Tag: Nature (Page 2 of 2)

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

Ten* Things I Love (7-20-2020)

1. If We Treated Teachers Like Pro Athletes – Key & Peele – this is from a few years ago but SOOOOOO relevant right now.

2. This Ingenious Hummingbird – Paraguayan Conservationist Bianca Caroline Soares snapped this photo back in September of 2019. She had been observing hummingbird nests for over a year but when she saw this one she knew it was something unique and special.

“The hummingbird went on to have two chicks, and Soares was able to capture the trio under one roof—literally. The flexible nest expanded to fit the new additions and the leaf was able to cover them all.”

From ‘Clever Hummingbird Builds a Nest Complete With a Giant Leaf Roof‘ by Sara Barnes, My Modern Met, July 14, 2020

3. This Tutorial by Telenovela star Kate del Castillo on How to be an Action Star – She is HILAROUS! I had tears in my eyes. I am planning on subscribing to Peacock TV I’m just waiting for my smartTV to get an app.

4. These three incredibly talented beauties – Norah, Yarah & Rosa known as Let it Happen (thanks to my friend Jeta for originally sharing this video). Just wow.

5. Hear Ye, Hear YeThe Queen has her own Gin. There is pretty much nothing more perfect (and British) than this. Sadly it has already sold out. It is/was only available in the UK but I was hoping to get a bottle when I went over next year. Sigh.

The Queen is famous (infamous?) for having the same four cocktails every day.

From Vanity Fair (and Food & Wine):

And Food and Wine uncovered another detail about the Queen’s daily intake: the 91-year-old reportedly consumes four cocktails a day. And why shouldn’t she!? Let’s run through what they are:

Her first drink, per former royal chef Darren McGrady, enjoyed shortly before lunch, is a gin and Dubonnet with a slice of lemon and a “lot of ice.” Sure, this sounds about right. A classy and posh and powerful concoction.

Then, during lunch, she’ll have a piece of chocolate and a glass of wine at meal’s end. (That we have been eating lunch all these years without closing with a piece of chocolate and glass of wine now makes us feel utterly foolish.)

O.K., then, also at lunch, the Queen drinks a dry gin martini, according to her cousin Margaret Rhodes. So, yes, we are now at three drinks by roughly 1 p.m.

Her final drink of the day? It actually doesn’t come until she’s going to sleep: a glass of Champagne before bed.

6. Quarantine Public Library – this delightful little site currently houses over 40 one-page pdfs that you can download and fold into little “books.” They are really more like works of art. I made a donation of $30 and donated the mega-pack of the entire collection in one zipped file. If you donate $10 you can print out your own library card and there is also a general $5 donation level. Funds collected from the Quarantine Library are being directed to EveryoneON, which is a non-profit that connects low-income families to affordable internet service and computers. That is a non-profit I can absolutely support!

7. Urzila (pronounced Ursila like ….) Carlson – this South African comedian who does “not identify as fat” is my new favorite funny person. Her show on Netflix called ‘Overqualified Loser‘ is a hoot. Some might say she overshares, but then, isn’t oversharing really a subjective thing? For myself, I’ve always felt that society needs to stop being so freaking uptight and talk more about stuff. If we didn’t try to hide things that are part of life like menopause and mensuration and puberty and various stages of aging we’d all be more informed, less ashamed, and people that needed might need help would get it.

Anyhoo, back to Urzila, come on, how could a menopausal broad not adore a female comedian who is a lesbian, has a South African accent, and who does not identify as fat? Pinch me!

8. This video of Billy Joel playing a discarded piano – no words necessary.

9. Crabtree & Evelyn La Source Hand Cream – I have been using this for years. In fact, a while back one of my staff told me that my office smelled like this cream and it always reminded her of me. Which made me happy. It’s a nice scent. When I went to look for a link for this I started to panic because as I typed “Crabtree & Evelyn” into Google up popped “Crabtree & Evelyn closing down” – EEK! It appears that the retailer hasn’t survived the online sales surge so it did shut down its brick & mortar stores. So sad. But it relaunched in the middle of last year as online only and so this product is still available. Though sadly it has been repackaged and is not available in the larger size that has a pump. Still, I may need to stock up just in case.

