Thursday, August 22, 2019

And They Said It Wouldn't Last--The Dept. Of Nance Is Fourteen!

It was with some Wonder and Astonishment that I realized the Dept. of Nance is Fourteen this August 2019. This will be my 795th post here, and I have to admit that I haven't an inkling as to what I'm going to write. After fourteen years of this, I sometimes feel like all the Good Stuff has been taken, you know? I've written about so many things--The Politics, two sets of cats (and their maddening hair), my teaching days, my long-suffering husband Rick, my martini-drinking days, and my two sons who are now men--that I marvel at how I can find anything at all to write about anymore.

This blog was originally started to fend off any feelings of Hypocrisy. I was forever telling my Creative Writing students that writers write, period. They write as a matter of course. I wanted to practice what I preached, so I started this site and began writing, at first every day or every other day. Then I became gentler with myself, allowed myself more leeway. (The Universe, as you all know, makes other plans for us every now and then.) But through it all, I did keep writing here.

Blogging in general hit a peak for a time, and some bloggers got famous, got book deals, and some monetized their blogs--kind of like how YouTube is now, but on a smaller scale. It seemed like everyone was into SEO and Personal Branding and Hits and Niche Blogging and yada yada yada. I simply didn't want to get that worky; I already had my career. And once I retired, I didn't want another one. My blog was supposed to be my pleasure. (And, hopefully, part of someone else's.)

So, I still have an old fashioned blog where I unwind for a bit in the old style way: I write deliberately and at length about something I want to share with others; I hope it sparks some discussion; I respond to your comments directly so that it's a back-and-forth chat that includes everyone. I don't see it changing anytime soon.

Thanks to all of you who join me here. I do sincerely love having you. And, just in case I've left any stones unturned in fourteen years, here are

14 Random Things About Me

1. I like ketchup on macaroni and cheese.
2. I own seven pairs of prescription glasses (and two of prescription sunglasses).
3. I don't wear any jewelry, including my wedding band.
4. My favourite music will always be The Beatles.
5. I might like salsa if it were served warm.
6. Country music irritates the hell out of me.
7. I'm not eating guacamole often enough to suit me.
8. I don't get the allure of Twizzlers. Or Skittles.
9. I buy dog biscuits for other people's dogs.
10. I'm a firm believer in naming pets with people names.
11. Wearing peach or yellow makes my skin look green.
12. I think the acting in most old movies is horrendous.
13. I love taking the dumb quizzes on
14. If I lived on Pleasant Street and it wasn't pleasant, I'd start a petition drive to rename the street.

Again, thank you for reading. And for commenting. It's been a terrific Fourteen Years. Let's go for more! Share some thoughts and your own Random Things in Comments.



  1. Happy 14th Blog-a-versary!!! Let's raise a glass of SKITTLES! (Which, by the way, is my candy of choice on road trips. LOL)

    1. Dee--Thank you!

      Skittles were the Reward Candies when I potty trained my eldest. LOL. They did a good job. And Rick is addicted to Twizzlers. I remain shamefully addicted to Peanut MM's, The World's Most Perfect Food.

  2. I'm not surprised that fourteen years snuck up on you when you weren't looking. You are a writer after all.

    Congratulations on your blogger's birthday.

    1. Jean--Thanks. Yes, I am. I do write every day, just not here.

      I think I fell victim a little bit to the August Doldrums; the heat, humidity, and feeling like a hostage to it made me apathetic. Hopefully, it will pass.

  3. Happy Blogaversary! It only took me 14 Years to find you! *Winks* I'm slow like that and the cyber Universe is so vast! I like your style of Blogging and I think now the pinnacle of Blog has passed, more of the die hard and non-economically motivated Bloggers seem to have endured and remained in The Land of Blog. When something is trending everyone is doing it for so many reasons that Blogging from the Heart isn't always evident in all of them. Those that Blog for the Love of the Written Word, for the Sharing of Life, for the Beauty of the Art of Photography... have always appealed to me most. Thank You for that 'Political Sign' BTW, you were the one that I saw it on and then googled to see what products are being Sold online saying it, ideal in this Political Climate for the Statement I wanna make, so THANK YOU! Many of my Blog Friends adored it too, so hopefully they sell a lot of product to make a profound statement to the Politicians?! *Smiles* Thanks for dropping by my Blog, I've been Blogging now since 2009, so I'm a Decade in and I too am surprised I haven't yet run out of things to talk about! Here's to many more Happy Years of Blogging!

    1. Bohemian--I'm always glad to welcome new readers to the Dept., however they've arrived here. I'm still finding new blogs to read as well, so I'm happy there are still so many of us out there.

