Saturday, October 21, 2017

A New Book's In The Future!

Just got the news -- this winter, I'll be working on a book for Arcadia Press! 

It comes out in Fall 2018.

It's a great opportunity, full of history, with lots of good stories. And I LOVE a good story.

You will, too. 

More on the October Frugal Hits & Misses report, out next week. Whoo hoo!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Things I STILL Don't Understand

    There are plenty of weird, sometimes frightening, sometimes silly things out there in the world that I just don't understand. Here's the first batch -- but they were still clogging up the pipeline, so I added a second batch.
     Regarding Batch #2: I particularly don't understand Kathy Griffin's 'I'm taking my apology back' stance. Although I note that most people didn't give her the "attagirls" or publicity she no doubt craved, for holding up Trump's severed head. So when she retracted her groveling apology -- and pictures surfaced of 'Ol Kath happily sucking up to the President -- they just thought she was vindictive and foolish.
     Which she was.

Here are more things for you and me to puzzle about. 

I don't want to know.

Why does Charley the dog dislike doves so much? Birds in general? He will happily spend hours barking threats at them. (Chesapeake Bay retrievers are supposed to be bird dogs, by the way. Which Charley is, if you count hating them.) 

Quit talking smack about me, Mommmm!

Why will Abby the dog go retrieve the paper...but Charley, the true retriever, refuses to? (He will cheerfully steal it from her, however.) Speaking of:

Miss Abs, in motion. (She's a Golden Lab, btw. So is Charley - partly.)

Abby does this all the time. Sir Charles -- nope.

Why do dogs go and pee over spots other dogs saluted? Don't they know that yet another dog will be by soon to erase their contribution?  How come cats don't make as big a deal of this? And what's the fuss about dogs and fire hydrants? They'll pee on anything.

The sad part about this lovely film -- the dog died not long after it was made. Chaplin had gone back home; it was said she died of a broken heart after he left her. She is a darling -- reminds me of Abby. (Who is lying on my foot while I'm typing this.)

Why is it, when one of your favorite football teams loses -- the others often do, as well? This pondering comes after a week when the Broncos lost, Michigan got creamed by Penn State...and now we're watching the University of Colorado get flattened by Washington State. Sigh...

German chocolate cake doesn't require German chocolate. Why not?
     Update: A Gentle Reader informs me that it's made with German's chocolate; i.e., a brand name. I always wondered. Thanks, Judy!

You know those tasty silver balls used to decorate cakes and cookies, especially at Christmas? They're called silver dragees. What the heck are 'dragees'...and why are they usually only silver? (I know they come in other colors -- but you hardly ever see them.)

Potato chips aren't chips -- they're slices. The British version, 'crisps,' aren't chips, either. Most of the time, British 'fish and chips' is really french fries. (I have seen occasionally some we would probably call 'homefries.') Speaking of Brits:

Oxford lunch isn't -- it's really a kind of fruitcake.  Some call it Dundee cake, as well. Which makes more sense...I guess.

Having 'enjoyed' my share of screaming babies on planes, I wish someone would do this for me...

What's with the writing on this car, seen while at the library? (It wasn't election time, by the way. Andy probably wasn't running for anything. From -- that's a different story.)

Why, when you're best-dressed and trying to impress, that's when you usually trip and fall? (President Jerry Ford knew this the hard way, poor guy.).
     Or spill coffee in your lap, on the way to the meeting? Dribble something down your silk shirt? Find spinach in your teeth afterwards?  I once was interviewed for a tv documentary, only to find, when it was finished, that my shirt was unbuttoned, aptly enough, right over the bellybutton. Who knows what the camera picked up. Speaking of:


Why do I suddenly 'lose' names, places and dates during conversation...then they suddenly come back hours -- or even days -- later? (Names, especially. Arrggh.)

Must we have to continue to put up with insults and innuendo about both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump?  Hasn't enough been said already? Surely I can't be the only one who's tired of this. 

I'm getting sick and tired of gratuitous headlines about Harvey Weinstein, too. The man's (allegedly) a pig. Leave it at that.

And finally...

