I’m back with a brand new edition

Hello avid readers!

Sorry for my unannounced and unintended (and unpaid) sabbatical from my blog.

I was asked to step up for election to president of the local military spouses’ club, in addition to my then-elected term as a treasurer for a statewide nonprofit. Little did I know how much work it would take to run not only a limping spouses club but also its associated thrift shop which had its own issues. The compass that I try to follow is, leave it better than you found it. So, I threw myself into that.

Add in my real job, family life with a military yaw to it, a social life here and there, and a mother a million miles away dedicated to surviving not only a brain aneurism and multiple coilings to prevent a few others but eventually stage 3 ovarian cancer, and by the end of each day I was just so exhausted I couldn’t do more than think about posting to my blog.

Now that isn’t to say I haven’t been coming up with ideas to post. I have, and they are saved for you. I just needed to free up some more time. As you can see, most have been quite long posts. That takes time to edit. And as a technical writer and editor, I do it over and over and over again. I really need to just do a few short ones, post them, and edit later.

Recently I was talking to a colleague at an event and my blogs came up in conversation. She told I better start posting and do it regularly, because she gets mad at the ones she is following when there isn’t anything new to read. We laughed and she said she’d be sure to remind me to post.

So, here is the first one and hopefully more will follow.  If you are interested in any particular topic, I am happy to do some research for you or at least get a few sources together to help out your interests. Or if it is books or movies you think I should tackle, I’m all ears and eyes.

Hope to chat soon. Cheers!

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No garage sale’n when sick

The other weekend just about every neighborhood held a garage sale. I love looking around at garage and estate sales! This time around DH and I were under the weather. The hacking cough, sneezing, just wanting to sleep ick. So out of all the weekends to have a collective garage sale, both of us were out of commission.

DH is not into sales at all. I need a sale buddy! I’m really only interested in teapots (I collect) and silver (for use during holidays and when we have company over). If there happens to be a picture/painting that grabs my eye or maybe some cheap historic glass or crystal, I might be tempted.

A friend of my Mom’s years ago used to plan estate sales. That might be how I got into it. I had some friends from the spouses’ club at a previous duty station who love going to garage sales. Crazy early, too-don’t even think of sleeping in.

Then again, you get so much more done when you are up that early…

I really just like seeing what people have. The anthropologist in me comes out and I wonder, who, why, and where? Does it have a story to tell? Where did it come from? Original or knock off?  And then, do I actually want this and how can I use it?

I managed a box of Desert Rose, California Franciscan ware, and some British-made from a facebook garage sale group. I added those into the straggly remnants of some hand-me-downs from my mom and from her mom, of Cali Franciscan. And yeah, I totally turned the pieces over to make sure it was a good mix of the original quality.


The cup was made in “England” and the bowl is Californian. Can you see the difference in painting technique. And you can see examples of different maker’s marks.

It wouldn’t matter to me other than I grew up with one pattern/date range and the history, so that is what I gravitate to and automatically look for. I think they were the first dishes DH and I ever used together. They were mine and he was living in the dorms on base, so he really had none.

I did actually just buy a copper dragon teapot, made in India, from the base spouses’ club’s Thrift Shop. Which adds to my collection.


Oh, I lied. Some silver has also made it into my teapot collection.

fat tall

At this point the collection is only for whimsical. It has to be eye-catching. To be honest, now that I look, almost all the teapots on the wall were gifts after I had said I wanted to collect teapots. All are individual and different within the collective. (I totally did just drop that reference!) I’m pretty picky, which is a good trait to have when you end up looking at a million sales all by noon.


I really have to thank my “Aunt” Mary for many of them.  Thank you so much for your amazing taste and looking out for me and DH… all the time. 🙂 Mom goes shopping with me, but I always cheap out- sometimes they are so expensive!

But, I have to say…. being sick does end up saving us money by not garage sale’n.

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New Spring Dress for Easter

Yesterday while walking the dog I saw a young girl and her mother walking towards our park for the Easter Egg Hunt. She had on a pretty pink dress. As I watched them walk down the sidewalk I was taken back in time to when I was her age and received a new dress for Easter.

Where I grew up, Easter (Roman Catholic date) was invariable a warm day after most of the snow had melted, some years raining, usually muddy. But it heralded Spring and warmer weather, the ability to put away the snowjackets and snowpants for fancy shoes and pastel colors in lighter weight fabrics.

