Monday, August 8, 2022

National Middle Child Day ~ Friday August 12th

I was very excited to see this national day celebrating middle children--not because I'm a middle child...

>> I am concurrently an only child and the oldest child. Mom and Dad had me... Dad remarried when I was twelve and had four more kids, all of whom I love to death (except maybe that youngest one, lol). <<

...but because my darling daughter, the one that lives at home, is the middle child and she has sometimes felt overlooked.

The oldest, my brown-eyed girl, was a handful and needed a lot of attention and sonshine, is the youngest, the only boy, and was my favorite.

Now DD and I are a lot alike, but I love having her around and she's my hockey partner in crime.

DD and I at the Winter Classic cheering on our Dallas Stars...
(who won, by the way)

 

When I saw this national day for middle children, it seemed like a good way to show her a little love that maybe she missed in the past.

So I'll try to have her favorite meal maybe and a few small treats.

Are you a middle child or is there as middle child in your life? I'd love to hear about you or them.

Have a great week.

Monday, August 1, 2022

Movie Monday ~ Downton Abbey: A New Era

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

I had hoped to see this in the theater, but it wasn't meant to be...

Fast forward a month and a half and I received a discount on a subscription to Peacock Plus for three months and so I bit...

So the film provided an interesting ending to the whole Downton Abbey saga. It wrapped up a few lingering plot lines and relationships, and it provided the backstory to one of the long-standing mysteries while also sending the Downton matriarch to her final resting place. RIP Violet Grantham.

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So let's see...

Old Lady Grantham played by Dame Maggie Smith inherited a villa on the French riviera, which she promptly bequeathed to the one grandchild who will have the least amount of inherited wealth as she grows up.

The family was invited to the villa where clues add up that lead everyone to believe that Old Lady Grantham had a wild fling and that her son, the current earl is illegitimate. The truth is revealed at the end of the movie.

Meanwhile, a movie was being filmed at the family estate in exchange for some much needed cash to fix the leaking roof of the family homestead.

I imagine this is the last we'll see of the Downton Abbey crew--those who hadn't gotten their happily ever after were finally given them...even the lone representative of the LGBTQ+ community got one. So yay. As the writer of MM romance, I was very happy to see that.

If you've been a fan of the franchise, I'm sure you'll enjoy the final sendoff.

If you've seen it, let me know what you thought in the comments.

Have a great week.

Monday, July 25, 2022

A Day (or none) at the Lake...

and some Miscellaneous Monday items...

The view of the house from the lake...several years ago.
 
It's that time of the year when my girlfriends and I head to the lake. Unfortunately, Mom had some medical issues that precluded me from taking my annual pilgrimage.

I'm sad, of course, to have missed time with my dearest friends as well as the respite from care giving, but that's the way it goes.
 
Instead of weekend-at-the-lake pictures, we'll just talk about life as I know it and other random things.

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I'm doing way more laundry than I'd like. Little male dogs are disgusting, quite frankly, and so my pants especially need to get tossed in the wash way more often than they used to.
 
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It's been hotter than blazes here in North Texas way earlier than we usually see triple digit temperatures. We've reached 110*/111* degrees a couple times with stops at every other three-digit temperature in between. I've taken to watering the trees out front and a patch of really plush grass and the oak tree in the back a couple of times a week for about three hours.

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It's been so hot that there's a splooting epidemic amongst squirrels...

What is that, you ask... It's when a squirrel, or any animal really, lays flat out on their belly, limbs splayed in order to get cool. Rocks, pavement, railings, the ground/dirt, tree limbs, whatever they can find.
 
You can sorta see one here in my yard...
 

He's not quite as spread out as he could be. Sometimes I do find them spread eagle on that rock you see. If you want a better picture, just do a Google search. :0)

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Have a super week...catch you next Monday.

Monday, July 18, 2022

National Junk Food Day is Coming!

Mark your calendars for Thursday, July 21--it's National Junk Food Day. I'm suggesting to the fam that we, as part of my anniversary celebration, have junk food for dinner. Now do we all have to have the same thing...or do we each get to pick our poison?

I supposed it depends...

If fast food is on the table, we all have to agree on the place. If were going a la cart from the grocery store, we might have to have junk food every night depending on what each person wants.

A frozen pizza costs $4.50, whereas a box of, say, really good corny dogs costs about $10--which would then mean we have corny dogs in the house for a bit. On the other hand, a meal at a fast food place could cost as much as $10 with no leftovers...so, what's the better deal... 

What is junk food, anyway?

According to WebMD, "junk food generally refers to foods that contribute lots of calories but little nutritional value. Of course, what's considered junk food depends on whom you ask." 

But Wikipedia says junk food is a term used to describe food that is high in calories from sugar and/or fat, and possibly also sodium, but with little dietary fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, or other important forms of nutritional value.

