Thursday, July 30, 2015


I was driving down the road the other day when I heard my phone 'ding' to let me know I had a new text. At the next stop light I checked to see who was trying to contact me.  The message turned out to be a snapshot Son Donald took of Pepper the Cat sprawled on the desk in front of the computer monitor. 

He called the photo "Distracticat".

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A "Snow Day" In July

In an effort to beat the heat and get my exercise in, this morning I rolled out of bed early to join Hubby Tony on his before-work walk. After a brisk 30 minute tour around the neighborhood we returned home, where Tony showered and left for work. I made and ate breakfast, read the newspaper, then went upstairs to take a well deserved shower.  My phone rang just as I was beginning to wash my hair. When I checked the call log, I discovered I had a missed call from Tony. I finished getting dressed and was just getting ready to return the call when I heard someone that sounded an awful lot like Tony calling out "Hello?" It was him.

He told me that when he pulled into the office parking lot he saw a large group of people milling around outside the main door.  They told him that thanks to some pretty powerful storms that rolled though the area last night the building was without electricity. It wasn't expected to come back on until late afternoon, so after waiting around for about fifteen minutes longer they got word that the office would be closed and everyone had the day off.

It felt like a snow day in the middle of the hottest part of the year.  I had a list of things I was going to do, but those plans changed so I could enjoy a little bit of Tony's freedom.  After some necessary paperwork, computer stuff, and lunch I got ready to go for the pedicure I'd been looking forward to since the weekend.  Tony decided to go with me (his first time ever).

When we walked into the nail salon there were no other customers, and they looked happy to see us.  Tony wasn't having polish put on his nails, so he watched over my shoulder while I picked my color. Even though he didn't get the colored toenails, he said he thoroughly enjoyed the foot soak in the whirlpool bath, the nail and cuticle maintenance, the foot and leg massage, and the hot towel to remove all the crud from his smoothed lower extremities.

On the way home he was already talking about the next time.

OPI Dutch Tulips "A bouquet of blooming pink-red"

Monday, July 27, 2015

Cooking In The Car

How hot is it today?  Right now the temperature is 94 degrees, but when you factor in the humidity the heat index says it feels like 112 degrees.  That's pretty miserable.

Before I left to go to the gym I cut up some fresh, perfectly-white mushrooms to eat after I got done. I left the bag in the closed up car while I was taking a class. When I came out, my mushrooms were halfway to cooked!

As I was eating them I kept thinking they'd taste really good with a nice juicy steak. Probably a good thing I didn't have that hunk of beef, though.  I don't think it would have done as well in the hot car as the mushrooms.

Five years ago today: Age Has Its Privileges

Saturday, July 25, 2015

And Off Goes The Polish!

Tonight I noticed the polish on my toes was looking chipped and needed to be replaced.  I decided that tomorrow I'd treat myself to a mid-summer pedicure at a nail salon, but having the salon remove the old polish is pricy, so I decided to take it off myself.  However, when I pulled out the bottle of nail polish remover it was almost empty.  There was just enough to saturate a couple of cotton balls, which only removed some of the polish.  Most of it remained. What to do?

All of a sudden I had a revelation. One of the main ingredients in the nail polish remover is acetone. I had some acetone paint remover left over from a long-ago decorating project in the basement.  I wondered if it would work on my nails?

I pulled the gallon-sized container down from its spot on a shelf and blew off a couple of cobwebs.  Because of the strong smell of the industrial strength paint remover I decided to do the job outside on the back patio.  I poured a small amount into the cap, then dipped a cotton ball in and touched it to my toenail.  The polish melted away immediately!  It only took two minutes to complete the entire job. I came in with natural-colored nails, which I washed well with soapy water to remove any remaining chemical.

I can't wait to pick out a new 'piggy' color at the salon tomorrow.

Five years ago today: Garden Update

Friday, July 24, 2015

Friday Dance Party

This morning I took a trip back in time via the radio. When I heard the first familiar strains of "The Hustle" I was ready to dance!

In case you don't remember the song or the line dance that accompanied it, here's a video showing you how it's done.

Five years ago today: Decking The Halls

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

It's Always Good To Take A Chance

This afternoon after I completed my work for the day I stopped at a large international food market to buy a couple of things. After I got the items on my list (produce and dry garbanzo beans for me, sesame oil, fish sauce, and curry paste for Son Donald) I wandered up and down the aisles looking at all the exotic items. In the Greek aisle I saw this:

Even without reading the label I could figure out it was probably a candy bar. It only cost 60 cents, so I threw it into my bag. What's the worst that could happen?

 As it turns out there was no worst, and I thoroughly enjoyed my treat. The bar consisted of thin crispy wafers nestled in between layers of chocolate, the whole thing covered with more chocolate. When I got home I looked closely at the label (which was hard to read, because it had very tiny printing) and found the address for the Ion company website, where I learned that my ChocoFreta bar is one of the most popular confections in Greece. 

