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J - Jade Tea
Posted On 08/22/2017 15:56:18

My favorite 'hot tea' is called Jade Citrus Mint tea.  I have a cup of this each morning.  It's also good 'cold'.  Here is the official description:

Refreshing and invigorating, this green tea blend is a bright citrus balance of lemon verbena and lemongrass with a hint of spearmint and rich China Chun Mee green tea base.

I get this--for now--at the Teavanna store in our nearby mall. Sadly, Starbuck's (who own Teavanna) recently decided to close all 279 of the Teavanna stores.  I suppose, after that I'll have to order it online--if it's still available that way.   I've been told it's also available at Starbuck's--but I have no idea if that's just by the 'cup/glass' or if you can buy the loose tea there.  I have to admit I've never been to a Starbuck's, for the simple reason that I don't drink coffee. I'm not even sure where the closest Starbuck's is to me!  

One of the reasons I chose this typic for my "J" blog is that it's a reminder of how annoying it is when you learn that something--some product--that you really like is going to be discontinued.  This same thing happened with another flavor of tea that I drank a few years ago; right now I can't even remember for sure what brand it was. But I have a hunch it was from Lipton.  I do remember 'finding' it online, at a much higher price!  Needless to say, I didn't order it.

I'm pretty sure most of us--if not all--can think of at least one or two times this has happened.  Yes, we eventually move on; but I think most of us still remember at least one item we still wish we could find again. 

PS--I just found many comments on the Lipton site: it seems I'm not the only one who really misses their Bavarian Wild Berry tea! Sample: Why did you discontinue the Bavarian Berry tea? It was your best tea. Any chance of bringing it back? Please!!!!

I - Ice cream
Posted On 08/15/2017 13:17:42


I love ice cream; but I don’t have it often due to a minor medical problem. Right now, my favorite flavor is Raspberry Cheesecake. Some of my other favorite flavors are: Caramel Waffle Cone, Raspberry Ripple, Strawberry Cheesecake, Chocolate Covered Cherry (Dairy Queen). I don’t rmember which is which ‘brand’; I mainly get Cold Stone, Blue Bunny, or Prairie Farms (which might be a local St. Louis brand).

PS--the only time I eat 'vanilla' is when I want to cover it with hot fudge!

H--Hair Color
Posted On 08/02/2017 18:45:33

My hair has been several colors over the course of my lifetime.  I thought of this today, because I just ran across a photo of me taken...well, maybe 5 or 6 yrs ago. It's one of my favorite photos of myself--and yes, I'm 'blonde' in it.    I don't care if it's not 'current'; I like it--so I'm going to use it for a while!  

I was born blonde. But by the time I was 8 or 9, my hair had turned into a very light brown--'dishwater blonde' they called it. By the time I reached my teens, my mom was 'blonde' and I guess I decided 'why not'.  

So, my mom bleached it for me and put in a nice shade of blonde color. Now, I can remember one time something went wrong: I had orange hair for a day before we could re-do it.  But we 'fixed' it and I became accustomed to being Blonde.   I was 'platinum blonde' for a number of years.   Think Lonie Anderson in WKRP in Cincinnati. Later, I went to a more natural blonde look. 

Naturally, since I was blonde when I met my (now) husband, he preferred me that way.  But by the time I was in my 30's, I decided to just 'see' what my natural color was like; I did that several times over the years. And I was very surprised to out find that my 'natural' color had gone to a pretty dark brown! Well, technically it's a 'medium brown', but to me, it's pretty darn dark!   Back then, I always decided to go back blonde again.  

A few years ago, I decided it was too much trouble keeping it blonde; so I went back to my natural color which, now has some silver in it.  I don't mind the silver at all.  And I actually kind of like it being 'natural'.  But even though I'll never again color my hair, I'll never forget how much I enjoyed being blonde.    

G-- Generations
Posted On 08/01/2017 17:29:21


My generation is called Baby Boomers, due to the 'boom' in births after WW II.  Technically, I think the 'boomer' generation goes from the mid 1940's till around 1960.