Is most fast food -- let's say a Big Mac and McDonald's fries -- junk food? There's definitely a lot of calories from sugar (a byproduct of the carbs) and fat--but does the burger at least have NO nutritional value ? Or does the bad stuff outweigh the good stuff?

Here's a list of what I'd consider junk food:

1. soda
2. baked snack treats like cookies, donuts, Pop Tarts, Twinkies, etc... (sadly, I think 99% of cereals fall into this category)
3. candy
4. ice cream
5. chips

I could probably add a few things to this list, but I think that covers the bulk of the really bad stuff. Also, I think there's sooo much stuff that's borderline...

Fast food, for instance. 

Also let's take pretzels...one of my favorite snacks...they're baked not fried--so that's a plus. They have salt usually, so that's a minus for some people. They're a carb, so that's also a minus... but if you're eating a serving size of pretzel sticks (43 of them) a couple times a week--is that horrible?

As they say--anything in moderation, right? But I think moderation is also open to interpretation, lol..

What about pizza? The crust can be problematic, but everything else aside from high-fat, greasy pepperoni could be considered healthy or healthy-ish. And cauliflower crust, if made properly isn't that bad--however, to be fair, it doesn't give you the true pizza experience. But it's still good.

Now...

As many times as I've read the above ramble while writing and finalizing it, it still seems a bit chaotic. Usually I try to find a logical path through the topic, but I'm not sure I accomplished that this time.

But let's end with me mentioning my favorite junk food: pumpkin cake, cereal, Pecan Pralines and Cream ice cream, and blueberry cake donuts...

Am I proposing any of those for my anniversary dinner? Nope...

If we go fast food, and I get to choose, I'm picking Burger King...

If we go grocery store options, I'm probably choosing pizza with toppings I don't usually choose.

I'll let you know which way we go.

Have a great week.

Monday, July 11, 2022

Second Quarter Report

Image Courtesy of IMGBIN

It's time once again to revisit the goals and see how I'm faring...

Mom's been here for three months now, and as you can imagine, her presence has definitely had an impact on my ability to get things accomplished.

But let's dive in, shall we:

1) send postcard to my Grandma in Denmark monthly--doing well so far, if only to let Grandma know how Mom is doing so she doesn't worry. On the other hand (SADLY), my grandma might not be around much longer, if her last letter is anything to go by. She'll be 96 or 97 in August, so she's definitely earned her eternal rest when it comes. Until then, I'll keep sending her missives.

2) exercise regularly / up my game--tilt... Mostly anyway. I'm mot exercising like doing yoga or using the elliptical. But I am having to circle the yard three and four times a day to get the little dogs moving in order to get their bowels moving. I do need to re-implement some sort of regular regimen, but that's not happening until after the annual lake retreat at the end of July, so...

3) continue to cook / eat healthy / adhere to a food plan--tilt! That's been thrown into the wind. Life, right now, is not conducive to this, so we are eating atrociously. But that too must change. So going with the same note as the exercise--after I return from the lake.

4) stay on track / up my game with the housekeeping--also TILT! I struggled with this before Mom arrived, so all the extra tasks I'm juggling have thrown this task completely into upheaval. Although in the last couple of weeks, I was able to find some semblance of a routine for fitting in some basic tasks. We'll see how long it lasts.

5) keep up with writers group duties on a monthly basis--um, no, sorry...

6) publish one book & do my best to finish and publish a second--one book has been published, but only because it was completed and ready to go late last year, early this year. Taking the WIN though! I'm working on the second book every day, but it's slow going because I've lost a lot of my morning writing time. And because of various factors, it's hard to really submerge into the characters' points of view to get their emotions on the page. But I'll get there.

7) hone /learn my craft--sadly, no -- it's the time factor again, but life is calming down and smoothing out, so I'm hoping I can find an hour or so a week to devote to this

8) double my Etsy inventory--honestly, I've been working on this, but I'm nowhere on track and I'm not going to catch up; not that it's a major deal in the grand scheme and I'll have more than I did at the beginning of the year. And also, I decided to leave Etsy...that's a process in and of itself and will take me at least to the end of the year. So I can already say this one will be a fail if we go strictly by the original intent.

9) read, read, read a lot of fiction--I'm not going to read the 104 books I originally challenged myself to via Goodreads, but I'm doing all right on this front. I have to read daily. It helps keep me sane. I think I adjusted down to around seventy books, give or take and I'm on track.

10) keep up with / solidify my Goodreads habit--not so much. This is a publishing related thing and one of the tasks that fell by the wayside with the usurping of my time by other tasks. And that's fine. Something has to give and this is one of those many things.

All things considered, it's not going as bad as it could. And I do have extenuating circumstances, so making progress on anything is a win in my book.

Have a great week.