163 thoughts on “Weekend Open Thread

  1. Birdcage July 16, 2016 / 9:14 am

    Greetings, weekenders. I woke up with a headache (not a bad one) so I’m waiting for coffee and Tylenol to kick in. But I’m wearing my most comfortable t-shirt and my one ‘chore’ today is to bake lemonade cake decorated in French flag colors for a Bastille Day gathering at a friend’s house tonight. Just a small get-together with French treats where we can remember those killed in Nice this week. I love to bake so it should be a good day. Off to get ingredients!!!!! P.S. Saw “The Secret Life of Pets” last night – soooooo cute. Should be mandatory viewing for all Cutetopia residents.

    • Phred's Mom July 16, 2016 / 9:41 am

      Recipe, s’il vous plait?

      • Birdcage July 16, 2016 / 12:53 pm

        http://keeprecipes.com/recipe/howtocook/old-fashioned-lemon-buttermilk-cake – I up the lemon factor by adding a teaspoon of a lemon bakery emulsion and I made it “pink lemonade” by adding a drop or two of pink paste colouring. I’m going to glaze with a pourable white icing sugar & lemon glaze and add some red, white and blue decorations for the French flag colors.

        • Phred's Mom July 16, 2016 / 3:52 pm

          Sounds great for a summer treat.

  2. Phred's Mom July 16, 2016 / 9:40 am

    Last evening we went to the reception for the opening of an exhibit of the photographs of
    Steve McCurry, the photographer who gave us the striking image of “The Afghan Girl”.
    The James A Michener Museum in Bucks County, PA will be showing these marvelous
    images theough October 23, 2016, along with their other exceptional offerings, especially
    the Bucks County impressionists. A very cool place, housed in a former county prision.
    If you’re ever in the area, stop in for a very very nice experience. Then, later, to a
    neighbor’s birthday party. Should be a good day.

    • Murray C. July 16, 2016 / 11:06 am

      Love the Michener and Mercer Museums – and Fonthill. I’ve never been to the tileworks and long to go.

      My neighbor is a close friend of Steve McCurry’s sister, so knows him slightly and seems always to be gifted with his most recent published works, lucky gal.

      Have a fun day. I’m going to do a little yard work – clean the birdbaths, – putter about inside most of the time. Tomorrow, two gatherings for which nothing is expected of me food-wise, just to be my charming self 😝

      • Phred's Mom July 16, 2016 / 11:21 am

        I can walk to the Mercer and Michener.
        Lucky me.

        • Murray C. July 16, 2016 / 1:23 pm


    • Phred's Mom July 16, 2016 / 12:08 pm

      *prison*. !!!!!!!

  3. Gigi_the cat lady July 16, 2016 / 9:55 am

    Nothing planned for today except running a few errands. I feel very tired this morning, no energy at all. I’ve just had breakfast, I’ll see if that helps, but if it doesn’t I may just put off the errands until tomorrow and go back to bed.

    • Murray C. July 16, 2016 / 11:13 am

      Hope you perk up soon, GiGi.

      • Phred's Mom July 16, 2016 / 11:20 am

        What’s the barometric pressure there, Gigi?
        A “low” gives me “lead-head”.

        • Gigi_the cat lady July 16, 2016 / 4:13 pm

          I’m not sure how to find out what the barometric pressure is here but it’s a nice day outside. I think it’s a side effect of not taking my diabetes medication. I had to stop taking it a month ago because of a bad urinary track infection, it took 2 courses of strong antibiotics to finally get rid of it and I just started taking my medication again, I think my system is just unbalance. Should be back to normal in a day or two.

          • allein 🌼 July 16, 2016 / 4:23 pm

            National Weather Service lists barometer readings. Just put in your zip code.

            Whether you actually know what the numbers mean is a different question. πŸ˜‰

            • Gigi_the cat lady July 16, 2016 / 4:49 pm

              No zip code, I live in Canada, we have postal code. And you’re right, I wouldn’t know what the numbers mean anyway πŸ˜†

              • allein 🌼 July 16, 2016 / 5:08 pm

                Aw, sorry.

                I’m amused…it is actively thunderstorming, pouring rain (though no wind like earlier), and weather.com still tells me it’s “mostly cloudy” while NOAA tells me it’s storming. They are both giving me the same temperature, though.

        • Janice July 16, 2016 / 6:43 pm

          We Fibromyalgia sufferers are highly affected by low barometric readings. Anything above 30 is better than lows, especially lows associated with rainy warm fronts. Lows = low energy and lead head.

          • Murray C. July 16, 2016 / 9:01 pm

            That’s tough, Janice. While I’m not afflicted, my neighbor is and it’s devastating – not only because of the physical suffering, but From the medical establishment’s lack of understanding. I hope that’s changing.

  4. Jan July 16, 2016 / 10:02 am

    Lily the Fierce and Fabulous has settled in nicely don’t you think? And when she’s not being unbearably cute, she’s running me ragged!

    • amyliz July 16, 2016 / 10:41 am

      Lily is adorable and that pose definitely shows that she is feeling safe and secure in her new home! Am enjoying some glorious weather here today before heat and humidity return. Going to a state park with a friend this afternoon to walk the trails. Will be green, cool and lovely there! Happy weekend, all!

    • Murray C. July 16, 2016 / 11:08 am

      Ahhhh! Too adorable for words, I’m tellin’ ya. I want to scritch those little armpits – my cat loves to have her armpits scritched. Oooh, and the belly, yum.

    • Kar July 16, 2016 / 5:18 pm

      That poor stressed out cat. I was hoping that she’d feel more at home and able to relax at this point.

      On a serious note, how do you not snorgle that belly and armpits?

      • Jan July 16, 2016 / 8:37 pm

        Note the “Fierce” element in her name… the belly I am convinced is a sinister lure to bring prey into range of her needle-like teeth and claws. I’m trying to break her of the biting habit, it’s hard going so far but she’s doing better.

