SYW: On finding one’s soulmate, my mother’s hats, schaum tortes, and 2-for-1 sales

Share Your World is Melanie’s weekly challenge to answer four questions plus sharing gratitude. These are her questions and my answers this week.

1. Do you believe in soul mates? If so, do you think there is only one person meant to share that bond with you, out there in the world? (credit to Cyranny of Cyranny’s Cove)
I do believe in soul mates but I don’t think everyone finds one. You can fall in love and live with someone all your lives without being “soulmates.” Only if you are very lucky do you find “the one” out there in the world that is your true soul mate. My stepdaughter, for example, found her soul mate (now her husband) online. It is uncanny how much they are alike and how quickly they clicked.
2. Ice cream cone, shake or other ice cream concoction?
I love ice cream in any form, but my favorite dessert is schaum torte. I usually have this dessert once a year, at Easter, because my niece makes the meringues. You put a scoop of ice cream on top of the meringue, cover it with strawberries and hot fudge sauce (best if homemade! My niece makes that too!). I used to have this dessert rarely as a kid. Perhaps because it is a rare, special treat, is why I love it so much. On my birthday, though, I want an ice cream cake!
3. What would be the hat to end all hats? What could you wear on your head that would make people stop what they are doing and stare in awe and amazement?
My mother was the champion of hats. She traveled all over the world and always came back from her travels with a new hat, something native to the place she visited. She had so many hats that once when my sister had a Halloween party, my mother came as “the hat lady.” She pinned her weird hats all over her outfit! The strangest thing she did, though, was once when she was out with my dad and it started raining. She had no rain hat or umbrella with her, so she emptied the contents of her purse, handing these items to my dad, and then put the open purse upside down on her head!
I like hats but I could never beat anything my mother wore on her head!
hats4. What would be the worst “buy one get one free” sale of all time?
I might have said “credit card debt” or “tax bill” or maybe something no one would want more than one of, (or at least I wouldn’t – such as two death metal concerts for the price of one…I wouldn’t even attend one) but since I read Melanie’s answers, I would have to say the same thing: Two Trumpelinas for the price of one?? Although we kind of got that with Don Jr. and Eric…anyway, the thought is too horrifying to contemplate!
Bonus Question. Please share a moment of gratitude that you experienced during the past week.
Seeing my son trying harder to make enough money to live on. Twice he came over last week because he couldn’t afford to buy decent food, so I invited him for dinner, and we had a nice conversation both nights. Since then, he’s been working more hours as a Lyft driver so that he will have enough to buy at least his essentials. But I think the part I’m grateful for was just seeing him behaving like the nice young man he can be.

SYW: On Bad Habits, Improving One’s Life, and Anything Chocolate

Here are the questions for Share Your World this week and my answers:

What’s the first thing you notice about a person?
ppl in a crowdWhat they are wearing, especially the color, if it’s someone I know – this is subconscious but if I see that color later, I will think it’s that same person. On the conscious level, if it’s a stranger, basically what they look like: their gender, approximate age, and their race. I also notice what they are wearing, especially if it something I especially like or that I think looks awful on them!  Race is generally obvious, I’m still pretty good at guessing the age of someone under 15, but gender these days is not always obvious.

What three habits do you feel would improve someone’s life?
“Early to bed and early to rise,”  to quote that old adage.water bottles
Drink lots of water.
Appreciate the natural world and count your blessings.

Now if you ask do I follow these three good habits, I can only say I strive to do the last two, but the first one is problematic for me. I go to bed later than I could but I’m retired! If I have to get up to go somewhere by 9-10  in the morning, I grumble about having to rush!

What takes up too much of your time? Would you stop that if you could?
Playing word games on my phone. Even as I’m doing it, I’m telling myself to stop but I don’t. It is an addiction! I have a bad habit of wasting my evenings this way instead of blogging or writing, or watching something worthwhile on TV.

Cookies (biscuits to those elsewhere), pastries, pie or cake? If not, what does your sweet tooth crave?
Cookies and brownies, or anything chocolate. Oh, and ice cream! But please, no peanut butter in anything sweet! My favorite brownies are the ones my niece makes for Christmas every year, with peppermint frosting. I also have a weakness for M&Ms.

