Thursday, March 31, 2011


My husband has some pretty good one-liners.

Recently we were having dinner with some younger people and I mentioned something which happened in the 1960s; one of the people exclaimed, "How OLD are you?" I said, "I'm older than DIRT!" to which Gerald replied, "And I'm DIRT!" [Gerald is younger than myself.]

I was having a "spirited discussion" with a family member, and in defense, I remarked, "Your logic is FUZZY!" Gerald asked, "But does it TICKLE?"

At our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary party he toasted me by saying, "I married her for her sense of humor and then I found out the joke was on me!"

At a Company gathering, a man asked Gerald what it was like being married to a boss and Gerald answered, "I don't have anything to compare it to; she's always been a boss!"

At another gathering, someone asked him if he minded my working with all men and Gerald said, "I say Sue, go out there and make that money!"

When exposed to my mother's answering questions with song lyrics, he said, "Your family is like a Hollywood musical--they sing for no apparent reason!"

But his all-time best one is featured in my BLOG piece "MY FAVORITE STORY ABOUT MY HUSBAND" (see it on the date of January 22, 2010), in which, when asked by the neighbor, who thought he was a handyman, how much he got paid, Gerald answered, "Nothing; the lady of the house lets me sleep with her."

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


My friend Patty thinks there is only ONE way to install toilet paper! When she visits the homes of others she does not hesitate to "fix" the problem but also reminds the people about it. Patty and I had gone to visit our friend Barbara and when Patty emerged from the bathroom, she announced, "I fixed your toilet paper." Barbara asked, incredulously, "What's wrong with the toilet paper?" Patty replied, "You had the paper going up!" Barbara asked what difference it made. Patty answered, "If you had cats you would know that a cat could easily unroll all the toilet paper when the roll is installed that way!" Barbara answered, "But I don't have a cat." Patty, with her usual certitude, answered, "Well, a dog can unroll the paper too; it's fixed now!"

Since Patty and I both suffer from OCD, I could readily understand her passion; however, I HATE the toilet paper installed Patty's "RIGHT" way! I told her that I don't have any cats or dogs in the house and the human inhabitants in the house can be trusted.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


In my article "MY MARCH MADNESS", I wrote that I had no interest in sports as a grown-up. My nephew Allen just e-mailed me to remind me about watching a lot of tennis matches with Gerald and me in the 1970s. No doubt my brother Norman will call me with the familiar sentence, "Did you FORGET to take your Aricept today?", which he does when he notices I have committed an act of forgetfulness. I remind him that it is not nice to poke fun at memory loss, to which he answers, "I don't remember what I just said!" [Hey, we have a routine--like Burns & Allen--too bad Vaudeville is dead!]

I always wanted to play tennis, but we didn't have girls' sports teams when I went to school [thank you, Lyndon Johnson for girls having opportunities] and in 1968, I bought Bancroft tennis racquets for Les and me to learn to play. Although I wasn't heavy at the time, I was racing across the court one evening and Les yelled, "FLF!" The acronym means "FAT LEGS FLY"! [we like acronyms in my family]. Not only did I miss the ball, I called "Unfair advantage!" Gerald was drawn into the tennis mania and I bought him a pair of Rod Laver brand tennis shoes. Getting ready for a Rummage Sale, I was in the storage place above the workshop where I have not entered since 1984, and I saw the old tennis racquets, looking forlorn like something from "Toy Story 4"!

We played regularly until I went to work in Springfield and there weren't enough hours in the day to work, homework, travel and also play tennis. As my mother would say, "Any excuse is better than none!"

Monday, March 28, 2011


First, let me say that I am currently abysmally ignorant about sports. However, as a youngster, I was a walking compendium of sports knowledge. I was under the influence of my sports-loving brothers and father. However, after moving from home and meeting my husband, my interest in sports vanished because his only interests are golfing and auto-racing, which much to his irritation, I told him that those really weren't sports.

Two years ago, my friend Charles was filling out the brackets for the NCAA championship. As I had made an enlarged copy for him to use, I had the original copy from the newspaper. As a lark, I also filled out the form. Charles laughed at my choices and methods for choosing. I told him, "There is no method to my madness!" Charles kept the forms and would call me after each game, breathlessly, to tell me how we fared in our competition.

Imagine his shock--and mine--when I chose 48 of 64 correctly and he had 32!

My brother told me that I should enter the next year's competition because I fared better than most of the "experts".

Some of my method: I chose Syracuse because they are the "Orangemen" and my family came from Northern Ireland. Immediately suffering from Liberal guilt for choosing something for ethnic reasons, I immediately chose some Catholic colleges. I chose Gonzaga because I recalled that it was Bing Crosby's alma mater and a double-whammy, it is also Catholic. I chose Butler because Gerald's mother was born there in Indiana. I chose Ohio State because I feared for my own safety from my basketball-crazed friends if I did not choose.

Last year, I didn't do as well but I'll let you know how I do this year.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Geraldine Ferraro, a Democrat and the first major female vice presidential candidate, passed away on Saturday, according to multiple reports on a statement released by her family.

Ferraro died of complications from blood cancer at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Ferraro was the first woman and first Italian-American to run on a major party national ticket. According to a statement released by her family, she died surrounded by her loved ones after battling multiple myeloma for twelve years.

After first being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1978, she went on to serve New York's ninth congressional district for three terms. Ferraro ran as Walter Mondale's running mate in the 1984 presidential election.

Delegates in San Francisco erupted in cheers at the first line of her speech accepting the vice-presidential nomination.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


I have a friend who suffers from depression and she asked me, "Are you ALWAYS happy?" I answered, "No, but why would I want to inflict my unhappiness onto others." In addition to her other ailments, she also suffers from SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER (SAD).

She did not find it amusing when I gave her "a prescription of daffodils". Seeing the daffodils blooming this week made my spirits soar!

In 1980, SAD was named by Doctor Norman Rosenthal of the National Institutes of Health. After he had moved from South Africa to New York to Maryland, he wrote about the feelings that he, some of his co-workers and patients experienced at the beginning of winter and the lack of sunshine. As its name suggests, SAD is seasonal as the symptoms appear during one season and disappear the next.

Rosenthal was not the first to identify seasonal mind and body changes. Hippocrates wrote: "Whoever wishes to pursue science and medicine in a direct manner must first investigate the seasons of the year and what occurs in them."

I believe it is a legitimate disorder but if I had it, it would be the height of irony as I am allergic to the sun!

Friday, March 25, 2011


1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.

2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.

3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste and taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.

4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.

5. If it snows while you're out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house.. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.

6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don't let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it's set. That makes it too easy.

7. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom and your jewelry. It's not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.

8. It's raining, you're fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door; understandable. But understand this: I don't take a day off because of bad weather.

9. I always knock first. If you answer, I'll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don't take me up on it.)