I don’t remember many of the dresses, which had to double as school dresses. One I do remember was hand made by my mother. I thought it was hideous, no one at school wore dresses like that. But when we changed schools, it was more acceptable. I am sure my mother was happy. Although, by the time of the move, I think I was more into pants and less into dresses and pinafores.

Eventually in high school I tended for dresses again with dress pants underneath. I know, most of you are cringing right now, but I loved it. I loved the look (weird, I know, it was well after the ‘90s had come and gone) and it was perfect for, “sit like a lady,” “put your leg down,” “pull your skirt down,” “don’t play with the kids on the floor, you are in a dress.” Put some pants on underneath, and you are ready for anything! It should be said that back then most of my dresses had high necklines, so no need to worry about bending over…I still like those necklines for that same reason. And the dresses were a thick sort of spandexy awesomeness so it hugged my amazing body but covered the pant waist line perfectly.

Still, the sight of the girl’s dress brought back happy memories of dressing up fancy to go to church after a morning of hunting around the house for eggs we decorated ourselves. Actually, I was telling my husband today that we never found the right amount of eggs. No one could ever remember how many we made, some always broke during the boiling. Now as an adult, I am sure my dad ate one or two before they were hid. He was always a very early riser. But in my head, it was always my mom who hid the eggs. I guess I should ask them. Either way, we know if an egg was not found we would smell it eventually. And we had a dog whom I am sure would find it before that point.

The time the dog and I made our way to the park I noted that the sea of colored eggs were gone. Such a nice sight from the morning before. One family was still finding some eggs in the nice lush green grass of spring on this Easter day. A happy surprise for the girl.

It is a beautiful out, sunny, not too warm or too cold, but as the day progresses the wind has been picking up. I think it is a bit too cold for any of my dresses, even with pants. I hope the weather is nice where you are and that you have a happy Sunday whatever your traditions may be.

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Kombucha, a little bit different

I was shopping hungry and walked past the specialty lifestyle portion of my local grocer. There on a top shelf was some kombucha.

I have a health-nut friend who once said she made her own. I have seen documentaries on it and food travel shows where the hosts tried it. So I figured, why not?

I grabbed an organic raw original because it happened to be on sale compared to the blueberry flavored one. Instead of snacks, I replied to my nice bagger that yes, I would like my drink out.

I shook it up to mix the stuff stuck on the bottom and opened that baby up. Weird. It was kind of carbonated, because, of course, it is fermented. The more I tried it the easier it was to drink and the fizziness was not so shocking. It was probably made worse by my shaking it up. So, try not to shake it too much. Oh wait! I just saw the part that says DO NOT SHAKE. Hahahahaha, oops!

So, as I shook it up, I guess this is not the best write up about trying it. Or, rather it is.

I just opened it up after not shaking it for a while. There was still the gas build up, just as you would expect from a soda bottle under pressure. The flavor has not improved but it not necessarily bad. I would rather drink quite a few other items before I would chose this one. Having said that, I do not like carbonated drinks, so I am rather not surprised this didn’t make my favorite list.

Wikipedia.com says …

Kombucha tea is a fermented drink made with tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast. Although it’s sometimes referred to as kombucha mushroom tea, kombucha is not a mushroom — it’s a colony of bacteria and yeast.Kombucha tea is made by adding the colony to sugar and tea, and allowing the mix to ferment.

MayoClinic.com discusses potential health benefits, or consequences of consumption …

What is kombucha tea? Does it have any health benefits?

Answers from Brent A. Bauer, M.D.

 Kombucha tea is a fermented drink made with tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast. Although it’s sometimes referred to as kombucha mushroom tea, kombucha is not a mushroom — it’s a colony of bacteria and yeast. Kombucha tea is made by adding the colony to sugar and tea, and allowing the mix to ferment. The resulting liquid contains vinegar, B vitamins and a number of other chemical compounds.

Proponents claim kombucha tea can stimulate the immune system, prevent cancer, and improve digestion and liver function. However, there’s no scientific evidence to support these health claims.

There have, however, been reports of adverse effects, such as stomach upset, infections and allergic reactions in kombucha tea drinkers. Kombucha tea is often brewed in homes under nonsterile conditions, making contamination likely. If ceramic pots are used for brewing, lead poisoning might be a concern — the acids in the tea may leach lead from the ceramic glaze.

In short, there isn’t good evidence that kombucha tea delivers on its health claims. At the same time, several cases of harm have been reported. Therefore, the prudent approach is to avoid kombucha tea until more definitive information is available.