But what the heck are "Millenials"? Or "gen X'ers"?  I had to look them up. Apparently, "Gen X" is the generation after ours, having been born between the mid 1960's to the early 1980's. And "Millenials" (also known as the Y generation) are those born from the early 1980's to the early 2000's.

Whatever you call the 'younger' generations, they are definitely different from ours! It's an entirely different world they were born into. They've never known what it's like to live under the threat of nuclear war, during the Cold War. Most of them have never known a world without 'instant' access to news. Most of them can't understand why 'we' refer to our younger days as 'the good old days'.  But, of course, I can say that about our generation when we think about those who were born before WW II. I suppose there will always be a "Generation Gap". That's just life. 

Posted On 07/31/2017 09:32:11

I've struggled for some time, to come up with 'something' starting with F for this blog challenge. Today, I've decided to go with Feelings--Feeling My Age. 

My 69th birthday was a few days ago. Now, I've never been one to worry about 'age'--I still 'feel' like I did 50 yrs ago! However, as I get closer to 'the big 7-0', yes, it's starting to sink in that I'm not a 'young girl' anymore. 

However, I'm determined to remain in that 'mind set', as long as possible. I believe if you keep your mind active, then you don't need to worry about 'age'.   While I no longer sit down and 'write' a chapter a day like I did in my twenties, I still manage to be creative, whether it's writing a blog (which is probably not very interesting to anyone but me) or if it's "playing with graphics", at least I'm keeping my mind active.  

E--Education & Environment
Posted On 06/02/2017 14:01:01



Education. I believe in education for everyone. When I was in high school, anyone who had good grades--and was on the College Prep schedule--pretty much expected to go on to college. I really hadn’t thought much about it, to be honest. I did have good grades (a B average), so my counselor had automatically put me on the College Prep curriculum.


Back then--mid 1960’s--our town had a ‘community college’; it was a 2 year Junior Collge--tuition free. We had to buy our textbooks, of course; but otherwise, the only ‘fee’ we paid was a $5 ‘activity fee’. Yes--that was it! Now, I have no idea what ‘activity fee’ meant. But I did know that without this community college, I probably would not be able to attend any college. My parents were your average middle class people, both working, but who really could not afford to send any of us kids to college without help.


Now, I have to admit: I’m a college drop-out. Yes, I should have continued with my education--at least for those two years. However, I knew what I wanted to do with my life: I wanted to be a writer; and I wanted to have a family.


I ended up getting married that first semester. Yes, I could have continued, since it was free tuition. But by then, I’d developed my style of writing--and was in the process of writing my first book. As I’ve mentioned before here on the Hill, I have never been published; but I’ve written about eight or nine ‘novellas’. So I ended up dropping out after that first semeter.


 As a side note: I actually had the same English teacher at the JC as I’d had in high school--and she admitted she’d probaby taught me all that she could, when she asked if I wanted to switch to another class. I declined, probably already thinking I might not continue on, anyway.


I think another reason I ended up dropping out was that I didn’t expect to go on to a four year college; and the courses that counselor insisted I take really didn’t interest me. I think perhaps if I could have chosen what “I” wanted to take, I might have continued. However, at that time, I was still a shy, mousy person who didn’t speak up very much.


Now, of course, I realize how lucky I was: I could have gotten two years of college classes for ‘free’. I think all community colleges should still be free.

By the way:  our 'community college' is now 4 yrs & they charge by the 'credit hour'. Average class load is approximately $2,000 per semester. 


Environment. This is the only planet we have! It’s our responibility to future generations to do whatever we can to ‘save’ it. With the industrial revolution came pollution. Now that we know what our ‘carbon footprint’ is doing to the planet, we need to address the problem. It’s saddening to see people in authority not only ignoring what needs to be done, but also actually trying to undo what good that has been done.


