Wednesday, August 31, 2011


My mother never liked to used the scientific words for "private" body parts. As a youngster, as soon as I learned the "correct" names for the anatomy I would insist on using those words but Mother would always cringe at hearing them and would say, "Do you have to say words like THAT?" I said, "Mother, it's much better than tallywhacker!" One day we were talking about childhood accidents and my brother Kenny told about a medical questionnaire for the service and he said that he wrote that he had a scar on his scrotum from a zipper accident as a little boy! My mother shrieked and said, "You told them you had a scar DOWN THERE!" He laughed and said, "Mom, DOWN THERE just wasn't specific enough for the Air Force!"

My sister-in-law took her baby boy to the doctor after his circumcision, and she told the doctor, that she wanted him to check his little tallywhacker. The doctor said, "I've heard it called a lot of things, but never that!"

Mother loved Oprah and watched her every day and would always report about what Oprah had to say. I had only seen snippets of Oprah's show as I was working, but after Mother died I had Les tape Oprah for me daily and it was rather comforting to me to watch Mother's favorite. After Dr. Oz started appearing on the show, the first time I heard Oprah say "V-J-J", I was taking a drink of Coca Cola and I literally did a spit-take, coughing, choking, with liquid coming from my nose, and laughing, I thought, "Oh, that would have made Mother so happy to hear V-J-J for vagina!"

Tuesday, August 30, 2011



One day, while going to the store, I passed by a nursing home. On the front lawn were six old ladies lying naked on the grass. I thought this was a bit unusual, but continued on my way to the store. On my return trip, I passed the same nursing home with the same six old ladies lying naked on the lawn. This time my curiosity got the better of me, and I went inside to talk to the Nursing Home Administrator.

I asked, "Do you know there are six ladies lying naked on your front lawn?" "Yes," she said, "they're retired prostitutes, and they're having a yard sale!"

Monday, August 29, 2011


Every year I have this--the NO-NAME ailment--it's hay fever or some other allergy and it just makes me miserable. It's accompanied by sneezing, watering eyes, coughing and WHINING! I know that my HACKING is unbearable to the ears of the guys at my house but they tolerate everything EXCEPT the whining. Gerald said, "GO to the doctor." I whined an answer, "I know what it is; I'll get over it." Les chimed in, "Well, but the question is: WILL WE?"

I've said it before that my brothers have always said if I want to find SYMPATHY, go to the dictionary, because it's between SHIT and SYPHILIS!

Knowing I have no sympathy from the home front, I turned to my friend Patty who told me that when Chuck has it she calls it the "THE GRUNK" because "It sounds like GRUNK coming from his nether regions." [Honestly, I think she just likes the word "nether"]

Somehow--I feel amazingly better just knowing IT has a name--THE GRUNK!

Sunday, August 28, 2011



Saturday, August 27, 2011


Gerald always has to have a cute come-back.

Getting out of the car today in the parking lot at Kroger, I said, "Oh, I saw Monica today and." He didn't allow me to continue but asked, "Monica Lewinsky?"

A guy, getting into his car, laughed and said, "That's an oldie but a goodie." I answered, "Yes, I AM an oldie but a goodie, I've put up with this for forty years!"

The AND about Monica wasn't as interesting as that exchange.

Friday, August 26, 2011





These great questions and answers are from the days when the"Hollywood Squares" game show responses were spontaneous, not scripted, as they are now. Peter Marshall was the host asking the questions:

Q. Paul, what is a good reason for pounding meat?
A. Paul Lynde: Loneliness!

Q. Do female frogs croak?
A. Paul Lynde: If you hold their little heads under water long enough.

Q. If you're going to make a parachute jump, at least how high should you be?
A. Charley Weaver: Three days of steady drinking should do it.

Q. True or False, a pea can last as long as 5,000 years?
A. George Gobel: Boy, it sure seems that way sometimes.

Q. You've been having trouble going to sleep. Are you probably a man or a woman?
A. Don Knotts: That's what's been keeping me awake.

Q. According to Cosmopolitan, if you meet a stranger at a party and you think that he is attractive, is it okay to come out and ask him if he's married?
A. Rose Marie: No, wait until morning.

Q. Which of your five senses tends to diminish as you get older?
A. Charley Weaver: My sense of decency.

Q. In Hawaiian, does it take more than three words to say "I Love You"?
A. Vincent Price: No, you can say it with a pineapple and a twenty.

Q. What are "Do It", ''I Can Help", and "I Can't Get Enough" have in common?
A. George Gobel: I don't know, but it's coming from the next apartment.

Q. As you grow older, do you tend to gesture more or less with your hands while talking?
A. Rose Marie: You ask me one more growing old question, Peter, and I'll give you a gesture you'll never forget.

Q. Paul, why do Hell's Angels wear leather?
A. Paul Lynde: Because chiffon wrinkles too easily.

Q. Charley, you've just decided to grow strawberries. Are you going to get any during the first year?
A. Charley Weaver: Of course not, I'm too busy growing strawberries.

