life living at La Casa Azul only moving out for the eight years she was married to Diego Rivera. She died here as well in 1954. The house is now used as a museum and now you can view it virtually. Virtual tours aren’t that great, IMHO, but it’s still wonderful to look around and see the gardens. That is what I am most excited about.

Here are a couple other links you might be interested in:
Take a virtual tour of “La Casa Azul”, the Frida Kahlo museum in Mexico from Paris Vogue (the article is in English
The Ultimate Self Guided Tour Of Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul Museum

I’m adding a bonus this week. (Oh god, she’s started going over again! Don’t worry, it’s just this one time.) A friend of mine who lives in the UK posted this video. Amazing – very powerful. An organization that supports refugees projected a message onto the White Cliffs of Dover. You need to watch it!


Have a FANTASTIC week!!!

Seven Things That I Love (8-3-2020)

Well, I’m officially changing the regular Monday ‘5 Things that I Love” to ‘7 Things that I Love” since I’ve consistently had more than five things for the past few months. I’ve been hesitating do this because I didn’t want to commit to having more items each week, but it seems clear I’m having no problem finding more than enough so here goes. Let’s try seven for a while!

1. Morgan Freeman reading John Lewis’ Last Words – John Lewis and Morgan Freeman were friends for many years and there really is no better person to read this editorial that Lewis wrote just days before his passing.

2. Ambience/ASMR Videos – I’ve become a little obsessed with these videos. I realized that I wasn’t getting much done during the day between watching mysteries on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel and watching the news. But I like to have sound and movement in the house so now I put these on YouTube, which I can pull up on my wonderful smartTV (technology is da bomb) and let them run for hours. There are hundreds and hundreds of these videos and I have made a folder so I could keep track of the ones I really like. Here are my favorites…

Have to have a least one library!

3. This Community Coronavirus Art Project – a few months ago I found a beautifully painted stone near my mailbox. I wasn’t sure who had left it but after a few weeks I discovered that several people in the neighborhood had received similar stones and that local kids had been painting them as a craft project during isolation. I eventually brought my stone inside and now have it as a paperweight. A few days ago I drove past the epicenter of the Art Project and took a few photos because it has grown quite a bit. People still can pick up rocks to paint and some have started leaving them around a

And be sure to note the ‘Please No Peeing’ sign…

4. Trey KennedyMoms Pre-Pandemic vs Post-Pandemic. Though technically it’s not ‘post-pandemic’ yet, it’s mid-pandemic but it still definitely works. It should probably have been Pre-Pandemic Isolation vs Post-Pandemic Isolation. I have a personal affinity for Trey Kennedy because my niece and nephew got him to do a personal birthday video for me for my birthday and it was da BOMB!

5. This Birthday Celebration – a friend of mine and a few of her friends rented this Air B&B, which is a “boat house” here in town. Formally known at the Edmund B. Gustdorf Milwaukee Boathouse & Lighthouse, it can be rented for a really reasonable rate and I hope when it is safe for me to venture out that I can rent it with her and go have a shindig there myself! Anyhoo, my friend made all these lovely paper fish for the birthday party and it made me happy so I needed to share it.

6. The U.S. and World Population Clock – I don’t think it’s any sort of secret that I’m a big nerd but if there as any doubt this will cinch it. I find this site mesmerizing. Just watch that world population number spin and try to grasp what the reality of those numbers.

7. Last but not least, Perry Mason – I’ve been a huge fan of Mr. Mason for years. Haven’t read many of the books but I’ve seen most of the movies and a decent number of the half-hour original television show. I always thought Raymond Burr was intriguing and I loved his relationship with Della, it wasn’t romantic but they clearly had a strong bond.

I was thrilled when I found out that they were doing kind of a reboot, it’s more of a prequel, to the series. And I will say, I have not been disappointed. Although the series on HBO is nothing like the Perry Mason shows most fans know and love, this origin story is completely believable and really just makes me love him and Della (who is a lesbian in the reboot) and Paul Drake (who is black in the reboot) all the more. Oh, and John Lithgow is fabulous.

I’ve also just started watching the entire original series which began in 1957 and lasted for nine seasons. It’s amazing how much they were able to pack into these episodes!

Raymond Burr as Perry Mason and Barbara Hale as Della Street

« Older posts