10. Do you really think I won't look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.

11. Here's a helpful hint: I almost never go into kids' rooms.

12. You're right: I won't have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it's not bolted down, I'll take it with me.

13. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system. If you're reluctant to leave your TV on while you're out of town, you can buy a $35 device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television. (Find it at http://www.faketv/.com/)


1. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.

2. The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosy neighbors.

3. I'll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he'll stop what he's doing and wait to hear it again. If he doesn't hear it again, he'll just go back to what he was doing. It's human nature.

4. I'm not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy alarm system and leave your house without setting it?

5. I love looking in your windows. I'm looking for signs that you're home, and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I'd like. I'll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to pick my targets.

6. Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It's easier than you think to look up your address.

7. To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it's an invitation.

8. If you don't answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and walk right in.

Sources: Convicted burglars in North Carolina , Oregon , California , and Kentucky ; security consultant Chris McGoey, who runs and Richard T. Wright, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, who interviewed 105 burglars for his book Burglars on the Job.

Protection for you and your home:

If you don't have a gun, here's a more humane way to wreck someone's evil plans for you.

A friend who is a receptionist in a church in a high risk area was concerned about someone coming into the office on Monday to rob them when they were counting the collection. She asked the local police department about using pepper spray and they recommended to her that she get a can of wasp spray instead.

The wasp spray, they told her, can shoot up to twenty feet away and is a lot more accurate, while with the pepper spray, they have to get too close to you and could overpower you. The wasp spray temporarily blinds an attacker until they get to the hospital for an antidote. She keeps a can on her desk in the office and it doesn't attract attention from people like a can of pepper spray would. She also keeps one nearby at home for home protection. I Thought this was interesting and might be of use.


On the heels of a break-in and beating that left an elderly woman in Toledo dead, self-defense experts have a tip that could save your life.

Val Glinka teaches self-defense to students at Sylvania Southview High School . For decades, he's suggested putting a can of wasp and hornet spray near your door or bed. Glinka says, "This is better than anything I can teach them."

Glinka considers it inexpensive, easy to find, and more effective than mace or pepper spray. The cans typically shoot 20 to 30 feet; so if someone tries to break into your home, Glinka says, "Spray the culprit in the eyes". It's a tip he's given to students for decades. It's also one he wants everyone to hear. If you're looking for protection, Glinka says look to the spray.

"That's going to give you a chance to call the police; maybe get out." Maybe even save a life.

Put your car keys beside your bed at night. Tell your spouse, your children, your neighbors, your parents, your Dr.'s office, the check-out girl at the market, everyone you run across. Put your car keys beside your bed at night.

If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your house, just press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies. This tip came from a neighborhood watch coordinator. Next time you come home for the night and you start to put your keys away, think of this: It's a security alarm system that you probably already have and requires no installation. Test it. It will go off from most everywhere inside your house and will keep honking until your battery runs down or until you reset it with the button on the key fob chain. It works if you park in your driveway or garage. If your car alarm goes off when someone is trying to break into your house, odds are the burglar/rapist won't stick around. After a few seconds all the neighbors will be looking out their windows to see who is out there and sure enough the criminal won't want that. And remember to carry your keys while walking to your car in a parking lot. The alarm can work the same way there. This is something that should really be shared with everyone. Maybe it could save a life or a sexual abuse crime.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


The BBC recently published a list of books (see below) they consider that we should read. Their survey shows that most people have read only 6. I do not necessarily agree with the list as there are some books which have been omitted which I would have chosen and some on the list which I think should not be on the list; e.g.: although I like Phillip Pullman's books--they have positive role models for girls--and I have given them as presents to girls--they are not "great", but as a friend reminded me, "It's not the GREATEST BOOKS list or that damned "Finnegan's Wake" would have been on it because it and "Ulysses" are on EVERY damned list and NOBODY has ever read them!" I was surprised at the inclusion of John Irving, Douglas Adams, Arthur Golden, and Stella Gibbons.

I have read 65 of the list; my husband has read 10 (he reads only sci-fi and car magazines!).

In the Time Magazine List of the 100 Best English-Language Novels From 1923 to the present, I have read 77.

Modern Library's list of the 20th Century's 100 Best Books In English: I have read 84.

Why do they always pick 100?

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma -Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Inferno - Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

1 1 1

From my Facebook friend Mary Jane Cartwright Allen:

This year we will experience FOUR unusual dates:


NOW, take the last TWO digits of the year you were born plus the AGE you will be this year and the result is:


July, 2011, has 5 Fridays 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays. This apparently happens once every 823 years.

Phases of the moon: 1: 8: 15: 23: 30:
Holidays and Observances: 4: Independence Day

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Did you know that drinking two glasses of Gatorade can relieve headache pain almost immediately without the unpleasant side effects caused by traditional "pain relievers"?

Did you know that Colgate toothpaste makes an excellent salve for burns?

Before you head to the drugstore for a high-priced inhaler filled with mysterious chemicals, try chewing on a couple of curiously strong Altoids peppermints. They'll clear up your stuffed nose.

Achy muscles from a bout of the flu? Mix 1 Tablespoon of horseradish in 1 cup of olive oil. Let the mixture set for 30 minutes, then apply it as a massage oil, for instant relief for aching muscles.

Sore throat? Just mix 1/4 cup of vinegar with 1/4 cup of honey and take 1 tablespoon six times a day. The vinegar kills the bacteria.

Cure urinary tract infections with Alka-Seltzer. Just dissolve two tablets in a glass of water and drink it at the onset of the symptoms. Alka-Seltzer begins eliminating urinary tract infections almost instantly even though the product was never been advertised for this use.

Honey remedy for skin blemishes: cover the blemish with a dab of honey and place a Band-Aid over it. Honey kills the bacteria, keeps the skin sterile, and speeds healing; works overnight.

Listerine therapy for toenail fungus: get rid of unsightly toenail fungus by soaking your toes in Listerine mouthwash. The powerful antiseptic leaves your toenails looking healthy again.

Easy eyeglass protection: to prevent the screws in eyeglasses from loosening, apply a small drop of Maybelline Crystal Clear nail polish to the threads of the screws before tightening them.

Cleaning liquid that doubles as bug killer: if menacing bees, wasps, hornets, or yellow jackets get in your home and you can't find the insecticide, try a spray of Formula 409. Insects drop to the ground instantly.

Smart splinter remover: just pour a drop of Elmer's Glue-All over the splinter, let dry, and peel the dried glue off the skin. The splinter sticks to the dried glue.

Hunt's tomato paste boil cure: cover the boil with Hunt's tomato paste as a compress. The acids from the tomatoes soothe the pain and bring the boil to a head.

Balm for broken blisters: to disinfect a broken blister, dab on a few drops of Listerine which is a powerful antiseptic.

