Thursday, June 30, 2011



To the chants of "We Are Ohio", "This Is What Democracy Looks Like", "1 Million Strong" and "Do You Hear Us Now?", 6,5000 committed Ohioans marched the .70 mile from COSI to the Secretary of State's office to deliver a trailer load of petitions to Repeal Senate Bill 5 and place the referendum on the ballot for the November 8, 2011 election. A resounding cheer erupted at the announcement that we had achieved 1,298,301 signatures which is the result of the work of 10,000 volunteers.

Escorted by the Columbus Police Department, with Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman marching in front of the "We Are Ohio" banner, I was located directly behind the banner-carriers and in front of the bagpipers, followed by the tractor trailer. As I turned around I was impressed by the number of people participating. The camaraderie, spirit and verve were contagious. After the parade we adjourned to Columbus Commons for a barbeque, entertainment and more communion. It was thrilling to meet people face-to-face whom we have only known as Facebook friends and fellow supporters of the cause.

NOW the real battle begins. The Koch Brothers, Dick Armey, Karl Rove, Grover Norquist and other big-money cronies of Kasich will continue to pour money into Ohio to defeat the referendum. We cannot allow that to happen. The enthusiastic participation needed to achieve the goal of collecting 1 million signatures must be doubled to achieve the mission of winning in November.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I freely admit that I'm a groupie!

At the Ohio Democratic Dinner I hurried to the rope line because I wanted Joe Biden to autograph the book "Promises To Keep". I have been very successful in the past getting books and photographs signed. As the speech was ending I hurried to the front of the stage but I didn't know which way the Vice-President would exit; unfortunately, I was to the left and he exited to the right. I immediately began waving my book at the aides. A Secret Service member and I locked eyes and I murmured, "It usually works."

The line became very congested as people from the side tried to worm their way into the rope line. I held onto the rope line with one hand and waved my book with the other hand.

A woman behind me said, "I would think some of these people would let this seventeen-year-old in to shake his hand." I turned, without letting go of my place in line, and saw the girl who had been pressing against me, and I said, to her and one I assumed to be her mother, "She's got the rest of her life; us old people need to be the ones to see him!" The woman answered, "Well, I don't think it's fair!" I held up my book and said, "It's $24.95 FAIR!"

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I have never seen a woman SPIT! Do men produce more saliva than women?

The "re-arranging" of private parts. I must say that I have never seen my brothers or husband do this, but I have seen it at work and in public.

Things one would never hear from a woman:

"What can I do you for?"
"Working hard--or hardly working?"

In line in stores, when guys see other guys whom they know, one will say, "Are you going to pay for mine too?"

Do guys have problems with small talk?

I have always said that the best thing about being a woman is that we aren't expected to be pallbearers but after seeing the niece of a sister-in-law being a pallbearer, I guess we have total equality.














Monday, June 27, 2011


Gerald was driving back from Chillicothe and I noticed a small wooded section and I wondered aloud, "Do you think that's a copse?" He asked, "What's the difference between a copse and a woods?" I said, "I'll have to look it up--I think a woods is bigger." I said, "Maybe it's a grove or a coppice or a spinney." Gerald said, "Maybe it's thicket." I said, "I think thicket suggests brambles." I began to recite:

"Whose copse this is I think I know,
His house is in the village though,
My little horse must think it's queer
To stop without a farmhouse near."

I said, "Nah, woods sounds much better than copse; my apology to Robert Frost!"

Sunday, June 26, 2011


My great-nephew John posted "Your Daily Painted Finger" on his Facebook page.

It reminded me of when I was a kid there was a childrens' TV show called "Aunt Fran's" and at the end of the show Aunt Fran painted a "Happy Good-bye Face" on each child's palm. There was an eye underneath the forefinger; another eye under the pinkie; a nose in the middle and a smile across from the thumb. As the children waved goodye, the eye would WINK!

Several years ago, I fell asleep on the sofa and my arm was dangling. When I awoke I was startled to see that someone had painted a "Happy Good-Bye Face" on my hand!

Fran Norris started the program "Aunt Fran And Her Playmates" in 1950 and it aired daily on WBNS-TV in Columbus, OH until 1957. Her show was a forerunner to "Ding Dong School", "Romper Room", "Luci's Toy Shop" and "Sesame Street". Fran Norris is considered to be a pioneer in programming for children.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


In the "OBSTREPEROUS" article I mentioned that I like small words. I once used "smarmy" in class and the instructor said he'd never heard the word--but he said it in a self-confident manner--to let me know that he doubted it being a word. I said, "It's a perfectly good Anglo-Saxon word." He responded, haughtily, "And what might it mean?" I answered, "Unctuous." One of my classmates groaned. The instructor said, "Then you should have used unctuous because obviously more people know unctuous than smarmy!" The groaning classmate said, "I don't know either one!"

In 2004, a woman who had had work published in the local newspaper and also had a vanity-press book published was volunteering at our political headquarters. She heard my use of the word "vet" to describe investigating candidates. She said, "I've never heard that word used like that." I told her that the word had been used in that context for many years. She continued, "And I'm a wordsmith." I will give her credit: the following day she came in and said she had looked up the word and said that since she was politically active she couldn't believe she hadn't heard the word used previously. I asked, "How about WONK?"

