Exercising – Window cleaning with an audio book!

People ask me, how do you get things done? I look at them in surprise. Why, I multi-task, of course. I can do a zillion things at one time. Like a video in full speed. It’s true.

This weekend, for example, I needed to clean my windows, but I also needed to go walking. The weather was so nice, I wanted to read my book at the park. As I was thinking about what “choice” to make, I realized I could listen to an audio book while I cleaned the windows and when I walked. BRILLIANT IDEA!

The key is the narrators . I started searching the library for books. Luckily, we can play a sample, so it was an immediate thumbs up or thumbs down.

By chance, I found The Crimson Thread by Kate Forsyth. The storyline is good, set in Crete during WWII, so I could learn a little bit about their culture. I was pleasantly surprised with a multi cast of narrators. Normally, there is just one narrator. I’m always amused how narrators are fantastic at portraying a woman’s voice, a man, a child, a grandparent, etc. — it’s really entertaining — and that they remember throughout the book what voice they need to use for each character.

If you’re not a fan of audio, you should give it a try. Gee, you can garden, wash your car, chop vegetables while listening to a good book. Definitely worth it!

Share what you’ve been reading. I’m always on the lookout for something new to read.

Improve Mental Health: Watch “Bulletproof Heart” on MHz Choice

Our mental health depends on what we feed into our brains, right. I’ve stopped watching the news. I only do a quick scan online of daily news events to be sure there hasn’t been something “big” that happened. Otherwise, I pass on doom and gloom, never anything positive.

Last night, I was in one of those moods. You know, where your brain could go either way, ie negative / sad or happy / uplifting. Why does this happen? I don’t know, but we have to IMMEDIATELY decide what path we are going on. I had a choice to make. I decided no news! Instead…

ENTER MHz Choice. A lot of their shows are mysteries. What I like is that they have a category for mysteries without violence, for simple folk, like me. Some violence is OK, but I was trying to avoid the news, remember.

Being Italian background, I thought, why not look at the Italian shows. I enjoy hearing the Italian language spoken. I did a quick scan, Bullteproof Heart came up. At first I thought, hum… was it going to be “too slow” or “too boring?” We don’t know unless we look at the Trailer, right.

I was pleasantly surprised. It’s such a cute show. The Italian conversation and expressions, put me in such a warm hearted mood. A news reporter, Bruno Palmieri (Gigi Proietti) is about to retire, then something happens (you have to watch to see) and he continues to work. Can’t give it all a way.

Here’s a good scene from YouTube:

YouTube: Bulletproof Heart on MHz Choice

The English subtitles are nice and clear. Although, they say you improve your Italian better if you listen and read subtitles in Italian at the same time, but sometimes they talk too fast!


Did you get rid of that clown doll?

This weekend I saw my parents. I was visiting for Mother’s Day. They are in their 80s, inevitably our conversation turned to different memories. I’m not sure why, but we started talking about toys we had as kids. I asked my mother if she had FINALLY gotten rid of that clown doll my twin brother had. It was scary looking. For the longest time, my mother had kept it in this trunk of hers.

I always had a bit of a fright when I opened that trunk, and there was that doll with the scary grin. She said she had given it to my brother. I hope he gave it away. We discussed how some people have a real fear of clowns. I don’t have a fear of them, I just didn’t like that doll. It was a plush type of doll. It came out during the popularity of the “Bozo the Clown” show. Anyone remember him? I never liked that show either.

My mother loved the Raggedy Ann dolls. Coming from Italy, they didn’t have dolls that looked like that, so she was always collecting them. She said, just like clowns, there we people who found these dolls scary. Really, I would not have thought that.

So, what doll, stuffed animal or toy did you or your kids dislike growing up?

Baseball – What do you think, a vintage Cubs hat?

Baseball season is in full swing. I’m not a huge sports fan, meaning I’m not watching every game or anything like that. However, I do support our team, the Cubs.

I was visiting a friend, walking the neighborhood and stopped in my tracks when I saw this tree. How clever. This art creation of a Cubs fan took effort. It’s so funny, looks like an older man. Profiling here, tall and a bit chubby, holding a beer, maybe with shirt too tight? We have to go older since the hat looks vintage.

Looking at the hat. What is that to the left of the “C?” Is it meant to be a drawing of a player with helmet on, bat in hand?

Maybe that hat is the colors of the Cubs, but it’s not an old Cubs hat. Any Cubs experts out there or OLD ENOUGH to know logo changes, LOL.

What do you think?

A book, some Baci and the ocean… What could be better?

Recently, I was in the San Francisco area. I was by the ocean, went into a very small book store. Small bookstores are wonderful, they have a more interesting choice of books. Usually, many local authors, which I like.

As I went to purchase The Cat Who Saved Books, they had the Italian Baci candies at the check out. What a treat! I haven’t had them for so long. I thought it was a lovely idea to buy a book, a few Baci chocolates, then head to the ocean and start reading. I bought three!

This story sounded interesting about a boy who is depressed when his grandfather dies. He meets a talking cat and goes on quests to “save books.” I was curious about the talking cat and saving books, how/where and what kind?