Q. In bowling, what's a perfect score?
A. Rose Marie: Ralph, the pin boy.

Q. It is considered in bad taste to discuss two subjects at nudist camps. One is politics, what is the other?
A. Paul Lynde: Tape measures.

Q. During a tornado, are you safer in the bedroom or in the closet?
A. Rose Marie: Unfortunately, Peter, I'm always safe in the bedroom.

Q. Can boys join the Camp Fire Girls?
A. Marty Allen: Only after lights out.

Q. When you pat a dog on its head he will wag his tail. What will a goose do?
A. Paul Lynde: Make him bark?

Q. If you were pregnant for two years, what would you give birth to?
A. Paul Lynde: Whatever it is, it would never be afraid of the dark..

Q. According to Ann Landers, is there anything wrong with getting into the habit of kissing a lot of people?
A. Charley Weaver: It got me out of the army.

Q. It is the most abused and neglected part of your body, what is it?
A. Paul Lynde: Mine may be abused, but it certainly isn't neglected.

Q. Back in the old days, when Great Grandpa put horseradish on his head, what was he trying to do?
A. George Gobel: Get it in his mouth.

Q. Who stays pregnant for a longer period of time, your wife or your elephant?
A. Paul Lynde: Who told you about my elephant?

Q. When a couple have a baby, who is responsible for its sex?
A. Charley Weaver: I'll lend him the car, the rest is up to him.

Q. Jackie Gleason recently revealed that he firmly believes in them and has actually seen them on at least two occasions. What are they?
A. Charley Weaver: His feet.

Q. According to Ann Landers, what are two things you should never do in bed?
A. Paul Lynde: Point and laugh


Thursday, August 25, 2011


We rarely have an opportunity to see an editorial about the USA from another country's newspaper.

Read this excerpt from the Romanian newspaper "Evenimental Zilei" which is translated as "The Daily Event". The article was written by Cornel Nistorescu and published under the title "Cintarea Americii", which translates as "Ode To America".


Why are Americans so united? They would not resemble one another even if you painted them all one color! They speak all the languages of the world and form an astonishing mixture of civilizations and religious beliefs.

On 9/ll, the American tragedy turned three hundred million people into a hand put on the heart. Nobody rushed to accuse the White House, the Army, or the Secret Service that they are only a bunch of losers. Nobody rushed to empty their bank accounts. Nobody rushed out onto the streets nearby to gape about.

Instead, the Americans volunteered to donate blood and to give a helping hand.

After the first moments of panic, they raised their flag over the smoking ruins, putting on tee-shirts, caps and ties in the colors of their national flag. They placed flags on buildings and cars as if in every place and on every car a government official or the President were passing. On every occasion they started singing "God Bless America"!

I watched the live broadcast and rerun after rerun for hours listening to the story of the guy who went down one hundred floors with a woman in a wheelchair without knowing who she was, or of the Californian hockey player, who gave his life fighting with the terrorists and prevented the plane from hitting a target that could have killed other hundreds or thousands of people.

How on earth were they able to respond united as one human being? Imperceptibly, with every word and musical note, the memory of some turned into a modern myth of tragic heroes. And with every phone call, millions and millions of dollars were put into collection aimed at rewarding not a man or a family, but a spirit, which no money can buy. What on earth unites the Americans in such a way? Their land? Their history? Their economic Power? Money? I tried for hours to find an answer, humming songs and murmuring phrases with the risk of sounding commonplace, I thought things over, I reached but only one conclusion: Only freedom can work such miracles.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011



1. Try everything twice.
On one woman's tombstone she said she wanted this epitaph:
"Tried everything twice. Loved it both times!"

2. Keep only cheerful friends.
The grouches pull you down.
(Keep this in mind if you are one of those grouches!)

3. Keep learning:
Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever.
Never let the brain get idle. "An idle mind is the devil's workshop." And the devil's name is Alzheimer's!

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud.
Laugh until you gasp for breath.
And if you have a friend who makes you laugh, spend lots and lots of time with HIM/HER.

6. The tears happen:
Endure, grieve, and move on.
The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves.
LIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love:
Whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health.
If it is good, preserve it.
If it is unstable, improve it.
If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don't take guilt trips..
Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county, to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

11. Forgive now those who made you cry. You might not get a second chance.

12. Wine does not make you FAT ...

- it makes you LEAN ....
(Against tables, chairs, floors, walls and ugly people.)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


At a fund raising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question: "When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection. Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do. Where is the natural order of things in my son?"

The audience was stilled by the query. The father continued, "I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled, comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child." Then he told the following story: Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, "Do you think they'll let me play?" He said he knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father he also understood that if his son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps. He approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, "We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning." Shay struggled over to the team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again. Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat. At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game? Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.

However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact. The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher. The game would now be over. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game. Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all teammates. Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, "Shay, run to first! Run to first!" Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base. He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled. Everyone yelled, "Run to second, run to second!" Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base. By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball. The smallest guy on their team now had his first chance to be the hero for his team. He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head. Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home. All were screaming, "Shay, Shay, Shay, all the way, Shay!"

Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, "Run to third! Shay run to third!" As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, "Shay, run home! Run home!" Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team. "That day," said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world."

Shay didn't make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!

A wise man once said every society is judged by how it treats its least fortunate amongst them.

Monday, August 22, 2011


This parable is worth sharing. Have you ever seen a baby porcupine? I would pass it along just for this!

It was the coldest winter ever. Many animals died because of the cold that year. The porcupines, realizing the situation, decided to group together to keep warm. This way they covered and protected themselves; but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions. After awhile, they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die, alone and frozen. So they had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the Earth. Wisely, they decided to go back to being together. They learned to live with the little wounds caused by the close relationship with their companions in order to receive the warmth that came from the others. This way they were able to survive.

Moral of the story: the best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, but when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person's good qualities.

The real moral of the story: LEARN TO LIVE WITH THE PRICKS IN YOUR LIFE.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


By Richard Altschuler

Does the expiration date on a bottle of a medication mean anything? If a bottle of Tylenol, for example, says something like "Do not use after June 1998," and it is August 2002, should you take the Tylenol? Should you discard it? Can you get hurt if you take it? Will it simply have lost its potency and do you no good?

In other words, are drug manufacturers being honest with us when they put an expiration date on their medications, or is the practice of dating just another drug industry scam, to get us to buy new medications when the old ones that purportedly have "expired" are still perfectly good?

These are the pressing questions I investigated after my mother-in-law recently said to me, "It doesn't mean anything," when I pointed out that the Tylenol she was about to take had "expired" 4 years and a few months ago. I was a bit mocking in my pronouncement -- feeling superior that I had noticed the chemical corpse in her cabinet -- but she was equally adamant in her reply, and is generally very sage about medical issues.

So I gave her a glass of water with the purportedly "dead" drug, of which she took 2 capsules for a pain in the upper back. About a half hour later she reported the pain seemed to have eased up a bit. I said "You could be having a placebo effect," not wanting to simply concede she was right about the drug, and also not actually knowing what I was talking about. I was just happy to hear that her pain had eased, even before we had our evening cocktails and hot tub dip (we were in "Leisure World," near Laguna Beach, California, where the hot tub is bigger than most Manhattan apartments, and "Heaven," as generally portrayed, would be raucous by comparison).

Upon my return to NYC and high-speed connection, I immediately scoured the medical databases and general literature for the answer to my question about drug expiration labeling. And voila, no sooner than I could say "Screwed again by the pharmaceutical industry," I had my answer. Here are the simple facts:

First: the expiration date, required by law in the United States, beginning in 1979, specifies only the date the manufacturer guarantees the full potency and safety of the drug -- it does not mean how long the drug is actually "good" or safe to use.

Second: medical authorities uniformly say it is safe to take drugs past their expiration date -- no matter how "expired" the drugs purportedly are. Except for possibly the rarest of exceptions, you won't get hurt and you certainly won't get killed.

Studies show that expired drugs may lose some of their potency over time, from as little as 5% or less to 50% or more (though usually much less than the latter). Even 10 years after the "expiration date," most drugs have a good deal of their original potency. So wisdom dictates that if your life does depend on an expired drug, and you must have 100% or so of its original strength, you should probably toss it and get a refill, " If your life does not depend on an expired drug -- such as that for headache, hay fever, or menstrual cramps -- take it and see what happens.

One of the largest studies ever conducted that supports the above points about "expired drug" labeling was done by the US military 15 years ago, according to a feature story in the Wall Street Journal (March 29, 2000), reported by Laurie P. Cohen. The military was sitting on a $1 billion stockpile of drugs and facing the daunting process of destroying and replacing its supply every 2 to 3 years, so it began a testing program to see if it could extend the life of its inventory. The testing, conducted by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), ultimately covered more than 100 drugs, prescription and over-the-counter. The results showed that about 90% of them were safe and effective as far as 15 years past their original expiration date.

In light of these results, a former director of the testing program, Francis Flaherty, said he concluded that expiration dates put on by manufacturers typically have no bearing on whether a drug is usable for longer. Mr. Flaherty noted that a drug maker is required to prove only that a drug is still good on whatever expiration date the company chooses to set. The expiration date doesn't mean, or even suggest, that the drug will stop being effective after that, nor that it will become harmful. "Manufacturers put expiration dates on for marketing, rather than scientific, reasons," said Mr. Flaherty, a pharmacist at the FDA until his retirement in 1999. "It's not profitable for them to have products on a shelf for 10 years. They want turnover."