I can certainly understand why.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Tonight after dinner I cut the grass. At 81 degrees, the temperature was pretty nice for mid-July, but when I was finished I was still covered in sweat.  I came inside, turned up the ceiling fan in the family room as high as it would go, and sprawled on the floor underneath it until the sweat stopped. That's the point where I usually go upstairs and take a shower. Tonight, though, I thought it would be nice to treat myself to a soak in the bathtub.

It had been so long since I'd used the tub that I had to dust it out first. After it was clean I started running the water, then opened up the drawer where I keep my stash of bath products to see what I wanted to use. I chose a lavender-scented bath oil and poured a cupful into the water, where it soon sent up a heavenly smell. While the bath was filling I lit the set of candles I keep on a tray next to the tub.  When everything was ready I settled into the water and sank my shoulders underneath. Eventually I sat up enough to hold the book I'd brought with me. Time passed while I enjoyed the sounds of nature outside.

Eventually the water got too chilly for my tastes and it was time to get out. After I toweled myself dry I went to put my clothes on and discovered that my body felt unacceptably greasy.  Either my bath oil was past its prime or the summer humidity in the air was interacting with the oil on my skin. I ended up jumping in the shower, where I washed off most of the oil.

Five years ago today: Tea Time

Sunday, July 19, 2015

We All Scream For Ice Cream!

Thanks to Hubby Tony, I knew that July was National Ice Cream Month.  We observed it over the Fourth of July weekend by treating ourselves to premium scoops at a nearby parlor. However, the third Sunday of the month, which is National Ice Cream Day, almost passed me by until I saw this on Facebook this morning:

Boynton on Facebook

It was a busy day and there wasn't time to stop by a real ice cream shop. However, there's a Sonic just a half mile from my house, where I went tonight to get a waffle cone sundae that turned out to be a great way to celebrate:

Five years ago today: The Value Of A Teacher

Friday, July 17, 2015

Happy Halfy

The other day I received an email from a company withing me a 'halfy birthday'. Although the actual day was on July 12th (five days ago) I won't complain. The email contained a coupon for $10, which I plan on using next time I go to the mall.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Exercise Times Two

The gym I go to has two group exercise classes each morning-one in the 9:00 hour and one in the 10:00 hour.  I have a meeting I attend every Friday, but on the other days if I don't have any work scheduled or errands to run I go to one of the classes.

On Thursday, the early class is called Muscle Works (which uses hand weights and bands to work all of the major muscle groups of the body). The second class is Zumba (a fitness program inspired by Latin dance).  Because the doctor told me I need to work on building my bones I always choose the first one.  However, Zumba is taught by a woman I know from my previous gym. I've told her quite a few times as I'm leaving and she's coming in I'll stay for her class someday, but not today. (One class is more than enough for me, but there's quite a few people who do both.).  She just smiles.

Today I had a work assignment right down the road from the gym that could be done any time after 11:00.   If I stuck to my normal Thursday schedule I'd be done at the gym with too much time to spare, and it wasn't worth spending the time and gas driving home and coming back to the same area.  I decided today would be the day I'd stay for my acquaintance's Zumba class.

Before I left the house I made myself a snack to eat in the car after I'd done two hours worth of exercise and made sure my water bottle was filled up.  When I got to the gym, though, I found out my acquaintance wasn't going to be there.  The first instructor was subbing, teaching something she called Cardio Dance. I ended up staying, but now I still have to fulfill my 'Zumba' requirement.

Five years ago today: Fast Cars and Facial Hair

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Need A Cloth?

I use a lot of washcloths in the kitchen.   They do duty as dishcloths, counter cleaners, and general mess wipe-ups.   When they get dirty I just toss them in the laundry. 

My supply was getting low, and it was time for me to stock up again.  Last week when I was at a charity garage sale I spied a large stack of washcloths for only $1.25. I snapped them up.  Now I have enough to last me for a while (as long as I'm OK with shades of pink).

Five years ago today: Fueled By Caffeine

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Bicycling And Bygone Times

Yesterday morning right after breakfast Hubby Tony loaded our bikes in the car and we headed out for a morning of adventure. We had signed up for an educational bicycle ride called "Jazz History Bicycle Tour, which was co-sponsored by the local chapter of AARP and Trailnet (an advocacy group for biking, walking, and public transit) .

When we arrived at the starting point in Grand Center there were only a handful of people.  However, by the time the ride left there was probably close to 100.  There were a wide variety of bikers, from serious riders in form-fitting shorts, jerseys, and cycling shoes to children riding in a carrier behind a bike. I'm strictly a recreational rider, but I felt like I fit in.  Everyone on the tour was very friendly.  Tony and I tried to stay together as we rode down the city streets, but when we got separated I could always strike up a conversation with the person riding next to me.   

The President of Jazz St. Louis led the tour. We rode for about two hours (and a distance of between six and seven miles) stopping at several points so he could tell us facts about the area.  I saw parts of the city I'd never seen before.  Halfway through the tour the sun came out in full force, and the humidity kicked in.  As much fun as I was having, I was glad when we got back to the starting point.

