Monthly Archives: June 2019

Lost and Found

I’ve always had a terrible habit of hiding things in “safe” places, only to forget where I’ve put them. Keys wind up on a hook under a hat, jewelry can turn up in coat pockets, a dressy wallet might be in a bag I’ve stopped carrying. I had a near-panic attack when I first got engaged to DH and couldn’t find my engagement ring… forgetting that I’d taken it off to put in my purse because we hadn’t gone public yet.

This sort of thing happens especially when guests are expected, and I’m straightening up in a rush. On days like these, every drawer in my desk becomes a “junk drawer” and stray shoes live under the bed until I have time to put them back where they belong.

For months, I’ve been baffled by the location of some books I bought last year in anticipation of our month- long journey to the UK. I’m a huge fan of Alexander McCall Smith‘s writing, and have been slowly working my way through his delightful 44 Scotland Street series, savoring each one.

I’d read the first four novels and purchased the rest, planning to read the next three on the trip.  But in the chaos of moving house last year (which necessitated having to pack four months in advance) the books never made it into my suitcase.  I assumed I’d left them in storage. After we returned from the UK, moved to the new house and unpacked all our boxes, books #8-onward turned up, but #s 5, 6 and 7 were still MIA. I concluded that I’d left them at our summer house but when I looked for them last month I couldn’t find them here either.

Giving up, I recently ordered book #5 (which I’m currently reading) and figured I’d just have to buy the others.

Today, I moved a file box that was sitting on top of another box in my little home office area and — surprise — books 5, 6 and 7 were grinning up at me! I have no idea why I put them there instead of in the bookcase. Overall, this is a good thing, except that it costs nearly as much to return my duplicate Amazon purchase, so I guess I’m stuck with two copies.

Random question: Why do we say we “lose” our tempers? Isn’t our bad temper kept nicely under wraps most of the time until we get angry and it comes out; i.e. we find— and unleash — it? Maybe the origin of the phrase was to “let loose” our temper? Or if not, it should be.

question-mark-3255136_640

Good News Monday: There’s (A Bit) Less Secondhand Smoke In The Air

Belated good news, released late last fall: fewer Americans are lighting up these days. According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control, cigarette smoking was down to 14%, versus more than 40% back in the mid-60’s.

Even the French have cut back.  2017 saw a drop of one million smokers, and there’s been a decline among teenage smokers as well.

I’m breathing easier just knowing this. Still, it’s hard to imagine that anyone still smokes these days, given the well-documented health risks. What’s happening in your country?

multicolored smoke

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

The Longest Day

Happy Summer Solstice — the longest day of the year for those of us in the northern hemisphere.  What will you do with those extra moments of sunlight?

In case you’re curious, here’s an in-depth explanation of this annual event. But, really, the “longest day” is often in the mind of the beholder, depending on circumstances. These events should also qualify:

  • April 14, if you file your own taxes
  • When your flight is delayed, then switched to a new aircraft, and you find yourself sandwiched between two people who are a) portly, b) eating something smelly, or c) both
  • Waiting for the results of a medical test
  • Waiting on line anywhere — grocery store, drugstore drive-through, bank
  • Finals
  • Meeting your future in-laws for the first time
  • Interview Day
  • Giving a big presentation to new clients
  • Waiting (and waiting) for a service call: cable, appliance installation, telephone
  • Childbirth

Fortunately, these are offset by the wonderful long days you hold in your memory: that July afternoon when you were a kid and stayed all day at the beach; the day you got engaged, the morning after you got a decent night’s sleep after your baby finally slept through the night, etc.

Happy Summer!

sunglasses sunset summer sand

Photo by Nitin Dhumal on Pexels.com

 

 

 

 

Kitchen Confessions

Live long enough, cook long enough, and you’re bound to make a few mistakes along the way.  Last week I may have surpassed myself.

Lately, I’ve been baking bread using a perforated double loaf pan.  They can be hard to clean, so instead of putting the dough directly on the pan I first place a sheet of parchment paper on top.  The paper tends to slide around, so I weigh each side down with something to keep it in place until the dough goes on it.

IMG-1274 (1).JPG

For last week’s French bread, I weight one side with an apple and the other side with a paring knife until I’m ready to put my dough down on the paper-covered pan. I let them rise and bake as usual.

Both loaves of bread look good, although I do notice a groove on the bottom of one loaf when I take them off the paper to cool.

Cue the music: “Dumb, da dumb dumb”….

I remove the paper and discover my paring knife… not in the bread, but under the paper, melted directly onto the loaf pan where it is stuck for all eternity! Of course, my loaf pan/knife combo has to be thrown away and both items replaced ASAP.

I still can’t figure out how this happened.

oops-1444975_640.jpg

 

Good News Monday: Music Helps Preemies Build Better Brains

Scientists have learned what India’s snake charmers have known for years: flute music has calming properties. But it’s not just about stress relief: hearing certain instruments actually improved brain function in premature babies.

Quick — someone please commission this composer to create music for our government buildings!

adult art band blur

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Good News Monday: Tropical Topics

person swimming under water taking photo of turtle

Photo by Jondave Libiran on Pexels.com

The Nature Conservancy recently reported survey results indicating that Hawaiian coral reefs are showing signs of growth and stabilization after devastating bleaching occurred in 2015. The healthier reefs were generally further away from excessive exposure to “human influences”, but even the most vulnerable species are starting to recover.

What’s more, there’s good news for fish living on coral reefs impacted by climate change*.  A new study suggests that these reefs can still be productive, as the fish get most of their food from the currents which flow past them.

Celebratory piña coladas, anyone?

yellow and white fish

Photo by Vural Yavas on Pexels.com

(*Isn’t it “reassuring” that so many politicians deny the existence of climate change?! ARRGHHH!)

 

 

How Much Is Too Much?

Quick question for you experienced bloggers, and followers thereof:

How often do you want to see posts from people you follow?  For me, it’s about once a week so I have time to actually read, digest, and comment.  When posts arrive daily, I feel overwhelmed because I rarely have the time (or inclination, if I’m being honest) to give them appropriate attention.

Just curious.

xoxo, Alisa

portrait of beautiful young woman over white background

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com