Picky Tongues — Something Sour

You have to choose one flavor that your sense of taste will no longer be able to distinguish. Sweet, sour, bitter, salty, umami, spicy (not a taste per se, but we’re generous): which one do you choose to lose?

It’s toss-up between bitter and sour.  I could live without either, but what would sweet and sour chicken be without the sour?

jolly rancherI’ve never really been huge fan of sour; maybe it was all the Jolly Rancher sour apple sticks I ate as a kid.  And if that wasn’t enough to turn me off of sour tastes let me tell you about this crazy candy my grandchildren enjoy.

When they were living with us I didn’t really have too many sweets in the house.  Thankfully they big fans of fresh fruit and vegetables so it wasn’t a struggle to get them to each an apple or broccoli!  We did have ice cream treats and lunchbox snacks, but nothing to sugary or salty–at least I tried. There was also no soda in the house, so when we went out to parties or for a movie or something, treats were allowed.

Treats were also allowed if their mom sent something from Arizona or wherever she was on her cross-country trip.  In a particular box was a candy that the kids had talked about but can’t be found at our local 7-Eleven.  It’s a Mexican candy made from tamarind and chamoy; it’s called Lucas.lucas-gusano

The squeals that they each let out when they opened the box were deafening!  Plastic ripped open and tops popped so fast I didn’t even have time to read the label before the stuff streaming onto their tongues.  “Grandma and Grandpa, do you want to try it?!  It’s soooo goood!”

Why I said yes is beyond me, but I had to see what the fuss was about.  My granddaughter squirted the “cherry” flavored gunk into my mouth.  I couldn’t even swallow, it hit my tongue and I knew, in that moment, I would never taste sour the same way again!  It was disgusting!  The second grossest thing I’ve ever had tasted in my life.

Today’s thank you goes out to my grandkids for showing me that it’s okay to get really excited about your favorite candy! (Which kind of happens every time I see a Hershey bar!)

The Many Tastes of Bloggers:

Punctuation, Perfectly Positioned, Promotes Productive Prose

semi colonWe all have strange relationships with punctuation — do you overuse exclamation marks? Do you avoid semicolons like the plague? What type of punctuation could you never live without? Tell us all about your punctuation quirks!

I am semi-colon happy; I admit it, freely.  I used to be comma happy but I learned my lesson.  After constantly getting papers back in college  and grant applications and reports back from my boss, my comma using days fell by the wayside.

Thankfully, I’ve had many good editors of my work.  Two come to mind instantly and deserve my thanks today.

The first, a college professor, my freshman English class.  I was lucky enough to not have to take the traditional English Comp class because I’d done that in high school.  Instead, I was invited to be part of a six-credit class that met every day; and every week we completed one speech and one essay. The professor loved the way I spoke so I got an “A” on each speech.  My writing skill on the other hand, she was not so impress by; so there was always a “C” at the top of each assignment when it was returned.  I ended up with an overall grade of  “B” for the course but what I learned was invaluable.

My second extraordinary editor is my friend Jennifer.  We worked together for roughly seven years.  The best thing about her style was that she explained why she was recommending the changes noted in red pen.  Instead of rewriting something in her own style, she was able to give me feedback that enhanced mine.  I believe I am a better writer as a result of her editorial guidance.

Jennifer and Dr. Stagg, thank you for making me a better writer!

Persistent Punctuation Problems

The Most Feared Punctuation on Earth

Daily prompt – Exclamation marks!!!!!

Punctuation Saves Lives!

Daily Prompt: By the dots – what dots?

Daily Prompt: Being Punctuated!

Do you overuse them…???!!!

Missed A Day, Yikes!


Last night as I was falling asleep, I realized that I hadn’t posted yesterday.  Sorry to those of you who look forward to the daily dose of “thank you”.  Hopefully, I can make up for it later today!


Who do we thank for TGIF?

TGIF picSo, it’s Friday and I find myself again at the end of a busy week not sure where to start writing.  I’m not one of those writers/bloggers who does much about outlining thoughts for the week or planning ahead.  In fact, I have less than 50 days left of my 365-day journey that is this blog, and haven’t thought about what’s next yet.