Vinegar to heal bruises: soak a cotton ball in white vinegar and apply it to the bruise for 1 hour. The vinegar reduces the blueness and speeds up the healing process.

Kills fleas instantly: Dawn dish washing liquid does the trick. Add a few drops to your dog's bath and shampoo the animal thoroughly. Rinse well to avoid skin irritations; good-bye fleas.

Rainy day cure for dog odor: the next time your dog comes in from the rain, simply wipe down the animal with Bounce or any dryer sheet, instantly making your dog smell springtime fresh.

Eliminate ear mites: all it takes is a few drops of Wesson corn oil in your cat's ear; massage it in, then clean with a cotton ball. Repeat daily for 3 days. The oil soothes the cat's skin, smothers the mites, and accelerates healing.

Quaker Oats for fast pain relief: it's not just for breakfast any more! Mix 2 cups of Quaker Oats and 1 cup of water in a bowl and warm in the microwave for 1 minute, cool slightly, and then apply the mixture to your hands for soothing relief from arthritis pain.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Jeff Greenfield's new book "When Everything Changed" posits some fascinating WHAT IFS":


What if: President Kennedy was vacationing in Florida after winning the election of 1960. A crazed man strapped dynamite to his body and was going to detonate it when the President-elect came to the door. Mrs. Kennedy came to the door and he walked away. What if JFK had gone to the door?

What if: RFK had not gone through the kitchen after his victory speech after winning the California Primary in 1968?

What if: the Mayor Of Chicago had not received the bullet meant for President-elect FDR in 1932?

What if: it had rained in Dallas on November 22, 1963, and the bubble top would have been on the President's limousine?

I try not to dwell on "WHAT IF" in my own life. When we finished the Contract at Rockwell, the Company offered me the opportunity to go to California. The Company also would provide employment for Gerald. Gerald said that we could do whatever I wanted; he would freeze his retirement and go with me. Boy, was he smart! The burden was solely on me and I could never look back and say "If only I had gone to California." and have any blame other than for myself.

The plant was in Palmdale--in the middle of the Mojave Desert--it was miles and miles and miles of BROWN! Because of the salary offered, I seriously considered the move. I went for the real estate tour and even with the marvelous salary offer, I could not afford a house comparable to ours, but I kept thinking about the salary and the opportunities for advancement. I still had not made up my mind as I was returning home; I was to talk to my husband and give my answer to the Company the following day.

Gerald was at the airport waiting for me to arrive. As we were going to the baggage claim, he asked, "Well?" I said, "I just saw the most beautiful sight--all that luscious greenery--I'm staying right here!" Gerald has always teased me about my decision-making process, and, of course, there were many facets to the decision, but that ugly desert compared to the beautiful green of Ohio just placed it in the proper perspective.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


I was in my doctor's office and I refused to put my name on the list at the receptionist's desk because I don't believe other people have the RIGHT TO KNOW my business. I told the receptionist that it was a HIPAA violation as it was nobody's business that I was even at the doctor's office or about whether I had changed my insurance coverage or other information. I told her that I would be glad to come into her office and tell her the information privately. She said, "Well, that's the rules." I said, "Well, then MY RULE is that I need to see your boss." The Office Manager came out to the waiting room and actually asked, "Do YOU have a problem?" Immediately insulted, I answered, "No, YOU do but I'll be glad to discuss it privately." We went inside. I told her that I objected to:

1. Having my name on the list for everyone to see as other people had no business knowing my name;
2. The sheet requesting private information: whether I had changed insurance, address or phone number;
3. Being called to the receptionist's window to be asked other private information within the earshot of other patients.

She told me that she thought I was making a "mountain out of a molehill". I then handed her a sheet of paper where I had written down information about other patients which I had heard while sitting in the waiting room. I said, "I don't have the RIGHT TO KNOW these things!"

She went to the receptionist and told the receptionist that I didn't need to put my name on the list; the receptionist asked, "Then HOW am I supposed to know when to call her?"

I piped up and said, "You know, I bet if you put my chart up there with the others, you'll know when I'm next!" She wailed, "Well, how am I supposed to do it with others?" I said, "How about like the dry cleaners--give a number--call my number!"

Another time, I heard the receptionist call a woman to her desk and tell her there was a problem with her insurance. The woman sat down and called her insurance company on her cell phone. Everyone in the waiting room could hear her side of the conversation. It was obvious that she was being transferred from one section to another. After hearing her tell her name, birth date and social security number twice, the next time time she repeated the information, I jotted it down. When she finished talking, I went over to her and handed her the note and she asked, "What's that?" I told her that everybody in the waiting room could hear her giving out that private information and I told her that anybody there could probably empty out her bank account with that much information about her.

Instead of thanking me, she actually said that I should just mind my own business. I told her that she should have taken her business outside into the hallway instead of announcing it to all of us!

Saturday, March 19, 2011


At Rockwell, "The Need To Know" policy was strictly enforced. When I became a Manager I noticed one of my employees enter a room marked "Top Secret"; being curious, I knocked on the door and I asked what was going on and the employee stated, "I'm sorry, ma'am, but you don't have the Clearance to come in here." Immediately disbelieving that I had employees allowed to be where I was not allowed, I went to my boss and he said, "Oh, yeah, we need to get you a Top Secret Clearance for that area." He saw that I has highly agitated. He laughed and said, "And you need to give that person a gold star for NOT letting you in there!" I answered, "But he's an HOURLY employee!" My boss said, "But he's an hourly employee WITH a Top Secret Clearance!" As a Supervisor I had needed only a Secret Clearance.

Plant Security called me one day and instructed me to escort one of my Leadmen to their office. When I asked WHAT it was about I was informed that I did not NEED TO KNOW. I later learned that the Leadman had made a simple error and transposed a number on a blueprint request; the requested blueprint did not pertain to our area; his request was immediately flagged. After his "interrogation", the Leadman said it was like being interrogated by the FBI! After Security had determined it was just a matter of carelessness, I went to see the Director and asked why I hadn't been in the loop and he said that I didn't have the NEED TO KNOW, because they did not know whether I might be involved!

Well, that certainly put me in my place!

Friday, March 18, 2011


When attending parties, get-togethers and other functions, my husband and I have a pre-arranged clue to use to allow the other to know when one's ready to leave. Over the years the clue words change to fit the circumstances.

Early in the marriage we went to a party and Gerald wore a white brocade dinner jacket with a black velvet collar and lapels along with a black velvet bow tie. He looked very dapper. Several people complimented our outfits, but we were obviously overdressed compared to the other guests. It does not bother me to be "overdressed" because I'm so haughty that I think I know the appropriate way to dress for all occasions. When we arrived Gerald said, "Nobody else is this dressed up." He said, "Maybe I should take off the jacket." I told him that then I would be the only one overdressed!