      You make a good point about today's bloggers. We are the ones who are motivated by community and writing. Once the monetization dried up, once facebook skimmed off the compulsive sharers, we're left now with those who enjoy reading and writing and building a community of the same.

  4. Congratulations on this wonderful personal blog that you have here. I agree with your approach to blogging, and admire how long you've kept the same blog going. Good job, nance.

    3 Random Things About Me, because you asked...

    1) I like to eat an apple for, or with, my breakfast every day.
    2) I think Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid is one of the most overlooked movies out there. It is great.
    3) I am fond of neutral colors on my walls, but adore bright accents around a room.

    1. Ally Bean--Thank you for the kind words.

      I like an apple with peanut butter for lunch. It's my usual, unless there's leftovers. Granny Smith, please.
      I'll have to give Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid another look. I actually recall seeing it in the theater! I've always had a big crush on Robert Redford.
      I have the same decorating ethos--so much easier to change things out, and I find it more restful and serene that way, too.
      Thanks for being a loyal reader.

  5. Hooray, and congrats! I'm so glad you are here, and look forward to chatting for years to come.

    Since you don't like Twizzlers, that means more for me - THANK YOU!

    1. Bridget--Thank you. I'm glad to be here for you!
      You may have my share of Twizzlers (but don't tell my husband; he's a big fan, too).

  6. Fourteen! A real accomplishment. And it would be a poorer on-line world without you.
    Just in passing - are you able to find all those glasses? I have trouble locating my single pair a lot of the time.
    Reese's Peanut Butter Cups! And I am too old for the Beatles. 1950's stuff is my nostalgia.

    1. Mary G--Oh, what a lovely thing to say! Thank you so much. I love having you represent Canada, my favourite Neighbour.

      I am almost always able to find those glasses. A pair has never turned up missing for more than a few moments. I try very hard not to take them off and put them down in a strange place. I miss wearing contacts so much!

      I love peanut butter cups, too, but they are not as easily binged upon and can get messy. MM's are so portable and poppable.

      I grew up with The Beatles, thanks to my older sister, who was deep into Beatlemania. I ended up adopting all of her musical tastes--she was my idol--and many come with fond memories.

      Thanks for being a Faithful Reader here. I do hope you are well.

    2. My kids learned arithmetic from their grandmother with MMs. And I am just fine, although still annoyed with the knee. Weeding is hell.

  7. Happy Happy Anniversary. I get sad when people leave blog land. Your blog is a source of joy for me. But cmon now Ketchup on mac n cheese. Oops no shaming. I hope you saw that new Beatles movie . I need to see it.
    And Yellow is not becoming to so many caucasians! But oh yellow on a person of color is Magic I think!!

    1. kathy b--Thank you. I miss some fellow bloggers as well. Lots of them left for the ease of facebook, I think. More have peeled away for Instagram. Neither of those appeals to me, so here I stay.

      I am so flattered that what I do here brings you Joy. Maybe I'll change my tagline to Dept. of Nance--Source Of Joy. LOL. But, truly, thank you for that. It brought me Joy!

      Ketchup on mac and cheese...what can I say? I also like ketchup occasionally on eggs. And, an even greater shame, on roast lamb! What a horror, I know.

      Warm colours on darker-skinned people do tend to look wonderful, I agree. But even though I tan very deeply, I still look terrible in yellow. Must be that hint of olive in my complexion.

  8. Well Happy Anniversary - glad you are here and still writing! I do love Twizzlers, so Bridget will need to share with ME. I'm not fond of Skittles, so Dee can have them all. I would take a handful (or more) of your peanut M&Ms.

    1. Vera--Thank you, and I'm glad, too.

      I'm sad to say that I buy Peanut MM's in the enormous pantry jars at the warehouse club, so pathological is my interest in them. It's worth the ten bucks to me to have them at the ready in what looks like a limitless supply. I actually get a little tense when Rick brings out the whole jar and sits with it in his recliner, grabbing fistfuls and munching away. I've actually considered buying an extra jar and keeping it in a hiding place.

      I obviously have A Problem.

      Perhaps you, Bridget, and Dee can tell me if you've felt similarly about Twizzlers and Skittles.

    2. HA! I do understand, but I don't think I'm quite that bad about Twizzlers...though I did buy a 2 lb bag on Saturday and Fletch made what I consider to be a rude comment about it.