The FDA cautioned there isn't enough evidence from the program, which is weighted toward drugs used during combat, to conclude most drugs in consumers' medicine cabinets are potent beyond the expiration date. Joel Davis, however, a former FDA expiration-date compliance chief, said that with a handful of exceptions -- notably nitroglycerin, insulin, and some liquid antibiotics -- most drugs are probably as durable as those the agency has tested for the military. "Most drugs degrade very slowly," he said. "In all likelihood, you can take a product you have at home and keep it for many years. " Consider aspirin. Bayer AG puts 2-year or 3-year dates on aspirin and says that it should be discarded after that. However, Chris Allen, a vice president at the Bayer unit that makes aspirin, said the dating is "pretty conservative" ; when Bayer has tested 4-year-old aspirin, it remained 100% effective, he said. So why doesn't Bayer set a 4-year expiration date? Because the company often changes packaging, and it undertakes "continuous improvement programs," Mr. Allen said. Each change triggers a need for more expiration-date testing, and testing each time for a 4-year life would be impractical. Bayer has never tested aspirin beyond 4 years, Mr. Allen said. But Jens Carstensen has. Dr. Carstensen, professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin 's pharmacy school, who wrote what is considered the main text on drug stability, said, "I did a study of different aspirins, and after 5 years, Bayer was still excellent. Aspirin, if made correctly, is very stable.

Okay, I concede. My mother-in-law was right, once again. And I was wrong, once again, and with a wiseacre attitude to boot. Sorry mom.

Now I think I'll take a swig of the 10-year dead package of Alka Seltzer in my medicine chest - to ease the nausea I'm feeling from calculating how many billions of dollars the pharmaceutical industry bilks out of unknowing consumers every year who discard perfectly good drugs and buy new ones because they trust the industry's "Expiration date labeling".

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Friday, August 19, 2011


Several new phrases were added to the dictionary last year. Click here to see the video of the best 10.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I just read an article about contaminated honey from Asia being banned in Europe but it's flooding the U.S. market. This is a big scare since we love honey.

Les said, "I can just see it--like cocaine smuggling--they'll have HONEY MULES swallowing condoms filled with honey and defecating the honey all over Europe--you can't stop the honey trade!" Will we need a Honey Czar and a War On Honey?

Our favorite is "Tupelo honey" and the only place I'm able to purchase it locally is at the Mennonite store. Of course Gerald checks "online" for everything for prices; although it is expensive, it's cheaper at the Mennonite store. I don't think the Asians have Tupelo honey. I'll certainly be checking to see the origin.

I love Van Morrison's song "Tupelo Honey"!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011



Am sharing this great find with you, a rare find indeed!

5 pages of lovely oldies with original videos too

Turn up the volume & click on this link.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011




While driving on a rural end of the roadway on Thursday morning, I saw an infant car seat on the side of the road with a blanket draped over it.

For whatever reason, I did not stop. But when I got to my destination, I called the Police Department and they were going to check it out. But, this is what the police advised even before they went to check:

"There are several things to be aware of; gangs and thieves are now plotting different ways to get a person (mostly women) to stop their
vehicles and get out of the car. There is a gang initiation reported by the local Police Department where gangs are placing a car seat by the road with a fake baby in it and waiting for a woman, of course, to stop and check on the abandoned baby."

"Note that the location of this car seat is usually beside a wooded or grassy field area and the person--a woman--will be dragged into the
woods, beaten and raped, and usually left for dead. If it's a man, he's usually beaten and robbed and maybe left for dead, too.




Sunday, August 14, 2011


I have an acquaintance who introduces me as "My Democratic friend." I would never introduce someone as "My Republican friend". It happened again recently and when we were alone I told her that it was inappropriate to introduce me that way. Offended, she said, "Oh, I figure you're proud of it." I answered, "It would be the same if I said, "My Catholic friend", "My gay friend", or "My black friend". She didn't comprehend. I told her, "I don't have any Democratic friends although I do have friends who are Democrats." I don't think she ever got the point. When I told my brother, he asked, "So you didn't tell her you had any friends who are Republicans?" Touche, Les! I said, "No, I have family members who are Republicans!"

Recently the acquaintance and I were together at a gathering where we were supposed to show our favorite pictures of ourselves to our group. Several members brought wedding and anniversary albums and I had considered taking a collage of political pictures but thought it would be inappropriate. Instead, I showed pictures of myself taken at different phases of my work life.

All of us were sitting looking at pictures and the acquaintance stood up and announced, "Oh, Sue I know YOU would want to be the FIRST one to see this." and she showed me a picture of herself and her husband aboard Air Force One at the Ronald Reagan Library. This was obviously to goad me and I was certain that everyone there gleaned it also as she'd made such a dramatic announcement. I answered, "Oh, then YOU would be VERY interested to know that I MET Mr. Reagan when I was chosen to represent MY Company at the rollout of our first aircraft."

The woman's mouth literally dropped open and I continued, "But of course it's not a picture I'm particularly fond of!"