If you take anything from this post, I want you to know that

1) I try anything twice, especially food stuffs

2) I will update this to let you know if I get sick from raw goo


3) I support you in any health or homemade choices you want to make

Let me know if you have tried komucha or something else “healthy” that isn’t mainstream and whether or not you liked it or felt any health benefits from it. I am curious to know.

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Baby it’s cold outside

Well, I’ll tell ya’, it really is getting cold outside. I have seen photos of snow dustings from friends in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and New Hartford, New York, and doors each covered in a sheet of ice in Dayton, Ohio.

So far as yet a sweatshirt has sufficed. I had to switch out my flip flops for socks and sneakers, but that was about it. Tonight I really should have worn a jacket to break this terrible gusting wind pummeling me as I walked the dog. It really was so forceful we had to bring the flag inside, and most of the decorations. The umbrella was blown into the pool! We fished it out but it was still so windy today that I couldn’t open it up to dry the inside. I flipped it over to dry more flaps and a gallon of water must have fallen from the folds.

I’m going to have to get my barn coat out and change out my fashion sweatshirt for a real one. Red ears need earmuffs or a warm cap and the neck is naked without scarf. I may not like decorating for the winter holidays before my birthday (in mid-November!) but I do like breaking out the mittens and scarves! I will even admit to (website) window shopping for fashionable coats.

Baby it’s cold outside!


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Drunk History – Cracks me up!

And by crack up I mean laugh out loud across the house funny. I’m literally cackling. Some poor kid is going to walk down the street and think there is a witch living in this house. I just can’t express how much pure enjoyment I get out of the way the sketch is fit around the speaker’s words.

So the premise is someone learns the history of a subject (jazz) or person (Johnny Cash) etc., and then recounts what they learned as they slowly get inebriated. The mostly monologue-Derek Waters also “drinks” and has some comments throughout-is broken up by sketches visualizing what the speaker is saying, exactly what they are saying, or singing, or burping. HILARIOUS. And it gets better and better as the person goes from buzzed to drunk to trashed. Not everyone gets that bad. But you learn the whole time! And it isn’t dry or boring because the drunk person really gets into the parts, sometimes doing voices, and then actors in the skits (more like movie quality, really) mouth the words to the exact cadence of the speaker.

Actually, the funniest thing is that these speakers talk just like me, young(ish), hip(ish), but totally down to earth. “Like, no, we still have work to do here, no…Segregation sucks.” There are expletives dropped so it might not be for everyone. But it is really so funny when you are watching the sketch and a cuss word pops out of the mouth of someone dressed in 18th century clothing. It’s like, whao!

This is after all HISTORY. Most of the time, it is the untold stories. The rest of what you might have learned in school. Take the first episode I saw, it focused on Claudette Colvin, a 15 year old pregnant girl who refused to give up her seat on a bus well before Rosa Parks was made famous for it. But this girl was dark skinned, and pregnant without marriage, so while the NAACP bailed her out of jail, they passed on using her as a role model for the movement. Did you know that? Did you know anything about her? I sure did not. So not only did I get a laugh from the random drunk comments portrayed by the actors, but I learned something.

After I saw the episode I heard an interview on NPR, ‘DrunkHistory’ Serves An Educational Cocktail, With Comedic Twist, and I just had to record the show and watch as much as I could get my history loving eyeballs on. And no matter how many I see, or if it is a repeat, I have to watch it. Who doesn’t want to laugh for 30 mins to an hour? The facial expressions of these actors as they play out the dialogue is priceless in and of itself.

Definitely check it out. Even if it is just for the cameos, like Jack Black.

UPDATE: So I watched 2 comedians and one actress today presenting their version of historical selections. Both comedians are hilarious.

I like Kyle Kinane, not so much in standup, but in “random” conversation. His Drunk History was great, and it was pretty funny when he was puking and started Derek Waters to puke, too- oops! To me, he looks like a logger or a trucker. Like Paul Bunyan, but I think he is rather average in height. I realize that is just his clothing style, but in my head he evokes those images. I first saw him on @Midnight (funniest. show. ever!). He as great quips.