Why do silly things like this drive me totally nuts?!?

     Who knows...

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Another New Color of the Year for 2018

Benjamin Moore's at it again -- telling us what the trendy colors are, and how we should all be using them. Big-time.

Their choice for the Color of 2018:

Caliente, #AF 290.

(You knew that meant 'hot' or 'spicy' in Spanish, didn't you? I figured so. 'Lipstick red,' I'd call it.)

Go here for more.   Here's Architectural Digest's take on it: "stop you in your tracks." (In a good way, they're saying.) I dunno -- it seems like another Aunt Corrinn shade to me. 

If you were wondering whether we're moving away from the muted grays, mints and limes of the Fifties, past the avocado greens and harvest golds of the Sixties, and heading at lightspeed into the flashy brights of the Seventies...

Yes. Yes, we are.

Compare that with the saturated tones of last year's choice, Shadow, and you'll definitely see what I mean.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Another Take On the Subject

Shades of what I was discussing yesterday...

The Brick came home early from hunting. (Yay!) He didn't bag an elk, but I'm so glad to have him back. It was too quiet around here.

When we were talking about the Weinstein Affair, he laughed and mentioned this scene from Casablanca:

He's right!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Life As Usual... Sooner or Later

More cheering reflections from the messy world of Harvey Weinstein:

    He says he's confident the Pantheon of Stars will eventually forgive him -- and he'll be back to making movies again, sooner or later.

Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised.

He'll disappear for a while... and the accusing crowd yelling in his direction will be very pleased with themselves. The lawsuits will begin. (Actually, they already have. No doubt there are actresses kicking themselves for not having been propositioned by him -- they're losing out on publicity and easy pickins.' )
     He'll lose face -- temporarily, at least -- and a bunch of money. But then it won't be long before he reemerges, and declares he's rehabilitated. He has seen the Error of His Ways. All's well - now back to work.

But will it really change anything? 

I was pondering this while rereading Edgar Johnson's Tragedy and Triumph, a biography of my mentor, Charles Dickens.  

      (Mr. Dickens and I are old friends. My Master's paper at the University of Michigan was on his satiric Hard Times, and every book I write has a secret reference to him in its pages. Now you know who our feisty dog Charley is named for.)

When he began his career, Dickens was one of London's many journalists. A master of shorthand, he took down speeches as they were made, then transcribed them for his newspaper, writing in a notebook perched on his knee in a fast-running, jolting carriage. He was said to be the quickest and most accurate of all the Fleet Street reporters.

No wonder he looks exhausted...

    Although Dickens had not yet published Sketches by Boz, or written Pickwick Papers, this 1834 account of a special banquet to honor Earl Grey (the lord, not the tea) is pure genius:

     'The guest of honor and the principal visitors, as usual, were late, and one gentleman, the account says, overcome by the "cold fowls, roast beef, lobster, and other tempting delicacies...appeared to think that the best thing he could possibly do, would be to eat his dinner, while there was anything to eat. He accordingly laid about him with right good-will, the example was contagious, and the clatter of knives and forks became general. Hereupon, several gentlemen, who were not hungry, cried out, 'Shame!' and looked very indignant; and several gentlemen who were hungry cried 'Shame!' too, eating, nevertheless, all the while, as fast as they possibly could.
     " In this dilemma, one of the stewards mounted a bench and feelingly represented to the delinquents the enormity of their conduct, imploring them for decency's sake, to defer the process of mastication until the arrival of Earl Grey. This address was loudly cheered, but totally unheeded; and this is, perhaps, one of the few instances on record of a dinner having been virtually concluded before it began."
                                                          -- Morning Chronicle article, 9/18/34 (Johnson, pg. 96)

It happened back then; it happens today. Give it time, and we'll return to Life As Usual.

Unless some institutions are willing to acknowledge the injustices here...and make permanent changes. 

photo from Wikipedia

Monday, October 16, 2017

Open the Door to Autumn

A nice way to decorate a door for autumn...with inexpensive merchandise. All you need are sticks, two-sided tape and a package of artificial leaves.