        Inspired by the Adventure Kitties link yesterday, I bought her a harness so I can start to take her places like the park. She’s going to outgrow it before it sees too much use though – when I got her a week ago she was only 1.4lbs and now she’s already up to 2.2lbs!

        • Kar July 16, 2016 / 9:49 pm

          If you give her things she CAN bite, that may help.

          Also, do you hiss when she bites? Mine still reacts when I hiss and she’s almost 8.

          • Jan July 16, 2016 / 10:20 pm

            I try to always have something available that she can dig her teeth into which has helped a lot. However, the woman I got her from didn’t have any toys for her and instead encouraged her to play with fingers, so Lily will still go for them even with a toy available. It might have been cute when she was two or three weeks old, but sure isn’t cute any longer!

            I hadn’t thought of hissing at her, I might try that.

          • Phred's Mom July 17, 2016 / 10:31 am

            Hissing back at Ben-Him worked fine if he started to chew on my
            houseplants when he thought I wasn’t looking. The first and only
            time he nipped me was when I retrieved him from a moving LP
            turntable. I hissed and flicked at his nose (not hard, just enough
            for him to feel it) and he never did it again. We had a very long
            and loving journey together. Still miss him after thirty years.

    • 6rabbits July 16, 2016 / 8:04 pm

      I NEED to snorgle that belleh!!

      • Jan July 16, 2016 / 10:21 pm

        Bring band-aids!

        • 6rabbits July 17, 2016 / 1:04 am

          Guess it’s a good thing I can’t get to that belleh then, cos I don’t think I could stop myself. πŸš‘πŸ₯

          I agree with Kar, try hissing. I know with puppies you are supposed to yelp and whine cos that’s what their siblings do if bitten too hard, so it clues the puppy into your distress. Nips and bites that wouldn’t hurt furry siblings hurt furless humans, so they have to learn the difference. Jackson Galaxy, host of My Cat From Hell tv show on Animal Planet, always had excellent advice on how to break cats of the biting-when-playing habit. πŸ˜€

  5. Emmberrann July 16, 2016 / 10:09 am

    Happy weekend, Mike! Love the poem. Staying in, too hot to be outside. ☺

    • Murray C. July 16, 2016 / 9:03 pm

      Ditto. And love the kitty Kay’s goatee.

    • Murray C. July 16, 2016 / 9:06 pm

      Ditto. And I love the kitty Kay’s goatee.

  6. AJ July 16, 2016 / 10:19 am

    Trying to clean house today, looked around and as my mom & grandmom would say “The standards of this establishment have slipped considerably, we must really speak with the staff” (said in your best Dowager Countess from Downton Abby voice). So, all beds stripped, first load in washer, waiting for coffee to brew. Then after this load is done, run off to Target to get some cleaning supplies and then try to make house look presentable. Also need to go get passport photos done so they can be renewed in time for our cruise around the islands of Hawaii!!! I’m so excited about it but man oh man, the choices – shore excursions, dining options, etc. etc. ARGGGHH.

    • Murray C. July 16, 2016 / 11:11 am

      My standards haven’t slipped but my sense of urgency to live up to them certainly has. I do love that you’re carrying on a tradition passed down from your Gran’ and Mom.

      Why do you need passport photos for Hawaii?

      • Phred's Mom July 16, 2016 / 11:18 am

        Maybe for i.d. for the plane? Hmm.

      • AJ July 16, 2016 / 11:50 am

        The cruise line requires a valid id showing citizenship, recommends using your passport and ours expired in April. Didn’t want to take a chance if we took our expired ones and when we get there, they say nope, can’t get on board, lol. Plus hubby travels for work and might need to go overseas so might as well just get it taken care of now.

        • allein 🌼 July 16, 2016 / 11:56 am

          I was on a cruise ship for a few hours for a wedding several years ago. Just to get on with the wedding party we had to show ID (driver’s license was fine) and we weren’t even going anywhere. (Well, about 25 family and friends went on the cruise with them, which I don’t get. No way is anyone else invited on my honeymoon!)

          • Phred's Mom July 16, 2016 / 12:18 pm

            If I ever have another honeymoon, ain’t nobody
            but us going! Is this a new practice? Yikes!

            • allein 🌼 July 16, 2016 / 12:31 pm

              I have no idea. I guess it was just a handy excuse to go on a cruise. The best part of doing their wedding that way (for me, at least) was that there was a hard end time for the reception. The staff made it clear that it was time to go promptly at 3:30 if you weren’t going on the cruise, because the ship sailed at 5:00. (The worst part was that we had to drive to the docks in Bayonne, NJ. Lovely.) We boarded at 12, ceremony at 1, then lunch, then home in comfy clothes by 5.

              There were two other weddings on the ship that day, too. The wedding parties all boarded one at a time, and each had a designated area for their ceremony (which was followed by a lunch reception). We did have an hour to kill before the ceremony and were able to walk around the ship, but there wasn’t much open yet except the bar by the pool below us, and the bar near where our party was. Then other passengers started to board a little later; our party spot was overlooking one of the pool areas, which was filling up with passengers while we were there. Shortly after lunch they kicked us all off and we went home.

      • 6rabbits July 16, 2016 / 8:29 pm

        Okay, AJ and Murray C., you both made me laugh even with a headache. AJ for the quote, Murray C. for the rebuttal. Will have to remember both!πŸ˜€

    • Phred's Mom July 16, 2016 / 11:13 am

      Life is indeed a beach AJ.

  7. allein July 16, 2016 / 10:52 am

    I hope to get some chores done today.

    Today my best friend’s niece turns one, and tomorrow my godson gets baptized. It’s a good weekend for cake.

    • Phred's Mom July 16, 2016 / 11:15 am

      Cake! Haven’t had cake in what feels like years. Maybe we’ll indulge this evening.

      • Phred's Mom July 16, 2016 / 9:27 pm

        Home from the birthday bash, had the cake, it was wonderful,
        but I’m not used to it and now feel almost sick. No regrets, though.

