Don’t believe the movies.

A friend of mine introduced me to the British TV series “Horrible Histories”.  The show is designed for youth but offers a lot to be learned for adults as well, especially if one thinks history is boring.

In Eleanor Herman’s The Royal Art of Poison, Herman takes “Horrible Histories” one step further.  People defecating anywhere they could find in royal palaces, sewage up to people’s heads in basements, poor medical treatment, murder most foul, no antibiotics.  

How did humanity survive? How did we get here? Why was the movie Amadeus so wrong?

Herman goes through the lives, final days and hours, and the post mortems of many of history’s big names: Henry VII, Napoleon, many mistresses, Caravaggio, and many more.

Cosmetics haven’t changed much either.

Having a bad day? Read this book and you’ll feel much better.




The word itself makes me shirk.  I’ve had no regular bedtime since high school, if that, and that was only because I had to be at school for 7:35.  Ah, memories.

I have come to accept that I am a night owl.  My best time is after 5 p.m., usually.  I’ll sleep all day if you let me.  I just need about one hour of sunshine and fresh air and I am good to go.

Right now I work evenings: paid, volunteer, my own business here, and I enjoy it.  It is my time of day.

Being an EMT (emergency medical technician), I started watching the show “Nightwatch.” I love that shift of 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.  Those are my perfect hours and I want a job with those hours.

This morning I woke up early and was thrilled to hear the birds singing outside and catch the first glimpses of sunshine.  Yet I crawled back into bed for a couple of more hours until life called.


I do have my routines and I try to read before going to sleep.  I also found a video on YouTube recently of Dr. Wayne Dyer about “setting” your brain for the next day before you go to sleep.  I totally understand this and try to do this every day.


Vice Away

Spoiler: Without some kind of vice……..

The hardest part about English is that one word may have several different meanings in different parts of speech.  I was working with clients today and going over prepositions (are you falling asleep yet?) and they asked about the word “away”.  Away is not a preposition.  It is mainly an adverb but can also be a noun.

Okay, on to the word “vice”.

In English we have Vice President, viceroy, vice.  Vice comes from Latin and is one of those words that didn’t change over between the languages.

Viceroy is a ruler.

Vice President is second in command.

A quick search also showed that “vice” can mean a substitute for another but is not a common usage.  But you never know….

Most people are familiar with vice in regards to criminals.  For example, the show “Miami Vice” and most police departments have a narcotics and vice division.  Vice is what society deems illegal.

But everyone has their vices, whether it is chocolate or gambling.

Without some kind of vice, we are not human.  Something to ponder.

Aestas/ Lux aestiva

Summer.  Summer time.

Summer, in my opinion, always goes the fastest of the four seasons.  Summer is always romanticized in books and movies.  Summer is full of memories.  Summer is when people come out and I see a lot of the people I know.

Summer means fireworks, fire crackers, lightning bugs/ fireflies, the ability to stand outside for a while and see the stars and constellations, the ability to just sit outside at night in general, nighttime concerts, music, Shakespeare outdoors, festivals, strawberries, blueberries, grass, flowers, gardens, baby animals, birds, block parties.

Summer is the time for cleaning up, cleaning out, painting, fixing, mud, dirt, the beach, swimming.

Summer is off-schedule, car hoods down, music blasting, traffic all night long, walks at night, long walks at night, and planning.


Is your glass half full or half empty?

What is empty anyway?  Is something ever really empty?  Can a person really ever be empty inside?

Empty is an adjective and  verb: empty the garbage, empty the glass, etc.

Going to chemistry for a moment: we are taught that there are atoms, molecules, elements all around us all the time.  The air we breath is composed of many elements: oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, etc.

How can that glass ever really be empty if there are elements in there all the time, even if we can’t see them?

Space is even described as “empty”.  Maybe “vast” is a better term.  The same chemistry applies even if the same elements don’t exist in the same amounts.  Again, how can it be empty?

How can anything be empty?  Is anything really ever empty?

Inanis=Latin for “empty”


Green with envy/ jealousy.

The green-eyed monster.

Living a green life.  (Can you really?)

The grass is always greener on the other side.

People turn green when they are sick.

US currency is green.  Green-backs.

Green has come to be one of my favorite colors.  I love green vegetables.

Dark green foods are good for you, unless you are on blood thinners.

I found a four-leaf green shamrock once.  I think I still have it pressed somewhere.

Go Green. (I still haven’t figured that one out.)


Black and white. Old and new. Tall and short.

When I think of contrast, I think of adjectives. Dark, light, ugly, beautiful, crooked, straight.

English has many adjectives.

The past, the present, the future.

Contrast is a natural way of looking at the world. How are these the same and different?

We spend a lot of time contrasting people, places, things, events, books…..

Contrast keeps life fun and interesting.