Category Archives: family

Seven Binge-Worthy Netflix Series

7qt_lyceum_v2I’ve only ever blogged about when to stop watching a series, so I thought I’d bring the positivity today and suggest some series to start watching. Just in case anyone is bored, can’t sleep, or is on bed-rest (which is HORRIFIC for those of you who haven’t experienced it.)

— 1 —

Black Mirror – depressing future world, blah, blah. But I didn’t have a book handy and I wasn’t sleepy, so I started it. Each episode is a completely different future. If it were a book it would be a page-turner! (BTW, don’t bother to correct my grammar. “If it were” is the past imperfect tense. Only 9% of English speakers use it. It’s much more commonly used in Spanish.)

— 2 —

Stranger Things – I paused this about thirty seconds in to see if Stephen King had suddenly decided to do script-writing. The font of the title is even Stephen King’s. And yes, I do realize how weird it is that I can recognize his font. I’m okay with that. The whole series could have come straight out of one of his novels. And I don’t mean one of his many books that have been turned into pale, poorly cast imitations of variations upon his movies, either. When I saw him (yes, saw him in person in the middle of a raging thunderstorm *insert smug smile and hair flip*) he made it clear he doesn’t have any interest in the movies made from his books. In his own words, “There’s one movie I will always think of when I hear the name Tim Curry, and it’s not ‘It’!” Yes, I stood and cheered at that comment. But the brothers who did this series are clearly huge fans. Just watch it.

— 3 —

Santa Clarita Diet – I’m not a Drew Barrymore fan. Honestly, I haven’t been impressed with anything she’s done since E.T. So I was surprised by how much I enjoyed her acting in this series. I know, the premise sounds stupid, but how would your family react if you suddenly started craving human flesh? She and her husband are realtors, which I think is brilliant. I truly can’t watch some of the shows on HGTV anymore because I imagine them munching on feet between takes. (Flip or Flop? Seriously? There’s no other possible reason they’re still on TV other than that their producers are afraid of being eaten.)

— 4 —

Lost Girl – This one had a long time between seasons, so when the fifth season came out I watched the first four seasons again first to catch up. I’m glad I did, since I’d forgotten a lot. It’s got true BFFs, a love triangle, the supernatural, and just enough action/adventure. It’s more about the mystery and the magical creatures, but there are some political maneuverings thrown in. The costume department is heavy on black leather and high heels, and their eyeliner person probably has to be replaced each year due to carpal tunnel, but it’s fun!

— 5 —

Grace and Frankie –  With this all-star cast you’d expect something serious and meaningful. We’re talking Jane Fonda, Martin Sheen, Lily Tomlin, and Sam Waterston. And the supporting actors are no slouches, either! Instead, we get comedy and unexpected friendships. A new season was just released, and I will totally binge-watch the whole thing in a couple of days. It’s that good.

— 6 —

Glitch – Do you love hearing an Australian accent? Think zombies are a cool concept? You’ll love this – watch ASAP!

— 7 —

No Filter – Oopsie – this isn’t a series, it’s a movie. But it resounded with me so completely that I added it to my list of recommendations. Here’s how Wikipedia describes it: “When a woman visits a Chinese doctor, she discovers her pain is due to pent-up rage, and the only cure is to fully express herself, whatever may come.” Yeah, sound like anyone you know? If only my behavior in recent months had decreased my pain 🙁

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72 Hours of Fear, then RELIEF!

I started bleeding on the way home from John’s jazz band concert Saturday afternoon. It worried me, since I hadn’t had a period in years and my labs had been in the post-menopausal range for two consecutive years. But I was too exhausted and in too much pain to really give it any thought that day. I’d had a really demanding week physically and mentally. A lazy week compared to my pre-constant pain life, but really tough compared to my current isolated, in bed twenty out of twenty-four hours life.

The next day the bleeding was heavier. I stayed in bed all day. But I used my iPad to Google possible causes for vaginal bleeding after menopause. When I didn’t find any answers I liked I started selecting my own causes and Googling them. “Hypertension causes vaginal bleeding” – improbable stuff like that. Then I pulled up a medication app on my phone and checked every medication I’m on to see if any of them could cause vaginal bleeding, even though none of my meds have changed in six months. All that was left was the answer to my very first search: Uterine Cancer.

Monday the flow seemed lighter, so I put off calling my doctor. I shaved my legs and did my nails, just in case. When my hair was mostly dry I put it in a sock bun. Out of the way for procedures, still looks nice when it comes out of the bun later. I don’t care what anyone tells you: Medical professionals appreciate a well-groomed patient. Then I made the call and they arranged an ultrasound for today.

