Tuesday, June 28, 2016


At a recent memorial service for a former classmate, we were sharing fond reminiscences about our school life.  Earlier, during the service, the brother-in-law of my classmate had performed several selections with his guitar.  After the service, he played several songs and then, because we were telling about school life, he  asked, "How about this one?" and began playing What Did You Learn In School Today?  

I said, "Pete Seeger."  He answered, "No, Tom Paxton wrote it."  I said, "You are right;  I do know that.  Tom Paxton is a Facebook friend of mine."  Obviously surprised, he asked, "How did you get to be his Facebook friend?"  I replied, "I saw his name on Bob Lind's site and I sent him a friend request and he accepted."  He asked, "Bob Lind's a friend too?"  I said, "Yeah, along with John Sebastian, Barry McGuire, and others,"

Listen to Tom Paxton's version:

I joined in, singing along with him.  When I began the second verse, he said, with surprise, "You know all the lyrics?"  I laughed and said, "I'm an old folkie!  I especially like the third verse."  He laughed and said, "Now you're just showing off!"

What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
What did you learn in school toady,
Dear little boy of mine?

I learned that Washington never told a lie,
I learned that soldiers seldom die,
I learned that everybody's free,
And that's what the teacher said to me.

I learned that war is not so bad,
I learned about the great ones we have had,
We fought in Germany and in France,
And someday I might get my chance.

I learned our government must be strong,
It's always right and never wrong,
Our leaders are the finest men,
And we elect them again and again.

I learned that policemen are my friends,
I learned that justice never ends,
I learned that murderers die for their crimes,
Even if we make a mistake sometimes.

And that's what I learned in school today,
That's what I learned in school.

I told him that my nephew calls me a "Star Fornicator" (well, I cleaned that up a wee bit) because of all my "famous Facebook friends";  my brother quipped, "He should have said you're a HAS-BEEN FORNICATOR!"

EEEWWW, now that was mean!

Monday, June 27, 2016


I received a call from my credit card company to verify three recent charges at Beuhler's in Wooster, and Orrville, Ohio.

NOPE, I've never been to a Beuhler's store and I've never been in Wooster or Orrville, Ohio.  The only thing I know about Wooster is that there is a college there and that Orrville is the home of Smucker's.


After charges of $200 and $205, the card was denied at a third location.  Of course I won't have to pay the charges, but the credit card had to be destroyed, a new one issued, and fraud investigation reports will need to be filed.

In reading about skimming, I learned that the most prevalent skimming sites are ATMs and gas stations.  I had not used that card for ATM withdrawals, and anyone who knows me knows that I do not pump gas;  thus it wouldn't have been used at gas stations.  I reviewed my credit card statement and there were only three local places where I used the card.  I won't be frequenting those places again.

See here a report about skimming:

Read the link from a report a friend did about skimming:

Sunday, June 26, 2016


Recently, my husband pointed out that I was "too full of myself". My family derives great delight in reminding me of my many errors and gaffes. They write on the calendar when I make an error. My pronunciations of "POE-tassium", and "real-A-tor" were duly noted, as well as the last time I said "pray-shush" instead of precious. 

Yes, you can take the girl out of Fayette County, but you can't take Fayette County out of the girl, no matter how hard she tries.

Some of my family's favorite gaffes of mine:

1. Les tapes nearly everything I watch on television because I love to "fast-forward" through the commercials and parts I don't want to see. Last year, during tornado season, I was watching one of the tapes and it had a tornado warning to "take cover immediately"; I rushed upstairs, banged on Les' door, and woke up Gerald to tell them that we needed to go to the basement. They looked out the windows and turned on their televisions while I was busy shrieking that we needed to get to the basement. THE TAPE WAS A WEEK OLD!

2. I was watching a French movie with subtitles and I asked Les to turn up the volume. AS IF I UNDERSTOOD FRENCH. Duh!

3. My "directionally-challenged" escapades are legendary. I was in Columbus and I needed to find a place on Route 3; I stopped at a gas station and the guy working there told me I was on Route 3. I said I thought I was on Route 62. He pointed to a sign: I was at the convergence of Routes 62, 3, and Westerville Road.  He was an old guy and he said, "This is the 3-C Highway." I hadn't heard "3-C Highway" since my father used to say it when I was a kid.

4. I thought Route 62 was North and South. Let me see, how many years have I traveled on that road and seen the signs? TOO many, but when Gerald corrected me, I jumped in the car and drove to Route 62 to prove him wrong. OOPS!

5. Norman corrected me about my pronunciation of "oligarchy" by sending an e-mail from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary; although my pronunciation IS acceptable, it is number 2. Norman couldn't possibly accept my number 2 pronunciation as truly legitimate. That's my FORTE, Norman.

Saturday, June 25, 2016


This week, with the tornado warnings, I am recalling the tornado which destroyed our home in Bloomingburg when I was four years old. 

All of our lives we heard about "the cyclone";  I was in the ninth grade when Mrs. Biddle told us that it had actually been a tornado and explained the difference between a cyclone and a tornado.  Despite that knowledge, it was always "the cyclone" in our family.

The birth of my younger brother, the tornado and its aftermath, are my earliest memories. The day of the tornado, March 19, my brother Norman was was playing on the kitchen floor, and I was sitting at the counter as Mother was making blackberry cobbler. 

I can remember the big bowl of purple liquid as I saw white things falling into it. Suddenly my mother grabbed me and she was on top of me and my brother Norman on the kitchen floor.

Our home, which had been an old store building beside the post office, was destroyed. What followed was the defining moment of my life. My father and the four older boys went to live with his mother in Bloomingburg, while Mother, Norman, the baby Roger, and I were, as my mother would always say, "bandied about from pillar to post"; we were homeless. We went to stay with her mother but  that was short-lived, because her mother wanted to whip us. My mother, herself an abused child, never struck any of us; she didn't believe in hitting a child. I never had a lick, a spanking, any physical punishment in my life except scraps with the brothers and schoolyard tussles. [My husband says THAT is what is wrong with me!]

I can vividly remember the day we left my grandmother's house.  I was in the back yard of my grandmother's house and there were some other kids by the fence. I wanted to play with them, but I had been warned to stay in the yard. Suddenly, my grandmother grabbed my arm saying that she had told me not to be there and she said she was going to get a switch to whip me. My mother ran out of the house, rescued me, and her mother said that if she couldn't discipline the "heathens" then we could "hit the road!". There we were, Norman and I, with Mother carrying the baby, trudging along the street to my aunt's house, carrying our few belongings in paper bags. We couldn't stay there long either; my aunt had, at that time, six children of her own. We stayed with other friends until my mother finally was able to arrange for us to return to Bloomingburg and we lived in one large room at the Dave Tway house on Main Street. Dave had an apartment and the rest of the house was made into apartments. I can remember our happy reunion with my brothers who had been living with our other grandmother. By that time, we had been "bandied about" for more than a year. After that, we lived in a succession of rentals: a small house in Bloomingburg, in a house on Myers Road during the blizzard, then on Lewis Road, and finally on Yatesville-Wissler Road.

I know that the ordeal was what made me want to have my own home and also the reason I have rental properties. I always think that if something "happens" to this house, that I can always live in one of the others.

My mother had a life-long enmity toward the American Red Cross, because when she asked for help, they refused. She was told we could stay with relatives. The names of the Red Cross officials: "Ole" Rell Allen, Arch Reiber, Arthur Maddux, and Emmitt Passmore were anathema in our family.

One day,  thirty years after the tornado, Mother mentioned the "cyclone" and I asked, "Mother, Norman and I were in the kitchen with you; where was the baby?" In all those intervening years, I had never thought about where my younger brother was during the tornado.  In my entire life, I saw my mother cry just twice, but at that moment, I saw tears well up in her eyes as she said that he was in the bedroom. She said that she knew she couldn't get to him and she just got on top of Norman and me.  I said, "Well, obviously Duke didn't get hurt." She said, "No, he never even woke up!" I put my arms around her and sensing the depth of that emotion and the split-second decision she had to make, I was so grateful that I had never had to make a "Sophie's Choice" in my own life!

Friday, June 24, 2016



How many times does one have to make the determination of which story to believe?  A recent example involved a person who had a confrontation with another person and told his version of the incident to the supervisor.  The supervisor naturally believed the first person and castigated the other person--although not by name--in a daily meeting.

As I had been involved in hearing about the confrontation from the second person, I notified the supervisor that the second person had a decidedly different version.  After  the supervisor had talked to the second person, the supervisor asked me, "Which one would you believe?"  Without missing a beat, I answered, "I believe the good worker."

The supervisor asked me to talk to the second person to let her know that she was not in trouble because she didn't know which one to believe.

I asked the person why she hadn't gone to the supervisor about the confrontation.  She said, "Well, I didn't think he would go and tell a lie."

I said, "I don't usually give advice but I'm going to tell you a story about why it's important to always be the first person to tell, even if you are in the wrong."  I told her the following story:

As a young supervisor I was in charge of Shipping and Receiving and I was ready to leave for the day, having finished loading all the trucks.  As I walked through the warehouse, I saw a load marked CLEVELAND/DETROIT setting in the staging area.  I looked in the dock and saw that the truck for that load had left. I ran to get the paperwork and those units had not been marked off as having been loaded; but no matter, the truck was gone.

I was in a panic, and I stewed and fretted, but then, with great fear and trepidation, I went to my boss and told him what had happened. He immediately spun around in his chair, dialed the telephone, and told the customer the situation and told them we'd get another truck there quickly.  He called and made arrangements for another truck.  I was thinking of the extra cost associated with having to do that and I was nearly trembling in fear that I was about to lose my job because of such a careless mistake by my employee.

My boss asked, "So how long did it take you to come to tell me?"  I answered, sheepishly, "20 minutes." He said, "Well, you've probably punished yourself enough already, but here's a lesson for life: ALWAYS BE THE FIRST TO TELL because I would have been really pissed off if the customer had been the one who told me about the mistake and not you."

I breathed an inward sigh of relief.

He said, "Well, you'll have to stay to load it."  I said, "I can't do that; we'll have a grievance."  He threw his head back, laughed, and said, "Yeah, I'd like to see that, especially compared to what discipline you'll be taking with the screw-up who forgot to load it!"

There was no grievance.

Thursday, June 23, 2016


I was bustling about, putting away groceries, as my brother was listening to Q-FM 96 radio (which was formerly called CLASSIC ROCK but is now called ICONIC ROCK, with music from the 1960s and 1970s).

A public service announcement came on, urging the usage of condoms.  The announcer said, "Don't be laissez faire about using them."

My brother and I both erupted with laughter.  I said, "Perhaps he doesn't know that the laissez faire system means not interfering;  obviously he shouldn't be telling people what to do."

My brother, as usual, topped me by saying, "He's just concerned with the ECONOMICS;  he wants FREE MARKET condoms!"

I asked, "What can you expect from a station that misuses the word ICONIC?"

Read my old BLOG article titled IRONIC/MORONIC about the misuse of the word ICON:

                                                          IRONIC MORONIC

I try to use the word icon only when referring to religious pictures properly called ICONS.  I am sometimes forced to refer to the little symbol at the bottom of my computer screen as an "icon", but it is painful for me to do so. My brother commented, "Sometimes you're so damned strict I think you're French." (I must admit that's a rather adroit and amusing assessment.)

I nearly screak every time I hear an UN-ICONIC object, person, or thing described as ICONIC.

Please read the essay from the Poet M.E. Tuthill called ICON'T STAND IT. (A bonus: I had not read her poetry, but after reading her essay I ordered The Linen Man.

CLICK HERE to read the article "Icon, Iconic, and Other Overworked Words."