Wednesday, July 17, 2019

World Emoji Day

According to my sources, today is World Emoji Day. The designation was made because the first calendar emoji (an Apple version) showcases the date. You'll also find the date on the Google Calendar emoji.

The website offered suggested ways to celebrate the day, but the one I liked the best was to describe your day using emojis. I found a website called emoji-translate that converted text and started typing:
This morning after breakfast I cleaned the kitchen, then gathered my things for the day and headed to the gym. After the gym I went to the bank to get some information about opening a new account, then headed to a restaurant where I bought myself lunch. On the way home from the restaurant I made two stops, which finished my list of errands.
Once at home I showered, then did some job paperwork, drank a cup of coffee, fed the cats, and cleaned their litter box. Dinner was leftovers from last night, so when Hubby Tony texted to tell me he was on his way home after work all I had to do was heat up the container of soup.
While we were eating the sky grew dark. I checked the weather app on my phone and discovered a large storm was moving into the area. Soon we had to turn on lights, even though it was only 6 PM. Once it started, it took about 45 minutes for the torrential rain to stop. News sources said there were thousands of people without power in the area, and I was thankful everything was fine at our house.
 Here's the translation:

Five years ago today: Blond MEN Jokes

Monday, July 15, 2019

How Are Your Money Smarts?

Every three years since 2009 the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation commissions a study to find out how knowledgeable American adults are about financial issues. The 2018 study revealed that only 34 percent could answer at least four out of five financial-literacy questions. (The percentage has gone down each time. In 2009 it was 42 percent.)

I was curious about how I would do, so I took the five-question (which also included one bonus question) Financial Literacy Quiz test on the FINRA website. The questions were about inflation, risk, mortgages, bond prices and interest rates. I guess I'm relatively knowledgeable, because I got all of them right. The national average was three, and my state was incrementally less than that.

How do you think you would do?

Five years ago today: Working From (Someone Else's) Home

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Reserve The Rind

The project started, as so many do, as a solution to a problem. A watermelon from my local Aldi had a very thick white rind. Rather than lose all that rind to the compost pile I decided to see if I could cook with it.

Lots of waste here!

It's not the first time I've dabbled with using the rind of watermelons. Ten years ago I used it to make sweet watermelon pickles, but I wasn't in the mood for sweet pickles. The Internet was full of recipes for pickles (both savory and sweet) and distant fermented cousins like kimchi. I found directions for candies, preserves, chutney, stir fries, and curries. There were many unique recipe at  SO many choices!

No matter which direction my preparation took me, the first step was to cut green peel from the rind. When I was done there was almost two and a half pounds of rind. I put it into the refrigerator while I figured out what to do with it.

In the end I turned the rind into a simple side dish, marinating it in a brine made with white vinegar, water, salt, sugar, pressed garlic, and some mustard seeds. To hurry the process along I brought the brine to a boil, then poured it over the chunked watermelon rind, half of a large red onion chopped into small pieces, and a handful of chopped cilantro. It marinated for a couple of hours before I served it with enchiladas.

Yummy!Tony re
Hubby Tony and I had large servings of the marinated rind, which reminded me somewhat of the sweet and sour cucumbers his mom used to make. When Son Donald stopped by to pick up some papers I sent some home with him. The next day I chopped some up and included it in a cold salad of black beans and cabbage (lightly blanched in the brine).

There was less flesh on the inspiration watermelon, and I froze much of it, so last night when we were at a farmer's market shop Tony requested I buy some more for him to eat fresh. After dinner tonight he cut it up for himself and asked if I wanted to keep the rind. My answer was 'yes'. There's still a lot of good-sounding recipes to try.

Five years ago today: Stop The Itching?

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Bearable Bedding

The last time I purchased new bedding for Son Donald's bed he was still living at home. The set of polyester/cotton sheets had thick vertical bright royal blue, sky blue, lime green, mustard yellow, and white stripes. They served him well, but the last time he cat sat and his bedding went through the laundry I noticed the fitted sheet was getting thin in the middle.

While Hubby Tony and I were in California Donald stayed at our house again to watch the cats. One of the last things he did before he left to go back home was to bring down his sheets to be washed. This time the thin spot turned into a full-blown hole. Time for new bedding!

Since the bed is seldom used anymore I didn't want to spend a lot of money on replacement sheets. I carried the pillowcase around with me for several days as a reminder to pop into the local thrift stores to see if I could buy a plain fitted sheet. I didn't have any luck, but yesterday I ran into a partial set (with sheets but not a pillowcase) that had all of the original colors except yellow. The green is closer to avocado than lime, but from a distance it isn't too noticeable.

And now there's also the option of two different top sheets.
Good enough match, don't you think?
Five years ago today: A Plethora of Pockets Is A Problem

Monday, July 8, 2019

Sleepytime Breathing

The past few nights I've had a horrible time getting to sleep. At first I thought it was because I was adjusting back to Central time after being on California time for several weeks, but the problem has drug on and on. It's so bad that I'm walking around huge dark circles under my eyes, which remind me of the problem every time I looking into the mirror.