She and I did not have any other contact until 2010 when I was a guest at a SPRING FLING party; I remembered her and when we spoke, I assumed she remembered me. She was the moderator for some games to be played. One game was called SPRING FLING and one had to submit words pertaining to Spring which started with the letters of S-P-R-I-N-G F-L-I-N-G. The catch: one only received points if nobody else had the word. For the letter "S" I chose the word "scabiosa" and nobody else had that word so I received a point; for "P" I chose the word "plumeria" and nobody else had that word, so another point for me. For the letter "R", I had "ranunculus" and suddenly the moderator said, "I know you NOW--you're that Sue Raypole!" The ladies who had invited me began laughing along with me! There I thought I was unforgettable!

Some one-syllable words I love:


Friday, June 24, 2011



As we are winding down the campaign to collect signatures for the referendum to repeal Senate Bill 5, I am pleased to report that in the two months and twenty events which we have staged, I have had only two incidents of people being unprofessional.

Outside of the Hike For Hospice event, we had set up table and chairs to collect signatures. A local car dealer came to the table and asked, in a loud voice, "Who gave you permission to do this?" I crossed my arms and said in a very quiet voice, "As long as we maintain access and egress and do not hinder passersby, we are within the law and do not need permission." He asked, in an even louder voice, "Who gave you a permit?" I answered, still in a quiet voice, "As I stated previously, sir, as long as we maintain access and egress and do not hinder passersby, we are within the law and do not need a permit." He must have been disappointed that his attempted intimidation was unsuccessful. He shouted, as he mounted his large truck, "I'll see about this!" I laughed and said, "Tell Mr. Denen to stop by and sign!" Later, a participant in the Hike called me and said, "The women over here at the registration table are talking and one of them said, "Well, SHE says she has the right to be there!" I said, "Tell them to capitalize the "S" on she!"

Outside of the U.S. Post Office a man approached the table and said, "I wanna see your permit!" I answered, very quietly, "Sir, as long as I maintain access and egress and do not hinder passersby, I do not need a permit." He continued, "I checked with the police and this is solicitation and that is against the law." I replied, "Perhaps you should check with the boss of the police--the City Manager." He stated that his wife had been there earlier and we had "solicited" her. I said, "No, she was asked if she had signed and whether she wanted to sign."

He became very agitated and said, "You people put yourself above all others and think you're better than everybody else." I replied, "Sir, your saying "you people" is a ridiculous generalization; you are making assumptions without any basis in fact; you do not know me nor do you know anything about me so you're just being totally illogical." He said, incongruously, "You don't know nuthin' about me neither!" I answered, "And I have no desire to know anything about you but I won't be making any assumptions about you!" He pointed to his tee-shirt with the name of a business and said he was the owner of the business. I did not respond and he became very irate and said, "You think you're better than everybody else." I ignored him once again. He then threatened to go to the "cops"; I said, "Go right ahead, but you're being disingenuous because you said you'd already been to the cops." He said, "Oh you think you're smarter than me using big words!" I answered, "Disingenuous? that's a little word in my family; go home and look it up!" He said, "You're so smart; you won't think you're so smart when the cops come!" He continued his rant and I said, "Sir, you need to leave because you are being OBSTREPEROUS!" He said, "That's not even a word." My friend interjected, "Yes it is; she's the best sesquipedalian I know." I said to my friend, "Oh, what was the word of the day--OBTEST?" She and I laughed and she said, "Yes, that's it." I said, "Thou doest OBTEST too much, sir" He stormed away and my friend called the police and filed a report.

When I went home and related the incident, my brother asked, "Was he packing heat?" That certainly gave me pause for thought. I'll still be collecting signatures until June 29, but I WILL NOT engage in any more contretemps, especially knowing about the crazy gun laws in Ohio. I am sincerely grateful for all of the well-mannered people in Fayette County who declined to sign the petition, but more than that, I am grateful to the people who signed as Fayette County has more than 3 times the needed 3%!


If you like learning new words, check out the "Word Of The Day" website by CLICKING HERE.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Sunday Gerald and I celebrated our fortieth wedding anniversary. Rather than spending money for anniversary presents--ruby is for the fortieth-- and since my engagement ring is ruby--we decided to spend the money to see and hear Joe Biden at the Ohio Democratic Party annual dinner on June 25. Today we went to the Olive Garden and used a gift card given to him as a birthday present. We held hands across the table and the waitress smiled. We reminisced about our wedding day and how, when we got back to our apartment, I had made him an omelet and then fell asleep on the couch. I told him a secret--that when we were dating, I made notes to have conversation gambits--because I was afraid he would find me boring. Tonight we talked, sans notes, about Keith Olbermann returning to TV, remembering Andy Goodman, David McCullough's new book, my schedule for the week and his schedule, and he also reminded me to fetch his suit from the cleaners before Saturday. That's married talk. Four of the waitresses came and sang "Happy Anniversary" to us.

