60 Things Part II

Two years ago, I acknowledged my 60th birthday with a list of 60 Things That I’ve Discovered so far. I thought that it would be a good time to revisit this fun post and add a few more to the list. The initial list of 60 Things can be found HERE:

61. Don’t try Wordle when you’re tired. M I S T A K E.

62. I’ve learned that it’s time to write under my legal name. After researching the pros and cons of using pen names, I have decided to move from Melanie Stewart to my legal name Melanie McGauran.  In the long run, it keeps any future accounting easier. It’s actually the name I used for my byline with the newspaper I free-lanced with in the late 1990’s. I’m just returning to it.

63. When swimming in the ocean, stay away from feeding birds. They have found the fish and so will the sharks.

64. If you live in or are visiting an urban area, you may want to consider the Dutch Reach when parking on the street. This requires the driver to use their right hand to open the car door. This forces the body to swivel far enough to look for oncoming cyclists which lowers the chances of them riding into your car door at the last second.

65. In 1972, yellow tennis balls were authorized to replace white tennis balls in professional tennis tournaments because the color made them easier to see on television.

66. Potatoes can explode even after they have been removed from the oven.

 67. This is a good tip for anyone, but particularly, for an older family member. The next time he or she is car-shopping, consider leasing for two years and leasing a new car after that and so on. It erases the “this could be my last car” mentality and you get to try-out fresh choices every other year.

68. I’m a true crime buff. I only learned this last year when I watched the HBO documentary “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” based on Michelle McNamara’s book. It blew me away.

69. The actual term for this bird is Mourning Dove, not Morning Dove.

70. I’ve learned that online art auctions are legitimate and big business. My family has sold a few paintings through a gallery, which in turn, is part of the international liveautioneers.com website. Christie’s of NY is a client. I’m currently searching for artwork to buy. It’s fun to watch live bidding and you can’t beat the reach this site has built.

71. There will be a third installment of Things I’ve Discovered, but give me a year. Or two.

Dove Photo by Tina Nord on Pexels.com


  1. I can imagine it would be exciting to see items bid on. I’m old enough to remember playing with off-white tennis balls. It was such a big deal when the colored ones came out—almost as exciting when a neighbor got the first color television on our block.

    Nice to meet you, Melanie McGauran. That might take a little getting used to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! Yes, it felt a little awkward writing pointedly honest non-fiction stories under a pen name! Despite a name change though, I’m the same person you’ve been sharing stories with and offering advice to for 3 years! Hopefully, it will be a somewhat brief transition, maybe I should have done it sooner, but the time felt right now. It’s so nice to see you here Pete and I had a truly wonderful chunk of time in recent weeks to work on non-blog projects. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Marian, that is very sweet to want to check in on me, or the “new” me, haha. I am sorry you had to have eye surgery; I hope your recovery is going well and that you are happy with the results. I’ve been submitting content to a few literary journals. Story Circle accepted an older story of mine for their blog. Thank you for the recommendation! It’s been an excellent break for me. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this piece Melanie. I always learn something from your blogs! Once while parking I (almost) took out a biker in downtown Chicago. Now am fully aware of checking for cyclists before opening my car door. Who knew that irritating full back twist actually had a name?!😁


  3. I loved this Melanie. I always learn something from your blogs! While parking downtown Chicago I (almost) took out a cyclist. I am very careful now. Who knew that painful back twisting precaution actually had a name?!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! I couldn’t find the “origin” story on the Dutch Reach, but I think they are a nation of many bicycling enthusiasts! Thanks so much for your always enthusiastic responses here Pam. 😃


  4. I had to laugh at the ‘keeping your real name’. When I began publishing I chose a pen name to hide under. Doesn’t take long for anyone to Google a pen name now and come up with the real name. I also know a few authors who created social media pages with names of each book they published. Oye! What a nightmare that is to have to babysit every single social media page instead of them all under the author’s name. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right?? Especially since my “old” name is a family name and easily found just like you say!! Oh well. I think I was testing this whole blogging world and it was worth experimenting under the pen name, it is kind of a relief to be “me” again. Thanks for checking in Debby – always nice to see you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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