Gratitude? Are You Happy? If so, why? If not, why not?
I am happy and blessed with what I have. I know I am lucky to have enough money to live comfortably and travel, to have a good and faithful husband, and reasonably good health.

SYW: On families, rooms, olives, and space travel


I like to participate in Cee’s weekly Share Your World, that is, if I can think of something interesting to say! So here goes…

Which tastes better: black or green olives?
Neither – I don’t like olives. This may sound weird, but the “best” olive I ever ate was a raw one, right from the tree! When I lived in Northeastern Brazil, we had an olive tree in the yard of our rental house. When the olives ripened, I decided to taste one to see if it was any better than the ones that have been pickled. It was a little better, but it was very fibrous and bitter and I would never eat another one. Now at least I understand why olives have to be pickled to be palatable to most people.olive trees

What’s your favorite room in your home?
Either my “office” – messy as it is – or the deck in back of the house. The deck isn’t really a “room” but it’s my custom to sit out there in the morning with my coffee and read. (I love retirement!) I do this every morning if the weather is dry and not too cold. Over my head are large branches of a silver maple. I like to look up into the leaves or watch the squirrels.

My office is where I do most of the things I like to do – write, organize and edit my photos, blog (all on my computer) and work on other projects, such as painting or coloring intricate patterns in a coloring book. I keep all of my writing projects here – my travel journals, my collection of my dad’s World War II letters to my mom, the research for my book about my ancestors – as well as my art projects and my books (I have shelves of books I haven’t read yet). My office represents my world of opportunities!


My shelf of children’s books I can’t bear to part with!

What fictional family would you be a member of?
A happy one! Most fiction deals with some sort of conflict, so often the families in stories are dysfunctional. No family can compare with the real one I am lucky to have.

I think it would be exciting to be on the Starship Enterprise from Star Trek Next Generation. That isn’t exactly a family in the traditional sense, but the Enterprise is large and there are many people living there that we don’t see on the screen. There are whole families – children, parents, and grandparents. I imagine what it would be like to live, study and work on a spaceship with the type of advanced technology that you can get everything you need and want on board. You can create entire environments on the holodecks to explore and provide entertainment. You can “beam” down to different worlds and then rematerialize safely back on board the Enterprise if your life is threatened down there! I truly believe there is advanced life on other planets and like to fantasize about meeting them (I hope they’re friendly)! Maybe I should try to learn Klingon…Star_Trek_The_Next_Generation_365_cover

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?
My son came over this past week, in a happy frame of mind! It’s rare to see him so calm and attentive. He needed some medications and finally got to see a new doctor so he could refill the prescriptions. We were able to have a nice conversation about things other than being broke and asking for money! He is an Uber driver and is making goals for himself to work more hours and other things in his life. He finally is used to living in an apartment alone, which was very stressful for him at first. It was good to see him being so positive!


Jayme on Mother’s Day

Cee’s SYW: On Classes, Cooking, Phobias (etc.)

Cee’s challenges are back! Here are my answers for this week’s questions in Share Your World:

A class you wish you would have taken?
There are actually several! I wish I had transferred to a university where I could major in anthropology, which was my first academic love.

I always wanted to take art classes, but they were always full, since art majors had priority. I enjoy art and did take a drawing class at a community college, where I learned techniques that allowed me to produce some fairly good drawings of my classmates, good enough that I still have them! Recently, I went to a wine and painting event, and everyone liked my painting of a cat, so now I’m working on another painting.

Since I included the cat painting in a post the other day (RDP#72 – Cat), I’m posting one of the drawings I did of a classmate many, many, many years ago, and a more recent doodle of myself in a hat when I had longer hair.
classmate (charcoal pencil)  Doodle-woman in hat

I also wish I’d taken photography classes. Everything I know I learned from a photographer boyfriend I had in high school, and of course, from experience. My husband is an amateur photographer too and I admire some of his great photos. He has good powers of observation and knows where to stand to capture his subject at the best advantage. I would like a class just in learning how to use all the features of my camera.

Here’s a photo of a shooting star flower that I took in May with my Sony Alpha 380, working on sharp close ups with blurred background.SONY DSC

The great thing about this is, now that I’m retired, I can easily take classes in art and photography, which are available to seniors at a discounted rate! I’m trying to find a photography class that my husband and I can attend together.