Next was Natasha Leggero, whom I have also seen on @Midnight, but I have heard her standup routine on Pandora’s comedy channels and I think on Comedy Central. Cracks me up with a bossy, fashion show snob schtick. Or maybe that really is her, but it is funny, nonetheless. Then, surprise surprise, Paget Brewster! She plays Emily Prentiss on Criminal Minds!!!!!!! We have seen almost all the episodes. Anyway, she has such a strong, definite way of speaking so that when she deadpans it is laugh out loud funny. I think her Drunk History was one of the best of the uninterrupted, are-they-really-drunk? monologues yet. Rather impressive, although the random drunk comments in between are what I find so funny.

And of course the content was interesting.

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Happy Halloween!

I hope you all had a safe and enjoyable Halloween, whatever you did.

We sat out on the porch and handed out candy. This year, Nevada Day coincided with Halloween so the kids had the day off to run around in their costumes. I would have completely forgotten about Nevada Day but that quite a few kids returned my “Happy Halloween!” with chipper rush of “Happy Nevada Day, too! Did you know it is Nevada Day?” as they ran off to the next house. I had to laugh out loud, they were so cute, the 10 year olds. 😉

I always wear a cute Halloween shirt and top my outfit with a headband of bouncy bats or a tiny witch hat with orange fur and fake orange braids hanging down my face. So cute. I even have some great earrings, care of my mother. She loved dressing up in her pediatric nursing office. Unfortunately, this year I had a terrible head cold and totally forgot about the earring pumpkins and bats. It would have been a great touch. Oh well, next year!

My plan was to dress the dog in a kiddie Jedi cloak but I couldn’t find it this year (I think I gave it away). I do have a tunic Three Musketeer costume I considered, but I didn’t want it ruined. Mom made it by hand, well with a sewing machine, but you get my drift.  I sIMG_20141031_182627552aved it for DH to wear, but he had to go to work on the graveyard shift, so no costume for him. I ended up using one of my decorating hand towels to tie around the dog’s neck.

DH was woken up with the first trick-or-treater, ugh! And by an adult, no less! I had the bowl of candy out and walked over with the dog to say Hi to a neighbor. A family popped over so quickly that both Donna and I missed them walking up (I bet they cut through my side yard). I ran back as soon as I could, but one woman had already pushed the bell. To be fair, they just wanted to make sure we knew the candy was out in case we had forgotten the candy bowl; some kids would take it all in one go. And they were right and being far more courteous than they needed to be; ringing the bell to let us know it was unattended. I just kicked myself. It was a good 2 hours early for DH to wake and I had the dog outside so he wouldn’t bark at the doorbell. Ah well, best laid plans…

As it turned out, DH brought his coffee outside and handed out candy with me. We had the dog on a leash and he was great. No barking, just sitting there like a statue or laying around while kids jumped around him.

We almost made it through all of our candy, all leftovers from last year! I tried to only give out two pieces and then by the end I was handing out handfuls. Two years ago there were so many I was giving away my lunch snacks. Last year I bought way too much candy to make sure we were covered. I really wanted to give out cool erasers but DH voted me down. This year someone was handing out hotdogs and cupcakes. How cool is that!

To finish, I have to share some history on how we got to where we are today with this “holiday.”  Check out www.halloweenhistory.org/ and all the tabs they have.

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Exhausted here and thanks for checking the blog!

I just wanted to give a shout out to my followers and habitual blog readers. I know I am way behind my once a week posting. A few edits here and there and little bit less time available on my weekends, and now I have a million drafts in various forms that are not publishable.

Add in some travel, shift work up until 2 am and then awake again four hours later for 6 am (a few extra shifts, for better or worse, but the money is always welcome), plus extracurricular activities and I just keep running out of time. I know I should just jot off something quick each week, and I do try. Sometimes they just keep going and so I try to split them off or combine similar themes, and they away they go into the drafts folder.

I do have a new phone, so hopefully I can access the blog on the go and get a bit more out for you all. Recently, I have been dealing with phone issues, about a month of serious switching back and forth, work as I said, and being just plain run down. A friend and colleague said I have been burning the candle at both ends, but today while walking the dog I decided I have burned it clear through to ash. It is 6 pm and I am going to bed without dinner for the second night in a row, I am so exhausted. I did the full out head bob all day long.

But I wanted get out a thank you to all my readers and to anyone who might randomly pop by and a bit of an explanation of why it has been such a while for the posts. I have one editing around in my head, I just need to get it typed.

So thank you, and be on the look out for more blogs and cheeky comments once I can catch up on my sleep. Thanks for understanding and sweet dreams!

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Eat My Shorts

It was O’Dark30 when I was awoken from my slumber to the sounds of the dog chewing something in the bedroom as he lay somewhere near my side of the bed. 

