When you’re on holiday, do you prefer self catering or a hotel/B&B? On road trips, I will pack a cooler with necessities for picnics, such as bread, cheese, fruit, and beverages. But we rarely use them. It’s just easier to go to a restaurant. The last time I remember having a picnic on a road trip was the day we went to Devil’s Tower in eastern Wyoming, five years ago. After visiting the monument, we found a picnic table near the entrance to the park, and I set out our picnic fixings. It was about 6 p.m., and just as we were starting to eat our picnic dinner, it started to rain! We finished our sandwiches quickly, then headed back to the car just in time before it started to pour!
Do you have a favourite meal you cook for yourself or order when out? We live at a senior community, and one reason we moved here was so we wouldn’t have to cook anymore. We get our own breakfast together and for lunch, eat salad or leftovers from dinners the night before in the dining room. In the evening, we eat in the dining room, and I must say the food is usually quite good.
That said, my husband makes great omelets, customarily on Saturdays, but it could be any day he feels like doing it! The omelet always contains tomatoes, onions, kale (from a friend’s garden), sometimes luncheon meat, and cheese. It might have other veggies, like broccoli. We have freshly squeezed orange juice (this is done at Mariano’s supermarket, we just buy the bottles of it!) and either a bagel, a muffin, or toast. That is the most elaborate meal we cook for ourselves these days!
In the current fuel crisis, have you made a conscious effort not to use the car unless absolutely necessary? I think about it sometimes, and I at least drive a Prius (hybrid), but we don’t drive a lot anymore. We are both retired and our regular trips consist of to and from a golf course weekly (my husband, with his Subaru Forester), doctors’ appointments and shopping, usually in neighboring suburbs, and some activities I do with friends in the city we used to live in, which is only five miles from here. It takes several weeks, usually a month, for my gas tank to get low enough to buy gas. I get 50 miles to the gallon, which is better than most cars on the road in the U.S.!
4. If you were to compare yourself to a plant, what would you be? I’d be a saguaro cactus. I love these majestic giants and sometimes they have many arms in a variety of positions. They look awkward sometimes, and I can relate!
I am lucky to have a lot of happy memories from my childhood. Please share one from yours. Most of my friends during childhood lived in my neighborhood in our hometown in southern Wisconsin, so we played together outside when weather permitted. We’d ride our bikes, go to our local beach (a man-made pond with a sandy shore), or play in the woods behind our houses. In the summer, we’d stay out as late as our parents let us – it was perfectly safe then, even after dark. In the winter, we’d go to each others’ houses, but usually ended up at mine. If one of the kids left a scarf or hat at my house, I’d smell it and then I’d know who it belonged to!
The Chocolate Box – 18 Questions – This is from A Guy Called Bloke, better known as the guy who loves to ask questions. The Once Every 6 Weeks Saucy and Spicy, Sugary Sweet and Sour Game Game 2 – Season 1 (Does this sound like it’s all about either food or sex? That’s what attracted me to play this game!) February 2021
What is your reaction and interpretation to ……….. “Oooh l say that’s a big one!” Usually a fish – like a record-breaking muskie. (I spent all the summers of my youth in northern Wisconsin. That’s what people do up there – they fish and hope to break the latest record.)
Are you more introverted, extroverted or ambiverted or if you prefer ‘lean more towards’ ambiversion? I like that word – ambiverted. That does describe me.
Do you think you honestly know ‘hand upon heart’ what members of the opposite sex actually think? I don’t think men are so different than women in what they think, in terms of love or relationships.. However, they do tend to think about different things than women if my husband is typical of the average male, which I think he is. Part of it is cultural conditioning too, so that men tend to prefer sports or tinkering with their cars, etc. Also when they are together, they don’t go into their personal lives as much as women. And they don’t always think about the way women think about casual sexual overtures. (I’m thinking of Andrew Cuomo, who is now facing sexual harassment charges, which he denies. He didn’t think of it as harassment, apparently.)
Which is more appealing of these two attributes only – brawn or brains? Definitely brains, although physical appearance is undeniably important especially for initial attraction. I mean, people who are not physically attractive have to work harder to get the opposite sex to get interested in them.
What are some of your strangest quirks? I make weird noises just for the hell of it, or to drive my cat crazy. She’s on to me already, however, so I don’t faze her anymore. But my husband shakes his head and mumbles something about the eccentric woman he married. Anyway, I’m pretty good at making strange noises – I’ve got quite a repertoire! I can also imitate animal noises so well that I really do freak out any domestic animal (cats or dogs mostly) that happens to be around.