After awhile the party became uncomfortable for us because of the actions of some drinkers--a drunk sloshed a drink on Gerald's dinner jacket--and the drunk offered to pay to have the jacket cleaned but Gerald refused. Gerald said, "Sweetheart, we better be going." The drunk said "Oh, no you don't need to leave, what's your hurry; Sue's the life of the party!"

To this day, Gerald doesn't know why he replied as he did (as our pre-arranged clue was that we would need to leave to get back to let the dog out) but he answered, "I need to get the jacket back." The drunk asked, "Did you rent it?" Gerald told him no but that his nephew wanted to borrow it for a party. The drunk said, "Tonight?"

Strangely, the drunk was making more sense than Gerald. The drunk asked, "Where can you get something cleaned at night?" Gerald was discombobulated and he said, "There's probably some all-night dry cleaners."

In the car I asked, "You need to get the jacket back?" He said, "It just came out that way!" On the way home we played the old game we played as kids: "WHEN THEY HANDED OUT BRAINS, YOU THOUGHT THEY SAID TRAINS". Some examples:

1. "And you said just give me a slow one."
2. "You arrived too late and got a rain check."
3. "You thought they said DRAINS, so you said, give me one with lots of holes."
4. "You thought they said PAINS, so you said, I don't want any."
5. "You thought they said PLANES, so you said, a big one with lots of empty spaces."

The next time I saw the drunk he asked, "Now what was all that about your husband's jacket?"

I answered, "WHAT jacket?"

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Work like you don't need the money.

Love like you've never been hurt.

Dance like nobody's watching.

Sing like nobody's listening.

Live like it's Heaven on Earth.



May there always be work for your hands to do;

May your purse always hold a coin or two;

May the sun always shine on your windowpane;

May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain;

May the hand of a friend always be near you;

May your heart be filled with gladness to cheer you.

and may you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows you're dead.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


In a restaurant Friday evening, we were having an enjoyable time visiting with Gerald's nephew Jeff, his wife Melissa and daughter Peyton. We were there early, and as we were entering the restaurant, I made the comment that I was glad we would miss the Friday evening "rush".

After we went to the salad bar, I heard our waiter tell people at another table, "Don't mean to rush ya guys, it's almost time for the rush."

Each time he came to our table, he addressed my husband as "Bud" which I found rather disconcerting, but Gerald was amused so I didn't comment. I was still eating my soup and he started to take the soup bowl, which I had placed on my empty salad plate to make room because our entrees had arrived. I said, "Whoa, I'm not finished." He leaned across the table and asked Melissa, "Can I get them dishes outta yer way?" I couldn't help myself: I said, "I'll bet you can take THOSE dishes!" We all started laughing and the waiter took the correction with good humor and answered, "Yeah, I guess they are those."

Later he asked, "Can I get you guys some dessert?" He was very efficient and solicitous, but I wish someone would tell him not to try to RUSH people and refer to people as "Bud" and "guys". Gerald said, "At least he didn't call me Dude!"

Gerald is a very generous tipper. Later, I asked, "So how much did you tip him, BUD?" Gerald said, "20%; I thought he was a good waiter." I answered, "Well, he wasn't going to get anything from this GUY!"

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Gerald and I went to Montgomery, AL, for the dedication of the SPLC (Southern Poverty Law Center) Wall Of Tolerance and to have our name enshrined on a brick in the wall.

I was sitting beside an elderly woman and we began talking about our hats. I told her that I was allergic to the sun and I wore hats to protect my skin and she said she'd always worn hats to church, but she wore them now because she'd lost nearly all of her hair.

I introduced myself and told her where I was from and she said, "You came all the way from Ohio for this?" I told her it was one of the most important things in our lives. When I asked her name, she responded, "Sippie." I asked, "Were you named for Sippie Wallace?" She exclaimed, "Honey Chile, how on earth would you know about Sippie Wallace--you're too young--and you're too white!" I laughed and said, "Bonnie Raitt would never let us forget those wonderful women Blues singers!"

She didn't know Bonnie Raitt and when I told her about all the work Bonnie had done to guarantee that the old-time Blues and rock singers and composers received their royalties, she was amazed. She asked, "Is she a singer too?" I answered, "Yes ma'm, she's a blues singer!" Sippie said, "Well, pshaw, is she a white girl?" I said, "Yes, ma'm." Sippie said, ""Well, doesn't that just beat all?"

Monday, March 14, 2011


I now wish I had listened to the salesman when I got the new cell phone as he was explaining about the camera application. I don't do well taking pictures so I wasn't interested in learning how to use the camera function. Now I wish I had!

I have seen a seadog formation only twice. It was foggy and warm this morning and I saw the faint rainbow-like formation; the sunlight reflects in the fog droplets and it produces a ghostly, whitish rainbow.

Seadog formations are also called fogbow, mistbow and white rainbow.

I told my brother that I saw a seadog formation and he asked, "You mean they have those old Navy guys marching?"

Sunday, March 13, 2011


When I went to school, we had to memorize poetry and recite before the class. I can still do a very "chewing the scenery" portrayal of Lady Macbeth's "Is this a dagger I see before me?" and a number of other recitations. My friend Vivian Harris Thomas and I were talking recently about how she hated it when Mrs. Vance made us memorize and recite "Paul Revere's Ride" and "When The Frost Is On The Punkin'", but there she and I were, in a restaurant, reciting that James Whitcomb Riley poem 50+ years later! I told Vivian that people would be astounded, when every April 18th I would recite:

"Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere
On the eighteenth of April in Seventy-five"

I am usually stopped about that time, either by groans, laughs or requests!

I don't think there is much memorization in schools today. Poems by James Whitcomb Riley were popular to recite in my mother's generation and obviously, also in my generation. Into her eighties, my mother could still recite "The Duel" ("The Gingham Dog And The Calico Cat") by Eugene Field and "Little Orphant Annie" by James Whitcomb Riley. When I quizzed her about the "t" on the end of "Orphant" she told me that you better pronounce it correctly with her teachers.

When my mother was in school she was very bright and she was allowed to "skip" a grade and she was in the same class as her older sister. My grandmother approved of this because my aunt needed "help". In one class they were required to learn a Riley poem "Let Something Good Be Said". It took a great deal of coaching by my mother and grandmother, but my aunt practiced the poem and was eventually able to recite it completely.

In the poem of four stanzas, each verse ends with something similar to: "Let something good be said". As my aunt proceeded with her recitation, at the end of the first verse she said, "Let sumpin good be said." [Hey, we're from Fayette County; pronouncing "ings" is just a nuisance!] The teacher quickly corrected her and said, "Verna, that's SOMETHING--say someTHING." My aunt continued with the next verse and ended with, "If sumpin good be said". The teacher exclaimed, "No, No, Verna, it's SOMETHING--now say someTHING!" The next two stanzas were the same with Verna saying "sumpin" with the teacher correcting her. My poor aunt---the teacher made her say "someTHING"--100 times in front of the class.

