When Radio Was King

Those of us who grew up before the Internet, VH1, and MTV remember when radio, usually AM but occasionally FM, was the place to listen to all the new music. It was where you found the songs you would look for on vinyl.

I came across this video and it brought back a lot of memories:

Now I do understand that folks have different preferences when it comes to their music, but what is represented here is what was most prevalent at the time, and, to be fair, what many of us of that particular generation recall. As in can sing along with. 🙂

I’ve said before that I have a rather eclectic taste when it comes to music. I love pretty much everything between Big Band, Swing, Pop, Rock & Roll, with a touch of opera and Broadway show tunes tossed in. Yeah, I even enjoy disco. <shrug> What can I say? LOL!

Everyone has those songs that live in their memories for a variety of reasons and when those songs are played we sing along. We can’t help it.

Part of the fun of top 40 radio was that 24/7 was full of music that people loved to listen to, sing along with, share with friends. Sometimes at full volume.

Part of the magic of that music is that it still lives today.

So, if you haven’t put together your own particular playlist in a while, what’s stopping you? The music is out there, waiting to be listened to again.

And should you choose to sing along, possibly off key, no one will mind. They just might join you on the chorus.

Around the House · YouTube

Looking For Organizational Ideas?

Me, too!

I love to find inexpensive (i.e.: cheap) ways to help me organize my home. I try to find unusual ways to use things. Bookcases can be for more than just books, right?

I found a great resource over on YouTube: The Crafty Organizer with Norrine Burke provides lots of great ideas for finding ways to tackle (corral?) all kinds of things that need to be organized in the home, office, craft space, or whatever.

Check out her website and don’t forget to look her up on Instagram.

This recent video really gave me a lot to think about and inspired me to look around for ways I could incorporate her ideas in my home.


Media · TV

Arthur – All Growed Up

I’ve been a fan of PBS’ ‘Arthur‘ since the beginning. To be honest, I’ve been a PBS Kids Junkie for decades. The programming may be aimed at kiddoes, but us older folks can find a lot to enjoy, too. I’ve been known to set my VCR and DVR to record many PBS Kids shows over the years. ‘Arthur‘ was a regular on that roster.

The show has been around for a long time, even though the kids seemed to never really leave third grade. What I enjoyed the most was the opportunity to not be blasted by loads of energy, noise, or the inevitable frantic silliness that some shows steeped themselves in. Arthur, Buster and friends told tales that reflected what was going on in the lives of third graders dealing with, among other things, allergies, questionable advertising, little sisters, pets, parents, and the scary realization that teachers were people, too.

The shows were tasteful, humorous, a touch ironic, and were often written with adults in mind. They would occasionally play with satire taking on Downton Abbey or Masterpiece with tongue in cheek humor. And they did it very well.

In addition to the regular shows, there were holiday specials, too. These brought something extra to the holidays that I look forward to each year.

Want to learn a bit more?

Arthur on Wikipedia

How Arthur Grew Up on The Los Angeles Times

Arthur Fans React on TV Insider

Are you a fan, too? Let me know!

Cooking · Dining · Food · Meal Building Blocks

When You Need Inspiration in the Kitchen

Or, what to do when you just aren’t in the mood to think about menu planning.

I’ve said before that traditional (?) menu planning and I aren’t friends. I just don’t live in a way that requires, let alone supports, planning ahead for every meal.

However, flying by the seat of my pants can sometimes be an issue, too. I tend to keep things in my pantry that allows for last-minute ideas for meals. But what happens when you just don’t have any ideas?

That’s where I was this week as I planned for my shopping. I’d put aside a couple of ideas from Mandy In The Making, but when it came time to actually shop for the things needed for those recipes… <sigh>

This week, when I just wasn’t interested in choosing a particular meal or two, being able to rely on my pantry for quick and easy meals has been such a treat! I like to be able to have things ready to go so I don’t have to do a lot of prep work. It also helps me keep a balanced diet. I love vegetables but don’t want to spend the time prepping them. (I never said I wasn’t a lazy cook!)

I had an interesting chat with my Schwan’s delivery guy this week. He brought my order and let me know what the specials were and we got to chatting about some of the things I’d tried recently – and loved – and because we both enjoy cooking and good food, we got to talking about putting things together to create some great meals.