        • allein 🌼 July 16, 2016 / 10:16 pm

          I am eating a bowl of strawberries with whipped cream and a drizzle of hot fudge.

          I have blueberries that need eating, too. I think I’m gonna try my yogurt mix-in recipe with fresh blueberries this time (usually I use frozen). Tomorrow afternoon.

          And it seems storm #3 is rolling in…just saw a flash and heard a rumble.

          • Phred's Mom July 17, 2016 / 10:34 am

            Hot fudge??!!??πŸ˜›πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜›πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜›

  8. allein July 16, 2016 / 10:53 am

    And if I brought all those bags into my parents’ house, the girlcat would run and hide and we wouldn’t see her again for several hours.

  9. N. Fritz July 16, 2016 / 11:09 am

    The most I’ve done today is go shopping, make minestrone and make pastry dough for hand pies. I love summer when I can devote myself to cooking and baking. Even thinking about starting a food/drawing/writing blog…

    • Phred's Mom July 16, 2016 / 11:16 am

      Sounds like you’ve done a lot already. If/when you do start that blog, fill us in, please.

    • allein 🌼 July 16, 2016 / 11:53 am

      That’s a heck of a lot more than I’ve done today! Right now I’m catching up on another blog while I drink espresso hot chocolate while listening to my AC trying to keep up with the 89 degrees outside.

      • Phred's Mom July 16, 2016 / 12:15 pm

        Finally got my desk cleared, which is no small task.
        Everything filed, recycled, trashed, recorded, ordered,
        paid. While MyMike is making his special porcini
        risotto for lunch. His touch: a dollop of fig jam in
        the broth used to do the rice. We had this in Sicily,
        in a shrimp risotto (yeah, not a Sicilian thing) that
        was heavenly. Smells wonderful.

        • allein 🌼 July 16, 2016 / 12:37 pm

          I need to do that, but I have other more pressing cleaning tasks. My shower curtain needs replacing, and I noticed last night that some black gunk is coming up from my kitchen sink drain. I’ve had this problem in the bathroom, but not in the kitchen. I’m guessing the humidity is contributing to it. Problem is, I’m not quite sure how to clean it out. I tried baking soda and vinegar followed by hot water last night but that didn’t do much. At least in the bathroom I can remove the sink stopper and clean around the top of the pipe with a scrubber. Can’t really take apart the kitchen sink. It’s gross.

          I have so much paper in my house. I wish I had a recycling dumpster. Tempted to sneak into my old apartment complex and toss all my recycling in theirs.

          • Elaine C Williamson July 16, 2016 / 12:55 pm

            If you use a city sewer try putting bleach down the drain and flush with water. If you use a septic tank you are on your own. πŸ˜€

            • allein 🌼 July 16, 2016 / 12:58 pm

              lol…I don’t think I have any bleach. I was planning to do errands tomorrow afternoon after the baptism since I’ll be out anyway. It might have to wait. On the upside, the light above my sink burned out and I’ve been too lazy to climb up there and replace the bulbs so I can’t really see it very well. πŸ˜‰

          • Murray C. July 16, 2016 / 1:27 pm

            Allein, I thought it read “a reclining dumpster” and had visions of you lying back casually tossing papers into a shredder sort of thingy.πŸ˜›

            • allein 🌼 July 16, 2016 / 1:40 pm

              lol…they had single-stream recycling so there was a dumpster for trash and one for recycling. So much easier than what I’ve got now. I live in a condo complex, and some of them are two-level townhouses, and some are 1-level condos (so my building has 2 townhouses on each end, then two layers of 4 condos in the middle. I live in the middle section upstairs). We have trash “corrals” that contain a bunch of big trash cans and a handful of blue recycling bins, and those are only for the condo-dwellers. The townhouse people have space to store a trash can so they can just put theirs out in the parking lot, or we can put it out in black bags (which means bags and cans between parking spots twice a week). But they only pick up recycling every other Wednesday, so the recycling cans fill to overflowing. I have to try to remember to take out my recycling on Wednesday night right after they’re emptied otherwise there’s no room.

              I suppose this way is better aesthetically, at least on non-trash days, since the cans are hidden, but I think I’d prefer just having a big dumpster like we had at my old place. Then I wouldn’t have to worry about whether there’s any space in the trash cans. Also, the corral for my building has a stack of paint cans in the corner, that have been there since sometime last year, and it pisses me off. I don’t know if it was the people who moved out, or someone who still lives here, but either way, they should know they’re not going to picked up with regular trash, and if they still live here, they must see them every time they go out there, but they haven’t been cleaned up and the complex management either doesn’t know or doesn’t care to do anything about it.

              • Murray C. July 16, 2016 / 1:45 pm

                It’s so asinine when recycling becomes so much of a chore – it just disincentivises people from doing it.

                • allein 🌼 July 16, 2016 / 1:54 pm

                  I know; and it’s required by law here, too. Then they only take #1 and 2 plastics, and I hate throwing out the #5s, which is what most yogurt containers are made of, but there’s nowhere around here that takes them.

                  I’m also not actually clear on whether paper can just go in the bins with everything else, or if it needs to be separate. I often just toss junk mail and stuff in my bag and toss it in the bin at work.

                  • Elaine C Williamson July 16, 2016 / 2:07 pm

                    Maybe it’s like here in Houston, we have individual cans (apartments have to use dumpsters) that take everything for recycling but glass and styrofoam. I dump newspaper, catalogs, junk mail, all plastic except bags, everything. So handy.

                    • allein 🌼 July 16, 2016 / 2:30 pm

                      I think it is. I’ll have to ask my parents what they do with paper. The real problem is there’s not enough room for 2 weeks of 8 households worth of recycling. (And you’re not supposed to put it in bags, but people do it anyway.)

                • Phred's Mom July 16, 2016 / 4:01 pm

                  Thank goodness our recycling is single stream and they
                  take everything but foam. We put out way more recycling than actual trash (one can a week). The
                  quantity of plastic used for retail stuff is depressing.
                  Especially those @&&?&$!? clamshells, the packaging
                  from H-ll.