10. Henry Cavill building a Gaming PC – seriously there is nothing hotter than a guy working on electronics. Is anyone else watching ‘The Witcher?’ I’m REALLY looking forward to seeing him in the new ‘Enola Holmes‘ movie!

*This week there was just too many things so I upped it to TEN things but this is not going to be a standing thing (I don’t think.)

Have a LOVELY week!

Mosquito Slut Shaming?

One of my favorite comedians Charlie Berens just happened to post this recently and it was so perfect I had to include it.

Last summer I went to several outdoor events that resulted in my having numerous mosquito bites, the majority of which were on my ankles – itchy!

The worst part was that Burt’s Bees discontinued the only product I’ve ever found that works on bug bites. Damn I miss this stuff… (I did find a different balm I’m going to try, fingers crossed.)

ANYHOO, each time this would happen. I’d call up the friends I was with the night before before and ask, “Man, I got eaten alive last night, did that happen to you too?” They would inevitably say the same thing – they got a couple of bites but nothing serious (some would actually say they didn’t get bitten at all.) I was perplexed. Why was I being targeted?

I started carrying along mosquito repellent whenever I knew we were going to be outdoors. Sadly though, often I would be someplace expecting to stay indoors (especially when it was horribly hot outside, I am, after all, a delicate flower) and we’d end up al fresco.

It was then that I started to wonder, is it possible that my weight had anything to do with my being bitten? After doing some research (cuz that’s what I do) I was distressed to discover the answer is yes. Well, it isn’t the sole reason the nasty little winged demons love me, but it’s one of them. Turns out that I’m a mosquito slut. (Right Mimi?) Pretty much everything I do attracts those damned skeeters.

I thought this was important information that should be shared, so here’s a comprehensive list of the things that I found which attract mosquitoes:

  1. Night time – this actually depends upon the species and where you live but the majority of species in the US are most active at dusk.
  2. Fragrances – this doesn’t just apply to actual perfume, this can be any products that have added scent like perfumed shampoo or lotion or laundry detergent/fabric softener. Mosquitoes are drawn to certain floral scents because they need nectar for survival and flowers for the females to lay their eggs. But guess what, there are actually perfumes that repel mosquitoes. And the good news is, you don’t have to smell like citronella!
  3. Carbon Dioxide (this relates to the weight thing, and also applies to pregnant women). Mosquitoes can smell CO2. In fact, there is such a thing as CO2 traps, which simulate humans or animals breathing. It’s lures the mosquitoes in and then traps them, thus keeping them away from real humans and animals.
  4. Drinking alcohol – alcohol raises the body temperature and makes a person sweat. Just a single beer can do it!
  5. Sweat – it has something to do with lactic acid. If you want to know more read the article that I linked to on the word ‘sweat.’
  6. Skin Bacteria – it turns out that the mini-vampires are particularly fond of the organisms that grow on the biggest organ of our bodies. And they particularly love stinky feet – P.U.
  7. Movement – one of the first things that will get on their radar is movement – so if you are a fidgeter know that you are going to make yourself more noticeable from a distance.
  8. Wearing dark clothing (black, blue or red) – mind you, wearing light colored clothing won’t repel mosquitoes but it’ll make it more difficult for them to find you. Also, wearing lighter colored clothing, at least in the daytime, will keep you cooler and as mentioned above, sweating is a lure.
  9. Having Type O Blood (and also Type B, but not as much as Type O)
  10. Exposed skin – Of course the problem with this is that mosquitoes come out in the summer and people are just generally going to be exposing more skin – swimsuits, tank tops, shorts, sandals – it is natural for we humans to wear less in order to keep cool. But in doing so we are helping the mosquitoes out, particularly with the sandals, no socks and shorter pants thing. It turns out that skeeters have evolved over time. I mentioned above that they are attracted to Carbon Dioxide and as they hone in on their next target they know they can’t just go all Red Baron and fly straight at it. They’ll end up being toast. Instead, they have to be covert, Ninja-like, and attack so that people don’t know they were even there until after they are gone.
  11. Obesity/pregnancy – people who are larger and women who are pregnant have a higher metabolic rate thus causing them to breathe harder, which means they will produce more carbon dioxide. Also, even though movement helps mosquitoes home in on a person, They also can be more still which makes it easier for the little buggers to get to them.