A young friend recently asked, after spending some time with us, "I can't believe you guys still have stuff to talk about after all these years; my grandparents don't say anything to each other." I answered, "That's because we're not worn out from being grandparents!"

Gerald signs his cards, "More than yesterday, less than tomorrow." which is from the famous French quote, "Je t'aime, plus qu'hier moins que demain": "I love you more than yesterday, less than tomorrow." Not a day goes by that we do not tell each other "I love you," No "love ya" allowed! I love--and like--him more today than the day we were married. He loves my family as his own and considers my brothers to be his brothers. I wish I were as good a person as he.

Humor is much appreciated in my family and I always say that I'll forgive almost anything if a person is funny.

Some of Gerald's best lines:

"Sue, you're good; too bad you're not nice."

"Thanks for sticking with me through THICK.", a pun on the cliche, "Through thick and thin." I grabbed hold of my "baloney roll" and patted his belly and said, "Literally!"

I'm older than Gerald and recently when I said that "I'm older than dirt"; Gerald responded, "And I'm dirt!"

"I married her for her sense of humor and found out the joke was on me!"

Members of his family commented in 1971 that our marriage wouldn't last 6 months. The joke is on them!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I've written before about my family's CLICHE POLICE. One will be skewered if one dares to use a cliche! After all, our family motto is:


Recently, one of my brothers wrote to criticize my using a cliche in a blog article. Yes, I was guilty and I promise I shan't use it again! All of my family are nice enough to e-mail me, rather than use the Comment section below the articles and publicly humiliate me.

Current ones detested by the family (fortunately, I have NOT used any of these or the ridicule would be substantial):



TOUCH BASE (of course I hate all sports references UNLESS they're related to sports)










GIVE 110%

AIR QUOTES (are not a cliche, but the most detested by Norman, thus the inclusion here)

I feel certain that my friends Patty and Arminta will have others to contribute.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


"HE TRAVELED A SHORT WHILE TOWARDS THE SUN AND LEFT THE VIVID AIR SIGNED WITH HIS HONOR"--from Andrew Goodman's tombstone (paraphrasing a quote from Stephen Spender's poem, "I Think Of Those Who Are Truly Great")

Andrew Goodman (photo above) was born on November 23, 1943, in New York City and was reared on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the second of three sons of Robert and Carolyn Goodman and brother to David and Jonathan. The Goodmans were an intellectual family committed to progressive activism and social justice. They believed in "doing well by doing good". Andy was an activist from the age of fifteen; he graduated from the progressive Walden School which was known for its anti-authoritarian approach to learning. While a sophomore at Walden, Goodman traveled to Washington D.C., to participate in the "Youth March For Integrated Schools". As a senior, he and a friend visited a depressed coal mining region in West Virginia to prepare a report on poverty in the United States. He interviewed Jackie Robinson, one of his heroes.

Goodman attended the Honors Program at University of Wisconsin--Madison, for a semester but withdrew after falling ill with pneumonia. He transferred to Queens College, New York City, partly because of its strong drama department. With his brief experience as an off-Broadway actor, he originally planned to study drama, but switched to anthropology.

In April, 1964, he applied for and was accepted into the Mississippi Summer Project. He volunteered, along with Michael Schwerner, to work as part of "Freedom Summer", a CORE (Congress Of Racial Equality) project to register blacks to vote in Mississippi. Having protested U.S. President Lyndon Johnson's presence at that year's World's Fair, Goodman then left for training at the Western College For Women (now part of Miami University) in Oxford, OH. In June, Schwerner and Goodman were sent to Mississippi to begin registering blacks to vote.

On the night of June 20, 1964, the two reached Meridian, Mississippi, where Schwerner (photo left) was designated to be the head of the field office. There they joined with James Earl Chaney, a black man who was also a civil rights activist. On the morning of June 21, 1964, the three set out for Philadelphia, Mississippi, in Neshoba County, where they were to investigate the recent burning of a local black church, the Mount Zion Methodist Church, which had been designated as a site for the Freedom School for education and voter registration.

The three were initially arrested by Deputy Cecil Price for allegedly driving 35 miles over the 30-mile-per-hour speed limit. The three were taken to the jail in Neshoba County where Chaney (photo left) was booked for speeding, while Goodman and Schwerner were booked "for investigation".

After Chaney was fined $20, the three men were released and told to leave the County. Price followed them on State Route 19 to the county line, then turned around at approximately 10:30 p.m. On their way back to Meridian, they were stopped by two carloads of KKK members on a remote rural road. The men approached their car and then shot and killed Schwerner, followed by Goodman and finally Chaney.

Eventually the Neshoba County Deputy Sheriff and conspirators were convicted by Federal prosecutors of civil rights violations but were never convicted of murder. The case formed the basis of a made-for-television movie "Attack On Terror: the FBI vs. The Ku Klux Klan" and the feature film "Mississippi Burning".

On September 14, 2004, the Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood announced that he was gathering evidence for a charge of murder and intended to take the case to a Grand Jury. On January 7, 2005, Edgar Ray Killen was arrested and later found guilty of three counts of manslaughter--not murder--on June 21, 2005, exactly 41 years to the day after the murders. Killen, then age 80, was sentenced to 60 years in prison.