We need to put more effort into ‘helping’ the planet--not destroying it. When we can put greed/personal gain aside in order to do what’s right--and necessary--maybe then we’ll be able to say that we deserve to be here.

D- Designing my Profile Page
Posted On 04/18/2017 10:54:47

I actually had several ideas for my 'D' Blog. However, this one is so 'me', I just had to use it!

When I first joined NOTH, I didn't know anything about social sites, including how to design my own profile page. So I started out using NOTH Layouts.  Later, I decided I wanted to try my own design.  Luckily for me, there were several very helpful people here who were eager to help all of us 'newbies'.  I joined a group called NOTH LAYOUTS, run by DocShell. Shell was so very helpful to all of us who wanted to learn.  She gave us the 'codes' needed to personalize our pages. Shell is no longer able to 'be' here at NOTH; but all of the information she--and the other designers--shared is still here, in that group.

And most of the info can also be found in the NOTH Computer Help & Info Group; when I joined this group in 2009, it was called COMPUTER TIPS & TRICKS.  When the original moderator left NOTH, I took over as Moderator & eventually the name was changed, to reflect the changing information in the group. One of the QUICK LINKS threads is called 'common faq about how to do things here'.  Several of us monitor that group's forum, so you can usually find someone to answer whatever questions you might have.  

Now, before I go on, I have to say: PLEASE do not 'change' actual Layouts! The designers spend a lot of time and energy (not to mention actual money, buying the programs which help them make layouts) on their designs & many of them specifically tell you NOT to change the designs. 

The info I'm talking about is for when you design your own page, without an actual Layout!  I work with a lot of graphics designers and they also tell you NOT to change/re-size, etc. any of their designs.

Again I have to say: many of the things I change on my page are things that actual Layouts have already taken care of. But if you are not using an actual Layout, then you can use the different codes to 'fix' your page the way you want it.   Example: I prefer to have my main background at least partially show through so I use Opacity to do that.  And, I like to 'match' the colors from my main background in the comments background as well as the 'box' background (About Me, Things I Like, etc). 

Over the years, I've had 'themes' when I design my profile: everything from colors (with graphics in those colors, like Mauve, or Teal, etc) to Cats, Unicorns, Butterflies, Science Fiction (either 'general' or a specific SF topic like Star Trek or Dr. Who, etc).  I've even had a Chocolate page. The possibilities are endless!

Right now, I have an Easter page--although that will change as soon as I come up with an idea! I got rid of the winter theme on my 'main' account (Altara336060), but haven't yet decided on my next theme for that page, either.  So far, I've just put on a pretty teal background. 

I'm waiting for inspiration to hit!   And when it does, I'll probably spend hours finding just the right graphics to complete the page.  It's what I do.  Friends tell me it's my 'creative' side coming out. Whatever it is, it's something I really enjoy doing.  So...stop by sometime to see what I finally come up with.            

B- Baby-sitting
Posted On 04/12/2017 11:52:11

I started 'baby-sitting' when I was about 8.  Well, ok--not exactly Baby-sitting; my brother was 6 and my sister was 1 yr old.  Mom says I always called Debbie 'my baby'. I have a photo of me holding her right after they brought her home from the hospital; and apparently, I wanted to help as much as possible.  

Later, when I was around twelve, my mom went to work, and I 'watched' the other kids during the summer.   To this day, my brother says that what made me the 'maddest' was when they refused to eat lunch!

And then when I was about thirteen or fourteen years old, I started baby-sitting for neighborhood kids.  I think I earned twenty five or fifty cents an hour. I don't really remember for sure.  That and my allowance paid for the bird food and treats I talked about in my Animals blog.

 But my first 'real' baby-sitting job came when I was in high school.  At that time, we had one public high school in town, which was pretty crowded; so the schedules were 'staggered'.  My classes started at 7:30am and ended at 2:30pm.  I suppose I must have answered an ad in the paper, but I can't remember for sure.  The 'job' started at 3pm. The mother of the familly picked me up at school and drove me to her subdivision.  Later, her husband would drive me home--to the other side of town.

