Simply Enchanting

IMG_2060The most interesting thing about this photo is how enchanted those two guys are with the one on the steps and how enchanted she is with whatever she’s holding in her hands, oh, and the fact that I forgot to paint that top step when I painted the rest of the porch. Guess who’s going to be out there with a paintbrush very soon?


gone about as fer as we can go…

Doesn’t he look a little feverish?

I did a search on hand sanitizer, and I found a recent study because there’s a recent study out there for every “expert” who ever drew breath. I’m sure I’ve told this story before, but this reminds me of that time when my son was about thirteen or fourteen. He told me he finally knew what he wanted to be when he grew up. I was all ears.

“One of those guys who carries the cables behind the coaches on the sidelines at NFL games… or an expert.”

I figured it wasn’t a burning desire to tote cables that had him so inspired, but more likely an avenue to a boy’s fantasy of spending a lifetime on the sidelines of an NFL game – preferably only yards away from Dan Marino.100_1844

But an “expert”? What was that about?

When I asked…

He said, “You know, when they say ‘and experts say’ I want to be that expert they’re talking about.” As it turned out, he did not grow up to tote bundled cables up and down the sidelines of the NFL. He did, however, become an expert in something I don’t even know how to explain to my friends. I just tell them he’s doing well and that it’s all a mystery. Possibly CIA or something of that nature.


The hand sanitizer thing. You thought I’d forgotten? Not a chance. When I visited the doctor on Wednesday, I refused to shake hands with her, explaining that she really didn’t want to shake hands with me. Now that I think about it, she didn’t actually offer. She heard me coughing before she entered the examining room.

She was not my regular doc but she was very nice. She had a bottle of hand sanitizer beside the computer, and she must have hit that pump at least a dozen times (no exaggeration). I was beginning to feel a little leper-ish hence my search on hand sanitizer. The search landed me on BHG. (Don’t you get all your latest research from Better Homes and Gardens?) The “recent study“ revealed, as most recent studies do, the obvious.

… alcohol-based gels lose their germ-killing power within two minutes of application — a finding that took many consumers by surprise. … they’re made to eliminate germs on contact, much like soap and water do, says Megan T. Sandel, M.D., a nationally recognized “expert” on both healthy housing and teen health. BHG
“Took many consumers by surprise?” I demand to know who these consumers are. Do you expect your hand sanitizer to protect you from germs you have yet to meet? I use it after shopping to kill the germs I probably picked up in the store, but how could I expect it to protect me two hours later when I snuggling with my grandchild? Who pays for these studies? Don’t answer that. I’m so afraid it’s you and me.
Now then…
I’m compelled to mention something you probably already know, but something I find fascinating. Is anyone besides me totally clueless about how far thermometer technology has come since every little boy wore a coonskin cap, and his mother placed a mercury-filled thermometer under his tongue? I know there’s been improvement (ear thermometers), but thermometers are now the height of swank, don’t cha know?
I had to use that antiquated instrument in the photo above this week. After I had it in my mouth, I thought to ask my husband if he was sure it wasn’t the rectal thermometer I used on my son when he was a baby. I knew he wouldn’t know the difference between a rectal thermometer and a bicycle. The rectal one sports a slightly bulbous business end. Thankfully, he had grabbed the right one. I mean, who needs 1974 poop in their mouth?
would you just take a gander at this baby below, and I don’t mean the child. I bet all of you already have one. Forget about jewelry, I’m getting one of these in my stocking.consumer-photo

The nurse rolled this bad boy over my forehead. It has some fancy software that enables it to determine your temperature by measuring the balance between the tissues warming from arterial blood and tissues cooling. Within seconds she had my temperature.

So impressed was I that I contemplated slipping it into my purse when she left the room. I will never again hold a mid-twentieth century thermometer under my tongue for three minutes while unable to breathe through my nose. Luxury, thy name is Temporal Artery Thermometer. My personal Santa already ordered the Exergen TAT-2000C.

It doesn’t seem to matter how far we’ve come, some things never change while others can’t stop changing. Soap and water are hard to improve upon while technology can’t seem to stop improving upon itself. Evolution is the essence of its nature. However, I must concede that the mercury-filled thermometer does work and always has, but there’s no turning back. It’s the twenty-first century. I’m going swanky, guys.

Nora Ephron Dead at 71

Last night, Nora Ephron died of complications from the blood disorder myelodysplasia . Even if you don’t know her name, you’ve probably watched her movies or read her books and essays. She was best known for her romantic comedies, but Silkwood was hers, too. She wrote the screenplays for Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally, and You’ve Got Mail. Her last film was Julie and Julia. My son and daughter-in-law gave the DVD to me for Christmas.

