Just for Fun

Just for Fun

By the time you read this, I'll be busy working at today's local election. (I'm banking on plenty of downtime for some reading and knitting, although who knows . . . an uncontested mayorial election and a couple of city council seats may get more interest than I expect.) (But I doubt it.)


I thought I'd share two photos with you today, just for fun. As I mentioned, Erin was in a Halloween wedding in Ohio over the weekend. The bride was one of Erin's college roommates, and Erin was a bridesmaid. Keith served as the officiant for the ceremony. 

The bride . . . is an artist, and also a huge fan of Halloween. She made "cultist robes" for the entire wedding party! Here are Erin and Keith, sporting theirs.


Fun, huh?

And . . . here are the Halloween bride and groom!

IMG_6650 2

The bride designed and stitched their wedding finery! 

Erin says it was a great, Halloween-y event, complete with an appropriately "creepy" venue, spooky decorations, and far more treats than tricks. Lots of fun for everyone. (And Erin and Keith are already safely back home in California. It really was a whirlwind trip for them.)


I think I'll be back tomorrow, but if I'm not . . . well. You'll know why.
Enjoy your day!



Planning Ahead: Goodbye 2020

Two weeks from today . . . is a day we've all been longing for: The Last Day of 2020!

Now, I fully understand that turning the calendar from 2020 to 2021 will NOT make everything better. When we wake up on January 1 . . . the pandemic will still be with us, racism will still be rampant, climate change will still be a threat, the country will still be divided, partisanship will still rule Congress, and (for 19 more days) Trump will still be president.

Even so . . . there will be a huge feel-good factor in turning that calendar over to a new year.
(Because 2020 WAS a really shitty year.)

And even though we really want to celebrate the end of this crap-year, our New Year's Eve celebrations (at least for many of us) will look quite different from "usual," more recent years.


Tom and I, for example, are sad to be missing the special New Year's Eve dinner we've shared together for many years at one of our favorite local restaurants. (And we're hoping this restaurant survives the pandemic to offer it next New Year's Eve.) We'll welcome the New Year at home this year. And I'll prepare our traditional New Year's Day dinner of black eyed peas and cornbread the next day.

But we're looking for . . . something more! It seems more important than ever to do something special this year. But what??? What can we do . . . to say goodbye to this dumpster-fire-of-a-year and welcome 2021?

I did a bit of digging and found some ideas.
And I thought you might like them, too.

Some are silly. Some are simple. Some require a bit of planning ahead. Some are food-related. Some are clothing-related. But all of them have the same goal: Saying goodbye and good riddance  to 2020 . . . and welcoming 2021 with open arms -- while also inviting good luck and prosperity into our lives.

Here's a list of New Year's traditions from around the world. While I'd LOVE to try swinging balls of fire (this one from Scotland), I'll probably satisfy myself with eating 12 grapes (Spain), smashing pomegranates onto my patio (Greece), and jumping off a chair at midnight (Denmark).

Here's another list of even more New Year's traditions from around the world. While there is some overlap (the grapes, for example, and the chair-jumping), this list also includes other simple try-this-at-home ideas like smashing plates (Denmark again), wearing white (Brazil), running around the block with empty suitcases (Colombia), or throwing water out the window (Puerto Rico). This list also explains that the color of the underwear your wear can make a big difference in terms of what you're wishing for in the new year: yellow for luck, red for love, white for peace (Latin America).

If you're more interested in food/cooking traditions, this list is more food-themed (although . . . again with the grapes!). We've got soba noodles (Japan), foie gras, oysters, lobster, and escargot (France), lentils (Italy), round fruit (the Philippines), and bread (Ireland and Greece) -- just for a start. This list also includes links to recipes if you'd like to incorporate any of these ideas into your own celebration. (I'm particularly interested in the recipe for a Pomegranate Margartita. Y'know . . . for before I get started hurling the pomegranates at the ground.)

If you're interested in creating some type of "ritual" to exorcise (or even embrace) 2020 as you say goodbye, Gretchen Rubin devoted a Happier podcast episode to exactly this -- and she shared many interesting listener-suggested ideas. You can listen to the podcast episode here, or just read a summary of the ideas here.


So. What do you think? Do you have any special rituals or traditions you're planning to try for your New Year's celebration this year?


Just a note: The "wish paper" one of the listeners on Gretchen Rubin's podcast talks about? We've used it before for our New Year's celebration -- and it is SO FUN. It really works, and is a great way to send up your wishes for the new year. I checked this morning and there is VERY LIMITED stock on Amazon -- but there was still some available if you're interested. A quick Google search also showed other sources. Sadly, though, there are no Peppermint Pigs to be found anywhere. (I tried. . .


A Sisterly Shorthand


So . . . I have some serious Pandemic Hair going on over here.  My last haircut?  February 12.  I was due for a cut the day after Michigan's shelter-in-place order shut my hair salon down.  So, yeah.  I'm WAY past due for a good cut-and-style.

I've been working at growing out my hair for about a year now - with no real plan in mind.  Just a controlled grow-out so I can figure out what I want to do with my longer hair at some point in the future.  I'm grateful that I'm not trying to keep up a "style" or anything these days, and I'm extremely happy that I don't need to worry about color or highlights.  Just . . . trying to keep everything under control while it grows a bit.  

I've been trimming away at my bangs every few days, and I do a little "thinning" with my shaver now and again (desperate times call for desperate measures, right?), and I've dug out all the hair bands and banana clips and barrettes I can find.  It . . . works.  And someday?  My stylist will be surprised at how long my hair has gotten . . . and we'll be able to try something new.