Where do people go to find out solutions to problems nowadays? The Internet, of course! That's how I ended up on the website of Dr. Andrew Weil, where I learned about his Relaxing Breath (4-7-8) Exercise, which he says is "a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system."

You start by resting the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth right behind your front teeth, and leave it there the entire time. The first step is to exhale completely through the mouth, then close your mouth and inhale through your nose to a count of four. You hold your breath and count to seven, then exhale through your mouth around your tongue (making a 'whoosh' sound) for a count of eight. If it seems awkward, you can try pursing your lips slightly. Repeat the entire cycle three more times.

I tried the technique last night. I was so busy focusing on my breath and counting that my mind couldn't wander. After the first two breaths I had to stop and yawn, and by the time I was finished my body was nicely relaxed. I'd like to say sleep came immediately, but that would be a lie. However, it DID take me much less time to doze off.

Five years ago today: Yellow Cuties

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Three Weeks In Grandma Heaven

Do you remember back in March when I told you that our family was going to grow by two this summer, and Hubby Tony and I got to be a part of it? Well, everything happened according to plan. Yesterday I returned home from the best-ever trip to California. My visit was divided into three distinct sections:

The first week I was there by myself. DIL Nicole had a planned delivery date, but everyone knows that babies are unpredictable. I was available just in case she went into labor early.  I helped take care of big brother-to-be Jay, spent a lot of time reading, tooled around the area on my own, and had time to buy cute things like this:

The next weekend Hubby Tony flew in. Together, we hung out with the family and were able to fit in a few adventures by ourselves before Nicole and Son Brian left for the hospital mid-week. While they were gone Tony and I made sure that Jay's schedule remained as normal as possible, including getting him to day care. The delivery went smoothly, and a little over twelve hours after Nicole entered the hospital these cuties came into the world:

After the babies came home Tony and I helped out wherever we could. That included straightening the house, running errands, some baby cuddling, and more toddler time. On July 4th we knew Jay's day care would be closed. The day before we made a trip to a dollar store to buy a day's worth of craft and activity supplies. 

Painting the wall with water
All good things must come to an end, and yesterday morning Brian and Jay took us to the airport and said goodbye. It was great to sleep in my own bed last night, but I'm already thinking about my next visit.

Five years ago today: Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Sunday, June 30, 2019


Yesterday Hubby Tony and I took a picnic lunch to the park. We chose a table overlooking a nice lake and got out the food. Halfway through our meal Tony commented on the squirrel under the table. I looked down and there was indeed a squirrel....approximately 18 inches from my feet and headed my way. Yikes!

It's scurrying freaked me out, so I pulled my legs up so my feet were on the table bench and continued to watch what the little rodent was doing. It ran towards the lake, then decided to double back my way. When it came within a foot of me it stood up on its haunches and looked directly into my eyes.

The critter looked really well fed, and I'm guessing it was so used to getting food scraps from people it no longer had any fear of humans. However, when it didn't get any scraps from our table it scampered away and disappeared over the fence that led down to the lake, never to be seen again.

Thank goodness.
Yes, it was really as close as it looks

Five years ago today: Sneaky, Sneaky, Sneaky!

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Almost Healthy

The last time Hubby Tony had the guys over for poker he served chicken skewers, crusty bread, and cole slaw for dinner. Dessert was a decadent chocolate cake topped with scoops of vanilla frozen yogurt.

The leftover yogurt lived in the freezer for a couple of weeks. One night I decided to finish it off and free up some space. As I took the lid off I took a good look at the front. A seal on the right side of the label said it contains live and active cultures. I was skeptical of the claim. How could a culture live in freezing temperatures?

Turns out my skepticism was misplaced. According to the National Yogurt Association, that seal meant that my frozen yogurt had a minimum of 10 million cultures per gram when it was manufactured. I also learned from the Yogurt Association website that when yogurt is frozen
"The cultures go into a dormant state, but when eaten and returned to a warm temperature within the body, they again become active and are capable of providing all the benefits of cultures in a refrigerated yogurt product."
So since the yogurt helped improve my gut microbiome I didn't have to feel quite so guilty about all of the extra calories I ate.

Five years ago today: When Grandma Goes To Court

Monday, June 24, 2019

Puzzling Non-Parity

Today Hubby Tony and I were watching the USA/Spain FIFA Women's World Cup game. (Which the United States ended up winning 2-1).

The play by play announcing team did a good job, but I noticed that it was composed of one man and one woman. During halftime the studio commentator team had more females than males, but after the second half stated and they switched back to live action I began to ponder why the on-air team for a major woman's sports event couldn't be completely female.

The tournament has been held every four years since 1991. In more than two decades you'd think  there would have been one or two professional woman soccer players who were interested in performing at a professional level behind the microphone, too.

Five years ago today: Rain On Me