                  • Murray C. July 16, 2016 / 6:13 pm

                    Yes, we have single stream, too and styrofoam isn’t on the list. Don’t use it much anyway. Interesting woman on NPR yesterday – I think it was Science Friday, talking about recycling, taking phone calls. Someone asked her about washing bottles and cans and she said that the reason they ask people to do that isn’t for those things but how the leftover gunk that might leak out of them effects the paper. Makes me wonder why paper couldn’t be separate.

                    • Phred's Mom July 16, 2016 / 9:31 pm

                      I was told by the environmental engineer where I worked that washing things helped keep
                      vermin away from one’s recycling. Makes
                      sense to me, and I always rinse things out.

                    • allein 🌼 July 16, 2016 / 10:19 pm

                      I rinse them because they have to sit in my house for up to two weeks sometimes.

                    • Murray C. July 16, 2016 / 10:30 pm

                      Me, too – and we separate the paper just because it’s less mess, more organized. Our township is good – we have recycling every week and yard waste every week (they grind it up and let the township residence take it for mulch). The ratio of recycling/yard waste to trash is about 20 – 1 in our house.

                    • Mariana July 17, 2016 / 1:51 am

                      In Portugal we always separate into 3: glass, paper and packaging (plastics and metal). In my parents house (city) every household or building has their own containers which are picked up by city workers. Where I live, we have to take the recycling to the bins (on the street). There are pretty evenly placed. I’m considering taking up composting as well. We also recycle oils, batteries and coffee capsules (nespresso and such). No need for rinsing but I do it anyway. They do ask you to flatten/compact it. I believe it works pretty well.

    • Murray C. July 16, 2016 / 1:16 pm

      I’m amazed you can bake in this heat, N. Fritz. I am guessing you must have air in your kitchen. We don’t, just a few window units in the bedrooms and bunny area (gotta keep them buns cool!) Was just attempting to play with my ribs but they’re having none of it. They can be very aloof at times.

      And you’re another artist? Cool.

      • Murray C. July 16, 2016 / 1:46 pm

        “Play with my ribs???? NO, my RABS, as in RABBITS! I hate you autocorrect!!!!!

        • fkaWaldenPond July 16, 2016 / 8:40 pm

          Sure, sure… πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

        • Phred's Mom July 17, 2016 / 10:37 am

          Wants to tickle you.

          • Murray C. July 17, 2016 / 10:59 am

            aaaaaahhhh! I’m extremely ticklish! (oh. THAT was a mistake. Now everybody knows!😳

      • N. Fritz July 16, 2016 / 4:53 pm

        Murray, it’s unseasonably cool here in Austria this summer. Today it barely made it into the 70s!

      • Murray C. July 16, 2016 / 5:52 pm

        I have trouble keeping track of where folks are! Sorry – but you say it’s unseasonable? What would the temp normally be?

  10. SoccerSue July 16, 2016 / 11:18 am

    I started my day by accidentally dropping a bowl on the floor and shattering it into a million little shards. Sooo…it can only get better from here, right? πŸ˜›

    • allein 🌼 July 16, 2016 / 11:26 am

      Think of it this way…Now you have materials for making some sort of mosaic project. πŸ˜‰

  11. Duckie July 16, 2016 / 11:36 am

    Thank you all for the pleasant thoughts for the day. Today l’m living vicariously through you all, as I sit here with a mug of tea and a HUGE box of tissues, nursing a most unwelcome summer cold.πŸ˜“ πŸ€’

    • AJ July 16, 2016 / 11:53 am

      So sorry to hear that, summer colds suck cause you want something hot to ease your symptoms but at the same time it’s so hot that drinking something hot makes you even more miserable. I don’t have a cold but my allergies are kicking my butt. Been up since around 4:30 am since I couldn’t breathe, plus doggy wanted to play.

    • allein 🌼 July 16, 2016 / 12:03 pm

      Ugh, that sucks. I was just thinking about my last bad summer cold because it was when my aforementioned godson’s sister was baptized a few years ago and I had to go to church feeling absolutely miserable and I couldn’t even play with the baby! Yesterday I got out of work early, went to the bookstore to get my him gift, and then went home and ended up taking a nap. When I woke up I felt all stuffy and scratchy and was afraid I might be coming down with something again. Since I’m not just a spectator this time, I can’t get sick! (I’m okay now.) Hope you’re feeling better soon!

    • Phred's Mom July 16, 2016 / 12:22 pm

      Just hang for as long as it takes.
      The up side to being under the weather is
      being able to loaf legitimately. No guilt.

    • Murray C. July 16, 2016 / 1:18 pm

      Poor you, hope all’s well soon. I got a cold last summer, subsequent bronchitis which basically lasted most of the rest of the winter. I think it came from Indonesia since my sister-in-law came in from there and she was sick. How terribly exotic.

  12. Patty July 16, 2016 / 12:37 pm

    Due to circumstances that require a really long story (involving a PFA making the father unavailable, a meth addiction, and the safety of an unborn great nephew), I suddenly have temporary custody of my 10 month old great niece, at least until Monday or Tuesday. So, yeah, my weekend is bound to be interesting, at the least.

    • Murray C. July 16, 2016 / 1:20 pm

      Whoa – or as Keanu Reeves might say, “Woah”. That’s a responsibility. Good luck with that.

    • fkaWaldenPond July 16, 2016 / 2:43 pm

      Oh man Patty, I am sorry to read about your family going through a bad time, crisis. Your niece sounds like she is in a good, calm, loving situation with you though. Good luck and strength to you and her. πŸ™‚

    • Phred's Mom July 16, 2016 / 4:07 pm

      If she’s not walking yet ( my daughter did at nine months!), things will be be
      more manageable, I hope. You might actually have some fun with her,
      Take care of yourself, and don’t be reluctant to ask for help with the stuff
      you can’t do for the duration.