My mother had the last word: She asked the teacher why they could say "punkin" instead of "pumpkin" in the Riley poem "When The Frost Is On The Punkin'"!

When correcting in our family, it is quite common to hear someone say, "Say someTHING, Verna!"



--James Whitcomb Riley

When o'er the fair fame of friend or foe
The shadow of disgrace shall fall; instead
Of words of blame, or proof of theirs and so
Let something good be said.

Forget not that no fellow-being yet
May fall so low but love may lift his head:
Even the cheek of shame with tears is wet
If something good be said.

No generous heart may vainly turn aside
In ways of sympathy; no soul so dead
But may awaken strong and glorified
If something good be said.

And so I charge ye, by the thorny crown
And by the cross on which the Savior bled,
And by your own souls' hope of fair renown
Let something good be said.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


My aunt "Tim" always wore dresses and high heels while my mother, her sister, was in "Blue Bell Jeans". I remember that those jeans had a zipper in the side pocket and a button at the waist. Trust me, most mothers did not wear jeans in the 1950's. My mother would be outside, playing with us kids and my aunt would be in the house, playing with her "gee-tar".

This was prior to pantyhose and my aunt had quite an array of stockings and they all had seams up the back of the stockings. Tim weighed less than 90 pounds ("soaking wet" as we were fond of saying) and seams were supposed to make the calf look larger. Some of her stockings had interesting designs, such as flowers, at the back of the stocking, above the heel. One day, as she was walking across the floor, I noticed that she had one stocking with diamonds on it and the other one one with hearts.

I told my mother who said, "Go tell her she can't get a flush that way!" I didn't understand the remark as I thought the "flush" meant embarrassment and I replied, "But she WILL get a flush when I tell her that!" Mother laughed and went inside with me and said, "Tim, do you have any spades or clubs on your stockings?" Tim said that she didn't. Mother told her she might want to change her stockings but Tim said that one of her "diamond stockings" had a run in it and she didn't think anyone would notice that she had mismatched ones. Mother told her that I was the most OBSERVANT child in the world. [Okay, brothers, you and I both know she actually said NOSIEST!]

I remember the first time I wore nylon stockings was when I was 13 years old for my grandmother's funeral. My sister-in-law helped get me into a garter belt and I remember the box, lined with tissue paper, from which she took the stockings. The box stated that they were "15 denier" and I was lectured to be careful wearing them. I couldn't get out of them soon enough.

Friday, March 11, 2011


When my friend's daughter Kandy, was about 10, her older sister had a paper route. Kandy said that she wished that she could make some money to buy Christmas presents. I told her she could come to my house and help me polish the silver and do other odd jobs. After her work she would stay for dinner.

After one evening, the next day her mother said, "Kandy said the funniest thing--that you had nuts in your noodles--and I told her she was crazy because I've eaten your noodles and you don't put nuts in them." She said that Kandy kept insisting that I had nuts in my noodles.

I laughed and said, "I fixed NOODLES ALMONDINE last night!"

At that time, mouton coats were very popular and Kandy, of course, wanted one. I told her mother that I would take her to Lazarus and we would get one. Of course the coats for kids were not real mouton, but furry imitations. Kandy chose a purple coat and she wore it to school the following day and the kids made fun of it and she didn't want to wear it again! Her mother insisted that I had spent a lot of money on that coat and she was going to wear it! Every day her mother would make her wear the coat and every day Kandy would take it off and hide it when she went to school. Her sister told on her and her mother told her that she would give the coat to another girl and Kandy could wear her old one. Kandy told her to go ahead.

Psychology 101 didn't work on Kandy!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


In 1978, International Harvester hired a consulting firm--Alexander Proudfoot--to change the very culture of the Company and bring it to a Demings-like organization. The Union believed that the firm was there to destroy the union.

Management people were required to attend 16 weeks of training sessions to train them in the "new business model". Ironically, I had just recently left the Mead Corporation where we had been inflicted with a similar consulting firm to change the "business model". There, each supervisor was taken in for interviews by the consultants and we were told to tell what was wrong with the Company and we were assured that all the answers would be held in the strictest confidence. As the first female manufacturing supervisor, I was given an extraordinary amount of time with the consultants.

The consultants admonished us NOT to discuss our interviews and their contents with any other management people but, of course, we did.

Mother always advised me to "keep your own counsel". I didn't believe for one moment that the firm was there to help us, as management personnel. I believed they were there to "weed out" people. Several of my colleagues asked what happened in my session and I replied that they'd asked me to tell them what was wrong with the company so that the Company would be able to be changed. The guys asked what I had said and I told them that I'd said that Mead was the greatest Company in the world and had given me a wonderful opportunity. One of the guys castigated me by saying, "We'll never get anything changed if you talk like that." Another mentioned that I was a sycophant (oh, no, that's MY word; he said I was a "brown-noser"). I was shocked and asked them, "Did you say anything negative?" They answered that they had told them everything that was wrong. I told him, "Well, I don't trust them to have my best interest in mind so I wasn't going to tell them that anything that was wrong!" Within the year of the consulting firm's Contract with Mead, both of those men had been terminated. Several other people were demoted or moved to other positions.

We were given the same spiel from the Alexander Proudfoot training staff: everything would be confidential with no repercussions. During my personal interview, I did not discuss my prior experience with a "consulting firm" although the first question was if I knew the purpose of the consulting firm. Our classes were held for 8 hours on Saturdays for 16 weeks in a row and there were 16 participants in my class. On the first day, we were each given a seed with instructions to plant the seed and at the end of the sessions one of us would receive a nice reward for having the best plant.

Today, I received an e-mail (see below) which is the same exercise given to us in 1978. I was awarded the prize and you will see WHY at the end of the exercise I was like JIM! My prize was a $100.00 gift certificate to Elder Beerman; I told my mother I would take her to Elder Beerman to pick out something nice and she told me to just spend it on myself. I promptly went there and bought something I always wanted--a Coach purse--which I still carry to this day!


A successful businessman was growing old and he knew that it was time to choose a successor to take over the business.

Instead of choosing one of his Directors or his children, he decided to do something different. He called all the young executives in his company together. He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO and I have decided to choose one of you." The young executives were shocked, but the boss continued. "I am going to give each one of you a SEED today - one very special SEED--I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you."

He continued, "I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO." One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed. Every day, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn't have a plant growing and he felt like a failure.

Six months went by and there was still nothing growing in Jim's pot. He just knew that he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn't say anything to his colleagues; however, he just kept watering and fertilizing the soil. He so wanted the seed to grow. Finally, a year went by and all the young executives of the company brought their plants to the CEO for inspection. Jim told his wife that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But she told him that he should be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick to his stomach; it was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right. He took his empty pot to the board room. When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed, a few even felt sorry for him!