  9. Hooray for fourteen years and still counting! Congratulations! There are so many times that you and I think alike that I was quite surprised that I share only one of your fourteen random things. I do buy dog biscuits for other people's dogs. And I really do like the Beatles but my favorite music (if I MUST choose only one) would be Joan Baez. I love all music (except RAP) in differing doses and I really LOVE country. Not the modern country but the old stuff. Perhaps because I used to sit at the house of my mother's friend listening to Doc Watson. Not records, but Doc Watson himelf playing pick-up on her front porch. I love all the old Carter family, Flatt and Scruggs, Tammy Wynette, and Loretta Lynn, and of course Doc Watson. I'm especially fond of the old mountain "ballads" brought here from the UK centuries ago. I'm really looking forward to the Ken Burns PBS special next month. I hope you will watch it even if you think country music irritates you.

    My three random thoughts in no particular order:
    1.) I have a high-performance car and I love to drive.
    2.) I am an avid reader and usually have at least three books in process at a time.
    3.) I love music and have my iPod playing on a Blue Tooth speaker almost all the time. If my husand is watch TV in the same room I'm listening to the iPod through my wireless headphones. I have another iPod in the car so I can select playlists from that when I find nothing on Sirius XM.

    1. Carolyn--Only one! Of those random fourteen, anyway. On The Big Stuff, we agree more frequently, I'm sure.

      I love Ken Burns' work, but I doubt I could listen to that much country music. I will give it a chance, however, because he is a master storyteller. But that genre of music really does pain me.

      We differ on music listening as well. I find it very distracting unless I'm in a very specific mood. I prefer just ambient noise or silence. Even just a TV on, unless I am watching something, bothers me. When I take my walks, I don't listen to music. I don't like the work of following the words or melody, listening for the lyrics or anticipating the chorus. I can't relax. It's hard to explain, but music can feel like a job to me.

      Thanks for reading and commenting here. I'm glad we found each other!

    2. About the must by MY music. I share your view if it's someone else's choice. You need not explain. I know exactly what you mean since I feel the same if it's not my music. I do love your blog and read it long before I ever commented on it. And when I found it, I went back through the archives.

  10. Joan ... yes, yes, yes.

  11. Congratulations on 14 years! Been enjoying your blog since... 2006? I love every one of your new posts, and also clicking on older ones that I enjoy re-reading because they were so entertaining. I know I have had periods where I haven't had time to comment, but I try to read every one because they are always a bright spot in my day. Regarding the heyday of blogs: Yeah, blogs are not the rage they once were, but the ones like yours are a cozy refuge where we can all have a laugh, commiserate, and enjoy the camaraderie of people we have never met, but who feel like old friends. Like you, my dear.
    1) I don’t really like peanut butter except in Reece’s cups which I have to resist buying as I would O.D. on them.
    2) I buy fingernail clippers pretty much on a monthly basis because Mr. O. loses them that frequently.
    3) I like sour cream on pretty much anything.
    4) I don’t have any pets, but if I did, it would be a dog and I would name it with a person’s name for sure.
    5) I have driven a car with standard transmission for most of my life and love it, but avoid any place where I might have to stop on a steep hill.

    1. I learned to drive on a VW bus & remember one especially fraught occasion when I tried to go up the hill by our church. I Could. Not. Do. It. Had to back up & get a running start before I could make it up the hill. I was going to say that it was a good thing I was alone because my 16 year old self would have been mortified, but I've been telling the story ever since so maybe not so much.

    2. Bug: hahaha. My mortal fear of having to stop on a hill with a 45 degree incline or more... comes from when I lived in Spain and drove some horrible old jalopies, one of which had several teeth missing in 1st gear, and another one which had a very dicey hand brake, causing me to slide back into the car behind me on one occasion. To this day, my stomach churns when I am on a hill. I could so not ever live in San Francisco, lol!! (My technique to this day, if I am stopped on a hill I could not avoid, is to be ready to rev up the engine while very slowing letting up on the clutch. Sucks up a lot of gas, but totally worth it.

    3. Ortizzle--Thank you for such warm and kind thoughts. You certainly are a Lifer here at the Dept. I'M SO GLAD!

      I eat peanut butter like it's my job; this is a taste I've developed late in my life. I can't eat a banana without wanting peanut butter to accompany it.
      What is it with men and fingernail clippers? I buy Jared and Sam some for their stocking and Easter baskets every year.
      Rick uses a half pint of sour cream on any night we have baked potatoes. It's scary.
      And my thoughts on a stick shift: I will not drive a car with more pedals than I have feet. Not to mention the fact that innovators have moved us beyond the standard transmission. We have better technology available to us. WHY NOT USE IT? This is the same philosophy I apply to camping, eating outdoors, and convertibles. WHY DO THESE THINGS WHEN WE DO NOT HAVE TO? WE ARE CIVILIZED FAR BEYOND THEM.

      Stop struggling, my dear, dear friend. Embrace the ease of Modern Living. Get a car with Automatic Transmission (which has been de rigueur since 1950 or so, but certainly invented to be reliable around 1932).

    4. My first car was a 66 VW Bug, standard transmission, and I loved it. My husband’s first cars were also standard transmissions, and when we moved in together I drove his Honda CRX a lot. In San Francisco, on hills. I will admit to not being super fond of being at a stop light on a steep hill in one of those cars, but then again, I don’t really enjoy being on one of those steep hills in an automatic either. We went automatic when we bought Ted’s father’s car after his death, and I guess have never looked back. I won’t say I love them the way I once did (I felt more in control of the car with a stick shift) but I will say I have fond memories.

  12. Man - I am struggling with commenting today. First it took three tries to get my reply to Ortizzle to post in the right place, and then I wrote a long comment here using my iPad only to have it lock up - couldn't copy the content and couldn't get it to post. So I pulled out the ole laptop. Let's see if I can do this again.

    First of all, congratulations on your blogoversary! It's always fun to see what you might say next - I love seeing a new post pop up on my feed, even if I can't read it right away.

    I am with you on the Skittles & Twizzlers. I also love peanut M&Ms, but really any chocolate type item is my favorite as long as it's in front of me. I probably would like ketchup on mac & cheese, but I don't know that I'll ever try it because I REALLY love mac & cheese with just a lot of extra black pepper. Other things about me:

    1. I've taken three different tests & I'm pretty sure I'm an Enneagram 5 - and I now believe that I have a valid excuse for skipping church & many other Social Obligations.
    2. That ketchup mac & cheese business is reminding me of one of my favorite childhood dishes (probably created during the depression): Bean Bake. It's made with Pork n Beans, ketchup, mustard, & spam, and topped with Jiffy cornbread. I'm going to have to dig out my mom's recipe & make it for us here directly - the Bug Household could use some comfort food.
    3. I put this reminder on my to-do list - it pops up at around noon every day: Remember that Phish Food makes you feel ill the next day.
    4. I really do like Instagram.

    Another fun post that gave me an excuse to write about myself. Thanks! :)

    1. Bug--Thank you! And thanks for being a longtime reader and commenter.

      That reminder of yours about Phish Food is a good idea. Mine could be for potato chips, Cheetos, and nuts in general. If I eat those in any quantity as a snack, I feel lousy.

      Toss a few minced onions in your Bean Bake. Or will that make it too snooty? LOL.

      Your blog posts are basically Instagram. I don't really enjoy taking photos--never did--so it's not my thing. I also find Instagram tedious and disjointed. But that's apparently a minority opinion.

      I am an Enneagram 1, but I only took one test.

  13. Love this post and I can't stand country music so you are not the only one. Happy 14!

    1. Meredith--Thanks. With the sudden burgeoning of country music, it feels like its fans are everywhere. I know IT certainly is. Glad you're with me on that, and here at the Dept. as a reader and commenter.

  14. OMG, ketchup on Mac and cheese? That’s even worse than ketchup on eggs, which Ted loves. Some people are just weird, and there’s nothing to do for it but love them anyway.

    Skittles and twizzlers both suck. I do like a good red vine, however. Here in California, the movie theaters had red vines. When we moved to Philadelphia, the movie theaters had twizzlers. Clearly there was nothing for it but to move home.

    There are two cities in my area with the word Pleasant, and they are both, indeed, Pleasant enough. The next town over from us is Pleasant Hill, and then a city maybe 30 minutes (no traffic) south on the freeway is Pleasanton. Pleasanton is the nicer of the two, I would say, but they are both Pleasant enough, so I guess no petition needed.

    I like those stupid quizzes, too.

    Happy Blogaversary! That means mine is coming up, we started the same year, though you started before me, I was November.

    1. J@jj--I used to eat ketchup on eggs, too. We can blame my mother, who learned it from her Pennsylvania Dutch parents. She used to eat ketchup on cottage cheese as well, I think, which is completely hideous and wrong.

      I'm struggling to remember if I ever liked Twizzlers, and I don't think I did. Red Vines were not available here until relatively recently, but of course, I did not care.

      A great many of the BuzzFeed quizzes are lost on me (and I do not take them) because they are Disney-centric or pop culture based. I lost track of Disney after the very first Beauty and the Beast or Lion King because my kids were grown by then and past Disney stuff. And I don't have a shred of knowledge about most pop icons or super popular streaming shows (did not watch Game of Thrones or Stranger Things). But I am certainly dying to know which season I am based upon the pizza I make or what my least desirable trait is based upon the outfit I create at Urban Outfitters. LOL.

      Thanks for being a reader and commenter here. I'm glad we found one another and so glad we got to meet IRL!


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