      • Patty July 16, 2016 / 7:48 pm

        She just started walking last week. She is a good baby, and so happy. She has been well taken care of, her mother just had a relapse after the dad punched her and threw them out. My daughter has 3 kids, ages 13 months, 3, and 5. She has volunteered to let us hang out over there, so at least Berlynn will have kids to play with, and plenty of toys. My other daughter works for a daycare center, and she also volunteered to watch her if need be. It’s going pretty good. On Monday it’s likely the PFA will be thrown out, and I may have to relinquish her to her father. I am hoping my sister and I can convince the judge otherwise.

        • allein 🌼 July 16, 2016 / 7:52 pm

          Yikes! Good luck!

        • Kar July 16, 2016 / 8:09 pm

          Do the kids have a child’s advocate?

          I know that you don’t want the kids in the system but it sounds like you all need a legal ally who can convince the judge that this not acceptable and that the kids would be better with you all while both parents are getting help.

        • 6rabbits July 16, 2016 / 8:16 pm

          Why would a guy who punched the mother of his child and threw them out get custody of the child? I’m drawing a blank on “PFA” too. Good luck with care and custody!

          • allein 🌼 July 16, 2016 / 8:18 pm

            Protection From Abuse order.

            • 6rabbits July 17, 2016 / 1:10 am

              Thank you, Allein! Maybe it’s called something else in Indiana?

              • 6rabbits July 17, 2016 / 1:16 am

                Just called an “Order of Protection” here.

    • Kar July 16, 2016 / 5:22 pm

      Thank you for stepping up for your great niece.

      I hope the other little one is ok and that the grown-ups, well, grow up and get the help that they need.

      • Murray C. July 16, 2016 / 8:51 pm

        I despair of men with anger issues – never became adults, never were taught how to think outside themselves. I so feel for your niece. It’s worrying. You are doing such a mitzvah to look after her little one.

      • Phred's Mom July 16, 2016 / 9:38 pm

        Patty, it is such a heartache for you, I will be thinking of you
        and your girls this weekend. Let us know what happens.
        Guys like that make my blood boil. I had a cousin who
        was an alcoholic and abused his wife. She, thank heavens,
        outlived him and is ok now. He was barely mourned.
        What a miserable way to live.

        • allein 🌼 July 16, 2016 / 10:22 pm

          We have a family friend whose ex-husband died some years ago. I’m sure he was missed by some people…. (And I’m sure they have mixed feelings themselves.) He specifically wrote in his will that his kids got nothing, and his girlfriend apparently had no intention of telling them he had died (they remained close with his sister’s family, though, so of course she told them).

  13. Laura July 16, 2016 / 12:42 pm

    We’re having another quiet weekend. The pool pump got replaced yesterday since the old one kept tripping the breaker — and the new one promptly tripped the breaker, too. Grr! The original was just installed last summer and still under warranty, fortunately, so now they’re thinking it may be the wiring. But it renders the pool temporarily unusable because there’s green stuff growing on the walls. My husband was out scrubbing for a couple hours this morning; I’ll be taking my turn probably tomorrow. Oh, and we have to replace the solar panels, too.

    Honestly, the people we bought this house from just flat-out LIED about a bunch of stuff! If it broke, they just shut it off and then told us, “Oh, it never worked, so we didn’t worry about it.” Riiight. Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do about it except deal with it; all property is sold as-is in this state, and if your inspector doesn’t find something, oh well that’s your problem.

    Anyway, it’s a good thing we love the house and the neighborhood and the whole area! Makes it easier to deal with these little frustrations. And other than the pool aggravations, I’m just going to get some work done. The delights of self-employment, working all weekend. I’m having that procedure done on the other side of my back Monday, though, since the first one helped SO much, and the happy drugs they give me to knock me out for it leave me pretty useless — but very, VERY happy — the rest of the day. So I can’t count on being able to function at much of anything except snuggling the pups!

    I’m sorry people have summer colds! Those are no fun. (Well, a cold any time of hear is no fun!) Feel better soon, and take it easy, drink lots of liquids, and eat chicken soup, okay? It really works! πŸ˜€

    • Murray C. July 16, 2016 / 1:13 pm

      Best of luck with your procedure – backs are so dicey! And I hope the algae dissipate real soon – then I’ll be over!😜

      • Laura July 16, 2016 / 2:36 pm

        Any fan of NTMTOM’s is welcome any time! Hey, we have more in common than most people I interact with online. πŸ™‚ But if this is like the last time green stuff grew in the pool, it’ll be 3 weeks till the pool is usable again; algicides are nasty for humans, which means staying out of the water. πŸ™ And just when it’s getting hot enough that we would really enjoy cooling off, too!

        I’m not worried about this back procedure. It just deadens the sensory nerves for a few months to a year, which gives me mobility again. Just doing it on one side helped *enormously* in the last few weeks; it’s been quite astonishing. This is truly *nothing* compared to the pain before my big surgery, so I’m still very happy with my surgeon. He truly was a miracle worker. In fact, I think he and his family deserve more socks. I like to knit for the knitworthy, and his reaction to socks was like a kid on Christmas; how could I refuse to knit him some more? πŸ™‚

        • Murray C. July 16, 2016 / 3:05 pm

          Ooooh, your surgeon is just like Dobby! Dobby *loves* socks!

          So it looks like you’ll just have to get out the garden sprinkler and run around under that ’til the algaecide dissipates! Could be fun. πŸ˜‰

  14. Faye July 16, 2016 / 1:57 pm

    Hot humid. Woke up at 7. Ate buttered garlic bagel with coffee. Back to sleep 9:30 to 12. Staying indoors with ac on.

    Company coming at 2. One good friend going through panic attacks and anxiety. Pep talks as she waits for a Monday medication consult. She’s having such a battle all of which I have overcome thankfully. So glad to advise her. She’s 26 and has her whole life in front of her. Rough bump in the road of life. At least I can tell her I’m proof it all gets better.