When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives. Jim just tried to hide in the back. "My, what great plants, trees and flowers you have grown," said the CEO. "Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!"

The CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered the Chief Financial Officer to bring Jim to the front of the room. Jim was terrified. He thought, "The CEO knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!" When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed and Jim told him the story.

The CEO asked everyone to sit down except for Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, "Behold your next Chief Executive Officer! His name is Jim!" Jim couldn't believe it.

"How could he be the new CEO?" the others asked. Then the CEO said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead; it was not possible for them to grow. All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive Officer!"

* If you plant honesty, you will reap trust.

* If you plant goodness, you will reap friends.

* If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.

* If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment.

* If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective.

* If you plant hard work, you will reap success.

* If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation.

So, be careful what you plant now; it will determine what you will reap later.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


My dear friend's daughter died today.

How can I comfort my friend? I don't know how.
Where are all my words to ease her pain? I don't have them.
Where are my verbal bandages I need to dress this gaping wound which will never heal? I don't have them.

People tell me that I am the strongest person they know but where is my strength when she needs me? I am weak.

I will go to see her and I will be there for her during this horrible week of planning, deciding and completing the tasks associated with loss. And when I ask, "What can I do?", she will know it is not perfunctory and she will give me tasks to perform because she knows that's what I need--to be doing something! I will prepare food, choose flowers, visit the funeral home, go to the funeral; all of those duties of friendship. She knows that I will continue to be there for her in the days, weeks, months and years to follow.

She has always been there for me.

Monday, March 7, 2011


The American aviator Amelia Mary Earhart Putnam (1897-1937) remains the world's best-known woman pilot long after her mysterious disappearance during a round-the-world flight in 1937.

Amelia Mary Earhart was born on July 24, 1897, the daughter of Edwin and Amy Otis Earhart. Until she was 12 she lived with her wealthy maternal grandparents, Alfred and Amelia Harres Otis, in Atcheson, Kansas, where she attended a private day school. Her summers were spent in Kansas City, Missouri, where her lawyer-father worked for the Rock Island Railroad.

In 1909 Amelia and her younger sister, Muriel, went to live with their parents in Des Moines, Iowa, where the railroad had transferred her father. Before completing high school she also attended schools in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Springfield, Illinois, while her father fought a losing battle against alcoholism. His failure and its consequent humiliation for her were the root of Amelia's lifelong dislike of alcohol and desire for financial security.

Amy Earhart left Edwin in Springfield in 1914, taking her daughters with her to live with friends in Chicago, where Amelia was graduated from Hyde Park School in 1915. The yearbook described her as "A.E. - the girl in brown (her favorite color) who walks alone."

A year later, after Amy Earhart received an inheritance from the estate of her mother, she sent Amelia to Ogontz School in Philadelphia, an exclusive high school and junior college. During Christmas vacation of her second year there Amelia went to Toronto, Canada, where Muriel was attending a private school. In Toronto Amelia saw her first amputees, returning wounded from World War I. She immediately refused to return to Ogontz and became a volunteer nurse in a hospital for veterans where she worked until after the armistice of 1918. The experience made her an ardent, life-long pacifist.

From Toronto Earhart went to live with her mother and sister in Northampton, Massachusetts, where her sister was attending Smith College. In the fall of 1919 she entered Columbia University, but left after one year to join her parents, who had reconciled and were living in Los Angeles.

In the winter of 1920 Earhart saw her first air show and took her first airplane ride. "As soon as we left the ground," she said, "I knew I had to fly." She took lessons at Bert Kinner's airfield on Long Beach Boulevard in Los Angeles from a woman - Neta Snooks - and on December 15, 1921, received her license from the National Aeronautics Association (NAA). By working part-time as a file clerk, office assistant, photographer, and truck driver, and with some help from her mother, Earhart eventually was able to buy her own plane. However, she was unable to earn enough to continue what was an expensive hobby.

In 1924, when her parents separated again, she sold her plane and bought a car in which she drove her mother to Boston where her sister was teaching school. Soon after that Earhart re-enrolled at Columbia but lacked the money to continue for more than one year. She returned to Boston where she became a social worker in a settlement house, joined the NAA, and continued to fly in her spare time.

In 1928 Earhart accepted an offer to join the crew of a flight across the Atlantic. The flight was the scheme of George Palmer Putnam, editor of WE, Charles Lindbergh's book about how he became, in 1927, the first person to fly across the Atlantic alone. The enterprising Putnam chose her for his "Lady Lindy" because of her flying experience, her education, and her lady-like appearance. Along with pilot Wilmer Stultz and mechanic Louis Gordon, she crossed the Atlantic (from Newfoundland to Wales) on June 18-19, 1928. Although she never once touched the controls (she described herself afterward as little more than a "sack of potatoes"), Earhart became world-renowned as "the first woman to fly the Atlantic."

From that time Putnam became Earhart's manager and, in 1931, her husband. He arranged all her flying engagements, many followed by often strenuous cross-country lecture tours (at one point, 29 tours in 31 days) for maximum publicity. However Earhart did initiate one flight of her own. Resenting reports that she was largely a puppet figure created by her publicist husband and something less than a competent aviator, she piloted a tiny, single-engine Lockheed Electra from Newfoundland to Ireland to become - on May 20-21, 1932, and five years after Lindbergh - the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.

During the scarcely more than five years remaining in her life, Earhart acted as a tireless advocate for commercial aviation and for women's rights. The numerous flying records she amassed included:

1931: Altitude record in an autogiro

First person to fly an autogiro across the United States and back

1932: Fastest non-stop transcontinental flight by a woman

1933: Breaks her own transcontinental speed record

1935: First person to fly solo across the Pacific from Hawaii to California

First person to fly solo from Los Angeles to Mexico

Breaks speed record for non-stop flight from Los Angeles to Mexico City to Newark, New Jersey 1937: Sets speed record for east-west crossing from Oakland to Honolulu

Honors and awards she received included the Distinguished Flying Cross; Cross of the Knight of the Legion of Honor, from the French Government; Gold Medal of the National Geographic Society; and the Harmon Trophy as America's outstanding airwoman in 1932, 1933, 1934, and 1935.

On July 2, 1937, 22 days before her 40th birthday and having already completed 22,000 miles of an attempt to circumnavigate the earth, Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, disappeared over the Pacific somewhere between Lae, New Guinea, and Howland Island. The most extensive search ever conducted by the U.S. Navy for a single missing plane sighted neither plane nor crew. Subsequent searches since that time have been equally unsuccessful. In 1992, an expedition found certain objects (a shoe and a metal plate) on the small atoll of Nikumaroro south of Howland, which could have been left by Earhart and Noonan. In 1997 another female pilot, Linda Finch, recreated Earhart's final flight in an around the world tribute entitled "World Flight 97." The event took place on what would have been Earhart's 100th birthday. Finch successfully completed her voyage, the identical route that Earhart would have flown, around the world.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

A sharp tongue can cut your own throat.