Although my "one-upmanship" was satisfying, I believe there's a time and place for everything and that place with that group was neither the time nor the place to try to goad someone with differing political views.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


After reading my article on HEAD GASKETS, my friend Patty, who is 1 month younger than myself, wrote that she had STILL never seen a condom. Upon reflection, she wrote the following:

[I had a flashback after I sent you that. I lied. I forgot about the time we went with a friend and her husband to the fried bologna place (G&R grill) in Waldo. I went to the restroom and was shocked to see condoms in a machine in there. I will NEVER forget the name of them – Savage Bliss. I came out of there sputtering and gasping for air when I told my friend about them. Later, she went to the restroom, and bought the damn things, and we blew them up like balloons in the van on the way home. How could I have forgotten Savage Bliss?]

I wrote back and asked her: "Imagine--there's a person out there whose job it is to name condoms--why can't I have a job like that?"

"LUSTFUL LATEX" perhaps?

Friday, August 12, 2011


In 1968, when my sister-in-law Carol (whose real name is Kap Hui) came to live with us while Neil was in Viet Nam, we were exposed to Korean cuisine for the first time and my Mother and I became quite fond of Carol's dishes. We had never really cooked rice other than "Minute Rice" but we soon learned how to cook "real rice". It was difficult to obtain some of the ingredients Carol needed for dishes and Carol became quite good at improvising. One day, I opened the cellar door and was engulfed by a terrible smell; I soon learned she was raising bean sprouts and mushrooms in the cellar! My mother was "picking a mess of greens" and Carol went with her and was fascinated that we could use the weeds. Carol took a large trash bag and gathered mustard and cleaned it and put it in the freezer. After that we had many dishes with mustard greens in them. Mother planted several Korean vegetables in the garden after that. Who knew that sweet potato VINES were good for eating? When Carol made Kimchee and buried the crock in the ground, Mother told her that her grandmother used to do the same thing with kraut. Carol said that it was amazing that we had things in common. I told her that people of all ethnic groups learned to use what was available, just like Mexicans using cactus.

When Gerald, Mother and I would go to Korean Restaurants in Columbus and Dayton, we were usually the only Caucasians in the restaurant and when I would order IN KOREAN, the waitress would invariable ask HOW I knew the Korean names for the dishes and she would have the owners, chef and everyone else come to meet us! My favorite dishes are Bibim Bap and Chap Chae Bap; I try something different every time but Gerald always gets the "safe" Bulgogi!

After Neil returned from the service, we were able to go to Lee's Market in Columbus to get appropriate ingredients. One day I took one of Carol's creations with me to work for lunch and a woman asked, "What is THAT?" I answered, "Yaki Mandu." She cast a critical eye toward my "smelly" food and said, "It looks and smells like Man's Hockey Doo to me!" When I went home I told Carol the story and Mother said, "That's what we should call it--Haki Du--that sounds Oriental." To this day, whenever we have an Asian dish, I call it "Haki Du".

Vegetable oil, for frying

For the filling:
1/2 pound firm tofu, broken up
6 ounces ground beef 1/2 cup (7 ounces) bean sprouts, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup diced carrot, (about 1 small)
1 scallion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil 1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
40 round dumpling (potsticker/gyoza) wrappers
Dipping Sauce, recipe follows

Set up a fryer, or heat 2-inches oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, fitted with a high-heat thermometer, to 360 degrees F.

To make the filling: Use cheesecloth to squeeze water out of tofu by tightly wringing and squeezing with your hands, or place tofu in a colander lined with 2 damp paper towels and press down with a heavy bowl or pot on top to squeeze moisture out. Pour tofu into a mixing bowl, add remaining filling ingredients and use hands to mix well. Fill a small bowl with water. Place 1 to 2 teaspoons of filling in the center of a dumpling wrapper. Wet the outer edge and fold to make a half-circle. Pinch dough together to seal, pushing air out as you work. Repeat process until the remaining dumplings are all assembled. In batches, deep-fry dumplings until golden, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. Transfer dumplings to a serving platter or bowl and serve with the dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce:
1/4 cup soy sauce 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
2 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Thursday, August 11, 2011


In 1981, there was a woman assaulted at work. That sent a wave of fear through the few women who worked at our plant. I was always the last one out of the building at night and being a creature of habit I always entered and exited from the same door. Gerald would be in the parking lot waiting for me. I had to descend 17 steps. One of my guys who had worked overtime thought it would be amusing to hide under the steps and jump out and yell "BOO!" I screamed at such a decibel level that he was immediately more afraid than I. I threw my work bag at him and hit him. He apologized profusely.

The following day I went to Human Resources with a work order to wall in the steps and have a large light placed over the doorway. The initial reaction was, "Do you really think this is necessary?" I asked, "You are aware of a woman having been assaulted, are you not?" It had been hush-hush, but word had leaked through the grapevine. The answer was, "Well, that happened at the Assembly Plant." as if the Body Plant were somehow exempt from such behavior. I said, "I don't care if it was Fort Wayne, East Moline or Chicago Headquarters, my safety and the safety of others should be of paramount importance!" The work order was processed. Although I knew that I had presented the request in a professional, rational, but assertive, manner the HR manager told my boss that I was a "little hysterical."