Five years ago today: I've Got A Map, And I'm Not Afraid To Use It

Saturday, July 11, 2015

It’s About Watching Cat Videos Together

Last night Hubby Tony and I went to the St. Louis version of The Internet Cat Video Festival.

Never been to a Cat Video Festival? We hadn't either. However, you know all those cute cat videos you watch when you're surfing the Web? The Festival compiled an evening's worth of them and showed them to a roomful of people. It was a lot of fun.

The show started at 7:30, but the doors opened for activities at 6:00. Several animal rescue organizations had booths (including one that brought cats and kittens that could be adopted).  There was a long line for the face painters so I passed on that, but Tony and I had a photo taken at the cat-themed photo booth, and I made a set of cat ears at the craft table.

When it was almost show time we found seats and watched the feline-themed music videos playing on the screen.  Several minutes past the posted starting time the lights dimmed and the festival started.  The videos were grouped by themes--there were dramas, comedies, musicals, animated, and miscellaneous categories.  I  can't remember the last time I laughed so hard, and judging by the people sitting around me I wasn't the only one.

Five years ago today: Walk And Eat, Eat And Walk

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Can I Get In, Please?

Back in the beginning of 2014 I joined my church's Welcoming Committee and took charge of designing slides to advertise for parish events. Originally the slide shows ran on a TV placed in the church vestibule. Last September they installed two additional monitors in the Parish Center and asked me if I could start putting slides there, too. 

Each Saturday afternoon I'd go and swap out the previous week's flash drives for new versions. It didn't take me long to figure out when the buildings would be open and I timed my visit accordingly. There was always something going on in the Parish Center--volleyball games in the fall, then basketball season kicked in after the holidays. However, one Saturday in late April when I arrived the Parish Center was locked up. The sports activity had switched to the baseball fields.

I adapted, and moved my task to Fridays during the school day. That worked, but I knew that when school was out for the summer the problem would return. One day I ran into the Director of Administration and asked him what I should do. He said I'd be able to get keys to both buildings so I could do the job at my convenience. I was surprised and honored that they'd trust me that much.  Later that week I stopped by the office and signed for keys that would get me into both buildings.

I was looking forward to seeing how well the keys worked, but the first week the janitors were working in the buildings and had them open. The next week, though, I was able to let myself into the locked doors, which made me feel very important.

Five years ago today:  How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


We're having another bout of rainy weather, although today's precipitation has been more of a fine mist.  When I went to throw some things in the compost pile after dinner I was amazed to see The light moisture really highlighted a couple dozen funnel spider webs I didn't even know were there.

The spiders aren't dangerous (except to other bugs), and I think the webs look kind of cool so I'll leave them undisturbed.  Live and let live.

Webs circled for your convenience

Sunday, July 5, 2015

(Kind Of A) Pain In The Butt

Can you see the spot?
Yesterday morning when I woke up I had a red raised welt on the palm of my left hand that wasn't there when I went to bed.  It itched a little bit, and burned a little bit, but mostly it was just annoying.  After I got out of the shower I realized I also had similar welts on both of my gluteal folds.  Oy!

I wondered what I had done to cause the problem.  Friday had been an active outdoor day. Hubby Tony and I had visited a museum, spent time at a festival, and did a lot of walking.  During the course of the day I remember sitting on the grass a couple of times and leaning up against several trees.  That night we took in a fireworks display, where I sat on a sidewalk curb.  Each time I sat down (or leaned) I suspect I would have rested my hands on the ground (or tree), so I could understand the hand welt, but the other affected body parts would have been covered by my shorts and wouldn't have come into contact with anything.

I kept the areas covered with hydrocortisone cream and took antihistimine allergy pills on a regular basis.  My hand didn't cause me any problems, but all day long it was annoying to sit down.  When I did I tried to slouch, which kept pressure off the affected areas.  I'm sure my poor posture looked lovely at the restaurant where we ate dinner, but I didn't particularly care.

This morning the areas still looked red, but the itching and burning were gone. By dinner time the problem had resolved itself.  Hopefully never to return.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Bee Afraid?

This evening after dinner Hubby Tony cut the grass, and I did the trimming around the edges. As usual, I was using a pair of hand grass clippers, which I much prefer to noisy weed eaters.

When I got to the perennial bed that runs down one side of the back yard, I wasn't paying attention as I squatted down to clip the patch of tall grass next to the coneflowers.  All of a sudden a large bumblebee buzzed past just inches from my face.  He didn't seem angry, just annoyed I'd disturbed his meal.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


Have you seen this email with the subject line "Reminder : Some of your informations must be updated!" yet?

When it first showed up yesterday I was very concerned.  However, after I read the email carefully I noticed there were several grammar issues.  The link led to a website that looked officially like Apple's.  This was easily one of the best phishing schemes I've seen.

After I reported the email to my provider and the Apple legal team I went to the official Apple website and checked my account. Would it surprise you it didn't need any updates?