For now?  I laugh at myself and remember playing with my hair when I was much (much) younger.  My sister and I did a lot of playing around with our hair back in the day.  And we had developed a sort of . . . shorthand . . . for talking about our hair and the "looks" we were trying to achieve.  

Most of it . . . revolved around the styles we saw on TV or movies or in magazines.

It all started with Jane Banks.


After seeing the original Mary Poppins movie (which we adored!), my sister and I both wanted "Jane hair."  Our mom styled us á là The Jane every morning before school -- a high, pulled-back ponytail on top, with our long hair streaming down our backs. (We had the bangs, too.)

After that, our styling tastes, along with our shorthand, expanded -- with heavy Brady influence.  

I always wanted my hair to be just like The Marcia -- long and straight, with a center part.  


I became very practiced at all of The Marcia Variations . . . like The Side-Barrette.  


"Barrettes crooked."

Sometimes, to really mix things up, one of us might opt for The Jan.  For us, The Jan was any kind of side-part style -- which may even have included a (daring and hard to pull off!) side ponytail.


"I'm feeling a little Jan today." 
"Hold the phone."

One Brady look we never wanted, though?  The Cindy.


If either of us ever tried to do double ponytails (just to try something different, for example) (in a weak moment), the other of us would intervene.  
Enough said. 

When we DID need to go for some sort of pulled-back look, we generally opted for The Paul Revere -- you know, just a single low ponytail.


We generally avoided The Heidi - two braids, sometimes wrapped on top of the head.  (Generally, just not a look one wanted in the 1970s.)  (Although it did work well under a ski hat.)
"Swiss Miss." 

But on occasion, we'd opt for The Ellie May -- two low ponytails (hold the curly-top), especially effective under a hat.


Our shared sisterly shorthand kept us from any number of teen-age hair style disasters.

And now, during the Pandemic, it gives us something to laugh about!  
My sister is currently working her own version of The Jane once again.  
And me?  I've reverted to The Ellie May!


Pandemic Hair.
Gotta love it!




Something to Think About

It's Friday.
And I'm in a hurry.
So I thought I'd send us all into the weekend with these words from a very smart man:

"If time travel is possible, where are the tourists from the future?"
  ---Stephen Hawking



Enjoy the weekend -- and I'll see you back here on Monday.


Don't forget to check out my stash giveaway for this month!  The deadline for comments is next Tuesday, October 1 at 5:00 pm Eastern.


Three . . . New T-shirts

I love a good t-shirt, and I picked up a few great ones this summer.

How about . . . I show you THREE?


First up, my shirt from Greenbush Brewing in Sawyer, Michigan.  (Their very cool logo is in what would be Lake Michigan, pointing to their location on the map).  This shirt shows all 83 Michigan counties in a great graphic format.  (Kalamazoo County is in the 2nd row from the bottom, third county from the left.)  (Our cabin is in Lake County -- 6th row from the bottom, second county from the left.)


Next -- a new workout shirt.  Telling it like it is!


And, finally, my wish for all of you!

What's YOUR favorite t-shirt say?


Be sure to check out other Three on Thursday posts today over at Carole's!

Order Up!

This week has been . . . full.  

Just lots of things happening all in one week, and my schedule got squeezed.

So I am looking forward to a weekend full of nothing (but snow).  I'm going to sit myself down.  Read.  Knit a bit.  Maybe start watching season 5 of Grace and Frankie (today's the release date on Netflix).  

And. . . I'm going to be using my new bell!


Order up, Honey!

(I wonder if Tom will play along?)

Have a great weekend.  
And be sure to stop by on Monday.  (Hint: I'm going to start giving away yarn. . . )

Headline News

You may remember that a couple of months ago, I explained that my son-in-law is "collecting" silly headlines for a little project.  

I've been passing along goofy headlines to him (even some that y'all have sent me) now and then.  Earlier this week, though, my daughter shared one with me.  Apparently a friend had sent it to Keith, and they thought I'd appreciate it.


Now I don't know about you, but if I were going to be banned from Walmart, I'd want it to go just like that!  (Living my best life, and all that.)  How about you?



Escape to the Movies

Looking for an escape?  The news is crap and things seems pretty bleak at the moment.  So, hey!  Let's go to the movies!  

Tom and I saw the new A Star is Born yesterday.  No spoilers here . . . although I will say we both liked it  (And that one song?  So stuck in my head . . . ) (And when GaGa ooooooo-aahaa-oooooo?  Oh, yeah, best part of the movie . . .


The Streisand/Kristofferson version of A Star is Born came out when I was a senior in high school, and my friends and I so-so-so loved it.  This new one?  Better music.  Grittier.  More Real somehow.  Extremely well done.  (Plus Bradley Cooper.  With an Eddie Vedder look.  What more can I say?)  Overall, a very good way to escape for a couple of hours.

Because I think some of you might be interested, here's a fun little video . . . analyzing the evolution of A Star is Born from 1937 to 1954, 1976 to 2018.  Enjoy!

And then . . . maybe escape to a movie!


"Welcome to Friday. In preparation for takeoff, please ensure all negative attitudes are properly stowed. On behalf of your captain, Jack Daniels and myself, welcome aboard. I expect sunshine and good attitudes today for our trip. Enjoy the ride."  


I saw that quote, and couldn't resist.

Happy Fri-YAY, and here's to a fun weekend.

Happy Feet

There are so many things I'm happy about this week. . . 

  • Finally seeing some leaves popping out on the trees.
  • Sunshine . . . alternating with some good, soaking rains.
  • Fresh air and open windows.
  • Bird joy!
  • Flowers.

But you know what makes me really happy?


New red shoes!

I hope you all have plenty of opportunity to kick up your heels . . . or put your feet up . . . or BOTH . . .  this weekend.