Happy Dinosaur Day!!

Look who else shops at Target…from Summer 2018

I saw a reference several weeks ago that claimed May 15 was National Dinosaur Day.  I got really excited as I love discovering obscure holidays and I’m a huge fan of dinosaurs.  I started planning dinosaur greeting cards and gift wrap ideas, but then came across another source that said it was actually on May 21, and then a third source that said June 1.  I guess it doesn’t matter which day it gets celebrated, there’s enough dinosaur love for all of them.

Someone should’ve let Bath and Body Works know about National Dinosaur Day

Before my husband and I got married, we had gone to see a very forgettable Sylvester Stallone movie and as we exited the theater, we saw a long line of people waiting for another movie, obviously a big one.  We found out it was a late night, first showing of the original Jurassic Park and we scrambled to get in line too.  Neither one of us hesitated, though we both had to get up early to work the next day.  It was so worth all the sleep we lost that night!

My son has always been a dinosaur fan, from Halloween 1999

I tell my 22 year-old-son, before Jurassic Park, we hadn’t really seen life like dinosaurs.  Those old timers who were around and paying attention in 1993 may remember that before the movie opened, the previews really didn’t show many dinosaurs.  It was a great ad effort to actually entice viewers to the theater. I will never forget seeing (and hearing) the T-Rex on the big screen for the first time.  It was incredible!

Land of the Lost TV show in the 1970s, dinosaurs were really not very life-like

My son has grown up watching the Jurassic sequels and the excellent television production of Walking With Dinosaurs.  He has been to the live action experiences of Dinosaurs Alive and Jurassic Quest that turn animatronic beasts into something like playground attractions. The technology available in toys and such for today’s kids has just slightly improved so the stars of Jurassic Park don’t have quite the same impact on younger kids as they did on my husband and I in 1993.  

It doesn’t matter to me, if I catch the original playing on TV, even today, I still remember the thrill I had the very first time I saw it.

Happy Dinosaur Day (whenever it gets celebrated!)

Joshua is still a dinosaur fan! From 2017

Happy National Pet’s Mom Day

I was really excited to discover that Saturday was National Dog’s Mom Day, BUT my enthusiasm was dimmed slightly when I realized that cat moms, turtle moms, and other animal loving moms don’t have special days too.  What? Where can I file a complaint? I vote for a name change- Saturday should be renamed National Pet’s Mom Day.   Or at the very least, we should show them some extra special love to them on Sunday when we’re honoring all the rest of the mommas.

I’m sure my kitties, Max and Mia, will come up with something extra for me (I just hope it’s not one of their special litter box creations!)

Max dreaming about what he should get me for Mother’s Day
And Mia is dreaming about it too!

Holiday Nerd

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“Holiday nerd”- I think this is the perfect term to describe my complete fascination with all things holiday.  And it’s not just the major ones like Mother’s Day and Halloween that I enjoy, my calendar is full of all sort of lesser known holidays as well.  World Otter Day? Yes, it’s coming soon, Wednesday May 29. Food holidays? Yes, please! Pizza day was February 9, pretzel day was April 26 and doughnuts actually have two days for celebration, the first Friday in June and November 5.  I mean, if any food deserved two holidays, it would have to be doughnuts! Even kale gets its own holiday- the first Wednesday in October, though strangely, I keep forgetting to put that one on my calendar. Hmmm.

The really weird thing about enjoying holidays so much is that I am basically a minimalist and those two things seem to be in direct conflict with each other.  Wouldn’t someone who loves holidays have tons of decorations? Easter tea towels? Halloween pot holders? Christmas shower curtain? I’ve seen all of those, but am content to leave them in the store.  Maybe that actually helps a bit? My celebration of most holidays doesn’t involve unboxing and boxing all the things, which really isn’t much fun.

I am not sure where this obsession comes from.  When I was really small, I loved Halloween (and it’s still my favorite holiday).  I remember being a preschooler and dressing up in one of those cheap molded masks that come with the plastic cape.  It was a struggle to see out of the eye holes, but I kept watching the sky, sure that I might see real live witches flying around on brooms.  And I really loved Christmas too, just not Santa Claus (as you can see).

I think part of it is my work history.  My very first real job was working in a fabric store, then I moved down to the other end of the mall and sold shoes.  My next job was as an assistant manager for a card store (also in the mall, this was the 80s) and that was where I stayed until I went back to college. I was totally immersed in all the occasions and I guess it really imprinted on me.

I’m also the type of person who thrives in routine and absolutes.  That is probably another reason I like holidays so much. The transition from one to another is hard coded in our culture, even more so than the change in seasons.  I know that winter will transition to spring, but it is less exact. Will the winter cold linger or will it warm quickly? Will the groundhog see his shadow? Will there be a late freeze?  There is really no hard fast rule, each year is different. But I can guarantee on December 26th, before all the cookies have been eaten or the clearance bins have been emptied, that the stores will be putting up Valentine’s products.  And after that will come Easter and then Mother’s Day and so it will continue in the expected cycle. No matter what else happens in the world, I can count on that.

clipart sourced from
Useful Objects

Learning to “Spend out”…

Finally being used…

This is a picture of my Vera Bradley tote bag, the only name brand accessory I own, though I have long admired their designs.  I received this as a company gift when I hit my 10 year anniversary. They gave me a little catalog that included watches, dishes, and jewelry and let me pick whatever I wanted.  I had a lot of fun, looking at all the different options before settling on the bag. Why not? It was a chance to get something I had coveted, but for free. I was not disappointed when it arrived as I recognized its quality as soon as I opened the package.  It has leather pull tabs on the zippers and lots of well sewn pockets. And I love the bright blue color in the design (it’s called Santiago). I was impressed, so impressed in fact, that I hung it in my closet on a hanger and did nothing but look at it for over two years.

