Living Your Best Life

February 1. Are you saying February correctly? It isn’t “feb-u-ary.”

Wild Cooking Woman 2/1/23

This and that…

If you want to have a manicure that looks good but doesn’t shout, here are the 10 best nude nail polishes.

Now that it’s February, take this January health challenge. Just do the first 28 days! The water challenge is my bete noir.

Jacinda Arden, the prime minister of New Zeeland, announced her resignation. Her reasons should speak to all of us about the weight of work.

I love crosswords and usually do the Times puzzle most days. Then I found the Black Crossword.

Tyree Nichols was killed by police after being stopped for a traffic violation. The 5 officers, who are black, were immediately fired and charged with murder. Other officers as well as EMT personnel have also been removed from duty. His funeral is today. Watch D L Hughley’s take on this.

“We use “blonde” (and to a lesser extent “brunette”) to signal that someone is white without using a racialized term like “white,” writes Tressie McMillan Cottom in the January 19th NY Times. Does the desire for status (Being a natural blonde must confer honor, esteem, and power to those who can legitimately claim it.) help explain folks dying their hair blonde, including black folks?

Is It a Ministroke? Know the Warning Signs of a TIA

Amanda Gorman has a newsletter.

After criticism from Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, the AP African American Studies curriculum looks different: no more critical race theory, and the study of contemporary topics — like Black Lives Matter — is optional.

Are you erudite? Are you as smart as you think you are? Can you name all 50 states? The 8 main parts of speech? Diagram a sentence? Drive well? Well – think again. Do you remember Schoolhouse Rock? I do, and can still sing “Conjunction Function.” This week’s advice? Avoid politics for your mental health. Politics is tohubohu.

Kintsugi 1/30/23

Do You Know All 8 Parts of Speech?

Commonly mispronounced words

  • Iraq (say “ee-ROCK” not “I-rack”)
  • Mischievous (say “MIS-chiv-us” not “mis-CHEEV-ee-us”)
  • Jewelry (say “JEW-ell-ree” not “JOOL-ree”)
  • Library (say” LI-brair-ee” not “Li-berry”) {this one really gets me going]
  • Qatar (say “CUT-ter” not “CAT-tar”)
  • Dour (say do-er” not d-our”)
  • Sword (say “so-rd” not “s-wuh-d”)

Check out the Cambridge English Dictionary for meanings and pronunciations.

Chicken Pot Pie


  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or 1 t. garlic paste
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 t. pepper or about 8 grinds of pepper mill
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons “Better than Bouillon” roasted chicken base or 2 bouillon cubes
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken (from my leftover rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons celery seed
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, cubed
  • 1/3 cup really cold butter


  • 1. Preheat oven to 425°. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour, garlic, and pepper until blended. Gradually stir in water, milk, and bouillon base or cubes. (If you use cubes, smash them into powder first.) Gradually bring to a boil while stirring; cook and stir until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in chicken and vegetables; set aside.
  • 2. For pastry, in a large bowl, combine flour and celery seed. Cut in cream cheese and butter until crumbly. Work mixture by hand until dough forms a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll two-thirds of dough into a 12-in. square. Transfer to an 8-in. square baking dish. Pour filling into crust. Roll remaining dough into 9-in. square; place over filling. Trim, seal and flute edges. Cut slits in pastry.
  • 3. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly, 30-35 minutes.

We Aren’t As Good As We Think We Are…

Back in 1980, a Swedish psychologist named Ola Svenson conducted a study: In two different sessions, he asked 81 American college students and 80 Swedish graduate students to rank their driving ability among their peers. The results were striking: 88% of the Americans and 77% of the Swedes ranked themselves in the top half when it came to driving safely.  The study was one of several others that proved the same thing – people have a tendency to overestimate their own abilities. One of them showed that 90% of college professors thought they were above-average teachers, while another found that, out of 800,000 high school students, only 1% thought their social skills were below average.

In the world of psychology, this is known as illusory superiority. However, it is better known as the Lake Wobegon Effect. This name comes from the radio variety show A Prairie Home Companion, which is set in a fictional town in Minnesota called Lake Wobegon, where “all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.”

Read more HERE.

How to Get Rid of Pink Mold

  • Shower Walls & Doors: Create a cleaning paste with 1/4 cup of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap. Using a soft bristle brush, apply paste to the bacteria and scrub away the pink film. Rinse.
  • Shower Curtain & Liner: Fill a spray bottle with a 1:1 ratio of bleach and water, then spray any pink spots on your shower curtain and liner (if it’s a colorful curtain, use a color-safe cleaner like OxiClean). Let sit for 10 minutes. Then remove both the curtain and the liner and run it through a cycle in the washing machine.

Read more HERE.


Deadliest Cancers in the U.S. in 2023

Overall, cancer deaths have declined year over year in the United States, but the disease remains a major killer among men and women — second only to heart disease.  Read more HERE.

States Most Dependent on the Federal Government – 2022 Edition

Red states dominate the top 10. Eight of the 10 states most dependent on the federal government traditionally vote Republican. New Mexico (No. 2) is the only state in the top 10 to vote for the Democratic candidate in any of the last six presidential elections. Maine (No. 8), which splits its delegates, has voted for both Democrats and Republicans in the recent elections.

Connecticut ranks as the state least reliant on the federal government. Less than 32% of the revenue collected by the Connecticut state government comes from the federal government. That’s the eighth-smallest percentage across all 50 states. Connecticut also has the third-lowest percentage of workers employed by the federal government (1.47%) and fourth-lowest ratio of federal funding to income taxes paid (0.38).

Words You Might Not Know Are Acronyms

  • Radar
  • UFO
  • Laser
  • GIF
  • SIM (Card)

The 20 Smartest States in the U.S., Ranked

To determine the overall smartest states in the U.S., researchers looked at factors including the number of academic degrees within the area’s population, as well as the average IQSAT, and ACT scores of residents. Is your state one of America’s smartest? Find out the top 20 below, according to the results

  1. Massachusetts // 93.9
  2. Connecticut // 73.8
  3. Maryland //  72.8
  4. Virginia // 72.5
  5. Vermont //  72.2
  6. New Hampshire // 70.5
  7. New Jersey // 69.5
  8. Colorado // 69.4
  9. Minnesota // 67.0
  10. Washington // 60.3
  11. New York // 57.8
  12. Maine // 55.8
  13. Utah // 55.5
  14. Kansas // 55.5
  15. Nebraska // 57.8
  16. Pennsylvania // 52.4
  17. Oregon // 52.0
  18. Montana // 51.9
  19. Illinois // 51.4
  20. Rhode Island // 50.5

See the entire list HERE.

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