What or when is the dirtiest you have ever been [your interpretation]? I was trying to write a novel for NaNoWriMo, expanding on a short story I’d written years ago. My daughter and I took a “writing weekend” by ourselves at a hotel, and stayed in separate rooms to work on our novels. I wrote for HOURS. I got to the point of writing a sex scene, which turned out to be quite, um, graphic. Actually, there were several sex scenes that happened one after another, but one of them in particular was really detailed. After I wrote it, I was sort of embarrassed but I know there are authors who write this kind of stuff a lot – but I don’t read it. And to this day, I can’t read that scene I wrote without feeling kind of shocked.
By the way, I never finished the novel. (There didn’t seem to be a good way to proceed after that to continue to hold readers’ attention…)
Do you prefer to give, receive or take away? I like them all, but lately giving stuff away is much more a part of my life. I am at that stage of life where I’m downsizing and letting go of lots of things I’ve accumulated that I considered so important at some point in my life. The easiest thing to do is to give them to others who will appreciate and make use of them.
Have you ever eating edible clothing? No, what do you have in mind?? If it’s chocolate, I’ll be right over!!
Do you like it saucy or just enjoy a good sauce? Depending on what “it” is. If it’s food, I prefer sauce.
Have you ever performed the naughty or nauighties in the car, your car, a car, any car? Sort of, yes – I was 18 working at my first summer job, and my boyfriend was visiting. I was staying at our family’s summer home in northern Wisconsin and I had been driving my grandmother’s car for the summer. We drove down some back roads that wind around the lakes and countryside and stopped in a small clearing, and after the, well, what we did in the car, we couldn’t find the key! Worse is that it had gotten dark by then! We were groping around for it on the ground and since it was just a single key with no key ring or anything attached, it was like finding a needle in a haystack. We were saved by a quirk that some cars had at that time: there were cars you could start without a key – the ignition stuck out a little, and if you could turn it, the engine would start. That’s what I did, so we got back home. (There were no cellphones in those days to call for help, of course.) But I did have to tell my mother about the lost key and my boyfriend’s face turned so red when I made up a lame excuse about what happened. I’m pretty sure my mom figured out what we had been up to!
Have you ever skinny dipped or taken part in naked mud wrestling? Skinny-dipped, yes. It was in the lake at the abovementioned summer home. My mother skinny dipped every morning, so once I went with her. We went down to the lake with our bathing suits on, and took them off in the water. Before we got out, we squirmed into our wet suits.
Are your more of a sweet or a sour person? I prefer sweet and sour! (Ether the combination is great, or you never know what you’re getting when you come into contact with me.)
Where would you find the Sea of Tranquility? On the moon – but it’s not much of a sea, since there’s no water on the moon. Perhaps it’s how the Dead Sea will be a few years from now when it dries up completely. (The Dead Sea’s ratio of salt to water increases every year and it is expected to dry up sooner than previously thought, due to climate change.)
What five items could you buy at a supermarket which would make the cashier give you an uncertain if not just weird look? Contraceptives – i.e. condoms (which is the only kind of contraceptive you can buy in a supermarket), which would probably cause a stir considering I’m not young anymore. Then stocking up on only the most caloric comfort foods they have – big chocolate donuts, a cake with the inscription “Happy Divorce” (especially coupled with the condoms), lots of chocolate sauce (which has multiple uses), and a case of cheap wine. Those young cashiers have no idea how much fun old people are capable of!
Ok, you have been arrested and no one one knows why – what would your friends think you had done? They wouldn’t be able to figure it out. I’m not sure even I would know what I had done – I’m such a law-abiding citizen!
Oh dear, for some bizarre reason you find yourself in an insane asylum how can you convince those in charge you don’t belong there? I’m thinking “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” type of place, right? I’m not sure, but I definitely wouldn’t display my weird quirks like making the strange noises I mentioned in a previous question! Maybe I would sing religious hymns to them, and act very pious.
You have two outfits but only one choice – which do you choose to wear for the day of the following …. skin tight flesh coloured body suit OR a very holey oversized long tee shirt? Probably the skin tight flesh-colored body suit. At least I could exercise in it. But the holey T-shirt? People in my community might not approve.
What is a whack when used in relationship to the term ‘out of whack?’ Whack would be what is normal, whatever the expected function or action or thought might be.
Fandango has a special challenge for the month of August called Fandango’s Dog Days of August. Every day this month, he posts a theme to get our creative juices flowing! Today’s topic is “favorite food.” I know I’ve written about this before, but I don’t think I’ve had the opportunity to really extrapolate about my favorite food, which is…
My favorite food is ice cream. It’s part of why summer is my favorite season. I actually have more than one favorite food – I could name a favorite in each food category but right now I’m staying with ice cream.
My favorite flavor of ice cream is peppermint. The problem (if you can call it that!) is that peppermint is often associated with Christmas, so it’s sometimes hard to find peppermint ice cream in the summer. I sometimes eat ice cream in the winter, but not very often. Ideally, the peppermint ice cream should have hot fudge sauce on top. Skip the cherry and whipped cream, just hot fudge sauce please! And then, if available, I like to put some kind of embellishment on top, such as sprinkles, m&m’s, little bits of brownie – in fact, if the ice cream is ON TOP of a brownie, that’s even better! Because next to ice cream, brownies are my favorite dessert!