He has allergies, so I hoped he was just chewing on his paws. I wasn’t conscious enough to realize the sounds didn’t match. 

Somehow later on the conversation comes up about what I heard and how DH found the empty toilet paper roll I had left on the floor to take down to recycle in the morning, eaten, or shredded.

Apologies all around, no big deal. The dog had food, so no idea why he chose to eat it that night and not any other night one might have been left previously; it is a mystery. DH theorized that he might have been bored; to which I wonder why the dog didn’t just move around the house and play with his real toys.

Fast forward to later in the day or the day after…

I go to put on the only khaki shorts I currently own (pay no attention to the two pair waiting to be repaired in my office…). As I bend down to retrieve them from the floor (yes, yes, I know…) I see one of the belt loops has pulled out. 

As I am thinking that I have never used a belt with this shorts before and so one loop out is no big deal, I realize that they feel a bit odd on….specifically the chewed parts. At the waist. Ugh.

The dog ate my shorts. They were clearly folded in half when the jaws clamped down and, not surprising, the dog probably laid on them to chew the TP roll. Ugh. Double Ugh.

I debated pulling a shirt over them, but the Jaws bite was too low to even keep the shorts up over my hips. So that thought was discarded quickly. I just had to toss them, well worn, Walmart special, that they were.

Of course, I had to tell DH, who figured they could be knock around house shorts and also thought the dog ate them by accident. Into the trash they went. The shorts, not the dog and DH. I have running shorts to wear around the house…

 I can’t believe he ate my shorts. I hope every Pop Culture reference is also running through your head every time you read that the dog had decided to Eat My Shorts. 

Well, it should teach me to not put the clothes next to the drawer where they need to go but to actually bend down and put them back in said drawer. I didn’t even bother to “ask” the dog if he recalled eating the fabric I might have held up to him to search for clues on “guilt.” It was clearly an accident, or they would have been shredded also, and not just one rip…at the fold…amounting to two on opposite sides.

I just had to share because it was too funny. I thought about taking a picture to show ya’ll, but space is limited and I think you get the picture. I might as well add, the bites were on the back love handles, nothin’ is gonna hold up against gravity there.

 Moral of the story: put your clothes away because you never know what chain of events will lead up to include the one and only thing on the floor.  

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MREs: Meal Ready To Eat



Military Style.

DH found two modern MREs in the pantry. They apparently PCSed with us. I say modern because in my field, they are usually historic and well past their prime. (ha.ha.ha, read on…)

These were not from his field, they didn’t get packed up and shipped out. Well, we don’t think so. Both of us vaguely remember when we bought them, on the homefront as part of our Hurricane Ride Out supplies.

So, how long ago was that? Well over two years, maybe going on…. five?

I decided to do some research to to see if theses ones were still edible. Google took me to an awesome website, http://www.mreinfo.com. This resource has great pictures, explanations, and a year by year break down of your food, which helped me date mine: Chili and Macaroni, only produced in some years which threw off our date stamp estimate (ex: 1001).

“However, some cases will use a different form such as “1068”. In this case, the first number “1” stands for the year (2001) and the next three numbers indicate which day of the year (365 days in a year) it was packed. So “068” would be day 68 of the year 2001…or March 9, 2001.” http://www.mreinfo.com

We tried to figure out the actual date. The first bag was not exactly helpful but bag two had a better series of numbers… we think it might have been 14 years old by now…. wow time has flown.

DH was worried someone would get sick and so he tossed the food. One website said MREs are good for 10 years, another 5, and our MRE Info had an interesting Applesauce Test which will keep me from eating undated (until you open it) MREs. As soon as possible, please!

Ours were made by AmeriQual, and had printed: “Government Property Commercial Resale is Unlawful…” A bit more info digging made sure that these were real gov’t MREs and not the natural disaster ones. They were all over after Katrina hit.

In our bags were Tootsie Rolls and a block of Charms candy- I was shocked (I had no idea they contained candy with built-in nostalgia generators), still soft and squishy (where they originally soft and squishy? Ew…). The Charms did not survive the years at who knows what temperature test. Fail. The color was off and they were stuck to each other and the wrapper. No, we didn’t try it! Nasty of you to even think it…The Roll went right in the trash.

The matches still worked, at least. So if we were stuck in a zombie apocalypse, we would be starving or sick with intestinal distress, but we could still light something on fire. And there is always the Tabasco sauce.

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