Schwan’s has a new Italian Chicken that is wonderful. Beautifully flavored, it fits the profile for many different breaded chicken meals, but the thing that stood out for me was to take that chicken, add it to pasta and a jar of Rao’s marinara sauce and you have the best and easiest Chicken Parmesan ever! In the time it takes to bake the chicken you can have the pasta ready and the sauce heating through. Easy.

That chicken is also great for a fried chicken salad. Yum!

Ground beef also has space in my freezer. I like to use it in pasta dishes, make my own burgers or meatloaf. I’ve got an idea to use it with canned biscuits. I’ll let you know how they turn out. 🙂

By the way, if you are interested in checking out Schwan’s click on the link to get 40% off your first order. They have a wide variety of foods for a variety of tastes. I’ve been a customer for several years and have never had a complaint. Their site is easy to use, has lots of recipe ideas and you can read reviews from other customers before you buy. Some areas have delivery to your door while others provide shipping to your door. Check out their service HERE.

Audiobooks · Books · Media · Movies · TV

To Binge Or Not To Binge

I admit I’m still trying to maneuver my way through the streaming process. I’ve been around for quite a while. When I began watching TV, there were three – yes 3 – networks, no cable, satellite, recording or streaming. Shocking to some, I know. LOL!

All that means is that I have a different POV than some. And, odd as it might sound, a different appreciation, too. You see, I’m one of those folks who love the extras that were on the DVDs. You know, the behind the scenes, deleted scenes, etc. I’ve spent time on film sets on back lots, and parking lots, too. As a result, I appreciate what it takes to produce what you see on the screen.

I often recall a time when I had two recorders set up to capture a week’s worth of programming that I would work to keep up with in addition to what I watched ‘live’. I haven’t done that in years – mostly because there really wasn’t enough that interested me to watch.

Cable and I have had a mediocre relationship since the beginning. Way back when it was interesting and exciting. Now, the majority is simply boring and repetitive. My opinion, true, but I am certain I’m not the only one who thinks that, too. As a result I haven’t had cable in 2 decades. I have tested it out on occasion just to see if I was missing anything and, much to my dismay, I wasn’t.

I find it interesting that so many cable outlets have discovered that (a) they needed to provide their own material and (b) the audience isn’t going to sit around until they figure it out.

One of the biggest complaints about cable was being stuck with channels you never watch but had to pay for. Streaming took that out of the equation and for the consumer (me) it was the beginning of an entirely new world.

Thanks to On Demand I can pull up things I want to watch when I want to watch and not have to set a machine to capture it all. This means that I can indulge in some amazing programming or ditch a show when it just doesn’t capture my attention.

Which brings me to binging. Some shows are meant to be binged. Some really do need a break in between episodes to allow the viewer (me) to contemplate what I’ve seen.

A few years back I discovered Agents of S*H*I*E*L*D on whatever streaming platform it was on at the time and was hooked. Good thing, too, because – if memory serves – season 4 was coming up. That discovery literally made my summer!

I recently checked my watchlist over on Hulu and found Only Murders In The Building. I sat down to watch the first episode to see if it might make the cut and 5 hours later I’d seen the entire first season. (And that soundtrack is simply delicious!)

Other shows like Murdoch Mysteries or Frankie Drake Mysteries I take a couple of episodes at a time. Both end up on my list after the first run of their season so I am obliged to either wait until the entire season has dropped or keep up with them weekly.

Normally I don’t mind reruns but there is one show I don’t watch as a rerun; NCIS. I love NCIS! For some unknown reason, however, I don’t look for reruns of the series. The entire catalog is on Paramount+, so it isn’t as if it isn’t available.

One thing I have to say is that I appreciate it when providers like Paramount+ or Disney+, to name only two of what is available, provide a wide variety of programming. I’m a PlutoTV fan, too. These providers allow me to pick and choose what I want to see, not what they think I want to see. And, the icing on that cupcake: The price is fair, too.

For an old codger like myself who remembers a time when you made the time to sit down to watch a show or you hoped the rerun would air so you didn’t miss anything, this new era of streaming is almost a wonderland.

To binge or not to binge… Depends upon the day, the inspiration, the show, and whether or not you are ready to move on without taking a break in between.


Card Making · Craftroom

From The Craft Room: Christmas A Little Different

I admit that I fretted over my 2021 Christmas cards more than I have ever fretted over any card before. It took months for me to decide upon a design and then, when time was running out, I discovered I did not have ANY Christmas themed card stock or designer series paper on hand. None. Nada. Additionally, I didn’t have enough of the real red card stock I wanted for my bases.


So, what did I do? I got creative.

My Inspiration Design

I’ve been following Call Me Crafty Al over on YouTube for a while now and her monthly Sheetload of Cards series has been fantastic!

Each month on the first, Al posts her newest sheetload card design video and the first set of cards she designed from that sheetload. She also tells you how and where to get all the information for free. On the second of the month, she posts her video showing how she made the cards. Later in the month, she shares cards she received in the mail and the cards her collaborators made from that sheetload.

Lots of great information and inspiration.

Here is the video of the design I chose for my 2021 Christmas cards:

Everything you need is included in the free printable. All you need to do is provide the materials. You can shop for them or pull from your stash. Or both. The beauty of Al’s design is that you have the freedom to adjust it to what you want the end result to look like.

Speaking of End Results

Before I share my cards with you, I want to tell you how I came up with them. As I mentioned, I didn’t have any holiday paper on hand but I did have an old 6×6 paper pack that was Valentine’s Day themed.

The colors were right and the back side of the papers were stripes, polka dots or what I interpreted to be snowballs. <shrug> Depends upon how you looked at it. I also had some gold foiled paper on hand along with some ephemera that I could use to decorate the inside and the outside of the cards.

Not bad if I do say so myself.

I had planned to do some heat embossing on the sentiment, but frankly, I forgot. 😉

The moral of the story is to check your stash to see what you can use. I have to admit, I’ve been looking at that paper pack for quite a long time but it wasn’t until I turned the papers over that I found a use for them. I might actually make a Valentine’s card out of them one day, but for now I’m just pleased I could use them and not spend money on more paper.

What do you think?

Cooking · Dining · Food

Tater Tot Hot Dish – A Lesson in Recipe Fluidity

Came across this article from the Minnesotan and thought I’d share.

In a recent post I talked about how recipes and food taste change and evolve. This article is a prime example of only one dish.

Take a look and then, if you haven’t already tried it, give it a go. Using your own variations, of course.


Cooking · Food · Meal Building Blocks

Rethinking Leftovers

Cook once, eat twice, thrice or more!

Want to save yourself time and money in the kitchen? Start by buying and cooking larger quantities to use in later meals.

I know some folks just don’t love leftovers. I get it, I really do. But when you take a moment to change ‘left overs’ to ‘meal prep’ or ‘meal planning’ things change a bit.

Consider: You pick up a family pack of chicken, cook all and portion for the freezer. By tossing that chicken into a slow cooker or your oven you’ve prepped enough chicken for enchiladas, a casserole or two, maybe a chicken soup. All from one pack of chicken and session in the cooker.

What if you pick up a larger roast than you might need for Sunday dinner? You can save what you haven’t eaten, portion it up and freeze it for later use in pulled sandwiches, use with au jus over noodles, or top nachos.

Same with ground beef. You might be considering tacos for dinner but buy purchasing more than what you need for that meal and cooking before adding the seasoning for the tacos, you have the makings for a pasta sauce, pizza topping, sloppy joes, to name but a few ideas.

You can do the same with veggies, too! Picking up a large quantity of onions could lead to tucking some away in the freezer for later cooking projects (soup, anyone?). Peppers and celery can also be prepped and tucked into the freezer without need of cooking.

We hear a lot about meal prep these days, but what I’ve suggested is a tried and true method that actually is part of meal prep. In this time of shortages and higher prices, it is important that shoppers look for ways to economize where they can – and not just in the wallet but in the time spent in the kitchen.

This works no matter how many people are in your home, too!

If this has given you, pardon the pun, food for thought, please let me know by clicking the ‘like’ button!