My brother Neil operated a Tae Kwan Do studio. In conversation with him I learned that he held self-defense classes for women. The following day I went to Human Resources with a plan for Self-Defense classes. I asked the Union Steward to go with me and it was interesting that the request was approved forthwith but one would have thought the idea had originated with Human Resources as the HR Manager commented, "I've been thinking about the very same thing!"

The reason that I involved the Steward was pure manipulation on my part. I knew full well that the Human Resources Manager--a male--would be more receptive if another male were involved. It's sad, but true, that although I was a member of management, I knew that the request would be received with more seriousness if I involved the Steward--a male--because of the dismissive attitude I'd received regarding the request for the stairway to be secured.

I am very grateful that I grew up with males who treated me as an equal, which enabled me to tackle "traditional male jobs", and very grateful that I married a man who expects me to be his partner.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Years ago someone asked one of my sisters-in-law when she was "expecting" and my sister-in-law was NOT pregnant. Because of that, I've always been very circumspect and have never asked that question unless the subject of pregnancy was broached by the one who was pregnant.

Recently, at a gathering, I was asking for volunteers for a campaign in the fall. A young woman said she would like to volunteer and I gave her a card to complete. She looked as if she were at least 6 months pregnant. She wasn't very heavy, but she was wearing sweat pants and a tee-shirt which fit very snugly around her abdomen and she had quite a protuberance that looked much bigger than a "baby bump"! Several other people had also wondered when she was expecting.

Because I thought she might be very uncomfortable or even be "POPPING" by September, I made the error of asking, "When are you expecting?" She said, "I'm not pregnant."

Open mouth, insert foot! I couldn't believe I'd just asked that question. I was ready to go underneath a table with embarrassment, but with great aplomb, she let me off the hook by saying she'd never lost the weight from her last baby.

Lesson learned!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


When I wrote the article about lemon scent being prevalent, Mona Lisa sent the following e-mail:

"Lemon juice has "artificial" lemon and dishwashing detergent has "real" lemon--WHY?"

She included a number of other "WHYS?":

Why do women open their mouths while applying mascara?

Why, when driving and looking for an address, do we turn down the volume on the radio?

Why don't they make mouse-flavored cat food?

Why do steam irons have Perma-Press settings?

Why isn't phonetic spelled the way it sounds?

Why did Kamikaze pilots wear helmets in the movies?

Why do you need a driver's license to buy liquor when you can't drink and drive?

Why are there Braille dots on a drive-up ATM?

Why don't they make airplanes out of that black-box material?

Monday, August 8, 2011


An old lady was walking down the street dragging two large plastic garbage bags behind her. One of the bags was ripped and every once in a while a $20 bill fell out onto the sidewalk. Noticing this, a policeman stopped her, and said, "Ma'am, there are $20 bills falling out of that bag." "Oh really? Darn it!" said the old lady. "I'd better go back and see if I can find them. Thanks for telling me, officer."

"Well, now, not so fast," said the cop. "Where did you get all that money? You didn't steal it, did you? "Oh, no, no", said the old lady. "You see, my back yard is right next to a golf course. "A lot of the golfers come and pee through a knot hole in the fence, right into my flower garden.

It used to really tick me off. Kills the flowers, you know. Then I thought, why not make the best of it? So now, I stand behind the fence by the knot hole, real quiet, with my hedge clippers. Every time some guy sticks his thing through my fence, I surprise him, grab hold of it and say, 'O.K., buddy! Give me $20, or off it comes.'"

"Well, that seems only fair," said the cop, laughing. "OK. Good luck! Oh, by the way, what's in the other bag?"

"Well, you know", said the old lady, "not everybody pays."

Sunday, August 7, 2011


My friend Patty has the unique ability of having nearly EVERYBODY like her! Of the nearly 1,000 people at work, I swear that you could not find one person to say a negative word about her, from the Vice-President to the janitor!

Patty became my friend which meant that I broke my cardinal rule about work: one cannot be FRIENDS, just FRIENDLY at work.

I had seen Patty at work when I would go to the "trailer"; our plant was large but could not accommodate all of the activity necessary for a government contract; thus, the trailers were brought in to satisfy the need for office space.

When an opening for Production Department Secretary came open, we had 19 in-company applications. The secretary would be shared by four Production Management people, all of whom would be interviewing all of the applicants. The process would obviously take a considerable amount of time. There had been a problem with the previous secretary not maintaining confidentiality. I created a matrix and interview sheet and the applicants would be graded according to the guidelines; then the Managers would make a decision based on those scores. We had an extraordinarily young work force; the average age was 24; the only "old" people were in management positions. 18 of the applicants were young, attractive, women with some relevant experience; Patty was the only "mature" candidate. At the beginning of the interviews, each of the interviewers were to caution the applicants that the interviews were to be kept confidential and not to be discussed with other employees.