Andy's parents, Robert and Carolyn Goodman, set up the Andrew Goodman Foundation in 1966. The mission of the Foundation is "to recognize, encourage and inspire creative and effective local and individual action in support of civil rights, human dignity and social justice". Visit

Goodman Mountain, a 2,176 foot peak in the Adirondack Mountain town of Tupper Lake, NY, where Andy Goodman and his family spent many of their summers, is named in Andy Goodman's memory.

New York City named "Freedom Place" a four-block stretch in Manhattan's Upper West Side, in honor of Goodman. A plaque on 70th and West End Avenues tells his story.

Queens College has a memorial to honor Andy Goodman. The day of his murder is acknowledged each year on campus and the clock tower of the campus library is dedicated to Goodman, Chaney and Schwerner.

The Walden School, at 88th Street and Central Park West, named its middle and upper school building in honor of Goodman's memory. The Trevor Day School now occupies the building and has maintained their building's name as the Andrew Goodman Building.

An outdoor memorial theater exists at Miami University in Oxford, OH, dedicated to the Freedom Summer alums. Miami University's now defunct Western College for Women also included historical lectures about Freedom Summer.

"Those Three Are On My Mind", was written by Pete Seeger to commemorate the three victims.

The Simon & Garfunkel song, "He Was My Brother" was dedicated to Goodman. Paul Simon had been a classmate of Goodman at Queens College.

To hear "He Was My Brother", click on the arrow below.

Andy lives forever in the hearts of his family and friends.

Monday, June 20, 2011


Gerald had quite a laugh reading my blog posting about a woman who got in the wrong car (see June 8, 2011 "GET OUT OF THE CAR") as it reminded us of another incident.

When we were first married Gerald had a 1963, beige, 2-door hardtop, 283 automatic, Chevrolet Biscayne automobile. I provide that wealth of detail because I am notoriously ignorant about knowing anything about a car except its color. However, I am very good about colors; in fact, last week Gerald said that a car was green and I said, "It's more like sage."

One day, shortly after we were married, we went to the Downtown Drug Store and Gerald parked in the rear of the building and I went inside. Little did I know that while I was inside, Gerald saw a closer parking spot and moved the car closer. When I went out I went to the approximate place where he had parked, grabbed hold of the passenger side door handle, opened the door and started to get in the car. I shrieked when I saw that the person in the car wasn't Gerald. I think I scared the man more than I was scared.

Well, it WAS a beige car and it WAS a Chevy!

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Celebrates the liberation of black American slaves in Texas on June 19, 1865.

On June 19, 1865, the Union General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas, to inform inhabitants of the Civil War's end two months earlier. Two and a half years after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, Granger's General Order Number 3 finally freed the last 250,000 slaves whose bondage, due to the minimal Union presence in the region, had been essentially unaffected by Lincoln's efforts. June 19th—which was quickly shortened to "Juneteenth" among celebrants—has become the African-American addendum to our national Independence Day, for, as Juneteenth jubilees remind us, the Emancipation Proclamation did not bring about emancipation, and the prevailing portrayal of Independence Day ignores the ignominious incidence of slavery entirely.

Observance of Juneteenth has traditionally tended towards church-centered celebrations featuring food, fun, and a focus on self-improvement and education by guest speakers. Although initially associated with Texas and other Southern states, the Civil Rights Era and the Poor People's March to Washington in 1968, in particular, helped spread the tradition all across America—to the extent that Milwaukee and Minneapolis now host two of the largest Juneteenth celebrations in the nation.

The state of Texas made Juneteenth an official holiday on Jan. 1, 1980, and became the first to grant it government recognition. Several states have since issued proclamations recognizing the holiday, but the Lone Star State remains alone in granting it full state holiday status, a day when government employees have the day off. Nonetheless, supporters and celebrants of Juneteenth continue to grow in number and in diversity; today, Juneteenth is promoted not only as a commemoration of African-American freedom, but as an example and encouragement of self-development and respect for all cultures.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


I started a Facebook account several years ago because a friend suggested it. I quickly grew wearisome because of the kind of postings I saw and I did not participate. Although I had accumulated a number of "friends", I saw little advantage to it. However, in a meeting I attended, someone suggested that we advertise an event "Stuff The Bus" on our Facebook pages. I pooh-poohed the idea but went ahead and posted it on my Facebook account. I was stunned by the number of positive responses I received. Now I advertise all of my fund-raising and political events. I have also re-connected with family, former classmates and co-workers.

Not only do I now have "friends" who are actual family and friends but I also have new friends whom I have never met but share an interest in music, art, literature and politics. I have "friends" from all sides of the political spectrum but I have "blocked" only one because of his racist lies. I am very pleased to participate in "causes" on Facebook: veterans, autism, breast cancer and political causes. The Facebook page FAYETTE COUNTY OHIO DEMOCRATS (go to and click LIKE) was started to accommodate all of our political postings!

At a recent family gathering my husband's niece started to tell me some news about her son and I said that I already knew because I'd seen it on Facebook. At the same function another of my husband's nieces said something about her daughter and I commented that she was "very poetic" and she responded, "I guess I'll have to become her Facebook friend to see what she writes."