After the ultrasound the nurse practitioner assured me that not only did I not have cancer, but that the bleeding was just a rebound effect from having my IUD removed a month ago.  She said to call if the bleeding kept going or stopped and then returned, but clearly did not expect that to happen.

I called my husband with the good news from the parking lot. I’d prepped him for bad news since I thought is was inevitable. His voice was shaking when he answered, as I’m sure mine was just a few minutes earlier.

So I now have shaved legs, OPI Cajun Shrimp nails, and my tummy is full of celebratory hamburger. I think that went well!

See other takes on this week’s writing prompts at Mama Kat’s.

Growing Up Country

My husband likes to tell people I like both types of music: Country and Western (Blues Brothers reference for any under-fifty readers). He’s fairly accurate, though.

Until I was in Junior High (what they call Middle School today) I had no idea any music besides Country existed. Well, except for what I saw on the Donnie and Marie show and Sonny and Cher. When Donnie sang about being “a little bit Rock and Roll” I just thought that meant he was an Elvis fan. I’m not sure what genre Cher’s music was, but it blended in enough with Tanya Tucker that I didn’t suspect a thing. We didn’t have any albums by Tanya Tucker, whom my mom always referred to as “that slut” for as yet unknown reasons, but I’d heard her on the radio. I figured saying I wanted to grow up to be Cher wouldn’t be a popular comment, either. But who didn’t want to be Cher? Tall, thin, beautiful, with long shining hair and a voice to die for. Instead I got a daughter-in-law who’s more beautiful than Cher and has a better voice. Not even kidding.

The albums in our house (large vinyl discs played on a device with a small needle inside a console the size of a credenza) were many, but not varied. Elvis Presley (my mom’s), Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Conway Twitty, and Freddy Fender.  I believe I could sing any song we owned by Loretta, Elvis, or Johnny right now.

Of course you wouldn’t want me to, because I’m completely tone deaf – just like my mom. When I bought my first album (actually it was an 8-track tape, which I will not even try to explain) it was by the Eagles. She sang along and said it was great to jitterbug to. I couldn’t jitterbug if my life depended on it. I didn’t get her dancing ability. Album covers, by the way,  were an art form. Not as much in Country music, but if you still have any albums you love . . . frame the covers. I have this album in my basement awaiting framing:

When the radio was on in the car or truck, or on the tail-gate of the truck if there was work going on, I’d get to hear Olivia Newton-John, Tanya Tucker, Merle Haggard, Jim Stafford (hilarious! – Google him), Charlie Rich, Dolly Parton (I Will Always Love You is her song, not Whitney’s), Tammy Wynette, and even some Johnny Paycheck if I didn’t sing along! I still have this Olivia Newton-John album, and I’ll be singing “Have You Never Been Mellow” when I’m ninety and demented.

Then came Junior High, and my musical world exploded! Queen, Joan Jett, J. Geils Band, The Police, Blondie, Quarterflash, and Sugarhill Gang’s Rapper’s Delight, a song that changed music forever. Watch and see an incredible Rap group who dressed like Mr. Rogers and didn’t swear. The closest things to violence they mentioned were not properly appreciating the food at a friend’s house and stealing Superman’s girlfriend.

Through high school and college I became a fan of Prince (RIP, Purple One), Rush, Vanity Six, Michael Jackson (temporarily), Modern English (Melt With You is still my favorite song), Madonna, Wham, and many others.

When I started work as a nurse in a coronary critical care unit where everyone had at least ten years experience to my ZERO and I was working twelve-hour night shifts, often with residents who knew even less than I did I got through it with The Beatles and Billy Joel. As I drove to work for my third twelve-hour shift in a row I’d always sing along to “I’m So Tired”. On the day I was born The Beatles were in the studio recording “Strawberry Fields” for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It’s kind of karmic that they were there for me when I needed them.

But I soon drifted back to Country music, with some Tom Petty or music from a favorite musical thrown in. I’ll never give up The Rocky Horror Picture Show. But now I listen to Miranda Lambert, because she’s a bad-ass and honest as hell. Toby Keith – same reason. Just a few notes from a Kenny Chesney song can transport me to the beach, and Aerosmith transcends genre – they are a burst of adrenaline when I’m just about to drop.

What music did you grow up with? Check in with Mama Kat this Thursday – I can’t wait to read everyone’s posts!

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