Thanks, Dollar Store Style via Hometalk, for this simple, brilliant look. She uses this method for an interior door, but it could work for a protected exterior door, too.

Go here for specifics and step-by-step photos.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Weinstein and Other (Alleged) Animals

    I am amazed at the trouble Harvey Weinstein finds himself in nowadays. Not only has he been fired from his company and expelled from the National Academy of Arts & Sciences -- it looks like he'll be losing his Legion of Honor medal from France. 
    All because many women (past the dozens, headed toward the hundreds) are accusing him of sexual harassment over several decades. Big-time. 
     There's little doubt in my mind that he's probably guilty of the accusations. What bothers me most, though, is how long he's gotten away with it -- and how many entertainment icons and political figures (particularly those who have benefitted from his patronage and donations over the years) are suddenly very quiet about it all.

      *Why are the accusers (with only a few exceptions) suddenly speaking up about this? Am I supposed to commend them for their 'honesty'...when they should have said something long ago? 
      *Is it because they were scared -- of what he could do to them, or their careers? Obviously. (I have spoken up about inequities several times in my own career -- and been punished for it, too.)
      *Why are some of those same women jumping all over others, on the grounds that they should have said something, instead? 
      *Why has his wife chosen now to start divorce proceedings? (She must have guessed something long before this.) Was she enjoying the money and the status enough to put up with it?

      One of the few heroes in this sordid affair is, of all people, Brad Pitt. His girlfriend at the time, Gwyneth Paltrow, claims she was propositioned by Weinstein, and told Pitt about it. In spite of his youth -- and the fact that Weinstein could have easily destroyed him in Hollywood -- Paltrow says that Pitt had a showdown with Weinstein, threatening him with a 'Missouri whuppin' if he didn't leave her alone. ['Whuppin,' Gwyneth - not 'whooping!']
     Now that's courage.

     The clock is ticking for Mr. Weinstein. Hopefully he can unload his houses (and hide the money somewhere quick) before the lawsuits begin. The party's definitely over.

A dozen freaky dog costumes. Don't get any ideas for our granddog Karma, Daughter #2 and Son #1! (From Cracked) Not to mention:

Don't let them do it, Grandma!

Six conspiracy theorists who got nowhere.  Like David Irving, Holocaust denier, who sued in court...and lost.  (From Cracked) Also:

Six iconic costumes that made their wearers' lives a living misery. Hey, at least they became famous for it, right?

New admissions from Kobe Steel. They were falsifying tests that said the steel was okay -- it wasn't. Then selling it for use in various transportation systems, including railroads. Hopefully this doesn't have real-life implications...because it probably does.

An amazing look at dealing with defeat -- and trusting God, no matter what.  (From Short Little Rebel)

A 300-year-old math puzzle -- solved.

A 1 1/2-inch crucifix may change the 'real' date Christianity made headway into the Viking world.

Pumpkin seed brittle. Oh my!  (From A Hundred Dollars A Month)

Old-time home remedies that STILL work.  (From Reader's Digest)

Seven ways to use curtain hardware at home.  (From Apartment Therapy)

Eggroll noodle bowl -- fast, easy, low-calorie. If you enjoy Oriental foods, this is for you. (From Taste of Home)

Dolls (and dollhouse rooms) that help solve crimes, thanks to a tractor heiress.

Skillet spaghetti -- one pan, less than 30 min...supper's done!  (From Living in Rural Iowa)

"Here's what I learned from working for millionaires."  (From Making Sense of Cents)

Ten historical rarities that should have produced big bucks at auctions -- but didn't.  (From Listverse)

"I regret where I bought my house."  Location, location, location.  (From Trulia)

Holding to a $40/week food budget. With ideas for a $30 budget, as well. (From Moneysaving Mom) Also:

Transfer $25 to Amazon...and get a $5 bonus. 

Lessons learned from interviewing nineteen millionaires.  (From Budgets Are Sexy)

Have a great week.

A New Book's In The Future!

Just got the news -- this winter, I'll be working on a book for Arcadia Press!  It comes out in Fall 2018. It's a great opportun...