Books · Media · Musings · TV

Revisiting the Peanuts Gallery

I really can not recall a time when the comic strip ‘Peanuts’ wasn’t around somewhere. I even recall watching the very first Peanuts special (‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’) way back in 1965. Actually, I recall watching every ‘Peanuts’ special from the very first showing. Yeah, I’ve been around that long. 🙂

The thing is, Charlie Brown and friends have been companions in many ways over the years and in some odd way have transcended childhood to adulthood without losing any of their wisdom and magic.

I’ve often been amused when people comment about cartoons or comic strips as only for children and not deserving attention from adults, let alone appreciation for the art form. And they are art forms.

Peanuts may look like just a bunch of kids meandering through their childhood but when you sit down and pay attention you realize that the conversations run deeper than expected, touch on topics you never considered, and often strike a nerve.

Do I have a favorite character? Well, I named my dog Snoopy and I find myself drawn to both Linus and Charlie Brown, so I guess you could say I do. But I appreciate Marcie for her unique outlook. Pigpen is one of those people who live life by their own rules while existing within society’s boundaries. Rerun highlighted the pleasures and perils of being a little kid…especially on his mom’s bike. The kid learned courage early!

I’m glad to say that I have the original specials not only on VHS but also on DVD. I strongly recommend them as additions to any media library. You never know when you might need a visit by the Great Pumpkin in the middle of Summer.

Don’t overlook the movies! Visually stunning, the storylines are interesting and enjoyable. A great way to spend an afternoon or evening with popcorn.

Peanuts is a treasure for so many reasons. Like fine wine, it just gets better with age.


I Can Do That!

Eventually. Maybe. Of course I Can!

Today I’m sharing two videos from different DIYrs who have approached vastly different projects and exceeded all expectations. Even their own.

Both of these people have spent years learning the skills necessary to tackle the projects and while it could be argued that the end result was a no-brainer by some, for many even the idea to consider doing these things is intimidating.

First, let’s take a look at DIY Danie’s former closet in her second bedroom. I’m putting up the last video in a 3 part series but she does show you the before and after and there are links in the description box on how to find the other videos.

The end result is amazing! And after all these years of watching her create amazing furniture, renovate rooms in her home, and take on building a greenhouse for her garden, I am still amazed and inspired that she chose to tackle a project that was just a bit (a teeny tiny bit) out of her comfort zone. Fabulous job!

Next let’s look at Katie Scott as she refinished a family heirloom. You have to admit that when you are a professional furniture flipper who has taken on hundreds of projects and teaches the process, when a member of your family comes to you and asks you to work on a beloved heirloom, not only is this an honor but not a small bit terrifying. Check it out:

The end result is beautiful. The amount of work that went into it is amazing. The trust and support from family that she could accomplish the project without damaging anything is empowering.

My point is that if you are willing to learn, there is nothing you can not do. When you look around your home and see things you would like to update or upgrade, having the skills to do the job is powerful. Having access to the tools is powerful. Having the courage to take the first step to learn is incredibly powerful.

If you are a beginner don’t be afraid to tackle flat pack furniture or small painting projects. Start to accumulate the things you will need for basic maintenance, and check out your local hardware stores and schools for classes to learn. Don’t overlook simply going to the store and asking questions.

You really can create the home you want. Don’t be afraid to get a bit dirty!


It Started As An Experiment

Okay, I admit it, I was curious. And the tool was there, so why not use it?

Every once in a while I get curious about something (one thing leads to another, right?) and I figure out a way to answer some questions or at least attempt to answer some questions.

In fact, as I think about it, I’m really not sure when this perhaps not-so-grand experiment began, I just know that it continues because, well, I like what I’ve discovered.

I’m not sure, but I think it started because I needed a way to keep on time for folks in different time zones. Then, because weather often affects all sorts of things, it evolved into keeping up with the weather.

I should say that I use my weather app on my phone or iPod to keep track not only of the weather but the time in several different places around the globe. The weather app not only tracks the weather, but it keeps the local time, so you don’t have to switch between that and the clock feature. I also set it for farenheit so it makes sense for my brain, but I do know how to convert should there be a need.

What I’ve discovered is that many areas around the globe have similar weather patterns. I’ve also discovered that some places are warmer than I expected them to be while others are much colder than I thought they would be.

While I understand that most folks wouldn’t bother doing this, I think that it could be an interesting curiosity for anyone who might be inclined. What is it like in [ fill in the blank ] right now as opposed to where I am?

What I found is a connection between what I ‘thought I knew or understood’ about a place and what is actually going on there.

One friend alerted me to change the location for their particular home because temperatures were more accurate when based on a local airport rather than the town she lived in. Interesting. And when I did that and compared the two, I was surprised to discover a bit of a difference. Hmm.