I believe she had five children. I would watch the younger ones and help out around the house as she got ready for work. After she left for work, the older children would arrive home from school and I would supervise them till supper time.   I fixed supper with the girls' help, for all of us; then the girls would clean up while their dad drove me home.  I enjoyed it a lot!   

I'll never forget one 'funny' incident. I was making gravy to go with mashed potatoes and I had 'lumps' in the gravy. I calmly reached for a strainer and poured the gravy through it.  No more lumps! The kids got a huge laugh out of seeing me do that.

  And yes, I did a lot more baby-sitting after high school. Once my own children were off to school, I decided to take it up again. I loved babies; and this was a way to 'enjoy' them without having more children.   At one point, I watched a total of 7 children, on staggered schedules.  One Air Force couple dropped off their three children at 6:30am as they headed for the  Air Base near us; they would pick them up at 4:30pm.  Another lady dropped off her two children about 10am.  And yet another, who worked a later shift, dropped off her children around 5pm and her husband picked them up around 11pm.

  So yes, sometimes my days were very busy!  But not only did I enjoy having the children around, it also game me a bit of extra income.  However, you have to remember, at that time, no one paid very much for a sitter! So, no, it didn't pay as much as I could have made for part time work; but it was much more enjoyable.

The last children I baby-sat for were my grandchildren. But I gave up full time baby-sitting long ago.       

A- Animals
Posted On 04/11/2017 12:25:14

Since Mona (yourchoice) has sort of issued a 'challenge', I thought I'd give it a try.  Animals is my "A" contribution. 

I love animals: anything furry!  When I was little, we had a cocker spaniel who was the sweetest dog I've ever seen. Blondie was her name.   We had her for many years; then, when she was getting old, she went to live on my great-grandparents' farm. Yes, we visited her there when we were in town; I think perhaps the adults figured it would be easier on us kids if we didn't have to see her at the end. But when we learned she had passed on, it still hurt.

We also had 'chicks'; not the 'colored' kind, however.  Because of the farm, we had plenty of them to 'play' with.  But of course, as they got older--and naturally, we didn't see them daily--they became just more chickens in the hen house. 

My one Grandma always had a cat and a dog as pets. I loved the cats! She had what I thought were Persians; later, I learned they were just long haired tabbies.  I wasn't as crazy about her dog: a Bulldog. I thought that was the ugliest dog ever--not to mention she 'snorted'. 

On my great-grandparents' farm, there was an old work horse called John.  My brother and I loved brushing him.  As he was a 'work horse', I'm sure that was about the only real affection/attention he ever got!  I recently came across a photo of myself and my brother riding John. That brought back memories, to be sure! 

It was many years later when I finally got to have my own 'pets'. As a teen, I had a blue parakeet. He/she only lived a few years; I have no idea why.  But I remember spending my allowance on bird food & 'treats'.  

In my final year in high school, I 'found' a stray kitten and took him in; he went with me when I got married. Sadly, I soon learned he needed to be neutered, which we couldn't afford; so I had to give him up. 

It was about four years later when we got our first 'real family pet', a black cat that was half Siamese. We named her Baby. She lived to be 21 yrs old & my children grew up with her.   That wasn't our 'last' cat, of course. 

And over the years, we've had other cats--and one gerbil. My daughter's best friend in high school gave her the gerbil as a birthday gift.  He/she was very sweet and loved to be 'handled'.  Then, when our daughter went off to college,  the care of the  gerbil fell to me; and sadly, the poor thing eventually had a stroke, after which it didn't live much longer.  

Now, we have two cats, who will be our last pets. Not only do we not want to outlive our pets, but it's getting harder to care for them on a limited income. Sammi is 20 yrs old & Max is 14. I know it will be a very sad day for us when those two are gone. But we've enjoyed all our pets and wouldn't have missed this for anything.    

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