After I had finished with an interview with one of the applicants, I looked out of the window and saw the applicant talking animatedly with a group of people. One of them was one of our Team Leaders. About an hour later I asked the Team Leader the topic of that conversation and I was told that the applicant was telling about the interviews. I told my colleagues that the applicant needed to be removed from consideration. She was a favorite of one of my colleagues and he said that we needed to ask her about it instead of just taking someone else's word; I called her to the office and asked her if she understood when she was told she couldn't divulge anything about the interview that she should not talk to anybody about the interview. She answered that she did. I then asked her why she had told several people about the questions. She didn't even bother to deny it but shrugged her shoulders and said she didn't see anything wrong about it.

When Patty came for the interview, after the perfunctory warning about confidentiality, I completed the interview and asked my last question, which wasn't on the interview sheet, "Do you know the derivation of the word secretary?", and she answered, "It's from the Latin--secretum--to keep a secret." She later told me that she'd looked up the word secretary before the interview! How fortuitous! Her score on all of the matrix questions was the highest of any of the candidates I had interviewed.

When my three male colleagues and I gathered to make a decision, I think that they were all surprised that their choice was also Patty but they had followed the matrix and guidelines and they had arrived at their conclusions based on qualifications, as Patty was obviously the most qualified.

After being in the job for awhile Patty confided to me that she thought that she never thought she had a chance to get the job because all the other applicants were young and pretty and there were going to be three men interviewing the applicants. I asked, "You didn't know there was a woman too?" She laughed and said, "All the times you would come out to the trailer, I thought you were that GOVERNMENT LADY because everyone was afraid of you and when I came for the interview, I wondered WHY you were interviewing for the Company!" She said that, after the interview, when I asked if she had any questions, she was glad that she didn't ask if I were that government lady!

I did my best Strother Martin imitation of: "What we have here is a failure to communicate!"

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the world's best secretary and friend!

Saturday, August 6, 2011


I've written previously about my brother Bode. He was the oldest of us eight siblings. He married when I was nine years old, but before he was married he would load us younger brats into his car "The Old Gray Ghost" and take us with him wherever he was going. We would often end up at Vic Donohoe's Pool Hall and while the boys played pool, I would timidly stand behind Bode, Neil or Norman and watch; Duke was too young to go and Les hadn't even been born!

Unbelievable as it may seem, I was a very shy little girl. Living in the country we did not have interaction with other kids except at school and I was socially awkward.

Mr. Donohoe would come over and invite me to sing along with the jukebox. My signature songs were "Tennessee Waltz" ala Patti Page and the one I would really belt out was "Music! Music! Music!" by Teresa Brewer. Of course that song was always "Put Another Nickel In" to me. Mr. Donohoe would keep putting nickels in the jukebox. As much money as he made from my father and Bode, he should have been generous! I later learned that was where my father played cards in "the back room".

I was just thinking how much my mother must have appreciated Bode taking us with him and giving her a much-needed break from us!

Friday, August 5, 2011


At my bridal shower, one of the "games" was to make a bridal gown using tissue paper. The participants could use only paper and pins. It was cute AND humiliating. The bridal bouquet was also tissue paper and someone thought it was a cute idea to put inflated condoms to represent flowers in the bouquet! I had never seen a condom before and I naively thought they were balloons! The next day at work I was telling the story and that I had never seen a condom before. The women had all known me for years, so they had no problem believing me that it was true.

The next day one of the women said at break time, "Close your eyes and hold out your hand; I have a present for you!" When I opened my eyes, there were two packets--one with lime green and the other Tahitian pink--of condoms! I let out a scream and everyone enjoyed the prank. I showed them to Gerald after the wedding but he refused to "model" them! Those 40-year-old packets are still in my jewel box!

Gerald was working at my cousin's filling station and a man came in and said, "Hey, buddy, you're out of head gaskets in the men's restroom!" Gerald said, "We don't carry head gaskets." The guy explained to him that the prophylactic machine in the men's restroom was empty. HEAD GASKETS!

Thursday, August 4, 2011


At a recent gathering at our home, a topic of conversation was the great number of downtown stores there were when we were teenagers. I commented that the population for Washington Court House had not changed much since 1950.

The population of Washington Court House in the 1960 Census was 12,388 people. The population increased to 14,192 in the 2010 Census which is a gain of 1,704 people in 50 years.

With all of the housing developments since 1960; e.g. : Storybrook, Quail Run, Trotter's Point, Industrial Park, Self-Help Housing, condos, townhouses, etc., surely those must house more than 1,704 people!

Where did all the people live in 1960?

Although we considered that families were larger and more people resided in family dwellings than they do now, and that more people commute out-of-town to work now, it is still mind-boggling to me!

Where did people work?

We had MORE stores, restaurants, grocers, automobile dealerships, funeral homes, bakeries, dry cleaners, and drug stores than now. We even had an ABATTOIR!