I attended a meeting in January and an attendance sheet was passed around; the person sitting beside me said, "I'm your Facebook friend!" While collecting signatures for the SB5 petition recently, a person came and said, "I'm your Facebook friend--I saw this advertised on Facebook!" I had never met either before! Tonight, in a telephone conversation, a friend told me she'd met our mutual "Facebook friend" at a dinner in Hillsboro. Neither she nor I had met him except on Facebook.

Just when I think that "WE" (reasonable, like-minded individuals) are all alone out here, I find succor on Facebook!

Friday, June 17, 2011


We attended the Open House of the Fayette County Museum and we were happy to see the renovations which had been completed. Several people commented that it was a perfect day and I kept reciting from James Russell Lowell's poem "What Is So Rare As A Day In June":

"AND what is so rare as a day in June,
Then, if ever, come perfect days."

The meal was catered, but to me, the highlight of the meal was the cookies which had been provided by committee members. There was an array of cookies including snickerdoodles, thumbprint cookies, fruit bars and brownies. I consider myself a connoisseur of brownies. I bake them from scratch. I turned to one of the Board members and asked who had provided the brownies. She pointed to the person sitting across from me. I said, "Your brownies are quite good." She thanked me and then I added, "AND I'm a brownie connoisseur." The brownie baker had a delightful laugh as she told me, "They're made from Kroger's Double Chocolate Brownie MIX!"

So much for my being a CONNOISSEUR.

One can use the "World's Best Brownie Recipe" or obviously, just use the Kroger box mix!

Click here for the link to the recipe.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


In studying genealogy, I found this fascinating:

We have in our lineage:


In 8 generations there are 256 GREATS.

20 generations = 1,048,576 GREATS

My Great-Grandfather fought in the Civil War. I never knew him. His son, my Grandfather, died when I was one year old.

My brothers have Great-Grandchildren! I know that people are living longer but it still amazes me that my brothers have Great-Grandchildren!

My husband has Great-Great nieces and nephews!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I have an acquaintance who is very long-winded and in relating the most inocuous things she not only gives every miniscule detail but also reiterates during the telling. Her prattling is annoying to nearly everyone.

We were together today and I glanced at my watch and it was 7 minutes until 1:00 PM. She began telling a story about buying honey and when the clock struck 1:00, she was still telling about the honey. She could have said, "I bought honey from that guy and he had to special-order it." and that would have conveyed enough, BUT, oh, no, she told about getting the honey from the guy another time and she thought it was too expensive but since he'd ordered it especially for her she felt obligated to take it. I laughed and said, "What a con-man!" She answered, "Oh, no he ordered it JUST for me." I asked, "Now how would he possibly know that you'd be here today? I think that when he saw you here he remembered that you'd gotten it before; he probably has a dozen underneath the shelf; that's how con men are!" She commented that I was cynical. I said that I was a realist and then I voiced my favorite Oscar Wilde quote: "A cynic is a person who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing."

OK, I can understand her telling those details, but then she went on to tell all the uses of honey. One person walked away, rolling her eyes at me; she later asked, "Does she think we're too dumb to know about honey?"

I doubt that introspection is a strong suit of the prattler and she probably doesn't know that she is perceived as being condescending.

At home I was telling this story to my husband. My brother was standing in the doorway listening and as I turned slightly, I could see my brother making a hand motion, pretending to click a timer! Timing my telling of the story! Point well taken!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Dear Followers and Readers:

CARLOS CASTANEDA: "All paths lead nowhere, so it is important to choose a path that has heart."

My friend Concha Castaneda writes a BLOG which you will see listed as a "Favorite" on the right side of my BLOG. Please click on it; the BLOG is always interesting.

Concha now has AdSense attached to her BLOG and when you view any of the advertisements which might interest you, Concha receives 2-cents. I know that 2-cents doesn't sound like much, but since the beginning of June she has raised more than $19.00! This is a marvelous way for her to have extra money to fund her worthwhile causes (such as neutering and spaying animals which seem to seek her out!). Several months ago she had a cat Stubby which needed shots and dental work; fortunately, because of a combination of donations from family, friends, and BLOGGERS, we were able to raise the money needed.

Concha chose the path with heart; let's do our little part to enrich her causes.

Monday, June 13, 2011


The first time I learned about "curb side offerings" was when my brother and his wife lived in Huber Heights. One time, about thirty years ago, we pulled into their driveway and I noticed a bowling ball and some other items by the curb. I asked why they were there and they said that "someone" would come by and take them. I asked how they knew that and they said that "someone" always did!

After that, I began putting things by our curb and suddenly, they were gone, but we would never see when they were taken. We wondered aloud, "How do they know WHEN we have stuff by the curb?" Gerald, Les and I started taking bets about when the items would be gone. I mentioned it to my nephew Andy and he said, the "Spider People" had a truck and they came through the neighborhood and picked up stuff every day. I asked him why he called them the "Spider People" and he said that they had "webs in their hair"!