We used to have a restaurant in our area, called Baker’s Square, that specialized in pie.
But on their menu, they had brownie with ice cream on top listed in their dessert menu. So I would ask for that – I didn’t really expect peppermint ice cream, vanilla was okay – and would ask for fudge sauce on top if possible. When the waitress brought it to the table, it was really yummy because the brownie was WARM, as if it had just come out of the oven! Too bad they closed their restaurants around here, because nowhere else serves brownie with ice cream on top quite the way they did.
But I digress…back to ice cream! While I do prefer peppermint, I like a lot of other flavors, too – chocolate, coffee, fudge swirl, mint with chocolate chips, you name it. One thing I do NOT like in ice cream is peanuts or peanut butter! I hate peanuts and I don’t like peanut butter used as a sweet – save it for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!
I also find sorbet very refreshing in the summer, as well as frozen yogurt. These are usually considered “healthier” options – less calories, anyway – than regular ice cream. Anyway, I lump all three together as “ice cream” when referring to my favorite food.
There is a relatively new brand of ice cream called Halo Top, which is sold in pints with the number of calories shown on the side in large numerals. So if it says “360” (but some are lower than that), that’s 360 calories for the entire pint! Of course, I never eat it all at once so I know the calories aren’t too high. Admittedly, Halo Top is not as good as Ben & Jerry’s, but that’s something I have sometimes been willing to sacrifice in order to “have my ice cream and eat it too!”
Here at our senior community, when we were eating in the dining room, ice cream was always one of the dessert options, and they often had several flavors. When the waiter would come by to tell us about the desserts, all conversation ceased as we listened to the ice cream flavor choices! Occasionally they would have one of two very popular options – Roadrunner Raspberry or Peppermint Bark Moose Tracks (the moose tracks being chunks of chocolate mixed in). I don’t know how prevalent this last flavor would be in the summer – we moved here in the middle of August last year, so my 6 months of eating in the dining room (until the pandemic hit and we had to lock down) hasn’t been enough to know if peppermint bark moose tracks is strictly a winter flavor. Anyway, ice cream is rarely a choice of dessert now that our food is being delivered to our house, and when it is offered, it’s always vanilla.
Raspberry Roadrunner (it’s made by Hershey’s) is also a delicious flavor and I wish I had real hot fudge sauce to put on it. Sometimes it’s available for purchase at our Mini Mart, which is still open on weekdays.
The best hot fudge sauce was made at a place that had a restaurant, bar, sweet shop and boat dock, called Bosacki’s, in Minocqua, Wisconsin.
We had a cottage about five miles from there and I worked there one summer (in the kitchen), so their fudge and hot fudge sauce was a real treat – they would give you the ice cream in a bowl and serve it with a tiny pitcher of freshly-made hot fudge sauce! It was their “secret recipe” – also used in making their delicious fudge – so when they went out of business, that flavor experience was lost to me forever! However, one of the Bosacki siblings, Cathy, opened her own sweet shop where she sold the famous fudge, as well as jars of fudge sauce, but since we sold our cottage, I never go up there anymore.
But again, back to ice cream! Ice cream is a wonderful treat to have when we are traveling, because other countries have different flavors and after an exhausting day of sightseeing, it’s just the thing to recharge my energy!
In 2010, Dale and I went to Spain for a month under a study abroad program run by a local community college. We spent the mornings in Spanish classes and in the afternoon, we either had group sightseeing trips, or we explored on our own. We stayed at a dorm near downtown Madrid, so we walked everywhere. It didn’t seem like a long walk to the Prado and Reina Sofia art museums, for example, and en route we would cross plazas surrounded by colonial buildings and traverse narrow alleys, so there was always something to see. Being summer, the temperature in Madrid was always hot so people didn’t go out in the middle of the day – that’s siesta time, so we usually would wait until mid afternoon to go exploring. To this day, if I were to go to Madrid, I would know exactly how to find the gelato place on the Gran Via! After walking around for hours, we’d be on our way back to the dorm and at some point I would be so exhausted, I couldn’t go a step further…and what do you know, that point was at the gelatería! After a soothing, cool ice cream sundae sitting outside under an umbrella, my energy would return and I could make it back home! (By the way, Madrid also has some excellent chocolaterías, where you get hot liquid chocolate to dip churros in, which are kind of like an elongated doughnut.)