10 out of 11 (I have A+ blood so there’s one thing I have going for me.) Turns out I’m a wanton, shameless mosquito floozy. At least now I know what to do to make myself less appealing! (Note: needing to make oneself less appealing only applies to mosquitoes.)

Have a Happy and Safe Summer – Physically Distance – Wear a Mask

Five Things I Love (6-29-2020)

1. This Census video – I don’t think they could have found any better spokesperson than the Count and his pals at Sesame Street. Have you completed your Census yet?

2. These amazing photographs – A collaborative project, CreativeSoul Photography and LaChanda Gatson, makeup artist and hairstylist, created these stunning photographs of Disney princesses reimagined as young Black girls. You can go to this My Modern Met article to see more photos from the series. They describe the girls as regal and that is exactly what they are.

3. This cool Pride Flag – for the second to last day of Pride Month. Designer Daniel Quasar has added to the traditional colors to make the flag even more inclusive. For the details you can read an article about it here in them.

4. Birding with Chris Cooper – I don’t want to get into a big rant about the incident that brought Mr. Cooper into the limelight, just watch the video. He’s lovely.

5. This Granola: Kick Ash Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Granola – I start every single morning with the same breakfast: a cup of plain Greek yogurt (I use Fage), anywhere from a 1/4 c. to 1/2 c. organic blueberries (the fresher and plumper they are the more that ends up in the bowl), and about a 1/4 c. of this granola. Mix and consume. I used to only get this when I’d go up to Door County (my favorite part of Wisconsin – it’s in the thumb) to visit my Aunt & Uncle. But with the pandemic my normal trip up has been greatly delayed. Fortunately they ship!!! (They have several other flavors, I just ordered a package of Chai Spice Granola to try.)


I love this one…
I’ve had to straighten my crown quite a bit lately but straighten it I do!

Five Things I Love (6-8-2020)

  1. 1. This Artist and mother of two (Stefanie Trilling) who is taking classic children’s picture books and redesigning them for the Coronavirus Era… (You can follow her on Facebook or Instagram!)

2. Virtual Fireflies!

3. This Internet Dad – I figure there are three categories of people who could find this endearing and informative Dad’s videos both useful and comforting: (1) people who actually grew up without a father, (2) people who grew up with a father but whose father was gone a lot, and (3) people who grew up with a father, whose father was around but whose father was kinda inept. But the fact is, this guy’s videos are what we ALL need right now. Whether you have a great dad who can fix anything or not. His videos just get better and better and the best part, free DAD JOKES!

4. The MKE Unite Chalk the Sidewalk project – held in front of the Milwaukee Art Museum on Sunday, June 7th as part of the fight against systemic racism, people created a strong and beautiful visual in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

5. This Congratulatory Message to the Class of 2020 from the Cast of Schitt’s Creek – SHEER PERFECTION!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=215&v=mMnTwzFxT_k&feature=emb_title

6. These Selfie-Snapping Penguins – these two discovered a camera left behind and curiosity got the best of them. Lucky for us we are left with this wonderful video clip.(Bonus – there’s just too much good stuff this week!)

7. Chef Kobe plays peek-a-boo. Cutest thing EVER… This is what I watch before bed, just to calm down in the evening.

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