Friday Unwind #6: Mocktails, Lady Chatterley's Lover, Bocce Ball, Buns, 7 Wonders
Alfred's Journey to Be Liked, National Dog Month
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🍹 THE RISE OF THE MOCKTAIL
Those pink flamingos are so cute. If I didn’t like wine so much, I might consider switching to a phoofy drink just to cuddle up next to a flamingo. 🦩
Apparently wine is going down the drain, along with other boozy concoctions. The consumption of non-alcoholic drinks is on the rise, mainly due to Gen Y and Gen Z… those born between 1980 and 2012. Makes perfect sense with Gen Z, since one end of the Gen Z spectrum is made up of 11 year olds. We do have drinking rules, don’t we?
I’m not a TikTok-er (yet), but the hashtag #mocktails has racked up more than 1 billion views. That’s a lot of flamingos.🦩 From August 2021 to August 2022, these drinks added up to $395 million in sales. But by 2025, the mocktail industry is expected to grow to $30 billion.
Want to give them a try? Here are 11 Mocktails, starting with the most popular, the Virgin Mojito.
BONUS: Got a pup? Here are 6 Mocktails that are pawsitively delicious for your furry friends. Yes, Mocktails for dogs. My favorite? Strawberry Dog-quiri. Bottoms pup. 🐾(And here’s a Cattail for my cat loving friends)
Do you have a favorite Mocktail? Share it in the comments!
🎬 GROOVIE MOVIE: LADY CHATTERLEY’S LOVER
Imagine yourself back in the Roaring Twenties in Britain (yes, the Roaring Twenties was a ‘thing’ on both sides of the Atlantic).
This is when British author D.H. Lawrence attempted to publish his novel, ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ (1928).
The book was banned nearly everywhere for years for descriptions of explicit sex, four letter words, and the relationship between an upper class woman and a working class man. He did manage, however, to privately publish a few copies in France and Italy.
It wasn’t until the 1960’s that Penguin Publishing released Lady Chatterley’s Lover…long after Lawrence’s death in 1930.
My college senior project years ago was based on Lady Chatterley’s Lover. At the time, I was a naive prude.🤣 I still wonder today why I chose that book! But hey, it’s a different decade now and, feeling much more enlightened, I was looking forward to the movie!
D.H. Lawrence points out the hypocrisy of a society that condemns overt sexual pleasure, especially by females… and the exquisite joy and beauty of honest, open, and passionate love. The movie doesn’t stray from this theme, and, in this humble reader’s opinion, places even more emphasis on the strength and value of the female character.
A secondary theme, in both the book and the movie, is the stark contrast between the working class and the upper class. Sir Clifford’s character, while sympathetic because of his WWI injury, is also repugnant because of his clear lack of human emotions for those he considers beneath him (which is just about everyone, including his wife).
As with all movies that are based on a book, this one makes some changes to the script. In the book, Connie first has an affair with a playwright before turning her attention to the educated, but lowly gamekeeper, Oliver Mellors.
The movie practically skips over playwright Michaelis, which is a bit ironic since that affair would have been more acceptable to Connie’s husband, Sir Clifford. At least the social status would have worked for him, while clearly Oliver’s station as an employee never would.
Most significant….at least I thought so… was the difference in endings. In the book, Connie and Mellors separate in hopes of getting divorces.
The movie handles the ending in a completely different way….you’ll just have to watch to find out.
Here’s the trailer. Hope that entices you to read the book and watch the movie!
🎱 BOCCE BALL FOR ALL AGES
What’s the third most popular sport in the world….just behind soccer and golf? Bocce Ball! 25 million people, just in the U.S. play this sport. Stone balls dating back to 9000 B.C. have been found in Turkey.
Famous bocce ball players? Roman Emperor Augustus; Greek physician Hippocrates; astronomer Galileo; DaVinci; George Washington, who built a bocce ball court at Mount Vernon in the 1780’s.
Some form of bocce is played in more countries than any other ball game, with the exception of soccer. Bocce has been played by emperors, admirals, generals, poets, sculptors and scientists.
Bocce ball can be played by all ages, even as young as 3 years old. No special court is needed, so a bocce ball game can happen anywhere you have a flat surface.
We have two bocce ball courts in our neighborhood and a community league. Anyone else play?
Ok, a moment of truth. When it comes to recipes that require yeast, I am not a rising star. ⭐ The truth is, I live nearly a half hour from the nearest grocery story and who wants to drive that far for hamburger buns? Plus, I had a couple of packets of Fleischman’s yeast hanging out in my pantry (leftover from pizza attempts).
I’d never made hamburger buns before. Even though this recipe has 12 steps, it was actually easy. Yes, I can count to twelve….barely.
Things I discovered:
The buns turned out larger than I expected. Cool. Great for large hamburgers.
The whole getting the yeast to bubble - not hard and fun to watch this science experiment happen.
The recipe says to place the dough 1/2” apart. Make it 1” and you’ll be happier!
I have a Kitchen Aid mixer with a dough hook. That definitely helped. I think you could knead the dough by hand, but it would be a work out. 💪
I tripled the amount of sesame seeds. 😁
Here’s the recipe, for those of you who also live a half hour from civilization. Let me know if you make these…. or if you have another recipe that you like.
🗺 HISTORY OF THE 7 WONDERS OF THE WORLD
Can you name the seven wonders of the world? Go ahead. Give it a try. Oh, and before you get started, keep in mind that there are the 7 ancient wonders of the world, the 7 new wonders of the world, and the 7 natural wonders of the world.
Ok, with all that information tucked inside your brain, go ahead and name them. I guess that would actually be 21 wonders…
To help you out, here’s the complete list (in random order). See if you can sort them into three columns, 7 ancient wonders, 7 new wonders, and 7 natural wonders. The links above will take you to the answers as well as some amazing history about each wonder. Plus the photo at the top of the article has all 7 wonders grouped together…. but which wonders are they?! Have fun! 🥳
The Great Barrier Reef
The Treasury of Petra Jordan
The Great Pyramid of Giza
The Great Wall of China
Colossus of Rhodes
The Grand Canyon
Christ the Redeemer, Brazil
Lighthouse of Alexandria
Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
Temple of Artemis
Statue of Zeus at Olympia
The Northern Lights
Hanging Gardens of Babylon
The Harbor of Rio de Janeiro
📚 ALFRED’S JOURNEY TO BE LIKED
When I cuddled up with my Kindle to read Alfred’s Journey To Be Liked, I wasn’t sure what to expect. A story about a 14 year old boy trying to make friends? Hmmm…
Trying not to pre-judge, I dove in and quickly found myself caught up in Alfred’s incredible journey with his mom and his coach.
The book is an easy read. It’s almost all dialogue. I felt like I was in the middle of a play. Ebstein creates the ‘acts’ in short chunks of about 4 minutes. I was grateful for that because each chunk gave me a lot to think about. Seriously. I had to put my kindle down and just think about what Alfred just did…and what would I have done?
Pawns and knights, math whizzes and metaphors, awkward and awesome… come along on Alfred’s Journey To Be Liked… it’s a journey worth taking.
An Interview With the Author, Jill Ebstein
Great thanks to author, Jill Ebstein, who subjected herself (I mean, graciously agreed 🤣) to an interview for her new book, Alfred’s Journey To Be Liked. Read on for an interesting look at the mind behind Alfred’s journey.
Where are you from?
Denver, Colorado, though I have had a gradual migration out east. I moved to St. Louis for college, and then to Boston, to NY, and back to Boston where I have been for the last 36 years!!!! I am more eastern than midwestern at this point but I still believe that I have midwestern congeniality.
What prompted you to write Alfred’s story?
It was a bit of an accident. We were in Covid and my social skills and those of people around me were seeming rusty. We were:
* not listening as well
* talking to much about ourselves or not talking at all
* forgetting to laugh
* seeming a bit self-centered
I decided to inject some laughter and hopefully some wisdom on how we could reset our social-skills button. It happened through Medium where I wrote one piece about a boy who wanted to be liked which was similar to the writers who wanted to be liked. The piece was popular, so I wrote a folllow-on piece and "Coach" began to take form.
39 pieces later, and to my surprise, I had a book. I should say 39 pieces and 3 revisions because I had a group of excellent beta readers and I had to incorporate their extremely valuable feedback... like "You have to address Alfred's missing dad" which I hadn't wanted to do. It is now my favorite part of the book.
Do you feel a personal connection with any of the characters?
I believe I am part Hannah and part Coach. I love Hannah being out there, leading the charge and exercising her creative muscle. I am told that I am a very strong coach--I've been in business my whole life and am also part of my community where I help my friends and offer a few words here and there, so I believe Coach is the aspirational version of what I try to be. You know:
*Ask more than tell
* Listen really well
* Make things simple
* Lead with positivity and acceptance
* Deliver the hard news when needed
Having said that, I am a big dog lover which brings me to Joey, and I do love numbers (it's what I do for my business consulting practice) which makes me a weak version of Alfred.
What challenges did you have writing this book?
I broke with convention. I have 4 minute-chunk chapters that sometimes read like a screenplay. I deliberately do not describe what characters look like or their environment. It is conversation, interaction and character development, but devoid of the tools that most authors use.
The challenge was staying true to what I wanted to do, and then to incorporate 3 rounds of revisions and remain true. I think I did it.
The other challenge is that of persisting. We have to be our own like Thomas the Tank Engine and say "I think I can, I think I can." It's easy to jump ship but loving my characters, wanting resolution, and hearing from my readers steeled me, and I was able to cross the finish line.
What would you like readers to discover?
We can all be better coaches of ourselves and of others. With a little mindfulness and will we can be the best versions of ourselves.
Also, growth is completely possible.
And finally, keep it simple. The Rules Coach provides aren't hard but they may take time to internalize. I love, for example, "be a generous spirit." The challenge for us is to find ways to be generous. I am working on letting my husband win some arguments, and in general, letting others do more of the talking and me, the learning.
But there are a ton of ways to recognize and give to others which is the basis for a healthy relationship and makes us feel good too.
So much of Alfred is about being our best coach--for ourselves and for those whom we love. I am wondering if readers identify with this challenge and whether it is something important to them. Of course, I am hoping that Alfred's Coach gives us lots of ideas about how we can do that better.
Alfred’s Journey To Be Liked is available on Amazon in both paperback and kindle. Jill has graciously offered to give away up to 5 books to readers who will write a candid review on Amazon. If you’d like to be considered, please say so in the comments. If there are more than 5 requests, we’ll have a little drawing and announce the winners next week.
🐇 DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE
August is National Dog Month. In honor of the 44.5% of the U.S. population that owns dogs… (don’t fret, cat lovers….September is for you!)
💡 Your Ideas Are the Best
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Also, I’m considering occasionally including something a little more serious for us to talk about together. What do you think? I am an open book with a blank page…
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Wherever you are, I hope life is sunny. 🌞❤Heather