November 2019

Tom And Jerry

sarajean's picture

It's so fun to learn about different state drinks, especially when it's something you've never heard of before. From coffee cabinets to sugar on snow, I love to learn about and try to replicate treats and drinks I hear about in different states. In Wisconsin, there's a fun winter drink called Tom and Jerry, and it's something I'm adding to my list!

The Orangutans Speak

sarajean's picture

Back in my choir days, I remember our teacher stressing how humming wasn't a tight-lipped, harsh effect, like the sounds you make to annoy a sibling, but a light vibration against lightly-closed lips that almost tickles. The distinction was amazing, and it helps me to understand why researchers might use kazoos to understand how communication has evolved between species over the years. 

Healing a Broken Heart

sarajean's picture

When I first learned that aspirin was good for other health needs than pain, I was astounded. It's obvious to older people who've used it for years, but I had only known it as a headache medicine. Now marketers may be selling Tylenol under a new purpose: easing actual heartache. Research indicates that it may actually help relieve pain of an emotional nature.

Facebook Allows Lies About Women's Health

sarajean's picture

Facebook's pledge to do more about the spread of misinformation on its site has been a joke, but I can hardly blame them. Is it really their job to stop people from being gullible and fact-checking things before they believe and share them? As much as I hate that the social network has become so integrated into our world and is the home of much information (not to mention hatred), I also have to say that we're responsible for believing in what we choose to believe.

Pumpkin Spice Cocktails

sarajean's picture

If you haven't heard, it's the last week for Starbucks' famous Pumpkin Spice Latte, so get yours while it's still here! In the meantime, you can always make a PSL at home, especially if you have a Skinny Girl mix on hand. I love these syrups and often suggest them to friends (I'm drinking one in my coffee right now), and their website has a bunch of great recipes you can make with them, too.

DIY Spice Blends

sarajean's picture

Do you make your own spice blends to add flavor to your dishes at home? My husband loves to do this so much that he's taken to not purchasing taco seasoning anymore, opting for his own blends instead. To be fair, his blends often employ a few already made blends with his own choices of peppers, but they still end up unique and delicious.

Tracking the Periods Of Abortion Patients

sarajean's picture

What would you do if the Department of Health and Senior Services director of your state pretty much ignored maternal death cases but tracked the periods of every woman in your state who gets an abortion, personally reviewing each person's case? If that doesn't make you furious, you may not live in Missouri, where this is actually happening, and how it doesn't violate HIPAA laws, I don't know. This guy should be sued for violating the privacy of every patient rather than working for the government, and yet there he is.

Toad In A Hat

sarajean's picture

Do you have a frog or toad visitor? We usually get one each summer and it's so much fun to guess where the frog will hang out as it waits to say hello to us when we get home. It's often by the porch light, catching flies and such, but sometimes it hangs out just above the door on a ledge, too. 

Best Party Games For Thanksgiving

sarajean's picture

Thanksgiving is almost here, and it's a great time to start planning which games you want to play with your family this year. Some families play easygoing games like Uno and Yahtzee, and there's nothing wrong with that--especially if you have a family that's known to be a bit tempestuous when it comes to sharing opinions. That said, some families have a great time playing games that include opinions, too, which is where these games come in.

Elliott Bay Book Company

sarajean's picture

While there's something to love out of the tiniest, coziest book shop, especially since they're endangered at the moment, the larger Elliott Bay Book Company remains a book lover's favorite destination, especially during the holidays. Where else can you sniff books, hear author readings and enjoy a tea or wine while you read?

Goodreads Challenge Blitz

sarajean's picture

2020 is almost upon us! Have you finished your Goodreads Challenge for 2019? If not, Goodreads has a great list of books under 300 words you can check out to try and read as many books as possible in the upcoming weeks. I have a few really great suggestions that I've enjoyed, too. Here are some novellas that will help you reach your goals:

All Systems Red, a fantastic award-winning sci-fi novella and starter to the Murderbot series

Wood Slice Ornaments

sarajean's picture

Whether you have a lot of wood to slice on your property or you got a deal on wood slices at the craft store, you can make really cool wood slice ornaments and projects out of your wood for the upcoming holidays! It's a really cheap and fun way to make gifts for friends and family that actually looks pretty. But what to make?

Childhood Defining Toys

sarajean's picture

SF Gate just published this list of 30 toys that defined the 1980s and boy does it bring back memories! I had to share it because I know that many of you will wax nostalgic once you take a look at the contents, too. I didn't have a GameBoy like my friends did, but I sure did have a bunch of Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake figures! My mom picked them up at yard sales for me all the time.

Dead Ugly Sweaters

sarajean's picture

The tradition of wearing an ugly Christmas sweater seems to be booming into something bigger each year, and this year every store seems to have their own answer to the ugly sweater needed for the obligatory party. Gearzime has a really cool example in a Grateful Dead sweater complete with a beautiful homage to Jerry surrounded by skulls and dancing bears. What else could you want?

Fish Waste Plastic

sarajean's picture

While many people are trying to break free from single-use plastic, others are trying to find ways for us to continue using it more sustainably. Who ever thought that might require using fish poop? MarinaTex is a new bioplatic that is made from the waste of fish along with red algae. Not only is it made from renewable resources, but it breaks down in a couple of weeks, making it an incredible, revolutionary product.

Variations On Pumpkin Pie

sarajean's picture

It's almost time for the biggest pumpkin pie day of the year and I am so ready for it. Pumpkin pie is one of my absolute favorite treats! I even get it at our local frozen custard shop (they blend it in with vanilla ice cream AND top it with some of the pie!). But I've been reading about a bunch of different variations on the classic and I must admit that they have me intrigued. Sure, I've tried pumpkin pie shake, but what about...

Oppose Virginity Testing

sarajean's picture

In a country where sex ed is practically forbidden unless it's abstinence-only, I guess it should be no surprise that so many people--men in particular, but women, too--actually think that not only is virginity a thing, but that it can be "proven" by an "intact" hymen. Just so we're clear:

1. Virginity is a social construct. It's not a medical condition.

2. Hymens vastly vary. Some uterus owners don't even have one. Some are partially-formed. Some are broken by riding a BIKE. No matter what, they're none of anybody's business save for the person whose body they are in.

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