If you want your dreams to come true, you mustn't oversleep.

Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important.

The best vitamin for making friends is B1.

The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.

The heaviest thing you can carry is a grudge.

One thing you can give and still keep is your word.

You lie the loudest when you lie to yourself.

If you lack the courage to start, you have already finished.

One thing you can't recycle is wasted time.

Ideas won't work unless you do.

Your mind is like a parachute; it functions only when open.

The pursuit of happiness is the chase of a lifetime; it is never too late to become what you might have been.

Life is too short to wake up with regrets.. So love the people who treat you right.. Forget about the ones who don't. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.

Friends are like balloons; once you let them go, you might not get them back. Sometimes we get so busy with our own lives and problems that we may not even notice that we've let them fly away. Sometimes we are so caught up in who's right and who's wrong that we forget what's right and wrong.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


1. Reheat Pizza

Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove; set heat to medium-low and heat until warm. This keeps the crust crispy; no soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the cooking channel and it really works.

2. Easy Deviled Eggs

Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag and seal. Mash until they are broken. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, and keep mashing, mixing thoroughly. Cut the tip of the bag, squeeze mixture into egg white. Just throw bag away when finished.

3. Expanding Frosting

When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. This can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.

4. Reheating refrigerated bread

To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

5. Newspaper weeds away

Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet newspapers, put layers around the plants overlapping as you go; cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic; they will not get through wet newspapers.

6. Broken Glass

Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can't easily see.

7. No More Mosquitoes

Place a dryer sheet in your pocket; it will keep away the mosquitoes.

8. Squirrel Away

To keep squirrels from eating your plants sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the squirrels won't come near it.

9. Flexible vacuum

To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

10. Reducing Static Cling

Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. The same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and the static is gone.

11. Measuring Cups

Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup. Next, add the ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it releases.

12. Foggy Windshield

Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car. When the windows fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!

13. Reopening envelope

If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place the sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two; it easily unseals.

14. Conditioner

Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's a lot cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs very smooth. It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair.

15. Goodbye Fruit Flies

To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass, fill it 1/2 full with
apple cider vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid; mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

16. Get Rid of Ants

Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it "home", can't digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works and you don't have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!


The heating unit went out on my dryer! The man who fixes things around the house for us told us that he wanted to show us something and he went over to the dryer and pulled out the lint filter. It was clean. (I always clean the lint from the filter after every load of clothes.) He took the filter to the sink, and ran hot water over it. The lint filter is made of a mesh material; I'm sure you know what your dryer's lint filter looks like. The hot water just sat on top of the mesh! It didn't go through it at all! He told us that dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh and that's what burns out the heating unit. You can't SEE the film, but it's there. It's what is in the dryer sheets to make your clothes soft and static free; that nice fragrance too, you know how they can feel waxy when you take them out of the box; this stuff builds up on your lint screen. This is also what causes dryer units to catch fire and potentially burn down your house! He also said the best way to keep your dryer working for a very long time (and to keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out and wash it with hot, soapy water and an old toothbrush (or other brush) at least every six months. He said that makes the life of the dryer at least twice as long!

Note: I went to my dryer and tested my screen by running water on it. The water ran through a little bit but mostly collected all the water in the mesh screen. I washed it with warm soapy water and a nylon brush; I had it done in 30 seconds. When I rinsed it the water ran right through the screen! There wasn't any puddling at all! That repairman knew what he was talking about!

Friday, March 4, 2011



I (HEART) NEW YORK (with the card symbol)
I (CLUB) MY WIFE (with the card symbol)
I (SPADE) MY DOG (with the card symbol)

JESUS SAVES--MOSES INVESTS (a little Jewish humor)






Thursday, March 3, 2011


From an article on Women's Health:

I was aware that female heart attacks are different, but this is the best description I've ever read.

Women and heart attacks (Myocardial infarction): did you know that women rarely have the same dramatic symptoms that men have when experiencing heart attacks?

E.G.: the sudden stabbing pain in the chest, the cold sweat, grabbing the chest and dropping to the floor?

Here is the story of one woman's experience with a heart attack.

I had a heart attack at about 10:30 PM with NO prior exertion, NO prior emotional trauma that one would suspect might've brought it on. I was sitting all snugly and warm on a cold evening, with my purring cat in my lap, reading an interesting story my friend had sent me, and actually thinking, "A-A-h, this is the life, all cozy and warm in my soft, cushy Lazy Boy with my feet propped up."

A moment later, I felt that awful sensation of indigestion, when you've been in a hurry and grabbed a bite of sandwich and washed it down with a dash of water, and that hurried bite seems to feel as if you've swallowed a golf ball going down the esophagus in slow motion and it is most uncomfortable. You realize you shouldn't have gulped it down so fast and needed to chew it more thoroughly and this time drink a glass of water to hasten its progress down to the stomach. This was my initial sensation; the only trouble was that I hadn't taken a bite of anything since about 5:00 p.m.

After it seemed to subside, the next sensation was like little squeezing motions that seemed to be racing up my SPINE (hind-sight: it was probably my aorta spasming), gaining speed as they continued racing up and under my sternum (breast bone).

This fascinating process continued on into my throat and branched out into both jaws. NOW I stopped puzzling about what was happening; we all have read and/or heard about pain in the jaws being one of the signals of an MI happening, haven't we? I said aloud to myself and the cat, "Dear God, I think I'm having a heart attack!"

I lowered the footrest, dumping the cat from my lap, started to take a step and fell on the floor instead. I thought to myself, "If this is a heart attack, I shouldn't be walking into the next room where the phone is or anywhere else; but, on the other hand, if I don't, nobody will know that I need help, and if I wait any longer I may not be able to get up in a moment.

I pulled myself up with the arms of the chair, walked slowly into the next room and dialed the Paramedics; I told her I thought I was having a heart attack due to the pressure building under the sternum and radiating into my jaws. I didn't feel hysterical or afraid, just stating the facts. She said she was sending the Paramedics immediately, and asked if the front door was near to me, and if so, to unbolt the door and then lie down on the floor where they could see me when they came in.

I unlocked the door and then lay down on the floor as instructed and lost consciousness, as I don't remember the medics coming in, their examination, lifting me onto a gurney or getting me into their ambulance, or hearing the call they made to the ER on the way, but I did briefly awaken when we arrived and saw that the cardiologist was already there in his surgical blues and cap, helping the medics pull my stretcher out of the ambulance. He was bending over me asking questions but I couldn't make my mind interpret what he was saying, or form an answer, and nodded off again, not waking up until the cardiologist had already threaded the angiogram balloon up my femoral artery into the aorta and into my heart where they installed two side by side stents to hold open my right coronary artery.