Turning lemons into lemonade seems to have been one of her many talents. She wrote a book, Heartburn, about her divorce from Carl Bernstein; Meryl Streep played her in the movie.  A lot of nice things have been said about her today by those who knew her well. I only knew her through her work. With her words and wit and humor, she made me laugh and cry and think.

Maybe you found her movies a little saccharine, but I was an all out sucker for them. I liked the way she wrote her men. All too often, women fall for the hottie bad boy in real life and in the movies. Nora wrote men for women who had smartened up enough to separate the wheat from the chaff. They were funny and gentle, not perfect, but still trying to figure it all out.

I find that as I get older, I feel sadder than I once did when an entertainer or writer or artist who has entertained me over the years dies. I don’t know. I think it’s more of a loss now than it was before. Maybe it’s that I don’t take escape from the woes of the world so lightly anymore. And escape I did… whenever I watched a Nora Ephron film. So everyone can talk about how decisive and political and talented and smart and generous she was, and about how even those who disagreed with her genuinely liked and respected her. I can’t attest to any of that, but she entertained me for decades, and that’s something.

I Say Tuh-mey-toh… You Say Zucchini…

Guess what we learned on our trip to Chicago? Folks out west don’t spend their hard-earned money on vanity plates. This is the only vanity plate we saw in Chicago, and it was in the parking garage. When I first saw it, I exclaimed, “TOMATO” and Brandon came back with, “ZUCCHINI.” He had no idea what I was talking about, but he always has a comeback. Could this be Dan Quayle’s car?

All of the late night comedians had a little fun with Quayle after the potato-with-an-e incident at the spelling bee in Trenton, NJ. The Late Show with David Letterman booked the boy on the show.

Congratulations Brandon…

…for completing the ING New York City Marathon! What an accomplishment! Photograph: Jason DeCrow/AP

I still can’t believe anyone would do this, but I remember how you came home with bloody socks that had dried and stuck to your feet when you were in high school track. When I told you that you didn’t have to go back, you gave me that “Brandon look” and said, “I’m not quitting, Mom.” Then you proceeded to break your school’s record in pole vaulting. So I knew you would finish this race just like you’ve always finished everything you’ve started. If I could say one thing about you it’s that you always know how to bring it home.Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Photo: by moi – May, 2010 – Half Marathon at Coney Island
Hope you can move today!

Posted in Son

Look what arrived at my house!

Herman found a package at our garage door on Monday night when he got home, and this is what was inside.

And a bunch of ugly, little, bulb-like things were in there, too, but I didn’t take a picture of them. The instructions said to put one of them in the teapot and pour hot water over it. So I did, and this is what happened.

A beautiful flower magically emerged from the ugly, little bulb thingy. I allowed it to steep for five minutes and then…

I got Herman to pour while I did the picture taking…. and….

… then I took my tea out on the front porch to enjoy while watching my new grass grow. There was enough chrysanthemum tea for both of us, so he had a cup with me. We have a bunch more to try. Thank you Madina and Brandon. What a fun gift. Whenever I need a little magic, I’ll throw an ugly, little bulb in my new teapot, pour a little hot water over it and sit back and wait. It will be fun to see what the others turn out to be.


Brandon and Madina ‘flea’ bedbug capital of the U.S….

… for number five on the list of most bedbug-infested cities in the U.S.– Chicago!

Everyone thinks they left town for job opportunities, to get out of the city or maybe to live in a less populated area or to find good schools for the kids, but NO. They’re fleeing the bedbugs.

But do they know Chicago is fifth on the list for bedbug infestations.?

The pest control company Terminix released Tuesday a list of the 15 most bedbug-infested cities, based on an analysis of call volume reporting bedbug infestations and of confirmed bedbug cases reported by sales professionals in 350 of the company’s service centers.

The Big Apple topped the list, followed by Philly and Detroit. Ohio has four cities in the top 15 — Cincinnati is fourth, Columbus is seventh, Dayton is eighth and Cleveland is 14th.

Other cities rounding out the list are Chicago, fifth; Denver, sixth; Washington, ninth; Los Angeles, 10th; Boston, 11th; Indianapolis, 12th; Louisville, 13th; and Minneapolis, 15th.

Read the entire article here. Are you bugging out yet?

This is a definite improvement though. NYC was number one, and of course, the bedbugs are in hotels and rentals and such. Brandon and Madina won’t be staying in those places, but guess who will stay in those places when they visit them?

Excuse me while I scratch.