I’m at the beginning stages of reading this book, so no book review yet. Summer is coming, I think this will end up in the beach bag for summer reading. Life is so busy right now, no time to read.

What small bookstore have you found lately? We do need to support them, I try!

Gardening… The Artichoke!

I just wrote a lovely post about this beautiful artichoke. Guess what – WP crashed, post GONE! For some reason, the “save draft” wasn’t working well. Early morning tech issues OR the Universe wasn’t keen on the post I had written, wanted me to START OVER! LOL

So, as my creative thought process has now disappeared, I will say… I was in California this past weekend. I went to Half Moon Bay by the ocean. It was wonderful to smell the fishy salty air and hear the fog horn. I used to go there a lot.

While walking on Main Street, I came across a gardening center and saw these artichokes. I don’t eat them much and always wondered how they grew. Now, I know. Seeing them makes me want to give them another try. I was reading that they are a good source of fiber.

Any artichoke lovers out there? What tips do you have to share on peeling / cooking them?

Ah… Amazon and feeling cheated.

We all know that ordering off of Amazon is quick and easy. I don’t do it very often, prefer to shop local, but when I can’t find what I want —> There is Amazon.

I recently ordered a backpack. I needed one, shopped around, was trying to find a sale, wasn’t finding one, so had to buy at full price. I found this Adidas bag I liked. It was $60, I wanted to spend $30 or below; however, my daughter has one, good quality, I liked the style, so bought it.

Imagine my SURPRISE. I am looking it over and I see this tag that says, “CLEARANCE $17.98”

It’s hard to be HAPPY with a purchase, when we see a tag like that. I engaged with Amazon’s Customer Service. They said they understood my frustration, but sales come and go, they couldn’t do anything. So, I have to decide, how much ENERGY do I want to put into this? I KNOW I should write to the top, let the CEO know what’s going on. If they are selling at $60, sale over, then take the $17.98 Clearance tag off.

Actually, writing to the top helps. I recently bought a sofa from a big Dept store. They sent me a USED sofa, it must have been a floor model or been in storage for YEARS. I called Customer Service, they said an inspector would need to come in 3 weeks, etc. I didn’t want to deal with that. So, I wrote to the CEO of the Dept store. I took a guess on his email.

Guess what, within a day, I received a response. Within four days, bad sofa picked up and account credited. I had sent photos of the “bad sofa,” I was polite, but asked if this was the type of quality this Dept store was sending out. I wanted HIM (CEO) to be aware of this.

So, as I write this…

I KNOW — I must once again, sit at my computer, crack my knuckles and write a stellar message, wasting valuable time to seek justice OR at least alert the top that this is happening.

MAYBE the top will have the same message as Customer Service, an “Oh well, sorry.” However, there is a chance that they will be “shocked too,” and make things right!

It’s exhausting to fight for justice.

This Bald Eagle Dad is Incubating a Rock

I was catching up on the news the other day and I saw a short segment on this bald eagle and his rock. Have you seen it?

This bald eagle’s name is Murphy, he lives at the World Bird Sanctuary in Missouri. Apparently, he’s a devoted Dad, he’s incubating a rock. He wounded his wing when he was young, so will never fly. Murphy is going through Spring hormones, so that’s why he’s in “nesting phase.” He built the nest, found this rock and has been taking care of it. He’s very territorial of his rock. It takes 35 days before an egg hatches. Well, we know this “ah… egg” won’t be hatching.

You can view Murphy taking care of his rock here.

The video is worth watching. Murphy has excellent parenting skills.

These bald eagles are so beautiful!

The Sneaker Battle: Adidas vs. Puma

Last night, I was looking for a show to watch on MHz Choice, an international streaming app. As I was browsing, I saw this movie, “Rivals Forever – The Sneaker Battle.” You can tell from the photo that this looked interesting. German subtitles.

Imagine my surprise when the story turns out to be about the sneaker brands, Adidas and Puma. I had no idea these brands were German and created by two brothers. If you don’t know the story, I don’t want to give it away. Definitely, interesting and eye opening. A great, but sad story.

Highly recommend it!

I feel like Roger Ebert, two thumbs up.

Have you seen it? What did you think?

A Cat is WATCHING you!

Recently, I saw a video that showed how different pets wake up their owners. There were some really aggressive pets. One dog pulled himself up on the side of the bed, took his paw and proceeded to hit the owner in the face, multiple times. It was funny, well, not to the owner. Another clip showed an owner sleeping and the cat went on top of its owner and bit the owner’s nose. OUCH!

My daughter was asked to watch a friend’s daughter for a week while they went out of town. Here’s what’s comical. My daughter was hoping all would go well with this young girl. Turns out the girl was easy, it was the cat that was full of drama.

The cat would constantly whine and cry. She didn’t know what to do. She gave it food, water, petted the cat — WHAT else? I laughed and said, “You used to do that when you were a baby, I couldn’t figure it out.”

One morning, the cat wanted breakfast. The cat jumped on the bed. THIS is what she saw, two eyes staring at her.

I don’t have any pets, just an alarm clock with a rooster sound. You laugh? It works, I hate it, I get up!

How does your pet wake you up?