So, for me this adventure was more than keeping track of time zones for communication connections but also learning more about local conditions.

Oh, and it also made for interesting conversation starters. “I see you’ve got a huge rain storm in your area.”

Give it a try. It could be quite interesting.

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.



There’s Something To Be Said About

Seeing how the holidays are celebrated in other countries.

I grew up in the middle of Middle America. While many of our friends and neighbors came from other parts of the country, they brought their ‘old country’ traditions with them when they moved nearby. The same way my family did when they moved into the area. Those ‘old country’ traditions became the ‘old family traditions’ that were carried forward every year but somehow without the connections to the old country as they had with older generations.

Like the old story about the young woman who wanted to make Grandma’s Perfect Roast but had difficulty finding all the right ingredients and that all important pan. For years it was stressed that the pan was extremely important. After several frustrating searches, the young lady finally called Grandma and asked about the recipe. Turned out the pan wasn’t all that important after all; it was simply what Grandma had on hand way back when she first made the recipe and it was what she used every time she made it. It was the right size for the roast.

There is something magical about visiting other countries and seeing how they do, or don’t, celebrate. Don’t get me wrong, ‘visiting’ doesn’t necessarily mean travel, you can visit from your armchair in the comfort of your home, too. But taking the time to see the decorations, listen to the music, watch the processions, experience the food and drink (and here you could get really creative and try some recipes), all of this takes you out of the same old, same old that we often find ourselves experiencing in the midst of the Holiday Hoopla.

Thinking about food, it is interesting to discover where some of our favorite foods came from. They might be passed down in the family, but the origins could be quite surprising.

There’s nothing wrong with doing the same things every year, but if you want to take it up a notch or simply renew your joy of the season, it might be worth the effort to check out what other folks are doing.

FWIW, I still find it a bit … odd … that in Australia Christmas is in Summer. I know I’m not the only one, too. But I’d bet the Australians find it a bit odd that other folks celebrate during Winter. Come to think on it a bit, I grew up where it snowed and was cold during the holidays. Years later I moved to the West Coast. It was decidedly weird to have Thanksgiving Turkey and Christmas Roast when the weather was in the 70s.

Like so many things, it really is just what you are used to. 🙂

Happy Holidays!

Books · Media · Musings · TV

Why Do We…?

I’ve been pondering something lately. Have you ever thought about why we connect with certain shows, books, or characters? What compels us to keep up with series – be it TV, movies or books?

Some folks spend decades deeply involved while others can take it or leave it.

For instance, I’ve spent decades keeping up with a book series or two, only to walk away after all that time because, finally, something just…snapped. Either my patience with an author ran out or there was no real evolution or movement to keep me interested. Or both.

I’ve been a fan of a couple of TV series that moved into movies (or the reverse, come to think of it). During all the years of engagement, some more heavily involved than others, there have been things that kept me connected, interested, somewhat involved. One, in particular, has had a tremendous growth over the past couple of decades, resulting in some amazing expansion from the original kernel that started it all in the first place.

There are a couple of book series that have been moved into radio, TV, and movies over the years. Each iteration has been interesting. Some were carefully crafted to stay in keeping with the original works, others have veered in directions I’m sure the original author would never have imagined. Some worked, some didn’t.

At the end of the day, I’m still curious about why we stick around. I don’t believe the answer to the question is easy or simple. I think that each individual case is unique. Sometimes we outgrow an idea while other times the idea outgrows us. Sometimes the creator – or creators – can’t maintain the level of creativity that caught our attention to begin with. Sometimes we just really like spending time with characters in places that are familiar.

What do you think?

Audiobooks · Books · Musings

From The Reading Table: About Time

About Time by Jodi Taylor

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh Boy!

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve restarted this book. I’ve restarted it because I am loving the story and when I get to the end I want to go back and discover what I might have missed the last time(s).

I’m an audiobook listener. Between the great presentation and the amazing plotting, this book is fantastic. I really can’t imagine a better way to curl up on a cold day.

Team Weird has undergone some serious changes. The Time Police is having A Really, Really Bad Day. St. Mary’s is in the mix. And that experiment with Greek Fire might not have been the best idea but what can you really expect?

Jodi continues to astound me with her plotting. I have found myself gobsmacked more often than I care to count with this one. Just when I think I have a clue what is going on something shifts a bit – maybe just a teeny tiny bit – and everything adjusts. A lot. A little. It really depends.

Which might give you a clue as to what different characters are experiencing.

If you have been following along from the beginning of the series, this addition will be a joy. If you are new to the series, what’s keeping you? Jump in! From the beginning or you won’t understand all the bits and pieces. 🙂

View all my reviews

Around the House · Musings

Getting Back to Normal?