One time we saw the "Spider People" stop--and toss whatever item I had by the curb--into an old brown truck. I rushed to get to the truck, but they moved so quickly I was unable to get to them. I asked where the "Spider People" lived and Andy said, "Oh they have a nice house on Elm Street." He asked, "Did you ever read that short story about the guy who lost his job, but he didn't tell his wife and every day he would get dressed in his business attire, go to a public restroom, change into bum's clothing and panhandle?" He asked, "Is that Dickens or Guy de Maupassant?"

Another time, I was able to get to them and I said that I'd be glad to call them when we had stuff. He said they didn't have a phone.

We just wait and bet!

Sunday, June 12, 2011


When I go into restaurants which have Fox News playing, I always ask for the Manager and quietly ask to have the channel changed. If I am refused I simply inform the manager that I shall not patronize the establishment again and I will also inform my family and friends not to dine there, and then I ask for the telephone number and address of the person to whom the manager reports. This coup de gras usually guarantees that the channel will be changed.

Several times I have been asked why I wanted the channel changed and I always state that it is "offensive" to me. One time, a manager said, "It's just news." to which I responded, "No, it is propaganda and I find it offensive."

Small victories are important in this war on the venom spewed by Fox "News".

I am so pleased to report that several of my friends also challenge to have the channel changed.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


We have been fans of Roger Ebert since we first saw him and Gene Siskel in 1978 on PBS. Les usually agreed with Gene and I usually agreed with Roger. We have all of Roger's books and we read his movie reviews online from The Chicago Sun-Times. Roger and Gene had several permutations of their show when moving from network to syndication, beginning with "Sneak Previews" followed by "At The movies With Siskel and Ebert" and then "Siskel and Ebert". They were together for twenty-three years and Gene's death in 1999 was a devastating blow to Roger but he continued on with many substitutes, finally settling on Richard Roeper. After their show was cancelled Roger started a new show in January, 2011 named "Ebert Presents The Movies. The new TV show has Bill Kurtis reading his reviews and his wife Chaz making some appearances but the two youngins leave much to be desired although they are obviously Roger's choices.

Roger began his battle with cancer in 2002 which has left him horribly disfigured and he was so brave to appear at Cannes Film Festival recently.

Roger and Gene Siskel's widow still own the trademarked "Two Thumb Up!" phrase. Roger was the first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. Roger is the only film critic to have a Star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. Forbes Magazine once listed him as the most important pundit.

Although Roger considers "Citizen Kane" the "most important" movie of all time, he will not say it's his favorite. His all-time favorite actors were Robert Mitchum and Ingrid Bergman.

Roger's TOP 10 ALL-TIME MOVIES are listed alphabetically:


I sent Roger an e-mail telling him that I thought it was interesting that neither of his favorite actors are in his favorite movies.

CLICK HERE: This CBS Sunday Morning interview is inspiring.

Friday, June 10, 2011



I bought a bunch of stuff, over $150 and I glanced at my receipt as the cashier was handing me the bags. I saw a cash-back of $40. I told her I didn't request a cash back and to delete it.

She said I'd have to take the $40 because she couldn't delete it. I told her to call a supervisor.

The supervisor came and said I'd have to take it! I said NO! Taking the $40 would be a cash advance against my Discover Card and I didn't want to pay interest on a cash advance. I told them that if they couldn't delete it then they would have to delete the whole order.

The supervisor had the cashier delete the whole order and re-scan everything.

The second time I looked at the electronic pad before I signed and a cash-back of $20 popped up. At that point I told the cashier and she deleted it. The total came out right. The cashier agreed that the electronic pad must be defective.

Obviously the cashier knew the electronic pad wasn't defective because she NEVER offered me the $40 at the beginning.

Can you imagine how many people went through before me and at the end of her shift how much money she pocketed?

Just to alert everyone: a coworker went to a store last week. She had her items rung up by the cashier. The cashier hurried her along and didn't give her a receipt.

She asked the cashier for a receipt and the cashier was annoyed and gave it to her. My co-worker didn't look at her receipt until later that night. The receipt showed that she asked for $20 cash back. SHE DID NOT ASK FOR CASH BACK!

My coworker called the store which investigated but could not see the cashier pocket the money. She then called her niece who works for the bank and her niece told her this:

This is a new scam going on. The cashier will key in that you asked for cash back and then hand it to her friend who is the next person in line.

Please, please, please check your receipts right away when using credit or debit cards!

I wonder how many "seniors" have been, or will be, "stung" by this scam? To make matters worse ...THIS SCAM CAN BE DONE ANYWHERE, AT ANY RETAIL OR WHOLESALE LOCATION!