Now, it’s a pretty bag, but I highly doubt that the designers meant it to be closet decor.  However, every time I thought about using it, I told myself it might get dirty or torn. But what’s better?  Owning a pristine bag that hung in the closet where it was never used or enjoyed, or owning a pretty bag that served its purpose and over time began to show wear and tear?  A few weeks ago I finally convinced myself to start using it to take my gym clothes to work every day. I’m enjoying seeing it among the other things I grab before work and hanging on the back of my office door.  I’m pleased that I have finally allowed it to serve the function it was meant for.

Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, uses the term “spending out” to describe utilizing an object for its intended purpose rather than saving it for a special time.  It wasn’t until I heard her talk about this as an aspect of her personality that I realized was not alone and this wasn’t just my own weird quirk.   

Sadly, I’ve gone through storage containers looking for something and discovered items I had set aside for a special occasion years before, that are no longer useable.  They have either expired or required parts or pieces that I had already gotten rid of and had to be thrown away. What a waste! The diamond earrings my husband bought me many years ago sit hidden in a drawer as I’m have been so afraid of losing them, they are rarely worn.  I’m thinking it’s time to start.


National Jelly Bean Day!!

Today is the celebration of National Jelly Bean Day, a holiday that is eclipsed each year by the better known and more relevant Earth Day.  However, the scheduling of the occasion allows, at least most years, for the convenient purchase of jellybeans after Easter when they are half price. shared that 16 billion of them are produced for Easter each year, but no percentage was given regarding how many are actually eaten and how many are tossed after they are found stuck to fake grass in the bottom of baskets.  I see tons of them for sale each year, but it seems there are always plenty leftover after the fact too. I’m guessing most who are splurging on candy for Easter are choosing chocolate (mmm, like Cadbury mini eggs) instead.

I have personally never been a huge fan of jelly beans, they just seem a little too sweet for me (although I manage to like gummy bears just fine). My opinion changed a bit once I tried Jelly Belly’s brand as I found the flavors were both unique (including some that taste like earwax, dead fish and dirty socks as part of the Harry Potter inspired Bean Boozled line) and more flavorful than others I have tried.  Even though they aren’t my favorite candy, I felt I should reacquaint myself with them before writing this post, only in the interest of research of course. I tried the Krispy Kreme donut flavored ones, and as if jelly beans weren’t sweet enough on their own, these are boosted by the additional taste of a sugary glaze. Yum!

According to, the most popular flavor of jelly bean is buttered popcorn.  I suspect that it’s popularity is driven, at least in part, because the buttery and salty essence of popcorn adds a nice balance to the concentrated sweetness of the candy.  The top five favorites also include licorice, cinnamon, watermelon, and cherry, in that order. One of the most fun things about the Jelly Belly brand is that they offer recommended flavor “recipes” and it’s fun to scroll the internet and see some of the wacky combos people have come up with.  Spring break tastes like coconut, tangerine, pomegranate, and peach? Yeah, I can see that. Some of the recipes called for A&W cream soda beans. Cream soda? My favorite jelly beans when I was a kid, before flavors got so fancy, were the white ones and I liked those because I thought they tasted like vanilla.  Maybe I should look for some cream soda Jelly Bellys at the half off sales this week? Might be a flavor worth celebrating!


Husband Appreciation Day

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I am die hard fan of the TV show This Is Us.  During this season on the show, (spoiler alert) one of the main couples have been having some tough marital problems.  It’s been especially upsetting as they seemed to be so strong, so in love with each other.  I was sadly beginning to wonder if this would be the end of their relationship. On the season finale a few weeks ago, there is a scene where the couple’s oldest daughter tells her dad that when it comes to wives he won the lottery so whatever has come between them needs to be fixed.  He took her advice, and luckily, I didn’t have to wait until the fall to learn that they do stay together, though I’m sure the writers will have other tear jerking plot lines ready for the new season.

Fortunately, my life has much less drama than this TV show, but those words were ones I could really relate to.  When it comes to husbands, I won the lottery too. I won’t go into details here, but my childhood was pretty rough and I went through some bad romantic relationships when I was a young adult.  However when I was 24, I was so incredibly blessed to meet my life prize, the man that I would later marry.

My favorite picture of my husband, taken the day my son was born.

I’ve told him that if I saw our personality characteristics on paper or a dating website, I would never think of us as a good match.  He was much more athletic and physical (at least before his health issues caught up to him) than I ever thought about being. I was the kid who was the last pick in gym class, not the star of the team.  He’s eight years older than I am and got married for the first time when I was still in elementary school, so we really grew up in different decades. When he gets mad, it comes on quick, burns intensely, and dies out just as fast.  It takes a lot more for me to get angry, but once I get there, I need to simmer for awhile. He pays a lot of attention to details and I am a big picture person, but in spite of all this, we work incredibly well as a couple.

Bryan and I talk about what we think makes our marriage so good and one thing we always come back to is that each of us feels lucky to have the other.  We treasure one another and treat each other accordingly. After being together for almost 27 years, we both love spending time together. We make each other laugh, usually at the goofiest things, and I know when I’m with him I can completely be myself, flaws and all, and still be totally loved and accepted.  He knows the same.

Saturday is Husband Appreciation Day.  There are not enough words to express to him how thankful I am to have him as my partner in life.  It’s even better than winning the lottery.