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Mystery Reads

I like good historical fiction, but while in mindless escape mode as I lie on a hammock,  I want stories that engage my attention but don’t require much thought on my part. My recent reading choices lean towards mysteries that don’t dwell too much on crime details. And if there’s a dash of romance involved,

Stories of Fanciful Pigs: Porky Pig, 3 Little Pigs, & the Mathematical Yellow Pig

Day dreams on lazy summer days bring many strange things to mind. The other day, I started thinking about fanciful pigs. In particular, Porky, the stuttering pig created by Warner Brothers for Looney Tunes, and later a fixture of children’s cartoons. Porky first appeared in 1935 in a film short called I Haven’t Got a

SLIP – SLOP – SLAP : Pick the Right Sunscreen to Protect Yourself & Coral Reefs

Whenever you’re in the sun, remember the mantra above: SLIP on a shirt – SLOP on sunscreen – SLAP on a hat, and – WRAP your eyes in sunglasses. After that, go have fun! Why did we ever think tanning was good? In 1923, fashion icon Coco Chanel vacationed on a yacht near Cannes. When

Summer Ferris Wheels

Today, June 21, is the Summer Equinox, the first official day of summer, and also the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s true. Summer vacation has arrived. Whether you vacation elsewhere or staycation near your home base, it’s time to get outside and enjoy the sun — with sun protection, of

How to Adopt a Cat & Communicate With It

June is Adopt-A-Cat-Month, which is a purrr-fect reason for me to blog about felines. Cat Adoption has multiple applications. Sometimes the cat adopts us, as our cat Hoku did when, as a kitten, he came to our patio door every night. Some cats are thrust upon us, as was the case when my daughter brought

Beach Reads for Summer

Looking through my E-Reader, I notice I haven’t been doing much leisure reading lately, a situation I hope to change this summer. Today’s blog is the first in my annual series of Summer Reads, a sampling of escapist leisure reading I’ve enjoyed over the past several months. Upstairs at the White House: My Life With

“Would You Like to Ride in my Beautiful Balloon?”

In 1967 The 5th Dimension [remember them?] invited listeners to join them in “my beautiful balloon.” At the time, it seemed an unrealistic invitation. Did they mean the balloons we used for decorations? Obviously not. However, there was a new mode of transportation in the air, one that Ed Yost made possible in 1960. That

Flowers Bring Happiness

In Gilbert and Sullivan’s Mikado, Nanki-Poo sings about  flowers, because he’s happy about his upcoming marriage to the lovely Yum-Yum, which for him was as wonderful as the flowers that bloom in the spring. The flowers that bloom in the spring, Tra la, Breathe promise of merry sunshine – As we merrily dance and we sing, Tra

Leftovers: Once Virtuous, Now Annoying

Except for point number 5 advising less wheat and meat products, this 1917 poster for about the acquisition, preparation, and consumption of food is similar to advice we receive today. Number 6, “use what is left” is  tricky, because it refers to the dreaded food category of “leftovers.” One 1948 cook book observed, the word