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Sometimes, when I look at my children, I say to myself, "Lillian, you should have remained a virgin." - Lillian Carter (mother of Jimmy Carter)

I had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: - "No good in a bed, but fine against a wall." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Last week, I stated this woman was the ugliest woman I had ever seen. I have since been visited by her sister, and now wish to withdraw that statement. - Mark Twain

The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible. - George Burns

Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year. - Victor Borge

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. - Mark Twain

By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher. - Socrates

I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury. - Groucho Marx

My wife has a slight impediment in her speech. Every now and then she stops to breathe. - Jimmy Durante

I have never hated a man enough to give his diamonds back. - Zsa Zsa Gabor

Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat. - Alex Levine

My luck is so bad that if I bought a cemetery, people would stop dying. - Rodney Dangerfield

Money can't buy you happiness ... But it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery - Spike Milligan

Until I was thirteen, I thought my name was "SHUT UP". - Joe Namath

I don't feel old. I don't feel anything until noon. Then it's time for my nap. - Bob Hope

I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it. - W. C. Fields

We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress. - Will Rogers

Don't worry about avoiding temptation. As you grow older, it will avoid you. - Winston Churchill

Maybe it's true that life begins at fifty ... But everything else starts to wear out, fall out, or spread out. - Phyllis Diller

By the time a man is wise enough to watch his step, he's too old to go anywhere. - Billy Crystal

And the cardiologist's diet: If it tastes good, spit it out!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


While the C-5 was turning over its engines, a female crewman gave the G.I.s on board the usual information regarding seat belts, emergency exits, etc.

Finally, she said, "Now sit back and enjoy your trip while your captain, Judith Campbell, and crew take you safely to Afghanistan."

An old Master Sergeant sitting in the eighth row thought to himself, "Did I hear her right? Is the captain a woman?"

When the attendant came by he said, "Did I understand you right? Is the captain a woman?" "Yes, said the attendant, "In fact, this entire crew is female."

"My God," he said, "I wish I had two double scotch and sodas. I don't know what to think with only women up there in the cockpit."

"That's another thing, Sergeant", said the crew member, we no longer call It The Cockpit; it's The Box Office."

Monday, June 6, 2011


A Facebook friend posted the following: "It's not about what you are called...It's about what you answer to". I immediately recognized it as paraphrasing a quote from Lucille Clifton: "What they call you is one thing; what you answer to is something else."

I first heard that quote of Lucille Clifton in a speech given by Connie Schultz. After the speech I asked Connie to use that quote to autograph her book " . . . and His Lovely Wife", which was her memoir of the 2006 U.S. Senate campaign to elect her husband Sherrod Brown.

That was the impetus for my research about the poet, fiction author, autobiographer and educator Lucille Clifton and I became a devotee.

This is a favorite poem:


a woman precedes me up the long rope.
her dangling braids the color of rain.
maybe i should have had braids.
maybe i should have kept the body i started,
slim and possible as a boy's bone.
maybe i should have wanted less.
maybe i should have ignored the bowl in me
burning to be filled.
maybe i should have wanted less.
the woman passes the notch in the rope
marked Sixty. I rise toward it, struggling,
hand over hungry hand.

Another poem by Lucille Clifton:

i am accused of tending to the past

i am accused of tending to the past
as if i made it,
as if i sculpted it
with my own hands. i did not.
this past was waiting for me
when i came,
a monstrous unnamed baby,
and i with my mother's itch
took it to breast
and named it
she is more human now,
learning languages everyday,
remembering faces, names and dates.
when she is strong enough to travel
on her own, beware, she will.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


My sister-in-law Jean is the kindest, most generous person I know and I frequently lean on her to make cupcakes, fudge, etc. for bake sales, breakfasts and fundraisers for my various organizations. I call her and she is always agreeable.

Last week she called and asked me for my recipe for LAYERED LETTUCE SALAD, one of my signature dishes. Mine has 9 layers, unlike the common 7-layer salad. She told me that she was committed to making several dishes for her granddaughter's graduation party. I began to rattle off the ingredients and when I mentioned water chestnuts she sighed and said, "Oh, I thought I had everything; I'll have to go back to the store."

Well, DUH, Sue! I then realized that I should have volunteered to make it! I said, "I already have all the stuff; would you like for me to make it?" She said, "Oh, honey, if you would that would take a lot off me." She then told me how worn out she was.

I told her, "Well, you know I'm dense, you should just TELL me if you want me to do something--just as I do you!" Did I also mention that she is NICER than I am?


In a 9 X 13 dish, layer the following ingredients in the order given:

1/2 head lettuce, shredded
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 can sliced water chestnuts, well drained
1 package frozen peas (do not cook)
3 cups Miracle Whip
4 hard-cooked eggs, grated
salt and pepper to taste
4 tomatoes, diced
1 jar McCormick bacon bits

Refrigerate at least 4 hours. Can be made the night before serving.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


A friend of mine and I were discussing a mutual acquaintance and my friend said, "Now, he's a real gazabo!" His pronunciation was like "GAZE-BOE." As he is one who likes to "test" me; I knew better than to challenge him. I replied, "I've never heard that word; how is it spelled?" He laughed and said, "G-A-Z-A-B-O."

When I went home, I hurried to find the word:

GAZABO: U. S. slang: a man or boy; guy or fellow ( from the Spanish for "a shrewd fellow")

It IS pronounced like GAZE-BOE and also like GUH-ZAY-BOE!

Good for Scrabble!

Friday, June 3, 2011


WHY, OH WHY, do people name a child one name and call him/her by another name? I know how confusing it was for me to be called one name at school and another name at home and I have written about it on the blog. But more than that, I dislike nicknames.

This week I received a birth announcement and the baby is named Kristiana but the note with it stated, "But we're going to call her Krissy." I have a suggestion: why not call her Kristiana?