In 1960 there were a great number of downtown stores: The Bargain Store, Bud's Men's Wear, Buster Brown Shoes, Craig's, County Fair, Downtown Drug, Fashion Page, G. C. Murphy, Gillen Drug, Hall Drug, Haver's Drug, Harmony Music, Holthouse, J. C. Penney, King Kash Furniture, Levy Clothing Company, Lord's, Martha Washington Shop, Montgomery Ward, Risch's Drug, Roe Millinery, Sears, Soldan's, Steen's, Summers Music, Wade's Shoes, and Wise's Children's Store.

Our friend Bob commented that each one of those stores probably employed at least 4 people.

There were 24 grocers with fifteen being neighborhood stores such as Bellar's, Ducey's, East End Superette, Elm Street Market, Fayette Street Grocery, Gardner's, North Street Market, Oakland Avenue Market, Orner Market, Purcell Grocery, Harry Roberts Grocery, Shoemaker's, Washington Avenue Grocery, and White Grocery.

In 1960 there were 12 automobile dealerships here: Boyd Pontiac, Brandenburg Buick and Chevrolet, Don's Cadillac, Hickman's Chrysler, J. Elmer White De Soto, Carroll Halliday Ford, Roads Motor Sales, Meriweather Motor Company, Hill Motor Sales, Houseman Auto Sales, Laymon Motor Sales, and Hugh Matson's.

In 1960 there were more than 30 "service stations"; then, most service stations did service cars. We always said "filling station" then and the common saying was that there was "a church or filling station on every corner".

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


A young associate of mine was asking me for advice about her financial difficulties and I suggested we create a budget. She is behind on all of her bills and as we were compiling her expenses she suddenly said, "Oh, I have to go; I have an appointment to get my eyebrows waxed."

I know the going rate is $40.00 for eyebrow waxing. I folded the paper and handed it to her and I commented, "Oh, you didn't have that in your expenses."

She said, "Oh, put that in and see what I have left."

The paper is still on my desk but I'm sure she'll return soon; it's the first of the month.

Do they teach reconciling a checkbook in school?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


The Jewish Daily Forward: Embracing an Immigrant Community
The original Forward Building, at 175 East Broadway, was named a national landmark.

I recently joined a Facebook "Conversation Group" called "I Grew Up In Washington Court House". It's been very interesting reminiscing about places and people from our past. Most of the people on the page seem to be within my generation.

One person wrote, "Do you remember Henry the Jew? I'm not racist but it's what he was called." Henry Friedman owned several junkyards in Fayette County. One must realize that Henry Friedman was probably the only Jew that many members of the Conversation Group ever knew. Henry had an encyclopedic knowledge of his inventory--this was before computers--and could tell one if he had it at the "other" junkyard.

On the Facebook page, I wrote how I'd gone with my brother to town and he wanted to stop by Henry's to look for a car part. Henry was sitting on a metal chair in front of the yard eating watermelon which he was cutting and eating with a pocket knife. He offered me a chunk of melon which I accepted. I asked if I could look at his newspaper which was "The Daily Forward". He said, "You canna read it." I answered, "Oy gevaldt, of course I can!" As I was trying to find some of the Yiddish words I knew, he took the paper and started translating for me.

All of my brothers regaled us with stories about Henry. To this day we all pronounce transmission as "trahns-uh-mission" as Henry did. My brother Roger said Henry always said, "Tell ya what I'm gonna do!" and that he always wanted one to give him the old part they'd taken off the vehicle. "Do I have a deal for you!" All parts were priced "10 dollah!" and then one could dicker. Norman went to get a drive shaft and they were in a pile "10 feet high and 40 feet wide" (of course Norman said he might be exaggerating a little). Norman said he told Henry he couldn't find what he needed and Henry said, "If they make it, then I've got the son of a bitch!" Norman also said that Henry would say that he'd just taken the part "right off my Chevy" even though we knew he drove a Cadillac! Henry would allow one to return anything for another part but would never give back the 10 dollah!

Although most comments on the Conversation Group were of a humorous nature, several people on the site made some stereotypical comments which I was obligated to correct.

One person wrote about how Henry would come out with a shotgun and that he couldn't believe how fast he could ride his bike getting away from Henry! Another thought that Henry lived at the junkyard but Henry actually lived at the Hotel Washington; my husband was a bellhop there when he was in high school and he knew Henry very well; Gerald has very warm feelings about Henry because he was a generous tipper! Gerald bought a HEMI from Henry which is a humorous detail of our courtship. [My mother disapproved of my dating Gerald and my brother Roger told her, "He's OK, Mom; he has a HEMI on his front porch with a flower pot on top!"]

What most people did NOT know about Henry was that he was a Holocaust survivor from a concentration camp who was able to get to America because other family members had escaped. Yes, he had a tattoo on his forearm. Norman said he saw him once in a local drinking establishment and hardly recognized him because he was dressed in suit and tie with a comely blonde on his arm. One person on the site commented that her grandmother said Henry was the best dance partner!

I would have liked to have seen that! I wish I had talked more to him.

Monday, August 1, 2011



Simply because I care about you.

In my ongoing thought for my fellow computer friends and coworkers,

I offer you:

Neck Exercises to do at the computer: