Bingeworthy · TV

Throwback TV: Cro

Way back in the 1990s, when ABC TV still had a Saturday Morning Cartoon line up, Cro was a favorite of mine.

Produced by the Children’s Television Workshop – the same folks who produced Sesame Street – Cro focused on a group of characters who showed problem solving. While that might not sound all that exciting, the series took a collection of interesting characters, set in an unusual time period, and tossed in the time travel trope to capture the interest of a young audience. Or, in my case, a not so young audience.

You can learn more about Cro by clicking HERE. You can watch the episodes by going to YouTube and searching for Cro ABC, which will bring you to a couple of collections of the episodes in addition to individual episodes.

I found this gem on YouTube recently and found myself revisiting Phil and Dr. C, not to mention Cro and his friends and family. The stories are interesting, the topic is presented in a captivating manner, and the fun is the twist on animal intelligence.

Sadly, the series is not available on DVD, or it would be on my shelf. Like The Magic School Bus, it is one of those wonderful series that combines great viewing with great learning without your being aware that you actually have learned something. 🙂

Check it out!

Audiobooks · Books

From The Reading Table: Vesuvius at Night

Vesuvius by Night by Lindsey Davis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I finally (!!) picked this up on and am I glad I did.

If you are a follower of the Falco series, you should know at least one of the main characters. If you aren’t it won’t matter. The difference, at least for me, is that I remembered that person from when he was a lot younger, more nieve, and a bit adventurous. It mattered.

I’ve studied what happened at Pompeii a lot in the past couple of years, but I have to admit that there was a head-slap moment when I realized that there was more than one way out of town, and it did not involve the water. [ Insert head-slap.] Yeah, it just never occurred to me. The other point is that apparently the majority of people started leaving early on. Call it a memory of the earthquake that almost destroyed the town a few years before. Archeologists have found many buildings still under repair from that earthquake.

All that being said, this was a powerful piece that resonated long after I finished listening.

This one will stay with you a bit and I think you will recall it if/when you watch any Pompeii walkthrough tours.

View all my reviews

Around the House


I’m a huge fan of all sorts of interior design and DIY shows, videos, magazines, and such. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t take advantage of all sorts of ways to figure out options, consider new colors, contemplate furniture styles, and best of all, file away the best of the best for future use. Because I always knew that I’d have the opportunity to make use of them someday.

I know lots of folks love Pinterest and gather all their ideas from there, but I’ve found that often those ideas are repeats of repeats of repeats. Not always a bad thing but … there is room for change. I appreciate Better Homes & Gardens in Australia, now found on YouTube as Great Home Ideas, as ways to look at things a little differently. Bang on Budget from the UK gives a lot of value in seeing options when it comes to budget driven renovations.

What are my favorite ideas?

Overall, my favorite idea is to make the space your own rather than design for resale. This is important especially because you are living in the space. While you might actually sell the place, or move out, at some later date, you are actually occupying a space that should make you feel comfortable, provide a calm and hopefully peaceful space right now.

This means incorporating colors you like in spaces you will see them often. One of my favorite things is to see colorful tiles in the kitchen or bath. While white is a great option, why not up your game by adding color? It doesn’t have to be overwhelming, in fact it could be quite subtle. The point is to make choices that make you happy. You live there, right?

If you aren’t up to replacing tiles, why not look at options for peel and stick tiles? You can find vinyl options (similar to contact paper) in many spaces. These can be quite useful for renters – just be sure to check to make sure they are easy to apply and remove before you apply to the entire area. Also know that they might not have a long life in the area you use them. Things to consider!

Get creative with items you can find in hardware stores. For example: Engineer Your Space created a papered feature wall in her bedroom using cardboard sheets designed to protect floors during construction. You can see her process on YouTube.

If you are inexperienced with tools – particularly power tools – check to see if your local hardware store offers classes to learn how to use them. Check your local schools or colleges, too. And, before you get too uncomfortable with the idea, contemplate the power tools that probably occupies space in your kitchen: your blender, food processor, Instant Pot, and the like.

Yeah, it is an odd thought to consider them ‘power tools’ but when you get down to it, a power tool is something that requires electricity to run. Sewing machines, irons, electric skillets, etc., etc. 😀

Sometimes the best thing you can do to gather inspiration is to find decorators whose style is close to yours. I love to find those folks who don’t get stuck in one design type (farmhouse, Boho for example) because they can often look at items you wouldn’t necessarily think of in ways that could totally make a space.

In times when money is limited (and really, when it is not?), making use of as many resources to find ways of saving money while creating spaces that enrich our lives is essential. This can also mean learning to reuse and recycle what we already have. It is astounding the impact of a can of paint on pretty much everything. Taking it up a notch, look at refinishing furniture. You don’t have to dive into a huge project, you can keep it simple with an easy to do paint finish. Have a chat with the expert at your local hardware store. You might be shocked to discover just how easy – and inexpensive – the process can be.

Inspiration comes from a variety of sources. We tuck them away on our phones, Pinterest accounts, in binders. Courage to take the steps to try those ideas shouldn’t impede our desires to make our homes our own. Create a home that you want to live in, not the person who buys it years from now. They will redecorate to meet their own preferences anyway. Providing, of course, you actually do sell or move on.

My absolute favorite renovation house project has been Ariel Bissett’s Updated House Tour. Two years in her new home, this tour shows not only her creative side, but also the reality of a reno project. I love her style, her use of color, her courage to learn as she goes, and, of course, the pleasure of the results.


Around the House

Back to Nermal, er Normal

I have been enjoying the return to what is laughingly referred to as normal. Actually, it is more nermal – that state of almost but not quite the norm.

Everyone I’ve talked to has had the same comment: With the holidays on the weekends, everything has been out of whack. While we have had beginning of week holidays to help out with the holiday on Sunday issue, it still hasn’t felt quite…celebratory.

Finally, however, things are returning to their usual time frames. My YouTubers are once again posting videos per their regular schedules. My bloggers are back on track, too. The holiday preparations and decorations are finished and back in their respective storage spots for another year. In other words, back to normal.

One thing I’ve noticed with this shift into a new year is the efforts of many to make changes in their homes. Some are working on projects to make their spaces more user friendly while removing clutter, and adding organization. Some are completing projects that, for one reason or another, were put on hold. These are not wholesale heavy effort, expensive, or time consuming projects. They are often little things that kept being put off until ‘later’ or small projects that really don’t take much time after the thinking-it-through process has been completed.

Personally, I’m updating my crafting supplies with items that I need – ‘need’ as in basics, not ‘need’ as in gotta-have-that. I’m also reviewing my audiobooks to determine who or what I want to listen to next. We are at that mid-point in the TV season where many series have had their break and are ready to return, and a few series aren’t quite ready for their season returns. It is hard to wrap my head around the reality that May is not that far away.

A new year often brings thoughts of resolutions and renewal. I’m not one for resolutions; I make my changes as I go and I know myself well enough to not create problems for myself. Small changes, little updates, all work to create improvements.

It is, quite literally, a return to nermal. Er, normal. Whatever.

Happy New Year!


A Little Something Extra

When I was a kid, convenience foods were not common in our home. It was an EVENT when store bought TV dinners or pot pies were on the table. I emphasize ‘store bought’ because my mom would save the aluminum foil pans to make her own and tuck them away in the freezer.

Now, when I’m looking for a touch of comfort food, I enjoy the occasional store bought pot pie or even a TV dinner.

The other night I found myself contemplating tucking one of those delicious pot pies into the oven. As I recalled the lovely end result (hey, to each his/her own) I remembered that I have a pot of rice in the fridge. Hmmm. Could I?

I did!

When I put the pot pie into the oven to bake, I took about a cup of the rice out and put it on the bowl I would serve the pot pie in. When the pot pie was done, I turned it out over the rice. Yum!

The rice soaked up the extra gravy and also bulked out the meal a bit. Maybe a bit over the top, but on a cold winter day this toasty tasty meal hit just the right note.

Why not treat yourself to a touch of comfort food and step it up a notch by adding something a little extra?


Around the House · Musings · YouTube

One Thing Really Does Lead To Another

Around Here

I thought a great way to start a brand new year would be to take a look at some of the things/people/whatever that caught my attention and tell you about it.

Algorithms are interesting things. They bring to your attention things you never knew existed while providing you food for further research on things you are already interested in. Case in point, over on YouTube I’ve been made aware of a couple of people from very different parts of the world who are involved in home renovation and decoration projects.

NOTE: You can search YouTube for the name of each individual’s channel by copying the BOLD text and putting it in YouTube’s search box.

I’m not really sure how or where, let alone why Karolina Zebrowska popped up in my feed but I’m glad she did. This lady is from Poland, does a bit of travel, and has a passion for history. Oh, and she’s renovating a 1930’s era flat that she purchased.

I’ll be doing more research into her channel because what I’ve already seen is interesting. It is not quite the run of the mill anything.

If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you know I’m a follower of DIY Danie. Danie has been working on her 1850 era Canadian farm house for quite a while now. Imagine my surprise to have Ariel Bissett pop up in my YouTube feed.

Ariel, also Canadian, purchased an 1860-ish home in Nova Scotia that she has been renovating in addition to her regular work which seems to have some research and review focuses. She makes some beautiful videos, providing interesting perspectives and information.

Both of these ladies are creating homes that reflect who they are, not the latest Pinterest craze. Each has a style and preference that is unique to them. Each provides me with some beautiful things to look at, ponder, and appreciate.

Consider this my invitation to you to check out their channels and see what you think.