    Artwork tonight and all day Sunday. I’m really getting back in the groove. My technique is coming back and improving. I’m even beginning to learn new materials. Working with Copic Markers for the first time.

    • allein 🌼 July 16, 2016 / 2:02 pm

      I got hit full force with all that stuff at age 23. Only then did I learn it runs in the family (my dad and some cousins on my mom’s side). At 40, I’m much better. I rarely have true panic attacks anymore and when I do feel one coming on I’ve learned to head it off before I become fully convinced of my impending death. (I had to figure it out or I would have had to stop driving, and that wasn’t really an option.) I still struggle with depression and milder anxiety but all in all, I can’t complain too much.

      • Murray C. July 16, 2016 / 9:14 pm

        Allein, I’m amazed that you deal with all that. You seem to have an indomitable spirit, so I guess that’s how you’ve managed so well. A real survivor.
        I’m always amazed, find it so interesting, each of us has a tale to tell. When I observe a crowd of people and try to imagine all the different highways and byways their paths have taken them it boggles the mind.

        • allein 🌼 July 16, 2016 / 9:20 pm

          I spent many nights sitting up in bed wondering if I should call for help or just let whatever was gonna happen, happen. Nothing ever happened, of course.

          I also got panic attacks associated in my head with eating nuts (a Hershey bar with almonds the first time, peanut M&Ms the second). I still can’t eat nuts. (You’ll notice I have no problem eating chocolate, though. πŸ˜‰ )

          • Murray C. July 16, 2016 / 10:03 pm

            You get migraines, too, don’t you? And you can eat chocolate? That’s a good thing – I’d hate to have to go through life without chocolate. I have GERD and am not supposed to eat many things, chocolate included. If I didn’t eat the things they tell you not to eat I’d eat broth and gruel! I’m not even a bona fide chocoholic, by any standard, yet I need some from time to time. Like almost everyday. Just not a lot. I think we’ve had the discussion before about Bark? That ambrosia of the gods that doesn’t even have palm oil in it??? Heaven!

            • allein 🌼 July 16, 2016 / 10:27 pm

              Yeah. I don’t get them often enough that I’ve felt the need to really pinpoint my triggers. Most often it seems to be my bad sleeping habits and weather, since I seem to get them most often on weekends when I sleep late and/or when the weather’s bad; the worst one I’ve had in a long time was back in January when we had the blizzard. I stayed at my parents’ house that weekend, where I never sleep very well, and then the weather. That was brutal. I had one other bad one since then and it was on a bad weather weekend, as well.

              I think if chocolate was doing it, I’d be getting them a lot more often.

              • Phred's Mom July 17, 2016 / 10:41 am

                My migraine triggers were/are irregular sleep,
                low barometric pressure and red wine. Chocolate, no.

    • Murray C. July 16, 2016 / 3:14 pm

      Faye, that’s terrific! I know how satisfying that can be, really uplifting. I need to get back to a groove and haven’t yet. But I will eventually.

      What are Copic markers? I think I may have read something abut them but can’t remember. Do you get the emails from Daniel Smith and Dick Blick? I enjoy those so much, as well as all the tutorials available.. I think that’s how I’ll be keeping myself occupied when I have my arm immobilized – that and Ted Talks – and I have to learn how to download podcasts, still don’t know how to go about that. Maybe I’ll learn to paint with my left hand – and get a factotum to unscrew the paint tube caps for me!😜

      • allein 🌼 July 16, 2016 / 3:23 pm

        I just downloaded a whole slew of the TED Radio Hour podcast from NPR (I just grabbed everything that was available in their iTunes feed). Then I went and deleted all the “rebroadcasts”… now I’m down to a more manageable 2.6 days worth.

      • Faye July 16, 2016 / 11:57 pm

        Murray here is a description of Copic Markers from the Dick Blick website:
        Copic is a true original. First widely adopted by artists in the Japanese design and manga industry, Copic markers are now preferred by virtually everyone from professionals to enthusiasts for all styles of art, design, illustration, crafts, and more.

        The perfect tools to have on hand for all of your inking demands, Copic Pens feature a pigment-based ink that is archival and acid-free. Choose from a wide range of pen styles, including the disposable Multiliner, the refillable Multiliner SP, and the Spica glitter pen.

        Other Copic tools include ink refills, sketchbooks, and pads for markers, plus books that share tips and tricks for using Copic markers in your art.

        Here is a link to my artwork:

        • Faye July 17, 2016 / 12:02 am

          This is a collaborative page on my Doctor’s website. We will each be adding descriptive text about the theraputic and creative context of each drawing. Eventually a coauthored paper.

        • 6rabbits July 17, 2016 / 1:20 am

          WOW. That’s all I can say, Faye. WOW. 😯

          • Faye July 17, 2016 / 4:46 am

            It’s all positive 6 Rabbits!

          • Phred's Mom July 17, 2016 / 10:54 am

            I am speechless.

        • Murray C. July 17, 2016 / 11:03 am

          Faye, these are amazing. You had said before how personal they are, so I know it can’t be easy to reveal the work in a public way, especially. I feel privileged – as I feel sure everyone here does – that you would feel comfortable enough to show these to us. They are so wonderfully free in their execution – it seems to be pouring out of you. They allow the viewer to feel your pain, at least to the degree that we can.

          • Murray C. July 17, 2016 / 11:05 am

            And thanks for the Copic marker info – I actually thought of going online to find it – all by myself! For some reason (age related?) it’s still not a habit for me to just google something – I’m getting better.

          • Faye July 17, 2016 / 3:49 pm

            Thankfully most of it is behind me. My PTSD symptoms have subsided dramatically. So I have nothing to hide. Eventually I will be blogging so that will be public. And my Doc’s website is public. Also I’m proud of myself.

            I am glad to share here.

            • Faye July 17, 2016 / 4:31 pm

              I hope I didn’t offend anyone. Just so you know I’m the most mundane lady. Thankfully my inner journey has become my muse and being able to draw it all is theraputic and enlightening.