The kids are heading back to school soon. The weather is starting to head toward what the end of Summer usually looks like. In places. 🙂 Folks are starting to think about a change of pace that could either be a slow down or a speed up depending upon the kids in the household.

I don’t know about you but I’m ready to stop thinking about Summer Meals and start diving into some hearty recipes that are not only satisfying but tasty, too.

Granted the move toward Fall will take a while – my local weatherman is predicting 90+ degree temps in the coming days – but in the meantime it is a good idea to start checking the markets to see what is on offer, what fits into the budget, and what changes we might make.

The Holidays are also on the way and that will mean some extra budget planning, not to mention time planning, for those who are looking at gift giving.

Yep, we are heading back to Normal.


Around the House · Musings · YouTube

Bits & Bobs

Or the occasional odd thoughts that cross my mind.

Reached into my desk drawer recently and discovered, much to my surprise, that I had three – yes, three – tape measures inside. One for sewing, one all purpose, and one honking huge thing used by professional carpenters.

Note to self: Clean out the desk drawer and the tool box to make sure things are where they should be.

Yesterday’s snow was a lovely soft blanket that averaged 2.5 inches across my area. It was light and fluffy without any sleet or ice. So nice, in fact, that I was able to take my broom and sweep off the deck in front of the main door.

Today, thanks to blue skies and sun that is warming everything up, most of the white fluffy stuff is gone. 🙁

My daffodils are blooming and, having gone through two snow blasts within two weeks, are still hanging in there. Here’s hoping that they can bloom without experiencing any more of the white stuff.

I find myself watching lots of ladies on YouTube who have taken care with their manicures.

Some love a variety of colors and finishes while others are rather subtle. All are quite nice to see. Even if I clicked just to watch the project. 🙂

Sometimes you need to find a space that allows you to process all the ‘stuff’ going on outside in the world without doing damage to what is going on inside your world. To that end, in my house at least, this means quiet music, classic cartoons, and a touch of whimsy where applicable.

The outside world will continue with what it is doing all on its own. The inside world needs all the help we can give it.

Sending hugs to all who need them.


Odds & Ends

Time to catch up with film and TV.


I’ve been taking a look at my Roku channels and removing those I don’t watch. Oddly, there aren’t that many. I find I spend a lot of time on PlutoTV or YouTube. Yeah, surprised me, too.

I’m slowly getting back into series TV.

Over on AcornTV the return of Queens of Mystery (season 2) was such fun. The series is quirky. The mysteries interesting and I’m starting to see where the base “what happened?” mystery is being addressed.

Over on Paramount+ Star Trek Discovery has once again been pure joy. I’ve lauded the cinematic look and feel to the series since the beginning, but it is the writing that keeps raising the bar. To be clear, I’m not one of those nitpickers who would rather complain over the perceived error regarding [ fill in the blank ]. I’d rather sit back and enjoy a story that is well written, isn’t insipid, and treats the audience as thinking adults.

Yeah, I get a bit pissy about that. 🙂

Speaking of Paramount+, the ability to catch up with NCIS and Ghosts when I feel like it is great. I love watching these shows live, but when necessary to be able to not have to record them is great. If you’ve never set a recorder to capture a show that was pre-empted by a sports show and you ended up missing a chunk of what you wanted to watch… You don’t know what you’ve missed.

Ghosts has become such a wonderful success! Frankly not many UK shows can make the jump to the US audience and succeed. Ghosts is one of the very few and it is developing into Appointment TV.

Call Me Kat over on FOX is another of those ex-pat UK shows that moved to the US market. Season 2 just premiered and I am pleased to say that it looks like season 2 is going to be great.

I finally sat back to watch Being the Ricardos on Amazon the other day and was blown away. This Aaron Sorkin film looked at the relationship between Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz not Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. It has the full support of the family, too. Lucie Arnaz even posted a video talking about the project before it was released and stated that she was impressed.

The film is exceptionally well cast and the writing sharp. For those who take the time to notice, there is a lot of information about how a series is produced. The main focus of the film is the relationship between Lucille and Desi. Behind all the glitz and glamour, beyond the masks of characters, the story of these two people is compelling.

Oh, and if you are interested, Lucie Arnaz did a documentary based on her family home movies and interviews with folks who knew her parents. You can find it, Lucy and Desi A Home Movie, on Amazon.

Love Those Reruns!

I’ve loved BritComs for years. A couple have found their way on my viewing list once again.

‘Allo, ‘Allo is one of those Croft and Lloyd series that I once watched on my local PBS station, then found on Pumpkin FM. A bit silly, a bit farce, a bit tongue in cheek. Always good for a laugh. Click here for more information about the show.

Thanks to both PlutoTV and Hulu, I’ve been able to watch the Mary Tyler Moore show again. It is amazing how well the show holds up.

These are a few of the movies and shows I’ve been watching. What have you been enjoying?