My first thought, "Oh, no, it's evidence of those horrible Kardashian creatures' influence!", and my second thought, "She's surely too young to remember "Three's Company" and the Suzanne Somers character "Krissy", but then I recalled that the mother's name and another daughter's name begins with "K" also! It's obviously a family tradition with the other daughter also burdened with a "cutesy" nickname.

When I was young, a family that lived down the road had at least eight children, and all of the children had "JEP" as their initials, as did the father. I can recall Jim, Jerry, Jackie, Jon, Jay, Jane, and Joey. [It had to be difficult to think of all those middle names starting with "E"!] The one in my class was inflicted as I was: he was called "Eddie" instead of his first name!

A friend of mine decided she wanted the names of her children to be "genderless" and "un-nick-nameable"; thus her daughters have the names of Dorsey and Kelsey.

There are definite pitfalls of naming "after" someone: there were a number of boys named "Franklin" in my generation and several with the full "Franklin Delano". The double-whammy on one of my classmates: Franklin Delano Knisley was called "Delano" instead of "Franklin"! In yesterday's obituaries was the name of "Douglas MacArthur Havens". I immediately felt sorry for him for having been saddled with that name all of his life. My mother's generation had a great number of guys named "Woody" and it was usually "Woodrow Wilson_____".

My mother hated naming "after" people and she refused to allow "Junior" to be attached, but two of my brothers bear my father's names: Kenneth and Velorus. [On second thought, I AM glad Bode had his nickname!] I remember the quote: "Naming a child Junior is a poor man's immortality."

I know several boys born in the 1960s named John who also became "John-John"; after a reporter who misheard JFK say "John" and "John" in rapid succession and inferred that John F. Kennedy, Jr. was called "John-John". Although he was often referred to as "John-John" in the media, he was not called "John-John" by his family. He was always "John" as his father was nicknamed "Jack". Caroline named her son Jack.

It disturbs me when people who use "II" improperly instead of "Jr.". When I asked one of my husband's nephews why he had named his son "the Second" instead of the proper "Junior", it caused some ill feelings. He thinks it sounds "better". I told him that it is only correct to name a child "THE SECOND" if he is named the exact name of his PATERNAL GRANDFATHER or PATERNAL UNCLE. I told him that his child should be named "JUNIOR" because he bears his exact name. I gave him examples: Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is the son of Robert F. Kennedy; Joseph P. Kennedy II is also Robert F. Kennedy's son, but he is named for Robert F. Kennedy's father Joseph P. Kennedy AND his brother Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr.

My advice about naming children: think of a name that will be good for a President of the United States.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


When Lloyd Bentsen and Dan Quayle had a debate in 1988, Dan Quayle committed what is considered by most people to be the most egregious gaffe in political debate by comparing himself to John F. Kennedy and Lloyd Bentsen gave the greatest putdown: "Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy; I knew Jack Kennedy; Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine; Senator, YOU ARE NO JACK KENNEDY!"

Today, during a conversation with an acquaintance about an issue, the person actually compared himself to The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. I was so taken aback that I could not think of adequate words to let him how how very insulting that was to the memory and legacy of Dr. King. I could not believe the hubris of someone comparing himself to one who had laid down his life for a cause.

I can only attribute his lack of perspective to the arrogance of youth. I should have said, "YOU ARE NO MLK!"

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


We went to a graduation party last night and during the course of the evening I was asked what I was doing now and I told of the various activities I am involved with, including the campaign to repeal SB5. The grandfather of the graduate made the remark, "I don't want any more N...... elected President!" I told the ignoramus, "It's sad that you are so ignorant!" I said, "Gerald, it's time for us to leave!" Another of Gerald's nieces grabbed my arm and said, "She can't help what he said." I was still seething with anger, but I examined my dilemma:

Should I make a scene? NO

Should I continue a dialogue with the racist? NO

Should I stay? YES, because my husband is more important to me than anything and it was his niece's celebration and I should just ignore the ignorance of the grandfather and continue to enjoy the company of ones I appreciate.

In 2008, a niece, her mother, and a great-nephew made racist statements which I could not tolerate. We have had no contact with them since. Another family member asked, "Is politics more important than family?" I said, "No, but conscience and respect are!"

At my cousin's wedding reception, someone made racist remarks about the President and I stood up and shouted, "I LOVE MY PRESIDENT!" My cousin left me off her Christmas card list and did not invite me for Christmas dinner and we have had no contact until recently when she e-mailed me and blithely wrote that she hadn't heard from me lately, but she requested some information that she was unable to obtain elsewhere. I saw no reason to answer the e-mail.

A friend asked, "How is it that you are surrounded by racists?"

When people doubt the existence of racism in our community, I have hundreds of stories to relate. I am constantly alarmed by the racism, intentional and unintentional, that I hear.

A young friend who I truly believe is NOT a racist, made a gross generalization and I commented that the remark was racist and he should not say things like that. He became very upset and denied that he was a racist. I said, "Well, quit making racist remarks!"

My brother tells me I am too sensitive to which I answer, "No, I'm too good a listener!"