              • 6rabbits July 17, 2016 / 6:32 pm

                I am so glad that art therapy has helped you! It helps that you can actually DRAW well!πŸ˜‰πŸŽ¨ The amount of personal information in your drawings is overwhelming. Your artistic style/line work (?) reminds me of my uncle’s early work, though his drawings at that time (1970s) were mostly black and white. Lots of psychological symbolism.

              • Murray C. July 17, 2016 / 10:30 pm

                Faye, m’darlin’, you are anything but mundane, I hate to be the one to break it to you. I mean, you’re a LIBRARIAN, f’heaven’s sake. (I know, retired – you can take the girl out of the library but …you know the rest)

                • Faye July 18, 2016 / 12:55 am

                  Thank you so much 6 Rabbits and Murray.

                  Nice reminder that it’s all good.

  15. AJ July 16, 2016 / 2:35 pm

    Well, back from the cleaning supply run and now it’s too hot to clean so I guess I’ll finish the laundry today. I can prep some areas for cleaning and since I’m up early do that before the heat hits tomorrow. That means I get to be lazy and sit in front of the fan all afternoon watching tv or reading my new ebook. I just love summer!

  16. allein 🌼 July 16, 2016 / 3:17 pm

    So this is what’s happening here at the moment:

    Severe Thunderstorm Warning in New Jersey
    Active for next 36 minutes Β· National Weather Service

    Hazard, 60 mph wind gusts and quarter size hail. Source, radar indicated. Impact: hail damage to vehicles is expected. Expect wind damage to roofs, siding, and trees.

    Just saw a biiiig bolt of lightning followed by a loud crash of thunder…upon which I moved from my spot on the couch next to the window to the chair on the other side of the living room. And for a minute there I could barely see the building right across the parking lot.

    Meanwhile, weather.com claims my town is merely “mostly cloudy.”

    • kermit July 16, 2016 / 3:41 pm

      Any chance of a government coup?

      If Turkey is anything to go by, grossly inaccurate weather reports are a foreshadowing of an ongoing coup. When was the last time the public saw Christie alive?

      • Not That Mike The Other Mike July 16, 2016 / 4:01 pm

        Hey, we have a new visitor! Welcome! But I think 2016 is “interesting” enough without any more coups! πŸ˜€

        • Murray C. July 16, 2016 / 6:15 pm

          Yes, we’re more about coos here, coups not so much.

          • 6rabbits July 16, 2016 / 8:21 pm

            Ha, ha!πŸ˜‹

      • allein 🌼 July 16, 2016 / 4:08 pm


    • AJ July 16, 2016 / 3:45 pm

      Ooh, a fellow jerseyiate, so what exit??? I grew up in the Newark area and remember very well those wonderful summer storms. Kinda miss them but not too much. I just love weather.com, I take their forecasts with a grain of salt – sometimes right but mostly they’re so far off it’s laughable. Right now I’m enjoying a perfect SoCal summer day: sunny with blue skies, a nice breeze and mid-70’s but forecaster says the heat is coming.

      • allein 🌼 July 16, 2016 / 3:50 pm

        lol…the closest turnpike exit is 8, but I’m still a good 15-20 minutes from there.

      • Kar July 16, 2016 / 5:25 pm

        I went to school in Newark but lived in Union county. Can’t recall which exit but I completely recall the pizza.

        Still miss it.

        • AJ July 16, 2016 / 7:08 pm

          I hear you. I was so spoiled growing up on East Coast pizza that now nothing measures up. Had the best pizza place in Scotch Plains, ever hear of a place called Alfonso’s??? Sadly, no more family back there so no trips to gorge on good pizza. I remember one time when we went back, hubby was seriously thinking of asking them to freeze us a few uncooked pies so we could take home with us and give us a pizza fix.

          • allein 🌼 July 16, 2016 / 7:18 pm

            The place in town that makes my favorite overpriced-but-totally-worth-it pizza is a family-run place that’s been around forever and only takes cash. One of the sons opened another restaurant (which takes credit cards and is slightly closer to me but that’s the only thing that’s better in my book – supposedly they use the same recipes but last time I was there the pizza was not quite the same as the original). I recently discovered that the pick-your-own farm/market in town that makes the best apple pies also sells frozen pizza from the son’s restaurant. (And given the restaurant prices, they’re actually not a bad deal.)

    • Phred's Mom July 16, 2016 / 4:18 pm

      That storm system hit us around three o’clock, heavy rain, no thunder, no hail, no wind.
      No biggie. I have given up on most of the weather sites, except for Accuweather.
      They are right more often than not. We are kinda west of Trenton, NW of Philly.
      Used to be Nawth Joisey. Looks like more rain coming any minute, very grey.

      • allein 🌼 July 16, 2016 / 4:45 pm

        I don’t think there was any hail (though I heard some noises that sounded like maybe…didn’t see any bouncing off the walkway, though). Wind was a little scary for a few minutes, there. There’s a tree right near my window. It’s raining again now.

    • allein 🌼 July 16, 2016 / 4:33 pm

      My dad says there might be another one coming…

      • allein 🌼 July 16, 2016 / 4:42 pm

        Ooh…it suddenly got dark again…

      • Laura July 17, 2016 / 2:00 am

        We have a brief storm almost every single day here. They blow up off the Gulf, pass over us, and are gone within 15-20 minutes. The other day it was a nasty enough one to cause a couple of power blinks, but usually it’s just a ton of rain in a very short time period with occasional wind.

        This is the kind of weather that used to drive our golden retriever Rusty insane with fear in New Orleans. Poor baby, I felt so bad for him! The best thing we ever did was move to Maryland, where we only had a storm a few times a year, like you guys are talking about, where storms are unusual enough to comment on. We could just give him a tranquilizer then, which we couldn’t do in New Orleans or he would have been knocked out 10 months of the year!

        The storms here actually don’t bother my head, so I suspect they don’t involve much barometric change. Whereas my head definitely prefers the steady humidity — either that or really, really dry. Go figure. I have long ago accepted that the older I get, the weirder I get.

        • allein July 17, 2016 / 8:56 am

          Only the first one had me worrying about the power, cuz of the wind. #3 never actually turned into anything. They didn’t bother my head. I hate humidity, though. I can’t work out outside in the summer.

  17. murkle46 July 16, 2016 / 4:08 pm

    • Phred's Mom July 16, 2016 / 4:20 pm

      You’re so adorable, I will mop up after you gladly, you cutie-pie, you.

    • allein 🌼 July 16, 2016 / 4:25 pm

      Awww! And you will be forgiven!

    • Murray C. July 16, 2016 / 6:04 pm

      MANY years ago, in my San Francisco days, I had a puppy who had pretty much the opposite coloring of this one except that half the face was white, half black. I was training him to go on the paper and he was a responsive and cheerful student. One day he peed right smack dab where he ought so I lavished him with praise and he wagged his tail and came over so that I could give him his well-earned treat. Puffed up with a new-found pride and sense of purpose he went right back to the paper and peed some more. Well, what could I do but praise him again, enthusiastically and with another reward. He did this, no joke, about 9 times, every time going over to the paper and squeezing yet another drop out, each time coming over to me, smiling hugely in anticipation of another treat. It was hilarious, made more so because even as a puppy he sort of half-lifted his leg. A very fond memory.

  18. Kar July 16, 2016 / 5:30 pm

    Woke up late to my cat sleeping next to me, wanting to cuddle.

    Being a vicious, mean mommy, I scooped her up under false pretenses and ran into the bathroom while the truth dawned on her.

    MORE AWFUL EARDROPS!!! I’m pretty sure that I got five out of the six drops splattered all over me during the head shakes.

    Oh well, four more days of this torture. I’m sure she’ll survive, my bathroom? Maybe not.

    • Gigi_the cat lady July 16, 2016 / 5:43 pm

      I sympathize, I’m treating one of my cat for an eye infection and the way he looks at me makes me feel like Torquemada.

      • fkaWaldenPond July 16, 2016 / 6:04 pm

        πŸ˜€ (and of course, because well, you started it…;) πŸ˜‰ ‘No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!’

        • allein 🌼 July 16, 2016 / 6:12 pm

          “You can’t Torquemada anything!”

          • Murray C. July 16, 2016 / 6:21 pm

            Migosh, I missed this one!!!πŸ˜‚

            • allein 🌼 July 16, 2016 / 6:25 pm

              I’ve never actually seen the whole movie. Might have to see if the library can help me remedy that.

          • fkaWaldenPond July 16, 2016 / 6:37 pm

            What a show! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ and thank god for Mel Brooks– there is no. way. this could be made today.

              • fkaWaldenPond July 16, 2016 / 7:07 pm

                Allein!!!!! You are my hero today! I forwarded this link to my Dad– his brother did what Mel did during the war but the Canadian version, he was a ‘Foo’ (unfortunately, one day he didn’t make it out of the tree alive.) He is also a Mel Brooks appreciator. Dear heavens, I need to be laughing my head off while being offended more often these days… Thank you again.

                • allein 🌼 July 16, 2016 / 7:12 pm


            • Phred's Mom July 16, 2016 / 9:45 pm

              Mel Brooks was anything but p.c.,
              bless his heart. You’re right, he
              couldn’t get away with “Blazing Saddles”
              these days.

          • Kar July 16, 2016 / 8:20 pm

            Is that a job for a nice Jewish boy?

            Only Mel Brooks could make a musical out of the Inquisition and then joke about dancing Hitlers only 20 years after WW II.

            Yet he’ll be remembered primarily for Spaceballs.

            • allein 🌼 July 16, 2016 / 8:21 pm

              I just quoted Spaceballs elsewhere the other day, too.

            • Murray C. July 16, 2016 / 8:40 pm

              I love “The Twelve Chairs”.

  19. fkaWaldenPond July 16, 2016 / 6:13 pm

    Hi All! Looks like severe weather in a few ‘hoods… I was up very late last night doing the pensive social media thing as a good friend and his Mom landed yesterday in Istanbul, Turkey. Yaa.
    So after Canadian Consulate deets shared etc. he is back to his usual self this am with this little gem (keep in mind, he had Visa problems getting in– and then a tense night and still doesn’t know if they can leave when are due to.):

    “Ugh no hot water in my Airbnb this morning. That is some goddamn Istanbullshit right there. Way worse than a coup.”

    “A giant heartfelt thanks to everyone for sending messages and posts to check on my Mom and I last night and today. It’s amazing to feel the love and it really shows the power that social media has to connect us across the globe. If only we could spread some of that love around and fix the many challenges in the world today including here in Istanbul, in Nice and Syria, back home in Canada and around the globe.

    Our day tour of the major sites was cancelled today as was our Whirling Dervishes show held in an old hammam bath converted into a theatre. Disappointing but glad we are safe and that the city has calmed itself. We never really felt threatened but it was stressful nonetheless as I didn’t know if we were going to have to try and flee and how we would get out. Hopefully we will have better luck tomorrow.

    Love to you all xo”


    “Annnnd another update. Things are totally back to normal and heading out to see some sights. Also some noms. Turkish Delight. No one likes this shit but bought some anyway.”

    The guy cracks me up.

    • Murray C. July 16, 2016 / 8:56 pm

      Istanbullshit is one for the books.πŸ‘

      • fkaWaldenPond July 16, 2016 / 9:32 pm

        I thought so too, Murry C. … πŸ˜€ His Mom, Rose is just as clever if not funnier than he is; so I wouldn’t be surprised if she came up with that.

    • Kar July 16, 2016 / 9:43 pm

      I would be eating my weight in donner kebobs and lamb dolmans.

  20. Phred's Mom July 17, 2016 / 12:41 pm

    Water heater is peeing on the garage floor.
    This is not cute. I may have to mop up
    after him, but I will not forgive him.
    He will be history. As will several dollars.
    So it goes.

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