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! That’s what we used to say as kids in my family, and in late spring, we would begin hearing the tinkling of the ice cream truck as it meandered the residential streets of our neighborhood. Occasionally Mom or Dad would give us a quarter or fifty cents to buy something from the ice cream truck – what a treat! That incessant tinkling melody always takes me back to summertime in Janesville, Wisconsin. This is the one we always heard then:
But when I lived in Des Plaines, we would usually hear this one:
Here’s another saying: Whenever we were begging for a favor, we’d embellish our “please:”
Pretty please? Pretty please with sugar on top? Which I changed to – Pretty please with ice cream on top? Pretty please with ice cream and chocolate sauce on top? Pretty please with a hot fudge sundae covered with sprinkles and whipped cream? Pretty please with a hot fudge sundae with sprinkles, whipped cream, and a cherry? …and so on.
Well, I’d better end this because I just remembered that I have a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Boom chocalatta! cookie core ice cream in the freezer! *Smack!* OHHHH, so good!
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #104 is about summer. Ah, summer! My favorite season of the year! Even with the distancing measures of Covid-19, I can enjoy the summer. (Imagine if the shelter-in-place had been in the winter – we’d REALLY get cabin fever!)
Two recent photos of our senior community that represent summer:
Black Cat Alley, Milwaukee, Wisconsin: This alley near downtown Milwaukee has become a place for street artists to share their art. This mural includes a door to a formerly industrial building.
A converted warehouse complex in Lincoln, Nebraska has become an artists’ co-op, its outside walls decorated by local artists.
Cuba, Missouri is located on the famous Route 66 and a popular stop along the historic road. There are many murals throughout the town, depicting historical events (including the Civil War) and scenes of daily life.
Pontiac, Illinois is one of the first, or last, stops on Route 66 (depending on whether you are taking the historic road west or east), and as such caters to Route 66 tourists. Besides murals, there is a museum/shop containing all kinds of Route 66 memorabilia and you can visit the bus-converted-to-home of possibly Pontiac’s most well-known native son, Bob Waldmire, who traveled the Mother Road and lived in his bus-home for several years in the Arizona desert.
Whether real or painted, a door is still a door!
For mural/graffiti/street art connoisseurs, Beco do Batman (Batman’s Alley) in São Paulo, Brazil is a must-see. “Graffiti artists” have covered this residential neighborhood – walls, streets, doors, windows, anything paintable – with art!
Street artists in São Paulo find “canvases” for their artwork in many other places as well. These are found in the vicinity of Ibirapuera Park, a large park with museums, bike paths and other amusements.
For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge with the topic Murals and Graffiti, I have a wealth of photos in my archives, because I love photographing public artwork! I include here a sampling of each location. Note that I have blogged about most of these places before, so there will be some duplicates.
Tucumcari, New Mexico: A town I had never heard of before has apparently achieved renown due to at least two songs about the town, and a novel set there. It’s a stop on Route 66.
Cuba, Missouri: This small town on Route 66 is famous for its murals, depicting historical scenes and events, and scenes of daily life. Many are scenes of the Civil War, but I have not included any of those here. Cuba is a “must-see” for any Route 66 trip!
Pontiac, Illinois: one of the last (or first, depending on which way you go) along Route 66. In Pontiac also is a good-sized museum and store selling all types of Route 66 memorabilia.
Black Cat Alley in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is an alley flanked by old industrial buildings, which has been converted into a “canvas” for local mural painters! Located in the downtown area, it is easy to get to and I would recommend it for anyone visiting Milwaukee that has an interest in mural art.
Lincoln, Nebraska is a surprisingly interesting city. I had never been to Nebraska before our 2018 road trip and since we like to visit capital cities, we spent a day there. There is a section of town we discovered by accident while finding our way to a restaurant recommended online. Across the street was an old warehouse converted into an artists’ co-op workshop with interesting art on the outside walls.
Denver, Colorado: We stayed at a fantastic Airbnb in the artsy part of town. On Tennyson St. (where the first of these photos were taken), they have weekly art fairs during the summer season.
Dubuque, Iowa – near the Mississippi River Museum
Des Moines, Iowa
In Amsterdam, Holland we took a private boat tour on the canals and harbor. We discovered several trailers painted in vivid colors.
Brazil is very rich in culture and teeming with artists of all kinds. The more famous ones display their art in galleries and museums. However, the street art is amazing, painted by very talented “graffiti artists.” In the city of São Paulo, there was literally art everywhere – you could barely walk one block without seeing street art.
For connoisseurs of “graffiti art” (although most of it is much more beautiful than graffiti), there is a neighborhood in São Paulo called Beco do Batman (Batman’s Alley) – wander its cobblestone streets to see an explosion of beautiful and/or humorous murals and sometimes political statements. The first two photos were taken outside Beco do Batman proper, which is residential – and we needed lunch so these were our view from the small café where we ate.
Sunshine’s Reflections is a photo challenge by Irene at Heaven’s Sunshine, a weeklong challenge with no prompt nor minimum or maximum limit on photographs. It is Week 5, but this is the first time I am posting photos for this challenge.