I know it sounds like all my thinking and actions at home must have taken at least 20-30 minutes before calling the Paramedics, but actually it took perhaps 4-5 minutes before the call, and both the fire station and the hospital are only minutes away from my home, and the cardiologist was already to go to the OR in his scrubs and get going on restarting my heart (which had stopped somewhere between my arrival and the procedure) and installing the stents.

Why have I written all of this to you with so much detail? Because I want all of you who are so important in my life to know what I learned first hand.

1. Be aware that something very different is happening in your body: not the usual men's symptoms but inexplicable things happening (until my sternum and jaws got into the act). It is said that many more women than men die of their first (and last) MI because they didn't know they were having one and commonly mistake it as indigestion, take some Maalox or other anti-heartburn preparation and go to bed, hoping they'll feel better in the morning when they wake up which doesn't happen. My female friends, your symptoms might not be exactly like mine, so I advise you to call the Paramedics if ANYTHING unpleasant is happening which you've not felt before. It is better to have a "false alarm" visitto the hospital than to risk your life guessing what it might be!

2. Note that I said "Call the Paramedics". And if you can take an aspirin, TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE! Do NOT try to drive yourself to the ER; you are a hazard to others on the road. Do NOT have your panicked husband who will be speeding and looking anxiously at what's happening with you instead of paying attention to his driving. Do NOT call your doctor; he doesn't know where you live and if it's at night you won't reach him anyway, and if it's daytime, his assistants (or answering service) will tell you to call the Paramedics. He doesn't carry the equipment in his car that you need to be saved! The Paramedics do, principally OXYGEN that you need ASAP. Your doctor will be notified later.

3. Don't assume it couldn't be a heart attack because you have a normal cholesterol count. Research has shown that a cholesterol elevated reading is rarely the cause of an MI (unless it's unbelievably high and/or accompanied by high blood pressure). MIs are usually caused by long-term stress and inflammation in the body, which dumps all sorts of deadly hormones into your system to sludge things up in there. Pain in the jaw can wake you from a sound sleep. Let's be careful and be aware. The more we know, the better chance we have to survive.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


It is very important to share medical information with one's children and family members. My nephew had a serious thyroid operation and when he first told me that he was going to have the operation he said they had found an "inward goiter". I asked if he had told the doctor that his grandfather, great-grandfather, and great aunt had goiters which required surgery. He asked, "I wonder why Dad never told me about that?" and I replied that he probably never thought that it might be important. When he told the doctor, the doctor said that he wished he'd known that fact because it would have helped him diagnose the ailment earlier.

Our management team was required to go to the Cleveland Clinic for our annual physicals for work. We would stay all day, have great number of tests and see five specialists. As I never had any childhood illnesses, no operations, and never had a serious illness, my personal history was rather spare, but the family history was quite extensive covering siblings, parents and grandparents. On one of the charts I checked that my father and grandfather had goiters. After my accident in 1995, I gained a great deal of weight and I checked "rapid weight gain" on my history.

When I met the internist he looked at my chart, saw that I had checked "goiter" and "rapid weight gain"; the doctor did a thorough examination and felt my neck and asked me numerous questions about my father's goiter. However, he didn't bother to ask WHY I'd had the "rapid weight gain" the previous year. Although I had never met him before, I sensed a great deal of excitement when he announced, "I'm going to have you tested for Hashimoto's Syndrome." I asked what it was and he said that with the thyroid and goiter in my family history, combined with the rapid weight gain, that those were symptoms of it!

I then explained to him why I had gained the weight: after my accident, I went from a great deal of daily activity to being on crutches for months and consuming more than 1,000 calories in Coca Cola per day just MIGHT have contributed to the weight gain. Nevertheless, he had all the tests performed but concluded that I did not have the syndrome.

I said, "Well, if I do have something wrong with me, I want it to have an interesting name!" He was not amused.

From the Mayo Clinic website:

By Mayo Clinic staff
Thyroid gland
Hashimoto's disease is a disorder that affects your thyroid, a small gland at the base of your neck, below your Adam's apple. The thyroid gland is part of your endocrine system, which produces hormones that coordinate many of your body's activities.

In Hashimoto's disease, also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, your immune system attacks your thyroid gland. The resulting inflammation often leads to an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). Hashimoto's disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States. It primarily affects middle-aged women, but also can occur in men and women of any age and in children.

Doctors test your thyroid function to help detect Hashimoto's disease. Treatment of Hashimoto's disease with thyroid hormone replacement usually is simple and effective."

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


It's deplorable that the Governor of Mississippi, who is supposedly preparing for a campaign for the Presidency of the United States, cannot take a stand about whether it is moral for the state of Mississippi to issue automobile license plates honoring Nathan Bedford Forest, a founder of the Ku Klux Klan. But, why am I surprised, when the Mississippi school textbooks call the Civil War "The War Of Northern Aggression"?

I am constantly astounded to see Confederate flags adorning homes and vehicles in Fayette County, Ohio.

Several years ago, we went to a birthday party at the home of one of my husband's family. There was a Confederate flag hanging from the porch. We had been there several times previously and the flag had not been displayed. I told my husband, "I won't be going in there." He said, "We're here, and we've brought a present." I said, "You can go in and I'll come back later and pick you up." My husband and I seldom have disagreements but he knew full well that I was not going to go in that house. He said, "You wait here." He took the present to the door and told them how I felt.

As they approached the car, I expected a huge, emotional confrontation, thinking that they would think that I had insulted them. Instead, the relative calmly asked, "Why would that offend you?" Stunned by his comity, my voice was trembling as I told them how offensive I found the flag. The relative said, "It's just about the "Dukes Of Hazzard"; I just have a collection of "Dukes of Hazzard" stuff; it's just fun." I asked, "Are you telling me that you don't know what that flag represents?"

He said that what it might mean to my "generation" wasn't the same as it meant to his. I asked, "Didn't you learn about it in history?" He said, "Well, yeah, about the Civil war, but I don't think it's a big deal today!" I said, "Those nutty people in the South are still fighting about the war and it IS a big deal!" I told him that they put falsehoods in their school textbooks and honor Jefferson Davis on his birthday!

He said that they would never want to offend me, but he didn't think it was important. I thought to myself, "You want people to think that a Southern sympathizer lives here?" but I did not say it.

I said, "I'll make you a deal; I'll bring you an American flag to display!" He shrugged his shoulders and said, "That's cool!"

The next day I took them a flag with a pole and staff to mount to the porch, along with a copy of flag etiquette which was free from the American Legion.

They took down the flag but I've often reflected that they thought it was "just" something about the Dukes of Hazzard!