Are you scared of heights?
Not really, unless I think about it. Although going up some of those mountain roads in Colorado this spring was pretty harrowing!

My husband, though, is very scared of heights. He doesn’t even like to drive over high bridges! The first time we went to Rio de Janeiro, he would not go all the way up to Sugar Loaf with our son and I. He stayed on the lower level and contented himself with taking photos from that vantage point. However, we went back to Rio in 2016, and this time he went all the way up to the top! He stood in the middle of the cable car, surrounded by people, so he couldn’t see out. Once he was up there, he was OK and loved watching and photographing the setting sun.

Brazil 2016c 640

One of Dale’s photos of the sun setting over Rio de Janeiro from Sugarloaf

Are you a good cook? If so, do you consider yourself a chef?
Occasionally I will whip something up that’s different from normal, with more color and flavor than usual. Or I’ll make Christmas cookies when I’m in the mood. My husband does most of the cooking, and his meals are very simple. I like to rib him about the lack of color on our plates when we have chicken or fish with corn! Both of us are sort of lazy at this point about cooking, so we often eat out. Now we’re thinking of moving to a retirement community in a couple of years, where we can eat in a community dining room!


I made these Christmas cookies in 2014, the last time I made homemade cookies!

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.
I had to buy some birthday cards, because several family members had birthdays and we were celebrating them all together. I usually have some funny cards on hand for these occasions, but I was out. So I stood in the birthday card section at the supermarket and read all the humorous cards. Several of them made me laugh out loud! Fortunately, there were few people at the store at that time so I was free to appreciate the silliness without anyone staring at me!

funny birthday cards

This photo was downloaded from Google Images.

SYW: On crossword puzzles, doctors, dates with parmesan cheese, and dogs

Cee’s Share Your World this week:

In regards to puzzle what’s your choice: jigsaw, crossword, word search, mazes, logic or numeric puzzles, something else, or nothing?
I do lots of different puzzles but mostly crosswords or jigsaw puzzles on my tablet or phone. I find myself obsessively doing one after another while I’m supposedly watching TV!

Crosswords are the best, however. My husband and I do them together and between the two of us, we can figure most of them out. 20180725_182137
Dale sometimes gets stuck because he spells something wrong and then I come along and fix it, then fill in more of the clues! We take crossword puzzle magazines on trips and I work on them while he drives. He’s able to visualize what should fit without looking at the puzzle better than I am. I occasionally do Sudoku also, but mostly the easy ones I have on a phone app.

List at least five favorite treats and it doesn’t necessarily have to be food.
1. Anything chocolate
2. Dates with parmesan cheese inside (New! See below)
3. Ice cream
4. Traveling to new places
5. Sitting on a dock next to a cool lake in Wisconsin and watching nature.
6. Sitting on my porch when the rain is coming down all around me outside.
7. Being able to read as much as I want to (I love being retired!)
What is your favorite type of dog? (can be anything from a specific breed, a stuffed animal or character in a movie)
When I was a kid, my favorite was collie because I liked the show Lassie. Lassie
I also preferred beagles because we had a mutt that was mostly beagle. Now I like just friendly dogs. And puppies, they’re always cute! puppyThis is a hard question to answer because I haven’t had a dog as a pet since Corky (our mutt-beagle) died. I like dogs but much prefer cats.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.
See #2 under “treats” above: at a gathering of girlfriends the other day, one woman brought dates stuffed with pieces of parmesan cheese. I found them so exquisite! Something about the texture and melting in my mouth reminded me of fudge, but it doesn’t taste like chocolate.

Several weeks ago, I fell on the sidewalk and really bashed up my face and my right knee. The knee is the only thing that is still recovering – still somewhat swollen from a hematoma. What I appreciate about this is that different doctors (emergency room, my GP) had suggested different things for why the swelling had continued and why my right foot had gotten swollen and sore a week after the fall: bursitis, cellulitis, septic arthritis – the scariest of all! Finally, I went to an orthopedic doctor referred by the ER doctors, who examined my knee and told me it is (just) a hematoma. As for my foot, it was a sprained ankle, but it’s now healed. I appreciated this last diagnosis by the specialist because I don’t have an infection or any other complications! I am grateful that my knee is getting better every day and I can walk normally again.20180725_183923