I thought it might be fun today to really thank someone I don’t know, but who definitely impacts my life, and everyone else I know.  It’s the person who coined the term:  T.G.I.F.


According to answers.Yahoo.com, the term was originated by the Akron, Ohio disk jockey Jerry Healy on radio station WAKR in the early 1970s. The phrase was further popularised by the 1978 movie starring Donna Summer, Thank God It’s Friday.  Which, by the way, I remember going to see in the theater with a bunch of friends!

So there it is, the next time you say TGIF, you (and everyone else) can thank Jerry Healy!  Have a great weekend!


Vending Wishes, Aromatherapy Dreams

Soft drinks, electronics, nutrient-free snacks — you can get all of those from a vending machine. But what type of vending machine is sorely needed but doesn’t yet exist? Share your automated retail fantasies with us!

During my training to be a life coach I found aromatherapy I always kind of knew about it, but because the training happened in one of those nice community spaces that has yoga, tai chi, massage therapy, gong workshops; there was also a gift shop!

EssentialOilsMarch132013900-850x563I love the smells of the gift shops that are chock full of essential oils, self-help books, candles, meditation music and batik scarves.  It is always peaceful to walk into such a place and I feel an immediate sense of calm come over me.

Imagine wigging out over some craziness or other at work; you go to your break room and instead of putting in your dollar bill for a package of peanut buttervending machine M & M’s to calm yourself down, you could choose a little plastic container of lavender oil to put on your desk?  Or how about, rather than grabbing the third cup of coffee or a Red Bull, you could get some Sweet Orange or Basil oil to rub on your temples or inside of your wrists for a pick-me-up that won’t make you crash!

One of the other women in my coaching class turned me on to the aromatherapy approach to managing stress, so she is the recipient of today’s Thank You!  Maybe someday there will be vending machine with easy access to the calming influence of aromatherapy!

Vending Coolness:

Smells Like Summer To Me

S’mores, salty ocean breezes, veggie burgers on the grill, sweaty people on the bus — what’s the smell you associate the most with summer?

calmcakes bagThis one is a tough call.  Living in the Ocean State (a.k.a. Rhode Island), the smells of summer are many.  Clam cakes and chowder at George’s in Galilee, low tide at Scarborough Beach, a fresh beach towel ripped from the beach bag, exhaust fumes from cars stuck in the traffic jam on Route 1.  What to choose?

coppertoneHere it is, for me the smell of summer is: Coppertone suntan lotion.  You know the one–back in the day it was in a brown plastic bottle with yellow lettering and maybe even a yellow cap.  Every summer a bottle of it would be pulled out of the back of the linen closet and stuffed into the one of the many beach bags that filled the back of the car.  SPF’s were not high on the list of concerns in my childhood that I remember.  There certainly was no SPF 50 to be found on the shelves in CVS.

When we got to the beach we took turns putting it on. The moment it was opened and the first squirt plopped into someone’s little hand…it was summer!

ballantyne_coppertone59Today’s shout-out is for the makers of Coppertone lotion, in all their iterations.  And, to all the friends and family members who were willing to get their hands filled with the white lotion, and the sand and grit that was sure to follow.  We had great summers!


Scents of the Season:

Groundhog Week? No, Not Again

If you could relive the past week, would you? Would you change anything?

NO.  Nothing.

It was a busy week, at home and at work.  Demanding both emotionally and energetically.  By the time Friday came along I was looking forward to an overnight getaway with my sisters to celebrate a birthday.  New dress was bought, sassy new haircut, and an oil change so I could drive the ninety minutes to the spa in Connecticut; everything was ready.  Except me.

By the time FRIDAY came along, I was spent!  Found myself sick as a dog and not able to go for my hour-long massage, dinner out and a little gambling.  Thirty-six hours in bed watching Lifetime TV and drinking tea helped, a lot.

There were good things last week, don’t get me wrong.  Moments of productivity at work.  Quiet moments at home with my husband.  Swinging on my porch swing in the warm sun and breeze.

Today I’d like to thank a friend of mine who gave me some good advice.  “It’s over. You can’t go back and live it again.  So, be sure that you’ve done all you could to live without regret at the end of every day.”regret

Would I live it over again.  No. 

Would I change anything?  No, nothing.


Blogging Groundhogs: