Monday, August 29, 2016


Yesterday, my friend Debbie was going with me to Half Price Books and we planned to have lunch.  She said that we should go to Cracker Barrel as she had a gift card.  She wondered if the gift card would still be honored as she'd received it two years ago.  She looked and saw that it had no expiration date.   I told her that I'd been boycotting Cracker Barrel for years because of their policies, but for a free meal, I would put aside my moral dilemma.  

Here is a Sue's News article from 2014 about my "moral dilemma" of using a Cracker Barrel gift card:

                     I'M GOING TO PANERA BREAD

After learning about the policies of Cracker Barrel, I have boycotted the restaurants for years. A relative with differing political views than mine, who knew about my boycotting Cracker Barrel,  gave me a gift card to use at Cracker Barrel. 

I faced a moral dilemma: what to do with the card. Les said, "She's probably expecting you to give it back, so why not re-gift it a la Seinfeld?" The difference between her and me: I wouldn't waste my money to "get someone's goat" and I wouldn't consider imposing my political beliefs via gifts. Les said, "Make a contribution to the ACLU in her name."

Instead, I went to the gift shop at Cracker Barrel and got what I know is a very-collectible item and I donated that item to a fundraiser for my political party.

I sent a thank you card and to let her know what I'd done with the "gift"; she called and laughed and said, "We were betting you would return it." I said, "They don't allow cashing it in for money." She said, "No, I meant you'd return it as a gift to ME." Les was right! I'm very glad I donated the item to the fundraiser rather than re-gifting.

CLICK HERE to see an article about Cracker Barrel firing a 73-year-old veteran who gave cornbread and some condiments to a homeless man.

Also in the article, read about Panera Bread's policy of having customers pay an amount of what the customer thinks Panera's products are worth.

I'm going to Panera Bread!

Sunday, August 28, 2016


August 28, 1963--53 years ago--we heard the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. deliver his I Have A Dream speech.  Listen once again.

Saturday, August 27, 2016


I enjoyed this posting of Facebook today:

                                    9 YEAR OLDS WANT THE LATEST PHONE

Magenta is my favorite color. The Binney & Smith 48-crayon box of Crayola crayons was introduced the year I began school. I had a box of only 24 crayons but Lorraine Smith had a brand-new box of 48 Crayola crayons. I COVETED her crayons with all of the NEW colors: burnt sienna, Prussian blue, bittersweet, periwinkle, thistle, maize, maroon, cornflower, melon, mahogany, sea green, orchid, and especially MAGENTA.

One day we had to stay inside at recess because of the weather and there we were at our little green tables, playing games. At home, when we played with cards, we bet with matches. [I still love the smell of matches and crayons] I told the others about games we played at home and I said we could use crayons for our betting. 

Well, well, being a little card sharp, I was winning, and finally, that elusive MAGENTA crayon was put out onto the table to bet and I WON, I WON, I WON. That had to have been the happiest moment in my little six-year-old life! As I proceeded to pick up the crayons and stop playing, Lorraine went crying to Mrs. McDonald, and I was swiftly taken UPSTAIRS to the Principal's office where they called my mother and reported that I had been teaching the other kids how to play POKER and that I had them betting with crayons.

I was made  to return the crayons and forbidden to gamble again..

I am a collector of Crayola items and especially crayons and have more than twenty "collector" boxes of crayons. Several years ago, Crayola offered a special where one could order an entire box of one's favorite crayons; YES, I have a whole box of UNTOUCHED Crayola MAGENTA crayons!

When kids come to my house,  I have plenty of Crayola crayons for them to use but they are never allowed to see--let alone touch--my "sacred" collection.

I once read that crayons are the most recognizable smell for Baby Boomers.

Friday, August 26, 2016


Today, August 26, is NATIONAL WOMEN'S EQUALITY DAY.  In 1971, Bella Abzug introduced a bill to proclaim August 26 as Women's Equality Day, which celebrated the 1920 certification of women's right to vote. The Amendment to the Constitution--the Nineteenth Amendment-- was the culmination of the civil rights struggle which began in 1848 at the first Women's Rights Convention held in Seneca Falls, New York.

Nowadays, as some politicians would like to take away VOTING RIGHTS, it is good to reflect about how far we have come and that we never want to go back.

LEST WE FORGET, remember that it was not until 1920 that women WON (I hate it when the words "given" and "granted" are used) the RIGHT TO VOTE! Voter registration is an ongoing passion for me. and I have heard a great number of excuses from people for not voting..

WHAT are the reasons women give me for NOT voting?  "I have to work.";  "I have to carpool."; "I don't have a babysitter.";  "It's raining."; "I don't know where to go to vote.";  "I don't know enough about who's running.";  "I don't want to be called for jury duty." and the worst:  "One vote doesn't matter."  My mother always said, "Any excuse is better than none."

I always offer to somehow take away any of those excuses.

Please read below an old article from Sue's News:


This is a story of OUR great-grandmothers, grandmothers, and mothers who lived only 95 years ago. On November 15, 1917, women dared to "peaceably assemble" and to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote.

The women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless. Thus unfolded "The Night Of Terror" when the Warden of Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there. By the end of the night, some were barely alive. Forty prison guards, with their warden's blessing, went on a rampage, wielding clubs against the thirty three women for the offense of "obstructing sidewalk traffic."

Here are some of our heroines:

LUCY BURNS was beaten with her hands chained to the cell bars above her head and was left hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.

DORA LEWIS was hurled into a dark cell, had her head smashed against an iron bed, and was knocked out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought that Lewis was dead and Cosu suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards beating, grabbing, dragging, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting, and kicking the women.

ALICE PAUL, the leader, embarked on a hunger strike. She was bound to a chair, had a tube forced down her throat, and had liquid poured down her throat until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was finally smuggled out and there was a public outcry.

PAULINE ADAMS in the prison garb she wore while serving a sixty-day sentence.

For weeks the only water the women received was from an open pail and the food they received was infested with worms.

EDITH AINGE of Jamestown, New York.

Every one of us should rent the movie Iron Jawed Angels. It is a graphic depiction of the battle these valiant women waged to enable us to go to our polling places, pull the curtain, and have our say. Let's not have them to have worked and died in vain. HBO released the movie on video and DVD . I wish all history, social studies, and government teachers would include the movie in their curriculum. I wish it were shown at political events and anywhere else women--and like minded men-- gather. I realize this isn't our usual idea of socializing, but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think a little shock therapy is in order.

Suffragists at the National Woman's Party Headquarters, Jackson Place, Washington D.C., conferring over ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. L-R Mrs. Lawrence Lewis, Abby Scott Baker, Anita Pollitzer, Alice Paul, Florence Boeckel, Mabel Vernon (standing, right).

It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized but it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong and brave, he said, and that didn't make her crazy.

The doctor admonished the men: "Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.".

We need to get out to vote, register others to vote, and encourage others to vote to use this right that was fought so hard for by these very courageous women.

HELENA HILL WEED, of Norwalk, Connecticut, while serving a 3-day sentence in a Washington D.C. prison for carrying a banner which read "Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed."

Don't let the work that these brave women did be in vain!  VOTE!

Thursday, August 25, 2016


After reading my article about clematis, a friend mentioned that I should write about "Naked Ladies";  I told him that I already had.  

This is my Sue's News article from August, 2013:

                        NAKED LADIES

"Naked Ladies" are amaryllis and the plants have beautiful foliage in the spring which dies away and then the "naked ladies" emerge with their breathtaking beauty in the summer.

I thought that I had a great number of "naked ladies" blooming this year until I passed a woman's house and she has them growing in her front yard, her side yard, and in her back yard.  I stopped to tell her what joy it gave me to see them and I asked for permission to photograph her gorgeous display.  She told me that the plants had been growing there since her mother's time and that I was welcome to return in the fall to dig some bulbs.

A friend just became acquainted with the lovely amaryllis this year--I had to drag her out to see the splendid display-and to take the pictures you see here.

 I returned with the photographs and this article.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


clem·a·tis pronounced [klem-uh-tis, kli-mat-is]

any of numerous plants or woody vines of the genus Clematis, including many species cultivated for their showy, variously colored flowers.
1551, from L. Clematis, from Gk. klematis, name of some kind of climbing or trailing plant (probably the periwinkle), from klema "vine-branch."

My mother and I loved to watch The Victory Garden on PBS. One Saturday as we were watching, Jim Cockett told about his clematis. He pronounced it : "clem-uh-tus".  Mother looked at me and I looked at her with disbelief as we had pronounced it "cluh-mate-us" all of my life. As I always have my trusty Merriam Webster's Third International Collegiate Dictionary on the basket beside the couch, I casually picked it up thinking that Mr. Crockett had to be in error.

The pronunciations in the dictionary [I can't do the upside down e's here, so bear with me] were: klem-et-es, kli-mat-es, kli-mate-es and kli-mah-tes! AAARRRGHH!! I couldn't believe we were wrong.  I called my sister-in-law Sheila, who was my expert on all things botanical, and she agreed with our pronunciation. I called Sheila's mother Wanda who was an even greater authority, and she agreed with us. 

I ran to our home library and checked my Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged :  no "cluh-mate-us" there;  I ran upstairs to look at Les' American College Dictionary but no "cluh-mate-us" there.  Finally I grabbed my beloved OED, the ultimate authority, but, alas, no "cluh-mate-us" there either.  In all, I checked all six dictionaries in the house.  [I guess there is such a thing as having too many dictionaries, but I don't think so; after all, one of them saved my brother Norman's reputation in a great "toboggan" debate.]

Do you know how difficult it is to quit pronouncing a word WRONG? I cannot tell you the number of times people have looked at me strangely when I have pronounced clematis CORRECTLY. Several people, including one greenhouse owner, have pronounced it incorrectly after me, to let me know that they thought I was wrong.  That's a fairly amusing tactic people employ to let one know they think one is wrong, but it always results in my relating the Jim Crockett story.